The Gym Rat Diaries: getting fit at Balance Gym
Balance Gym has a lot to offer, without high prices
Every other week, this column will review a D.C. gym and one or more trial classes.
Balance Gym offers three locations in D.C. including Glover Park, Thomas Circle and Foggy Bottom. After visiting some upscale gyms designed for a wealthier crowd, it was a change to check out Balance Gym. Not to say that Balance lacked a “wow” factor, but it was catered towards customers who wanted a great workout without the luxury treatment and price.
Balance Gym at Glover Park offers a free trial period where a fitness consultant will give you a full tour of the gym, give you a price quote and allow you to have a test workout. The pricing was reasonable and there were some great deals available.
If you sign up the day you visit, your $99 enrollment fee is waived, and you can choose the special student rate of either an annual membership of $59 each month or a month to month membership of $64. Memberships include full use of equipment and classes. Additional add-ons include the gym spa, crossfit classes and personal training sessions. Additional price information can be found on the Glover Park website.
To get to the gym, you can take the 31, 33 or 30N bus from Tenleytown towards Georgetown, about 15 minutes. The gym is easy to find and is near the Whole Foods in Glover Park.
PHOTO BY ARIELLE WEG, THE EAGLE
How is the gym?
Balance Gym offered an intimate atmosphere, without seeming exclusive. The main workout room was small and split into three mini-workout areas. The cardio area offered 10 ellipticals, 10 treadmills, six stationary bikes and one stairclimber. Each machine was equipped with a mini TV.
The weights area provided dumbbells, kettlebells and a few weight machines. If it was crowded, the space might have been an issue, but the gym was fairly empty at midday.
The gym also provides a small stretching and floor work space. In this area, visitors can do small floor exercises, and the gym provides a variety of equipment to use including resistance bands, medicine balls and jump ropes.
Downstairs, the gym offered a new section built this past year. In this area there is an additional weight room, athletic training area and Crossfit training space. There is also a room with stationary bikes where the gym holds its spin classes.
Try this class:
Balance Gym offers most of its classes early in the morning, before noon and later in the day after 5 p.m. Their most popular class is Crossfit, which is not included in a base membership. If you are a member of the gym, you can try a Crossfit class for free. To get started, they offer one Crossfit Beginner’s class a week for newbies.
Spin classes, Zumba, yoga, barre and bootcamp are included in the base membership. One in particular that is special to Balance Gym is the Piloxing class, which is a mixture of pilates and aerobic boxing. Anyone who loves Zumba would love this intensive class that hits every part of your body.
You can check out the class schedule for the Glover Park location here.
Tips to know before you go:
The locker rooms offer free use of their sauna and showers, so make sure to bring a change of clothes if you plan to shower at the gym. They do provide toiletries and towels. They also provide a key for the lockers, so there is no need to bring your own lock.
Though the classes are only available early morning and in the evening, these are peak hours for the gym. If you are looking for an emptier gym for your workout, you may want to skip going during peak class time in order to have a good amount of space to workout.
Make sure you let them know you are an AU student when they go over pricing. They will offer you a base price and will assess student discounts once you ask. I was offered $10 off a month.