Seattle Culture

Which New Seattle Workout is Right For You?

Sorting through the offerings of each new designer gym that opens is enough to make you break a sweat, so we laced up our tennies to find the most effective new workouts around town

By Andrew Hoge April 6, 2020


This article originally appeared in the April 2020 issue of Seattle magazine.

This article appears in print in the April 2020 issue as part of the Get Well Soon cover story. Click here to subscribe. While gyms are closed due to the current novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, check out our guide to at-home workouts and virtual fitness opportunities, with tips from local fitness pros. 

Exercise has many well-known physical and mental benefits, but sorting through the offerings of each new designer gym that opens is enough to make you break a sweat. So, to find the most effective workouts around town, we laced up our tennies to test out studios that have opened in the past year.

The Shred415 workout involves four 15-minute sessions that alternate between cardio drills and weight training in an intimate classroom setting. Created by two young moms (child care is available on-site) frustrated by the lack of experiential workouts that met their schedules, Shred415 focuses on inclusivity and empowerment; attendees are encouraged to pick their own speed and endurance level for every class, which the studio claims will burn between 500 and 1,200 calories over the course of an hour. Denny Triangle.

Upbeats Fitness
If music is what moves you, stop by Upbeats Fitness for classes synced to high-energy tunes. Studio founder Allison Axdorff wanted to bridge the gap between single-format boutique gyms, like spinning studios, and the class experience found at larger chains. Clients can choose from more than 10 class styles including cardio dance, kickboxing and barre. Axdorff’s guiding hypothesis: “If you usually love cardio dance, but want to mix it up and cross-train, you’re also going to love sculpt classes that move to the beat of music.” West Woodland.

StarCycle put a new “spin” on group cycling in Seattle when the Oregon-based company opened its West Seattle location this past October. The intimate, 25-bike studio is proudly free of technology, with the exception of music, and lit by candles in an effort to foster focus during the 45-minute rides. Low-cost on-site child care is available for busy parents, which furthers the company’s mission to empower all riders. West Seattle.

Ekstasis Strength and Conditioning
If personal training seems daunting, with its typically high prices and sterile machines, Mike Seilo hopes to change your mind at Ekstasis Strength and Conditioning. The facility, which opened last October, offers group training classes with a customized routine for each participant, and at a cost that is significantly cheaper than most private personal training sessions. Ekstatis is the only gym in Seattle to offer group VersaClimber classes, designed by Seilo, that combine upper and lower body exercises to create vertical climbing motions. Ballard.

30 Minute Hit
This innovative kickboxing studio, with locations in Ballard and on Capitol Hill, might be the answer to fitting cardio conditioning, strength training and confidence building into our increasingly busy schedules. The 30 Minute Hit workout circuit is made up of 13 stations that combine boxing, kickboxing and self-defense in two-minute rounds. Certified trainers are always on the floor to guide clients, and because there aren’t set class times, you can walk in whenever it’s most convenient for you. Ballard, Capitol Hill.

Life Time
One of the swankiest gyms in the Pacific Northwest, Life Time opened its doors in 2018 and boasts a state-of-the-art fitness center with yoga rooms, a health-focused café and a spa. One of its newest fitness classes is dubbed “Upper Rx,” and, as the name suggests, features intense weight training for the arms, chest, back and core to build muscle strength and tone, extend your range of motion and burn fat. Bellevue.

Scott Francis and Maria Gehl of the beloved Be Luminous Yoga studio know a thing or two about helping people slow down. Their latest studio, Mind.Body.Hum, opened this past February, and offers more than 70 yoga and meditation classes each week. Located in the historic Maritime Building, the studio is designed to optimize your physical and mental health, and showcases the building’s original wood structures, David Trubridge lighting and woodwork by Olympia-based Beech Tree Woodworks. For an authentic meditation experience, there are two 62-inch Tone of Life gongs to help you go out with a bang. Downtown Seattle.

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