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Reebok FitHub Georgetown's Andrea Ferry Talks Fitness

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On Saturday, CrossFit athletes showed Georgetown how tough they really are with a competition and CrossFit experience in honor of Reebok FitHub Georgetown's grand opening celebration. As a crowd looked on in the PNC parking lot at M Street and Wisconsin Avenue, teams from area CrossFit gyms went head to head to see who could do the most reps of pull-ups, burpees, and more. And the winners received custom Reebok Nano shoes in their gym's colors, with 10 pairs of shoes to raffle off as well.

Reebok's been a big proponent of CrossFit, and in February of next year, FitHub Georgetown hopes to have a CrossFit box open in the back of the store that will function like a normal gym. But FitHub Georgetown is more than just CrossFit. The store sells lines catered to other sports, including clothes and shoes specifically for dance. But the most interesting facet to the store is their totally free fitness workshops, allowing shoppers to try classes from the best of D.C. trainers and coaches, without signing up for anything.

Andrea Ferry, Reebok FitHub Georgetown's fitness ambassador, talked to us about coordinating workouts from D.C.'s best and brightest — from YaLa dance to 5k training to yoga classes with live music. Read on to find out how Ferry got out of corporate America to get into fitness full-time, and how her job now involves burpee challenges and letting folks try on the clothes off her back.

What do you do at Reebok FitHub Georgetown?
Andrea: My role is to be the point person for all the fitfluential coaches and trainers in the D.C., Virginia, and Maryland area. When you come into the FitHub, even though it is a retail space with clothing, it's built like a gym. So if you want to try a product, I say, "OK, run around the store, do box jumps, so air squats, do lunges, really see how they fit." You know you are buying the best product for your sport.

Does this give you a feeling of what it's like to wear the shoes all the time?
Andrea: We don't want people to have to come back and return anything, we want to make sure it's the right purchase from the beginning. So, if you go on Instagram, which is Reebok FitHub Georgetown, you'll see me working with a guy who was just here Friday and he was literally running around the store. I put him through an eight-minute workout while wearing the sneakers, like air squats, jump squats, burpees, jumping jacks, high knees, and butt kicks.

You want to make sure you're buying the right shoe. We went through this lengthy process to learn about the shoes. Not only myself, but the associates and the managers, we went through why which shoe is best for what sport. So there's an all-terrain running shoe, there's the Nano Speed, which is more of a straight running shoe, there's the flat cross-fit training Reebok Nano, which is meant for short sprints but not necessarily a long run. There's all these different shoes made for different sports. We've got dance shoes too, which have a little ball in the bottom for pivoting in class. Knowing what their sport is, and their fitness journey, lets us know what would be the best one to try out.

Is there enough room in the store to do all these things?
Andrea: Yeah, there's definitely room to try out stuff and run around, because there's enough room for classes. All the clothing racks are on wheels, they wheel out to the side. We have weekly classes with different sports. There's plenty of room, just move the clothing racks out and have a good time. I myself am a coach, but my job is to bring in leading coaches in the area. So people who have a following, people who are passionate about fitness, people who are really leading the charge in the D.C. area when it comes to fitness experiences. Because if you don't have fun when you are working out, you're not going to want to work out. We want people to come to FitHub for an experience and a good time.

We have a burpee challenge right now on the board, and I've done a lot of burpees with a lot of people who walk in the door. We record their time, we put it on the board. We have a whole entire calendar in the store that says when the events are, and then we have a challenge, like the burpees. We want it to be interactive.

How do shoppers react to that, doing burpees in the store?
Andrea: Every time I've been in there, people have done them with me, so I think it's been a good experience. I try to pick a movement that everyone can do. We don't make people do burpees, it's more like hey, everyone who comes in we give them a tour of the store and I casually mention it as they are looking at the board.

You can just tell with their personalities, if they are all about it, or if they're like, no I just want to buy some classic Reeboks to match with all my nice jeans.

And what is your background?
Andrea: I worked in corporate America. I worked for Lincoln Financial Group for awhile. I worked in sales, I sold large market pension plans. But at the same time I was doing that, I was coaching. I got my CrossFit certification six or seven years ago. I used to be a figure competitor, and then I went to power lifting. I went from posing and flexing in bikinis on stage and then went into power lifting, which is more aggressive heavy lifting, while still working in corporate America and coaching people. And then I left corporate America about a year ago. I just moved here from Philadelphia six weeks ago. When I was living outside of Philadelphia, I opened a gym, we grew it really big, we had a lot of success and it's still going strong up in Pennsylvania.

Then I saw the opportunity for Reebok while I was looking for part-time work on the Internet, it was down here, and I interviewed with them, and I fell in love with the position. I moved down here and I got a job in CrossFit as well, I work at CrossFit Metro Center. The people here are really nice. I'm also coaching CrossFit on the side. I think that goes hand in hand with the store, because I can lead workouts as well. I was in corporate sales and finance for awhile, and always had that passion for fitness on the side, so I moved into fitness about a year ago. Life's too short not to do what you love, right?

Has the Crossfit community in D.C. been excited about the store?
Andrea: Yes, they are very excited. Because they love the clothes, they love the sneakers. There's nowhere else to get it really. When I walk in and I tell people who I am, they start telling me about products and product feedback, and they look at what I'm wearing and where I got it, and what size it is, and can they try it on? I'm like sure, go ahead, try my clothes on. Why not.

What are the classes you are excited to bring to the store?
Andrea: I can't pick favorites, but I'm excited for Laurent Amzallag's YaLa dance class [on October 24 at 6:30 p.m.] because it will bring a lot of energy. I have a running club with Madeline Dolente from Equinox. It's going to be a six-week course, it's going to get people who've never really run before to get ready for their first 5K. It's kind of like get ready for your first 5k and learn how to dress for your first 5K.

We're also doing a jump and jam event, it's going to be old school versus new school music. We're bringing in a DJ and going to encourage people to wear their throwback Reebok gear, and have a contest for the winner of the best creative outfit. It will be body weight exercises as well as a lot of jump rope. We will also have a yoga class, with Ericka and Jason from CorePower and it's going to be to live music. They slow down the beat and speed up the beat, based on what the yoga music is.

What Reebok pieces are your favorites?
Andrea: My Nano Speeds, I love them. I wear them every day, I run in them, I work in them, I love them. They're my favorite. As far as clothing, we have these new running pants in the Train line, they're black, they have zippers up the back, and wording all over it, but the wording is black as well and they're reflective. You can't really tell there is writing, it kind of goes in with the material. I've gotten a thousand compliments on them and I really like them. They're good to move in. All of the clothes are very comfortable.
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