The South Loop Games is Chicago’s premier fitness competition.

We will be taking 2020 off. We will see you in 2021!


Finding out what really works is hard. And it's easy to feel overwhelmed with conflicting information.

Training can sometimes feel like throwing a bunch of random tactics at a wall and seeing what sticks. Pick a workout from this blog or that blog, do some exercises with a band around your knees you saw on Instagram, and foam roll that one “tight” body part into oblivion.


Todd Nief, Founder – Legion Strength & Conditioning

Everyone starts a new training program with high expectations. Maybe we saw a friend get crazy results doing a specific squat cycle. Or our favorite Instagram influencer is finally making her own training public – and we can’t wait to get our abs just as shredded. Let’s take a theoretical exercise enthusiast and call her Stephanie. Stephanie just started her new training program – and it’s full of cool accessory work, all kinds of weightlifting progressions, and super challenging metcons. Stephanie is going to get stronger. Stephanie is going to build her engine. Stephanie is going to fix her long-standing mobility issues. Stephanie is going to finally get all of her gymnastics movements dialed in.

Here's what Stephanie expected to like look like in 8 weeks.

Here's what Stephanie actually looked like in 8 weeks.

What happened? Stephanie skipped a bunch of steps! We all know that there are progressions in training and that it takes time to get stronger, develop new skills, and build our engine. But, we can still get excited and start skipping steps along the way. What happens then? We get frustrated, we start to burn out, we start to develop nagging shoulder and back issues, and we stop making progress. There’s a lot of common misconceptions about training that lead people astray. Not everyone has the same goals – some people want to compete at the highest level, some people want to get shredded, some people want to master all of the movements and be able to consistently do workouts as prescribed, some people want to maximize their health so they can perform their best at their job – and a lot of people want a somewhat messy combination of all of those things. And a lot of people simply like being challenged and getting better – but they find that the normal group classes at their gym are not enough to keep them progressing. These are all fine situations – we just need to be clear on what trade-offs we’re making and we need to watch out for a lot of common errors and misconceptions that people make in their training. Here’s the most common types of mistakes that we see. You’re not getting feedback on your movement. Plenty of athletes could write an essay on all of the things that they’re doing wrong and have watched YouTube video after YouTube video, but they can’t figure out how to fix their mistakes. An outside perspective can make all the difference here. You’re pushing yourself too hard in training. Not everything needs to be painful – and learning new skills and developing proper pacing strategies often requires backing off a bit and doing a lot of training that isn’t as “hard” as you may be used to. You’re following a program for a different type of athlete. Maybe you’re doing a competitive program – but you don’t actually want to compete. Or you’re doing a high-volume conditioning program, but your biggest needs are related to building up strength and skill. Make sure that you’re following a program that aligns with your specific needs. That’s just the tip of the iceberg – and most mistakes that people make exist on a spectrum. For example, some percentage of people consistently go too heavy in their training and some percentage of people consistently go too light, with very few regularly finding the right balance between the two. We made a guide to 53 Ways You’re Screwing Up Your Training that includes some of the most common mistakes we see in the athletes who we’ve coached. Get your copy of the guide below and quit skipping steps!

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