Early, Late, and Short Workouts That Accommodate Your Crazy DC Schedule

Photograph by Steve Christensen

Washingtonians didn’t become the US’s fittest urbanites, as the American College of Sports Medicine’s American Fitness Index says, by exercising inefficiently. Because so many work long work hours and need to go from downward dog to their desk in as little time as possible, gyms have responded.

For the Time-Strapped

While most fitness classes run 45 minutes to an hour, if you don’t have even that to spare, consider the half-hour sessions some gyms offer. Off Road Indoor Cycling (905 U St., NW; 202-681-1319) has 30 minutes of fast-paced interval training on a stationary bike, along with a half-hour boxing workout and a half-hour strength-training workout on TRX straps. You can take a variety of brief classes at Mint (1724 California St., NW, 202-328-6468; 1001 16th St., NW, 202-638-6468)—including a 25-minute core cardio workout and 30-minute TRX and cycling classes. Still too long? Vida Fitness at U Street (1612 U St., NW; 202-939-2577) and the Yards (1212 Fourth St., SE; 202-554-0444) has 15-minute Killer Core and Killer Abs classes.

For Early Risers

Our type-A neighbors hit the gym early. Very early. Though many area fitness centers have workouts that start at 6 am, at local branches of Orangetheory Fitness, some sessions begin as early as 5:15. CrossFit Warrenton (32–34 S. Second St., Warrenton; 540-324-6796) offers an hourlong session starting at 5:30, and Xtend Barre Old Town (1701 Duke St., Alexandria; 571-317-7005) has 5:45 weekday classes. Wednesday mornings, November Project’s free group workout starts at 5:25 at the Lincoln Memorial steps.

For Night Owls

Always the last one out of the office? That doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your sweat session: Flywheel in CityCenterDC (824 Ninth St., NW; 202-684-7208) offers a 7:45 pm spin class, and Vida Fitness on U Street hosts 8 pm classes.

For the Harried

While some gyms offer dry shampoo in their locker rooms, Bang Salon—at four Vida Fitness locations—can provide a blowout when your post-gym coiffure won’t cut it. Want a quick, healthy breakfast, too? Vida has a Fuel Bar with smoothies, and the Life Cafe at LifeTime Fitness (multiple Maryland and Virginia locations) has organic fruit smoothies and breakfast sandwiches.

This article originally appeared in the January 2017 issue of Washingtonian. 

Associate Editor

Caroline Cunningham joined Washingtonian in 2014 after moving to the DC area from Cincinnati, where she interned and freelanced for Cincinnati Magazine and worked in content marketing. She currently resides in College Park.