January is the cruelest month.
At least when it comes to getting in shape.
Because while you could just vow to “work out more” — like you have every other year — how has that strategy actually worked out for ya?
There is a better way, gents, and it involves getting specific with your resolutions and committing to the gym that’ll get you there.
And we’ve got the recipe for just that.
The resolution: “I want to lose weight.”
The studio: Spindle Fitness
The thought of private personal-training sessions may set off cha-ching sounds in your head, but there’s another, more affordable way to tap into that one-on-one attention: Spindle Fitness. You tell your trainer about your goal, and he or she will design 12 monthly workouts to help you meet it. Then, you’re free to complete the workouts on your own time — at their River North or Lincoln Park studios, or the barebones gym in your office building. www.spindlefitness.com
The resolution: “I want to get stronger.”
The studio: Equinox
The swanky gym (with three Chicago locations, so your “it’s too far away” excuses aren’t going to fly) recently launched a class called Pure Strength. It brings the gym’s weightlifting floor into a group fitness format for a killer 45-minute workout. You’ll work your way through rows of equipment that call for different exercises (the instructor will keep you on course). One minute you’ll be doing a pull-up, the next you’ll be benching dumbbells heavier than you’ve ever seen in this kind of setting. www.equinox.com
The resolution: “I want to get out of my workout rut.”
The studio: Barry’s Bootcamp
Barry’s has a cult-like following on the coasts for good reason, and the first Chicago outpost opened in River North in November. A program built on short, high-intensity intervals, you’ll start with hills, sprints and hill sprints on a treadmill. Before 15 minutes are up, you’ll move on to the strength-training part of class: each day targets specific areas — arms and abs, for example — which you’ll burn out with weights, resistance bands and bodyweight moves on steroids (such as one excruciating push-up that takes a full minute). Then you repeat the treadmill-to-floor (or vice versa) sequence until 60 minutes are up. www.barrysbootcamp.com
The resolution: “I want to run without getting hurt.”
The studio: Sproing Sport
Sticking with a get-fit resolution goes out the window the second you land yourself in physical therapy. Don’t be that guy. Instead, sprint walk carefully to Old Town’s Sproing Sport. Your first move is the worst part: you’ll strap yourself into a heavy-duty contraption that’ll make you question if you signed up for a workout or some invasive scientific study. There’s a reason for the weirdness: it allows you to run on a spongy surface that’s said to slash the amount of stress placed on your knee joints by 50 percent. It’ll feel awkward, but your knees will still work when you unstrap yourself 45 minutes later. And that sounds like a win to us. www.sproingsport.com
The resolution: “I want to prioritize recovery.”
The studio: Studio Three
This resolution might not be on your radar, but it should be if you’re the guy who drops weights and heads straight to the locker room or ducks out of class the second the chill music begins. A class dedicated to the art of recovery, Performance Stretch is offered in 45-minute and one-hour formats and, though it’s yoga-like in nature, you’ll have access to blocks, bands and other equipment to aid stretching if your half lotus crow pose is lacking. www.studiothree.com