Calling all CrossFitters and non-CrossFitters alike! Join us for a CrossFit Football Total competition on April 27 at CrossFit Glover Park.
It’s a great event for all athletes who want to test their lifts, both novice, experience, and somewhere in between! Free for CrossFit members, $15 for everyone else with a portion of the proceeds going to Steve’s Club DC.
Life Lessons Learned at GORUCK Heavy: Washington, D.C. March 28th, 2014
Today’s post comes from Balance Gym Business Manager Carolyn Willeford.
Back in July I participated in my first GORUCK Heavy as a complete newbie. I had completed my first Challenge about three weeks before and signed up on a whim with some coworkers. I didn’t even lift at that time, could barely do a pushup, and considered twenty minutes on the elliptical a workout. It sucked, I cried a LOT, but I got the patch. Since that event, I’ve committed to “tough girl training” and have grown immensely in terms of mental strength and physical endurance.
I wanted to use 3.28’s Heavy to compare my performance in the two events and judge what progress I had made and where I was still weak. The first Heavy was tons of PT, with minimal movement. This was the opposite. Aside from a brief smoke session (a lot of PT…) as a punishment for not listening to Cadre Aaron, some “fuck fuck games” (things meant to break you down mentally) courtesy of Cadre Brad, and a strange few hours in camo where we felt like extras in a bizarre Vietnam War movie, we were mostly covering ground. We covered roughly 43 miles on this Heavy, and I know I fought for every inch, but it was a much different fight than my first GRH when I was just trying to stay in it.
For 3.28, I was fighting to be a good teammate, carry whatever I could, and help keep the group focused and motivated.
Fast Company Web Producer Cia Bernales made the switch to a standing desk a year ago. She shares why she’s never going back to a regular office chair…
Doing aerobic exercise twice a week for 26 weeks significantly increased the volume of older women’s hippocampi—the region of the brain associated with memory.
Member Spotlight - Lauren Wilson
Name: Lauren Wilson
Occupation: Student and part time law clerk
Balance Location: Foggy Bottom
Member Since: July 2013
How often do you come to the gym?
I try to get to the gym 5 times per week.
What do you like the most about Balance?
I love the Group Fitness classes at Balance! I have tried a variety of the classes and all of the instructors have been welcoming and enthusiastic.
Which classes do you like the most?
I really enjoy Zumba, spinning, and yoga. I have also just started taking Barre which is great!
How do you think Group Fitness classes can help others achieve their fitness goals? Why should other people take classes at Balance?
When I started at Balance over the summer it had been quite a while since I regularly went to the gym. The Group Fitness instructors were all very patient and helpful. The classes motivated me to come back and now the gym is part of my regular routine.
How do you fit working out into your busy schedule?
When I make my school and work schedule every week I reserve blocks of time for the gym. Some weeks are better than others but planning ahead has definitely been helpful.
#BalanceLife is: getting stronger every day and feeling great!
Balance Gym Foggy Bottom is Turning One!
This week marks the first birthday of Balance Foggy Bottom! After hearing about Balance’s exceptional customer service and diverse range of fitness offerings, the Fairmont Hotel sought out Balance to revamp their hotel gym and open a new location in their space. In addition to the traditional gym with Group Fitness classes and functional workout space, Foggy Bottom also has a CrossFit Box, saltwater pool with monthly swimming clinics, and a restaurant with Paleo options. Come celebrate with us this weekend, and check out the gym!
I asked Balance Owner Mark Crick, Foggy Bottom General Manager Devin Maier, and CrossFit Foggy Bottom Director James Bathurst why Foggy Bottom was awesome, what they were most proud of accomplishing there over the last year, and what members have to look forward to from Foggy Bottom.
ET: What are some of the best things about Foggy Bottom? What makes it different from the other Balance locations?
MC: It’s awesome that after a hard workout and your arms are dead you have a doorman to open the door for you.
DM: Besides the amazing classes and instructors that people expect from Balance? How about a salt-water lap pool, whirlpool, and healthy Paleo meals cooked to order while you work out?
JB: We have incredible amenities that you just don’t find elsewhere. Excellent shower and locker room facilities; Steam room, pool, sauna, and hot tub for workouts and recovery; 25+ foot rope climbs; CrossFit classes as well as a host of other awesome gym classes; and my favorite - fresh made-to-order Paleo meals from the Fairmont Executive Chef (who also does CrossFit himself!)
ET: What about Foggy Bottom are you most proud of at the end of the first year?
MC: The great group of trainers we have pulled together. They come from all backgrounds, for example James from Gymnastics and Amanda from Pole Fitness. The trainers allow for a diverse program offering, one that is sure to challenge and expert or help a newbie get started.
DM: The unique community that we have forged here in Foggy Bottom. It feels like I have known many of our members far longer than the short year that we have been in operation.
JB: Winning ‘Best CrossFit Gym’ from the Washington Post Express!
ET: What can people look forward to at Foggy Bottom in the future?
MC: We will continue with major facility improvements and new equipment over the next 12 months. Without starting a rumor there is talk of a new and expanded spin room…shhh.
DM: More unique classes and programs. As our membership base grows we look forward to adding more classes to keep people stimulated and healthy. Outside classes coming soon!
JB: More classes added to the CrossFit schedule. More social events. More seminars and competitions hosted at Foggy Bottom!
ET: What (if any) are some of the challenges with opening a new gym, especially in a hotel space?
MC: The Fairmont has an amazing level of service. While we pride ourselves at Balance on delivering the best customer service possible, you really have to pick it up a level when you are operating out of a five star hotel! The Fairmont is a great hotel and a great partner!
DM: Raising our level of customer service to match that of a world class hotel while bringing the Balance vibe and staying true to our roots proved to be a challenge at first but once we reached a critical mass of Balance members it became second nature.
JB: We took a space that was very machine-centric, and transformed it into an athletic, functional training facility. Getting members to see our vision was a challenge at first. The outside visibility is also a challenge, but the word of mouth from all our happy members has spread quickly!
ET: Anything else people should know about why Foggy Bottom is awesome?
MC: I don’t know of many CrossFit gyms that can claim to have a pool, spa, sauna, steam room, executive locker rooms. and a world class chef that will happily prepare you a Paleo meal after your workout!
DM: The support we receive from The Fairmont hotel staff is amazing. From their enthusiasm in our classes to their hospitality offered to us and our members outside of the gym area makes this gym location truly a one of a kind experience.
JB: I am proud of the community that we have established so quickly. We have athletes coming regularly, working hard, and encouraging each other - just like every Balance Gym! And just like every Balance Gym, there is a big mix of ages and abilities, because the environment is so supportive and inviting! I am so proud that we have given people a space like this to transform their lives!
Celebrate Foggy Bottom’s first birthday with us today (March 28) at 5 pm! We’ll have samples from our Paleo meals, drinks, prizes & giveaways, and membership specials — so bring your friends! RSVP here.
Book Review: Spartan Up! Guide to Life
Today’s post comes from Balance Gym Foggy Bottom Front Desk Manager Cassia Denton.
When you hang out with really fit humans, you start to hear the same words pop up in conversation time and time again: Overcome. Obstacles. Growing. Fighting. Toughen up. Push through. Adversity. Strength. Again and again, the fittest amongst us talk about the mental game, conquering your will, overcoming your barriers, working through the pain.
One such really fit human is Joe De Sena. Joe spent most of his life as a pool maintenance man, but through his experiences with adversity and a tough childhood, he came to realize that the greatest successes he found in his life were achieved by a simple premise: forge ahead, no matter the odds.
In 2001, Joe and his partners put this foundational idea towards the creation of Spartan Race, an obstacle race patterned after the rigorous training regimen mandated for all male Spartan citizens in 700 B.C. The obstacles are ugly and grueling, and each obstacle comes with a 30 burpee penalty if you cannot complete the task at hand. The Spartan Race pushes you to crawl through the mud under barbed wire, swim through pools of ice water, climb ropes 50 feet in the air, scale brick walls, and generally have a miserable time.
Member Spotlight: Wilson Fujinaga
How often do you come to the gym?
As often as I can, I would love to make it at least 4 times a week.
Cassia, Devin, Nicky, Trip, Bennett, these individuals’ inspiring workout ethics, sharing of exercise tips, the 100% athletic ‘push you till you hurt’ attitude, and the engaged atmosphere created by a healthy dose of sportsmanship, all of this really makes you want to be a part of Balance Gym.
My personal favorite was the Health Expo that my company (The Advisory Board Company) puts on every year. It inspired many of our young colleagues to be actively engaged in incorporating exercise/work out within the demanding long work days that has become the norm today. I wanted to participate in Cupid’s Run, but was not able due to recent shoulder surgery. I think that the recent implementation of CrossFit Kids that Balance Gym started is genius and I would like to get both my niece and nephews become a part of it soon.
When I went in for my pre-op surgery check-up, to my surprise my physicians’ first reaction was his instant recognition that I had been working out and was in better shape than when I went into surgery for the other shoulder 4 years ago. Post surgery, my healing process was quite instant with the need of post surgery rehabilitation cut to a minimum. Foolishly, I went right back into it and after only a few classes, I aggravated the situation and am now having to take it easy…although also because of all the snow, it has been harder to get back into any routine especially with mounting work obligations. Even with all that said, there is no excuse as it was painfully pointedly out by Devin as to why I didn’t at the very least get back by doing some kind of cardio.
I need to get off my lazy fat ass and stop making excuses. It isn’t everyday that one encounters a gym with a group of such high caliber experts, passionate about their profession, so giving of their time in a myriad of ways, not only to members, but to various causes, engagement initiatives, the constant updates to the gym big and small, and up-beat attitudes.
It has reinvigorated my love for exercise
St. Patrick’s Day fun at Balance Gym Glover Park Bootcamp!