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.
A certified CrossFit trainer, Drew Barquist eschews the typical gym workout in favor of a variety of intense exercises. This approach prepares his trainees to expect the unexpected and come to appreciate the well-rounded workout. As a competitive athlete, Barquist has seen the effects of this training regimen on his own weightlifting endeavors. He's also watched his clients overcome mobility problems and chronic pain. Rather than work out of a gym, he brings his training sessions to clients' homes to they can avoid making excuses such as "I don't have time" and "someone glued all my doors shut."
Edmonds CrossFit's team of certified coaches helps exercisers work toward improvement across a spectrum of ten fitness domains that includes endurance, strength, flexibility, and coordination. To that end, a different lineup of exercises awaits with every visit to the gym, each designed to breed a high level of General Physical Preparedness, or GPP?the same thing firefighters strive for when they practice hoisting heavy hoses and rescuing dumbbells out of trees. Class-goers might perform gymnastics stretches, pump out a set of pushups, and then complete some laps of walking lunges before hoisting a barbell over their heads one day, and then perform an entirely new set of exercises the next. For committed participants, the result can be a significant jump in overall fitness and increased ability to handle the physical demands of a long, active life.
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.
It may seem counterintuitive to up your energy by expending it at boot camp, but Coach Cassie knows better. The fitness instructor creates outdoor boot-camp routines that not only exhilarate, but also burn calories and tone muscles—what she calls Pulse Boot Camp. It's a fitting name since her mash-up of strength training, running, core work, and other exercises gets pulses racing.
Personalized Health and Fitness isn't a typical big-box gym. At its core, it is a group of dedicated personal trainers whose mission is to help their clients achieve their ideal physique. Drawn from multidisciplinary backgrounds, each staff member brings a unique perspective to his or her work, whether it’s experience in adrenaline sports such as rock climbing or biking or higher-education degrees in fitness and physiology. From calisthenics and free weights to intense classes, they use any means necessary to rebuild each body in a more fit image. Trainers also host group classes ranging from cardio kickboxing to strength training, and supplement all of their personal and group workouts with extensive nutrition advice and counseling to maintain healthy weight loss. In addition to personal attention from their experienced staff, the gym also encourages solo workouts, with weight rooms and fitness facilities that stay open 24 hours a day to accommodate even the most hectic schedules.