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.
Northwest Curves, a fitness center designed exclusively for women, provides members with a 30-minute circuit of hydraulic resistance machines designed for an efficient cardio and strength training workout. During the training, attendees can burn up to 500 calories and work each major muscle group to work toward individual fitness goals. An experienced coach is always nearby to teach and motivate participants, and a soundtrack of fun, upbeat music cues participants to move on to the next station. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use your own body weight and fitness level to create resistance. Each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Whether inside the gym hopping on and off plyometric boxes or outside lifting weights when the sun shines, the trainers at Westsound CrossFit keep routines interesting with ever-changing daily workouts. It’s all part of the CrossFit system, which is designed to employ all muscle groups while staving off the boredom of repetition. Intense classes feature functional movements—such as lifting, pushing, and pulling—that prep participants for all sports, work, and daily activities.
Length, grace, and a healthy body. These are the focuses of barre3 founder Sadie Lincoln. To achieve these results collectively, however, Sadie knew she needed to come up with a completely new routine. Working with yogis, professional dancers, doctors, and athletes, she created the barre3 system. It's a three-step sequence that consists of isometric holds, low-impact movements, and recovery stretching. This combination strengthens cores and aligns postures while sculpting long, lean muscles and burning calories. While upbeat music fills the studio, instructors lead small groups through a heart-racing sequence of yoga-inspired poses and pilates-based exercises. The ballet barre comes into use when striking muscle-building dance poses and stretches.
It's a system that has had proven results, which has spurred the successful growth of barre3 locations throughout the country. Today, fitness enthusiasts can find a barre3 studio in 16 states. An easy-to-follow routine, barre3 can also be performed at home with online workouts. These workouts are designed to fit busy schedules with routines that range from 10?60 minutes. All that's needed for online workouts is a barre3 core ball, weights, an exercise mat, and a sturdy, waist-high surface such as the top of Danny DeVito's head.
American Athlete’s owner, Tony Held, and his team strive to foster a community that inspires their members to carry health and fitness throughout all aspects of their lives. To push them toward reaching their fitness goals, they’ve stocked their facility with strength and cardio equipment, such as Precor ellipticals and Keiser M3 cycles. They lead students in a broad range of group fitness classes, such as the heart-pumping, Latin-inspired global dance party known as Zumba. Their Les Mills classes include BodyCombat, in which participants unleash a furious array of martial-arts-inspired moves on imaginary armies of parking-meter maids. For more solitary workouts, personal trainers customize one-on-one sessions, offering encouragement as they help their clients blast past plateaus to new levels of fitness.
Members of Olympic Athletic Club strengthen their muscles in a building where weary nineteenth-century travelers used to rest theirs. The historical former hotel still exudes old-fashioned glamour, from the theater-like marquee and a clock designed by renowned neon artist Roger Legerano to the interior's leather furniture and exposed brick walls. A tour of the inside of the club also reveals why it was named Best Workout Venue in 2009 by the Ballard News-Tribune and Best Health Club in 2012 by Seattle Magazine.
In addition to rows of cardio machines with personal-viewing screens, visitors catch a glimpse of group classes that range from meditative tai chi to high-intensity boot-camp workouts. Children in the Kids Korner can entertain themselves by calculating the number of calories in an invisible friend's lunch while their parents swim laps in the pool or play a game on the basketball and racquetball courts.