A Kettlebell or in Russian “Girya” (ball or bell with a handle) was used over 350 years ago in Russia, as a certified handled counter weight for dry goods on market scales. Kettlebell lifting is the nation sport of Russia with national championships held each year. In the Russian Military, recruits are required as part of their training to use kettlebells. Kettlebells come in a range of styles/shapes and weights. They are primarily used for swinging, throwing, juggling, pressing, and holding type exercises.

What’s the difference between Kettlebells?

There are basically two different styles of Kettlebells. In the picture to the left you see that the black Kettlebell has a thicker handle and a smaller body whereas the yellow Kettlebell on the right has a smaller handle and a much bigger body. The yellow Kettlebell is what they call a “Competition” Kettlebell named for its use in Kettlebell Competitions. The thickness of the handle and diameter of the bell are exactly the same in each weight. It allows for a smooth technique adaptation from one weight to the next. The “Competition” Kettlebell is much easier to swing than its counterpart which makes it a favorite with trainers and lifters alike. At BAC we feature “Competition” Kettlebells as a number of our staff were trained by World Champion and Master of Sport Coach Valery Federenko.

Lebert Equalizers!

New equipment at BAC! Both BAC locations have now added the Lebert Equalizers! The Equalizer is a pair of parallette bars that are 28” off the ground, 24” long, and 12” wide constructed out of sturdy steel. They can be used in tandem with each other or individually. The Equalizers portability and versatility provide our instructors, personal trainers, and our members a new fitness tool to enhance, vary, and challenge workouts. To learn how you can utilize this great new tool please speak to one of our BAC Group Ex or Personal Training Staff. They would be happy to demonstrate the versatility of the EQUALIZER!

Meet the Shuttle

At BAC we like unique types of equipment, ones that challenge and augment our member’s workouts. For that reason we purchased the Shuttle MVP over 10 years ago. Its innovative band resistance allows a multitude of applications from individuals going through rehabilitation to elite athletes. Originally developed for NASA for use by astronauts by local inventor Gary Graham, the Shuttle MVP has become a valued piece of equipment that is utilized by Physical Therapy Clinics, Athletic Clubs, and Professional Sports Teams. The Shuttle MVP and other Shuttle Systems products are made right here in Whatcom County.

If you are not familiar with the Shuttle MVP or have not used it in awhile, we recently received a few upgrades to both our units thanks to Parker Graham and the folks at Shuttle Systems. Both units now have new extended head rests and brand new foot platforms with a brief description of some of the Shuttle MVP’s unique exercises. Whether you are looking to strength your lower or upper body or improve your explosive power the Shuttle MVP provides a variety of options for your workout. Please speak to one of our Personal Training Staff if you would like to learn more about the Shuttle MVP.

Rollga Rollers

Have you noticed the new rollers available in our pro-shop? The Rollga sets itself apart by restoring fascia, a thin layer of connective tissue that attaches and stabilizes your muscles and internal organs. Fascia does degenerate with age and use, causing soft tissue pain and soreness. The Rollga roller is designed to restore fascia by improving blood flow to affected areas, allowing you to target almost any body part with it’s ridged design. Take a look at our selection in the pro-shop, and please feel free to ask our talented fitness staff if you need assistance selecting a roller that works best for you!

The Matrix S-Drive Treadmill

Stop by both clubs to give it a try! For instruction and demonstration please talk to one of the BAC Training Staff!

  • Self-Powered
  • 7% fixed grade
  • Front push bar for sled push
  • Sled brake with eight settings provides a true-to-life weighted
  • sled pushing experience
  • Parachute brake with 11 settings gives users the feel of real parachute resistance
  • Both BAC locations

Utilizing Resistance Machines

Since the invention of the first variable resistance machine in the late 1800’s, machines have become a major part of resistance training programs throughout the world.

Why have they become so popular? For one, they offer many users a larger degree of safety as compared to using other forms of resistance training. Users do not have to worry about being trapped by the weight or having a weight fall upon them. So safety is a big plus but do not be lulled into a false sense of security. Any piece of resistance equipment can cause injury if used improperly with poor technique and too much resistance.

Secondly, machine users often feel using such equipment allows them more ease of movement. They can change resistance quickly and efficiently and do not for the most part have to worry about coordinating and stabilizing their body, which can be a plus in some instances.

Lastly, variable resistance equipment through it’s design can provide users with the opportunity to train some body movements which would be nearly impossible to do by other means, i.e. hip abduction and hip adduction.

What should we keep in mind if we want to utilize variable resistance equipment?

1) Learn how to adjust the piece for you. Many pieces of equipment can be adjusted to fit your limb and torso length.

2) Learn the mechanics of the exercise. How to apply force effectively, how you need to stabilize, and know what your posture should be while performing the exercise.

3) Learn at what speed of movement you need to be at to receive the most benefit. Most if not all weight stack style need to be performed at a slow consistent speed to maintain a consistent strength curve. Not only can going too fast increase your chances of injury, it can also decrease the overall benefit of the exercise performed. Exercise speed should be somewhere from 2 seconds or more on the contractive phase (weight moving off the stack) to 4 or more seconds on the eccentric phase (weight moving back to the stack). Keiser type variable resistance equipment is one of the only styles in which you can perform the exercise at any speed and still retain a consistent strength curve.

4) Make sure to contact a Fitness Professional if you have questions. Ask for assistance. It will increase your success and decrease your risk of getting injured.

If used properly variable resistance training equipment can enhance any routine and provide you with many different training options. Train smart and be safe.