Crash Course: From the Elevate Interval Fitness website: the 55 minute class incorporates high intensity treadmill work, rowing, and resistance exercises utilizing body weight exercises, straps, weights, and a variety of other equipment to shape lean bodies and enhance your strength, stamina and lactate threshold. These functional fitness classes will help you achieve your goals, whether your goal is to lose some weight, improve your 5K time, or just have more energy and fitness to play with your kids![line] [left]where: 2428 14th St NW | U Street Neighborhood
bring: water bottle – there are water fountains, but having a water bottle close by is a necessity
perks: towel service, water fountains, showers, locker service, heart rate monitor
sweat score: 10 out of 10[/left][right]wear: regular fitness clothing
instructor: David Magida
cost: first class free, drop-in class is $25 [/right][line]
In my opinion, Elevate is probably one of the best boutique studios in DC. It was founded by David Magida, a competitive obstacle racer and a current member of the Spartan Race Pro Team.
Elevate reflects an interesting trend in fitness that combines multiple training methods such as HIIT, Tabata, and circuit into a progressive training method designed to make you more fit. As a power lifter, Elevate could help me with greater flexibility, cardio, and hip mobility, or for a marathoner for example, Elevate may be a great compliment for speed and endurance as well as strength training, an area often neglected by runners.
I generally do not like the infomercial “fitness gurus” who focus on the equipment, however, Elevate really has top quality equipment. And before you say, “I don’t need all that fancy mumbo jumbo”, give it a try. Elevate has Woodway 4Fronts treadmills, which use slat belts, significantly reducing the shock to your knees. Elevate also has water rowers, a rarity in DC, which utilize a chamber filled with water instead of a fan to more closely mimic actual rowing. The water does not make it any easier.
Before I walked into the class, I had to fill out what I thought was the usual waivers: height, weight, emergency whoever, blah blah blah. I was also given a heart rate monitor. My first thought was, “cool, is my thigh master in my locker?” It’s a well-known adage of fitness and sports that the more fancy the gear, the less skilled the athlete. Naturally, I was skeptical, but I was proven wrong and then some.
Once I filled out my info, the associate at the counter programed the heart rate monitor, showed me how to wear it, and I was good to go. During the workout, data from each of the class participants’ heart rate monitors is shown on all five of the TV monitors in the gym. How many calories you have burned and the percentage of how hard you are working is also included in the display. I do not know how precise it is without specific body fat percentages, but it was enough to motivate me to keep working and pushing myself.
The heart rate monitor also lets David know how hard we are pushing ourselves. I didn’t think of it at the time, but that gives the instructor real-time information about whether or not a participant is working hard or could be working harder.
There’s another benefit to the heart rate monitor. At the end of each class, you are emailed a Polar Cardio GX “Training Report”, which lets you know what your heart rate was over the course of the workout, how many calories you burned, and a ton of other data. The purpose is to allow you to more precisely track your progress.
The class is a total workout. I mean that in every sense of the term. It’s meant to be a little bit of everything, while keeping your heart rate up at the same time. The class is broken down into a circuits corresponding to a specific type of training: warm up, cardio, power, and strength.
The circuits were tough. While we got to rest in between each circuit, there was no rest during the circuits themselves, lasting 6 minutes each. Each circuit generally consisted of two exercises and were completed in teams of two.
The exercises consisted of everything from staggered squats to rows to push ups to plank jacks. You’re definitely going to get a great full body workout. The exercises weren’t complicated, but David informed me that he plans on offering a more advanced class that will incorporate more technical movements such as kettlebell snatches. Count me in.
Only four people were in our class, but it was raining, and it was a 6:30 AM class. David told me that classes generally range from 10 to 20 people.
David says that there will be an outdoor Spartan training class in the spring. It’s basically an outdoor obstacle course. Can’t wait to try it out.
Personal Note: Another great quality of Elevate is its proximity to Fast Gourmet. Just a few blocks down the street, Fast Gourmet has a Cubano that is irrefutable proof of the divine, and that miracles do happen every day. I’d recommend another sandwich but in the 6 years I have been a patron, I have never had good reason to try anything else.