Local Fitness Check-in: Madabolic

Posted on December 4, 2013 by


Cville is getting mad. No, really. Thanks to a new fitness boutique that joined the Cville workout scene this August, Cville is embracing the MAD lifestyle. MADabolic is located in the IX building, between Monticello and Elliot Avenue, and is run by a great team of fitness folks – Dar Malecki and Val Morini.

Their team of trainers – Dar, Val, Kirsten, Ryan, Elly, and Joe – are simultaneously in-your-face and you-can-do-it. The MADabolic workout routine can be catered to anyone, from the individual whose too busy to work out all year and trying to get back into it to the triathlete looking for something to push and maintain his/her fitness level, or the gym member who hasn’t utilized their membership and finds themselves there every couple weeks on the elliptical to the yogi who’s looking for something to add a bit more strength to their practice.

I went for the first time this past weekend and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t kick my butt –  but I kind of loved it. I also got to sit down with Dar Malecki and find out more about MADabolic.


Dar Malecki, Photo courtesy of MADabolic

What is MADabolic and how’s it different from the “normal gym”?

We’re really nothing like anything else out there, except for in terms of intensity. Our training is intense.

We’re an athletic based, strength and conditioning program for the masses.

You’ll often see an elite athlete working out in a MADabolic class right next to a soccer mom (not to mean that soccer mom’s are not athletic – but probably a difference in workout schedule and intensity). This will work for both clients, and they will get the same amount out of  it for their fitness level.

madThe Workout

Every class revolves around 5 stations/movements that all together create a balanced workout. You’re not just focusing on legs or arms the entire time. Every station is set up for different levels of strength and endurance, whether it’s different weights, or the RPM you need to get to on the stationary bike, it’s made to suit your fitness and comfort zone (maybe pushing your comfort zone a little bit, too).

These 5 stations/movements incorporate these 5 functions/the backbone of MADabolic:

1. Primal Athleticism
Primal and natural, these movement patterns were given to us at birth.  The ability to jump, hop, push, pull, plank and crawl are all crucial in our #MADlifestyle.  Although viewed as basic, these challenging and at times animalistic traits translate perfect in everyday life and everyday fitness.  Body weight in nature, this category allows us to bring the playground back into training.
2. Rotational Force (aka Boxing)
The ability to generate force while rotating or generating force because of rotation.  We consider this to be a very important and often overlooked function of fitness.  In our program we found that boxing is the perfect way to translate this function.  Even though boxing has an intense point of impact there is a certain grace about it.  And did we mention fun as hell …
3. Anaerobic Output
Short and intense bursts of cardiovascular activity.  In this category we use The C2 Rower,  The C2 Ski Erg, The Airdyne Bike and basic, old school, suicide sprints to help build this  Anaerobic Threshold.  What is that you may ask?  Simple, its your pace and how well you recover at that pace.  Overtime we strive to build your individual pace and threshold, which will translate into a better cardiovascular system.  More often than not this category will dictate the intensity of your overall workout.  Sounds fun right?
4. Power
Moving weight and/or moving objects and with the primary intention being quickness.  In this category we use a variety of odd objects to challenge these goals.  Expect to see Medicine Balls, Battle Ropes, Kettle Bells and Sledgehammers in this dynamic grouping.  We also love to get creative adding endless variations and unique spins to old classics, the more awkward the better.
5. Durable Strength And Stability
Rigid, strong and stable. In this category we cycle through movements that involve establishing strength through motion.  This category often involves carrying heavy elements over long distances or at times moving through awkward and challenging positions while maintaining form with weight in hand.  Maybe we should just call this category “Resilience”.
(source: MADabolic Blog)

We are really proud of our programming, but we don’t think that we are the only thing you should do.


MADabolic Trainer Elly Montague

What is #MADLifestyle?

#MadLifestyle – A theory based on balance; maintaining a holistic view of fitness and wellness and realizing that it can’t just be isolated into one fitness center, or section of your life.

“It’s all relative, and it’s all personal. Just like the experience of the intervals and movements, it’s all what you make it and how you relate.” – Val Morini, MADabolic Blog

For a lot of people, they don’t just work out at MADabolic, they compliment their running with it, or their yoga practice. We’re not trying to be the end all be all — however, if you just come to MADabolic and it feels like your thing, we believe that you can do this 4 or 5 times a week.

“Our program is built to compliment diversity of training, and designed to evolve. It is not a trend. Even though we preach intensity, it is still a relative intensity. Strength is important to us, but it’s a relative strength. Variety is important, but relative to the science of our programming. We are random, but controlled. It’s a relative chaos — nothing is by mistake.” – Val Morini, MADabolic Blog

The instructors

The coach/instructor is in the class to conduct the class, not to take it. They go over every station at the beginning of the class and monitor everyone during the class to make sure that the movements are being done correctly, assisting anyone that needs help and making sure that no one is hurting themselves.

Find out a bit more about our instructors here!



rowEvery couple of weeks, MADabolic offers workshops on particular skills or nutrition, such as their recent rowing workshop, taught by the assistant UVA rowing coach. They’ve also done a workshop on what they call 28tolife, “finding freedom through REAL food.” They’ve already planned workshops for 2014 on both skill building and nutrition/health. The first one in 2014 will be on kettle bells, so keep an eye out.

The MADabolic Story

Mad/madness is where it all began and evolved. You might recall them being called Fight Gone Mad when they first opened in Cville at the end of the summer. They found fight to be confusing to people, potentially implying they were a fight gym – but MADabolic fits their Mad Lifestyle theory, is short and sweet and adds a bit more of the science of fitness into the name.

Dar’s Story

Dar was born and raised in Chicago then moved to Dallas for a corporate  job. Since she was in college, weight lifting resonated with her. At that point she was the only girl in the gym. She continued to weight lift while working for a corporate company, but it was always more of  a hobby and passion, which now has translated and contributed to her now career. She was severed from her job and decided that she would start to focus more on her passion and went to the Cooper Institute to get her personal training certification. Throughout her corporate career she was a spin instructor and competed in body building and power lifting. Dar moved to Charlotte and invested in a body building gym, which she ended up having ownership in after a year and then utilized this to get back into body building and promoting it. She moved to Charlottesville a little over a year ago, and started working on this project of opening MADabolic in Charlottesville.

“This is what I’m supposed to be doing.” – Dar Malecki

Interested in trying it out?

Check out the options here for new clients!

Also, we’ll be hosting a FREE Cville Niche class on Saturday, December 14 at 10:30am. We’ll announce the contest this week on Facebook so make sure to check our page!

Dar’s Favorite Spots in Town

“Charlottesville is such a great community. It feels more like home than anywhere else I’ve lived.”

Citizen Burger Bar – It’s my hangout! I can go and get a clean meal, everything organic and local and it’s just a great atmosphere.

Bella’s – When I need my pasta, it’s got to be Bella’s.

Paradox Pastry – For coffee