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What is a Sproing? Try a Free Class and Find Out

Professional style Sproinging


Before I go any further I should probably give some description of what Sproing is - otherwise, if your mind is anything like mine, it goes to all kinds of places with that word.

Sproing is a new type of fitness class based on the Pose Method and - more specifically to Chicago - it's a new fitness studio that is now open in Old Town.

Back in May I checked out a Sproing class with a group of Chicago Running Bloggers. At the time - after a somewhat lackluster session that didn't leave me feeling very worked out - I wasn't especially impressed with the Sproing experience. Given that they were still relatively new at the time - having just opened in April - I decided to give it another try yesterday now that they've been up and running for several months.

And I'm glad I did.

Before I go into detail describing the class, let me just say that it is a serious (and seriously exhausting) high intensity, low impact workout. And if you want to try it out you can get a complimentary first class by going to the Sproing website: and clicking the "Experience a Complimentary Class" button in the top right corner. Once you go in for your class, if you mention you heard about it on ZachRunsChicago, they'll give you an additional free class as well. So, it's definitely worth checking out. TWO FREE CLASSES.

So, about Sproing.

Walking into the studio yesterday evening I crossed paths with the previous class letting out and they all looked happy and exhausted - a good sign. I talked briefly with the owner (who had just taken the class as well) and then got set up with the instructor for my class, John. Like a lot of fitness instructors, John is a high-energy guy who talks fast and seems totally engrossed in whatever aspect of your fitness you're talking about at the moment.

Bradley Cooper is ready for us to Sproing
He also looks like he could be Bradley Cooper's shorter brother (HEY! That is not a short joke - Bradley Cooper is 6'1"!).

John got me set up with a heart rate monitor - when wearing this your heart rate is displayed on the screens both in front of and behind you throughout the workout. One screen is for you to see and the other is for John, so he can tell whether or not you're working hard enough. Based on your demographics the monitor will show different colors as your heart rate increases (green, yellow, red - and red means maybe you're working a little too hard).

My friend Bill - a P90X enthusiast (yes, you can be a P90X enthusiast) - joined me for this class and got set up with a heart rate monitor as well so we could be competitive while pretending not to be competitive throughout the entire class.

This is a Sproing Trainer
During my first Sproing experience back in May I found the equipment - a treadmill-shaped machine with a strap and various handles - to be complicated and had difficulty following along with the workout. This time around I had no problems at all. And I don't think that this was simply because it was my second time in the class. Bill had never seen a Sproing before and had no issues either. I think it comes down to having a good instructor who knows how to explain the workout and the equipment to you - and John was definitely able to do both.

Throughout the workout we did a lot of running in place (both forward and backwards) while strapped into the trainer, as well as a number of lunges, jumps, squats, push-ups and pull-ups, among other things. When they say that this is a full body workout, they're not joking. There are a few switches that require either unclipping from the machine or pulling out a pull-up bar or handles to work with. None of these moves are overly complicated or difficult to prepare for in the 10 seconds of rest time you have between intense sessions.

At Sproing they go in for HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workouts, which in this case means 20 seconds of hard work followed by 10 seconds of resting, over and over and over for thirty minutes (after a 10 minute warm-up). There's a clock on one wall that counts out these intervals but you hardly ever have to look at it because John is constantly letting you know where you're at - both within the individual intervals and within the full workout. This allows you to know exactly how hard you can go and how much of a workout you have left.

This guy wants YOU to Sproing into action

At the end of the 45 minute workout yesterday evening I totally understood a snippet of conversation I had had earlier with the owner: "Never will 10 seconds feel so short and 20 seconds feel so long." The 10-second recovery between intense sessions is just enough time for you to catch your breath and think "Okay... I guess I could do another 20 seconds."

By the end of the workout I was thoroughly sweaty and exhausted and... yes... all sproinged out.

As a runner, this workout felt like the perfect cross-training experience. You still get in a lot of running, but it's very low impact, given that you're running on a softer, inflatable surface. Also, the way the system is designed, it's impossible to heel strike (which is something I definitely do in my day-to-day running). On top of all of that you're working muscle groups that you don't work during running (including upper body). And best of all: the whole thing only takes 45 minutes.

I don't d a lot of non-running exercise so this workout is a perfect fit for my fitness plan, blending running and other exercises for a full-body workout. I highly recommend it.

So, I'll reiterate what I said above: if you want to try it out you can get a complimentary first class by going to the Sproing website: and clicking the "Experience a Complimentary Class" button in the top right corner. And once you go in for your class, if you mention you heard about it on ZachRunsChicago, they'll give you an additional free class as well. TWO FREE CLASSES.

All these Sproing Trainers are waiting for you
*As a side-note, on the way to Sproing, Bill's bike broke down. Luckily he was right in front of a bike shop so he left his bike there to be fixed and took an Uber to the class. When the class ended he called the bike shop and his bike was already ready to go (and at a reasonable price as well). The bike shop was Heritage Bicycles and I'd highly recommend it based on that experience. Also, it's a coffee shop.


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