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 classes, 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 classes 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.
Accomplished swordsmen Serge Timacheff and Kevin Mar cofounded Washington Fencing Academy as a haven for fencing enthusiasts of all ages and abilities to hone their skills. Accompanied by skilled coaches—including 2011 veteran world champion Maitre Wang Yung—the duo delivers traditional Olympic-style instruction according to guidelines laid out by the United States Fencing Association and International Fencing Federation. Classes focus on two fencing styles: épée, in which fencers target their opponent's entire body, and saber, a more fast-paced style that targets the upper body only. Sessions unfold atop 11 fencing strips that span a modern sports floor, cushioning steps and comforting joints without the need to compose a knee-specific lullaby.
Opened in Kirkland on Valentine's Day 2011, Palettes and Pairings celebrates the romantic interplay between art and wine. At each evening class, instructors offer tips on brushing life into a 15”x20” canvas while painters nibble appetizers and sip wine, beer, or nonalcoholic beverages. The studio also offers private parties for up to 75 guests, which can be completely customized from painting subject to dietary needs, and include smocks as well as plentiful opportunities to use the word smock.
Serving as a pensive counterpoint to the Kirkland location’s parties, the newer Issaquah studio holds open-house time for all ages four times a week.
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.
Before Sandy Horvath retired from his career as a sales manager, he spent his spare time chronicling the lives of his loved ones and documenting his own travels throughout the world. Over time, his love for his craft blossomed into a thirst to become an admired photographer, so Sandy started submitting his action-packed sports photos to newspapers and magazines. With the publication of his work came professional status and a desire to share his knowledge with others. His first opportunity arose in 2009 when the Si View Metropolitan Park District asked him to teach a class. Soon after, the Issaquah Parks District clamored for Sandy's expertise; he now has over 1600 Club SnapShot students and more joining every day.
Today, Sandy teaches students of all ages and skill levels how to transform snapshots into high-quality pictures with lenses, settings, and exposures during his basic, advanced, and creative classes. He loves helping novice shutterbugs abandon automatic settings—the training wheels of photography—and create memorable images with nothing but manual settings and high-tech freeze rays. Sandy also transforms his own work into high-dynamic-range photo art and gallery-wrapped canvases. Students may do the same to decorate their homes, give as gifts, or hang inside windows to hide nature's flaws.
Sammamish Club billets myriad fitness-conscious facilities designed to engage all workout preferences. Each membership begins with an overview of the club's resources and secret passageways provided by one of Sammamish's certified trainers. Post-tour, jump into four weeks of physical freedom by participating in one of the club's many group-exercise classes. Experienced instructors banish calories and build stamina with three types of yoga, dance-based classes such as Latin-inspired Zumba and martial arts-infused Nia, and a host of cycling, step, and human cannonball lessons. The comprehensive group-exercise schedule allows guests to work-out seven days a week in the morning, afternoon, or evening, with the Kid's Club play zone for 3-month-olds to 6-year-olds taking care of any loose children.