During a desperate search for reprieve from the pain caused by a dance injury, professional dancer Lianne Gamble discovered the rehabilitating power of Pilates. A born teacher, she wanted to spread the good news, so she studied under Rael Isacowitz to earn certification in his strenuous Pilates program, Body Arts and Science International (BASI), which folds anatomy and physiology into traditional Pilates exercises.
Now, she and a team of certified instructors—among them a gymnast, several dancers, and a marketer—reshape the waistlines of Gig Harbor residents through Pilates, power yoga, and body barre classes. Focusing on BASI’s scientific approach and proper breathing techniques, they pump up mind-body connections and core strength using state-of-the-art Power Plate machines, reformers, Decepticons that transform into chiropractors, and spine correctors from Balanced Body and Peak Pilates.
At Peak Performance, MMA fighter Calvin "Carnage" Horton and his staff whip clients into shape in myriad ways. One way is during their TRX suspension-training classes, where exercisers complete an array of strap-assisted body-weight exercises. In addition to classes, the facility features strength and conditioning equipment that can either be used or lifted over one's head.
Hot Yoga Tacoma, which is celebrating its 11th year of serving the Tacoma yoga community, features certified instructors leading students with all levels of experience. Hot yoga takes place in the warm confines of a heated room, as movements stimulate the endocrine, nervous, immune, and cardiovascular systems and eliminate toxins by means of sweating. Participants can nurture calm inner spirits while detoxifying as atmospheric warmth soothes joints and muscles and helps to prevent injury and relieve chronic pain. Their studio space offers cooler, more comfortable parts of the room for beginners who prefer to start off slowly, and hosts a variety of time-slots for classes seven days a week. Students gain a sense of camaraderie as they stretch together and sweat together. After classes, guests may freshen up in the studio's large private showers.
At NW Fitness 24/7, even the aerobics classes are available 24/7. Thanks to the facility's use of Fitness on Demand, a online fitness video provider, guests can conjure five different types of classes with the touch of a button, then follow along as the workout is projected on a screen. One class series, the Move Series, incorporates fitness favorites such as yoga, Pilates, and kickboxing, while another, the Induro Series, provides cycling classes with scenic landscapes so riders can picture themselves riding through South Africa, Ireland, or the Milky Way. For more personal instruction, exercisers can enlist a trainer to design a fitness and nutrition program tailored to their goals, or they can opt to workout at their own pace using the facility's cardio machines, free weights, and strength training equipment.
Instructors and real-life couple Paul and Pollie are the dynamic duo behind Mousai Studios, forging both their business and romantic partnership around Paul’s lifelong love of dance. The couple specializes in several types of ballroom dancing—which Paul considers his niche—and they impart their toe-tapping skills to the public through private and group classes that focus on social, rather than competitive, dancing.
The studio, which encloses floor-to-ceiling windows and lush potted plants, also hosts weekly belly dancing, burlesque, and guitar classes taught by passionate instructors. The inviting space doubles as an art gallery, featuring works by local artists and professionally trained Etch A Sketches and contains a boutique consignment shop that features vintage and gently used fashions for the whole family.
Rows of students ride a rush of endorphins at The Handlebar Cycling Studio as they pedal away up to 800 calories per session during interactive cycling classes. A team of passionate instructors lead classes on an audio-visual journey, leading a pack of Schwinn exercise bikes as color-filtered lighting, visual queues, and pumping music push pedals forward. Cycle50 classes infuse a dose of much-needed energy into students' days, and monthly Intro to Cycling sessions help correct common mistakes such as misprogramming the consoles or riding stationary bikes in the street.