As a first timer, I did some serious research into what CXWORX was and what to expect. At 30 minutes, I felt I was able to commit and still feel challenged while getting a great workout– and that I did! I’ve always thought I’ve had a strong core and torso muscles, but this class put me in my place (in a good way!). Here is a basic run down of my experience and the class.

What kind of workout is CXWORX?

CXWORX is all about building core strength, improving functional fitness of the abdominals, mid-section, and glutes, as well as working the cross-slings, which run from the upper to lower body. Basically, CXWORX targets everything from the mid-thigh up to the shoulders, which is an area also known as your trunk. It’s not exactly weight-lifting, and it’s not exactly cardio.

CXWORX Standard Class

Because CXWORX is a pre-choreographed program, no matter where you go in 80 countries around the world, a CXWORX class is always going to be similar. It’s just under 30 minutes and consists of six tracks in the following order, each designed to target a different part of overall core strength:

  1. Warm-up – various movements lying on back to prepare the core muscles
  2. Core strength 1 – long-lever movements lying on back and hovers
  3. Standing strength 1 – standing movements to integrate upper and lower body
  4. Standing strength 2 – standing movements to focus on glutes, hips and legs
  5. Core strength 2 – various movements to focus on rotation and obliques
  6. Core strength 3 – various movements to focus on posterior (back) muscles

What equipment do you need for CXWORX?

To do CXWORX, you need a resistance tube, a mat and a towel. There is usually the option to use a small, medium or large weight plate for added resistance and provided in your class.

What do you need to know as a first-timer?

To be completely honest, CXWORX can be a little bit awkward, even for the instructor. Not only is it sometimes hard to see everything you need from a lying down position, but you will also have your legs in the air, your butt in the air and will have to work with a tricky piece of equipment, the resistance tube. First and foremost, don’t feel weird. Everyone else is in the same boat as you.

With that being said, I recommend that you go in with an open mind and consider these tips:

  • Show up a little bit early and introduce yourself to the instructor, that way they can tell you what to expect.
  • Set up close enough to the front so you can see the instructor’s full body.
  • Don’t worry about using a weight plate, it’s only an advanced option.
  • Grab a green tube. Usually resistance tubes go from easy to hard, with green being easiest, orange/red in the middle and blue/black as the hardest.
  • If you get confused on how to set up with the tube, then leave it out. It’s perfectly acceptable to do your first CXWORX class with absolutely no equipment.
  • Listen to the instructor’s cues for what you should be feeling in your body. There are many small movements and adjustments, and you may not be able to see it modeled exactly on someone else, so you’ll have to feel for it on your own body.
  • In the long sets of hovers, never feel bad about staying on your knees.
  • In the tube work, never feel bad about holding onto only one handle for less resistance.
  • It takes a while to get comfortable with the movements, so plan to try at least a few classes before you decide if it’s for you or not.

How hard is it (really)?

It’s challenging. After my first CXWORX class, I had the worst soreness in my entire trunk for a couple of days. But CXWORX truly changes your core, which in turn, can improve your overall fitness and athletic ability.

What’s the best part of CXWORX?

Thirty minutes sure does fly by. I’ve never experienced a workout that goes by so quickly and leaves you feeling so complete. And when you finish a CXWORX class, your core seems noticeably stronger instantly.

Check out the Chicago Athletic Club class schedule to find the next class near you!