The barbell Club AT WFC
Strong For Life
starting strength Barbell classes
For those individuals seeking to gain strength, increase your body's ability to burn fat and build strong bones. this program can be done by both beginner to advanced lifters alike.
Intro to Barbell
We require that every member attends a 2-hour intro class before joining our groups to ensure they can train with us safely and effectively. during the intro session, You will be taught the 4 basic barbell lifts (squat, press, bench press and deadlift) and given a personalized program by our coach. (Cost $199)
Barbell Club Membership
2x a week / 90 minute sessions with a Strength Coach
Personalized attention at a group rate of $249 per month
3x a week / 90 minute sessions with a Strength Coach
Personalized attention at a group rate of $299 per month
Osteoporosis: Take Control of Your Health
Falls and fractures are a common source of morbidity with aging. Older people are at increased risk for traumatic bone injury in part because of a common degenerative bone disease. Osteoporosis is a thinning of the bones, making them brittle from loss of tissue as a result of hormonal changes or a deficiency in Calcium or Vitamin D. Once bones become brittle, they can cause falls, or can be broken in falls that would be minor traumas to healthier bones. To date, the common approach to managing this condition is to wait until it occurs and then attempt to palliate with medications that are laden with side effects and are not tolerated by large numbers of people.
Osteoporosis is primarily a disease of aging women. Older women are especially vulnerable because of the loss of estrogen- a hormone that supports bone density- during menopause. Bone breakdown actually begins as early as age 35 and progresses slowly to significant bone mass loss later in life and a higher risk of fractures in the spine, hip and arm. Following menopause, women can lose 20% of bone density in the first decade alone, and by 80 years many will have lost at least a third of their original hipbone density. The loss of density means fractures, and resultant fractures mean hospitalizations, nosocomial infections and even death.
There are modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors for osteoporosis. Non-modifiable risk factors include family history, age and gender. Modifiable risk factors include frailty, smoking, alcohol intake, lack of adequate calcium and vitamin D and a sedentary life-style. Unfortunately, osteoporosis is often difficult to detect until you have broken a bone or have painful symptoms or changes in posture or height.
There are a host of medications approved by FDA that have indications to treat bone density loss, but there has been much controversy surrounding the risk vs. benefits of these drugs. In general, osteoporosis medications slow bone breakdown; bisphosphonates are the most commonly prescribed. These medications include alendronate (Fosamax); risedronate (Actonel); Ibandronate (Boniva); and zoldedronic acid (Reclast). Hormone replacement is also employed, in addition to drugs that act like hormones, such as raloxifene (Evista). These medications have been shown to reduce the chances of having a fracture, and most of the side effects of these agents are mild, including nausea and heartburn. However, evidence has emerged linking bisphosphonates with far more serious consequences such as atrial fibrillation, a dangerous arrhythmia, and osteonecrosis of the jaw. Given the gravity of these risks, remedies that are alternatives to pharmacology should be embraced by those of us who are seeking to prevent osteoporosis.
Bone health can be promoted and maintained by strength training. Muscle contraction by definition stresses the bone, providing a stimulus and a stress that can result in increased bone density. On a cellular level, this involves the activation of osteoblasts that support bone integrity and militate against loss in density. The magnitude of the risk reduction in osteoporosis that results from strength training is likely directly related to the stress and timing of the training stimulus.
Strength is the ability to produce force against an external resistance. Your muscles move your bones and the bigger your muscles are, the more you can strengthen your bones. Your body has evolved to withstand stress by adapting to it; weight-bearing exercises force your bones to respond by becoming denser. As we age we stop doing hard things and we have less use for our muscles, this poses a big problem for our bones. The less we use our body, the quicker these valuable structures are broken down as we age. Muscle mass is very costly to maintain for our body and if not stressed, they will be broken down and turned to fat; making our bones weaker. The bigger our muscles are, the more they can provide beneficial stress to our bones, and bigger muscles require timed stress and adaptation.
Barbell training is the best tool for providing the calibrated bone stress to increase density because of the scale of muscle recruitment and the ability to be incrementally loaded. The unique design of barbell equipment allows for athletes and the elderly to use it safely. Weight can be added to the bar in as small of an increment as 1/4lb vs. dumbbells that cannot be incrementally increased. Barbells also train the whole skeletal system at once, using compound- total body movements that make each exercise more effective than isolation exercises.
Beyond bone density issues, barbell training can reduce fractures that result from falls by addressing balance issues and preventing falls in the first place. Every time you use a barbell you are learning to balance with it either in your hands or on your back, this makes it a very useful tool for prevention of falls. This is a benefit of barbells that can’t be realized with resistance machines. Machines do all of the balancing for you and absorb most of the work you would do when learning to handle a barbell on your own.
Osteoporosis represents the gradual deterioration of skeletal integrity that eventuates in vulnerability to falls, fractures and death. Of the options available, barbell training provides the most rational preventative strategy. Avoiding the potentially deleterious consequence of pharmacology will provide a host of benefits that extend beyond bone health.
Inna Koppel, BSW, SSC