A brief list of reasons the gym is the last place you wanna be right now:
You’re intimidated. You’re not motivated. You just don’t have enough damn time.
If the latter is the issue — and between the holiday shopping, parties and travel, we’re guessing it is — you’re in luck.
Because Chicago studios are embracing the 30-minute workout. And if you’d like to resolve to keep it trim this December, we recommend you do the same.
From indoor group runs to the HIIT workout that’ll keep ya honest, here are the five classes you should be signing up for now.
Firestarter at Equinox
We’re talking short and effective workouts, so you knew high-intensity interval training (HIIT) was gonna come up. Countless studies have proven its benefits. The only drawback? You’re responsible for making sure you push yourself hard enough. A group-fitness environment keeps you honest. This class will force you to run through a series of drills using your body weight and a step bench. There’s some active recovery time built in for catching your breath, but don’t expect to stop completely until the 30 minutes are up.
Conditioning Class at Hardpress Conditioning
The idea: You’re a busy professional and don’t have time to spend all day exercising. But you still want results, and this studio — where classes never exceed eight people — proves an effective workout can be had in just half an hour. But that doesn’t mean it’ll be a cakewalk. As one Facebook reviewer says: “So hard, but so good.”
Zip Sprint at Runner's High Studio
There’s nothing easier to blow off than a winter run outdoors. Runner’s High Studio makes your excuses obsolete. You’ll be guided by a coach who pushes you to knock out miles … inside. Their shortest class, Zip Sprint, is expeditious but potentially exhausting. You’re in control of the treadmill dashboard, so the onus is on you.
Total Body Mobility at CrossTown Fitness
For a little more chill, head over to CrossTown Fitness in the West Loop. The studio offers more than 150 classes each week, most high on the intensity spectrum, so they graciously threw this yoga instructor-led class on the schedule to help you recover. You may still sweat, but the biggest takeaway is that after 30 minutes, your hips, hamstrings, quads and core will feel brand new.
3x3 at Studio Three
This one technically clocks in at 40 minutes, but the workout itself is 30, so it makes the list (the extra 10 minutes are spent warming up and cooling down). The class, which debuted in March, pegs itself as a combo of cardio and weight-training that’ll improve strength and endurance. Plan to stick around for a post-workout shower: 3x3 takes place in Studio Three’s yoga studio, where the temp’s been bumped up to a steamy 80-something degrees.