If you’ve gained a few extra pounds over the holiday season, it’s about time to get back to the gym. You can either stick to that same old routine of max-out bench press followed by the steam room, or try one of these unique Chicago workouts that will have you excited to sweat. The choice is yours!
Hate the human hamster wheel? Be a guinea pig at one of America’s hottest new cardio crazes. Their High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) takes place on a surface that’s significantly softer than the leading treadmill so your joints will thank you. The Sproing workout combines cardio with strength, power, and balance and can burn up to 1,000 calories in just 45 minutes. 1652 Wells St., 312-266-2786
This is the best place in town to get lumber-jacked. It’s a Canadian import that’s perfect for parties, corporate events, special occasions, and burning off the calories from last night’s poutine. Booking is by reservation only, but they do have a walk-in schedule on their website or you can even join a league. Just remember, it’s BYOP, “Bring Your Own Plaid.” 165 N. Loomis 888-435-0001
If throwing lethal weapons isn’t extreme enough for you, First Ascent is the closet thing to Cliffhanger that Chicago has to offer. They have two locations around town and a third opening this spring. Both of which offer climbing classes, private instruction, and yoga. Not to mention, the opportunity to show off your very best Sly Stallone impression. 4718 N. Broadway 773-275-1212; 3516 N. Spaulding Ave., 773-564-9815
Say what you will about The Club, the performers that work there are almost certainly in better shape than you. Whether you want to make pole-dancing a living, or use it to tone your arms and tighten your core is up to you. Either way, The Brass Ring provides some pretty T-Pain-ful workouts that will have you winding and grinding your way to a better body. 2539 W. North Ave 312-966-2759
Feeling like an elephant after all that holiday eating? Check out a “taster” class at Aloft Loft Circus Arts. They offer all sorts of Greatest Show On Earth-esque classes from trampoline to trapeze. The 6,000-square-foot space in a 109-year-old church in Logan Square makes it the third largest facility of its kind in the nation. 3324 W. Wrightwood 773-782-6662