Tag Archives: Training

Make Fitness a Habit with Nano Workouts

When you can’t find the time to do a traditional workout at the gym or group fitness class or CrossFit session you can work in a Nano workout! What is a Nano Workout? A Nano workout is a small amount of exercise multiplied many times throughout the day. Nano workouts are not a fitness program per se, but they are effective methods for achieving a more active lifestyle to complement more intense workout sessions and make staying fit a habit!

Here are 3 Nano moves to do before you even leave your house:

Calf Raises

Strong fit calves don’t just look great; they are also good for mobility, stability and posture. If you have a job where you spend a lot of time sitting down, it’s important to exercise and stretch your calves with Calf Raises to avoid tense muscles.

To execute this move simply roll out of bed, place your feet on the floor and raise your heals off the floor as high as you can. Stay in the elevated position for a half second before lowering. Repeat the desired numbers of times. Place an acupressure mat under your feet to improve circulation, increase energy level, reduce blood pressure, reduce stress and anxiety, alleviate headaches, relieve tension and muscle aches, reduce cortisol levels, improve skin complexion and activate the parasympathetic nervous system.

Air Squats

The bathroom might sound like an unorthodox place to workout, but did you know that on average, women spend almost five full days in the bathroom each year, for men it’s slightly less, but both use the bathroom several times throughout the day so if you make it a habit to do just one exercise each time you go, it will add up to some massive workout time. For instance, if you do Air Squats at the sink while brushing your teeth, which takes on average two minutes, twice per day, your toothbrush workouts will add up to more than 24 hours in a year!

Stomach Vacuum

Strong core muscles help with overall mobility and posture and who doesn’t like having a nice flat tummy? A great abs toner that you can do anywhere is the Stomach Vacuum. To execute this move just suck in your stomach to engage your abs. Imagine your belly button touching your spine and keep your abs tensed for about 60 seconds as you are walking before relaxing them. Repeat throughout the day and remember to breathe normally, don’t hold your breath.

Do these 3 Nano moves to help make fitness a habit during everyday activities!

Make Every Second Count with Tempo Training

Tempo training is an awesome way to make every second of your workout count. Different tempo prescriptions provide greater training variety and stimulus, which means fewer plateaus and more strength gains. A tempo prescription is usually listed after the reps and sets of an exercise as a series of four numbers that represent the time it should take to complete the four stages of a lift. 

The First Number refers to the lowering (eccentric) phase of the lift. 

The Second Number refers to the amount of time spent in the bottom position of the lift – the point in which the lift transitions from lowering to ascending. 

The Third Number refers to ascending (concentric) phase of the lift – the amount of time it takes you to get to the top of the lift. 

The Fourth Number refers to how long you should pause at the top of the lift.  

If you are given a 4220-tempo prescription for a set of squats you want to ensure that your 4-second count doesn’t take 2 seconds to count when things get tough. Proper counting technique to practice is verbally counting out one-one thousand, two-one thousand, three-one thousand, four-one thousand…yes it will burn!

Proper tempo prescriptions can help athletes develop a stronger mind muscle connection by giving them an opportunity to “feel” which muscle groups are activating through the four stages of each lift. Tempo training can be beneficial for all types of athletes. CrossFit for example, most often pushes athletes to the limits with maximal effort lifts and workouts, slowing down movements with tempo prescriptions allows for a greater amount of time under tension with less overall stress on the central nervous system, this allows athletes safe strength gains to support their workout of the day. 

If you are looking to increase your training results I encourage you to try implementing tempo training into your program for 4-8 weeks to experience the benefits. If you’re not sure how to create tempo program for your specific needs, please shoot me an email and inquire about online coaching programs. 

Clearing Up the Confusion Around Cardio

Whether you love it or hate it, the truth is most people start their fitness journey with cardio workouts and ponder the question:  “How much and what kind of cardio should I do?”

I can’t tell you how many hours of cardio I have done over the past year, let alone my entire fitness career.  Simply put: Cardio has become a habit for me. I didn’t always enjoy doing hours of it when prepping for competition, but that’s because I didn’t know then what I know now. I have experimented with hundreds of different cardio prescriptions — both in my own training and with clients for almost 20 years — so let me just say, I know a few things about what works and what wears you out!

As with any personalized training program, each person has different needs and therefore different cardio prescriptions that will work best for them. There are, however, some golden rules that work if you want to decrease body fat and increase lean muscle mass.

The good news is you want to do less of more and more of less. What I mean by that is, you will lose more fat and build more muscle by doing short burst and intense interval sessions rather than long, slow, boring machine cardio sessions.

I always recommend that you do your cardio after lifting weights or, if you’re able to train twice per day, in a separate session.  This will ensure you get maximum strength gains which will increase your lean muscle mass, which in turn will increase your BMR (Body Mass Ratio). In English, that means you’ll burn more calories, even when you’re not at the gym!

One negative effect of aerobic training — more so than weight lifting — is that it produces high levels of the stress hormone cortisol.  Too much cortisol post-workout will interfere with lean muscle gain and actually increase body fat.  So unless your goal is to be skinny fat or to increase your fatness, I do not recommend “hamster wheel” cardio for hours on a machine like a drone.

If you get on a treadmill while hanging onto the handle bars or get on an elliptical and go for an hour while watching TV or reading a book and not even break a sweat, you are not getting the most out of your minutes. The only time I would say it’s best to do low intensity cardio is if the person is severely obese and just starting a workout routine. Once you are in the routine of working out, cardiovascular conditioning requires you to challenge the heart and lungs, which makes interval training the way to go!

The truth is that proper nutrition accounts for more than 80% of your weight management results. So when it comes to cardio prescriptions, optimal fat loss can be achieved with a sensible nutritional plan and interval sessions that are 20-40 minutes 3-6 days per week.

The Peak Performance Creed

Peak performance in life isn’t about succeeding all the time or always being happy. It’s truly about doing the best that you can with what you have right now.

Peak performers are not necessarily the most talented. They just are just more committed to be their best every single day. There will be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do. One of the biggest differences between an average athlete and an elite athlete is that the elite “do” what most other athletes “wish” or “hope” for. Continue reading

Cleansing the body through exercise

If you have spent time in a heath food or supplement store — or a grocery store that carries vitamins — then you have likely stopped in front of the shelf featuring “cleanses and detoxes”. Cleansing and detoxing are staples in the campaign towards optimal health and wellness and it is intriguing to think about all the “stuff” that must build up in our bodies due to all the toxins we are exposed to.

Yet it’s important to back up one step and ask “what is a toxin?” Continue reading

Why Suffer When You Don’t Have To?

If you’ve ever busted your butt in the gym, chances are you have woken up the next morning and skipped washing your hair in the shower because your muscles were too sore to lift your arms. This can also happen if you’re new to gym workouts.

I’ll be the first to admit the self-satisfaction I gain from experiencing “good pain” muscle soreness following a great workout, but never should it be to the point where you can’t move for days.

Muscle hypotrophy occurs in the recovery phase, so you want to ensure you prime that time. If your muscle recovery takes more than 48 hours, you may need more water, sleep, quality nutrients or an adjustment to your workout routine. Among those adjustments are decreasing the intensity and increasing the frequency of your sessions to promote quicker muscle recovery.

The popular theory in the fitness world is that soreness is caused by the accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles. That is partly true, especially during the workout. After the workout, however, it’s more a case of post micro tears in the myofibrils of the worked muscles that cause soreness. The faster you can get past soreness, the sooner you can effectively hit them again with a workout and the faster you’ll grow. Muscle soreness shouldn’t be your badge of honour. Quick recovery should be.

You’re probably thinking: “What’s the best way to overcome muscle soreness?” Well, for starters, staying hydrated is the cheapest, easiest way there is to maximize your performance in the gym and afterwards. In addition to a balanced nutrition plan, I also recommend movement to increase circulation and quality sleep to allow cell restoration.

When it comes to supplementation, PURICA RECOVERY – developed for whole body health and pain relief — provides effective relief to people dealing with sore joints and muscles. It is a great ongoing supplement for athletes who want to inhibit cellular damage, decrease inflammation and increase the cells’ ability to absorb important hormones. My #1 recommendation for topical treatment is Arnica gel or cream.

Train hard. Eat clean. Recover then repeat. By applying these principles, you’ll be well on your way to faster and greater results. Enjoy the new growth!

Get In the “Zone”

You’ve probably heard the phrase “in the zone” or “in the flow.”

Ask any athlete and they will agree that there is nothing more fun in life than being in the zone.

When was the last time you were so focused that time stood still?  When you are so immersed in what you’re doing that you don’t worry about outcomes or distractions. You trust your skills and react without worry, doubt, or fear about results. Continue reading

The Self Debrief: A Key to Continuing Excellence

Comox Half AwardsNo matter the distance of the event, I am always nervous before my races and it was no different for the Comox Valley Half Marathon. To help calm my nerves, I reflect on all the time and training I have invested in preparing for an event. I find this gives me the confidence that I can learn from each and every event as part of my ongoing commitment to performing at my best.

I go into every race with a plan and, in my own eyes, I believe I am usually good at executing that plan. Summarizing and breaking down what went into the Comox Valley Half Marathon will help me prepared for my next race. Continue reading

The Importance of Weight Training

All the motivation in the world won’t do you a bit of good if you don’t have a strong fitness plan to follow.  To that end, here are some simple and effective training strategies to follow at the gym to help you reach your goals.

It centres on weight lifting, which is an awesome “you against you” empowering sport activity that anyone can enjoy! Continue reading

Why Less Is Sometimes More

Sometimes the best way to start a fitness routine is to simply start.

Don’t let the well-known mantra of  “No pain, no gain” preached by some extreme gym goers or marathon runners scare you away from adopting a healthy, doable, practical 30 minute per day total body fitness routine. It is not necessary to go hard core at the gym for hours everyday to maintain a healthy body weight and body fat percentage, reduce back pain, keep your heart and lungs healthy, reduce inflammation, boost metabolism, lower stress and improve your overall mood.  Continue reading

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