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December 4, 2012
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A little bit of everything at Club Sierra

There are no punny slogans, flashy advertisements or intimidating muscle-bound training staff at Club Sierra, and that’s just the way they like it.

The family-owned fitness facility in Grass Valley caters to many walks of life with many different fitness goals, all the while striving to achieve a friendly and accepting environment for people to reach their fitness goals.

Club Sierra is for the average Joes, the baby boomers, those trying to get back into shape and those trying to stay in shape, said owner Mike Blackston.

Club Sierra offers a cornucopia of workouts and activities to ensure that members never get bored with being healthy.

There is a pool for swimming laps or participating in aquatic aerobics. There are tennis courts, racquet ball courts and pickle ball courts for the competitive types. If swimming or court play aren’t your thing, there is Bootcamp with Brandon Bergeron, Zumba with Geri Campbell, multiple cycling classes, Tai Chai, yoga and more.

For the traditionalist, there is a room littered with weights and machines for those who want to work out on their own or with one of the gym’s many personal trainers. And just across the facility, there is a bank of treadmills, elliptical machines and stationary bicycles.

But the trend in the fitness world has been small group workouts and Club Sierra knows it.

“The trend is going toward group exercise,” Blackston said. “The gym atmosphere is being overwhelmed with this. It’s mostly guys my age. We’re the baby boomers. We’re breaking the insurance companies.”

Club Sierra offers dozens of different small group workouts, that are always changing and evolving with the clientele’s needs, said Blackston.

“We can’t make everybody happy,” he said. “But we try to make the majority of the people happy the majority of the time.”

During my month at Club Sierra, I spent a couple days on the treadmills preparing for the Turkey Trot, I spent a few days wandering around the weight room trying to remember what it was like to work out on my own. I dipped into a Zumba class and danced the afternoon away, but the class that pushed me the hardest and had the most immediate results was Bootcamp with Brandon Bergeron.

It had been a few gyms and a few months since I had been worked so hard I felt like tossing my cookies. Bootcamp pushed me to the brink and left me sore for several days. That’s when you know the workout is good — when it hurts to walk the next day.

Bootcamp does come with an additional cost, $10 for drop in or $125 month, but if you are looking for immediate results or are training for some sort of gladiator competition this is the spot for you.

While Club Sierra admittedly caters to the older crowd, there is a sect of members who are hungry for a more advanced and cutting-edge workout. Bootcamp has become so popular that Blackston has decided to refurbish one of the racquet ball courts into a cross training room.

The Bootcamp class is great because it is a high-energy workout that gets you in and out of the gym with maximum results in about a half hour.

Bergeron, who is Cross Fit Level 1 certified and hopes to compete in the Cross Fit games, runs an informative and body-taxing class that leaves you covered in sweat.

“If you like to work hard, this is the class for you,” Bergeron said.

In my time at Club Sierra, my weight fluctuated between 220 pounds and 230 pounds, but with Thanksgiving and the subsequent left overs, I landed at 228 to end the month.

To become a member of Club Sierra, it runs anywhere about $55 a month, and there is a $65 initial fee.

The cost is worth it if you are looking for a multitude of things to do in a non-competitive atmosphere.

With just a month left on my new year’s resolution, I am far from some of my goals, but the important thing is I haven’t given up. My final stop on this fitness journey will be cycling training with Chris McGovern at Reel Wheels Bicycle Studio in Nevada City.

To contact Sports Writer Walter Ford call (530) 477-4232 or email him at wford@theunion.com


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The Union Updated Jan 4, 2013 10:44AM Published Dec 13, 2012 11:21AM Copyright 2012 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.