I never thought I’d be a “fitness person.” The thought of going to the gym always intimidated me. Whenever I tried to go to work out in my early to mid-20s, I usually try a class once, would struggle to keep up, and then I was too intimidated to ever return to the studio.
After struggling with anxiety and being diagnosed with IBS, I decided that working out was a necessity for me. Not only does it help calm my nerves, but it helps me get the much-needed endurance and stamina to get through some of my toughest travel assignments. Over the last few months, it’s been exciting to see myself get stronger and achieve some personal bests at my favorite fitness studios.
My workout studio of choice? I’m a member of Orangetheory Fitness. Since I’m on the road a lot, I love that I can go to any OTF studio in the country with my membership. However, when I’m in the District, here are some of the best workout classes in DC that I love going to:
Best Workout Classes in DC
305 Fitness is a dance/cardio class that is incredibly fun, but is also pretty challenging! They have a live DJ, and they spin the best jams. It almost feels like you’re at a party, and you’re working (and doing a small amount of twerking!) in the most fun, supportive environment. Whenever I come out of this class, I am dripping in sweat, and it burns quite a bit of calories! Grab your besties, and give this class a try.
It was tough to choose just one barre studio, but if we’re narrowing it down to classes in D.C. proper, I’d have to say that barre3 is the studio of choice for me. I love that they combine yoga, pilates, and ballet techniques in their unique workout. Being able to meditate during class helped me mentally, and I also find the weights section to be a bit more challenging than some other barre classes I’ve taken in the past.
If you’re counting Virginia, I’m a big fan of Xtend Barre, too — they have locations in Arlington and Alexandria. It was tough to narrow this one down!
If you want to let off some steam, give Rumble a try: it’s a boxing-inspired group workout that allows you to let it all out, honey! I’m not going to lie: I find it to be incredibly challenging, but the staff and the atmosphere is incredible, and it will make you want to challenge yourself and keep getting better.
Phew. Solidcore is hands down the hardest workout I’ve done in the District. Actually, it might be the toughest workout I’ve ever done. And yes, I’ve worked with personal trainers in the past! It is described as “a 50-minute high intensity, low impact resistance training workout classes using slow and purposeful movements targeting the core.” You use a piece of equipment that is similar to a pilates reformer during the workout, and use resistance to strengthen your muscles.
If you’ve never tried this workout before, definitely take a beginner class! Also, it would be ideal if you’re able to hold a plank for 60 seconds before trying this class out.
Out of all of these studios that are mentioned, this one is 100% local to the District, and a workout you won’t be able to do anywhere else in the country.
What I love about SWEAT DC is that not only is it a challenging workout, but it also has a very inclusive and welcoming environment. Everyone is welcome to their studio: regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. They also have different types of workouts to try: Upper Body, Lower Body, Total Body, HIIT, and Strong. The coaches were incredibly knowledgable and were able to provide great modifications for my wrists and knees so that I could keep up with the class.
What do you think are the best workout classes in DC? Let me know in a comment below!
Photos by Tom McGovern