Fitness Friday: Equinox Ropes and Rowers

For those who haven’t been to Equinox, you’ve been missing out on a luxury fitness experience.  Think top tier fitness instructors, a wide array of fitness tools at your fingertips and a cool lavender towel resting on your neck after busting your butt.  If that weren’t enough, Equinox’s group fitness classes keep you on your toes as they constantly think of new ways to challenge your svelte regime.

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Equinox has two new classes in heavy rotation: Best Butt Ever (who can say no to that! Bounce a quarter off this pup) and Ropes and Rowers.  We wrangled our schedules to make time for Ropes and Rowers and the calories were roasted!  We loved the interval format as we moved through 4 different stations: Rowing, Battle Ropes, Step Work, and Weighted Exercise Balls.

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Here’s how to survive this intense class and feel like an Olympic Champion:

  1. COME EARLY! We had a major fitness faux pas as Kate thought the class started at 6:30..soo…but our instructor Tanya from Equinox Lincoln Park not only made space for us but took time to get us set up and explain what was happening.
  2. Get tough!  Neither one of us have experienced a Battle Rope before.   Battle Ropes are said to improve body balance, encourage functional fitness and boost mental toughness.  Our favorite station included thwaping this heavy rope first, then pulling the ropes (attached to a heavy weight) all the way to you, and finishing with pushing the weight all the way back to start.  Killer abs here we come. 20061180962_9b45200960_z
  3. Pace yourself and keep going!  Even though the class isn’t super long (40 minutes with about 5 minutes of stretching), you will be surprised how exhausted you get after donkey kicking, speed water rowing, and Russian twisting your tail off!  One of our rowing segments, consisting of 100 meter row sprints, took our breathe away (and not in the romantic way)! 19881273140_94eede02cf_z

Ready to battle?  Check out Ropes and Rowers at any Chicagoland Equinox.  Has anyone experienced the battle royale of battle ropes?  Let us know what you think!!

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Riding Spinners and They Don’t Stop: Our First Spinning Class

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Equinox cycling class

Mid February, right around V-day, we spent a little time giving love to ourselves by trying a new workout.  Kate has always been a little hesitant about indoor cycling, a.k.a spinning, while Monica was fascinated with this high-energy fitness style. We picked the perfect opportunity to jump in and test the spin cycle when Cheeky Chicago planned a Valentine’s studio cycling event with Equinox Lincoln Park.  We made it to class just in time to get on our bikes and chose the back row to avoid the front row spotlight.

Big tip: If it’s your first time, flag the instructor down to help you adjust your bike and show you the how to work the darn thing.  Bike seats and handles are adjustable and move up/down, forward/back….very helpful for the vertically gifted or challenged.  Kate’s bike seat was not quite locked and took a dip midway through cycling which was very unexpected and uncomfortable  indeed.  

The tools that you use throughout your ride include a red knob to up or lower the resistance of your bike and increase intensity in addition to a screen to track your rpm and mileage.  And the one thing we were wondering throughout about cycling…is it possible to get a more comfy plushy seat?

The instructor started us off with a warm up of moderate pedaling and then led the class in an interval format as bubbly pop music played in the background.  She was unashamed to throw Beiber and Usher in the mix to get us moving.  After we were slightly sweaty, the resistance was added and we worked in a hill format.  We both popped up off the bike seats and pedaled while standing, making it a killer quad and glute experience.

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After pedaling full steam ahead for 45 minutes, we were treated to KIND bars and Juice Rx Gingerade (lemon, ginger and Vermont maple syrup) as other guests learned foam rolling tips from Equinox trainers. We also scored one week passes to Equinox for ourselves and our readers. Comment below to receive a one week pass!

Lincoln Park Equinox has creative variations of Studio Cycling, Barre classes, Tabata and not to be missed Yoga with Allison English!  For the March schedule, click here.

Feel like spinning your wheels a little more for a good cause?

Get your spin on to help stop violence in Chicago. Ride Spin to Break the Cycle on March 8th at the House of Blues for 1, 2, or 3 hours!