Frequently Asked Questions


We know that trying something like Urban Evolution for the first time can be a little nerve-wracking if you don’t know what to expect! So we’ve compiled a list of questions that people ask us frequently in the hopes that you can learn as much as you need to feel comfortable coming in and enjoying your first (of many!) visits to the gym. (And don’t worry, we’re very friendly. You’re going to have a blast!)

Still have questions? Use the chat window in the lower right corner and we’ll be happy to help!


Basic Information:

Where are you located?

We have locations in Alexandria, VA and Sterling VA. For hours and detailed location information, click on either of these locations!

OMG, are those DOGS?

Yes, our Alexandria and Sterling gyms frequently have dogs in them. They belong to the gym owners, and go wherever the owners go. They’re very friendly and love people (the dogs…and the owners, too). But if you don’t like dogs or if you’re allergic to dogs, this may be something to keep in mind, because the dogs were here first. And yes, they also do Parkour.

I really just want to learn to do a back flip. Can you teach me that?

Yes, we absolutely can teach you how to do a back flip. But you’re interested in learning a trick instead of training to do something difficult in our particular context and methodology. You can learn tricks on YouTube. We’re here because there is an entire ethos of training demanding feats in Parkour, and back flips are not the most interesting, most difficult, or most challenging things to learn; merely one single small technique in a deep and broad range of skills. Imagine walking into a martial arts school and declaring that you only want to learn how to do a spinning crescent kick, but nothing else. Seems a little strange, right? We’re a lot like that. So empty your cup and come train with an open mind. You will learn that back flip…and so much more.

If you still really just want to learn a back flip, then we’re happy to teach you with some private training!

I'm really excited to get started...but I have no idea where to begin!
It seems really complicated, doesn’t it? Let’s break it down like this:

Kids and Adults, if you’re interested in Parkour, you’ll need to take the Intro to Parkour class. Upon completion of the class, you’ll have earned your white wristband in our LevelUp ranking system, and can participate in our White Band Parkour classes!

If you’re a kid ages 4-8 there’s no Intro class necessary. Just come to the regularly scheduled PicoPK or NanoPk (4-5 year old and 6-8 years old, respectively) classes. Email for more information.

If you’re already an experienced traceur, you will need to pass our arduous Green Band test to gain access to our open gym (green wristband equivalent or higher).

If you’re interested in Aerials, Breakdancing, or Adult Gymnastics, start with the Intro class on our “Other Movement” schedule, and then after that come to our regularly scheduled beginner classes.

Why are you requiring me to take an Intro class? I already know how to do amazing things!
We require an Intro class for a variety of reasons, but a short answer is, we’re interested in getting to know our clients and understanding individual goals, chronic health issues, abilities, and even psychology before they wind up in the Level 1 class, where we’re far more focused on keeping the class going and everyone challenged.
We understand that people come to us with a wide variety of backgrounds, so the Intro class serves as a form of introduction for you to our gym, but also for us to get to know you!

I'm coming from out-of-town, and my kids / my family / my lonesome-self think this looks fantastic!
We’re inclined to agree, so please check out our “Visiting UE From Somewhere Else” page!
What's the difference between Parkour and UrbanFit?
Parkour is the art and discipline of moving through your environment in an interesting and elegant way. It involves running, jumping, climbing, rolling, falling, and more.

UrbanFit is a strength and conditioning program that will help you develop broad spectrum general fitness, built around a core of weight training, with gymnastics, body-weight exercises, metabolic conditioning, and much more!

My child has special needs, but this seems like it would be perfect for him / her!
We hate to say no. We really really hate to say no. This is one of the hardest things to tell someone, but Parkour–and especially the Urban Evolution gym environment–is not always the best environment for a child with special needs.

Some kids can and do overcome or adapt or work with their particular disability to thrive in the gym. The gym and our classes–even the NanoPK classes for our littlest ones!–require some attention and the ability to sit still for periods of time while focusing on and listening to an instructor who is teaching and leading the class.

No one knows your child better than you do, and we acknowledge that. We’re willing to meet with your child and see how he or she does in a class first. If we determine that they may not be a good fit, then please understand, we don’t say these things lightly. We’re looking at not just what’s best for your kid, but also for the other kids, and their safety and their ability to train and learn.

But if you’re fairly sure that your child would do well, please bring them in!

Wow, this looks awesome! I can't wait to just come in and run around and play and climb on everything!
Whoa, slow down there, Sparky. We want you to have fun, but first and foremost, you need to train enough so that we can trust you not to get seriously hurt. We require that anyone participating in open gym hold a green wristband or higher rank. This is for your own good…the gym is a very easy place to get hurt if you’re not sure what you’re doing, or if you are sure about what you’re doing, but everyone else around you isn’t sure about what you’re doing.

You can learn more about how to test by visiting the LevelUp page and the LevelUp FAQ.

In the meantime, we have so many classes for you to take and learn and enjoy!

Who is this really for? You say anyone can do don't know me.
Yes. Anyone can do this. If you’re in reasonably decent shape (you can run around the block without having a cardiac arrest, you can manage a few pushups without collapsing into a heap, you’re between the ages of 4 and not-dead-yet…you’ll be fine. Well, you might be pretty sore at first, but so what? No pain, no gain.

If you’re really in doubt about being able to do this, please take a look here!

The gyms

What are the facilities like? Do you have locker rooms or a shower?

Our Sterling and Alexandria do have showers, as well as changing room(s) and lockers or cubbies to keep your things while you’re training!

Do you have adequate parking?
Yes! Each gym has a parking lot.

How does the referral program work?
It’s pretty simple, but we’ll outline it here, too: Bring in a friend, and if you both sign up, you both get 30% off for that month of training. You’ll need to do this in person; we can’t process the referral transaction online.

Can I share a punch card with someone else?
No, more than one person can’t share a punch card. We track visits to the gym for a variety of reasons, and sharing a punch card prevents us from being able to track how many visits a child has towards his or her green wristband, for instance.

But if you’re interested in two or more, we offer 30% off for each to make it easier for multiple people to train together!

I'm a photographer / videographer, and this would be a great place to take pictures / shoot a video. When can I come in?
You can take pictures at any of our locations, provided you leave a refundable $50 deposit at the front desk. You provide us with copies of the final high-quality pictures or the finished file, credit Urban Evolution appropriately, and we give you your $50 back. Simple, right? Contact to schedule a shoot!

Parkour, Freeruning, Aerials, & Breakdancing

What do I wear?

Wear loose-fitting clothes that are appropriate to work out in. Wear comfortable tennis shoes that can take some abuse and provide decent support and cushioning–we jump around a lot!

When picking shoes, try to find a pair with flexible, all-rubber soles (NOT foam! Foam soles can be treacherous on metal or smooth surfaces!). Running shoes with a piece of plastic across the center are NOT recommended as they create a slipping hazard. No Crocs, sandals, Tevas, flip-flops, or other open-toed shoes. For Aerials classes, wear something you don’t mind being inverted in while preserving some semblance of modesty (short skirts may not be the best idea, for instance, regardless of  your gender).

foam vs rubber

Click to enlarge



What should I bring?
You might need a water bottle, but we have cold water from our water fountains. Bring a camera if you’d like to take pictures. And bring a friend to get our referral program discount!

What can I expect on my first day? What are the workouts like?
For breakdancing, please arrive a half-hour early for a brief introduction / orientation and skill assessment. Nothing too arduous, but we like to know where you are in your training to structure the class appropriately for everyone else.

For everyone: Expect to move! Our classes start with a 15 minute warm-up utilizing body weight exercises such as squats, push ups, pull ups, and quadrapedal movement. Don’t worry if you haven’t done a pull up since middle school gym class. Remember, we specialize in scaling our workouts to your fitness level and body type. During the Intro you’ll  spend some time learning about the Urban Evolution approach to training, as well as meeting your fellow Urbanites (your classmates!) and our awesome instructors.

How do I prepare?
On your first day, plan to arrive 10 to 15 minutes before the class. The workouts start right away, and you’ll need extra time to familiarize yourself with the gym, get changed, and sign waivers.

Other than that, be ready to be challenged!

How will I ever recover?
You’ll be sore in muscles you didn’t know you had! Light daily exercise and stretching, a healthy diet, and rest will help keep up with the workout pace, and occasional cold showers do wonders.

When will I get to jump off buildings and stuff?
When you finally decide to win the Darwin Award…We’ll cover this in class, but parkour is not about jumping off buildings!

Isn't this whole thing really just for kids?
Um. No.

I'm an experienced traceur; can I just come play around?
Yes, once we agree that you’re an experienced traceur! You’ll need to pass our Green Wristband test to qualify for open gym (a non-refundable $30 fee is required to test for non-members); once that’s out of the way, the gym is your playground and you can purchase  drop-in day passes  for $20 per visit.

No, but really. I'm amazing. I've been training for 22 years, and I once had lunch with a bunch of Russians and some guy named Tim WireLive or something. I can also tear a phone book in half, provided it's only 4-6 pages thick and there's no tape on it anywhere. DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?
How can we say this? We don’t care who you are. We don’t care who you’ve trained with. We don’t care how long you’ve trained or what sort of training you’ve done or that you have a black belt in strip mall tae kwon do. We don’t care.

We do care about what you can do. If you can do it, then show us: take the Green test and pass it. If you can’t…well. Try again? Maybe take some time to train? Meet our standards? Or just go play in a park?

What's this 'Eat Your Veggies' thing I keep hearing about? I'm a vegan, so I can skip that, right?
No, this has nothing to do with nutrition, and your Vegan Superpowers will not save you when you fall off a wall. Read more about it here.


What should I wear?

Loose-fitting comfortable clothing. Cross-training shoes for most UrbanFit workouts, Olympic Weightlifting shoes are recommended for heavier lifting days.

What can I expect on my first day?
We start all beginners on the very basic foundational movements that make up the bulk of our program. You will begin with a light warm-up of easy aerobic activity and some basic calisthenics along with some dynamic stretching. The movements featured in the warm-up are the building blocks of our more complicated workouts, so you will be getting valuable skill work out of the way early.

From there our group classes will usually practice a skill, such as basic gymnastics (handstands, simple ring work, rolls, etc.) Olympic Weightlifting (Snatch, Clean and Jerk, and derivatives) or some general core work to help take care of any lagging stabilizers. Then we will either be performing lifting of the heavy load, lower rep variety, or a classic UrbanFit Metabolic Conditioning workout where we’ll mix a variety of functional movements in a high-intensity circuit. All workouts are perfectly scaleable for all ability levels, so you will be able to get a taste for the UrbanFit method without overdoing your capacity.

How do I prepare?
Be sure to drink plenty of water the day before, and try not to eat too much within one hour of class. Try to show up around 5 minutes early to get your stuff put away and yourself familiarized with the facility and our procedures. Please bring a water bottle, as we have a filtered fountain but no cups.

How will I ever recover?
By starting at a lower level and working your way up, your recovery abilities will improve dramatically in a short time of training with us. Our main goal is increasing work capacity, and part of this is the ability to recover from one workout to the next. Remember that sound nutrition, sleep, and enough days off are essential to recover completely though.

Adult Gymnastics

Who did we have in mind when we designed the curriculum for Beginners' Adult Gymnastics?

Ever seen gymnasts vault over horses, twirl over the uneven bars, and triple back-hand spring their way across the floor? Do you have friends who can flip and do cartwheels better than they can walk? This program is NOT (only) for them! The Beginners Adult Gymnastics Program is for individuals who have never tumbled or whose previous attempts at getting airborne have ended in a face plant. Our program provides a safe environment with individualized attention to ensure that participants make progress despite previous athletic obstacles.

What are the basic requirements to enroll in this program?
The only requirements are that you are open to challenging yourself and listen carefully to instruction. You’re going to attempt new activities, so you’ll have to put faith in your body’s ability to move in new ways. That said, you’ll be completely safe if you heed your body and your instructor.

What will this program do for me, besides keep me entertained?
Young adults and adults who have never tried gymnastics will have a fun time learning proper gymnastics progressions. Adults will improve their strength, flexibility, and body awareness, as well as master fundamental gymnastic skills.

Can I attend any class or do I have to wait for some boot camp start date?
All of Urban Evolution’s classes are designed as a rolling curriculum, which means you can join at any time and instructors will adapt the curriculum to your skill level. Our Adult Gymnastics Class is especially designed for beginners so feel free to join us as soonas you’re able! Skills will always be taught at a beginner level.

What is the age limit for this class?
Ages 17 and older are welcome to join. Anyone over 100, please contact us for a case-by-case review.

What are the class times?
Please check our gym location pages (click the “Locations” menu at the top of the page) for the class schedule for the most up-to-the-minute class listings at the Urban Evolution closest to you. This class is free for UE members and the regular day-pass rate of $20 applies to non-members.

Website-related issues

Why do some of your classes say 'Disabled' when I'm trying to book them online?

Our software system allows first-timers to sign up for Intro classes without logging in. But some classes have prerequisites (completion of Intro classes, or being at Level 2 or higher, for instance). If you have an account and have attained the requirements, you can log in with your username and password and those classes will be available to you. But otherwise, not until you reach the level you need to!

The website is behaving really weirdly. Can you help me?
Send an email to with as much information as possible (screenshots are great, too): where you were on the site, what you were trying to do, and what happened. We’ll look into it ASAP!

What are you guys about? Can I see some pictures?
Sure, just follow this link to Facebook to see what the UE community is about (you don’t need an account to view the pictures or videos on our Facebook wall). Also, join us on  Facebook to keep on top of the latest news about the gym.

Still got questions? Give us a call at 855-NINJAS1 (855-646-5271) or by sending us an email to!

Urban Evolution