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The West Loop Workout

Inside Mary Bartelme Park , in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, there are three concrete boxes that look like giant speakers. You’re going to climb the first one, hop down and step onto the middle one, then shuffle over and box jump the last. Do that 10 times.

Also, there’s a small hill north of the sunken dog park. You’ll sprint from side-to-side over the hill and hit the deck on each side. Do that 20 times.

Finally, there’s a flat patch of gravel where you’ll finish up with 100 squat jumps.

We call this the West Loop Workout.

My parents live in Chicago and during our most recent visit we developed several urban workouts. These were made-up based on what was around us. It was fun, challenging, and new—a healthy combination that keeps workouts enjoyable.

The next time you're in the West Loop, say hello  to the mayor (that’s the title my dad gave himself). Stop by Bar Siena for some beef carpaccio, head to Green Street Smoked Meats for barbecue, shoot tequila at Federales and throw the ice-made shot glass at the bell, and grab tacos from Cruz Blanca . Oh, and be sure to check out Billy Reid's latest line of duds where they’re happy to offer you whiskey or wine. After that whirlwind, it’s time to get creative with your fitness. Work off all those awesome calories by doing box jumps on the benches at

After that whirlwind, it’s time to get creative with your fitness. Work off all those awesome calories by doing box jumps on the benches at Skinner Park  or the docking ledges on Fulton Market. Find a grass patch in the shade where you can crank out some sit ups and do a series of sprints from block to block. Create urban workouts that will harness your creativity and challenge your body.

Once you're done, don’t worry, there’s plenty of beer and pizza waiting for you at Parlor.

West Loop Workout

Run or Jog 2.75 miles: Leave Skinner Park and head to Halstead. Take a left and go to Randolph street. Take another left and go past Belly Q (Billy Kim’s restaurant). Circle back toward Monroe and run to Mary Bartelme Park.
10 Rounds: Use the concrete speaker stack. Climb the one on the right, step up the middle, box jump the last.
 20 Rounds: Hit the grass hill for a shuttle run. Sprint from side to side and do a burpee at the bottom of each incline.

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