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California is said to be home to the first CrossFit affiliate gym. But DC is home to CrossFit Headquarters, located right on Connecticut Ave., so we’ve got our own CrossFit bragging rights and a lot of high-quality boxes to prove it.
No matter what you look for in a box (aka CrossFit gym), be it the latest and greatest equipment, a packed and energetic class, or a tight-knit community with experienced coaches, you’ll find it in DC. Among our favorites, no matter where you go, you’re guaranteed a heart-pumping, muscle-burning WOD (Workout of the Day).
If you follow the CrossFit Games, CrossFit Balance should sound familiar. They’ve sent a team to the Team Games twice… no big deal. CrossFit Balance has established itself in four different locations and members have access to all four boxes. With different amenities, like a saltwater lap pool in Foggy Bottom and a ropes course in Georgetown, they’re all worth a special visit. And if you’re new, sign up for a free Intro to CrossFit Beginner Workout or one-on-one with a CrossFit director.
Train hard, stay humble. That’s what this gym is about, as well as an approach to exercise and movement backed with research and science. Humble Beast is known for its high-quality coaching (the owner and head coach is a nationally ranked Olympic weightlifter) and their warm, welcoming, and tight-knit sweat family. Besides CrossFit classes, the gym offers Humble Beginnings, a foundational class for newbies, and a Barbell Club that meets twice a week and trains for local weightlifting competitions.
Founded in the Capital in 2005, CrossFit DC has grown to two locations. Check them out in the heart of the H St. corridor, or head to their latest and greatest location on U St. Their programming is led by experienced coaches—like a head coach and co-owner who trained under CrossFit founder Greg Glassman—but CrossFit DC also brings a community-focused approach to your experience. If you’re new, you can sign up for a free intro workout. And if you’re experienced, you can test out of their beginner Elements course and get to work.
The oldest CrossFit gym in DC, Primal Fitness is set up in an old Firehouse on M St. Pretty cool, but it gets better. They’re also home to the world’s first purpose-built Parkour training center, offering Parkour and freerunning classes. So, if your legs are sore and you need a break from squats, try a Parkour class. It might not be easier, but it’ll certainly upgrade your agility, mobility, and street cred. If you haven’t done a high-intensity WOD before—or need a refresher—their beginner program will quickly bring you up to speed. You’ll be a CrossFit disciple in no time.
Call Old City CrossFit old-school because they go to work from sunup to sundown. A family-friendly environment, Old City offers CrossFit Kids, classes for tots up through high school. There’s even a CrossFit Moms class with a toned-down WOD and an emphasis on mobility. Located on H St., this box offers a variety of membership options, including unlimited CrossFit classes, yoga, and open gym. Bonus: many of the coaches have extensive swimming experience, perfect for the gym’s swimming WODs.
Boasting the largest CrossFit gym in DC, District CrossFit offers group classes, personal training, and specialty classes. You can sign up for a one-on-one trial including a tour of the gym, a customized WOD, goal setting, and a personalized plan. When you’re ready, pick your choice of memberships and specialty classes. And for all you early birds, this box has one of the earliest classes in the city, kicking off pre-sunrise at 5am. Get in your workout before the rest of the city rolls out of bed.
With t-shirts that say ‘Social Club’, this gym isn’t afraid to work and play together. Besides WODs, they have workout parties and aren’t afraid to bring out the grill… or the karaoke. They also foster a “come one, come all” culture, highlighted by their various program offerings like Barbell Bettys—strength training for women coached by women—and Legends, strength and conditioning for ages 50-80. Their Foundations class is free—six classes over two weeks—and required for newcomers.
CrossFit MPH believes that “human capacity knows no limits.” Test yours at one of their free workouts every Saturday at 12pm. Beyond their standard classes, they offer On-Ramp classes to bolster technique and an Essentials class, which is a bit slower-paced. If you’re looking to dial in your diet, they’ve got you covered with their MPH Nutrition program and in-house certified nutritional consultants. With customized plans for competitors, yoga, barbell classes, and a teen-friendly program, it’s clear CrossFit MPH puts a lot of effort into being limitless.
With an emphasis on strong fundamentals and moving with integrity, learn about doing common things uncommonly well at this box. Drop in for a free intro class and see what all the Hierarchy hype is about. When you’re ready to commit, you’ll go through the mandatory one-week Foundations Program, diving into skill development and the fundamental moves of CrossFit. A popular community, their first location in Adams Morgan was bursting at the seams, so they opened a new one in Ivy City. Swing by either location and experience their “Together We Rise” vibe in person.
**Updated by Tarah Romano, December 2018
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