“Let me start by giving a bit of background on myself. I am just over 5ft tall and in my mid-30s. I have never had children. I’ve been an athlete all my life, but I played golf in college; not your typical “strength, endurance, peak physical form” kind of collegiate sport. However, I was a gymnast in my youth and in high school I played basketball and softball in addition to golf, so I am familiar with workouts and as a gymnast they were intense workouts; alas but this was 25 years ago!
Since graduating from college, my athletic interests have jumped around and I’ve found a new hobby, rock climbing. It is my love for rock climbing and my desire to improve my skills and hone the techniques required to climb more advanced and aggressive routes that brought me to seek the help of professionals. With my short and somewhat stocky body type I am not a typical lean-looking climber. I have more bulk to me, and I knew to advance to the next level of climbing I’d need to make some physical changes.
My goals were simple: 1) lose 10-15lbs, 2) achieve greater definition in arms and shoulders, 3) feel better about my body in general and 4) most importantly, become a better climber by building muscle and leaning out.
Basketball was how I first met Kjersten Bakke. We met over 20 years ago when we played competitive AAU basketball together. Kjersten had always been a very focused, competitive and driven individual when we were younger. More recently thanks to Facebook, I had been following her achievements as a body builder and then her success in establishing Bakke Athletics. I work in the finance industry and I like a clearly defined process; I like data; I like numbers; and I like charts. I knew if anyone had the knowledge, level of experience and diligence I was looking for, Kjersten Bakke and Bakke Athletics was likely it. After 1 initial phone call with Kjersten I knew I’d sought help from the right source! On the call she walked me through their process, the custom nutrition and training programs they build for each client, and she assured me that even though I am remote (I live in Kansas City and her gym and business is based out of WI) that with the bi-weekly check-ins and consistent access via email and text that I would still have the 1×1 contact necessary to reach my goals at the end of the program. That initial call confirmed that the data I’d need to help me reach my goals would be tracked, monitored and adjusted as needed. They truly take an individualized approach and adjust the nutrition and fitness training programs as necessary to achieve your desired results.
I am now 8 weeks into the 16-week program, and I couldn’t be more pleased and amazed at the results. Though the weight loss has been consistent and steady every week, that really is secondary to the other results achieved thus far. What is most impressive is it has only been 8 weeks and yet I have lost inches everywhere and gained muscle. I am down 2 pant sizes and 1 shirt size. I nearly have a gap between my thighs (women you know what this is like!), which when achieved will be a first in my adult life for me. I am getting stronger. I notice not only with increased weights for each exercise each week of the training program, but I’m able to climb more difficult routes and stay on the wall longer. My triceps and deltoids are more defined at rest. When I climb my climbing partner remarks at how defined my back and shoulder muscles have gotten and how easy I now make the more difficult routes appear. I am climbing harder and longer with less fatigue. I am seeing the results every day, every week and every month! The fitness program is truly working.
In addition, enough can’t be said about the nutrition side of this program. Never under estimate what food can do. The right fuel at the right time is 80% of the battle and this was the one issue I had the most difficulty with under prior training programs. On the Bakke plan I am eating often. I am eating clean. I am drinking water. And I’m not starving myself. I feel fuller longer. I have fewer cravings throughout the week. I eat carbs. I no longer have the mid-afternoon crash. I have more energy in the evenings, which makes my family happy. When I have questions, Kjersten is quick to answer them and gives a complete answer so I understand the “why.” The best part of the nutrition program is that it is flexible. My wife has many dietary restrictions and the program gives us the flexibility to eat the same meals at the same time.
Ultimately, I am happier. I feel great. I am seeing results and I’m getting stronger every day. I would recommend Bakke Athletics to anyone who is dedicated to making a change, you won’t be disappointed! I’m excited for the next 8 weeks and what changes I’ll see along the way. Thank you Kjersten and Bakke Athletics.”
– Jackie Wagner (Kansas City)
“April of 2018 I would say was a very low point in my life. I had multiple knee surgeries and really didn’t know what my future held especially with my job in firefighting.
I had put on 50 pounds and was in horrible shape, shape I have never been in. I finally hit rock bottom and saw on Facebook a promotional AD about the gym and what kind of environment Kjersten Bakke and Steph Johnson-Bakke had created there. Now, I have known these 2 women for 8-10 years so I knew walking into the club that April day was going to be the greeting I wanted but most of all needed.
We sat down and I started to talk about how lost I was and that I had no idea where to start, which of course lead me to breaking down in tears. These ladies were great and made me feel comfortable especially with how vulnerable I felt. Kjersten had a plan for me without even blinking an eye. She had the confidence and knowledge that made me feel that my life was going to get back on track. They gave me a meal plan that outlined how many macros I was able to eat and got me set up with Stephanie so I could learn how to train efficiently, and in a way that was safe for me given the status of my knee. The best part of all of this was how easy they made it sound.
They told me that if I wanted to eat some gummy bears or a donut I could, as long as it fit into my daily macros. There were no foods that were completely off limits. My face lite up!!!
Like everyone else, I have tried so many “diets” and
nothing ever gave me the results I wanted. With their plan I saw results within weeks eating regular food that I purchased from a regular grocery store. I was amazed at how fast the weight was coming off and how fast I was getting back into
shape. Steph made my workouts fun, now don’t get me wrong she kicked my butt every time and kept making things harder and harder for me, but for some weird reason I found that to be fun. I was thrilled to see the changes especially by the time June rolled around for my next knee surgery, I was down to my college weight and had taken off all the weight I put on with my previous knee injuries. It made recovery so much easier for me this time around.
I have been with many different workout facilities throughout my life and Bakke Athletics has been the best by far. The people are warm, nice and encouraging and the atmosphere is energetic and fun. It just keeps you coming back day after day. I will always be indebted to these two ladies for believing in me and helping me get back to where I needed to be.”
– Ali Langer (Fitchburg, WI)
“My son was married in June of 2018. I was mortified by the pictures of myself. I didn’t realize how bad I looked, but I knew how miserable I felt. It was time.
I reached out to Bakke Athletics and seriously, the hard part was over.
I started working with Bakke Athletics in October. It didn’t take me long to fully understand that this program and team was exactly what I needed. The people and gym atmosphere was my answer!
I was taken by the no frills attitude. Last place I wanted to be was at a fashion gym. Everyone had a purpose, i was about to get mine.
I immediately signed up for one in one with my personal trainer Gary, initially 2x a week until i got to know the equipment and my routine. Within in no time i was going gym BY MYSELF! I never thought I would be comfortable doing that. Everyone is there to help and they do watch over you like family
I met with Kjersten and Steph next and started my nutrition plan. At first I was trying to tweak it to suit my decades of bad habits. This of course did not work, the girls never gave up on me, they showed me the tough love I needed and the results started to show. I lost 7lbs my first week and have consistently lost 1-2 lbs a week since my journey started on October.
The plan is simple, the plan works. I never feel alone, Steph is always just a text away if I have a question at anytime. You really do become part of this special family and place. So much good is being paid forward in this gym. I get to see it everyday and you feel it every time you are in there. Friendships happen right before my eyes.
This was the gym I was looking for. They have built up my self esteem and confidence. They have given me the power to speak proudly of my accomplishments and I deserve to own them. I can’t say enough about each and everyone of them.
I am 53, I have lost close to 30lbs since October. I have determination to keep on going, loving my journey and my Bakke family.
Come and be your own Rockstar. Your never too old and this journey I am on….just started.
Thanks Bakke Athletics. Best. Family. Ever.”
-Traci Christopherson (Sun Prairie, WI)
“Our girls range in age from 11-18, and to say that all four girls absolutely loved and looked forward to going to Kjersten’s strength camp every single morning would be an understatement (two teens and two near-teens up and at ‘em bright and early four days a week for 8+ weeks during the summer??? AMAZING!). They had a blast working out with her –they truly thought the workouts were fun and energizing, and they got a real kick out of seeing their muscles and strength develop in such a short period of time!
In addition to learning the basics of weight training, proper nutrition, and becoming comfortable in a gym setting (oftentimes overwhelming for adults, much less kids), our girls learned important strategies in strength camp that have shifted the way they approach life. Our girls learned the importance of setting discrete goals, taking daily steps to achieve those goals–AND that failing along the way isn’t nearly as important as the journey itself. They realized positive change doesn’t happen overnight, but it is consistently worked hard for, and that it’s perfectly fine to try and fail, as long as you take a deep breath, readjust and try again. All four learned to push themselves outside their comfort zone, and gained increased confidence in their abilities as a result.
We would highly recommend Kjersten’s strength camp for children of all ages; however, it seemed to have had the greatest impact on our oldest. Our oldest daughter is a college athlete, and her athletic transformation has been remarkable. With Kjersten’s encouragement and guidance, she pushed herself hard this summer, learning new ways to improve her performance and reaching many PRs along the way. She realized that proper technique and consistent training for her strength goals translates directly to greater speed, less reaction time and greater strength on the field. These realizations have inspired her to continue weight training and consistently strive for new PRs, which in turn has greatly improved her performance, winning mindset and confidence, both on and off the field.
Thank you, Kjersten, from the bottom of our hearts for being such a positive force for our girls. The girls have all stated that they learned important life lessons by training with and observing a very powerful woman, and that if you want something in life, you go out in the world and get after it, no excuses. Thank you for the love (sometimes tough love!), compassion, and guidance you showed our girls, and for these extremely important life lessons that they now carry with them. In a day and age where negativity sells and is all too prevalent, you provided a shining example of what hard work, dedication and camaraderie with like-minded people can lead to. You’re a bonafide ass kicker and our entire family adores you and is excited for even deeper connections with you as we all grow and strive to be better!”
– Tracy & Brian – Madison, WI
“I met Kjersten in the spring of 2016 where we crossed paths at a local gym. It would be almost impossible for anyone in the room to walk by without noticing the intensity she brings during her training sessions whether she is working alone or with a partner. Out of curiosity I wanted to at least introduce myself and learn more about her style of training. From this initial conversation we had continued to communicate the following week or two about contest prep, nutrition, and a variety of training styles.