SPROING into spring at this new Old Town studio
  • April 17, 2014
  • Studio: Sproing Sport 1652 North Wells Street

    Class Focus: As described on its website, “45 minute class featuring 30 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training like you never have done before.”

    Cost per class: $25

    Money saving offers: 

    • $0: First class
    • $60: Intro pack of 3 classes
    • Sproing offers both packages and month-to-month memberships. Check out their pricing options for more details.

    Fab Fit take:

    I’m completely blanking here, but somewhere out there is a company with a slogan “Funny name, amazing results.” Or maybe it’s “funny name, serious results?” This is going to drive me crazy.

    Regardless, “funny name, amazing results” could be the slogan for Sproing Fitness, the latest fitness trend to hit Chicago. When Jeana and I walked into the bright and shiny new Old Town studio on Tuesday, we immediately regressed into little kids on a playground. Sproing’s equipment is designed to let you “run” on a soft, padded surface that mimics natural running outside much closer than a treadmill. You get belted in to a machine that, at a quick glance, looks like a treadmill- except it has a gymnastics-like mat where the conveyor belt would be, and it also has adjustable handles for resistance training or TRX-like body weight resistance.

    Sproing v Treadmill

    (Click through to go to Sproing’s video library, and make sure to check out the “Sproing vs Treadmill” video for more info!)

    The inspiration for this new piece of equipment? Creator Paul Toback, former CEO of Bally Fitness, wanted to mimic the pain-free experience of running on a beach. He realized that running on a treadmill forces runners into an unnatural, straight-upright form, whereas running outside let runners lean forward slightly and thus land on the balls of their feet rather than the arches. As a soft-surface interval trainer, the Sproing lets you combine cardio with strength training in natural movements.

    sproing running in place

    (One of the many giggle fits Jeana and I had during our time at Sproing)

    And, like I said earlier, the name is funny. The equipment itself is kind of funny (if I had a dollar for every time pedestrians outside slowed to a dead stop to watch our group class …). But the workout itself? Yeah, that’s serious.

    Led by the effervescent, holy-crap-how-did-she-get-that-body Carla, we worked our way through a Tabata-style workout. Twenty seconds on, ten seconds off, for eight rounds, repeated eight times. And when we say ten seconds off, we mean ten seconds ONLY- Carla had us living and dying by that timer! (In a great way, of course). Each round had us alternate running on the Sproing with a strength movement, like a lunge, squat, squat/row, plank, push-up, etc. Let’s put it this way: Jeana and I came without water bottles, but by the second round, we were both asking Carla to hand us one from the side of the room.

    Since this class and fitness style is so new, I would definitely recommend showing up a little early to play around on the machines and test out the different movements. Paul, Carla, and general manager Ingrid Kromer are bubbling over with enthusiasm for their product, and it was incredibly refreshing to see people so passionate about their fitness and helping others. They bent over backwards to help Jeana and I learn everything about the Sproing, and Ingrid spoke about wanting to create an atmosphere where people could come to socialize instead of work out alone. Who knows, readers… maybe sometime soon you’ll get a chance to check it out with us! (#vague #sorrynotsorry)

    I want to highlight one last thing before letting y’all loose on Sproing’s studio: runners, this studio might be a godsend. Running on hard surfaces plagues us with injuries like shin splints and stress fractures. The Sproing is an incredible alternative when you still want to run, but your body can’t handle the impact. I can foresee this workout being very popular come summer when it’s too hot to run outside but you don’t want to run on a treadmill, or if you’re training for a big race, but you have an injury.

    Sproing. Funny name, amazing results. 

    sproing running

     

    Sorry for the blur, Jeana and I were obviously too fast for the camera to capture.

    About Kristen Geil

    A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Kristen moved to Chicago in 2011 and received her MA in Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse from DePaul while trying to maintain her southern accent. Kristen grew up playing sports, and since moving to Chicago, she’s fallen in love with the lakefront running path and the lively group fitness scene. Now, as a currently retired marathoner and sweat junkie, you can usually find her trying new workouts around the city and meticulously crafting Instagram-friendly smoothie bowls. Kristen came on to A Sweat Life full-time in 2018 as Editor-in-Chief, and she spends her days managing writers, building content strategy, and fighting for the Oxford comma.

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