With two locations, long hours, and a bounty of equipment, Emerald City Athletic Club helps its members get in shape, whatever their workout of choice. Gym floors lined with regiments of Precor and Nautilus machines let members work every muscle in their bodies, and the class studios' high-tech sound systems energize Zumba, salsa dancing, and kickboxing sessions and keep stationary cycles from tearing around the room in loneliness each night. Free weights and intricate weight machines hold down the floor of a spacious weight room, where muscle sculptors work up a sweat before winding down in a dry sauna, Turkish steam bath, and hot tub. At the Everett location, an Olympic-style pool, a basketball court, and racquetball and handball courts offer even more variety.
In the fitness industry, only a select few exercise pioneers enjoy widespread name recognition. Bikram Choudhury is one of them, and the instructors of Bikram Yoga Everett have earned that name by enduring his legendary nine-week training course. The program also keeps yogis on their toes by requiring recertification every three years. In the intense training sessions, aspiring instructors learn to make use of a heated environment to push the mental focus and muscular endurance of students during the 90-minute classes.
The Bikram Yoga Everett Studio welcomes visitors with a lobby bursting in bright primary colors and a spacious workout room swathed in natural sunlight. The computer-controlled temperature remains evenly regulated throughout the space, and a ventilation system provides a constant supply of fresh air, occasionally pumping in helium for cartoon voiceover workshops. Floors are covered in Zebra yoga mats that dramatically reduce joint strain.
At Hot Yoga of Mill Creek, experienced teachers walk students through traditional Hatha poses and sequences of athletic Vinyasa stretches in a practice space heated to deepen each stretch safely. The temperature rises up to 105 degrees for Hatha classes, which helps increase students' blood-circulation rate to purge pent-up toxins from the body as they bend and balance at their teacher's instruction. During 95-degree Vinyasa classes students engage in breathing exercises to focus their attention as they work through poses in a dance-like sequence that helps strengthen muscles, raise heart rates, and melt away muscle tension. To tone muscles all over, Yoga Sculpt instructors fuse flowing Vinyasa moves with optional weight-lifting exercises.
Oversized mirrors lining the walls of the practice space encourage students to correct their posture and spinal alignment while executing poses. Outside the classroom, students can peruse the boutique's selection of yoga-ready tank tops and AdvoCare nutritional supplements. Instructors can host private classes for students in need of one-on-one attention or feature yoga classes in the workplace to help employees destress during the day.
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.