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.
Tanja Diamond took her first plane ride at 3 weeks old and hasn't been still since. She draws all of her life experience—including work as a horse trainer, interior designer, underwater videographer, and radio host—in her tantric coaching. After studying Classical tantra, an Eastern spiritual technique thousands of years old, Tanja created her own style, Modern tantra, and also practices Neo tantra. Tantra's myriad techniques can improve relationships, better emotional health, and aid meditation.
Grand Master Brandon Richards, PhD is an 8th-degree Black Belt awarded the 2013 Grandmaster of the Year by the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame. At Seattle Tae Kwon Do, he joins a team of veteran instructors with world championship and Olympic team trial medals under their multi-degree black belts. So it’s no wonder that the school was voted Best Martial Arts by King5 Best of Western Washington in 2013. Whether in advanced adult classes or Tiger Cubs sessions for toddlers, the instructors strive to instill a black-belt mindset in every lesson they teach, stressing perseverance, focus, and discipline. Beyond tae kwon do, classes in Thai kickboxing whip bodies into shape with practical self-defense techniques, from blocking punches to bear-hugging schoolyard bullies.
Heat radiates throughout The SweatBox's studio as instructors lead students through Bikram yoga’s 26 postures and two breathing techniques. Starting with a lung-expanding breathing exercise, the instructors guide yogis in a sequence of postures designed to stretch and strengthen every muscle group. The heat, kept around 105 degrees, warms the body and loosens the ligaments, enabling guests to sink deeper into stretches, release toxins via sweat, and shake off mini snowmen seeking refuge behind their ears. The SweatBox spans across two locations and hosts various events including posture-practice sessions, and kids’ yoga.
Bally Total Fitness enshrines exercise classes, calorie-burning equipment, and a fitness-focused staff within its sanctuaries of health. A 30-day guest pass includes access to a spread of group exercise classes, including Pilates, Reaction Cycling, Step Fitness, and High-Impact Hopscotch (class offerings vary by location). For self-guided worker-outers, cardio equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, cross-trainers, and stair climbers torch calories while entertaining the brain with video entertainment and integrated music systems that occasionally whisper quotes from Charles Atlas. Bally also boasts a bulk-building army of strength machines, free weights, and small-apparatus equipment, and grants gym-goers access to on-site locker rooms, showers, and, at some locations, a pool and steam room. Visit each location's webpage for a list of specific amenities and the lineup of classes.
Beginner, intermediate, and advanced exercisers will all find a challenge at Exhale! Pilates & Yoga. Instructors with high-level certifications lead sessions that include cardio karate, slow-flow yoga, and TRX, a class in which dangling straps hold students’ limbs or suctioned tentacles in order to increase the level of resistance training. The instructors also specialize in Pilates lessons, which they provide to solo students, duos, and groups. Pilates has been known to boost energy and coordination, straighten posture, and calm the mind.