If 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.”