Apr 16 2014

Abs workouts at VIDA Fitness

VIDA Fitness Renaissance Trainers demonstrate a series of exercises to build strong abs!

Russian decline twists

From a seated 45 degree angled position, hold a 25lbs weight plate in both hands, as if holding a steering wheel. Now, rotate torso from side to side, allowing each elbow to touch the floor behind you. Perform for 1 min. then rest 10 seconds and repeat. That’s 1 set, now do 3 more sets. That’s it! Let’s go!

Fitgenius30 Move of the Week

Ball plank-ups

Get into a traditional plank position, using a stability ball as your base. Now, move yourself into an upward push-up position by extending arms. Just alternate between hi and low positions while maintaining balance on stability ball. Perform 4 sets of 25 with only a 30-60 seconds rest in between sets. That’s all!

Apr 12 2014

VIDA Personal Training Spotlight: Derrick Martin and Fernando Herraro

This month we profile VIDA Fitness Personal Trainer Derrick Martin and his client Fernando Herraro. Derrick and Fernando sat down with us to tell us a little bit about their history, what inspires them and how they work together to achieve Fernando’s fitness goals.

Derrick MartinDerrick-CV Trainer

Tell us about yourself: I’m a NASM certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist. I enjoy working with the diverse clientele that the membership of VIDA allows me to engage with. Training in this environment allows me to apply my skills in a great environment. I am always looking to learn and have discovered that each new client adds to my knowledge base.

What made you become a Personal Trainer? I have been in strength training since high school. However, after college a perfect storm of events allowed my weight to reach 350+ lbs. Before my 30th birthday, I began consuming all things nutrition and exercise related. This led to me dropping 100+ lbs and guiding others who have various fitness goals to reach for them based on what I’d been learning over the course of my journey.

Exercise Tip: Pay attention to your body. Workout hard but don’t workout in a way that is counterproductive to your goals. If you’re feeling beat down, many times good sleep and a week off from the gym can be more beneficial than several consecutive 2 hour workouts.

Nutritional Tip: Eat a sensible diet. 90% of the time eat the way that you KNOW you should eat. The other 10% eat the stuff that keeps you from going crazy.

Tell us about one of your success stories: A high school student I trained last summer was trying to make the varsity team of one the the top area high schools. As a favor to my brother, I worked with him for 3 months on his speed and agility. On the first day of practice, the varsity coach pegged him as the starter. He made significant gains in all major lifts and added .2 seconds to his 40 yard dash.

Fernando Herraro
Tell us about yourself: I work in banking and recently moved to DC from Europe. After visiting many gyms in the city, I chose VIDA because of the friendly environment, the fantastic atmosphere and state-of-the-art equipment.

Why are you using a Personal Trainer to achieve your goals? I’ve had a lower-back surgery following a slipped disc a couple of years ago and since then I have to take extreme care when exercising/training.
What do you like most about Derrick? – Derrick is a certified personal trainer who integrates a solid corrective exercise programme into the fitness routine in a fun, challenging and rewarding manner.

What is your main fitness goal? Strengthen my overall fitness from an aesthetic and functional standpoint. Improve my core stability, burn calories and build muscle whilst protecting my back.

How has Derrick helped you reach your goals? I am very impressed by Derick’s professionalism, positive attitude and creative workouts. He keeps me greatly focused and motivated throughout our sessions, pushing me harder and harder as I keep progressing. I also enjoy our regular conversations about health and nutrition, on which Derrick has fantastic tips.

Apr 10 2014

Spruce Up Your Diet with the Freshest Spring Finds

By Danielle Michels
VIDA Fitness Blogger

When you think springtime the first thing that may pop in to your mind is blooming flowers in bright colors, but spring also brings another great batch of fresh fare: produce!

sproduceAsparagus, chard, beets, strawberries, cherries and kale (just to name a few of our favorites) are in season and plentiful, but now what to do with them? Here are a few ideas on how to incorporate all of the best spring produce items in to your healthy diet this season.  If you are interested in ways you can incorporate spring produce into a nutritional plan VIDA Fitness offers nutritional counselling.  For more information please contact Cat Taylor.

Drink your greens – One of the easiest ways to fit in a couple vegetable servings for the day is to drink them. Whether it’s for breakfast, a mid-day snack or for post-workout fuel, a smoothie is a great way to blend in some greens like kale, spinach or chard. The best part is if you’re averse to the thought of drinking something with vegetables in it you usually can’t even taste them. If you’re looking to add more fiber to your diet and increase your overall energy levels, smoothies are the way to go. Other spring vegetables like beets and carrots are also easy to add to the mix in a fresh pressed juice, which is rich in vitamins and minerals.

Make salads your new lunch go-to – Not only are all the salad base items in season, but also a ton of the best toppings. When building your salad take your pick of fresh arugula, chard, spinach and other mixed greens for the roughage. Then add several in-season toppings like carrots, broccoli, radishes, beets, asparagus and peas to add some color. All that’s left is drizzling on light dressing to bring it all together. Not only are the flavor and texture combinations endless, but salads can also be prepped in advance for the whole week so it’s as easy as grab and go.

Healthy and Easy Snacks – No one is impervious to the mid-day snack craving. Usually it hits around 3 or 4 p.m. and instead of reaching for high-sugar snacks to keep you going, try an easy-to-fix fresh snack that will not only be healthier, but also will stick with you until dinner time. Some of the easiest things to snack on, like navel oranges and apricots, need no preparation at all. If you are looking for something a little more fancy, try baking some kale chips or slicing up thin pieces of sweet potatoes to roast. By putting in a little effort to pre-plan healthy meals and snacks throughout the day, you’ll be left feeling lighter and satisfied instead of ravenous.

Satiate Your Sweet Tooth – We all know that part of sustaining a healthy diet is balance, so our springtime produce tips wouldn’t be complete without some healthy-alternative dessert options, right? While cherries and strawberries need no added help with being absolutely delicious, melting some dark chocolate for dipping makes these spring items a treat. Making a mixed berry salad with sliced strawberries, blueberries and a small dollop of Cool Whip is also enough to satisfy a craving.

Apr 9 2014

Tricep Exercises @ VIDA Fitness

Below are a series of tricep exercises demonstrated by VIDA Fitness Trainers from the Renaissance location. For more information on VIDA Fitness Personal Training please visit

Dumbbell Triceps Extensions

Take a knee on a bench and keep you support leg spread wide for balance. Hold the dumbbell in the hand that is opposite the bended knee. Bend forward at the waist and support your upper body with the other hand, in a straight arm. Keep the elbow of the arm holding the dumbbell high and tight to the body. Extend the weight in a slow controlled motion backward toward the hip, keeping the elbow still and flipping the palm to the ceiling at the end of the motion. Flip the palm back to its original position as you reverse the motion to complete the repetition. You want to go for a heavier weight for this exercise. 3 Sets of 8-10 reps – each arm.

Barbell Skull Crushers

Begin by lying on your back. Hold the barbell above your head, palms away from your body, with your elbows toward the ceiling. Without moving the elbows, extend the weight back and up (at a 45 degree angle) until the arms are straight. Return the weight along the same path to complete the repetition. Use a lighter weight here. 3 Sets of 12-15 reps.

Triceps Dips

There are various styles of dips, but the key to a good repetition never changes: good form! After you have supported yourself with both arms fully extended, you want to be able to lower your body with control. Do not bow your elbow out to the side. Ideally, at the bottom of the motion, you want your elbows bent to 90 degrees and pointing straight back behind you. Going beyond 90 degrees can be problematic for some people and increases the risk of injury. Press up along the same path until arms are fully extended to complete the motion. 3 Sets of 10-12 reps.

Apr 7 2014

Tips for Building a Healthier Salad

SaladNot all salads are created equal. Nothing sounds healthier than a salad, right? It may be, but not if you add the wrong ingredients. They can be a filling, low-calorie option and a great way to satisfy your daily vegetable requirements. Just follow these guidelines for making the perfectly healthy salad.

Start with a strong foundation

Start by upping the nutritional ante by choosing a base for your salad that provides important nutrients like folic acid and lutein. Give up the iceberg for mesclun greens, baby spinach, or a spring mix that includes a variety of dark green lettuces<>.

Pile on the veggies

Choose a variety of colors to get the most health benefits — red bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, sugar snap peas, cucumbers, and red onions are all great choices. Be sure to stick with raw or lightly steamed vegetables.

Don’t forget the protein

Your salad becomes a meal when you add the protein! If you’re opting for animal protein, select one lean source, such as four egg whites or three ounces of skinless chicken or turkey breast, water-packed chunk light tuna, wild salmon, or lean sirloin steak. If you’re vegetarian or just want to mix it up, choose half a cup of cubed tofu or three-quarters of a cup of chickpeas, kidney beans, pinto beans, or other legumes.

Choose one extra

Extras are those items that typically add another dimension and flavor to your combo of greens, vegetables, and lean protein. While some of these extras are packed with nutrients, they’re also packed with calories and fat, so they should be added sparingly. Luckily, a little of these high-fat goodies goes a long way, so you won’t need more than one of the following (each of which is between 40 and 70 calories):

2 tablespoons cheddar, Parmesan, goat, Swiss, or feta cheese
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts, pecans, or sliced almonds
1 tablespoon sunflower or pumpkin seeds
1 ounce avocado
10 small olives (canned/jarred in water)
1/4 cup croutons
2 tablespoons dried cranberries or raisins

Dress it up lightly

Unfortunately, dressing can take a salad from fresh and nutritious to downright unhealthy. One tablespoon of your average vinaigrette is about 80 calories and one tablespoon of creamy ranch is almost 100 calories. Whenever possible, choose light, low-calorie, or low-fat options. You can also make your own light vinaigrette using one part oil and three parts vinegar with some mustard, lemon, 100 percent fruit jam, or spices for added flavor.

Apr 4 2014

Spring Fitness Fever at VIDA

By Danielle Michels

Although it seemed like winter would never end, alas it is springtime! We can finally run outside comfortably, work off those winter pounds and get some fresh air.

springfeverSince you’re probably itching to be basking in the sun, and looking damn good in your swimwear while you’re at it, here are some fun ways to get beach body (or Penthouse Pool) ready with VIDA Fitness this spring.

Sign up for a race – Set the goal to complete a 5K, half or a full marathon, and don’t push off signing up for it. Knowing you’re committed to participating is what will keep you motivated to train. Next step is mapping out a training schedule and finding group exercise classes like conditioning and yoga that you can add in for days that you’re not logging mileage or hitting the pavement. Cross training is key to providing your body variation and rest from your main element of training as well as improving your overall performance come race time.

Enroll in boot camp – Boot camp is a great way to get outside while still enjoying the community that comes with a group classes. Plus, you’ll have awesome trainers who are going to push you hard so you’re hitting your maximum potential and getting a good mix of cardio and strength training exercises. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a 3-days-a-week type of boot camper, this six-week program has several options to fit your schedule.

Do some nutritional spring cleaning – Cold weather diets often consist of hearty stews, deliciously crusty breads and creamy lattes, which are great for comfort during the harsh winter, but can cause some post-seasonal guilt. Then there’s brunch, wonderfully boozy and calorie-laden. The brunch battle rages on year-round. As our registered dietitian, Cat Taylor likes to say, “You can’t out train a bad diet.” If you need a little help getting back on track with eating right or incorporating nutrition as part of your training plan, contact Cat at to set up a complimentary nutritionFit.

Team up – Working out in the great outdoors is perfect for having your alone time to escape hectic schedules and to clear your mind, but one of the best ways to keep yourself motivated and accountable is through a teammate. Join one of the running groups at the various VIDA locations, or think about splitting personal training with a friend or coworker so you can cheer someone on and be cheered on in return. Having an accountability partner within the VIDA Fitness community is a surefire way to keep working toward your goals, and hitting them!

Apr 3 2014

VIDA Fitness Manager Team Building Exercises

VIDA Fitness management from each location and corporate got together this spring morning for our monthly team building session. The City Vista team organized an intense and highly competitive game of Heads-Up. It’s a lot of fun and a great group application. If you don’t already have this app on your iPhone, you should give a try!

City Vista


U Street


The Yards

Apr 2 2014

VIDA Trainer Liz Warner-Osborne places in her first fitness competition!

LizPhoto1Congratulations to VIDA U Street Personal Trainer Liz Warner-Osborne who recently placed 2nd in her very first fitness competition! On March 22, Liz competed in the National Physique Committee (NPC) Gladiator Competition at Goucher College in Baltimore. The day featured several divisions of fitness and body building for men and women, including women’s physique, where Liz competed. That division requires more muscle than in bikini, figure and fitness divisions but not as much as body building, though it features similar poses, Liz said.

“The entire experience, including all the prep work leading up to the actual day, was unlike anything I’ve ever done before,” Liz said. “I learned so much about the industry, different approaches to nutrition and training, and most importantly I learned a lot about myself.”

Liz added that she plans to compete again in June and already is very excited to begin that journey. “The support and interest I’ve received from coworkers, friends, and gym goers has been wonderful and motivating,” she said. “I can’t thank everyone enough!”

Vida Fitness
City Vista 45 K Street, NW Washington D.C. 20001
(202) 289-8432 Facebook Twitter Instagram

City Vista

Open: Mon-Fri: 5:00am – 11:00pm

Open: Sat & Sun: 7:00 am – 9:00pm

Phone: (202) 289-8432

$ 45 K Street, NW Washington D.C. 20001
Vida Fitness
Metropole 1517 15th Street, NW Washington D.C. 20005
(202) 588-5559 Facebook Twitter Instagram


Phone: (202) 588-5559

$ 1517 15th Street, NW Washington D.C. 20005

Open: Mon-Fri: 5:00am – 11:00pm

Open: Sat & Sun: 7:00 am – 9:00pm

Vida Fitness
Renaissance Hotel 999 9th Street, NW, 3rd Floor Washington D.C. 20001
(202) 742-1940 Facebook Twitter Instagram

Renaissance Hotel

Phone: (202) 742-1940

$ 999 9th Street, NW, 3rd Floor Washington D.C. 20001

Open: Mon-Fri: 5:30am – 10:00pm

Open: Sat & Sun: 6:00 am – 10:00pm

Vida Fitness
U Street 1612 U Street, NW Washington D.C. 20009
(202) 939-2577 Facebook Twitter Instagram

U Street

Phone: (202) 939-2577

$ 1612 U Street, NW Washington D.C. 20009

Open: Mon-Fri: 5:00am – 11:00pm

Open: Sat & Sun: 7:00 am – 9:00pm

Vida Fitness
Verizon 601 F Street, NW Washington D.C. 20004
(202) 393-8432 Facebook Twitter Instagram


Phone: (202) 393-8432

$ 601 F Street, NW Washington D.C. 20004

Open: Mon-Fri: 5:00am – 11:00pm

Open: Sat & Sun: 7:00 am – 9:00pm

Vida Fitness
The Yards 1212 4th Street, SE Washington D.C, 20003
(202) 554-0444 Facebook Twitter Instagram

The Yards

Phone: (202) 554-0444

$ 1212 4th Street, SE Washington D.C, 20003

Open: Mon-Fri: 5:00am – 11:00pm

Open: Sat & Sun: 7:00 am – 9:00pm