Summer is right around the corner…

Summer is right around the corner…that means pulling out your unforgiving bikinis and boardshorts.  Get ready for summer by revamping your normal routine.  If you’ve been doing the same 45 minute cardio sesh while watching America’s Next Top Model at the same intensity level, try adding some exercises that get the heart rate up.  Interval training is one of the best ways to get results, so mix it up!  Need ideas?  Watch the four minute video below to get some new ideas, or ask a Ridge trainer to write you a customized program.


Try it! — Pilates

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All the stars are doing it, but how many of us really know what Pilates is, what it does, and how to get started with it.  Julia Cooper, Pilates instructor at The Ridge Athletic Club, give us the lowdown on Pilates.

Pilates is an exercise method originally called Contrology, which was developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920’s as he worked with injured soldiers and dancers. Since then it has become popular throughout the world with many populations, including athletes, dancers, seniors, those in physical therapy, and women post-pregnancy. Pilates focuses on gaining strength throughout the “core” (head, neck, back, and abdominals), using the limbs as resistance. The result is the ability to perform any activity with grace, ease, and strength throughout the entire range of motion.

Aesthetic benefits:

  1. Long, lean abdominal muscles
  2. Smaller waist
  3. Toned neck (tighter under jaw)
  4. Toned arms
  5. Toned glutes, thighs, calves
  6. More attractive posture
  7. Grow between 1 and 3 inches in height!

Health Benefits:

  1. Release of tension in shoulders and neck, reduces tension headaches
  2. Heal and prevent back pain
  3. Increased total body strength and stamina
  4. Increased joint mobility, flexibility, and coordination
  5. Establish mental control over your body
  6. Release of toxins in deep core muscles (drink lots of water post-pilates to aid flushing these out!)
  7. Become better and more efficient at EVERYTHING you do! From snowboarding and skiing to gardening, dancing, walking, running, cycling…. You name it! You even get better at sitting!

Pilates is offered at the Ridge through mat classes or with machines. The machines are referred to as the Cadillac and the Reformer, and they are designed to create more or less resistance as they target specific muscles. To get started in pilates it is generally recommended that you first go through a posture analysis with an instructor and have a program designed specifically to address your personal muscular imbalances, which all of us have. An intro class is also recommended. This will teach you the 6 basic principles of pilates: Centering, Concentration, Control, Precision, Breath, and Flow. As your strength increases and you master the essentials, you will notice how everyday activities have become easier, and how much better you feel about yourself! It is then time to progress to intermediate and advanced exercises, challenging your body and taking yourself to another level. Get started today!

Watching your calories? Try these recipes…

This past weekend I bought a book called Hungry Girl 1-2-3.  It claims to have the easiest, most delicious, guilt-free recipes on the planet.  Now, I must admit, I haven’t tried that many recipes on this planet, but I would say they live up to their claim.  Here’s a few I’ve tried so far; they’re filling and easy, and even my picky boyfriend liked them!

Too-ez Mac n’ Cheese

2 c. uncooked whole-wheat-blend rotinin pasta
6c. (24 oz.) frozen Green Giant Cauliflower and Cheese Sauce
3 wedges The Laughing Cow Light Original Swiss Cheese
Salt and pepper to taste


In a large pot, prepare pasta according to package instructions, drain well and set aside.  While pasta is cooking, place cauliflower and cheese sauce in a large microwave-safe bowl.  Cover and microwave for 10-12 minutes, until sauce has melted and cauliflower is hot.  Remove from microwave, add cooked pasta, and set aside.

Unwrap cheese wedges and place in a microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave until melted, stir until smooth, and add to the pasta/cauliflower mixture.  Mix thoroughly, season to taste, and enjoy! 

Makes 4 servings (about 1 cup each)
Each serving contains 202 calories, 4.5g fat, 825mg. sodium, 36 carbs, 5g fiber, 6g sugars, 8.5g protein


Big Bowl of Breakfast

1 tray frozen Green Giant Just for One Broccoli and Cheese Sauce
3/4 c. Egg Beaters
3/4 c. frozen potatoes O’brien
1 slice Canadian bacon, chopped
2 T. shredded fat-free cheddar cheese



Prepare broccoli and cheese according to package instructions; set aside.

Bring a large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat.  Add Egg Beaters and scramble 2-3 minutes, or until cooked.  Place in microwave-safe bowl and set aside.

Remove skillet from heat, respray with cooking pray, and cook potatoes on medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thawed and lightly browned.  Add canadian bacon and cook until hot and a little crispy, about 1-2 minutes.

Add potato-bacon mixture to the bowl with the eggs.   Add broccoli and cheese sauce and mix to combine.  Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of the bowl, and microwave for 30 to 45 seconds, until cheese has melted.  Grab a fork and dig in!

Makes 1 Serving: 262 calories, 3.5g fat, 1,306mg sodium, 23.5g carbs, 5g fiber, 4g sugars, 31g protein

Author: Christine Odagiri, Membership Advisor, The Ridge Athletic Clubs

Fitness Tip: Give your toddler a head start on fitness

Toddler tennies may not be the best for the developing feet of your little ones

Do you dream of having your kids be football stars or prima ballerinas?  Help your toddlers get a head start on standing, walking, running, and the thousands of other activities that use their feet.  The adorable baby shoes we all love may help your baby stand without falling, but in the long run they cause weaknesses throughout the many intricate muscles of their feet.  The best shoes for your child as they are developing are simple leather wraps or anything soft, without a flat sole.

Author: Julia Cooper, Pilates Instructor, The Ridge Athletic Clubs

Ridge Trainer Recommended Websites

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Here are a few sites our Ridge trainers recommend, no matter what your goals are…

  •   Current topics in fitness, health, nutrition, relationships and weight loss.
  •   Virtual exercise encyclopedia with video demonstrations. Excellent way to calculate Body Mass and Body Fat
  •   Expert fitness advice for athletes and fitness enthusiasts from Juan Carlos Santana
  •   Motivating information on strengthening and hypertrophy
  •   Extensive medical information on health and disease
  •   Everything you need to know about running from beginner to advanced
  •   Opinions on training, supplements, nutrition, hypertrophy, rehab and motivation.
  •   Online community site with a focus on weight loss, nutrition and motivation
  •   Thought provoking ideas on practical athletic coaching matters

Body Attack Tip…Work Hard

posted in: Group Fitness 0

Some things we (instructors) want students to remember: Work hard. One way to do this without jumping is to keep your arms strong all the time. Make your arm movements deliberate and big: use full range of motion and listen to the cues given about what and when. 
Especially on song 4 and 9, push yourse…lf beyond your comfort level.

Think about why you are taking the class and remind yourself that change won’t happen unless you go farther than you normally do. You can always come down to a lower impact when you have to, but you could hit your AT during these tracks if that is where you want to go. Don’t be afraid of a little change. This class is designed to let you do great work.

Author: Ruth Kack, Group Fitness Instructor, The Ridge Athletic Clubs

Kate Murphy’s Top 5 Exercise/Nutrition Q & A’s:

Q: Which cardio machine burns the most calories?
A: Stair mill (revolving stairs).

Q: Which body weight exercise burns the most calories?
A: Burpies (plank, push up, squat-jump…repeat).

Q: Are calories all that count/matter when it comes to losing weight?
A: No! Glycemic index, along with regulation of blood sugar is HUGE when trying to lose weight.

Q: Cardio or weights first?
A: Studies have shown that a person burns more calories, mostly from fat, during a cardio session that is performed AFTER lifting weights.  Carbohydrates (and some protein ) are the primary source of fuel during strength training.  After depleting the majority of both sources our bodies tap into fat for a reserve.

Q: Does a 30 minute moderate intensity cardio session burn more calories than 2 ten minute high intensity sessions?
A: 2 ten minute high intensity sessions.  Working out at high intensity can jump start your metabolism, causing you to burn calories up to 48 hours after performing the cardio session.  Although fat is the primary fuel source during lower intensity cardio, high intensity cardio burns far more calories as well as fat.

Author: Kate Murphy, Personal Trainer, The Ridge Athletic Clubs has had a makeover!

posted in: General 0

Exciting news guys…The Ridge Athletic Clubs’ website has gotten a makeover!  We’ve put a lot of thought and time into making it informative, user-friendly, visually appealing, and interactive for our members.  Some of our favorite elements of the website–The Virtual Tour, helpful FAQ’s, and the ability to sync the group fitness schedule to your iCal.  Browse around, give us feedback, and if you see any mistakes, please let us know.  It’s all for you and we hope you enjoy!

Cick here to visit our new site!

Fitness Tip of the Week 4/8/10: Track your food and exercise

Track your food and exercise. Keeping a food log is one of the best ways to manage your diet and nutrition, but who wants to go around carrying a notebook and writing down everything they eat all the time?  If you’re like me, you get a booklet and end up writing down your breakfast, lunch, and by the time you get to dinner, that little notebook is piled under a stack of mail.

For the past 6 months, I’ve started using to track my food and exercise.  It’s great for anyone–it’s not just for those looking to lose weight.  The site has you take “dares” such as “Dare to do a triathlon” or “Dare to stretch daily.”  You can search through thousands of foods, or you can create “meals,” such as Oatmeal with brown sugar and skim milk, so you don’t have to enter in those three foods everyday.  It also allows you to upload your own recipes so you can finally figure out how many calories are in Grandmas Secret Spaghetti Sauce.

Tracking food helps you become more conscious of how much you’re actually eating, not just how much you think you ate at the end of the day.  Many of us are grazers, a few bites here, a cracker or a cookie there, and those calories can add up to several pounds over time.  In the beginning it may be tedious to measure or weigh your food, but once you’ve done it a few times, you can usually eyeball your portions.

I’m not always perfect with it–there’s times when I don’t enter in my dinner, or I enter in the whole week and stop for the weekend, but it definitely gives me a good idea of whether having mexican for dinner will push me overboard or if I can afford having a beer on the weekend.  Give it a solid try and let it help you reach your next goal.

Author: Christine Odagiri, Membership Advisor, The Ridge Athletic Clubs

Sean’s Supplement Tips

My top tips and secrets about shakes and supplements. Read on…

1. Great Harvest has quality protein in bulk, cheaper than anywhere else.   Support local!

2. The only 4 supplements you need for muscle-building:

  • multi-vitamin
  • protein – before bed, post workout, & with brekky!
  • fish oil
  • creatine

3. My favorite before bed muscle-building shake:
(not recommended for weight loss)

  • 10 oz. of milk OR water
  • 40 g.  protein (casein)
  • 1 Heaping tablespoon of Ben-A-Fiber
  • 1 shot of olive oil

The fiber and casein protein coagulates in your stomach, sending a trickle of nutrients into the blood stream. This lasts for hours feeding the muscle tissue all night. The olive oil adds healthy fats (omega-3) and has anti-inflammatory effects.

4. My favorite post workout shake:

  • 8 oz. apple juice
  • handful of mixed fruit  and berries
  • 1 emergen-c pack
  • 25 g. whey or soy protein
    (all ingredients available at The Ridge Juice & Brew)

Blend and ENJOY!!

Author: Sean Beckett, Personal Trainer, The Ridge Athletic Clubs

Fitness Tip of the Week

Hit the weights ladies.  You will not “bulk up.”  Women don’t naturally have enough testosterone to build the bulk.  While you’re at it, increase the resistance.  Your muscles need resistance to change, so up the weight.  You should feel like you can’t do many more when you hit the last few repetitions on your last set.  As an added bonus, you will continue to burn calories from your work out even after you’re done!

If you’d like to get set up on a strength training program or revamp the one you’re currently doing, come see me and we’ll get you going; remember, you get 2 free training sessions with your membership!

Author: Andrea Bermingham, Personal Trainer, The Ridge Athletic Clubs

On Training with Girls…

I’ve only been at this job for a few months now but it only took a few days to see that when setting people up with their free training sessions, guys are a bit more hesitant to train with the opposite sex than the gals are.

I will admit I am no exception, wait…let me rephrase that, I WAS no exception! I came to Bozeman after a very successful stint playing football at the University of Montana, and a not so successful stint in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals after my body caught up with all the years of hitting. Because most my experience in the world of athletics has been dominated my male coaches, trainers, doctors, and nutritionists alike you’ll have to excuse me for thinking twice about how effective it might be for me to work with a girl trainer. Now this is not to say that I wasn’t aware of the ever rising presence of ladies in athletics. After all I’ll never forget my 6th grade wrestling match with Sunshine LaForge, or the time I was trying to impress a high school crush and broke a pole vault pole to show her my athletic prowess. And last but not least my 62 year old mother who at 55 decided it was a good idea to join a softball team. Although her speed was best timed using a sun dial it showed me a long time ago that girls are anything but foreign to sport.

All this aside, I was still of the mindset that anything a girl could show me I had already seen from a guy, and being the manly man that I am a girl could never work me like I used to! Now pay attention gentlemen… I WAS of the mind set. W…A…S…

My grand awakening came first from Leah. My first impression of her was simple: very sincere, personable and obviously in great shape. It only took a loooong  84 minutes to change that. All of that changed after my “warm up”. It was then that I knew this wasn’t going to be an easy breezy beautiful cover girl workout. Rather she was an intense, gal that wouldn’t let me stop when I thought my quad was going to burst and I was sure my light lunch was going to come up during the oblique side crunches. P.S. When did I ever get obloquies? The whole time she was putting me through stretch and cool down I was sure I’d need to take the rest of the day off. It was only after ten minutes in the sauna and twice as much time hunched over on the bench that I was able to return to my desk. Needless to say, she proved her point.

My second experience would come only after the delayed onset soreness faded away and my manly ego had time to heal its multiple bruises. Now Leah was away gloating in her victory and Kate took over the reigns. It started easier than the last, with ten minutes of stair climbers, jacks, and pushups but by the time I was dragging my body down the gym floor in a full plank it was de ja vu all over again. Memories of the week earlier came flooding back, my head was tingling, hip flexors on fire and the slight tinge of Fiesta Tortilla Soup was making a second appearance. Kate “the girl next door” was now Kate “all things evil” Murphy. Now the whole time she just kept saying “don’t be too bummed with yourself” or “you’re doing way better than I though”, as if to say she doubted that a 6’5” 296lb. guy wouldn’t be good at box jumps and ladder sprints. To that I would’ve said HA stinking HA…if the Fiesta Tortilla Soup hadn’t already taken over.

 Girls-2       Colin-0

Let me say this to all manly men out there: There is nothing to be ashamed of, our lady trainers will not judge your masculinity or even think you’re less cute! (They’re married anyways) They will however show you things that we guys seem to forget or disregard and being useful. And needless to say it’s a pretty good view…

Author: Colin Dow, Membership Advisor, The Ridge Athletic Club

How are you doing with your New Year’s Resolutions?

Every January 1st most of us sit down on our couch with our pen and paper and start a list–a list of the things we hoped for, strived for, never did, didn’t do enough of, or lost in this chaotic world we call life.

According to, the top ten most common New Year’s Resolutions are as follows:

  1. Spend More Time with Family & Friends
  2. Fit in Fitness
  3. Tame the Bulge
  4. Quit Smoking
  5. Enjoy Life More
  6. Quit Drinking
  7. Get Out of Debt
  8. Learn Something New
  9. Help Others
  10. Get Organized

The makes diet and exercise 2 out of the top 3 resolutions.  We know this.  We see it every year as our clubs fill with excited new members ready to attain their goals.  The unfortunate thing that happens, however, is that come March and April, we don’t see those members nearly as often.

If you made the resolution to exercise more, lose weight, or gain muscle, are you sticking with it?  If the answer is no,  it’s not too late–it’s never too late.  Start today.


Author: Christine Odagiri, Membership Advisor, The Ridge Athletic Clubs

Member of the Month: Stacy Smith!



Congratulations to our first ever, Ridge Member of the Month, Stacy Smith! 

Pounds lost: 22 pounds
Total inches lost: 8 inches

What is your greatest fitness accomplishment to date?
It is so hard to narrow my accomplishments down to just one!  I think that going from being a Mom of two who needed to lose the baby weight to training for triathlons and duathlons is one of the most amazing accomplishments to me.  The fact that I just finished my first 10K and met every goal I set during the race gave me an incredible boost of confidence and inspiration!

Who or what has helped you to achieve this?
The trainers at the Ridge are the most amazing people! I have to say that it starts with Christine, who signed me up in the first place, Jason who helped me get my first start, Chelsea and Andrea who stuck with me in group training every Tuesday and Thursday, Leah who was amazing during triathlon training, and Mary who hasn’t given up on me with swim lessons and training! I owe everything to them for being so supportive and encouraging, for pushing me when I needed to be pushed and for recognizing what could be in me.  And a little bit of personal determination topped it all off.

What motivates you to keep going with your exercise program?
At first, it was the fact that I had made some sort of progress, no matter how sore or tired I was.  Pushing through those first steps was crucial because I knew that it would get easier. Making a commitment by signing up for the group training held me accountable, too. Now, the fact that I just enjoy feeling fit keeps me motivated to keep it up!

What do you enjoy most about your exercise program?
I enjoy the challenge that is placed upon me by my trainers and by myself! I love the idea that every time I push myself or every time I am pushed, it makes things easier the next time around and allows me to up the level of my training. 

What one piece of advice would you give to newcomers starting at The Ridge?
I know it sounds cliché, but never give up on yourself! You will be amazed at what you are capable of. I know I came to the Ridge looking to find my old self, and with the help, care, and support of all the trainers and staff, I found a completely new me, and for that I am eternally grateful!  You can’t fail if you have the will power and time with a trainer at the Ridge!

Author: Christine Odagiri, Membership Advisor at The Ridge Athletic Club

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