The first 3 months I lived in Chicago I worked out on my living room floor with a pair of free weights, a jump rope, and a yoga mat. No gym membership fee was pretty great, but I was missing the atmosphere and sense of belonging to a gym.. and maybe a treadmill, machines, classes, etc. After being a member of a gymnastics and cheerleading team my whole life, I got used to the motivation that comes along with being a part of a community that challenges you and keeps you on track. Now that my cheerleading days are over, I joined Equinox in Chicago – here’s why:
Fit culture + community:
You’re supposed to surround yourself with the people you want to be like, right? There’s something to be said about the positive energy and motivation that comes along with being a member and being surrounded by other people living a healthy and active lifestyle. I swear there’s just something about this place that makes you want to go the extra mile.. literally. Plus, it’s true that when you’re paying membership dues, you feel obligated to go.
Let’s be honest, we all like nice things. You can say it’s overrated, but the gym in clean and beautiful. You can’t beat the luxurious atmosphere – weight training equipment, interactive treadmill screens, ice-cold eucalyptus-infused face towels… It’s just a nice place to be. And the showers are great. Some days when I don’t feel like working out I remember the Kiehl’s shampoo & conditioner in the showers.. 😉 Hey, whatever it takes tot get me there.
The staff / the classes
The gym is never crowded and the staff is so friendly. When you sign up, you get a personalized Equifit Assessment and free personal training session to assess your fitness goals. I love that there are so many people my age that are members – I’ve already met a few girls I see on the regular that I’ll occasionally get drinks with. Class options are endless – yoga, pilates, kickboxing, precision running (no thank you), spinning, barre, etc. And you know they’re worth it when you wake up the next day and can barely move. I always workout harder and stay longer when I’m working out with a group or taking classes.
Cafe + workspace away from home
One thing that has really helped with my fitness routine – working from the gym’s lobby/cafe. I realized that if I can get myself to go there – grab a coffee or shake – and work on my computer for a couple hours, I am WAY more likely to get a workout in since I’m already there. If I’m working from home, I’ll use any excuse that pops into my head for why I don’t want to leave the house. The wifi is free and the snack bar is awesome. I get a protein shake almost every time I workout and for days when I’m lazy and don’t want to cook, I pick up a pre-made salad.
Not that I use it very often, but it’s pretty nice to have a spa conveniently located inside your gym. And this isn’t just any spa. Facials, manicures, airbrush tanning, massages, waxings, teeth-whitening, eyelash extensions, and microdermabrasion.. I mean come on, look at this menu. Fluffy robes, comfy slippers, and chamomile tea and fruit-infused ice water before your service? A bit swanky, but hey we can all justify a spa day a couple times a month!
If you’re looking for a gym to join in Chicago or you’re interested trying a new one out – you should definitely consider Equinox. I workout at the Lincoln Park location and will be hosting an abs class after Thanksgiving for anyone interested in joining – it will be free and anyone is welcome (more info to come!). Yes, Equinox is expensive (like most gym memberships in the downtown area), but it’s completely changed the way I live and motivated me to enjoy living a healthy lifestyle. E-mail me at [email protected] for more info or if you live in the area and just want a workout buddy 🙂 Or you can e-mail Colin, the General Manager, for details ([email protected]).
Whatever gym you workout in, aim to make it your lifestyle and not just something you squeeze into your schedule every day. Check out the Equinox blog, Furthermore – it’s pretty great or ideas and inspiration. Thanks for reading guys, check out my most recent fitness posts for my go-to exercises here: