Decoding D.C.’s newest fitness concepts, from barre to booty shakin’

It seems like a new specialty fitness concept is popping up every other week in D.C. — possibly a byproduct of the region’s permanent spot near the top of lists of the nation’s fittest cities.

We wrote a few years ago about the ramp-up in leasing for fitness concepts and that trend doesn’t appear to be slowing down, at least in the specialty fitness market.

Some of the new names coming to the region aren’t reinventing the wheel. SoulCycle, for example, capitalizes on spin workouts already made popular at spots like Revolve Fitness and ZenGo Cycle. As for Xtend Barre, it’s one of numerous barre workouts— fitness classes that utilize a ballet barre and accompanying exercises — that have been cropping up around the region during the past two years.

Others, though, are looking to shake up the region’s fitness scene. The Miami-style cardio dance workout from ((305)) Fitness, for example, sounds like Zumba on ecstasy, while the biometrics-focused circuit workout from Orange Theory might appeal to the data nerds in the fitness world.

Here’s a look (with a slideshow) at some of the new concepts that are coming online around D.C.

((305)) Fitness

  • Location: 1630 14th St. NW, Logan Circle (shares space with BodySmith)
  • Workout: Billed as the “nightclub workout,” a cardio workout that includes dance moves, sports drills and interval training in a routine set to “a journey of sound” performed by a live DJ in a dark room with “crazy lighting.”
  • Why they say it works:“You can turn it up, sweat it out and just go for it.”
  • Calorie claim: Up to 800 calories in 55 minutes
  • Cost per class:$26 for drop-in
  • Calories burned per dollar: Up to 31
  • Named for: The area code of founder Sadie Kurzban’s hometown, Miami.
  • Claim to fame: Kurzban started the business with a $75,000 grant she received when she won Brown University’s entrepreneurship competition.
  • Growth plans: None to speak of at this point


  • Locations: Adams Morgan, Shaw, Mt. Vernon Triangle, and Ballston coming soon
  • Workout: Cross between Pilates and a Total Body Gym that utilizes the patented MegaFormer machine.
  • Why they say it works: Clients perform “slow and controlled movements with constant tension” that are meant to “work the muscles to failure.”
  • Calorie claim: Burn “an average of 600 calories per class”
  • Cost:$25 for off-peak, $35 for peak drop-in, with discounts for packages
  • Calories burned per dollar: 17 to 24, depending if it’s a peak or off-peak class
  • Named for:“It just clicked,” said owner Anne Mahlum. “The brand is about helping people be the strongest, happiest and most solid version of themselves, and that starts at the core.”
  • Celebrity claim to fame: Dan from the HBO show “Veep” tried to get in good with Ken at a Pilates studio that used machines similar to these.
  • Growth plans: Mahlum wants to open 10 stores in the region by the end of 2015. She’s also licensed the brand name to a Minneapolis team.

Orange Theory Fitness

  • Locations: Fairfax, Rosslyn (opening Aug. 2) and Ballston coming soon
  • Workout: Clients are hooked up to heart rate monitors for the 60-minute interval training classes that combine a circuit of treadmills, indoor rowing and weights/resistance training.
  • Why they say it works:“The orange effect,” which creates “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption” and purports to keep you burning calories for up to 36 hours after your workout.
  • Calorie claim: Anywhere from 500 to 1,000 calories per 60-minute class
  • Cost :$25 per class for drop-in, $8 to $17 per class with monthly membership
  • Calories burned per dollar: 20 to 125, depending on pricing
  • Named for: Keeping the heart rate in the “orange zone,” which is 84-91 percent of maximum heart rate.
  • Celebrity claim to fame: None yet, but Rosslyn studio manager Mark Steverson is hoping to recruit some pro-athletes to give it a try.
  • Growth plans: Steverson has the franchises in Rosslyn and Ballston, and hopes to expand elsewhere in the region, including in D.C.


  • Location: West End, opening Aug. 2
  • Workout:“An indoor cycling dance party” on stationary bikes.
  • Why they say it works: Riders burn calories and strengthen other parts of their bodies using hand weights and core exercises.
  • Calorie claim: 500 to 700 calories per 45-minute class
  • Cost: $34 per class, with discounts for multiclass packages
  • Calories burned per dollar: 15 to 20 for drop-in rate
  • Named for: The “inspirational coaching” combined with the workout is meant to benefit the mind and body.
  • YouTube claim to fame:“CyclePathic,” this amazing parody video of a class which includes this gem: “Be the you you wanted to be yesterday, today.”
  • Growth plans: There are dozens of locations nationwide; in the D.C. region, they have plans for another in Bethesda.

Xtend Barre

  • Location: 1701 Duke St., Alexandria, Va.
  • Workout: One of the many ballet barre-centric concepts opening around the D.C. region, the barre workout trend incorporates ballet exercises with the barre with elements of Pilates, cardio and resistance training.
  • Why they say it works:“Precise concentrated movements and lightweight training target small muscle groups while wide-reaching motion and stretching intervals are designed to lengthen your physique, creating the long, lean lines of a dancer’s body.”
  • Calorie claim: 500 to 700 calories for a 60 minutes class
  • Cost per class:$24 for drop-in, discounts for classes bought in bulk
  • Calories burned per dollar: 21 to 29, according to the drop-in price
  • Celebrity claim to fame: Xtend Barre method creator Andrea Rogers was a professional dancer who performed at Walt Disney World, and with Enrique Iglesias and Aaron Carter.
  • Growth plans: None to speak of at this point
Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.
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