Your workout is the most important appointment on your calendar. You never skip leg day. You’re a gym rat and proud of it, but for the love of everything good—you’re bored.
We all have days where we stare at the squat rack or treadmill without an ounce of motivation. These are the times we need to switch things up or try something new. To find a jolt of inspiration (or your newest addiction), try these innovative gyms who embrace doing things differently.
Fuse Pilates, right on 14th Street in the heart of Logan Circle, is not your average Pilates class. What makes it so special? Founder Mariska Breland also happens to be the inventor of Fuse Ladder, the newest Pilates apparatus. Students suspend themselves from various ladder rungs climbing up the wall, allowing for a full-body workout. Breland developed the prototype for the suspension mechanism in her own garage—as well as the moves to go with it! Athletes use cables and their own limbs to pull themselves into various poses, up and off the floor.
From an outsider looking in, you might mistake Urban Athletic Club’s multiple spots for just another HIIT gym. Think again. What makes this spot unique is the trainers care about repair and recovery as much as they do about burpees. If you love working out like a mad(wo)man, but you’re constantly battling a score of injuries, check out their Reset program. They use a combination of lacrosse balls, bands, and mobility techniques to keep you at peak performance. You’ll get an insane workout while learning to self-treat injuries to improve your day-to-day living.
Cut Seven is the only gym in DC combining the science and efficiency of split training with the camaraderie of a team. Each HIIT-style circuit focuses on a different muscle group each day of the week. The result? You’ll never skip out on leg day again because an entire team is there to push you through. Since opening their doors in early 2017, owners Alex and Chris Perrin are quickly earning recognition as the most motivational couple in DC. They believe the hardest things in life cannot be conquered alone, and this mentality serves as the foundation for their Logan Circle gym.
For those of you who believe exercise is boring, give us one hour, strobe lights, and a sick playlist to change your mind. Heart-pounding music, LED lights—it sounds like a night at the 9:30 Club, but you’ll be on the opposite end of U Street. Sweatbox believes life should be a party, and each workout feels like a night out. TRX, kettlebells, and indoor cycling combine for a workout that’s high-intensity, high-energy, and high-volume.
Ever heard of Parkour? People jumping around buildings, doing flips off a guardrail—ring any bells? That’s because no Washingtonian is doing a flip in their suit en route to The Hill (unless they’re being chased by Secret Service). If, however, this workout has you raising eyebrows, Primal Fitness in NOMA will teach you to master the movement. From Foundations to Flip Friday, Parkour classes are offered to beginners and experts alike.
Combine the interval training you get from Orangetheory, the power you get from CrossFit, and the core stability you get from [solidcore] and you have Reformation Fitness. Carved out of a townhome in Mt. Vernon (with the original exposed brick still intact), this multi-level fitness studio combines all your favorite workouts in one location. TRX, spin, HIIT, sprints, and even reformer classes fuse together for one killer program—ensuring you get the best results without getting bored.
ROWViGOR is DC’s first indoor rowing gym, and they’re here to prove you’ve been rowing all wrong. Sticklers for precision, instructors at this Clarendon gym will teach you the proper technique and science behind rowing. If you think your CrossFit gym taught you correct form, you’re in for a surprise (we sure were). Can’t imagine rowing for forty-five minutes straight? Have no fear: Each class combines intervals, weight training, and even yoga or kettle bells, depending on your class of choice.
Considering yoga has existed for five thousand years (give or take), you’re probably wondering how a yoga studio made this list. Flying high in Courthouse and Fairfax, Spark Yoga is DC’s only aerial yoga studio. You’ll learn to fly through various inversions, all while being suspended above the floor. Fliers can also partake in Spark Yoga’s other offerings—including Vinyasa, power yoga, and barre classes.
Have you ever scrolled through your Insta Feed and thought, “There has got to be something missing from my fitness routine”? That’s why Missi Wolf, weight loss success story and founder of Blast in Georgetown, designed a program around three pillars: Nutrition, conditioning, and group support. The Blast program is laser-focused—each new member undergoes complete metabolic testing. You’ll know your benchmarks from the start, then track your progress regularly to ensure you physically see results.
Off Road is one of the top virtual reality cycling studios in DC. Sunday “Sufferfest” classes will have you traveling the world for nearly two hours, all while putting you through a gut-wrenching workout. If exploring Peru without leaving U Street doesn’t have you hooked, cycling isn’t all they have to offer. Their Bike-Box-Build program offers everything you’d get from an all-inclusive gym, with the expertise you’d expect from a personal trainer. Classes range from 30-60 minutes, allowing you to attend a boxing class and HIIT session in one day (if you can handle it).
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