Reader Query: Now That It’s Been Open For A While – How’s the Washington Sports Club in Columbia Heights?

City Mall, originally uploaded by M.V. Jantzen.

Initial reports were that it was awesome but crowded. Kera asks:

“Hey, I live about a 15 minute walk from the Col. Heights WSC and I really want to join too, does anyone know if the hype has gone down from the initial opening and lessened the crowds? I plan to go after work (like everyone else I guess) around 6ish and possibly on weekend mornings (like everyone else!) lol I’ll probably have no such luck but does anyone else frequent during those times that could tell me if it’s crowded or not?”

27 Comment

  • and how much is it?

  • It’s pretty much packed right after work. Sometimes you have to literally wait in line to use one of the cardio machines. That being said, I’ve never seen it really crowded at any time except for the hours immediately after work.

    As far as cost goes, I think I pay about $70/month.

  • Yeah, you can wait pretty long sometimes for a treadmill, which is annoying because you waste time standing there. Not sure why they don’t use a sign-up type board like they use at Results. When I belonged there, I thought was very effective.

    I pay $54.99/month.

  • wow a wait for a cardio machine? i heard there’s no line for the sidewalk . . .
    think about it

  • as long as we are on the subject i was wondering what the pool was like. do you have to wait for a lap lane? Im not trying to be standing around in my grape smuggling speedo waiting for a lane.

  • it is frequently crowded, even on weekends. A lot of preening, too.. Which, I think, might make the long lines for machines even longer….

  • Columbia Heights News has an interesting thread in the forums about WSC:

  • I’d like to join the new YMCA that they are building on the corner of 14th and W, but unfortunately looks like I’ll have to wait at least two years for it to be built.

  • I belong to a gym at my work. It’s only $10.80 every two weeks. They provide clean towels and soap/shampoo just like the WSC. And it’s pretty nice and doesn’t have the lines that are prevalent at many WSC’s in DC. For $54.99 per month I would be upset if I had to wait in line just to keep fit; my time is more valuable than that.

  • It really varies in terms of crowds. Monday after work is ALWAYS the worst. I think the worst I’ve seen is about 6 or 7 people waiting in line to use the treadmills/ellipticals, but they have staff that *tries* to keep the flow of the line moving.

    I avoid the lines by signing up for classes on Mondays (sign up early!)and using the treadmills or cardio machines on the days that I know there will not be a crowd. It really is hit or miss though. During the weekend I found it’s pretty empty. I’ve never had a problem getting a machine.

    My only gripe would be the size of the pool. It’s so small and now even smaller with swim lessons. I’ve swam competitively all my life and looked forward to using the pool but I’ve stopped since I got tired of waiting for a lane to open up.

    I pay $55/month, but I’m sure they’ve probably raised it by now (I joined in the summer.)

  • Are there any other gyms that are walkable / metro accessible in the Petworth Columbia Heights area? $55 – $70 is a bit much for what I do- treadmill & lift. I currently go to Fitness First which is $30, but I’ll be working from home come Jan.

  • It’s definitely worth going in the mornings if you can. So much less crowded than in the evenings. I think everyone pays different rates based on when they signed up. People who sign up now are paying like $70/month. You may want to wait until the New Year when I’m sure they’ll have some sort of deal to get a membership. Although, the gym will be even more crowded with ppl trying to lose weight as their New Years Resolution.

  • anyone ever swim at marie reed? wondering if that pool gets crowded and if it is well kept?

  • The pool can get crowded, but people normally respect the 30 min limit. The fact that it’s on the top floor means it gets plenty of natural light during the day.

  • Man, $70/month is steep. I wish Fitness First would open more locations inside the city. I have been with them for years, and pay only $35/mo.

    But then, places like Sport and Health charge upwards of $100/mo (which to me is insane) so I guess it’s all relative.

  • Marie Reed is good. It’s a secret treasure. It’s pretty bare bones, i.e. in the locker rooms. Pool is nice and has about 6 lanes. And FREE!!!

  • My wife and I pay $55 a month. We mostly use it for lifting during the week and cardio on weekends when there isn’t a line.

    They only have one actual squat rack, and no power rack. They have two smith machines, one classic, and one “new coke” one that moves in a grid.

    Seems like every day is “bench press day” for the people who lift there, so be prepared to wait for a bench.

    Dumbbells are plentiful and go above 100lbs, but denominations 65 and below are rarely where the are supposed to be.

    Weight trees are often haphazardly arranged, so you have to move a bunch of 25s to get to your 45.

    In all, not perfect, but we pay for the convenience (2 blockd from our condo).

  • the WSC is great, without a doubt one of the nicest in the city. Go in the morning if you can! also, there are awesome personal trainers there, I’ve been using a trainer for a month and I love it!

  • I go in the mornings and uh, it’s really, really crowded in the mornings so you shouldn’t come then… yeah definitely don’t go in the mornings. I even heard that people gain unsightly weight by going in the mornings… and they encourage sex offenders to go in the mornings so you should consider that. Stay away from mornings!!!

  • It’s nice and clean, and I love the natural light, but if you like weights, the facilities in that regard seem kinda inadequate, and it’s been unpleasantly crowded every time I’ve gone. And as someone else said above, too many preeners.

    It’s right by my house but for the reasons above I prefer to go to the ones on Connecticut Avenue instead.

  • I like it quite a bit. I work out usually around 3PM so obv it’s never crowded. My only issue is that they don’t crank the heat enough on the sauna and also yesterday while I was working out, they kicked me out for wearing jeans. Isn’t that weird?

  • What is the average going rate for the passport membership opposed to the gold membership?

  • Yes, it is extremely weird to wear jeans while working out.

  • An indoor basketball court is a big draw for me, especially in the wintertime. I haven’t joined yet (got a 3 day free trial pass), but am tempted. There’s a “ref” who keeps the b ball games moving and signs up new players as they enter, so you don’t have the hassle of shooting free throws to determine teams. I hear that they are thinking of starting a basketball league, which one may be able to join without purchasing a full gym membership. Anyone got an update on that?

  • Funny thing is… it is actually pretty busy in the mornings…

  • I joined when they first opened and it keeps getting more crowded. If you want to use the cardio machines plan on waiting. It seems like most of the people that have joined are gym newbies and have no gym etiquette on returning weights, or cleaning their sweat of the benches so plan on being patient.

  • Speaking of gym etiquette, please remember that when (or in this case, if) the gym isn’t busy, it is customary to leave a machine between you and the next person on a treadmill or other cardio machine..

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