Barbell Rules


If you’re like me, you don’t like power trip rules. In other words, rules just for the sake of having rules. So annoying, right?

I’ve always believed rules should be in place for a logical reason, and when the reason is explained clearly, I then respect and embrace following that rule.

When it comes to barbell etiquette, we have some important rules we want you to follow—not because we’re on a power trip to tell you what to do—but to keep you and our equipment safe.

Here are 10 barbell etiquette rules we absolutely need you to understand and embrace:

 

  1. No Close Standers Allowed

I often see people standing intimately close to someone as he or she is setting up for a big lift. In a weightlifting gym, the rule is you’re only allowed to stand on a platform if you’re about to lift the barbell on that platform. What we’re saying is, if you’re not about to lift the bar, move out of the way. Akin to this, never walk in front or behind another lifter. It goes without saying, this is for your safety and the safety of the person lifting the barbell. Human and barbell collisions are to be avoided at all costs.

 

  1. Strip Gingerly

When you’re stripping down your barbell, don’t let the empty barbell smash to the ground as you aggressively rip the 45 lb. plate off the bar. Instead, place one hand on the barbell as you remove the weight and gently lower the empty barbell to the floor. Letting the barbell smash to the ground is hard on the barbell, meaning we need to replace them more often, increasing our costs and ultimately your rates.

 

  1. Keep the Metal to a Minimum

Adding steel upon steel is not OK. The general rule is, if you can throw some rubber on the barbell, please do. For example, instead of putting three pairs of 5-lb. metal plates on the barbell, put on one set of 15-lb. rubber plates instead. Similarly, hogging all the 15 lb. plates, instead of throwing on a pair of 45 lb. plates, isn’t cool to the rest of the people in the class, especially during a big class. Apart from the equipment hog aspect of the rule, dropping barbells loaded with metal is harder on the barbells.

 

  1. Collars are Cool

Always use collars, especially when you’re going overhead. Sure, collars aren’t always necessary for a heavy set of deadlifts during a strength session, but if you’re at shoulder height—fronts squats, back squats—and especially going overhead—shoulder press, push press, jerk, snatch, overhead squat, bench press, COLLAR THAT BARBELL UP! It goes without saying that weights flying off barbells is dangerous for you the lifter, and for those walking by or spotting, who could end up with a weight dropped on their foot.

 

  1. Do Not Drop:
  • Empty barbells, or barbells without rubber and collars on them
  • DBs (unless they’re below the height of your knee)
  • KBs
  • Metal plates
  • Babies

I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but let’s protect our equipment. And our babies.

 

  1. Dont be Shy

If you’re lifting heavy and there’s even a chance you could fail the lift, don’t hesitate to ask for a spotter. If you’re comfortable ditching a bar off your bad during a back squat, then double check and make sure you have TONS of space behind you.

 

  1. Stop and Listen

When a coach comes over to offer feedback or advice, stop lifting and listen, even if you’re in the middle of a conditioning workout.

 

  1. No Plate Collectors Allowed

Plate collectors are those who can be found with a set or two of 5 lb. and 2 lb. plates strewn about haphazardly about in their general lifting area. This is a tripping hazard, not to mention you end up hogging equipment. If you’re not currently using weights, put them away until you need them again.

 

  1. Respect Percentages

Even if you think it’s “too light,” the percentages programmed for the day are there for a reason. Follow them, or if you’re confused, speak to a coach first before going “off program.”

 

  1. Ask!

If you’re confused about what you’re suppose to be doing, how much you’re supposed to be lifting, or you have any questions at all, don’t guess. Ask. You’re paying good money to be here, so don’t be afraid to use the coaches.

Don’t forget that the Spig’s & Squints Barbell Club starts up in April!

 

 

How to pick the best gym in your city


Gyms aren’t like McDonald’s, where a Big Mac tastes almost the same in Seattle and New York as it does in London or Beijing. Gyms aren’t created equal, meaning the products, services and coaching they offer vary from state to state, city to city, and box to box.

So how do you know how to find a good gym?

Here are 7 things to look for when selecting the right gym:

 

  1. “What is your fundamentals program?”

One of the biggest differences between gyms is how they bring new athletes into their community. Some throw you right into group classes on Day 1, others put you through two or three group OnRamp sessions and then release you to classes, and others still require you to go through one-on-one personal training before they graduate you to the group atmosphere.

When it comes to fundamentals programs—unless you have had a lot of experience in the sport of gymnastics AND Olympic weightlifting—the MORE one-on-one attention you get before group classes, the better! If you find a gym that makes you do 15 personal training sessions with the same coach, you know you’re going to be taken care of and kept injury-free. Yes it’s more expensive, but it’s your health and you’re worth the investment.

On the other side of the fence, if a gym lets you do a free class with other experienced athletes on your first day, steer clear and keep shopping around!

 

  1. Personal Coach

Lifting weights, gymnastics, rowing etc…is technical, and your strengths and weaknesses are personal to you. Select a gym that teams you up with a personal coach, someone consistently in your corner, who can get to know your specific limitations and work with you for years on improving your health and fitness. A relationship with a personal coach will make all the difference in your long-term development.

 

  1. Coach Retention

Ask around. How long have the gym’s coaches been around? If every coach is in his first year there, chances are the gym’s coach retention isn’t great (unless the gym just opened). Gyms with high coach retention are doing something right (not to mention, you’ll get more experienced advice). If the gym has five coaches who have been there for 5-plus years, you’re in the right place.

 

  1. Cleanliness

Lots of fitness facilities look rough around the edges. BUT, bathrooms and floors, for example, should be clean. If the gym is sloppy and careless with cleaning bathrooms and floors then chances are this sloppiness extends to the rest of the business.

 

  1. Other Services

If the only service the gym offers is “group classes,” move along. Find a gym that offers a broad range of services to meet everyone’s needs, such as personal training, nutrition counselling, individual programming, and other classes, such as weightlifting, mobility, or gymnastics classes.

 

  1. Demographics

This one is specific to you, but some gyms cater to older folks, while others pride themselves on being competitive in the CrossFit scene, for example. Find out what the average age is of the people at the gym, and choose one where you think you’ll be fit in and feel comfortable. After all, it’s the people who are going to keep you around the gym for years, so choose a place where you think you’ll be able to forge strong connections.

 

  1. Coach Education

Don’t assume the coaches are educated. Ask, ask, ask about their credentials. Do they have a weekend certification and nothing else, or are they into continued education to constantly improve their knowledge?

On a similar note, ask about the programming. What are the principles behind the training program you’ll be following? You’re there to see results, so you might as well select a gym whose programming has some thought, and some science, behind it.

There are tons of good gyms out there, but you might as well select the best one for your needs and goals so take the time to search around, and be willing to spend a little more money to become as healthy and fit as youve always dreamed of.

 

Bacon 101: All bacon is not created equal


So many fit-looking people running around your gym who eat bacon, right? Like, every morning for breakfast, they say!

These same people might have even tried to tell you that bacon is healthy. After all, pork is Paleo, and therefore healthy, right? And animal fat is good, and fat doesn’t make you fat…

But bacon? Healthy? Hard to wrap your head around the first time you heard it, and your first instinct was probably to become skeptical of this assertion.

The truth is, bacon isn’t a health food, per se. That doesn’t mean you cant eat it. It just means you probably shouldn’t have 12 strips of bacon a day and it’s important to take the time to source the healthiest bacon you can find.

Let’s start at your local grocery store: Chances are, these mass-produced vacuum-packed bacon packages for $4.99 a pound aren’t your best bet. More often than not, grocery store bacon has been produced from big factory-farmed pigs and is full of artificial ingredients and preservatives, sometimes even pumped with sugar or corn syrup. To be sure, check out the ingredients list and if there are ingredients you can’t pronounce, avoid this bacon!

Traditional bacon is best. It starts with pork belly. Then salt and spices are added, and then curing salt. Other times, it is smoked. It should only have three ingredients: Pork, water, salt. And it’s ideally it’s from pasture-raised pigs. Locally-sourced from a butcher is best. Yes, you will spend more money but it’s worth it and usually tastes better, too.

Of if you’re a super keener, check out Robb Wolf’s recipe for making homemade bacon here: https://robbwolf.com/2011/05/20/the-path-to-culinary-bliss-home-cured-bacon/. I haven’t tried it, but apparently it’s the best tasting bacon you’ll ever eat!

What about nitrates and nitrites?

Nitrates have a bad reputation, but…. the verdict is still out on this one!

First of all, what are nitrates?

Nitrates are chemical compounds in foods, and are also contained in some salts.

The reason for their bad reputation is because nitrates are known carcinogens. Or at least when we digest nitrates, micro-organisms in our food and our digestive systems convert nitrates into nitrites, and it’s the nitrites that are cancer-causing.

But the truth is, we consume nitrates every day, not just in cured meat, but in our vegetables. (Although vegetables have nitrates in them, they also have antioxidants that help prevent nitrates from being converted into nitrites when we eat them. This is also why the USDA requires bacon producers to add antioxidants like Vitamin C and E to the bacon—to inhibit the conversion of nitrates into nitrites).

Back to bacon: Apparently even when bacon says it’s nitrate-free, there can still be nitrates present. It likely just means no additional nitrates have been added, but nitrates are still there regardless of the label.

Before you start fearing inevitable nitrates too much, take not: It takes a LOT of sodium nitrate for it to be harmful to your health. Like you’d need to eat 18 lb. of bacon at once to be harmed! Unlikely for most people, I would say.

So when it comes to nitrates and nitrates, you decide. If you’re interested in reading more before you make your decision, check out these two websites:

http://dontwastethecrumbs.com/2012/09/nitrates-the-good-the-bad-the-truth/

https://www.marksdailyapple.com/a-quick-guide-to-bacon/

Bacon in moderation and eggs anyone?

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.

Resolve to make a lifestyle change in 2018


There’s something ominous about the phrase New Years Resolution, isn’t there?

How many long term, sustainable changes in your life have started with a New Year’s resolution? Probably not many, if any, right?

More often than not, New Year’s resolutions backfire come February or March. Often it’s because they’re short-term in nature—things like 30 days without booze or sugar—so on February 1st you shamelessly get your booze or sugar-high back on without regret.

Other times, it’s because they’re too narrow in their focus: Things like committing to going to the gym three days a week, or not eating chocolate for two months. Problem is going to the gym three days a week all the while continuing to eat like crap won’t bring you success. Neither will cutting out chocolate but continuing to be lazy and replace chocolate with ice cream.

While I don’t like the idea of a “New Year’s Resolution,” per se, what I do like is the idea of a new year being a chance to come up with a real plan of attack for gradual, all-encompassing, lasting health changes.

If you’re going to do this, though, you need to be willing to adopt a three-pronged approach to change that includes FITNESS, NUTRITION and LIFESTYLE.

If you’re not sure where to begin, look no further. Our coaches revel in helping motivated people make health transformations that go just beyond getting stronger and improving their endurance in the gym. We’re looking for people who want to get more fit, make positive diet changes, and transform their lifestyles in the process.

First of all, its important to figure out WHY. Why do you want to get fit. Before you contact us, take the time to dig really deep as to your why. If your answer to the WHY question is weight loss, then dig deeper: WHY do you want to lose weight? Why do you want to get strong? What is the real, raw, vulnerable impetus behind your motivation to work on your fitness? Be real. Be vulnerable. Thats whats going to allow for true change.

Once you’re able to let your guard down and understand what’s really driving you, then you’ll work together with a coach to come up with a health, fitness, nutrition, lifestyle plan that’s right for you.

How?

  • It will start with one-on-one personal training sessions. Your coach will assess where you’re at physically, address your health and injury history and get you moving in the direction of improved mobility, strength, endurance, speed, power etc… Once you’re competent physically, you’ll be able to attend group classes in conjunction with personal training sessions with your coach. Having a coach in your corner to keep you accountable is what’s going to prevent you from falling off the wagon like you have other times you’ve made New Year’s resolutions.
  • Diet, diet diet: Your coach will get you logging what you’re eating and will educate you about the best way to fuel your body. He/she will look into your gut health and address ways to fix it if it’s something that’s preventing you from, for example, losing weight. And most importantly, your coach will be there to support you every step of the way, as we know that diet changes are WAY harder to make than getting you to walk through the doors three days a week.
  • Lifestyle: Your coach will take a look (if you’re open to it) at what else is going on in your life. Is there something funky with your sleep these days? Your mood? Your job? Your relationship? Although we all started out interested in the fitness aspect of overall health, we also realize we can’t look at fitness in a vacuum. It’s part of a bigger picture of life, and for you to truly achieve the results you want, everything in your life needs to be in order. I hate the word life coach, but that’s kind of what we do: We help you get better at life!

 

2018: The year you started taking care of you! (Sounds pretty good, right?)

I’m eating well! Why aren’t I losing weight?


The more clients we work with, and the more we dig into diet, the more confusing it sometimes seems to be…

Because I have learned there’s no one-size fits all approach, and I would be suspicious of anyone who tries to tell you otherwise.

This is especially true when it comes to weight loss. It seems some people look at sugar or bread and gain pounds, while others can eat a pint of ice cream a night with no visible body composition repercussions. It’s an unfair world we live in.

Though there isn’t a golden rule, over the years we have witnessed some general trends and some fairly powerful anecdotes from clients who struggled for months, years or decades to lose weight, and were finally able to figure it out.

If you’re one of these people—struggling to make sense of why your body isn’t losing the weight you want—consider the following:

 

GET OFF ALLLLLLLLL OF THE SUGAR

You might think sugar just means refined sugars, like putting a sugar cube in your coffee, pounding daily Cokes, or eating apple pie for dessert, all the while you continue to eat fruit every morning, handfuls of figs at lunch and put honey in your coffee because it’s a more “natural” sugar, you have been told.

I worked with a client once—and have heard many other similar success stories—who finally decided to give up all forms of sweeteners, including maple syrup, honey, agave, dried fruit, fresh fruit—you name it. The moment she did: BOOM! Weight loss galore.

If the thought of not being able to eat fruit or honey or anything sweet ever again makes you suicidal, relax a moment. Many people are able to re-introduce some sweet things back into their diet after a few months of zero tolerance. But you need to go through the zero tolerance period first. Try it for 30 days and see what happens.

 

HEAL YOUR GUT

The problem for some is they’re eating lots of good food, but their gut bacteria is messed up, so their bodies have lost the ability to absorb nutrients effectively, which means their metabolism and digestive systems aren’t working as well as they should.

We wrote about gut health recently.

Or the Coles Notes version:

  1. Eliminate inflammatory foods from your diet (gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, legumes)
  2. Take a probiotic supplement (the higher CFU count the better)
  3. Eat more soluble fibre
  4. Consume apple cider vinegar and bone broth
  5. Look into supplements (namely Vitamin D, zinc, L-Glutamine, Betaine HCL, fish oil)

 

FIX YOUR SLEEP

Don’t believe me that sleep is THAT important for bodily processes like metabolism (i.e. weight loss)?

You have probably worked out after a night or two of bad eating. Maybe even after a night or two of heavy boozing. Maybe you even PRed your back squat when you were hungover…

But imagine going two nights without any sleep and then trying to workout at intensity. The thought of it is painful, right? Two consecutive nights of little to no sleep and you probably feel way more ruined than you do from an entire month of poor food choices.

This article from the International Journal of Endocrinology explains more (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2929498/) about how sleep deprivation has profound impacts on your hormones, your metabolism and your cardiovascular health.

In short, if there IS a magic bullet solution, it might just be sleep.

Sleep tight, folks. And avoid the sugar.

What you’re paying for, and what you’ll receive at 7 Mile


How much are your classes?

A question often asked by a newbie who pops into our facility.

“Group classes aren’t really what we sell,” we say in return.

Generally, this is met by a dumbfounded look and a slight hesitation, and sometimes a cautiously-worded question:

What.areyouumselling?

“I’m glad you asked…”

Bear with me as I backtrack for a moment:

There are lots of styles of gyms out there: There are the community centres, where you pay $10 bi-weekly for access to treadmills, bikes and weights and can drop in whenever you please. You get zero guidance from a professional and are left to your own devices to figure out this fitness thing on your own.

And there are the posh gyms that look more like spas featuring all the bells and whistles: tanning beds, pleasure massages, saunas and towel services, and where people, well, just don’t get that fit.

And there are the personal training studios, where you work with a trainer for $100 an hour, and where you’re passed off to a new trainer every four months because trainers keep leaving.

And, of course, the group exercise and bootcamp facilities, where the going rate is around $150 a month for unlimited group classes, and where you receive little to no personalized coaching.

We are none of the above.

Yes, we offer group classes, as well as personal training and individual programming, but what we’re really selling—the value you will receive when you train with us—is a coach for life. In other words, an experienced, professional coach in your corner—someone whose pursuing a lifelong career in the health and fitness industry.

I repeat, you are NOT paying for “the workout of the day” or “unlimited classes” or “open gym time.” You will receive those things, too, but the value is in our professional coaching service.

What does this look like?

This means you have someone by your side to help you with your health, fitness and nutrition wherever you’re at in life. Whether you’re a 17-year-old looking to snag an NCAA sports scholarship, a 50-year-old looking to reclaim your health before it’s too late, or whether you’re injured and need guidance getting your mobility back.

The value you receive comes in the form of a relationship with this coach, who will also provide his/her ongoing expertise—technical expertise, programming expertise, nutritional expertise—and even mentorship if you’re looking for it.

Why do we think this is the best way?

Health and fitness is complicated, and human beings are like snowflakes: No two are the same.

Our model gives you the one-on-one attention of a personal training studio (without costing you upwards of $1,000 a month) and the social community of group classes. But beyond that, it gives you the assurance that you have someone who knows YOU—and  your strength and weaknesses—to help you live the best, healthiest life you possibly can.

We arent selling workouts, or classes: We are selling a professional coaching service. If this sounds like something youre looking for, contact us.