By Kimberly Yates, CPMS Volunteer

The first time Marc Johnson came to Cleveland Park he was moving into an apartment building at the corner of Macomb Street with Kerri, his then-girlfriend. Now it’s a frequent trip for both Marc and Kerri – his now-wife – into the neighborhood as owners of Orangetheory Fitness on Connecticut Avenue.

Since late 2019, Marc and Kerri have run the fitness studio in Cleveland Park as one of three they own in the D.C. area, including studios in Tenleytown and Silver Spring. Marc had just come down from a class at the Tenleytown studio in order to have this conversation, walking into the bright orange studio to friendly hellos from the front desk staff and coaches. As Marc was walking in, clients were walking out and waving goodbye, having just finished a class, while others were talking to coaches or to each other. It’s one of the first things Marc commented on.

“It’s a community here. You’ll see a familiar face, the coaches know your name,” he said, particularly as something that makes the Cleveland Park Orangetheory special. 

Orangetheory is a one-hour, full-body workout that monitors your workout through your heart-rate – tracking what they call the “heart-zone” through exercises in strength training, rowing, and the treadmill.

It’s the workout itself that brought Marc to ownership of his three studios, plus the flexibility of leaving a 9-5 job. After working in D.C. for years selling benefits to government contractors, he started to consider if owning his own business might be right for him after hearing Kerri talking about some of the franchises she worked with through the job she had at the time. So when a friend of a friend mentioned Orangetheory as an opportunity for franchise ownership, he took a class and loved it. Then he took the leap. 

Now, the Orangetheory studios run by Marc and Kerri are some of the biggest in the area. Their excitement for their work and the community they’ve built in their Cleveland Park studio are key to that. Marc, Kerri, the coaches, and staff will recognize clients walking past outside, or they’ll see the same groups coming in for classes over and over again, developing their own cohorts in group classes that can be, as Marc recognizes, pretty tough.

But the “intimidation factor,” as he calls it, is a misconception. “I’ll hear ‘I’m not a runner’ all the time, but the workout is as hard as you want to make it,” Marc said. If you need to power walk instead of run, you can. If you need to slow down on the strider, you can. Or, for the days when you want to focus on strength or running only, the new Strength 50 and Tread 50 classes let you target your workout to what you need within the rigorous framework Orangetheory is known for.

“There are no limitations in fitness, only opportunities,” Kerri said, quoting an adage from within the Orangetheory community, which is reflected within the variety of clients. With all kinds of coaches and classes that bring a closeness and community into the workout, Cleveland Park in particular has fostered an environment that is, as they observe, a walk-in community. The studio’s location on Connecticut Avenue puts it in the heart of the Cleveland Park Main Street, walkable for the neighborhood, and most of the clients they see are from the area. It’s part of what makes the “small community feel” that makes this Orangetheory something different from the rest.

“I want people to walk in here and feel at home,” Marc said. “And it’s fun.”

Stop by the Cleveland Park location to meet the team and learn more, or try a class at

Orangetheory Fitness

3412 Connecticut Ave. NW

Washington, DC 20008