Xtend Barre at Gourmet Pilates
The class Xtend Barre at Gourmet Pilates (4011 N Ravenswood Ave, 312-493-4647)
The details Standing at the ballet barre in the gymnasium-like Gourmet Pilates studio, I experience flashbacks to elementary-school Jazzercise classes. Instructor Alicia Zabrocki is leading me and two other women through first and second positions, squats and hip rolls to the beat of the Black Eyed Peas and Taio Cruz; we giggle looking back at our reflections in the floor-to-ceiling mirrors…until our quivering thighs leave us too self-conscious to draw any more attention to ourselves. (Zabrocki reassures us that it’s good to shake.) The 55-minute class is pretty straightforward—basic dance moves combined with core-centric strength-training using light dumbbells or your own body weight. As the effectiveness of the moves boils down to proper form, Zabrocki diligently walks back and forth between the students to make adjustments. Despite the quick pace, I don’t work up a heavy sweat; a day later, however, I feel the burn.
When to take it Mondays at 7pm; Tuesdays at 11pm; Wednesdays at 6:30pm; Thursdays at 9am; Saturdays at 10am. First class is free; class packages start at $180.