If You’re 50-plus, You Might Not be Getting Enough Protein

A lack of protein is a marker of not just a port diet, but of overall health, says a new study published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging. Here’s a link to the study published in February 2019: (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12603-019-1174-1)


Though we all know protein is important, the reality is many middle aged and older adults—close to half of American adults over the age of 50, in fact—still aren’t getting enough protein, says the study.


If you’re in this 50-plus crew, it might be even more important to consume adequate protein than when you were younger, as your body starts to lose muscle mass. Though lifting weights and strength training helps, sarcopenia (muscle loss due to age) is a natural part of the aging process and leads to a decrease in strength, as well as an increased risk of fractures. In other words, a lack of protein over time will limit overall quality of life: If you’re weak and frail, your day-to-day life will suffer. Period.


This study looked at data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from the years 2005 to 2014, which gathered information from almost 12,000 adults in the 50-plus age range. Specifically, the researchers examined protein intake and dietary patterns and their impact on physical function.


The result:

 As many as 46 percent of older participants aren’t eating enough protein. There was also a link between low protein consumption and overall diet choices. Low protein intake seemed to go hand-in-hand with a lack of other healthy foods, such as green vegetables, and seafood.


Further, the researchers discovered those who didn’t eat enough protein were also the ones who were limited in various daily activities, such as standing, kneeling, crouching and walking. The whole quality life thing again…


Finally, the research found a lack of protein was also linked to various vitamin and mineral deficiencies, namely zinc, selenium, Vitamin C, D and E. Being deficient in those vitamins and minerals can have negative affects on the immune system, which is also something you want to avoid as you age, as your body becomes less efficient at fighting off illness and disease.


So How Much Protein Do You Need?

 It’s dicey to make blanket dietary recommendations, as diet is so individual—it depends on your age, size, activity level, goals, body composition, genetics and on and on—and even the experts can’t seem to agree on how much protein we should consume. Thus, it’s a dilemma when it comes to prescribing a general number of minimum protein grams per day. Check out this article by Robb Wolf about the confusion surrounding HOW MUCH PROTEIN YOU SHOULD EAT, even among the experts: (https://robbwolf.com/2016/11/07/how-much-protein-do-we-really-need/)


With all that being said, what we have noticed with our clients is when they increase their protein and reduce their carbohydrate intake, they tend to feel better and stronger and have more energy, not to mention they usually increase their lean mass and reduce their body fat.


This happens when they start consuming approximately 40 percent of their daily macros in protein(along with approximately 30 percent carbohydrates and 30 percent fat). This varies person to person, but 40 percent or so seems to be a good number to strive for, and it’s certainly much higher than most people are getting now.


Just to compare this to other information out there: If we look at “general guidelines” that exist, they tend to be more conservative on protein requirements than what I just suggested. The US Dietary Guidelines, for example, suggests a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight (https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/This would mean the average (albeit sedentary) person who weighs 75 kg (165 lb.) should consume 60 grams of protein a day, which is likely not going to amount to 40 percent of their daily macros.


However, it’s important to note that 0.8 g per kg of bodyweight is simply the minimum amount of protein a person of that size needs to consume to avoid losing muscle mass, and to avoid getting sick etc, whereas we’re striving for more than just avoiding being not sick (https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/how-much-protein-do-you-need-every-day-201506188096)!


Whether you’re in the 50-plus crew or not, come talk to us if you want some help figuring out how much protein you should be eating.

Athlete of the MonthMarch

Tina de la Cruz

Years Doing CrossFit: 2


How long have you been doing CrossFit?

1 year but was doing FITCon for a year and half prior.

What made you decide to give 7 Mile Strength & Fitness a try?

The need to feel more active, increase in physical strength, and overall health.

We are not your typical gym. Most gyms don’t offer a Coach for Life. Coach Julia is yours – how has having a Coach for Life helped you?

We have not only built a relationship of open communication, but a relationship of TRUST.

During our PT sessions, Julia has helped me and provided me with a great deal of insight, on how to increase my upper body strength, along with enhancing my knowledge of Olympic lifting techniques (i.e. Snatch and Clean and Jerk). We are, continuously, working on improving some of my weaknesses, such as strengthening my upper body and lifting / lunging with dumbbell in overhead position.

What I love most about Julia, is that she always jolly, her always sunny and bright disposition makes her that much more likeable and approachable!

What was the hardest part when you started out and how did you overcome that?

Getting past the idea or intimidation of lifting weights, a skill I wish I had discovered sooner. Barbell class is my absolute favourite! Thank you, Julia for the encouragement!

You decided to participate in the CrossFit Games Open this year. Congratulations are your first Open workout :) What made you decide to sign up?

The experience, and the desire to push myself more, physically, expand on the knowledge I already have, and experience the energy of our CrossFit community, all of us working towards that same common goal!

You and your husband Karl are both members at our gym. We love seeing families making health and wellness a part of their lives….and thank you for choosing us to be a part of yours! How has being at 7 Mile Strength & Fitness changed you guys? Do you feel like you’re lives are any different than what they used to be before coming to us? (ie: getting better sleep now, being more productive at work etc.)

We are supportive of each other and look forward to the WOD. Our kids also have a gained interest in being more physically active and going to the gym with us, given the chance. It’s important that our kids see us physically active, in order to encourage them to do the same, while they are young and leading them into active adolescent years.

Name something you’re most proud of in the gym.

I appreciate all the coaches, their guidance, and how they strive to push you forward, beyond your own belief / limitations. Group workouts are my favourite, you feel like you’re part of something and the added energy you feel from everyone is so uplifting, it definitely gets your adrenaline going!

Did you play any sports growing up?

Believe it or not, as small as I am, I played basketball, in elementary and high school (Point Guard). I was really good at lay-ups, too! Wow, haven’t thought of that for years, thanks for asking!

Anything people at 7 Mile Strength & Fitness don’t know about you?

I LOVE to dance, it is how I release a lot of my stress and excess energy!

Anything crazy on your bucket list? (bungee jumping, sky diving?)

I want to bungee jump, go skiing – I want to do all of that exciting stuff, but most of all, I want to travel and learn about different cultures, food, the arts, etc, etc.

What is your favorite WOD and why?

Anything barbell…it’s helped my self confidence tremendously, both physically and mentally! Finding my potential…this is how my love my for CrossFit has grown, hands down!

What is your least favorite WOD and why?

Burpees and running, although, it’s slowly growing on me, still a work in progress!

What has been your biggest surprise about doing CrossFit?

Throughout the years, I have had other gym memberships, which I got bored of, quickly, after January 31st (lol)! I have finally found a gym that I haven’t gotten bored of, I look forward to the WOD, and bringing on a good sweat!

Would you recommend 7 Mile Strength & Fitness to others and if so, why?

Always do! It’s a quality gym, very nice and super friendly staff and people, along with very well trained, knowledgeable and qualified coaches!

Thank you, Tina!  We are proud to have you as our 7 Miler of the Month.


Improve Your Productivity at Work Through Fitness

If your job is physically demanding, it certainly goes without saying that increased fitness will make your job easier. But even if you sit at a desk all day, there’s a boatload of evidence that suggests a connection between exercise and productivity at work, namely through helping you be more alert.

When you workout, you essentially increase the blood flow to your brain. This helps increase your awareness and alertness, as well as improve your energy levels. On top of this, there’s evidence working out also leads to improved concentration, a sharper memory, faster learning, enhanced creativity, and lower stress, all of which seem like helpful benefits to improve performance in various jobs and careers.

There’s even evidence that working out helps improve interpersonal interactions with colleagues, namely because you’re in a better mood from the workout, and thus less likely to react in ways you might regret later. Here are a some interesting studies that examined this very phenomenon:



Office Gyms for the Win:

A study done at Leeds Metropolitan University (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/235275530_Exercising_at_work_and_self-reported_work_performance) looked at the affect of exercise among office workers who had access to a company gym at work.


The study looked at more than 200 employees from different companies. They discovered on the days the employees went to the gym during the day at work, they managed their time at work more effectively, were more productive and had better interactions with colleagues. And at the end of the day, they returned home happier.


Concentration, productivity and motivation:

 A similar study from Briston University (https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/17538350810926534) looked at 200 people for three different companies. On the days the employees worked out, their concentration scores improved by a fairly significant 21 percent.

 Not only that, they saw a 22 percent improvement in finishing their work on time, a 25 percent improvement for working without unscheduled breaks, and on average they felt 41 percent more motivated to work.



A University of British Columbia study (https://news.ubc.ca/2014/02/06/how-exercise-can-boost-brain-power/) discovered regular exercise that gets your heart rate up tends to increase the size of the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that affects verbal memory and learning. The ultimate theory here is that exercise might be able to help fend off dementia, which obviously will keep you in the workplace longer.



This 2016 study published in the Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review (https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/the-relationship-between-physical-exercise-and-job-performance-themediating-effects-of-subjective-health-and-good-mood-2223-5833-1000269.pdf) discovered that participants who exercised not only felt more productive at work, they also felt healthier and their mood was higher.


Their recommendation was for business owners and managers to encourage all their employees to exercise. Not surprising is the fact that it is becoming more and more prevalent for businesses to help subsidize various fitness programs for employees.


If you think you, or a group of your colleagues, could benefit from a fitness regimen—there’s also evidence that working out with colleagues goes a long way in improving your connection and communication with each other— contact us now.

Coconut Oil: Your Answer to Better Oral Health and Whiter Teeth

You probably know oral health is important and you have likely heard coconut oil is a healthy fat to consume: It helps moisturize the skin, helps reduce your bad cholesterol and is associated with better brain function.

But did you know coconut oil might also help improve your oral health? In fact, not only is it known to help prevent tooth decay, plaque build-up, gingivitis and keep bad breath at bay, it actually also cleans your teeth, and is even a natural teeth whitener.

How can this healthy fat made from medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) do all this? Well, 50 percent of coconut oil is made from Lauric acid, which your body breaks into monolaurin. Both Lauric acid and monolaurin are able to kill unwanted things, like bacteria, viruses and fungus. And in terms of maintaining good oral health, keeping bad bacteria away is incredibly important.

Two ways to include coconut oil in your oral heath routine include oil pulling and through homemade coconut-oil infused toothpaste:

Oil pulling

It started in India long ago, but basically oil pulling involves swooshing coconut oil for 15 minutes or so in your mouth like you would do with mouthwash. As you’re doing this, think about pushing and puling it between your teeth. This helps remove the bacteria and plaque from your mouth. Then brush your teeth afterward.

The main reason for gum disease comes from a build-up of bacteria that turns into plaque, thus swooshing with coconut oil can go a long way in protecting your teeth against this bacteria that eventually turns to plaque, and potentially gum disease if not treated. There’s evidence oil pulling can make a difference to your oral health in just 30 days.

This 2016 study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5109859/) showed that after just 30 days, people experienced a significant decrease in Streptococcus mutans, the most common bacteria that contributes to tooth decay. 

 Meanwhile, this 2015 study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25838632) found a decrease in both plaque and gingivitis after just one week of coconut oil pulling. Plaque build-up is also at the heart of why teeth become yellow or discoloured, and hence why oil pulling is known to whiten teeth.



Coconut oil-infused toothpaste

 You can actually make this yourself pretty easily by using 1/2 cup coconut oil, 2 tablespoons baking soda and a few drops of essential oil like peppermint oil, or cinnamon if you prefer. 

 All you do is heat the oil until it’s a liquid and then stir in baking soda until a paste forms, and then drop in 10 drops of oil or a pinch of cinnamon. From there, just use it the same way you would a normal toothpaste.


Give it a shot and report back in 30 days with your oral health, and tooth whitener, results.






Athlete of the MonthFebruary

Kyra Henningson


How long have you been doing CrossFit?

Started drinking the Kool-Aid January 5th, 2015.


What made you decide to give 7 Mile Strength & Fitness a try?

My roommate at the time was exasperating. CrossFit was an outlet – a few extra hours a week outside the house.


What was the hardest part when you started out and how did you overcome that?

Trying to pay attention to the coaches. So many half naked men to stare at. Not sure that I have overcome that.


What is one thing you’re most proud of?

Nailing double unders. So. Much. Practice.


What, in your opinion, has kept you consistent all this time?

Fear. I’m terrified of Coach Chris, he always shoots looks of disappointment if there isn’t enough weight on the bar. Can’t fathom not showing up to class, he would certainly be unimpressed. But I wouldn’t want it any other way.


The 2019 CrossFit Games Open is just a few weeks away. Will you be participating this year? Any particular Games athletes you follow?

Absolutely, who doesn’t love 5 weeks of torture! No, they’re all impressive athletes and deserve props.


Did you play any sports growing up?

Rocked a tutu and some tap shoes for quite a few years.


Anything people at 7 Mile Strength & Fitness don’t know about you?

Not likely, I have no filter.


Anything crazy on your bucket list? (bungee jumping, sky diving?)

Going to be climbing Kilimanjaro this June, hoping all the squats and lunges will help with the 19,341 feet!


What is your favorite WOD and why?

DT. Barbells make me feel badass.


What is your least favorite WOD and why?

Anything with too much running. And by too much, I mean any.


What has been your biggest surprise about doing CrossFit?

The community. We are one big happy family – I love seeing the crew at the end of a day. Good people, supportive environment, fist bumps, & the occasional butt slapping to cheer you along.


Would you recommend 7 Mile Strength & Fitness to others and if so, why?

Indubitably! Best gym you’ll ever set foot in. All the coaches are incredible!


Congratulations, Kyra! We are so proud of you!

Is Your Collagen Supplement Really Helping You?

So you sipped on a collagen-powder infused beverage every day of 2018 expecting it to transform your skin into the vibrant sheath it once was, or at the very least to stop your skin from acquiring more age-related wrinkles.

It makes sense that you believed collagen was your answer: After all, the collagen we make naturally is needed for healthy hair, skin and nails, as well as for strengthening our bones, tendons and ligaments. And as for the skin specifically, collagen is what keeps skin looking young as it helps it maintain its elasticity. Once you get into your 30s, your natural collagen production starts to decline. The new trend of getting collagen facial fillers, which is similar to Botox, pumps collagen into your skin to help prevent and eliminate wrinkles and other signs of aging.

Here’s the thing with taking collagen in supplement form though: Your body doesn’t use the whole collagen the way it uses the collagen you make naturally, so your skin may never see the effects. What your body does do is break down the collagen from a powder supplement, for example, into amino acids, most of which probably never make it to your skin. Some experts say it’s unlikely that any of this whole collagen you’re getting from supplements even makes it into your bloodstream.

This, however, DOES NOT mean collagen supplementation might not be beneficial in other ways: It’s just unlikely to offer magical powers for your skin. Here’s how it might be more valuable:

As mentioned above, collagen is needed for much more than the skin, and there is legitimate evidence that a collagen supplement can provide value to your body. The amino acids from a collagen supplement can still be distributed to areas of your body that need them most, like the heart or the brain, but the skin itself is essentially a low priority.

Our bodies have cells called fibroblasts. Their job is to produce collagen, but in order to produce collagen they need amino acids, specifically glycine, proline and hydroxyproline. Collagen supplements, in the form of hydrolyzed collagen, then can help deliver these amino acids to where your body needs them most. And from there, your body can start making more collagen. So while the collagen itself from a supplement might not be usable collagen, per se, the amino acids it breaks into are used to make more collagen naturally. And the older you get, the more this becomes important.

Further, there’s some evidence that collagen supplementation helps decrease joint pain. A 2008 study from Penn State University found collagen supplements helped reduce joint pain in 147 athletes (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18416885).

Other potential benefits include:

• Reduce inflammation (especially in people with osteoarthritis)
• Improves gut health
• Supports a healthy metabolism
• Promotes healthy brain function
• Helps with sleep

If you’re interested in taking a collagen supplement, here are three tips for selecting a brand that has the most chance of helping you:

1. Make sure it’s hydrolyzed collagen (this means it is in a form that make it more absorbable and usable in the body).

2. Marine collagen is best: The four main sources of collagen peptides come from either cow, pig, chicken or fish. Marine is best because it’s in the purest form and is most easily absorbed into the blood. If you do choose a collagen sourced from a cow, pig or chicken, make sure it’s grass-fed.

3. Check to label to ensure the collagen peptides do not have any fillers.

This, however, doesn’t mean you necessarily NEED a collagen supplement. If you’re eating well, you could very well be making enough of your own collagen. If you eat a lot of protein-rich foods like chicken, fish, beef and eggs, and are getting enough Vitamin C, zinc and copper, then you might be good without a collagen supplement. On top of this, three great ways to boost your natural collagen without taking a supplement include consuming bone broth, organ meats and sardines. If the above doesn’t sound like you, then consider a collagen supplement.

We would love to hear your experiences if you have been taking a collagen supplement. Have you noticed any health benefits?

Are Blue Blocking Sunglasses the Answer to Your Poor Sleep?

Would you wear sunglasses around the house after the sun sets if it meant you are sure to sleep more soundly? Before we get into the blue-blocking glasses part of this story, let’s talk about what exactly blue light is, and why it could be hurting your sleep.

About to get geeky for a minute: Sunlight contains red, orange, yellow, green and blue light rays, all of which have different wavelengths and emit different levels of energy into your eyes. All combined together, this big spectrum of colored light rays creates what we know as sunlight, or “white light.” The rays on the red side of the spectrum have longer wavelengths and emit less energy, and rays on the blue end of the spectrum have shorter wavelengths and emit more energy to your eyes.

While sunlight is the main place we take in blue light, we also get a lot of blue light from our man-made, indoor sources of light, both the old-school lightbulbs we used to use and even the more efficient LED lights, as well as the screens—TVs, computers, phones, tablets—we love so much. While the sun does give off way more blue light than our cellphones do, we don’t stare directly into the sun for hours on end the way we do our phones. So not only is this a problem for long-term eye health, it’s also a problem for your sleep.

It’s an issue for sleep because taking in too much blue light, especially right before you go to bed, suppresses your body’s natural melatonin production, which then disrupts your circadian rhythm. This essentially means your body gets tricked into thinking it’s daytime and not bedtime, even when it’s way past your bedtime. The result being you have trouble falling asleep.

While technology, and specifically our phone companies, are allegedly trying to protect us from blue light at night — Apple introduced a new feature in 2016 that they called “night shift,” which shifts the color of your phone’s display to emit less blue light once the sun goes down—it’s still unclear (not yet proven by science) whether this effort by Apple is really making a difference for our eyes and our sleep.

Another option: Blue blocking glasses. Basically, blue blocking glasses are glasses that block most of the blue light we take in once it’s dark outside and we’re meant to be winding down and prepping for bed. You wear them inside to block the artificial light. There are certainly blue blocking glasses critics out there who say they don’t really help but there is also a decent amount of research that does suggests blue blocking glasses might be worth looking into, especially if you’re someone who needs to be on a computer late at night finishing work or whatnot.

Specifically, one study done at the University of Houston College of Optometry and published in the Journal Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/opo.12385) suggests blue light from digital devices are contributing to the increasing number of people with reported sleep dysfunction. The study found those who wore short wavelength-blocking glasses three hours before bed for two weeks experienced a 58 percent increase in melatonin levels. As a result, these participants said they slept better, fell asleep faster and stayed asleep longer when they wore the blue blocking glasses.

Have you ever tried blue-blocking glasses? Do you recommend them? Tell us about your experience.

When it Comes to Sweets, You Can’t Cheat the System

Do you know the story of aspartame? It was discovered by accident in 1965 by a chemist named James Schlatter, who was working on developing an anti-ulcer drug. He came across aspartame during his re-search, licked his finger without thinking, and realized it tasted sweet like sugar. Eventually the brand NutraSweet (basically aspartame) because popular, especially among people who were trying to limit their sugar consumption or lose weight. They blindly believed the NutraSweet marketing machine that this product was healthier for them than sugar. But soon (as early as the 1980s), evidence started emerging that suggested aspartame is actually quite toxic to humans. Here’s what the chemical breakdown of aspartame looks like in our bodies:

Methanol, which comes from aspartame, gets released into the small intestine once it comes into contact with the enzyme chymotrypsin. Then the methanol gets converted into formaldehyde, which then gets converted into formic acid. Formic acid is toxic! In fact, formic acid is used to strip epoxy and urethane coatings. You wouldn’t lick glue or varnish, so why would you pop aspartame into your mouth?

Today, tons of health problems have been associated with aspartame, including abdominal pain, arthritis, asthma, edema, blood sugar control problems, brain cancer, burning urination, depression, diarrhea, hearing loss, thinning of hair, menstrual problems, memory loss, muscle spasms, seizures, vertigo, vision loss, weight gain. Basically, everything! Though you may not have known all the details about aspartame, you probably have heard along the way that it’s bad for you and likely switched to some other allegedly healthier artificial sweetener, right?

Maybe you’re into sucralose, or Splenda. Or maybe you have discovered erythritol or xylitol? Or maybe stevia or sorbitol? Or maybe you’re digging some other product that told you it was organic and healthy and all-natural? Basically, if you’re like most people, you probably just decided to listen to the message the company told you about their product being healthier than sugar.

Sorry to all those with a sweet toothed folks out there, but you might have been duped. Just like NutraSweet duped us all in the 1980s. At least, a new study published in the British Medical Journal (https://www.bmj.com/content/364/bmj.k4718) says you might have been tricked. The study, which looked at 56 individual studies about non-sugar sweeteners that included close to 14,000 people, concluded there’s absolutely no evidence that these allegedly healthier sweeteners are any better for your health than plain old sugar. Some of the health issues the researchers looked at included changes in weight, body mass index, oral health, eating behavior, cancer, heart disease, kidney disease and mood swings associated with sugar and non-sugar sweeteners.

While the results of the study don’t tell us whether artificial sweeteners are even worse than sugar, as is the case with aspartame, the various types of non-sugar sweeteners also don’t present any evidence that they’re healthier than sugar, said the researchers. Our best advice: Get off the fake sugar right away! And avoid other sugar most of the time (yes this includes honey, syrups and agave). Depending on your goals and how your body responds to sugar, you probably want to avoid eating too much fruit, too, especially too much dried fruit like figs and dates. But but but, here’s the good news for you sweet tooth sugar addicts: Although you want to avoid sugar most of the time, it’s OK to treat yourself here and there to some-thing sweet. We’ll forgive you. Just return to no sugar the next day.

How We’re Different Than the Other Gyms

Generally, a gym experience comes in one of three forms:


  1. Globo gym:This is the big box, community center style of gym. Generally, you pay between $20 and $100 a month for the use of the equipment and you can workout on your own time and at your own leisure.
  2. Group Exercise facility: You pay to attend group exercise classes, be it bootcamp, yoga classes, spin classes, CrossFit classes, pilates, Orange Theory etc. Typically, you pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 to $180 a month for unlimited classes, or you buy a punch-pass for $20 a pop.
  3. Personal Training Studio: You work predominantly with a coach in a one-on-one environment, and pay anywhere from $75 to $120 an hour for personalized coaching (often $1,000 + a month).


We are NONE of the above. But before we get into what we do, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of the above three types of gyms.




Globo Gym:

Pros: Memberships are typically quite inexpensive, and if you’re experienced, fit, healthy, injury-free and comfortable in the gym, you can follow a program that caters to your needs and goals and you will see real fitness results.

Cons: You receive little to no guidance from a coach, so more often than not members aren’t working on the things they need to be working on to reach their health, fitness and body composition goals. And because there’s no accountability to stick to your commitment to fitness—nobody reaches out if you stop showing up—members often fall off the wagon, yet continue to pay their membership dues because the fee is small enough they barely realize the money is trickling out of their bank account. Thus, most people don’t see results and don’t stick around. Further, the vibe tends to be quite anti-social; people show up with headphones on and listen to music as they grind it out on their own, not speaking or connecting with anyone around them. In other words, there’s no feeling of community in most Globo gyms.




Group Exercise Facility

Pros: Training in a group is fun, social, competitive and motivating. There’s often a strong feeling of community and people make lasting friendships with other likeminded, health conscious individuals. While more expensive than a community center membership, fees are still much more affordable than personal training studios.

Cons: You’re fitness is generally done in a group environment, so there’s little to no individual programming or coaching. This means your personal weaknesses, limitations, injuries, let alone wants, needs and goals, aren’t addressed: You’re at the mercy of the group, as opposed to what you need as an individual. This leads to injuries and/or low accountability to one’s fitness. (Generally, when fitness is done via group exercise classes alone, annual churn rate among members is 70 percent, meaning 7 out of 10 members don’t last even one year in this environment).




Personal Training Studio:

Pros: You receive personalized care from a professional coach, who caters to your individual goals, wants and needs. This personal coaching helps you achieve fitness goals and reduces your chance of injury. Accountability also tends to be high because you have an appointment with a coach, who you have an actual relationship with, and are paying a premium to be there.

Cons: It’s expensive (often completely unaffordable for many) and lacks a sense of community. When you speak to people who go to a personal training studio, they often reveal they only know one person in the whole gym: Their personal coach. Thus, it’s challenging to forge a community support network at a personal training studio.




Enter 7 Mile Strength & Fitness: The impetus behind what we do is to combine the pros from all of the above models, while ditching the cons!

From a practical standpoint, here’s what it looks like:


Step 1: Fundamentals

You will get paired up with a coach your feel your connect with—someone you trust with your long term health and fitness needs.

You begin by doing an introductory session with this coach, followed by approximately 10-20 personal training sessions (depending on your individual needs). These sessions help identify your current fitness level, your injury history, your strengths and weaknesses and your fitness and body composition goals. Based on the above, you will be given a toolkit to help prepare you to be successful in group classes.


Step 2: Hybrid Membership

Once you’re prepared, you will graduate to group classes and will begin a combination of weekly group classes (two to five classes per week), plus periodic personal training sessions with your personal coach. The frequency with which you meet your coach depends on your goals, needs and budget, but is generally once a week, once as month, once every six months or once a quarter. These sessions will help keep you on track with your goals, and will also provide an opportunity to address what’s working and what’s not working in classes, so you can adjust accordingly to ensure your continued progress.




As a result, we believe our hybrid model provides you with all that is required to be successful in health and fitness, including:

  1. A personal coach to cater to your individual needs so you actually see fitness results.
  2. A community-based, social environment, where you’ll feel a sense of belonging to a supportive community of friends.
  3. Financially affordable.

Contact us for more.

Athlete of the MonthJanuary

Sandra Castelo

Years Doing CrossFit: 2


How long have you been doing CrossFit?

2 years and 4 months.


What made you decide to give 7 Mile Strength & Fitness a try?

Even though my husband (Jeff ‘Jefe’ Kelly) had been a long time member and had nothing but good things to say about the gym and the community, I didn’t think CrossFit was for me given my lower back problems.  What made me change my mind was when Jeff suggested I do some personal training sessions with Coach Chris.


What was the hardest part when you started and how did you overcome that?

Having the courage to walk though the door.  I was so out of shape and I had no experience in weightlifting… CrossFit was going to be a humbling experience!  But somehow within minutes, those feelings dissipated because I was learning and having a great time.

Equally as difficult was the fact that I was coming to CrossFit WITH a chronic injury.  For 15 years, I tried to find a solution to my lower back problems and regardless of who I went to (doctor, physio, chiro, therapist, specialist) nobody seemed to have a solution other than to minimally help me manage the pain. Getting the opportunity to work with Chris changed everything – I gained my quality of life back!


With January being the beginning of the year are there any new goals set for 2019?  Did you conquer any goals set for 2018?

Back in June, I decided to give myself a fun challenge: 100 unbroken double-unders by December.  Reached my goal with a month to spare!  Time for a new challenge in 2019: handstand walk by June.  I did the Handstand Club with Coach Julia last year and I left equipped with the knowledge required to accomplish that goal but needing more practice.  This is my chance to make it happen!


Open Gym is a time we quite often see you in practicing skill work and doing ROM WOD. How has that been beneficial for you? 

Open Gym sessions are the perfect opportunity to work on movements and exercises that were prescribed to me by Chris during my monthly PT to address an issue or a weakness.  I also use that time to work on my challenges (see question above) and I’ll usually do a ROM WOD at the end of the session. The perfect combo of strength, skills and flexibility!


Any new places to travel on your list for 2019? 

Trying to decide between Greece or Portugal for our summer trip.


Did you play any sports growing up?

I figure skated for 17 years and competed in synchronised skating for the last 10.  I was lucky to represent Canada at several international competitions for many years and even made it to the World Championships!


Anything people at 7 Mile Strength & Fitness don’t know about you?

I was born in Montreal but my parents are from Spain so I have dual citizenship. I went to French school during the week, Spanish school on weekends, and learned English watching Fresh Prince of Bel Air.


Anything crazy on your bucket list? (bungee jumping, sky diving?)

Nothing adrenaline driven on my bucket list – my bucket list is filled with places to see and skills to develop like learning to play the piano.


What is your favorite WOD and why?

I don’t really have a favorite… they are all just different variations of pain!


What is your least favorite WOD and why?

Any workouts that require a lot of arm strength because my “chicken wings” can’t keep up!


What has been your biggest surprise about doing CrossFit?

The people and coaches. 7 Mile Strength and Fitness has such a welcoming, supportive, fun and motivating group of coaches and it is evidenced by the amazing camaraderie amongst members.


Would you recommend 7 Mile Strength & Fitness to others and if so, why?

Without hesitation – for the quality of coaching, the awesome friendships and the range of services offered.


Thanks Sandra, we are proud to have you as our January 7 Miler.