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 three 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,summer and winter-break camps.
Between climbs, a lounge area lets visitors relax and swap tales of defying gravity's relentless bullying. The third and newest location in Tigard offers more than 19,000 square feet of brand new boulders. To further build the bouldering community, the gym's team organizes an annual fundraiser benefiting local charities. All locations also have a full weights area, allowing for workouts and CrossFit training between climbs. .
Feel Good founder Christy Whitney discovered the secret to physical and mental vitality in a simple glass of juice. She found that by harnessing the detoxifying powers of all-natural fruit and vegetables, one can boost overall well-being, promote weight loss, and energize the human body far more efficiently than 25 AA batteries ever could. Putting this epiphany to use, Whitney culls the freshest fruits, vegetables, and, whenever possible, organic ingredients to forge the specialized juices and healthy foods that form the basis of her 3-day, 5-day, and 14-day detoxification programs. She invites everyone, regardless if they’re performing one of her cleanses, to sample from the gourmet menu of handmade blends and gourmet entrees.
Whitney’s specialized masters degree in living nutrition and detoxification also led her toward the passive purifying benefits of colon hydrotherapy and infrared sauna, which she offers on The Feel Good World’s spa menu. Additionally, she and a staff of instructors conduct heated yoga sessions designed to further purge impurities through the pores and strengthen the body.
At Pil-oga-robic, flat stomachs are at the end of a carefully formulated exercise equation. Instructors draw from Pilates, yoga, and cardio techniques to compile their signature one-hour workouts, demonstrating the techniques in their loft-like studio for small student groups. They place special emphasis on customization: each class has three levels of difficulty and modifiable actions for any fitness level. They also schedule monthly meetings with their clients to discuss wellness goals, advising on topics from weight loss to enhanced athletic performance. Regardless of their aspirations, guests stand to gain lean muscle, balance, and bendiness from the adjustable routines, which helped earn the venue a Best of Citysearch award for yoga in 2009.
In addition to these classes, Pil-oga-robic hosts more specialized yoga and Pilates sessions. Inversion and aerial seminars allow yogis to flout gravity as they stretch, and outdoor boot-camp drills test endurance amid the elements. Alternatively, workshops might cover tips for safer trail running, such as monitoring your stride and refusing to stop at Gatorade stations run by bears. The onsite massage therapist, Cori, can deal with your stress during her personalized bodywork sessions.
PulsePDX ups the traditional Zumba ante by creating a party-like atmosphere inside a combination dance and fitness studio. Twinkling spotlights cast a multi-colored glow on the dance floor as students step in time with fiery Zumba choreography and metronomes taped to their backs. Zumba's not the only draw at this nontraditional gym, though. Pound classes replicate the energy of musical jam sessions, blending elements of cardio, Pilates, isometrics, and plyometrics with drumming motions to strengthen and sculpt infrequently used muscles. Fusion classes continue the musical theme, plotting flexibility-boosting workouts around a carefully designed playlist. Cardio-based classes, such as Burn, incorporate resistance bands into workouts, while strength-based classes, such as Bamboo Bodies, might focus on workouts derived from ancient qigong practice. Leading each session, fun and supportive instructors promote a carefree, calorie-burning environment for dancers of all stripes.
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