This Saturday, I got to participate in a very unique workout. Crosstown Fitness, a high intensity interval training gym, teamed up with Chicago SUP, a premier Stand-Up Paddle Board outfitter, to offer a class on the beach for a total body workout. Every Saturday morning through September, attendees can experience a 50 to 60 minute combination of CTF’s HIIT with SUP’s hybrid of surfing and paddling through a variety of drills that incorporate cardiovascular endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility and balance.
It was a full group that gathered, grabbed life jackets, paddles, and stand up paddleboards and headed to the water’s edge. Coach Bettina led us through a quick HIIT workout consisting of jumping jacks, push ups, quick feet, burpees, and more. VERY tough in the soft sand and a quick way to work up a sweat.
Crosstown Fitness founder Charlie then went over the basics of stand up paddleboarding, giving tips on getting started, standing on the board, and how to paddle. Then into the water we went. We could not have asked for a better morning for it – reasonable temps, no wind, a glassy surface on the lake. Depending on one’s balance, dexterity, and comfort level, it’s possible to paddle quickly and keep the sweat going. Several of the advanced participants got some SUP Yoga in, with downward dogs and headstands included. I limited myself to paddling around and looking for fish, enjoying the sight of the skyline, and the volleyball tournament on North Avenue Beach.
This is a unique workout and a total blast – I highly recommend it. As with many group classes, there is scalability, so in both the HIIT and SUP portion everyone could participate at their own comfort level.
Crosstown Fitness, located in the West Loop, holds group classes, personal training, has childcare, and a cafe, so it’s a one-stop shop for fitness. There are plans to possibly open a second location or more. There was a friendly feeling amongst participants at the SUP lesson, so they are definitely doing something right for their members – with all that they offer, it’s no surprise. It is awesome they are thinking out of the box and coming up with creative options.
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