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The Dailey Method
In any new relationship, eventually the initial rosy glow one feels gives way to a more real understanding of your new object of affection. Such was my experience in diving deeper into The Dailey Method. And you know what? This one’s a keeper.
The first few sessions of my experience at The Dailey Method were pretty topical – “ooh it’s so clean in here! The staff is so nice! My body hurts but in a good way!” After this work-out beginner’s high began to wear off, I started to understand the Dailey Method in a more real way.
Attending classes led by different instructors allowed me to better understand exactly what it is that The Dailey Method is trying to help your body achieve. I began to learn a variety of exercises, each targeting different muscle groups, but I also began to understand the thinking behind the Dailey Method and how it tones and sculpts bodies so effectively. As the instructors led us through different series of exercises, they would explain exactly how each exercise worked your body and what to do to get the most out of it.
Here are some basics that The Dailey Method emphasizes:
- isolating different sets of muscles with exercises that target specific muscle groups
- stretching: stretching the area of muscles you just worked on is key to creating a longer, leaner muscle. (who knew? I always thought stretching came before the workout but maybe I’m not the best authority on that since most of my “workout” knowledge came from 6th grade gym).
- focusing on your core. Having a strong, stable core is key to developing every other set of muscles in your body. It is the center of everything, or you know, the core.
- neutral spine; this is focusing on the muscles that stabilize the spine leading to better posture.
Each of these points of emphasis is restated throughout class to remind you to be conscious of everything you are doing.
I came to discover that some series were surprisingly easy for me, such as triceps and biceps (this was definitely a surprise, as I am one who can only do “girl pushups” with my knees down), while others, such as the series focusing on quads, were very difficult.
I am one to cut corners when in extreme physical discomfort (doesn’t everyone?). I always thought of that as more of a self-preservation thing – I mean, I didn’t want to die doing the Dailey Method (which seemed like a very real possibility a few sets into the quad series). But the instructor forces you to be honest with yourself; is this really the lowest I can go? is this really my best posture? can I push myself any farther? These reminders were invaluable to my outlook and progress.
Dailey Method, I am continuing to learn about you as we spend more time together…your guiding principles and philosophies, your likes and dislikes. You get my heart racing, you make me weak in the knees. I think this could be the beginning of a wonderful relationship.
Disclosure: I was provided with a 30 day trial at The Dailey Method Chicago to conduct this review. All opinions are my own.
The Dailey Method is a full body workout that combines yoga, Pilates and barre work (like that of ballerinas) to create a lean, sculpted and toned physique. Like any Chicagoan, I Yelped it to prepare myself for my first class. The reviews were glowing and I was excited to get started.
Upon entering the studio, I was greeted by two very welcoming Dailey Method staff members, one of whom was to be my instructor for the class, Emily. I filled Emily in on my no-experience-whatsoever, scared-to-die-working-out situation and she assured me I would be just fine. I was pretty sure she was lying, but bless her heart for doing so - it gave me some confidence.
I toured the facility and was totally impressed with the clean, modern feel of the entire studio. A small retail space in the reception area offers a selection of items to purchase for your workout routine. The locker room is immaculate and features a comfortable changing area with lockers, spotless showers, complimentary toiletries, hairdryers and towels for your convenience. In addition to two workout rooms (one of which serves to accommodate “overflow” from the main room), The Dailey Method offers “The Kid’s Room,” which provides child care for children up to age ten at the cost of $6 per child. Completely genius and so convenient for moms.
The class room is a bright, welcoming space with walls of windows and floor to ceiling mirrors so you can view and correct your form throughout class. Ballet barres encircle the room and up-tempo jams get the energy going. We began class marching in-time to get our heart rates going and I was terrified that this was what the entire class would be like; coordinated movements to music. I have no rhythm and right off the bat, my opposite elbows were not connecting to my opposite knees on the beat like everyone else’s. Luckily, this was brief and we moved into core, seat, arm and leg work using light weights and straps on the barre, depending on what the exercise required.
I never knew two pound weights could make such an impact. Through a series of small and controlled repetitive movements, my body became reacquainted with muscles it forgot it had. Emily, who was quickly becoming one of my favorite people on earth with her positive feedback and helpful corrections, instructs the class over a headset with a mic so you can easily hear her directives over the thumping music. This was unlike any other group class I had attended in my inexperienced past in that the instructor was encouraging, not calling people out to improve their form. The effect was incredibly helpful; I felt motivated and confident instead of timid and worried about not being able to keep up.
Let me be clear, this is workout, but you can go at your own, best pace. More than once, a position became too much for my atrophied muscles to hold and I had to go into a neutral position and shake it out. That is one of the things I appreciated most about this class – the instructor does an excellent job in pushing you to do your best work but there is no shame in taking a pause if necessary. Before I knew it, an hour had flown by and I felt that wonderful glow of a happily exhausted body as I walked out of class. The strangest thing happened as I walked to my car – I started to get why people worked out! I could see this becoming a habit (a good one!).
In my first week, I was able to attend three classes and it never felt like an inconvenience or hassle to get there. In fact, I found myself looking forward to going. Class times are convenient, whether you prefer an early morning workout before getting to the office, if you have time midday or if you want to fit a class in before meeting friends for dinner. The Dailey Method website allows you to view and sign up for the classes you want to attend.
This may sound crazy and a little premature, but I do feel like I can tell a difference in my body after a week, especially in my arms and abs. Being the impatient person that I am, I like quick results and if this is the result of a week’s effort, I can’t wait to see what week two will bring. I’ll keep you posted!
Helpful tips if you are planning to attend a class at The Dailey Method Bucktown:
- Wear comfortable workout attire like yoga pants and tanks. Due to the amount of sweating that is likely to ensue, you may want to avoid gray tanks and/or pants, as they tend to show sweat patches rather easily (and embarrassingly)
- Socks are required for class. The Dailey Method sells socks with grips on the bottom, which is helpful when holding plank pose or keeping your foot on the barre
- Metered street parking is fairly easy in the area but free parking is available if you inquire at the registration desk for a parking sticker
Stay tuned for Part II next week!
Photos from thedaileymethod.com/chicago
Disclosure: I was provided with a 30 day trial for this review, all opinions are my own.