Crash Course: 305 Fitness is a fast-paced, heart-pumping dance cardio experience complete with a live DJ and high-energy instructor. Hate dance-based classes? Well, this one’s a bit different. Think more cardio, less choreo. No need to memorize any sequences or complicated routines; just follow along with the instructor’s moves and you’ll be sweating in no time. This is a dynamic class with lots of jumping, plyometrics, moving, and grooving, so be prepared and modify if needed. Check out the 305 Fitness website for a full schedule of classes.
where: Bodysmith Gym | 1630 14th Street NW
bring: water bottle
perks: shower, towels, juice bar on site
sweat score: 8 out of 10
wear: clothes to dance + sweat in
cost: drop-in is $26
Earlier this year I had the pleasure of meeting the team behind 305 Fitness, a high-energy cardio dance class from New York City. They wanted to expand their sweaty empire beyond the Empire State and had their sights set on the fitness buzz happening here in DC. Needless to say, I couldn’t have been more excited to serve as a spandex-clad ambassador for what the District has to offer and wholeheartedly vouched for DC as the place to be.
Well, the stars aligned and as of this month 305 Fitness officially launched in Washington, DC at Bodysmith Gym in Logan Circle. High-fives all around! I was invited to attend one of their inaugural classes a week or so ago, and despite being knee-deep in cardboard boxes and packing chaos, I dropped everything to finally check out what this NYC dance cardio phenom was all about.
To get to class, I hopped on a Capital Bikeshare after work and pedaled my way up to Bodysmith Gym, where I was immediately greeted by a long line of excited sweat junkies waiting to get into class. Always a good sign. After putting pen to paper on the appropriate gym safety waivers, I went upstairs to change into my 305 Fitness tank, a generous gift from the team to celebrate the launch. While this is almost certainly as nerdy as wearing the race t-shirt to the race itself, I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I mean, the thing is feather-light and has “make sweat sexy” emblazioned in big, bold, hot-pink letters. You better believe I wore it.
The all-purpose room was absolutely buzzing with energy. The din kept building as more people packed in, and the DJ was already setting a party vibe with some pre-class tunes. I put my water bottle and towel down at the back of the room and scouted out the best place to stand.
I wanted to blend into the crowd, but also wanted to take a few photos without disturbing the class. On top of all that, I have a tendency to interpret dance moves by flailing my arms and legs in various directions, so for the safety of others I thought it’d be best to keep a wide radius. The only available spot that fit my needs was right next to the DJ, who was awesome. Thanks for appreciating my spastic running-man and for dropping some serious beats, DJardent!
Just when I thought the noise level of the room couldn’t get any louder, Natalia the instructor took things up a notch with her introduction. Ladies and gents, she is energy and personality personified. Part entertainer, part motivational speaker, and part girl you wish you could keep up with on the dance floor, she commanded our attention and held it there from start to finish. Having fun and giving it your all in class isn’t a suggestion, it’s mandatory. I have a feeling this is par for the course with 305′s instructors, so get ready.
We jumped right in from the very first song. Literally jumped. And lunged. And high knees. And sassy sashayed across the floor. And then squat jumped, because who doesn’t throw a few squat jumps in on the dance floor? While at first there were a few tepid hoots and hollers from girls around the room enjoying the moves and the music, it quickly crescendoed to an all-out sweat party by song three.
Now I’m going to be brutally honest: I don’t typically enjoy dance classes. Without fail, I feel awkward, self conscious, and uncoordinated. But for some reason those feelings quickly faded during this class. Sure I got some of the steps wrong. I may or may not have fallen over at one point. But, unlike Zumba or other dance classes I’ve crashed, for the most part the steps were easy to follow along with. And on top of that, there was such an emphasis on “making it your own” and just moving and having fun that I quickly stopped trying to perfect the moves. I just did what I could and made up the rest. I have to say, having a live DJ somehow helps set a more care-free vibe, too.
There was a brief (very brief) break in the middle of class, where many of us spilled out of the room in search of extra towels to mop ourselves with. At any point during the session you can stop to towel off or get some water, but the time goes so quickly that having a designated break in the middle was helpful. While the first half of class was mainly dancing to one song after the next, the second half of class consisted of some sprint intervals (running in place, more squats, you get the idea) and then an absolutely brutal arm sequence. We didn’t use any weights but instead repeated different small movements, and holy smokes were my arms burning. Don’t let it fool you. We capped everything off with a good long stretch, which was clutch after putting your body through so many dynamic moves.
Bottom line: 305 Fitness is an incredibly fun and entertaining way to get your full body cardio conditioning. There is anaerobic and aerobic training. Plyometrics. Endurance. Sprints. You name it, you’ll do it, and I have a feeling you may even enjoy it. I know I did! I’m excited to get up to New York City and try it again.
After class I stopped by Press located on the ground floor of Bodysmith. They have a small but very delicious selection of vegetable and fruit juices and smoothies. After all of that sweating, I opted for an ice-cold smoothie with chia seeds, coconut water, banana, blueberries, and spinach. It was the perfect way to quickly replenish and refresh.