Specialty gyms continue to crop up around the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area. These niche exercise facilities primarily serve a high-income, urban-dwelling clientele, Washington Business Journal noted. The gyms fall into a category of retail service business for which customers won’t travel far from home, WBJ said, in explaining why there’s room for a large number of them without saturating the market.
These are four of the specialty gym concepts opening in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area in recent years:
Revolve Fitness for Cycling
Revolve Fitness (1025 North Fillmore St., Suite J) opened in Arlington, Va., in 2011 with a cycling-only program. It was the area’s first indoor cycling studio, the Washingtonian reported, and offered the same sort of combo cycling and upper body weight training program available at multi-purpose gyms as well as two less common options. One of the uncommon options is based on dance barre exercise concepts. The bike’s handle bars substitute for the ballet barre in helping develop long, lean muscles. The other, called Real Ride, is designed to impart outdoor biking skills inside the gym. It simulates uneven terrain, long hills, intervals wind resistance and endurance pack riding.
In Washington, D.C., Crunch Fitness (5100 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.) aims to make serious exercise fun “by fusing fitness and entertainment.” In practice, this results in classes with names like Hip-Hop Aerobics and Co-Ed Action Wrestling. A Bodyweb class teaches Spiderman moves for a total body suspension workout. The self-conscious may appreciate the gym’s claim to actively cultivate a no-judgments attitude.
Fuse Pilates Playground
A “playground” is what Fuse Pilates (2008 Hillyer Place N.W.) calls its mansion-based exercise space. Its play equipment in the group apparatus studios consists of mats, chairs, and reformers. What makes Fuse Pilates classes different than regular Pilates is its student-driven daily goals and its commitment to “developing functional and balanced strength and flexibility, shaping beautifully toned physiques in the process,” it says on its website.
CrossFit (multiple locations) describes its approach as prioritizing strength, power, metabolic conditioning and body control. No wimpy work-outs here. Instead, expect heavy lifting, fast running, high jumping and hard rowing, the website warns. If there’s any doubt about what that means, check out Nerd Fitness’ interview with a CrossFit trainer. Nerd Fitness explains, “CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide.” As Nerd Fitness notes, the work-out is unlike that of a conventional gym. You won’t find ellipticals, Zumba classes, or even weight machines at CrossFit.