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MADabolic focuses on long-term results, focuses on strength and form. (Image: MADabolic)

3 of D.C.'s best cardio and strength combo workouts

When you spend your time and money on a group fitness class, you want to get as much out of it as possible. What better way to make the most of your workout time than with a cardio AND strength combo workout. Whether you enjoy or despise running on a treadmill, hitting the miles while in a group fitness setting may totally change your perspective.

If you haven't tried one of these combo workouts, now is the time to get to a studio and challenge yourself with a full body fitness experience. These studios target and tone different muscle groups while building cardiovascular strength and endurance, plus they keep things interesting with new workouts every day. Here are three studios to explore in the D.C. area.

Barry's Bootcamp

The moment you walk into the red room at Barry's Bootcamp, you know you're in for an intense and satisfying workout. The classes alternate between resistance training on the floor and cardiovascular work on the treadmills. If you're totally anti-treadmills, there are a few spots designated for "double-floor" so you can skip the running section all together. But don't be afraid to hit those treads! The 55-minute classes are designed to strengthen and tone muscle while maximizing fat loss. Each day focuses on a different muscle group, allowing for recovery between workouts and preventing injuries. Consistency is the key to success and Barry's Bootcamp recommends five classes per week to hit your target. If you're new, aim for three classes a week to ease your way in. If you need modifications while in class, don't be afraid to ask, as instructors are always happy to provide modifications and assistance to help you reach your goals.


Every day is different at MADabolic and each session will include five stations that students rotate between. You'll spend a certain amount of time in each station to work through the movement, then you'll have a quick moment to rest before moving to the next spot. Each class has a different focus: momentum (focuses on endurance and athleticism), anaerobic (focuses on speed and power) and durability (focuses on stability and stamina). Expect class to include strength and weight work with cardio in the form of running, biking, skiers, shuffles and more. The studio focuses on long-term results and recommends students consistently visit four times a week to see results. A tip for new students: make sure to try all three class focuses (momentum, anaerobic and durability), as attending all types of classes will yield the best results.

Orangetheory Fitness

The 60-minute classes at Orangetheory will work your full body in a way that's actually backed by science. Classes combine time on treadmills, rowers and the weight floor, all while students wear heart rate monitors to stay on top of their efforts. Heart rate ranges are color coded and the "orange zone" is where you will be feeling uncomfortable and your heart rate will be at 84%-91% of your max heart rate; it's where the folks at OTF say the magic happens. In each class the goal is to stay in the orange zone for 12 minutes or more to achieve the maximum caloric burn for up to 36 hours after your workout is completed -- yes, you read that right, increased calorie burn even after the workout ends! Class focus varies by day, including strength, endurance and power days, all with a full body focus. If you're apprehensive about the treadmill, there are options for power walkers, joggers and runners. It's a great workout for any fitness ability as everything can be adjusted and modified.