Feb 052016
 

Hi friends! Happy Friday!

This week I tried a new-to-me studio via ClassPass, the Dailey Method! Located right in the heart of the U St and 14th St corridor, this studio that opened last August combines both cycling and barre into a super effective one-hour workout. Based on their website, it looks like traditionally the Dailey Method is focused more on barre, and they combine moves from ballet, yoga, and pilates to deliver a great toning workout. The DC studio, however, has spin bikes as well, so they can offer a class that includes 40 minutes of cycling and 20 minutes of barre. What a great combination!

I arrived about 10 minutes before class, and was able to find plenty of street parking right outside the studio (then again, it was 5:50 in the morning and I bet parking would be a lot harder in the evenings). The studio is located a few blocks from the U St metro (it’s on the same block as Ben’s Chili Bowl) and is on the second floor above street level.

the dailey method DC

As I climbed the stairs, I noticed a sign that said I should consider the stairs a warm-up to my workout. Ha!

I also saw a sign for their new member deal – $99 for 4 weeks of unlimited cycling and barre. Not a bad deal!

the dailey method DC new member deal

The entry area was very inviting, and after being greeted by the woman at the front desk, I was asked to sign a quick waiver via iPad. From there I was shown to the cubbies where I could store my coat and shoes, and then I changed into my bike shoes and entered the studio space.

Upon entering, I noticed 25 bikes set up to the left,

the dailey method DC spin bikes

and a barre-style set up to the right. Cool!

the dailey method DC barre

I immediately hopped on a bike near the front and got warmed up. Once class started, we spent the next 40 minutes pedaling to some great music (our instructor Molly even played one of my absolute favorite songs, Love Again!). I will say that if I was coming to this class just for spin, I probably wouldn’t be super impressed. The bikes were really close to one another, and Molly seemed like maybe she wasn’t all that comfortable up there teaching the class. It’s not that she did anything weird or bad, I’ve just taken about 100 spin classes at this point and she didn’t seem to be as confident as some other instructors I’ve taken classes with. Either way, she led us through a bunch of sprints and climbs, and before we knew it, 40 minutes had passed and we were stretching on the bikes.

Molly told us to leave our shoes right by the bikes, and head over to the barre area. (Note: If you care about things like this, you might want to pay attention to what socks you wear, because unlike in a normal spin class, everyone is going to see them during the barre portion of class. I obviously was not thinking about this, and wore my favorite workout socks which are pretty worn out and even have a hole in the bottom. Oops.)

Once at the barre, Molly led us through a bunch more exercises that had us focusing on our core and technique. We held some planks and side planks, did a short arm sequence, worked on our obliques and lower abs, and concluded the workout with some stretching and yoga poses. Molly seemed way more comfortable when teaching the barre portion of class, so I’m guessing that’s just where her experience is. I’d be interested to see how their other instructors compare!

Overall it was a fantastic workout, and I definitely plan on going back. 🙂

Question of the day: Which do you like better, spin or barre?

 Posted by on February 5, 2016
May 072015
 

Hi friends! Today I’m coming at you with my latest Fit Crasher review! In case you’re new around here, I am a contributing writer to the blog The Fit Crasher, where I join a couple of other fitness fanatics in reviewing various fitness studios around DC. 

Today I’m sharing my review of CrossFit Key Bridge, which I briefly mentioned on Friday. Here’s my review! (Read the full post here.)

CrossFit Key Bridge DC


Crash Course: Located right along the Georgetown waterfront, CrossFit Key Bridge offers intense workouts that are sure to get your muscles burning and your heart pumping. This class is great for those who are in shape and familiar with the fitness scene. CrossFit knowledge is not required!


where: 3401 K St NW | Georgetown
bring: water bottle and sweat towel
perks: welcoming
sweat score: 8 out of 10
wear: what you’d wear to the gym
instructor: Jordan
class: CrossFit
cost*: First class free / $7 – $20 per class depending on membership / Classpass
*Updated to add: Because CrossFit Key Bridge is celebrating its one-year anniversary, they have two deals going on this month:
  1. Anyone can come in for a free week of unlimited classes
  2. Anyone who signs up for a four-month enrollment gets the rest of May for free (payments wouldn’t start until June 1)

Here’s a quick warning for all you hard-core CrossFitters out there: I’m very new to your sport, and this post is probably going to sound like it was written by a total newb (um…that’s because it was). Even though I’m not all that familiar with CrossFit (I’ve taken one intro class before, which you can read about here), it’s always been something that’s intrigued me.

In fact, if CrossFit weren’t so expensive, I probably would have joined a box (that’s what it’s called, right?) long ago. Luckily for me, I’m a member of Classpass, and I’ve recently noticed a ton of new CrossFit boxes pop up on my Classpass account. Sweet!

Last week, I signed up for a class with CrossFit Key Bridge, and crossed my fingers that I wasn’t going to look like a total idiot among a bunch of hard-core CFers.

CrossFit Key Bridge is located – you guessed it – right next to Key Bridge. In fact, if you’ve ever been to Key Bridge boathouse, then you’ve probably passed right by this place without even knowing it.

CrossFit Key Bridge DCThe exterior of the building is very unassuming, but a sign on the door made it pretty easy to spot. Parking was very easy (and free!) at 6:00 am, but I bet if you went on a Saturday it would be next to impossible. Consider this your warning!

Upon arriving inside, I immediately saw two helpful signs showing me that the CrossFit box was located up some stairs and down a short hallway. It wasn’t the prettiest entryway I’d ever seen, but at least it was well marked!

CrossFit Key Bridge DC

CrossFit Key Bridge DC

The space itself was entirely no frills and exactly what I would expect of a CrossFit box: warehousey with high ceilings and lots of intimating equipment. Yikes!

CrossFit Key Bridge DC

As soon as I got there, I dropped off my gear in a cubby, and introduced myself to the coach to let him know that I was a total CrossFit beginner. Since I signed up for this class through Classpass, I was sort of expecting (hoping for?) and open introductory class, but after talking with the coach I realized this was the real deal.

Luckily Jordan was very nice and offered to explain any terms I wasn’t familiar with, and of course said he would help ensure I had good form, thus preventing an injury.

Before long the rest of the class arrived, and at 6:00 am on the dot it was time to get started! FYI – my class was very small with just two guys plus me, but it was also early on a Friday morning. My classmates assured me that the box is usually much more crowded, and this was a somewhat rare occurrence (methinks thirsty Thursday may have prevented additional attendees?).

CrossFit Key Bridge DCAnyway! Our instructor got the music pumping, and then proceeded to explain our warm-up: 5 shoulder lifts (not sure what these were technically called; it was a drill to help with pull ups), 5 burpees, and one minute of double-unders (jump roping and getting the rope under your feet twice before you land).

This warm-up was pretty challenging, and definitely had me sweating and breathing hard from the get-go. Phew!

After the warm-up we played a little “pizza delivery” game. Say what? Yes. For this activity we were told to balance an incline ab mat on one hand (like a pizza) and try to knock the other person’s mat off with your other hand. It was really hard, and so much fun! I felt like we were in middle school gym class, in the best possible way. ;)

CrossFit Key Bridge DCAfter our game, we cooled down a bit with some stretching exercises, and then got down to the WOD (workout of the day).

On the agenda was four rounds of the following as fast as possible:

  • 15 ring rows
  • 10 dumbbell snatches
  • 400 meter sprint

CrossFit Key Bridge DC

source

For the sprints, they had us running behind the building along the canal, which was really nice.

I found the WOD be tough but not impossible, and I finished in 19:55. Of course the guys finished way before me, but at least I finished! Those ring rows were hard!

CrossFit Key Bridge DC

source

After the WOD we all stretched and chatted a bit, and then my workout was done for the day. Phew! Such a great workout!

Although I came prepared to feel super intimidated by the class and all the CF lingo that came with it, I actually found Jordan and the other classmates to be very welcoming and willing to explain things to a total beginner.

It was a lot of fun, and I’m definitely planning to go back!

CrossFit Key Bridge DC

Read the full post on The Fit Crasher here.

Question of the day: Have you tried CrossFit?

 Posted by on May 7, 2015
Apr 022015
 

Hi friends! Today I’m coming at you with my latest Fit Crasher review! In case you’re new around here, I am a contributing writer to the blog The Fit Crasher, where I join a couple of other fitness fanatics in reviewing various boutique fitness studios around DC. I was out of the game for a while after my foot surgery, but now I’m back at it!

Today I’m sharing my review of the pool and track at Arlington’s Washington-Lee High School. You can find the full post here, and read my other Fit Crasher reviews here. I highly recommend reading this one if you want to see some sexy horrendous pictures of me in a swim cap and one-piece. 😉

Washington Lee High School pool and track


Crash Course: With an affordable public pool for practicing your strokes, and a free track for running sprints and speed drills, Washington-Lee High School is a hidden fitness gem in the heart of Ballston.


where: 1301 N Stafford St. | Arlington, VA
bring: [pool] towel, shower shoes, lock [track] sneakers
perks: cheap swimming, free track, large, clean facilities
sweat score: Up to you!
wear: swimming/running gear
cost: swimming is $5.50 for Arlington residents and $7 for non-residents

Hello Fit Crashers! I’m so happy to be back crashing with you all today. After undergoing surgery on my foot back in January, I took a bit of a break from the crashing scene, as my crutches limited me to Pilates videos in my apartment. Eventually my doctor cleared me for swimming, which brings me to today’s crash!

If you’re anything like me, sometimes you just want to add something different to your fitness routine. Of course I love barre, yoga, spin, and Pilates as much as the next girl, but doing the same thing from week to week can get old fast. Adding something different to your routine – like swimming – is great way to work different muscles and get you out of a fitness rut.

Washington Lee High School pool and trackI had heard lots of great things about the pool at Washington-Lee High School in Ballston, so as soon as my doc cleared me for swimming I jumped right in! (Pun absolutely intended.)

The pool is located on the N Quincy Street side of the high school, and has free parking for two hours for pool visitors.

Washington Lee High School pool and track(I like to work out at the crack of dawn, hence the dark photo!)

Swimming at Washington-Lee doesn’t cost much; it’s just $5.50 for Arlington residents and $7 for non-residents.

Truthfully the locker room is a bit dated and nothing special, but it gets the job done. Be sure to bring your own lock, shower gear, and towel!

Washington Lee High School pool and track

Sexy swimming selfie FTW!

Once you exit the locker room you’ll walk over to the pool, which has about nine lanes for swimming. There’s also a tank area where you can swim if you’re a little slower or just want to work on some drills.

Washington Lee High School pool and trackWhen I went at 6am on a Thursday morning it was pretty crowded (there were two people using each lane), and since I’m not the best swimmer I did my laps in the tank area. It got the job done!

Overall I was really impressed with the pool, and definitely plan to go back to get my cardio in while my foot finishes healing.

Washington Lee High School pool and track

In addition to the awesome pool facilities, Washington-Lee High School offers a great track for getting your running workouts in!

Washington Lee High School pool and trackAlthough running around the various paths in DC is my favorite way to pound the pavement, I also recognize the importance of getting some speed drills in if you are trying to set a new PR.

Continue reading…

Question of the day: Have you ever gone to a nearby school to get your workout in?

 Posted by on April 2, 2015
Jan 012015
 

Happy New Year, friends!! I hope you are enjoying your day to rest up after fun New Year’s celebrations with friends and family. I for one am enjoying my last day of vacation, as I will be back at work tomorrow. Womp womp. Hey, at least it will be Friday! Today will be a day for unpacking from Jamaica/doing loads and loads of laundry, plus putting away all of our Christmas decorations, cleaning the apartment, and hitting up the grocery store for a major haul. Fun times.

In the meantime, I wanted to leave you with my latest Fit Crasher review! In case you’re new around here, I am a contributing writer to the blog The Fit Crasher, where I join a couple of other fitness fanatics in reviewing various boutique fitness studios around DC. Today I’m sharing my review of the Power Playground class at MINT Dupont. You can find the full post here, and read my other Fit Crasher reviews here.

Here we go!FC06


Crash Course: This fun circuit-style workout utilizes a mix of equipment right in the middle of the lovely MINT health club that will get your heart rate soaring.


where: 1724 California St. NW | Adams Morgan
bring: water bottle (they have minty water available, but only small cups to drink out of)perks: small class size, variety of equipment

sweat score: 7 out of 10

wear: gym clothes
instructor: Mark
cost: membership is $98 per month | free trials available | included on ClassPass

Happy holidays, Fit Crashers! I hope you are all taking a break from your busy fit schedules to enjoy some rest and relaxation with family today! In the meantime, I’m here to share my latest fit crashing adventure over at MINT Dupont!

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Established in 2006, MINT is a beautiful health club and spa with locations in the Dupont/Adams Morgan area and Downtown DC. The owners founded MINT upon a vision — delivering a well-rounded fitness experience within a warm, modern facility, and a close-knit community.

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MINT claims to be much more than a gym with workout equipment, personal trainers, and exercises classes; they strive to make your workout more of an experience with friendly staff, a clean and well-maintained space, and top-educated professionals who offer services like nutrition counseling. MINT does have a membership limit to avoid overcrowding, so if you’re trying to get a membership there it could be challenging!

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MINT definitely lived up to its online description; the gym was immaculate and provided every creature comfort you could ask for from towels and a clean shower, to tampons, razors, cotton swabs, deodorant, lotion, mouthwash, and minty-flavored water. They also had lockers with electronic locks that you could set to your own code, which were awesome.

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Once I put my stuff down and used my share of the free goodies (how could I not?!) I headed out into the gym for the Power Playground class! According to the website, the class utilizes the gym’s synergy equipment to create a circuit training class with non-stop movement. Sounds right up my alley!

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The class itself was held right in the middle of the gym, and while I waited for the class to start I sat with regular gym-goers who were using that space to stretch. I thought this was a little weird, and wish the class had been in a separate room so the instructor could control the music and I wouldn’t have felt like all the elliptical-steppers and treadmill-runners were staring at us the whole time.

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{We wound up using this rowing machine during the class}

Soon our instructor for the evening, Mark, came over and introduced himself, and then our class of about 8 people got started with the workout.

Our warm-up began with a circuit of jumping jacks, burpees, squats, kettlebell swings, and two varieties of kettlebell lifts. Mark had us complete each exercise for 30 seconds before we switched to the next move. When we were finished with the circuit, we repeated it again.

I’m usually a big fan of these types of workouts, but since we were in the middle of a gym the energy felt a little dead – Mark couldn’t really yell to encourage us, and we didn’t have any loud music or anything. Don’t get me wrong, I was still totally winded by the end, but I would have liked a more pumped up vibe.

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After our warm-up, Mark sent us each to a different station of the “playground” for the main circuit workout. The exercises in our circuit included kickboxing, squats with weights, hammer curls, trampoline medicine ball throws, burpees with a bosu ball, tricep extensions with free weights, rowing machine, and box step ups. Phew! It was fun and challenging in the best way.

Continue reading…

Question of the day: Do you prefer taking classes at boutique studios or do you like going to a more traditional gym?

 Posted by on January 1, 2015
Nov 202014
 

Good morning! As you may remember, I’ve partnered up with Meaghan from The Fit Crasher to help review fitness classes in the DC area. Once a month, I’ll be posting over there with a review of my latest sweaty escapades, and today my next post is up! I really love this opportunity to write for one of my favorite local blogs, and I hope you’ll follow me over there to read my review!

Here’s a snippet of today’s post:

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Crash Course: Edge Yoga is a no-frills yoga studio that will have you conquering your most sought-after yoga poses in no time. The Mixed Levels Yoga I class doesn’t mess around, and you’ll be engaging your core muscles for some complicated poses before you can say Namaste.


where: 2440 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 201 | Courthouse
bring: Water and a small sweat towel, if you want. Yoga mats are provided for free.perks: Tiny class size, hands-on trainer

sweat score: 6.5 out of 10

wear: tight-fitting clothes to get your flow on
instructor: Mark Greimcost: Drop-ins are $16 and $13 for students


Hey Fit Crashers! I’m excited to share another DC-area class with you today; this time we’re talking about Edge Yoga in Arlington!

Personally, I am not a huge yogi. Sure, I’ve taken a class here and there, but I’d much rather strap on my sneakers and run miles around DC, or pop into a super sweaty HIIT bootcamp, than get my “om” on. However, I’m trying to change that!

That’s why when my blogger friend Anne of fANNEtasticfood told me that Edge Yoga is a great studio for runners-turned yogis, I was excited to check it out with her. We signed up for the Mixed Levels Yoga I class online, and booking the class could not have been easier.

Edge is located in the Courthouse area of Arlington, right above Papa Johns Pizza. No seriously, it’s right above Papa Johns. Thankfully I did not smell any pizza during the class.

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When I first walked up the stairs I wasn’t sure if I was in the right place – it shares a space with the bartending school – but after a quick look around, I saw the small studio with its soothing lighting, abundance of (free!) yoga mats, and calming music. Ah yes, this must be the place!

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Upon arriving, the instructor Mark came over to introduce himself, and explained that this class is a little more intense than a basic beginner’s yoga class. He then said that I shouldn’t force myself into any of the poses if I wasn’t ready.

Yikes, what did I just get myself into?

Soon Mark got us started with some basic yoga poses, and the warm air (not super hot like bikram, but just pleasantly warm) helped me loosen up.

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As we were getting started, three things really stood out to me about Mark’s class.

First, the atmosphere in the studio was no-frills and totally unassuming; I didn’t feel intimidated like I have in some of the fancier yoga classes I’ve taken. Everyone worked at a different level, and I never once felt like anyone was judging me. The atmosphere was totally positive and encouraging, which is exactly what a yoga studio should be in my mind.

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Second, I really liked Mark’s teaching style. He talked pretty fast, and would give us as many tips as he could for each pose. For example, as we would be getting into a pose, he would say things like, “Don’t forget to turn out your shoulders. Your pinkies should be turned to the front. Remember to look forward. Start to bring your left leg back. If you’re looking at your toes, then you’re not looking forward.” He totally caught me with this one! I was definitely guilty of looking at my toes, haha! All of his verbal tips really helped me get into poses the right way, which I found to be super helpful.

Continue Reading…

Thanks Meaghan, for having me again today!

Question of the day: Are you a yogi?

 Posted by on November 20, 2014
Oct 162014
 

Good morning! As you may remember, I’ve partnered up with Meaghan from The Fit Crasher to help review fitness classes in the DC area. Once a month, I’ll be posting over there with a review of my latest sweaty escapades, and today my second post is up! I really love this opportunity to write for one of my favorite local blogs, and I hope you’ll follow me over there to read my review!

Here’s a sneak peak of today’s post:

BbG01


Crash Course: Body by Ginny is a year-round group outdoor bootcamp held at various schools and parks throughout Northern Virginia. Offering mostly morning classes, these fun and functional workouts will start your day off with lots of sweat, burning muscles, and a big smile!


where: eight schools and parks in Arlington and McLeanbring: a mat and weights (if you don’t have these, they supply a few extra)

perks: small class size, hands-on trainer, lots of morning classes available

sweat score: 7.5 out of 10

wear: clothes for outside temperatures/elementsinstructor: Ginny Wright

cost: First class free / $18 per class / $125 monthly unlimited membership


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Hey Fit Crashers! This is Chelsea coming at you again with my second fit crash – this time at the outdoor Arlington bootcamp, Body by Ginny!

These Body by Ginny classes (let’s call them BbG from here on out, mmmkay?) meet Monday – Saturday at local parks and schools in Arlington and McLean with classes from 5:45 am – 5:45 pm. Every location has a covered area in case it rains or snows.

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I’m a morning workout junkie by nature, so I’m all over any fitness class offered at times before 6:15 am. If I can squeeze in my entire workout before 7:00 am, then my whole day is off to a better start.

That said, it can be difficult to find studios with classes that early in the morning (um…and even more difficult to photograph them. Sorry about that). Sometimes even if there is a morning class listed on the schedule, it will be too early or too late, and then I just wind up sleeping in instead. Fail.

This was one of the first things that attracted me to the BbG bootcamp – there are morning classes available from 5:35 – 10:00 am, allowing for plenty of flexibility in your schedule (note: there’s also one evening class at 5:45 – 6:45 pm, but the majority of classes are in the morning).

Every morning the bootcamps are taught in varying locations in Northern Virginia, and for this class I decided to join the founder Ginny for a 5:45 am class at Williamsburg Middle School in North Arlington.

I got there a few minutes late (I got confused about the parking – there are two lots and you have to park at the upper one near the school’s entrance) and by the time I arrived the class was already hard at work.

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I received a warm welcome from Ginny and the class, and then I claimed a spot, rolled out my mat, and jumped into the workout! We started off with some strength moves including planks, mountain climbers, squats and upright rows.

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I loved that Ginny did the workout right along with us – nothing irritates me more than a trainer who doesn’t practice what she preaches!

After our series of strength moves, Ginny divided us into teams and gave everyone a number one through five. Then she showed us our “workout of the day” of sorts, which involved completing five different exercises two times.

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Thanks so much Meaghan, for this awesome partnership! I can’t wait to see where I wind up sweating for next month’s review!

Question of the day: Are you a morning or evening workout person?

 

 Posted by on October 16, 2014
Sep 182014
 

Good morning! As I mentioned last week, I’ve recently partnered up with Meaghan from The Fit Crasher to help review fitness classes in the DC area. Once a month, I’ll be posting over there with a review of my latest sweaty escapades, and today my first post is up! I’m really excited about this opportunity to write for one of my favorite local blogs, and I hope you’ll follow me over there to read my review!

Here’s a sneak peak of today’s post:

UFC Gym Arlington


Crash Course: Taking after parent company Ultimate Fight Club, UFC Gyms provide the perfect atmosphere for honing in on your fighting skills in the sweatiest way possible. The UFC Gym’s hour-long kickboxing class will get your heart rate soaring with intense punching and kicking combinations, with plenty of opportunities to “rest” with burpees and pushups. Bring your sweat towel and your best ass-kicking attitude for this awesome workout! Check out the UFC Gym website for a full list of class times at their Virginia, DC, and Maryland locations.


where: 1200 N Herndon St | Clarendon
bring: water bottle, towel, and hand wraps if you’ve got ‘em!
perks: small class size, hands-on trainer, awesome music
sweat score: 9 out of 10
wear: clothes that won’t flop around during burpees, high knees, and jumping jacks
instructor: Gary Peebles
cost: first class free | membership $99 per month

Hey Fit Crashers! I’m Chelsea and I’m so excited to share my first crash with you today! When I’m not posting on The Fit Crasher, I’m blogging about my sweaty adventures over at ChelseaEatsTreats.com, so there’s more than one way to stay in touch. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

UFC Gym Arlington

If you’ve ever watched an Ultimate Fight Club – aka UFC – match on TV, where professional fighters sidekick, uppercut, and body slam their opponents, then you know what to expect from a kickboxing class at one of the UFC Gyms.

UFC Gym Arlington

Formerly known as LA Boxing, UFC Gym has locations all around the country, with 13 gyms in DC, MD, and Virginia. Although they have a wide variety of classes available, I decided to pop into a kickboxing class at the Arlington location last week to see what all the hype was about.

First-time UFC Gym visitors can take one class for free, which is, of course, awesome. The class schedule is available online and all you have to do is click “Try Free” when you sign up for a class. So easy! From there, you’ll get a ton of confirmations before the class via email, phone call, and text – seriously, they did all three – which were nice reminders throughout the week.

I had no trouble at all finding the gym, which is about a two-minute walk from the Clarendon Metro. There’s also metered parking available right outside, assuming you can find an empty spot.

UFC Gym Arlington

The staff recommends arriving 15 minutes early to your first class so you have time to get everything set up. Once I arrived, I signed a quick waiver and bought a pair of hand wraps to wear under my boxing gloves.

The hand wraps are mandatory as a safety precaution, but if you have your own you are certainly welcome to bring those instead of buying them. The wraps cost $11, are totally washable/reusable, and come in a ton of fun neon colors, so I didn’t mind buying a pair. Then the trainers wrapped me up, handed me my gloves, and sent me over to my very own punching bag for the evening.

Continue Reading…

Thanks so much Meaghan, for this awesome partnership! I can’t wait to see where I wind up sweating for next month’s review!

Questions of the day: 

1) Did you click over to read the rest of the post? If not, do it!

2) Have you ever tried kickboxing?

3) For my local friends, where should I crash next?

 Posted by on September 18, 2014