In 1987, indoor climbing was as unpopular in the Seattle area as breeding labradoodles. But Vertical World––a pioneer indoor climbing gym––introduced the city to the up-and-coming sport of rock climbing in a controlled environment. Since its inception, the gym has expanded to three other locations in Everett, Tacoma, and Redmond, the latter hosting eastside climbers for more than 20 years.
A team of experienced route creators challenges climbers with more than 200 bouldering, lead, or top-rope routes in a wide variety of difficulty levels. The gym hosts competitive youth teams that have gone on to national or world tournaments. The gym's staff of climbers and guides also leads outdoor excursions that build confidence and teach novices how to identify a rock wall in the wild.
Each of the guitar coaches at American Guitar Academy are certified in the school’s signature teaching method. Developed over 25 years, this house-honed instruction technique incorporates scientific research to help fingers learn to shred frets up to eight times faster than alternative methods. During private half-hour lessons, instructors guide budding rock stars aged 4 years and up through the basics of strumming chords and seamlessly stitching together riffs. These comprehensive lessons on classical, electric, or acoustic guitars are offered once a week with a live instructor or online and guarantee that students will be playing their favorite music within six months of training. Students may begin lessons without owning a guitar, but are encouraged to gain access to one quickly for mastering scales and the ability to solo with their teeth.
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 at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates in cardio routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
Sunlight and serene views of the canal replace fluorescent lights and blaring televisions at Sound Mind and Body Gym. Here, treadmills, stationary bikes, and elliptical machines look out onto the outdoors through floor-to-ceiling windows, giving exercisers the opportunity to spy on rowers and be the first to know of any oncoming giant-squid attacks. In the weight-room, lifters of all levels can test out free weights, saddle up in a machine, or scoot into one of the studios for one of the more than 50 weekly group fitness class sessions. The instructors motivate guests to chisel toned bodies in sessions ranging from yoga and Pilates to indoor or outdoor boot camps.
Mode of Fitness’s twin sites on Capitol Hill are designed to help desk jockeys and athletes find the “mode of fitness” that helps them achieve their goals, whether it’s peace of mind, stress busting after a long workday or six-pack abs. The Mode Studio on 14th Avenue, with memberships starting at $69 per month, offers 30-minute and 60-minute classes in zumba, boxing, cycling, yoga, Pilates, barre TRX suspension-based training, and mixed-medium classes (such as cycling plus yoga-sculpting). The Mode Gym, for those who want to exercise independently or one-on-one with a trainer, is priced starting at around $45 per month and up, and open 365 days a year.
Highly resistant to thermal shock, borosilicate glass is easily manipulated by Nathan "Nate Dizzle" Aweida, whose years of experience working with the hot, flexible glass have made him a master. At The Boro School, he leads many of the classes, whether it's an introductory class for a curious beginner or a month-long immersive session to refine and polish already developed techniques. Using a hands-on approach, students get a chance to work extensively with the torch and glass materials to create works as simple as marbles and as complex as a glass physics theory.