Barking orders for more than 20 years, The Sergeant's Program's head sergeant Chuck Dyson and his dedicated troop of more than 50 sergeants and personal trainers transform figures with military-style fitness sessions. The program provides a knowledgeable instructor to lead recruits through cardio, core, flexibility, stabilization, and resistance training while creating camaraderie amongst fellow fitness platooners. Though each day is fueled with running drills and calisthenics, Mondays and Fridays will be focused on increasing lower body and flank strength and Tuesdays and Thursdays will be geared toward upper body workouts. Cardio-intensive Wednesdays are solely dedicated to getting the heart pumping, sweat streaming, and reshaping rumps flattened by years in stagecoach-driver seats. Although the sergeants utilize a tough-love approach to push clients to their fullest fitness factor, the atmosphere is kept personable by their injections of light-hearted humor and giggling quartets of chipmunks.
The staff at CrossFit Falls Church come from diverse backgrounds, from competitive swimming to law enforcement to economic research. But when it comes to everyone who walks through the doors, they are of the same mind—they want to help others get fit and will offer any tips and encouragement they can. CrossFit Falls Church offers private and group classes, employing CrossFit's scalable, constantly changing workouts that test and tune up both physical strength and conditioning. For calmer but still beneficial workouts, yoga classes boost flexibility.
Unyong Kim regards every event in her life as an influence that has molded her teaching model, from conquering the fear of public speaking to crossing the finish line at the Marine Corps Marathon. She pours all her wisdom and experience into her yoga classes, which are designed to promote relaxation for her students. She tries to teach yoga as a state of mind, rather than a series of postures, packaging it as a meditative practice for personal benefit and an attitude that can inform life off the mat.
The core of Unyong's training still takes place in the classroom, though. She has a series designed to promote a calm state of mind, a series to challenge the body, and a series built around family-style games such as horseshoes, where dad is the pole and little Billy is the horseshoe.
The goal at Brickhouse Cardio Club, according to its website, “is to ditch the workout and have a party in every class.” To do this, the trainers crank up energetic dance music on the full sound system so it reverberates through every plank of the joint-friendly flooring, motivating the students to power through the Zumba, PiYo Strength, INSANITY, and TRX Suspension Training classes. This unconventional approach to fitness also surfaces in the friendly trainers’ dedication to cultivating a supportive community of members, as well as creating a welcoming space free from ogling gym rats.
In 2011, three old high school buddies—Jason, Scott, and George—started 5 Rings Fitness, adopting a no-nonsense approach to exercise. Over the years, they've upgraded their space and expanded their roster of workouts, but their core philosophy has not changed. Today visitors come in for CrossFit workouts, personal training sessions, and competitive strength training, pushing themselves to achieve their goals in a no-frills facility that gives off a tough, industrial vibe.
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.