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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Annandale Blog readers select Pro Maxx Fitness as best gym

This is the final piece in a series of profiles of the winners of the Annandale Blogs 2014 Annie Awards, presented to local businesses at Blogapalooza on June 28. The winners were selected by Annandale Blog readers in an open-ended survey. The other winners were Silverado (best restaurant), Beanetics (best coffee shop), Cue Club (best bar), and AnnSandra and Collector’s World (tied for best gift shop).

Pro Maxx Fitness, selected by Annandale Blog readers as the best gym in the Annandale/Mason area, is a friendly place to work out. The gym has a diverse membership of all ages, sizes, and fitness levels, ranging from buff bodybuilder types to white-haired seniors.

Marcelo Molina and Sonia Zelaya greet gym-goers at the front desk.
The fitness center, at 7060 Columbia Pike, Annandale, offers all kinds of cardio and weight-training equipment, free weights, classes, personal training, and massage therapy. Child-minding services are available in a colorful playroom.    

In between workouts, you can be inspired by the weightlifting medals on display awarded to Olympian athlete Ahmed Ragheb, who co-owns Pro Maxx Fitness with Susan Hilaski, a volunteer who works on community outreach with the Annandale Volunteer Fire Department.  

Bootcampers in action.
Hilaski and Ragheb worked at a previous gym, Maxx Fitness, on the same site. When that gym closed, they renovated the building and opened Pro Maxx Fitness in December 2012.

There are more than 100 classes a month, including Zumba, body sculpt, cardio, different kinds of yoga, strength training, turbo-kick, and a high-intensity form of aerobics called bokwa. There’s a Zumba class every day, including the Zumba black light party on Friday evenings and a Zumba core and toning class by Korean instructor Yongsoon Choi. Ragheb offers weightlifting coaching for an additional fee.

Some of co-owner Ahmed Ragheb's weightlifting medals.
This summer, Pro Maxx Fitness started a personal training boot camp on Sundays, 9-10 a.m., on the helipad outside the Annandale Volunteer Fire Station on Columbia Pike. Led by Personal Training Manager Rachel Martin and Pablo Amaya, assistant personal training manager, the sessions cover nutrition education, as well as fitness.

The bootcamp is for anyone who loves being outdoors and needs a little motivation, no matter your shape, size, or age, says Hilaski. People can attend the whole series or drop in for one session. 

Pro Maxx Fitness doesn’t require members to sign a contract. Gym-goers can sign up for a year or a month or pay for a single class. There are discounts for students, teachers, firefighters, rescue personnel, police, and members of the military.

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