Even in a normal year, pulling ourselves out of hibernation from a Bellingham winter can be a challenging feat. It takes both self-motivation and a controlled approach to avoid injuries after months of being sedentary. Compounded by a 12-month span that’s been unlike any other, getting back into fitness intelligently has never been more important. Fortunately, Bellingham Training and Tennis Club (BTTC) and its team of certified trainers are here to help. They’ve set up programs and laid out spaces to specifically address people who are getting back into fitness after a time away, offering both individual and small group options.

Fitness and strength equipment that can be used on your own or with a personal trainer. Photo credit: Tony Moceri

Owner Robin Robertson is enthusiastic about what they’ve put in place to create a healthy fitness environment. “People wonder how you get going when you’ve been sedentary for so long,” she says. “We have lots of programs that provide instructional assistance in group training, and we have personal training.”

Those are two fantastic ways to start—but if you’re somebody who just wants to do it on your own, BTTC also has an 8-week program called W8 that offers a plan with video tutorials to follow that’s designed for each of the facility’s workout studios.

In addition to ensuring people are working out safely, BTTC has gone above and beyond to ensure it’s an unlikely place to be exposed to COVID-19. Equipment has been spaced out, class sizes reduced, and of course protocols are in place such as mask wearing and sanitization of equipment.

As research for this article, author Tony Moceri participated in a Cardio Tennis class led by Matt Iwersen. The class gets you on the court doing a variety of drills and games to improve fitness and skills. Photo credit: Tony Moceri

BTTC has also replaced their HVAC system to ensure indoor air quality is the best it can possibly be, testing at nearly the same levels as air outside the building. Club members take protecting others seriously by respecting mask rules and, as a result, can safely enjoy their time back in the club.

“Everyone is so grateful to be back,” says Robertson. “So many were quarantined at home and weren’t getting out and about. They get to feel good about exercise, get to see and talk with their friends again, and really feel like they’re returning to life.”

With people just getting back to a semblance of normalcy and deciding it’s time to get off the couch, BTTC works hard to be that second home for them. It sees itself as a community, not just a gym—and that community is open to everyone, not just tennis players.

Spin bikes and TRX bands provide for a wide range of workout options. This space is also used for group Yoga classes. Photo credit: Tony Moceri

Robertson and her team pride themselves on helping people reach their fitness goals no matter the level they start from. When people come in or are trying something new, they make sure they understand how to work out correctly. Individuals get fitted on a bike, learn to row properly, and are taught how to accurately use strength equipment like TRX bands.

The BTTC team also assesses folks’ fitness levels to reduce the likelihood of injury. “People hop right back into a routine like they never stopped and that’s a recipe for injury,” Robertson says. “You need to start slower, make sure your body is feeling good as you’re doing the move, and once in a while you have to change how you’re doing things because your body has changed. You can’t run an old car like a brand-new car all the time.”

This detailed approach to health and fitness is intentional. Robertson sees BTTC as a low volume/high service gym, where the focus is on each individual reaching their specific goals. She takes pride in having brand new equipment safely spaced out so that everything they’re doing in the club is propelling the members forward.

Kris Dirks at the front desk where you can sign up for a class, a membership, or purchase equipment you may need. Photo credit: Tony Moceri

“Getting into a regular fitness routine is just a good part of a healthy life,” says Robertson. She wants that healthy life for the people in her community and is proud that she and her husband have been able to offer this for the 21 years that they’ve owned the club, which began in Fairhaven in 1973.

There are a variety of options to check out Bellingham Training and Tennis Club. It currently has a 28-day fitness trial membership, so visitors can come in and really get a feel for what the club is all about. To learn about different classes and membership options, visit their website, give them a call 360-733-5050, or stop in at 800 McKenzie Avenue in Fairhaven, where they’re always happy to extend a free first time workout to experience what the club has to offer.

Bellingham Training and Tennis Club
800 McKenzie Avenue in Fairhaven

Featured photo of owners Robin and Doug Robertson
courtesy Bellingham Training and Tennis Club


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