Free VIDA Fitness Bootcamp at Yards Park

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Crash Course: VIDA Fitness and the Capitol Riverfront BID are partnering to offer free “Get Fit For Summer” workouts Monday through Saturday till the end of August. The schedule will change from month to month, so if you are interested I suggest keeping tabs on the VIDA Facebook page for updates. The bootcamp class is currently offered Monday and Wednesday from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. and features a rotating cast of VIDA trainers to make you sprint, squat, and scissor kick your way into shape all summer long. Each class is open to all fitness levels and will be scaled to meet the experience and needs of every participant. [line] [left]where: 355 Water Street SE // Navy Yard

bring: water, towel, mat

perks: outdoor workout, free

sweat score: 8 out of 10[/left][right]wear: whatever you like

instructor: Kelly

cost: FREE[/right] [line]

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Yards Park by the Navy Yard has quickly become one of the hottest spots in the city. Brand spanking new condos with riverfront views are flanked by even snazzier new bars and restaurants. Stroll along the water and you’re treated to views of crew teams, quaint touring boats, naval destroyers, and National’s stadium. And, to seal-the-deal that this is truly an up-and-coming area: high-end VIDA Fitness is building its newest location smack dab in the middle of it all. To celebrate, VIDA is working with the local BID to host workout classes all summer long. Anyone and everyone is invited. Oh, and did I mention that they’re free? 

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On Wednesday, dazed by a hellish commute in rush hour + stadium traffic over to SE DC, I strolled up to the closest group of people in Yards Park milling about in athletic gear. Which seemed like the right direction to go toward until I realized that those folks were hanging out with dogs in a small enclosed dog park. Not the bootcamp. This is awkward.

Thank goodness a guy who had been to the bootcamp last week noticed that I was obviously lost, and pointed me in the right direction. The workout classes meet down by the water on the boardwalk. After signing a waiver and placing my backpack on a patch of grass off to the side, we circled around Kelly the VIDA trainer for our orders.

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Kelly told us that every exercise we did that evening would be scaled to three different fitness levels. The first being for those who are new to fitness and just trying things out. The second for people who work out a few times a week and are comfortable with bootcamp style workouts. And the third for those who could easily run three miles, consider themselves athletes, and want something more advanced.

We began with a circuit involving a quarter mile sprint followed by 25 air squats, four times through. Even though the wind was blowing and there was zero humidity, I was sweating buckets by the second round. The combination of quick running and dynamic full-body squats was really killer. We were off to a strong start!

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The rest of the workout was broken up into additional segments of activity. We did a “seven minutes in heaven” circuit that included seven different exercises, each done for a full minute. Think burpees, static split squats, bicycles, and that sort of thing. We also did some stair running, a few dozen push ups, a crazy hard set of bunny hops, and finished things off with final exercises that isolated the abs. All in all, it was a full body workout that got everyone sweating and moving. And let’s be honest, the price and the scenery just couldn’t be beat. 

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The atmosphere was fun and casual, but not so casual that people were off in groups talking amongst themselves or not paying attention to the trainer. Kelly did a great job commanding a diverse audience, leading us seamlessly through each segment of the hour-long workout, and making sure everyone was challenged regardless of their ability level.

The mix of people at the bootcamp ranged from true beginners (the guy next to me told me that he hadn’t worked out in a long time and his goal was “not to die”) to true athletes, with all different ages, shapes, and sizes in between. It was a blast and I would love to go back again soon! Maybe for outdoor yoga next time.

Here is the schedule of free VIDA classes in May:

 V-Boot Camp: Mondays and Wednesdays 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Boot Camp: Tuesdays 7:00 am and Saturdays 10:00 am
Sunrise Yoga: Thursdays 6:30 – 7:30 a.m.
Sunset Yoga: Tuesdays 5:45 – 6:45 p.m.
Vinyasa: Fridays12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Sunrise Yoga: Thursdays 6:30 – 7:30 a.m.
Zumba: Thursdays 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Side note: If you are thirsty after bootcamp and looking for a libation, I can personally attest to the tastiness of the lavender and basil wheat beer brewed next door at Bluejacket. A little pro tip from me to you – cheers!

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