Jan 18 2018

What You Should Know (And Ask) Before Joining A Gym

Cat Doyle, Personal Training Manager at Logan Circle

By: Mekita Rivas, VIDA editor and member

January is an exciting time in the fitness world. Resolutions are made and goals are set. It’s a season that is all about starting fresh and embracing a clean slate. Joining a gym is often an important part of that renewal process. Whether you’re walking into VIDA for the first time or you’ve belonged to our community for years, we want to ensure that you have the information you need to make smart decisions about where you spend your time sweating.

We caught up with Catherine Doyle, Personal Training Manager at VIDA Fitness Logan Circle, to chat about the gym joining process and what you should know — and ask — before signing on the dotted line.

What are some of the main concerns people have about joining a gym? 

I find that people are often intimidated by the price point, but what they come to understand is that they are investing in a healthier lifestyle. Some people might be intimidated by the weight floor or by taking a class for the first time. That’s where the personal trainers and instructors come in. We’re here to kickstart your fitness journey, and whatever your workout style is, VIDA can help!

Which factors typically encourage someone to join a gym?

People join because they want to live a healthier lifestyle, and that looks different for everyone. It’s our job to find that motivating factor and help them figure out the best way to start that fitness journey. There are endless reasons for why someone might join — it could be to reduce stress they are experiencing at work, improve their golf game, or maybe they want to look great in a swimsuit for their summer vacation. Everyone is unique, and their fitness journey should be unique to them.

What sets VIDA apart from other gyms when it comes to the joining process? 

At VIDA, we don’t just sign you up for a membership, we get you involved in our community. The complimentary personal training session and the Value Added Packages not only help you get acquainted with the facility and programs — they also introduce you to the people involved. This gives you the opportunity to connect with our trainers, instructors, and other members. Coming to the gym after a long day at the office can be challenging, but you will be more likely to stick with it if you’re excited to see your friends at the gym. We want you to look forward to coming to VIDA!

What are the questions everyone should ask before joining a gym?

  • What are my goals? (This is the most important!)
  • What equipment and amenities are available?
  • What sort of programs are offered?
  • Who are the trainers and what specialty skills or certificates do they have?
  • How will this facility help me lead a better life?

Jan 17 2018

The Right Trainer is Your Best Friend in Fitness

Big smiles after a productive training session with Susie!

By: TV Personality & Naturalist David Mizejewski

When I made the decision to embark on this fitness journey, I knew I needed to do more than just join VIDA and hope for the best. I knew I needed some guidance on the best workouts to get me to my goals, and on how to do them correctly. I also knew that I was going to need some coaching to keep my motivation up and to keep me accountable. That meant working with a personal trainer.

So I met with Lisa Lipscomb, VIDA’s Director of Personal Training & Nutrition. To help pair me with a trainer, Lisa asked me a lot of questions about my fitness goals, health issues, current activity level and fitness history–which I expected. But she also asked me a lot of questions about my personality, about what motivates me to do the things that I’m successful at in my life, what failure means to me, and how I cope with stress. I wasn’t expecting those kinds of questions, and at first it felt like I was talking to a therapist rather than a fitness expert.

I went along and shared with Lisa my honest self-assessment. I told her I’m a stereotypical Virgo: a little bossy (so I’m told), have Type A tendencies and can be particular about things. I need to know all the details about whatever it is I’m doing, and having a complete understanding of how things work is really motivating to me. I’m most successful when I feel like I’m in control and I tend to avoid doing things that I can’t accomplish perfectly, even if I know I need to do them. At that point it started to become clear why Lisa was asking these things. There are many personal training philosophies, and many different personal trainers at VIDA, all highly qualified. Lisa was asking those questions because wanted to pair me with a trainer whose personality and style would mesh well with mine—and she knocked it out of the park.

Enter personal trainer Susie Powell. I’ve only been working out with Susie for a few weeks but I can’t overstate what an incredible help she’s been to me. Knowing I’ve committed to a training session with Susie makes it really hard to bail on going to the gym. Susie is always positive and focuses on my accomplishments, not what I can’t do (yet). She is the opposite of a drill sergeant shouting orders at me, a style that many people find motivating but bossy me just doesn’t respond well to. Instead, Susie is my teacher and guide. In fact, she calls working out with her “fitness school” where she imparts her expertise about effective workouts to me. She answers all of my questions. She is patient when I flail and flop around trying to learn a new exercise. She’s always got an adaptation or alternate exercise at her fingertips when I can’t quite do something perfectly yet, both so I get in a good workout during our sessions, but also so I get that sense of accomplishment that’s so important for me to feel motivated. Working out with Susie has helped me get over the gym intimidation factor and feeling like I don’t know what I’m doing and am “that guy” doing everything wrong. She’s always positive and supportive. And that’s exactly what works for me. (Plus, she’s a Star Wars fan and cosplayed as Princess Leia for the premiere of The Last Jedi. My trainer is cooler than yours.)

So my advice is this: if you’re thinking about working out with one of VIDA’s personal trainer (you should) ask yourself the same questions Lisa asked me. There are so many hurdles to overcome when when making the commitment to fitness. Busy schedules are one, and knowing the best way to work out is another. Knowing what motivates you and what doesn’t is just as important. Getting matched with the right personal trainer makes all the difference and I couldn’t be happier with mine.

Interested in getting paired up with a trainer of your own? Take advantage of our January 50 pack promotion and receive two months of membership free! 

Jan 12 2018

How SweatBox Changed My Workout

Mekita, flexing on the left, after an intense Full Throttle class with Alexx Griffin!

By: Mekita Rivas, VIDA editor and member

Like many in the VIDA community, fitness is an integral part of my lifestyle. In fact, I’ve worked out every day for nearly two years (I even wrote about what that whole experience has been like here). As an avid gym-goer, one of my biggest challenges is keeping my routine fresh and avoiding those pesky plateaus. I try to switch it up regularly — my daily workouts are a mix of weightlifting, indoor cycling, yoga, boxing, and cardio sessions on machines like the StairMaster.

But sometimes, you need a little push. Or, in my case, a big push. I’m a creature of habit, so it often takes a lot for me to make the effort to try new things. Once I know what I like, I really know what I like. And I probably won’t stray too far away from my comfort zone because it’s, you know, comfortable!

That’s where SweatBox comes in. Its entire existence is pretty much built on the idea of escaping your comfort zone and taking your stamina to levels that are outside this universe. Plenty has been written about the science behind SweatBox — aka the Sweat Method — and about all the reasons why you should give it a try. But if you’re a fitness fanatic like me, you might be wondering whether SweatBox is really that life-changing of a workout and if it’s worth your energy, money, and time.

Well, I’m here to tell you that the answers to those questions are undoubtedly YES and YES. So if you’ve been eyeing SweatBox from afar but haven’t made the leap from observer to participant, check out all the ways SweatBox changed my workout and see what’s in it for you!

The ambiance sets the mood.  

From the mirrored walls to the rows of state-of-the-art IC7 bikes, just walking into the SweatBox studio will get you incredibly pumped up. It’s the type of environment that seems to subliminally say, “You are badass and you will conquer this.” Best of all, the workout is timed with lighting and musical effects within the studio that make the entire experience feel more like a night out dancing than a hardcore sweat session.

The music is crazy motivating.

Speaking of dancing, expect to hear a killer soundtrack during your SweatBox experience. I tend to listen to the same songs and playlists when I work out (creature of habit, remember?), so I welcomed the musical picks of my instructor Alexx that included everyone from Britney to Gaga. You never know, you just might discover your new favorite gym tune!

Partner work builds a sense of camaraderie.

I gotta be honest: As an introvert, I’m not the biggest fan of partner workouts. I like to do my own thing and be focused on what I’m doing as opposed to what everyone else is up to. But when we did some partner exercises in class, it was surprisingly enjoyable and — better yet — encouraging. It’s also strangely comforting to know that someone else is right there with you, enduring seemingly endless sets of burpees, push-ups, and sprints on the bike.

Intensity level is off the charts.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to intensity. And at SweatBox, there is plenty of that to go around. You won’t be taking unnecessary rest breaks or mindlessly checking your phone between sets — there’s no time for that. Alexx maintained a high level of momentum over the course of 50 minutes and expected 200% from everybody. He offered variations of each exercise to ensure that it could be modified for all fitness levels.

MYZONE integration means unparalleled accountability.

SweatBox uses MYZONE heart rate monitors that pair with your bike. They show your progress on screens in the studio, so you can see the efficacy of your workout in real-time. Talk about accountability, right? If you don’t already own a MYZONE heart rate monitor (VIDA members can purchase one at an exclusive discount), the studio will supply one for you to use for the duration of class. These monitors are a great way to visualize your metrics — average heart rate, calories burned, all that good stuff — and to see just how hard you worked!

Jan 10 2018

Workout Of The Week: Dumbbell AMRAP

It’s time for another workout of the week, courtesy of Raul Carrion at Gallery Place!

Grab a pair of dumbbells and give this 2o minute AMRAP a try.

20 minutes, As many rounds as possible:

  • Dumbbell Chest press
  • Dumbbell Bent Over Row
  • Sit up
  • Side planks Leg Raise
  • Bench Dip

To build up endurance, grab a lighter set and aim for 12-15 reps of each exercise. For strength building, use a heavier set and aim for 8-10 reps of each. Want to add a cardio blast? Throw in 10 burpees in between each round!

Workout Of The Week: Dumbbell AMRAP from VIDA Fitness on Vimeo.

Jan 8 2018

David & Susie on Great Day Washington

David Mizejewski & Trainer Susie Powell on WUSA 9 to document the start of David’s journey!

I’m excited to share this fun segment I did on WUSA9’s Great Day Washington show with my VIDA personal trainer Susie Powell. I’ve been a guest on Great Day Washington many times to promote my work with the National Wildlife Federation and NatGeo WILD, so it was kind of strange to be there without live wildlife ambassadors or a TV show to promote and instead in my workout gear holding dumbbells.

Susie and I demonstrated a few of the exercises that are part of the workouts she’s created for me as I kick off my fitness journey with VIDA. Our hope was to inspire viewers to get to the gym and take advantage of the expertise of a personal trainer just like I’ve done. You’ll be hearing much more about Susie in my future posts here, because she is awesome and is already totally invaluable to me in picking the right exercises for my current fitness level, and making sure I’m doing them correctly. Here’s the segment!

Jan 8 2018

10 Reasons To Offer A Corporate Wellness Plan

10 Reasons To Offer A Corporate Wellness Plan

By: Mekita Rivas, VIDA editor and member

At most health clubs, a corporate partnership is a discounted gym membership and not much else. At VIDA, we collaborate with you to create customized corporate wellness plans that include assessments, targeted solutions, and follow-ups. We’ll go above and beyond to create a healthy environment for your team. Here are 10 reasons you should work with VIDA to develop a corporate wellness plan.

It’ll encourage your employees to stick to those resolutions.

It’s that time of year when everyone is making resolutions to lead healthier, fitter, and more active lives. Why not help your employees reach their goals? Providing a corporate wellness plan puts them on the right path for 2018 and beyond. As an added bonus, all VIDA members receive a complimentary VIDAFit consultation when they first join. This consultation gives members the opportunity to talk one-on-one with a VIDA personal trainer about their goals and objectives.

It can lead to more productivity.

Working out releases endorphins and boosts energy levels, which means employees are likely to be more focused and productive. Research shows that exercise can be just as effective as caffeine in fighting fatigue. Even short bursts of exercise can provide more long-term alertness and improved cognitive function. Best of all, VIDA offers group fitness classes throughout the day, so you can get to the gym when it’s most convenient for you.

It incentivizes employees to stay.

Corporate wellness plans provide employees with one more reason to stay at your organization. According to this Aflac report, workers who are offered wellness plans and take part in them are significantly more likely to be satisfied with their job. They’re also more likely to feel positively toward their employer, and consider their well-being better protected, compared to workers who aren’t offered wellness plans at all. Employees can take advantage of VIDA’s personal and small group training options to take their workouts to the next level.

It keeps you competitive in the marketplace.

With corporate wellness plans becoming more commonplace, workers have different expectations for what their benefits package should look like these days. After all, corporate wellness plans are a nearly $8 billion industry in the United States. Don’t get left behind! And since VIDA began right here in the District, you’ll be supporting a locally owned and operated company.

It’s a way to incorporate friendly competition.

When it comes to the future of corporate wellness plans, it’s all about data integration. Data-driven incentives are a great way to encourage some friendly competition among employees. The MYZONE Heart Rate Monitor does just that, enabling you to host company-wide challenges that will engage and motivate your team. The best part? VIDA members receive an exclusive discount on their MYZONE Heart Rate Monitor!

It can help lower health care costs.

According to a 2012 Gallup State of the American Workplace study, employees with “high overall well-being” have 41% lower health-related costs compared with employees who are “struggling” and 62% lower costs compared with employees who are “suffering.” Offering a corporate wellness plan is one way you can help ensure that workers feel that positive sense of well-being. And at VIDA, we truly offer something for everyone: state-of-the-art cardio equipment, free and machine weights, studio style classes, and personal training packages. People always find something they love at VIDA!

It’s the ultimate stress reliever.

Working out helps clear your head and alleviate stress after (or before) a long day. Employees who take advantage of a VIDA membership through your corporate wellness plan are likely to be less riddled with stress because they’ll be busy sweating it out! Plus, VIDA’s inner fitness classes like yoga, pilates mat, and barre provide members with an opportunity to recharge and rejuvenate in a low impact way.

It could lead to less sick leave usage.

Corporate wellness plans can translate into a more productive — and present — workforce. One 2012 review of 62 studies, published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, found 25 percent lower sick leave usage among companies that had wellness plans. And here at VIDA, we know that wellness isn’t all about fitness. That’s why we offer nutritional counseling services with our team of registered, licensed dietitians.

It’s a healthy way to socialize.

While we appreciate a good post-work happy hour, bonding over booze isn’t always the best idea. With the right corporate wellness plan, employees can get to know each other at the gym, whether it’s attending a group fitness class or hitting the treadmill together. VIDA can also come to you! We can host special classes and programs in the comfort of your office or at your preferred VIDA location. We can even build a happy hour event (yes, with booze) around your team’s workout.

It fosters a sense of community.

As employees establish connections and build routines at the gym, they’ll also contribute to more camaraderie in the workplace. Trust us: If you’ve survived a set of burpees or a minute-long plank hold with someone, you’re going to be bonded in a pretty special way. From competing with a colleague in a MYZONE challenge to bringing a group to one of VIDA’s specialty classes (Karaoke Cycle, anyone?), we’ll help your team connect and grow together.

Vida Fitness
City Vista 45 K Street, NW Washington D.C. 20001
(202) 289-8432 Facebook Twitter Instagram

City Vista

Open: Mon-Fri: 5:00am – 11:00pm

Open: Sat & Sun: 7:00 am – 9:00pm

Phone: (202) 289-8432

$ 45 K Street, NW Washington D.C. 20001
Vida Fitness
Metropole 1517 15th Street, NW Washington D.C. 20005
(202) 588-5559 Facebook Twitter Instagram


Phone: (202) 588-5559

$ 1517 15th Street, NW Washington D.C. 20005

Open: Mon-Fri: 5:00am – 11:00pm

Open: Sat & Sun: 7:00 am – 9:00pm

Vida Fitness
Renaissance Hotel 999 9th Street, NW, 3rd Floor Washington D.C. 20001
(202) 742-1940 Facebook Twitter Instagram

Renaissance Hotel

Phone: (202) 742-1940

$ 999 9th Street, NW, 3rd Floor Washington D.C. 20001

Open: Mon-Fri: 5:30am – 10:00pm

Open: Sat & Sun: 6:00 am – 10:00pm

Vida Fitness
U Street 1612 U Street, NW Washington D.C. 20009
(202) 939-2577 Facebook Twitter Instagram

U Street

Phone: (202) 939-2577

$ 1612 U Street, NW Washington D.C. 20009

Open: Mon-Fri: 5:00am – 11:00pm

Open: Sat & Sun: 7:00 am – 9:00pm

Vida Fitness
Verizon 601 F Street, NW Washington D.C. 20004
(202) 393-8432 Facebook Twitter Instagram


Phone: (202) 393-8432

$ 601 F Street, NW Washington D.C. 20004

Open: Mon-Fri: 5:00am – 11:00pm

Open: Sat & Sun: 7:00 am – 9:00pm

Vida Fitness
The Yards 1212 4th Street, SE Washington D.C, 20003
(202) 554-0444 Facebook Twitter Instagram

The Yards

Phone: (202) 554-0444

$ 1212 4th Street, SE Washington D.C, 20003

Open: Mon-Fri: 5:00am – 11:00pm

Open: Sat & Sun: 7:00 am – 9:00pm