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"I always encourage our clients to communicate and give us feedback to better understand their fitness needs."
-Jon Ponce


Bench Gym Personal Training is a family. Here we work together and resist the naysayers.

Bill Schulz, Journalist

Journalist (American Chemical Society)

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Before I came to Bench Gym, I was skeptical about the results I could achieve through personal training. I had worked with other trainers but always left disappointed with their lack of knowledge or lack of interest in me as a client. I was able on my own to stick with a very disciplined athletic program that included training for and running five marathons.


A series of injuries and new health challenges as I entered my 50s brought me to a consultation with Bench Gym owner Jon Ponce. Jon listened to my concerns and goals and helped me evaluate my strengths and weaknesses in athletic performance. I found out that I have a serious issue with my sense of balance and that I needed better strength training to help me maintain muscle mass and keep off body fat as I get older.

Jon and his staff of expert trainers put together a workout program for me that has delivered results. I can see real improvement in my athletic ability and my overall physical appearance. My friends and family have noticed, too. The Bench Gym professionals track my workouts and progress and they continually challenge me to improve. I like intense workouts that test me physically and mentally--wow, did I find a home at Bench Gym. They take me to my limits with every session.

But my story would not be complete without mentioning the upbeat and inviting atmosphere at Bench Gym. The place is always immaculately clean with great locker and shower facilities. When I go into workout, I know it's with friendly people who care about me and my health. I always have a great time working out with Jon, Mike, Oscar, Q, and Dominic. I have yet to leave without a smile on my face. Bench Gym has changed my mind about personal training.

Ken Buraker

Creative Director/Vice President (Ketchum)

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When I started, I was 150 lbs. Within three months I was already seeing positive changes. Over time, I've achieved a variety of goals. I'm now 168 lbs. while still retaining a body fat percentage in the excellent range. They keep me motivated and committed. Working out with Jon, Dominic, Mike, and Q provides a diverse set of experiences that always keep my body and mind from hitting a plateau or getting bored.

The Bench Gym team is solutions-oriented, personable, and just plain fun. Training with them is something I look forward to, and it's an enduring partnership that's worth the price and investment. The wellness benefits are truly remarkable. And, really, it's an investment in my overall health. I'm in better shape at 39 (gulp, almost 40) than when I was 21. The Bench Gym team got me there through tailored workout plans aligned with my goals of gaining more lean muscle mass (while not becoming the Hulk). Now, if I wanted to get as big as the Hulk, I'm sure the Bench Gym team could get me there too!


And along the way, not only have I gained more fitness, I've gained more confidence in myself. Their style is rooted in best-in-class training techniques combined with a focus on the body and mind. Through their other classes, annual awards competition, weekly achievement acknowledgements and supplemental health content, you get a value-added experience transcending a normal gym and other training facilities. (And I get the ultimate flattery of being their poster boy for the Bench Gym ads. Thanks guys!)

Annie Thornburn/Craig Thornburn

(Housewife/World Bank)

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We think Benchgym is the greatest!!! We have been going there for more than a year now, 2 to 3 times a week for training. Both of us are impressed with the results. We have been feeling fit, energetic and good about ourselves. We could not have accomplished this had it not been for our determination to stay healthy and the great job the staff is doing for us. Jon takes the time to talk to me, train me, laugh with me but keep me working hard. I feel talented when I am doing training. 

Mike gives my husband a punishing hour every time and has transformed his attitude about training so much he almost enjoys it; work on transforming his body is a work in progress because a lot of work was needed. These guys are all very professional and yet cordial and helpful. We also like the fact that we are not rushed, instead we stick around and do a little more. 

The other things that are great with this gym, it that there is so many equipment around that you can never run out of stuff. The gym is clean and inviting, pleasant environment and we are always greeted with a smile from all the trainers regardless!!! WAY TO GO GUYS, LOVE YOU ALL.

David Walters

Retired Gov't Official

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I have been a member for about 3 years, but knew Jon, his team, and Bench Gym for several years prior. Joining Bench Gym, at last, was part of my plan for retirement, and I did so.  It was a great decision that has paid off in both expected and unexpected ways.

About the expected benefits, I can only echo the remarks of previous contributors.  The facility, the training methods, the variety of exercises, and the professional capacity of trainers -- both in giving individual sessions and in mapping out tailored courses of training -- are all top-notch. And, then there is the strong hand in the velvet glove (!), with the trainers so friendly, kind and encouraging, yet also making sure we, the trainees, make our maximum effort to achieve our fitness goals.  I look forward to every training here and to spreading the word where possible about the excellence of Bench Gym, John, and his team.


Now, as to the unexpected benefits.  I worked for 33 years in a very demanding environment in the Executive Office of the President.  I long planned my retirement and entered it with a clear sense of what I wanted to do.  Sometimes in life though, things don't go as expected.  I began then at Bench Gym just as one expected life change, retirement, was multiplying into several more unexpected and challenging life changes.  At times, in this unsettled period, Bench Gym and training here felt like one of my few secure moorings in a period of stormy seas.  

Jon, and the whole team here, have been just wonderful in their support and understanding. Bench Gym didn't just keep me from falling apart physically as sometimes happens in such situations, but they also greatly aided me, to an extent they may not realize, in navigating successfully through rough waters. I Simply put, this is a wonderful place, with a great staff, offering first-class training.  Joining Bench Gym was certainly one of my best "retirement moves," and I am very grateful to Jon and his team.

Billy Cullipher

Vice President (Bank of Georgetown)

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I've been a client of Bench Gym for over four years and am glad that I picked this venue for my workouts! The staff is very professional and they make you feel good about coming to the gym. I can be rather demanding in trying to achieve my goals and at times do question myself as to whether I can push myself a little more than I do.

The trainers are sensitive to this and they give me feedback that is both motivational and realistic. I'm extremely satisfied with the results that I've achieved thus far. Your friends and family will notice that something new is happening in only a short time. Do this for yourself and look and feel your best!

David Maxwell

Company Director/Philanthropist

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I am probably the oldest client of Bench Gym in both senses of the adjective "oldest". In the time I have been training at Bench Gym I have had two knees (in '07) and one hip (in '09) replaced, the results of a lifetime of tournament-level tennis. Now I am back on the court playing pain-free three or four times a week--and better than I played five years ago. I believe I owe a lot of this miraculous result to the knowledgeable care I have received in my training at Bench Gym. My trainer, Dominic, had a unique knowledge of the needs of each individual he trains, and a superb sensitivity about what will help his clients to achieve their goals for health, well-being, and physical activity. I trust Dominic completely to execute a program that will enhance my general health, strength, and performance on the tennis court. He has never let me down. Bench Gym is the place for anyone who is serious about improving their physical well-being. And I can testify that this will enhance mental health as well. I always feel great after my workout.

Leah Mazar/Joe Gillmer 

(US Government, Washington, DC)

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I have been working out regularly since 2001. In 2006, while living in Los Angeles, I got a personal trainer and loved it. Then in August 2008, I was offered a promotion with a move to DC. I was ecstatic to move, but it was 14 months until my wedding and, as any bride might be, I was panicked I wouldn't find a new personal trainer--let alone one who was skilled and in my budget. I searched the web for personal training locations close to my work and contacted the three places I found. The only one I heard back from was Bench Gym. So literally the day after I moved to DC, I went to check out Bench Gym. I've been with them ever since. 


Bench Gym really puts the "personal" in personal training. It's nothing like the typical crowded, cookie-cutter, impersonal, stinky gym! That made it a perfect fit for me. Plus, I liked that I could work my training around my schedule and wasn't bound to when my "assigned" trainer was available. This makes finding time for training much easier and adds to the variety of workouts. 


Over the years I have been with Bench Gym, the trainers have become like family -- the brothers I never had! They make workouts fun and unique, push me to challenge myself, make me laugh, cheer me on, and they've even given me advice about everything from bikes, to where to buy a TV, to healthy eating habits, to who makes good workout clothes. 

I am in the best shape of my life and have muscles I am proud to show off! I can honestly say I like my arms, legs, back, and yes, even my butt (LOL so does my husband--also a Bench Gym client). I owe so much of that to the trainers at Bench Gym.


It's impossible for me to sum up how much I love being a Bench Gym family member. There is no other gym or trainers in the world I'd rather train with!

John Hasselmann

Director, ASME

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I have worked with many personal trainers over the years. But the environment and approach to training is different at Bench Gym. I appreciate the trainers' professionalism and attention to my personal goals. Their enthusiasm and great attitude motivates me to do my best. And it has produced results!

Roya/Todd Marcelle

Sales Executive/President

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My husband Todd has been coming to benchgym for about 4 years now. I really had never been there until he gave me a series of 5 personal training sessions for Christmas. I have been going to the gym for as long as I can remember but I never truly pushed myself. I would go with my friends and take some classes and socialize but I never worked hard at the gym. My goal was really to just lose 5 pounds, get stronger, and lose body fat. Even though I am average for weight my percent body fat was poor. 


After my first session with Jon, he gave me the suggestion to start logging everything I ate so I could keep track of calories. This has helped me so much because you can really get a good balance and not overeat and it shows you the importance of working out and burning calories. I have an iPad and there is an app called lose it that I use that makes it so easy to do this. I figured out exactly how many calories I needed to eat in order to lose my goal of 5 pounds. The other thing that really helps is that my husband and I are really on the same page with both diet and working out. We work together to keep each other on track and it keeps us healthy and it even makes our relationship stronger.


By going to my training sessions along with watching my calories I finally was able to lose the 5 pounds I have been wanting to lose and I even lost 5% body fat. I weigh less now than I did during my wedding 3 years ago which is a huge accomplishment for me. Todd has lost a total of 10 pounds and significantly reduced his body fat and increased his muscle tone. I know that by sticking with my training sessions and by eating sensible meals I will be able to keep this weight off. Thanks to Bench Gym for the motivation, ongoing support, and for pushing us to hit our goals!

Rachel Scarr

Marketing Manager (Washington, DC)

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As my honeymoon in Bora Bora approached, I really wanted to step up my game to be ready to swim with the sharks all day and look my best in all the photos. I decided the best way would be one on one workouts with a personal trainer in order to develop greater muscle definition as my own routines had started to go stale and my progress hit a plateau. Bench Gym was a great choice to help me pursue this goal with a great staff that is flexible to your needs and schedule. They listened to my goal and tailored a program to help me achieve it. Everyone on their team has a positive attitude that made it a great place to go; I really looked forward to my sessions. Each session was varied and never boring. They really push you to your real potential. Thanks Bench Gym! You guys were great and really helped me out.  

Corinne Damlamian

 (World Bank)

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I have been working out at Bench Gym for the last five years. Before starting training, I had never really worked out with weights before and was very intimidated. The trainers at Bench have really helped me become more confident in my ability to work out regularly and pushed me to discover strengths I did not know I had. These guys are really creative - three years later, they still surprise me with new exercises that I have never done. What sets Bench apart from other gyms is the friendly atmosphere that Jon and the other trainers work hard to create for the clients. You not only get great trainers that are professional, passionate, and really care about their clients, but you also have a support system, friendly faces that encourage you and keep you coming back. Jon is dedicated and thoughtful in creating a special ambiance, from the fun-themed decorations to posting informative fitness articles in front of the cardio machines and in the locker rooms for clients to read. I've also appreciated that Bench trainers are really flexible and accommodating with scheduling sessions around my busy schedule. I can often call at the last minute and Jon will find a way to squeeze me in. And the trainers are always open and easy to talk to if you have concerns about a particular exercise. I have lower back issues, and they always listen and adapt exercises to prevent injuries. And in addition to training sessions, Bench offers a great spinning class and an abs class! Looking back over the last five years, I am so thankful to have found Bench Gym where I have made fantastic new friends, and found the confidence to workout on a regular basis.

Thomas Allen

Retired Gov't Official

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I am 73 years old and was diagnosed with diabetes 15 years ago. I was able to control my blood sugar, first with medication, then going from a vegetarian to a vegan diet. I also swim regularly.

After reading Bench Gym's website and talking to Jon, I decided to begin working with a trainer there. 3 months after starting my training with Q, I had my blood work done and was told that I no longer was diabetic. Only three months of working with my trainer, I went from control to reversal of diabetes. I don't know that the average individual knows the impact this can have on one’s life. By the way, my doctor never told me I could get off my medication and reverse my diabetes.


I owe a debt of gratitude to the Bench Gym team, who has motivated me (no pushed) to get me to this point. They are true professional and it is clear they know there craft well.

I now have far more energy than before and I feel good. I have also lost body fat and gained muscle mass. Never to late to improve your health and fitness.

M. Denyse Zosa

Lawyer (Stinson Morrison Hecker, LLP)

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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 those dresses! Five years later, Bench Gym still has me coming back.

Juan Palomo

Media Relations (American Petroleum Institute)


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.

Joe Rechtermann

Accountant (U.S. Government)

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Kurtis Brown

(US Government, Washington, DC)

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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.

Dan King

Lawyer (US Government/Retired)


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.

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.

Charlie Griffin

(World Bank, Washington, DC)

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

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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

Roby Chavez

Broadcast Journalist

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.

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Tom Baks

Lawyer (Washington, DC)

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.

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David Shand

(The 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.

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Henry Johnson

School Administrator/Educator

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.

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Martin Conrey 

(U.S. Government, 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.

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Susan Brown

Lawyer (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.

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Cecelia Cannizzari

(US Government, Washington, DC)

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.

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(Bethesda, MD)

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!

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David K.

(Bethesda, MD)

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!


Tim Creagan

Lawyer (United States Access Board)

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!

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Colleen Dermody

Owner/Consultant (Out of Market Communications, Washington, DC)

Going to Bench Gym has been the best gym experience I have ever had. There is no comparison between other personal training gyms. I had been working out with personal trainers at several other gyms for four years when I found Bench Gym. The professional, pleasant, friendly, clean and fun atmosphere along with their serious workout routines have kept me going there twice-weekly for almost four years. The guys are always focused and committed to helping me stay on track.


In the time that I have been training at Bench Gym I have noticed measurable increases in my strength and endurance. My sessions there even enabled me to do some serious rock climbing in Arizona recently - something I would never have imagined myself doing before I began working out at Bench Gym. Simply stated, I love Bench Gym.


Kevin Mahoney

Professor (Boston College, MA)

I have known Jon for almost ten years and I was so happy when he was able to save up and open his own personal training gym. This is a major life investment, a lifetime goal, and he has done everything to make it perfect. The atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming and reasonably private. There are never more than two people in training at the same time and the space is arranged so you feel it's just for you.


The exercise equipment is the best I've ever seen. Every detail of the gym from the colors to the audio/visual equipment to the bottles of water makes you feel these people care and they want me to succeed. Unlike many of the others who wrote testimonials, I can't get to Bench Gym on a regular basis. (Guess that's why I don't merit a "before and after picture".) I live in Massachusetts, but travel to the DC area frequently. The location close to Farragut West METRO is certainly convenient. Whereas I exercise regularly, I realize when I come here what a difference it makes to have a personal coach. Your limited time gets used to its full potential. You get feedback on the best ways to exercise safely and for the best effect. The personal encouragement doesn't hurt either.


I would be remiss if I didn't say a word about Jon and his team. They are respectful, goal-oriented, fun and caring AND they know what they are doing. They operate as a real team.


Karen McMillan

Coalition of Labor Union Woman

After working out on my own using workout videos and dumbbells for several years, my workout was stale and needed a change. When I passed by the security desk at my office building in the morning, I had noticed some flyers for a new personal training facility on the lower level called "BENCH Gym." I picked one up and decided to give them a call.


I signed up for four weeks with Jon Ponce. The first workout was intense and I felt it. Even though I am an avid cyclist who rides over 100 miles a week and had been using weights for my upper body, I was sweating! Jon challenged me at every workout by changing the exercises, using different equipment (exercise machines vs. free weights) and by being supportive and motivating. Jon also improved my weight lifting technique by showing me the proper method. When you workout on your own at home, there's no one to encourage you to do that last rep. There's no one stopping you from fast forwarding your exercise video to avoid a hard routine. But Jon was there motivating me to push myself to do just one more rep.


After only four weeks, I noticed measurable increases in my strength and endurance for cycling. Climbing hills is easier. I have lost inches and my clothes fit better. My friends have also complimented me on my trimmer appearance.


The gains that I achieved in such a short time were truly worth every cent. The bottom line is that BENCH Gym promises results and they deliver them.

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Marilyn Levitt

(Surface Transportation Board, Washington, DC)

I worked out at Bench Personal Training twice a week for about six weeks, and it was a great way to jumpstart my new exercise regimen. Prior to this experience, I had never done resistance training and was intimidated by most of the machines. Jon was the perfect combination of patient and demanding. He set realistic goals that were sensitive to my current abilities as well as my potential.

I especially appreciated the privacy when I was just starting. With my firmer muscles, I was able to fit into my summer clothes even though I had gained several pounds. Exercising also gave me more energy and a greater sense of well-being. Resistance training is now part of my lifestyle.

Personal Training Bench Gym

Contact Us


Phone Number:

(202) 804-1020


(202) 775-9400


1150 18th St NW,

Washington, DC 20036

 Hours of Operation

Monday to Friday:

5:30 am to 9:00 pm

7:30 am to 5:00 pm

Sunday: Closed

Welcome, Everyone! Bench Gym Personal Training was established in 2003 as a niche gym to help everyone in their physical fitness needs and promote well-being to the Washington DC community so they can live a healthy and productive life.

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