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.
As a personal trainer and sports nutritionist, Mike Presley brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to their clients. With a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science from James Madison University and multiple certifications, Mike is well-equipped to help clients reach their health and fitness goals.
Throughout Mike’s 12+ year career, he has worked with various clients, including athletes, kids, and special populations. Mike started as a trainer for Olympic sports teams at James Madison University before transitioning to corporate gym management. After the pandemic hit, Mike focused solely on one-on-one, small-group, and team training.
Mike’s journey has given him a deeper understanding of the importance of staying committed to one’s health and fitness. At one point, Mike lost touch with his well-being and gained 40 lbs, but after working with his trainer and embracing a healthier lifestyle, Mike rediscovered their passion for fitness.
Mike’s ultimate goal is to empower others and show them that it’s always possible to start their health and fitness journey. Mike supports and guides clients every step of the way, regardless of whether they’re starting for the first time, overcoming an injury, or trying again after setbacks. Mike takes great satisfaction in seeing clients reach their full potential and achieve their goals.
Credentials: B.S. Exercise Science (James Madison University); CrossFit L1, ISSA certified: Personal Training, Sports Nutrition, Corrective Exercise, Online coaching.