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Saskatchewan Amateur Body Building SABBA 2015

posted by Fitness Focus    |   May 29, 2015 15:56

Fitness Focus, we make it our mission to empower everyone in the gym to challenge themselves everyday.  A dedicated gym routine, no matter how casual or how intense can affect so many other aspects of our lives. So many reasons keep us coming back day in-day out; some people are trying to get in better shape for health reasons and some people need to burn off extra energy.  Lots of people are even training for a competitive event like a marathon or sanctioned fight, and a lot of the time we walk past them in the weight room without even knowing it. 

Here is a group of members from Fitness Focus that we usually do notice when they are training for their event.  We notice that their clothes might be fitting a bit loose, or their faces have leaned out from 2 weeks ago when we last saw them, or maybe the jug of water they've been toting around with them.  The body builders and physique competitors; we may not fully understand them, but like any other competitive athlete we know they are giving 100% to do what they love to do. We want to take a moment to recognize the members that represented Fitness Focus on May 23rd at the 2015 Saskatchewan Amateur Body Building Association Provincial Championship (SABBA 2015). Their dedication to training and diet for the past 16 weeks is a prime example of what challenging yourself everyday can accomplish.

 ROHAN BARNETT Men's Physique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 NANCY MONTEITH Physique Short

 PETER NGUYEN Body Building

 AMY SHOUT Bikini

 EVAN SHOUT Body Building

 DEB COUTTS Bikini

 JESS FRIESEN (Personal Trainer) Figure Short

 SHERRI HUNCHAK Women's Figure Tall

 JOHN GOERTZEN Body Building

 GARRETT SMETHURST Body Building

 ANDERSON NUTTAL Men's Physique

If you have photos from any sport you do that you're proud of, please share them on our Facebook Page tag us on your INSTAGRAM (@fitnessfocussaskatoon) or email them to info@fitnessfocus.ca

PERSONAL TRAINING IN SASKATOON WITH TEAM WAWRYK PRO TRAINERS

posted by Fitness Focus    |   October 2, 2014 14:55

Ever thought about getting a trainer to because you are a bit lost in the gym?  Or maybe you've changed your fitness goals and need a bit of direction. Whatever the case, here are some great fundamental reasons that a personal training might be right for you.

 

1. A Trainer Provides Expertise through Experience

A good trainer will watch you during your exercises to make sure that you are doing the exercises correct; but an experienced personal trainer can give you great tips and add subtle changes to your workout that make a big difference to your results. For example, when targeting a specific muscle, a simple twist of the wrist at the top of certain exercises can develop that muscle in ways it otherwise wouldn’t.

 

2. A Trainer Provides Accountability

There are other ways to get accountability, like a training partner or a spouse who keeps on you to get to the gym; but a good personal trainer knows that they succeed when you succeed. They have built a program specifically for you, so your victory also becomes their victory; they want to see you succeed.  Whether you have one-on-one sessions with them or do monthly follow-ups, since no one likes failing you want to show them you've made progress.

 

3. A Trainer Gives You Direction

Goal setting is the key to the success of any journey, and sometimes we become conflicted about just where it is we want to go with our personal health and fitness journey. A person may have the urge to get stronger but not necessarily bigger, or increase their endurance but don’t want to sacrifice any muscle. We don’t always know how to start identifying attainable goals, especially when it comes to subject as complicated and diverse as health and fitness. A good personal trainer can help you identify you significant strengths and weaknesses, then help you set attainable goals and objectives that will lead to your eventual success.

 

4. A Trainer Increases Your Intensity

Having a personal trainer will empower you to raise the intensity of your workout, this equates to better results.  A training partner can increase your intensity too, because you’re both there for mutual benefit but it’s the job of the personal trainer to be there, keep your cadence and tempo right where it needs to be. 

Personal Trainers at Fitness Focus Saskatoon




























15 Minture Free With a Personal Trainer

posted by Fitness Focus    |   January 17, 2014 14:02

Now is your chance to jumpstart your training. It's the New Year and a great time to take your training in a different direction; 15 minutes free with a Personal Trainer is an excellent opportunity to get answers to those questions you have about your training.  Maybe there are areas of your workout that are missing something or maybe there's a part of your routine you could work on.  Have questions about diet and nutrition?  Ask a Trainer about ways to improve your diet and weight management.  If you have been planning on meeting with a Personal Trainer, why not setup a 15 minutes meeting to get the ball rolling?

Contact Fitness Focus at (306) 244-6413 or by email to info@fitnessfocus.ca to reserve your spot today.  Free training sessions will take place Friday, January 24th at Fitness Focus. If you Prefer Specifically a Male or Female Trainers Please Let us Know.

10 Tips and Tricks for Weight Loss

posted by Fitness Focus    |   June 16, 2013 16:01

Here are 10 tips and tricks for weight loss that you may never have heard.

1.       The weight loss equation

The easiest way to explain the process of losing weight is that weight loss occurs when the body consumes less calories than it burns.  So the simple equation goes like this: Calories In – Calories Out = Weight Loss.  There are obviously many other important factors involved here, but keeping this simple formula in mind can be helpful in many situations.

2.       Monitor your daily calorie intake

Do Not obsess over counting calories. Being aware and maintaining a clear idea about the number of calories you're consuming daily is important to keep on track with weight management.  Get to know how to use food labels; know what you are eating in terms of carbohydrates, fats and proteins and remember: 1 gram of Carbs=4 calories, 1 gram of Protein=4 calories and 1 gram of Fat=9 calories. 

3.       Eat at predefined hours

Plan to eat your meals at the same time of day, everyday.  This helps digestion since our biological clock is synchronized with our brain and stomach.  Also, eating with consistency will help your know when it actually needs food, versus when your brain wants food.  Eating with consistency makes it easier to monitor and maintain weight management. 

4.       The importance of Water

Dehydration, lack of energy, tiredness and headaches are just a few of the effects from not drinking enough water.  Many of us make this critical mistake. All the maladies aside, when it comes to weight loss, water can assist detoxification and the removal of unnecessary toxins from the body and skin but also helps with digestion and keeps the stomach full, which reduces hunger and the unnecessary consumption of calories. Like vitamins and minerals, water also has a daily recommended intake.  For women, its just under 3 liters of water per day and for men its about 4 liters.  So, begin your day with a cold glass of water to restart all your body's natural functions for the day and don't forget to carry a bottle with you at work, during your daily errands and of course in the gym.

5.       Do not rush into getting super-fast results

Follow a slow and steady regimen to manage your weight loss and keep it off.  Taking on a crash diet from the Internet will end right where you started before diet.  Proper, healthy weight loss takes a bit longer.  Take time to do it right, and learn the proper changes to your lifestyle to make your weight management something you can do for life.

6.       Learn how to lose weight the safe way

Even people that have made healthy living part of their lifestyle for year make mistakes and often just aren't doing things correctly.  So as a beginner, its important not to get discouraged; there are many paths along the way to your goals and a lot of them will be dead-ends. If you are new to dieting and weight loss then most probably you are confused from where to start and what should be your first step etc. This is very common and one of the most popular questions we get from our readers the last 6 years. In my opinion before even starting a diet or weight loss program you should do some reading and familiarize yourself with the basic weight loss concepts. I am not suggesting spending days learning the theory, after all losing weight is a practical matter, but learning a few important concepts in advance can prove very helpful in the long run. The guide you are reading now is a good starting point as it covers all aspects of weight loss, fitness and dieting; you can continue reading our other articles as well since we have planned to gather all the information you need in one place.

7.       Keep a food and emotions journal

For many people emotions and feelings are associated with the quantities of food consumed.  When you are stressed or depressed you turn to food (and especially fatty food) for comfort. This is may be happening to you as well and you know that this is bad and can destroy all your hopes for losing weight. You cannot easily control this but one handy tip to try is keeping a food and emotions journal. This is basically a piece of paper (or an online food journal) where you record what you eat per day and your emotional state. If you do this for a couple of weeks and go back and have a look at the results you may identify some patterns and take some precaution measures. For example you can remove sweets and snacks from your cupboards and replace them with healthy alternatives. By doing so when you are feeling stress and turn to food for relief you will not end up eating a tone of calories but food items that are at least healthier.

8.       No need to measure your weight on a daily basis

As mentioned before, weight loss takes time and getting on the scale everyday won't make the process any faster but most probably will add more stress and frustration. Instead try to weigh yourself once per week with consistency; that means the same time of the same day every week because the later in the day will always be high than your weight in the morning.

9.       Never try to follow more than one weight loss program at a time

If you choose to follow a commercial diet or weight loss program then concentrate on one program at a time. Good weight loss programs have different phases, each phase having a clear start and finish goal. Follow the program guidelines correctly for the time required and evaluate your results at the end. Mixing different programs together or not following their instructions will not generate any good results.

10.   Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Don’t be afraid to seek professional help if you are not getting any results. The Internet is a great way to learn how to lose weight but sometimes other factors such as diseases, functional disorders may hold you back. A professional (a doctor or nutritionist) will be able to identify these and suggest ways to overcome them.

 

Are Weight Loss Goals Part of Your New Year’s Resolution List?

posted by Fitness Focus    |   January 3, 2013 17:20

This next year will be different, and you're going to make a fresh start this New Year. Around this time of the year, a lot of us find ourselves reflecting on what we accomplished in the past year and decide what changes we want to make to make a positive difference in our lives for next year. After all the prioritizing, you make your big decisions, and then within a month or so, the ‘New Year’s resolutions’ are all but forgotten.

Weight loss goals don’t have to be another promise to yourself which got lost along the way. Setting a goals is only part of the work; plan smart and get ready for the task and make it a success and avoid being in the same spot next year.  Weight loss doesn't have to be hard; it's all in your approach. Try asking yourself and this is very important; is it that you want to lose the weight or is it that you don’t want to eat or live the way you have been any more? The later is a lot harder if your heart’s not in it.  Long-term planning is important; you have to define your path, not just where you want to be.

1. Be realistic

It's been said a million times over, be realistic in when trying to make changes in your life.  Be honest with yourself about what is possible and what suits your lifestyle.  Planning to lose too much weight in a short period of time will only lead to failure and discouragement.  Make your decision with reality in mind. What is it that you can do, and how much time do you have to spend in exercising or follow a meal plan and so on. Start with what you can’t do and then build around it.

2. Enjoying the holidays

This doesn't mean you should give in to all urges and have massive eating spree, but just eat sensibly.  The smart thing to do at times like these is, for a few days, try not to diet on the holidays. Eating sensibly isn't the same as constantly sticking to some lettuce and cabbage diet while everyone around you is allowed to enjoy all the goodies that come with the season.

Try looking at it this way, everyone loves the holidays and they only come around once a year. If you don't take advantage of some of the holiday treats you'll be depriving yourself of all the Christmas excitement.  Why spend your holidays hating every minute of it.  By the end of all the festivities, you will be so sick of the dieting you have been sticking to and will find it harder to stay with that good eating plan as long as you had planed.  Don’t stress yourself about your food intake for a few days over the holidays, relax and eat sensibly.

3. Small is bigger

There is no need to go to completely radical lengths to lose weight. Usually it's the small changes we can comfortably make are the ones that last the longest and make the biggest difference.  Lifestyle changes, even the smallest of changes, like replacing certain snack foods with for veggies and greens; you can also cut down or space out your portions into more-smaller meals rather than attempting a very low restrictive diet.

Simply losing weight doesn't mean much if you don't change your eating and lifestyle habits as well.  Set a goal that you'll start walking to work every day instead of saying you want to lose 8 pounds in a month. Small commitments like that will add up expending extra calories.  These types of lifestyle changes are easily made permanent by incorporating it into your day to day lifestyle.

4. Measure the results

It's the reason you want to make changes in the first place, you want to see change and results. You don't want all your effort and time invested to be all in vein.  Measure your results to reassure yourself that you're on the right track. Measure your results consistently at the same time every week. And don’t just look for a change in your weight, results can come in many different ways.

Take Measurements at your waist or other parts of your body right before you start down this new path.  Your weight can be influenced by a few factors, one being water retention, but your waist may have shrunk or that your clothes feel baggy, it all counts because desired result are the biggest motivator. Record your results so you can actually see your progress and all the results.

5. Keep it interesting and keep it moving

The most frustrating part of weight loss and weight management are plateaus.  It happens to everybody at some point in time. This is what happens when your body adapts to the changes you previously made. If you are following a specific diet or workout regime maybe swap regimes every month or every 3 weeks. This may also help in keeping things interesting and battle boredom. Allow at least 2 weeks for any adaptations before changing your diet.

6. Keep a food diary

Try it, by the end of the day chances are you don't remember everything you consumed over the past 12 hours.  Maybe you're eating more than you think you are or more than you subconsciously want to admit.  Keep a diary of everthing you consume including drinks; it is surprising how much extra sugar and calories you probably consume through drinks.

Keep the diary before you start your diet and then see how many things you can change to lose the weight. To be honest the Christmas week may not be an ideal representation of your average week but it can provide you with an idea of what your actual eating habits are like.

Trusted Saskatoon Presents Talk to the Experts on Newstalk 650 Saskatoon

posted by Fitness Focus    |   December 18, 2012 12:26

This latest show we are featuring is the TRUSTED SASKATOON  HEALTH & BEAUTY SHOW

On December 15, 2012, Newstalk 650 Radio and Trustedsaskatoon.com presented to you, Talk to the Experts with 3 local Trustedsaskatoon.com businesses, Spa Ahava, Hairstyle Inn and Fitness Focus. The 3 experts on the panel were answering questions asked by the trustedsaskatoon.com fans on the topics of beauty, health and fitness.  All of the Trusted Facebook Fans who entered a question had a chance to win a prize package from the 3 Trusted Businesses worth over $500 as host, Brent Louks chooses the best question!

This episode's' Trusted Saskatoon Experton the topic of fitness is Garret from Fitness Focus a Trusted Saskatoon Gym There were over 100 questions submited and the 3 partners will answer all the questions in later trustedsaskatoon.com blogs..so If your didn't hear you answer on the show they will still be answered by the experts...enjoy!

Click here to check out the full show

 

1. Becky Laliberté - In terms if fitness and health, what are some ways for an almost 40 year old woman to help improve flexibility and strength without having to spend hours at a gym. Are there instructor led classes that might be better for this? Or is weight lifting and stretching enough?

Stretching is always a good thing to practice for your overall health and to prevent injuries in day to day activities. Stretching is incorporated into every group fitness class but is also something you should learn to do on your own.  For such a vital part of ones wellness, the benefits are well worth the time spent; and it really only takes 10 to 20 minutes to get a good thorough stretch. Remember, it’s something you can do at home too; either in the morning before you start your day or in the evening to help unwind and relax.

It is recommended to stretch after a light warm up, before you begin your workout; but stretching throughout your workout between exercises can be very beneficial and time saving.  As blood gets pumped into your muscles as you use them, a good stretch will help push the blood out and make way for fresh oxygenated blood. You can also improve your flexibility by weight training with proper (full) range of motion through the exercise.

 

2. Laura Ellis- Fitness Focus: As a female who is not an avid "gym rat", I find the gym can be an intimidating place. Insecurities about not being in as good of shape as I would like to be to start tend to keep me away, along with all of the new types of equipment and my lack of knowledge in using them. I tend to feel lost in the midst of everything. Short of personal training, what do you recommend for someone who wants to get in better shape, but is reluctant to take on a gym membership?

It’s important to remember that everyone is at the gym for the same reason, because they want to improve themselves in one way or another.  One way to overcome the intimidation factor is to have a workout partner, everyone feels better when they have a friend with them. Having a workout partner is also a good way to stay on track and accountable, to make sure you show up on time for your workout everyday.  You may also feel a little less intimidated if you choose a workout time when the gym is a little less busy.  The majority of people try to get their workout done immediately after work around 4:30 – 6:30.  If you prefer the gym to be on the quiet side try to avoid these busier times, at least until you’ve become more acquainted with the equipment.

 

Your health does take a certain degree of dedication, but before committing yourself and your money to a gym, take the gym for a test drive.  Look for a facility that won’t pressure you and that offers a free-trial period that’s yours to test the waters, find your comfort zone and see if it has all the amenities that meet your needs.  A trial period is the perfect time to ask questions about equipment and get familiarized with the gym; staff should always be willing to give you some direction to get started out in the weight room.

 

3. Neils Thor- Fitness Focus-I use interval training to keep in shape. What other methods maximize my time to keep fit?

The idea behind interval training is to keep it is fast paced.  This same principle can be applied to a traditional style of weight training by increasing the intensity.  Lower the rest time between exercises will keep the heart rate up, thus working your cardiovascular system.

 

4. Holly Stasiuk Fitness Focus- Please explain what is a spin class? Costs? Also, how much does a personal trainer cost?

Spin Class is an instructor-led group class on stationary bikes.  The instructor takes the group through a 45 minute to one hour workout at varying paces and difficulties.  It’s a very thorough workout and great class for anyone from beginners to experienced class-goers because the user chooses their own difficulty on their bike.

 

5. DeAnne Robblee-  Fitness Focus: I have arthritis in one knee which makes squats, running and even walking very difficult sometimes. What kind of equipment do you have that I could still get a good cardio workout without killing my knee?

When it comes to arthritis and some of the major movements such as squats, progression is the best way to go.  Start doing the exercises with virtually no resistance/weight. For cardio, keep things very low impact.  Stationary bikes are one of your best options, we have upright style and the recumbent (laid back) style, as well as spin bikes. We have elliptical cross-trainers are a close simulation to running combined with skiing and have very low impact.  There are also steppers that don’t involve much impact; a person would have to try to see if that would work for them.

 

6. Fanterra Fisher- What kind of training is required by your staff to have to work at the spa? Please comment on standards of cleanliness as well. Thanks

There are several different areas of expertise at Fitness Focus that all have their own required skills. Most importantly, all staff is CPR and First Aid Certified.  Main Gym Staff are knowledgeable about the layout and mechanics of the gym to make your time here as convenient as possible.  Personal Trainers and Group Fitness Instructors have years of experience with proper certifications and insurance in their respective fields.

 

Cleanliness is a very important part of the gym; a dirty environment can dramatically affect a member’s experience. All staff takes part in our daily cleaning routines of the exercise areas, front end and washrooms.  There are several hand sanitizing stations for members to use. We also have after hour cleaners working to sanitize the washrooms and commons areas from top to bottom.

 

7. Kimbrolina Linke -Fitness focus: what are your memberships?

Details about different membership types and prices are all available on the website (www.fitnessfocus.ca).  Membership types are very flexible and you can set a membership up either on a biweekly payment plan with No Contract, or purchase a term membership.

 

8. Jessalyn Monette - As a Saskatonian I am always looking for the best places that will give me the best results. For the three trusted Health and Beauty Partners what makes your establishment unique to Saskatoon?  I am someone who not only looks for good quality, but I want to ensure my money is spent on a good experience, atmosphere and creativity. Does your establishment offer these qualities?

In an industry that is becoming dominated by corporate gyms, we feel that as a locally owned fitness facility we hold many of the same values and standards as our members. We understand the importance of a comfortable and friendly gym setting, and that keeping a mature and positive atmosphere is vital to creating that. Our success is only possible through the success of our members which is a direct result of their positive experience.

Our approach is a little different than the traditional fitness centre in that we operate without contracts.  This sets us apart because our members can rest assured that we are working our hardest everyday to meet all their wants and needs.

 

 

9. Ann Lyte-Maille- fitness focus, is there a time of day that is best to exercise? Or is just good to try when you can?

Everybody is different; some people function well early in the morning whereas others are on their game later in the day.  There are certain benefits to planning a workout at a specific time of day.  For morning workouts you might find you have better longevity throughout the rest of your day.  A morning workout will also boost your metabolism, this will help regulate (steady) your appetite for the day which aids weight management.  On the other hand, a workout later in the day is a good chance to burn off some excess calories before bed or relieve stress from a long day.  Many of us tend to binge eat later in the day; occupying your time in the evening with a workout is a good way to eliminate those habits.  Ultimately the best time of day to workout is when you personally will have the most drive, energy and focus.

 

Melissa Leier’s Beyond The Weight Room: Whipping Santa Into Shape

posted by Fitness Focus    |   December 7, 2012 18:47

Mrs. Claus wrote to Saskatoon Well Being Magazine and, much to their surprise, it wasn’t about a lack of a chimney at the publication’s office. Apparently, Mrs. Claus has enjoyed reading the first eleven issues and has especially enjoyed my column on getting in elite physical shape. She said that she and Santa were planning a beach vacation in the spring and thought Santa might better tolerate the heat and humidity if he dropped a few pounds between Christmas deliveries and the trip. So the Well Being honchos called me and said they had an assignment that was big, red and essential. “Santa? That’s a little preposterous,” I said. “Hasn’t he heard of Jillian Michaels?” A week later they called me again. “We need you to whip Santa into shape,” they said. So I said, “Yeah, probably not. You try to get him off milk and cookies without a television audience to hold him accountable!” The owners of Well Being can be rather persuasive though so I finally agreed.   -Melissa Leier-

Wow, this was going to be a challenge! Well, maybe more of an opportunity; an opportunity to tackle supporting a lifestyle change for someone who has been comfortable with a pattern of behaviours for years. Based on the initial inquiry from Mrs. Claus, I had to wonder if Santa himself actually wants to make a lifestyle change and what that might look like in his eyes. I thought that I had better find out.

Starting off with a readiness assessment and to establish a baseline for Santa, I learned that he has been contemplating becoming more active for a while, but hadn’t taken the next step. Recently, his annual physical check-up indicated a good level of overall wellness and, with some recommendations, he was not only medically cleared to become more active, but encouraged to do so.

When I asked what he had in mind for long-term goals, he replied that, yes, he knew he should exercise and eat better. When I asked him what that meant to him, it turned out that he really wasn’t sure.

Rather than just telling him what to do based on my knowledge and expertise in health and fitness, and then hoping he bought into the ideas I suggested, I decided that I would take more of a collaborative approach to help him establish his own plan. Ultimately, as a fitness coach, I need to remember that these are his goals—not mine— and my role is to guide him to where he wants to be. I needed to find out what was important to him and what was going to motivate him toward a positive lifestyle change.

Santa explained that what was really important to him was to be able to be healthy enough to play catch with his grandchildren, go hunting and fishing with his son, to have many years to come of vacationing with Mrs. Claus and to have fun without excessive stress on his body during the busy hectic times of the holiday season.

I asked him what it would look like for him six months down the road if he was achieving his goals and he said that he saw himself sustaining a habit of regular activity three to four times per week in combinations of cardiovascular, strength activities and recreational sports with his family. He also hoped to have developed a better understanding of fuelling the body effectively to feel great and satisfy his taste buds.

We discussed what kind of opportunities might exist to incorporate changes right away and he told me that he has a local community centre with a walking track that he had been curious about trying out, especially when it is too icy outside to risk slips and falls. The facility also has a variety of classes to take part in, from circuit training to swimming and yoga programs that he thought would give him some variety. Mrs. Claus was interested in a couples’ cooking class every Sunday that was focused on recipes for heart health. There was also a Saturday night dancing group and he did like to put on his dancing shoes and hit the town two-stepping!

Getting started with Santa, I asked him to keep a journal of his nutrition intake for a week, including amounts and portion sizes, as well as timing. I encouraged him to balance each meal throughout the day with fairly similar content and volume, rather than one large meal at supper. Another suggestion was to try to balance each meal with a lean protein source, low-sugar carbohydrate source and many fibrous vegetables. I also asked him to track his water intake.

Just starting a journal alone is a great way to bring a new self- awareness of what it is we are putting into our bodies and to recognize patterns. It also helps keep us accountable to fuel our bodies with better nutritional choices.

Melissa Leier SaskatoonPhoto by Tyler Harris
The second step was to examine patterns that his journal revealed and to develop action plans. Some quick fixes we found to help clean up his daily nutrition included:

• No need to add salt to meals. Most of the time, we actually get enough sodium from the salt that occurs naturally in foods such as meat, eggs, milk products, fruit and vegetables. A high salt diet increases the risk of developing high blood pressure. Herbs and spices, blends like Mrs. Dash, lemon juice, onion, garlic, etc. can be used to flavour foods instead of adding salt.

• Drink more water. Skip the pop and fruit juice since they’re empty calories and basically just all sugar.

• Learn to prepare meals by planning time to grocery shop and buy fresh produce and lean cuts of meat, rather than packaged, canned and processed foods.

• Use the right cooking methods. Use non-stick pans and non-stick cooking spray when needed, instead of dumping in oil or margarine.

These changes would help reduce his blood pressure and decrease his risk of diabetes, which would allow him to enjoy the odd cookie or treat once in a while, rather than possibly having to avoid them completely. This was also a chance for Santa to learn to prepare delicious meals with his family, using creativity with spices and flavours. Don’t forget about the cost savings of preparing his own food instead of ordering take-out. More money for that vacation with Mrs. Claus!

Regular activity goes hand in hand with nutrition. The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) and Health Canada suggest that the minimum guidelines for older adults, age 65+, would be to take part in at least 2.5 hours of moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic activity each week. No, this doesn’t mean once a week Santa should run a marathon and he’s good—that would not be beneficial or safe. This activity is best done spread out into sessions of 10 minutes or more throughout the week. In addition to the cardiovascular activity, it is also imperative to add muscle-strengthening activities using major muscle groups at least twice a week to help support bone health and improve posture and balance.

So, if Santa goes dancing Saturday evenings, walks for 30 minutes every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon after his strength training circuit and then takes a swim or goes to a yoga class on occasion, he’s doing great! With his strength training circuit, he should target the major muscle groups of the legs and gluteal muscles, back and chest. Exercises to start with could be body weight squats and walking lunges, kneeling push-ups and a pull-down or row exercise. To add in some core and shoulder stability, he can include an opposite arm and leg raise from a kneeling and palms-down position on an exercise mat. Strength training can have a profound effect on improved bone health, arthritis relief, increased metabolic rate and reduced risk of heart disease.

I’ll make sure to check in with Santa in a few months. It will be no surprise at all to hear that Santa has experienced a significant improvement in his blood pressure and has lowered his cholesterol levels. He may be down three notches on his belt and he should be able to load up his sleigh full of packages and presents with ease and sleep like a baby at night. Most importantly, he will achieve a new self-awareness and establish enjoyable healthy lifestyle habits that will put him on track to being in great shape for Christmas 2013!

Cardio Secrets That Can Help Maximize Fat Loss

posted by Fitness Focus    |   October 24, 2012 14:48

Questions from around the gym about cardivascular training; here are your answers

Many people do their cardiovascular training in the gym, not just for improving their endurance or for health reasons, but most people also train with the goal of losing weight and burning fat. Unfortunately most people are not aware that there is more you can do to get the full benefits of your cardio.  There are tricks of the trade that you can use that will help maximize fat loss when doing cardio; and if you are one of the many people that do your cardio training primarily to lose fat, then you might want to try these cardio tips to maximize your fat loss:

To maximize your body's ability to burn fat, perform two cardio sessions.  The first one in the morning and the second after you train in the afternoon or in the evening. This technique works well because of a cool effect that occurs after you do cardio. After your cardio session your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is higher and your body will actually burn extra calories for several hours after you have finished. The calories that your body burns literally while doing nothing, will probably exceed the calories initially burned during your cardiovascular exercise.

 Cardiovascular training in the morning before you eat breakfast, or carbs, is beneficial because your body's glycogen levels will be lower in the morning.  This is especially true if you last ate at dinner time and have fasted for 8 to 10 hours while you slept.

Doing your cardio without eating causes your body to mobilize more bodyfat because the glycogen in your blood is unavailable, and because your blood glucose levels are also lower after an overnight fast so you will burn more fat which your body will use for energy.

After fasting overnight your insulin levels are their lowest. When you eat, especially carbohydrates, your body (or pancreas to be more specific) releases insulin, which will interfere with the mobilization of body fat. Sinse there is less insulin present in your system before you eat after 8 to 10 hour fast, more body fat will be burned when cardio is done in the morning. You should also note that this is also why many "fat burning" products contains several ingredients, which reduce or regulate the blood insulin levels.

If you are eating immediately before cardio, this can also inhibit the fat burning process because your body will first have to burn off the calories from the food you ate before it will burn the fat stored in your body. Doing your cardio in the morning, your metabolism will stay raised for a period after the cardio training is finished.

Doing you cardio in the morning will also give you better circulation throughout the day and give you an energy boost.  Training early can also regulate your appetite thoughout the day which will help in controlling cravings and binging later on.  Adding an afternoon cardio session will elevate your metabolism for a second time for another period of a few hours. Again, your body will be burning extra calories while doing no extra work. This is similar to the calories that will be burned by extra lean muscle you develop. Once you add the muscle you burn more calories without doing any additional exercise. These are those little tricks that most people don't know about; and all without the help of taking diet pills or fat burners.

Written by Jeff Behar

Fitness Focus, Saskatoon's No Contract Gym 

Avoiding Weight Gain After Taking It Off

posted by Fitness Focus    |   August 14, 2012 17:31

A Solution to Weight Regain Through Increasing Muscle Mass & High Intensity Training

There is one absolute, most important factor in any sustainable weight loss program.  It goes beyond simply burring off calories through cardiovascular exercise and lowering calorie intake, but rather focusing instead on increasing overall muscle mass. Increasing muscle mass means a higher resting metabolic rate, which allows for calorie intake to stay higher and within more practical limits for the average person.  Many studies confirm the role of resistance training; it preserves muscle mass during diet controlled weight loss and a simultaneous increase in overall fat loss as a result.  If a person's resting metabolic rate account for over 70% of their daily energy expenditure and is determined by that person's fat free muscle mass, it only makes sense that attempts to lose weight through practices that can decrease muscle mass is inevitably counterproductive.

On the other hand, increases in fat free muscle mass from weight training lead to higher resting metabolic rates. Which, when combined with the added calories burned during resistance training and from excess post exercise oxygen consumption, can gradually and permanently decrease body fat levels when used in conjunction with muscle promoting high protein diets that are not overly hypocaloric.

Aerobic Exercise Vs Resistance Exercise For Long Term Weight Loss

aerobic exercise does not prevent weight regain

Aerobic exercise can decrease body weight, althouh it comes at the expense of maintaining muscle mass and thus does not prevent the you from regaining the weight again.

People have always been skeptical  rowards the use of exercise for muscle building as a main tool for weight loss.  Aerobic exercise is typically what we associate with shedding body fat, even though many studies find high intensity weight training to be more efficient than the conventional aerobic exercise for reducing fat mass. Aerobic exercise can indeed reduce fat mass, but has very little effect if any on the preservation of fat free mass. Not only does this increase the possibility of weight regain, but from a cosmetic point of view, diet induced weight loss using such forms of exercise would result in a smaller, but still flabby version of what you started out with if resistance exercise is not included in your regime. Following aerobic exercise, there is a miniscule increase in calorie expenditure for up to 48 hours after the exercise, but only if this exercise is done with a vertain degree of intensity and at a long duration. This seems like a relatively large window, however there is not an increase in resting metabolic rates.  On the other hand, increases in a person's muscle mass permanently increase thier resting metabolic rates, and the state of the after burn effect of high intensity training from excess post exercise oxygen consumption is also greater than that of aerobic exercise. 

The other factor that favors high intensity resistance training for long term weight loss without weight regain is the use of a high protein diet designed to increase muscle mass. Studies have shown that a high protein intake of 18% or more of total energy intakes limits weight regain in those who have lost weight.[28] Diet induced thermogenesis accounts for about 10% of energy expenditure and high protein foods not only have a high thermogenic and muscle sparing effect, but also promote higher satiety levels after consumption which can limit excessive calorie intake.

A reduction in body fat through high intensity resistance training doesn't yield the quick drops on the bathroom scale that would be seen from a higher volume of aerobic exercise with a low calorie diet, which in itself is a good thing as you don’t lose muscle mass in the process. However it does provide a long term solution for those needing to lose weight with the added benefits of increased strength and improved self esteem thanks to increased lean muscle mass. Muscle mass that is key to the development of the lean, toned and tight body that is without question the Holy Grail of our time. A look that is unattainable from high levels of aerobics and or low calorie intakes, as such activities have little effect on the increased development of skeletal muscle and from what we know can predispose you to regaining the weight you worked so hard to lose. 

Beyond The Weight Room: Myths Busted

posted by Fitness Focus    |   June 7, 2012 11:52

Bodybuilding and training as a figure athlete is definitely a sport of its own. Many people who have not competed or gone through this type of training regime may not quite understand the concepts or principles of the lifestyle. I am often asked questions by people who are trying to understand the rationale behind the science of contest preparation. Here are some of the most common ones and my responses for those who would like to know more about what physique competition is really all about.

 

“Don’t competitors go without water for like 10 days? That’s so unhealthy!”

No, absolutely not! The truth is, every time I compete I feel I am in the best health ever. Think about it—you’re in a regular routine of daily exercise of both cardiovascular and strength training, hitting all major muscle groups. You are eating balanced, frequent meals with a combination of protein, fibre, carbohydrate and healthy fats. You get so into a routine that you also develop regular sleep patterns and let me tell you, I sleep like a baby! You stay hydrated very well with at least three to four litres of water per day throughout the five or six months of contest preparation. The only time your hydration is limited is the day of the show. I have never gone without any water at all. On the day of competition, I will likely have about 500 ml to sip on throughout the day.

“How do I get rid of this right here?” (pointing at a particular body part)

Overall physique transformation to a leaner body happens through burning more calories than consumed. You’re not going to get rid of one spot and not anything else. Also, genetics, not exercise, determines how the fat in our bodies is distributed and stored. You can’t spot reduce. You can’t change your structural genetic build. You can’t turn fat into muscle. You need to commit to a lifestyle change of nutrition and exercise for a physique transformation to a leaner you.

“You only walk on the treadmill? I thought you had to run to burn enough calories?”

My cardiovascular training is in a specific heart rate range and a specific time duration to burn fuel from stored fat sources. I also incorporate interval training to keep my heart rate up to where it needs to be to get the most out of incline walking or stair climber training.

 

“I have been exercising for weeks (or months) and haven’t changed my physique or become leaner, what am I doing wrong?”

Exercise is a great way to improve muscle size and strength, endurance, power, cardiovascular conditioning and other aspects of physical and mental well being, but if what you’re after is a leaner physique, you need to dial in on your nutritional needs and intake. One of my favourite quotes is “Abs are made in the kitchen.” It all comes down to calorie intake versus calorie expenditure. You can train all you want—spending hours in the gym—and, sure, you’ll get stronger or run faster or run longer, but you won’t see physique changes unless you match your nutrition appropriately to accomplish your goals. Don’t get frustrated. Get yourself a great trainer who can individualize your training and nutrition plan to your goals and give you the tools you need for success.

 

“You must be starving!”

No, I have never really gone hungry throughout the whole contest prep. I am eating so frequently and having so many fibrous vegetables. You get lean from making the right choices to fuel your body to train hard and stay healthy, but it all comes down to burning more calories than consumed—certainly not from starving yourself!

 

“Don’t all bodybuilders only eat meat?”

I eat more fibre and green veggies than anything! Yes, each meal is balanced with a small to moderate protein source and some with starch carbohydrate or fat sources, but the majority of my plate is filled with vegetables.

Protein is important for growth, repair and maintenance of tissue. There are sources of protein other than meat. I like to explore my options to keep it interesting and include egg whites or whole eggs, whey protein isolate, yogurt, milk, cottage cheese, lentils and beans in my diet.

 

“What do you mean you can’t have fruit? I thought fruit was good for you?”

Yes, fruit contains many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, as well as providing plenty of soluble dietary fibre. However, it does have fairly high sugar from fructose content. For me, my body responds best to get in peak conditioning by omitting fruit from my diet several weeks away from a contest. Even in the off-season, I try to keep fruit as a nutritional choice limited and then choose mostly veggies for my fibre source. Or I consider fruit a dessert or a “once in a while” treat.

 

“You eat 6 times a day!jQuery15207231824212989975_1391728630636! How are you not 500lbs?”

Yep, six meals a day, which means I’m eating about every three hours. The key is what and how much that makes it an effective nutrition plan for a lean physique. I am certainly not eating a heaping plateful of calories each time. I eat just enough so that I am starting to get hungry before the next meal within a few hours. Each meal can range from 250 to 400 calories, depending on my activity level that day and what my needs are. I like to think of eating not to feel “full” after each meal, but to be “just barely satisfied.” Usually, half the plate is fibre (vegetables) and the rest is a small portion of a lean protein and maybe a bit of starch carbohydrate. This keeps me full of energy, fuelling my body and my brain. My metabolism is revved to keep burning and not storing!

 

Written by Melissa Leier

 

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