Mar 22 2015

Class Spotlight: VIDA RX



One of our most popular VIDA classes is VIDA RX – the barbell based workout that hits every major muscle group one at a time to musically driven choreography. This class is a favorite for our members for obvious reasons – you get a full body workout and are in and out in just an hour, a feat that would be difficult to accomplish working out on your own.

For those unfamiliar with the class, VIDA RX takes you through a full array of traditional strength training exercises in this order: squats, chest, back, triceps, biceps, legs (again, I know) shoulders and core. For each track you’ll use a barbell with adjustable weight plates or dumbbells of your choice to complete 5-6 minutes of repetitions focusing on that muscle group alone.

VIDA RX instructor Kip Plaisted explains that being able to control the amount of weight you’re using on your bar makes this class perfect for members of all fitness levels.

“You can add or subtract weight during class in order to meet your individual fitness goals. I encourage people who are just starting out to track the weight they use for each muscle group each week, and after a few weeks start to increase it gradually,” says Kip.

This class is perfect for those new to weight training who need to learn proper lifting form and technique. The classroom setting is less intimidating than being out on the floor on your own, and it’s easy for first-timers to catch on to the movements by watching and learning from other class participants.

The low weight, high rep style of the class is also what makes VIDA RX a totally different experience than, say, doing squats on a Smith machine. Rather than maxing out on weight and doing a few reps with multiple breaks in between, you’re doing 5-6 minutes of reps with lower weights but no breaks. Your muscles will be just as (if not more) fatigued from that short amount of intense strength training than by spreading it out over half an hour on your own.

Kip also explains that while the class is great for beginners, active lifters can still benefit from the class because of the full body workout that it provides.

“A lot of active lifters are focusing on one muscle group a day, and can sometimes focus on one area more than others,” he says. “RX is a great way to make sure you’re not forgetting a muscle group, and get a full workout in in under an hour.”

An important thing for active lifters to know before taking VIDA RX is to not be discouraged if you can’t do as much weight during the class as you would use on your own. The high rep nature of the class is designed to give you a different workout than a heavy lifting series would, so it’s totally normal to go down in weight. After doing the class for a while, you’ll probably notice that you’re able to go up in weight during regular lifting due to the muscular endurance that VIDA RX builds.

While each instructor follows the same class format for VIDA RX, they do have flexibility to pick and choose their favorite tracks for each muscle group. Kip says he has a few signature tracks that he likes to use for legs, shoulders and abs that involve some less traditional moves and keep things fresh and interesting.

“I like to do things a little differently than other instructors so my participants feel like they’re getting a new workout every time,” says Kip.

VIDA RX does have a tendency to get a little packed, so get there early to ensure you’ll have space to set up your bench. Try to get a spot in the front for Kip’s classes – his positive energy and motivation is easy to catch on to!

Mar 17 2015

Outdoor Boot Camp is Here!

VIDA FItness Outdoor Boot Camp

VIDA Fitness Outdoor Boot Camp

Spring is here and it’s time to start sweating outside again! We can’t think of a better way to celebrate the warmer temperatures than with a little outdoor boot camp action. This six week program will kick off on March 30th (check with your individual location for specific start times) and will focus on intense, no frills workouts designed for public outdoor spaces within walking (or running) distance from your VIDA location.

Boot camp members will have the option of doing 3 sessions a week (2 weekdays and a weekend,) twice a week (weekdays only) or one weekend session a week. No matter how many sessions you sign up for you can expect a functional, full body workout that focuses on building strength, endurance and speed.

“We use minimal equipment – just things like jump ropes or elastic bands. We do lots of drills like stairs, climbing walls, bear crawls, push-ups and other fun things,” says Group Fitness Manager Alexx Griffin.

You’ll meet your group (about 20 people max) at VIDA and then run over to your outdoor location as a team to get warmed up. Locations vary by club, but include Meridian Park, the National Mall, along the waterfront at the Yards, and the state park at P & 16th by Metropole. The classes meet rain or shine, so wear clothes you don’t mind getting a little dirty in the case of a springtime downpour!

Alexx explains that the workouts are challenging but very effective for those serious about increasing their fitness level.

VIDA Fitness Outdoor Boot Camp

VIDA Fitness Outdoor Boot Camp

“Fitness needs to be a challenge. If you keep doing the same classes over and over your body will stop responding. Boot camp takes you out of that comfort zone. It’s not about just being physically strong, but being mentally strong as well to keep pushing yourself through the workouts,” says Alexx.

Lale Morrison, one of Alexx’s veteran boot campers for over two and a half years says to come ready to work!

“It is definitely hard and Alexx will push you, but the results are worth it!” he says.

The program officially launches March 30th, but we’ll be hosting free trial sessions next week starting March 23rd. Talk with your group fitness manager about specific times for trial sessions at your VIDA location or to sign up for the program. You can also sign up online at

Let’s start sweating!

Mar 16 2015

4 Steps to Get the Ultimate Bikini Body

Bikini BodySo I’m here to share radical news with you: you already have a bikini body.

Well, unless you don’t have a bikini, then you don’t have a bikini body. But in all seriousness, if you have a bikini and you’re a human, you’ve got a bikini body. I know, revolutionary stuff, right?

Year after year springtime brings hoards of articles aimed toward what type of diet and exercise rules we need to follow in order to look like a Victoria’s Secret swim model, which quite frankly is 1) unachievable for most people and 2) not the best picture of health.

I’d like to think that all the “love our body” movements have squashed this bikini talk, but the reality of it is, people are still buying in to the bikini body buzz.

For the sake of providing you with useful information and not just another article about loving yourself just the way you are (which you totally should), here are four real actions you can take to be comfortable in your bikini body:

1.) Keep it General

When you think of wearing a bikini what’s the body part that comes to mind that immediately brings forth fear?

Usually it’s your abs, or your butt, maybe your arms. Who knows, everyone has their own hang-ups.

What most people do when clinging to the fear of their “problem area” is they immediately try to fix it by focusing on countless crunches, squats or pushups. Those are all great exercises, but just doing one of them is not going to help your problem area.

You may have heard this little nugget of advice before, but spot training doesn’t work.

Stop focusing on the specific, and start focusing on general, overall fitness, i.e. total body strength training workouts, HITT training, moderate-intensity exercise like power walking for an hour, TRX. Things that don’t focus on one particular area.

Pushing yourself to work your whole body will not only allow you to see a dramatic difference in your feared problem area, but you will feel tighter and more toned overall.

2.) Push Your Limits

Your entire problem with your bikini body is 100% mental and 0% physical.

You’re thinking, “what if people think I’m stupid for even wearing a swimsuit in public,” and “if I could just fix this I would finally feel confident.” See how those statements are completely wrapped up in your own thoughts and not related to the fact that you are fully capable of wearing a bikini?

What many people don’t realize it’s not what your body looks like, it’s what your mind is telling you about you body that is setting you back.

People who lift weights will tell you that many times lifting a certain number of pounds has nothing to do with your actual strength, but your mental ability to pick up the weight and do just one more rep.

So whether it’s pushing yourself to increase your weight just by 2 pounds, or squeeze out just three more reps of that exercise, or running for another 100 yards, or hold that yoga pose just 5 seconds longer, you’ll shift your mindset from a passive “if this than that” frame of mind to a “I did this” active frame of mind.

Suddenly wearing a bikini doesn’t seem so hard when you just managed to leg press half your body weight or fold yourself in to a pretzel for an hour straight. Mind over matter.

Bikini Body3.) Go Shopping

Having grown up in the wonderful land of the sunshine state I have seen the gamut of bathing suits. From bikinis that resemble dental floss to bathing suits straight from the 1920’s, I have literally seen it all.

Now this statistic isn’t based on any formal research, but I would venture to say that 95% of the reason some people don’t look good in a bathing suit is because they’re wearing the wrong suit for their body type, and the other 5% aren’t actually wearing a bathing suit. General note: you may think you’re fooling people by wearing your fancy bra to the beach, but you’re not.

Anyhow, face the dressing room mirror head on and try on a ton of bathing suits. Seriously, a ton. Find one that doesn’t cut in to you, but sits snugly and isn’t loose. Find a color that works well with your complexion, and try on various styles.

Also, one-pieces are not reserved for grandmas, I saw a girl in her twenties in a peplum style one piece and it was fantastic. Not all bathing suits are created equal, you have to try on more than two styles to find one that’s going to look flattering on you and that you’re going to feel good about and that runs for everybody regardless of your shape or size.

4.) Eat More

You probably want to kick me in the shins for saying this, but you’re most likely not eating enough, or you’re not eating enough of the right thing.

Do you eat a real breakfast? Do you have a mid-day, between lunch and dinner meal? Do you eat after a workout?

If not, you’re not eating enough.

Now, I’m not so naive to say that what it is you’re eating doesn’t matter because it obviously does, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say you know you should be eating healthy foods, for example, lean proteins, lots of veggies and complex carbs.

If you didn’t know that, please give our Registered Dietician, Cat, a call. Homegirl will hook you up with all sorts of knowledge about how to eat good-for-you food that doesn’t taste like bird seed.

So many “get a bikini body” plans and advice columns talk about cutting salt to prevent bloat and drinking a cayenne and lemon drink in the morning for fast fat-loss results, but this isn’t going to help you in the long-term. Start fueling your body the right way and you’ll see that eating more good food helps you burn more fat and build more muscle, and it actually doesn’t take that long to start seeing results or feeling great. Win, win, and win.

So you ready to finally own that bikini body you already have?

Yeah, we thought so. Come in to VIDA and talk to your membership consultant and they’ll show you the ropes on how to get started on all these things we’ve mapped out above.

Well, except for the trying on bathing suits part, that’s all you.

Mar 13 2015

City Vista Assistant Fitness Manager Christa Aiken Visits the Middle East!

Christa Aiken

Christa on the wing of an Apache helicopter in Afghanistan

If you know Christa Aiken, you know she always has a smile on her face, loves waking up early to get her cardio dance on and maybe even that she cheers for the Washington Redskins during football season!

What might surprise you is that Christa recently returned from a two week trip to Southwest Asia with four other Redskins cheerleaders where they stayed on military bases in Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Afghanistan. As part of the 49th Armed Forces Tour, sponsored by Armed Forces Entertainment, Christa and her fellow teammates visited deployed U.S. soldiers overseas to build morale on base and give the soldiers a taste of home while serving their country.

She shared with me some highlights from the tour (some fun, and some pretty scary) and explains that doing it was one of the best decisions she ever made.

“I was very eager to do it and was so happy I got selected. Seeing firsthand what our soldiers are sacrificing for us and the daily freedoms they give up to keep the rest of us safe made me so appreciative of everything back home,” she says.

During their time overseas, Christa and her fellow cheerleaders would sleep in dorm rooms or tents on base, eat meals with the soldiers and perform routines on base to lift everyone’s spirits.

“We were there for the Super Bowl, but it was on at 2 a.m. Afghanistan time, so that’s when we performed. We stayed up all night watching the game and just hanging out with the soldiers, it was so much fun!” says Christa.

Christa Aiken

Christa and teammates with US soldiers on a Navy ship in Kuwait

During their stay the girls formed lasting friendships with the soldiers and allowed them to have much-needed downtime where they could relax, unwind and forget for a few minutes about the demanding lifestyle they lead while on duty. However, it wasn’t all fun and games for the girls on the tour. Christa explains that they saw firsthand the dangers our troops endure being in the midst of a war on terrorism.

“When we were driving to the airport our driver looked over and told us that the car next to us was a Taliban vehicle. We also had an IED fly into our base one night, but luckily it didn’t detonate,” she says.

Despite the handful of scary experiences Christa went through, she says she would go on the tour again in a heartbeat.

“It changed the way I feel about everything. These guys are away from their families but still happy to be there serving their country. It was very inspiring and I learned so much,” she says.

Now that she’s back on DC soil, Christa is grateful for her experience but equally happy to be home with her VIDA family. If you run into her at City Vista ask her about her trip! We’re happy to have her back safe and sound!


Mar 11 2015

Cat’s Corner: Greek Yogurt

Don’t let poor nutrition stop you from reaching your fitness goals. Our Registered Dietitian, Cat Taylor, is here to help you stay on track with weekly health and nutrition tips here on our blog!

“Most of the time, we look for our happiness in other people, however, sometimes we need to find the happiness within ourselves.”

Did you know plain Greek yogurt is a great substitute for mayonnaise? Try this homemade chicken salad recipe using Greek yogurt & Dijon mustard instead of mayo! The rotisserie chicken breast can be replaced with canned chicken as needed.

Additional uses:

  • In Overnight Oatmeal
  • Spread on a sandwich in addition to hummus or avocado
  • Use as “sour cream” on a homemade burrito bowl, taco salad, or fajita
  • Include in smoothies to increase protein content
  • Homemade tzatziki sauce

Mar 9 2015

Personal Training Testimony: VIDA Member Maggie Feldman-Piltch

Maggie Feldman-PiltchFinding the right trainer is one of the most important aspects of a one-on-one fitness program. You’ll be spending a lot of time with this person so he/she should be someone you like, trust and feel comfortable with. Here at VIDA, we try to get an in-depth idea of our new members’ goals, athletic background, lifestyle and level of experience in order to match them with a trainer ideal for their needs.

We definitely got it right for U Street member Maggie Feldman-Piltch when she joined VIDA in June and started working out with personal trainer Maria Bokulich. Maggie, a lifelong athlete and college cheerleader, knew she wanted to train with someone who also had an athletic background and would push her hard in every session. She clicked with Maria immediately and now trains with her five times a week!

“It’s nice that I found a trainer I get along with so well. It makes a huge difference when you’re working out with someone you know and trust. I love that I can text or email her whenever I have questions about anything. I’ve worked out with other trainers before where I didn’t have that and it was much less effective,” says Maggie.

Maggie has weekly weigh-ins and measurements with Maria, and has lost a total of 16 inches since starting at VIDA in June. She credits her fantastic progress thus far to her and Maria’s similar athletic backgrounds and Maria’s functional knowledge of workouts that work best for her body.

“I have the shortest attention span ever and she works around that. She constantly has me doing new things so I don’t get bored, but there’s enough consistency that I can still see progress,” she says.

While personal trainers do not give specific meal plans to clients, Maggie says that the healthy eating advice she’s received from Maria has also made a big difference in her overall health.

“Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand, especially for me since I’m allergic to gluten and soy and really picky. She’s helped me find small changes to make in my diet and helped me understand when and how much to eat of different foods,” says Maggie. “It’s really made a huge difference.”

Maggie is all smiles when she tells me about how great she feels after eight months of working out at VIDA. She explains that her clothes fit better, she feels stronger and more comfortable in her body, and has made VIDA an integral part of her life in DC.

“I love the community-based feel of it. I’ve been to other gyms where you don’t really know anyone but this is so different. I have a whole family here,” she says.

It goes without saying that Maggie plans to continue being an active member of the VIDA community, and we are so happy to have her!

“I thought about moving a couple months ago, but couldn’t do it because I can’t leave Maria. And if she ever moves then I’m following her,” she jokes.

Maggie’s testimony is a great example of how beneficial working out one on one with a personal trainer can be. When signing up for a personal training package, be sure to explain in full exactly what you’re looking for and trying to accomplish so that we can find the best match possible for you too!


Mar 5 2015

Healthy Eating Made Simple with Tasty Meals from Power Supply DC

Power Supply

Power Supply Meals

Eating healthy is important, but not always the most convenient when juggling a demanding job, long commute times and a packed social calendar. After getting home from a stressful day of work, running errands and waiting on the metro, the last thing most of us feel like doing is spending an extra 30-45 minutes cooking a well balanced, healthy meal for ourselves. Meal prep is a good way to prepare for these situations, but even that requires a good chunk of your Sunday night being taken up by grocery shopping, cooking, and organizing meals for an entire week.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could have pre-made (but not frozen & processed,) healthy meals waiting for you at home or work that required no more effort than 90 seconds in the microwave to prepare? Let us introduce you to the solution to your problems: Power Supply DC!

Power Supply is essentially the city-dwelling, healthy food lover’s dream. They connect local, DC chefs with healthy-minded people who don’t have the time to prepare their own meals but still want to eat healthy. The chefs used by Power Supply are required to meet certain standards including using local produce when possible, antibiotic and hormone free meat, and organic ingredients when possible while always emphasizing quality and taste.

Users can log onto the Power Supply website and browse all the meals offered and decide which ones they’d like to try that week. The meals fall into three main categories (though you’re totally welcome to mix and match, if you’d like): Paleo (mostly protein veggies and healthy fats with minimal carbs,) Vegetarian (veggies, eggs, nuts, seeds, still a high protein content with minimal soy,) and Mixitarian (a meat & veggie combo with easy to digest complex carbs such as quinoa and brown rice.) All Power Supply meals are gluten and dairy free, use natural oils, and can be customized for certain food preferences (low sugar, no fruit, etc.)

So how do these yummy meals relate to your workout routine at VIDA? Power Supply currently has meal pick-up refrigerators in the lobbies at Verizon and Metropole, with more coming soon to other VIDA locations. Once you pick your meals online you’ll select your pick-up location and your meals will be delivered every Monday and Thursday, depending on how many you order per week. Payment is made online so no transaction is required with the front desk upon pick-up. Simply grab them out of the fridge after your workout and you’re good to go!

The benefits of using Power Supply’s meal delivery service are immeasurable. From the words of our own Registered Dietitian Cat Taylor (a regular Power Supply customer,) having these meals handy can help individuals stick to regulated, healthy eating patterns that they may not be able to on their own.

“So many of my clients would eat healthfully if they had someone cooking for them. Power Supply is the next best thing!” says Cat.

Not only are the meals packaged in just the right portion sizes for a balanced lunch or dinner, but you can use your individual meal code on the front of the packaging to look up a full list of micro and macro nutrients for your meal on the Power Supply website. You’ll know exactly how many grams of protein, fat and carbs you’re putting in your body without the danger of over-eating.

“Portion control is one of the biggest challenges I see in my clientele. You can end up eating what was supposed to be six days of food in three days and not even realizing it. Portioned and packaged meals cut down on this problem,” says Cat.

Since Power Supply meals are fresh and never frozen, they’re meant to be eaten in about four days. They offer three different sizes to choose from that range from 250-850 calories per meal, depending on what your activity level and caloric needs are.

Being able to grab your meals ready-to-eat on your way out of the gym simplifies healthy eating ten-fold. Can’t find a pick-up location that works for you? Sign up for home delivery for an additional premium and have your meals for the week delivered right to your door!

Unlike the processed, frozen meals you’ll find in the grocery store’s freezer, Power Supply meals are actually delicious. There’s so much variety on the menu that you’ll never get bored eating the same thing over and over again. Visit to start browsing and trying new yummy foods this week!

Power Supply

Power Supply Meal

Mar 3 2015

Rockout with Pound Rockout at VIDA Verizon!

Calling all Zumba and music-based cardio fans: we’ve got a new class at Verizon you’re going to love! Pound Rockout is a musically-driven jam session that combines light resistance with constant simulated drumming for a total body cardio workout.

That’s right; it’s the class where you’re using Ripstix – lightweight, neon green, plastic drumsticks to rock out to your favorite chart topping music while performing moves that strengthen your core and torch calories.

The 45 minute class is broken up into sections including a warm-up, seated ab work, targeted quad/hamstring exercises, glute work and a cool down, all performed while continuously drumming the Ripstix on the ground to the beat of the loud, invigorating music being blasted through the studio.

The core and glute work consists of Pilates-based movements, only made more challenging by having to keep your arms drumming while focusing on holding an isometric movement and keeping your core engaged. The standing portion requires constant torso twisting to bang your sticks on the ground while squatting, jumping, and doing other plyometric moves that get your heart pumping and body sweating.

Definitely not the class for a calming wind-down after work; this is instead an awesome way to relieve stress, get out aggression and totally immerse yourself in the music for a workout that’s so much fun you won’t even realize you’re burning between 400-900 calories per hour. You’ll realize it after the cool down, though, when you’re drenched in sweat and feel like you just left a rock concert.

Pound-certified instructor and Verizon Group Fitness Manager Tami DeVitis says she immediately fell in love with the class two and half years ago because of its musically-driven nature.

“I love anything music based and got into Pound because it was a new and exciting way to get my cardio in. It’s kind of like Zumba in that sense, but a better option for those who aren’t really into Zumba,” she says.

Pound is definitely easier to follow than Zumba – the movements are uncomplicated and easy to jump right into without feeling like you’re lost in the choreography. Each move matches a beat, and the sound of the sticks snapping against the ground provides a clear rhythm and speed for your body to synchronize with. You can expect all types of music in Pound – rap, dubstep, pop and old school included – that are handpicked by music and drumming enthusiasts to be powerful and energizing.

Another great thing about Pound is that you can tailor the workout to meet your own fitness needs by drumming harder and faster and increasing your range of motion on exercises. Pound Rockout is for everyone, especially those seeking a more fun alternative to the treadmill or elliptical for their cardio.

Pound is currently offered at Verizon only – Mondays at 6:30pm with Krystina, Thursdays at 6:15pm with Tami and Sundays at noon with Tami. If you’re ready to get your Rockout Workout on – join us for a class this week!

Mar 1 2015

VIDA Fitness Boot Camp with Rafael

A sneak peak of what to expect in VIDA Fitness Boot Camp with Rafael!

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