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Serving the Washington DC area since 2003

Exercise is hard work, but personal training is working out smart!

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A friend of mine convinced me to join a gym about ten years ago. Even though the instructor guided me through the various weight machines, I never fully reached my potential and eventually got bored with my routines. I decided to use a personal trainer, and hit a bit of luck when my friend, Jon, recently opened up his own personal training gym. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Jon and Josh are very patient, and they make sure I do the exercise in proper format before more weight is added. Jon and Josh have shown me many more exercises and the variety of my training program has produced significant results. I am very pleased and plan to continue my personal training with the Bench Boys.

Kurtis Brown (US Government, Washington, DC)

I have been training at Bench Gym for nine years. I have used personal trainers for a number of years with , I thought, somewhat satisfactory results and enthusiasm. These trainers were always associated with the gym facility where I frequently exercised.

Bench Gym is a different and much more rewarding experience. Bench Gym trainers are very knowledgeable about all aspects of training and diet.

The one on one aspect of training is very beneficial and keeps you focused. When you totally understand the affect on your training that your diet and specific exercises have, you can more easily articulate to the trainer your personal goals. I always get the feedback from these trainers that I have been missing with my prior experiences with personal trainers.

Dan King, Lawyer (US Government/Retired)

The Bench Boys

Ask you what you want to achieve

The Bench Boys think about it

They design a program

They talk to you about it

They discuss it among themselves

At the end of the day

The Bench Boys come up with a plan

I can't think of a better duo

Than the Bench Boys planning my

physical future

They think about what you want to achieve

They will help you do it

In a way you would not could not do it

On your own

They do it with more knowledge and thoughtfulness

Than you can bring to bear

With encouraging words

Plus the best equipment

Everything so versatile and well designed

That you may think they have formulated

every detail just for you

Even down to helping you eat better

If you can stand the extra discipline

At the end of the day these two guys

Work with you

To help you achieve

What you have set out to do for yourself

Both are dedicated to having fun for themselves

Which moves right on through to you

The Bench Boys are natural teachers

But they also do to themselves what they do to us

I can't think of a better combination

Of ambition, invention, thoughtfulness, and quality time

Than the Bench Boys

Who have put everything together

For those of us who

Have made a commitment

To break away

From not doing quite enough

To reaching the physical goals we have

In this life, which we only live once

Why not just for the hell of it

Live it better

By doing something

For ourselves

Like working out with

People who know what they are doing

And are dedicated to the same result

Like the Bench Boys

Charlie Griffin (World Bank, Washington, DC)

I have been attending Bench Personal Training Gym for the last two months. This is a modern, very well equipped gym with two very pleasant professionals - Jon and Josh. They make you feel relaxed and they know what they are doing. I have achieved very positive results - increase in muscle and decrease in body fat, in a very short period of time. Yet I had been going on my own to a gym for several years - without further deterioration, but without noticeable results.

Based on this I am convinced that individual training with varied routines prescribed by a professional is the way to go. I highly recommend Jon and Josh at Bench Gym.

David Shand (The World Bank, Washington, DC)

There is no comparison between a typical exercise club or gym and the experience at Bench Gym. I've been working out for several years and at one point I actually injured myself doing it on my own. The one-on-one approach at Bench Gym is helping me to achieve my goals and even live a better lifestyle (injury-free).

My workouts are guided by experts (Jon and his team) who each have their own unique style to help me achieve better coordination, definition and balance. The trainers also teach me correct techniques for exercises that I can do on my own. We work on a wide variety of the latest equipment in a clean, well-lit, large studio with great music (thank you satellite radio). It's never boring; each session is different with new twists and challenges.

These guys care and are a lot of fun besides. They each take the time to make sure my goals are being met. Having a personal trainer is much more motivating than doing it on your own. I feel I am getting much more than my money's worth. I've even referred a bunch of my friends.

Martin Conrey (U.S. Government, Washington, DC)


I have been working out at Bench Gym for just over a 3 years, and, at the risk of sounding melodramatic, the experience has changed my life (not to mention my body). I like exercising, but until I found Bench Gym, was intimidated by the gym scene – the people and the equipment. It was an alien, unfriendly world.

Then a friend recommended Bench Gym and after one session I was hooked. I cannot imagine life without the Bench Gym trainers! They are professional, innovative, supportive, motivating, and best of all, FUN! They are knowledgeable about all aspects of training and diet – and it is a pleasure to train with each one of them. Every session I am given a specially designed workout, always different, interesting and challenging – and each one of the Bench Gym trainers takes genuine pleasure in my accomplishments. I train at Bench Gym twice a week, but would do it every day if I could. Working out has become a top priority.

I am now getting a balanced regimen of physical conditioning, all at this intimate and welcoming gym. With vastly improved muscles, energy and attitude – what more could I ask for? Bench Gym is, quite simply, the best gym ever.

Susan Brown, Lawyer (Washington, DC)

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Everyone has a story of how they started at Bench. Mine involved my baby sister's wedding and a beautiful bridesmaid's dress. While I have always been a cardio-holic, after two kids, I needed a little help in the toning department. From Day 1, I knew that Bench was the place for me. The facility was inviting, the atmosphere, welcoming (no, it is not a spa), and the trainers were not the intimidating kind. Bench's trainers listened and knew my goals. I trusted them to give me the right exercises, count the reps, and push me to work harder and make me want to come back for more. After Week 1, I was a gym rat. My first thought in the morning was making sure I made my gym time and my last thought in the evening was making sure I cleared my schedule to make my gym time the next day. And I did rock that dress! Five years later, Bench Gym still has me coming back.

M. Denyse Zosa, Lawyer (Stinson Morrison Hecker, LLP)

For years I wanted to engage in regular, disciplined physical workout activities, to improve my health, to feel better and to look better. I even joined several gyms in various cities, hoping that each one would do for me what none of the others had been able to do. None of them did, and eventually I quit working out, each time convinced that I was a failure. And I believed that I had failed because I lacked commitment, resolve -- whatever. The result was that gradually, over the years, I became more and more out of shape.

And then I found Bench Gym. Three years ago, I began working out religiously, one-hour sessions three times a week. I would be lying if I said I enjoyed the tough workout routines they designed for me, for they can be pretty strenuous and demanding. But I do look forward to making my way to 20th and K, and I feel as if something is missing on the days when I am not scheduled to work out. I enjoy meeting the ever-more demanding challenges of each session. I love the atmosphere of Bench Gym and that fact that it is uncrowded and intimate; there's no waiting around for equipment.

I like the fact that Bench Gym Trainers give me undivided attention while I'm at Bench Gym, offering encouragement and suggestions as to how to get the most out of my workout. In fact, at times I get the distinct feeling that they get a bigger thrill out of my accomplishments than I do! It doesn't matter which trainer is assigned to me: every session is proves worthwhile -- and fun. To me, the biggest asset Bench Gym has is its ability and willingness to personalize training session to meet each client's needs. About two years ago, I injured my left shoulder, which made it difficult for me to work out my upper body. My doctor said I should quit my workouts or simply learn to live with the pain. The Bench Gym staff would have none of that, however: they developed a regimen designed to work around the pain while strengthening my shoulder muscles. Today, I have no shoulder pain at all.

Finally, I am extremely pleased with the amazing results after such a short time. Within a year after joining Bench Gym I lost about 30 pounds of fat while gaining close to 10 pounds of lean muscle weight and, to my amazement, I actually begun to see and feel hints of muscles long neglected and buried under layers of fat. While I still find losing weight a struggle, I have managed to keep off most of those pounds I lost. I look forward to many more years of regular sessions at Bench Gym.

Juan Palomo, Media Relations (American Petroleum Institute)

I have been working with the trainers at Benchgym for the past seven years. I have had memberships at all the local gyms, Bally's, WSC, Fitness First, Sport and Health, etc and did not feel "at home" they way I feel at this gym. It is the personal attention and the pleasant atmosphere that keeps me and others coming back year after year. I can even look at myself and know that my work with the trainers is making a difference. Despite my very busy schedule, I find the time to work out three times a week because I feel good afterwards and the people at Benchgym help me feel good as well. When you are part of the Benchgym family, it's hard to say "NO" to healthy living.

Henry Johnson, School Administrator/Educator

Bench Gym is great. I've been teaching group exercise for 25 years, and really enjoy having time with my trainer to focus on my goals. Dominic continues to challenge me and keep the workout fresh and different each time. Just when I thought that I discovered the toughest way to do a plank, Dominic surprises me with something more challenging!

Leona, (Bethesda, MD)

I've been going to Bench Gym for approximately 9 years and have been extremely pleased with the results.

Prior to starting at Bench Gym, I was considering working with a trainer at a "regular" gym where I'm a member. I had been trying to work more on strength conditioning beyond the nautilus and limited free weights I was doing. After observing the trainers interacting with the clients, I wasn't sold that facility would meet my needs for personal training.

I really enjoy the personal gym concept that Bench Gym has mastered. I train with Jon and his team and have found them all to be very professional, fun and motivational. The facilities are nice and very clean. Another advantage is there is no waiting for other clients to use a machine.

Over time I have incorporated some of the exercises from Bench Gym when I work out separately, but I still don't get the same results that I do when working with one of the Bench Gym trainers.

Joe Rechtermann, Accountant (U.S. Government)

In a few months of training with Jon Ponce at Bench Personal Training Gym, I went from a couch potato to someone who really enjoys and gets a lot of benefit from exercise. Jon was really good at motivating me to work out and to keep gaining strength. All the credit for that goes to Jon. I highly recommend him as a trainer. The proof is in the fact that now I get my exercise in no matter what.

Cecelia Cannizzari (US Government, Washington, DC)

Between a hectic work schedule and family commitments, I'm only able to come to Bench Gym once a week. I wondered whether such occasional visits would be worthwhile. Well, several months into working out, I can safely say that it definitely is. I feel much better and several people have even asked me whether I've been working out and have lost some weight. I look forward to my sessions with Jon and feel great after each workout.

My goal, as I get older, is to stay in decent shape. I'm not looking to bulk up - I'm simply looking to get more toned and to build up my stamina. I do more in terms of weight lifting than I ever could have imagined. The progress I've made in just a few months, coming just once a week, is incredible. I've even picked up a few pointers on light workouts at home between my sessions here. And most importantly, I feel better about myself.

For all of that, I have Jon to thank. He's patient, understanding, and knows how far to push you. He gives you his undivided attention - the definition of personal training. I live in Bethesda, but, believe me, it's worth driving downtown for each session. Even those days when I don't feel like pushing myself, I know I'll feel better after my workout. Personal training is what I need to get in shape - and Bench Gym is the place to do it!

David K., (Bethesda, MD)

Bench Gym has been a transforming experience. Jon and his capable staff are very attentive and make each workout a new experience. In the beginning, I was reluctant to use a trainer, but with Bench Gym my body and my routine have improved greatly. I've been a member of a gym for the last two decades, but in a few short months, I was able accomplish more than ever before. Now, I use Bench Gym regularly. The facility is private and the workouts are personal and the rates make it affordable to use weekly. By using Bench Gym, I feel my mind is clear and my body is beautiful. I'd challenge anyone to try it out once. I guarantee your workout and your life will never be the same.

Roby Chavez, Broadcast Journalist

I highly recommend Bench Gym to anyone who needs help recovering and reconditioning from injury. Before arriving at Bench Gym 5 years ago, I thought I had successfully developed my own aerobic and strength training program. However, I periodically experienced back pain and had to curtail my workouts. Fortunately Jon Ponce and the trainers at Bench Gym came to the rescue. They showed me the importance of form and the need to strengthen my core. Within a matter of weeks my posture improved, and within a few months I no longer worried about injuring my back again. I cannot say that I will never experience back pain again. But I know that my strengthened core will help speed my recovery. I now incorporate balance work into my permanent exercise routine.

Tom Baks, Lawyer (Washington, DC)

Bench Gym is a caring, inspiring place. Many of us in the DC area are workaholics, logging countless hours on the job, with little time set aside for ourselves and our own well being. Bench Gym helps you to get your life in balance. From the first time I walked inside the doors, I knew I had come to the right place – they design customized workouts programs to help you work around injuries and build your core strength and flexibility. The trainers have extensive experience in working with patrons of widely varying levels of ability. They cheerfully work with you to achieve your goals of a healthier, fitter body. Two years ago I learned that I would be undergoing significant surgery in the next 10 weeks. After visiting my surgeon, my next visit was to Jon at Bench Gym. Together we designed a schedule to get me in the best possible physical shape before my surgery. After the 10-hour procedure, my doctors noted that my enhanced recovery was greatly helped by my excellent physical condition going into surgery. I came back to Bench Gym after an 18-month medical layoff,and was able to start exercising again. After working for the past seven months, I am now back in the best shape of my life, and I won the gym's "most improved arms" awards. I can't say enough good things about Jon, Mike and the other trainers at Bench Gym! You owe it to yourself to give Bench Gym a try – you'll be glad you did!

Tim Creagan, Lawyer (United States Access Board)

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