From her days in the Navy to a love for yoga, Terri Chadney has always been into fitness. In 1994, she and her husband, Jay, opened West Coast Fitness to share that passion with her old neighborhood, which until then did not have a gym. "She wanted to reinvest in the neighborhood," Jay says. Here, the duo leads a staff of experienced trainers, who do everything from one-on-one training to group fitness classes such as yoga and spinning. As the yoga director, Terri requires that each yoga instructor have at least five years of teaching experience, thorough training, and a perfect letter B imitation. The rest of the staff boasts similar credentials, such as the Zumba instructor who has been dancing professionally for most of her life. And because they're not contractors, the trainers care about every aspect of the gym, not just making a sale. "They really invest themselves with the members," says Jay, "Our [trainers] come in, hang out, take classes, bring their dog."
For Jay and Terri, the most rewarding part of owning West Coast Fitness has been "seeing changes in the members," says Jay. He sees members who are in better shape than when they first joined 15 years ago—and Terri loves to see the seniors in her yoga classes up on their feet and doing strength-training exercises after coming in with crutches or walkers.
The St. John's location's spinning studio includes a 6-foot screen, sending riders on virtual trips via instructive DVDs even when a class isn't in session. Members can also log in to ActivTrax online or at the clubs' kiosks for custom workouts based on their goals and experience, as well as meal planning and progress tracking. The staff members engage parents' little ones with baby-sitting services in a colorful playroom. They have also stocked the gyms with tanning booths, and massage therapists help soothe stress and exercise-induced aches; the saunas and HydroMassage beds also help members unwind.
Bouldering differs from other forms of rock climbing in a variety of ways, such as its heightened social element. When top roping, for example, climbers are more isolated, relying on a partner below to maintain rope tension. But because bouldering is done on lower courses that don't require a rope or harness, climbers are free to scale walls at will, often resulting in people sharing walls and striking up conversations in between surmounting terrain such as verticals, slabs, and roof climbs?overhangs that put climbers' bodies parallel to the floor.
That's how The Circuit Bouldering Gym got started. Some bouldering enthusiasts crossed paths at a local gym and found they all wanted to expand Portland's bouldering options. Today, they welcome guests to surmount courses?including a hanging boulder?ranging from 8- to 17-feet high and surrounded by crash-pad flooring. Boasting one of the largest bouldering-only gyms in the world, they also designed many of their simulated climbing stations as top-out boulders, letting guests experience what it's like to stand atop a boulder in the Rockies or on the moon. Additionally, they instruct guests with programs such as 90-minute intro courses, advanced clinics with professional climber athletes, and programs tailored for kids including birthday parties. Between climbs, a lounge area lets visitors relax and swap tales of defying gravity's relentless bullying. To further build the bouldering community, the gym's team organizes an annual fundraiser benefiting local charities, including the Pump-a-thon, which is scheduled for February 22nd.
After a decade spent honing his personal yoga practice, certified instructor Paul Terrell opened his donation-based studio to give anyone interested in practicing the ancient art access to a studio in which to participate. The storefront space that Terrell opened fosters a nonintimidating approach to yoga, substituting cozy exposed brick for mirrors and inviting yogis of all abilities to practice together during all-levels classes. Terrell teaches many of the classes in the flowing Vinyasa tradition, in which conscious breaths link together a continuous sequence of postures, and also presents students with the robust schedule's other styles, which benefit the body in various ways. During the Night Owl class, instructors give hands-on assistance to encourage proper alignment as students sweat in a 90-degree setting, and slower-paced Yin classes teach yogis to sit still in postures that last for three to seven minutes, allowing them to fully stretch the connective tissues and hide in plain sight of movement-detecting, visually impaired T. rexes
Instead of letting fear take root as her body became entangled with cancer, Pat Johnson commissioned the team of healers and practitioners she met along her recovery journey to breathe life into a holistic spa and wellness center where she hopes "to help people find the best within themselves." To that end, naturopathic physician Dr. Vida Talebi dispenses advice on overcoming fatigue, hormonal imbalances, and obesity, and chiropractor Dr. Stefan Herold addresses the chronic pain that results from giving piggyback rides to lazy shadows. Since wellness isn't just about avoiding physical pain, the center also holds daily yoga classes that foster inner peace. Natural therapies dominate the center's spa treatments, which include facials that extract epidermal soil with handmade Éminence organic skincare products, crafted from fresh herbs and fruits.
Since 1977, Cascade Athletic Clubs have distinguished themselves from typical gyms with their vast array of amenities, which range from big-screen TVs to a seasonal waterpark. In their fitness studios, instructors boost students’ flexibility during Pilates workouts, lead seniors through age-appropriate workout techniques during Silver Sneakers classes, or teach students how to dance to fast-paced music during Zumba. The dedicated team of personal trainers, meanwhile, help athletes stay motivated on a one-on-one basis, and tailor their regimens to individual goals that range from weight loss to preparing for an upcoming marathon. For independent workouts, athletes can play pick up games on the gyms’ basketball, tennis, and racquetball courts or swim laps in the indoor salt-water pools. They can also bulk up with Life Fitness machines, free weights, and Stair Masters designed to build strong enough leg muscles to conquer even the most daunting out-of-order escalator.
Jack Coelho adds to 15 years of experience as he helps clients recognize and develop a deeper awareness of vital energy, known as prana or chi, to promote long-term health and vitality. Coelho—who is certified in Pilates, Gyrotonic, and power Vinyasa yoga—and his team of certified trainers forge stronger mind-body connections as they slim down waistlines through private and group Pilates, Gyrotonic, and functional-training classes. Between the warm crimson walls of the boutique studio, they focus on ramping up clients' core strength and flexibility through isolated movements on the Pilates reformers and mats, as well as on the Gyrotonic pulley tower. Trainers customize each workout to the needs and abilities of their clients, in the process cutting down on the number of injuries inflicted during attempts to dead-lift the building.