HIGHLINE SLACKLINE DEMO
We cater to the discerning Midwest climber, but First Ascent is no one-trick pony. Climbers may come in and see groups getting together for fitness classes (on the climbing floor and in the fitness/weight room), slackliners setting up several styles of lines under the lead-climbing arch and lots of bending happening in the yoga room. Impromptu meet-up groups from around Chicagoland – whether all-inclusive or more specialized – also come not just to climb, but to be social and to strengthen community bonds.
A fitness routine with good cross-pollination between athletic disciplines is an effective way to prevent burn-out and over-training. Climbers can become better climbers at First Ascent by tackling weaknesses in their body by attending daily yoga classes to train flexibility and mindfulness, attempting the moving meditation of slacklining with the Chicago Slackliners Association to train balance or find the edge of their body-weight training strength in the TRXclass. As a climber, if you’re feeling the symptoms of over-training (poor sleep, change in mood, loss of appetite, diminishing returns in regular climbing routine/training, excess fatigue and/or soreness, etc), the many other offerings at FA can not only make you a better athlete, but a better climber in the long run.
Some of the yoga classes have become quite popular, especially the Yoga for Climbers classes that are offered throughout the week and are taught by our awesome crew of instructors. The versatility of the yoga instructors should not go unnoticed; First Ascent has teachers who can teach not only budding first-timer but also advanced practitioners looking to twist themselves into knots. If you’re curious, flow-based classes are great for fostering connection between breath and movement; the “yoga for” classes address shoulder strength and mobility through the entire spine; a sculpt or groove class incorporates more of a cardio element; acro yoga is partner based and a great way to meet new climbing partners; the energizing class is designed to perk you up while the cool-down classes are perfect for before bedtime.
MEALS ON WHEELS (IMAGE CREDIT: CHRISTIE BATKA)
For the climber interested in learning how to access their “beastmode,” several fitness classes can help encourage that unstoppable monster in all of us. Need to increase your resting metabolic rate (RMR)? Take Speed and Strength, which incorporates high intensity interval training (HIIT) to boost your calorie burning factory that’ll keep working hours after class. Feel like using the force of gravity to your advantage to train for greater flexibility, strength and functional mobility? Our TRX instructor uses a system of straps to create a full body workout that is as fun as it is non-traditional. Want a creative workout that incorporates theMoveStrong rack? The Urban Playground class uses improvisation on that jungle-gym to net not only a killer workout, but an understanding that a fitness routine can take place anywhere there’s room to move. Want to work the core in its entirety (not just those six-pack muscles)? Core Conditioning works those muscle groups responsible for keeping lower back-pain at bay and ultimately making you a better climber. How about rediscovering the innate strength everyone is born with, but may have been lost due to our day-to-day grind, sitting too much and repetitive motions? Original Strength Training gets back to the basics with functional movements patterns in a workout designed to facilitate better balance and coordination.
Seems overwhelming, huh? Lots to choose from day to day, but there’s more. In the future – as we’ve done in the past with specialty workshops like theIndoBoard and advanced yoga classes – we’ll offer one-off classes from a community of instructors who are experts in their respective athletic endeavors.
ROCKING OUT ON THE TOP OUT
But the gym’s offerings go far beyond the pursuit of bettering one’s physical self. We’ll be “Rocking Out” on the Top-Out in the bouldering area from time to time with local bands. Every Monday people can meet new belay partners and enter themselves in a raffle during our “Hang-Outs.” From time to time charitable organizations and non-profits will raise awareness to their causes with our full support. Food trucks will sling delicious foods during Food-Truck-Fridays.Moksha Yoga is offering a free community class on the first Saturday morning of every month.
There’s so much that it’s hard to keep up, so be sure to follow FA on Facebook,Instagram and Twitter. We just want you to “do” you, and if you ever feel like mixing up your climbing routine, there are plenty of ways we can help facilitate.
All image credit (unless otherwise noted): Gabriel Skvor