Thursday, July 8, 2010

Problems at the DCUSA Washington Sports Club?

I've always heard a lot of complaints about the Washington Sports Club in Columbia Heights, and their Yelp reviews are not glowing. There was recently a big (and interestingly-worded) posting on the Columbia Heights Yahoo list about some issues there -- broken machines and other poor service, and in the recent What We're Missing post, a few folks mentioned that they wanted a better sports club.

Any other opinions on the DCUSA location? Or alternatives?


  1. I go to this gym every day and I have no idea what people are complaining about. All the dumb bells, barbells, weight equipment, etc. seem to work just fine.

    If you want to watch TV I suggest you stay home. If you want to work out, then everything seems to be in order.

  2. They just installed a large piece or rigging that looks like stage rigging. It essentially allows people to do exercises they could do at home while at the gym, while taking up a bunch of floor space. They could have used that area to expand the free weights.

    my biggest complaint is that they mop the floors making them pretty slick during peak hours 5-7. after a leg workout I need all the traction I can get. This is a law suit waiting to happen

  3. I have been a member of this gym for over a year and have had only one complaint, which they addressed: the creepy see-through shower curtains. Besides that I had nothing but positive experiences at the WSC and I have recommended it to my friends with much success. Expanding the free weights section would be nice. If it's too crowded, go early or late. Stop whining.

  4. Their customer service is great the day you sign up. But if you have any problems with your account you will be treated to: 1) being frowned upon and directed -not asked- to sit and wait for a customer service rep; 2) after a 20 minute wait, they'll signal -not ask- you to follow the rep into his cube (last one near the wall) and he'll prattle in some unintelligible language that would sound like English if he bothered to open his mouth every now and then; 3) they will charge you money to downgrade AND upgrade your membership, they will also charge you a "transfer fee" if you come from another WSC and want to change your membership. The fee is high and has no real explanation other than "it's how it works".

    There are always at last two cardio machines out of order and their trainers couldn't care about helping unless you know them or they smell a potential client for personal training.

  5. To the last Anonymous -- if you demonstrated some cojones and threatened to quit (and meant it), they wouldn't abuse you like that.

    The place is OK but the free weights section is inadequate. It seems to be heavily geared towards aging yuppies hoping to lose a few pounds (ie, most of the floor space goes to cardio machines).

    For me it's fine -- my primary WSC is downtown, and the one up here is supplemental. But if it were my only gym, I'd be more unhappy. Still, the level of whining the place garners seems disproportionate.

  6. I go to this gym a lot and really don't love it but eh it was cheap. My biggest gripe right is a freakin' oven in there. Every exercise class room is like a sauna and it is really uncomfortable. I have asked for them to lower the temps in the spinning rooms and the other class room but perhaps that is not possible.

    And I agree that the layout of the free weight section is not great. I always feel like I am getting in someone's way...the new area that used to be the family locker room does help, but it isn't perfect.

  7. haha why are all these comments anonymous? I guess the manager of the CH WSC decided to put out a little PR campaign...

  8. The only problems I've ever had were with the TV equipment on the cardio machines. It's a little annoying, but not terrible.

    One time, I went to use a piece of equipment only to find that the cable attaching to the weights was broken. I told the front desk, and they put a sign on it. The next day, I went and checked and the machine was fixed. Pretty fast, if you ask me.

  9. I'm glad I joined even after reading the stuff on Yelp. I go off peak and everything seems to be really good there. My favorite thing is that they have a Saline pool rather than chlorine so there's literally no burning feeling if you inhale some water and your eyes and hair feel great after. I could only be happier with a steam room and racquetball courts.

  10. The treadmills are almost always broken. I pay for an expensive gym membership because I ENJOY running and watching tv in a controlled atmosphere. If I wanted to just run I'd do it outside. But either the treadmill doesn't work, or the tv or fan don't work.
    And the "good" treadmills in the back stick when you go over 9.0, so right when I start to do sprints the track catches and causes me to trip. I notified the club managers and they said they're aware of the problem and that it takes over a month to get any of the machines fixed.
    And I've never seen anyone monitoring the circuit line during peak hours. I like doing the circuit, in the order it was meant to be done in. Why should I wait because inconsiderate people who aren't following the rules want to do 13 reps on the same machine?
    The spray bottles are always empty.
    The clips to the weight machines that add 5 & 10 lbs. are always missing.
    I stopped bothering with the CH WSC and now go to Silver Spring by my office. It's less convenient, but 40 times nicer, machines work, and there's never a wait.

  11. There are other (non-health club) exercise options in the area.

    1) BETA Academy, a block away, offers class in jiu jitsu and muay thai kickboxing as well as a fitness class using kettlebells.

    2) there's a Yoga studio a couple of blocks further north on 14th street (I forget the name) that's right accross the street from the thai restaurant.

    3) Bloombars on 11th has yoga, pilates and capoeira classes on the weekend.

  12. Having been a member of a couple of clubs in the Washington area, I find the WSC at Columbia Heights the best. I don't know where these negative comments are coming from; must be having a bad day and need something to complain about. I've never had a problem with the gym and I have been going there three times a week for nearly a year now. The staff is friendly, personal trainers are the best, the facility is clean and well organized, good equipment, air quality is great and the locker room is the cleanest I've seen in most places.


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