The Unofficial start of Summer 2016 & Instagram Feature of the Month

It’s (un)officially summer! Technically speaking summer doesn’t start for about a month, but most of us think of Memorial Day as the start of the summer season & in honor of that date I wanted to share this month’s Instagram feature as a warning of sorts.

#nofilter need to learn how to use sunscreen #stupid

A post shared by Will Kauff (@kauffw) on

The warning being that you should wear sunscreen!  I look back on moments like this and think how dumb I was not to take care of my skin.  I’m all for trying to have a nice summer color, but do it safely not by burning like I did.

In tradition here are 4 facts about this photo.

  1. This was taken the summer I was interning in Chicago at DePaul University.
  2. I spent the day outside at the Corona (I think) Beach Volleyball Tournament
  3. I had a horrible tan line for most of the summer from this day of sun.
  4. This was one of the few days I willingly sat outside in the sun long enough to get a burn, I typically get too hot for summer activities.

How are you celebrating the start of the summer?

Traveling to NYC? Visit these 3 Websites FIRST! – What Will K Said

Are you planning a trip to NYC?  I am actually headed there myself right now & wanted to share the 5 websites I ALWAYS visit before I head to the big apple.  These will help you in planning your trip, saving both time & money, & enjoying all that New York City has to offer!

The first thing I do is checkout shows, I am a HUGE theater fan & usually end up seeing at least two shows (no matter how long the trip).  So I visit Broadway.com or New York City Theater to find both Broadway and Off Broadway shows.  A few of my favorite shows over the years have been; Wicked, Book of Mormon, Kinky Boots, & On the Town.

Once I’ve got my shows planned out it’s time to start looking at what else is going on in the city.  I usually go to Time Out for this.  You’ll find lists of recommendations for things like museum’s, events, etc.  One of the features I like best is the “What to do in NYC.. Today, Tomorrow, This Weekend”

Now that we’ve planned a show, figured out some of the things we want to do it’s time to figure out where we are eating.  I go to Eater for this.  You’ll find tons of articles about the food scene in NYC from this, but the best resource is the Eater 38 or the Eater Heatmap.  These list the best/hottest places in the city.  Once you have a few places in mind head over to OpenTable and start making reservations!

Congratulations, you’ve just filled a weekend in New York with only a few clicks.  There are many places you can get information & sure you could just fly into the city and wing it….. but think of all the things you might miss!   Some of the benefits of planning ahead are that you can have reservations at the hottest spots, plan out your commute, & spend more time enjoying your time in NYC instead of searching for ideas while you are there!

I hope you found this helpful!  Do you have any favorites that I should checkout over the weekend?

 

 

 

 

 

Every morning should be a DayBreaker – What Will K Said

Picture it; 6:30am & the dance floor is crowded, the music is great, everyone is smilling, and they just woke up!  This morning I participated in my first DayBreaker & it was such an amazing experience that I feel like this needs to be shared!

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No Beer Goggles needed.. we all looked good!

 

If you’ve never heard of DayBreaker it’s basically an early morning “night” at the club minus the drinks & significantly more fun!  The concept was first launched in NYC (like most great things) & has been in Chicago for about a year now but I just finally talked some friends into waking up early enough for us to go!  I love this concept & the values that drive the collective behind the movement as well!

  • Mindfulness
  • Wellness
  • Mischief
  • Self Expression
  • Camaraderie

If you think to yourself that 6:30 is just too early to be dancing & you’ll be too tired.. I promise you wont!  The energy in the room this morning was about 50x stronger than the best coffee I’ve ever had!

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My early morning crew!

Checkout this link for details on all of the events & how to get tickets!  I hope to see you at a future 6:30am!

High Intensity Workouts in Chicago – What Will K Said

If you are looking for a way to burn maximum calories in a short amount of time you’ve probably found your way to a HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training class. This style of class pairs weight or resistance based workouts with cardio to give you the highest calorie burn in the shortest time frame.

I love these classes because (in most cases) it forces me to use the treadmill, which I don’t do otherwise and the instructors make sure I’m practicing good form while doing the weight portion of the class.  I also like that I can squeeze maximum calorie burn into my workouts, I don’t have ton of time… so this makes it easy to get the most out my hour.

There are lots of options for HIIT classes in Chicago & thanks to Classpass I’ve gotten a chance to try out a lot of them! If you are interested in learning more about or signing up for ClassPass be sure to visit their website to learn more. If you use my link we’ll both get $20 dollars, me off next month & you off the first month.

Studio Three -River North
If you are looking for a fitness studio with lots of options this is a great one, throughout the day you’ll find a mix of HIIT classes that incorporate tread, rower, and free weights. The studio itself is a nice space with all the equipment you’ll need including the Water Rowers & Woodway treadmills. These instructors know how to get your heart rate up and push you to give your best.

Sweat Chicago – Clark and Division
This is my favorite place to go for a HIIT class because the instructors do the best job of motivating and correcting form, I never have to wonder if I’m doing something correctly because they have my back. The classes change their focus each day but my favorite is Tabata Tuesday. You’ll find yourself on a rower, hitting the treadmill, using dumbbells, performing kettlebell swings, & much more over the course of your workout. The space itself is great & the trainers are incredibly welcoming!

Shred 415 – Various Locations
I believe this was one of the gyms that really helped to push the popularity of HIIT style classes to where it is today, & they continue to be a great option. The class splits four 15 minute sections between the tread and floor, while on the tread you’ll be using a mixture of high speed and high incline work. I haven’t spent a ton of time at one specific location so I can’t say too much about the trainers, but overall they seem knowledgeable and outgoing.

Sproing – Old Town
This is the most different of the HIIT style workouts in that they use their own Sproing machine in place of Treads or Rowers for Cardio.  What the heck is a Sproing machine you ask?  Well it’s kind of like a treadmill… but completely different, it allows you to run in a more natural stance thanks to some straps that hold you up & a bouncy base that you run on.  You’ll also be doing weights, squats, jumps, etc in a tabata style workout to keep you heart rate up.

  • How do you add weights to your cardio or cardio to your weight based training?
  • Are you interested in any of these workouts?

Fashion Friday – Essential Antwerp – What Will K Said

Last week I shared a brand that was new to me, and this week we’ve got another one! Essential Antwerp, interesting name, seems to have a great understanding of color combinations, it’s what drew me into the brand.

I like that their SS16 Lookbook was shot on location instead of in a studio, it makes the clothing look more wearable.  The location reminds me of my time in Denver this past fall, the nature out there is amazing!

I picked a few of my favorite looks below, but you can find the full Lookbook for the Spring & Summer 2016 collection over on Fashion Beans, the best resource for men’s fashion in my opinion.

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A green blazer is awesome on its own, but add in shorts with a fun print and I’m sold.
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The color combination of this outfit is absolutely one that I’d wear.
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I really like the color of the top, it provides some visual appeal.

Checkout the full Lookbook at this link – http://www.fashionbeans.com/2016/essentiel-antwerp-ss-2016-mens-lookbook/

Cycling My Way Through Chicago – What Will K Said

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile you’ll know that I love spin classes! I feel like they are the perfect type of cardio & lots of them incorporate some weights as well. Chicago happens to be home to LOTS of options for fans of indoor cycling and I thought I’d share some info on each of them.

If you wondering how I’ve tried all of these gyms… it’s almost all because of ClassPass, which is a great way to try out lots of boutique gyms for one price!  You can take classes all over the city in all different disciplines & styles. If you are interested in trying out ClassPass click this link to save $20 dollars off your first month, I also get $20 dollars off for referring you, so it’s a win for both of us!

Flywheel Sports – Gold Coast and Old Town
Gold Coast is my typical spot because the location is closer to me. The space is a bit smaller & can be very cramped in between classes. The instructors are shared between the two locations typically so no differences there.  The amenities are nice at Flywheels everywhere: showers, great shampoo and lotion options, free fruit after class, and plenty of retail if are you in the mood to shop.

Studio Three- River North
The newest addition to the cycle family in Chicago, but one that has quickly become my favorite. Studio Three features Peloton bikes, which provide the smoothest ride I’ve ever experienced. You’ll find some great instructors (personal favorite is Dani), lots of lockers & showers, and a Real Good Juice outpost as well.

Full Psycle – Lincoln Park
If you are a competitive person this is your spot. The bikes are connected to a display system which shows your RPM’s, power, mileage, etc. While the least flashy of all the studios I’ve gotten my best workouts here at times. The instructors do a great job of pushing you for your best & because of the technology can offer different styles of classes that other studios.

Go Cycle – Old Town
This is the most traditional spin studio of all the ones I’ve visited in my opinion, they have the least tech focused approach and are the only gym I know of in Chicago with the Kaiser bikes, which can be great if you like those bikes but hard to adjust to if you use others a lot. The classes are smaller & more personalized than the other studios because there are only about 25 bikes in the room.

While there are a few other options for spinning in Chicago these are my picks based on my experience. I tried a Soulcycle class, but didn’t enjoy the lack of a tech pad or info screen – rhythm based riding is not my thing nor are the pushups, crunches, and “dances” on the bike.

  • Have you tried any of these gyms?
  • Where do you get your sweat on?

 

 

Weekend Recap 5.9.2016 – What Will K Said

Wowzer!  It’s been a few weeks since I posted a weekend update, which is not to say that I haven’t had busy/fun weekends.. but they haven’t been the most “update-able”  This time of year tends to be very busy with work travel/events, which wouldn’t make for fun reading on here, BUT this weekend was a bit different.

I spent most of Friday at a conference for work, which allowed me lots of networking & educational opportunities… but unless you happen to work in the same field most of it would be pretty borng. Once that was done I needed to get a killer workout in, which for me means Shred 415.  I love their style of workout, the instructors, & the South Loop location is very easy for me to drive to as well.   Once I was sufficently “shreded” I joined up with the boyfriend for a dinner at Forno Rosso aka the best pizza in the West Loop.

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This pizza is one of the reasons I workout.

 

Saturday held one of the most exciting moments in a LONG TIME…. a Britney themed class at Flywheel – Gold Coast.  If you’ve never spent 45 minutes in the dark with only Britney pushing you forward.. I highly recommend it!  Saturday night was pretty “boring” which was very nice after the last few weeks at work.  We are in the midst of rewatching 3rd Rock from the Sun so that was most of Saturday evening.

I woke up pretty early on Sunday morning & took that time to relax, do some reading, water the plants, & decide that I needed Doughnut Vault for breakfast.  We waited for about an hour to get a few doughnuts, including the special which was an Orange Old Fashioned with Chocolate icing.  After eating WAY too many doughnuts we decided to enjoy the weather and walk back home.

 

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Doughnut Vault is always worth the wait.

 

I finished the weekend with a viewing of  Captain America Civil War, which I LOVED!  If you are a fan of superheroes or comics you will enjoy this film.

Did you see Civil War this Weekend?  If so what was your favorite moment?