Category Archives: Exercise

Progressive Resistance Training

Melissa Tucker - PURICA Ambassador
Melissa Tucker
PURICA Ambassador

Melissa Tucker, a training coach and one of Canada’s foremost global fitness competitors, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors committed to providing you with healthy eating and training tips. Here are Melissa’s tips on progressive resistance training.

When I see a woman at the gym using 20-pound dumbbells for arm curls, I think to myself, “Good for her. She’s figured out the secret to making progress.” Bodybuilding is accomplished through weight training with progressive resistance.

For men or women to make progress, you have to increase the resistance. That’s what tones up your muscles. You have to challenge them. Don’t baby them if you want them to grow in strength, size, endurance, power or all of the mentioned areas. Note to the ladies, you won’t get big and bulky by lifting heavy weights, If you eat the appropriate clean calories to support your workouts in most cases your clothing size will drop as you tone and tighten your physique!

So, how much weight should you be lifting? Begin with a weight that allows you to easily complete two sets of 15 as a warm-up then choose a weight that will allow you to perform between 8 and 12 repetitions.

If you can’t do eight reps, it’s too heavy. If you can do more than 12, it’s too light and you need to add a little. Add enough weight that will again allow you to only get eight reps.  That’s usually done by adding about five pounds.

Follow this progressive training method for all your body parts for a 10-12 week training program and you will see and feel great results!

For more information, check out www.melissatucker.com or email PURICA Ambassador Melissa Tucker at melissa@melissatucker.com.  And for regular healthy eating and training tips, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/puricawellness and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/puricawellness

*A note on vegan and vegetarian options: At PURICA, we’re committed to empowering you with the best in whole foods, supplements and positive lifestyle solutions. We support all athletes and active living people whatever your dietary preferences, although we will always do our part to raise awareness about the benefits of vegetarian or vegan options.

Combining the demands of training and family

Adam O'Meara - PURICA Ambassador
Adam O’Meara
PURICA Ambassador

Adam O’Meara, a Victoria-based professional triathlete, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors who are committed to promoting positive lifestyle solutions, including healthy eating and training tips. Here are some of Adam’s suggestions – as a father and husband – on how to balance the demands of a training lifestyle with the responsibilities of family:

You don’t have to be a high performance athlete like myself to understand that it’s not easy to combine the rigours of working out and training with the responsibilities of family life.

A father of two recently told me that the fondest memories his children (now aged 12 and 8) have are of the times they’ve experienced together.

I understand that myself, having transitioned from living in my own little world as a professional triathlete to married life and now being a father of our four-year-old Max.

For me, the biggest challenge in the last 5 years has been finding the balance between family life and my long-distance triathlon career.  It’s not so much getting the training done, even though it is tough going. The hard part is making sure that my wife and Max get the time they deserve; especially when I have to head out and close the door behind me while Max is idling for attention.

Here’s how I’ve kept up with my training while not missing out on my family and the memories of our time together. I hope these tips help you make the most of your active lifestyle and your quality family time:

  • Communicate your plans and needs to your spouse / partner, children, other family members and friends;
  • Learn what works best for you as an individual when it comes to your training approach. We are all different, for example – you may not be a morning workout person, so be present and engaged with the family at that time of day;
  • Plan outings, events and other activities with your family and friends. And then make sure you stick to that plan;
  • Know your spouse / partner and respect their needs. This is vital.  It doesn’t happen very often but sometimes I have to make a decision to simply not do the 2nd or 3rd workout of the day because I see my family needs me;
  • Remember that a missed workout here or there does not affect your overall fitness, health and wellbeing. The most important thing when it comes to training and exercise is consistency over long periods of time;
  • Listen to your body: If you are feeling overly tired and not motivated to perform your planned workout then change it to the next day, put it out of your mind and make the most of your new found time and spend it with your family and/or friends;
  • Include family when you can. Max has run a few kids running races over the past few years and it has been an absolute blast for him;
  • Become time efficient. I save this point for last because it’s a skill that needs to be developed. It isn’t that tough to do; it just takes practice.  For example, combine the stops to the gas station, grocery store, library or chiropractor with when you are going to be travelling to and from the gym or pool or run location.  Every time you run an extra errand it takes time; time which you could be spending with your loved ones.

For more information, check out www.adamomeara.com or email PURICA Ambassador Adam O’Meara at adamomeara@gmail.com.  And for regular healthy eating and training tips, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/puricawellness and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/puricawellness.

Top Winter Workouts

Melissa Tucker - PURICA Ambassador
Melissa Tucker
PURICA Ambassador

Melissa Tucker, a training coach and one of Canada’s foremost global fitness competitors, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors committed to promoting positive lifestyle solutions, including healthy eating and training tips. Here are Melissa’s suggestions on how to make the most of your winter workouts!

Winter may seem like the time to head indoors and bundle up against the cold; well here are my top picks to get your Canadian hearts pumping outside. Continue reading

Are group fitness classes for you?

Melissa Tucker - PURICA Ambassador
Melissa Tucker
PURICA Ambassador

Melissa Tucker, a training coach and one of Canada’s foremost global fitness competitors, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors committed to promoting positive lifestyle solutions, including healthy eating and training tips. Here Melissa gives us her take on group fitness classes and whether they might be a fit for you!

Group fitness classes are a great way to add something new to your workouts and are offered at almost all gyms! The comradery of a group sweat session generates energy with the other participants. The instructor will help motivate you and assure proper form and tempo your session. Continue reading

Time-efficient Run Workout

Adam O'Meara - PURICA Ambassador
Adam O’Meara
PURICA Ambassador

Adam O’Meara, a Victoria-based professional triathlete, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors who are committed to providing you with healthy eating and training tips. Here are some of Adam’s tips on a time-efficient workout:

As the holiday season rolls in most people find that their schedule starts to fill up, and often it is one’s exercise routine that is forced to take the back burner. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

First of all don’t stress if you can’t get in your specific workout, on a specific day at a specific time – be flexible! And if you only have 30 or 40 minutes to squeeze in a workout here’s a very good option that is guaranteed to give you a good fitness boost!

Warm Up: 15min.
The Workout:
4 or 6 or 8 times through the following: 90 seconds at slightly faster than 5k race pace / 90 seconds very easy jogging.
Cool Down: 3-10min.

The key here is to ensure you have a very significant difference between the hard work and the easy jogging!

For more information, check out www.adamomeara.com or email PURICA Ambassador Adam O’Meara at adamomeara@gmail.com.  And for regular healthy eating and training tips, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/puricawellness and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/puricawellness.

A Strong Back: For Symmetry & Functional Strength

Melissa Tucker - PURICA Ambassador
Melissa Tucker
PURICA Ambassador

Melissa Tucker is one of Canada’s foremost global fitness competitors and training coach. She’s also a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors, committed to providing you with healthy eating and training tips. Here are Melissa’s tips on why a strong back is important to your overall fitness: 

Since we cannot see our backs, it’s only natural that they might not receive top priority in the gym. This is a huge mistake. A strong and muscled back optimizes your total body’s muscular symmetry and supports maximizing your functional fitness strength.

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Continue reading

All you really need to get fit is: YOU!

Melissa Tucker - PURICA Ambassador
Melissa Tucker
PURICA Ambassador

Melissa Tucker is one of Canada’s foremost global fitness competitors and training coach. She’s also a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors, committed to providing you with healthy eating and training tips. Here are Melissa’s thoughts on how you can get and stay fit even without access to a gym or workout studio: 

The key to getting fit and staying fit is to make it part of your regular routine; to find ways to make it part of your day on a consistent basis. To help you make that happen, try these five muscle-toning bodyweight exercises when you’re traveling or don’t have time to make it to the gym.
Continue reading

Waking up with focus

A Q & A with Team PURICA Athlete Adam O’Meara

Victoria-based professional triathlete Adam O’Meara is an inaugural member of Team PURICA, our dynamic group of ambassadors who are committed to sharing their best practices to performance excellence and healthy living.

Adam and athletes such as Melissa Tucker of Toronto will reach out to PURICA clients regularly at www.purica.com and on our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter to give you tips on everything from nutrition to training, to help you get the most of your active living lifestyle.

Enjoy this Q & A with Adam and watch for his best practices and inspirational tips online with PURICA.

1. What inspired you to become a triathlete?

Adam: “I have always thrived on challenging myself physically, and at the age of 18, I discovered the joy of endurance sport through running high school cross-country to stay in shape for hockey. In 2006, I completed my first Ironman triathlon in Penticton. After that, I was hooked. The next year 2007 was very challenging and during a long recovery from a ruptured appendix, I came to realize that my passion was now to pursue excellence at the highest level in the sport of triathlon.”

2. What have been the keys to your success?

“Consistency has been the key to my success so far. I wake up each morning and focus on what I can to do each day to make myself a better athlete. Consistency is important in training, but also in restorative practices and nutrition. I really have a passion for nutrition.”

3. How would you describe your vision for healthy living?

“I believe that healthy living is a combination of living in the moment but never losing focus of what will benefit you (and your family) in the long term.”

4. What about your vision for physical fitness and performance?

“This comes back to consistency. Like anything in life, it takes time to mold oneself into the level of physical fitness that you desire. Too often people lose sight of their long-term goal due to lack of immediate results. My vision is perhaps narrower than that of most people though – I aim to become a champion triathlete.”

5. What’s been your career highlight to date?

“It is easy to look back at your best performances (on paper) and see those as the best highlights. So, perhaps my race at Challenge Penticton in 2013 is a top highlight; a 4th place finish is nice. Yet to this day, my most fulfilling performance was my race at the Ironman World Championships in 2008. This is a top highlight for a variety of reasons, including physical performance (at that given time in my physical development), racing for my terminally-ill father, and learning that the body’s limits are perhaps far beyond what we sometimes perceive.”

6. What about your greatest disappointment?

“In December of 2013, I had my first ever DNF (Did Not Finish) at an event. I had travelled a long way to the race, and I felt I disappointed a lot of people. Having said that, I did learn a great deal from this experience and I am a better athlete and person because of it.”

7. What are your long-term goals?

“Long term, I strive to win long course triathlons and be able to compete with the best in the world on the biggest stages in the sport.”

8. What and who help you reach your goals week-in, week-out?

“Attention to detail and focusing on each workout one at a time is key to short-term success. It can be overwhelming to think about all of the hard work that is planned for a specific 2 or 3-week period that is approaching. My wife, my mother, my supporters and employer allow me to focus on training and racing. Thanks to PURICA for being both a supporter and employer.”

9. In general, how do you define success?

“I think success is defined by giving your 100% effort and attention to a task on any given day. That could be at a race or just going to the beach with your family (and leaving the cell phone at home)!”

10. Tell us something no one knows about you.

“While travelling in Australia and working on a banana plantation, I subsisted (and thrived) off five foods for nearly three weeks: local bananas, local young coconuts, cheap eggs, cans of tuna and bread.”

Failure is not an option

A Q & A with Team PURICA Athlete Melissa Tucker

Melissa Tucker of Toronto, a global fitness athlete and personal coach, is an inaugural member of Team PURICA, our dynamic group of ambassadors who are committed to sharing their best practices to performance excellence and healthy living.

Athletes such as Melissa Tucker and triathlete Adam O’Meara will reach out to PURICA clients regularly at www.purica.com and on our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter to give you tips on everything from nutrition to training, to help you get the most of your active living lifestyle.

Enjoy this Q & A with Melissa and watch for her best practices and inspirational tips online with PURICA, beginning next week.

1. What inspired you to get into fitness competition/body building?

Melissa: “While living and working in the Fashion industry in China, I became ‘skinny fat’ and felt unhealthy. I played competitive sports growing up and I missed that ‘athlete mindset’.  In 2002, I watched my training coach compete and win at the Canadian National Bodybuilding Championships. I really liked the look of the female figure competitors and thought ‘I can do that’, so I did, and never looked back.

2. What have been the keys to your success?

“A fundamental key to success is mindset. My mindset and core belief is ‘Anything Is Possible’. I have learned to embrace ‘failure’ because it’s true definition is feedback. My mantra is FINAO (Failure Is Not An Option).

I believe the way we do anything is the way we do everything .  I give my all in everything I do. I remember that I can do anything but can’t do everything, so building a team is key.  Having mentors and surrounding yourself with like-minded ‘Goal Diggers’ is a huge key to my success.

“I always say ‘define what you want’. WRITE IT DOWN and go for it.”

3. How would you describe your vision for healthy living?

“Healthy Living is waking up without an alarm, rested and excited for the day. A healthy lifestyle celebrates vitality and balance is created with daily physical activity sessions that challenge & reward you.

Healthy Living is fuelled with whole food nutrition and supplements…and a splash of Fitlicious food porn!”

4. What about your vision for physical performance?

“Physical performance is always ‘you against you’. The loudest voice with the largest impact on our physical performance is our own. What your mind thinks your body will follow.”

5. What’s been your career highlight to date?

“The best is yet to come…”

6. What about your greatest disappointment?

“I don’t focus on feeling disappointed. I believe everything happens for a reason and there is good in every situation.”

7. What are your long-term goals?

“My goals are ever evolving. Currently in my horizon, I will:

  • Do more corporate wellness consulting;
  • Design custom fitness and nutrition programs for companies to help cultivate a better work live balance;
  • Expand my motivational keynote talks to include international platforms;
  • Launch a few new Fitlicious Food products;
  • Publish a Fitlicious Cookbook;
  • Compete in dressage or jumping in 2015.

8. What and who help you reach your goals week-in, week-out?

“God, family, friends, clients, coaches, my horse…everyone who I interact with helps, but the WHO boils down to me. It’s 100% on me to live up to the standards and goals I set for myself.”

9. In general, how do you define success?

“Success is waking up in the morning with a set intention & going to sleep that night knowing I’ve done all I could that day to achieve it…and repeating that process everyday. Happiness is the joy we feel when we are striving to achieve our full potential.”

10. Tell us something no one knows about you.

(Laughing) “My first workout routine was Cindy Crawford’s Shape Your Body, on VHS.”

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