canfitpro Official Magazine | Jan/Feb 2022

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January/February 2022

The Official Magazine





canfitpro What’s New in 2022?

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POWER UP YOUR why Revolutionize 2022 by declaring your why






The Future of Youth and Sports



Practices to keep fitness spaces barrier free to everyone

Let’s Start a New Year’s Revolution

Help your clients foster a more positive relationship with movement and their bodies


Faites passer votre POURQUOI à un niveau supérieur Révolutionnez 2022 en déclarant votre POURQUOI



Spend time with these three powerful questions to level up your success TRAINING

38 Build Your Muscles, Flex Your Approach

A call to help Canadian kids find positive experiences in physical activity

52 Be ProActive in Managing Your Mental Well-Being

Bring your best self forward every day so you can thrive EXCERPT


This is an excerpt from Ageless Intensity by Pete Mccall HEALTHY LIVING

Tips to create a more impactful trainer-client relationship that results in increased business





Taking a more mindful approach to fitness goals makes them more achievable

Five movements to ensure strong and stable clients








Slow Down Age-Related Changes to Body Composition


This article is adapted from Running Periodization: Training Theories to Run Faster

46 How to set individuals up for successful healthy aging












canfitpro January/February 2022


Note from the COO January/February, 2022 Chief Operating Officer Maureen Hagan Photo Credit: Dawn Bowman

Director of Operations Michael O’Neil Director of Business Growth Robert Robinson Managing Editor Erin Andersen Graphic Designer Imran Mahmood, Doris Li, Marketing & Communications Manager Ashley O’Connor, Certification Operations Manager Barb Pontes, Events Experience Manager Nicole Delorme,

DON’T LOOK UP – LOOK FORWARD While 2022 has not started out the way we anticipated, and many Fit Pro’s and Operators may feel as though we are moving backwards, there is hope and optimism for the year ahead. Why? We are leaders and as leaders we are optimistic by nature, resilient through our nurturing, and warriors against sedentary living. Knowing and powering up your reason for existence (knowing your WHY), and why you chose the fitness industry as your career is going to be your MO’st important focus as we navigate this year. canfitpro is here to support you in powering up your WHY by providing an interactive article in this issue, both English and French. Tapping into this WHY will fuel your passion to keep you MO’ving forward. The other amazing articles in this issue will do the same. I am impressed by the courage, faith, and fight fitness professionals have in the face of what we continue to tolerate heading into year three of the pandemic. Witnessing this resilient attitude inspires me personally, and canfitpro similarly, to keep MO’ving forward every day to serve every member as best we can. We have a lot to keep us focused on and participating in this year. For instance, we look forward to hosting our GLOBAL conference and tradeshow in person this August while at the same time applying the new technological knowledge, we gained during the pandemic, to offer a hybrid, online event simultaneously. This is not the time to sit back and wait or look up and wonder what the future will be like post pandemic. It is time to act! We all can inspire change through the way we react now and the actions we choose. Consider also, that your actions will in part contribute to an impact on the rest of the fitness industry. Decide how you want to show up online and in your personal relationships and interactions. Be the change you seek in the world and help others do the same through your leadership and influence. Speaking of influence, canfitpro is proud to introduce you to our new 2022 Advisory Panel featuring a diverse committee of experts in a variety of fields that directly and indirectly support the fitness industry. Check out our new panel to the right of this column and keep your eye out for contributions from these experts throughout 2022. If you have not already reviewed the canfitpro Trends report, this is a must read! With the prolonged period of uncertainty for fitness professionals much has changed regarding the predictions for what will dominate the top trends for programming and services moving forward in 2022.

Maureen “Mo” Hagan Chief Operating Officer

Senior Account Manager, B2B Sales Bill Loker, Member Experience Manager Fatima Sunga,

Fitness Advisory Panel Leslee Bender Carl Carter Deidre Douglas, EdD Stephanie Dupuis Suaad Ghadban Daniela Goode Alisa Herriman Sara Hodson Nathalie Lacombe Sheldon McBee Lorne Opler Simone Samuels Vyshnavi Sivakumaran Jeff Tiessen To Subscribe canfitpro Magazine is published six times per year by Canadian Fitness Professionals Inc. New Professional Memberships with canfitpro are $98 per year (plus GST/HST) and renewals are $78 per year (plus GST/HST) and include a subscription to the magazine. For more information, please contact Member Services at ext. 301. Feedback or to contribute to canfitpro Magazine please contact: canfitpro Magazine 110-225 Select Ave. Toronto, ON M1X 0B5 416-493-3515 Toll Free 1-800-667-5622 Fax (416) 493-1756 Contact for questions regarding membership, conferences, and Canadian fitness resources. canfitpro is a division of Canadian Fitness Professionals Inc. Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 40783518 - Return Postage Guaranteed

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Providing confidence every step of the way. Evolving with the times and doing our best to meet the needs of our clients We’ve added coverage for “on-line training” for fitness trainers, which given the COVID-19 circumstance is more important than ever. To deal with current challenges, we temporarily eliminated the requirement for 50% of training revenue from “on-line training” so that fitness instructors could continue to work while face-to-face appointments were not possible and fitness facilities were closed.* *This condition will be reinstated once the COVID-19 situation has dissipated.

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canfitpro 2022 Online: Nutrition Event offers 16 engaging education sessions from nutrition experts that address key issues affecting the health of individuals and those in fitness communities. Included are workshops, lectures, and food demos in four specialized education areas: Functional Nutrition, Specialty Nutrition, Lifestyle Nutrition, and Mind-Food Connection.

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canfitpro UPDATES canfitpro is proud of our staff and their commitment to helping you, our valued members, be successful. Our staff come from diverse and varied backgrounds and bring a wealth of knowledge, expertise and experience to their roles. old daughter. What is one fun or interesting fact you can share about yourself? I have lived in three different countries Canada, England, and New Zealand. How long have you been working at canfitpro? Eight months. What is your role at canfitpro? PRO TRAINER Account Manager. I am primarily responsible for new PRO TRAINER recruitment, PRO TRAINER on boarding and business development. I also am here to support current PRO TRAINERs through marketing, promotion, and industry/business guidance.

Name: Nicky Nock What is your favourite nickname? My nickname as a kid was Gobbie. I always had something to say! Still do LOL! What is your country of birth? England What is your favourite food? Chips....all the chips! Or as I would say, being English, crisps. My absolute favourite is salt and vinegar. What is your favourite holiday? Christmas. I love snuggling together with family, watching movies, and eating great food. Especially the cheese board with some port. I also enjoy indulging in the magic of Christmas time with my 4-year-

Are you ready to create the legacy of fitness professionals in Canada?

Why is what you do with canfitpro important to you? I have a direct influence on who will be educating the next wave of fitness professionals by recruiting educated, passionate, and experienced PRO TRAINERs to deliver our canfitpro certifications. I am creating mentors and role models within canfitpro! Which canfitpro core value most resonates with you? Curiosity. Being curious and challenging status quo is everything! This is not only how a business can grow, but you as an individual and all of us as a community, country and even the entire world. What is your favourite form of exercise or physical activity? Yoga is my fav; I am a certified Yoga teacher and I enjoy participating in my own practice. There is something magical when breath and movement work in unison. The ultimate feel-good

moment. I am not going to lie; I do also enjoy throwing a heavy barbell over my head once and a while! How do you incorporate fitness into your life? Fitness is there everyday. Whether it is my own workout, or moving with my family. We are all regularly active. My husband also works in the fitness industry, so movement is a huge part of our lives. Are you a Fitness Professional? I am a fitness professional, and I am proud to say that. This is a credible and legitimate career! I have been in the fitness industry for 20 years and have enjoyed experiences in multiple roles. That is the beauty of this career and its education offerings. I am a personal trainer, small group trainer, yoga teacher, group fitness instructor, and educator. I also run my own online fitness experience company, The Nock Academy. Do you hold a canfitpro certification? Yes. FIS and PTS What is your two-word WHY statement? Self Respect What is your Super-Power? Connection. I have a great, natural way of making genuine connections with people. What do you want to be remembered for? Being resilient. No matter what has come my way, I have always been able to reinvent myself without losing track of who I truly am.

canfitpro is looking for PRO TRAINERS. Learn more about this entrepreneurial opportunity at canfitpro January/February 2022



SHARING A PASSION FOR HEALTH AND FITNESS Meet our PRO TRAINERS who champion fitness education in their communities

Krista Bull Emerald Park, SK Courses Taught: FIS, PTS, FMA, HWL, CPR What is an achievement you are most proud of? The achievement I am most proud of, and still in awe of, is turning my “fitness hobby” into a six-figure business within the first few years of starting. By helping people transform their lives, their health, and their bodies while creating a community that builds lifelong friendships and support. What is the biggest piece of advice you can give a new fitness professional coming into the industry? PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE. Tell people what you do and why you love it. The “why you love it” part is essential. That is the contagious part. People want and need to feel that way too. What we do to help people overcome their hurdles in the gym and with their nutrition has a ripple effect on 8 canfitpro January/February 2022

every other aspect in their life. What is your top fitness tip to stay on track with new year fitness goals? I actually have two. 1. Carve out 10 minutes a day, every day to move. It can be anything you want it to be - walking, running, skipping, stretching, dancing, or playing. Dedicate 10 minutes every day to you. 2. Drink your water. You will be amazed that all it takes is 10 minutes and a couple extra sips, to feel energized, revived, focused, and happy. Please share your 2022 fitness/ education/business goals. My goal for 2022 is to put myself out there and launch my STYRKE Mentorship Program to help other fitness professionals grow the business of their dreams. To help them share their work with the world. To help them expand their impact and turn it into income so that they too can make a living doing what they love too. Step one to this

goal is to become a speaker at the next canfitpro conference - I will see you there! IG: @styrketraining and @liftmovefuel

David Robertson Toronto, ON Courses Taught: PTS, CPR, FMA What is an achievement you are most proud of? My biggest achievement is becoming a chiropractor in 2O17. It was a gruelling four years of school, including many theory and practical examinations. It was well worth it because I get to work with all types of individuals helping them achieve their health and fitness goals. A passion of mine is to help and educate people and being a PRO TRAINER for canfitpro, as well as being a Chiropractor, allows me to do that in both the clinic and gym settings. What is the biggest piece of advice you can give a new fitness professional coming into the industry? Be an absolute monster! Whatever route you decide to take. Whether it is working in a big gym environment, small boutique gym, online or a mix of all three, this is an incredible time to help individuals with their

health and fitness goals. Coming out of a pandemic, many people have gone through the worst months of their lives. From a physical and mental standpoint, people need to get back on track. They are going to be looking to take care of themselves and their wellbeing and exercise will be a huge part of that. You can be what they are looking for! Additionally, your goal as a new fitness professional should be to positively impact as many people as you can. What is your top fitness tip to stay on track with new year fitness goals? Consistency. Life can get busy. Between our family and job, we can get remarkably busy. Prioritizing our own wellbeing will help us stay on top of everything that we do. Making exercise and active living a priority will allow us to live optimally! Please share your 2022 fitness/ education/business goals. My 2022 business goals are to build a

Connie De Lio Brampton, ON Courses Taught: FIS, PTS, HWL

To showcase your distinction share your story, recall who inspired you on your health journey. YOU become that inspiration to others!

What is an achievement you are most proud of? Over 30 years industry experience as a Fitness, Wellness, and Corporate Specialist.

The SECRET? Your passion sustains your success!

What is the biggest piece of advice you can give a new fitness professional coming into the industry? Know that your prescription to success is PERSEVERANCE. Whether your learning is met with new ‘PERSPECTIVE’ such as working with different personality types, specialty groups or in the need to up-skill, your journey is continuum.

What is your top fitness tip to stay on track with new year fitness goals? My top three self-care tips each day are Nurture, Nourish and Neutralize for an introspective moment. Please share your 2022 fitness/ education/business goals. In my role as Coach, Trainer and Educator, my goal is all about infusing FUNctional health and empowering one individual at a

Daniel Smith Toronto and Etobicoke, ON Courses Taught: PTS, FMA, CPR

dictate, diminish or deviate your effort. You are here to help people. Everything outside of that is a distraction. You got this!

What is an achievement you are most proud of? My biggest achievement has been accomplishing everything I said I would. I am a firm believer in manifestation. I took a risk and quit my job, then went from unemployed to a leading fitness professional (with two facilities) in one of the biggest cities in the world. Bet on yourself.

What is your top fitness tip to stay on track with new year fitness goals? Be honest with yourself. The new year can bring opportunities, as well as challenges. Let us not do the same thing and hope for a different result. Take an unorthodox approach. Nurture your mental health and allow that to translate to the physical. Remember where your focus goes, your energy flows.

What is the biggest piece of advice you can give a new fitness professional coming into the industry? Do not lose sight of your passion. There will be situations that challenge your person, however, do not allow those things to

Please share your 2022 fitness/ education/business goals. I want to empower both clients and trainers to see the viability of fitness as a profession. The Exercise Specialist Certification is

library of online courses that people can take to increase their education. Allowing people to learn from the comfort and safety of their own home is enormous. Increasing your online presence is not optional anymore, it is necessary! My fitness and education goals for 2022 are to continue to learn and improve myself so I can better serve my community of students and patients. IG: @drdrobs

time. My mission is to teach everyone to promise not to comPROMISE their health! IG: @yourwellnessphere FB: yourwellnessphere

my life’s offering to the industry. I believe this program will help certified trainers maximize their potential, and in doing so give clients hope that there is no such thing as impossible. IG: @onlythestrongdaniel

canfitpro January/February 2022



Trevor Pickett, canfitpro finalist for Personal Training Specialist of the Year 2021

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Tell us about your fitness career journey. Before becoming a Personal Trainer, I was highly active, and it was my work colleagues that pushed me to pursue my canfitpro PTS (Personal Training Specialist) certification over 10 years ago. I started off as a mobile trainer going to people’s homes or workplaces. After a few years, I ended up having more older adult clients or clients with mobility issues, which became a passion of mine. It became my purpose to make exercise accessible to as many individuals as possible. About seven years ago I became a canfitpro PRO TRAINER and I discovered my other passion which is mentoring and being a support source for new and emerging fitness professionals. I still am involved in education and recently had my own course, Troubleshooting Movement, accredited. So, I got to combine both of my passions of helping with movement issues while also mentoring trainers to have more tools to deal with these issues. Where would you like your career path to take you? The mentoring side of things is something that really speaks to me. I would love to keep having the opportunity to help other trainers as they make their way through their careers. I am also super interested in the idea of collaborative efforts with other trainers. In my mind, the task of helping others get healthy is a battle that we need to team up on. So, I am trying to find

new ways to network and to find ways of connecting the right trainers with the right clients. I am also interested in growing my continuing education company Offbeat Fitness Education. I would like to add to my offerings to facilitate more learning. What challenges have you overcome and what did you learn that has made you a better professional? Finding my identity and confidence as a trainer was a challenge in the beginning. I knew I had the knowledge, but you can second guess yourself when you start comparing yourself to others. I had to do a lot of soul searching to discover what I had to offer and what I wanted to provide for my clients. Reaching out to other trainers for mentorship and giving myself permission to not be perfect is how I eventually found out what type of trainer I was and, in the end, how I could help a broader base of clients. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? Train with trainers. You can network by meeting with other fitness professionals and more importantly you can learn from them. Now that you have reached this point in your career, what piece of advice would you give your younger self? Be patient. Remember that your clients might not have the same background or mindset as you do towards fitness. If you

can find a way to connect with them on another level, then you can make exercise something more appealing to them. If you were to write a motto for yourself, what would it be? Be professional, but be yourself. Why did you decide to nominate yourself for the Fitness Professional of the Year Award? I received some messages from a colleague telling me I should and the same day another message from one of my students. I mentioned it to my clients and they kept hassling me to do it. So, it was not exactly my decision, but I am so glad I did. How do you know when you are “done” and ready for the next challenge? One of the things that drives me as a trainer is my curiosity. I love learning and getting better which means I will never be done. I guess if I ever stop being curious then I will know I am ready for something new. IG: @offbeattrainer Email:

canfitpro January/February 2022


Photo Credit: Dawn Bowman



LEN KRAVITZ Can you describe what it is that you do within the fitness industry and how long you have been active in this role? For the past two and a half decades, I have devoted my professional career to completing research that bridges the gap between theory and fitness. I strive to conduct evidence-based research and scientific literature reviews that advance the fitness industry with better ways to train and stay healthy. What do you love about what you do? I feel so fortunate. I totally relish teaching Exercise Science classes to students who are thrilled to learn about the body. I thrive in working with graduate students on developing studies and authoring research reviews. And, I am thrilled to present practical application findings at fitness conferences to enthusiastic delegates. What is the biggest mistake you have made and how have you learned from it? Wonderful question. I remember it well. Years ago, when I was working on my doctorate I was invited to do a ‘Research Update’ at a national conference in San Diego, California. At the start of my presentation, I spent way too much time talking about the statistics in the studies. Looking at the audience I could tell I was really losing their interest. Fortunately, I pivoted my presentation and laser-focused my talk on the practical applications of the research. What a great lesson. To this day, with every conference presentation, I always reflect and ask myself, “Is this the best possible content for delegates to utilize in their profession.”

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What types of transformations have you made because of COVID and how has it changed you as a fitness professional? I have gone through a metamorphosis. I went from teaching face-to-face lecture classes at the University and conferences for many years to becoming an online teacher. I can now readily create and deliver multimedia online lectures. Surprisingly, the skills learned from online teaching have made me a much better face-to-face educator, too. What do you believe sets certain fitness professionals apart from the rest? As teachers, our profession is unique because our success is dependent on how well we interact and positively influence our clients. Each one of us has a level of passion, charisma, authenticity, and humor that impacts how our clients experience a class or training session. Great professionals have what I call the three ‘C’ words of teaching. First, and foremost, they sincerely CARE about their clients and students. Second, they are CREATIVE in how they develop exercise programing. Third, they are CONSISTENT in motivating and inspiring clients to not only meet, but to exceed their health and fitness goals. What advice can you share to those new to the field to be successful? I would like to focus my answer to those professionals who strive to be national and international presenters. Here are my thoughts. 1) None of us can be the best at everything, but all of us can be the best at one thing.

Find your ‘niche’ in the fitness industry and develop it to the max. Many years ago, when I was breaking into the fitness world of conference presenting, I developed Group X classes that engaged more men participants. Amazingly, I was invited all over the world to share these ideas. Throughout your career continue to evolve and develop new ‘niches’ that fill gaps in the industry. 2) Brand Yourself. Let me expand this by telling a story. As an educator/scientist having just earned my PHD, I went to many educational and scientific conferences to learn more. One of my favorite presenters was this brilliant scientist. He always dressed in a sharp coat and bright tie, and his presentations were filled with outstanding graphics and incredible content. This scientist was truly a role model for me. As many canfitpro delegates know, I definitely have branded my look: I always wear a Southwestern bolo tie with a colorful shirt when I teach and present. And, in regards to content, I strive to develop and deliver dazzling multimedia presentations that inform, motivate, and educate. 3) Step OUT of your comfort zone. This takes confidence and time for all of us. However, my philosophy on confidence is: “If you can believe it, you can achieve it.” What does this award represent to you? To be recognized by your peers is the highest honor. I am so thrilled. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Email:

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canfitpro January/February 2022


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FITNESS BUSINESS JOURNAL Keeping club and boutique owners, operators, and managers informed with industry news, trends, and insights.








Stand Out With Faster Results


These past few years have presented many challenges to fitness facility owners and fitness professionals, especially personal trainers. It has also presented potential opportunities forcing us to relook at how to grow our business.

cent of those people do not even go, which puts them at risk of quitting.

It is important to define what makes you or your facility better and competitive to the one down the street, and as a personal trainer understanding what unique skills can give you an advantage.

Additionally, as a studio owner it is important to maintain retention as it is far less costly to have a loyal member as opposed to the high cost of client acquisition.

In the most recent IHRSA 2020 statistical survey, only 16.67 per cent of the population in Canada are gym members and according to, 67 per

The best way to do this is to understand what the (potential) client wants: What are their current obstacles to becoming or staying a client/member? What are their

16 canfitpro January/February 2022

Why are we as a fitness industry not meeting the needs of a substantial portion of the population?

expectations? The main obstacles to potential or existing clients: 1. Lack of time. 2. Lack of confidence in that they do not know what to do or have an injury that needs to be “worked around.” 3. The environment of the gym; is it too busy, is it clean, too loud, too cold, too hot? What does the client want? Results! And fast! They either want to lose weight, tone up or keep fit to look better and function in their day to day lives more effectively and efficiently.

XBody Whole Body Electric Muscle Stimulation Training (WB EMS Training) has the solutions. What is it? Is it safe? EMS is the elicitation of muscle contractions using electric impulses delivered externally by a device operated by an educated professional. These impulses are delivered to electrodes which are placed strategically over all the major muscle groups within a Training Suit. Sounds complicated but it really is not. The electric signal is like the one sent

by the Central Nervous System when undergoing any movement, thereby causing an action potential of the muscle which causes contraction and is not seen as foreign to the body. In fact, given not all muscles have a well-developed connection to the brain (e.g., gluteus), WB EMS is able to send the signal directly to the desired area, so even these weakly connected muscles are activated! Additionally, with external application, MORE muscle fibres can be activated (both slow and fast twitch) and, therefore, a more intense workout can be achieved

with no risk to the client. Does it require any additional equipment? No. The client will go through a simple body weight workout directed by the trainer and the impulses add the “weight.” What does this mean to your client? WB EMS can deliver results while addressing the number one concern to the client. Time! The workout is only two times for 20 minutes per week for best results. Why only 20 minutes? External muscle

canfitpro January/February 2022



innervation is non selective so +/- 85 per cent of the body’s muscles are activated making it scientifically proven to provide what is equivalent to a 90 minute workout in just 20 minutes. WB EMS can also provide the client with: • training around injuries with no stress on the joints • high level of caloric burn due to amount of muscle innervation and consequential release of metabolites and hormones (such as HGH), which in turn significantly increases metabolic rate • strengthening of deeper muscle fibres which assist in balance and enhanced posture • fully personalized as each client has their own profile stored in the device • either one-on-one or small group training is possible Does this all sound too good to be true? Who are we? An award-winning leader in this technology, XBody has sold over 5,000 devices in 83 countries over the past 10 years. For context, Germany has over 18 canfitpro January/February 2022

1,200 WB EMS studios, and growing! Since attaining our FDA clearance in 2019, we are now the exclusive provider to the largest WB EMS Franchise system in the United States where the highest quality of equipment and support is paramount. XBody has additionally developed a comprehensive education through the EMS Trainer Institute, utilizing the latest science and vast experience of experts in this field. How can all this benefit your business? Stand out from the rest. This is a trend that meets the clients’ needs and offers a better solution than the same re-branded and re-marketed fitness solutions over the past several decades. It is another service for your clients that can provide additional income and will attract a demographic that currently do not go to the gym for the reasons mentioned previously. It takes up a small foot print and therefore can give you an excellent ROI per square foot.

As a personal trainer, it will give you a skill set so you are prepared as this segment grows, giving you either the option to purchase a mobile unit and start your own business or work for a facility which will require educated WB EMS trainers. In summary, WB EMS Training is proven scientifically to condition and strengthen muscle and, consequently, continues to grow in popularity throughout the world. It truly is the training of the 21st Century!

A Nurse for many years, Agnes Ramsay’s focus shifted to the prevention of disease and she became a Personal Trainer. After discovering Whole Body EMS nine years ago, she was fascinated by the capability of the device and became a Master Trainer in Canada, then North America and is now GM of XBody Canada.


The New Fitness Client of 2022 A look at five prospective fitness clients and how to get them through your gym doors By Sara Hodson The fitness industry has never been more relevant. The need for exercise for the physical and mental health of Canadians is greater than ever. Now, how do we get the clients in the door? There is promising news on all fronts. The Canadian report on physical activity from

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ParticiPACTION found that in the last two years Canadians turned to movement to break up the monotony of the pandemic. According to the report, although the number of Canadians achieving 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity did not rise, we were moving more - taking daytime walks between Zoom meetings, going out on bike rides with our families, and attending virtual

yoga classes. And, according to data from Class Pass, gym reservations grew by 321 per cent in 2021. People are coming back to the gym. But do we know who our clients are? And do we know what they need from us? Here are your five prospective clients, and what they need from the fitness industry.

1. Your ‘All In’ Client This was the client who was the first person back in the gym, QR code in hand, when you opened your doors. This was the client who never left your side, who pivoted with you, Zoomed in for virtual sessions and could not wait to put on a mask and come back to the gym. What they need from us: We must continue to provide a professional, safe, and consistent service. What we learned in the last two years is that our businesses must adapt quickly to provincial mandates or lockdowns, and these clients need to be kept up to speed with clear communication and dependable action. They also need us to be experts in our fields, and have our fingers on the pulse of everything that is happening in the fitness industry, which means staying up to date with certifications and training, and being knowledgeable about research, technology and equipment. canfitpro is a great resource for training and continuing education. 2. The ‘I Need More’ Client There is a large group of Canadians that became more sedentary during the pandemic. According to the ParticiPACTION report, 88 per cent of Canadians are sedentary eight hours a day or more. Sedentary behavior can lead to weight gain and can raise our rates of chronic health conditions - such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well as increase challenges with mobility and joint pain. Our senior population also needs more from us - it is not enough to increase longevity - we are now living longer, but we are not necessarily living well. What they need from us: A client who has been inactive needs more from you, and having trained fitness professionals on staff who are skilled or certified to work with special populations is essential. At LIVE WELL, we monitor vital signs, such as heart rate, blood glucose, and we can monitor our clients within their workouts. While this might not be within your scope, as an industry we have to think about how to make our fitness clubs more inclusive, accessible, and supportive. Fitness has long been seen as the place to

get “ripped” and focus on physique and performance - but this has turned away a huge group of potential clients. We need to focus on exercise as medicine - for our physical and mental health, and to invite everyone in to reap the benefits. 3. The Virtual Client They were front and centre in spin class, and in the last two years they have found virtual fitness classes. They might have even discovered YouTube yoga videos and made time over their lunch hour to destress and Namaste. They think they do not need the gym - but we know better. What they need from us: The health benefits of social connection are unquestionable. The Canadian Mental Health Association says, “Social connection lowers anxiety and depression, helps us regulate our emotions, leads to higher self-esteem and improves our immune systems. Neglecting our need to connect puts our health at risk.” Our virtual clients have an advantage - they have likely achieved a level of fitness in the last two years from their online workouts. They need to come back to the gym for community, and discover that friendship and fitness go hand in hand. 4. The Home Gym Client They converted a bedroom to a gym and bought all the equipment - a treadmill, a bike and free weights. They have increased their fitness levels and are now ready to progress further. They have seen improvements and have whetted their appetite for what the fitness industry has to offer. What they need from us: They need community, and they need the health benefits of social interaction. They need exceptional trainers who will design programs that help them continually push them forward. We have to think outside the box and make 2022 the year that we strut our stuff as an industry. Remember the expression “Stronger Together”? This fitness client needs to be challenged to come in, find a workout buddy, and get a trainer who will help get them to the next level of fitness . They need the accolades that they deserve they got fit, or stayed fit, through a very challenging time, and we are

only going to build on what they are already doing! 5. The Walking Client Yes, Canadians are walking. But is it enough? We know that moving a sedentary client off the couch and out for a walk is only step one of the fitness journey. While walking is an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise, are they getting their heart rate into the moderate to vigorous zone? Are they doing any resistance training? What they need from us: Let us go back to our basics of fitness training - our clients need a mix of cardiovascular training - in low, moderate and vigorous zones, resistance training (with bodyweight, bands, machines, dumbbells or kettlebells), and mobility and flexibility training. They also need to work on balance, agility and even speed! We have to encourage our walkers to come inside and know the value of strength training in changing their fat to muscle ratio, their ability to lose weight, and also why load-bearing exercises are essential to stave off bone degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis and arthritis. We have spent two years looking at computer screens. And while we know that the future of fitness is hybrid - that the virtual fitness world is here to stay - we know the power of in-person workouts. We know there is nothing like the energy of a group fitness class, or the knowledge of a personal trainer to help us achieve our goals. The future of fitness is in front of us - understanding our clients, what they need, and how to deliver it will be the key to unlocking your success door!

Sara Hodson, CEO of LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic, is President of the Fitness Industry Council of Canada and a board member of the Prescription to Get Active. To start a LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic in your community, please visit

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COMPANY PROFILE Number of years in business: 8 years Head Quarter location: Blainville, Quebec Current membership: 250,000 Number of locations in Canada: 70

To what do you attribute your success? The success of Éconofitness stands on the community: Members and Employees. This community is strong and united. What is your company’s mission? With four core values: Simplicity, Respect, Fun and Cooperation, Éconofitness’ mission is to make fitness accessible. How do we do that? With super nice gyms at an incredibly low price - the majority are open 24/7. We have a platinum zone including hydromassage, massage chairs, and tanning beds. We also offer online classes and group fitness classes. Why are you in this type of business? My father started his first gym in 1985 in St. Jerome, Quebec. At a very young age, I was following him in the gym and in regular contact with members and employees. I started to work in the gym industry officially when I was 15. Since then, I have never stopped and I have had much experience in many areas of the business: HR, Operations, and Marketing. Where do you see your business over the next one to five years? After two years of the pandemic, Éconofitness is back on its growth plan realisation. We have opened three clubs this past fall in Gatineau, Quebec City, and Trois-Rivières. Our goal is to reach 100 clubs and 500,000 members.

Do you currently compete or plan to compete in the global market place? Our mission is to service the Quebecois and we plan to focus on La Belle Province. This is where we are from and the people we are committed to making fitness accessible to. How has your business leveraged technology / innovative solutions to conduct and drive for results? Our business is based on automation and technology. Most of the amenities in our gyms are RFID activated, from massage chairs to showers and afterhours access. We also offer digital training services (fitness classes, how to, WOD) through our YouTube channel. How have you surrounded yourself with mentors/coaches during your career journey? My dad is my coach, mentor, and advisor. I trust his experience and he always showed me how to make the best decisions. I also work with a business coach who helps me to set goals and plan to achieve them. Finally, I can count on a great network with plenty of seasoned individuals with broad experience in the fitness industry. So many good conversations that make me grow daily. I try to surround myself with clever people to make sure I do not stall.

What advice would you give other aspiring entrepreneurs in the industry? Surround yourself with the best people. Be ready to learn and grow, daily. Be humble and work hard. Smile and have fun, always. What has been your greatest success and how has it shaped your business? What makes me proud is the team that Elyse Perron, Vice President of Éconofitness, and I, have put together. We have the best team to make fitness accessible and members happy. We care about the people and this is what makes the business successful. What makes your company different from the competition? What makes us different is the community. People love Éconofitness because it is friendly, fun, cheap, and accessible. It is just what people want: an affordable no-judgement gym. What is your contribution to the Canadian Fitness Industry? During the pandemic, I worked closely with the Quebec coalition of Fitness Industry Canada to develop and maintain government and industry relations. How has canfitpro impacted your pursuit in the Fitness Industry? canfitpro conferences have always been helpful in making relations with industry leaders and learning from them. canfitpro January/February 2022




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But to be fair, fitness spaces are (in theory) overwhelmingly a social good. Good for the mind, the body, and often foster a sense of community. It should

be reflected upon however, that losing access to these spaces, amidst a global pandemic, only matters to those who had access to them to begin with. If you were privileged enough to have access to, and be comfortable in a local fitness space, they can be full of potential traumatic triggers (the prospect of which will often prevent people from even entering to begin with). To make matters worse, people often bring their trauma with them to the gym - a trauma which many of us have without even realizing it. Humans are incredibly adaptive and resilient beings. Any glance at the experience of humans, historical or present day, one can find deeply disturbing things that people have had to endure. But trauma is not just experiencing warfare or an abusive relationship. Trauma is never hearing “I love you” from a parent. Trauma is everywhere you look and everything you hear for your entire life that insists that skinny is beautiful, that “fair skin” (hint: WHITE) is beautiful, and beauty is heralded as superior in value. Trauma is being told that weakness is akin to worthlessness. Most of us are simply very well adjusted to trauma. Most of us are just high functioning trauma holders. Just how one deals with trauma is, and will be, a never-ending discussion. One thing we know for certain is that movement can be medicine - it can be a liberating experience for people who carry the baggage of complex trauma. But we are fitness professionals, not therapists or activists. How are we supposed to handle trauma in the gym? We are not supposed to “fix” people, but the bare minimum should at least be to not make matters any worse.

“Like individuals, organizations and institutions may unwittingly respond to trauma exposure in ways that prevent them from fully realizing their mission to help. Lacking the resources and means to realize their goals, they can actually increase their clients’ distress and create hardship for workers… we must be willing to recognize that there are major flaws in our organizations, institutions, and social systems – and that these shortcomings affect us and the way we do our jobs.” - Laura van Dernoot and Connie Burk (“Trauma Stewardship”) Of course, not everyone finds their way to fitness because of trauma. But you cannot deny that most of us, if not subconsciously, approach fitness with some sort of “not enough” motivation. If we are perceptive enough to listen and look for it, our clients show the red flags of shame and trauma too. As fitness professionals, we might feel like we cannot change THE world, but we can certainly influence and change our personal world, the space around us and the spaces we have control over. We can in fact be more trauma informed. Just knowing the red flags of trauma can

help us to better “catch” and cushion our clients when they fall into our realm, metaphorically speaking. Knowing the difficulties certain people face when interacting in fitness spaces, challenging the obsession with physical appearance and the various forms of elitism and gatekeeping, are all ways to open the door to trauma informed practices as a fitness professional. Trauma aside; fitness, sport, dance, recreation, and competition are not only necessary, but they are also expressions of the human spirit. The less human beings have access to movement spaces and the guidance to develop their physical abilities and health, the worse off we are as a species. It is our job as fitness professionals to not only seek to expand our respective realms but to do it, to the best of our abilities, with triggers and traumas in mind. Exclusion increases value for the one who selfishly excludes, and we can choose to do that very thing with fitness and movement, or we can give the value we create with our efforts to humanity by doing everything we can to bring fitness to all who desire it.

Vysh Sivakumaran is an Award-Winning Fitness Coach, who is working to create inclusive and accessible fitness classes, along with her partner Pat, through their virtual platform called Fitness in Place (@vy_she_lifts). She advocates passionately for representation in the industry for South Asian women, but more broadly, aims to be a voice for all people who may face barriers in the wellness industry. Find out more at Pat Rado is a former competitive wrestler and longtime summer camp professional. Having spent years making fitness and recreation spaces comfortable and welcoming, the need for barrier free access has had a profound impact on him.

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What happens next is predictable. They lose weight short-term and are praised for it, but eventually they plateau and start regaining. And every compliment becomes an insult as they face weight regain (often not for the first time), with clear proof that everyone in their lives thinks they are better when they are thinner. Often this leads them to disengage from their fitness and health journey. In some cases, they are driven to an unhealthy relationship with fitness and food that can devolve into an eating disorder. The weight regain is exactly what the research tells us will happen. Weight loss attempts force changes in the body that result in weight regain, with about 95 per cent of people regaining all their weight, and up to 66 per cent gaining back more than they lost. We have the power to create a better experience for our students and clients (and ourselves!). Instead of making another resolution, we can help them create a New Year’s Revolution. Here are five ways to set participants and clients up for a more positive relationship with movement and their bodies this year and every year. 1. Create body gratitude. We cannot hate ourselves healthy. People do not take care of things they do not value. So, when clients come to us unhappy with their body size or shape, we can help by redirecting them to appreciate how amazing their bodies are. If you are in a private coaching relationship, you can consider having clients make a list of everything their bodies do for them – breathing, heartbeat, smiling, hugging, rolling their wheelchair, etc. Encourage them to interrupt any negative thoughts about their body and replace those thoughts with gratitude for items on their list. In group classes you can add body gratitude to your cueing. “As you do this next set of squats, feel the strength in your legs and thank them for carrying you around,” or “As we move

our bodies today, let us remember to thank them for everything they do for us!”

Options for clients who want to lose weight because of weight stigma: • Connect them to resources around Size Acceptance and Health at Every Size www.thebodyisnotanapology • Encourage them to seek out and follow body positive folks of all sizes on social media health/wellness/g35564820/ body-positivity-instagramaccounts/ • Acknowledge that weight stigma is real and that it is wrong • Let them know that they do not have to fight their body on behalf of weight stigma, they can choose to fight weight stigma on behalf of their body.

2. Ask questions. If someone comes to you asking for weight loss, make that the start of a conversation. What do they hope weight loss will accomplish? Do they want to be stronger? Faster? Not get out of breath so quickly? One of the ways diet culture does harm is by convincing us to blame a larger body for things that people of all sizes experience. Often when someone says they want to lose weight, they are just buying into size-based stereotypes. When we learn what people want to accomplish, we can help them set achievable goals. 3. Put the focus on behaviors. Weight loss is not a behavior, and it is not something we can promise our clients. Once we understand their goals, we can focus on behaviors that can help them reach those goals. Want to be able to lift your grandkid? We can work on strength and flexibility. Want to dominate your Saturday wheelchair basketball game? Let us work on explosive movement and stamina. Want to complete a 5k? People of all sizes do that, so there is no need to change your body size first. We can create and start a training program right now. If you are teaching group fitness, be careful not to motivate using weight loss or body shaming language. It can harm clients of all sizes, and it is stigmatizing to larger-bodied class members when you suggest that other students should workout, so they do not look like them. 4. Avoid suggesting that weight loss is the solution for weight stigma. Sometimes when we ask people why they want to lose weight, the answer is about escaping weight stigma. While that is understandable, it is harmful to suggest that the solution to oppression is changing yourself to appease your oppressors. Beyond which, we must remember that weight loss is not likely to work, so it is also not an evidencebased solution. We can help redirect our clients and students to see that the problem is weight stigma and not their bodies and provide them with resources around Size Acceptance and Health at Every Size.

5. Practice informed consent. If someone wants weight loss, it is reasonable to meet them where they are and then gently help them refocus on behaviors and realistic goals. In the meantime, though, as they experience some short-term weight loss it is important to be honest with them that there is a high likelihood that they will regain it. More importantly, we want to make sure they know that if that happens it is not their fault – it is because the body changes in response to weight loss attempts. Keep reminding them that there are weight-neutral options to accomplish any goal they might have. Our clients often come to us in a harmful cycling of short-term weight loss and longterm weight gain that negatively impacts their physical and mental health, all under the guise of a yearly “resolution.” We can interrupt that pattern. By doing so, we can lead a revolution that helps our clients create positive relationships with food, movement and their bodies, and allows them to feel the success of setting and accomplishing achievable goals. Photo Credit Lindley Ashline

As the new year approaches, fitness professionals are gearing up for the influx of “New Year’s Resolutioners.” Many of these folks are people who have made a resolution to lose weight…again. They flock to group fitness classes, join personal training programs, and tell themselves that this time, it is going to be different.

Ragen Chastain is a speaker, writer, trained researcher, and fitness professional. She has spoken about weight science, stigma, and health at Google, Kaiser Permanente, canfitpro, and more. Ragen is a champion dancer, triathlete, holds the Guinness Record for heaviest woman to complete a marathon, and co-founded Fit Fatties on Facebook. canfitpro January/February 2022







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POWER UP YOUR REVOLUTIONIZE 2022 BY DECLARING YOUR WHY By Emily Dobrich, Maureen Hagan and Sue Staresinic

Let us help you determine your WHY and declare it for 2022! In this lesson plan, we will help you discover your WHY and incorporate it into the following statement:

I exist to ____________________ so that _____________________. (contribution*) (impact**) *Contribution = How you use your passion or wish to use your passion/put your passion into action. It does not have to be what you are doing now; it can be something you hope to be doing. This comes from looking inward. **Impact = The result/difference you make in the world/your community by getting up every day and living your WHY. This comes from looking outward.

Examples of WHY statements (I/We): Maureen Hagan: I exist to MO’ve people and businesses forward by positively influencing change so that people are inspired to live their true purpose. Sue Staresinic: I exist to help people move and lead with confidence so that they can live life to the fullest and help others do the same. canfitpro: canfitpro exists to inspire fitness as a desired career and lifestyle so that together we can create positive change in the lives of others.

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CONNECT TO YOUR WHY FOR A STRONGER 2022! Sue Staresinic’s WHY Journey I enthusiastically attend the August canfitpro conference every year. In 2019, delegates were asked to inscribe their purpose on sticky notes and post those inspiring words on a big, beautiful “WHY” wall. Regretfully, as a passionate PRO TRAINER and twenty-year veteran physiotherapist/fitness pro, I did not write on one of those sticky notes. I simply could not summarize my purpose in one sentence. Around that time, I was struggling with social media and developing my personal brand. It was becoming increasingly evident that our WHY is the foundation for everything we do as professionals. I could see the amazing effect that a clear sense of purpose had on industry leaders such as Mo Hagan, Emma Barry, and Kim Basler. By sharing their journeys, they reassured me that even great leaders benefit from help to define their reason for being. I invested in “WHY time” with #WHYGUY Gerry Visca. It was such an instant game changer that I felt compelled to share my experience in the WHY book of Courage. A few weeks after submitting my chapter for publication, the pandemic sent us into lockdown. I shifted all my energy to the painstaking process of figuring out how to care for my clients and participants through unfamiliar virtual platforms. I was stressed and exhausted by the process until I had an aha moment on one of

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my outdoor walks. I had my ear buds in, and I was listening to Nathalie Lacombe interview Mo Hagan in her podcast. Nathalie asked Mo what advice she had to help fitness professionals cope with the challenging circumstances brought on by the pandemic. Mo’s advice was “remember your WHY!” That shift in mindset changed everything. I realized that although I could no longer lead classes or treat clients in person, I could still live my purpose by helping clients enjoy pain-free movement through online classes and therapy. I could continue to train aspiring fit pros, creating a ripple effect of positive leadership. Instead of seeing technology as a barrier, I saw it as a blessing that would help me live my purpose without even leaving the house! It was incredibly rewarding. In the fall of 2021, I was overwhelmed as the world reopened and several prepandemic activities flooded back into my schedule. I relied heavily on my WHY to help me make tough decisions about where to invest my energy and where to pull back. Since gaining valuable insight into my purpose, I have reached new milestones and I am heading into 2022 with a distinct sense of direction for my career, my social media, and my personal brand. It Starts With WHY In his best-selling book, Start with Why, Simon Sinek presents an innovative framework based on starting with WHY.

Sinek calls his model The Golden Circle, and it has three rings: WHY, HOW, WHAT. The WHY is the driving purpose, belief or meaningful cause that motivates us in our work, learning, and life. The WHAT represents the actions we take to realize our WHY—the real-world efforts that bring our WHY to life. Finally, the HOW is how you do what you do to realize your why. HOW we approach situations differs based on our deeper vision and WHY. The normal way taken to goal attainment is from the outside-in, e.g., go from WHAT to WHY. Sinek encourages us to revolutionize our approach; learn and live from the inside-out, e.g., go from WHY to WHAT. Start with WHY and the HOW and the WHAT will follow. It is a revolutionary and much more inspiring and authentic approach. Returning to Sue’s story. Sue is a group exercise instructor and physiotherapist. WHAT she does in her classes and in her professional practice may be the same as the thousands of other certified fitness professionals and physiotherapists. HOW she approaches her job and shows up and performs in her classes rests upon her WHY and helps her differentiate herself. When Sue discovered her WHY, it did not matter the external circumstances and how the world changed so dramatically around her. She could adapt her HOW to realize her WHAT and became even more successful while staying more aligned and truer to herself by starting with and zoning in on her WHY.

throughout your career as a fitness professional. Keep doing the work to refine it.

Once you understand your WHY and the theory behind finding your WHY, bring this into your personal training and group fitness instruction. Help your clients understand the WHY connection between their goals and training. This approach will set a different vibe for you and your clients as you start a new year.

*Discount code expires March 31, 2022.

Spend some time with the New Year’s energy to re-envision, reconnect, and power up your WHY to revolutionize 2022. Then go to and complete the online quiz to earn one CEC (continuing education credit) when you complete your WHY statement. Use discount code YOURWHY22 to receive the quiz for FREE! * BONUS: Share your why statement on social media and tag #canfitpro.

Emily Dobrich is a canfitpro Fitness Instructor Specialist with a BSc Food and Nutrition, BA Kinesiology and Master of Education in adult learning and global change. Photo Credit: Dawn Bowman

The three layers in The Golden Circle have a physiological connection. The WHY and the HOW are related to deeper structures of the human brain - the limbic brain - which connects to our feelings. The WHAT, on the other hand, connects to the neo-cortex, a newer part of the brain associated with rational thought. The limbic brain creates an emotional connection – that gut instinct feeling which more powerfully drives behaviour toward our goals than starting with WHAT would. So, it makes sense to start with WHY. Let us revolutionize our thinking with an inside-out approach; the science of the brain proves it so.

Maureen (Mo) Hagan is an international award-winning fitness professional, creator of Women Who Influence and Chief Operating Officer for canfitpro. Sue Staresinic is an award-winning fitness instructor, practicing physiotherapist and canfitpro FIS PRO TRAINER.

As one last piece of advice, do not wait for the “perfect” WHY. You will never have the perfect WHY statement. Your WHY is a living thing. It grows and changes










Utilisez le code rabais YOURWHY22 pour obtenir le test-éclair GRATUITEMENT


POURQUOI À UN NIVEAU SUPÉRIEUR Révolutionnez 2022 en déclarant votre POURQUOI Par Emily Dobrich, Maureen Hagan et Sue Staresinic

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Laissez-nous vous aider à déterminer votre POURQUOI et à le déclarer pour 2022 ! Nous vous présentons un plan pour vous aider à découvrir quel est votre POURQUOI, et à l’intégrer dans l’énoncé suivant :

J’existe pour ____________________ pour que _____________________. (contribution*) (impact**) *Contribution : Comment vous utilisez votre passion ou souhaitez utiliser/concrétiser votre passion ? Cette passion peut être différente de ce que vous faites actuellement ; elle peut être en lien avec ce que vous espérez pouvoir accomplir un jour. Vous trouverez la réponse avec un peu d’introspection. **Impact : Le résultat que vous voulez atteindre, la différence que vous souhaitez faire dans le monde ou dans votre communauté en vous levant chaque matin et en vivant votre POURQUOI tous les jours. Vous trouverez cette réponse en regardant de l’intérieur vers l’extérieur.

Voici quelques exemples d’énoncés en lien à votre POURQUOI (Je/Nous) : Maureen « Mo » Hagan : J’existe pour faire avancer les gens et les entreprises dans un MOvement de changement positif pour qu’ils puissent être inspirés à vivre leur vie en harmonie avec leur véritable objectif de vie. Sue Staresinic : J’existe pour aider les gens à bouger et diriger avec confiance pour qu’ils puissent vivre leur vie pleinement et aider les autres à faire de même. canfitpro: canfitpro existe pour que l’activité physique devienne partie intégrante d’un mode de vie sain, et même une carrière pour qu’ensemble, nous puissions engendrer un changement positif dans la vie des autres.

Connectez-vous à votre POURQUOI pour une année 2022 puissante ! Sue Staresinic : mon cheminement vers mon POURQUOI Chaque année, j’assiste au congrès canfitpro du mois d’août avec enthousiasme. En 2019, on a demandé aux délégués d’inscrire leur objectif sur un post-it, puis d’afficher ces lignes inspirantes sur un énorme et magnifique tableau des « POURQUOIs ». Malheureusement, à titre de PROFORMATRICE passionnée et physiothérapeute de plus de vingt ans d’expérience, je n’ai rien inscrit sur un post-it. Tout simplement parce que je n’arrivais pas à résumer mon but de vie en une seule phrase. Au même moment, je concentrais tous mes efforts sur le développement

de mes réseaux sociaux et de ma marque personnelle. Il m’était de plus en plus évident que notre POURQUOI est la fondation de tout ce que nous accomplissons professionnellement. J’ai pu constater l’effet étonnant qu’un sens clair de notre objectif de vie pouvait avoir sur des leaders de l’industrie comme Mo Hagan, Emma Barry, et Kim Basler. En partageant leur parcours, elles m’avaient rassurée quant au fait que même les plus grands leaders avaient besoin d’aide pour définir leur raison d’être. J’ai donc investi dans du « temps POURQUOI » avec Gerry Visca, le #WHYGUY. Ce fut une étape jalon

tellement importante dans le changement qui allait s’opérer que j’ai senti que je devais partager mon expérience dans un livre intitulé « The WHY Book of Courage ». Quelques semaines après avoir soumis mon chapitre pour publication, la pandémie nous a envoyés en confinement. J’ai détourné toute mon énergie à tenter de trouver comment prendre soin de mes clients et de mes participants par le biais de plateformes virtuelles avec lesquelles je n’étais pas familière. J’étais stressée et épuisée par le processus jusqu’à ce que, pendant l’une de mes randonnées, une idée de génie me frappe de plein fouet. Mes écouteurs bien enfoncés dans mes oreilles, j’écoutais Nathalie Lacombe

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Ce changement de paradigme a tout changé. J’ai réalisé que malgré le fait que je ne pouvais plus offrir de cours ou traiter des clients en personne, je pouvais tout de même poursuivre mon but d’aider mes clients à bouger sans douleur grâce à des cours et des traitements en ligne. Je pouvais continuer de former de futurs professionnels du fitness, créant ainsi un courant de leadership positif. Plutôt que de voir la technologie comme une barrière, j’ai appris à la considérer comme une alliée qui pouvait m’aider à poursuivre mon objectif de vie, et ce, sans même quitter la maison ! Ce fut incroyablement gratifiant ! À l’automne 2021, je me suis sentie dépassée alors que la vie reprenait son cours et que plusieurs activités prépandémiques inondaient mon horaire à nouveau. Je me suis lourdement appuyée sur mon POURQUOI pour m’aider à prendre des décisions difficiles, à savoir où investir mon énergie et où me retirer. Tout ceci m’a permis d’acquérir de précieuses connaissances en lien à mon objectif de vie et d’atteindre de nouveaux niveaux de conscience. Je me dirige dorénavant vers 2022 avec un sens précis de l’orientation que je souhaite pour ma carrière, mes réseaux sociaux, et ma marque personnelle. Tout commence par POURQUOI Dans son livre à succès, Start with Why, Simon Sinek présente un cadre innovant basé sur une question initiale : POURQUOI ? Sinek nomme son modèle « le cercle d’or », fait de trois anneaux : POURQUOI, COMMENT, et QUOI. Le POURQUOI est la raison d’être de l’objectif, de la croyance, ou de la cause significative qui nous motive dans notre travail, nos apprentissages, et dans la vie. Le QUOI représente les actions que nous posons pour atteindre notre POURQUOI (les efforts réels qui animent notre POURQUOI). Finalement, le COMMENT est la façon dont vous vous y prenez pour accomplir votre POURQUOI. COMMENT nous abordons les situations diffère selon notre vision profonde et notre 34 canfitpro January/February 2022

POURQUOI. Le chemin normal pour atteindre notre objectif est de l’extérieur vers l’intérieur ; c.-à-d. du QUOI au POURQUOI. Sinek nous invite à révolutionner notre approche ; apprendre et vivre de l’intérieur vers l’extérieur, c.-à-d. du POURQUOI au QUOI. Commencez par votre POURQUOI, puis les COMMENT et QUOI suivront. C’est une approche révolutionnaire et tellement plus inspirante et authentique. Revenons à l’histoire de Sue. Sue est une instructrice d’exercices en groupe et une physiothérapeute. Ce qu’elle fait (QUOI) dans le cadre de ses cours et dans sa pratique professionnelle est possiblement semblable à ce que font des milliers d’autres professionnels du conditionnement physique et physiothérapeutes certifiés. COMMENT elle aborde son travail, se présente, et s’exécute dans ses cours dépend de son POURQUOI et contribue à la différencier des autres. Lorsque Sue a découvert son POURQUOI, les circonstances extérieures et comment le monde avait dramatiquement changé autour d’elle importaient peu. Elle pouvait adapter son COMMENT pour accomplir son QUOI et réussir encore mieux tout en restant plus alignée et fidèle à elle-même en commençant par son POURQUOI et en s’y concentrant. Une connexion physiologique relie les trois couches du « cercle d’or ». Le POURQUOI et le COMMENT sont liés à des structures plus profondes du cerveau humain, le cerveau limbique, connecté à nos sentiments. Le QUOI, quant à lui, est lié au néocortex, une partie plus récente du cerveau associée à la pensée rationnelle. Le cerveau limbique crée une connexion émotionnelle — l’instinct, l’intuition — qui influence de façon plus puissante les actions posées pour atteindre nos objectifs que commencer par QUOI le ferait. Il est donc tout à fait logique de débuter par le POURQUOI. Révolutionnons notre pensée avec une approche de l’intérieur vers l’extérieur ; la science du cerveau prouve l’efficacité de cette approche. Lorsque vous aurez compris votre POURQUOI et ce qui se cache derrière le processus pour le définir, intégrez cette compréhension à votre entrainement personnel et à votre façon d’enseigner vos cours en groupe. Aidez vos clients à comprendre comment leur POURQUOI

relie leur objectif et leur entrainement. Cette approche vous permettra d’établir une connexion différente entre vous et vos clients alors que vous amorcerez la nouvelle année. Dernier conseil : n’attendez pas le POURQUOI « parfait ». Vous n’arriverez jamais à un énoncé parfait de votre POURQUOI. Votre POURQUOI est une entité vivante. Il évoluera et changera tout au long de votre carrière de professionnels du conditionnement physique. Le raffiner est un processus continuel. Passez du temps en phase avec l’énergie de la nouvelle année pour ré-imaginer, reconnecter, et propulser votre POURQUOI pour révolutionner 2022. Puis, rendez-vous sur canfitpro. com et répondez au test-éclair en ligne pour obtenir un CEC (unité de formation continue) lorsque vous aurez défini votre POURQUOI. Utilisez le code rabais YOURWHY22 pour obtenir le test-éclair GRATUITEMENT* ! BONI : Partagez votre POURQUOI sur les réseaux sociaux et utilisez le mot étiquette #canfitpro *Le code rabais expire le 31 mars 2022

Emily Dobrich est une spécialiste d’exercices en groupe canfitpro, elle détient également un baccalauréat es science en alimentation et nutrition, un autre en kinésiologie, et une maitrise en enseignement aux adultes et changements globaux. Maureen (Mo) Hagan est une professionnelle prisée du conditionnement physique de renommée internationale, créatrice du mouvement « Les femmes qui influencent » et cheffe de l’exploitation de canfitpro.

Photo Credit: Dawn Bowman

interviewer Mo Hagan dans le cadre de son balado diffusion. Nathalie demandait à Mo si elle avait des conseils pour aider les professionnels du conditionnement physique à faire face aux événements difficiles provoqués par la pandémie. Le conseil de Mo : « Rappelez-vous votre POURQUOI ! »

Sue Staresinic est une instructrice de cours en groupe prisée, physiothérapeute, et PRO FORMATRICE de l’axe FIS (Instructeur. trice spécialiste d’exercices en groupe) de canfitpro.



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businesses in 2021.

recommend spending time with:

If you are still here… it is mission critical to plan for 2022. Regardless of what is happened in the past, 2022 could be your best year yet, just as 2021 was for many!

The lockdowns came and went and came back in some areas. Clients have switched their fitness habits. Many fitness professionals and studio/gym owners were hurting and shut their doors. But others adapted and have seen recordbreaking growth in their careers and

What is key in creating more success? Do not get overwhelmed by what MAY happen … the key is to keep your planning simple, and chart a straight-line path to your goals.

1. Where are you right now in your career and business? Take stock right now: What services did you offer in 2021–and how successful were they? Were they vulnerable to disruptions?

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Here are the three powerful questions I

What were your biggest successes? Where were your biggest challenges? Take a good, clear-eyed look at the next 12 months and decide what you want to build on and what you need to let go of.

Decide where your career and business were most vulnerable in 2021 and how you can shore that up for this year. Write it down and get ready for the next step. 2. Where do you want to go in 2022? How do you want 2022 to be different from last year in your career and business? What do you want your career and business to look like when the 2022 New Year’s Eve ball drops and you hear the countdown starting? Create and write down your goals about your income, the types of clients you work with, your team. Do you need to up your game online? Do you need to offer hybrid services? Can you adapt some sessions for outside? Are there areas you need to “de-risk” your business? Last year, many of our most successful studio/gym owners shifted their focus to sell higher ticket, premium programs that offered a more personalized level of service. And they grew, because that segment of the market did not think twice about continuing their programs, regardless of what was happening in their local area with the pandemic. How can you provide a high-quality service, to high quality clients, that is not vulnerable to disruption in your income? 3. How do you get there? You need a strategy and plan … not just a business strategy and plan, but a learning strategy and plan. What do you need to learn? For example, do you need to learn more about lead generation? Do you need to upgrade your online presence, reviews, and more... so people who are ready to buy can find you when they are doing their research? Define your business strategy, marketing plan and your learning strategy, and you will be ready to chart a strong course to your goals in 2022.

Summary If you have not started planning, get started now. Do not get overwhelmed by the process – keep it simple and focused. Begin by taking stock of where you are now. Where have you succeeded in 2021 that you want to build on? Next, take another look at your goals – where do you want to go this year? What do you want your business to look like on New Year’s Eve 2022? Finally, ask “How do you get there?” and chart your path. That way, when the ball drops at midnight on December 31, 2022, you will be able to look back at a year of powerful growth!

Register now for the NPE Best-Year-Ever Blueprint™ training. In this training series, you’ll discover how to: 1) get clear on your 6- or 7-figure growth strategy for 2022; 2) upgrade your client success systems so more people stay, pay, and refer; and 3) learn marketing strategies to make it rain high-quality leads and prospects. Visit Sean Greeley, Founder and CEO of NPE, has an unrelenting passion for inspiring fitness professionals and business owners to realize their unlimited potential. Since 2006, NPE has helped over 45,000+ fitness professionals and business owners in 96+ countries grow their client base and income to the next level.

canfitpro January/February 2022





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WITH THE ONSET OF COVID, MANY HAVE BEEN RESTRICTED TO SIMPLE HOME WORKOUTS, OR HAVE LIMITED ACCESS TO TRAINING IN THEIR LOCAL GYMS. THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS HAS UNDOUBTEDLY CHANGED THE FACE OF FITNESS FOR BOTH TRAINER AND CLIENT. The steep increase of online training offerings has made choosing the right trainer difficult. A strong social media presence promising better results and cheaper services has seen numerous online fitness businesses soar. Yet, ironically, it is the most experienced trainers who are hesitant to embark into this virtual world and are left behind. This begs the question “how can trainers take their business effectively online and set themselves apart?” In this article, I discuss how smart programming and a tailored program delivery can differentiate you from standard “lift the broom or couch” trainer, to one who knows how to Train Smart! Smart Programming What is your point of difference? Is your programming simply based on substituting weight plates and dumbbells with furniture? While that can work, it may not always be the best solution, and can increase risks of accidents and injury. Time to think outside the box. Here are five simple training methods that can challenge clients with their workouts in the gym or at home, in a smarter, safer manner: 1) Intentional inefficiency The number of repetitions performed tends to be the most considered factor in training. Yet equally important is the load chosen. Using an appropriate weight will dictate the extent of microtrauma created under tension and the resultant opportunity for hypertrophy. In the instance that you do not have access to sufficient load, as in a homebased workout, then you would have to generate it. One way of doing so is to intentionally make the movement more difficult. Manually creating tension against the grain of movement is what is termed “inefficient movement.” Efficient movement is moving a load from point A to B in the fastest, most energyefficient way possible. For example, in Olympic lifting, hoisting the load above

one’s head with speed and precision requires the movement to be extremely efficient. It is the combination of speed, strength, and skill that allows the lifter to move the load. However, should the movement be slowed down deliberately, the lifter would have no chance of performing the same lift. Slowing down the movement thus leads to inefficient movement. Intentional inefficiency is useful in identifying faulty movement patterns, strength deficits and, importantly, creates more tension in the muscle (e.g., making a given load feel heavier than it actually is). Physiologically, this can help increase muscular recruitment and the resulting microtrauma, leading to hypertrophy under a lighter load. 2) Unilateral movements Most exercises are performed bilaterally, utilizing both sides at once. This can often give a false sense of overall strength and evenness in movement. By incorporating unilateral, or onesided movements, you will be able to immediately identify weaker areas/sides as well as any muscular compensation in a movement. For example, performing a body weight squat is quite simple for most, yet a unilateral squat poses a huge challenge! Here are some benefits of unilateral training: • Unilateral movements are great for reestablishing foundation phases. When a client progresses well with a load bilaterally, it is useful to add in unilateral phases to reestablish movement patterns and strength. • Minimizes inter- and intra-muscular imbalances. • Makes the exercise a lot more challenging – this means less weight is required to get an effective workout. 3) Pausing Holding a pause in a movement is an isometric contraction. That means while there is no net movement, your muscles are contracting maximally to maintain that position under load. Pausing in a disadvantageous position (e.g., the most difficult part of a movement) helps to increase intra-muscular recruitment, builds strength in the weakest position, and develops joint stability. Remember, you are as strong as your weakest link. By building strength in the weakest point of the lift, you will ensure the lift gets stronger over time. Moreover, canfitpro January/February 2022


the load chosen for incorporating pauses is going to be less than what is used for normal repetitions. This is a valuable tool to use when you do not have enough load to lift, as in a home workout, or if you are looking to give your ego a bruising. 4) Myotatics Myotatics is the addition of a quarter rep to one full rep. Typically the quarter is added from the disadvantageous position, with a single rep followed by a quarter as the aim for the “one repetition.” Myotatics are a fantastic way to train explosiveness, break lifting plateaus and overload the weaker range of an exercise, as it is the weaker quarter movement that is repeated twice with every repetition performed in the set. Again, when using myotatics, the load choice is going to be lighter than what is normally used, although do not be surprised if the accumulated fatigue is more profound. 5) Overload techniques Overload techniques such as supersets and pre-/post-fatigue sets are a useful way to overload the muscle by performing two exercises consecutively. The prior typically uses exercises that either targets a single agonist muscle group (e.g., inclined bench press to dumbbell press) or exercises that target antagonist muscle groups (e.g., inclined bench press to a chin-up). The pre-/post-fatigue method uses agonist exercises to fatigue out a desired muscle over both movements. Take, for example, performing a cable-crossover then moving immediately to a flat dumbbell press. This combination would effectively pre-fatigue the chest muscles using a chest isolation movement (the cable-crossover), then introducing the compound exercise, the flat dumbbell press, to overload and maximally fatigue the chest fibers. If the above order were reversed, this would be a post-fatigue method. This utilizes a compound movement first (the flat dumbbell press), then introducing the isolation movement (the cable-crossover) to further fatigue the chest. If the goal is about establishing a better mind-muscle connection to “feel” the muscle more, then the pre-fatigue method is the appropriate choice. Whereas, if strength and hypertrophy is the focus, then a post-fatigue method is a better option. Program Delivery Using smarter training techniques are 40 canfitpro January/February 2022

often not enough to achieve results, especially if the coaching is virtual. Practically speaking, results can only happen if the client is able to effectively comply to the training systems that are given. Therefore, the notions of suitable programming, packaging, and mode of delivery are central to creating a better support system for clients, thus ensuring better results.

loads. If the goal of the client is to get stronger, then programming for longer breaks and heavier loads is critical to their progress. As such, it is important that the trainer relates the program changes to the results the client wants to see, gradually building the relationship between rest and load choice, as well as reinforcing the results obtained weekly.

A) Programming: Superman versus Penguin programs Superman programs incorporate specific training protocols that look sexy in theory but neither the trainer nor the client could realistically complete. This may include rest times that are too short, too many exercises, exercise pairings that are too difficult and even program splits that will force a client into hiding!

C) Mode of delivery This refers to whether the program presented to the client resonates with their primary mode of communication. For example, a visual learner (usually about 65 per cent of the population) will need to see the exercise performed rather than having a description of the movement. Having the program itself laid out clearly and with high visual appeal can also contribute to better adherence.

On the other hand, Penguin programs often undermine the client and are given as the safest option for program design. These programs do not challenge the clients enough, keeps them in their comfort zone, and is a major barrier to mental and physical progression.

A client that is an auditory learner needs specific cues to guide their performance. They appreciate verbal feedback and react well to phrases that are “auditory” in construction (e.g., “I want you to listen to your body and what it tells you after you’ve eaten that meal”).


A kinesthetic learner often needs to try the exercises prior to giving feedback. They need to feel the movement and trial the machine or specific grip to understand what is required of them. By delivering a program in a style that is suited to the client’s communicative mode, they are more open to receiving guidance and performing the program.

The best program is one the client can comply with, and has a planned progression on how they need to push themselves to excel. When the client embarks upon the program for the first time, they need to be able to complete it and feel good about that. This confidence will fuel their desire to be better and progress. B) Packaging A good program will often include movements that may not be accepted favorably by a client. Exercises like split squats or rotator cuff movements are furthest from being the sexiest movements on the gym floor, but they help to engage muscles that otherwise would be undertrained. The challenge is in packaging what the client needs into what they want. Here is another example: Some clients believe that taking short rest breaks between exercises is key to results, yet, this will prevent them from lifting heavier

Conclusion So, whether you are looking to set yourself apart online or create a better one-on-one training business, these tips on training smarts, program delivery, and client support can effectively create a more impactful and supportive trainer-client relationship – one that will translate into better results and increased business.

Benjamin Siong is the Founder of Australian Strength Performance. A body composition expert, strength coach and international presenter, he has produced top-ranked athletes in over 16 different sports. In 2013, Ben created LEARN-ASP.COM: An interactive online platform delivering specialty courses and seminars delving into the science and methods of Hypertrophy, Fat loss, Nutrition and Coaching.

GET READY FOR OPPORTUNITIES IN THE FITNESS INDUSTRY. • Personal Training Specialist • Fitness Instructor Specialist • Healthy Eating & Weight Loss Coach Register Now at





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The time spent in our movement preparation sets the tone for the workout. It can provide valuable opportunities for motor control re-patterning, warming up

and firing up neural inputs, reinforcing solid movement patterns, and correcting muscle imbalances. Let us use this time wisely! Warmups can be a perfect resetting,

retraining, reinforcing, and reintegrating time for our clients, including the preparatory component. Here is where foundation training can help and sneaking it into your client’s warmups can be the perfect place to add it in. Identify what areas are suboptimal and focus on filling in the cracks of the foundation. High loads and volume can be beneficial but with unstable foundations, injury may occur. Sometimes, less is more. The beginning of the year or the off season of an athlete’s sport is a great time to focus on foundational elements that may help build a better base to propel from. Restorative training can have numerous benefits including a stronger foundation and improved movement mechanics as well as increased stability and base for strength. Does your client have a postural imbalance like thoracic kyphosis or forward head posture? Add thoracic extension work or deep neck flexor work. Do you notice alignment shifts during squats or deadlifts? Reduce the load and correct the pattern. Is the core a limiting factor in planks or push-ups? Focus on a solid cylinder and form and technique before load. Try to identify specific limiting factors and get back to those when possible. Here is where our in-depth assessments (and frequent reassessments) are key. Movement screens, manual muscle tests, and even analyzing exercises with a keen eye are valuable. Use your critical lens to pull out what is missing and work on those elements to create more balance and stability. If you are unsure of where to start, try adding some of these foundational exercises to your warmups. Here we focus on common weak links such as gluteus medius, transverse abdominus, and middle and lower trapezius. We are also looking for clean linear patterns (as in walking and running) as well as optimal alignment and breathing mechanics. Ensure proper form and execution on all foundation exercises and have them perfect one level before increasing the challenge. This ensures they are strong, stable, and functional in all movements. Ball Wall Hip Abduction Place a stability ball, small ball or rolled up towel against the wall. Stand tall and brace the object with the outer knee. Lift the inside leg and press the knee into the object while maintaining good upright

posture. Keep the weight in the standing heel and big toe pad and place a slight bend in the standing knee. Focus on feeling the gluteus medius of the standing leg. Hold for 30-60 seconds and switch sides.

Scap Set and Retraction Sit or stand tall and place your elbows at your sides with your forearms parallel to the floor and your palms up. Hold onto a band for more resistance. Externally rotate the shoulders 45 degrees and slide your elbows back to retract and depress your shoulder blades. Squeeze the shoulder blades together and down while keeping your forearms on an imaginary shelf to prevent shoulder internal rotation. Focus on engaging the mid and lower trapezius.

Seated Band March Place a band/tube over a high bar or secure hook and sit tall a few inches away from where the band is anchored. Place your arms straight out from your shoulders and pull the band down towards the floor. Engage the deep core to stabilize the pelvis and march slowly without moving the pelvis or spine. Keep the pelvis stable and still as you continue marching while breathing. Try 10 repetitions on each side and relax the core fully after each set.

Standing Rear Glide Stand with your knee bent and back

straight in a slight hinge (back and shin angle parallel). Glide your moving leg back (straight or back at 45 degrees depending on if your client is a linear or multi-planar athlete). Keep the weight on the tripod of the foot and continue gliding out and back to start position. Focus on engaging the standing gluteus maximus and medius as stabilizers.

TVA Press Lie on your back with your knees wide and feet close in a diamond shape. Keep your spine long and place your hands below your knees on your thighs. Exhale and press your hands into your legs, legs into your hands. Inhale to release. Thighs positioned at 90 degrees of hip flexion will focus on the middle fibers of transverse abdominus. Move the legs farther away (> 90 degrees) or closer (< 90 degrees) to vary the vectors engaged. Place the feet on a ball or chair to unload if client feels the back or hip flexors.

Try some of these foundational exercises in your clients’ warmups to help restore balance in the body and focus on potential missing links in programming. Create your own restorative exercises based on client goals, activities, movement patterns, sports, and function. Regress to progress!

Sarah Zahab is a Registered Kinesiologist and Clinical Exercise Physiologist with over 21 years of fitness industry experience. She co-owns Continuum Fitness and Movement Performance Inc., a multi-disciplinary clinic in Ottawa.

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A LONG TIME AGO, ANCIENT GREEK WRESTLER MILO OF CROTON TRAINED BY CARRYING A NEWBORN CALF ON HIS SHOULDERS EVERY DAY UNTIL IT GREW INTO AN ADULT BULL. This training enabled Milo to become one of the strongest men around and win six Olympic titles. While Milo probably did not articulate to the curious onlookers that carrying a growing bull on his shoulders around town was an example of progressive overload, this training theory became the basis for developing muscle strength. Because a calf grows slowly into a bull, it was not every day that Milo lifted a heavier animal than the day before. The training stress did not drastically change from day to day or even week to week. Milo’s muscles had time to adapt to the animal’s current weight, slowly progressing to heavier and heavier weights as the animal aged. Many years later, in 1950, Hungarian endocrinologist Dr. Hans Selye discovered that laboratory animals exposed to various stressors (e.g., drugs, cold, or surgery) and individuals with various chronic illnesses display a common pattern of responses. From this observation, Selye developed the General Adaptation Syndrome, which represents the chronologic development of the response to stressors when their actions are prolonged. Selye discovered that giving a rodent a small dose (one-quarter) of an alarming/ toxic stressor (e.g., drugs, cold, exercise) prior to a full, alarming dose of the same stressor protected the rodent from the alarming/toxic dose. Applied to your clients’ training, introducing a small dose of a specific type of workout is beneficial for adaptation before introducing a larger dose. Selye also discovered that an organism appears to possess a finite amount of “adaptation energy,” with adaptation to a specific stimulus decreasing resistance to other stimuli. How your clients react and adapt to different stressors (e.g., aerobic, anaerobic, strength, etc.) determines the amount of work they can tolerate, how much they can adapt to other types of workouts at the same time, and how much they can progress. Following training stress, your clients adapt and

physiologically overcompensate, so that when the same stress is encountered again, it does not cause the same degree of physiological disruption. The aim of training is to introduce training stimuli in such a fashion that greater and greater levels of adaptation are achieved while avoiding exhaustion. A fundamental understanding of stress and adaptation is imperative to fully understand how and when to prescribe different amounts and intensities of training. After repeated or prolonged presentation of a specific stimulus, your clients become habituated to it, and their bodies decrease their response to that stimulus. Confusion, on the other hand, keeps their bodies guessing by constantly varying the stimuli.

GIVE YOUR CLIENTS ENOUGH TIME TO ABSORB AND ADAPT TO THE TRAINING BEFORE CHANGING IT. Manipulating training parameters, such as intensity and volume, during the training process is important. Variation of training alters the expression of genes that results in greater adaptation. However, if you vary the training too much that your clients’ adaptation energy is too widely distributed across many fitness targets, their ability to adapt diminishes and they can stunt their progress. Conversely, focusing on a single aspect of fitness at a time with repeated training stressors can induce rapid improvement in that single target, but if you prolong such a concentrated focus, that can result in unremitting monotony, staleness, and over habituation. While “confusing” your clients can be useful to avoid plateaus in fitness, variation in training must be scheduled, organized, and carefully controlled— enough to avoid monotony and over habituation, but not too much to avoid inadequate adaptation. Variation to cause confusion must be balanced with mastery of the skill. On one hand, your clients must vary their training often enough to adapt and improve fitness, while, on the other hand, they must repeat the same training a number of times to master the volume

and intensity (or to master the skill of a workout) so they can progress with their training, having each workload build on what came before. And therein lies the secret behind the stunning success of smart training. That secret is the Confusion-Habituation Balance. It is in the Confusion-Habituation Balance that makes every smart training plan work. It is in the Confusion-Habituation Balance that every successful client builds his or her future. Too much confusion or too much habituation will not work. Confusion and habituation must be balanced. But the Confusion-Habituation Balance is not a perfectly balanced see-saw. The Confusion-Habituation Balance should be slightly unbalanced in favor of habituation. That is because habituation, a learning process that leads to mastery of a skill or workload, is more effective than confusion, as long as the same stimulus is not repeated for too long that the physiological response begins to decrease. Give your clients enough time to absorb and adapt to the training before changing it. Change the stimulus just as habituation occurs so that they continue to increase their response. Most people would benefit from changing the training stimulus every four to six weeks. Then, have your clients habituate to the new stimulus by repeating it for a few weeks, over and over again. Then, change it again. That is the secret of the ConfusionHabituation Balance. By balancing habituation with confusion, your clients’ progress will be more consistent, and they will even be able to challenge Milo of Croton to a wrestling match.

Dr. Jason Karp is an American run coach and exercise physiologist living and coaching in Kenya. He is founder/ CEO of the women’sspecialty run coaching company Kyniska Running and author of 12 books and 400+ articles. His REVO₂LUTION RUNNING™ certification has been obtained by coaches and fitness professionals in 25 countries.

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SLOW DOWN AGE-RELATED CHANGES TO BODY COMPOSITION How to set individuals up for successful healthy aging By Angela Wallace, RD

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Total energy expenditure reflects 1) the energy costs needed to sustain life, essentially the energy required to allow your organs to function (this accounts for about 70 per cent of total energy expenditure), 2) thermic effect of food, the energy required to absorb, digest, and metabolize food (this accounts for about 10 per cent of total energy expenditure), and 3) the remaining 20 per cent is made up by the energy an individual expends in their daily living activities and physical activity. The change in total energy expenditure over the lifespan has been poorly studied, until recently when Pontzer and colleagues (2021) studied a large diverse sample of total energy expenditure for males and females between eight days to 95 years of age. This study included data from participants (sample of over 6,000 people) across 29 countries. One of their main findings was that total energy expenditure, basal energy expenditure, and fat free mass (aka muscle) were all stable between 20-60 years of age. They did find that energy expenditure does decline after the age of 60, meaning your body is burning less calories, even at rest, and there is a reduction in fat free mass. For the longest time, research has shown that muscle mass declines with age, starting at the age of 30 and with each decade muscle mass is reduced further. There likely still is a reduction with each decade of age, but it does not appear to be as drastic as we thought, based on these recent findings. These findings of declining energy expenditure can explain weight gain being more problematic later in life, along with reduced healing processes, and increased risk of chronic disease.

THERE LIKELY STILL IS A REDUCTION [OF MUSCLE MASS] WITH EACH DECADE OF AGE, BUT IT DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE AS DRASTIC AS WE THOUGHT ... What does this mean for the clients you work with? As clients age, we need to prioritize building and maintaining fat free mass. This will help set people up for successful healthy aging. It will also delay sarcopenia (the loss of skeletal muscle mass and functioning). Below are three things you can suggest to

your aging clients to help them build and maintain fat free mass. 1. Eat enough protein and aim for protein at every meal. A 2017 study by Mendonca and colleagues that followed over 2,000 older adults, found that those who consumed the least amount of protein were twice as likely to suffer falls or have difficulty with physical activity compared to those who ate the most. In fact, daily protein requirements increase with age. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for adults 65 years and over is 1-1.2 g/kg per day to help preserve and gain muscle mass and function. For a 65 kg individual, this means at least 65 grams of protein each day. Specifically, research has found that spreading protein intake across a day will help prevent muscle loss that comes with age. If an individual has three meals per day, that will mean at least 20 grams per meal. Sometimes drinking calories/protein can be helpful, especially with older adults who have a loss in appetite. Having a smoothie or soup with added protein might be helpful. Smoothie protein boosters can include protein powder, Greek yogurt, hemp seeds, soft tofu, cooked/canned lentils. 2. Focus on resistance and strength training. A 15-year cohort study of US adults by Kraschnewski and colleagues (2016) linked strength training to decreased overall mortality in older adults. Bottom line: lifting weights can help tone your body, but it also helps prevent muscle loss. When training older clients, focus on incorporating strength training into their typical routines (at least two times per week). Changing up the type of strength training can help, for example lifting heavy weights, using resistance bands or loops, or trying endurance weight routines (more reps with lighter weights) can help with muscle hypertrophy and promote changes to overall body composition. 3. Maintain vitamin D levels. Research has shown that older adults with low serum vitamin D concentrations are more susceptible to sarcopenia. Older adults are often at increased risk for lower vitamin D concentrations because they have less direct sun exposure or are

consuming less vitamin D in their diet. Vitamin D plays a key role in muscle synthesis and having adequate levels is necessary to preserve and gain muscle as one ages. In addition to supporting muscle, vitamin D plays a critical role in bone health, which also diminishes with age.

SOMETIMES DRINKING CALORIES/PROTEIN CAN BE HELPFUL, ESPECIALLY WITH OLDER ADULTS WHO HAVE A LOSS IN APPETITE. What to do? • Get sun exposure regularly. Aim for at least 20 minutes of sun exposure per day. • In countries with cold climates, like Canada, direct sun exposure each day is not always possible. This is where supplementation is often encouraged and recommended. They can speak to their healthcare provider about supplementing with vitamin D3 and what dosage would be appropriate for them. • Encourage vitamin D rich foods such as, fortified dairy or non-dairy products like milks and yogurts, egg yolk, sardines and other oily fish, liver, and some fortified cereals or granola. Take away messages: 1) Prioritizing maintaining and building muscle mass as one ages is important for overall health, body composition, and influences total energy expenditure. 2) As a fitness professional, you can ensure you focus on strength training with your clients and explain the importance and benefits to engaging in this type of exercise at least a few times each week.

Angela Wallace is a registered dietitian, Pilates instructor, and canfitpro Personal Training Specialist. She specializes in nutrition and fitness for women and children. She works with women through each stage of the lifestyle from pregnancy to older adult years. Follow Angela on Instagram @eatright_rd

canfitpro January/February 2022



THE FUTURE OF YOUTH AND SPORTS A call to help Canadian kids find positive experiences in physical activity By Daryl Devonish

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MY FOCUS IS TO MAKE SPORT BETTER AND CREATE QUALITY SPORTS EXPERIENCES THAT ALLOW ATHLETES TO GROW AND DEVELOP – BECAUSE I CAN CONFIDENTLY SAY, WITHOUT HESITATION, THAT SPORTS SAVED MY LIFE. Where I Am From Growing up in low-socioeconomic East Central Toronto’s notorious Flemingdon Park neighborhood, every kid was trying to be an athlete, and most of us were trying to get a leg up – and a way out. But while we all aspired to go pro, the men I saw who were successful were the coaches and Physical Education teachers. While most of my peers would be messing around in class or during huddles, I would be captivated by what these guys were saying. They knew the secrets to getting the superpowers I wanted – they could make me faster, stronger, a better athlete - and I wanted to know those secrets as well. It would be my way out, but more importantly, my way in to achieve my dreams while helping others achieve theirs. I wanted to be a coach. Graduating with honours from the University of Toronto with a Specialist in Physical Education meant that I was qualified to teach both Physical Education and Kinesiology at the university level. So, after agonizing between playing pro football in Europe or taking on a position as a Physical Education teacher in the Toronto school public system, I finally chose the latter. That is when I really started to notice the cracks in the system. A lack of motivation, a virtually non-existent curriculum, and a lack of support left me feeling like I was being set up to fail. But after seven years of teaching, I felt less like I had achieved my long-term goals, and more like I was working a job. The only reason I lasted as long as I did was because I loved coaching so much, focusing lots of time practicing with the kids.

NHL. Surrounded by elite athletes, my friend was renowned throughout the group as a terrible golfer – and one year after a particularly bad game (and a lot of embarrassment), he asked for my help. After training my friend like an Olympic athlete for six months (in between teaching a few classes at U of T), I sent him on his annual golf trip. He won the whole thing. Speechless, his friends demanded to know how he had managed to improve his game so drastically and so quickly. He explained he had been training with me and passed out my phone number. Out of nowhere, I got a call from Lindros. Would I meet up and do a trial for some private coaching? Naturally, I jumped at the chance. As I dove into Kinesiology mode the day we met, I started observing and making notes as he sat on the table. Admittedly, tact is not my forte. “Your feet are terrible,” I assessed aloud. “You must lace your skates up so tight. You don’t use your toes; they are all curled up. I’m really impressed that you’re capable of doing all that you do, with this mess going on.” As he left my studio, I was confident that, having bluntly (if unintentionally) decimated the ego of one of the world’s most talented hockey players, I would never see his face again. I was wrong. My approach may not have been flattering, but it resonated and, more importantly, it got results. It was not long before parents of elite level young athletes came calling, and I dove into training and conditioning with unmeasured enthusiasm. I was hooked. I became obsessed with helping people achieve their

health goals and become the best version of themselves, operating largely out of a boutique gym I opened in a 1,200-squarefoot space in downtown Toronto. As hungry to improve my own skills as I was those of my players, I took every opportunity I could to increase my knowledge. Adopting an increasingly holistic approach to coaching, I became certified in as many areas as I could, like strength and conditioning, Olympic weightlifting, nutrition, speed and agility, and resistance training. I have had the chance to work with talented athletes in strength conditioning during their formative years and felt the thrill of seeing them go on to achieve athletic success; kids like NHL players Tyler Toffoli, Max Domi, Josh Ho Sang, and Riley Smith; Pro footballers like LP Ladouceur, Karim Grant, and Frank Hoffman; Volleyball players like Olympic medalist Mark Heese; and a variety of other high-performing young athletes in various sports. A turning point in my career was becoming a strength conditioning coach for the University of Toronto and their football team. This is when I really began to understand the culture and dynamic of working with teams versus one-on-one. I also teamed up with Matt Young to create the 60 Minute Kids Club, which gave me a chance to support athletes in schools at all levels, from the greenest beginners to more experienced kids. This led to working with organizations like the U.S. Olympic Committee, the U.S. PGA, and Soccer Canada through FSQ Sport, and organizations I direct that brings experts with experience across multiple disciplines with proven business success together in the world of high-performance sports. I cannot imagine doing anything else.

Fed up and discouraged, I decided to take a sabbatical from teaching grade school to re-assess my goals. For the first time in years, I did not know what I was going to do next. How I Got Here I did not exactly set out to do one-on-one training for pro athletes; it was an accident, albeit an incredibly happy one. The first pro athlete I trained was Eric Lindros. A friend of mine used to go on an annual golfing trip with a group of friends, some of whom played in the

canfitpro January/February 2022


Where We Are Now Having spent the past 30 years of my life helping athletes at various levels improve their lives through sports and physical activity, I have witnessed the enormous power of athletics to change lives and communities. But over time, I have encountered trends that make me increasingly worried about Canadian kids and their relationship with sport. First and foremost, when it comes to teaching fundamental movement skills, we have dropped the ball. The basic building blocks of playing any sport - how to catch, throw, run, jump, and kick – have been cast aside, setting kids up to fail before they even get a chance to try. Kids often lack basic physical literacy, meaning that many have become demotivated and uninterested in sports at an increasingly early age. With astronomical numbers of Canadian kids dropping out of sports and trading pick-up soccer for a sedentary lifestyle before they even make it to high school, inactivity has become an epidemic among our children. The result? Higher rates of depression, obesity, and a ton of lost potential and untapped talent in the world of sports. If most kids could not read or do arithmetic by middle school, there would be an uproar from parents, educators, and the public. But when kids struggle with Physical Education, the reaction is little more than a collective shrug. By ensuring that all young people receive a basic education in fundamental movement skills, we can more easily facilitate the development of active lifestyles and consistently healthy habits, to the benefit of young athletes at all levels. Although skill development is integral to athletic achievements, the culture surrounding young athletes – cultivated by coaches, parents, educators, and even teammates – has a major impact on their abilities, habits, and mindset. An all-or-nothing, winning-is-everything attitude has become pervasive in high performance athletics. In the short-term, this may appear to be an effective way to extract a win. In the long-term, coaches adopting a black-or-white approach render young athletes discouraged, de-motivated, and performing poorly. I always tell my kids to focus on the process and success will follow. Although often ignored in favour of physical conditioning, psychology and mental health play a huge part in an athlete’s performance. Unfortunately, the stigma surrounding mental health (or a lack of awareness) means that coaches at all levels often ignore the psychological component 50 canfitpro January/February 2022

of athletics and focus solely on physical training. This kind of compartmentalization between the physical and the psychological is a waste of a fantastic opportunity to help kids learn skills that apply in sports and in life. In my decades of coaching, I have become increasingly passionate about the importance of employing a balanced and holistic approach. I like to say that sports are a dress rehearsal for life. Athletics can teach kids to work hard, be consistent, self-evaluate, perform under pressure, be resilient, and cultivate emotional intelligence - but only if we help Space for an adthem develop those tools. Where We Are Going I say “we” because I am taking you with me. I am calling for a cultural reset at all levels of Canadian youth athletics. I am calling on you, the coaches, trainers, educators, and other professionals who are on the front lines, to keep educating yourselves, to keep an open mind, and to never, ever stop learning. Despite the many challenges Canadian coaches, parents, and burgeoning young athletes are facing, I honestly believe that we can make positive changes that will result in direct, tangible improvements in the health, lifestyle habits, and general success of kids across the country. Despite the many hurdles we must overcome, it is a battle worth fighting. We can do this. The most important thing, in the end, is raising happy, healthy, active kids and providing them with a positive experience. I teach my kids to trust the process, keep active, and be grateful for being alive. And whether they continue to pursue sports into adulthood, those are lessons that they can carry with them for life.

Daryl Devonish is the Director of FSQ Sport. He is passionate about delivering quality sports experiences to athletes, parents, coaches, and sport organizations. He has been featured in the TSN documentary 3 Guys and a Goal, followed by CBC’s Run Run Revolution, a feature on W Network’s The Right Fit, and multiple op-eds in the National Post. Learn more about Daryl and FSQ at





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Be ProActive in Managing Your Mental Well-Being BRING YOUR BEST SELF FORWARD EVERY DAY SO YOU CAN THRIVE By Lisa Greenbaum

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To be pro-active in managing our mental well-being, we need a full system, holistic approach. Taking care of ourselves through movement and eating well is the foundation we all need, and as a fitness professional you already know that this is part of your non-negotiable daily routine. And while taking care of our physical health positively impacts our mental health, sometimes we need more. Whether we are navigating a stressful time in our life, are challenged by SADD (seasonal affective disorder) or simply just need more support than exercise and nutrition can provide; there is an easy to navigate system founded by ancient Yogi’s thousands of years ago that teach us how to better manage all aspects of self – not to just get by, but to thrive. This system is called the koshas, translated from Sanskrit it means veil or sheaf, but I often compare it to the layers of an onion. Each layer is important and unique as we peel back to get to the bulb, yet the essence of the onion is all the layers together, not separate. While there is an infinite depth to the wisdom on the koshas, it can also be easily applied to our own lives now as well as shared with our clients. There are five layers or aspects of self that we must consider as part of this system. When we practice or train our mind/body in each aspect every day we feel good, we have more energy, have a positive outlooK on life, have clarity of mind, feel inspired, and bring our best selves forward every day. These layers represent our physical, energetic, emotional, mental, and joyful selves. 1. Physical Body – This aspect involves everything to do with how we treat our physical body. Are you getting enough exercise? Are you getting too much? Do you have balance in your movement regime between strength training, cardio, and flexibility. You provide well balanced exercise plans for your clients – what about yourself? Are there changes that you can make in your schedule to help this. How else do you take care of your body? Do you have regular bodywork done such as massage or acupuncture. Do you have an injury you have been ignoring or neglecting. We also must consider the food we eat, as what we eat becomes us. This is not about the “perfect” diet but simply eating

nutritious, well-balanced meals and easily digestible food to help us feel our best. 2. Energy Body – The Yogi’s believe that prana is the source of life, it is our life’s energy, so that all we do must protect and help us build our prana. Prana is also breath. Perhaps you have noticed that under stress your breath is shallow or you may hold your breath. Breathwork (pranayama) from Yoga is a wonderful way to help build our energy, however so are simple habits such as getting enough sleep, having a proper sleep schedule, and limiting caffeine and sugar throughout the day to help in this process. If you struggle with sleep, or even struggle with your energy during the day, it is time to take a deeper look at this aspect. It might be as simple as a truthful look at your schedule or it might mean visiting your doctor or naturopath. Our physical body and energy body are linked. If you are doing the right things physically, they should add to your energy body as well. 3. Emotional Body – Your emotions become your thoughts; your thoughts become your actions. Your emotions are also responsible for your general outlook on life, how you interact with others and how you perceive the world around you to be. Often, simply adjusting our energy body is enough to help balance our emotional body, but sometimes we need more. Are you holding on to past grudges that need to finally be let go? Do you need to manage the time that you are spending with certain people, those who lift you up versus those who bring you down? If you feel heavy and worried continuously by your thoughts, seeking out a psychotherapist can help make sense of it all along with providing you positive tools to manage your emotions. Journaling can also be a very cathartic way to do a brain or heart dump, get it out rather than keeping it in. Start to process your emotions so they work as the signals they are meant to rather than the storms they often become. Gratitude journals should be part of your daily habit. 4. Mental Body – There is no other way around this one: this is your daily meditation practice. Meditation brings us to our neutral mind. It

clears away the clutter that creeps up as we work through our emotional body. Meditation provides the clarity we need for our intellect to rise up. No longer ruled by our emotional/mammalian brain we have creative insights, feel inspired, and know exactly what we need to do. Meditation does not need to be perfect, in fact there is no such thing, but it does need to be consistent. Find a time that will work for you each day, if possible as soon as you wake up or before going to bed. Set a timer for yourself, sit on a cushion to support your back, or lie down. If you struggle with silence there are several apps out there to help. My favourite is Insight Timer. I use it personally but also have posted a few of my own guided meditations that you can use for free – visit your mental well-being cannot afford for you to wait any longer. 5. Bliss Body – The beautiful part of this layer is that it is the culmination of all four layers that came before it. When we are connected to our bliss body we are connected to our highest Self. We feel joy, compassion, and experience the simple beauty of life. To arrive here we must continuously take care and nurture our physical, energetic, emotional, and mental bodies, not just when we have time. To build our bliss bodies we should do things that bring us happiness: be out in nature, creative projects, dance, sing, run and lift weights, and do yoga… see how it all comes around again. Applying these five aspects of Self to our daily habits will not get rid of the bad days, but they do help to minimize them. They also help us be more present, strengthen our stress resiliency, and most certainly help to manage our mental well-being. Simple tools, consistent practice – the time is now. Lisa Greenbaum, E-RYT 500 & Yoga Therapist, is a top 100 health influencer for OptiMYz, winner of 2018 canfitpro Canadian presenter award, and Global Ambassador for the Women in Fitness Association. Specializing in Yoga for trauma and mental health, her purpose is to empower us to collectively raise our vibrations. canfitpro January/February 2022




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may not deliver the same benefit.

HIIT COULD HELP TO REDUCE THE RISK OF DEVELOPING CHRONIC HEALTH CONDITIONS One risk of aging without regular exercise is developing chronic health conditions like heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes; and yes, as with other forms of exercise, the evidence suggests that HIIT could be an important component for greatly reducing this risk. As mentioned previously, when you work at higher intensities, muscles will metabolize carbohydrate, specifically muscle glycogen, to produce ATP; one important benefit of exercise during the aging process is maintaining efficiency of carbohydrate metabolism in the muscle cells. As mentioned, specific enzymes like LPL are used to metabolize FFAs into ATP, and different enzymes are required for type II muscle fibers to convert glycogen to ATP. Research at Ball State University found that adults in their 70s who maintained a high level of fitness throughout their life span had enzyme levels similar to adults many years younger (Gries et al. 2018). This means that performing high-intensity exercise consistently through the aging process could help you to metabolize carbohydrate much more efficiently and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes; because lower-intensity exercise relies on aerobic metabolism, it

Hypertension is a common risk factor for developing further cardiovascular disease that could result in an early death. As arterial stiffness increases, it is more challenging for the heart to perform its function of pumping blood around the body. It’s widely accepted that low- to moderate-intensity cardiorespiratory exercise can help improve aerobic capacity and reduce risk factors, like hypertension, that could lead to heart disease. It’s important to note, however, that evidence is accumulating that HIIT could be an even more effective option than lower-intensity exercise for those at risk of heart disease. In a review of the literature comparing HIIT to continuous moderate-intensity exercise, Ciolac (2012) observed that the former is “superior” to the latter for improving cardiorespiratory fitness and improving numerous health markers that lower risks of developing hypertension and other forms of cardiorespiratory disease. HIIT has been used successfully to help individuals reduce risk factors for heart disease, and in their review of the research on HIIT, Gibala and Shulgan (2017) found that studies have suggested that patients who have experienced heart attacks or heart surgery could benefit from HIIT as a component of

RESEARCH AT BALL STATE UNIVERSITY FOUND THAT ADULTS IN THEIR 70s WHO MAINTAINED A HIGH LEVEL OF FITNESS THROUGHOUT THEIR LIFE SPAN HAD ENZYME LEVELS SIMILAR TO ADULTS MANY YEARS YOUNGER ... rehabilitation. They also found that other studies showed that shorter, more intense workouts with HIIT could provide more favorable outcomes for heart patients than moderate-intensity, steadystate exercise. In one study, interval workouts were found to put less stress on the heart than steady-state aerobic exercise. In another study that lasted seven years, researchers tracked cardiac rehab patients who participated in both moderate-intensity and HIIT workouts and concluded that the risk of a cardiac event is low for both modes of exercise in a supervised setting. Another study

noted, “The results of this randomized controlled study demonstrate that highintensity aerobic exercise is superior compared to moderate-intensity exercise for increasing cardiorespiratory fitness in stable coronary artery disease patients” (Gibala and Shulgan 2017). In a meta-analysis that reviewed the benefits of HIIT versus moderate-intensity continuous training (MCT) for individuals dealing with coronary artery disease, the study authors surveyed 12 studies on the topic and concluded that “HIIT is a safe and simple intervention that could potentially be beneficial for patients with coronary artery disease” (Gomes-Neto et al. 2017). Salom Huffman and colleagues (2017) studied a group of recreationally active women between 40 and 64 to measure the effects of a concurrent exercise program that included resistance training with 40-second sprint intervals at 95 percent of age-predicted maximum heart rate (MHR). The purpose of the 12-week investigation was to determine how sprint interval training would affect the aerobic capacity of the women and whether those who were casual exercise participants could benefit from high-intensity exercise. Researchers observed that in addition to improving overall health, “exercise training programs of high intensity are well tolerated and convey significant aerobic capacity benefits in cohorts composed of older and low fitness individuals” (Salom Huffman et al. 2017). Many of these benefits are similar to those derived from high-intensity strength and power training, and yes, they are important benefits, but the body cannot function at high intensity all of the time, which is why it is important to perform lower-intensity workouts as well. During lower-intensity exercise, you can help promote recovery from more challenging workouts while burning calories, but without placing as much stress on your body.

Copyright © 2022 by Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc. Excerpted by permission of Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL. Available to order from Human Kinetics Canada at or by calling 1-800-465-7301.

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IT IS A NEW YEAR, AND MILLIONS OF CANADIANS HAVE ONCE AGAIN DECIDED TO SET A NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION AROUND FITNESS AND WEIGHT MANAGEMENT. Now, what if you were told that no matter how dedicated one may be to that goal, they are probably going to abandon it by Valentine’s Day? Despite our best intentions as ambitious goal-setters, studies show that only 10 per cent of New Year’s resolutions come close to succeeding, and 80 per cent fail by the end of February. According to Travis McTeer, director of research and analytics with GoodLife Fitness, the trouble with resolutions is that they are almost always performance based – they require you to do some sort of behaviour to reach a target. For example, going to the gym three times a week to lose a certain amount of weight. In psychology, these are known as ‘performance goals’ and McTeer says they tend to be extremely ineffective. “Performance goals don’t work because they’re effectively incomplete. You’re not going to lose x pounds by y date unless you have an actual plan to get there, and even then, the data shows you’re more likely than not to abandon that plan in the long run.” Instead, McTeer recommends focusing that ‘new year, new me’ energy on establishing new goal-setting frameworks that can consistently deliver feelings of accomplishment and even more importantly - help you achieve results. “With traditional resolutions, the basic idea is that we stay the same person - except that we will be thinner or stronger, for example. This sets up a framework where we will force ourselves to do things that do not come naturally. A much better approach is to focus on learning how to be that better person. Ask yourself: what does that person know or feel that I do not know or feel? Maybe they can run long distances without getting tired, or bench press their own weight. Once you can visualize the end goal, it’s easier to go out and learn how to do those things.”

Psychologists refer to this process as establishing ‘mastery goals’, and research indicates that we tend to achieve much more through mastery goals than through performance goals. Mastery goals require you to continuously learn or develop your abilities over time. If you start with 10 pushups today, do 11 tomorrow, and keep building until you reach your absolute maximum. You get to see your progress every day, and you are likely to achieve more than if you just set a target like “do 30 pushups every day.” This is a mindful approach to goal setting because it is not focused on an outcome, it is focused on an action. You can be acutely aware of what it takes for you to do those push-ups, whereas you likely have no idea what it would take for you to ‘just lose some weight’ or ‘build some muscle’. This approach is so much more effective than just deciding to lose 20lbs by next Christmas. Being ‘mindful’ means being aware of where you are starting, where you want to go, and what it takes to get there. Approaching goals mindfully is rewarding, and builds motivation far more effectively than the traditional resolution approach. McTeer suggests four tricks to set and follow mindful mastery goals when it comes to fitness. These are useful tips to pass along to clients or others looking to set and succeed at their New Year’s resolutions. 1. Make a plan. It is important that your mastery goals are clear and measurable. Start by choosing fitness skills and abilities that interest you, and then schedule time to connect with an instructor or other resources that allow you to learn and practice those skills and abilities. 2. Track your progress by looking backwards. Forget about your final destination, or what others are doing, mastery goals are all about being better today than you were yesterday (or last week). It is important to keep track of your personal improvement over time and celebrate successes along the way.

3. Build connections with people who already know the things you want to learn. This could be friends, family, coworkers, or even strike up a conversation with a friendly face at the gym. Ask them for tips or for help setting achievable mastery goals, and then share your progress with them. 4. Do not make working out something you NEED to do, make it something you WANT to do. It is normal for everyone to struggle with exercise motivation from time-to-time. One way to boost your success is to schedule your exercise at times that do not compete with other desirable activities. For example, if your options are going to the gym or stay home alone and fold laundry, you have made exercise the rewarding option, and thus are more likely to choose that option. Another option is to introduce exercise breaks during a standard workday. Now, exercise becomes the reprieve from work. With mindful mastery goals, you can get started right away, and see progress almost immediately, which is much more motivating and inspiring over the long term. By ditching lofty, vague milestones you hope to hit some time in the next 12 months, you can reshape your resolution to be mindful, rewarding, fun and most importantly – achievable.

Proudly Canadian since 1979, GoodLife is the largest group of fitness club chains in Canada and the fourth largest overall in the world. With over 10,200 employees, more than 1.1 million members, and over 320 Clubs, GoodLife Fitness is helping to transform the health and fitness of 1 in 29 Canadians every day. The GoodLife group of clubs includes GoodLife Fitness, Fit4Less, ÉconoFitness, and Oxygen Yoga & Fitness.

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