The muscle tutors at Fitness Together work with clients to determine exercise goals for shedding pounds, running a marathon, or being strong enough to rip apart spandex. A customized workout plan is developed and catered to help exercisers reach superfit. Fitness instructors supervise squats and offer nutritional advice and encouragement to make sure you see and feel results. Individualized attention means it’s all about you—the trainer can point out when you’re doing a stretch incorrectly, help you tone trouble zones, and motivate you to keep going when you’d otherwise quit or become distracted by the fragile beauty of a passing hummingbird.
Equipment: kettlebells, barbells, pullup bar, rings, medicine balls, jump ropes
Students should bring: Water bottle and towel
Average class length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1–5 people
Class location: Mix of indoor and outdoor classes
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: No
Parking: Parking lot
Pro Tip: Dress comfortably, be ready to move and have fun in a positive environment with others getting fit.
In 2005, Sili Kalepo and a friend started working out in an old warehouse; it was their solution to the complete lack of neighborhood gyms in Rainier Beach. Fortunately, the space suited their style of exercise pretty well, their programs caught on, and they started a gym. They became part of the non-profit Urban Impact, striving to promote healthier lifestyles in the community. Time treated them well, and in 2013 they relocated to a brand new facility on the ground floor of the Emerald City Commons, with their CrossFit program taking over the space next door.
These days, workouts incorporate a variety of agility, strength, and endurance training techniques. The routines can get pretty intense, but the trainers are on-hand to monitor maneuvers and ensure participants stay healthy. "We believe that all people have a threshold that is safe for their bodies to handle," says the CrossFit trainer. "All workouts can be modified to your intensity level and ability."
Every human body may be unique, but the basic patterns of our muscles and skeletons are almost universal. The fitness science of CrossFit relies on that uniformity in each of its exercises, which are designed to help bodies function better in ten different domains of fitness. If that sounds like a lot of learning for a workout regimen, don’t worry. In addition to leading vigorous exercises, the coaches at CrossFit West Seattle act as stewards of CrossFit knowledge. They slowly familiarize beginners with the terminology, techniques, and equipment required to navigate CrossFit’s workouts. In fact, they require that all new students complete a series of fundamentals classes before joining the regularly scheduled sessions or hanging out in the evening to play catch with barbells. But students are not merely challenged; instructors also motivate and reward students for their hard work, and the group setting fosters a team-like atmosphere.
Equipment: Yoga mats, blocks, blankets, straps, weights, foam rolls, bands
Students Should Bring: Yoga, Pilates & Barre: yoga mat, water. Shoes for Zumba & HIIT.
Average Class Length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 5–10 people
Class Location: Mix of indoor and outdoor classes
Registration Required: Yes
Good for Beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Free street parking
Pro Tip: New students, please arrive 10 minutes early to set up your space and fill out [the] new-person paperwork.
At SNAP Fitness 24/7's network of gyms, members can work out in the morning, the evening—or even at 4 a.m. Per the gym's name, it's always open, and stocked with top-of-the-line cardio and strength-training equipment. Its team also hosts yoga classes, Zumba dance parties, and Pilates sessions that can help build long, lean muscle. Online workout plans and meal plans complement the brick-and-mortar facilities, providing clients with customizable guidelines for how to live a healthy life.
The viewers of Evening Magazine had 131 choices for Western Washington’s best fitness instructor of 2012, but Sheree James and her team at Shake It Off Dance Fitness came out on top. It’s no surprise, considering the staff turns dance fitness into full-on festivals of fitness, spurring on rooms full of exercisers through Latin-inspired Zumba dance classes, as well as hip-hop and urban striptease aerobics. It’s not all about cardio at Shake It Off, though; instructors also lead Zumba toning, during which students shimmy and shake while holding a weighted bar or a maraca made of cement so that they simultaneously forge muscles.