LGBT-themed fitness classes

Get in shape with these queer workouts

Photograph: Brock Brake
Gagarobics

Cheerobix

Running late to HiFi Fitness in River North, I jumped quickly into formation after being handed a pair of pom-poms. “Ready?” shouted hot squad captains and queer instructors Jyldo and Mattrick Swayze (donning red hot pants for December’s holiday theme) and also Jenarator. “Okay!” I responded in unison with 50 or so other women, some clearly ex-cheerleaders (and many there just to fulfill a high-school cheerleader fantasy, I suspect). Campy routines, from the Mariah Carey warm-up to the Rosie O’Donnell/Cher Christmas kick line, kept me cracking up and distracted from the fact that this fast-paced workout was kicking my ass. By the time we got to the “Dick in a Box” cooldown, I didn’t know where the 90 minutes had gone.—Amy Nicole Miller

Disco-themed Cheerobix happens Sunday 8 at 1pm at HiFi Fitness (820 N Orleans St, 312-751-1224). Reserve your spot in advance. For more information, visit cheerobix.com.


Glee Core Cardio

The fact that gay instructor John Nelson always seems to correct my posture exactly at the moment when we’re working on glutes is why I return to his core fusion classes at exhale spa time and time again. Actually, the incentives are much greater than that. Unlike the factory approach to core and boot-camp classes taken by instructors at my own gym, Nelson’s style is more holistic, encouraging us to turn our brains off even as we’re firing on all cylinders to Glee’s rendition of “Safety Dance.” I’m doing everything I can not to embarrass myself in front of either Nelson or the gay cutie just several mats away. The music at these monthly themed classes changes. In November it was boy bands, but today I’m blasting my abs to the cast’s famed version of Don’t Stop Believin’. How perfect.—Jason A. Heidemann

Kylie vs. Robyn, John David Nelson’s Birthday Bootcamp Blowout, happens January 27 at 7:45am and January 29 at 2:45pm at exhale spa (945 N State St, 312-753-6500). For more information, visit exhalespa.com.


Lesbian Yoga

There’s nothing particularly lesbionic about Yoga Tree’s donation-based weekly class except that it’s in Andersonville, it’s a fund-raiser for the Lesbian Community Care Project at Howard Brown (where I happen to be employed), and it’s yoga. After the stress of finding parking, it took me a minute to relax in the one-room brick space. The vibe of this class is intimate and cozy, even with only five women. I was surprised that despite the Clark Street–facing window, I felt totally removed from A-ville’s busy Sunday brunch crowd. A level 1 vinyasa class, it was easy to modify poses based on experience level, and the instructor (who alternates monthly) was supportive in walking around to guide us. While in downward dog, I fantasized about what this would be like for single lesbians; this has the potential to be the new Star Gaze.—ANM

Yoga classes happen Sundays at 1pm at Yoga Tree (5238 N Clark St, 773-728-7777). Suggested donation is $10.


Gagaerobics

Paws up, little monsters: Gagaerobics just might be the best thing invented for people like me—unmotivated and bored by classes on the typical gym roster. High-impact cardio inspired by dance moves from Gaga videos like “Bad Romance” and “Telephone,” make up this hour-long orgasm of a workout, which had me sweating my ass off. It’s the brainchild of out instructor Zach Haller—who’s spent countless hours mastering Lady Gaga’s moves—making it the closest thing to a drunken dance party as a fitness class can get, he says. You don’t have to be a dance pro, either—many in attendance were first timers like myself—but you must be willing to just let loose and dance.—Mark Bieganski

Gagaerobics sessions are 8pm Thursday 5 and January 12 at Lakeview Athletic Club (3212 N Broadway, 773-529-2024). For more information, visit chicagoathleticclubs.com/lvac.

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