Best for Feeling Pampered: Sports Club/LA
The 100,000-square-foot Sports Club/LA, in DC’s West End, offers an executive membership designed to indulge: private locker room, laundry service, sessions with a trainer and dietician, and more. Executive memberships are $285 a month plus a $1,350 initiation fee; basic memberships start at $156 a month.
Best for Sports Junkies: Sport & Health
Who needs a treadmill? Sport & Health offers members cardio time on basketball, tennis, squash, volleyball, and racquetball courts (facilities vary by location). Some gyms have pools as well as instruction in boxing and golf. Membership starts at $59 a month. There are 25 area locations.
Best for Families: Life Time Fitness
Life Time Fitness’s five area gyms keep kids entertained while Mom or Dad works out. At the childcare centers, for ages three months to 11 years, staffers organize activities such as freeze tag. Air-hockey tables and mini–rock walls are popular, and kids have use of iMacs to play games or do homework. Memberships are around $80 to $160 a month; childcare is $6 a month per child. Locations in Fairfax, Centreville, Sterling, Rockville, and Columbia.
Best for Classes: Crunch
Like working out in groups? The classes at Crunch will get you moving. The gym offers everything from martial-arts-infused boxing to music-video-inspired dance to suspended yoga. The new Chevy Chase DC location offers more than 70 classes a week, and Metro Center has about 40. Membership is around $30 a month.
Best on the Horizon: Vida Fitness
Vida Fitness already has three stellar DC gyms—we love the spa-like locker rooms—but its new U Street location promises the most splash: It has a 60-foot rooftop pool, slated to debut in August. The pool deck will include cabanas, a fire pit, and a lounge with food and beverage service. Memberships with pool privileges are $119 to $149 a month, depending on enrollment date.
Best If You’re Short on Time: Fitness on the Run
Fitness on the Run, a personal-training studio in Old Town, also offers busy clients healthy meals. Chef Danette Segroves, who used to cook for Wizards players, makes protein-and-veggie-centric meals—think herb-roasted salmon with sautéed spinach—that are delivered to the gym on Mondays. Clients can opt for three, four, or five a week ($80 to $130).
Best Deal: Planet Fitness
The no-frills national chain Planet Fitness does the basics right: ample cardio and weight equipment, TVs, clean facilities. Many locations are open until midnight, some 24 hours. Memberships are as low as $10 a month.
Best If You’re Stressed: Washington Sports Clubs
Washington Sports Clubs has 18 area gyms, but only the Dupont Circle one has a hamam, a Turkish-style bath. The coed facility includes a sauna and steam room, cooling showers, and tiers of heated-marble slabs where bathing-suit-clad guests can sit and relax. Instrumental music plays softly, and guests are encouraged to remain quiet. Members with multi-club passes ($69 to $89) get free use of the hamam. Those with single-club memberships ($59) pay $10.
Best for Bringing a Buddy: Results Gym
At Results Gym, which has two DC locations, members can bring a guest for free every day. The caveat: A particular guest may visit for free only once a month. Memberships start at $105.