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.

Why take Group Exercise classes?

A common reason given for quitting an exercise program is boredom. A variety of class formats will keep you motivated and interested, as well as give you different instructor styles, music selection, and interaction with other participants. For many, an hour-long workout goes by very quickly when there is music playing and you are trying new exercises. People stay interested because of the social atmosphere provided by group exercise. This offers camaraderie and accountability among participants, as well as between participants and instructor.

Most people know exercise is good for them and want to begin exercising. However, they do not know the first step to take. They are bombarded with urgent messages from the media to exercise, but receive little guidance on how to initiate that process. This can be a very overwhelming task, especially when our lives are hectic. Group exercise offers a workout for all levels, ranging from beginner to advanced. Participants do not need to know how to develop a safe and effective workout or which machines to use or for how long; it is already done for them. They simply have to show up with a positive attitude, participate, and most importantly, have fun.

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

5 Components of a Sound Fitness Program

1. Mobility
– Tissue: Fascial Tissue that is able to move freely
– Joints: Bones able to articulate freely through the Range of Motion.

Achieved through Foam Rolling, Massage Stick, Therapy Ball, or Massage Therapist.

2. Resistance
– Increase Muscle Mass
– Increase Strength
– Increase Power

Achieved through Resistance Training via loads provided by: Body Weight, Free Weights, Tubing/Bands, Medicine Ball, Water, and/or Selectorized Weight Equipment. Muscle Mass to increase and maintain metabolism. Strength to engage in normal everyday leisure activity movements. Power to react quickly and recover.

3. Endurance
– Anaerobic
– Aerobic

Achieved through Interval Training (short bursts of intense activity alternating with active or complete rest determined by Ratings of Perceived Effort or Heart Rate) and Continuous Training (extended exercise at moderate to moderately high level determined by Ratings of Perceived Effort or Heart Rate).

4. Flexibility
– Muscular
– Fascial

Achieved by elongating Fascial and Muscle Tissue through prolonged duration stretching exercise (Duration can be 20 -60 seconds in length). Can be self-directed or by participating in Yoga.

5. Recovery
– Nutrition
– Rest

Achieved in eating a balanced diet with a good mixture of fruits, vegetables, protein (meat, dairy, legumes, seeds, and nuts), complex carbohydrates, and hydration. Appropriate number of hours of sleep supplemented with naps when allowed. 

Our BAC Personal Training Staff is available to help answer your questions on any or all of these components and how you can best assimilate them into your training regiment.

Single Leg Balance

by Mike Locke – Fitness Director
Unless you have incurred some type of injury or illness, training for balance may not even be on your exercise radar. One thing to keep in mind when it comes to balance is that every step we take, every stair we climb there is a moment prior to stepping down that we have to balance on one foot. If you watch older adults that have balance and strength issues you quite often see a short abbreviated shuffle type of gait as they walk. If they were to try and take a longer stride they would lose their balance and fall.

Single-leg balance exercises can assist exercisers from athletes to older adults and require minimal to no equipment at all. The most basic of exercises is to try and stand on one foot and maintain your balance for a period of time, anywhere from 10-60 seconds. From there you can give yourself increased balance challenges. The following is a list of single-leg balance exercises in progressive order:
1. Change where you look with your eyes only (up, down, left, right, and diagonally).
2. Change your opposite foot position (hold out in front , out to the side, out to the rear).
3. Change your head position (turn your head left, right, up, down, and diagonally).
4. Change the position of your arms (out to the side, out to the front, above your head).
5. C lose your eyes and try to maintain balance.
6. Apply external loading (medicine ball, clubbell, pulley, tubing).

You should only move to more challenging balance exercises after you have mastered the initial exercise progressions. Give them a try and assess your balance. You will be pleasantly surprised or more educated on where you currently are in your ability to balance. If you have questions regarding Balance type exercise please contact one of our personal training staff.

Slow Down the Aging Process

Did you ever hear anyone say, “I swear I don’t eat more than I used to but I’m gaining weight,” or “I weigh the same as last year but I can’t fit in the same size?” What in the world is going on?

We lose between 1/2 to 1 pound of muscle each year as we age beginning at age 20, just as a natural part of the aging process. Here’s how that effects us: A pound of muscle burns roughly 50 calories a day. A pound of fat burns -2 calories a day, because it’s actually part of our fuel supply.

Now imagine what happens when we lose a pound of muscle. We now eat 50 calories a day more than our body burns. So naturally that extra 50 calories is stored as fat. That translates at 3500 calories a pound to a pound extra every couple months. Add more muscle loss and fewer calories a day burned and more and more fat storage. This leads to slower metabolism (your body burns fewer calories a day) and weight gain.

That’s bad enough but read on! A pound of muscle is about the size of a bar of soap. A pound of fat, however, is the size of a pound of lard. Multiply that by 5 and see how that effects your clothing size!

We lose muscle and replace it with stored fat and we get bigger and softer and flabbier. It sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Sounds like the “normal” aging process. The good news is you can change all that by strength training regularly.

By building muscle to replace lost muscle we can overcome the losses that seem inevitable with the aging process. Think about it. As we build muscle we burn more calories (faster metabolism). When we use more calories than we are taking is as food we start using our stored fat which slims us down. As we take off that layer of fat the tone and shape of our muscles show through and we look firm. Now think of exchanging fat the other way around. If you lose 5 pounds of fat and gained 5 pounds of muscle, there would be no change on the scale, but look again at the difference between a bar of soap and a pound of butter and imagine what would happen in the way your clothes fit.

Yes, aerobic exercise is essential, and it does help to burn fat, but it won’t maintain and build the muscle you need to keep your metabolism active.

The best news is that strength training is no longer the domain of only body builders and the young. It has been found to be the very most effective use of exercise time. Three times per week for about 20 to 30 minutes per session is all that is necessary to strengthen and tone your muscles.

Studies abound on the benefits of strength training; lower blood pressure and heart rate, more stamina, better circulation and general body functions, etc. It is never too late to start. Huge benefits have been achieved by men and women of all ages and ability levels.

Before beginning any exercise program, get your doctor’s approval. Then make an appointment with a certified personal trainer to get started on the right foot. Don’t wait another day. You CAN slow down the aging process!