January 6

New Year Workouts

Keep your resolutions at these SLU fitness hotspots

The New Year seems to inspire our dreams and none carry as much weight as getting in shape, it turns out. America’s top resolution remains “stay fit and healthy,” followed closely by “lose weight,” according to Nielsen.

Happily, South Lake Union makes that easy with exercise options around almost every corner—not to mention its hill walks, Pronto bike-sharing stations, and flotilla of kayaks, dragon boats, and stand-up paddleboards.

While winter’s gray lingers, ease into a more active lifestyle at Flow Fitness, which starts at $80/month for memberships. Add another tenner and access classes like body pump, indoor cycling and Yoga Sculpt (a bouncy mix of cardio and weight training with classic postures).

“Unlike the specialty facilities around here, we do everything,” explains owner Justin Young. “But we’ve kept a boutique feel with the design, free wifi and community events like Monday Night Football in the lobby.”

A sense of camaraderie also shines at The Bar Method. Pioneered by Lotte Berk, a German dancer who fled the Nazis, this workout blends yoga, ballet, and Pilates. Amazingly limber and chiseled instructors lead the sessions, making adjustments and cheering on exercisers. “Don’t ease up. Carve those abs. Widen that thigh gap. With every ache and shake, you’re transforming your body!”

“It’s kind of addicting. Every muscle gets worked out and stretched, and the group effort inspires you and carries you along,” says owner Maika Manring. The mix of fun, fierce exercise and elegant spa-style amenities—including the brilliant touch of a bowl of hair elastics—attracts a lot of hard-chargers who work for Amazon and other SLU tech companies. Try 30 days for $99 (unlimited monthly passes then rise to $148–$250).

Half a block north stands the Northwest flagship of Flywheel Sports, where riders churn stationary bikes set around a stadium-style arena. The instructions and pumping soundtracks bring out peak performances from cyclers. Drop in for $28 or spring for a $250–$350 monthly membership.

Shift gears at eVOLV Fitness, which layers a full-sized boxing ring—the Brawl Room—onto all the usual cardio and weight-training equipment. Strap on mitts and attack a 100lb punching bag or just push your limits on TRX equipment. First classes are free and monthly memberships cost $110.

The area’s ultimate fight club remains Krav Maga Seattle (KMS), however. Here over 200 members learn the official self-defense and combat system of the Israeli Defense Forces, which is popular among law-enforcement agencies worldwide. After a free first class and $20 trial week, members pay $130-170 each month for high-intensity classes that drench the black rubber floor mats in sweat.

Unusually for martial arts, around 40 percent of the fighters are female, as well as three of the five instructors. “We put a lot of energy into creating a space that felt welcoming and inviting to all people, regardless of gender or anything else. There are no egos at KMS—everyone is here to learn together,” says owner Catherine Le.

Le teaches fitness classes and her husband Chau captains the Krav Maga program. “We focus on building aggression in our members so that, if they ever have to use their Krav Maga skills, they will be able to execute them with authority and go home safely,” he says. “We have one drill where people shout and swear while attacking, because that happens during actual fights. The curses get pretty crazy! We also try to simulate real-life scenarios like continuing to fight off an attacker even when you’re exhausted.”

Whether you punch, spin, lift, or stretch, there are plenty of places in South Lake Union that can help you keep those healthy 2016 resolutions.

Story and Photos by Amanda Castleman

At The Center

SLU is the geographical center of Seattle