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Welcome to CrossFit Balance

We're home to the most comprehensive CrossFit programs in Washington DC. Awarded with "Best CrossFit Box" by the Washington Post Express for 2013, we take pride in busting your butt and raising the bar to whole new levels. Come in and try us for FREE.

Location & Contact Info

Balance Gym - Thomas Circle
1111 14th Street, NW 
Washington, DC 20005
Main Gym Phone: 202.730.0308 
Questions? Need more information? Want to try a Free Class or Get Started? --Click Here-- 
General gym inquiries: info@balancegym.com

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Written by Danielle Dionne on . Posted in Uncategorized

Meghan’s Introductory Rowing Class- Tues/Thurs at 1pm


WOD for Wednesday:  



Deadlifts (225/185lbs)

Handstand Push-Ups

Skill Practice: L-sits

Meghan’s Rowing Classes:

“Death Row”– Wed-6:15pm in Crossfit Balance Studio

“Introduction to Row” Tues/Thurs- 1:00pm in Main Gym

If weather permits, we will do workouts on the deck.

Danielle’s Review of Meghan’s “Intro to Row:”

Yesterday, the sun was blazing….Ryan, Matt, Mary Kate, and I took it outside!  Here is a recap of what we covered:

Drills: Pick Drill (stroke progression drill), Stroke Rate Changes, Pause Drill (to work on body preparation)

WOD: 4X1:00 and 1:00 (active rest)-focusing on technique/power application; 4X30 seconds on and 1:30 off- focusing on stroke ratio and maintaining technique at a higher rate

I found that my splits (average pace for a 500m row) were slightly slower based on technique focus.  Also, I found it challenging to find a natural flow/fluidity in my technique based on all the corrections I was trying to digest and apply.  However after an hour of drills and opportunities to apply my corrections/newfound technique with prescribed work sets,  I found my splits becoming faster and improvements in my technique at higher intensities.

I’ve worked with Meghan on several occasions; however, five minutes can not do justice to improving and consistently applying your technique.  This class is a perfect format for developing consistency in form/power application.  This is tough to accomplish in a Crossfit WOD when you are tempted to attack the erg.  I find this analogous to learning/training the olympic lifts.  You can’t hammer away at technique under the stress of fatigue and huge loads.  It takes time, patience, and a coach’s watchful eye to improve.

I highly recommend attending one of Meghan’s classes on a day where you need a mental break from the normal WOD’s, active recovery, or treat as a skill day.  You will still get a workout, particularly in “Death Row,” which I have been advised would not be classified as an “active recovery” day. 

My two sense is this….although crossfit is a broad, inclusive program, where we don’t necessarily specialize….we should still pursue excellence, especially when we have people like Meghan to take us there!  Mastery in form is stimulating, challenging, and fun!


Anyone that has done pieces on the rowing machine knows and fears the sound of the chains catching and the fans roaring. That split second of connection can make or break your ability to apply pressure efficiently through the entire stroke, it is called “The Catch.” Too slow and you do not get the initial burst you will need to get through the stroke. Too fast and you are likely to miss that important connection and lose precious power with ever stroke. The Catch sets the tone for the stroke you are beginning to take, having a direct affect on your stroke rate, application of power and your efficiency through the stroke.       

So, with that said what does a good Catch look like and how can everyone get one?

Surprisingly a good Catch actually starts at the release and recovery period of the stroke. You begin by sitting up and relaxing into the seat with a slight lay back, your core is strong but not rigid. From the release your arms should go away from your body, they should be relaxed and reaching up towards the box. Next pivot your body forward from the hips, keeping your hands on the same plane. It is very important that your body angle comes not from your back or shoulders, but from your hips; without that angle you will not be able to connect your legs at the Catch.  Now begin to bring your body up the slide towards the Catch. At the Catch your body angle should be exactly what it was at the initial pivot, no extra reach and no butt in front of your chest. Your shins should be perpendicular, or as close as possible, and your seat should be under you, not in front or too far behind your body.

What does a good Catch feel like?

When you catch the chain at the catch you should feel a tug as you back and lats engage, connecting your glutes and legs to the chain. You should feel as if you are lifting yourself off the seat as you make that explosive connection from the handle to your legs.  At this point your arms should be relaxed and hanging on to the connection. A good visual is to think of the handle and your seat being connected. You would not shoot your butt in a dead lift, nor would you lead with your chest; the same goes for the rowing stroke. At 18 strokes a minute or 30 the goal of the Catch is to pick the fan speed back up. From the Catch your goal is to maintain that powerful connection all the way through to the release where you get to start all over again!

Announcements: Upcoming Week…

This Thursday: Meghan will be teaching the 6:15 pm and 7:15 pm classes.  For those of you who are unable to make a rowing class anytime soon, this will be a great opportunity to work on technique (“hint”- workout may involve some rowing).

This Friday: Hall’s Happy Hour: Friday Flexibility Training Class 6:15-7:00pm.  More details to come on Thursday’s Blog. 

Saturday: Drew (our new Coach) will be assisting in the 10am and 11am class.  Drew specializes in working with athletes to develop proper running technique.  All trainees please attend.   Lauren will be having her “Injury Prevention” Seminar on Saturday, which is free.

Foundation Trainees (Wed afternoon and Thurs evenings)- Please read the following about Zone Meal Plans – Homework by Mon/Tues classes is to calculate your zone blocks and go grocery shopping.

Side Note: As we are adding specialty classes and assistant coaches to refine your techinque in areas (whether its Lauren (physical therapist), Drew (pose running), Bobby (powerlifts), Meghan (rowing)….I encourage you all to take advantage of their expertise and make it a point to train when they will be assisting/providing seminars/teaching classes.  I want to see everyone progressing and working to the best of their abilities!  I’m looking forward to everyone learning more, applying it in your workouts, and seeing improvements in all your performances!


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Written by Danielle Dionne on . Posted in Uncategorized

Weather is looking nice!  Get to CF Balance to enjoy training outside!

Train hard, and have fun!  We spent this past Saturday breaking in our new deck!  More to come as the weather warms up!

WOD for Tuesday:

Weighted Pull-ups


4 rounds for time:

7 Thrusters (155/105lbs)

200 m (Alley Sprint)

What role can crossfit play in training for a marathon or triatholon? Ryan Putz has some thoughts…Please read the following:

People train for all different reasons (sport, life, social outlet), and CrossFit is designed to make you better and fitter no matter what your personal goals may be.  CrossFit incorporates 10 recognized fitness domains and incorporates all of these into its’ programming.  These domains include; speed, agility, balance, power, strength, accuracy, flexibility, stamina, cardio, and coordination.  CrossFit specializes in not specializing and preparing you for anything you may want to accomplish in sport and fitness.

A lot of people I have found to be similar to me in what they are looking to accomplish in CrossFit.  I don’t  have any specific goals or events that I train for, I’m the kind of guy who signs up for these events the night before they happen. I do, however, like to do the occasional triathlon, half marathon, or any other challenging, random event.  The bottom line is I want to be prepared to do anything and be able to compete as well.  CrossFit allows me to be prepared for these events and to be able to compete.

I have been training CrossFit for almost 18 months now and in the time frame have ran a half-marathon and finished a triathlon recently (that I signed up the morning of) .  I did no specialized training for these events and only did my CrossFit programming that I always do.  I was able to compete in both events and finished in the top 20% of my age group both times.  CrossFit keeps you in that middle metabolic pathway, so you are prepared to do anything.  You might not be the best at it, but you will be able to compete and be a much more well-rounded athlete.  -Ryan Putz


Welcome to the new foundation trainees!  I will be posting articles on the blog for you to review.  Please read the following:

Glycemic Index

Monday, March 8, 2010

Written by Danielle Dionne on . Posted in Uncategorized

Congratulations on completing foundations!  Looking forward to seeing you in classes this week!

WOD for Monday:

Squat 10X2 @ 65% of 1RM (30 Second Rest between each set)

Complete the following for time:

3 Muscle-Ups

Power Cleans, 5

6 Muscle-Ups

Power Cleans, 10

9 Muscle-Ups

Power Cleans, 15

6 Muscle-Ups

Power Cleans, 10

3 Muscle-Ups

Power Cleans, 5


Scaling Options: All trainees can either do modified muscle-ups by lowering rings and practicing transitions (if you already can perform a ring dip) or perform 3 pull-ups and 3 dips for every muscle-up.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Written by Danielle Dionne on . Posted in Uncategorized

NEW FOUNDATIONS COURSE ADDED! Starts this Monday at 12pm.  Contact Danielle to sign-up.

Go Kelly!  Congrats-first day of kipping pull-ups!  Welcome to all Lululemon gals who be joining CF Balance!  Kelly is a Community Leader at Lululemon in Logan Circle.  Visit Kelly’s Blog WelcomeOmDC to read up about her experiences at CF Balance.

“Recovering adrenaline junkies, beware. This article may take you back to the days when you thirsted for a good, hard dose of athletic-induced endorphins. But seriously, there is something about the new CrossFit Balance that brings out the competitive, hard-core athlete in me…. and I am becoming totally addicted to it!

And it’s not just the ripped, energetic, easy-on-the-eyes trainers that captivates my adrenaline demons (though, my inner sixteen-year-old cannot help but do mental cartwheels over the abundance of muscular, tall, hot athletes at this gym).  Rather, is it the fact that the trainers are actual athletes. So training becomes a totally authentic experience when I have a six-foot-six former US Rugby player cheering me on to row faster, move quicker, lift more.  As a result, I cannot help but somehow feel mentally tougher, physically stronger, and totally badass after completing a workout.” –Kelly Ferraro

WOD for Friday (Modified NC/SC Sectional Qualifer workout)

Complete the following for time:

60 Double-unders

30 Thrusters (95/65)

30 Burpees

500m row

30 Wall Balls (20/16lbs)

30 Ab Mat Sit-ups

500m row

30 Kettlebell Swings (24/16kg)

30 Overhead Walking Lunges (45/25lbs)

60 Double-Unders


CF Balance Trainees will be meeting up at Churchkey at 5:30pm for an informal happy hour.  I (Danielle) will be there at 7:30pm for those of you still winding down (after a long week of hard work and workouts). 

Saturday is a rugby day- PAC v. NOVA!  Good luck to all you guys!  Train hard, play hard!

Free Intro Class

Free Intro Classes Thursdays at Noon & 7pm and Saturdays at 11am.

Reserve a spot here!

CrossFit Foundations

E-mail Danielle at danielle@balancegym.com for pre-registration and availability. Purchasing online will not guarantee you a spot until you are confirmed.

Quote of the Week

"If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse."

CrossFit Journal

CrossFit Journal: The Performance-Based Lifestyle Resource