Having been an active member of SWEAT Chicago for a year, I was no stranger to using a kettlebell in my workouts. That being said, no matter how many times I did swings or squats in those classes, I had never devoted a block of time to perfecting my form, which is surprising since I obsess over things like that. When Erin of Loop Looks suggested we meet up at OTG Bootcamp for some kettlebell work, I jumped right on that idea.
We met for the Kettlebell Fundamentals class with Ryan, one of the owners of OTG. Erin and I were experienced with kettlebells, and this class was still unbelievably helpful. As they say "everyone learns a bit differently" and sometimes you don't get a full understanding of all the little details until you get the help of a pro. Ryan took us through all the basics of appropriate breathing and technique. We walked through steps for kettlebell drags and kettlebell clean + press exercises, making sure we were activating the appropriate muscles to really experience the benefits of these movements. We walked out of there after our 30 minute session feeling 100x improved in something I thought I was already proficient in. That's right, our session was only 30 minutes. That's how long all the classes are and it's AWESOME. You get in a great workout that can fit into your work day. They also keep the classes small which makes it so you feel more like a community than one of 1000.
Aside from kettlebell training, OTG Bootcamp has TRX Suspension training, boot camp classes and a Spartan Training gym, so if you're like me and have "complete a Spartan Race" on your bucketlist, this is the place for you. Grab more information and sign up for classes here!
When Erin moved to Chicago 8 years ago she was already very athletic. In fact, she authoreda (mostly) running blog called Eri-thon before starting her current blog. She’s maintained her focus on fitness through running while expanding to power lifting and various other classes, such as Orange Theory. When someone is so fitness oriented, it’s easy to assume they spend a lot of their time in super comfy workout clothing; however, when Erin started working in a corporate environment at DePaul, she realized she needed to figure out how to dress the part. She did what anybody would do and turned to the internet and fashion bloggers to help guide her. The problem is not many of them worked in corporate environments and the ones that did didn’t really address how to dress in a cold climate. Seriously, if you haven’t experienced bone chilling cold, feel free to pop in on a Chicago winter. Since Erin couldn’t find what she was looking for, she decided to help herself and others by filling that void. This is how Loop Looks was born.
While her position at a new company no longer requires her to dress “corporate,” Erin’s kept Loop Looks going with an expansion of what she covers. Building off the beauty that is Pinterest and its outfit inspiration, you can find Pinterest Parallels, where she recreates outfits she loves with everyday items. She’s since tied her old blog into Loop Looks by including Fitness Fridays, allowing her to share workouts, her gym "must-haves" and to recap the billions of races she participates in. OK, maybe not billions – but she runs a ton! So. Much. Envy. One of her favorite series to do is called Then and Now. Here, Erin takes an outfit she’s posted in the past and shows you how to restyle it to wear again.
Erin has fun blogging, but she tries to keep a good balance between how much of her life to share with the world. While she’s not looking to be a full-time blogger right now, she’s committed to improving Loop Looks on the reg. One of the things she’s focused on recently is getting better at taking photos. She also started the You Pick Wednesday series so she could have a platform where people ask questions about outfits (like 5 Ways to Wear a Striped Blazer), putting together ideas, etc. It’s a way she can keep interacting with the community and being a reliable source for the corporate and non-corporate world.
Favorite blogs to follow? Librarian for Life and Style and ilaxStudio. Also, The Daily Tay, another Chicago blogger. Her Etsy store sells a t-shirt that donates 20% of proceeds to animal shelters.
What's your ultimate meal? Pizza! Specifically, Neapolitan Pizza from Forno Rosso.
How do you take your coffee? Only started drinking coffee a year ago, but black with one cream or nitro infused from Goddess & the Baker.
Loop Looks is a place to get outfit ideas and fitness ideas from a real person, who works a full-time job. It's not aspirational, it's practical and it's what she really wears and really does.
Erin blogs at Loop Looks about personal style and fitness. Erin started her blog as a way to break out of the rut of all black pants all the time and it has since evolved into a creative outlet that combines her many passions. She currently works in the software industry as an employee trainer but spends her free time lifting heavy things at the gym, signing up for races and triathlons at the last minute, and working on the committees for two local races. She lives in Chicago's West Loop neighborhood with her husband and dog and you'll find them at the dog park most evenings. She loves relaxing with a glass of beer, wine or a cocktail and trying new restaurants.