The Space Between yoga class

Studio Review: BodyRok

August 17, 2021

August 17, 2021

Since the start of 2021 BodyRok has been my go-to strength workout. Strength work has always been a form of fitness that I go through in phases. It started with barre at Barre3 and The Barre Code, my introduction to boutique fitness studios. Then were the Classpass days of trying as many studios as I could in Chicago (AIR aerial fitness, [solidcore], Barry’s, Studio Three Hi Def and 3×3, Shred 415). Many of these started introducing heavier weights than I was used to from my barre days, so when Covid hit and I could only workout at home or eventually our apartment gym, I got into following a training plan and designated lifting days. But I started to miss the motivation of group classes…

Long story short, reformer-based pilates is the phase I’m in now. And I’m not looking to change that anytime soon. 

The Workout

Before trying BodyRok, I went to [solidcore] and Studio Lagree for a few months and honestly the workouts feel pretty similar. The first class is so hard that, as a person who prides myself on taking the harder option and pushing myself (to a fault), I was constantly modifying and taking breaks. But the day-after abs-so-sore-you-can’t-laugh feeling is so good. In terms of differences however, there were some things about the BodyRok reformer I do prefer. They have a lot more bands/handles (?), which add to the workout and help with stability and modifications. They also occasional use jump board, which I don’t remember ever using at other pilates studios, but added in a bit of cardio and surprisingly tough leg work. Overall the workout is similar , but I liked the staff and teachers and just kept coming back to this one. 

The Studio

I think the studio is part of what sets BodyRok apart. I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to boutique fitness design and decor (partnering with my interior design friend for a full studio design is my dream). I can’t speak to any other location, but the Chicago River North studio is bright, clean, and beautiful. They have a simple lobby area lined with floor-to-ceiling windows that let all the light in, benches to take off your shoes, and of course an apparel rack. The windows of the studio are covered in a way that blocks the view of any walker-bys while not blocking much light. And the colored ceiling lights bring in a little fun without the extreme blue of a [solidcore]. The reformers are all nicely maintained and the studio size is perfectly small and intimate(?)… that doesn’t feel like the right word, but you get it. There isn’t exactly a locker room moment (as far as I can tell they only have bathrooms), but it’s not a high-sweat experience anyways. 

I’ve been going to BodyRok once a week and so far have been loving that routine amidst triathlon training, while still noticing improved definition and strength. I’m always up for a workout buddy if anyone wants to join me for a class!

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