Aug 31 2014

Verizon Instructor Profile Dan Mcanally

CaptureDan joined the Vida family in 2011 as a group fitness instructor. He teaches Vinyasa yoga, Ripped Yoga and Pilates Reformer. Feeling extremely grateful for all the great people and cool things yoga has introduced to him, Dan hopes to give much positivity to everyone he meets. He creates a fun, friendly atmosphere with high energy, nice music, and intense heat. Dan’s yoga classes are open to all levels; if you can breathe, you can practice yoga with Dan!

We asked Dan a few questions to help you get to know him before jumping into a class!

What’s your favorite format to teach and why?

Power yoga, I like the constant strong flow of the practice and feeling your energy build.

When a member comes to your class for the first time, what can he/she expect from you?

It’s all about feelings and vibes. They can expect to feel a comfortable, relaxed, fun vibe, and also expect to get a good strong well rounded yoga class with a constant flow of poses that build heat and energy. I try to create a relaxed but strong atmosphere free of judgment where people can push themselves hard, or let themselves take it easy, which is very hard to do, and just enjoy their time on the yoga mat.

As far as we know, you live in the gym and can do no wrong—what’s your favorite ‘cheat’ meal?

7 eleven hot food, seriously

How would you describe your teaching style?

Positive energy, fun and free, total freedom, more of a tour guide than a teacher

When you’re not squeezing another sun salutation out of your students, what can they find you doing?

Going for bike rides

Everyone hits that wall at some point during a workout…how do you motivate others to give it all they’ve got?

Just Breath, the whole point is to enjoy yourself

Aug 31 2014

Healthy Lifestyle Tip: How to Outrun Your Genes

Are your genes working against you? Well, then, here’s the simple trick to outrunning an overweight gene: movement. In a study of people genetically predisposed to obesity, those who were the most active managed to seriously alter their body’s predisposition to gain weight. They were far less likely to pack on pounds over time compared with the least active in the study.

Researchers recently found 12 genes that increase the risk of obesity and every obesity gene people had correlated to extra weight gain. However, although certain genes made them more susceptible to obesity, participants were not slaves to their DNA. Exercising about an hour a day dropped the risk of weight gain about 40 percent, compared with the couch potatoes.

You may have the cards stacked against you when it comes to family health history, but nothing is certain. Only about 30 percent of aging is determined by genetic factors. The other 70 percent you control through your own behaviors.

Aug 27 2014

U Street Instructor Profile: Tamara D’Amico

tamaraTamara has been an athlete her whole life. She swam NCAA D1 at Cornell and started teaching Spinning shortly after retiring from swimming her sophomore year. You can catch her Cycle, Spin & Sculpt, and Abs classes seven days a week at VIDA. We asked Tamara a few questions to help you get to know her before jumping into a class!

What’s your favorite format to teach and why?

I really like teaching Spin & Sculpt; 30 minutes on the bike, 30 minutes off doing compound exercises with dumbbells. It’s a super efficient and intense full-body workout. Give me an hour of your time and leave feeling strong, accomplished, and exhausted.

When a member comes to your class for the first time, what can he/she expect from you?

You can always expect a killer playlist, a motivating high-intensity workout, and to leave super sweaty and feeling better than when you walked in.

As far as we know, you live in the gym and can do no wrong—what’s your favorite ‘cheat’ meal?

ICE CREAM! Any dessert, really. I have a massive sweet tooth.

How would you describe your teaching style?

I am intense, tireless, and vivacious… or so I’ve been told. My teaching style is also reflected through my musical choices: a little ratchet, a lot of booty and bass, and always fun J. I also try to really connect with my classes rather than just bark orders into the microphone.

When you’re not squeezing another sprint out of your students, what can they find you doing?

I just started the final year of my (second) master’s degree in Security Policy Studies at GW, so probably with my nose buried in a book studying.

Everyone hits that wall at some point during a workout…how do you motivate others to give it all they’ve got?

I have several catch phrases I employ when I see my classes starting to think about how tired they are. Instead of letting them back off and succumb to exhaustion, I push people to TURN UP by looking them in the eye, telling them they are not tired, and that they can ALWAYS DO MORE. I can see the change in their attitudes instantaneously. It’s your body, your time, your workout. If you’ve made the effort to show up, why not challenge yourself and go all out?

Aug 25 2014

Metropole Instructor Profile: Andrea Marchesi

andrea Andrea hails all the way from California originally, but she moved to DC to pursue a passion for ocean conservation. Her roots are in fitness management, but she has been teaching group fitness classes for 14 years and teaches almost every format under the sun, including this month’s featured class format: VIDA MIT. We asked Andrea a few questions to help you get to know her before jumping into a class!

What’s your favorite format to teach and why?

I still love teaching good old body sculpting classes with high intensity cardio intervals, like Vida Body. It allows me to be creative with my routines and have fun challenging the class participants. They never know what they may get!

I also love TRX because I have been doing it myself for over 6 years when it started in San Francisco, where I am from, and it is the best workout to take your fitness to the next level. Come try a class with me!

When a member comes to your class for the first time, what can he/she expect from you?

I love it when a new participant introduces themselves to me before class. Then I can keep a close eye on them, paying attention to form, making sure they are successful and enjoying the class. I really enjoy connecting with my students and getting to know them.

As far as we know, you live in the gym and can do no wrong—what’s your favorite ‘cheat’ meal?

As a vegetarian, I honestly enjoy eating healthy, but my weakness is baked goods! I can never deny myself a cupcake or cookie, especially from Baked & Wired! =)

How would you describe your teaching style?

I think my energy and enthusiasm for teaching creates a fun atmosphere in my classes. I used to be a cheerleader and performer so I like to “ cheer on” my students to motivate and hopefully inspire them to push beyond what they think they can do. I also like to entertain them, because I am always joking in class, making fun of myself!

Who is your favorite fitness celebrity?

Chalene Johnson, the creator of Turbo Kick, Turbo Fire, Pi Yo, and many others. She inspires and motivates me! She is not only a fitness leader, but a motivational speaker, business coach, and an all around cool gal! It is an amazing, energizing experience taking class from her in Southern California.

What is one fun fact people should know about you?

I started dancing at the age of 4 and didn’t stop for the next 22 years! I trained professionally in LA (jazz, tap, ballet, contemporary and hip hop) on a scholarship and have danced with Christina Applegate, Brooke Shields, and many other celebrities who trained at our LA studio. Many of my instructors are now choreographers on So You Think You Can Dance!

Aug 23 2014

Healthy Lifestyle Tip: Eat Your Greens

Warrigal-GreensIt makes you more optimistic People who eat plenty of fruit and vegetables tend to be more optimistic about the future, new research suggests. Scientists have discovered that optimistic people have higher levels of plant compounds called carotenoids – found in orange produce and green, leafy vegetables – in their blood.

‘Individuals with greater optimism tended to have greater levels of carotenoids such as beta-carotene,’ said Julia Boehm, lead investigator, Harvard School of Public Health. One theory is that antioxidants might have a de-stressing effect. They found that people who ate two or fewer servings of fruits and vegetables a day were significantly less optimistic than people who ate three or more servings a day.

The scientists added that the relationship between optimism and carotenoid levels was only partially explained by the fact that more optimistic people tended to engage in healthier behaviors such as eating fruits and vegetables, and avoiding cigarette smoking.

Aug 20 2014

VIDA Fitness Food of the Week: Avocados

Not your average fruit! Avocados are a good source of monounsaturated fats, potassium, vitamin E, vitamin C, folate, and phytosterols. They are great replacements for saturated fats in the diet, and contain no sodium or sugar. Research is showing a correlation between avocado consumption and lowered risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, improved weight management, and enhanced nutrient absorption.

Use: Spread on sandwiches, slice onto salads, make guacamole, mix into salsa, smoothies, and mixed dishes.

Tip: Use this scale when looking for a ripe avocado. The color and texture are important to note! *To quicken the ripening period, place in a brown bag with a banana or tomato!


Cat’s Guacamole

• 4 avocados
• ½ a medium red onion, chopped
• Campari tomatoes, diced
• 1 tsp. Garlic, minced
• 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
• Lemon juice
• Lime juice
• 1 cup Cilantro
• Cayenne pepper, to taste
• Salt, to taste

Preparation Instructions

1. Slice the avocado(s) in half. Remove the pit (easiest by chopping with a chef’s knife and twisting it out) Using a table knife, criss-cross each half of the avocado and remove the contents with a spoon- =into a mixing bowl.
2. Chop the red onion & tomato- add to the avocado in the mixing bowl.
3. Add Dijon Mustard, about 1 teaspoon of Garlic (based on personal taste for garlic), and sprinkle with Cayenne Pepper (based on desired level of spice). Add as much Cilantro as you would like – it adds great flavor and color in small or large amounts!
4. Add enough lemon & lime juice to create the desired moisture and mix all the contents of the bowl. Taste at this time to determine whether more lime or garlic flavor is needed, as well as more spice.
5. Add salt as desired

Aug 16 2014

Want a Healthy Back? Stop Training Abs the Old Fashioned Way!

spinecompressionHi VIDA Members. Back pain is one of the most widespread and prevalent health issues in the US. The truth is, because we sit down in chairs all day, we are likely to experience it on some level. This is due to the forward bend in the spine that is often created that over time causes repetitive compression to the intervertebral discs. This will cause potential pain because doing this long and often enough will start to wear them down, bulge, or break. It is common for people to combat this back pain by building a “stronger core”.

But, I will say that even if you are ever lucky enough to transition to a standing desk at work to alleviate some of the risks for back pain and potential injury from sitting down all day, your methods of building your core strength might be voiding out your efforts. In other words, most people are causing damage to their spines every single day by performing your most common ab exercises. Things like crunches, sit-ups, trunk rotation, oblique crunches, leg lifts, and so one are absolutely damaging to the spine. Think of it like this: when you perform any leg exercise such as a squat or deadlift, it is universally known that you need to keep your spine straight to prevent injury. We know this is the case because it is said EVERYWHERE.

The reality is that traditional ab work like mentioned above actually mimics the very compressive forces you are trying to avoid when doing those leg exercises! You compress the spine forcefully to engage the targeted core muscle group. This done repetitively over time will start to wear the discs out, and thus potentially lead to injury. Or, it can down right cause a slipped or bulged disc, or even something like nerve impingement. Planks are one of the most performed ab exercises that are actually beneficial and safe if performed correctly. But, the key word is “correctly”. So, long story short, to build strength in that spine, learn the correct ways to go about planking and explore other great options such as movement training. I specialize in this type of training and can guarantee that you will gain a stronger core, as well as alleviate much of the back pain you may be experiencing!! Send me an email should you have any questions!

Aug 13 2014

Pilates Reformer at VIDA Fitness

VIDA Fitness Pilates ReformerYou claim yoga’s not your thing (even if you haven’t actually tried it), it just doesn’t seem your pace. But you know how important it is to do exercise that focuses on aligning your mind and body and working on strengthening the muscles you need to do functional, everyday movements.

Enter Pilates. The perfect workout for anyone who wants a strong core, a total body workout experience, improved flexibility and posture, and reduced stress. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Pilates is very much a balanced approach workout and develops the body to perform optimally for both athletic and daily activities. Pilates also helps build strength in all of those key areas people want to tone: core, glutes and the back.

“Everyone benefits from core strength, and by core I don’t just mean your six pack. Your core is three-dimensional, it protects your organs, and facilitates mobility,” said Eric Schwarz, Group Fitness Manager at VIDA Fitness at City Vista.

Joseph Pilates developed the reformer concept over 100 years ago when he attached springs to a hospital bed as a form of rehabilitation. While the setting has changed, the mechanics are similar, and the resistance has dramatically increased.

From people who love to train hard and need days to deep stretch it all out, to people who need a full body, strengthening workout, but aren’t ones to hit the weight room, Pilates is for everyone.

Additionally, if you like the group setting you can balance out your reformer training with Pilates mat classes, cycle, or conditioning classes throughout the week. Or you can hop on all of our new, state of the art cardio equipment before or after your Pilates Reformer training to really break a sweat.

So if this sounds like the change you’ve needed in your fitness routine, claim your spot in class now. “Everyone is loving it. I recently had to double our class offerings because we have to accommodate all of the requests,” Eric said.

A lot of our demand is because of our amazing instructors. At VIDA we get the best of the best instructors and bring those on who are interested in continued growth as an instructor, which ensures continues growth for our students as well, Eric said.

Not only are they talented, they’re all cool and great to be around, spending an hour in their class tough, but it’s fun too!

If you’d like to try out a Reformer class or get more information on packages, get in touch with Eric at

Aug 11 2014

Healthy Lifestyle Tip: Exercise Key to Good Sleep

sleep Exercise can affect your sleep. “Exercise is great for sleep. For the millions of people who want better sleep, exercise may help,” says David Cloud, CEO, National Sleep Foundation (NSF).

Self-described exercisers report better sleep than self-described non-exercisers even though they say they sleep the same amount each night (6 hours and 51 minutes, average on weeknights). Vigorous, moderate, and light exercisers are significantly more likely to say “I had a good night’s sleep” every night or almost every night on work nights than non-exercisers.

“If you are inactive, adding a 10 minute walk every day could improve your likelihood of a good night’s sleep,” says Max Hirshkowitz, Ph.D., poll task force chair. “Making this small change and gradually working your way up to more intense activities like running or swimming could help you sleep better.”

Those who report exercising close to bedtime and earlier in the day do not demonstrate a difference in self-reported sleep quality. In fact, for most people exercise at any time seems to be better for sleep than no exercise at all.

“Exercise is beneficial to sleep. It’s time to revise global recommendations for improving sleep and put exercise — any time — at the top of our list for healthy sleep habits,” says Dr. Barbara Phillips, poll task force member.

Aug 8 2014

VIDA RX Instructor Profile: Tami

Name: Tami DeVitis Tami headshot

Title: Group Program Manager for VIDA Fitness Verizon Center

How long have you worked for VIDA?

I have worked for Vida for 6 years!

How long have you been teaching VIDA RX?

I have been teaching RX for all 6 years (back to when it was called Group Power).

What’s a quick explanation of VIDA RX for someone who doesn’t know what it is?

VIDA RX is an entertaining and a complete full-body workout in one hour using weighted plates, a bar bell and a step. RX introduces beginners to weight training and also helps regular class goers stay consistent with weight training.
What are the fitness benefits of RX?

With professional instructors and a whole class around you, as well as motivational music to work out along to, VIDA RX ensures you not only enjoy your work out, but also give it everything you’ve got for the hour! Your body will tone up as you gain muscle and as the fat drops off you will notice improved shape and definition around your body.

Out of all the classes you teach (note: Tami teaches A TON of classes), what’s something that you look forward to when headed to teach an RX class?

I look forward to seeing the regular RX attendees and meeting new participants interested in adding strength workouts to their regimen! RX is really just a great time. Awesome music and challenging workouts, every class, guaranteed.

I love seeing everyone get out of their comfort zones, really pushing themselves further each class and hearing about the results they are getting from the format of the class!

Why should someone break out of their routine to come take RX if they never have before?

Want a great workout that challenges your entire body? Then try VIDA RX!

RX is a type of aerobic class that also involves strength-training moves. By combining both together, you can burn more calories than doing either alone. Your body is getting all it needs in one workout, which saves time and effort. We already know that aerobics helps to burn fat and increase cardiovascular fitness. When the heart pumps blood more efficiently and the lungs breathe more efficiently, you can increase your endurance and stamina.

What’s a result you commonly see or hear from your consistent RX attendees?

They are getting stronger and I know it as I see the weight increases on their bars! It proves that hard work equals results.

What’s your favorite RX track right now? Or favorite RX track ever (in the archives)?

My favorite current track from the latest release is “Let’s Get Ridiculous” by Redfoo, and my favorite archived track I like to pull out every so often is “Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leopard for an intense shoulder track!

To get an idea of what to expect when you come to Tami’s class check out our class review here, and we’ll see you at one of the VIDA RX classes on the schedule this week!

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