Hey friends! How’s everyone doing today? I attended another fun class at Urban Athletic Club with my buddies Anne and Kathleen yesterday, and instead of just glossing over it with some vague details I thought I would take this opportunity to tell you more about how this class is structured and why I love it so much.
I’ve received a few emails/comments lately from other DC locals on ClassPass who are looking for recommendations on classes to take, and Urban Athletic Club (UAC) is definitely one of my favorites! I usually go once a week using a combination of my ClassPass classes and a package of classes that I bought a while back, and it’s such a great workout every time. Plus, I love having the opportunity to spend an hour catching up with Anne and Kathleen while we work out! Multitasking at its finest!
UAC has a couple of different locations, but I’ve only ever been to the one in north Georgetown. Take note that it’s not down by the waterfront, but up closer to Dupont on 27th and Q NW. There is usually street parking and/or meters available nearby, and the entrance is located right on 27th up a flight of stairs. There are signs, but if you don’t know where you’re going it can be easy to miss!
When you arrive just ring the doorbell (it’s marked) and the instructor will come open the door for you.
Speaking of instructors, my favorites right now are Teisha, Romain, and Graham. Graham is the owner so he’s not teaching classes very often, but when he does they are always fun and challenging! Teisha’s classes feature tons of 90s throwback songs and plenty of cardio, whereas Romain plays the latest house music and songs on the radio and is a little more focused on mobility and strength (though really, all the classes are pretty similar).
When you arrive, the instructor will take you through a warm-up (Teisha’s are usually ladder drills and Romain’s are usually stretching/walking movements) and then he/she will go over the workout for the day!
The class is broken out into three sections: turf, grid, and open.
The turf area is usually where all the cardio takes place, the grid uses TRX and monkey bars, and the open uses weights. The class divides up into groups of 3 or 4, and each group will cycle through all three stations for a set period of time (either as many reps as possible – AMRAP – in a certain number of minutes, or tabata style with a few seconds on and a few seconds of rest).
Once each group has gone through all three stations, it’s time for “half time” which will usually involve something like running around the block or holding a plank. After that, everyone breaks out into their groups again and goes to each station for the second half, but this time with completely different movements than the first half.
I’ll explain all of this in greater detail as we go, so I think this will all make more sense in a minute!
The turf is a long strip of red turf, and is usually used for activities like burpees, suicide sprints, shuffle runs, wall balls, bear walks/crab walks, jump rope and more.
This is the area where most of the cardio takes place, so you’ll likely be the most winded after being at the turf. Phew!
The grid has a combination of monkey bars and TRX equipment, and in my opinion is the hardest station!
Exercises at the grid can include pull-ups, chin-ups, knees-to-chest, various rows, and pistol squats (among others).
The hardest part for me is when the TRX straps are lowered down to the floor and we put our feet in the straps for mountain climbers and ab work. Ouch! Any time I walk into the studio and see that the straps are low I know it’s going to be a hard workout.
Wouldn’t it be more fun to just hang around on the monkey bars? 🙂
The open is just an open space in the back of the gym with lots of different kettlebells and weights. Usually this area will include kettlebell swings, walking lunges, sumo squats, snatches, cleans, and whatever else the instructor throws at us that day.
Some of the toughest moves we do in the open involve really light weights. Whenever the instructor tells us to grab a lighter weight that usual, it’s another sign that a tough move is coming!
Halftime occurs once each group has cycled through all three stations, and is totally different each time! Yesterday we had the option of running around the block or doing a wall sit with bicep curls. It was really muggy outside so Kathleen, Anne, and I opted for the wall sit. It was tough!
Sometimes the halftime challenge is something more simple like a plank, which makes chatting easier. 🙂
After halftime we go to each station again and do completely different exercises! Because the class is structured this way, it absolutely flies by and I usually am left feeling sweaty, tired, and completely shocked that an hour has passed by already. In this class I’m always thinking about what movement I need to do next, and before I know it class it over and it’s time to stretch!
By the way, there is a shower at UAC, but only one. They provide towels too!
If you couldn’t already tell, I love this class so much and really enjoy working out there every week. If you’re local and haven’t tried it yet, give it a shot! 🙂
*Note: this post is not sponsored in any way and I pay for all Urban Athletic Club classes on my own. I just really love these classes!
Question of the day: What’s your favorite type of class to take?