Working out in Chicago

Jillian Durkin '16

Jillian Durkin '16

By Jillian Durkin '16

Welcome to (or back to) Chicago! This is a truly amazing city that offers both a great running path along the lake and several indoor options- because, as we all know, winter is coming. And since we know everyone is busy with recruiting, LEAD, travel, and classes, we decided to give you a guide to some of the best workout studios in the city. Plus, many places offer great discounts for new members and students, so always check out those deals!

Barre: If you are a barre class devotee, or just curious about what this craze is all about, you are in luck because Chicago has tons of great options! Nationally located studios Pure Barre, Exhale, and The Bar Method all have River North/Gold Coast locations. Locally based The Barre Code is especially convenient with a Michigan Avenue location near MPP. Willing to travel a little further? Check out The Daily Method in Lincoln Park and Bucktown, or Flybarre in Old Town. Always ask about their new client specials- most offer an unlimited first month for ~$100.


Strength Training/Cross-Fit: Craving your WOD? There are several crossfit inspired gyms throughout the city that offer different atmospheres and coaches. Check out CrossFit River North, The Foundry, BigCity CrossFit, CrossFit 312, or Atlas Performance to find the right coaches and place for you! Other options for strength-training include Energi Fitness, Cross-Town Fitness, or HardPressed.


Yoga: Looking for some quality mat time as you unwind from midterms and networking? CorePower Yoga is a great option, with locations in Hyde Park, Streeterville, and the Gold Coast, a free week for new students, and discounted student prices! Just be prepared to sweat as nearly all classes are heated. Yoga Six, Bare Feet Yoga, YogaLoft and Exhale also offer a great variety of heated and non-heated classes close to downtown.


Cardio:If you are looking to add to your cardio workout, check out Shred 415 and SWEAT, where classes alternative between crazy fast uphill sprints and strength-based exercises. Orange Theory Fitness offers a mix of rowing and strength exercises and POW! MMA Fitness, Bridgeport Boxing Club and Title Boxing Club have martial arts inspired workouts that are both fun and challenging.


Spinning: Chicago is home to nationally known spinning studios Flywheel and Soul Cycle. Fans of each swear by them, so give both a try to determine your favorite! Other options include Full Psycle and GoCycle in Lincoln Park/Old Town neighborhoods.

Other Fun options: Feeling adventurous in your workouts and want to try something different? Check out Air Aerial Fitness to do yoga in silk hammocks hanging from the ceiling, Chicago SUP classes in Lake Michigan, or Brooklyn Boulders climbing gym in the West Loop.

Interested in trying a bunch of new places? Check out Classpass- which lets you visit a wide array of studios each month for ~$100. Peak hour classes in early morning and after-work can be tough to get into, but luckily our student schedule gives us lots of flexibility!  

Jillian is a second year Boothie who loves all things Chicago, but still thinks NY style pizza is better and will always root for the Mets.