May 3, 2012 | by Kevin M. Norris
Fitness on 14th

Stuart Smith. (Blade photo by Michael Key)

I went apartment hunting with a friend a few days ago. When he asked for recommendations of diverse and thriving neighborhoods, I immediately thought of Logan Circle, an inclusive, all-encompassing neighborhood that’s growing rapidly.

One of its perks — about to get better — is BodySmith Personal Training which is moving into a new space and becoming a full gym in September.

The big gyms seem to garner all the exposure, but what about the little guys? The boutique gyms and personal training studios located directly in the District are worth mentioning. These locations offer something the big guys can’t touch and it gives the gym consumer options for their workout environment that suites their nature. Not everyone loves to be surrounded by large crowds, blaring music or sweaty machines, nor pay hefty membership fees.

Mint Fitness is a wonderful boutique size full-fledged gym, which has been open about five years in Adams Morgan. And while the price may be hefty for some, you will be pampered there beyond what you might receive in a larger facility.

There are other small gyms and privately owned personal training studio favorites scattered throughout the area and I trust each of them has something special to offer that may not be available in larger facilities. Balance Gym with several locations throughout Washington and one located in Thomas Circle is another example of the advantages of a smaller space.

But what about an intimate neighborhood workout space where everyone knows your name in the Dupont Circle or Logan Circle area that is also moderately priced? And where do you find some of the most extensively educated and experienced personal trainers in Washington? What about a private personal training space and a separate membership area all under one roof? Wouldn’t such an option be wonderful to have available? I know of no other facility that will be offering nor be in the same league as what the new BodySmith Gym will offer. Full disclosure — I’m proud to say I’m an independent personal trainer at BodySmith and the new location will be exciting.

It’s slated to open at 1630 14th street will be about 12,000 square feet and consist of two floors: one devoted solely to personal training and the other as a membership-only area. BodySmith will have a full spectrum of top-of-the-line free-weight equipment and a variety of fresh cutting-edge cardio equipment housed in the all above ground heavily windowed space. Also, housed within will be massage, physical therapy, an organic juice and shake bar, and parking, which is unusual for this area.

And owner Stuart Smith has a consistent record of celebrating and supporting the LGBT community that deserves recognition.

Smith has been the successful owner of the BodySmith Personal Training brand since he opened his first personal training space directly across the street from what is now Lauriol Plaza Restaurant in 1998. BodySmith has maintained several tables at each years Chef’s Best and regularly donates to Food and Friend’s and other local charities.

Smith also pumped his own pedals for a couple of Food and Friends sponsored AIDS Rides and consistently raised money for the battle against AIDS.

As the first BodySmith location quickly became a Dupont Circle favorite, Smith and his team embraced the culture around them. He even donned silver pumps and ran in the High Heel Race dressed as Mother Theresa one year.

The original BodySmith closed in 2004 after its lease ran out and Smith moved to the current Logan Circle location. Most of his trainers and clients went with him.

BodySmith Gym will require a monthly membership fee starting at about $69 a month for  a year commitment and separate fees for the personal training-only area. For more information visit bodysmithgymdc.com.

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