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.
As avid golfers themselves, Pro Golf Discount’s staff members boast a wealth of experience and professional equipment advice. They are eager to direct shoppers through stores full of golfing merchandise from brands such as TaylorMade, Nike, and Callaway, pointing out the differences between the quality products. They lead lefties to their expansive selection of left-handed equipment, and discuss the advantages of their specialty women's gear with ladies. The master club fitters evaluate clients’ swings with advanced Launch Monitors and the Foresight Sports GC2 golf-simulation system, enabling them to recommend equipment that is suited to the customer's specific needs.
Most of the locations host golf lessons within their onsite golf theater hitting cages, where top golfers dish out expert tips and techniques. The Tacoma, Bellevue, Lynnwood and Bellingham locations feature repair centers, where technicians can spruce up clubs in preparation for upcoming tournaments or a golf vacation.
Craig Willemsen wears a lot of hats at Silent World Diving Systems. The instructor certifier, tech instructor, and store owner has spent the last 40 years swimming with schools of fish all over the world. After his first trip in 1972, Craig developed a passion for diving, exploring international waters and teaching others advanced techniques that they use to follow in his flippersteps. With more than 6,000 dives under his belt, his dedication to diving and education has earned him one of the highest SSI instructor ratings and the SSI Platinum Pro 5,000 Diver and Instructor Award.
Craig leads Silent World's team of certified instructors who strive to teach students the art of underwater exploration and also broaden their knowledge on a variety of related subjects. At any given moment, they may be leading students in open-water dives, pointing out local diving sites that match their skill levels, or matching newcomers with the right gear and Zodiac-themed wetsuits.
Ninety-minute yoga classes conducted in a 105-degree room, twice a day, for nine weeks. This is what each of Bikram Yoga Bellevue's instructors conquered to obtain their 500-hour Bikram yoga teaching certifications. They now share their passion for Bikram Choudhury's 26-posture practice with their community, leading students of all ages and abilities down a path of mental and physical wellness. Throughout 90-minute classes, they inspire students with Bikram's carefully curated script and pepper the sessions with personal touches and individual attention. The studio's perspiration-inducing 105-degree heat and 45% humidity is intended to enhance the practice, helping even the stiffest muscles melt deeply into stretches as they move through the series of standing and seated poses. The balmy air also coaxes out sweat to expel harmful toxins from the body and increase one's appreciation for hugging snowmen.
In 2005, a group of avid badminton players finally pinpointed their favorite part of the game: community. Springing from this insight, they opened Bellevue Badminton Club, inviting members to mingle or hide from exes behind their rackets on 11 courts open 24/7. The club’s coaches, including Israel's 1998 national champion and a seven-time national collegiate title winner, lead private lessons and classes. For juniors and adults alike, classes range from laid-back to competitive based on pupils' abilities and goals.
When learners vacate the courts, members and nonmembers have free rein to play drop-in matches or trace outlines of each other in chalk. Round-robin doubles and singles leagues cultivate atmospheres of amiable competition, enabled by top-shelf Yonex equipment found at the pro shop.
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