Fit Crashing Freebie: Athleta Fit Club

Athleta

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Crash Course: DC is an amazing city full of amazing workouts; luckily, quite a few of them are free of charge. I joined the Georgetown Athleta Fit Club for their Tuesday night HIIT class with Amy Rizzotto. This 30-minute session is a fantastic and friendly way to work up a sweat. [line] [left]where: Athleta store in Georgetown

bring: water bottle, towel

perks: no cost, small class size

sweat score: 5 out of 10 [/left][right]wear: regular workout duds

instructor: Amy Rizzotto

cost: FREE [/right] [line]

Athleta Georgetown
It seems as though every athletic apparel store in DC now offers some sort of free fitness perk to the local community. I absolutely love this – and it makes total sense in a “if you build it, they will come” kind of way. Offer free workouts and get folks psyched about fitness in a store environment where they can buy whatever they need to continue sweating. Well played.

The Athleta store in Georgetown now has a “Fit Club” offering free workouts a few nights each week. At the moment, the offerings include HIIT on Tuesdays, yoga on Wednesdays, and a run club early on Sunday morning.

Athleta Fitclub Georgetown
Feeling the need to unleash some stress after a long day at work, I drove to Georgetown on Tuesday to check out the HIIT workout with Amy Rizzotto of MOAR fitness. I had been seeing Athleta advertise it on Twitter and put it on my “to crash” list, and last week the scheduling stars finally aligned. Having crashed the free Nike Training Club just down the street, I had visions of something very similar greeting me at the Athleta store. Pumping DJ. Large crowds. Low lights. Multiple instructors with headset microphones running around in sleek Nike gear. Trial swag. Snacks. All out fitness par-tay.

Imagine my surprise (and quiet delight) when I walked in to face a friendly crowd of two (plus Amy). We were joined by one more as the workout began, but our tiny band of four athletes working out to tunes cranking on an iPhone under the bright lights of the Athleta store created a very different atmosphere than the live-DJ-behemoth-spectacle of the Nike class. Don’t get me wrong, I loved both of these free classes. I loved them for different reasons. Just know before you go that they are very different scenarios.

Athleta Fitclub Georgetown
Since I came straight from work, I changed in the dressing rooms at the back of the store and then walked up front to join Amy and the other ladies. Her energy and warmth were incredibly welcoming. You could tell she was genuinely excited for each and every one of us to be there. Since it was such a small crowd, it really felt more like an intimate group of girlfriends getting together for a low-key workout than a corporate-sponsored “fit club.” Which I really appreciated. This is definitely a great place to come if you are looking for a casual, no pressure, friendly, no judgement sweat sesh.

Athleta Fitclub Georgetown
The workout itself put us through three 10 minute circuits, each of which included a combination of cardio, coordination/balance, and bodyweight exercises. Other than a yoga mat during planks, we didn’t use any additional equipment.

Amy’s class was challenging in many ways, and the intensity level was scalable to your personal need or preference. I personally felt this workout was great for those who want to explore HIIT without feeling like they are going to pass out. At the Nike class, I had moments of utter exhaustion and honestly felt at times as though I was going to lose my lunch. Some days, I need and crave that. Other days…not so much.

The circuits included things like boxing punches and kicks, a few lunges and squats, and a number of yoga-inspired moves. Many of the exercises Amy incorporated were not your typical hum-drum push ups and sit ups – in fact, almost all of them were down-right fun to play around with (handstands? three legged dog crunches? iron chair?). Thank you to Amy for showing me that HIIT can be fun, effective, and playful without raking my body over the coals. And thank you to my workout partners who laughed with me (not at me) when I almost side-kicked a mannequin in the front window during a set of cardio kicks. Oops.

Athleta Fitclub Georgetown
The one thing I wasn’t so keen on at the Fit Club: our sweaty endeavors were visibly on display front-and-center in the Athleta store’s main window. Great advertising for the Fit Club, kind of awkward for us. We got a good number of odd looks from Georgetown shoppers as they walked by (why are those girls jumping up and down in there?), and a a few looks of amusement from shoppers who walked into the store and right into our workout space. This could be an uncomfortable scenario for anyone who may feel a little self conscious about sweating all over the place for all of M Street to see. After 50-odd fit crashes, I’m immune to workout embarrassment at this point, but others may not feel the same way. While Amy kept us going at a great clip and really kept our attention to what was going on with the workout, if I could offer a bit of advice to the Athleta store, I’d recommend having the class in an area that’s not right in front of the window and the front door. Just a suggestion!

All in all, a great {free} workout to put on your list for anytime you need a quick HIIT of sweaty endorphins. 

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Has anyone crashed any of the other Athleta Fit Club classes?

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