Sep 30 2014

Information Regarding the New Sales Tax on Health Clubs

Dear Membersdtw:

Effective October 1, 2014, the DC Council has mandated a new 5.75% sales tax on health-clubs and ancillary services such as group fitness and personal training.

We believe this is a misguided law that dis-incentivizes health and wellness and will have the greatest negative impact on those who are on the margin of fitness – the exact opposite of what smart tax policy should be designed to do.

Prior to its passage, we spearheaded the local effort to prevent this tax and many of you assisted us in that effort. While we were not successful, we appreciate your support.

Although this tax is on the books, we have not stopped our efforts and in fact will resume those efforts once a new Mayor has been elected. We will solicit your support while respecting those members who accept this new tax.

Since this tax went into effect October 1, beginning on October 24th, our next billing date, you will see a 5.75% sales tax on your monthly dues going forward. Any personal training or group fitness packages purchased after October 1 will also be taxed at time of purchase.

This sales tax does not apply to those of you who bought such services on an installment plan prior to October 1, 2014.
Due to this new tax burden, VIDA Fitness has cancelled its nominal annual increase in membership fees for the calendar year 2015.

We appreciate and thank you for your loyalty to VIDA Fitness!


David von Storch
President and Founder

Sep 30 2014

VIDA City Vista Instructor Profile: Joel Patton

image014Joel is a Washington DC native, and Cycling and Interval Training is just one of the ways he’s found community in the city. Though his primary career as an IT Specialist in the Federal government and Doctoral student can pull him away from the studio at times, you can expect a challenging, but fun ride each time you take class with him. Learn a little more about Joel below!

Why did you decide to become an indoor cycling and group exercise instructor?

Several years ago, I looked to fitness after experiencing some self-esteem issues due to stresses from my personal life and career. After participating in a variety of classes and disciplines, I found the indoor cycling and interval training classes made me stronger and brought out my passion and inner drive while having great music to zone out to! I love to teach both!

What’s one thing you want all your first-time class participants to know?

I want my participants to know that we are all in this together! You’re not alone. I’m here to cheer you on with every step or pedal stroke. That’s all it takes! I like them to know that I always provide modifications because it is a journey. Try not to have pre-conceived notions or compare themselves to the next participant. Just come on in and be ready for a great and challenging time.

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

Either (1) at the day job; (2) sleeping; or (3) enjoying Happy Hour

How are your classes different from other instructors’?

I love to MOVE and I love to play music that compels me to do that in order to affect the mood of the environment. I love to play fun music and that ranges from Top 40, Dance/Club, Rap/Hip-Hop, Old School R&B, Booty Bass Music. I like to choose the type of music that energizes and motivates others to put in the work to the point that they may forget that they are even working out. I like to keep my students engaged by incorporating plenty of drills to keep them moving and pushing harder.

Tell us something we don’t know about you!

In my fun loving spirit, I have a playful alter ego and he goes by the name “Juicy J II” (inspired by the rapper Juicy J). I got that nickname from my friends and other students that noticed that when I really start to feel the music or if I am just in the mood, that part comes out of me and I’ll rap, dance, interact even more with the students. This is something that I love to do, so I just want to continue providing a positive and exciting experience for members

Sep 29 2014

VIDA Verizon Trainer Spotlight: Victor Price

This month we profile VIDA Verizon Group Fitness Instructor Victor Price and out what makes him tick.

vprice How long have you been with the Vida family?
2 ½ months

If you didn’t teach at Vida, what would you be doing?
Working in the nonprofit world. I find fulfillment in helping others on any level.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
An Archaeologist… I loved studying dinosaurs as a child.

What’s your favorite vacation spot?

Where have you’ve always wanted to travel to and why?

What’s your favorite food?
Southern Cuisine

What’s on your grocery list?
Spinach, Arugula, Berries, Bananas, Cashews, Havarti Cheese, Hawaiian Bread, Turkey

TV show you can’t miss?

Song you can’t stop listening to?
Britney Spears “Work B*tch”

What grooming product can you not live without?
Lemongrass Sugar Scrub

What’s your favorite article of clothing?
My transformer burnt out Tee.

What’s your secret talent?
I can dance.

Sep 29 2014

VIDA Fitness Food of the Week: Pumpkin

Pumpkin-Patch-‘Tis the season! The arrival of fall isn’t complete without this ingredient (or flavoring). What is pumpkin, exactly, and what does it do for us? (other than artificially flavor the Pumpkin Spice Latte)

What: a Gourd (along with squash and watermelon)

Flavor: the inside provides a mildly sweet flavor, the seeds when roasted are nutty and a great addition to salads or trail mix.

Nutritional Benefit: good source of potassium and vitamin C, excellent source of vitamin A

Nutritional Composition: 1 cup (cubed, no seeds) provides about 30 calories, 8 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram protein, 1 gram fiber, and 3 grams sugar.

Uses: In smoothies, oatmeal and overnight oats, pancake batter, muffins and breads, and pumpkin soup.

Canned Pumpkin: a fine alternative to raw pumpkin, products like Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin contain no preservatives or added sweeteners.1 serving contains 50 calories, 10 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram protein, 0 grams fiber, and 5 grams sugar.

Tip: Purchase pumpkins that are blemish-free and store in a cool, dark place. Smaller pumpkins will be more tender and juicy. Canned pumpkin should be used within 1-3 day of opening.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Smoothie

¾ cup skim or soy milk
¼ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
¼ cup canned pumpkin
¼ cup rolled oats
1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract
½ cup ice cubes

Sep 26 2014

VIDA M.I.T. Instructor Profile: Andrea Marchesi

Andrea Marchesi

Andrea Marchesi (left) and a student after a recent VIDA MIT Class

Andrea Marchesi (left) and a student after a recent VIDA MIT Class

Years in the fitness industry:

I started in 2000 as a kickboxing instructor when I lived out in California. I’ve always been active and an avid gym-goer, so when one of the instructors approached me about getting certified to teach classes I thought, why not?

Years at VIDA:

I started in mid-November of 2013 when I moved here from California.

Besides M.I.T. what other classes can we find you teaching?

Oh boy, I teach VIDA Body, TRX, VIDA Xtreme, VIDA Barre, Kickboxing, RIP 30, and VIDA RX!

What do you enjoy about teaching M.I.T.?

I like intense workouts, and that’s M.I.T. I also like this kind of intensity because it’s a difficult workout format for people to do on their own, so I like being able to coach people to keep it going and not stop for the duration of the class. Typically, if someone is doing these type of exercises on their own they’ll hit muscle failure earlier or they’ll take more breaks simply because they don’t have an instructor or a group that keeps the pace and movement going.

Why should someone try something new by taking M.I.T?

This is a “take-it-to-the-next-level” class. The interval format of M.I.T. is scientifically proven to boost athletic abilities and metabolic functioning. It’s also the most ideal way to lose weight by getting your heart rate up and getting some cardio, but also by building body strength.

What exercise do you love to hate?

These are the ones I think gives everyone a collective loathing look on their face, but I love them: burpees and mountain climbers!

What is the most gratifying part about teaching M.I.T.?

I consistently see all of my class participants improve in cardiac capacity and body strength as each week goes by. They finish before the bell hits, they get faster and it take more to wear them out.

That means it’s working and they’re seeing benefits! Consistency is key with this class, coming two to three times per week is what will allow you to see the full benefits of what we do in M.I.T.

What are some other group exercise classes you can throw in to the mix throughout your week to tie a solid routine together?

RIP 30 and VIDA Xtreme are great for giving you an intense workout, but in a slightly different format so you’re getting variation, but continually focusing on a full-body workout.

Best pump-up song?

“Work Bitch” by Britney. She just gets it.

Sep 24 2014

VIDA M.I.T. Student Profile: Leslie Lipton

Leslie Lipton (right) and Andrea Marchesi after a VIDA MIT Class

Leslie Lipton (right) and Andrea Marchesi after a VIDA MIT Class

How long have you been a VIDA member?

I moved from Brooklyn in May and became a VIDA member right away!

How long have you been taking M.I.T.?

Since May, M.I.T was one of the first classes I tried out on the schedule.

What is your favorite thing about M.I.T. in particular?

I like the way it’s set up in a beat-the-clock type intervals, which keeps it exciting. I also like that when you take the class week after week it’s like you’re competing against yourself to see how you can get through the circuits faster as you build strength.

In addition to it being fun, It goes by so fast that you forget you’re working out, which is also great!

What are some of the other classes you take at VIDA and other workouts you do throughout the week?

I take yoga once a week and then I also mix in cycle classes, Rip 30 and VIDA RX. Then I do my long-distance runs on the weekends.

How does M.I.T. fit in to your fitness goals?

Right now I’m training for the Richmond Marathon (which will be Leslie’s second marathon) in November, so M.I.T. is great for cross-training. When I’m not training for something in particular I’m always working out for general health and to stay active.

What’s your favorite thing about VIDA Fitness?

I like the “neighborhood gym” aspect, it’s got a local vibe and a great community feel, which I like. I’ve always been kind of a gym rat, so I definitely have to be in love with a gym’s atmosphere and the class schedule to make it to the point of being a member, and I found that right away with VIDA.

VIDA is also a great social outlet for me after long days at work!

What’s your biggest motivation to stay active?

I think how I feel after working out is what keeps me coming back to push myself with a workout or a class everyday. Not to mention working out gives me energy to get through the day, a good night’s sleep, and that “me” time we all need to just focus on ourselves.
What’s a random fun-fact about you?

I have an obsession with going to Africa! I’ve

Sep 23 2014

Healthy Lifestyle Tip: The Best Athletic Shoes for Your Workout

opening-shoe-pile-ssChoosing the right workout shoes is as important for your foot health as it is for your performance. A quick tip to check a shoe’s stability before you buy: Bend the shoe, holding it at both ends. It should bend naturally behind where the ball of the foot would be, since that’s where your foot naturally bends. Also, make sure the heel counter is sturdy. The heel counter is a stiff cup that surrounds the heel part of the shoe. Squeeze the heel counter, and make sure it doesn’t cave in when you apply pressure.

Fitting and Testing

Trying on shoes in the store can be different than wearing them during your workouts<>, but there are ways to make sure your shoes will fit well when you’re in the middle of a hard workout. Shop in the afternoon. If you try on athletic shoes toward the end of the day, when your feet are more swollen, you’ll get a better idea of how they fit.

Shop in socks.

When you look for athletic shoes, wear the socks that you would usually use during a workout. You want to make sure the shoes fit properly and feel comfortable with your athletic socks.

Go large in the toes.

Make sure that your shoes have about half an inch of wiggle room between the end of the shoe and your longest toe. If your feet are different sizes, opt for the larger shoes for better comfort.

Snug fit in the heel. New athletic shoes shouldn’t slip on your heels, but they shouldn’t be too snug in the toes, either. Make sure that the ball of your foot fits easily in the widest part of the athletic shoe.

Try them out. Test out the shoes for at least 10 minutes in the store, or even outside if the store will allow it, before you decide to buy. If you have problem feet, talk to the sales person at the store about what types of sneakers are best for you.

Remember, every athletic shoe is different, as is every foot, so don’t rely on a style you find attractive or a shoe that you like on someone else. Be clear about your needs.

Sep 22 2014

VIDA Exclusive Classes: VIDA M.I.T

Whenever I get ready to take an intense interval-style class I make sure to leave time for an adequate warm up beforehand. Even just a five minute brisk walk does the trick.



Because even though the first song of the class is geared toward being a warm-up, you’ve got to get yourself in the right mental state, or at least I do, anyways.

Take a quick walk, get my muscles fired up, and say a few encouraging words to myself. Ready to go.

Thank goodness I did this before Andrea’s M.I.T. class because that woman knows how to set a pace. From the first minute to the last, there’s no sitting around, or “let me pretend to take an extended water break” moments. As soon as you wrap up one circuit, you’re on to the next, which also leaves little time to question your body’s ability to actually finish the class (a great thing, in my opinion, because before you know it you’ve completed a killer workout and it feels like only 10 minutes have passed).



M.I.T stands for Metabolic Interval Training and is 45-minutes of beat-the-clock style circuits where you do three to four exercises for increasing numbers of reps. For example, your exercises might include high knees, burpees and pike/shoulder pushups. You’ll do those exercises for four rounds, one round you’ll do a respective 4, 6 and 8 reps, then 6, 8 and 10 reps and then 8, 10 and 12 reps, you get the picture.

Basically, you continue through these intervals until you reach the point of muscle exhaustion with those exercises, and then you move on to the next set of exercises. This kind of fast-paced HIIT workout aims to shock the body and increase strength and your heart and lung functioning as well as improve posture and increase flexibility.

Furthermore, research indicates that this style of workout is the most efficient way to improve your cardiovascular system, lose weight and build muscle. Sounds like pretty sweet results to me.

Beyond the obvious benefit of getting a great workout for my body, I also got a fun and focused experience for my toddler-like attention span (if I’m not having fun, I quickly fall behind in the class because my mind wanders). Andrea does a great job of being part drill sergeant (she wants to see those knees high and those burpees higher), but she’s also equal parts the lead cheerleader who gets the entire crowd going when you feel like you can’t squeeze out one more rep.

By the end I was dripping in sweat and my face resembled that of a strawberry, but I was smiling from ear to ear. You feel accomplished, exhausted and like you just put in some major work.

And if you don’t feel like you put in work right after the class, trust me, you’ll feel it in the morning.

To see when you can catch an M.I.T. class at your VIDA location, visit our class schedule page and search by class name.



Sep 21 2014

VIDA Fitness Food of the Week: Greek Yogurt


    • Double the protein as regular yogurt


    • Lower in carbohydrates than regular yogurt


    • Lower in lactose than regular yogurt, making it more tolerable for persons with lactose-intolerance


    • Contains natural Probiotics, which aid in digestion


    • Excellent source of Calcium


    • An easy to pack, high protein snack


  • Versatile use


Nutritional profile:

• Greek yogurt is a complete protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids. At about 13 grams per 6 oz. portion, it is an efficient way to increase your protein intake at snacks or meals.
• Choosing low fat or non fat varieties provides a lean source of protein with little to no saturated fats, and is lower in calories than 2% or full fat varieties.
• The carbohydrates in Greek yogurt are primarily natural carbs in the form of lactose. Fruited varieties have additional carbohydrate in the form of natural fruit (fructose) and some added sugar (honey, evaporated cane juice, etc.)
• 6 oz. of Greek yogurt contains about 20% of your daily Calcium requirement. Calcium is critical in bone and teeth health, and the regulation of blood pressure.

Use: Pair with high fiber cereal, fruit, or nuts for a snack, use as a topping for baked potatoes and chili, incorporate in sauces, marinades, and dressings.


Yield: 6 servings


3 Tbsp. olive oil
6 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless (about 5 oz. each)
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground black pepper

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/8 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. torn fresh cilantro
1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt, room temperature

1. To prepare the chicken: Place the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper and place in the skillet. Brown them for 5-7 minutes on each side until completely cooked through. Place on a plate and set aside.
2. To prepare the sauce: in a small bowl, combine the broth, salt, pepper, garlic, Dijon mustard, and cilantro; stir until smooth.
3. Pour half the Dijon mixture into the same skillet while continuing to stir. Place the cooked chicken in the skillet. Pour the remaining Dijon mixture on top of the chicken, making sure all the chicken is covered. Simmer on low for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the Greek yogurt. Mix thoroughly. Serve immediately, and pour the extra sauce on top.

Per Serving
Calories: 226
Fat: 7 g
Cholesterol: 82 mg
Carbohydrates: 2 g
Sugar: 1 g
Fiber: 0 g
Sodium: 229 mg
Protein: 37 g

Source: Kelly, L. The Greek Yogurt Cookbook. Avon, MA, United States: Adams Media; 2013; 77.

Sep 19 2014

Out with the Old and in with the New: LET THOSE KNEES GO BEYOND YOUR TOES!

By VIDA Master Trainer
Erik Strouse, MS

Picture 1

Picture 1

Hello VIDA members! The fitness industry is riddled with myths, lies, and bad advice. It is terrifying, at times, to see how bad advice can be when it comes to teaching people safe execution of a lift. It’s terrifying because fitness is more than just looking good. It’s about creating a life of longevity and physical ability to live to your last days with grace. But, some information is simply outdate, and has not yet been spread to the mass majority of people, even though the intent is good. I am here to help change the way you think about squatting with hard evidence that will not only keep the knee healthy, but will also prevent you from a catastrophic injury in the lower back!

The old belief about squatting was that you should never let your knees go beyond your toes in the down position. This is commonly coached because it is believed that it will reduce the stress on the knee joint. In the article, Effect of knee position on hip and knee torques during the barbell squat, published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, researchers studied the relationship between knee positioning and the total torque forces placed on the hips and knees. Two forms were assessed. The first was the traditional “knees not passing the toes” while the other allowed the knees to go beyond the toes. The distinct difference between the two is that when the knees DO NOT pass over the toes, the angle at the hip joint is more severe than that at the knee, thus causing the shins to be more vertical and the spine to fall at a steeper angle toward the ground (see picture 1). When the knees go beyond the toes, it causes the angles at the hip and knee to be almost identical causing the shins and spine to be parallel to one another (see picture 2)

Picture 2

Picture 2

The general gist of the research found that when the knees DID NOT pass the toes, like traditionally taught, the hips and lower back took far more force than the knees. So, as the common belief goes, the knee joint is actually stressed less when it comes to torque (although this is misleading… but I will save why for the next article). The reason this is actually a bad thing is because the force is TRIPLED at the hips and lower back when compared to knee. When the knees go beyond the toes, the torque forces are identical at the hips and knees. So, if we think about efficiently loading a structure to not encounter catastrophic failure, we want weight to be evenly distributed amongst all of the joints. The most advanced bridges in the world do not overstress one joint to save another, but instead ensure even, efficient distribution of the loads throughout all of the joints. Not allowing your knees to go beyond your toes is a MAJOR problem for the lower lumbar because they take three quarters of the load distribution. When you allow the knees to go over the toes, the spine evenly shares the load with the knee making it more like a well-designed suspension bridge.

The moral of the story is that YOU NEED TO ALLOW YOUR KNEES TO GO BEYOND YOUR TOES so that your shins and spines are parallel! The one caveat to this, however, is that you must have proper range of motion throughout the entire lower and upper body. Otherwise, this will not work like you hope, and you will risk serious injury. Should you have any questions on how to navigate this, email me at! I can help you learn the real method behind squatting with good form!!

Fry, A.C., J.C. Smith, and B.K. Schilling. Effect of knee position on hip and knee torques during the barbell squat. J. Strength Cond. Res. 2003. 17(4):629–633.

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