am Bridges, one of her parents’ six daughters, was born in Covina, California and raised in Panguitch, a small town in southern Utah, with population 2,500. She was raised by “hippies”, remember them? She says that endearingly about her parents, though, and can you believe that she was actually born at home? She was raised around horses and jockeyed horses for a time, but she must admit that she was really, really deathly shy when she was younger. Competing and performing, however, have brought her out of her shell. That was seventeen years ago. Now at 38 and raising Calvin (14) and Aava (10)—her two children—as well as Kassidy (15), Chris (13), and Zack (11)—three stepchildren.
She became incredibly good at shifting gears and multitasking her way through a week. One day, she might be trying on an apron and whipping up a nutritious and delicious meal. Maybe rolling up her sleeves and doing some backyard organic gardening. Or perhaps something else, but she’s always focused on tending to her family’s needs. And do all of this while keeping San Diego beautiful and healthy one body at a time, by serving as a Master Trainer and Certified Life Coach. It certainly takes hard work, integrity, grit, passion, and dedication to launch a successful fitness business, raise five children, and train and coach competitively year-round, all while also ensuring that she and her handsome husband can spend quality time together. Why do it? She freely admits that she needs to find the right balance to do all these things, but she is sincerely passionate about what she does.
Your list of careers includes being a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach, and a NPC bikini model champion. What inspired your decision to follow these career paths within the fitness industry? Have you always been active?
BB: I was teased by boys for being so underdeveloped in junior high. One Saturday morning, I remember vividly seeing a fitness competition on TV and watching with admiration at the level of fitness, strength, and flexibility of the female competitors as they strutted, flipped, and jumped through the air. Right then and there was when my journey of fitness began. I finally felt like I had the power within me to change my body and create strong, shapely feminine curves. In March 2010, I had accepted a girlfriend’s invitation to join her in a fitness competition. Come on now. Was I crazy? Not only did I leave the fitness show with a first place trophy in hand, but I also realized that I had experienced something much more than just a competition, I had just experienced an incredible seminal event! The confidence that followed has been life changing. I’ve loved being fit ever since I was a young girl, and this enthusiasm drives me and gives me purpose. I truly believe that you should always take care of your body as well as your mind. You should cherish each day, but keep one eye on the future. Being fit and healthy is so special and important for being able to really enjoy your life and family. It’s what I live for and I think you will find it rewarding, too.
You have your own brand called BAM Body. Can you tell us more about what your brand stands for as a whole and what kind of services you provide under your brand?
BB: The BAM BODY mission statement, “We empower people of all ages and fitness levels to improve their lifestyle one workout, one meal, one challenge at a time,” is truly what we are about. In addition to one-on-one Personal Training and Nutrition Coaching, we also provide one-on-one Life Coaching services. In short, we offer a comprehensive lifestyle management service.
We just finished shooting an online workout series called BAM BODY Get Fit! Season One and we are in the final stages of editing. The program is a fusion of functional, strength, and endurance exercises designed to shape, chisel mold, and sculpt your body. Bam Bridges will show you how to utilize any environment and turn it into your personal training ground, whether it be your backyard, living room, neighborhood park, or local gym.
How rewarding has it been assisting others with their fitness and seeing their progress?
BB: It’s incredibly rewarding to help others on their fitness journey. I put a great deal of thought, care, and planning into the time I spend with each of them. My clients often times will amaze me with their determination, and sometimes surprise me with their ability to embrace and rise to the challenge that has been presented to them.
“I will not ask my clients to push their bodies or their minds in a way that I’ve not personally experienced and pushed myself.”
With living a healthy and fit lifestyle, we’re curious, what does your daily diet look like? Do you give yourself “cheat days”? Do you have any favorite clean recipes you would like to share?
BB: Food is fuel. Clean fuel (food) is key if you want your body to perform at its best. You wouldn’t put 85 octane in your high performance race car engine and expect it to reach peak speed, so why would you put junk in your body and expect it to give you maximum results?
Most people don’t believe me when I tell them that I eat every 2 1/2 hours. I typically grill enough chicken at a time to last for about 3 days. It’s get chopped up, weighed, placed in Tupperware, and stored in the fridge. That way, when the day gets hectic, I have “fast food” on hand and it makes staying on track much easier. I’ll dine out on rare occasions, but I’d much rather prefer to prepare and cook food for myself and my family. We have above ground organic gardens in our backyard and it’s incredibly rewarding to prepare meals with food that we’ve grown ourselves.
Meal 1 – Coffee with cream (the real stuff) and chicken with a side of berries
Meal 2 – Lean Protein and veggies
Snack – Quest Bar (halved) and raw almonds or an apple (halved)
Meal 3 – Lean Protein, veggies and complex carb (quinoa or brown rice)
Meal 4 – Lean Protein and veggies or a garden salad
Snack – Quest Bar (halved) and raw almonds or an apple (halved)
Meal 5 – Lean Protein and veggies or a garden salad
Snack – Raw almonds and blueberries or a homemade “Peanut Butter PowerBall”
And yes, I’d love to share two clean recipes:
Our organic garden has bruschetta written all over it, with it’s towering tomato plants, bushel’s of basil, and not to mention that never ending supply of juicy onions and fragrant garlic from our most recent harvest, so bruschetta seemed like the perfect dish to prepare. Gluten free, low-carb, and delicious!!!
Combine onion, olive oil, balsamic, salt, and pepper. Set aside a few minutes. Chop tomatoes and place in a large bowl. Combine with garlic, basil, onion-balsamic combo, and additional salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and let it sit at least 10 minutes or as long as overnight. Toss in the cheese just before serving. Season chicken with garlic salt and fresh pepper. Grill the chicken breasts on your indoor or outdoor grill, top with bruschetta, and serve.
My husband was determined to kick his late night peanut M&M’s habit and I wanted to support him in his efforts, which is why I came up with this recipe. I wanted to make something healthy and tasty that would satisfy his late night cravings. Not only did these protein packed power balls do the trick, but now the entire family is noshing on them.
Peanut Butter “No Pudge” Power Balls
Combine applesauce, sea salt, vanilla extract, peanut butter, and lemon juice into a large mixing bowl. Stir well. Add flour, coconut, stevia, and protein powder and mix well until a thick dough is formed using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. As dough becomes thicker, you might want to use your hands. Pinch about a tbsp of dough and roll between your palms to form a ball and place on a large cookie sheet that has been lightly dusted with oat flour. Sprinkle protein powder through a sifter and lightly dust each protein ball. Place in the fridge to set or store in the freezer to save, and eat for up to 6 weeks. Makes approximately 35 balls.
What does your training routine consist of? (Please include a few details – training split, sets/reps, exercises, types of cardio, etc.)
BB: Day 1 – Lower body training with moderate to heavy weight performing 5
sets of each exercise (squats, leg press, stiff-leg dead-lift, lunges) and abs
Day 2 – HIIT (5-30 second hill sprints)
Day 3 – Chest and biceps with moderate weight followed by HIIT (5-30 second hill sprints) and abs
Day 4 – Lower body training with moderate to light to moderate weight performing 5 sets with 15 to 20 repetitions in each set (split squat, boxjumps, adductor, abductor, single-leg leg press) followed by StairMaster cardio
Day 5 – HIIT (5-30 second hill sprints) and abs
Day 6 – Shoulders, back, and triceps with moderate weight followed by StairMaster cardio
Day 7 – Rest
In addition to your diet and training, do you believe in supplements? If so, which kinds do you use and what results have these given you?
BB: Supplements are meant to be just that, a supplement and not intended to replace real food. Nutritional gaps can happen and supplements can help remedy that. I do take a multi-vitamin and b-complex daily and I supplement with whey protein powder a few times a week.
Do you influence and encourage your children and husband to live a healthy and fit lifestyle, too?
BB: My husband has been a competitive tournament athlete (tennis) his entire life and has always lead a healthy and fit lifestyle, which is a big part of why I fell in love with him. Together, my husband and I encourage our children to practice good self-care through education and leading by example. Each of our children are so different and finding out what makes them tick is key to motivating them. Exercise is a great way to bond with our children, whether it be on the tennis court, hiking, biking, or in the weight-room. Also, cooking with the kids in the kitchen is a great way to educate them on the power of food, the benefits of balanced nutrition, and the reward of creating something meaningful with their hands. I’ve always said, “Cooking is love made visible.”
We had the opportunity to work together in creating amazing photographs. How did you discover Natalie Minh Photography and came to the solution to work with us?
BB: I had seen Natalie’s work come across my Facebook page for quite sometime and I was always impressed with the quality of the work she produced. At some point, we officially connected and became “Facebook friends”, and I continued to enjoy following her and reading her posts. As I became more acquainted with the fitness industry, Natalie’s name would come up more frequently, and after hearing numerous rave reviews about her work and seeing the level of professionalism she portrayed, I knew, if I was serious about my business, that I had to work with her.
Can you please describe the development and production process of your photo shoot, with Natalie and the team? How was your overall experience?
BB: Natalie and her team did a tremendous job at helping me with every step along the way. Her team maintained good communication with me during the months and weeks leading up to the shoot. Natalie delivered on everything she had committed to. I was impressed and at ease the moment she walked through the door at the photo shoot location. Her energy and enthusiasm is genuine. She even let me bum a ride with her when we went from location A to location B. I won’t make mention of her mad driving skills…I think we only had one driver up in arms and honking his horn…LOL. Let’s just say Natalie gets the job done!
BB: Natalie helped me to understand the importance of story boarding my photo shoots and really taking the time to think through each shot, so that it’s purposeful. Natalie is down to earth and easy to relate to. She shares openly about her life, her career, and truly wants to share her expertise with you so, that you can be the best you can be. Spending a day with Natalie Minh is a day well spent!
What are your future plans and goals? Do you have any competitions in the works?
BB: Professionally, I’ll continue to build the BAM BODY brand, develop the new website where I can debut the “Get Fit! Season One online training program, and continue to serve as a personal trainer and nutrition coach to my clientele. My personal plans and goals are to continue to balance family, career, and staying consistent with training.
Recently, my heart has been filled with gratitude and overflowed with excitement from the results of the WBFF Show. It was an honor to be recognized for my commitment and passion toward health, beauty, fashion, and fitness. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have the WBFF embrace me and count me as family. Next stop: my Pro debut at “WBFF WORLDS” in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 15-16 at the Cosmopolitan Resort.
Any shout outs?
• My team’s MVP… my husband, Keith, who is my rock and who I love and adore
• My children… Calvin, 14 and Aava, 10—my two children—as well as Kassidy, 15; Chris, 13; and Zack, 11, three stepchildren
• My Mom and my 5 sisters… Jennifer, Ivy, Leslie, Rhonda, and Devon
• My best friend Anna Jones-Rossi (xoxo)
• My first coach and mentor that introduced me to the world of competitive fitness and led me to my first victory, Kevin Shepard
• My insanely talented, hard working, and incredibly creative videographer Brian Olson
• Allison Dillett and the WBFF for providing me with the opportunity that allowed me to earn my WBFF Diva Bikini Pro status and for giving me a stage in which to shine and feel beautiful
• And last, but not least, Natalie Minh for her brilliant photography, guiding me professionally, and so willing to share her expertise
Lastly, where can we find you on the Internet?