Feel the Burn: Definitions DC Gives You Your Money’s Worth


While we Hoyas have access to the lovely Yates and all the classes it has to offer, sometimes you just want to get off campus and work out somewhere else. But where?

Definitions Personal Trainers’ Gym, located inside 1050 Thomas Jefferson St. NW (right next to Baked and Wired, for all interested parties), is an intimate space where everyone knows your name. Many of the customers are regulars who, under the training and tutelage of the motivating staff, have come to love the early-morning workouts and personal training opportunities.

At first it was confusing to find Definitions, but we were told that it’s kept highly secure because of the many important guests visiting the building. #JustDCProblems


I attended the 8:30 a.m. Saturday class, Metabolic Resistance Training, with my friend Michelle (thank you Michelle for agreeing to get up early and work out with me). Now, in the past, we were not fitness slouches – we’ve both run half-marathons, for instance. But as we progressed through college, we may not have retained the same level of fitness that we had when we were regularly training. At any rate, we had no idea what we were getting into.

Luckily, the Definitions staff is extremely patient and helpful. Our class was taught by DeShay Williams, who patiently guided Michelle and me, as well as the other people in the class, through a series of workouts, from kettlebell burpees to Bosu ball planks (side note: I was unaware of all of these terms until this class, except for “planks”). Each workout was timed such that there would be 45 seconds of agonizing exercise and 15 seconds of blissful break. The repetition was grueling, but DeShay and likely any other teachers of this class were more than helpful: whether pumping up the volume on the awesome Spotify playlist (Madonna goes really well with Usher, it turns out) or fixing my posture during dumbbell snatches, she made sure everyone was getting a safe but physically taxing 50-minute workout.

The gym has a variety of equipment in a relatively smaller space – any machine you’d want is available, but you don’t feel overwhelmed when you walk in. Classes are also kept small, with a cap of 12 people.

With rubber reinforced flooring, this room is used for group training classes.
The main room of the boutique fitness center.
The main room of the boutique fitness center.


The locker rooms were well-accommodated, and there was a large supply of fresh towels and cold water, which Michelle and I took advantage of liberally during our experience. (By the end of the class, I was sweating so much that I took the walk back to campus wearing shorts. This is the only acceptable reason to wear shorts in the wintertime!)

All in all, for people who want to get in shape, Definitions is certainly a great alternative to Yates. While extremely tired and sore, Michelle and I agreed that there was no way someone could regularly attend the class and not be fit. The running student discount is 25% off – the cost of one class alone is $24, or a five-class package for $110. To purchase either option, either come in person to Definitions, email [email protected], or call 202-821-9874. The class schedule can be found here. And don’t forget to check out the Definitions Facebook and Twitter.

Photos: Chris Glenn, yelp.com

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