The first sweat broke during Round 1, which was three minutes of jumping rope. Easy right? Well, when’s the last time you jumped rope for three minutes?
The three minutes of elevated “plank jacks” — supported on your elbows, springing your legs in and out — really got the blood moving. By Round 4, the gloves were on and I was hitting a punching bag suspended from the ceiling and anchored to the floor. Right jab, right jab, left punch…
Five more rounds, or stations, to go.
By the time my 30 minutes was over I had finished a nine station workout that had me throwing combination punches, kicking heavy bags and challenging every part of my body.
And it was fun, above everything else, even though I had no idea what I was doing for the first 20 seconds of each round.
That’s the motivational concept behind the four Arlington and Falls Church locations of 9Round Fitness. The idea is to make a workout efficient (30 minutes, max; no appointment time, you drop in when you can and start right away), safe (a trainer is on the floor at all times to help with techniques) and fun (yes, hitting a heavy bag is fun).
While the signature movements are based on boxing and kickboxing be advised that no one hits anyone else, ever.
“We’re not a kickboxing or fight gym,” says co-owner Rob Graveline, who grew up in Arlington. “It’s a 30-minute, full-body workout with a trainer included. We’re not hitting each other or making contact. We’re for all levels: You don’t have to be an elite athlete or an MMA fighter in training to appreciate this workout.”
The idea is to keep the body moving in a strategically designed sequence that incorporates different motions to achieve maximum results, namely calorie burn and muscle development.
The nine workout stations are modeled on nine rounds of boxing; a timer on the overhead sound system keeps everyone apprised as to how many seconds are left in their three-minute round, and when the bell rings, you have 30 seconds of “active resting” to get to the next station.
I was brand new to boxing technique but in the 30 seconds between rounds Graveline was able to show me the basics of what I was going to do for the next three minutes.
Thankfully, you don’t have to be versed in gym-lingo to understand the instructions. In my case, I completed each station successfully, if a bit sweaty and out of breath, but was well aware that my technique was monstrously beginner. With practice my technique would improve and I would get the maximum benefit from the exercise.
The exercises on the circuit change daily, so those dropping in three, four or five times a week get a completely new workout each time. And yes, you can drop in as often as you like, and without appointments, a huge luxury in the personal training world.
Membership rates are based on how long you want to invest in yourself: The longer the commitment, the lower the rate. Included in the membership is a surprising number of value-adds, such as a heart-rate monitor to target fat-burning zone (calories burned, heart rate, effort level and other data); nutritional guidance and one-on-one nutritional support; an online meal planner; and 9Round instructional videos and podcasts.
Your gloves and wraps are included in the membership fee.
As for Graveline, a career trainer for 27 years, enjoys motivating people to reach their goals. For him, he fell for the 9 Round concept as soon as he heard about it.
“It’s one of those things where everybody can do it,” he says, adding that one client is an 85-year-old woman. “We’re there to modify it to your ability to keep it safe and fun.”
And nobody gets hit.
A single membership is good for all three Arlington/Falls Church locations:
- 2250 Clarendon Blvd, Suite L, Courthouse: 703-276-9763. Link
- 2501 9th Road South, Suite 65, Penrose: Link
- 972 North Quincy Street, Ballston: 703-276-9763. Link
- 6649 Arlington Blvd, Falls Church: 703-276-9763. Link
An Old Town Alexandria location is expected to open this summer. Email Rob Graveline at [email protected] for more information
The preceding was a business profile written by Buzz McClain and sponsored by 9 Round.
(Updated at 10:53 a.m.) A new fitness studio is now open on the ground floor of the Beacon at Clarendon apartment building.
The business, Neighborhood Barre, opened its doors at 1148 N. Irving Street about two weeks ago, according to franchise owner Eileen McCarthy.
Neighborhood Barre offers workouts that mix dance conditioning, pilates and isometric exercise techniques. This is the first D.C.-area gym for the company, which has locations in Tennessee and Alabama.
McCarthy, a longtime barre enthusiast, said she got the idea to open the studio after many years of trying different kinds of exercise routines.
“I had been doing barre workouts on my own,” McCarthy said. “It was a big stress reliever for me. It’s intense, but it’s not off-the-wall intense.”
The ballet-inspired barre workouts are suitable for people of any fitness level, she added.
Though she considered several other locations, McCarthy said opening a fitness studio in Clarendon was a “no brainer.”
“It’s just such a good mix of people and densely populated,” she said.
Neighborhood Barre currently offers five classes each weekday and three classes on Saturday and Sunday, but more classes are on the way, McCarthy said.
Clarendon is slated to get a new gym by the end of the month.
Orangetheory Fitness will officially open its doors at 3001 Washington Blvd on Oct. 30, according to franchise owner Mark Steverson.
To help promote the new fitness center, Orangetheory will offer special “founding member” pricing and a free week of classes from Oct 22-29. The gym will also host a grand opening party with freebies and vendors on Oct. 29, Steverson added.
Orangetheory specializes in one-hour group workouts where exercisers row, run and lift weights to boost their endurance and strength. Each participant wears a heart rate monitor during the workout to maximize calorie burn.
Those looking to sign up for a free class or get more information about membership packages can contact the gym by phone at 202-868-6767 or by email.
Imagine your meals being prepared by fitness trainers who eat like gourmets.
No, plain chicken breast and steamed broccoli are not on the menu. But you would expect good, clean protein, a lively variety of vegetables and fruit, all of it seasonal and flavorful and sourced at local farms that eschew chemicals.
Even if you are not a gym rat, Crossfit enthusiast or marathoner — and even if your idea of exercise is your nightly walk with the dog (that counts!) — MightyMeals will bring to you freshly prepared, multi-course meals and snacks created with meats and produce from nearby small farmers that will improve your lifestyle by adding time and nutrition to your busy schedule.
Hence the motto, “Where quality meets convenience.”
And as it happens, MightyMeals was founded by two fitness trainers — Dan Graziano and Alex Lebonitte — who stumbled onto a viable startup business when Graziano, as a favor, cooked meals for a few of his fitness clients. Their enthusiastic response led him to conclude, happily for the rest of us, a home-delivery prepared-food service is cheaper than opening a gym.
Chef Stefano Marzano, also a founding owner who learned his craft at his family’s longtime Washington Italian eatery Luigi’s, brings an experienced hand and versatile culinary skills to the kitchen.
Clients throughout Northern Virginia, stimulated by the quality and preparation, not to mention the health-conscious portion control and the ever-changing menu, have signed on to the year-old business to have their orders either delivered to their doors on Sundays or arranged for pick up at locations throughout the region, including several convenient locations in Arlington.
Because of the rapid acceptance, the company has been able to leverage its scale to purchase quality meats and vegetables from local producers — including Cibola Farm, Parting Ridge Farm, Saddle Ridge Farm, Whippoorwill Farm and the famed Polyface Farm — at rates that allow MightyMeals to price their rotating 14 entrees and snacks at reasonable prices.
For example: Jerk chicken with mango salsa, lemon pepper bistro steak with Brussels sprouts and pasteurized bacon, and bison lasagna are about $10. Penne primavera with beef and bison meatballs? About $10. Cobb salad with free-range chicken or grass-fed truffle burger? About $10.
Among the menu categories are “lean,” “farm to table,” “Paleo friendly,” “protein packed” as well as vegetarian and gluten free. Graziano says clients report that children enjoy the meals as much as their grownup dinner companions.
Graziano, who looks every bit the fitness trainer that he is, says the name of the service was intentionally “not too masculine and not too feminine. But we wanted something strong.”
MightyMeals. It would seem they’ve cooked up a good idea.
The preceding was a local business profile written by Buzz McClain and sponsored by MightyMeals.
Indoor rowing gym RowVigor has opened its first location, a “pop-up” studio in Clarendon.
The studio, located inside the Saffron Dance studio at 3260 Wilson Blvd, will offer free trials and promotional packages through the end of the summer.
One of the company’s three founders, Kevin Allen, was a contestant on the second season of Donald Trump’s The Apprentice reality show. He suggested that indoor rowing could be the next big trend in the fitness industry.
“Rowing as fitness has been in the dark for too long and our vision is to bring it to the light starting first with those communities that have known the benefits for years,” said Allen. “Cities like Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Cleveland have strong on-water rowing communities and are starving for an organized indoor experience that can connect them with rowing fitness enthusiast around the world. We are excited to be the entity to fill this need.”
The studio will have eight Concept 2 rowing machines and it offers a variety of different classes during the early mornings and late afternoons.
The company’s press release is below.
Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland will have an opportunity to experience the area’s first indoor-rowing fitness studio at the ROWViGOR™ “Pop Up” located in Arlington, Virginia. Starting today and through the end of summer they will be offering free trials and promotional packages.
ROWViGOR™ is building a presence in the DC / Virginia metro area to support the growing need for a fitness experience that builds community through technology and rowing. Top fitness experiences like CrossFit™ already use indoor rowing as an essential part of their mix but ROWViGOR™ believes it deserves it’s own environment. The “Pop Up” will open August 1, just three blocks from the Clarendon metro station inside Saffron Studio at 3260 Wilson Blvd. Open to all skill levels, individuals can choose to row for fitness as an individual or as a team.
Technology and data collection will help drive goal setting and camaraderie. With a small group training philosophy, the studio will have eight Concept 2 Rowers. Coaches are hand selected and trained through an exclusive program developed by rowing and fitness professionals specifically for ROWViGOR™. The experience will include dynamic music, innovative interval training and most important, great fun. The low-impact high efficient cardiovascular workouts strengthen and tone upper and lower body while packing an intense fat burn.
“Rowing as fitness has been in the dark for too long and our vision is to bring it to the light starting first with those communities that have known the benefits for years. Cities like Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Cleveland have strong on-water rowing communities and are starving for an organized indoor experience that can connect them with rowing fitness enthusiast around the world. We are excited to be the entity to fill this need.” – Kevin Allen ROWViGOR™ Managing Partner
Founded in 2016 by Kevin Allen (Donald Trump’s Season 2 The Apprentice), Fola Awosika and Moses McCall, The partners realized the fitness benefits of rowing and how data based technology would lead and enhance our fitness choices. With strong support from notable rowing expert Libby Peters, (Founder of Philadelphia CityRowing, University Penn Assistant Rowing Coach and 2nd Coach to the US 2016 Olympic Rowing Team) they plan to break the boundaries of rowing and open it up to new generations and new communities. #RespectYourVigor
Photo courtesy of RowVigor
The Earth Treks climbing gym in Crystal City is expected to open soon, perhaps by late July.
ARLnow reported last year that the gym in Crystal City was expected to open in “late spring,” however the opening date has since been pushed back.
“We’re presently targeting the second half of July,” said Earth Treks VP Chris Jenkins. “We’re in the home stretch, but I still don’t have an exact date.”
He said the company may wait a month or two after the gym’s initial opening to hold a grand opening event.
“We are going to have a member’s ‘grand opening’ party, but not immediately after we open,” said Jenkins. “As it would be open to members primarily we like to have a little breathing space between when we open the doors and when we have our first big event celebrating it so we have some time to build the membership base.”
The gym features a 35,000-square-foot climbing area along with training areas, dedicated yoga and group fitness rooms and private climbing teaching areas.
This will be Earth Treks’ first Virginia location. The company has three other gyms in Maryland, located in Rockville, Timonium, and Columbia.
Photos courtesy Earth Treks
The fourth Arlington location of Orangetheory Fitness is coming to Clarendon in early October.
Store manger Alex Shabo said that opening in October “is our game plan right now, it all depends on how construction goes.”
The gym will be located at 3001 Washington Blvd, in the ground floor of the building.
Orangetheory specializes in one hour group interval workouts that are half cardio endurance and half strength and power. The workouts use a combination of rowing machines, treadmills, free weights and a suspension system. Each participant wears a heart rate monitor during the workout to maximize calorie burn.
Pre-sale membership sign-ups are expected to begin at the Clarendon location in late July.
Arlington resident Eugene Kahn turned 100 in November, but that hasn’t changed his three-day-a-week exercise habit at the Ballston Sport and Health Club.
Kahn joined the Sport and Health Club at Skyline in 1980 after retiring from his job at the Pentagon. However, in 1995 he transferred to the Ballston location, which is closer to his East Falls Church home, after he stopped driving.
Kahn said he owes his longevity to “incredible good luck,” perhaps in addition to some healthy life choices.
“I quit smoking pipes at 60 so maybe that’s one of the secrets,” said Kahn.
Sport and Health has become something of a second home for Kahn. The entire staff knows him and treats him like gym royalty. Customers show deference too — getting up to allow Kahn to use his usual machines, if need be.
Kahn performs his workouts alone but occasionally consults with trainers at Sport and Health Club to change up his weekly routine.
“I am very impressed with this facility, the people are wonderful. They are friendly and they greet you when you walk in,” he said.
While Kahn doesn’t consider himself much of an athlete, he has been exercising since starting his job at the Pentagon in 1961. During his lunch breaks at the Pentagon, he would swim for an hour and half in the Pentagon’s gym.
These days, when Kahn isn’t at Sport and Health, he’s typically at home doing chores around his house — except on Mondays, when he plays golf.
Although originally from New Jersey, Kahn and his wife of 74 years — she’s also a centenarian — have been living in the same house in Arlington since 1961. He plans to be there, still keeping up on chores, for the foreseeable future.
“I’m on my second pacemaker and this one is going to last for 12 years, so I’m not worried,” he said.
A new gym and wellness center that focuses on holistic approaches and family-friendliness has opened along Columbia Pike.
Husband-and-wife team Nina and Christian Elliot founded True Health and Wholeness to provide people with a “one stop shop” for all health and fitness needs. “Our goal is to provide a place where people can get true and sustainable answers to really change their lifestyle, said Nina Elliot.
True Health and Wholeness provides fitness, food, wellness and education services. Fitness services include personal training, small group training and large group workouts. Fitness classes such as barre and yoga are offered. Cooking classes and nutritional coaching are services that are provided to members.
Wellness services include: naturopathy, massage, acupuncture, cranial sacral, muscle activation techniques, infrared sauna, ionic foot soaks and food sensitivity testing. Education workshops are provided as well as lifestyle transformation coaching and corporate wellness programs.
“By giving people more access to different things in one place, it gives us a way to mix all those passions of our own health and wanting to have a family environment,” said Christian Elliot.
A unique part of the gym is that there are fitness programs geared toward children. The Kid Fit program allows for children to gain coordination and fitness skills. The program will be starting in the fall and are age based skill applied groups. Kid Summer Camp will be starting in July. There is also an area called the “Little Nest” where children 6 weeks to 18 months old are cared for while a member exercises.
The gym also gives back to the community as much as they can. In honor of National Purple Heart Day on August 7, True Health and Wholeness will identify two combat wounded Purple Heart recipients and present a certificate for one year of free Pilates classes. The spouse of a wounded veteran may be substituted to receive this offer.
“This is a passion that also helps other people change their lives,” said Christian Elliot.
Report: Toddler Left in Car Suffered Burns — The Annandale man charged in the death of his girlfriend’s two-year-old daughter was watching TV and drinking beer as the child sat forgotten in his car, NBC 4 reports. He was also driving on a revoked license. The girl had a body temperature of 107 when she was rushed to the hospital and had second-degree burns from the car seat. [NBC Washington]
Park Aides Get Banning Powers — Park ranger aides in Arlington now have the legal authority to ban people from parks. The County Board voted earlier this month to add aides to the list of county personnel with powers of attorney for the “Park Safe” program. Offenders who violate the ban — which is typically levied on those who repeatedly violate park rules — can be charged with criminal trespassing. [InsideNova]
Moon Bounce Opportunity — Arlington County will be holding a “Fitness Day in the Park” at Alcova Heights Park on Saturday. The event will include games, nutrition and fitness demos, an inflatable rock wall and a moon bounce. [Arlington County]
Festival Argentino in Arlington — The 2016 Argentine Festival will be held at the Thomas Jefferson Community Theater (125 S. Old Glebe Road) on Saturday, May 14. The event will feature traditional food, exhibitions, music and dance. Tickets are $20 in advance. [Festival Argentino USA]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
Another barre studio is coming to Arlington.
Xtend Barre, which has existing locations in Alexandria, D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood and Bel Air, Maryland, is coming to 2008 Wilson Blvd, on the ground floor of the 2001 Clarendon Blvd apartment building. Construction is underway but no opening date has been announced.
“We’re opening with almost 40 classes on the schedule including our signature Xtend Barre class, Xtend Technique, Xtend Stick, Xtend Suspend and Xtend Petites,” the company said on its website. “We are incredibly excited to announce our opening day and we can’t wait to meet you at the barre!”
The owner of the studio, Kelly Wilkinson, said she discovered the ballet-based barre workout about a year ago and fell in love with it. “It was fun, energetic and made me sweat,” she in a blog post.
Xtend Barre joins a growing list of barre studios in Arlington. Among them are Lava Barre, down the street in Rosslyn; Neighborhood Barre, which is coming to Clarendon; plus Pure Barre and Barre Tech, also in Clarendon.
“Neighborhood Barre is a unique workout that combines dance conditions, pilates, and isometric weight training to carve and sculpt the muscles of the arms, legs, seat, and abs,” said the website. “We are also a fitness boutique carrying a range of apparel from brands such as Beyond Yoga, Alo, and Splits59.”
This is the first D.C. area gym for the company, which has existing locations in Tennessee and Alabama.
Photo courtesy Ian B.
Sweetgreen applied for its construction permit on the 12th Street S. side of the building on Feb. 24. Orangetheory applied for a permit on the S. Fern Street side of the building on April 1.
The 12th Street extension between S. Eads and Fern streets is rapidly becoming a powerhouse retail corridor, even though it’s a block from an existing, expanding retail hub: the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall. A Whole Foods and a Commonwealth Joe coffee shop will be opening this summer on 12th Street S., at The Bartlett apartment building.
Vida Fitness Coming to Ballston? — D.C.-based Vida Fitness is reportedly planning a 30,000 square foot gym in Ballston. The plan depends on County Board approval of a site plan amendment for the as-yet-unbuilt final building in the Liberty Center development. Given the high office vacancy rate, local developer Shooshan Co. is proposing to reconfigure what would have been a 20-story office building into a 22-story building that mixes residential, office and retail space. [Washington Business Journal]
‘WeLive’ Close to Opening in Crystal City — WeWork recently opened its new coworking space at 2221 S. Clark Street in Crystal City. Now, the company is nearing an opening for “WeLive,” a communal living space in the same building. WeLive is opening “very soon” and the company is now giving tours to prospective tenants, we hear. A second WeLive location, in Manhattan, recently opened for “beta testing.” [Fast Company]
Rail Was Once Planned for Columbia Pike — In the 1950s planners envisioned Columbia Pike as a rail corridor. That plan was scrapped when Metro was built and the Blue and Yellow lines ran south instead of west. In 2014, of course, a planned streetcar system for the Pike was also nixed. [InsideNova]
County Board Campaign Gets Underway — County Board Chair Libby Garvey and her Democratic primary challenger, Erik Gutshall, both held campaign events on Columbia Pike over the weekend. Garvey said getting out the vote will be the key to victory in the June 14 primary. [InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by Eric
Chances are, as you walk or drive down Wilson Boulevard, you had no idea bodies and lives are being transformed under Boulevard Woodgrill and British Goodies.
But they are. One flight down in the rear of the busy city corner is a 1,200-square-foot gymnasium where men and women work up a sweat under the watchful eyes of certified, motivated trainers whose own goals are to help their clients achieve their goals.
Clarendon Fitness, with its emphasis on old-school equipment, custom-designed programs and up-to-the-minute modern fitness concepts, is far from any “lunk zone” or national chain gym full of aerobic machines and indifferent personnel more interested in your paid-up membership status than your personal achievements.
Founder and owner and head trainer Pascal Laporte, who opened his first gym in 2007, describes the atmosphere and attitude of the gym as friendly and fun, “but we take fitness seriously. We watch every movement the client makes, and that’s what separates us from a big-box facility.”
Clients are matched with a personal trainer who specializes in the client’s particular targeted achievements. “We have a multi-trainer system that allows people to progress quickly to their goals with a specialist,” Laporte said. “If we start you off with a fat-loss program, you might eventually move to a corrective exercise program and then you might be inspired enough to train for a marathon. You’ll work with a different trainer during each phase of your success, someone who already knows who you are and understands you through collaboration with the other trainers.”
New clients to personal training might not know a dumb bell from a kettle bell, and the intimidation factor can prevent them from beginning a life-changing transformation. Laporte’s staff is trained to educate clients and they thoroughly explain not just how to do the exercises but also why they are doing them. This education goes beyond teaching how to do dead lifts and squats: They also provide advice on nutrition, recovery, stamina and other aspects of overall health and well-being.
And those who are already well versed in fitness, powerlifting or competitive sports will find Clarendon Fitness’ programming useful in sharpening their skills and reaching a higher level of performance.
To arrange for an initial consultation and evaluation, contact Clarendon Fitness at 2907 Wilson Boulevard at [email protected] or call 703-465-0101.
The preceding was a sponsored local business profile written by Buzz McClain for ARLnow.com.