5 Reasons to get STRONG


Fitness trends come and go and most fall to the wayside for good reason.

Most programs fail to produce consistent results. It’s a wonder why so many folks stray away from what is tried and true when it comes to exercise programs?

“The rule is: the basics are the basic, and you can’t beat the basics.” -Charles Poliquin

Despite what your goals may be, every individual can benefit from physical resistance training. Not only that, but the health benefits extend far beyond your short term fitness goals. Regardless of why you train, let’s take a look at some of the reasons you should incorporate strength training into your fitness regimen.

1. Training for strength produces results.

Whatever your goals, muscle will help you get there. Some companies in the fitness industry has made a fortune around buzzwords like “tone”, “lift”, and “sculpt.” The problem is there’s no way to measure those loose terms. If you want to change your body composition there is only the ability to gain or lose muscle while simultaneously gaining or losing fat. If you are looking for the most efficient way to do make a change then strength training is your best option.

Strength training, or physical resistance training, can be defined as a type of physical exercise specializing in the use of resistance to induce muscular contraction which builds the strength, anaerobic endurance, and size of skeletal muscles. When you gain muscle you increase your bodies basal metabolism (the amount of calories you burn each day before factoring in physical activity). It’s kind of like putting a bigger engine in a car. The car is capable of moving faster or pulling a heavier load (more muscle), but it also uses more fuel (fat) whether it’s cruising down the freeway or idling in the driveway. Strength training helps us “tone” through this muscle gain/fat loss trade.

2. “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” -Peter Drucker

Training for strength provides a clear path for success. You can set training goals that are specific, measurable, and produce desired outcomes. A good coach will help you design a plan towards these goals with checkpoints along the way. Your strength training program is a road map to success with clear directions. Sets, reps, and weights lifted safely through the full range of motion are the signals that you’re on track. Many people find that a more detailed plan helps them stay motivated as they experience progress.

3. Age gracefully with more muscle mass.

As we get older strength training is one of the most important things we can do for our health. Physical independence is a key factor in a great quality of life.

A comprehensive study of strength training has been proven to:

  • Improve motor function
  • Lower resting heart rate
  • Increase stamina
  • Prevent sarcopenia (age related muscle loss)
  • Improve bone mineral density
  • Prevent and help rehab injuries

Functional strength training will be an asset in daily life too. From picking up grandchildren or bags of groceries to climbing stairs with confidence.

4. You’ll experience epic brain gains.

Did you know that lifting weights can strengthen your brain just as much as it does your body?
Dr. Yorgi Mavros from the University of Sydney has found that high‐intensity physical resistance training (PRT) results in significant improvements in cognitive function, muscle strength, and aerobic capacity in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. Adults who followed a resistance training routine in addition to cognitive training performed significantly better than control groups on a series of mental tests. A couple key factors to note:

The participants exercised 2x/ week working to at least 80% of their peak strength.
The benefits lasted one year after the exercise prescription had ended.

What does that mean? According to Yorgi, “The stronger people became, the greater the benefit for their brain.” Let that sink in for a minute. You actually grow your brain by training to become stronger! It makes me wonder if Einstein developed his Theory of Relativity in between heavy sets of back squats…

5. Strong moms have healthy babies.

During pregnancy, the question always arises of what does fitness look like for this stage of life? With so much on the line, it’s important to consult with a doctor before beginning any fitness routine. Luckily, there is a tremendous amount to be gained by incorporating a strength training routine under normal circumstances. Resistance training can help alleviate symptoms and improve health outcomes for the mother and child. According to the Mayo Clinic, women who follow a consistent strength training routine during pregnancy can experience:

  • Reduce backaches, constipation, bloating and swelling
  • Boosted mood and energy levels
  • Better sleep
  • Prevent excess weight gain
  • Maintain levels of muscle strength and endurance
  • Reduced incidence of gestational diabetes

Not only that but women who train during pregnancy report enhanced body image and better psychological well-being!

We would love to help you live a healthy strong life. Schedule a Free Consult to learn more.

It’s not even February and your 2018 goals are slipping away already!


So you set goals for yourself for 2018. But already you’re hitting obstacles that are starting to make you slip a little bit.

Sigh.

You’re not alone.

If you’re hitting a bump in the road already, or think you might soon, here are some quick tips on ensuring you remain committed to the plan you made for yourself on January 1st.

 

Don’t do it alone

Making big changes alone is tough. It’s the reason people hire coaches, team up with workout buddies, or start going to AA, for that matter.

And what better person to make a change with than your partner.

Let’s say you have a mild drinking problem and decided to do no booze for two months. If you live with your partner and he/she pulls out a bottle of wine every evening, it’s only going to tempt you, and even potentially make you resentful. Or if you’re planning on spending less money this year and your partner is constantly pushing to buy new gadgets or go out for meals, it’s going to be incredibly tough for you to stick to your plan. And, of course, if you’re trying to commit yourself to fitness and your partner is a sloth, well, let’s just say it’s an uphill battle.

Even if your partner wasn’t part of your original plan, getting him/her on the same page as you working for something collectively beneficial together will really help you stick to your goal. Let’s just say waking up at 5:15 a.m. for a 6 a.m. group class or personal training session will be a whole lot easier if you’re not doing it alone…

 

Make a List

Oh, the satisfaction of crossing things off your list!

Writing down your goals is a tremendous help when it comes to following through. Let’s say your goal is to read one book a month this year. Crossing the name of the book you read off your list each month—in a place that’s visible to you—will be a constant reminder to reach for your book instead of your phone for a 30-minute Instagram scroll as you’re laying in bed.

The same is true if you’re making a diet change: Food journals go a long way in keeping you accountable.

 

Talk about it out loud

Though you might be tempted to keep your goals to yourself, expressing them out loud to people will make them more real and essentially put pressure on you to follow through.

Nobody wants to tell their friend, ‘I failed,’ when he asks how ‘No booze January’ went. You’d be surprised how willing people are to support you in difficult changes when you speak about them openly and honestly. Don’t be afraid to talk about the struggle!

 

A set back doesn’t mean you failed

Let’s say you do cheat on your diet. Or you miss a week of the gym. That doesn’t mean it’s done and you should give up. It just means you messed up for a brief moment in time. That’s the perfect time to regroup and get back on track.

You don’t stop putting deodorant on for a month just because you forgot one morning. Same is true of life change; get back on the path.

 

Checkpoints

Let’s say you set yourself a goal to get a muscle-up by the end of the year. It can be really easy to get to March and still feel far away from that muscle-up. It’s important to set smaller goals—milestones along along the way—that can provide as much satisfaction as reaching your ultimate goal will.

This is, of course, what your coach is for. If you have a fitness goal but are unclear of the milestones you will need to achieve before your reach that ultimate goal, talk to your coach to put a plan in place to help you enjoy the journey, and the small accomplishments along the way to your ultimate prize.

Stay the course.

 

 

Beyond the Lettuce Burger: Healthy Options to Replace Less Healthy Foods you Love


Why is it that all the foods you grew up on and loved as a kid—pasta, pancakes, potatoes–turned out to be unhealthy?

The day has come where you can put your devastation away because we have some healthier alternatives for you, and I promise you in some cases you’ll enjoy the alternatives even more than you loved your all-purpose white flour pancakes and white rice as a kid.

Here they are:

 

Potatoes: YUCA (also known as Cassava)

While sweet potatoes and yams are a common substitute for the less healthy, full of lectin, starchy potato, sometimes they’re just too sweet, right? The solution: Yuca, or cassava.

Yuca is another tuberous root, but it’s much better for you than a potato because it contains less lectins, and therefore is better for your gut.

And I promise you, you might even like yuca better than those golden nugget potatoes roasted with butter and rosemary that you find yourself craving. From mashed yuca, to scalloped yuca, to yuca fries, all of your favourite potato dishes can be made from yucas, too.

Some tips: If you’re making mashed or scalloped yucas, use coconut milk and ghee instead of butter and cow’s milk. And substitute flour for coconut flour as a thickening agent for your scalloped yuca sauce.

As for yuca fries, avoid cooking with vegetable oils. My best tip: Bake or fry with duck fat! A real game changer.

 

Rice: Cauliflower

While it’s not necessarily the flavour of rice you’re after, as it’s quite tasteless, rice does seem to be a necessary filler when you’re eating things like stir fry, curry dishes, gumbo, or jambalaya, right? It just seems necessary to absorb the sauce in many dishes.

The solution: Turn cauliflower into rice by grating or finely chopping and then sauté it lightly in a healthy oil or fat with salt and pepper. I would argue it has more flavour than rice and absorbs sauces in a similar way, so you won’t miss rice ever again.

 

Lasagne: Zucchini Noodles!

Once you replace your lasagne noodles with thinly cut strips of zucchini, you seriously won’t go back. One of lasagne’s common downfalls is how the noodles sometimes absorb too much of the sauce leaving you with dry lasagne if you’re not careful. This won’t happen with zucchini noodles. Like rice, it’s the other flavours in the lasagne—the nicely flavoured meat, the spinach, the creamy ricotta etc—that keep you coming back for more, and zucchini noodles are perfect for letting the other flavours shine, all the while providing a rigid structure to keep it all together.

If you’re avoiding dairy, goat cheese—a hard goat cheddar or goat gouda can be shredded just like mozzarella—is a healthier option to cow’s cheeses. Check out our recent blog about cheese options to find out which cheeses are healthiest (link to December 2017 #4 blog).

Or there are always nut-based vegan cheeses if you don’t mind spending a little more money.

 

Pasta: Spaghetti squash

See Lasagne.

You won’t miss those relatively flavourless spaghetti or fettuccine noodles when you start substituting with spaghetti squash.

 

Pancakes: Alternative Flours

Oh how you miss those fluffy pancakes you had every Sunday as a child.

Alas, there are plenty of options out there: Replace flour or traditional pancake mix with chestnut flour or coconut flour. Or even protein powder!

Or you can avoid flours altogether and replace it with pured pumpkin, plantains or chestnuts. Blend them up with coconut milk, coconut oil and eggs (and a little honey or maple syrup and sea salt) and you have a perfect pancake batter.

 

Ok, Im getting hungry now

 

 

 

 

 

5 Reasons you should hire a health and fitness coach in 2018


A new year has begun. You’re still overweight. Your blood pressure is up from 2017, and every time you see your doctor, you’re told your A1C levels are getting closer to indicating Type 2 diabetes. Not only that, but going up the stairs leaves you out of breath, and you dread carrying your groceries from the car to your house every time you shop.

 

It’s time.

 

You could join the community centre gym and start walking, and hopefully soon running, on the treadmill, or riding the stationary bike or elliptical—boring yourself out of your own skull in the process.

 

You could try that new spin class you’ve heard people rave about, but it seems so repetitive.

 

You could try to pick up swimming again. You remember liking it when you were a kid. But the thought of fighting over the lane with five other swimmers isn’t exactly enticing.

 

Or you could sign up for bootcamp, but the thought of working out outside at 6 a.m. in the cold early January morning makes you shiver just thinking about it.

 

Or yoga. Yoga gets you somewhat fit, right? Or does it?

 

The options for fitness are vast, to say the least

 

Before you make a decision, let’s reverse engineer this for a moment to figure out what’s going to actually get you what you REALLY want and need.

 

What you undoubtedly want is to be and feel healthier, right? To improve your growing health concerns, right? To make climbing stairs and grocery shopping easier, right? And if you look better in the process, that would be more than welcome, right? Oh and you probably have some chronic injuries that you wouldn’t mind healing, and you certainly don’t want to get more injured, right?

 

Is a three-day-a-week treadmill routine going to get you all of the above? Or swimming, or yoga, or a freeze-your-ass-off 6-week bootcamp? I’m going to take a leap here and say NO. None of those things are going to get you where you want to be, which is to live a happier, healthier life.

 

So what will?

 

Hiring a professional coach!

 

Here’s why a coach is the way to go:

 

Personalized attention:

 

Contrary to what you may have been told, fitness isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. With us, you’ll work in a one-on-one environment with a coach (and will eventually be able to also attend group classes). Your coach will be able to address your individual needs, your strengths, weaknesses, injuries and goals, and then hold your hand and steer you in the right direction physically, mentally and emotionally.

 

Accountability:

 

Ever start a workout routine but then fall off after a few days, weeks or months because there’s nothing to hold you accountable? Appointments with your coach will go a long way in ensuring you stay committed to achieving what you really want.

 

Youll actually get fit!

 

Imagine that? Actually seeing improvements! Half the reason people do fall off the wagon is because they don’t notice any strength, skill, stamina, endurance, or body composition benefits from working out. Working with a professional coach, who will monitor your progress, is what’s going to vault your fitness, health and body composition changes to levels you didn’t know were possible.

 

Heal Your Chronic Pain:

 

You know that shoulder injury you sustained when you were 16 that was never diagnosed and never totally healed? Or the chronic pain you feel in your knees or back every time you stand or sit for too long? Yeah, your coach will give you tools to help eliminate those chronic aches and pains you gave up on trying to heal years ago.

 

Nutrition:

 

You know you need to change the way you eat, but again there’s nobody to hold you accountable, and you’re confused what you should be eating because you hear so much contradictory information. Like fitness, nutrition isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Your coach will work with you through trial and error to figure out what your body needs to run as effectively as possible. And in the process, you’re going to find you’ll love the way your body looks and feels a whole lot more!

 

The result: Youll finish 2018 a lot healthier, fitter and happier than you started the year.