Does the icy glare of a perfectly sculpted bobsled track make your heart race? Do you hold your breath as the ski jumper soars over the crowd in a perfect V form? Are you glued to Olympics television coverage all February, never changing the channel even when the Swedish curling team is plotting its sweeping strategy? Do you TiVo the cross-country skiing events?
If you answered yes to any these questions, you may be a Winter Olympics junkie. With athletes from more than 80 countries traveling to Vancouver, B.C., to create timeless moments frozen in eternity, there’s never been a better time to get out your flag and join the multilingual roar of billions of sports fans throughout the world. From local Hyak freestyle skier Patrick Deenen to Federal Way speed-skating heartthrob Apolo Ohno, the Seattle area is also providing several exciting reasons to tune in this winter.
But for those of you who think merely watching is not enough—and you know who you are—it’s time to get off the couch and get those muscles in gear for your own Olympic-sized workout. Winter Olympics junkie, the Bellevue Club salutes you.
Need for Speed:
Helmet-clad racers regularly top speeds of 80 miles per hour in the granddaddy of all extreme sports. Big crashes and close finishes are the norm in this risky alpine discipline that features one long course with steep sections, rollovers and icy turns. The downhill is all about two traits: nerves of steel and strong core muscles. To work on the latter, schedule a session on the Bellevue Club Powerplate and gain the balance, strength and reflexes needed for the race gates.
Feel the Burn:
Milliseconds matter in this edgy discipline that dates back to 13th century Holland. Both long- and short-track speed skating require strong quadriceps and limitless lung capacity. For those looking for the burn without the ice, the slide board in Studio 1 or the slide board in Studio 4 provides a low-impact replica of the speed skating motion.
Don’t Shoot Your Eye Out: Biathlon
What other sport combines skiing and guns? Utilized by early hunters in Northern Europe as a way to put food on the table, the modern-day biathlon is a collection of 10 different events that merges cross-country skiing with target shooting.
If that seems like a good time, get on a Cybex Arc Trainer in Studio 4 for a motion similar to cross-country skiing. For added effect, walk over to Studio 3 every 15 minutes and hold some five-pound weights in front of you without shaking.
Big Airs, No Cares:
Okay, maybe these guys don’t train quite as hard as the other sports, but it still takes some major fitness to be able to perform multiple flips and spins above an icy wall with rock music blaring in your ears.
If freestyle snowboarding is your thing, get on a BOSU ball and watch your balance and core strength go sky-high.
Blades of Glory:
Express yourself with one of the most popular of Olympic sports. While other sports require mere strength or agility, figure skating incorporates rhythm and creativity—plus really cool costumes.
If you’d like to float a triple axle of your own, you’ll need to work on your strength, flexibility and dance moves. To do just that, check out a yoga class in the Club’s beautiful studio or get things shaking with a Zumba class—just leave the ice skates at home.
For more information on any of the exercise equipment or classes, please stop by the Athletic Services Desk, call 425.688.3177 or e-mail fitness@ bellevueclub.com.