Nationally certified personal trainer Luka Hocevar turned to fitness tutelage after 20 years of shooting hoops, which took him to the NBA Summer Pro League and Europe's premier basketball leagues. Since then, he has applied his exercise expertise to help fitness newbies and UFC, NBA, and NFL athletes alike whip into shape, making his way into the top five best personal trainers named by KING5 Best of Western Washington in 2010. He doesn’t just dive right in, though. After a friend revealed to him that “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” Hocevar has made a commitment to get to know his clients before building an expedited fitness program around their goals and needs.
Hocevar leads a diverse team of passionate, experienced trainers that includes a seasoned martial artist, a soccer player, and a kinesiologist. They motivate clients in both mind and body with customized exercise regimens during group personal training and athlete-performance training, a strength and conditioning program designed to enhance sport-specific movements and improve recovery time. The 4,600-square-foot facility brims with Olympic platforms, kettlebells, dumbbells, and strongman equipment, as well as functional implements to ensure that each workout is varied and challenging.
Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance also serves as home base for the award-winning Renton Results Boot Camp. Hocevar designed this results-driven program that mixes cardio and strength training with vigorous interval workouts to trim fat from physiques. To help students best burn fat, trainers constantly rotate drills to keep different muscles engaged, and nutritional manuals outline wholesome meal plans. With Bootcamps-to-Go media in the form of videos, mp3s, and self-destructing scrolls, students can continue to hone their flab-blasting moves at home. Hocevar also strives to make each boot-camp endeavor a personalized one, providing unlimited email support to all of his clients.
An osprey hovers 30 feet in the air over Lake Washington, virtually silent until it spots something beneath the water's surface. Quickly, it folds its wings and plunges into the water, emerging seconds later with a fish ripped firmly between its talons. Nearby, Cascade Canoe & Kayak Centers' founder, Dan Henderson, floats by silently. This slice of the pristine outdoors happens to be his workplace, but none of it would have happened if his mother hadn't forced him to take a canoeing lesson in 1972. Despite his initial reluctance, Mr. Henderson took to the water like a robot to a magnet store. He went on to race whitewater canoes and flat-water Olympic-style canoes, eventually earning four medals as a member of the U.S. national team. Later, Mr. Henderson became a coach and set out to train a new crop of water athletes. To this end, Cascade Canoe & Kayak Centers serves as the natural continuation of Mr. Henderson's journey: a place to, in his words, "share paddling with the community in a manner that is fun and safe."
Under the leadership of expert guides—many of whom learned their trade directly under Dan Henderson's wing—visitors embark on day trips into inlets and bays, paddling in the shadow of the Olympic Mountains or tailgating orca whales. The staff also leads canoe and kayak classes that aim to take novices from beginner to expert. Their efforts have proved fruitful, as three of Cascade Canoe & Kayak Centers' students have made it to international-level competitions.
Like all great stories, Cakes by Crème de la Crème's was written through persistence. Pastry chefs Michael Jones and Bart Utz first met when they were taking baking courses together. They formed a partnership, worked at several establishments, then pooled their resources and struck out on their own, starting Cakes by Crème de la Crème. The duo, who have chalked up experience working at venues such as the Washington Athletic Club and the Sunset Club, combine their expertise to craft delicious and visually intricate cakes for all occasions. This expertise has garnered press attention from The Knot, who recently included them in their "Best of Weddings 2013" feature.
Their tiered wedding cakes roll out a spectacle for the eye and the tongue, with romantically elegant designs finished in buttercream icing and fondant. They customize cakes to each client’s specifications by creating a unique border or design, and by giving customers a choice of unique flavors, such as banana cake with strawberry preserves and cream-cheese filling. Jones and Utz also specialize in affordable dessert cakes, tortes, and tarts and custom party cakes, which they can mold into inspired designs such as stacks of favorite books, a college’s logo, or a turntable with vinyl records on top—an homage to the days when every cake was also a record player.
Dr. Mikhail Burakovskiy's expertise in podiatry has earned him not one, not two, but three certifications from the American Board of Multiple Specialties—in primary care, in podiatric surgery, and in the prevention and treatment of diabetic foot wounds and diabetic footwear. It is this expertise⎯along with his skills with laser systems, injections, and surgical tools to alleviate foot problems such as bunions, ankle pain, and toenail fungus⎯that has helped him become the footcare specialist of fellow doctors.
Dr. Burakovskiy has also been featured on King 5 News as a podiatrist who doesn't chide women for wearing high heels, instead offering foot-pillow injections that create extra padding in the ball of the foot to reduce pain more efficiently than wrapping feet in bubble wrap. He is joined by Dr. Jacqueline Buckley, a Seattle native who has trained in foot and ankle surgery, podiatric medicine, and wound care. She attended Clark Atlanta University and the New York College of Podiatric Medicine, and has researched cadaveric achilles tendon transplantation, tendon repair, and amnion.
When the staffers at Desert Sun Tanning Salons say they can fix your problems with a cocktail, they?re not talking about libations. Instead, they?re referring to a method that combines two types of bronzing styles. After lying in a traditional sunbed, patrons pop into an automatic spray-tanning booth. The idea is that the UV rays in the bed trigger melanin production and open the pores so that the spray tan goes on darker and lasts longer. Of course, customers can indulge in either of these options separately, choosing from a fleet of machinery that includes Mystic Tan and VersaSpa sunless tanning booths and silver-, gold-, and platinum-level sunbeds.
They can also undergo a session that doesn?t change the skin?s tone, but, rather, tones it. Red-light therapy drenches the skin in fluorescent light that boosts collagen production in order to firm skin, tighten muscles, and transform sagging bloomers into boxer briefs. Regular salon visitors can consider purchasing a membership, which entitles them to tanning-bed upgrades and discounts on skincare products.
Dog & Pony Alehouse and Grill's combination of craft beers, upscale bar food, and no-nonsense attitude has broad appeal. It draws machinists from down the street, engineers from Boeing, and salaried folks from downtown. The diversity is considered a plus by Evening Magazine, which rates the Alehouse among the Top 5 Western Washington Beer Bars.
The bar's taps flow with more than 32 craft beers??largely local in origin??including a handful set aside for a selection of IPAs, which is said to be the favorite brew of regulars. The chefs match this selection with a diverse menu of contemporary and upscale gastropub fare. They batter wild-caught Icelandic cod in beer and crust it in panko to create the fish 'n' chips, a feat that ensures its spot as the most popular dish on the menu. They stuff cheesy quesadillas with jumbo black tiger prawn ceviche made from scratch, and fill italian subs with thinly sliced prosciutto, ham, and salami.