Crash Course: My Bootcamp offers small, outdoor group training sessions in the DC, VA, and MD area. Each 45-minute workout includes 15-20 minutes of mobility followed by 30 minutes of high intensity interval training. Classes use traditional bodyweight exercises and a variety of fun tools like TRX, the rip trainer, sandbags, kettlebells, and the infamous fire hose. Yes, it’s like a playground full of toys for adults who are addicted to sweat. For pricing options and bootcamp locations, visit the My Bootcamp website.
where: Bryce Park, Northwest DC
bring: water bottle, gloves optional
perks: small group, being outside
sweat score: 7 out of 10
wear: whatever is most comfortable for being outside
instructor: Grant Hill
cost: $100/month plus $50 enrollment fee
I had heard about My Bootcamp through Revolve spin instructor extraordinaire Grant Hill, who just happens to be the company’s founder and president. Grant invited me to come crash one of the bootcamp sessions and I was more than happy to oblige. The best part? The Northwest DC location was just a hop, skip, and uphill jump from my apartment. The website lists it as “Cathedral,” but it’s actually in Bryce Park across the street on the corner of Wisconsin and Massachusettes (I wandered the grounds of the National Cathedral in spandex for 10 minutes before figuring this out – oops).
We wasted no time getting down to business, beginning class with a few warm up exercises and mobility stretches. Oh yes, that included bear crawls across the cold pavement. I remember the moment this photo was taken, because it was just as I began to get frustrated with how difficult I found the simple act of crawling. Maybe it’s my coordination, or the fact that I haven’t crawled since I was in diapers, but let’s just say it’s a whole lot harder than it looks. If you want a quick and effective warm up and don’t mind getting a few weird stares…I highly recommend it.
Next, Grant explained that we were going to do hill repeats while carrying a 60 pound sandbag. Notice the look of amusement on everyone’s face. I may have been behind the camera, but I was also thinking “you’ve gotta be kidding.”
So not kidding. We each had to carry the bag up the hill twice while the rest of the group did a series of planks, push ups, burpees, and abs. This photo was obviously taken during the first lap, because by the second I was a sorry mess. That thing felt like it was full of bricks and I quickly discovered there was no efficient or convenient way to carry it. I think at one point I attempted to swing it between my legs with the hope of finding some sort of forward momentum…bad idea.
After the hill repeats of death, Grant demonstrated the circuit portion of the workout. It was a HIIT series, with short bursts of intensity followed by short periods of rest. This little device is a TRX rip trainer hooked up to a lamp pole. Using it feels like shoveling really heavy snow or chopping wood.
Then we did one arm rows with the TRX. Check out that view – not bad, right?
Followed by kettlebell swings.
And the entire thing was topped off with a round of fire hose waves – basically yanking the heavy fire hose up and down to create a wave-like motion. I felt this big-time in my arms, shoulders, and abs. After a two minute break, we started over again for round two. Coming off of the sand bag hill repeats, I was really feeling fatigued at this point and could already tell I was working muscles that were going to fight back in the morning.
During the circuit, Grant walked around to each of the stations, correcting form and offering encouragement. He wasn’t in your face or overly energetic. There was no “rah rah” feel or drill sergeant attitude. But it was enough to let you know that he was paying attention and wanted you to do it right.
When we finished, I was ready to call it a day. I walked over to my backpack and started to sit down. But next thing I knew Grant was demonstrating a tag-turned-mortal-kombat routine and telling us to pair up and join in. Tag? As adults? First crawling and now tag?
You can see how well that turned out for me. I’m not exactly known for my cat-like reflexes or my speed, so let’s just say this is an area for improvement. After about five minutes, Grant called “time” and we were officially finished for the day. It was a busy 45 minutes and I really enjoyed the class. I can’t say I was drenched in sweat by the end, but I can personally attest to being sore for the next 48 hours straight. I’d definitely give the class another try in the future. I love that it’s outdoors, that the equipment is effective and fun, the exercises are creative and functional, and that it’s right by my apartment. A win all around!
After bootcamp I walked a few blocks to Hawthorne Organic Juice Bar. It’s on Macomb Street just around the corner from Wisconsin Avenue. They offer an assortment of fresh juices, smoothies, and yummy organic foods.
I choose a juice combo with kale, apple, carrot, ginger, and cucumber. It was just the kick I needed after being trounced at bootcamp. Another plus? The three block walk from Bryce Park to Hawthorne was an excellent cool down. I can see this being a dangerous combination in the warmer months…until then, I’ll be practicing my tag and foam rolling my calves.
I’m spending the week pouring over my new London guide book in preparation for Friday’s trip. I’ve found a few fit crash ideas and can’t wait to share all of the sweaty details with you. Until then…enjoy this new batch of crash reports and go get started on a few of your own!
Pennies on the Run crashed at Yoga District
I will definitely be going back to Yoga District. I loved the vibe and at $10 a class, it’s a perfect place to pop in for a class when I have time. I will just be careful what classes I pick in the future so I have the appropriate expectations
Super Sana crashed a Real Ride at Revolve
The class was pretty challenging, however the only thing I did not like was that the music was too loud to hear the instructor clearly. However, I will take the loud & awesome music over the crappy music my other spin classes play.
Sarah from Passion and Laughter shares four reasons why she thinks indoor spinning at Revolve is the bee’s knees
During the second song, I knew I wanted to die. That’s when I knew I was in love.
Burn it Off DC traveled to NYC and crashed a spin class at Flywheel (I didn’t even know a $32 spin class existed!)
One key difference in the Flywheel experience is the use of technology. Each bike had a small data box near the top of the front wheel…The playlist was upbeat with some familiar favorites with a house-music bent.
Anne at fannetastic food just partnered with Crossfit Arlington and is blogging about her first session
I love CrossFit because the workouts are hard and give great results (and I get a WAY better workout than I would on my own), but mostly because it’s fun. It feels like you’re at a sports practice or something – a million times better than working out alone at the gym.
And shared a few photos from her post Rock ‘n Roll half marathon yoga class at The Studio DC
My legs were reeeeally tight so it felt great to do yoga! I kept it low key and enjoyed the stretch. If anything was too much for my tired legs, I simply came out of it and took a break or a sip of water.
Jessica at Pace of Me gave a full Rock ‘n Roll half marathon report, including details about her speedy new PR of 1:33:
I ran the full marathon at RnR USA last year and this is where I achieved my first BQ time, finishing it in 3:34. The race just holds a special place in my heart for this reason and it always will. I was excited to experience the half marathon, even though I knew they were making some changes to the course and that it would be even hillier and more challenging than last year.
K.Ro at Forever Striding also ran the Rock n’ Roll half marathon and gave helpful feedback about aspects of the race she wasn’t crazy about
The thing is, I can’t overlook the negative aspects of the RnR USA half. They were pervasive throughout the race and all aspects of my experience and, having run other races put on by the Competitor Group, I know they have the experience and resources to plan better and prevent things like this from happening.
The Sweet Life with Ericka talked about her race-day decision to listen to her body and go for the Rock ‘n Roll half option instead of the full
So, Rock n’ Roll half marathon – we met again. I did not conquer all this year but I have never regretted a race. Despite feeling achy and slow during this 13.1, I still enjoyed being in the midst of it all.
And Ericka got creative by putting together her own crash using the Parcourse equipment at a local park
Being at the park reminds of recess as a kid on the playground. I was always obsessed with any kind of bar you hang on and swing from.
Colleen at Live Free and Run crashed the full Rock n’ Roll marathon (woot! congrats!) and gave an extremely insightful and comprehensive report on everything from the expo to the finish line music. If you want the full skinny on the race, be sure to check out her post.
If I was to give this race a grade, as I have done the others it would be a C. Which is sad. It was my first marathon and I wanted to love it. In many ways I did, but there was a lot to be desired… I really don’t like the way that they treat the full marathoners….they are running twice as far….don’t discount them!
And before the marathon, Colleen ran the Fort Hunt 10k with the DC Road Runners, finishing third overall for women:
It was a unique course as it was a 5 laps of the loop. I was afraid I would loose count!
Jennifer from A Knack for Nutrition crushed ZWOW #60 and shared what she likes about Zuzka Light’s workout videos:
I’ve been a fan for a while, as most of her exercises can be done sans gym equipment. The workouts are tough but quick which fit the bill for Monday night.
Laney at Running on Veggies crashed her first class at Down Dog Yoga
During the practice I touched the girl to the left of me more than once, and felt like my feet were in the face of the girl next to me all the time. All that aside, I absolutely loved this class taught by Rachel. She was encouraging, but fierce in pushing us to extend ourselves just a bit more.
The Workout Wonks tested out the scene at a MyBootcamp workout
While at the time I felt I could’ve done another circuit…the soreness I felt the following day was clear evidence that MyBootcamp had done its job. It got me moving in ways I wasn’t accustomed to and in a setting that was fun and energetic.
Crash Course: Peloton Cycling is the latest spin studio to pop up in DC, making it the sixth in the area to hop on the sweaty indoor biking trend. The studio steers away from the posh party-on-a-bike, soul searching, cult-like atmosphere found at other locations and sticks to the basics: challenging, fun, and traditional spin classes. But don’t mistake traditional for boring. The music is great, the instructors are energetic and knowledgable, and the workout is killer. Visit Peloton’s website for a full list of class options and times.
where: 2217 14th Street NW/U Street Metro
bring: towel, water bottle
perks: posh lounge area, close to metro
sweat score: 8 out of 10
wear: spandex or close-fitting shorts, bike shoes optional
cost: drop-in class is $20, first class is free
The thing that intrigued me most about Peloton was this blurb on their website:
We are rebelling against the typical modern cycling studio with a nostalgic turn of the 20th century motif. Absent from Peloton Cycling is the stark palate of the modern; present is the old world charm of honest competition. We focus on character – not reputation. With this focus, we are committed to building a healthy and active community in DC.
Rebelling? Nostalgia? Charm? Oh my! After crashing every spin studio in the metro area, I had a very clear idea of what this studio was trying to rebel against. There are a few indoor cycling locations where the atmosphere is part dance-party, part rave, part self-empowerment session. This is not that studio.
So what is Peloton all about and what makes it different? After going to their “breakaway” class the other week, here’s what I took away:
- The students seemed to be a mix of cyclists and non-cyclists.
- The class cues were built around meeting target RPM (rotations per minute) vs. levels. For example, you’ll be asked to get your cadence clock between 80 – 90 instead of being asked to “find a level 6.” To me, this was awesome and gave students a more concrete idea of exertion levels.
- The music is great, but you won’t leave with ringing ears.
- The atmosphere is casual and spacious. You won’t be assigned a bike and you won’t feel like you’re getting sprinkled in someone else’s sweat.
- The session is built around real ride experiences, including hill climbs, time trials, flat open roads, and pace lines.
- Riders can use bike shoes or street shoes.
- Another thing that sets Peloton apart? I have never been to a spin studio that charged for towels. Spin = sweat, so it goes without saying you’ll need one. If you forget, you can rent towels at the studio for $1.
Peloton is located just a few blocks from the U Street metro and next door to Crossfit Praxis. I didn’t see a sign hanging outside the building for Peloton, so you kind of have to know it’s there to find it. It’s good you’re reading this!
On the night I went to class, I got a bit lost trying to find my way. For those who haven’t been, you need to walk into the entrance for Crossfit Praxis and make a hard right to find the door to Peloton.
It’s not entirely intuitive, but look lost enough and the kind folks at crossfit will help point you in the right direction. When you walk in, you’ll find yourself in a very swanky reception area. There were plush leather chairs (leather+sweat don’t mix…but I digress), a large glass table sitting on a cowhide rug, wooden fans in the studio, and the bathroom looked like it was right out of Restoration Hardware. I loved the little details they put into giving the space a very nostalgic feel.
One thing worth mentioning: the fact that Crossfit Praxis is next door means there is a constant sound of boom, thud, and clash resonating throughout the studio when crossfit classes are in session. It’s incredibly disconcerting to be using the restroom and have everything start to shake as if the place is being shelled from some invisible enemy army. Ahem. It’s also annoying to try and have a discussion or calmly put your things into a locker when it sounds like there’s a war on (or one heck of a bowling match). Thankfully, you can’t hear or feel anything during the class itself. It’s very possible this experience was unique to my visit. But it was so overwhelming that I had to share. For those of you that have been, did you find this to be the case?
Bottom line – despite being brand-spaking new to the DC scene, Peloton is a quality studio that you should put on your radar if you’re looking for an excellent sweat. I had an incredible workout, and I look forward to going back for the “all rounder” full body ride I’ve heard so many great things about.
Be sure to check out my other spin crashes:
Crashing in the UK: I’m jetting off on my first adventure to London next week in search of cousin Matthew, crumpets, and a few quality crashes. Yes, that was a shameless Downton Abby reference. It’s Friday and I’m a fan, so it’s happening. I’ll be traveling with my best running buddy Jenny to visit our college roommate, who is now living the expat life and promises to show us around the best galleries, pubs, parks, and running trails. I’m doing some research into possible crash locations, but if any of you have favorite London studios/gyms to recommend, please point me in the right direction. I’m looking for Madonna arms, Middleton legs, and a midsection worthy of Sporty Spice.
Gently down the stream: Beginning the first weekend of April, I’m learning to row row row a boat with the Capital Rowing Club. This month-long “learn to row” program is taking my dedication to crashing to a whole other level. I can already see the callouses, capsizes, and awkward tan lines now. Have I ever been in a boat? No. Do I have any idea what I’m getting myself into? Not even close. So, dear friends, please share your advice and check back regularly to laugh along with me as this experience unfolds.
Google Reader going away: If you haven’t heard the sad news, Google is eliminating its Reader beginning July 1st. If you need an alternate way to keep up with DC Fit Crasher, I recommend trying Bloglovin‘. It’s how I keep tabs on all of my favorite blogs and hope it can help you do the same.