Back when it opened its first location, Crunch gym had no air conditioning or locker rooms, so staffers had to invent novel tactics to attract members, such as enlisting a live rapper to accompany hip-hop aerobics sessions. Bereft of fancy trimmings, the staff relied on imaginative classes that combined exercise with fun to build a base of loyal fandom and positive buzz. Their judgment-free attitudes and creativity eventually paid off, giving them enough steam to accrue new equipment, several franchise locations, and a reputation for turning boring workouts on their heads.
Today, Crunch locations have all the expected amenities. They boast brand-name machinery and certified trainers, as well as involvement with dotFIT, an online fitness and nutrition resource for members. They also host a range of group fitness classes, covering disciplines such as Zumba, yoga, Pilates, and TRX.
My Gym, which currently has more than 200 international locations, began more than 25 years ago as a structured place for children to safely play, acquire new skills, and romp off a sugar buzz. All classes are organized according to age level (starting as young as 6 weeks) and designed to incorporate the latest physiological, psychological, and meteorological research. My Gym offers classes for all developmental degrees, from Tiny Tykes, a class for parents and babies that focuses on movement, to Champions, designed for kids 6–8 years old to master sports and gymnastics skills. Schedules and class options vary by location; see the Bellevue and Kent class lineups. Classes meet once per week and run for four consecutive weeks.
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.
Precor Home Fitness outfits exercise enthusiasts with all the equipment they need to create a gym setting in their own home. It offers in-home machines such as treadmills and exercise bikes, as well as a variety of fitness accessories. Precor Home Fitness also offers bikes and ElliptiGO machines for outdoor fitness.
With hands gripped to the wheels of karts capable of cresting 45 miles per hour, up to 12 racers hum around the hairpin turns and straightaways of K1 Speed's indoor track during adrenaline-spiking sprints toward the podium. This brand of excitement can be found at all 20+ locations, where racers eschew the fumes and inflammatory skywriting of gas kart exhaust for European, eco-friendly electric karts designed to instantly accelerate out of curves, which are bordered by safety barriers that absorb impacts.
The sound specialists at Bellevue American Music help outfit local bands and aspiring rock stars with musical equipment from brands such as Fender, Korg, Yamaha, Roland, and Bogner in the bright, open showroom. Learning to play the intro song to Hogan's Heroes from sheet music is much easier with an On Stage XCG4 guitar stand ($13.49) and artillery of D'Addario EXL120 strings ($5.99). Hone vocal skills outside of showers with an On Stage mic stand ($29.99), or squelch creative differences with the raucous roar of the Peavey Vypyr 15 amp ($99.99). Those eager to accessorize the recent growth of their folk-indie beard may nab a Lee Oskar harmonica ($38.99) and settle into their tax accountant's stoop for an impromptu show.