New Gym, New Ideas

New Gym, New Ideas

A new gym at Lake Anne Village Center in Reston promises a set of options to its clients unique to the gym industry. The mission is to keep the clients interested and engaged in their health.

"This is a pretty exciting time for us," said James Smith, 49, of Reston's Audobon Lake neighborhood, co-owner of Body by Geoff, where the first clients had their first workouts on Monday, March 17. The gym occupies a roughly 5,000 square feet space adjacent to the Reston Community Center at Lake Anne. It was originally occupied by Reston's first grocery store, the Safeway at Lake Anne Village Center.

SMITH SAID the gym offers a variety of exercises for a wide range of clientele. The group exercise room in the gym will be used for a variation of yoga classes. Gentle yoga classes are geared toward seniors and individuals with chronic illnesses, while other types of yoga classes will be offered for clients interested in more intense yoga. The room will also be a host to pilates and boxing classes, including cardio boxing. The weight room offers equipment in the form of free weights, leg presses, a row machine and a set of treadmills.

The Boot Camp program will take place in both the group exercise room, and outside on the plaza. The location allows the trainers the option of an indoor workout, inside the gym, or an outdoor workout, around the lake.

"That is partially the reason why we wanted to be at Lake Anne," said Smith. Another program offered by Body by Geoff is Saturday morning Tai Chi by the lake.

Smith's co-owner is Geoff Smith, 23, his son. Geoff Smith is a 1999 graduate of South Lakes High School. He incorporates personal workout experience into what he believes makes for a good workout. "A regular gym atmosphere is too boring," said Geoff Smith, "this is the exact opposite." While his workouts are hard and intense, Geoff Smith incorporates a variety of types of exercises into his client's training program. As far as the exercises themselves are concerned, Geoff Smith said he encourages strength building, as well as endurance through exercises that include running and jumping. If a person only works on one specific exercise, he said, the body will adapt, and the exercise will not have a strong affect on it. In order to achieve more strength, the exercises have to be changed up. "If you are chopping wood all the time, then your body is used to it," he said, "but if you start shoveling you are using different muscles, and the exercise will have an affect on your body." However, he said, the things the client does outside the gym have a huge impact on his or her goals. "It does not matter how much you train," he added, "but if you don't eat properly, sleep enough, and drink enough water, the program won't work."

WHEN A CLIENT first comes to the gym, he or she is taken to the private room for a preliminary screening. They are weighed in, measurements of body fat and stress levels are taken, and their medical history is reviewed. "Most importantly," said James Smith, "they tell us what their goal is." The gym welcomes clients of all ages and all fitness levels, and gears their programs towards them. Communication, said Geoff Smith, is the key to a successful training program. "Pay your attention to what your body is telling you," said Geoff Smith, "and then communicate that back to your trainer." He said he wanted to make his clients think while they train, so they can learn to listen to their body.

Kevin Hughes, a Reston artist who is helping the Smiths set up Body by Geoff, still under some construction, said he was impressed with how Geoff Smith worked with his clients. "This gym is a step above the other gyms, just because of Geoff," said Hughes. He added that people in other gyms tend to get complacent and repeat their workout routine, but from prior experience with Geoff Smith, who used to train him privately, that does not happen.

Body by Geoff will host an official grand opening on March 19 and 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., offering drawings each day for free personal training sessions, massage therapy, and classes. Demonstrations of the gym's programs will be on display, including health and fitness assessments, personal training, massage therapy, yoga, pilates, cardio boxing, boot camp, Tai Chi, Jiu Jitsu, Alexander method, athletic performance, senior fitness, nutrition, and chiropractic back care. To learn more about the programs offered at Body by Geoff, or to learn about the gym's staff, visit