It’s not often that a new gym comes to D.C. but when it does, I’m the first to want to give it a try. JADE Fitness (jadefitnessdc.com), a new boutique gym in the Capitol Hill area, had its grand opening this week after a soft opening in August. I sat down to a one-on-one interview with co-owner, Drew McNeil, to talk all about this new business.
WASHINGTON BLADE: Tell me about your background and history in the fitness industry.
DREW McNEIL: I’ve been in the fitness industry for more than 11 years and during this time I’ve learned a lot about myself, fitness and what people hope to achieve when it comes to health and wellness. My lifestyle is composed of three things: mind, body and nutrition. This holistic approach forces me to pay close attention to the details. I believe it’s nearly impossible to expect success in one area without truly understanding and learning about the other areas as well. At the end of the day, it’s all about the experience and the results. You have to ask yourself, “Does it bring me joy?” and “Am I getting what I want out of it? This mindset has been my compass for many years and it has helped me to build solid connections with many people.
BLADE: What were your thoughts behind opening JADE Fitness?
McNEIL: We are a team of people who are passionate about health, wellness and community. JADE is our answer to what we believe is missing in the D.C. area. We want to give people complete leadership, from start to finish, in all areas of fitness (strength, cardiovascular health and nutrition). Our brand and the name JADE represents energy, growth and renewal.
BLADE: What services does JADE offer?
McNEIL: We offer a variety of themed small group and semi-private fitness classes. Small group classes include boot camps, suspension training, popular dance classes, such as Zumba and of course, yoga. Semi-private sessions are usually around two to four people and have a more hands-on approach, especially for those who like the individual attention or may initially have certain limitations. Our classes are unique because they are conducted as if you are in a one-on-one session with a trainer but at a more affordable price because of the group setting. Members will still be able to receive personalized attention that will allow them to do the moves correctly. Our coaches and group instructors will push and challenge our members so that your maximizing every minute that your working out.
BLADE: What makes JADE different in comparison to the other gyms in this area?
McNEIL: Throughout the years, I’ve noticed the same behavior in most gyms. Members are isolated with their head phones, working out in areas where they feel the most comfortable, doing the same routine over and over again. As a result, we wanted to emphasis a small group setting to build a sense of camaraderie and community while maintaining a tough and fun workout. As I mentioned before, we also wanted to create a warm and inviting environment that’s less intimidating to our guest. A gym that’s inclusive, empowering and adventurous. We take complete ownership and strong focus on corrective exercises, real world movements, exercise progression and injury prevention.
BLADE: Walk me through what a workout would look like.
McNEIL: Sure, but before you take any of our classes, we will do an assessment with you. The assessment will help us better serve you and identify any imbalances or common deficiencies you may have and personalize your experience with Jade. One of the classes we offer is called “ABC workout,” a targeted workout that focuses on toning the arms, reshaping the butt and and strengthening the core, areas that are critical in our everyday life and of course great for aesthetics. We usually begin with a warm up and prescribed corrective exercises, then get the heart rate pumping with great music and some type of cardiovascular exercise, then roughly 20 minutes focused on the class theme with a main movements, progression and a regression exercises, core and a nice cool down and stretch.