Jul 29 2014

VIDA RX Class Profile

VIDA RX photo 1After taking Tami’s VIDA RX class at the Verizon Center I think the catch phrase for RX should be “the every class.”

It’s a class everyone of every fitness level can take, it’s a class that can be a strengthening foundation for every other type of workouts in your routine, and you’re guaranteed to have fun every time you take you take the class.

A quick explanation of RX: it’s a barbell-based class that takes you through a full array of traditional strength training exercises such as squats, lunges, chest presses, and bicep curls. Each barbell has adjustable weight plates, which allows you to challenge yourself and progress at your own pace.

More than that, as you consistently take the class, you’ll see that the format of the class changes every 4 to 6 weeks where new songs are introduced along with new exercises for each muscle group.

So if you’re the type of person who likes a little consistency in the sense that you want to feel like you’ve got the hang of something before changing it, but at the same time need change to keep from getting bored, RX could be your ideal workout.

After taking RX with Tami, I know it’s my type of ideal workout simply because I could never push myself as hard as I did in her class on my own. By the end of the first 5-minute song I think I heard Tami say something to the effect of “we just did 100 squats!” To which I thought, “that can’t be right, but that feels about right…and it will definitely feel accurate tomorrow.”

After squats we moved on to chest, back and biceps, and then returned to legs (lunges and dead lifts!), but by the time we got to triceps I was giving Tami the glare.

Thankfully Tami knows that when I start to give her an evil glare that just means I’m to the point of almost complete muscle fatigue, and although I don’t like her now, I’ll love her in three minutes when this song is over.

The other thing I loved about RX compared to other classes I’ve taken is that you’re not glued to your barbell the entire time. There are push-ups, body-weight lunges and crunches mixed into the routine, which always comes just at the point when you’re about to drop your barbell from exhaustion anyways. It’s perfect timing, really.

By the time the cool down came I was shocked to see how fast an hour flew by, even though my body felt every minute of it. And with Tami’s enthusiasm and energy while teaching, she has you thinking you could easily keep lifting for another hour, but guess I’ll just have to come back this next week to do that!

To see when you can catch an RX at your VIDA Fitness location, check out our group fitness schedule here.

Jul 25 2014

We Live In a “Swamp”: Strategies to Stay Hydrated and Safe During the Summer Months

By Erik Strouse, MS
VIDA Fitness Master Trainer

2954474471_12_sweat_answer_1_xlargeIt’s been quite the summer, eh VIDA members? We’ve been quite lucky to experience one of the most beautiful summers in recent years with temperatures that are simply amazing. It’s somewhat surprising, considering we live in a “swamp”, although this is actually an inaccurate myth. Either way, it sure feels like a swamp!! Back to the point at hand: we all know it is only a matter of time before the nice weather wears off, and the high temperatures rear their ugly head again.

Heat is not the sole contributor to the swamp-like environment in the Nation’s Capital. In fact, most of the reason it gets so uncomfortable this time of year has to do with the humidity. Humidity is the saturation of water in the air, and the closer it reaches to 100%, the less water the air will be able to absorb. The unpleasant feeling is well known by all. It makes us feel instantly wet, makes breathing feel like a chore, and can make indoor and outdoor workouts incredibly difficult and dangerous. The last point about the danger this poses is what I want to educate you on how to avoid.

Here is the deal – We are all going to sweat more than we realize during the summer months due to the combination of heat and humidity. Sweating is the most efficient and preferred method of lowering core temperature as air is blown across your sweaty skin. So, whether you like it or not, it is going to happen on a large level even if you do not feel it. (You should be happy it does!) This can, unbeknownst to you, cause dehydration, and become a perpetual cycle of water and electrolyte loss. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, headaches, crankiness, difficulty thinking during normal day to day tasks, muscle cramps, and decreased exercise performance [1,2]. Further, if exposed to high heat scenarios such as exercise, indoors or out, you run a higher risk for light-headedness, nausea, passing out, or worse, heat stroke. Even with modern air conditioning lowering ambient air temperatures, you can still have high humidity levels indoors. So even if you are exercising inside, you can still sweat excessively. I have comprised some tips on how to avoid dehydration, and putting yourself at risk for a really bad day!

Tip #1: For most moderately active people, 3-5 L of water should be consumed daily. Up to 10 L may be needed if vigorously active, or on a really high humidity day. [1]

Tip #2: Weigh yourself before and after your workout. This is a simple way to have a quantitative assessment for total fluid loss. Try to return your body weight back to your pre-workout weight as soon as you can [1].

Tip #3: Hydrate during the course of your workout, and make it cold water if possible! This will not only mitigate total fluid loss by replacing lost perspiration [1], but the colder water will help keep your core temperature lower reducing the total amount of sweat needed.

Tip #4: Post workout, consume approximately 2 L of water split into 500 ml servings every 20-30 minutes. This is more effective than drinking it all at once. [1]

Tip #5: Workout indoors or the early morning or late evening to keep exposure to peak heat hours down. If midday is all you have, avoid being outside on high humidity days. 80% or above on humidity is going to make it really tough to keep core temperatures down which will lead to a high level of water loss. Heat stroke is not worth the workout…

Tip #6: Reduce the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Alcohol suppresses Anti-Diuretic Hormone, thus resulting in excessive fluid loss. This is exaggerated pending the amount of drinks you consume in a given day. If you do drink more than one within close proximity to one another, balance each serving of alcohol with a glass of water.

1: Casa DJ, Clarkson PM, Roberts WO: American College of Sports Medicine Roundtable on Hydration and Physical Activity: Consensus Statements. Current Sports Medicine Reports 2005, 4; 115-127.

2: Armstrong LE, Ganio MS, Casa DJ, et al.: Mild Dehydration Affects Mood in Healthy Young Women. The Journal of Nutrition 2011, 111.142000; 1-7.

Jul 22 2014

VIDA Gym Etiquette

We’ve received several suggestions over the years about various points of gym etiquette and just general questions about VIDA policies & procedures. We decided to condense your input into the Top 6 Gym Etiquette Recommendations below:

1) Cell Phone Use: Limit your cell phone use to music while working out. Please relax in the lounge areas, Fuel Bar, or any of our business offices if you need to text, email, or take a phone call. Please refrain from using your cell phone and set to silent while in the locker room, spa areas, or class studios.

2) Equipment Use: Allow your fellow members to work-in when you are between sets on strength equipment. Offer to let members work-in when you are on the equipment and ask members if you can work-in if you are waiting for equipment. Please refrain from reserving equipment with a towel or resting on equipment between sets. Please limit your use of cardio equipment to 30 minutes during peak times if other members are waiting.

3) Wipe Down Equipment & Re-Rack Weights: Wipe down equipment after use with a towel and gym wipes conveniently located in the fitness areas. Return all equipment to its proper location after use so that it’s readily available for other members and keeps the gym floor free of clutter.

4) Dropping Weights: Maintain control of weights at all times and safely lower to resting position or storage racks. Please do not drop weights from overhead or let drop from waist level to the ground.

5) Towels: Place all workout and shower towels in the towel bins after use.

6) Classes: Arrive on time and try to setup your space away from the entry doors so late arrivals do not disturb class.

If you have additional input on gym etiquette, we’d love to hear from you via our online suggestion box at:

Jul 21 2014

VIDA Fitness Personal Trainer Spotlight: Kristin Tomasulo

Kristin T photo

Name: Kristin Tomasulo

Home Location: VIDA Fitness Verizon Center

How many years have you been a personal trainer?

12 years

How many years have you been training for VIDA Fitness?

For 7 to 7-and-a-half years, pretty right since we first opened!

What all do you do here at VIDA?

I mainly train clients one-on-one, but I also teach a conditioning class three times a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Conditioning is a mix of cardio combinations, calisthenics, and plyometrics. I use interval training to combine a series of high intensity spurts to increase power with lower intensity active exercises to continue burning calories and improve cardiovascular endurance.

I also unofficially lead a run group. It’s a group of us that heads out to run a variety of terrain from incline to stairs, it’s just a nice way to break up the gym routine by getting outside.

What made you become a trainer?

I’ve always been athletic and involved in sports growing up, and my educational background is in athletic training from George Mason University, so it was a natural progression of doing what you love each day.

Who are your ideal types of clients?

I love training athletic types like runners or tri-athletes because I can identify with their goals and the milestones they’re trying to hit. Anyone who enjoys endurance-based exercises is someone I know I’ll mesh with when I train them.

What’s something you want your clients to feel after working with you?

I want them to feel accomplished.

What’s one of your biggest fitness accomplishments to date?

I’ve done a marathon every year for the past 3 to 4 years.

What’s the best nutritional tip you can offer up?

Hydrate! It’s so, extremely important, and people know it, but they still don’t hydrate enough.

Fun fact about you:

My picture was just (unknowingly to me) featured in the latest issue of SHAPE Magazine. My client brought the magazine in for me to see, and there I am in a post-race photo, it was unexpected, but kind of cool!

Jul 17 2014

I’m a woman. Will lifting heavy weights make me bulky?

By Eric Johnson
Personal Trainer
VIDA Fitness Metropole

IMG_0738 This is one of the most common questions that I get from the ladies that I work with at VIDA. While most men’s goals in the gym lean towards building muscle size and strength, most women’s goals are more along the lines of losing fat and toning muscle, while maintaining a smaller physique. Plain and simple, women can increase the size of their muscles by lifting weights, but it is very difficult to become “bulky.”

The reason it’s difficult for women to actually “bulk-up” from lifting heavy weights is due to simple biology: women have much lower levels of the muscle-building hormones, HGH and testosterone, than men do. Here’s a list of 6 reasons why lifting heavier, more challenging weights is beneficial for women:

1) Your rate of metabolism will stay raised for a longer period of time than it would from cardio exercise alone.
2) More fat burning takes place (when you build muscle, you burn fat)
3) You will have increased muscle definition (think sculpted and toned legs, butt, and arms).
4) Your strength will increase faster.
5) It can prevent injury by building up the muscles surrounding your major joints
6) You will be at a lower risk of osteoporosis as you age due to the fact that weight training produces increased bone density.

Jul 14 2014

Healthy Lifestyle Tip: Protein Source

20090824-yogurt-group For a great source of protein, choose nonfat Greek yogurt. Made by straining off much of the liquid whey, this yogurt is thicker than regular yogurt and has up to twice as much protein (15 to 20 grams in 6 ounces), as much as 2 to 3 ounces of meat. And it’s lower in carbohydrates and thus lactose, the milk sugar that some people have trouble digesting. One downside is that it tends to have less calcium (about 200 milligrams in 6 ounces) than regular yogurt (about 300 milligrams).

Greek yogurt can be used in the same ways as regular yogurt, including as a snack, in recipes, desserts, and smoothies.

Jul 6 2014

Healthy Lifestyle Tip: Ways to Make Water Less Boring

There are countless healthy reasons to guzzle your H2O, but many people don’t sip as much as they should. Here’s how to make meeting your daily water dose more of a treat than a chore.

Eat a Salad

Lots of foods contain varying amounts of water, but fruits and vegetables have the highest percentages. Iceberg lettuce, zucchini, cucumbers, celery, red cabbage, radishes, broccoli, and tomatoes are all more than 90 percent water. Fruits like watermelon and strawberries are also jam-packed with it.

Switch Your Appetizer

Can’t squeeze in another glass of water? Have it for dinner by ordering or preparing soup. Water-based bouillons, broths, and consommés are a great way to sneak in an extra serving. If you go the canned route, make sure to buy low-sodium<> and avoid soups that contain cream, which adds extra fat and calories.

Sip Tea

Drinking tea — which is essentially water infused with leaves and herbs — is a great way to increase your H2O intake without feeling like you’re guzzling more plain old water.

Get Creative with Ice

Make your water extra “cool” by adding flavor to your ice cube tray. Add things like mint, cucumber, or fresh fruit and then plunk these funky cubes into your water glass. Or consider making cubes out of juice or tea.

Water Down Juice

Give your regular glass an extra shot of flavor with a few drops of your favorite juice. Cranberry, pomegranate, grape, and apple work well for this trick, but go with your taste buds.

Add Fresh Fruit

Natural, fruit-infused water<> is trendy these days. Make your own at home by smashing raspberries, strawberries, or watermelon right into a pitcher. Cucumber is refreshing, too. Prefer a citrusy taste? Go for lemons, limes, and oranges.

Jul 1 2014

5 Greens to Add to Your Smoothies

images1) Spinach – With a ton of vitamins and minerals, spinach is any easy to blend
in additive that will give your smoothie a nutritional edge. Not to mention, if you’re new to the idea of making green smoothies a part of your diet spinach is a good place to start. With a mild flavor, spinach pairs well with classic
fruit smoothie flavors such as mixed berries and strawberry banana. Our advice is to blend the spinach with the liquid of your smoothie first to ensure that you don’t get sips of leaves when drinking your smoothie.

2) Spirulina – A blue-green freshwater algae, spirulina is 62 percent protein and
contains nutrients that deliver incredible anti-inflammatory and immune boosting benefits. Spirulina is also a great source or iron, B vitamins and vitamins C, D, A and E giving it a label of the super food variety. While spirulina may sound scary to the palette it can be easily consumed in a smoothie with sweeter additives such as bananas, blueberries and dates.

3) Peppermint – Although the green color comes from the spinach in this smoothie recipe, peppermint adds multiple other benefits. This herb can help with aiding an upset stomach and tension headaches as well as curbing hunger and boosting concentration. Combine almond or coconut milk with a frozen banana, chocolate protein, peppermint extract (plus a few mint leaves for good measure) and a handful of raw spinach for the perfect mint chip smoothie.

4) Kale – While comparable in its consistency to spinach, kale definitely takes the nutritional benefits up a notch. Kale contains vitamins K and C, is a great source of fiber and delivers more than twice the value of calcium than spinach. And with a little bit of a stronger flavor kale pairs well with sweeter fruits such as pineapple and strawberries.

5) Avocado – Avocados are a prime source of healthy fats, fiber, protein and potassium making it an ideal ingredient in a smoothie, even though you might be skeptical. Mixing in an avocado to your smoothie will also bring a
silky and creamy texture that normally is only achieved with additional dairy. Blend together some orange juice, Greek yogurt, half of an avocado, frozen banana and a splash of milk for a smoothie that’ll remind you of a creamsicle. Get your green smoothie to pack an even bigger nutritional punch by combining two or more green elements to your blender!

For more custom smoothie creations head to the VIDA Fuel Bar to power up for your workout or get the perfect recovery smoothie.

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