Throughout the week, sneakers pound upon triple-bonded foam as students undergo high-intensity routines combining cardio, resistance-training, core-training, and flexibility exercises at Seattle Boot Camp, where trainers work to motivate others in their journeys toward improved fitness and well-being. Their approach focuses on meals made up of lean meats, vegetables, and fruits, eschewing excessive sugar, salt, and bacon-wrapped donuts deep-fried in bacon-wrapped-donut fat.
CKO Kickboxing's Joseph Andreula opened up his first gym in Hoboken, New Jersey, back in 1997. In that humble location, the fitness guru helped his clients shed their spare pounds and ratchet up their self-esteem with intense kickboxing workouts. Once word got out that Joseph's program of punching and kicking heavy bags got you more ripped than stay-at-home programs of punching and kicking ghosts, the gym caught on. CKO Kickboxing locations began to pop up throughout the country, where the newly expanded company's commitment to delivering heart-pumping workouts even earned a mention on NBC's Today.
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.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations, allowing professional athletes and exercise newbies to 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 along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines.
Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
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.