Jun 30 2016

New Trainer Introduction: Khetab Claiborne!

Khetab1We’ve added a new face to our team of personal trainers here at U Street, Khetab Claiborne! Khetab joins us with years of personal training and managing experience in the DC area, and is excited for the new opportunity to share his passion for health and fitness with the VIDA community.

Khetab grew up just a few miles away in Shanghai, China. His mother is an American diplomat for the Foreign Service, so he has lived all over the world. By the time he was in high school he was living and playing professional basketball in Argentina, and says it was there where his love for fitness and being active began.

“I had two strength and conditioning coaches that I worked really closely with playing basketball that really shaped my approach to training and competing. I was also on the swim team and a lifeguard and swim coach in high school,” he says.

He moved back to the states to attend college at North Carolina Central University, and graduated in 2010 with an Exercise Science degree. He moved to DC to pursue his personal training certification and started training with the Washington Sports Club shortly after.

In the years he spent at WSC, Khetab quickly moved up the ranks to a lead trainer and was promoted to Assistant Manager after only three years. He was working as the Fitness Manager on F Street when he decided it was time for a new chapter and made the transition to VIDA.

“It’s always been important to me to work for a progressive, innovative company that takes pride in their trainers. I feel like the community here is very geared towards creating that platform where we can service the general population in their health and fitness goals,” he says.

When it comes to his training style, Khetab describes the way he trains as 100% functional. He views being physically fit as a means to accomplish other goals by moving efficiently, minimizing physical ailments and muscular imbalances, and developing a strong connection between the body and mind.

Khetab practices Chi Gong, an ancient Chinese healing system that uses body postures, breath and movement to increase overall health and energy flow throughout the body. This mental awareness comes out through his training style too, and he says it’s an important part of staying healthy.

“I focus on not only being physically fit, but fit for life. I believe in the quote ‘an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure,’ and try to develop a mental and emotional well being that works in tandem with physical well-being,” says Khetab.

To do this, Khetab not only works out regularly but meditates daily as well. He likes to spend time outdoors, and is looking forward to starting a new evening boot camp program here at U Street this month.

What should you expect in a training session or boot camp class with Khetab?

“I use a lot of compound movements – deadlifts, snatches, cleans…anything that’s using more than a few muscle groups at one time. Come ready to work!” he says.

Jun 30 2016

Member Profile: Alex Isern!

Alex Isern with trainer Kelly Moyers after some rowing action!

Alex Isern with trainer Kelly Moyers after some rowing action!

Alexandra Isern is one of our veteran Yards members who joined the VIDA family during our pre-sale period, and was one of the first to step foot in our shiny new facility in the Southeast. She quickly became integrated into the VIDA community, attending boot camp with VIDA Master Trainer Kelly Moyers twice a week and immediately noticing the changes her new membership was having on both her mind and body.

As someone who hasn’t always been active, Alex says the key to staying motivated with her workouts has been the constant variety Kelly provides in her classes, and the sense of belonging she’s found here at VIDA.

“I come from a pretty sedentary family and background, but joining VIDA and working with Kelly has kept me interested and motivated to keep coming back every day. I’ve gotten to know all the people here and it’s kind of my home away from home,” says Alex.

Her current regimen is pretty impressive – boot camp twice a week with Kelly, personal training once a week with Kelly, and boxing with fellow VIDA trainer Sam Yousefi twice a week to mix things up. Alex was one of the original boot campers at the Yards, and says she love that Kelly is constantly coming up with creative, fun workouts that she never gets bored with!

“Kelly is great at making sure we never do the same workout twice. Some days we’ll run stairs at the Nats stadium, some days we’ll do intervals around Capitol Hill. She’s great with form and safety, I’ve been coming six days a week for over a year and never had an injury!” says Alex.

Since starting at VIDA, Alex has lost over 25 lbs, gotten remarkably stronger, and has more energy than she ever has before. Her resting heart rate has also gone down drastically and her form has improved significantly.

Showing off that boot camp strength in some partner exercises!

“I’ve seen huge improvements in all her movements, her push-ups especially! Her range of motion has gotten so much better and she went from 2-3 days a week to six a week in no time at all. Her dedication is very inspiring,” says her trainer, Kelly Moyers.

Alex stresses that it wasn’t easy starting out, but she’s so glad she did.

“I’m 50 years old and after my first boot camp class I thought I was going to throw up! But I kept coming back because I really liked Kelly’s style, and it started getting better each time,” she says.

Aside from her great training rapport with Kelly, Alex says the VIDA environment is exactly what she’s always been looking for in a gym. She comes every day after work, gets her hair cut at Bang Salon, and says she showers more at VIDA than at home!

“The facilities are so beautiful and I love the demographic here. Not everyone is young and ripped, but everyone is friendly and feels like family!” she says.

Jun 29 2016

Must Have 4th of July Recipes

This smoked potato salad has all the taste with way less fat!

This smoked potato salad has all the taste with way less fat!

The 4th of July is just around the corner, which means cookouts and barbecues are popping up all weekend long. Instead of serving the same old burgers, hot dogs and potato salad, why not change it up this year with a new recipe to share? Our VIDA RD Cat Taylor browsed the web for some fresh new (& healthy!) options to bring to the table this year and compiled her favorites below.

Let us know how they turn out, and Happy 4th of July!

For The Grill

  • Spice up your traditional beef or turkey burger with this Simple Corn Relish! More flavors, less need for high-fat condiments. To keep it lean, purchase 93% lean beef.

*Vegetarian/Vegan option: grilled portabella burger

Top It Off

Sip On

On The Side

Jun 13 2016

Upgrading Our Smoothies at the Fuel Bar

protein picEarly last year we decided to do an overhaul of our Fuel Bar and revamp our menu with only the most healthy, nutritious items to supplement all the hard work our members put in at the gym. Our team of Nutrition experts spent a considerable amount of time identifying which items weren’t going to make the cut when it came to ingredients and nutritional value. In addition, we taste-tested numerous new products with quality ingredient lists and our favorites have made it to the shelves. If you haven’t browsed through our selections recently, we encourage you to do so! We’re sure you’ll find a healthier, tastier treat that you’ll love as much as we do!


The next step towards offering the very best ingredients and products at our Fuel Bar was upgrading the protein powder used in our signature VIDA smoothies. Our goal was to move away from artificial sweeteners (such as Aspartame)  while choosing a quality powder that maintains the flavor profile and consistency  our members love. Our Registered Dietitians needed a reputable and recognizable brand that they  would feel confident recommending to their clients and our members, and we’re happy to have found one!


All of our Fuel Bars are now using Isopure Low Carb Dutch Chocolate and Isopure Zero Carb Creamy Vanilla premium protein powder in all smoothies. Isopure is a quality protein source and contains Whey Protein Isolate – the purest form of whey protein. It is 99% lactose free and is most quickly absorbed by the body for optimal muscle recovery. Other forms of whey protein (i.e. whey protein concentrate) are not taken up by the bloodstream as quickly. Whey protein isolate is also 99% lactose free, minimizing stomach upset often caused by other forms of milk protein products. In other words, it’s the best stuff to put in your body right after a workout!


With the rising costs of ingredients in addition to the new premium protein powder, you’ll see a slight price increase in our Signature Smoothies to $7.50 (coconut water smoothies will remain the same.) We wanted to give members a heads up on the reasoning behind that price increase, so you’ll know it’s due to the use of higher quality ingredients that are better for your body. We appreciate any feedback on our new menu items, new protein powder and future suggestions as we continue to strive to offer a healthy and tasty Fuel Bar menu for our members!


More on Isopure:


Isopure contains a number of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to contribute to the protein’s role in providing nutritional value, energy, and muscle recovery. Even better, Isopure does not contain a laundry list of binders, chemicals, and colorings. It is free of Aspartame, sugar, and gluten.


1 scoop of Isopure Creamy Vanilla provides 25 grams of protein, 0.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of carbohydrates, and 110 calories. 1 scoop of Isopure Dutch Chocolate provides 25 grams of protein, 0.5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of carbohydrate, and 110 calories. Both flavors provide 25% daily needs for vitamins A, C, E, K, B6, and B12, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Biotin, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, and Manganese, and 30% daily needs for Calcium.

Jun 7 2016

Member Testimonial: Grace West!

VIDA Member Grace WestEvery few months we hear about a member who has had extraordinary success working one on one with one of our personal trainers, and Grace West at Metropole is a perfect example. Grace, like many people, made a New Year’s resolution this January to make fitness a priority and get back into shape. She took advantage of our new member value-added program and chose a personal training package with Jeremy Jones to jump-start her new routine.

What she thought would just be a few sessions turned into  twice a week sessions over the last 5 months, and she’s got the results to show for it! Hear from Grace in her own words below on why training with Jeremy, nutritional counseling from RD Leigh Delavan and sticking to her cardio schedule have gotten her right back on track.


“I joined VIDA in January under the motivation of “new year, new me!” I was given the option of a four pack of personal training as part of January’s promotion for new membership. I was a healthy, two sport athlete in high school, but picked up a variety of unhealthy habits in college (poor eating habits, binge drinking; shocking for a college student, I know!) Fast forward to a year and a half post college and I hadn’t gotten back in to my pre-college routine. I knew what needed to be done, so I joined VIDA! When I started my original training with Jeremy, I really only planned to go to him to help me establish a routine I could do by myself beyond the four sessions with him. However, I soon realized that if I was going to take this weight loss journey seriously, I needed to be held responsible at least twice a week to be at the gym. 

Since the beginning of February, I have done two sessions a week with Jeremy and have pushed myself to do cardio 3 times a week. I have (mostly!) stuck to this routine. At the beginning of my training with Jeremy, he really encouraged me to start seeing Leigh as a supplement to our workouts. So, as well as working with Jeremy since late January/early February, I have also been seeing Leigh to receive help on the nutritional side. She has really helped me regulate my snack intake (whoops!) and helped me realize what will keep me full while also helping me lose weight (protein, protein, protein!)

While I visually cannot tell much of a difference in my weight loss, I know it is happening through the comments of friends and coworkers, as well as the changing fit of most of my wardrobe. One of the more exciting things to happen was when I was changing over my closet from winter to spring/summer. A dress I bought three years ago that has never fit me now fits perfectly! However, I have found the most important change has been my mentality. Now that I actually want to go to the gym, I have found that I crave routine and structure in my day to day life. I want to eat better so that I don’t get tired or feel weak at the gym. Obviously, it’s hard to stick to this schedule 100% of the time while having a social life, but I try my hardest. Being more active at the gym has given me more energy than before. This, in turn, has led me to have a more active social life.

Working with Jeremy has been great because I have slowly started to feel my former self emerge. Granted, after a good number of my sessions with him I feel physically wiped. But I also feel stronger and more powerful than five months ago. His constant encouragement and enthusiasm for fitness has really kept me committed to working toward maintaining a healthier life,” says Grace.  

Jeremy has been equally impressed with Grace during their training sessions, and says her commitment and motivation has been inspiring.

“Working with Grace has been an absolute blast. It isn’t often that you get clients that work nearly as hard as she does. From day one, Grace has been full of energy and down for whatever I throw at her. Our main goals have been to lose body fat and gain lean muscle and KEEP IT OFF. In order to achieve this, we focus mostly on weight training. Since she has started training with me, she has lost over 20 lbs while gaining over 5 lbs of muscle! I have zero concerns with her motivation because even after a bad day she still puts her head down and pushes those weights. I am thrilled to be a part of her fitness journey and can’t wait to see how much work we can get done this summer!” says Jeremy.