goPerformance: The Cure for the Boring Workout

goPerformance: The Cure for the Boring Workout

It’s easy to fall into the daily grind of going through the same motions morning, noon and night.  This can be especially true when it comes to your exercise routine. The same-old, same-old workout might get the job done, but won’t necessarily keep you running back for more. If you feel like a day at the gym is becoming more like Groundhog Day, check out goPerformance in Chicago’s West Loop.

I wanted to check out goPerformance after I heard several people casually mention how much they enjoyed the challenge of the facility’s high intensity workouts.  I made it in last Friday for a 6:00am group class led by Tom Cuttiford, Director of Training.

I walked into the building about ten minutes before class started. The place was already buzzing with members working out or getting ready for the group session that was about to start. Not knowing what to expect, I took a quick peek around. The main gym area was getting plenty of use by members and trainers. Cardio equipment, suspension systems, plyo boxes, free weights and plenty of other equipment filled the space.  After checking things out for a minute, I was directed to the women’s locker room where I could store my belongings.

The group class area at goPerformance is set off from the main gym, nestled into a room that can comfortably accommodate 16 hard-working members. Tom mentioned that the format of the group classes change at the beginning of every month. A big chalk board with the “Workout of the Month” gave a play-by-play of what we could expect from the class. The class format I was participating in was built around 45-second intervals, followed by 15 seconds of rest.   Each interval was done at a specific station – all challenging, but certainly scalable to anyone’s ability. Stations included the use of medicine balls, resistance bands, kettle bells, suspension systems, cones and two things I’ve never used for workouts before – sledgehammers and sleds. I’m all for doing things that are new, so throwing a sledgehammer down on a big tractor tire and pushing a sled piled up with heavy plates certainly falls into that category.

When we finished the first round of more than a dozen stations, we took a quick break to get water, then started all over again. Each station was mapped out with a number and name. If anyone needed help or correction on their form, Tom was there to help. I was really impressed with the way the class flowed. I was also surprised that it went by so fast. One hour of hard work with little more than a quick break for water seemed to fly by. I really like that goPerformance changes the format of the classes once a month. It’s a long enough period of time that members can improve their performance or fitness in any given area, but not long enough for things to get monotonous or boring.

goPerformance opened in December of 2010 and specializes in group and semi-private personal training. Open 24 hours, members can come in and get a workout on their own, or take advantage of one of the 36 group sessions, or 45 semi-private session offered each week.  A new Spinning room is in the works as well. The plan is to offer non-traditional group cycling classes that incorporate functional training. goPerformace has just over 400 members, and has plans to open a second facility in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood.

For more information about goPerformance, including pricing or class schedule, call 312-243-0001, or visit

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