Skip to main content

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.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

A Daily Guide to Chicago Comedy Shows in April 2018

April 1: Character Assassination presents The Roast of Disney Princesses at Laugh Factory The latest entry in the Character Assassination roast show series pits a collection of Disney princesses -played by Chicago comics - against each other. Starring Allison Dunne, Alex Kumin, Sarah Shockey, Gena Gephart, Audrey Jonas, Eunji Kim, Samantha Berkman, Stephanie Weber and Mandee McKelvey. April 2: Comedy Overload Open Mic at Gallery Cabaret A weekly open mic open to all forms of comedy that takes place at a sweet venue in Bucktown. April 3: Shake 'Em Up Comedy Showcase at Shakers on Clark   This free two-hour comedy showcase is hosted by Darrick J and Nate Galloway. Comics get between four and 10 minutes each and the hosts let comedians know a bit needs work by hitting a bell and "shaking 'em up." April 4: Comedians You Should Know at Timothy O'Toole's Really you should be catching this weekly showcase at Timothy O'Toole's e

Life of Pi: The Pi Day Pi K Returns to Fleet Feet Stores Across Chicago

I have run a grand total of ONE time since crossing the finish line of the Chicago Marathon in October of last year. I know, I know, I'm disgusted with me too. So when I got Fleet Feet's notice about the Pi Day "Pi K" Fun Run this coming Monday evening (3.14 - PI DAY, get it?) it seemed like a pretty solid way to get back out on the running trail without getting myself up super early or registering for a timed race where I would embarrass myself. Also, my wife and I ran this race back in 2014 and had a great time. Plus, after an article I wrote for the Tribune about xkcd creator and all-around baller Randall Munroe speaking in Chicago at an Illinois Science Council (ISC) event , I know a little more about the organization behind the Pi Day Pi K and their mission. Quick excerpt from the Trib article: Founded in 2006 by nonscientist Monica Metzler (who also serves as executive director), the ISC was created to help engage adults in science and technology

Chicagoland's First Annual February Fool's Goal Half Marathon/Debacle

A few weeks ago I was looking through the race listings for the month of February and noticed that there are three different races this coming Sunday. All in different cities. As I was trying to decide which one to run I realized that they're all taking place at different times... and then I started thinking... Why not just run all three? I talked to my running homey Antonio and after some discussion about logistics, we realized that based on the timing and location of the races, this would be an insane dash from Chicago to Highland Park to Hoffman Estates to Channahon and back to Chicago, with just enough time to park, get our bibs, run the races and (after carefully stretching, of course) head off to the next one. That's also when we noticed that by a pretty sweet coincidence, the three races just happen to add up to a half marathon.  So, obviously we decided that it had to be done. We registered for all three and created a new race: Chicagoland's First A