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We’ve Moved!

December 1, 2015

Greeting fellow fitness enthusiasts! We are just writing to let you know that our blog has moved to be incorporated into our new website!  We would love it if you would continue to follow us at:  for updates in the fitness industry, individual and group challenges, what’s new, and other happenings at Ridge Athletic Clubs.  We appreciate you constant support and look forward to serving you better!


Fitness Matters | Training for Winter Activities

October 25, 2015

The leaves are changing colors and blanketing the ground, directing our minds towards winter and it’s many activities.  As we phase out our summer and fall endeavors and move into those that involve the snow and ice, this is a great time to prepare ourselves for the wonderful winter many of us live for.  These transitional months are the time to step back a little and increase our strengths, work on weaknesses, and establish a base of fitness to take us through the long winter season.

Strengths:  I think it’s critical to increase our general and absolute strength during these transitional periods. You should establish a program of strength training that incorporates large movements, such as front squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, etc. that encourage heavier weights and low reps to build your foundational strength.  Incorporating these exercises into your routine is invaluable for building a more durable body, and certainly requires the programming and guidance of a trained professional.

Weaknesses:  While it’s great to build up our general strength, many of us might be better off addressing our weaker links. The idea of working on weaknesses can be approached as more of a “pre-hab”. Your goal is to correct imbalances or weak points in your overall body. You want to use exercises to make sure that you maintaining proper balance and alignment through both postural and dynamic movements. Many professionals can offer both postural and movement-based assessments to determine what the best exercise plan can be for you.

Go into this winter with a stronger foundation that will keep you enjoying all of your activities more and with less chance of injury. Now start praying for snow while you’re hitting the gym!

Author: Ridge Personal Trainer Dewey Peacock

Resistance Training vs. Endurance Training in People with COPD

October 20, 2015

Chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that makes it hard to breath by obstructing airflow from the lungs. People with COPD often develop skeletal muscle dysfunction, skeletal muscle atrophy, and other chronic disease such as cardiovascular disease, and obesity largely due to extended periods of physical inactivity. When it’s hard to perform the simple act of breathing, voluntarily exerting yourself above your
resting level becomes very challenging and very unattractive

COPD-Alveoli-and-Bronchiole-1024x1024To prevent this decline in health, national guidelines recommend endurance and resistance training combat this primary and secondary effects of this disease. In 2015 Lepsen et al., reviewed a total of 8 RCTs that consisted of 328 participants. The researchers’ primary outcomes they compared were quality of life, activities of daily living, dyspnea (shortness of breath), possible harm, total mortality, walking distance, lean body mass, muscle strength, and exercise capacity.

Authors concluded that in people with COPD, resistance training appears to generate similar benefits to endurance training. Further, they suggested that in people with COPD, resistance training may be prescribed as an alternative to endurance training. However, when prescribing exercise programming for this population, fitness professionals should consider the client’s level of exercise tolerance, co-morbid conditions, orthopedic limitations, and long-term goals.

Ridge Personal Trainer Eddie Davila

Eddie Davila, MS, ACSM-RCEP, EP-C, EIM 3, CEAS

About the Author: Ed Davila is the Director of Fitness at the Ridge Athletic Clubs. He is a Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist & Certified Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine. He is also a Certified Ergonomics Assessment Specialist through the Back School of Atlanta.

Article Reference: Lepsen U.W., Jørgensen K.J., Ringbaek T., Hansen H., Skrubbeltrang C., and Lange P. A systematic review of resistance training versus endurance training in COPD. J Cardio Pulm Rehab. May/June 2015; 35(3): 163-172.

Meet the Students | Team Mountain Grit

October 9, 2015

Starting Monday, October 19th, Ridge Athletic Clubs will be hosting a new program, developed and run by three MSU students!   Here is a word from students, Samantha Fagan, Brandon Endy, and Rachel Moore, about the development and implementation of their program at Ridge Athletic Clubs!

RWiP5s 008

We are seniors at Montana State University and will be graduating this year with a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science and Kinesiology. Right now we are enrolled in a class called Physical Fitness Program Design and Delivery. We have been fortunate enough for the Ridge to allow us to design and implement a class that we believe will enhance an outdoor lifestyle. This 6-week class will consist of hour long sessions on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 8:00pm-9:00pm. This class will incorporate circuit training with an active rest. We will focus on building muscular and cardiovascular endurance while supporting joint function.  Our goal is to empower people through a positive group experience. We want to enhance an active outdoor lifestyle by building a solid basis and encouraging them to stay motivated outside of the class. This fitness program is able to adapt to all fitness levels and ages (18 and older) at any point during the 6-week session. We hope to see you become a part of the Mountain Grit team!

If you are interested in participating in Mountain Grit, you may register online at Ridge-Upcoming Programs or at the Service Desk.

Fueling Your Family | How to Snack Happy

October 1, 2015


As many of us launch into back-to-school mode, you might also find yourself launched into the daunting hunt for healthy snack ideas. As a mom of 2 with my oldest starting Kindergarten this year, I am right there with you! The first couple weeks of packing her morning and afternoon snack have left me searching for a better variety of quick, healthy, packable options my daughter will eat. My nutrition-minded mommy brain aims to pair a fruit or a vegetable with a whole grain or protein food. By doing so, the snack delivers a mix of quick energy carbohydrates, protein for blood sugar stabilization, and fiber for satiety and overall health. Here are a few ideas I’ve come up with. I hope they might help you too.

  1. Fresh vegetables + hummus (pre-packaged individual hummus packs offer added convenience)
  2. Make-your-own trail mix (whole grain cereal like cheerios or oat squares + dried fruit + popcorn + nuts if allowed). Get creative and change the ingredients from week to week.
  3. String cheese + a piece of fresh fruit, no-added sugar apple sauce cup, or fruit leather.
  4. Rice cakes (look for brown rice as the first ingredient) + handful of nuts (if allowed)
  5. Whole grain tortilla roll-up (my girls love peanut butter + dried cranberries + coconut + cinnamon inside). Again, get creative!
  6. Graham cracker sandwiches (cream cheese, + coconut + a thin apple slice between 2 cracker squares)

Article by Katie Sonnek, RD, LN
Registered Dietitian at The Ridge Athletic Club

Fitness Matters | On Pep Talks and Mantras

September 27, 2015


“If you don’t keep moving, the miles will never come.”  I kept repeating this simple mantra sentence in my head last week during the Bozeman marathon. Both mentally and physically I fell apart during the race and wanted to stop. I was in need of some serious pep talks with myself out there on those long, hot, and quiet roads. The experience reminded me to not look humbly at the mountainous goal you have to reach, but to keep the focus on one mile at a time.

This is applicable to a fitness goal of any kind. Try to think of taking your fitness journey one single moment or day at a time, one squat at a time, one push-up at a time, just one more burpee, one more rep, set, etc…Each “just one more” will keep you in forward motion towards your end goals.

Along the way, it is discouraging to not see immediate results. There will be the highs and the lows, the momentum and the setbacks. However, you will get there with the right motivation in your head. Every time I stopped to walk in the race, I felt the miles slowing down even more. That was quitting to me. I had to keep moving so that those mile markers kept coming. Somewhere around mile 16, I wanted to quit and jump on a horse I ran by so it could rush me that dreamy finish line. It seemed to make way more sense than suffering the way I was. I wanted to “just get to” mile 20 because that meant I would be closer to mile 21. At that point, it would be exciting because I would only be 3 miles from mile 24 which meant only 2 more miles until the finish. Then it would all be over. This is the “just get to” breakdown I’ve used often in endurance racing, but it helps. When all you have is yourself out there to keep your head in the game, you have to break it down however you need to. A simple, motivational saying on repeat is sometimes all it takes to get out of bed in the morning to get yourself to the gym or to push yourself through another mile on the treadmill. Keep MOVING forward to see the numbers go by, even when your body and mind sometimes want to throw in the towel. One day at a time and eventually you will see results. What’s YOUR mantra to keep you going? What’s your one-liner of the hour, day, month, or the year?


About the Author Jess Tuttle is an NASM Certified Personal Trainer at the Ridge Athletic Clubs.

In Fitness, One Size Does NOT Fit All

August 23, 2015


Watching the finish of this years’ Bridger Ridge Run got me thinking about all of the different shapes and sizes of runners crossing the finish line. With a six-hour difference between the first and last finisher, it makes sense that these genetic anthropometric differences play a role in creating such a range in performance and finishing time (along with training). If we apply this same rationalization to exercise in a gym setting, it also makes sense that not everyone can do the same exercises. Some people can squat… great. Some people have restrictions with flexibility, mobility, and the like – so squats may be the worst thing for them; yet it has been all the rage for the last few years to make these black and white statements in the fitness industry that everyone must squat, deadlift, etc.

Exercise selection and prescription should be a highly personalized process, based on what the individual can do with their “shape” and “size,” rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. A good personal Trainer will be able to assess movements and modify their own arsenal of exercises to accommodate these differences.  If you‘ve been wondering why that new fad workout highlighted on a $4.00 magazine cover isn’t working, or why it is putting you in pain, consider that it might not be the right fit. Instead, get a regimen set up the right way with a personal trainer that will challenge you and your “shape” and “size” in a healthy and safe way.


About the Author:
Sean Beckett is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and ACSM Certified HFS at the Ridge Athletic Clubs
.  To contact Sean or learn more about his background, click here