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.
Spread across 17,500 square feet of training space and a 5,000 square foot indoor turf field, CrossFit Bellevue's huge equipment cache ensures that members have the ability to challenge themselves within a safe and supportive environment. But just what kind of equipment are we talking about? Try two indoor sprint tracks, 21 regulation-size lifting platforms, ropes, rings, bars, and medicine balls. Yet with all those options, safety remains the key priority for the coaches—including former members of the armed services and competitive athletes—who monitor each student's technique to help minimize injury risk and maximize effectiveness.
These CrossFit workouts emphasize the importance of functional exercises that mirror the kinds of movements people use in everyday life, such as running, jumping, climbing, lifting, and throwing. With the help of kettlebells, free weights, sandbags, and other objects, trainers can teach people of all fitness levels how to scale the load and intensity of each exercise. It's that extra level of care and individualized attention that helps keep members feeling confident and motivated as they work toward their fitness goals.
It may seem counterintuitive to up your energy by expending it at boot camp, but Coach Cassie knows better. The fitness instructor creates outdoor boot-camp routines that not only exhilarate, but also burn calories and tone muscles—what she calls Pulse Boot Camp. It's a fitting name since her mash-up of strength training, running, core work, and other exercises gets pulses racing.