As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
Coach Mike Ford is no sissy. Since he was 12 years old, the dedicated athlete has been taking on extreme feats of strength and endurance that many people would never even dream of attempting—undertaking off-road triathlons, sweating through 35-hour nonstop workouts, and running 10-K races with a 50-pound log tied to his back. But when he attended his first CrossFit class, he was surprised and humbled to find that he was left exhausted by the short, intense, and challenging workout. Intrigued by this innovative program and determined to improve, Mike immediately started his own CrossFit gym in his garage.
Today, Beaverton CrossFit has expanded into a bustling CrossFit gym, where Mike, his wife Christine, and their staff of certified trainers conduct classes throughout the week. Drawing from an arsenal of dumbbells and pull-up bars, coaches lead CrossFit's signature high-intensity workouts within their well-equipped, no-frills facility. They vary routines each day to prevent muscles from becoming bored and passing notes to the bones, and motivate students throughout the routines with constant encouragement. The Beaverton CrossFit team participated in the 2012 and 2013 North West Regionals CrossFit games, where students and coaches alike placed among the top athletes, with Mike Ford taking 13th in the Masters Division in 2012 and in 2013, and coach Brian Miller taking 1st in the Northwest Regional CrossFit Games in 2013.
Bally Total Fitness enshrines exercise classes, calorie-burning equipment, and a fitness-focused staff within its sanctuaries of health. A 30-day guest pass includes access to a spread of group exercise classes, including Pilates, Reaction Cycling, Step Fitness, and High-Impact Hopscotch (class offerings vary by location). For self-guided worker-outers, cardio equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, cross-trainers, and stair climbers torch calories while entertaining the brain with video entertainment and integrated music systems that occasionally whisper quotes from Charles Atlas. Bally also boasts a bulk-building army of strength machines, free weights, and small-apparatus equipment, and grants gym-goers access to on-site locker rooms, showers, and, at some locations, a pool and steam room. Visit each location's webpage for a list of specific amenities and the lineup of classes.
Employing a steady diet of CrossFit movements and techniques, the talented coaches at CrossFit Body & Fuel help bulbous bodies chisel away fat and achieve fitness goals. Embark on a healthful voyage with the beginner's workshop, in which fitness fanatics of all skill levels learn proper technique for the lifts and movements used in CrossFit classes and the secrets of fueling bodies without the use of gasoline shots.
Poise Studio is home to two studios that offer a wide variety of class styles for different fitness levels and preferences. Before mapping out your month of taut transformations based on the upcoming schedule, consider the type of classes offered and the color of your yogi belt. Barely bendable novices can get comfortable in Yoga I/II, which provides individualized attention during fundamental stretches. Fusionists will gobble up yoga with Dr. Linda Rowe, who incorporates her chiropractic knowledge and kung-fu daydreams. Pilates classes are designed to strengthen the core muscles in order to maximize strength, flexibility, and control over spiderwebbed stairways in emergency evacuations. For those who prefer to shimmy and hip-pop their way into mental and physical harmony, belly-dance classes are also offered.
Sneakers pound the grass during shriek-filled games of tag. But this isn’t recess, it’s Portland Fit Camp, and the jubilant players aren’t children but women sculpting muscles during the intense, outdoor adult version of the classic game. With a max of 24 campers, the sessions have an intimate feel, and their participants are fueled by their collective energy and the motivational training of a certified instructor. For five days a week for four-week sessions, the groups meet in the park for muscle-shocking routines that change daily to avoid plateaus. Core-based, functional exercises such as agility ladder drills, air squats, and hill sprints are all taught to students, who break the traditional workout routine with games of tag or games of capture the flag taped to the squirrel’s back.