Gym Review: Washington Sports Club, Columbia Heights

I have always had an eerie reverence for the Washington Sports Club gyms.  I would walk by the gym in the Rio (Gaithersburg, MD) and was always impressed with the many machines and fancy amenities.  I had heard nothing but amazing things about the gym company but balked at the OUTRAGEOUS price of a membership (at last quote $80.00 a month).  Imagine my delight when I saw that the gym was having a Groupon special which would provide gyming for $24.00.

This was around the time that I decided to get my life together so the gym coupon came right on time.  I wasted no time signing up but was caught up by two small problems: 1) the gym membership wasn’t active until the day after I wanted to go to the gym and 2) the coupon was only for one month of gyming.  I don’t think this was false advertisement, more of an oversight on my part.  I was disappointed, but not deterred and perused the gym schedule to find a class I could love.


The gym is located in the heart of Columbia Heights, NW, Washington, DC on 14th street in the Mall complex that holds a Target, a Best Buy, and Bed Bath & Beyond.  The gym is on the top floor of building and you have to take a combination of escalators/stairs or the elevator to get to there. The gym is across the street from the Columbia Heights metro station and has a parking garage nestled under the mall.  Because of its location, it is super easy to get to the gym via any transportation method, but driving is a costly option.  Herein lies my first issue, for such an expensive gym, there are no cost free options for parking.  The minimum you will pay is $2 per hour (but for over 1 hour, its best to park in the garage).


The gym is large but feels small.  The day I went it was extremely crowded (7:30pm on a Wednesday).  Immediately after bypassing the front desk, you encounter rows upon rows of cardio equipment, a cycling room, and lifting areas.  Everything is pretty randomly scattered, but it may have seemed so due to the sheer number of people in the gym.  I was taking Aqua Zumba that evening, so I headed straight for the locker room to change into my swimsuit.  On the way, I noticed a random basketball court.

The female locker room was very nice.  I especially enjoyed how spacious and clean everything was. The lockers were made of wood and were very large.  The locker room had both showers and stalls and a steam room and lead directly out to the pool.  The gym provided free towels and had a really interesting towel drying machine that I wanted to play with but time didn’t allow for.

The pool was split into two swimming lanes and an area for group exercise.  This is where I spent my entire gym time and where I had the most fun I’ve had at a gym, ever.  The pool never went above 3 feet 6 inches.

Class Schedule:

The gym boasts lots of classes but the only classes that were somewhat out of the ordinary were the water aerobics classes.  I loved Aqua Zumba (clearly) and plan to go every Wednesday.

The Grade:

B –

I have teeter tottered about my grade and it has ranged anywhere from a C+ to a B.  I settled on a B- because of the difference between my expectations and the reality of the gym.  Although the gym was nice it is certainly not worth the price and it was way too crowded.  Despite having a large number of gym classes and tons of equipment, I wasn’t at all impressed by the gym itself.  I may revisit my grade if I take any additional classes or workout in a place other than the pool, but for now, I give the gym a “Meh” at best (although Aqua Zumba is the best class I’ve ever taken, as previously mentioned).

– Tha Management


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