Creative Chaos: Working Out at Chaos Conditioning
Smack a punching bag with a weighted club over and over — as part of my workout? Yes, please — and thank you, Chaos Conditioning!
Since 2012, Chaos has brought uniquely challenging cardio classes to the Buckhead ‘hood of Atlanta. Sure, the locations have changed. But, like a fine red wine, the workouts have gotten better with time.
Recently, Jeff Baird, owner of Chaos (and the mastermind behind the class moves), invited me to come in and check out the new studio in The Forum Athletic Club (TFAC) at Lenox Square Mall. I opted to try the Impact Class (Jeff also offers a Complete Chaos format), which is comprised of six rounds of cardio and strength exercises that are eight minutes each, and are built around using punching bags. (Plus, you’ll get a brief ab workout at the end using tools like the BOSU — which is one of my favorites!) And, side note, the Impact class was just named the number one boxing class in Atlanta on ClassPass.
First off, gloves are provided, and you don’t need any formal martial arts training — so don’t let any of those details deter you. TFAC is located next to Macy’s at Lenox, with its entrance next to the parking deck on Lenox Road. When you arrive, just tell the folks at the front desk that you’re there for Chaos, and they’ll point you toward the studio area.
Trying a new workout — especially a challenging one — is intimidating enough, so I’ve always appreciated how friendly Jeff is to all of his students (both newbies and veterans). He was there to greet everyone as they entered the studio and answer any questions. And the Impact class format is capped at 15 people, so you always get personalized attention.
Before I knew it, class was underway. We rotated through drills that involved kicking and punching the bag, running on the Curve treadmills (self-propelled treadmills that give you way more bang for your exercise buck than electric ones), and doing strength work using tools like the TRX, the TRX Rip Trainer, free weights, and that awesome weighted club I mentioned.
One other thing to note is that the punching bags have sensors in them (known as “Impact Wraps”) that give you points, depending on how hard you strike the bag. Jeff then displays them on a screen on the wall. If you have a competitive spirit, it’s the kind of feature you’ll LOVE.
I haven’t done a multi-faceted cardio class like this in ages — and I needed the brief breaks in between rounds to catch my breath and grab water. But, the beauty of what Jeff does is that he makes it fun.
What I mean by that is that he plays music videos on a giant screen while you’re working out. There’s a disco ball twirling overhead. He motivates you along the way with words of encouragement. Oh, and he lets you bang the sh** out of a punching bag with your fists, your feet, and a weighted club. Now, that’s what I call a “fun” workout — and I’ve already been back for more!