Crash Course: The “Urban Athlete” class at the Urban Athletic Club is a 50 minute multi-circuit, body weight class that combines three separate fitness elements: athletic conditioning, bodyweight + suspension training, and kettlebell + dumbbell training.[line] [left]where: 2700 Q St NW | Georgetown (Enter through 27th Street: top of the brick stairs just inside on your left)
bring: grit and determination
perks: towel service, filtered water fountains, coffee for purchase
sweat score: 10 out of 10[/left][right]wear: regular fitness clothing
instructor: Chris Wascak
cost: free until December 12th (read on)[/right][line]
Before you read this, make sure you register immediately on Urban Athletic Club’s website because they are currently offering FREE classes to anyone new to Urban Athletic Club through December 12th. Take as many classes as you want, as often as you want. Get ‘er done.
Having been sick the previous week and eager to get back into my routine, I did a heavy deadlift workout the day before my Urban Athlete class assuming that it would be more like your garden variety ‘booty boot camp.’
Formerly Roam Fitness, Urban Athletic Club’s has two DC locations: the Savoy Suites Hotel in Glover Park and Kew Gardens in Georgetown. Both spaces are retrofitted for classes and personal training. Implements include bumper plates, kettlebells, TRX and power racks as well as free weights. It may look like a crossfit gym but it isn’t. The Kew Gardens location has a few treadmills, turf, a TRX rack, and open section for weight training.
Chris Wascak, co-owner of Urban Athletic Club taught our class. Chris maintains a great Youtube channel featuring short tutorials on correctly performing some basic exercises and stretches. Apparently, he will be doing more videos as UAC grows. I encourage everyone to take a look.
The “Urban Athlete” class is a 50 minute multi-circuit, body weight class that, according to the gym’s website, combines “3 separate fitness elements: Athletic Conditioning, Bodyweight + Suspension Training, and Kettlebell + Dumbbell Training”. Following a stretch and warmup, the class was broken up into groups of two or in my case, one.
Each group occupied a specific part of the gym corresponding to a specific circuit: turf, TRX grid, and open. Each group completed as many rounds of a circuit in a given time as possible, followed by a rest before moving to the next area. For example, in the open section, I did 10 thrusters, 15 deadlifts, and 20 swings.
I won’t say how many rounds I was able to complete…let’s just say, I’m probably not ready for the Crossfit Games. Once every group had been to each section, Chris set up another series of circuits. Crap, I thought this thing was over.
There are a lot of things that I liked about this class. The class is 50 minutes but you are moving, lifting, and jumping for at least 30 minutes with rests in between.
The class focuses on core strength, hip mobility, and power. In one of the circuits, I held the bottom of the goblet squat for 20 seconds, which required strong thoracic extension followed by a plank pushup for another 20 seconds. In another circuit I did floor slides, followed by Russian twists…abs, abs and more abs.
The specific exercises were great too, again emphasizing strength, hip mobility and power. Deadlifts, burpees, and thrusters are a few of the exercises we did. These are tough exercises that, if done properly, have great benefits. Because you are using a lot of muscles at the same time, you end up burning a lot more calories.
Form is key, not only to maximize your workout, but to prevent injury. Fortunately, classes are small (registration is capped at 12 people) which allowed Chris to encourage us to keep pushing ourselves and make sure we were using the proper form.
I’ll say it again. Urban Athletic Club is offering FREE classes at the Georgetown location till December 12th. If you are looking for some motivation or want to fine tune some of your workouts, you should definitely check it out.