Amanda Schmidt is a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Weight Loss Specialist, NASM Women's Fitness Specialist and AFAA Certified Group Exercise Instructor. She is the Director of Personal Training and Group Fitness at Balance Gym Foggy Bottom where she trains clients one-on-one and teaches group fitness classes in Zumba, POUND and Barre.
What makes your teaching style unique?:
I would describe my teaching style as fun, sparkly and light-hearted! Because I come from a less conventional fitness background, I'm determined to make workouts fun for everyone in my class. While I do pay very close attention to form and safety, I also like to remind my students that it's OK to have fun and laugh at the gym. We're all there to reach serious goals and to commit to our health, but at the end of the day your workout should make you happy! I'm determined to see everyone smile at least once during class, even if they're getting smoked by the workout!
Tell us a little about the classes you teach. Who are they geared toward?:
In my seven years as a group fitness instructor I've taught a wide variety of classes. For the time being, I've decided to focus in on the three formats I'm enjoying the most: POUND, Barre and Zumba. Although my classes are mostly filled with women, they are for everyone! Men can benefit from these formats too, and as long as you know your limitations, people of any age can participate. POUND is probably the least familiar format that I teach, but it's starting to gain popularity. I'm obsessed with it. It's a full-body cardio jam session, combining light resistance with constant simulated drumming. The workout fuses cardio, Pilates, isometric movements, plyometrics and Isometric poses into a 45-minute series. Participants burn between 400 and 900+ calories per hour, strengthen and sculpt infrequently used muscles, and rock out to their favorite songs. I see people walk out of that class looking like they could conquer the world.
If you haven't jumped on the Barre bandwagon yet, I highly recommend that you give it a try. I teach a format called Balance Barre that was exclusively designed for Balance Gym. The class involves a series of small isometric movements that target the arms, thighs, glutes and abs for a full body workout that creates long, lean and toned muscles.
If you could change one behavior you see in class participants, what would it be?:
I want my class participants to avoid passing judgements on themselves. DC is such a competitive town, and a lot of people here are striving for perfection which is an unattainable goal. It breaks my heart when I hear anyone saying they're not "enough" of something. "I'm not coordinated enough, I'm not strong enough, I'm not skinny enough, I'm not fit enough." The fact is you ARE enough. There's no prerequisite to come to my class.
Briefly describe your weekly workout schedule. Is it seasonal? How many rest days do you take each week?:
I'm a long distance runner, so my workout schedule often depends on race training. Earlier this year I was training for a marathon which required me to focus on long runs, injury prevention, mobility and a little strength training. My typical workout schedule for the week includes multiple POUND and Zumba classes, a couple of Barre classes, 2-4 runs of varying mileage, and some Yoga mixed in for recovery. I do incorporate some heavy lifting as well in order to avoid losing muscle mass during race trainings, and I still enjoy pole dancing as a hobby. What's a rest day? Just kidding...I usually take one rest day each week.
How do you recover from a tough workout?:
I do A LOT of stretching and foam rolling. Too many people neglect their stretching, and I don't know why! It's the easiest part of the workout! I especially enjoy binge watching shows on Netflix while I stretch.
What is your favorite Washington D.C. area outdoor activity? Share a favorite hike or run.:
I love visiting the Key Bridge Boathouse for kayaking or stand up paddle boarding. Of course, I also love to run outdoors, and I do it several times a week. I spend probably 75% of my mileage running on the trails in Rock Creek Park (I'm not very creative). In the winter when the city is deserted, I love running around the National Mall and the Georgetown Waterfront.
What is your favorite place in DC to get a healthy meal? :
Can I pick two? I absolutely love sweetgreen and Chix. Those are my go-to places when I'm behind on grocery shopping. I really appreciate that the ingredients are fresh, healthy AND delicious. I'm currently addicted to the mexican corn "elote" bowl at sweetgreen!
What do you like most about teaching fitness classes?:
Being a group fitness instructor allows me to witness people transforming their bodies and changing their lives. It's really incredible to see people week by week as they become stronger, healthier and more confident. I'm grateful to be a part of their fitness journeys, and I really cherish the relationships I get to build with people by being a fitness instructor.
Where and when can folks come take a class with you?:
You can find me at Balance Gym! I teach POUND at Balance Gym Foggy Bottom on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30-6:15PM and Balance Barre on Mondays 6:30-7:30PM and Fridays 5:30-6:30PM. I also teach Zumba at Balance Gym Thomas Circle on Wednesdays 12:00-12:45PM.