Monday, May 30, 2011

Are You Ready for the Beach? This Class Might Help

Katie Morse leads a workout for The Regimen.
OK, so where did today's 90-degree weather come from? Yesterday it was pouring, and the day before it was frigid and I was ready to turn the heat on. And now I've scoped out the weather forecast for the rest of the week and seeing another round of warm weather, which only leaves me hoping that we really have banished winter for good this time.

But there's one problem. While everyone else was sporting their bikinis, bare midriffs and the like, all for the sake of staying cool, I was hiding under a baggy T-shirt and shorts. Or maybe the better word would be concealing. I wasn't trying to dodge the fact that I'm still pasty white, but I'd be lying if I said that I was bikini ready--it was bad enough wearing my Speedo to swim laps at the pool.

If this sounds similar to a situation you've found yourself in after layering on the sweats and coats all winter and what was supposed to be our spring, there is a solution to our workout woes. It's a core cross-training class led by Katie Morse, a Chicago-based (for now) personal trainer who's also working to be a professional triathlete. Don't believe me? You can follow along with her race adventures at'll make you want to get moving immediately if you'd been lazing around all day. Morse is motivational, knowledgeable and no-nonsense, but in a way that's not going to intimidate you but produce results instead. And she definitely knows what she's talking about: She told me last fall, on an unrelated note, that she tries a lot of the workouts she leads on herself before presenting them to a group.

Morse's latest round-up will either get you out of bed early or provide the perfect outlet for post-work tension. She offers her core cross-training at Lincoln Park, Monday through Friday with morning and evening options every day but Thursday when two sessions are offered at night. Class lasts 45 minutes per session, which may not seem like a long time for melting calories (at least for this endurance athlete, if I can even call myself that these days), but it sure will when you factor in summer's heat and humidity and Morse's routines that get you moving in a hurry. Plus as it says on the class information sheet, you're paying less for one-on-one attention--think personal trainer session--that also gives you peer motivation. Who couldn't use a few extra pushes to grind out some push-ups or more seconds in plank position?

I'm late in sharing the news on the class Morse offered today, perfect to get moving before hitting the beach or enjoying a Memorial Day barbecue, but there are still plenty of days left to get training. These outdoor classes started in May and run through October and until recently--or well, today--you really didn't have much of a reason to be outside anyway thanks to all our cold, rain and bad weather. But as long as what we have sticks around, you can enjoy the outdoors and squeeze in a workout, too. Or if this isn't an option, you can always check out Morse's workouts online at The Regimen. That deserves a post all to itself, but I guarantee it's a great way to get fit, sore and even a little out of breath without leaving the house--or chasing around a three-year-old.

For more details about the Core Cross-Training Class, contact Katie at

Photo grabbed from The Regimen.

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