Feb 18 2014

VIDA Fitness Member: Heather Krause

unnamed (1)Why are you using a Personal Trainer to achieve your goals?
For motivation, accountability, direction, and support. And because it sounds cool to say that I have a Brazilian personal trainer

What do you like most about Rafael?
His infectious passion for strength and conditioning training, dedication to solid technique, incredible patience and talent in developing Olympic lifting skills, and innate ability to get more out of you than you think you have.

What is your main goal ?
Maintaining a training routine that continues to motivate me to stay fit…and lifting big weights.

How has Rafael helped you reach your goals?
Prior to training with Rafael, I was never consistent with my workouts, which mainly involved chugging away on a treadmill or elliptical machine. Rafael introduced me to a whole new world (for me) of strength and conditioning training. It was exactly what I needed to see real changes in my fitness. Rafael’s workouts are always changing and evolving, which keeps me engaged in the workouts (I don’t do the same old thing every day/week!) He challenges me to improve and provides support and technical expertise to develop Olympic lifting skills that have taken my fitness to another level. Each week I get stronger and develop more endurance. Those results are what keep me coming back to the gym for more.

Feb 15 2014

VIDA Group Instructor Profile: Gregg Martin

IMG_2055If you took one look at Gregg Martin, you’d probably think he’s been a fitness leader for most of his life. But the instructor fell into a group fitness class one day accidentally, when he was a member of VIDA, and has since worked his way up to teaching eleven VIDA Fitness classes a week, predominantly VIDA Rx classes.

“I was never really into group fitness,” Gregg says. “I had never tried it before. I have friends here at the gym who will say to me, ‘I don’t do group classes, I want to do my own thing.’ And I tell them I didn’t use to, either.”

So what happened? Gregg was in the right place at the right time: He was walking up to work out when a friend grabbed him to try out the VIDA Rx class that was about to start.

“I wasn’t feeling motivated to come up with my own workout, so I said, ok I’ll try it,” he speaks of his reluctance. “And I just fell in love with it, and started taking it over and over again.”

Gregg loved it so much that after a while, his teacher encouraged him to get certified to instruct it – and he did. He now teaches six VIDA Rx classes a week, and several VIDA Xtreme and TRX classes.

Though Gregg’s transformation from participant to instructor is uniquely impressive, it goes to show that the hardest part of joining a group fitness class can be getting the momentum to just go; once you’re there, you’re hooked.

“It’s such a pump that you get, that it’s hard to get when you’re working out on your own,” Gregg says.

As it is, the VIDA Rx classes have dozens of people chanting and going through the workout with you. And Gregg himself benefits from the class “just as much as the participants,” as he does the workouts with all of his classes.

“I’m not just up there as a coach – I’m up there as a coach going through the exact same thing, the exact same torture,” he jokes. The “torture” he refers to is the unique format of working out with light weights and high reps. The class is a full-body workout, as it goes through legs, back, shoulders, triceps, biceps, and abs.

“It’s fun,” Gregg says truthfully. “It’s endurance training and it really builds a lot of strength. And it’s a fat-burning machine.”

When he’s not teaching his eleven fitness classes, Gregg works full-time at an education-based nonprofit that is dedicated to helping schools struggling in science and math.

“I really have the teaching bug,” he says. “My first job out of college was teaching high school math. I love being in front of a group of people…. [Especially here because] everyone who comes here really wants to be here.”

VIDA Rx is a notoriously challenging fitness class, but Gregg insists that it’s fit for everyone. “A lot of people are concerned it’s too hard, but I say it’s right for everyone for two reasons: One, you set the weight on your own bar; and second of all, it’s low-impact,” he says. “It’s almost impossible to injure yourself in this class, as long as you have good form.”

And if you’re worried about the environment being “intimidating” or too intense, you can forget about that, too. “It’s a very welcoming environment,” says Gregg. “If someone comes in to my class and hasn’t tried it before people will say, Oh, let me help you get set up and stuff. In aw ay it feels like church, afterward everyone is standing around and asking, ‘How did you feel about that?’”

Gregg considers himself lucky to be able to have his second job instructing at VIDA Fitness. “VIDA is a really special gym [and] a great community. And I love the fact that DC itself is a community. I walk down the street and I see people from the gym, and a lot of them from my class. Everyone is really friendly and encouraging. I’m really fortunate to work here.”

Feb 14 2014

VIDA Fitness Trainers demonstrate Dead Lifts

To see more VIDA Fitness videos please visit our You Tube Channel @

Feb 13 2014

600 Burpees in 60 Minutes for Charity!

“Thank you Dave for volunteering to do 10 burpees, every minute, for 60 minutes to raise money for The Children’s Tumor Foundation.

Thank you VIDA members for supporting Dave with donation, he raised $825 for The Children’s Tumor Foundation.

As a whole, the VIDA Fitness team is at $1,470 in donations for The Children’s Tumor Foundation. It’s not too late to donate, check out the video and then ask me how to donate.

Dave did 600 burpees and I’m running in my undies. It’s Valentine’s Day, show some love.”

Feb 12 2014

VIDA Fitness Instructor: Rafael Aragao

unnamedWhat made you become a Personal Trainer?
During my teenage years, I played soccer for a professional team at youth level in Brazil and was fortunate to receive specialized strength & conditioning training. This experience made me realize how important proper training is for someone to reach theirfitness goals. Today as a Fitness Coach I work with all skill levels to help people meettheir goals and experience new ways of training that are normally used with professional athletes.

Exercise Tip
Get hot and sweaty before you touch a dumbbell or barbell for your first set. It can be accomplished by doing a few rounds of box jumps, push-ups, and lunges for 5 minutes.This routine will prep your joints and muscles and increase your performance while lifting weights. Five minutes in the sauna doesn’t count.

Nutritional Tip
Make sure you refuel your body with nutrients immediately after your workout. It will balance your glycogen levels, speed up recovery and increase lean muscle mass. A protein shake is a good option because its liquid form will be metabolized faster in your body than solid food.

Tell us about one of your success stories
Heather Krause is one of my most impressive clients. She came to me about two years ago with no experience on how to workout properly. Her time at the gym was spent exercising on the elliptical and treadmill. According to her, she never lifted a weight. After meeting Heather and seeing her discipline and competitive nature, I felt confident in coaching her to the level of weightlifting she could never imagine. Today, Heather has mastered great technique and lifts more weight than some of the male clients I train.