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Play Hard and Get Fit!

Remember Recess? Us Too!

by Lisa Payne – October 31, 2012
2255 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago

Remember back when the bell rang and you and your friends ran with reckless abandon to the playground? Recess was a little gem in our school day where we could run, jump, swing and hang from the monkey bars. It never once felt like work but it was, in fact, great exercise! So now as an adult, why should exercise be anything less than fun!

Since Monkey Bar Gym (MBG) opened its doors to Chicago in early 2011, the franchise is working hard to get its members balanced with strength, conditioning, yoga and nutrition. The program is offered in eight-week cycles to help members work together for support. “This is to stimulate motor patterning and generate enough consistency to track results, while challenging and keep things fresh,” says Jeremy Liban, MBG’s manager.

Strength workouts include dynamic, core-centered exercises that help make connections between muscle groups for improved overall functional movement. Their conditioning program includes HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) in bootcamps where you’ll run, jump, crawl, throw medicine balls, play tag and more! You’ll also get to workout by battling ropes, doing martial arts and running in a little track and field. Body Power classes include bodyweight drills like rope climbing, along with gymnastic, kettlebell and plyometric movements.

But the Cheeky play doesn’t stop there; Monkey Bar Gym also offers restorative and transformational yoga. Eischens yoga, or High Energy yoga, helps restore alignment. The idea is to build strength from the ground up with barefoot training, being conscious of your posture and learning to breathe. The unique part of this yoga program is that you’ll get hands-on partner feedback as well. MBG knows that many people walking in the door will have common injuries. Not to worry! Not only will their yoga classes help, the entire program has proven itself to help members with injuries get stronger without further irritation.

In conjunction with the physical program, MBG also offers a separate healthy, plant-based nutrition program. “We are the only gym in the country to promote a nutrient-dense, whole foods plant-based diet to benefit the overall health of people and the planet. Bottom line, we encourage eating more plants! Why? Not only will you get the benefits of foods rich in essential vitamins, minerals, complex carbs, water and fiber but you also get protein,” says Jeremy.

And what better way to kick off 2013 than to start a 60-day challenge this January? What sets this program apart from the rest of those down-the-drain New Year’s resolutions is that this 60-day challenge includes the workouts and the nutrition program. You’ll be pushed to new levels in a supportive environment to keep you motivated along the way. MBG also allows walk-ins and offers a punch card system plus month-to-month memberships.

About the Author: Lisa Payne

If this Cheeky girl could write and work out at the same time, she would! A self-proclaimed multi-tasker, Lisa began teaching fitness classes and personal training while getting her MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.