THE Urban Athletic Club STORY
Graham King - OWNER
In the Fall of 2000, Graham King found himself at a crossroads: his corporate sales job was going nowhere, and he had just enough credits for half a bachelor’s degree. The only place that he found solace was at the gym. At an age where most people are making career advances, he decided to start over. Graham quit his job, sold everything with a recurring bill, and decided to finish his degree in business. Then went to his local gym and asked for a job. “I’ll take anything you got,” he said. At the gym, Graham had befriended the head trainer, an old-school weight lifter named Carmine, who looked like he could have been Rocky’s trainer.
Carmine had seen Graham train and saw potential, so he offered him a job as floor trainer, which meant putting away weights, assisting personal trainers, and helping members. At the same time, Carmine helped Graham enroll in a personal training course. Once Graham finished the training course, it was full steam ahead: in a few months, Graham had a complete client list, and he was promoted to the club’s assistant manager. Over the next several years, Graham graduated from college, started a fitness business, a food delivery company, and a non-profit. He also got elected to his neighborhood advisory committee. From 2003 to 2013, Graham took on business partners and grew the fitness business, expanding from one location in the back of a Church to three locations around DC. In April 2013, Urban Athletic Club was born. Graham decided to pursue a new path over frustrations with the direction of his fitness business and a disagreement with his business partners. A client of his had just purchased the Savoy Suites Hotel in Glover Park and asked Graham to open a neighborhood gym within the hotel. Graham reimagined the hotel gym as a neighborhood spot featuring a “real gym” with barbells, sleds, and kettlebells along with friendly faces and intense training. From 2013 to 2016, Urban Athletic Club would expand its offering and locations, eventually opening a flagship location in Shaw. At Shaw, Graham brought out the best in Urban Athletic Club: a beautiful, spacious, modern CrossFit gym with the best equipment, group classes, and personal training. He partnered with fellow trainer Jay Morgan, who came on board with an ownership interest. Graham also partnered with local businesses District Cryo, Momentous Physical Therapy, and Composition ID to offer members a comprehensive fitness experience.
Jay Morgan has always had a strong passion for sport, competition, and fitness. As a former dual athlete, he learned the importance of a functional, balanced, and powerful body on and off the court and field. He is a strong advocate of making fitness a community effort and believes that each and everyone of us has a high capacity to perform and do work; simply, we are all athletes!
Jay has been featured in the Washington Post, the Washingtonian, WUSA Channel 9, radio publications, and was voted Best Personal Trainer in Washington DC by the Washington City Paper! In his spare time, he enjoys playing basketball, hiking, and hitting the trails on his Pedego bike as well as spending time with his son and pup! Jay is a true Washingtonian having lived in DC nearly his entire life, and even went to Shaw Junior High School right here in our neighborhood!
Certifications: CrossFit-L1, NASM Certified Personal Trainer