Elevate Interval Fitness Review

4 Mar

elevateOur tour of DC’s cross training opportunities continues today with a visit to Elevate Interval Fitness. I dropped in for a free introductory class on a cold, snowy Thursday, and here’s the bottom line: the folks at Elevate will warm you up and work you out. Quickly.

Elevate was founded by David Magida, who is a super Spartan racer (aka: a bad mamma jamma). The concept is simple: combine cardio and strength training to create a series of high-impact circuits, measure your effort with heart rate monitors, and watch the sweat pour off. The 55-minute classes are split into cardio and strength portions (though you’re doing both pretty much the whole time), and half the class starts out on a treadmill or rower while the other half works through the strength skill of the week and a circuit on the floor. Screens around the room display your heart rate and calorie burn, and awesome music keeps the time flying by. If you’ve been to a Barry’s, it’s similar in structure but has none of the BS.

I took a class with Eric, who was equal parts motivator and instructor without a bunch of disingenuous perk–in other words: we were there at 730 am to put in some work, and he was ready to get us there. He acclimated first timers to the class structure quickly and got us moving right away. I started with cardio on the rowers, and we did 12-minutes of rounds of 300M row at all-out pace, 12 standing dumbbell rows, and 12 tricep dips, adding 25M of rowing to each round. Then we headed over to the treadmill, where we ran at a sub-5k pace for 80 seconds at increasing inclines of 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0 and recovered for 20 seconds. Finally, we did some speed work with the treadmill at 6.0 on dynamic mode (you are powering the belt, not the engine).

Oh, and that was only first half the class.

The second half was strength, where the skill of the week was kettle bells. We did three different circuits:

  • 14 kettlebell swims/sphinx push up/windshield wiper planks
  • Turkish get ups with TRX strap/kettlebell thrusters/speed skater jumps
  • squat jumps, reverse flys, burpees (ascending rep rounds: 4, 8, 12, 16, 12, 8, 4)

If that doesn’t mean a lot to you, my apologies, but know this: it was a tough enough series that the thought of writing more about it exhausts me all over again!

Some other awesome things to consider about Elevate:

    • after the class, you get an email which analyzes your heart rate information– this is an amazing feature that will really rock your socks if you’re someone who loves data
    • it’s in a brand-spanking new space with a big studio and ample locker area, plus 3 big single-person bathroom/showers


    is legit: free intro class, and packages that come out to $15/class (8 classes/month) or $18/class (15-class pack). The drop-in fee is a hefty $25–a tough pill for this nurse to swallow–but those packages are definitely deals.Generous cancellation policy: just call ahead and they won’t charge you for the class!

Eric and Elevate definitely get two big thumbs up from me, and I’m looking forward to going back again soon.

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