August 2016
website  |  the club  |  membership  |  classes  |  contact

Welcome to the Ballard Health Club Newsletter. We value your membership at BHC and want to keep you informed of what's going on at the club.

We look forward to staying in touch! 

-The BHC Team

Summer Classes at the Park
This summer we will be holding four classes at the Ballard Commons Park, just north of BHC. Everyone is welcome! Classes are free and open to the public.

Saturdays 9-10am

Tue/Thur 6-7pm
Sundays 10am

Bodybuilding: It's Not Necessarily What You Think!

When most people hear the term "bodybuilding", Arnold Schwarzenegger or an image of super tan bikini competitors up on stage comes to mind. Yes, bodybuilding is a sport, but what you may not know is that choosing a bodybuilding-style fitness routine does not require that you participate in the sport of competing on stage, or require going to any extremes to sculpt your ideal physique.

Bodybuilding is a unique training style in which you split up your training days by different muscle groups and perform high volume routines (more exercises per muscle group) with shorter rest intervals in order to achieve hypertrophy (muscle growth). Research suggests that muscle growth is optimized by training in a repetition range of 6-12 reps, performing 3-5 sets at a moderate-high intensity of 75-85% to adequately stimulate the muscle and achieve growth. Another important component to bodybuilding is using a "mind to muscle connection" for the target muscle during each exercise. Hypertrophy training is not simply the action of lifting a weight from point A to point B; instead, it involves focusing on the target muscle and feeling it work throughout the movement.
If you have specific aesthetic goals centered on developing lean muscle mass (for ex: ladies who want to build a bigger, more shapely bum or men who are looking to increase chest size), give the split routine a try! There are many ways to pair the body parts and create your own resistance training split routine. Common options range from a 2-day upper body/lower body split to a 6-day muscle group split. Here is a common example:
  • Day 1- Legs (Hamstring & Glute Focus)
  • Day 2- Chest, Triceps, Abs
  • Day 3- Back & Biceps
  • Day 4- Legs (Quads & Calves Focus)
  • Day 5- Shoulders/Deltoids (Anterior, Lateral, & Posterior), Abs
As long as you keep a balanced routine that is appropriate for your needs, there are many ways to sequence your weekly split. Personally, I prefer doing a 5 day split to really spend time focusing on specific muscle groups. You can tailor your weekly split to fit your schedule and specific goals/needs whether appearance-based or to correct muscular imbalances (or better yet, you can book a fitness training appointment and have one of us at BHC create one for you!)

Brittany Speakman
BHC Trainer

Autumn Yoga Retreat with Tracy and Heather

Ballard Health Club presents the Autumn Yoga Retreat at Suncadia with hosts Tracy Hodgeman and Heather Rudin November 4-6, 2016.

Welcome the changing seasons and bolster your resilience for the upcoming holidays with a refreshing weekend retreat in the Cascade mountains. Enjoy the slow pace at the Grand Fir Lodge at Suncadia with daily yoga classes, deliciously nutritious meals, and plentiful free time to explore the many trails through the woods, enjoy naps by the fire, read a book, or soak in the jacuzzi.
Tracy and Heather have been teaching retreats together for over 13 years, and love to share their considerable combined knowledge of yoga therapy. On this retreat we offer practices for neck and shoulder relief, as well as core strengthening and lower back support. We will delve into calming techniques that shift us out of stress mode and into ease, support our immune system and clear our minds. We will also laugh-- a lot-- which is also scientifically proven to be very good for your health (and your core strength).
Join us as we elevate our energy frequency and lighten up. It's the magic of fall mountain air that opens our senses so that we can each easily rest in our own magnificence.

Click here for availability, prices and booking online>

The front desk will have reduced hours on Labor Day, Sept. 5th. Members who do not have a key fob may use the gym from 8am-8pm.

With our 24-Hour Access, however, anyone with a key fob may now come in anytime. Make sure you get your key fob BEFORE Sept. 5th if you would like to use the club before 8am or after 8pm that day. 

Over Labor Day weekend, we will be refinishing the floors in Studio X. Therefore, Studio X will be CLOSED Sept. 3-5 (Saturday, Sunday and Monday) and NO CLASSES WILL BE HELD DURING THAT TIME. Classes will resume as normal Tuesday, Sept. 6th. 

Class Changes

Tuesdays 5:30-6:45pm
New Instructor! Em Boardway
**Starting August 23

Oula Dance
Saturdays @ 11am-12pm
Moved to
Thursday 6:15-7:15pm

Thursdays @ 6:15-7:15pm

Fridays @ 5:30-6:30pm

African Dance
Sundays @ 6:30-7:30pm

24 Hour Access has been available since June 1st!

If interested, be sure to first get your RFID key fob to take advantage of this new member benefit .

RFID Key Fobs are available at the front desk for a one time charge of $10. In an effort to increase the security for our members using the gym after hours, a government issued ID and proof of residence may also be required. Accessing the club outside of front desk hours requires the use of the RFID key fob. 

Member Spotlight:
Becky Wood

How long have you been a member at Ballard Health Club?

We moved to Ballard in late 1999 and I joined BHC right after that, so at least since early 2000.

What is your favorite piece of
equipment or exercise to do in the gym? And what do you do to work out?

I don't have any one piece of favorite equipment, which is one of the things I like about BHC. You can do free weights, weight machines, elliptical machines, erg, core stuff on the mat, speed bag, jump rope, and so on. That makes it easy to mix things up and keep it interesting. I try to alternate between a cardio workout and a weight workout after a little cardio warm up. And if I run out of ideas, I don't hesitate to ask a staff member to help create a workout.

Why do you work out?

Exercise is the closest thing we have to a fountain of youth. I exercise to stay healthy in mind and body. I want to have a good old age and have the energy to really enjoy retirement, which isn't too far away. My main goal is to remain healthy. Eating well and exercise are the two best things anyone can do to love themselves. Although it takes a bit of willpower to get myself into the gym some mornings, once I'm there and start working out, I always feel better both mentally and physically.

Why do you choose to work out at BHC? (instead of another gym)

One of the things that has kept me at Ballard Health Club is the staff. The people who work at BHC are friendly and knowledgeable and very down-to-earth. I also like the demographic of the membership. BHC has a nice slice of humanity and everyone feels welcome to work out there. I've been in gyms where if you weren't a bodybuilder you were made to feel you were in the way or if you weren't a "glamour bomb" you were snubbed. No thanks. It's nice to work out with all kinds of people in a well-maintained gym staffed with great people.
Every Friday after 6pm is FRIENDLY FRIDAYS! Bring a friend to workout at Ballard Health Club with you - just ask them to bring a picture ID!

Friend must be accompanied by a member and we will waive the drop-in fee. 
Time change! Hoops Club will now meet on Thursdays from 6:30-8pm at the Loyal Heights Community Center. This club is free for members and there is a $5 drop-in fee for non-members. After attending four times at Hoops Club, you are eligible to purchase a Hoops Club T-shirt for $10. Sign up at the front desk for more information. 
Zoom In On Health: Coronary Heart Disease

Do you know what the leading cause of death and disability for both men and women is? It's coronary heart disease, or CHD, which is caused by plaque formation that results in a narrowing of the coronary arteries. If you or someone you know is living with CHD, the benefits of exercise include a lower risk of mortality, increased exercise tolerance, muscle strength, reduction in angina and heart failure symptoms, and improved psychological status and social adjustment. There is also evidence that heart disease may be slowed (or even reversed) when a multifactor intervention program of intensive education, exercise, counseling, and lipid-lowering medications are used. It is important to note that since CHD is usually caused by lifestyle choices, it important that exercise is only playing a role in a much bigger plan. Eating better, moving more, and reducing stress all play an important role in managing CHD.

Though the cardiovascular complication rate is relatively low among people with CHD in regards to exercise, it is still very important that someone with this disease first works with their doctors to determine a safe upper limit and to have an understanding of how their medications may affect their exercise in order to avoid risking any negative side effects. Ideally, a heart rate monitor will be available for use during a workout.

Aerobic low-intensity exercise is recommended to start with, with a weekly caloric expenditure goal of 1,500-2,000 calories per week. Work up to 5-10 minutes of warming up, followed by 20-40 minutes of exercise, with a 5-10 minute cool down. Resistance training should not be started until the client has been exercising without any problems for at least 3 months. Most exercises should be performed in a seated or standing position, making sure to keep the head above the heart at all times. Programs should be performed using the Peripheral Heart Action (PHA) training system, which is a form of circuit training that alternates upper and lower body exercises in order to distribute blood flow between the upper and lower extremities, potentially improving circulation. It is also important that one avoids lifting things that are too heavy and may cause them to hold their breath, ensuring that one is breathing normally. Similarly, avoiding straining when exercising or over-gripping the exercise equipment, as both of these things can increase blood pressure.

Need help knowing where to start? Try booking a complimentary Fitness Training appointment with one of BHC's personal trainers and have them put together a personalized routine to suit your needs.

Roxy Turner
BHC Personal Trainer 
50/50/50 Workout From John

Looking to mix up your workout a bit? Crunched for time?? No equipment around???

Here is a 50 minute long workout that is focused around 50% cardio, and 50% strength/endurance. The workout is broken up into 5 minute circuits, alternating between cardio and strength. Set a timer for 5 minutes, and switch off between the cardio and strength circuits for a great, balanced, and efficient workout! Find a good pace, and push it to the limit!

*AMRAP = As Many Rounds as Possible - In other words, repeat the circuit as many times as you can in each 5 minute round.

AMRAP Circuit # 1
1) Push up x 10 - Start with hands just outside of shoulders, squeeze chest
2) Squat Jump x 10
3) Plank Rotations x 10 - Start off on a high plank (push up position) - rotate into a side plank with your arm and eyes pointed to the sky. Rotate back to the center high plank, and repeat alternating sides

AMRAP Circuit #2
1) Wide Push ups x 10 - push ups with hands well outside of shoulders (This will target your back and shoulders more versus targeting your chest during a standard push up)
2) Step-Back Lunges x 10 per side - keep knees behind your toes and drive weight from heel
3) Burpee with Double Star Jump x 10  - regular burpee, but at the top, jump and spread your arms and legs out like a star two times before going back down into bottom of the burpee


0-5: Warm-up - slow walk/jog

5-10: Jog/walk/run hard for 5 minutes (think 7-8 on a scale of 1 to 10)

10-15:  AMRAP Circuit #1

15-20:  Slow walk/jog (at pace that helps you catch your breath!)

20-25:  AMRAP Circuit #2

25-30:  Jog/walk/run hard for 5 minutes (think 7-8 on a scale of 1 to 10)

30-35:  AMRAP Circuit #1

35-40:  Slow jog (at pace that helps you catch your breath!)

40-45:  AMRAP Circuit #2

45-50:  Cool Down - Slow walk/jog

John Parks
BHC Trainer 
Nutritional "Did You Know"
How to Lower Cortisol Levels With Diet
Cortisol is the hormone released while your mind or body is under stress. Stress occurs daily, whether it is work related, emotional, exercise induced, etc. Since stress is a natural response, there are many benefits of cortisol release, such as stimulating the brain to utilize glucose more efficiently as well as increasing the availability of substances that repair tissues. These responses are important when we face stressful, threatening situations. However, when our bodies are constantly under stress from workloads, finances, taking care of a family, etc. there are negative side effects of too much cortisol in the blood stream. It alters the immune system and suppresses the digestive system. The alteration of the immune system causes free radicals within our bodies, which in turn, kills off cells prematurely and a suppressed digestive system restricts the microvilli from absorbing nutrients efficiently. Also, chronically high cortisol levels can cause sleep problems and abdominal weight gain. A natural stress response is to eat. Why? Our bodies believe we need the calories in case we need to flee, so we crave food. However, when one is stressed about finances, we don't need the calories.
Another downfall for having high levels of cortisol in our bloodstream is the inability for our bodies to utilize fat stores as energy. If cortisol is present, we utilize glucose from the carbohydrates we eat or from the conversion of muscle tissue. Our primitive stress response is to hold onto valuable energy; i.e. fat stores, just in case that bear in the distance is going to chase us. Luckily, Ballard doesn't attract many bears, but unluckily, it does attract stress.
How we live our lives and the foods we eat contribute to our cortisol levels. Here are a list of some foods and the nutrients they provide that assist in lowering stress and in turn lowering cortisol levels.
High in folate; folate decreases cortisol in our system by reducing the inflammatory reactions, which returns blood vessels to a normal state, reduces internal sensitivity to adrenaline, and stops the overproduction of cortisol.
Avocados are high in glutathione for your immune system and folate and other B vitamins that reduce inflammation. An added bonus, they contain lutein, beta-carotene and vitamin E for vision and skin health.
Highest level of the antioxidant, anthocyanin; rich in vitamin C - a compromised immune system produces free radicals; antioxidants zap said free radicals in order to keep the integrity of the cell life. Vitamin C is a main component of a strong immune system.

Cashews are a great source of Zinc; our bodies do not store Zinc, so it is important to consume foods containing it daily. Zinc is an important building block for our immune system.
Chamomile tea
This herb is a potent antioxidant to diminish free radicals as well as being a relaxant to promote sleep.
Pure, raw cocoa is best as it contains bountiful antioxidants, polyphenols and flavonols.

Garlic contains a super-antioxidant allicin, which is a powerhouse to strengthen the immune system.
Green tea
Green tea contains theanine, which has been shown to reduce anxiety. Its caffeine content is contradictory to this reduction; if you are sensitive to caffeine, this may not be the best option.
Oatmeal provides tryptophan, which causes your brain to produce serotonin to lift your mood.
Rich in vitamins B6 and E; both of which decrease inflammation within our tissues, this is a natural response to physical damage and stress. Walnuts are also high in alpha-linolenic acid and polyphenols, which build the immune system.
Lastly, there are many ways that lifestyle affects cortisol levels; the most important one is the amount of sleep we get per night. Aim for 8-9 hours of sleep per night. This in itself has a whole host of benefits for us, including keeping cortisol levels down.
Get some rest and eat some delicious, cortisol lowering foods!

Lauren Derr
BHC Nutrition Coach
Upgrading to PLUS Membership

As you are aware by now, BHC requires a PLUS membership to attend any of the 80+ classes BHC offers weekly (other than Silver Sneakers and Chair Yoga).

For a monthly renewing member, a PLUS membership is $10 more per month than a regular membership. A PLUS Yearly membership is $100 more than a regular yearly membership.

If you were a monthly renewing member before March 1st, you have been grandfathered in to your regular rate with a complimentary PLUS status upgrade through the end of August. If you purchased a yearly membership before March 1st, then your membership has been upgraded to PLUS status for the remainder of your year.

If you are currently a monthly renewing member, you need to let us know before September that you would like to upgrade to a PLUS continue using classes without interruption. If you do not upgrade, you will no longer be eligible to attend classes starting September 1st.

To do this, either request the form from the front desk (it only takes a minute to fill out!) or download the BHC Membership Upgrade form by clicking HERE to fill out from the comfort of your own home. Once filled out, please drop it off at the BHC Front Desk or scan and email to

BHC Parking

With all of the BHC parking areas, it can be confusing to know when each one is open and available for BHC members working out at the club or going to a class. To help with this, we have prepared a printable BHC Parking Map at


Please be considerate of your fellow BHC members and do not use a parking spot unless you are at the club. Using BHC parking for other purposes before or after being at the club is inconsiderate. Violators may be ticketed, towed and/or lose parking privileges at BHC parking areas.

Summer Yoga
It's hard to believe we are halfway through summer. Hopefully you've had a chance to check out our tai chi and yoga classes in Ballard Commons Park.

With all the outdoor activities available here in the Great Northwest, I suggest you come into Studio Y for some self care with a Restorative class with Molly or join Tracy for either her Yoga Tune Up or Yoga Wind Down. Bayeshan also teaches a gentle style that lets you relax your body and clear your mind. These classes are designed to restore yourself and revitalize your energy through movement and mindfulness.

All of our yoga classes will keep you moving but sometimes after a long hike or a week of vacation it's a good idea to come into class with the intention of nurturing your body back to it's full potential by slowing down.

I hope you are enjoying these beautiful days, see you in class!

Karen Gamble
BHC Class Director

From the Owner
I recently toured a larger, more expensive health club with lots of members and fancy locker rooms. I'm guessing 4 or 5 times the membership that we have (which isn't shabby at about 3000). This health club looked impressive and has some very nice equipment. The members looked pretty serious about working out and were quiet. For a while. I felt something was missing and then I put my finger on it - it was the vibe.

I believe the vibe at Ballard Health Club starts with having people who staff our front desk that are personal trainers and have chosen this field because it is focused on making life better for others. Ballard Health Club breaks the standard model of 99% of all other gyms. Most gyms hire minimum wage personnel at the front desk and have personal trainers spend a lot of their time selling personal training packages on the gym floor. In this standard gym model, members visiting the gym are seen as continual sales prospects versus people who want to focus 100% of their valuable gym time trying to get and/or stay fit.

The Ballard Health Club does not have this ongoing sales environment between members and staff. As a result, I believe it fosters the warm and friendly vibe that we have come to know at our Club.

What keeps this vibe alive on a daily basis is our members. We have some members that light up the room with their smile when they arrive at the Club. You can't help but to give them a big smile in return and appreciate them sharing the good vibe with you.

There are all those individual personalities that we tend to miss when they haven't shown up for a while and always feel good seeing them again.

There are the classes that evolve into fitness support groups for the people that frequent them and build long lasting friendships along the way.

And then there is the Silver Sneakers "family" which is a special part of the day when the group starts filling in for the Silver Classes. This group is full of interesting personalities that are enjoyable to interact with and who are happy and appreciative to have Ballard Health Club a part of their life routine.

The twenty or so feet from the bottom of the entry stairs to the threshold of the gym has to be the friendliest stretch of real estate I've ever experienced and it makes it a wonderful place to come to work every day.

Thank you for my job.


Pat Gilbrough
Owner and General Manager
Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  Find us on Yelp