What do you LOVE most about VIDA? Your weekly date with a favorite instructor? TFW you step into the steam room after a long day at work? Or let’s keep it real, the sugar scrub in the showers?
Whatever your thing is, we want to hear about it! Share your #VIDAlove posts on social media during the month of February and tell us what you love most about being a VIDA member! For some added flair, stop by the front desk to take a photo with our official #VIDAlove frame at each location.
At the end of each week, we’ll choose our favorite to repost on our page and win one of the following randomly drawn prizes!
One piece of apparel from the Gear Shop
30-minute massage + 30 minute facial from Aura spa
Pushker Mookim grew up fairly athletic, so it’s no wonder he gravitated toward a career in fitness.
“I was always running around outside, usually with a soccer ball,” Pushker said. “In high school I started getting more into building muscle. Once I got into fitness, it started taking over my life.”
Although Pushker studied business in college, he didn’t feel the same passion that he did for working out. “I decided to take a break from school to figure out where my life was going,” he said.
Pushker went to California to visit family for a few weeks. While there, he frequented a local gym and was approached to interview for a personal training job. He nailed the interview and was ultimately offered the job.
It was decision time: Should he move to California, or turn down such a great opportunity? In the end, it came down to being financially responsible. “California is an expensive place to live, so I couldn’t make it work,” he said. “I came back to the DMV and began studying to get certified here.”
California’s loss is VIDA’s gain: Pushker is one of the newest personal trainers at The Yards location, and he’s ready to help you reach your goals and transform your routine.
“I love being able to use my biggest passion and talent to help people improve their lives,” he said. “At VIDA, we all want to see and help each other grow. Going in to train a client hardly ever feels like work.”
When it comes to his training style, Pushker said he’s all about making his clients look and feel stronger. “My goal is to never string a client along for the ride,” he said. “I like to teach my clients about different muscles, movements, lingo, and gym etiquette. I want all of them to be functional members of the iron jungle.”
Pushker is speaking from firsthand experience: He’s undergone a big physical transformation himself and continues to work hard to maintain and build upon his progress. He trains six days a week and focuses on bodybuilding and strength training. One of his goals is to bench and squat at least 225 pounds for five reps. Another goal is to increase his body weight to 185 pounds while staying under 10 percent body fat.
“I have a whopping 45 pounds to go for that one, so it’s a long term goal,” he said. “For goals like this, it’s a good idea to split it up into smaller, short-term goals. It’s theorized that if everything is done right, you will gain a half pound of lean muscle each month. So I have about 90 months, or 7.5 years, to go.”
Fortunately, working and training at VIDA provides Pushker with the perfect environment for staying on track with all of his goals, both short- and long-term.
“Working and working out at VIDA has stepped my game up ten fold,” he said. “There is no lack of equipment, and there is no shortage of motivation and inspiration. Plus everyone — from members to management — is so willing to help. It really is an environment for growth.”
When it comes to staying fit and healthy, it may seem like celebrities have it so easy. After all, they have endless access to the most exclusive gyms and the most well-known personal trainers. But take it from us: You don’t have to be a celebrity to train like a celebrity! In fact, all you need is your VIDA membership and a solid dose of motivation. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the most popular workouts preferred by your favorite celebrities and how VIDA can get you on their level. Get inspired to try something new today!
What’s Aniston’s secret to staying so fit and toned? She leads an active lifestyle that’s anchored by her years-long yoga practice. According to her longtime yoga teacher Mandy Ingber, Aniston focuses less on one particular pose and more on the “positive mindset yoga helped her cultivate.” If you’re ready to get your inner om on, check out one of VIDA’s many yoga classes including Vinyasa, Power, Rocket, Heated, Yoga for Athletes, and Restorative, just to name a few!
The retired soccer star frequents indoor cycle classes to maintain his world-famous physique. “I’m very obsessed,” he’s said. “It’s a workout that I love. It’s a workout I enjoy, and to be honest, since I finished playing there aren’t too many workouts that I do enjoy.” With such a ringing endorsement, why not pop into the cycle studio the next time you’re at VIDA? Our indoor cycle program offers a challenging workout that’s full of heart-pumping intervals, guaranteeing that you’ll be in for the ride of your life.
Dwyane “The Rock” Johnson
It’s hard to think of someone who embodies #fitgoals more than this guy. And lucky for us, he recently shared his Jumanji weightlifting routine with the world, a five-day plan that focuses on different muscle groups including back, chest, legs, shoulders, and arms (don’t worry, it also includes a two-day rest period — phew!). Ready to lift like you’re going to star in the next action blockbuster? Look no further than VIDA! We offer state-of-the-art weightlifting equipment that will take your workout to the next level. Maybe you won’t be saving the world like Johnson, but at least you can feel like you are!
How does the royal-to-be stay in such great shape? She’s a regular at her favorite Pilates studio! She’s called Pilates “the best thing you could do for your body,” and we couldn’t agree more. We have a wide variety of Pilates classes here at VIDA, from standard mat Pilates to Power Pilates with more advanced options to Pilates Reformer classes that are available for small group training.
You know you’re sweating buckets and can feel your heart pumping like crazy, but do you know if you’re functioning in an aerobic or anaerobic zone, or what percentage of your maximum heart rate you’re using? Most likely not, since it’s impossible to guess this information without technology monitoring your actual beats per minute.
Heart rate monitors make a world of a difference for improving cardiovascular endurance and tracking how hard you’re actually pushing yourself during a workout. If you always check your calories burned after a cardio session, you should know that a heart rate monitor provides a much more accurate number than a standard summary from a treadmill or elliptical. Because it’s actually measuring YOUR effort and exertion, not just generic information punched into a machine, you’ll find that your actual calories burned is usually a very different number than what a piece of equipment will tell you.
Here at VIDA, we spent a lot of time researching the most advanced heart rate monitoring systems on the market to find the most fully functioning device to recommend to our members. The MYZONE physical activity belt incorporates several unique features unparalleled in the heart rate monitoring world that have been fully woven into your group fitness and personal training experiences here at VIDA.
The MYZONE app allows you to live-track your physical exertion by the second on your phone, with a real-time display of the percentage of your max heart rate you’re working at. You’ll receive a personalized workout summary email after every session, and earn points for time spent in each effort zone which adds a competitive element to your workouts.
So how does it work?
The MYZONE belt fastens around your rib cage with the device placed directly below your sternum. It’s comfortable and easy to adjust, so it doesn’t slip around or get in the way of your movements. The MYZONE app syncs directly with your device via Bluetooth. As soon as you open the app while wearing the belt, your device will beep signaling that it’s reading your heart rate.
When you open the app, you’ll see a colored tile with a big percentage number on it. The percentage is the amount of your maximum heart rate that you’re currently at, which you’ll see go up pretty quickly as soon as you start moving. MYZONE uses different color zones for percentage ranges (blue for 60-70% of your max, green for 70-80%, yellow 80-90%, and red is 90-100%) so you can easily see what range you’re in by glancing at your phone.
In addition to your color zone, your tile also displays total calories burned, your current heart rate and the amount of MYZONE Effort Points (MEPs) you’ve earned. MEPs are what make using MYZONE really fun – since you get more points for the harder you work. For every minute you spend in the blue zone you acquire 2 MEPs per minute. In green, you make 3 MEPs per minute, and in yellow and red you’re earning a whopping 4 MEPs per minute!
The live feedback from the app is perfect for group fitness and small group training classes, as it gives the instructor the ability to make sure each person is performing in the same effort zone. It also means no room for slacking, since your phone will show the rest of the room how much effort you’re actually putting out at that moment. If it shows that you have room to be pushing harder, you can bet that your instructor will point that out.
These tracking features are game-changers for making your workouts as effective as possible, but our favorite feature by far is the social aspect. You add your friends on the app the same way you would on social media, and all of your connections’ workouts will appear on your newsfeed. You can compare stats with a friend after completing the same class together, or check to see what workouts your friends at other gyms are doing.
There’s also the leaderboard – which displays a ranking of you and all your connections total MEPs for the month. For those with a competitive side, trying to get ahead of your friends on the leaderboard can be all the motivation you need to crank out another mile, up the resistance on your bike, or do whatever it takes to push yourself harder during your workout. Trust us, it gets addicting.
The MYZONE belt is available to VIDA members for a discounted rate of $99.99 (usually $149.99), but this month they’re Buy One Get One Free! Stop by any front desk and get one for yourself, and one for your lucky significant other, BFF, coworker, or roomie!
If you need any help setting up your belt or learning your way around the app, feel free to grab a staff member for assistance. And don’t forget to add your fellow VIDA members and instructors as friends, so we can all keep each other accountable for our workouts this holiday season!
One of the tools I’m using in my fitness journey with VIDA is MYZONE, a personal fitness tracker that monitors things like heart rate and calories burned and produces post-workout reports like this one so you can analyze your workout. (I also hear you can use it during Sweatbox workouts where it projects onto a screen along with everyone else’s in the class to boost the spirit of competition. I don’t think I’m quite ready for Sweatbox yet, but it’s one of my goals.)
The first accomplishment I’m proud of was actually getting myself up and to the gym on a Saturday morning. Given that I’m not a morning person and that I love my lazy weekend mornings at home, that is a big deal! But I did, and after an hour-long body resistance, dumbbell and kettlebell workout session with my trainer Susie Powell, forty-five minutes of 4-3 intervals on the elliptical, and fifteen minutes of stretching, I burned over 1,700 calories and kept my heart rate in 70-90% zone (the green and yellow on the chart) for the majority of the time.
I can feel my body changing, and it’s a pretty incredible thing.
(Oh, and MYZONE lets you pick a nickname. I wanted mine to be wildlife-related so I picked “BeastMan” and the ironic gym-bro-ness of it makes me laugh every time.)
Jeff Horowitz has multiple marathons under his belt, and loves both methods of race training!
By: VIDA Personal Trainer & Run Coach Jeff Horowitz
I’m asked this question all the time: is running on the treadmill as good as running outside on the roads? This is more than a fanciful question since many people are training for spring races and want to make sure that they get as much benefit from their training as they expect.
To answer this question, let’s compare how they stack up.
Ease of Access
Road running is one of the most accessible forms of exercise available – it can be done anywhere, at any time. At least, in theory. In practice, there are concerns that limit a runner’s options. Running in the dark or alone can create anxiety about safety – made all the more potent by news stories about attacks on runners. Bad weather is also a concern; even with the best of gear, it’s hard to get motivated to run on icy streets when the temperature is in single digits or less. Treadmill running, on the other hand, provides the same experience every time: a predictable and replicable workout in a temperature-controlled, safe environment. Advantage: treadmill.
Road runners report all manner of injuries from running on uneven, hard surfaces, from shin splints to sore knees, to bruises from tripping. Treadmills generally provide a softer, more even and predictable running surface. Advantage: treadmill.
Road running is the best exercise to prepare the body for running on the roads, like in a race. That’s an example of the “specificity of exercise.” By running on the roads, the body learns to deal with impact, hills, and uneven surfaces. Treadmills provide a somewhat artificial experience since it feeds the road to you and doesn’t challenge you to deal with wind or uneven surfaces. But it does give you a good sense of pacing because once you set a speed on the treadmill, that’s what you’ll be running. You can’t lack and surge on a treadmill, or you’ll find yourself thrown off. Advantage: road running.
Road running allows us to each become explorers as we check out new neighborhoods and paths. In DC, our options include streets, bike trails, and off-road trails. With a little planning, every run could be an adventure. With treadmills, the benefit of predictability is matched by the tedium of repetition. On a treadmill, there is no journey, there is no adventure, and there is no exploration. Advantage: road running.
If you want to experience the joy of running, head outside. But if you want really improve as a runner, hop on one of our Woodway treadmills to work in a controlled environment on your form and speed. Or best of all, include both in your routine to get the best of both worlds.
Ultimately, though, it matters less which format you choose than it matters that you run consistently.
Interested in learning more from Jeff about proper running form? Shoot him an email a email@example.com!
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?
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!
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!
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
Side planks Leg Raise
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!