Nationally certified personal trainer Luka Hocevar turned to fitness tutelage after 20 years of shooting hoops, which took him to the NBA Summer Pro League and Europe's premier basketball leagues. Since then, he has applied his exercise expertise to help fitness newbies and UFC, NBA, and NFL athletes alike whip into shape, making his way into the top five best personal trainers named by KING5 Best of Western Washington in 2010. He doesn’t just dive right in, though. After a friend revealed to him that “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” Hocevar has made a commitment to get to know his clients before building an expedited fitness program around their goals and needs.
Hocevar leads a diverse team of passionate, experienced trainers that includes a seasoned martial artist, a soccer player, and a kinesiologist. They motivate clients in both mind and body with customized exercise regimens during group personal training and athlete-performance training, a strength and conditioning program designed to enhance sport-specific movements and improve recovery time. The 4,600-square-foot facility brims with Olympic platforms, kettlebells, dumbbells, and strongman equipment, as well as functional implements to ensure that each workout is varied and challenging.
Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance also serves as home base for the award-winning Renton Results Boot Camp. Hocevar designed this results-driven program that mixes cardio and strength training with vigorous interval workouts to trim fat from physiques. To help students best burn fat, trainers constantly rotate drills to keep different muscles engaged, and nutritional manuals outline wholesome meal plans. With Bootcamps-to-Go media in the form of videos, mp3s, and self-destructing scrolls, students can continue to hone their flab-blasting moves at home. Hocevar also strives to make each boot-camp endeavor a personalized one, providing unlimited email support to all of his clients.
Within the century-old confines of Uptown Glassworks' warehouse, furnaces melt handfuls of kaleidoscopic frit into malleable shapes manipulated by a team of professional glass blowers. But these tradesmen don't just create works for the gallery; they also share their secrets with students in a variety of activities, from introductory courses on making beads and paperweights to advanced instruction that can be applied toward college credit or used to fix the pockmarked walls of glass houses.
During the shop's Blow-Your-Own sessions, participants apply color to clear, molten glass that has recently emerged from a 2,000-degree furnace, then blow their mixture into 1 of 20 different shapes. The next day, patrons can pick up their cooled and packaged creations, comparing their handiwork to the gallery's collection of products, which are made by more than 90 local and regional glass artists.
After feeling unfulfilled by traditional workouts, Seven Hot Yoga owner Debbie Dixon turned to yoga, in which she finally found relief from her shin splints, anxiety, fatigue, and restlessness. Now, 14 years after taking her first class, Debbie leads her own team of instructors inside a spacious, heated studio. Suited to yogis of all experience levels, classes range from Hot Hatha, in which students cycle through 26 different poses and two breathing exercises, to Yin yoga, which focuses on easing joints and improving energy flow. Teachers forbid cell phones within the studio, fostering a serene atmosphere and allowing flip phones to stretch out their own hinges.
Though thousands of miles from Thailand, Leading Edge Kickboxing & Martial Arts imports the country’s national sport, Muay Thai kickboxing, fresh daily. The fighting style, built on a foundation of kicking, punching, and elbow and knee strikes, forms the core of their fitness programs, engineered by head instructor John Stabb. Enamored of all arts martial, the instructors also teach Jiu-Jitsu’s unarmed combat techniques, MMA, and Jeet Kune Do’s self-defense method that employs weaponry, grappling, and strategically scattering banana peels to throw your opponent off balance. Unlike more repetitive workouts, the studio’s varied martial arts sessions build lean muscle mass and enhance cardio fitness.
A Sikorsky 300C training helicopter and fleet of Cessna 172 airplanes lift new aviators into the air during Airwork LLC's flight-training classes for both commercial and private pilots. Experienced instructors lead introductory flights that combine on-the-ground lessons with assisted flies, allowing students to get their wings wet as they learn a new skill that may someday translate into a career as an aerial photographer, movie stuntman, or raincloud repairman. Students keep track of their progress toward licensure in pilot logbooks, and Airwork also maintains a comprehensive online-training library with important documents and handbooks for both helicopter and airplane training.
In a spacious studio heated up to 105 degrees, Bikram Yoga Renton’s instructors guide classes through a body-bending curriculum that aims to cultivate strength, flexibility, and inner peace. Helping students unite mind, body, and spirit without undergoing surgery, these certified yogis lead them through a fixed regimen of 26 postures as the heat permeates muscles to deepen stretches and encourage a detoxifying sweat.