Chicago Workout Review: Lululemon Bootcamp on the Lake

There are a number of awesome aspects of the Chicago workout scene, not the least of which is the amazing selection of free fitness options. I, of course, didn’t hear about Lululemon’s September Fitness Series: Bootcamp on the Lake until it was almost over, but I’m so glad I was able to squeeze in one of the workouts before the month ended. Read on to see why you should already be looking forward to next summer, and how to take advantage of all of Lululemon Chicago’s other free fitness classes the rest of the year! 

The Workout: Bootcamp on the Lake with Lululemon Chicago, Fit Bus (owned by Dan Hix of Iron & Oar) and Heritage on the Lake.

Quick Description: A team-based, boot camp-style workout on Lake Michigan next to the gorgeous Theater on the Lake

Price: Free! 

My experience: I recruited my bestie Meredith (you know she’s a good friend when she agrees to join you for a Saturday morning boot camp workout) to join me, and woke up bright and early to head over to the lakefront path for the workout. Meredith and I were both surprised 1) by how many people were already up and at ’em on a summer Saturday and 2) how intense many of their workouts looked, so we were a little nervous about what we were getting ourselves into. Luckily, we didn’t have to worry about finding the workout: Dan’s awesome bus was parked right in front of the theater, and a few different ergs, medicine balls, and ropes were set up in stations all around it. There were probably about ten other people at the workout, definitely all different levels of experience and fitness. The one thing everyone had in common: they were all so friendly! Though I did bring a friend with me, I would have felt more than comfortable going it alone. 

Dan had us all partner up with someone we didn’t know, and break the ice by telling our partner something we were excited to do that weekend. (My answer was going to Trader Joe’s, it’s fine.) We moved around the different stations as partners, doing everything from squats with medicine balls to rowing to burpees with a beanbag. It was tough but manageable, and it really just felt so fun and different to be working out outside. For the final fifteen minutes of the workout, we did a team-style relay race, where we had to switch between the erg, running around the Buddha heads (a Chicago landmark) and doing arm work on the weighted ropes. I do like a little friendly competition, but everyone was cheering on members of both teams by the end. After the workout was over, we went over to Heritage for a little post-workout coffee (discounted through Lululemon!) and strolled along the lake, feeling very accomplished for a Saturday. 

Overall impression: Oh man, I should have gone to this every Saturday in September! It was so much fun, a killer workout, and all for free! I loved Dan’s creative and encouraging teaching style, too, which made me want to check out a few of hisother classes. In the meantime, I’m definitely going to start taking advantage of Lululemon’s other free fitness classes. I live right by the Southport studio, so let me know if any of you want to join me for Saturday yoga! Or how fun does Run Club sound? What other Lululemon classes have you tried? 

— Carolyn

Ps. I obviously had to wear a cute Lululemon outfit to the workout class (seen in that last photo at the top). I was wearing this top and these shorts, and can’t even tell you how many compliments I got on them! 

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