Arlington, VA

A vacant storefront under the Penrose Square Apartments on Columbia Pike (2501 9th Road S.) is currently bulking up for a transformation into an F45 gym.

F45 is a gym franchise that started in Australia and has been expanding throughout the D.C. region, with recently-opened locations in Ballston and Tysons. The new gym is underneath the Giant grocery store on the second floor of the complex, sandwiched between a barber shop and a dry cleaner.

Trip O’Connell is the very enthusiastic managing partner of the Penrose F45. He also manages the U Street F45, which opened a little over a year ago.

“We were the first location in D.C.,” O’Connell said. “It’s been going great. We have a lot of people in the area who liked the vibe and wanted more.”

O’Connell said he turned his attention across the Potomac, where there were already successful F45 gyms like the one at Pentagon Row.

“Finding locations is tough,” O’Connell said. “There’s a lot of new builds going on in Maryland and D.C. and Virginia, but those locations always jack rents up.”

O’Connell said that he was lucky to find the space in Penrose that had previously been occupied by 9round Fitness, a boxing-oriented gym. Currently, O’Connell and his partner are in California getting final approvals from the F45 HQ, but if things go smoothly he hopes to start a pre-marketing campaign on May 15.

“We’re hoping to start running people through test classes,” said O’Connell. “If that goes smoothly, we’re looking at an opening mid-June.”

The plan is to offer first-time visitors a two-week free trial on which they can take as many classes as they want. After that, membership is $55 per week for unlimited access to the gym or $45 for those purchasing membership for those signing up to the gym early on.

It can sound like a steep price, especially with the $10 per month Planet Fitness moving in nearby at Pentagon Row, but O’Connell said the program offers a specialized workout routine.

“The F45 program speaks for itself,” said O’Connell. “Everyone’s heard about high-intensity interval training. F45 breaks new ground on how that applies to a workout. You’re coming to a new gym every day and it’s the same room, but a different set-up.”

O’Connell said the free trial gives people a chance to experience the program first-hand and get hooked.

“We want people to come in and try it,” said O’Connell. “You can’t describe the feeling of doing it with 36 other people — getting through the pain of the workout, and then it’s over. Unless you get people in the door to experience that, it can’t be described.”

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Nationwide gym franchise Planet Fitness says it will be opening a new location at 1301 S. Joyce Street in the Pentagon Row shopping center.

“We’re eager to expand our ‘Judgment Free Zone’ to the Northern Virginia community,” Mike Campagnolo, CEO of Planet Fitness, said in a press release. “Planet Fitness will provide local residents a convenient, high quality, judgment-free fitness experience at an extremely affordable cost of $10 per month.”

The Pentagon Row location is one of five newly announced locations in Northern Virginia. Gyms are also planned for Manassas, Springfield, Fairfax and Alexandria.

Planet Fitness isn’t the only gym in Pentagon City. Australia-based F45 has a location at 1101 S. Joyce Street, also at Pentagon Row.

So far there’s now word yet on when Planet Fitness plans to open.

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(Updated 9 a.m.) A new gym called The Conditioning Room is planning to open on June 1 at the former Cosi space (2050 Wilson Blvd) in Courthouse.

The gym will start with two programs, a strength conditioning program called TCR Strong and a full-body conditioning program called TCR 360.

Owner Mike Savitch said the gym will offer an unlimited access for a $205 monthly membership fee, though some pre-sale discounts are planned.

Savitch is a bobsledder who represented the Virgin Islands in the 2002 Winter Olympics. He is also a former owner of Verve Health and Fitness in Rosslyn and the now-closed Crossfit Praxis in D.C. Savitch said he wasn’t planning to open another gym, but was left without one that fit his needs when Potomac Crossfit closed.

“The only gym with barbell strength abruptly closed down so after that I got a lot of interest in me and my wife opening up our own place,” Savitch said. “My wife was working there and I rented a space there. I was initially interested in doing a pop-up… but it’s turned into a six-month project.”

Savitch says one of the partners in the project is former Army Green Beret Dillon Behr, who was awarded a Purple Heart and Silver Star in the Battle of Shok Valley in Afghanistan. Savitch says Behr is a former owner of Crossfit Walter Reed and uses functional fitness to recover from his severe injuries.

Though there are no “coming soon” signs up yet, Savitch says he’s heard buzz in the community about the project and is optimistic about his prospects for attracting a sizable customer base.

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Morning Notes

Flash Flood Watch Issued — Arlington and the region is under a Flash Flood Watch starting at noon today. Heavy rain and storms, some of which may be severe, are expected this afternoon and evening. [Twitter, Twitter]

Anytime Fitness Opening TodayAnytime Fitness, a new 24/7 gym, is set to open today in Rosslyn. “New member specials will be available through the end of April and free community workouts will be held every Saturday in May,” said a PR rep.

Protest Yesterday in Ballston — “A protest against power company AES is happening this morning in Ballston outside the company’s HQ. ACPD is on the scene watching over the protest, which is peaceful and includes speeches and signs against AES’ activities in Puerto Rico.” [Twitter]

Bike Recycling Event Next Month — “Bikes for the World will be collecting unneeded bicycles, bike parts and accessories on Saturday, May 4 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. as part of the Arlington E-CARE (Environmental Collection and Recycling Event) at 1425 North Quincy St.” [InsideNova]

Carbeque on I-395 — A car caught fire on southbound I-395 near Glebe Road just before Thursday’s evening rush hour. Several lanes were closed as a result of the vehicular inferno, but firefighters eventually extinguished the raging flames. No injuries were reported. [Twitter]

Good Friday in Arlington — “On Friday, April 19, several parishes of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington will offer Living Stations of the Cross (or Via Crucis en Vivo). The Living Stations consist of a visual portrayal of Jesus on the way to his crucifixion.” [Diocese of Arlington]

Photo courtesy Dennis Dimick

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The EvolveAll fitness studio is returning to Columbia Pike, with plans to move back to South Arlington sometime this spring.

The gym’s staff announced plans to move into a space at 1058 S. Walter Reed Drive, just off the Pike, last week. Owner and founder Emerson Doyle said in a video laying out his plans that he’s aiming to have the studio open by “the end of May.”

The gym is currently located in a shopping center near Bailey’s Crossroads, but it has a long history in Arlington.

Doyle and the rest of his EvolveAll instructors first started teaching classes at the Walter Reed Community Center and Thomas Jefferson Fitness Center more than a decade ago, according to a release from the studio.

The gym opened its first physical location at 2526 Columbia Pike, next to the Celtic House Irish Pub. It then moved to the Food Star shopping center, but was forced to relocate when the redevelopment process to transform the space into “Centro Arlington” got rolling.

This new space will be just down the street from its original home on the Pike. It was once home to True Health and Wholeness gym, which closed back in June 2017, and EvolveAll staff say the new space will be about 2,900 square feet larger than the gym’s current location.

That will open space for additional classes, and locker rooms with showers for both men and women.

EvolveAll currently offers classes in martial arts, yoga and massage therapy.

Photo via @EvolveAll

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The fast-growing F45 chain of high-intensity circuit-training studios has arrived in Ballston, near Virginia Square.

F45’s concept of “personal training in a group format,” according to owner Zac Wall, has been proven around the world since its inception in Australia in 2012.

The “F” in F45 stands for “functional training,” while the “45” indicates how many minutes there are in a session. Instead of repetitive exercises that don’t reflect normal motion — think Olympic lifts — functional training puts you through a full-body workout that mimics real-world movements.

The result is not only increased strength and tone but also endurance, balance, posture and agility.

F45’s certified personal trainers are hired for their technical knowledge, but just as important are their abilities to motivate clients and keep up the dynamic pace on the gym floor.

And what a floor! Since the workouts change daily, Wall says there can be as few as nine workout stations — each with its own targeted exercise — and up to 27 stations in a given session.

One of F45’s most popular programs is the Eight Week Challenge that assigns three days to cardio fitness and three days to strength exercises. Saturday’s hour-long “hybrid sessions” ratchet up what Wall calls “the fun factor” by adding a DJ playing up-tempo music through a nightclub-style sound system.

As fun as it is, says Wall, “when you leave, you feel it everywhere in your body, but it’s an awesome feeling.”

Clients workout using battle ropes, weighted sleds, barbells, kettlebells, dead balls, rowing machines, TRX straps and others, all in the same 45 minutes.

For information about F45 in Arlington, visit our website. The studio is located at 3865 Wilson Blvd. Email us at [email protected] or call 703-829-5093.

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The Jumping Joeys children’s gym looks set to re-open in Market Common Clarendon, after closing in Virginia Square in 2017.

Jumping Joeys applied for a building permit at 2800 Clarendon Blvd late last year, according to Arlington Economic Development records.

It’s not immediately clear where the new gym would be located. But there’s currently only one vacant space on the second floor of the building at 2800 Clarendon Blvd, not far from the Pottery Barn store.

Representatives for the gym, which offers all manner of bounce-house-style activities for kids, didn’t respond to a request for comment on their plans.

Jumping Joeys currently operates another location at 402 W. Broad Street in Falls Church, and once had a space in an office park across from (the newly renamed) Washington-Liberty High School as well.

But that location shut down in November 2017, as the county eyes new uses for its much-discussed “Buck property,” where the gym was located. School officials are still studying the prospect of someday building a new school on the site, or perhaps new office space for staff. Deliberations on the matter very much remain ongoing.

As for Market Common itself, the development has seen a whole host of changes recently, and will eventually be part of a wider redevelopment of the block.

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A new SoulCycle studio looks to be on the way for Clarendon, perhaps marking the chain’s first expansion into Northern Virginia.

Permit applications filed with Arlington County suggest that the cycling studio is targeting space at 2700 Clarendon Blvd, in “The Loop” section of the Market Common Clarendon development. The studio would sit next to the Apple store and the Origins cosmetics store.

Spokespeople for SoulCycle declined to comment on the matter.

Hilary Shure, marketing events manager for Market Common owner Regency Centers, added that “at this time we do not have a lease executed with any merchant” for the space in question.

“As always, we work to keep our merchant mix vibrant and entertain calls on a regular basis from interested entrepreneurs,” Shure told ARLnow via email.

But permit details on the county’s website show that a yet-to-be announced company is hoping to open a “new fitness studio on the first and second floor” of the development. The applicant has been working with county inspectors on the project since Nov. 5.

Regency is currently using the storefront to display information on the eventual redevelopment of its Market Common properties around Clarendon in the coming years.

It was also briefly home to the athletic retailer Lululemon, as the shop made a temporary move to account for renovation work at its original location this summer. The store moved back to its space at 2847 Clarendon Blvd in September.

SoulCycle, among the country’s most popular cycling studios, currently operates four locations in D.C.

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A new, 24-hour gym is on the way for Rosslyn.

Construction is now underway on a new “Anytime Fitness” location at 1919 N. Lynn Street, in the base of an office building near the road’s intersection with I-66 and Lee Highway.

Club owner Russ Sharafeyev told ARLnow that he managed to start work on the new gym about two weeks ago, and is currently “looking at opening closer to [the] end of Q1 2019.”

The gym will offer 24/7 access for its members, and is set to become the first Anytime Fitness location in Arlington — the chain currently has two other gyms in Alexandria.

Sharafeyev hopes to start offering pre-sale deals starting on Jan. 2, and is planning a host of events in the coming months.

“We are looking to do some cool things like giveaways of electric scooters and raising money for good causes with community help,” Sharafeyev wrote in an email.

The building the gym will be located in was once home to Caffe Aficionado, which shuttered after its owners were charged with money laundering and conspiracy to commit credit card fraud.

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Morning Notes

Rosslyn Shooter Sentenced — “A man who worked as an investigator for conspiracy theorist Jack Burkman will serve nine years in prison for shooting and wounding his ex-boss” in a Rosslyn hotel parking garage. [Washington Post]

Marijuana Arrest Disparity — “African Americans were more than eight times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana crimes in Arlington from 2010-2016.” [Bacon’s Rebellion]

More on Long Bridge Plan — “New plans call to double the number of railroad tracks over the Potomac River between DC and Arlington, and to build a new pedestrian/bicycle bridge between Southwest Washington and Crystal City.” [Greater Greater Washington]

New Gym Coming to Arlington — “Blink Fitness is gearing up to expand into Northern Virginia with five new locations in Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax. Northern Virginia-based Cove Fitness LLC inked the 10-year agreement with the New York fitness chain to bring gyms to the region that will create about 70 jobs and occupy 90,000 square feet.” [Washington Business Journal]

Crystal City Still in Spotlight — “I spent a day in Crystal City, Virginia — and it’s easy to see why Amazon picked it for its new HQ2 headquarters.” [Business Insider]

Most Elaborate Cubicle Xmas Decoration Ever? — At WJLA in Rosslyn, a TV director named Mason Herndon has converted his office cubicle into a log cabin complete with fake snow, a fake fireplace and Christmas lights. [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler

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Local nightlife king Scott Parker is branching into fitness, launching BASH Boxing with fitness instructor and manager Alex Trakas.

We asked Parker and Trakas about their new venture, which officially opens on Friday, Nov. 16 in Rosslyn and is also coming to Ballston Quarter mall. We also talked with Scott about the state of the local bar scene and about that time the Washington Capitals brought the Stanley Cup to Don Tito in Clarendon.

Listen below or subscribe to the podcast on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher or TuneIn.

Courtesy photo

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