Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers in cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group sessions, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, bolster flexibility during yoga, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines.
At the Gold's Gym Northwest locations, instructors lead water-aerobics sessions within 25-yard salt-purified pools before cooling off in spacious hot tubs. The gyms also boast innovative cardio cinema theaters, where popular films and concession-stand advertisements flicker across massive flat screens as guests peddle away on treadmills and elliptical machines. After lively rounds of racquetball, members can unwind in steam rooms and saunas or sip on replenishing smoothies at the juice bar. During the week, the gyms keep round-the-clock hours.
IncludeYoga has a lot on its schedule; luckily, the options are easy to navigate as the classes are divided into different levels. Brand-new students can begin with an eight-week introductory series before pursuing back-bends, arm balancing, and inversions in the advanced levels. There are other programs designed for a diverse range of students, accommodating for varying ages, fitness levels, and stages in life. There are early-morning and late-evening classes for commuters, Family Friday sessions that are kid-friendly, and specialized studies such as karunta rope work and chair yoga. In addition, there are classes specializing on rehabilitation, recovery, grief, and loss. Despite having the schedule of a larger studio, IncludeYoga prides itself on being smaller, which means students get more individual attention.
Aside from teaching yoga, Include Yoga's instructor Cecilia Boehme is certified to teach Zumba, Zumba Gold, Zumba Step, and Tai Chi for Better Balance.
At Xtra Fitness, there's never downtime to wonder what machines are free or which exercise you should be doing. That's because the gym doesn't have memberships—it's entirely dedicated to the X-Circuit training program, led by owners Steve and Vanessa Herrick. The program puts students through a 45-minute circuit that incorporates both cardio drills and resistance work, challenging them to heft kettlebells, ropes, and their own bodyweight in between running or plyometrics. Two degrees of intensity accommodate guests of different fitness levels, and the trainers closely supervise each circuit, ensuring that everyone gets individual attention without having to raise their hand during a pushup. To stave off boredom, Steve and Vanessa also develop new circuits regularly.
A certified health specialist, Shane Yama longed to provide people of all ages and incomes access to affordable and effective workouts. So, with a degree in exercise science, he founded For U Fitness. Today, Shane and his team of a dozen or so certified personal trainers travel from Seattle to Spokane to Portland to residents custom training plans. Taking into account the client's age and fitness abilities, the trainers design sports performance, strength training, and even “mature adult” workouts to help customers meet their goals.
Licensed massage therapist, personal trainer, and nutritional consultant, Karla—who has also worked with chiropractors and naturopathic healers—has experience with a myriad of wellness programs. That’s why she founded fitSpa, a wellness co-op that tends to all aspects of health and beauty. From healing massage and body work, to wellness-building personal training, Zumba, and metabolic conditioning, as well as Hatha and power yoga, Karla and her staff restore bodies to a natural balance.
Beginner, intermediate, and advanced exercisers will all find a challenge at Exhale! Pilates & Yoga. Instructors with high-level certifications lead sessions that include cardio karate, slow-flow yoga, and TRX, a class in which dangling straps hold students’ limbs or suctioned tentacles in order to increase the level of resistance training. The instructors also specialize in Pilates lessons, which they provide to solo students, duos, and groups. Pilates has been known to boost energy and coordination, straighten posture, and calm the mind.