New Year, New Workout—Boutique fitness studios deliver a change of pace

January 2017 View more

nmag0117_feature_fitness_spenga-042_800pxIt happens every year around this time: Jazzed up on New Year’s resolutions—and perhaps still nursing that holiday hangover—everyone seems to be swearing to exercise more. Over the past few years, boutique fitness studios have become a growing alternative to big-box gyms, thanks to specialized programs and more intimate training environments. From calorie-torching spin sessions to soul-soothing yoga to inventive hybrid classes, there’s something for everyone on offer. The best part? No initiation fees or annual commitments are required.

5216 Main Street, Downers Grove

Open since: July 2016

The workout: Spin + strength + yoga = SPENGA, get it? This three-phase class features tweny minutes of spinning, twenty minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and twenty minutes of yoga. Though the structure remains the same, the instructors mix up the movements so every class is different.

Best for: Those who work out at a regular gym, spinning studio or yoga studio and are looking to simplify their routine.

The price: 30-day commitment is $149 per month for two classes a week or $179 for unlimited; 90-day commitment is $129 per month for two classes a week or $149 for unlimited; 180-day commitment is $119 per month for two classes a week or $129 for unlimited.

The hours: Open 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday and Wednesday, 5:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 5:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Saturday, 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Sunday.

Bonus: New students can try a class for free.

nmag0117_feature_fitness_handlebar-006_800pxHandlebars Cycling Gym and Health Bar
175 West Jackson Avenue, Suite 235, Naperville

Open since: January 2016

The workout: Rather than categorize its classes by level, all rides at this cycling studio are suitable for all ages and skill levels. In addition, small group fitness classes with up to six people emulate the experience of working one-on-one with a personal trainer.

Best for: Newbie and advanced spinners alike seeking an all-inclusive atmosphere and maximum flexibility on class times.

The price: $15 for a single cycling class, $40 for three classes, $70 for six, $100 for 10, $65–$90 per month for unlimited classes; $20 for single, small-group class, $75 for four classes, $100 per month for unlimited classes.

The hours: They vary, with classes offered daily starting as early as 5:30 a.m. and as late as 8:00 p.m.

Bonus: Swing in the health bar after class for free post-workout snacks and drinks. New students can score a free ride with promo code CYCLEFREE.

39 ½ West Jefferson Avenue, 2nd floor, Naperville

Open since: November 2015 in this location. Formerly MK Lab Pilates + Cycle, the studio changed its name to Shyft in December 2016.

The workout: Choose from pilates (private, semi-private and group equipment classes, plus group mat classes), cycling and yoga, plus hybrid classes that combine cycling with yoga or pilates.

Best for: Pilates, cycling or yoga fans looking to change up their current regimen.

The price: $100 for five classes, $180 for 10 classes and $300 for 20 classes for either cycling, yoga or cycling/yoga combo classes; $30 for a walk-in pilates equipment class, or $150 for six classes, $275 for 12 or $375 for 18; $22 for a walk-in pilates mat class, or $100 for five classes, $180 for 10 classes or $300 for 20.

The hours: Classes are generally offered from 7:15 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; check schedule online for details.

Bonus: The first cycling class is free for new students.

230 East Ogden Avenue, Hinsdale

Open since: June 2015

The workout: During these hour-long interval training classes, half the class starts on the treadmill and the other hits the floor for strength training. Every 15 minutes, you swap places; the alternation keeps your body moving, the sweat running and your heart pumping. You can modify your own intensity (walk, run, sprint) so all classes can accommodate all levels.

Best for: Those who want to increase their muscle tone and cardio capacity.

The price: $25 for one class, $60 for three classes (new students only), $120 for five classes, $230 for 10 classes, $420 for 20 classes, $145–$210 per month for unlimited classes.

The hours: Open 6:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 6:00 a.m. to noon Saturday, 7:00 a.m. to noon Sunday.

Bonus: On-site childcare in the studio’s Kids’ Corner is offered during select hours ($6 per visit, $28 for five visits, $60 for 12 visits), so no need to book a babysitter for the little ones.

1807 South Washington Street, Naperville

Open since: September 2015

The workout: “Workouts” (plural) would be more accurate. This multi-dimensional fitness studio hosts small-group classes of all kinds, including several types of yoga, ballet- and pilates-inspired barre sessions, interval circuit training, boot camps, cycling and more, plus personal training, too.

Best for: Those looking for an intimate, community-centric vibe and a wide variety of class options.

The price: $20 for one class, $69 per month for weekends only (Friday–Sunday), $99 for eight classes, $129 per month for unlimited classes.

The hours: They vary, with classes offered daily starting as early as 5:15 a.m. and as late as 5:00 p.m.

Bonus: Use the 360FiT Naperville app to check in for classes from your mobile phone. Full-time employees at local school districts can take advantage of a discount.

2936 Showplace Drive, Naperville

Open since: March 2015. There’s also a second Naperville location at 8 West Gartner Road.

The workout: The theory behind Orangetheory is excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), meaning your body’s ability to continue to burn calories after you’ve completed intense interval training. This one-hour, full-body class makes use of equipment such as heart-rate monitors, treadmills, rowing machines, free weights and suspension unit systems.

Best for: Those who dig the energy of a group workout class but crave the attention of working with a personal trainer.

The price: $8–$20 per class, depending on membership selected.

The hours: Classes are held from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7:00 a.m. to noon on Saturday and Sundays.

Bonus: New students can try a class for free, and other area locations include Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Westmont and Willowbrook.