The most secretive body parts are muscles, which hide behind layers of skin and appear only occasionally to help lift cars off trapped kittens. Flex your biceps in the absence of a cat emergency with today's Groupon: for $69, you get a two-month membership to West Coast Fitness at the St. John's or Alberta location (a $139 value). After creating a successful video-rental chain, the founders of West Coast Fitness opened their first health club in 1994, and have since transformed both clubs into hybrid gyms/video stores where members can pump iron and leave with a relaxing film in their newly buffed arms. Fat-fighters can help themselves to the state-of-the-art gym equipment at each well-stocked location, or join in on one of West Coast Fitness's many group classes, such as spinning, yoga, tai chi, or boxing. West Coast Fitness has a reputation for being unpretentious, friendly, and completely free of judgmental wall hangings. The gym prides itself on its easygoing attitude and pledges that its staff will never rely on hard-sell tactics or unscrupulous use of donuts to sign new members.
Yelpers give the West Coast Fitness on Lombard Street a 3.5-star average, and they give the Alberta Street location a four-star average. Citysearchers give a 4.5-star average to the Lombard Street location, and four stars to the Alberta Street location.
- Convenient and comfortable, this is not your generic meat market fitness club. It feels perfectly Portlandish… – guisantes, Citysearch, Lombard Street location
- I love their wide variety of weights (free weights, kettlebells, weight machines etc), cardio machines, a rowing machine. – Carla R., Yelp, Alberta Street location
West Coast Fitness
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.