The instructors at The Body Center don't view Pilates as a simple exercise trend—instead, they conduct classes as interactive seminars on human anatomy. They teach clients how to train certain muscle groups by identifying and coaxing them through specific movement patterns designed to increase strength and flexibility at the same time. Ultimately, they try to instill in their students an enhanced sense of bodily awareness, one that informs walks down the street just as much as it does stretches on the mat.
Because physiques differ depending on build, lifestyle, and how often they were pinched as babies, The Body Center's curriculum is appropriately broad. Class themes range from Reformer and mat Pilates to TRX suspension training and High Intensity Interval Training classes. These subsets are also divided by skill level. Beginners derive comfort from the company of other trainees, while intermediate and advanced classes pursue communal challenges. Specialized lessons can focus on specific body parts, sports performance, or the use of props, and modifications throughout every course cater to individual fitness levels.
The staff keeps classes small in the interest of personalization. Mat classes accept up to 10 students, and Reformer classes won't admit more than 6. Private and duet sessions allow for even more focused attention, as instructors won't be distracted by the loud popping of several emerging six-packs.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing With the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 500 calories with each go-round.
If a rainy spring spent languishing fireside and catching up on the latest Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has left you bearing a heavier burden, venture down to the Gig Harbor workout wonderland to learn how to snap sagging skin back into place. Your personal-training sessions will pair you with one of The Club's personal trainers in two 55-minute, one-on-oneries that will customize a fitness plan specifically tailored to your personal workout needs. Target tummy flab or blast the body's bacon build-up as you stretch, squat, and sweat your way to a fairer physique. Also included is an all-access week-long membership to The Club at Gig Harbor starting the day of your first session, so you can roam free among the state-of-the-art equipment, hopping on and off the machines at will until you achieve the svelte Mirrenesque shape of your dreams.
Whether inside the gym hopping on and off plyometric boxes or outside lifting weights when the sun shines, the trainers at Westsound CrossFit keep routines interesting with ever-changing daily workouts. It’s all part of the CrossFit system, which is designed to employ all muscle groups while staving off the boredom of repetition. Intense classes feature functional movements—such as lifting, pushing, and pulling—that prep participants for all sports, work, and daily activities.
Andrea de Gruchy has been dazzling audiences at local theaters, restaurants, and festivals with her belly-dancing skills ever since her mother introduced her to the art at the tender age of 4. She brings her years of performance and teaching experience to her studio, BeliRaq Dance Fitness LLC, where she conducts classes and workshops for women of all experience levels. She structures classes so that students not only learn belly-dancing techniques and movements, but also improve core strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular fitness.
Northwest Curves, a fitness center designed exclusively for women, provides members with a 30-minute circuit of hydraulic resistance machines designed for an efficient cardio and strength training workout. During the training, attendees can burn up to 500 calories and work each major muscle group to work toward individual fitness goals. An experienced coach is always nearby to teach and motivate participants, and a soundtrack of fun, upbeat music cues participants to move on to the next station. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use your own body weight and fitness level to create resistance. Each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.