We recently sat down with Shafer Minnick the Founder and Owner of Pulse House of Fitness for a special Famous5 Interview on Pulse and how it entered the Downtown DC fitness community.
Shafer you are the founder and owner of Pulse House of Fitness in downtown DC. Tell us the Pulse story and how you got involved.
I grew up in a society that shamed me for my body and identity. Sometime in college when I topped out at my heaviest (308 pounds), I engaged in unhealthy and extreme habits to lose a lot of weight quickly. I was left without a long-term solution until I found spin classes at the gym. Sure enough, I was hooked. I loved the energetic and accepting environment and the confidence that exercise helped me find. About six months later I began teaching fitness and found my true passion in life: empowering people to transform their lives through health.
A few years into working and teaching fitness full time, I was under intense job pressure and grieving the passing of my aunt. My health declined because of stress and I later tore my piriformis muscle while teaching. I knew I had to step back and reassess what truly mattered in my life. I was introduced to the VersaClimber in physical therapy and just knew I had to bring it to the DC fitness market as soon as possible.
What makes this type of group fitness class unique?
PULSE House of Fitness is DC’s first and only VersaClimber fitness studio and High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) lab. PULSE prioritizes achieving your personalized fitness and lifestyle goals through intentional cardio and strength-based group fitness while providing the most elevated customer wellness experience. PULSE values exercise with efficiency and impact designed by the best experts in the region and curated for the fitness community.
How did you get involved in the fitness industry? And what are your recommendations for people looking to get into this career path?
I began teaching spin classes about six months after I took my first class. I went from teaching at small, local gyms to helping launch Tyson’s Corner and Bethesda Equinox, all while working a full-time job that demanded frequent, long-distance travel. I would fly on the red-eye home just to teach my weekend classes at Equinox because I loved my students so much. During this time, I also discovered CrossFit and quickly fell in love with the supportive community and team environment. I was Class Pass’ Instructor of the Year in 2017.
My recommendation is to try it out part-time before taking the plunge. I taught classes as my side hustle for twelve years before deciding to open PULSE and I still work a full-time consulting job in addition to PULSE. Instructing is amazingly rewarding, you truly have the opportunity to create moments where the people in your class get to forget everything that happened before they walked in the room.
DC has a lot of options when it comes to health and fitness. When you’re not teaching at Pulse, what are your recommendations when it comes to working out? Do you recommend mixing up Pulse classes with any other workouts?
PULSE is designed to be a one-stop shop for the most efficient workout—so you don’t need to supplement with any other workouts. That being said, I truly believe you should keep trying things until you find something you love—whether that’s at PULSE or another workout. I first found my love for exercise and fitness in spin class and it was an integral part of my journey to founding PULSE.
What is the most common health misconception? And the most overlooked way to better health & wellness?
You don’t need to spend hours in the gym to feel good. Every part of PULSE has been designed around one simple concept: to make fitness accessible and enjoyable for everyone. We believe you can have it all – your dream job, time to exercise, and time to play. Our hyper-efficient classes and luxe amenities make it easy to prioritize your health and still have time to enjoy life.
Bonus Question: Instructor lead fitness classes usually include a unique playlist inspired by music curated by the instructor’s playlist. Describe your playlist and what you are listening to at the moment?
I have an extremely eclectic taste in music, so my playlists really vary. Here’s what I’m loving:
Press Cardi B
1999 (R3HAB Remix) Charli XCX + Troye Sivan
Diva (Homecoming Live) Beyonce
Brave Don Diablo + Jessie J
Love Me Anyway P!nk + Chris Stapleton
Virginia Beach Sliim Bambino
Crashing Illenium feat Bahari
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