10 Tips to Workout for Cheap in DC / Virginia

Please tell me where I can get this sports bra, okay?

If you live in a city, you know the struggle that is trying to work out for under $15 a pop. And if you live in Washington DC or NoVA you know that Orange Theory, Pure Barre, or CorePower class is going to cost you at LEAST $25. Honestly, that’s just not sustainable in the long run…wouldn’t you rather spend that money on a green smoothie (or Whole Foods pizza)?? Of course you would, but you also want to not literally become one with your couch! There’s always running at Rocky Creek or on the Mt. Vernon trail but if you’re like me you thrive on the competitive and uplifting class/group atmosphere. This list is catered to DC, but check out what your local scene has to make it work for you.

Taste test workouts with a Fitness Festival

I may be partial, but all of the Fitness Festivals I’ve gone to in NoVA have left me with a new appreciation for workouts I was too intimidated to try (like spinning and kickboxing) and a whole bunch of fitness freebies that last me a good six months. Check out The Old Town Waterfront Fitness + Wellness Festival coming up in September, which is run by some of my favorite people at Discover Arlington (who’s newsletter you should totally sign up for…their fitness series are LIT!).

Sign up for Active Life DC’s newsletter

Signing up for this newsletter is like getting a curated RSS of every single studio in the city (okay, maybe it is LITERALLY that). This is where I find out about a lot of the free museum yoga and outside classes that I love.

Check out Groupon

I love Pure Barre, but I do NOT love how much Pure Barre costs (almost $30 a class? TUCK nah). However, when I caught Pure Barre on Groupon for a STEAL of $145 for 20 classes, with an extra 20% off (use code “SUMMER”) I jumped at the deal. Now my classes are a little less than $6 a pop!

Try out new studios and rack up free classes

Many studios in the area offer incentives to help people “try before they buy.” They’ll offer you a free class, or even a free week…so check around with your fave workouts and studios to see what the deal is.

Get Appy

While ClassPass may be awesome, if you can spare the $$ in your budget, there’s a new way to get the ClassPass life and it lives in your iPhone. ClassPass has just released ClassPass Go, a FREE (!!!!) audio training system with pictures that help you nail moves that are new to you.


Bribe a friend with green smoothies

You know your friends who have access to those dope studios that have like literal trees growing out of them…ahem. Tap them for a guest pass so you can be bougie and fit on the cheap. Offset their trouble with a SouthBlock smoothie.

Check out Meetup, Eventbrite, and Facebook Events

If you’re into a sport that you’d rather do with others in the area, check out Meetup for free and discounted group classes and fitness meetups. This is especially effective if you’re into hiking, climbing, bouldering, biking and triathalons/marathons/races. Just search Meetup.com for “Sports and Fitness,” Eventbrite for “fitness” related events. In Facebook, you can also filter by “Fitness” in Events on your home left side menu.

Rollin up on Capital Bike share like….

Make SMART Goals

You know you’re DC AF if you have SMART goals in place…and if you LUUUUV acronyms. If attainable goals help you stay on track, a month-long challenge might be the perfect solution to get you motivated. ThrillistActive, and even Buzzfeed have 30-day challenges just waiting for you to conquer them.

Go your own way

PopSugar also has a GREAT selection of at-home workouts for free on YouTube. Don’t be fooled, they’re NOT easy. Pure Barre and Barre3 also have online workouts that you can purchase and stream for when you’d rather not leave the house.

Get on the newsletter list for your fave studios

While you’re out trying out all your fave studios, make sure to sign up for their newsletter lists in all the studios that you’d like to visit so that you can be the first to know when they’re offering free classes or discounts. I frequent Dailey Method and Pure Barre and they offer occasional free classes and happy hours. Cheers!

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