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!

Ski Conditioning Preparation

You don’t have to wait for the snow to start falling to get ready for ski season. Start your training now and you’ll be sailing past those other ski bums on your way down the mountain. Dusting the competition or showing off to friends are not the only reason to get in shape before the ski season. Skiing is an activity that requires a variety of skills; strength, endurance, balance, and coordination. Hit the slopes without developing these skills and you may be in for more than embarrassment – you might even hurt yourself.

This is where sports-specific training comes in. Generally speaking, sports-specific training programs involve focusing on the various skills associated with a particular activity. Depending on the sport, this may include health-related measures of fitness such as agility, balance, coordination, power, speed, and reaction time. Most sports require a mixture of these components.

Skiing is a sport that relies heavily on skill-related fitness. A traditional fitness program, which includes a combination of weight training and cardiovascular exercise, will only take you so far. A specific training program to develop specific skills for skiing will take you from the peaks to the valleys in record time.

There are several ways to begin a sports-specific training program. The simplest way is to include several new exercises in your regular workout schedule. For example, performing wall sits that require you to “sit” against a wall will help you build up the isometric strength needed for the tuck position in skiing. Squats and lunges will build lower body strength for skiing tough terrain like moguls. Exercises such as crunches to work your abdominals are essential in creating a solid “core” for balance and agility.

It is important to train your body to withstand and absorb the impact associated with skiing. Plyometric movements, such as hopping from side to side, develop muscle power and strength as well as improve agility.

A great way to integrate these elements into your existing routine is to create a circuit training program, which involves rapidly moving from one exercise to the next. You can set up a circuit in any large room or at your club’s aerobic studio. Many health clubs offer this type of class specifically for the ski season. Be sure and place all of your stations before beginning your workout so you don’t have to stop in the middle. Set a specific time limit for each exercise as well as a set period of breaks between each station. Thirty seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest are common interval periods. Then, simply turn up the music and make your way down the circuit. You might even want to create your own music tape with timed interval of music for exercise and silence for rest periods.

Try these stations to help you gear up for the slopes; use the slide for lateral training, perform one-legged squats to develop balance and strength, and use a step-bench platform to improve power. Try catching a bean bag as it drops off your forearm to improve reaction times or bounce two tennis balls to improve coordination. To improve agility, create your own slalom by running between two comes. In sports-specific training you are only limited by your imagination.

Do your lifting before you hit the lifts! BAC offers a killer Snowsport Conditioning Training Class as well as a class for Recreational Skiiers.

Work Out With A Buddy

For some, starting an exercise program may be a daunting prospect. Even if you get started, there are always those days when you just don’t feel like going to the gym or out for that run. And once you skip that first day, it sure is easier to skip the next. How do you stay committed to your fitness program? Try finding a workout partner. If there is someone who will be let down by your no-show, you will be a lot less likely to skip exercise.

Numerous studies have shown that there is a high dropout rate in workout attendance within the first six month – approximately 50 percent.

In my experience working with fitness enthusiasts, it has become evident that to achieve maximal gains in both muscular and cardiovascular fitness, there must be a specific goal in mind that will motivate you to be consistent in your training efforts. Ultimately, this motivation is often best provided by a training partner.

Although many of the positive aspects of having a training partner relate to strength training, most apply to cardiovascular conditioning as well. Here are some ways training with a partner can benefit you…


One of the most important functions a partner can perform is spotting. A spotter ensures the safety of the person lifting the weights. A good spotter is the cornerstone of good, productive workouts. Proper supervision should be one-on-one. By knowing the lifter’s workout style, the spotter will be better able to “push” the lifter to achieve more repetitions, in good form, that he or she would have been able to do alone. Your spotter can help you attempt that extra repetition as you approach momentary muscular failure – whereas you might have prematurely ended the set for safety reasons if you were lifting on your own. Proper overload will lead to a faster and more efficient progression.


Motivation is the key to success in any facet of life. Before you can motivate someone else, you must be highly motivated yourself. By having particular goals in mind, you will be more able to motivate yourself and your partner throughout your training program.

Motivation must be practiced daily, both psychologically and physically, through verbal encouragement. A spotter can encourage his or her partner while reinforcing proper form and technique. Physical motivation can be achieved through actual workout results. Motivation leads to maximum effort that, in turn, leads to maximum gains.


As previously mentioned, continued commitment to exercise after the first six months is particularly low. Having a workout partner, however, will make you far less likely to skip days or arrive late for training sessions. In the end, you will become more dedicated to your exercise habits if you establish a consistent training program that you and your partner adhere to.

Social Interaction

For some people, the social aspect of working out in a gym is just as important as the exercise. When two or more people train together, loyalty, trust, and friendship develop between partners. When your partner is your spouse, time spent working out can be quality time together. No matter who your partner is, conversation can help your training become less monotonous and help it flow more smoothly.

Friendly Competition

Friendly competition between partners can add fun to working out. For example, if you both share a common goal, you may want to see who is the first to achieve it. It leads to better workout adherance and a higher level of awareness of your short-term and long-term goals.


A training partner often knows your eating habits, exercise habits, attitude changes, and level of commitment. At any level, the more educated you are about your partner, the more you can help him or her achieve personal goals.

A partner will allow you to progress to the next level, while supporting your efforts. If your goal is a higher level of fitness, a workout partner can effectively provide the necessary tools, motivation, and positive outlook for your workout efforts.

First Steps to Fitter Life

We all have our own individual reasons for beginning an exercise program.

Now more than ever before, there is a growing emphasis on feeling good, looking good, and living a longer, healthier life.  Increasingly, scientific evidence tells us that one of the keys to achieving these ideals is fitness and exercise.  But if you spend your days at a sedentary job and pass your evening as a “couch potato,” it may require some determination and commitment to make regular activity a part of your daily routine.

You’ve surely seen enough how-to-do-anything-in-just-a-few-easy-steps lists to know they’re a bit too simplistic to be true.  The following guidelines I will be talking about are not intended to condense everything there is to know about healthy living advice into a few bite-size chunks; nor are they black-and-white rules about what you absolutely must or mustn’t do.  Instead, they are intended as guide to help you get started and achieve you goals.

I want to give you a solid, sensible, smart foundation for overhauling your attitude toward exercise.  And believe me, your attitude is everything when it comes to meeting goals of any kind.

First of all, before starting your exercise program, you should try to establish what your goals are.  Do you want to lower your blood pressure?  Lose some weight?  Be able to walk a few blocks without feeling winded?  Reduce your risk of heart disease?  These are all wonderful reasons to get moving, but wanting to exercise for these reasons doesn’t necessarily mean you will get out and do it.  You need to have the attitude that you’re ready to get started, and take it one day at a time from there.

To get started, develop your plan of attack.  You need to set realistic goals and track your progress.  I am going to offer some strategies for sticking to your plan so that your workout program is as successful as possible.

Before you embark on an exercise program, clarify why you want to get fit.  Once you do that, make sure you’re doing this for yourself-not simply to please your spouse, your doctor, or anyone else who would like to see you feeling your best.

Now it’s time to start setting your specific goals.  Research shows that goal-setting works.  In typical studies, scientists give one group of exercisers a specific goal, such as doing 50 sit-ups.  Meanwhile, they tell a second group of exercisers simply to “do your best.”  The exercisers with specific goals tend to have significantly more success than the comparison groups.

Next, you need to go out and buy yourself a nice notebook or journal.  It can be easy to set goals and rewards, but it’s even easier to forget what they are.  You can keep yourself honest – and motivated – by tracking your goals and accomplishments on paper.  Start each day by reading your exercise goals and re-affirm your reason for doing it.

Whatever your goals are, a training diary can help you get the best results.  You can look back at the end of each week and say, “I did that?”  And you may be inspired to accomplish even more.  Keeping a log shows you whether your goals are realistic and gives you insight into your exercise patterns.  If you’re losing weight, building strength, or developing stamina, you won’t have to wonder what works, because you’ll have a blow-by-blow description of everything you’ve done to reach your goals.

My recommendation for getting started is to find a friend or neighbor who shares your enthusiasm to get out and get moving.  When you commit to exercise with a buddy, your chances of sticking with it go way up.  The support you give one another will motivate you to get out for that scheduled walk even when you really don’t feel like it. If you’ve always wanted to join a gym, or attend an exercise class, it’s nice to participate with your workout buddy who shares your vision.  You can push one another, laugh and joke as you learn the ropes, and motivate one another to get out and get the job done!

When you get in from your work-outs each day, write in your journal the exercises you did, how long you worked out, and most importantly, how it made you feel when you were through. If your workouts include walking or running, don’t forget to look up at the beauty that surrounds you – feel the fresh, crisp air you’re breathing, enjoy the experience.   Each time you go out to exercise, try to go do at least as much, if not a little more than you did the last time.

Exercise doesn’t need to be painful, but if you’ve neglected your body, don’t expect to get a free ride.  Despite what you might hear on those infomercials – “just five minutes a day”, doesn’t cut it.  Exercise is a serious commitment.  You can’t get into shape without exerting some real effort and, perhaps, without experiencing some (but not a lot of) discomfort at first.

So…your “get-started” homework for this week is:
1.  Set realistic goals for the week.
2.  Buy a journal for recording your workouts.
3.  Get out for a workout with a friend or spouse 2 to 3 times this week.
4.  Write down your workout stats every day.
5.  Have a good attitude!  You’ve just made one of the best decisions of your life!

Components of a Balanced Exercise Program

To be healthy we all know that we need to do some form of exercise on a regular basis. But choosing what type of exercise we should be doing, how long should we be doing it for and how hard should we be working while we are doing it can be a little confusing? A complete fitness and exercise program should incorporate three basic components: Endurance (Aerobic), Flexibility, and Strength. Each of these components has specific guidelines, which govern their effectiveness.

Endurance, specifically Aerobic Endurance, is probably the most frequently participated in aspect of fitness due to its wide-ranging benefits. To be effective aerobic exercise should be optimally performed four times a week for 30 minutes or more at a training heart rate of 50-90%. People who are just beginning may need to start at 5 minutes and then gradually add time on until they reach 30 minutes or more. Exercise should be one that elevates your heart rate into your target range, is continuous in nature, and uses large muscle groups. Some examples of aerobic type exercise are Walking, Jogging, Running, Swimming, Bicycling, Stair Climbing, Rowing, Jumping Rope, Aerobics class, and Dancing.

For whatever reason Flexibility is one of the most often neglected aspects of a fitness program. We need to remember that muscles that lack flexibility do not move as well, which can restrict the movement of our joints and increase the risk of injury. Flexibility type exercise is best done when the muscle is warm. Warm muscles perform better. Active short duration flexibility exercises of 5-10 seconds, can be performed as part of a warm-up. Static flexibility exercises, where the exercise is held for longer duration’s, 30-60 seconds , should be performed at the conclusion of the exercise session.

Resistance training allows the body to retain and increase muscle mass. When we lose muscle mass we not only lose strength but decrease our metabolism. Increases in strength allow us to perform our everyday activities a little easier. Resistance training sessions can be performed two or more times a week and should incorporate all the major muscle groups. The amount of resistance and repetitions are dependent on what your over all goals are. The same muscle groups should not be exercised on successive days. Forty-eight hours rest should be given between strength sessions of the same muscle groups.

Each of these components is inter-dependent on the other and are necessary for a complete fitness program. They all can be incorporated into one exercise session. Contact your local fitness professional if you need additional assistance in organizing your program.