A Hidden Gem for You Gym Rats

BY MARIBEL PADIAL

Union  is a popular destination for “foodies.” It’s the new epicenter of delicious cuisine with over 40 local vendors all located under one roof. The venue looks like a warehouse but inside, it’s a sea of deliciousness. On the outskirts of Union Market sit a number of popup shops and clothing vendors. Then, right next to the parking lot is a complex that looks like your run-of-the mill industrial building.

Honestly, I thought it was an abandoned building. There are virtually no signs of life around the building most days. But, lo and behold, inside may be the best and cheapest bodybuilding gym in DC.

Total Source Fitness is a full-fledged gym that not many people know exists. Over the door or on the building there are no signs. There is only a single banner chained on the fence in the front entrance. No advertisements are placed around the vicinity promoting the venue and I have yet to come across any sort of promotion in the northeast area.

TSF LOGO.jpg

Ask around the gym and all the members say they stumbled into the gym.

When I walked through the front door of the building, I was pleasantly surprised to see how massive the space was and all the equipment that was available.

The gym offers a vast amount of workout equipment, including barbells, dumbbells up to 130 pounds, squat racks, lat-pull down machines, cable pulley systems, bench presses, and more. There is also an area with cardio machines specifically, treadmills, ellipticals, rowers, and bikes. T.S.F also offers personal training classes, but there is an extra fee.

TSF Gym Layout.jpg

My favorite part is the open mat area that is available. Every time I have visited the gym I do a HIIT workout there because there is so much room for me to do my burpees, lunges, step-ups, abdominal exercises, and more. Thanks to the amount of space, I am able to workout without feeling as if I’m about to careen into other members – a rarity, as many other workout facilities do not offer a large open area for their clients.

Total Fitness Mat Picture

Another great thing about TSF is the music. In my opinion, a hard workout is so much more bearable when you have great music in the background that can help motivate you to finish the workout strong. T.S.F. has a large stereo that plays all fast paced, electric house music.

T.S.F is not a swanky gym by any means, but that is what I like most about it. All the other members are very respectful and everyone seems to have a very similar mindset when they are working out there: workout hard and go home. No one really talks to one another or disrupts anyone during their workout. I have been in gyms where people will interrupt me while I’m doing jump squats and it irritates me so much. Not at this gym. No one will bother you, which I greatly appreciate because the hour I cut out to workout is my time and I don’t like being interrupted.

T.S.F is very affordable, especially compared to the other gyms in the Washington, D.C. area. A monthly membership is $40 and there is no contract. If you want to try out the gym, they will grant you a three-day pass. T.S.F also offers a drop in rate for $10, which is the lowest price I have ever seen for drop-ins. At Vida, the drop in fee is $30 and Planet Fitness is $25.

All in all, I think T.S.F is a great facility and you guys should check it out! You may be surprised by how much you like working out there.

4 D.C. Gyms That Let You Try Before You Buy

BY MARSALIE MACKENZIE

At On the Glow, we remember a time when free trials and guest passes were considered standard fare at most gyms. You’d have the opportunity to check out the facilities, take a few classes, go on a tour, and then – if you were really interested – sit down with a sales manager and talk membership options.

However, our experience with organized fitness in D.C. has made us realize two things:

  1. A large population and a relatively small number of gyms means that the days of free passes are over; and,
  2. Most gyms not only charge full price for your first session, but they also pressure clients to purchase 6-12 month memberships by charging exorbitant drop-in fees.

To alleviate some of the pressure, and to help you make the most educated decision about where to get your sweat on, we’ve scoured the city to bring you the best free trials in Washington. Whether you’re looking to lift, stretch or spin your way to fitness, these 4 gyms are all about getting you to try before you buy!

1. CorePower Yoga

CorePower Yoga wants to be a place to call your fitness Om, which means making sure that prospective yogis receive unrestricted free access to the variety of classes and schedules available at their 3 downtown area locations. In fact, they’re so serious about your business that they offer a no-obligation week-long membership for anyone new to the studio.

The Low Down: CorePower Yoga is the Starbucks of yoga studios: consistent, convenient and cheap. While it might feel like you’re selling out to big-box yoga, one benefit of a chain is that you’re virtually guaranteed the same quality of instruction at each location (which is more than we can say for some other studios in the city).

With prime locations like CityCentre, Dupont Circle and Georgetown, CorePower makes it easy to squeeze in a yoga sesh during the workday. Out of town on business? No problem! CorePower membership gives you full access to classes at each of their 150 locations across the U.S.

2. Crossfit

dcf

While Crossfit boxes are notorious for their community-driven programming, no two are exactly the same. That’s why most Crossfit gyms offer free introductory classes to help prospective members find the right fit.

Some of our favourite boxes in the city include: District Crossfit, Crossfit DC (multiple locations) and Crossfit Balance (multiple locations). These boxes are not only beginner friendly, but offer alternative programming to suit a multitude of needs, including fat loss and flexibility.

The Low Down: Crossfit is technically challenging and the coaches at each box undergo rigorous training to attain their certification. As a result, the cost of monthly memberships is easily double what you would pay at a Globo Gym. That said, the one-on-one instruction during a 60 minute workout is the closest thing you’ll get to personal training for $25 an hour. Our advice? Pay the money up front and learn to lift properly – your body will thank you later. 

3. Zengo DC 

Zengo cycle has a unique membership model: instead of a monthly fee, they ask clients to buy credits to put towards classes. With so many cycling studios in the city charging upwards of $150 a month for unlimited classes, this program allows clients to pay for only what they use.

Since the demand for efficient cardio workouts is at an all time high, it’s little wonder that most cycling studios forgo free trials in lieu of a slightly reduced rate on your first drop-in session; however, Zengo cycle bucks this trend by offering would-be spin enthusiasts an opportunity to try out their signature 50 minute class free of charge.

The Low Down: Zengo cycle has 5 studios in the DMV, but only two are located downtown (North west, specifically). It’s definitely more of a local spin studio than a convenient stop on your commute home – but that doesn’t seem to deter people from flocking to their morning and evening classes.

The studio is busy and high energy, and people rave about the 50 minute full-body workout. Just remember to bring $3 for shoe rental if you don’t sport clip-in cycling shoes regularly. 

4. Vida Fitness

vida

Vida fitness prides itself on being a Globo Gym with an old school health club feel. With amenities like rooftop pools, spas and juice bars at their new U Street and Yards locations, Vida easily ranks top of the big-box fitness franchise market.

With so much competition from boutique fitness clubs, Vida wants prospective members to see for themselves the benefits of belonging to a traditional gym. Stop by in person, or fill out an inquiry online, and a Vida representative will contact you the next day to schedule a free trial.

The Low Down: Yes, the membership coordinators can be a little pushy, but what do you expect when you’re dealing directly with a sales team? Plus, they’re generally pretty accommodating if you’re looking to try a few specific classes.

All in all, Vida offers a wide variety of classes at 6 prime locations downtown. If the reasonable membership rates and modern facilities don’t convince you to give this gym a try, we’re sure the Penthouse pool will.

 

 

 

Workout Wednesdays: A Run For Everyone

BY MARSALIE MACKENZIE

rooseveltisland

As I see it, there are two types of runners in this world: hard-core nature lovers and snack-loving people watchers.

I’m most definitely the latter, so you can imagine my surprise when my fiancé, an avid trail runner, agreed to lace up his sneakers and head over to Rosslyn with me for a jog.

I make it sound really exotic, but the truth is that Roosevelt Island is only a 10 minute drive from downtown D.C. Nestled on the Potomac between Rosslyn and Georgetown, the Island is a tiny wooded oasis of tall leafy trees, pebble beaches and attractive couples walking their dogs. It’s also the perfect place for anyone looking to get out of the city and get back to nature.

The route:Roosevelt Island pic

Park your car (for free) and run over the foot bridge to Roosevelt Island.

Take the wooded path that runs along the perimeter of the Island and complete one round-trip.

Once you’ve returned to the parking lot, hang a right, and you’ll see a steep path leading to the Francis Scott Key Bridge. Run across the bridge and take in some spectacular views of the DC skyline.

Continue along the board walk until you hit Fiola Mare restaurant (or you get bored of people watching). Then reverse your course back to your car!

Total Distance: 4.5 miles