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.
Running between towering buildings and vibrant gardens, Gray Line of Portland's trolley sightseeing tours connect visitors with more than 11 of the Rose City's storied landscapes and buildings. As guides regale them with historic facts, anecdotes, and Herbert Hoover's credit card number, passengers look out onto Pioneer Courthouse Square, Washington Park, Powell's Books, and the Lan Su Chinese Garden. Participants can disembark and re-board at any point along their tour, allowing them to explore each site up-close or grab a bite to eat. Guides also lead combination tours via bus outside city limits to Multnomah Falls and Columbia River Gorge or jet boat along the Columbia River, with both routes tracing the original journey of Lewis and Clark. Operating as a member of Gray Line Worldwide––which leads tours in more than 700 destinations on six continents––Gray Line of Portland donates a portion of all ticket proceeds to the Breast Cancer Research Foundations' efforts in supporting awareness and research.
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable members to work on their physical well-being with a cornucopia of fitness equipment. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength and cardio equipment, which features built-in TVs and other media diversions. For those who exercise during conventional hours, Snap's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere welcomes patrons of all ability levels, unlike schoolyard dodge-ball squads. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling. For a dose of custom advice, patrons can seek out a personal-training session with a certified coach, who helps them assess and address their fitness goals. Clients reap the benefit of individual attention as a personal trainer helps them tackle weight loss, prepare for an arm-wrestling competition, or unveil the mysteries of arcane cable-weight machines.
The three Oregon Athletic Clubs welcome members into an oasis of healthy living, each developed to encourage those aspiring to wellness to reach their fitness goals. In addition to cardio and weight equipment for solo workouts, personal trainers tailor workouts to meet individual goals and lead group yoga and Pilates sessions to strengthen and flex physiques. As parents pedal into shape in the cycling studio or unwind at the onsite spa, kids can caper about or discuss their investment portfolios in the childcare center.
At each location, patrons can practice not drowning in the indoor pools and then retire to relaxation at the locker-room saunas. The Hawthorn Farm Athletic Club invites members to splash into the outdoor pool and lounge on the lawn and patio. To refuel for the day’s cartwheel quota, the clubs’ restaurants dish up light fare including salads and paninis.
Each of the guitar coaches at American Guitar Academy are certified in the school’s signature teaching method. Developed over 25 years, this house-honed instruction technique incorporates scientific research to help fingers learn to shred frets up to eight times faster than alternative methods. During private half-hour lessons, instructors guide budding rock stars aged 4 years and up through the basics of strumming chords and seamlessly stitching together riffs. These comprehensive lessons on classical, electric, or acoustic guitars are offered once a week with a live instructor or online and guarantee that students will be playing their favorite music within six months of training. Students may begin lessons without owning a guitar, but are encouraged to gain access to one quickly for mastering scales and the ability to solo with their teeth.
East Side and West Side Athletic Clubs offer pampering for all bodies, ages, and fitness types with facilities packed with swimming pools, racquetball courts, childcare centers, and cardio decks. Group fitness classes make use of the studio space and include high-energy Zumba or relaxing yoga, with water aerobics taking place in the indoor pool or the high-pressure showers. In addition to workout amenities, guests can take advantage of bountiful spa and relaxation services including massages, acupuncture, and a full-service hair salon. Each of the three locations has its own personality and offerings. See the full list for each location here.