The new year is always a great time for fitness resolutions. This year, more than ever, you might be craving a fresh start. Whether you’re in search of more energy, an outlet for stress, or to step back into a pair of pre-pandemic jeans, results are only a few decisions away.
This year, it’s also more important than ever to support local gyms struggling in the wake of closures and restrictions. Gyms, yoga studios, and pools are doing everything they can to keep their members safe and healthy, from reducing class sizes to installing new air filter systems. On top of this, many are now offering on-demand videos or live-steamed workouts to keep their members active from home.
However you choose to engage, resolve to make 2021 the year you find balance and strength in your life, while having some fun along the way. Whether you’re hoping to cycle, swim, kickbox, or climb your way to fitness, these local gyms are there to help.*
*The information in these pages was compiled during phase two of COVID-19. Details about restrictions, closures, and offerings may have changed with recent restrictions. Please check with each individual gym for more up-to-date information.
What is Vinyasa?
Vinyasa suggests an emphasis on fluidity of movements; a sequence of yoga poses is also called a vinyasa. In a vinyasa yoga class, yogis move through postures, or asanas, with a focus on smooth transitions, rarely holding poses for more than a breath or two. Vinyasa classes are typically medium or fast-paced, with an emphasis on matching breath to movement.
What is hatha yoga?
Meaning “force” in Sanskrit, hatha yoga focuses on breath. A hatha class will generally move at a gentler pace than a vinyasa class, with poses typically held for longer, too. An emphasis will be on breathwork, alignment, and sometimes meditation.
What is iyengar yoga?
This is a more contemporary school of yoga, created by practitioner B.K.S. Iyengar. The focus is on balance, flexibility, strength, and stamina. Iyengar yoga is rigorous but dynamic, utilizing props to increase circulation and help with injuries and disease.
What is yin yoga?
Yin yoga is a slower-paced practice, ideal for those looking to stretch deeply without breaking a sweat. Postures are held for long durations of time, helping stretch and lengthen deep connective tissues. Because postures are held longer, the practice is more meditative, encouraging yogis to sit with discomfort and focus on breath.
3 Oms Yoga
A fixture in the Bellingham yoga scene, 3 Oms offers a wide selection of classes including restorative, dynamic, yin, intuitive, and gentle yoga. During phase two, they’re offering live-streamed classes. Members enjoy access to an archive of all virtual classes, which they can access 24/7. The studio also offers workshops like Yoga for the Heart and a series on Yoga for Menopause, offered via ZOOM until restrictions are lifted. These workshops are available to the public, however members enjoy a discounted rate. Normally, all classes take place in the studio’s bright, 6,000-square-foot space, which boasts two separate practice rooms. Students also have access to a lounge area, lockers, cubbies, and changing rooms. Those new to yoga are encouraged to sign up for the Beginner’s Series, which covers common postures, breathing techniques, and the philosophy of yoga. 1319 Cornwall Ave., Ste. 200, Bellingham, 360.671.3510, 3omsyoga.com
[online classes, intro deal, locker room, changing room, showers]
This yoga studio in Ferndale is about much more than just yoga. In addition to yoga classes they also offer various spa amenities, like a Himalayan salt sauna, zero-gravity massage chairs, and an amethyst crystal cave. Guests can also book additional massage and energy healing services. Yoga offerings include hot, hatha, gentle, restorative, vinyasa, meditative, and yin yoga. Hot classes are heated with infrared light, which helps reduce muscle pain and joint tension, increase circulation, and can even help with skin. All guests are invited to enjoy the studio’s relaxation lounge, featuring a hot tea bar, aromatherapy bar, and a cozy bean bag corner. 1920 Main St., Ste. 19, Ferndale, 360.393.8829, moveinflowmotion.com
Elements Hot Yoga
If you’re looking to sweat, this is the studio for you. For their hot classes, Elements heats the studio up to 100 degrees, helping you release toxins, go deeper into poses, and increase flexibility. It also feels great on a cold winter night. Classes include hot power, power vinyasa, warm yoga, warm power, yin, hatha, and a beginner flow. In a unique, meditative silent hatha class, the instructor guides students through each movement without any verbal cues. Most classes are an hour, but a few last for 90 minutes. Members can choose from an annual package or punch-card. 1308 Meador Ave., Ste. C3, Bellingham, 360.676.9642, elementshotyoga.com
[changing room, showers, intro deal]
This studio offers yoga with a twist, combining ancient wisdom with modern exercise science and tools you’re unlikely to find in other studios. The studio’s foundation is based in movement, with an emphasis on preventing injury, healing from injury, and fostering mindfulness. Courses use yoga movements, but also rely on steel clubs for building grip and core strength, steel maces for building core and rotational strength, RAD rollers to massage muscles, and foundation training to promote overall fitness and relief from pain. During phase two, in-person classes are capped at eight students, and all classes are streamed virtually. The studio is also unique in that it offers private training, with personalized guidance on breathing education, mobility, and nutrition. 1303 Astor St., Bellingham, 360.220.9942, flowshala.com
[online classes, changing room, showers]
Consistently voted the best yoga studio in Bellingham, Yoga Northwest boasts some of the most experienced yogi trainers in the region. The studio’s emphasis is on Iyengar yoga, with most classes categorized by difficulty. Offerings include Dynamic I, Dynamic II, Dynamic I/II, and Dynamic II-III; the first is for beginners while the latter is for those with at least two years of experience in Iyengar or another form of yoga. The studio also offers gentle yoga/back care, restorative yoga for good sleep, and prenatal yoga. During COVID-19, the studio is offering multiple online classes per day. Outside of group classes, the studio offers workshops, private instruction, teacher trainings, and yoga adventures. The next adventure, scheduled for summer 2021, will take place in Sweden. 1440 10th St., Ste. 101A, Bellingham, 360.647.0712, yoganorthwest.com
[online classes, intro deal]
Intent Hot Yoga
This relatively new studio, situated near Columbia and Lettered Streets neighborhoods, offers a variety of classes that rely on infrared heat to help you stretch deeper and sweat out toxins. Class options include vinyasa, power vinyasa, yin + meditation, vinyasa + yin, and restorative candlelit yin. Yin classes are heated to around 80-85 degrees, while the power and vinyasa classes are heated up to 99 degrees. Beginners can sign up for a Foundations of Yoga workshop which covers the history of yoga and yogic philosophy, breathwork, basic postures, and includes hands-on adjustments. During phase two, class sizes are capped at nine students, and everyone is required to wear a mask. The studio, which opened its doors in 2019, is equipped with a new HVAC system that circulates fresh air. Members can also access a virtual library of classes, as well live-streamed classes. 1415 Dupont St., Bellingham, intenthotyoga.com
[online classes, showers, changing room]
Inspire offers a wide selection of classes, including kundalini, hatha, restorative, and vinyasa. They also offer classes on breathwork and meditation, and classes designed specifically for women. During phase two, the studio is offering online classes only. Members enjoy live classes via Zoom or, if unable to attend live, can watch a recording of the class. Students also enjoy access to a library of on-demand archived videos. The studio hosts additional courses on topics related to yoga, like one on self-care through self-kindness and NeuroMovement. The studio offers a discounted membership package for students and low-income yogis. 1411 Cornwall Ave., Ste. 201, Bellingham, 360.447.8778, inspirestudiobham.com
Riverwalk Yoga Studio
Located in the Carnation Building along the Skagit River in downtown Mount Vernon, this studio offers various classes for all levels of yogi. They also offer belly dancing classes, cooking classes, yoga retreats, and prenatal/postnatal classes. During phase two, all classes are online. Virtual offerings include a funflow, yoga for levels 1, 2, and 3, chair yoga, and yin/nidra yoga fusion. There are multiple membership packages, and family members receive 25% off their second membership. Members can also sign up for private instruction from one of the studio’s knowledgeable teachers, either at the studio or at home. 117 N. 1st St., Ste. 5, Mount Vernon, 360,588.4713, riverwalkstudio.net
[online classes, intro deal]
Quantum Health & Yoga Lounge
Quantum Health is about much more than just yoga — it’s about making people feel good. The studio follows a six-step process focusing on detoxification, nutrition, hydration, digestion, exercise, and calm. When it comes to yoga, members can take classes like hot yoga, power yoga, foundations of yoga, and vinyasa yoga. A Hot 26 class follows the 26 posture of Bikram yoga in a studio heated to 105 degrees. In addition to yoga, the studio also teaches pilates classes, including reformer and hot pilates, as well as interval training, cross training, and endurance training. Members have access to additional services such as nutrition coaching, biofeedback, bodywork, and hypnosis. During phase two, the studio is holding select in-person classes as well as virtual classes over Zoom. 121 S. Spruce St., Burlington, 360.230.1349, qhyogalounge.com
PILATES & BARRE
What is pilates?
Pilates is all about building core strength to improve posture, flexibility, and balance. It was developed in the 1920s by the German trainer Joseph Pilates. Two common types of pilates are mat and reformer. Mat pilates requires only a gym or yoga mat, and may occasionally incorporate small props like resistance bands. Reformer pilates relies on a large piece of exercise equipment called a reformer. The reformer is shaped like a bed with a series of ropes, pulleys, and springs that create resistance to help build muscle and increase flexibility.
What is barre?
Barre workouts focus on muscles not often used in daily life, blending elements of yoga, ballet, and pilates. The signature barre — like what’s used in ballet training — is there for support. The overall focus is on low-impact movements that build strength, increase flexibility, and promote balance. In addition to the barre, some classes may incorporate other equipment or props, such as resistance bands, weights, and exercise balls. Expect repetitions of low-impact movements, such as pulsing in a squat or lifting a leg while in plank.
Located in Barkley Village, barre3 offers a challenging, full-body workout that blends cardio, conditioning, and mindfulness. Classes combine elements of ballet, yoga, and pilates, focusing on core strength, flexibility, and the repetition of low-impact movements. In November, the studio moved into a new location at the intersection of Woburn Street and Premier Way, across from Haggen. The new building will house barre3 along with Scotty Browns and a new spin studio, Ride Culture. The new space features two roomy studios and an HVAC system with UV filters and air scrubbers. “My personal goal was to make this new space the safest place to work out in Bellingham,” says owner Caitlin Walker. 2130 Premier Way, Bellingham, 360.922.7398, barre3.com/studio-locations/bellingham
[intro deal, showers, changing room, child care, online options]
Pilates Studio of Bellingham
For 17 years, this studio has offered pilates and private instruction to the Fairhaven community. Group classes are offered in four-week sessions, with the option to attend one or two classes per week. Courses are designed to target the whole body, with offerings like mat pilates, reformer pilates, powerpump, and posture & stretch therapy. A class called monkey gym incorporates ropes and rings to assist with strength building, deep stretching, and inversions. All classes seek to build strength, increase flexibility, and improve joint motility, while offering support and encouragement. Although the studio is temporarily closed, they are offering classes over Zoom and YouTube. 907 Harris Ave., Ste. 201, Bellingham, 360.527.8663, pilatesofbellingham.com
With locations in both Bow and Anacortes, Madrona offers pilates classes as well as bootcamps, barre, and personal training. During non-COVID times, the studio also offers Spin/Fit classes that combine cycling and strength training, employing TRX, body weight movements, and dumbbells. Owner and trainer Elise Cosgrove offers private and semi-private personal training at the studio, as well as off-site training. She’s taught pilates and barre for nearly eight years, and worked with clients from ages 8 to 84. She believes that “incorporating strength, mobility, agility, flexibility, and balance in each class and training session is important in order to create harmony and balance in the body.” Madrona caters to newbies, those recovering from injury, or athletes training for a specific event. If you’re looking for a close-knit studio with access to a personal trainer if necessary, this is it. 12485 Persons Rd., Bow, 360.708.4568, madrona-studio.com
This multifaceted gym in Friday Harbor offers multiple ways to get fit and have fun. Although the emphasis is on pilates, members can also take classes in barre, HIIT, rowing, TRX, dance, and Piloxing (a combination of pilates and boxing). They also offer a class called pound, which incorporates lightly weighted drumsticks, mimicking the movements of rocking out on a drum set while employing yoga and pilates postures. Additional offerings include nutrition coaching, either one-on-one or in a group setting such as booty camp, a retreat, or seminar. During COVID-19, the studio is offering members unlimited access to live streamed classes, plus access to a library of on-demand videos. 278 A St., Ste. 3 & 4, Friday Harbor, 360.378.0150, thestudiosji.com
[intro deal, online classes]
What is taekwondo?
Taekwondo is a type of ancient Korean martial art that has gained international appeal; it’s even an official Olympic sport. The philosophy behind taekwondo relates to discipline, respect, and using the body as a tool to stop fighting and maintain peace. The style of combat emphasizes precise foot work and dynamic poses, including high kicks, fast kicking, and spin jumps.
What is Muay Thai?
Also known as Thai boxing, Muay Thai is a type of martial arts that originated in Thailand hundreds of years ago. Often referred to as the “Art of Eight Limbs,” Muay Thai focuses on eight points of contact on the body. Practitioners use the body as a weapon, visualizing their hands as a sword and dagger, their forearms and shin like metal armor, their leg like an axe, etc. In this way, Muay Thai fighting utilizes the whole body.
Rock Solid Martial Arts
This gym in Fairhaven offers something for everyone in the family. In Ninja Dragons (age 4-6) and Kenpo Kids (age 7-10), children learn martial arts while building life skills like discipline, self-control, focus, good sportsmanship, persistence, and sharing. Adult class offerings include adult self-defense, fitness kickboxing, and private lessons. Just as kids gain skills that apply outside the gym, adults can also find lessons to bring into their daily life. The gym offers a way for people to build confidence, manage stress, increase energy, and connect with others in the community, all while enjoying an intense cardio workout that doesn’t involve the tedium of treadmills and ellipticals. 1105 11th St., Bellingham, 360.510.3929, martialarts4fairhaven.com
Pure Fitness Martial Arts
This gym focuses on Muay Thai kickboxing. They offer classes for kids, teenagers, and adults, as well as a bootcamp and family packages. Monthly memberships include unlimited classes to kickboxing, Muay Thai, and bootcamps. The fee also includes hand wraps and a uniform shirt. During COVID-19, students must register for classes online beforehand and adhere to social distancing while in the gym. Classes are limited to five students per instructor per class. 1801 Ellis St., Bellingham, purefitnessmartialarts.com
Unbridled Martial Arts
Just five minutes from Western Washington University, Unbridled Martial Arts aims to help aspiring martial artists build a solid foundation. This free-style school boasts plenty of equipment — from punching bags and kettle bells to TRX trainers and BodyBlades, all within its 2,100-square-foot facility. There’s also plenty of space for outdoor training as well. Explore different ranges of combat from weapons to kicking, punching, and grappling. Book a private session or learn as a group. Call for location, 360.676.9909, unbridledmartialarts.com
USTA Martial Arts
Since 1996, USTA has taught taekwondo self-defense to students in Washington; today, it’s the largest chain of taekwondo schools in the state. In addition to building self-defense skills and focusing on physical fitness, practitioners of all ages learn perseverance, build self-esteem, and gain confidence. The studio offers Little Tigers classes for kids ages 4-6, children’s classes for ages 7-12, and classes for teens and adults aged 13 and over. Each year, USTA gyms from all across Washington come together at an annual tournament, Handmadang, meaning ‘festival’ in Korean. At this tournament, students have the chance to showcase and test their skills among other studios. You can find USTA gyms in multiple locations across Whatcom and Skagit Counties, including Bellingham, Blaine, Ferndale, Lynden, and La Conner.
What is CrossFit?
CrossFit is a brand of exercise that focuses on functional movement and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Thousands of gyms across the country offer CrossFit workouts, which focus on functional movements made in real life, such as squatting, lifting, and pulling. Workouts are done as a group, with a focus on encouragement and community support. The constantly changing Workout of the Day (WOD) keeps things interesting.
Since 2009, CrossFit X has inspired Bellingham athletes to achieve their goals, both inside and outside of the gym. With a commitment to inclusivity, positivity, and health, the gym welcomes people from all stages of life and fitness levels. Beginners can sign up for a six-week X-Camp in which they’ll learn the foundations of CrossFit, like squatting and deadlifting. The class meets three times a week, for 60 minutes. The Masters X-Camp is specifically designed for people aged 50 and over, focusing on mobility, movement, and community. The gym also offers outpatient physical therapy and nutrition coaching, partnering with specialists at EverStrong Therapy and Healthy Steps Nutrition. Newcomers are encouraged to undergo a Functional Movement Screen, which identifies areas of weakness or imbalance that may contribute to pain or injury. 2031 Grant St., Bellingham, 360.223.2051, crossfitx.com
[free trial class]
ProFitness offers CrossFit classes, as well as classes in self-defense, yoga, and personal training. Overall, the gym aims to help people who want to lose weight, manage pain, maintain their health, or compete in sports. Their CrossFit program focuses on the ten points of fitness — stamina, strength, flexibility, power, balance, agility, and speed, to name a few. Classes are designed to be exciting, fun, and supportive, so that nobody falls behind or feels discouraged. CrossFitters can also go above and beyond with ProFitness’s Barbell Club, which focuses on Powerlifting and Olympic Weightlifting. Those interested are invited to try a first class for free. 1305 Fraser St., Ste. D3, Bellingham, 360.224.4373, profitnessnorthwest.com
[free trial class]
Whether you’re hoping to run a marathon or just do a pullup, Kulshan Athletics wants to help you build strength and confidence. “ANY BODY can move and anyone can join in on our classes! We will scale or push you according to your current fitness, current goals, and will encourage you every step of the way,” says owner and head coach Kacie Cleveland. CrossFit classes typically last between 45 minutes to an hour, with the actual workout taking only 15-30 minutes. The workout begins with a warmup and ends with an ab workout, followed by stretching and a cooldown. The gym also offers CrossFit classes for kids (6th-8th grades), along with yoga, open gym, and track practice. Those seeking one-on-one guidance can sign up for personal training. During COVID-19, the gym is offering a “no excuses” home workout plan that’s only $10/month. The videos are available online and don’t require any equipment. In-person classes adhere to size restrictions and social distancing measures, both of which allow for more increased attention and personalized instruction. The gym also offers childcare every weekday from 9:30 a.m. 1726 Franklin St., Bellingham, 360.739.9076, kulshancrossfit.com
[Showers, child-care, free trial class, online class]
Whether you’re an Olympic weight-trainer, an athlete coming off an injury, or a busy professional hoping to make healthy changes, CrossFit Skagit has something for you. Classes are offered during weekdays, starting at 5:30 a.m. for early risers, with the last class beginning at 6 p.m. Those interested in trying out a class should call and schedule their first visit to discuss their fitness goals. 1582 Port Dr. Burlington, 360.421.1013, crossfitskagit.com
What is HIIT?
High-intensity interval training (HIIT), also known as high-intensity intermittent exercise, is a kind of training that focuses on short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short period of recovery. One example would be running as fast you can for four minutes, followed by three minutes of jogging or walking, then repeating this sequence a few more times. The method’s emphasis is on intensity; during each exercise interval, you should be exerting as much effort as possible. Some workouts shrink the timeframe of intervals, so that you perform a rigorous movement for 30 or 45 seconds, followed by 10 or 15 seconds of rest.
JD Elite Fitness
This gym focuses on HIIT training, with 12-16 exercises lasting 30 seconds each, all demonstrated and guided by a professional trainer. Each day focuses on a different area of the body, so that you target multiple body parts over the course of the week or month. The gym is open for group classes during phase two, but members must register beforehand to ensure that class sizes remain small. Although currently on hold during phase two, the gym typically offers childcare during morning workouts at 9:30 a.m. During COVID-19, the gym is also offering at-home “sanity” workouts for both members and non-members. $20 gains you access to a month of unlimited, equipment-free classes, with five new workouts each week. 1420 Meador Ave., Ste. K-101, Bellingham, 360.920.6168
[online classes, childcare]
Whatcom Family YMCA
At the YMCA, it’s all about community. Members at the Whatcom branch can enjoy working out in-facility or at home with virtual fitness courses. Download the app to sweat and save at the same time. Use the app to check in, reserve spots in classes, check gym capacity, and redeem points for YMCA prizes — from a lanyard all the way up to a smart watch. Activities include free group exercise classes, pool access, and membership to other YMCAs across the state. Multiple Locations, 360.733.8630, whatcomymca.org
Voted “Best Fitness Center” in our 2020 Best of the Northwest competition, Bellingham Fitness offers safe, sanitary, and satiating ways to get your workout in. Members can choose from plenty of training equipment for solo exercise or sign up for a group fitness class. If you’re looking to develop a routine, the gym also offers a six-week challenge to help you achieve your goals. With nutrition assistance, cutting-edge workouts, and personal trainer assistance, you’ll be sure to see a real difference in no time. 1730 N. State St., Bellingham, 360.733.1600, bellinghamfitness.com
City Gym offers it all — from a range of cardio and strength training equipment to diverse and comprehensive group fitness classes. Cycle your way to your goals or dance your troubles away in the gym’s studios where there’s opportunities for teenage and senior gym-goers alike. Wind down in the sauna or get a glow in the premium tanning booth. Want to get started but not ready to commit? City Gym offers a 5-Day trial guest pass for first time visitors, with no contracts or initiation fees, plus discounts for students, seniors, law enforcement, and veterans. 4152 Meridian St., Ste. 219, Bellingham, 360.647.1511, mycitygym.com
Apex Fitness NW
Apex Fitness is a HIIT style circuit training facility open for small group classes, with a max of eight students per class this winter. The 5,000-square-foot gym has tons of training equipment to keep your workouts exciting and challenging. Work with dumbbells, barbells, medicine balls, as well as resistance bands, straps, and equalizers. When it comes to group fitness, the gym offers multiple HIIT Circuit Training classes every day, focusing on different muscles to challenge your body as well as your mind. Choose from 12 different classes every weekday, with three class options on Saturday. Perfect for people on a tight schedule, these quick, intense workouts pack in all the benefits of a longer workout in less time. Reservations are required prior to joining a class and can easily be booked online. “We are proud to be operating under all COVID-19 safety guidelines and it’s our mission to keep our members safe and healthy,” say owners Danielle and Graham. 1708 Kentucky St., Bellingham, 360.441.2812, apexfitnessnw.com
Riverside Health Club
Swimming meets cycling meets group fitness at this gym with locations in Mount Vernon and Sedro-Woolley. During COVID-19, both locations are open at 30% capacity, with restrictions on lap lanes, group fitness classes, and the exercise pool for water walking. The only areas completely closed to the public are the locker rooms, racquetball courts, steam rooms, and drinking fountains. All guests must wear a mask when moving about the gym or while exercising within six feet of another person. Both locations offer personal training and a full schedule of in-person group classes like yoga, ride, Zumba, HIIT, p90x, and barre. Members can also enjoy on-demand virtual classes from the comfort of home. 2225 Riverside Dr., Mount Vernon, 360.424.4200; 632 Sunset Park Dr., Sedro-Woolley, 360.854.9285
TENNIS, CYCLING, & SWIMMING
Bellingham Training and Tennis Club
BTTC is your destination for tennis, cycling, fitness classes, and so much more. With five indoor tennis courts and a staff of pros available for private lessons, clinics, and camps, there’s no limit to court time. For cyclists, BTTC offers spin classes as well as two kinds of clinics — Cycle Moles and Healthy Knees Coach — that focus on training and maintaining knee health, respectively. Their indoor RIDE Cycle Studio features stationary bikes that have comfortable gel seats, easy-to-shift gears, and heart rate monitors. You can adjust the bike to your exact dimensions and return to these dimensions every class. For general strength, BTTC boasts two fitness areas and various programming options to keep you motivated. From personal and group training to their 28 Day Ignite Your Body Program, there’s plenty of ways to reach your fitness goals. During phase two, members must make reservations for every activity in the gym. “We have found that requiring a reservation actually helps people to be accountable and more consistent in their training,” says BTTC co-owner Robin Robertson. A new HVAC system and strict cleaning protocol create an even safer place to exercise. 800 McKenzie Ave., Bellingham, 360.733.5050, betrainingtennis.com
[intro deal, online classes]
Arne Hanna Aquatic Center
This public pool offers a range of aquatic opportunities and programs for the whole family. The center has four pools: an eight-lane lap pool, a dive tank with springboard, an instructional pool with a beach entry and massive water slide, and a hydrotherapy pool. The public is invited to swim or recreate at their own leisure, but can also sign up for programming. Water aerobics, deep water running, and kayaking are all available. They also offer American Red Cross swim lessons. During COVID-19, swimmers must register for all programs in advance. 360.778.7665, cob.org/services/recreation/aquatic
Fidalgo Pool & Fitness Center
Normally available for open gym and group aquatic fitness classes, Fidalgo Pool has adapted its offerings during phase two. Although the water slide is temporarily closed, families can still have a great time with the center’s new program, Splash ‘n’ Play Household Swim. Up to 10 family members from the same house can reserve half the pool. As restrictions lift, the slide and other water toys will also become available. During phase three, swimmers will once again be able to choose from classes like H20 Fit and Flow, Deep Aquarobics, and Aqua Powerfit. Members also enjoy access to the fitness center, whose first floor is ADA accessible. The SilverSneakers program, covered by certain Medicare plans, aims to help older adults build strength, stay fit, and enjoy the social aspect of group exercise. 1603 22nd St., Anacortes, 360.293.0673, fidalgopool.com
ROCK CLIMBING & BOULDERING
What is sport climbing?
Sport climbing is a type of rock climbing that utilizes permanent, fixed gear placed in real or artificial rock walls. In lead-climbing, climbers use a rope and harness for safety, threading the rope through carabiners clipped to bolts in the wall as they ascend. When top-roping, the rope is already threaded through an anchor at the top of the route, meaning the climber can climb without placing gear, and the rope will catch them. Because sport climbing offers protection from large falls, climbers can climb more difficult routes that require strength, gymnastic ability, and technique.
What is bouldering?
Bouldering is a type of rock-climbing that takes place on smaller rock formations, such as boulders or abbreviated artificial walls in gyms. Unlike sport climbing, it does not require the use of a rope, harness, or additional safety gear, however many climbers choose to boulder above a padded mat called a crash pad.
What is buildering?
Buildering, a play on the word bouldering, is the sport of climbing buildings or other urban features, the way one would climb a boulder in nature. Popular in cities and towns, and especially on college campuses, the sport requires an extra level of creativity and imagination, using exposed bricks, window sills, and other architectural features for hand and foot holds.
What is slacklining?
Similar to tightrope walking, slacklining is the act of walking across a piece of webbing strung between two anchors, such as two trees. It helps improve balance, focus, and core strength, all skills translatable to rock climbing.
VITAL Climbing Gym
VITAL operates locations in California, New York, and our very own Bellingham. Located downtown, this bouldering gym offers nearly 150 routes of varying difficulty. But it’s much more than a place to boulder. Membership includes free access to yoga classes, including aerial yoga, as well as unlimited clinics. Plus, members enjoy free wifi, and can even bring their pooch along. Clinics occur weekly, on Wednesday evenings, and range from Bouldering 101 to route reading and climbing terminology. Serious climbers can join the adult climbing team, which meets twice weekly for workouts, conditioning, and instruction from a climbing coach. Individuals can also sign up for private one-on-one coaching. The gym is also an excellent destination for parties or team building events. Although the gym does not offer top-rope climbing, there are plenty of ways to train for big-wall climbing, including a TreadWall (think: vertical treadmill). Members also have access to a slackline, hangboards, and fitness equipment like a rowing machine, stationary bikes, and weights. The gym is open during phase two of COVID-19, with restrictions. When it’s safe, VITAL will return to being a 24-hour gym. 1421 N. State St., Bellingham, 360.399.6248, vitalclimbinggym.com/bellingham
Riverstone Climbing Gym
For four years, Riverstone has created a space for climbers to train, play, and connect with other climbers in the community. The 5,000-square-foot gym features both top-rope climbing and bouldering. Climbers can train on 27 top rope points, two auto-belays, and a top-out bouldering lip. New climbers can also take classes to learn the basics of top-rope climbing; more advanced climbers can take a class on lead climbing. Before COVID-19 restrictions, the gym held competitions, a climbing league, and a junior team. It also hosted birthday parties, movie nights, and live music. The gym’s owners recently put the space up for sale, in the hopes that the next owners can continue to grow the gym and make it even better. In the meantime, operations are continuing as normal, with restrictions during phase two of COVID-19. Until restrictions lift, climbers are required to make an appointment before arriving at the gym. Reservations are good for two hours of climbing. 1625 S. Walnut, Unit D, Burlington, 360.610.7474, riverstoneclimbinggym.com
OUTDOOR CLIMBING AREAS
- Buildering at Western Washington University
- Bouldering at Sehome Arboretum
- Larrabee State Park
- Julia’s Outcrop (also known as Governor Lister Cliff) – above Chuckanut Drive
- The Bat Caves at Oyster Dome – Chuckanut Mountains
- Ryan’s Wall – Newhalem, North Cascades National Park
- Diablo Wall – Diablo, North Cascades National Park
- Mount Erie – Anacortes
LOCAL CLIMBING GUIDES & CLUBS
American Alpine Institute
1515 12th St., Bellingham, 360.671.1505
Baker Mountain Guides
214 W. Holly St., Bellingham, 360.319.1160, bakermountainguides.com
Skagit Alpine Club
P.O. Box 1054, Mount Vernon, skagitalpineclub.com
Northwest Mountain Shop & Guide Service
829 Metcalf St., Sedro-Woolley, 360.854.8761, nwmountainshop.com
TRAMPOLINES, GYMNASTICS, & NINJA
Summit Adventure Park
This indoor trampoline park makes it possible for kids to reach for the stars. With Olympic-grade trampolines, basketball hoops, a giant air bag, a ball pit, multiple slides, a climbing wall, and a rope swing, there’s plenty of ways to let loose and go wild. A designated toddler area means the whole family can tag along and enjoy the gym. Summer Adventure Park is perfect for birthday parties or just as a place to burn some energy while having a blast. For even more fun, visit on a Neon Night, when black lights transform the park. 4329 Meridian St., Bellingham, 360.227.0202, summitbellingham.com
Life Force Ninja
Embrace your inner ninja at this dynamic gym, founded on the idea that fitness should be fun. Similar to the obstacles you’ll find in the popular TV show, “American Ninja Warrior”, the gym features a series of obstacles that require you to jump, climb, spin, and hop from one piece of equipment to the other. The gym relies heavily on imagination, with new courses appearing every week or two. People from all skill levels are welcome, from first-timers to serious ninja athletes. In addition to open gym, the gym offers beginner, intermediate, and adult fitness classes. While these classes rely on some ninja techniques, they also focus on traditional strength and conditioning approaches. The gym is also a great spot for birthday parties or team building. All equipment is regularly sanitized, masks are required, and HEPA-grade air filters run during classes. 4201 Meridian St., Ste. 107, Bellingham, 360.738.4724, lifeforceninja.fit
Ground Zero Gymnastics
Safe, fun, and affordable, Ground Zero has served Skagit Valley since the ’70s. Their goal is to help young adults build confidence and learn to tackle challenges both on and off the mat. They offer classes in trampoline, tumbling, gymnastics, and ninja, as well as classes for adults. There’s also You and Your Tot Gymnastics class, for children walking age to four years old. Gymnastics classes are offered at beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. As an affiliate of USA Gymnastics, classes follow USAG guidelines. 2201 Continental Pl., Mount Vernon, 360.416.6623, groundzerogymnastics.com
North Coast Gymnastics Academy
North Coast Gymnastics Academy has gyms in Bellingham and Lynden. Here, kids and adults alike can learn to tumble, flip, do parkour, and use aerial silks. Classes are available for all ages, with tons of under-18 options and an adult gymnastic class for those 16 and up. There’s also a ninja course with plenty of programming for kids who want to hone their ninja skills. The gym’s experienced coaches help students achieve their goals safely, whether for personal growth or competition. 1710 Express Dr., Bellingham, 360.733.6969, northcoastgym.com
Bellingham Bay Gymnastics & Preschool
The programming at Bellingham Bay Gymnastics is tailored to kids ages nine months to 12 years old. The non-competitive environment means that an emphasis is placed on personal growth and achievement, with a focus on building confidence, learning teamwork, and practicing self-control. The gym also operates a preschool or pre-K every weekday morning between 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. or noon. During this time, kiddos enjoy 45 minutes of gym time, while the remainder of the day involves creative play, socializing, literacy, math skills, and science. Three days a week, the gym also offers a kindergarten during the afternoons. Other class offerings include tumbling, twisters, flips, terrific tots, giggle friends, and a demo team. 1414 Meador Ave., Ste. H-100 Bellingham, 360.715.8842, bellinghambaygymnastics.com
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