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Bitch at Us: Corbin Jennings, MADabolic

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MADabolic Inc. is an innovative, interval-driven strength and endurance program. All of their workouts are carefully structured and built to complement any active lifestyle. The brand recently launched an outlet in the D.C. area—in Arlington—and the fitness community has taken note. While the workout can be intimidating (think CrossFit light), we’ve been taking classes and we’ve found it’s an incredible way to torch brunch calories and to improve our athleticism. 

To introduce you to the new workout popular among the Arlington yo-pros, we met up with Corbin Jennings–the owner of MADabolic in Clarendon. We talked fitness, strength, the importance of form, and how to make brunch healthy with the fitness guru.

These workouts are quick, effective, and efficient. The clientele ranges from the twenty-something brunch-goer, to the former athlete, to the advanced fitness professional. The classes aren’t competitive like other trendy options–there won’t be any scores posted on screens. It’s actually quite the opposite. This Bitch was struggling to follow along during her first class–I was pleasantly surprised when the two other women in my group cheered me on and fist bumped me throughout the workout. Thanks, ladies! Girl power!

Corbin comes from an intense athletic and fitness background. He left his boring corporate, desk job for the fast-paced boutique fitness lifestyle. Between training clients and running a business, Corbin keeps busy and burns enough calories for all those mimosas on his cheat day.

What made you move to Virginia and open a MADabolic? What inspired you?

That’s a two part answer–I had tried MADabolic in Charlotte and it was the best workout routine that I had done for the goals I wanted to achieve. I wanted to increase strength and athleticism. I was a soccer player growing up, and I found that MADabolic helped me get a leg up on the competition–it was the most well-rounded program I had found. It’s a great program for the average person who wants to get better at everything from picking up kids to walking up stairs and not becoming winded. 

I had been working in Baltimore for Under Armor, and I loved the DMV area. Arlington just seemed like the perfect place for us–it’s young and hip; there’s a real market here. We have fantastic clients that make it a lot of fun to come in and train them.

What caught your eye about the MADabolic fitness program?

What I liked most was that it’s based off work to rest ratios; meaning that you work for a certain amount of time and rest for a certain amount of time. It’s also based around time and what you can individually accomplish. Doing one hundred burpees is not something everyone can wrap their head around. But, everyone can understand working for thirty seconds or one minute, for example.

Our system and regimens are planned and scheduled in a way to avoid getting hurt and doing sloppy reps. Our workouts and weekly schedules are incredibly well-rounded. We don’t go super hard, maximum capacity every single day because that’s how you can really increase the likelihood of injury. We work on building a great base and strong foundation.

I also liked the color system. People can get used to which “color” they want to work with and it takes a lot of the guess work out of your weight selection. Having the large range of weights also helps makes it less intimidating.

We have plenty of former D-1 athletes that do MADabolic and they all say they are in the best shape they’ve been in since college. Many of them have tried all the different fitness concepts and say we are the closest thing to the types of training they used to do. It’s a true testament to MADabolic being driven on real athletic experience.

What were you doing before you started MADabolic? What’s your health and fitness background?

I studied Economics in college and ever since then I’ve been in the logistic and supply chain field. My role at Under Armor was a corporate job where I was in Excel all day; it got way too boring for me. I decided it was time for a career change. I had been doing MADabolic and loved the concept. So, I talked to the two co-founders and they liked the D.C. area and we just took it from there.

I’ve been a soccer player my whole life. In college, I got more interested in lifting and fitness in general. I tried a bunch of different things, but it wasn’t until MADabolic when I found something that was a fantastic fit. The trainers started honing in on my form on a lot of movements, which helped me blast through weights that had previously been a struggle. At first, it was a little frustrating, because I’d have to go down in weight to get proper form. However, in the long run, it translated to much better results and I have been injury-free for a long time now. Good form became a super important aspect for me.

Can you tell us more about the MADness and how it will get us into shape?

There are three different focuses that all do different things for your body. Your body is made up of three basic energy systems, and we tap into all three of them with our different focuses Momentum, Anaerobic and Durability (MAD). This is something that I don’t see a lot of other programs doing very well. The movements in the momentum category feed off one another and are designed to promote athleticism. Speed and power are your priorities with all anaerobic themed intervals. Our durability days are when we scale the workouts back and use a lot of awkward movements to build a strong base and really engage your stabilizer muscles.


True intervals have proven to be one of the most effective programs in terms of success. This also keeps you from getting hurt. We focus on form, which keeps you from being out for two months at a time and starting a dangerous cycle.

What makes MADabolic different from other workout regimes?

There are a lot of other other circuit and interval training programs, we see that they don’t program their workouts very efficiently. That’s why you have to workout for an hour when you go into them. Our two creators have been in the fitness arena for years, and have become experts at programming workouts. They’ve efficiently and expertly planned and designed our programs so that the novice person, who doesn’t know what they’re doing, will be able to get in an efficient and safe workout.

With our workouts, the classes are 50 minutes long and you’ll be working for about 35 minutes. We only need them to be this long because we have taken so much into account in order to program an extremely effective and efficient workout.

A lot of workouts claim to focus on strength and in reality that just isn’t the case. Picking up five and ten pound dumbbells just isn’t going to get the results a lot of these places are claiming. We’re very proud that we focus on strength and form.

We get a lot of girls asking, “will this make me bulk up?” Short answer: no. Girls aren’t going to bulk up from our program. Women don’t have enough testosterone to bulk up and the rep range we work with also isn’t geared towards lots of muscle mass.

At its core, MADabolic is based off of creativity and real athletic exposure. Tell us more about what inspires you and what real athletes can expect.

It wasn’t until high school when I got into the strength component of working out. I found that strength training translated to much better results on the field. After seeing this I immediately started to read more practical benefits of strength training and proper form.

This is closest workout I’ve been able to find to athletic training for the average person.

I had a cool experience a few weeks ago. One of our clients brought in her husband, who is a football player with the Chicago Bears. He came in to try a class and was shocked how close it was to some of  the things he was doing at the professional level. It goes to show how MADabolic is so athletically driven.

You suggest supplementing MADabolic workouts with gentle yoga and running. Tell us why it’s important to diversify your workouts.

We have a lot of people who come in from a yoga, CrossFit, or running background. We don’t want people to give up something they love or are passionate about. If you have a hobby or passion, stick to it. We believe we are a good complement to most activities.

What is the environment, music, and setting like? Describe a typical class.

Some new clients feel intimidated and they get in this mindset that it’s super hard and won’t be able to keep up. You have to remember that everyone is worried about their own workout. The other people aren’t looking at you, and are genuinely focused on their own workout. By the second and third class, the intimidation factor fades away. Also, no one is judging you if you’re having an off-day. It’s totally scale-able, so we have light weights up to some seriously heavy ones. There is something for everyone. We also have fabulous trainers that are more than happy to provide modifications for limitations or previous injuries.

As far as music goes, we don’t like to have a lot of pop culture music. We like to throw edgy, alternative music your way. The tempo will always match the workout and flow.

The trainer is not there trying to hype everyone up, but to make sure your form is good and you’re getting the best results. It’s our belief that a trainer that is focused on constantly screaming encouraging words isn’t focused on form and safety.

There aren’t any stats or scores going up on a screen during the class, which makes it genuinely your workout. It’s not competitive.

Why should everyone sign up for the $10 for ten consecutive classes deal?

It’s awesome, you can’t beat it. Just do it.

Dive in the deep end and try it out; come in as many times as you can. This will give you a chance to see all three types of classes instead of just one class. So, if you want to get in the best shape of your life, try us!

Now, let’s talk about brunch and balance.

I like going out and having “cheat meals.” On Sundays after class I go out with my girlfriend, sister, and friends to brunch and get mimosas. We all try to be really good during the week, and then let go and have fun on a weekend day. There has to be balance. You have to reward yourself every once in awhile.

What are some of your top tips for staying fit?

I have some pet peeves with fitness industry marketing in general. Everyone thinks they have to blast fat through working out. They also buy into all these tech driven things that typically don’t really work that well. If you want to blast fat look into your diet. I highly recommend that you stay away from fitness programs that focus on calories. I always like to tell people that going outside and running 40 miles will be great for burning calories, but it will surely injure you in time. Focusing on calories isn’t the only value of fitness. Try and focus on strength to help make your results more long term. Also, make sure to stay away from crash diets. Whatever you choose has to be sustainable.

Interval training gives people the best results. People should look for workouts that add on to strength. I personally try and cut out added sugars and try to cut out as much processed food in general.

How can our readers find the perfect balance between staying healthy and enjoying city life (read: brunch)?

I like to follow the 90-10 split. I try to be really good 90 percent of the time. And 10 percent of the time, I do whatever I want.  I suggest getting into a routine. This applies to cheat meals, fitness, and your schedule.

If you want to work out four times a week at this time–stick with it. Make your cheat meal Sunday brunch, for example, and keep up the pattern. It helps keep track of things, and people generally benefit from routines.

What are some healthy ways to dine out at brunch?

It’s actually a lot easier to eat healthier at brunch than you think. Look for something not processed and not loaded down with tons of condiments. Think good vegetables and eggs. It’s easy to incorporate avocado with an egg dish, which is great healthy fat.

You need carbs for workouts, but you also need to balance your proteins and healthy fats. You want to make sure that every meal is well balanced with carbs, proteins, and fats.

People eat more than they realize and this has a huge impact on their fitness levels and how your body carries weight.

Bloody Marys or Mimosas?

Mimosas, all day.

What’s your favorite brunch dish?

French toast–but I just don’t eat it that often.

There’s this thing called a Swapple which is made of yucca. I like to make a sausage, egg, and cheese “sandwich” but with the yucca as the bun. I also only add a little cheese. It’s my go-to for something healthy, but it still tastes incredible.

If you could five people to brunch, who would they be?

Elon MuskJeff Bezos. Messi. Pavel Tsatsouline, the chairman for Strong First, the Kettle bell certifying organization. And Will Ferrell.


BitchBiz: Bitches Who Brunch partners with MADabolic. While this interview was written independently, we do receive compensation from the company.

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