I've been following NW Fitness Project on Instagram and have been dying to try out the space. As luck would have it, my friend Angela lives in Fremont and had also been wanting to try it out. So we made a date to try out one of the Small Group Training classes on Thursday morning.
Even before I walked into the space, I was impressed. NW Fitness Project is in Fremont, down the street from one of my favorite Seattle restaurants (Revel). It's in a great location and they have taken advantage of this with huge ceiling to floor windows that open up. We happen to be there on a warm day when they had one of the windows open. As we walked towards the front door we had a good sense of the space and what to expect. The front of the space hosts a check in area with lockers and one of my favorite features, standing tables to encourage members to hang out a bit before and after their workout. The first half the space is open and hosts all of the group training classes. The second half of the space hosts all kinds of weight and cardio machines and is generally used for personal training sessions. What I did not know about NW Fitness Project is that they allow independent trainers to use the facility for personal training sessions. This supports the heart of their mission which is to build a strong sense of community and support everyone in meeting their fitness goals. I mean seriously, can we just have a moment for Kyle and Matt?! It's hard not to appreciate and respect these guys and the passion they feel for their mission.
When we walked in, Kyle immediately greeted us and gave us a quick tour of the facility. Angela and I were about 15 minutes early so we were the first ones there for the class. Because they want to stress the importance of community and supporting each individual, the Small Group Training classes are kept to an 8 person max. Our class would have 7. What I did not expect and what I was immediately impressed with, was that every member knew each other and recognized that Angela and I were new. Every one of them came over to introduce themselves and welcome us to the gym. As a fitness blogger who started this blog with the intent to remove any fears and insecurities about group fitness and help others find their community, I was sold. I literally wanted to move in and call NW Fitness Project home.
Once we were all settled, Kyle had us run through about 8-10 minutes of warm ups and stretches. I liked it because the stretches were a bit different from the usual running in place and jumping jacks. There was a bit of stretching out your gluts and hips mixed in with some lunges and pushups. Then we were ready to go. The class format is set up to run through 5-6 sets of exercises as many times as you can in 12 minutes. We would do that twice before moving on to stretching. The exercises appear simple in format but it was a density class and it was no joke. The first 12 minute set would use a kettlebell and include arms, legs, core and cardio. In theory the counts were low (5 sets on each arm, 5 sets on each leg, 10 pull through push ups, etc.). But let me tell you, when Kyle hands you a 26 lb kettle bell, you don't say No. And by the 5th exercise, I was feeling it. I love a good strength workout with some fun and this was hard but a lot of fun. The second set of exercises incorporated a medicine ball and included arms, legs, core and balance challenges. It was exactly what I needed that day.
Kyle's approach to coaching was right up my alley. He had a lot of great energy and had fun while coaching but he took it seriously. He corrected me on my form when I needed it and encouraged me when I didn't think I could get through it. It was exactly what I needed.
Kyle ended the class with a 10 minute Foam Rolling session. I LOVED this about the class. I definitely do not stretch enough and my body needed it. It was also very helpful to have an expert teach me the right techniques for stretching out various muscles (for example, it's not all about rolling up and down your legs at a fast pace. Who knew?!).
I'm not going to lie, I did not want to leave at the end of class. I LOVED working out with Kyle and the other members. If it weren't first thing in the morning, I would have grabbed drinks with all of them. The great thing is, I wasn't the only one that felt this way. The other members stayed after class, hanging around the lobby, chatting and catching up.
Kyle and Matt have done an incredible job building an outstanding facility. But what sets NW Fitness Project apart from the rest, is the sense of community and team unity. If it wasn't a half hour drive for me, I would have joined on the spot.
I HIGHLY recommend that you check out NW Fitness Project! If you can, take a class with Kyle. You will LOVE it. If indoor cycling is more your gig, you can experience his awesome energy at Fly Wheel SLU.