We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Ed Ingebretsen joined Results the Gym as a member in 1999. He did not like what he saw: “I saw people on the floor doing such bad workouts, I went to the manager and asked, ‘Do you need trainers here?’” Now the gym’s head trainer, Ingebretsen’s approach to fitness is informed by his other vocations: He’s a tenured professor in Georgetown University’s English department, and he’s a priest.
Once a Jesuit (he left the order in 2000 but remains a priest of the breakaway American Catholic Church), Ingebretsen says he treats physical exercise in the same manner that St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, treated spiritual exercise. “You push your body to do a certain kind of habitual action to improve its condition,” he says. “You do same thing for you soul.”
Ingebretsen also applies his workout acumen to his academic career: When his students are struggling, he says, he tells them to hit the gym.