2017 has been a really challenging year, both for me and for many people I care about. And, (unless you have been living under a rock:) I think many of us would agree that so much of what is going on in the world currently just feels off. With all of the ups and downs of this most all over the place year, there is one thing in my own life which has been 100% positive; I LOVE MY GYM! Today I am going to tell you about the interior of this fantastic space, which I have completely fallen in love with over the last 11 months. For me, joining the Balanced Athlete Fitness Studios (http://balancedathletedc.com/) in Chevy Chase, DC has been a clear bright spot amidst complicated times.
The Studio is located in the basement space below the toy store, Child’s Play, where the old much loved video store used to be. This venue is a perfect example of how thoughtfully planned interior design can transform the feel of a space, and, how it can set the stage and be the backdrop for a whole lot of wonderful. This dynamic interior exemplifies how well designed spaces affect performance, attendance and overall motivation. Interior Design really matters!!
First of all, Balanced Athlete Fitness Studios is different than any other gym to which I have ever belonged. I have joined many gyms in the past, and invariably end up quitting after a month too many of paying for something that I never use.
The vibe at Balanced Athlete is fantastic and there is a palpable sense of community. The people are friendly, warm and welcoming. There is no sense of competition, but rather a clear spirit of encouragement, progress and fun! This studio caters to all ages. There are many young and not so young people who come here to work out. The coaches thoughtfully meet you wherever you are fitness wise, and help you to challenge yourself to improve on an individual basis.
The transformation of the physical space has been incredible. The overall feel is clean, fresh and open. The ceilings are exposed and painted off-white (so there is no feeling of oppressive basement space here!). Espresso colored wall covering is combined with fresh pops of orange at accent walls and light colored wood laminate flooring. Sleek shiny white lockers line the core between the two exercise studios, the Pilates room, and the Spinning Studio. Mirrors are everywhere and make the space feel large, bright and connected. The philosophy here is based on the idea that alignment is the key to everything and we need the mirrors to be aware of our alignment. The mirrors actually make you feel more accepting of yourself, more comfortable with your body, and less competitive. Nothing feels superfluous. Walls are lined with Bulgarian Bags, weights and mats. The colors are vibrant and invigorating. Even the bathrooms are sleek, modern and gorgeous.
The rooms are calming, inspiring and motivating all at once!
So how is the design of this space different from other places where you may have tried working out in the past? Many gyms are rows and rows of machine after machine where you can end up feeling both self-conscious and anonymous. Not so at Balanced Athlete! The rooms are small enough that they feel welcoming. There are only 12 bikes in the Spin class, which feels the opposite of intimidating. And, the fact that the studio is located in a basement and doesn’t have a row of storefront windows where you feel on display to all people passing by is a real plus.
In addition, the staff here is fantastic and very personable. I am a regular in Marian and Gorica’s Foundations classes and Krista and Shannon’s Spin classes. They are all amazing coaches. Marc, the owner, is about the most approachable guy you could ever meet. Everyone at the front desk is super friendly and genuinely kind and helpful. So obviously, the people matter.
But the space does too.
The interior design achieves all that it sets out to do: It creates a happy, welcoming and inviting space that encourages you to be active and challenge yourself to achieve healthy goals. If you have been thinking about checking out the Balanced Athlete Fitness Studios in Chevy Chase, now is the perfect time. Especially if you are looking for a bright spot to finish off this oh so interesting year. You can try out a week of classes for free to see if it feels like a good fit for you. I have gotten in my best shape in a very long time here and I thoroughly enjoy all of the classes and the people. I can wholeheartedly say that I love both this space and the community which has been created within it. Happy Exercising!!!