This is a great time of year to peer pressure friends and family to join you for that local Jingle Bell Jog or spin class. The weather isn’t too cold yet and people are looking for an excuse to burn off holiday party over-indulgences. Plus, they can save their money for presents - most of the below is **FREE**
There are two new studios opening up in NoVA that are offering free classes. Since they are both franchises, they are also a great way to support a local business owner!
Cyclebar Falls Church is offering free classes through December 10th. There’s ample *free* parking under the Harris Teeter, so you don’t even need to go outside to get to the studio. Once the free classes end, use promotion code “201” in order to take advantage of the special opening rates.
Barre3 Clarendon is offering free classes in a “pop up” location in Arlington. There is street parking right outside of the location, and it is across from a Whole Foods and Starbucks (which saved me after their early morning class).
In addition, Lululemon Mosaic is hosting free yoga classes at 9:30 AM on Sundays in December.
Fitbit Local has two events coming up in DC, including Burpees & Beer on December 10th.
Barry’s Bootcamp is opening in Washington DC on December 9th, but alas I do not have a free class code for you…yet. I’ll try to get one for you!
DC Road Runners hosts many races throughout the year, most of which are free to members ($25 for the year). Not sure you want to commit to the annual membership? You can pay as little as $10 to participate in a race.
Potomac River Running hosts many inexpensive races throughout the season. They also have a really fun promotion right now, just in time for the holidays – 4 race entries for $110! It's good one to put on your wish list.
Altis Endurance Sports hosts several races in Virginia and Maryland. I recently ran the C&O Canal Towpath Path Half Marathon. Packet pickup was a breeze, parking was ample (and free!), and the fee included a t-shirt and finisher medal. I also won first female so I was awarded at pint glass too :) Use code “altisrunner15” for 15% off any race – which are all very affordable to begin with!
I heard about [solidcore] from friends and had read a few articles about it. The consensus is that it’s one of the hardest workout. A few years ago, I would have said BRING IT. As I’ve gotten older and wiser, I’ve realized that I can’t push myself too hard without suffering the consequences. I’ve also been to quite a few workouts where I question the effectiveness – is it really just an overpriced gimmick where there’s a high probability of getting injured? So yeah, I’m skeptical.
I signed up for an off peak class at the [solidcore] Ballston. After parking in the garage across the street for $1, I was greeted by this:
No biggie. I sweat when I lift my pinky, so I had come prepared with a large water and extra shirt.
The studio itself is very clean and organized. The instructor took time to talk to us before we entered the class area (it’s not a separate room, rather just separated by a wall). Once we were at our spots, the instructor came over and walked us through the basic moves on the [solidcore] machine. My friend and I were both pretty confused, but it was easier to follow as the class progressed.
It was absolutely a tough workout, but one of the reasons is that you repeated moves for long periods of time. At one point, I stopped doing push ups knowing we’d have 1000 more and in reality, I can only do 15 max with proper form.
In terms of the actual workout, you can get a very similar type of workout with gliders and free weights. I love/hate gliders.
The class is too expensive for me to return on a regular basis, but it’s absolutely worth checking out. You may love it. Here we are in celebration of finishing our first class:
One of my favorite classes of all time is Exhale Core Fusion HIIT (formerly Core Fusion Extreme). It incorporates TRX (LOVE!), gliders, boxes, and core balls. I always waited until they have class pack sales – they can go for as low as ~$20/class – and would buy a bunch. It’s one circuit per month, so you can learn to perform the routine with proper form. The instructors are very hands on and incredibly helpful with adjustments and modifications. I feel really comfortable using TRX because of it.
Lastly, as I’ve stated before, Nike has great free workouts. You can also purchase TRX bands, gliders, and / or an ab roller and do a similar at home workouts.
Kate Scott is an avid runner, who has completed three marathons and numerous half marathons. She travels frequently, most recently to Toulouse and Bordeaux in France. She currently lives in Northern Virginia and is a certified public accountant.