FREE FITNESS: The Bar Method Classes this Weekend and GIVEAWAY!

Happy birthday to you!  Happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Bar Method!!  What kind of birthday is it when you get a present instead of the birthday girls?  A super sweet and sweaty one!

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The Bar Method is celebrating it’s 15th birthday of making ladies long and lean.  Bar Method’s signature moves are low impact yet can strengthen and tone you.  We are huge fans (like the kind of fans that have the big foam finger) of Bar Method and can’t say enough about their results.  Read our past experiences with Bar Method here!!

Oh and your present?  You thought we forgot!

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Take FREE Bar Method classes and tuck for yourself this Saturday 8/20 and Sunday 8/21*.  One lucky reader/new client will win FREE Bar Method cute and motivational sticky socks as well. Enter our Rafflecopter giveaway to win**!  Rafflecopter giveaway

*Only new clients are eligible for a free class.  Not new?  Bring a friend to the Bar!*

**Winner must be able to pick up socks at a Chicagoland Bar Method locations and must be a new client.  Giveaway 8/19 10 pm – 8/20 12 am**.

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Free class offer is valid on August 20th and 21st at any of four Chicago locations.  Call the studio you would like to visit to check the schedule and reserve your spot.
Gold Coast: (312) 573-9150
Loop: (312) 332-9150
Lakeview: (773) 935-2150
Wicker Park: (773) 384-3150
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Free Nutrition and Fitness Event with Freshii and Trainology!

Quick: Name some famous duos!
Batman and Robin
Peanut Butter and Jelly
Freshii and…Trainology?
Teaming up this week, TRAINology Fitness Chicago‘s top trainer, Michael Wollpert will bring his “A” game and freshii franchiser and former personal trainer, Alex Blair, will bring the “lettuce” for a night of health and wellness tid bits, freshii bites, giveaways (we heart these) and Q&A, so ask whatever you like!
When: Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 5 p.m.
Where: The brand new funky fresh 1871 freshii location on the 12th floor of the Merchandise Mart.
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What: An hour long fitness and nutrition talk with experts, Michael and Alex, moderated by A Sweat Life blogger, Jeana Anderson Cohen.  Food and giveaways throughout the evening.  RSVP to allison@trainologychicago.com to save a spot!

Be Bold with Brooklyn Boulders and Luna Bar

It’s FITNESS FRIDAY and if you’re stuck in a fitness rut, we know just the way to climb out!  Try indoor rock climbing!  Being bold on the boulders not only challenges your body, it can also calm stress and amp up your brain.

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Last Wednesday, Luna Bar continued it’s #LUNAChiReveal with their Salted Caramel Protein Bar, Brooklyn Boulders and a host of talented and strong Chicago women to give us a chance to try indoor rock climbing.  Brooklyn Boulders Chicago is one of facilities in the U.S.  Not only can visitors try traditional bouldering, auto belay or rope climbing, but they can also sample fitness classes like Acro-Yoga, weight training or bring a laptop and get some work done in between climbing in the relaxing upstairs meeting space.

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Luna Bar mixed it up with 3 stations for us rookie climbers:

Bouldering

Bouldering is a form of rock climbing sans a harness or ropes.  Ob-v, Brooklyn Boulders loves safety so there’s a crash mat waiting for you in case you can’t find your way down.  There are various routes, called problems in the rock climbing world, with easy level climbing and ultra hard climbing.  First, BKB staff had us practice falling.  We call it the upside bug technique.  Basically, the goal is to land face up with the impact on your cushiony butt and your extremeties curled in like a insect that’s been flicked over.  Next, we scurried our way up the simpler routes.  Monica is a natural as she made her way to the top and back no problem (or maybe she’s part squirrel).

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Auto Belay Certification

The auto belay, an automatic rope connected to a harness that supports the climber, is a daunting yet thrilling. BKB instructors demo-ed the proper way to connect the auto belay to the harness as well as how to descend (although none of us Luna participates did it quite as gracefully).  Once connected, you freely ascend up the problem of your choice and when you feel you can’t move up any longer, you let go.  The auto belay catches and lowers you safely.  Once certified by staff, visitors of BKB are allowed to move about different courses with auto belays.

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Dream Space

We named this ourselves but Luna put together some inspirational crafting, delish new Salted Caramel Protein Bar samplin’, and blogger minglin’ in the upstairs work space.  Postcards with antique style ink stamps were set up in a cute mailboxes and we were encouraged to write encouraging words to our selves!  There was also a colorful chalkboard set up to channel your motivational side by writing when you feel the most strong.

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We highly recommend rising (ahaaa) to the challenge of indoor climbing.  BKB staff are friendly, professional an truly made us feel safe as first timers.  Step up to Brooklyn Boulders with a Salted Caramel Protein bar to replenish yourself after a grueling but rewarding advance!  Has anyone else been to Brooklyn Boulders?  What do you think!?

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Pure Barre Lincoln Park: Fit Review

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10 brave women made it out in the cold after a appetizer, sides, and pie holiday to get their fitness on this past Sunday at our first ever private Chiorganic Girls class at Pure Barre Lincoln Park, an admirable feet given the tendency to want to sleep off the lingering food coma.  We were grateful for our motivation to attend as we got a kick a*@ workout that toned and tightened to reset the good habits and prepare us for the back to work grind.

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Lincoln Park Pure Barre is a brand new workout hot spot that just opened November 4th.  Ashley Gertz, owner of the newly opened Pure Barre in Lincoln Park, opened the location because of her personal love of barre classes and keen business sense.  She welcomed our group with a tour and an overview of what Pure Barre has to offer.  Ashley, a former marathoner and avid runner, found that cardio didn’t promote toning and strength so she joined the River North Pure Barre and was hooked.

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Marguerite, our teacher, gave us the overview of common moves of Pure Barre and then we got cracking with an immediate plank set (WHYYY??).  Bubbly pop music as well as giggles from class participants offset the strenuousness of the miniscule muscle movements.  We rolled through abs, arms, legs and ended with (sigh*) more abs and a bridge set to tense up the tush.

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After class, we took our shaky legs to the lobby area for complimentary Kashi and Luna snack bars as well as raffle for 2 lucky participants.

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And now, we are sore…very pleasantly “can’t walk up the stairs so well” sore, evidence of a real workout.  Wanna check it out?  Pure Barre Lincoln Park offers new students a very affordable unlimited month of classes for $99.  If you join now, you can also compete in the Jingle Tuck challenge (15 classes in 30 days) for prizes and the ultimate win, a retreat at a spa in Arizona.

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Jump Away Calories at Sky Zone

Ok 80’s babies, sing it with us.  Sky Zone will make you “Jump, Jump”!  Yes, now Kris Kross is in your head, suckers.

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We had the distinct pleasure of bounding on over to a trampoline haven at the newly opened Sky Zone in Elmhurst, IL, our Chicago neighbor to the West.  Jump-a-whaaa?  It’s basically a warehouse full of tramps (the hoppy kind, people) set up for your child-like nature…and children, if you have them, of course.

When we arrived, we felt a little nervous about the thought of trampling small children with our lack of coordination as we saw them running into the building.  Sky Zone has a pretty sweet set up, however, to make sure adults and kids leap with ease.  Sky Zone has scheduled jump times to reduce crowding and several jump arenas with different activities.

So what ya do when you get there?

First, we signed a online waiver, grabbed our cute pink sky socks (in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month) and stopped by the snack bar to get some water.

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Jump Tip #1: You don’t need to pay for water.  There are water fountains (uh duh, why didn’t we look earlier?).  There is no slushie fountain, though, so you will need to pay for that Blue Rasberry Slushie craving you have.

We started our jumpsperience at FOAM ZOOOOONE with some very inept flips into a big pile of orange and blue foam cubes.  There’s a monitor in each area directing flip traffic so you can belly flop, front flip, or just slide down the trampoline on your face into the pit…as one of us did (heheheh).

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Jump Tip #2: Wear Jump appropriate clothing.  Half shirts, low riding pants and thong panties may be a bit too revealing as you claw your way depths of foam helllll.  Seriously, its a struggle getting out of those cubes!

Next, we moseyed over to the open jump dome and were surrounded by all ages of jumpers.  The coolest aspect about open jump is that its organized chaos.  The dome is divided into personal trampoline squares so jumpers can have their own private trampoline dreams without being tackled by a fellow participant.  As we jumped back and forth between each other’s squares, we noticed how dang hard trampolining is.  We burned calories, sweat and didn’t even feel like we were working out until our legs revealed their shaky nature once we left the dome.

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Jump Tip #3: If you use the Sky Zone lockers, put your key somewhere safe!  Ours jumped right out of our pocket and left us with a $10 locker key replacement fee.

Finally, we tried out WNBA aspirations at Sky Slam, the Slam Dunk section.  One of us, the tall one with hops aka Monica, enjoyed the area, while the other, the shortie, got kicked out for trying to dunk in the kids line.  Kate can’t slam dunk and now it’s been proven by cold hard evidence.

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Sky Zone visitors can try their hand (or legs) at Ultimate Dodgeball.  We just didn’t feel like getting smacked in the face by 8 year olds so we skipped out.  Fitness classes are also available for those who want a dedicated low impact/high calorie workout without all the rug rats running about.

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Final Jump Tip:

Sky Zone is affordable (fitness classes are only $10 and open jump is $15), fun and will make you fit!  Check out the class schedule and open gym times here and hop to it!

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My Om My! Free Holiday Yoga with Lululemon Chicago

Admit it.  You deserve a break from the holidays already and those snowman cookies you’ve gorging on lately certainly aren’t relieving any stress.  Well, real holiday relief is on the way!  In the spirit of the season, Lululemon on Rush & Walton has wrapped up the gift of free yoga classes, ceremoniously titled “12 Days of OM”,  at a diverse set of Chicago based studios for all of us in need of a good Shavasana.  We did a test run last night for the 2nd day of OM at Yoga Fuzion.  Nestled in River North, Yoga Fuzion’s studio space has all the accouterments you would expect from the posh neighborhood.  It boasts infrared heating technology, free towel and mat rental, and a special cushy moisture reducing floor.  During our 1 hour yoga journey with Rachel, we delighted in some much needed detoxing twists (goodbye pumpkin pie!) and a toasty heated temp which was a surprise perk given the 20 degree freeze yesterday.

We sweated it up and still somehow looked glowy at the end.  Ok, so maybe we snuck a brush in our gym bags and tussled our hair a bit before the “op”.

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Yoga Fuzion in River North

Following practice, we chatted it up with Jonna from Lululemon and indulged in mango lemonade, cucumber mint water and fresh veggies.  She explained that class sign-ups are released each Friday and pointed us to the sign up link for “12 Days of OM” on Eventbrite.  Jonna presented us a special gift in the #nohumbug Lululemon tradition, a cute coral colored sweat wicking pink stripe tank for Monica!  ‘Tis the season for you to jump on the free yoga sleigh ride as well.  Check out the “12 Days of Om” schedule below, back away from the cookies and throw those capri and tank in your gym bag!  Next classes include Power Vinyasa Flow at Yoga Loft and Mat Pilates at Lateral Fitness.

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New to the Mat: Zen Yoga Garage

With a multitude if yoga studios in Chicago, how does a brand new yoga business set itself apart?

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Zen Yoga Garage is unassumingly tucked on Milwaukee avenue in between Western and Leavitt. The stand out feature? It is literally housed in a garage space.

The studio features 2 pristine studios; one which maintained the garage door format that can be cracked open during classes to allow the summer sun and breezes in, and the other which has windows that peek into the alley way.

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The most attractive feature of the studio were teaching staff. Each class that we took during our free week was delivered with care and attention. The teachers were were quick to correct form and helped challenge yet also relax members. Class offerings range from the traditional vinyasa classes to the heated weight bearing Yoga Buddha Burn class to a barre yoga class. Owner, Piper Parker, also teaches and provides a welcoming and warm vibe, making it accessible for those new to yoga.

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