Two important steps kick off every group class at Crossfit Bethesda. Everyone warms up, and then the instructor reviews the day's workout, which should always come as a bit of a surprise. "Routine" isn't in the lexicon for these certified coaches; instead, they come up with a different series of exercises every day to keep their students challenged and motivated. They draw on gymnastics, weightlifting, and cardiovascular training to design these regimens, all of which can boost stamina and obliterate fat.
Though always new, the classes shouldn't leave anyone lost in a field of kettlebells. The trainers walk among students during every class to ensure each person performs the movements correctly. For more one-on-one attention, Crossfit Bethesda's team also leads personal-training sessions and gives nutritional guidance.
Equipment: TRX, kettlebells, dumbbells, free weights
Students should bring: Bottle of water
Average class length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1?5 people
Class location: Mix of indoor and outdoor classes
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: No
Parking: Metered street parking
The trainers at FitCrush believe you're never too old or too young to get into shape. Held in a Grand Ballroom, the workouts focus on body inner and outer balance exercises such as child's pose, planks, and downward facing dog, and each routine is tweaked to help participants reach their individual goals. Cardio-minded students can also become a member of the Morning Run Club, which meets at Whole Foods Bethesda on Saturdays from 8 a.m.-9 a.m. and ends with breakfast courtesy of Whole Foods.
The instructors at Follow Yoga believe that their students should incorporate wellness programs into their daily lives, which is why they offer a variety of class options including yoga, Pilates, and Zumba. During each session, instructors help students reach their goals, whether they want to relax or strengthen and tone their muscles.
CEO Peter Harvey believes that a quality gym staff must demonstrate more than technical expertise. "Service doesn't only mean showing someone how to do an arm curl," he says. Certified personal trainers develop workouts that zero in on each person?s specific goals, giving clients the skills to pole-vault over impassable plateaus. By steadfastly refusing to hand out fish in favor of putting on master classes in fishing, they help clients become self-sufficient, educating them on fundamentals.
During these one-on-one sessions, and in solo workouts, guests set calories ablaze atop rows of continually updated equipment. Treadmills, recumbent bikes, and strength-training tools line the walls.
Members can also drop in for as many group classes as they can muster. Inside a separate studio, stationary cycles whir in time with galvanizing music, kickboxing strikes arc through the air, and barbells rise with each BodyPump rep. For more meditative practices, Pilates sessions and several types of yoga enhance flexibility and focus.
My Gym, which currently has more than 200 international locations, began more than 20 years ago as a structured place for children to safely play, acquire new skills, and romp off a sugar buzz. All classes are organized according to age level?starting as young as 6 months?and designed to incorporate the latest physiological and psychological research. Tiny Tykes gets babies moving with help from their parents, Mighty Mites teaches toddlers self-reliance and beginning sports skills, and Champions, a class for kids aged 6 to 9, emphasizes the importance of using teamwork to master more complex sports skills and achieve group goals such as building a human pyramid to reach the cookie jar. My Gym's energetic instructors are experts at using music, dance, and gymnastics to build youngsters' strength and self-esteem while stimulating their giggle-plexes. The noncompetitive environment fosters creativity, and hands-on activities boost children's learning retention and fun quotient.