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I have been working out at Bench Gym for the last five years. Before starting training, I had never really worked out with weights before, and was very intimidated. The trainers at Bench have really helped me become more confident in my ability to work out regularly, and pushed me to discover strength I did not know I had. These guys are really creative - three years later, they still surprise me with new exercises that I have never done. What sets Bench apart from other gyms is the friendly atmosphere that Jon and the other trainers work hard to create for the clients. You not only get great trainers that are professional, passionate and really care about their clients, but you also have a support system, friendly faces that encourage you and keep you coming back. Jon is dedicated and thoughtful in creating a special ambiance, from the fun themed decorations, to posting informative fitness articles in front of the cardio machines and in the locker rooms for clients to read. I've also appreciated that Bench trainers are really flexible and accommodating with scheduling sessions around my busy schedule. I can often call at the last minute and Jon will find a way to squeeze me in. And the trainers are always open and easy to talk to if you have concerns about a particular exercise. I have lower back issues, and they always listen and adapt exercises to prevent injuries. And in addition to training sessions, Bench offers a great spinning class and and abs class! Looking back over the last five years, I am so thankful to have found Bench Gym where I have made fantastic new friends, and found the confidence to workout on a regular basis.

Corinne Damlamian, (World Bank)

My husband Todd has been coming to benchgym for about 4 years now. I really had never been there until he gave me a series of 5 personal training sessions for Christmas. I have been going to the gym for as long as I can remember but I never truly pushed myself. I would go with my friends and take some classes and socialize but I never worked hard at the gym. My goal was really to just lose 5 pounds, get stronger, and lose body fat. Even though I am average for weight my percent body fat was poor. 

After my first session with Jon he gave me the suggestion to start logging everything I ate so I could keep track of calories. This has helped my so much because you can really get a good balance and not over eat and it shows you the importance of working out and burning calories. I have an ipad and there is an app called lose it that I use that makes it so easy to do this. I figured out exactly how many calories I needed to eat in order to lose my goal of 5 pounds. The other thing that really helps is that my husband and I are really on the same page with both diet and working out. We work together to keep each other on track and it keeps us healthy and it even makes our relationship stronger.

By going to my training sessions along with watching my calories I finally was able to lose the 5 pounds I have been wanting to lose and I even lost 5% body fat. I weigh less now than I did during my wedding 3 years ago which is a huge accomplishment for me. Todd has lost a total of 10 pounds and significantly reduced his body fat and increased his muscle tone. I know that by sticking with my training sessions and by eating sensible meals I will be able to keep this weight off. Thanks to Bench Gym for the motivation, ongoing support, and for pushing us to hit our goals!

Roya/Todd Marcelle, Sales Executive/President

I have worked with many personal trainers over the years. But the environment and approach to training is different at Bench Gym. I appreciate the trainers' professionalism and attention to my personal goals. Their enthusiasm and great attitude motivates me to do my best. And it has produced results!

John Hasselmann, Vice President (IPC, Washington, DC)

I have been working out regularly since 2001. In 2006, while living in Los Angeles, I got a personal trainer and loved it. Then in August 2008, I was offered a promotion with a move to DC. I was ecstatic to move, but it was 14 months until my wedding and, as any bride might be, I was panicked I wouldn't find a new personal trainer--let alone one who was skilled and in my budget. I searched the web for personal training locations close to my work and contacted the three places I found. The only one I heard back from was Bench Gym. So literally the day after I moved to DC, I went to check out Bench Gym. I've been with them ever since. 

Bench Gym really puts the "personal" in personal training. It's nothing like the typical crowded, cookie cutter, impersonal, stinky gym! That made it a perfect fit for me. Plus, I liked that I could work my training around my schedule and wasn't bound to when my "assigned" trainer was available. This makes finding time for training much easier and adds to the variety of the workouts. 

Over the years I have been with Bench Gym, the trainers have become like family -- the brothers I never had! They make workouts fun and unique, push me to challenge myself, make me laugh, cheer me on, and they've even given me advice about everything from bikes, to where to buy a TV, to healthy eating habits, to who makes good workout clothes. 

I am in the best shape of my life and have muscles I am proud to show off! I can honestly say I like my arms, legs, back, and yes, even my butt (LOL so does my husband--also a Bench Gym client). I owe so much of that to the trainers at Bench Gym.

It's impossible for me to sum up how much I love being a Bench Gym family member. There is no other gym or trainers in the world I'd rather train with!

Leah Mazar/Joe Gillmer (US Government, Washington, DC)

I am probably the oldest client of Bench Gym in both senses of the adjective "oldest". In the time I have been training at Bench Gym I have had two knees (in '07) and one hip (in '09) replaced, the results of a lifetime of tournament-level tennis. Now I am back on the court playing pain-free three or four times a week--and better than I played five years ago. I believe I owe a lot of this miraculous result to the knowledgeable care I have received in my training at Bench Gym. My trainer, Dominic, had a unique knowledge of the needs of each individual he trains, and a superb sensitivity about what will help his clients to achieve their goals for health, well-being and physical activity. I trust Dominic completely to execute a program that will enhance my general health, strength and performance on the tennis court. He has never let me down. Bench Gym is the place for anyone who is serious about improving their physical well-being. And I can testify that this will enhance mental health as well. I always feel great after my workout.

David Maxwell, Company Director/Philanthropist

We think Benchgym is the greatest!!! We have been going there for more than a year now, 2 to 3 times a week for training. Both of us are impressed with the results. We have been feeling fit, energetic and good about ourselves. We could not have accomplished this had it not been for our determination to stay healthy and the great job the staff are doing for us. Jon takes the time to talk to me, train me, laugh with me but keep me working hard. I feel talented when I am doing training. 

Mike gives my husband a punishing hour every time and has transformed his attitude about training so much he almost enjoys it; work on transforming his body is a work in progress because a lot of work was needed. These guys are all very professional and yet cordial and helpful. We also like the fact that we are not rushed, instead we stick around and do a little more. 

The other things that are great with this gym, it that there is so many equipment around that you can never run out of stuff. The gym is clean and inviting, pleasant environment and we are always greeted with a smile from all the trainers regardless!!! WAY TO GO GUYS, LOVE YOU ALL.

Annie Thornburn/Craig Thornburn (Housewife/World Bank)

January 3, 2007. That was my first training day with Bench Gym, and I've been a loyal client since. It was my New Year's resolution at the time. Thanks to them, it's a resolution I've happily maintained since then with amazing results.

When I started, I was 150 lbs. Within three months I was already seeing positive changes. Over time, I've achieved a variety of goals. I'm now 168 lbs. while still retaining a body fat percentage in the excellent range. They keep me motivated and committed. Working out with Jon, Dominic, Mike and Q provides a diverse set of experiences that always keep my body and mind from hitting a plateau or getting bored.

The Bench Gym team is solutions-oriented, personable and just plain fun. Training with them is something I look forward to, and it's an enduring partnership that's worth the price and investment. The wellness benefits are truly remarkable. And, really, it's an investment in my overall health. I'm in better shape at 39 (gulp, almost 40) than when I was 21. The Bench Gym team got me there through tailored workout plans aligned with my goals of gaining more lean muscle mass (while not becoming the Hulk). Now, if I wanted to get as big as the Hulk, I'm sure the Bench Gym team could get me there too!

And along the way, not only have I gained more fitness, I've gained more confidence in myself. Their style is rooted in best-in-class training techniques combined with a focus on the body and mind. Through their other classes, annual awards competition, weekly achievement acknowledgements and supplemental health content, you get a value-added experience transcending a normal gym and other training facilities. (And I get the ultimate flattery of being their poster boy for the Bench Gym ads. Thanks guys!)

Ken Buraker, Creative Director/Vice President (Ketchum)

Body Transformation Photos & Testimonials

I've been a client of Bench Gym for over four years and am glad that I picked this venue for my workouts! The staff is very professional and they make you feel good about coming to the gym. I can be rather demanding in trying to achieve my goals and at times do question myself as to whether I can push myself a little more than I do. The trainers are sensitive to this and they give me feedback that is both motivational and realistic. I'm extremely satisfied with the results that I've achieved thus far. Your friends and family will notice that something new is happening in only a short time. Do this for yourself and look and feel your best!

Billy Cullipher, Vice President (Bank of Georgetown)

Before I came to Bench Gym, I was skeptical about the results I could achieve through personal training. I had worked with other trainers but always left disappointed with their lack of knowledge or lack of interest in me as a client. I was able on my own to stick with a very disciplined athletic program that included training for and running five marathons.

A series of injuries and new health challenges as I entered my 50s brought me to a consultation with Bench Gym owner Jon Ponce. Jon listened to my concerns and goals and helped me evaluate my strengths and weaknesses in athletic performance. I found out that I have a serious issue with my sense of balance and that I needed better strength training to help me maintain muscle mass and keep off body fat as I get older.

Jon and his staff of expert trainers put together a workout program for me that has delivered results. I can see real improvement in my athletic ability and my overall physical appearance. My friends and family have noticed, too. The Bench Gym professionals track my workouts and progress and they continually challenge me to improve. I like intense workouts that test me physically and mentally--wow, did I find a home at Bench Gym. They take me to my limits with every session.

But my story would not be complete without mentioning the upbeat and inviting atmosphere at Bench Gym. The place is always immaculately clean with great locker and shower facilities. When I go in to workout, I know it's with friendly people who care about me and my health. I always have a great time working out with Jon, Mike, Oscar, Q, and Dominic. I have yet to leave without a smile on my face. Bench Gym has changed my mind about personal training.

Bill Schulz, Journalist (American Chemical Society)

Sample photos of our “real clients with real results.”

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I have been a member for about 3 years, but knew Jon, his team and Bench Gym for several years prior.  Joining Bench Gym at last was part of my plan for retirement, and I did so.  It was a great decision that has paid off in both expected and unexpected ways.

About the expected benefits, I can only echo the remarks of previous contributors.  The facility, the training methods, the variety of exercises and the professional capacity of trainers -- both in giving individual sessions and in mapping out tailored courses of training -- are all top notch. And, then there is the strong hand in the velvet glove (!), with the trainers so friendly, kind and encouraging, yet also making sure we, the trainees, make our maximum effort to achieve our fitness goals.  I look forward to every training here and to spreading the word where possible about the excellence of Bench Gym, John and his team.

Now, as to the unexpected  benefits.  I worked for 33 years in a very demanding environment in the Executive Office of the President.  I long planned my retirement and entered it with a clear sense of what I wanted to do.  Sometimes in life though, things don't go as expected.  I began then at Bench Gym just as one expected life change, retirement, was multiplying into several more unexpected and challenging life changes.  At times, in this unsettled period, Bench Gym and training here felt like one of my few secure moorings in a period of stormy seas.  

Jon, and the whole team here, have been just wonderful in their support and understanding.  Bench Gym didn't just keep me from falling apart physically as sometimes happens in such situations, but they also greatly aided me, to an extent they may not realize, in navigating successfully through rough waters.  Simply put, this is a wonderful place, with a great staff, offering first class training.  Joining Bench Gym was certainly one of my best "retirement moves," and I am very grateful to Jon and his team.

David Walters

As my honeymoon in Bora Bora approached, I really wanted to step up my game to be ready to swim with the sharks all day and look my best in all the photos. I decided the best way would be one on one workouts with a personal trainer in order to develop greater muscle definition as my own routines had started to go stale and my progress hit a plateau. Bench Gym was a great choice to help me pursue this goal with a great staff that is flexible to your needs and schedule. They listened to my goal and tailored a program to help me achieve it. Everyone on their team has a positive attitude that made it a great place to go; I really looked forward to my sessions. Each session was varied and never boring. They really push you to your real potential. Thanks Bench Gym! You guys were great and really helped me out.  

Rachel Scarr, Marketing Manager (Washington, DC)

I am 73 years old and was diagnosed with diabetes 15 years ago. I was able to control my blood sugar, first with medication, then going from a vegetarian to a vegan diet. I also swim regularly.

After reading Bench Gym's website and talking to Jon, I decided to begin working with a trainer there. 3 months after starting my training with Q, I had my blood work done and was told that I no longer was diabetic. Only three months of working with my trainer, I went from control to reversal of diabetes. I don't know that the average individual knows the impact this can have on one’s life. By the way, my doctor never told me I could get off my medication and reverse my diabetes.

I owe a debt of gratitude to the Bench Gym team, who has motivated me (no pushed) to get me to this point. They are true professional and it is clear they know there craft well.

I now have far more energy than before and I feel good. I have also lost body fat and gained muscle mass. Never to late to improve your health and fitness.

Thomas Allen