We’re halfway through another DC summer and our outdoor boot camp is hotter than ever! Dozens of our dedicated members have spent the last 12 weeks waking up at the crack of dawn or skipping that post-work happy hour to break a sweat with us instead, and we couldn’t be more proud of them.
Depending on which VIDA you belong to, our outdoor boot camp locations vary from the stairs of the Nationals stadium to the National Mall, and groups of burpees can be spotted all up 16th street, from Logan Circle to Meridian Hill Park.
Marie O’Hara has been a U Street boot camper for over two years, and says the results-driven workouts and the camaraderie developed with her fellow boot campers have been the key factors in keeping her coming back month after month.
“The last 14 months of boot camp have been the perfect cocktail: equal parts personal accountability and a physically challenging workout, plus a splash of motivation and tough love from Alexx who achieves body-changing results in the most efficient way,” says Marie.
Boot camp instructor and Regional Group Fitness Director Alexx Griffin explains that accountability is one thing that sets boot camp apart from your ordinary group fitness class. His boot campers expect to be held to a high standard when it comes to showing up on time and not slacking off during exercises.
“We go from one exercise to the next without rest in between. We focus on speed, power, strength, endurance and proper technique in a competitive environment that helps build a strong bond between the participants, ” says Alexx.
Although the workouts are challenging, they are modifiable for every person regardless of experience, age or fitness level. Most boot camps meet twice or three times a week, with different times and dates available per VIDA location. Even if you’re new to working out, you’ll feel successful and strong in our boot camp program and progress at a level that is right for you.
“As always, the day after boot camp I never know which muscle group will be crying out because Alexx found a different way to push my physical limits. But at 34 years old with a toddler at home, I’ve never felt as strong as I do today!” says Marie.
To start the next round of boot camp starting July 25, speak with a group fitness manager or email [email protected]. We’ll learn more about your fitness goals and experience and place you in the program that’s right for you!
FYI: we have now opened a new EVENING boot camp timeslot at U Street! New VIDA trainer Khetab Claiborne will be leading a post-work camp for those who can’t make it in the mornings Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. Email [email protected] to sign up!
The preceding post was written and sponsored by VIDA Fitness.
VIDA Fitness is participating in fundraising efforts in honor of the 49 people who died in the tragic mass shooting in Orlando more than one week ago.
VIDA hosted a special candlelight vigil and moment of silence during its Ten Year Anniversary Celebration last Saturday night on the Penthouse Pool Club rooftop at 10:00 p.m. Likewise, VIDA’s sister business, SweatBox, donated 100% of proceeds of every spot reserved for each class session last Saturday.
The fundraisers and events are part of a company-wide initiative that David von Storch’s Urban Adventures Companies is spearheading in in response to the recent horrific mass shooting in Orlando. These efforts are also meant to inspire other D.C.-area businesses to show support.
Last May, we put on our very first ALS Fundraiser & Silent Auction event at Penthouse Pool Club at the Yards.
Through ticket sales, silent auction items and bar revenue we were able to raise over $25,000 for Augie’s Quest, an ALS research initiative dedicated to finding a cure for the disease. Last year was such a success we can’t wait to do it again bigger and better this year.
If you attended last year’s event, you’ll remember our guest speaker Andrea Peet. Andrea was diagnosed with ALS at age 33 and shared her story with us in a powerful speech that you can watch here. We’re so pleased to be bringing Andrea back for year two, and she has a special message to share with you below:
This year’s event will take place on Saturday, June 4th from 6-10pm at the Penthouse Pool Club at the Yards. Tickets are $30 with sponsorship opportunities available at $2000. *Sponsorships include a cabana rental for up to 10 guests, bottle service, and appetizers served.
We are currently collecting donations for our Silent Auction and would love to have your business involved. Any items, services, hotel stays, trips or package deals make great auction items! If you would like to contribute to the auction, please email [email protected]
Light appetizers will be provided and there will be a cash bar available throughout the evening, with all proceeds being included in the check we write to Augie’s Quest at the end of the night. The more you drink, the more we donate!
You can expect some live entertainment too, most likely involving an Ice Bucket Challenge.
Cocktail attire is required. Purchase your ticket here and save the date for Saturday, June 4th! See you then!
Game on! Get ready to sweat at SweatBox – the original boutique fitness concept designed to improve cardiovascular endurance while building lean muscle mass and improving flexibility. Urban Adventures Companies, Inc, the parent company of VIDA Fitness, announced today that SweatBox will officially open for business on Wednesday, May 4. UA Companies conceived the SweatBox training method based on the scientific principles of Heart Rate Training, resulting in a unique workout experience that combines aerobic and anaerobic intervals to achieve optimal performance levels within one 50-minute, high-intensity training period. The grand opening marks the start of a full class schedule offered seven days a week with morning, afternoon and evening sessions and single or monthly rates.
Located at 1612 U Street, NW off the lobby of UA Companies’ flagship Fitness and Lifestyle Complex, the 1,725-square-foot studio space with 23 workout stations, provides each participant with their own “box” – a raised platform that consists of dumbbells, XT Suspension Trainers, and a Matrix IC7 Coach by Color indoor cycle – ensuring individuals have access to everything they need all in one place. SweatBox is designed with a limited class size so each participant receives the personalized instruction needed for a technically superior workout, while maximizing gains and minimizing risk of injury.
With the combination of Matrix IC7 Coach by Color bikes and MYZONE heart rate monitors participants will receive real-time performance feedback via an easy-to-follow color queue that illuminates on the indoor cycle and throughout the entire studio. All workouts are documented and downloaded via Bluetooth technology right to the participant’s smart phone, which offers a social integration component to track progress and connect with friends. Big screen TV’s located outside the studio display minute-by-minute results at the conclusion of every class.
Designed by the concept team at UA Companies, WDG Architects of Washington, DC and Stoneking- von Storch Architects of Charlottesville, VA, SweatBox puts cutting-edge studio fitness equipment and biometric technology into an industry-first box theater setting. The blacked-out studio is lit exclusively via programmable LED theater lighting. This allows the entire studio to change color, intensity and hue based on what the SweatBosses are coaching at each moment during the session.
Upon entry to the softly lit SweatBox studio, participants are greeted with the Matrix IC7 cycles that line raised platforms on each side of the room with XT Suspension Trainers and three sets of dumbbells situated alongside the bikes. As the session begins, the lights go down, the exceptionally clear and powerful On Point sound system turns up and the trademark Sweatbox recording announces the countdown to session blast off. Fifty minutes later participants will leave SweatBox exhilarated, exhausted and fit.
“SweatBox is the next big thing in fitness and will revolutionize the way people workout,” says David von Storch, President of SweatBox. “This cutting-edge program allows individuals to push themselves to the best of their abilities, track their own performance and improve at their own pace. It will leave you breathless and totally addicted.”
Over the next five years UA Companies plan to open multiple SweatBox locations throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area with intentions to serve neighborhoods that large gyms do not currently occupy.
SweatBox is a one-of-a-kind, nonmember fitness-training program with a pay-per-session fee. Each session ranges from $29-$39 or $229 a month for unlimited classes. For more information or to sign up for a class visit www.sweatboxdc.com.
The preceding post was written and sponsored by VIDA Fitness
Warmer weather is finally here and the workouts have left the building! VIDA’s outdoor boot camp program starts bright and early next week, and we’re welcoming new members to join the fun! Summer is right around the corner, and we want to help get your body ready to hang by the Penthouse Pool in just a few short weeks.
This 6-week program will keep you on track with your fitness goals as we near bathing suit season & celebrate warmer weather returning to the district. Now is the PERFECT time to commit to a fun but challenging training program that will keep you focused on your goals and build some new friendships along the way.
Boot camp provides an intense but fun workout that improves strength, endurance and cardiovascular performance through body weight movements, partner exercises and conditioning drills. You’ll form bonds with your fellow bootcampers and enjoy seeing the progression in your performance from week one to six.
The next big thing in fitness is all in one box. Urban Adventures Companies Inc. (UAC), the parent company of VIDA Fitness, has unveiled plans for SweatBox — a pioneering studio fitness concept that improves cardiovascular endurance while building lean muscle mass and improving flexibility.
The SweatBox training method is based on the scientific principles of Heart Rate Training, resulting in a unique workout experience that combines aerobic and anaerobic intervals to achieve optimal performance levels within one 50-minute, high-intensity training period. Located at 1612 U St. NW off the lobby of UAC’s flagship Fitness and Lifestyle Complex, the 1,725-square-foot studio space will feature a limited class size so each participant receives the personalized instruction needed for a technically superior workout, while maximizing gains and minimizing risk of injury.
UAC designed SweatBox to provide each participant with their own “box” — a raised platform furnished with dumbbells, TRX straps, and the revolutionary Matrix IC7 Coach by Color indoor cycle — ensuring individuals have access to everything they need all in one place. With a grand opening slated for April, SweatBox is a one-of-a-kind, nonmember fitness-training program with a pay-per-session fee.
We’re excited to announce the launch of our new Kettlebell training program at Metropole! This program will meet twice a week (Mondays and Wednesdays at 8 a.m.) with VIDA personal trainer Will Thompson.
Kettlebell training is unique in the sense that it activates many different muscle groups simultaneously, which elevates the heart rate for a killer cardiovascular workout. There are over a hundred different exercises that can be performed with kettlebells, so you’ll hit every major muscle group with a mixture of skill-building and circuit training exercises.
In Will’s program, you’ll learn how to use kettlebells safely and effectively through a fun but challenging 50-minute class. Intensity of the sessions are totally modifiable by using different size kettlebells, lower repetitions, etc., which means people of all fitness levels are welcome to attend!
With such a huge variety of group fitness classes here at VIDA, we get that that sometimes choosing which one to take can be half the battle. Our classes cover a wide range of different exercise styles — from high intensity movements, strength building, relaxation or heavy cardio. You’ve only got 45 minutes to an hour to spare, so how do you know which one to take?
Here’s a breakdown of our group fitness classes by studio, showing what type of classes to expect in each space and info for picking the class that will best help you reach your goals!
You know you’re sweating buckets and can feel your heart pumping like crazy, but do you know if you’re functioning in an aerobic or anaerobic zone, or what percentage of your maximum heart rate you’re using? Most likely not, since it’s impossible to guess this information without the use of a device monitoring your heart rate.
Heart rate monitors make a world of a difference for individuals looking to increase their cardiovascular endurance and track how hard they’re actually pushing themselves during workouts. If you like viewing the amount of calories you’ve burned after a cardio session, a heart rate monitor provides a much more accurate number than a standard summary from a treadmill or elliptical. Because it’s actually measuring your effort and exertion, not just generic information punched into a machine, you’ll find that your actual calories burned is usually a very different number than what a piece of equipment will tell you.
Here at VIDA, we spent a lot of time researching the most advanced heart rate monitoring systems on the market to find the most fully functioning device to recommend to our members. The MyZone MZ-3 belt (and corresponding MyZone app) incorporates several unique features unparalleled in the heart rate monitoring world that we know VIDA members will love!
These features include the ability to live-track your effort exertion by the second on your phone, personalized workout summaries emailed to you after every session, and the point-earning feature which adds a competitive element to your workouts.
So how does it work?
A revolution is coming to U Street, or at least that’s what VIDA Fitness says.
A sign posted at the fitness club, located at 1612 U Street NW, advertises new “revolutionary” exercise classes coming in 2016. Additionally, VIDA last week added a fleet of new Coach by Color spin bikes that is says have the potential to “totally change your cycle experience.”
“These new coach by color bikes will totally revamp your cycle experience and make you push yourself harder than ever before,” a VIDA Fitness post reads.
A representative for the company said the forthcoming exercise program was still yet to be announced, but they confirmed the new bikes would play a role in the classes.
Cycle photos via VIDA Fitness
In TRX, you’re using body weight, gravity and two suspension straps to perform literally hundreds of different exercises. The workouts are fast, effective and can target every muscle in your body with just one piece of equipment.
By placing your hands or feet in the straps hanging from the ceiling, the number of different exercises you can perform using your own body weight as resistance is limitless. In addition to whatever muscle group you’re focusing on, your core will be fully engaged during every exercise — two birds with one stone.
The versatility of TRX is what makes it so effective for people of all fitness levels. The difficulty of any TRX exercise is solely based on your body position and angle of leverage, which puts you in complete control of how challenging your workout is. If something feels too hard or too easy, you can adjust your feet just a few inches in either direction to find the right level of resistance for you.
Personal Trainer and TRX instructor Jeffery Cain uses TRX in addition to his weight training to focus on muscle toning. He explains TRX as a challenging, high intensity, dynamic cardiovascular workout that also teaches proper form for beginners.
“TRX is especially good for people who may be timid about weight training. It’s a great way to perfect your form before hitting the free weights or squat rack,” he says.
Both Reformer and TRX classes meet in small groups — Reformer no more than 4 per class, TRX usually maxes out around 6 — which ensures you receive individual attention from the instructor. Each exercise is demonstrated beforehand and the instructor is always close by if something feels off or if you need help getting your positioning right.
If you’ve been peeking into the TRX or reformer studios, now is your chance to see what all the hype is about. Check with a trainer or instructor at your VIDA location to see if you can sit in on a class to get a feel for it. Once you’re sold (and sore), you can purchase a 50 pack of TRX or Reformer training sessions during the month of February and receive one month of free VIDA membership.
As someone who just tried both of these classes for the first time this week, I can say with confidence that your body will thank you for adding them to your routine. Just be ready to feel sore in places you may not have felt before.
The preceding post was written by Elise Chretien and sponsored by VIDA Fitness
If you haven’t been on a reformer before, never fear; the machine is not as scary as it looks – I promise. If you’ve done Pilates on a mat, you can expect similar positions and exercises but with added resistance and a fuller range of motion on the reformer.
The reformer uses springs, leverage and body weight to provide resistance while performing movements targeting specific muscle groups. The workouts consist of controlled, flowing movements working your muscles through a fuller range of motion that you wouldn’t be able to reach on a mat alone. The increased resistance provided by the reformer makes your muscles exert more force to overcome it, therefore making them stronger.
Your instructor will guide you through the proper core, abdomen and lower back positioning required to use the reformer correctly. Proper spine alignment is critical to using the reformer and your instructor will make sure your body is positioned as it should be. Benefits of using the reformer include increased muscle fiber endurance, connective tissue strength, improved posture and stronger core muscles.
A stronger core means more power generated to the rest of your muscles and a decreased risk of injury!
In the words of Pilates instructor and Group Fitness Manager Tami DeVitis, reformer classes start working their magic almost immediately.
“Mere words cannot describe the full benefits of taking Pilates Reformer classes. I must say that I started feeling the benefits and positive changes in my body after my second class, possibly even after
my first! No other form of exercise has provided me with such a marked improvement in muscle strength and flexibility in such a short period of time,” says Tami.
Tami taught my first reformer class, and was extremely helpful with demonstrating exercises and explaining how the machine was working as we did them. Her coaching really helped me feel aware of my muscles contracting and working to overcome the resistance.
Since starting her Pilates Reformer workouts, Tami says she feels much more aware of what her body is doing than ever before.
“This increase in awareness remains at all times and prevents injury. In addition, my posture has greatly improved – I know I run faster than before and it has even improved my yoga practice! I love training clients on the reformer as I see the change in their bodies and overall body strength so quickly,” she says.
The preceding post was written and sponsored by VIDA Fitness
Most personal trainers will tell you that consistent weight training plus eating a clean, balanced diet is the surefire way to build strong, lean muscles. They’re right, but VIDA Renaissance personal trainer Everett Shipmon has another secret ingredient to building a sexy physique – regular sports massages from Aura spa!
Everett has been personal training for five years in the DC area and has been with VIDA since March of 2014. As a former track athlete, regular exercise has always come naturally for him and he enjoys being able to share his passion for fitness with others.
“I understand that what comes so easily for me is more difficult for other people. I want to share my expertise with them and help them reach their goals no matter what they are. My motto is consistency is key – goals are only reached one workout at a time,” he says.
Part of Everett’s consistency model is not only creating healthy habits in and outside of the gym, but giving your body the proper recovery and care it needs after intense workouts.
He currently visits Aura spa once a week for a 90 minute sports massage and says he can feel a noticeable difference in his muscles as a result. The massage is his favorite way to decompress after a heavy lifting session, and he says he can feel an overall improvement in the length and flexibility of his muscles.
“When you do a lot of strength training you’re actually breaking apart your muscle fibers. This forms adhesions (knots) in the muscles which cause tightness, and if not worked out properly can cause injury. Massages iron out those adhesions so the muscle fibers repair and rebuild correctly. I encourage all my clients to do regular massages at Aura” he says.
Everett has been a regular Aura spa client for ten months now and he says he’s never felt better! While he receives a sports massage on a weekly basis, he says he’s also a big fan of the pedi scrub and trying out the different kinds of essential oils we carry.
“The LMT’s are amazing and have helped me out on a number of occasions by recommending different products and checking in with me. And I highly recommend the pedi scrub – everyone should try that!” he says.
If you’d like to book an appointment with one of our LMT’s or Estheticians, please visit our booking services page here. If you any advice about which services to try first, Everett is your guy!
The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Borderstan.
Join VIDA Fitness at our first annual 5k Run/Walk this Saturday at East Potomac Park.
All race profits will benefit Thrive DC, a non-profit organization committed to preventing and ending homelessness in the DC area.
We invite the entire community to join us for this fun, flat race benefiting a great cause. Whether this is your first 5K or your hundredth, we’d love for you to join us for a morning full of fun, with awesome prizes from Lululemon for the winners of each division.
You can run with your friends, family, kids, pets, or solo. Just come run with us!
Click here to register.
Every October, we see an influx of pink ribbons decorating cars, storefronts, profile pictures and NFL helmets for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The pink ribbon symbolizes raising awareness for breast cancer research initiatives and showing support for survivors and those currently battling the disease.
While the pink ribbon is easily recognizable, the fact that breast cancer can appear in anyone, regardless of age or health level is less well known.
VIDA member Jo was leading a healthy lifestyle as an NCAA athlete playing water polo at Occidental College in Los Angeles when she noticed a lump in her left breast. She brought it up with her doctor during a routine check-up at her school’s health center but was told it was probably nothing and to keep an eye on it. When the lump started getting bigger she got it checked out again and was this time referred to a local hospital.
After celebrating her 21st birthday in the Fall of 2010, Jo was informed that she had stage two breast cancer and would require immediate surgery and radiation to remove the tumor.
“I didn’t tell anyone at first. I was still in school and playing water polo full time, so I spent a lot of time just going back and forth from practice to the hospital. Not telling anyone made it feel not as ‘real’ for me, and I just focused on staying active to keep myself distracted,” says Jo.
She completed the surgery and radiation over winter break of her junior year, while still letting only a few people know about her diagnosis. Her “ignore it and it will go away” attitude apparently worked well, and she entered remission her senior year!
Jo successfully finished her undergrad in LA, and decided to continue her education at the Institute of World Politics graduate program, or what she calls ‘Spy School,’ here in DC. She made the move across the country in June 2013 and joined VIDA shortly after.
“I was looking for something that wasn’t just a bare bones gym. I loved the variety of locations and amenities VIDA had to offer,” she says.
She quickly fell back into a regular exercise routine here at VIDA, consisting of heavy lifting and cardio 5-6 times a week. She made a lot of new friends and was working on finishing up her Masters this past spring, when she says she started noticing that something didn’t feel right.
“Around February I started feeling like something was wrong. I couldn’t quite figure out what it was, but I wouldn’t let myself think that the cancer was back. Although, I kind of had a gut feeling that’s what it was” says Jo.
She went to see a new doctor in DC and began the long testing and retesting process. After four and half months of uncertainty, she was finally given a diagnosis. Her stage two cancer had returned, she would have to have another surgery and another round of radiation, and they needed to be scheduled right away.