canfitpro Official Magazine | Nov/Dec 2021

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November/December 2021




The Official Magazine



Andrew Kleinsasser @fullspeedathletics Winnipeg MB

Movement Fitness & Performance @movement.fp FullSpeedAthletics

From a young age, Andrew has been involved in sports with football being his true passion. He has gone from player to coach to trainer. Training and activity are central to his life. When Andrew is not training, or leading classes, he is an avid trail runner. He has two dogs that need a lot of attention, so they keep him walking multiple times a day. HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START?

During my final year of my Bachelors of Kinesiology, I did a field work placement with a premium fitness facility and fell in love with training. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE FITNESS?


I get a sense of fulfillment and pride when I can help someone reach a goal. I know this industry is all about results, so knowing that you can help get that for someone is very satisfying. WHAT IS YOUR NEXT BIG GOAL?

To build up a roster of consistent pro-level athletes to train during their off seasons. WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR GREATEST SUCCESS?

Creating my own business and going out on my own as an independent fitness professional.

I chose the fitness industry because I love to show people their untapped potential and what they can accomplish if they work for it.


Want to become the next Kaizen Naturals ® Trainer and see your story in a future issue of canfitpro Magazine? Send an email to: for details.




COACHING AND CUEING THE HYBRID WORKOUT Three powerful tips to deliver well coached hybrid sessions NUTRITION






THE FOURTH WAVE WORKOUT Getting back to brass tacks with solid warm-ups and adaptive workouts EXPERTS WEIGH IN

Ten steps to re-write your mood and spread more collateral goodness


Experts share what matters the most when training the boomer generation


This Is an excerpt from Active Living Everyday – 3rd Edition by Steven N. Blair, Andrea L. Dunn, Bess H. Marcus, Ruth Ann Carpenter & Peter E. Jaret TRAINING

Having clients track menstrual cycles can help them get the most out of their workout

Year In Review

Cycle Synching Workouts








Developing Essential Movement Skills for Youth Athletes Physical literacy promotes confidence in movement and motivation to stay active LIFE COACHING

66 Goal-Setting ninjas





Synchroniser ses entrainements avec ses règles



Give your clients the tools to turn their wishes into reality

Demander à ses clientes de faire le suivi de leurs cycles menstruels pourrait les aider à tirer un meilleur parti de leurs entrainements.

Create a safer and more effective training space for queer and trans clients



An intentional journey towards positive change at canfitpro

The First Five Minutes



canfitpro Advisory Panel members share their strategies to staying current and preventing burnout in their fitness career



Coaching strategies to help you achieve your goals in 2022






Career Burnout

Tips to navigating the holidays with less stress and strategic planning


Goal Setting for Your Business



Steps to change the narrative and welcome every body




A solution-based product that is innovative, informative, and game-changing for trainers and business owners


stretch goals

Commit to moving outside your comfort zone in 2022 HEALTHY LIVING

70 Be Proactive with New Year Goal Setting Get a jumpstart on 2022 and plan for your total wellbeing


A path to professional success and positive change in your community


Five ways to include more body positivity in your fitness classes and training sessions


4 9 10


12 16 18


canfitpro November/December 2021


Note from the COO November/December, 2021

Photo Credit: Dawn Bowman

Chief Operating Officer Maureen Hagan Vice President Kyle Tomlin Managing Editor Erin Andersen Graphic Designer Imran Mahmood Doris Li Marketing & Communications Manager Ashley O’Connor,

REFLECT AND REIMAGINE FOR 2022  With forty years as a fitness professional under my belt, I believe it is MO’re important than ever to reflect on the mentors, MO’ments, and experiences that have affected the fitness industry. I recall my very first mentor saying to me many times: “Do not wish away your day, waiting for tomorrow to come or for opportunities to be handed to you, but live for today and make every MO’ment count.” Sounds easier than it is, and I know that firsthand. Looking back on 2021, I am grateful for all the authors and magazine contributors, including those in this final issue of the year. The stories of our PRO TRAINERS remind me why I am here. While my WHY remains the same, how I choose to serve continues to evolve to align my purpose with what the industry and the world needs. This issue’s Member Spotlight is Sue Staresinic. She invites you to have a motto. I encourage you to gift yourself the time to develop your motto. Sue shares her motto, so I thought I would share mine – be the one that MO’ves people forward through the influence of my actions and leadHERship. Our 2021 Canadian Delegates Choice Presenter of the Year Award Winner, Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas, encourages you to surround yourself with people more successful than yourself, as this is foundational for success. Sheldon McBee, another featured author, shares his three most powerful tips for becoming a more inclusive and effective coach. Finally, Sean Greeley from NPE reminds us in his article to keep the process simple and focused (with a vision and a plan), and the way will appear. He shows you how to establish such a process. Looking forward to 2022, I am optimistic it will be a historic year for our industry where careers will be started, elevated, and transformed. The number of fitness professionals lost during COVID has been significant, but we must look forward and be part of the positive change each of us desires to see in the world. This coming year will be the year of the Great Recruit. I encourage you to both reach out and help others who have left their roles and encourage those in your network to consider a career in the fitness industry. Please use the rich resources and education in this issue to set your 2022 goals and get MO’ving. Do not wait for the New Year to arrive before you map out your 2022 journey. Set your GPS now and remember that going alone may allow you to go fast but going together will allow you to go farther. We must believe, put ourselves out there, contribute, and help each other. Our future careers and successes depend upon each of us becoming our best and doing our part. Together, we will create lasting positive change. I have been sharing my passion for health and fitness for four decades but somehow, I feel that I am just getting started, especially considering how the fitness industry has changed so much in the past 20 months. This is a time of the year to reflect on and revisit WHY you are here (your purpose); remind yourself of the accomplishments you are MO’st proud of; and reimagine the possibilities for yourself and your business in 2022.

Maureen “Mo” Hagan Chief Operating Officer

Certification Operations Manager Barb Pontes, Manager, B2B Sales & Strategic Partnerships Robert Robinson, Member Experience Manager Kelly Ladd,

Fitness Advisory Panel Tony Felgueiras Paul Galloro Teri Gentes Amina Khan Ken Kinakin Tatiana Kolovou Sara Kooperman Nathalie Lacombe Sheldon McBee Ron McPhee Samantha Montpetit-Huynh Fraser Quelch Scott Wildeman Eric Wong Kai Pun Beth Yarzab 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

FSC C148846

4 canfitpro November/December 2021

Moving businesses forward for over 90 years. Evolving with the times and doing our best to meet the needs of our clients Last spring we added coverage for “on-line training” for fitness trainers, which given the COVID-19 circumstance was more important than ever. To deal with the coronavirus and its 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.

Annual premium starting as low as $158.00

Risk management is all about you. That’s why Gallagher partners with you by learning the needs of your business to anticipate challenges so you can focus on the success of your mission. Apply online or learn more by visiting: © 2021 Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. | Arthur J. Gallagher Canada Limited

• General & professional liability, including abuse • Working with children • Fitness equipment protection • Fitness facility protection • In-home studio protection • CPR training coverage

Connect with us on Facebook! @HumanKineticsCanada

miss Don’t our out onsales! y holida

It’s that time of year again, the holidays are right around the corner! We got you covered with the perfect fitness and health gifts. During the holiday season, we will be featuring several massive sales and giveaways on our Facebook account. Don’t miss out! Follow us on Facebook to learn more about our upcoming promotions.

Stay Certified With Our New CE Courses! Powerlifting, Second Edition With CE Exam, offers a nononsense approach to training and competing, with over 100 exercises that promote the development of three primary movements—the squat, bench press, and deadlift.


Functional Training Anatomy With CE Exam covers all aspects of establishing a purposeful, effective, and efficient program for clients that builds their strength, stability, and mobility for sport performance or daily living.



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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. Name Manahil Sami Country of birth: Lahore Pakistan Cultural background: I am a south Asian Muslim. Favourite food: I love a traditional dish called biryani which is made of rice and meat, and is very spicy. Favourite holiday: Going up north in Pakistan, the landscape is gorgeous as it has so much to offer. Lakes, great mountain ranges, and breathtaking meadows.

Why is what you do with canfitpro important to you? Marketing is my passion and I love this new role as it gives me an opportunity to work for a different industry. Previously, I had been working for fashion retail. Which canfitpro core value most resonates with you? Diversity and inclusion, and a positive mindset. What is your favourite form of exercise or physical activity? Hiking. How do you incorporate fitness into your life? I prefer to jog every day for 40 minutes.

One interesting fact about yourself: I found my husband amidst a pandemic in Canada and we are a multi-cultural couple.

What is your two-word WHY statement? Compassion and Improvement. I believe these two things are so important in everybody’s life.

Role at canfitpro: I am an email marketing specialist for canfitpro. My job is to send effective emails to canfitpro members and audience who has shown interest in the company. I nurture leads coming to our website and move them down the customer journey funnel.

What is your Super-Power? I am a multi-tasker! What do you want to be remembered for? I want to be remembered for my compassion and as someone who always looked at the brighter side of things in life.

canfitpro November/December 2021



TOOLBOX Expand your career or your yoga practice with 200- and 300-hour yoga teacher training certifications. Oxygen Yoga & Fitness Teacher Training programs offer you an in-depth learning opportunity, facilitated by master instructors. Programs begin 2022, and electives are open to all for registration.

The industry-standard Functional Movement Screen equips you, the professional, with the information you need to make decisions with precision and purpose. ● Designed to give you the feedback you need to create custom programs in 10 minutes or less. ● The Functional Movement Screen is proven to identify modifiable risk factors for future injury. ● Optimize training by removing the roadblocks that keep your clients from reaching their goals. ● Improved outcomes lead to increased retention and referrals for your business.

Breaking Barriers is an interactive online course that will expand your coaching skills, help build your client roster, and leave you with a solid understanding of how to train and coach clients living with physical disabilities. The one-day training is canfitpro approved (CEC credits) and canfitpro members receive 20% off. Dive into the fundamentals of training clients with spinal cord injuries, neurodegenerative conditions, and other physical disabilities. NEXT SESSION: Dec. 4, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. PT

10 canfitpro November/December 2021

We think it’s wrong when trainers feel unfulfilled in their work. Our solution is the DTS Masterclass Series! The monthly rhythm of fresh, inspired ideas will help you feel engaged during sessions. Join us every second Wednesday of the month for insights on the most relevant topics in the fitness industry. You can register for your first FREE Masterclass using the coupon code MASTERCLASSVIP. Purchase an annual subscription for $150.

PL3Y Certification Bundles have everything you need to launch kids’ fitness classes. The bundle includes an On-Demand Instructor Training Course, Business Training, and a Two-Year License. Choose one of our pre-packaged kids fitness programs: DANCEPL3Y or YOGAPL3Y. Select the demographic you want to work with: Preschool or Kids. Complete your Instructor Training at your own pace with support from an online Master Trainer. Then launch your classes with guidance from the PL3Y Business Training Module and make great money doing what you love! We all have it—that sacred feminine energy that pushes us to break free of old patterns and fulfil our highest purpose.  In honour of this divine inner strength, Rose Buddha brings you our brand-new UNIVERSE leggings made from our thickest EcoFit fabric. These soft and comfy pants feature our trademark fit and eco-friendly materials. • Composition: 88 % Recycled Polyester (12 plastic bottles), 12 % Spandex  • Flattering, comfortable, supportive • Comes in three gorgeous colours: Cosmos, Zodiac, and Astronomy

Most personal trainers work with fit, near-fit, or “healthy” individuals. But, there are millions of “unwell” potential clients looking for trainers who understand their medical issues or chronic disease and can offer specialized programming to improve their quality of life. Gain the knowledge, skills, and credibility to reach this vastly untapped market with MedFit Classroom. canfitpro members saves 25% on courses!

canfitpro November/December 2021



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

Louise E. Vigenault Brampton, ON Courses Taught: PTS, FIS, HWL, FMA, CPR (English & French) What is an achievement you are most proud of? There are many achievements I am proud of but one of the most significant was leaving my career in the airline industry to return to school to complete a certificate at Humber College in the Fitness Leadership Program. And the other one would certainly be raising a daughter who gave me three beautiful grandsons. What are your tips on how best to prepare for a certification course/exam? First, invest in taking an online or live course with a PRO TRAINER as it is always valuable to hear them highlight the important parts of the course. Secondly, pay attention to the questions at the end of each chapter and set aside approximately 30 to 60 minutes a day to go over these questions with your 12 canfitpro November/December 2021

answers or reread one chapter in your manual. What is your favourite workout and why? My favourite is certainly a HIIT/strength workout combination because it is short and highly effective. I add 10 - 15 minutes of yoga/Pilates and have worked my full body with the three primary components of fitness (cardio, muscle conditioning, and flexibility). What is the biggest piece of advice you can give a new fitness professional coming into the industry? People will remember how you made them feel, so get them to feel great, energetic, and positive about life. Set yourself up with business cards to give to everyone you meet, post consistently on social media, create a website (there are many free versions available), author articles if you are comfortable doing so. Every little action you take to make yourself known in the industry will help. Instagram: @LouyseVigno Facebook: Nutri-Fitness/Tranceyoga Twitter: @tranceyoga LinkedIn: Louyse Vigneault

Simon Liang Toronto, ON Courses Taught: CPR

the #1 pick for me. I fell in love with my wellbeing through others who shared my passion and dedication.

What is an achievement you are most proud of? One of my proudest achievements is taking on every project or opportunity with a positive outlook. I used to be a negative person and easily down on myself. A proper mindset for any endeavor is great to have.

What is the biggest piece of advice you can give a new fitness professional coming into the industry? Never be scared to seek and ask for guidance. It only takes one out of countless interactions to get you started. But you must be willing to make those connections.

What are your tips on how best to prepare for a certification course/exam? Research, research, research! The more you know, the more ready you will be. I shadowed other trainers and instructors to educate myself.

“Fear is the mind-killer. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” Frank Herbert Instagram: @simonprotrainer

What is your favourite workout and why? Group fitness or small group training is Karyn Silenzi Calgary, AB Courses Taught: PTS, FIS

that relate to something you are already familiar with. Finally, seek different mediums to learn from, like videos, podcasts, tutoring, workshops, and other interactive materials.

What is an achievement you are most proud of? I wanted a way of sharing quality information with as many fitness professionals as possible so, in 2021, I launched the FitPro Foundations Podcast. Listen as key fitness professionals provide the ideas and the inspiration behind their success. We can all learn from the amazing people that shape our industry!

What is your favourite workout and why? I love being able to quantify my fitness progress with metrics. To train properly there should be specific performance data, whether it is watts on the bike, speed on the treadmill, or 500-meter splits on the rower. If you can measure it, you can repeat training intervals and improve performance.

What are your tips on how best to prepare for a certification course/exam? Learning takes time and effort. It is normal to feel overwhelmed. Start by breaking materials and concepts into bite-sized chunks. Layer your learning with concepts

What is the biggest piece of advice you can give a new fitness professional coming into the industry? Achieving greatness does not happen without a certain amount of failure. It does not really matter how often you fail, as long as you learn from it each time and try again. 7/19/2021

Anthony Mammoliti Vaughan, ON Courses Taught: PTS, CPR, FMA What is an achievement you are most proud of? I am most proud of attaining the coveted PRO TRAINER Rookie of the Year award with canfitpro in 2019. What are your tips on how best to prepare for a certification course/exam? I would recommend students come in with a growth mindset and prepare to engage in positive team learning with other participants. On occasion, prepare to be physically engaged and work up a sweat! Guaranteed you will be in for a fun weekend! What is the biggest piece of advice you

can give a new fitness professional coming into the industry? 1. Be prepared to be a lifelong learner. Educate yourself and immerse yourself in the field to stay relevant with fitness and wellness. Acknowledge that knowledge is power! Fitness changes and staying relevant with others will help you maintain clients and acquire new clients. 2. Don’t give up! Dive in headfirst and never look back. It is such a journey in the fitness environment, as it is everchanging and constantly evolving. There will be several times where you will have to deal with the unexpected--being true to yourself and perseverance is key. 3. Take the risk! Embarking on any new journey is challenging, but fitness is a staple in society and will always be in demand.

You can deal with any challenge, criticism, or failure with the right mindset. Explore and develop a growth mindset. Instagram: @karynsilenzi Facebook: Karyn Silenzi LinkedIn: Karyn Silenzi Podcast: _2XE6944.jpg

4. Let the haters hate. People may discourage you from attaining your goals. Surround yourself with likeminded people who motivate and encourage you to push boundaries and challenge yourself. Your circle matters! Instagram: @pro_fitness_education and @hiit_zone_fitness canfitpro November/December 2021


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Meet Sue Staresinic, canfitpro finalist for Fitness Instructor Specialist of the Year 2021 Tell us about your fitness career journey. I was always very active with dance in high school, but I never considered it exercise. It did however spark an interest in human movement that inspired me to apply to a Bachelor of Science program in Physiotherapy. I quickly discovered that it would be far from easy. I thought that spending every waking hour studying was the way to succeed, but I developed depression, insomnia, and I had no energy. My health and academics were suffering, and something had to change. In second term, I began working out with friends and attending classes at the

16 canfitpro November/December 2021

University Rec Centre. Shortly thereafter, my sleep and mood improved, my energy returned, and school became much more manageable. I have been a group exercise geek ever since! In my last two years of University, I found part time work at a local fitness club where I mentored to teach group exercise. Fifteen years later, I became a PRO TRAINER and led my first canfitpro Fitness Instructor Specialist (FIS) certification course at a University Rec Centre. It has been so rewarding to come full circle!

Where would you like your career path to take you? I want to grow as an educator, to help other fitness professionals build confidence as they lead fitness experiences that improve the lives of their participants. I would also love to develop fun and effective fitness programming for people living with lymphedema. What challenges have you overcome and what did you learn that has made you a better professional? Until early in 2021, I had a phobia of talking live on camera, particularly on social media.

Teaching fitness I have always been in my element, but simply “speaking to camera” felt very intimidating. My experience with the Fitness Professional of the Year Award last year helped me realize that I had to find a way to overcome that fear. I followed three steps to achieve my goal. First, I identified that I had self-limiting thoughts. I believed that like Sgt. Ken, Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas, and other great speakers in our industry, I needed formal training to speak competently on camera. I overcame that belief by listening to podcasts on the subject and following peers on social media who were effective and inspirational without any formal training. Secondly, I started going live on Instagram by speaking about a topic that would serve others by promoting an event that raised funds for a breast cancer survivor exercise program. My heart raced, my mouth was dry, and I spoke too fast, but it was a start. I then committed to going live regularly, despite my fear.


A few months later, I reached an important milestone. I was finally comfortable speaking on camera. I now have a great new tool I can use to communicate with my fitness family.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? A couple years ago, I wanted to apply for an award, but I was worried about being judged for wanting the spotlight, when in fact, I was craving a challenge. My manager and friend, Natasha, helped me realize that I should focus on how my members, my students, and my career would benefit from the experience. She was so right! The mentoring I received as part of that experience was a pivotal point in my teaching journey. What piece of advice would you give your younger self? You will come across people who will not enjoy your classes. It is hard to accept, but your energy is best spent helping them find a class and instructor that suits their goals and preferences. Trust that their spot will be replaced by someone who will connect to your format and teaching style and fill your cup rather than deplete it. If you were to write a motto for yourself, what would it be? Believe. Learn. Achieve.

professionals have never faced challenges like we have this past year, so mindset will be the greatest determinant of our recovery as individuals and as an industry. Why did you decide to nominate yourself for the Fitness Professional of the Year Award (FPOY)? I was honoured and humbled to be nominated by a graduate of my FIS certification course. I accepted the nomination because the FPOY application process is an exceptional tool for professional development. How do you know when you are ‘done’ and ready for the next challenge? I have immense faith and trust in my mentors who continually challenge and encourage me while supporting my growth. With 80 per cent of the population not getting their recommended quota of physical activity, I have lots of work to do before I can say I am done.

Carol Dweck’s book “Mindset” beautifully explains the importance of mindset, particularly when we face adversity. Fitness

Instagram: @suestaresinic Facebook: Sue Staresinic


FMS 1 Online Certification & FMS 2 Online - Corrective Strategies

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9/20/21 2:18 PM

canfitpro November/December 2021


Photo Credit: Dawn Bowman


DELEGATES’ CHOICE 2021 CANADIAN PRESENTER AWARD: NATHALIE PLAMONDON-THOMAS Can you describe what it is that you do within the fitness industry and how long you have been active in this role? I have been teaching fitness for 34 years and running the THINK Yourself® ACADEMY, offering conferences, keynotes, online courses, coaching certification, and one-onone coaching since 2007. What do you love about what you do? I get highly motivated when I witness transformation and impact. I love the nods and smiles in the audience when they realize how powerful they are. The lightbulb that lights up in my clients’ mind, the barriers that dissolve, the confidence that shines through when the shift happens, and they discover how to tap into the astonishing power of their mind. My role is not to be the best. It is to teach people how to be their best and unlock their full potential. What is the biggest mistake you have made and how have you learned from it? Listening to the negative self-talk inside my head telling me that I should keep my full-time job, that there was no money in the fitness industry, that I was not good enough to make it on my own, and that I would not be able to thrive as a professional speaker, nor author books in English (as a French Canadian). I have learned how to shut down the voice and transform it into a serving force. We tend to get stuck inside our head and invent barriers that only exist in our mind. What types of transformations have you made because of COVID and how has it changed you as a fitness professional? 18 canfitpro November/December 2021

I moved my business to online five years ago now. So, during the pandemic, a lot of fitness pros and entrepreneurs reached out for my help as I, luckily, was a few years ahead of the game. I was sounding like a broken record, repeating to my one-on-one clients how to move their business online, use technology, market their services, etc. My schedule got instantly busy, and I was running out of time to help everyone. So, I recorded the answers to the most frequently asked questions and added over 10 new online courses to the Academy so that I could help more people at once and leverage the knowledge I had to serve more entrepreneurs. What do you believe sets certain fitness professionals apart from the rest? Mindset training is the new black. (Work “in” instead of “out”). It is not enough anymore to train the body and feed it well (strength, cardio, flexibility, nutrition). Fitness professionals who are also tapping into their clients’ limiting beliefs and negative self-talk will have greater impact and position themselves as trainers who deliver results. I am not saying that everyone necessarily needs to become a life coach. I think that fit pros who incorporate life coaching skills into their programs, even if it is just by paying attention to the way they cue their clients, will be the ones who thrive. What advice can you share to those new to the field to be successful? Surround yourself with people who are more successful than you. Continue to learn. Find a niche and do what you love and are good at. Trust yourself. You are very resourceful, and you will figure it out. You have everything you

need to succeed. Shut down the voice inside your head if it is not serving you. You got this. You are awesome. What does this award represent to you? This award came with an overflow of happy tears. To use an analogy, it is as if the pandemic was a huge flood, and I have spent the last 18 months as a first responder in a raft helping entrepreneurs from sinking, distributing life jackets and lifeboats to fitness professionals. This award came as a surprise as I had not yet had time to slow down and realize that my hard work and my efforts were being witnessed and appreciated. I am truly humbled by this award. I am a small-town girl and I believe that we are all sitting in the same library reading books. Sometimes, I am a few chapters ahead, sometimes others are. We all learn from each other, and we are all someone’s hero. Thank you canfitpro for this honour!

Email: Website: Facebook: ThinkYourselfAcademy LinkedIn: nathalie-plamondon-thomas-6b3262a/ Instagram: @nathaliepthinkyourself nathaliepthinkyourself/ YouTube: NathaliePlamondonThomas

canfitpro November/December 2021


Moving businesses forward for over 90 years. Evolving with the times and doing our best to meet the needs of our clients Last spring we added coverage for “on-line training” for fitness trainers, which given the COVID-19 circumstance was more important than ever. To deal with the coronavirus and its 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.

Annual premium starting as low as



Risk management is all about you. That’s why Gallagher partners with you by learning the needs of your business to anticipate challenges so you can focus on the success of your mission. Apply online or learn more by visiting: © 2021 Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. | Arthur J. Gallagher Canada Limited

20 canfitpro November/December 2021

• General & professional liability, including abuse • Working with children • Fitness equipment protection • Fitness facility protection • In-home studio protection • CPR training coverage

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










Client Intake: Principles Guide Decisions


Clients have two main goals when they join a gym. They want to feel better and they want to look better. Both are directly related to their quality of movement and quality of life. They want to feel good enough to do the daily activities that they enjoy, and that includes working out. Alloy is one of the most successful gyms and personal training systems in the United States. Between their flagship location in Roswell, Georgia, and their hundreds of licensees worldwide, Alloy delivers countless training sessions each year. Meeting their clients’ goals and keeping them safe is their priority. Before the first drop of sweat is formed, 22 canfitpro November/December 2021

each client undergoes a Functional Movement Screen. The Screen is integral to Alloy’s philosophy and allows them to build appropriate programs for every fitness level. When looking to build a system, Rick Mayo and his Alloy team looked for a tool that was simple enough that all staff members could perform it but, that was also backed by research. According to Alloy founder Rick Mayo, their ability to diagnose dysfunction in a client’s movement pattern with the FMS and tailor training plans accordingly is a major key to their success. Rick goes on

to add: “You have to have a way to measure movement and it has to be part of ongoing client progressions. FMS gives us this ability. It’s probably underestimated most in its ability to sell personal training. Eighty-seven per cent of new members EXPECT some type of fitness consultation upon joining a new gym and when we get to the end of our one-hour sales process and we’ve done the FMS, we can now make a prescriptive sale. The penetration of people who participate in fitness is maybe up a percent or two.

Maybe. The competition is up 300 per cent in that same market. How are you going to differentiate yourself? How about you do something on the front end that says ‘You are important to us as an individual.’ That’s one of the things I love about the screen. If you’re not running some type of movement measurement or assessment then how can you solve 50 per cent of the goals that walk into the gym? You can’t.” The first principle of Functional Movement Systems is to protect the individual in front of you. If someone comes to your gym and gets hurt after a session or two, they are

not going to come back. That is not good for you, or them. You do not want to take someone who cannot move and stick them in a high-energy fitness class. Exercise under the wrong guidance is a risk factor for an injury, and it should not be. The Functional Movement Screen is designed to give the feedback needed to create custom programs in 10 minutes or less. This allows staff to optimize client training by removing the roadblocks that prevent individuals from reaching their goals. Improved client outcomes are sure to lead to increased retention and referrals.

Learn more about Functional Movement Screen Certification at info. FMS Co-Founder and CEO Dr. Lee Burton, Ph.D., ATC, CSCS, has presented internationally on numerous sports medicine and performance topics. Lee consults with a wide variety of organizations and individuals including the Cooper and Mayo Clinics on injury prevention and performance enhancement.

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Make 2022 Your Best Year Ever

Keep the process simple and focused to develop your plan By Sean Greeley

2021 has been ANOTHER crazy year in the fitness industry! It has been a wild ride with great challenges and great opportunities.

1. Where are you right now in your career and business?

to offer hybrid services? Can you adapt some sessions for outside?

Start by taking stock right now:

3. How do you get there?

The lockdowns came and went and came back in some areas. Clients have switched their fitness habits. One survey said 60 per cent of Canadian gym memberships were canceled in 2020, creating a scramble for new ways of serving clients.

What services were you offering? How successful were they? Were they vulnerable to disruptions? What were your biggest successes? Where were your biggest challenges?

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?

Some fitness professionals and studio/ gym owners were ready to adapt and have seen record-breaking growth in their careers and businesses in 2021. Others struggled and did not make it. And now as the year closes out, if you are still here… then it is mission critical to develop a plan for 2022. Regardless of what has happened in the past, 2022 could be your best year yet, just as 2021 was for many! What is key in creating more success? Do not get overwhelmed by what MAY happen … and focus on what you cannot control. The key is to keep your planning simple, and chart a direct course of action to your goals. Here are the three powerful questions I recommend spending time with: 24 canfitpro November/December 2021

Take a good, clear-eyed look at the year and decide what you want to build on and what you want to let go of. Decide where your career and business were most vulnerable. 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 this year in your career and business? What do you want your career and business to look like when the 2022 New Year Eve’s ball drops and you hear the countdown starting? Make goals about your income, your expenses, your team … whether you are taking on too much risk. Do you need to up your game online? Do you need

Come up with your business strategy and your learning strategy, and you will be ready to chart a strong course to your goals in 2022. 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.

Is Your Fitness Business One Fix Away from Explosive Growth? Take this EXCLUSIVE 15-point Diagnostic Assessment and get your Game Plan to win

1. Take the 15-point diagnostic assessment

2. Get your scorecard and Game Plan to win

3. Grow your client base, profit, and freedom!

From a Trainer with No Time Freedom Making $10k to a Studio Owner Making $48k During the Pandemic! “I was a solo trainer and working all the time. No time for myself, no time for vacations. I didn’t know how to escape the cycle of endless work with no growth. I came to NPE and followed the instructions. I raised my rates and put people on auto-renewal. While every fit pro and gym owner was closing their doors, we’ve grown our business during the pandemic and I’ve had a Best Month Ever every 3 months–going from $10,000 a month to $48,000 a month. Now I’m opening a new studio with 150 members!” Kate Laird Love Your Body Fitness Ottawa, ON

Recognized As:

Will yout? be nex


8x Featured

Since 2006, NPE has helped over 45,000+ fitness professionals and gym owners in 96+ countries grow to the next level.

Take this EXCLUSIVE 15-point Diagnostic Assessment and build your Fitness Business Game Plan to win! an

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The Great Recruit

Together we can raise awareness of the benefits of working in fitness By Kyle Tomlin

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Fitness Clubs are open and struggling to find enough qualified professionals to meet their staffing requirements. It is time for the fitness community to come together and provide creative solutions to an age-old problem. The message across the fitness industry is clear, after a year and a half of pandemic related closures, the doors to the fitness world are finally open again. Clubs and studios are bringing back their members, and the societal focus on health and wellness is also exposing new clients to all the fantastic clubs, studios, and boutique options available. This is welcome news to club and facility owners who have struggled to survive. However, one last great challenge now exists, finding thousands of talented and qualified fitness professionals to provide the experience that members demand. When the doors to the fitness world were closed across north America, most fitness professionals were left in an uncomfortable position with limited options. Do I wait this out and hope clubs open soon? Do I pivot my services online to maintain my clients? Or do I leave the fitness industry all together? Sadly, in many cases, the third option was what many fit pro’s chose. A lack of job security combined with low overall compensation levels pre-pandemic left many in the fitness world seeking employment elsewhere. Now with the doors of fitness open, club owners are looking for new and creative ways to lure talented fitness professionals back to the clubs. The fitness industry continues to be an attractive option for those who seek to combine their passion for fitness with a means to be compensated for it. The benefits of being a fitness industry professional are still incredibly attractive, and opportunities are growing further by society’s focus on healthy lifestyle and physical activity. Flexible work schedules, being able to develop your own brand and following, and the ability to develop your brand in fitness as a “side hustle” while you maintain another career elsewhere are all elements that are incredibly attractive to the modern workforce. The “gig economy” gained further traction throughout the pandemic, and the fitness industry is ideally suited for it.

So, what is the challenge? In her latest blog, Nathalie Lacombe ( acknowledges that fitness professionals want to get back to work, and club owners want to bring in extraordinary talent and are looking for creative solutions. However, a new type of working relationship needs to be explored to provide the environment and compensation levels that will draw fit pro’s back to clubs. “Fitness pros keep telling me they hate being seen as staff who just come in to teach their class or train their client, and then leave. They want to be seen as an integral part of the staff, as key to bringing in new clients and renewing memberships.” The style of compensation that club owners provide can evolve to provide more opportunities for fitness professionals to be compensated for the following they have developed, and the new members that they draw to the clubs they work in. Other creative solutions involve online career fairs, information sessions, and campaigns that the entire fitness industry can support that raise awareness of the benefits that being a fitness professional provides. Being vocal and proud to share how great it can be to help others become healthy and fit, and to have that as a career or side hustle is a message that the entire fitness industry can promote collectively. The combined strength of the entire fitness industry is a powerful tool that can be leveraged to raise awareness of the benefits of working in fitness. Three tips to improve recruitment and engagement: 1. Share your company values and vision publicly and be bold about it. • This will help enhance your brand as an attractive employer. Particularly with those who seek more fulfilling career choices. 2. Be flexible and open to new ways to partner with staff. • The modern work force is looking for flexible work environments and multiple ways to earn income from various sources. 3. Evaluate and modernize your compensation models. • Fit pros want to be compensated for the full value they bring to your company, not just for time spent in your club.

Alana Free, vice president of people and culture with GoodLife Fitness, adds that GoodLife is digging deeper into the employee value proposition. Now more than ever it is critical to listen to employees and build on the best parts of working for GoodLife. “Pay, benefits, and perks are critical but increasingly these are basic requirements for a role in fitness. It is more important than ever to offer meaningful roles in which every employee has a sense of purpose and belonging. Fitness professionals want to know they can learn and grow in their job and that the work they do will make a real difference in people’s lives. That is what a career in fitness should be and that is what we strive to deliver.” For now, the recruitment challenge across the industry remains a significant one. For the fitness industry to truly get back to its pre-pandemic levels, clubs must all work together to find a new and vibrant workforce that can provide the experience that will both bring members back and draw new fitness consumers out of their homes and into the clubs.

As Vice President of Operations for canfitpro, Kyle Tomlin oversees the day-to-day fulfillment of services for canfitpro’s 25,000+ active members and fitness education customers. Kyle works closely with the canfitpro executive team, and fitness industry professionals across Canada, making fitness education and events more accessible. Under Kyle’s leadership, canfitpro has launched modern technology and improved customer service, making it easier than ever to find, order, and consume fitness education both online and in person. Kyle’s passion is to make fitness education adaptable, accessible, and frictionless, allowing more people to make their passion for fitness a profitable career.

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Goal Setting for 2022 Seven trends to consider maximizing your business success By Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas

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Here are seven business and tech trends that you may want to consider putting on the list to implement or work towards in 2022. 1. CRM The times where you kept your clients’ and prospects’ information on an excel spreadsheet are over. You need a customer relationship management (CRM) system which is the combination of practices, strategies, and technologies that you can use to manage and analyze your clients’ interactions and data. CRM improves customer service relationships, assists in customer retention, and drives sales growth. Get organized with a system to list, communicate, record, and track. Mailchimp, AWeber, Keap by Infusion Soft, and Zoho are some examples of CRM that will save you time and increase your success in 2022. 2. Mindset Mindset training is the new black. (Work “in” instead of “out”). It is not enough anymore to train the body and feed it well (strength, cardio, flexibility, nutrition). Gyms and boutiques who are also tapping into their clients’ limiting beliefs and negative self-talk will have greater impact and position themselves as facilities who deliver results. Not everyone is at the stage of levelling up their services to offer life coaching services yet, but facilities who will upskill their staff so that they incorporate life coaching skills into their programs, even if it is just by paying attention to the way they cue their clients, will be the ones who thrive. 3. Social Media Strategy Are you still winging it? Social media strategy is a summary of everything you plan to do and hope to achieve on social media. The more specific your plan is, the more effective it will be. Focus on a few platforms where your target audience spends time. Have a plan so that you can stretch and repurpose your content. Make sure you follow a funnel marketing strategy that includes calls for action and ways to transform your social media fans into paying clients. 4. Marketing Automation Use technology to save time and implement your social media strategy. Marketing automation platforms will post for you and manage multifunctional campaigns, across multiple channels, automatically, to both increase

revenue and maximize efficiency. Later, SocialBee, Hootsuite, and are some examples. 5. Live-Streaming Of course, your goal is for your clients to show up in person at your facility. However, the pandemic has taught our clients the joy of convenience. If you have not tapped into the online world yet, it is time to consider adding this component to your business. Whether all participants join online or whether you choose the hybrid model, (where classes happen in-person with some participants while also streamed for other participants partaking from their home), having an online live offering is here to stay. 6. Re-recorded Content Having a pre-recorded offering will allow participants and clients to get extra value for their membership and train in their own time using pre-recorded content. Consider building online courses that complement your live training or classes. 7. Mastermind Group As smart and savvy individual gym or boutique owners can be individually, they will never be as smart as five of them together in the same meeting. Tap into other brilliant minds, learn from each other, or recruit solid board members to bounce ideas off. Belonging to a mastermind group or a peer-to-peer mentoring group helps members discuss and solve their problems with input and advice from the other group members and is a growing trend that you want to consider for 2022.

Confidence Expert, and International No.1 Bestselling Author of fifteen books, Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas is the Founder and CEO of the THINK Yourself® ACADEMY, offering keynotes and trainings, leadingedge online courses, laser-focus business strategy and one-on-one transformation coaching. She is the 2021 canfitpro Canadian Presenter of the Year. canfitpro November/December 2021


Experts Weigh In



CANFITPRO ADVISORY PANEL MEMBERS SHARE THEIR STRATEGIES TO STAYING CURRENT AND PREVENTING BURNOUT IN THEIR FITNESS CAREER AMINA KHAN As a fitness instructor, my goal is to always provide the best quality of education and instruction, to ensure an amazing experience for my participants! Through pursuing my PhD degree in health psychology, I have learned the importance of staying up to date with the latest research in exercise science, motivational interviewing, and program evaluation. It is helpful to subscribe to peerreviewed journals that allow you to easily stay informed on thought leadership in the field. Having a consistent input of continuing education is extremely important to create new and innovative classes or workout routines that motivate and inspire our clients to live healthier.

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Providing evidence-based fitness programming and coaching is one of the best ways we can help our clients succeed in their goals! While focusing on my clients’ success, I also need to be careful to avoid burnout. It can be easy to miss signs of overwork or stress that negatively affect my health and ability to serve. Having strong self-care measures in place is critical for me, including daily time to connect with my faith, my own personal fitness routine, scheduled time away from work, and support from friends and family members. I am also learning to ask for help when I need it! When I take steps to protect my own health and wellness, I make sure I can show up as my best coaching self for all my clients, too!

PAUL GALLORO Aside from the obvious – attending canfitpro events and conferences! I like to train with other trainers and take classes of other teachers in the industry. I look for someone doing something outside my comfort zone or working in a modality that complements my area of knowledge. This introduces me to new information and techniques, but more importantly, it gives me a different perspective on the body and movement.

BETH YARZAB Collaborating with other fit pros helps me recharge my career “energy”. I met incredibly talented presenters and delegates through canfitpro’s virtual events that led to podcast interviews, new certifications, and rich discussions about the fitness industry. Working on canfitpro certification projects with personal training subject matter experts, I am fortunate to learn and grow with them as we evolve PT competencies for newcomers to the practice. My projects even led me to pursue new training modalities that are increasing my own fitness level! I am also on a mission to make the fitness industry kinder, more

RON MCPHEE Avoiding burnout as a fitness professional is something that can be challenging. Much of the waking day we think about clients or participants and how we can help them. Sometimes this can be overwhelming, so taking some downtime is important. Because of technology, I can reach out to clients virtually, it is extremely easy to book more “billable” times. For myself, I book off “non-fitness”

The experience is quite different from attending a training or workshop where you have an opportunity to network with others. Working with your colleagues as a client or student inspires innovative ideas, and on a few occasions has led to new collaborations for me.

welcoming, and inclusive so being selected for canfitpro’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee is incredibly meaningful to me, as I am now part of a team that activates this important work. My exploration of body image and weight stigma in fitness has exposed me to an improved understanding that health is not predicated by body size – and I have strong mentors and colleagues supporting me in this topic. Finally, as a PRO TRAINER, I love learning from my students and sharing resources with my FIS alumni. I am grateful for the opportunities to engage with exceptional people and topics that help me stay current and positive in my career.

time slots. During these booked off times, I will do something for me and focus on mindful experiences. I have been watching Masterclass-Online Learning. I have watched some amazing people explain what they do in their profession. For example, I watched RuPaul teach self-expression and authenticity. I spent time after to reflect. This topic is not about fitness, but what it taught me is that finding my voice, finding the authentic me, I can have the energy and enthusiasm to help others.

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By canfitpro

Diversity and inclusion emerged rapidly as an organizational priority for canfitpro in 2020, after the public outcry against injustice was echoed globally in the wake of the murder of an unarmed black man in the United States. While the topic of injustice and anti-black racism was not a new conversation, this time, it was not going to be silenced. These events raised our awareness of the disparities for racialized individuals and the effects of systemic racism in our society, and more importantly, within our organization. We wanted to address discrimination and hate towards multiple underrepresented groups including BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour), LGBTQ2+, Persons with Disabilities, Religious, and Women Leadership. It was our time to speak and act intentionally because these lives matter. Diversity & Inclusion in fitness has historically been overshadowed by the images that represented what a fit person or person going to a gym should look like. However, the images did not reflect the people in the gym, making it uncomfortable. We brought many conversations forward with articles such as Equity Assessments for Canadian Gyms and Fitness Spaces and Representation Matters which caused many roundtable discussions to form. The promotion of safe spaces and 32 canfitpro November/December 2021

accepting individual differences makes everyone feel a sense of belonging. In our canfitpro 2021 Fitness Report, fitness professionals expressed how important it is to make the fitness industry more diverse and inclusive to people of all cultures, religions, genders, sizes, and abilities. Gathering information and data helped us realize that there were disparities and areas of opportunities, including our marketing and social media channels, hiring, and leadership promotions. It is typical to wonder how we got here as a society, and most times it is a result of our individual biases. Biases are normal. The origin of our individual biases is often rooted in our upbringing, our family history, friends, communities, and religious backgrounds.

Having the awareness that we all have biases, and biases can creep up at any time, will better prepare us to pause, assess, and make better decisions. In a 2020 canfitpro Member Survey, 22 percent of members identified as racialized. This discovery led to a pursuit to identify where the racialized individuals are in fitness. We interviewed a few fitness professionals in a segment called BIPOC in Fitness, individuals who were serving on the frontlines at studios, fitness centres, and as independent trainers. Their experiences in the fitness industry as professionals were unkind and unfair as human beings. We all know that fitness should create excitement and enjoyment, yet for some of the individuals we spoke to, it ensued pain and hurt.

It is now one year since we started the intentional journey towards positive change at canfitpro. Led by the Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Committee, we aspire to create more equitable education, events, and experiences for our members and employees. There remains a focus on bias awareness and anti-racism to improve our internal and external representation targets, but there is so much more that we are learning every day. The Past It did not take us long to ramp up our efforts, but we knew we had to do more. We knew we had to do better, and we knew we had to start at home. Home for us was canfitpro. We immediately began assembling our D&I Committee to strategize and implement meaningful initiatives from the ground up that was sustainable and systemic. For example, alongside Customer Mindset, Curiosity, Commitment, and Cultivating a Passion for Fitness, we added Caring Community where associates treat each other with respect, equity, and caring every day. And where an environment made up of unique backgrounds, where everyone can feel welcome and belong, be their authentic self, comfortably share their ideas, and thrive no matter their race, ethnicity, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, religion, and body type; is supported.

All associates were committed, and we were intent on extending this commitment to our members, partners, brand ambassadors, and fitness industry at large. So, we built a communication platform to rally and galvanize our community. On our website, we have outlined ways we are ensuring change on an ongoing basis. Not only do we recognize holidays and days of observation dedicated to diverse groups, but we celebrate them as a company together. The Present Since its inception, one of the primary goals of the D&I Committee at canfitpro has been to create awareness and educate our employees on matters related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We strongly believe this education makes space for diverse perspectives, drives collaboration and innovation in the workplace, helps to develop inclusive thinking and actions, and promotes workplace sensitivity.

We recognize that what we know about diversity, equity, and inclusion is constantly evolving and it takes continuous learning to ensure we have an inclusive workplace where our employees feel like they belong. We aim to create awareness and provide learning for our staff in multiple ways. A learning zone is accessible to all at canfitpro where we share relevant news articles and information regarding important D&I calendar dates. We enjoy honoring important dates on our D&I calendar through write-ups and emails that explain the history, culture, and significance of these special events and holidays. We celebrate our diversity through employee spotlights and sharing of our stories through our magazine and social media channels. Our monthly Lunch and Learns centre around related events and topics have become a popular source of learning amongst our team at canfitpro. These Lunch and Learns are conducted in different formats to make learning fun – these include book reviews, panel discussions, inviting subject matter experts to share their stories and playing trivia games. This has allowed our canfitpro family to slowly trust that these are safe spaces to have open, honest conversations. Our recent focus has been on the recently launched staff training that covers vital topics such as Bias Awareness and Anti-Racism. We recognize that creating awareness and getting employee buy-in alone is not enough, we have work to do in creating change at a systemic level. This includes intentionally building what we learn into our company processes and systems and consistently tracking progress. We do this so that we can move forward into the adoption phase by building new habits. Creating diverse talent requires successful recruiting strategies and savvy retention and talent development tactics. Today’s global marketplace is in a state of constant evolution—an ever-changing environment that demands corporate entities to keep up with the pace of transformation. canfitpro began this journey by evaluating our diversity data with respect to recruitment, promotion, and retention. We compared this data against industry benchmarking in our local community and set goals and strategies for the company to make systemic improvements. canfitpro has made great strides but these changes are not always linear and take time. We continue to work hard and focus on diversity plus be proactive about inclusion so we can establish more belonging. The Future This progress update has made clear that this change requires a thorough analysis and response with a systems-based approach. There is no one-time or quick easy fix, and we recognize the importance of passion and perseverance to sustain

the process. This integral work requires a constant and unswerving commitment to fostering positive change within canfitpro and beyond the walls of canfitpro to continue. We respect the importance of reflecting upon and recognizing progress and improvement but must also realize that we can always be, do, and become better. It is that mentality that will help us continue improving as a community and industry to educate and inspire future generations of fitness professionals and has integrated diversity, equity, and inclusion as a component of the fabric of our organization.

Some open issues still under review include fostering better representation of our PRO TRAINER community and our course and webinar instructors and developers. Progress has been made in our speaker representation, but we are not satisfied. We seek to highlight and include individuals not only based on recognizing and encouraging more diversity in our event speakers, but also in the session topics and content we deliver at our events. This will result in a more enriching and empowering environment for all to learn, work, and grow. Change is possible – we see and recognize the transformation taking place. While it is often slower than we might like sometimes, every step is taking us forward. We are excited and encouraged by the work that we have engaged in over the last year but also reminded that there is still a lot of work ahead. The fitness industry is ready to rise, re-open, and reinvent itself so there is no better time than now to re-think, re-imagine, and re-ignite the industry landscape. Our D&I Committee is entering a second year with both returning and new committee members, and we are eager for the fresh energy and perspectives this will bring to our work. We invite you to join us on this journey and learn and grow with us. The embodiment of human empathy supports cultural shifts that can create lasting change. Learning to care for those around you as you want to be cared for creates compassion. It is our vision to deliver accessible learning experiences to a global audience, making fitness and mental health a part of personal wellness for everyone. Together, let us be the change. Learn more about canfitpro’s Diversity & Inclusion Strategy, join in the conversation and be part of the journey by visiting www.

canfitpro November/December 2021


Photo credit: K.Ho Photography


The First Five Minutes

CREATE A SAFER AND MORE EFFECTIVE TRAINING SPACE FOR QUEER AND TRANS CLIENTS By Ruby Smith-Díaz and Gavrel Feldman FOR MANY CLIENTS, FINDING THE INTRINSIC MOTIVATION TO START A NEW PROGRAM CAN BE DIFFICULT ENOUGH, BUT FOR TRANS AND QUEER CLIENTS THERE ARE OFTEN ADDITIONAL CONCERNS TO STARTING A TRAINING PROGRAM. As trainers, we want to attune to the barriers that might hinder clients from achieving their fitness goals. This article is for fitness professionals who are interested in learning how to create a safer and more effective training space for queer and trans clients. Of course, in order for a training space to be effective, the client needs to feel a sense of safety and trust in the trainer. Trust and safety is something that builds over time, however the first five minutes are crucial in setting the tone. This article will review a few key areas to support you in being the queer and trans-

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positive trainers that you desire to be. Goal Setting A quality program is not complete without setting goals. But how often do we, as trainers, slow down and ask the client why they are working with us at the beginning of an assessment? Clients might be interested in increased mobility, better mental health, feeling connected to their bodies, and other goals that are not specific to how one’s body looks. Clients also might be interested in feminizing or masculinizing weight training, or to do specific exercises to prepare for gender-affirming surgeries. If a client is preparing for a gender affirming surgery, it is important to note that most gender affirming surgeons north of the border do not allow their patients to be over certain BMI ranges before the time of their surgery. This means that some clients that are approaching us

to lose weight may not want to do so, and may only be doing so to gain access to an incredibly important and affirming surgery. Some queer communities value fatpositivity, and assuming a desired weight loss goal can break trust with clients. In short, it is very important to not assume a clients’ goals (you know what they say about assuming), and instead to simply ask what their goals are in an open ended way. Pronouns We use pronouns (e.g. he, she, they) everyday with many people we interact with or refer to. If you are interested in building trust and safety with trans clients, effectively using proper pronouns is one way to do this. Using the proper pronouns, and moving away from incompatible gendered language (e.g. dude, buddy, miss, etc.), can be the difference between a trans client

leaving or returning. But how do we know what peoples’ pronouns are? Well, we do not unless they tell us. Verbally, we can tell a client or coworker both our name and pronouns when we first meet them. We can do this regardless of our gendered assumptions based on what a client or coworker looks like. This invites our clients and co-workers to let us know their pronouns too. Another way is to have a section on intake forms where people are asked what their pronouns are - e.g. “Pronouns:___________”. Some clients might not fill it out, but most trans clients will. Having this section on forms is a nice way to warm up to introducing yourself with both your name and pronouns verbally. Just remember to read this section of the form before moving on with an assessment! Consent Asking for consent is an important practice of trauma-informed training. Often in the training world, we are told to take skinfold measurements as part of the initial assessments, spot clients closely, or sometimes physically correct their form. But what happens if an individual has trauma around touch, or simply does not like being touched? The thing around trauma is that we cannot “tell” who has experienced trauma just by looking at them - and this is not something that applies to the queer or trans community only. Physical violence and sexual violence, including unwanted touch, is an all too common experience in our society. For some people, a simple touch can catalyze a reliving of a past trauma in real time. In your initial assessment, let clients know what forms of close contact or touch you as a trainer find helpful to utilize, and ask your clients what forms of close

contact or touch they as clients are open to receiving. Forms To ensure we are training clients safely, it is the responsibility of every trainer to fill out the PAR-Q+ as well as any additional medical forms needed to clear the client to begin a movement program. With queer and trans clients, legal names may be different than the name that the client actually uses. If this is the case, it is important that we always use the name the client goes by. If you do not require a legal name, do not ask for it. If you do, always have another option that says “name” or “preferred name”. This is helpful for many clients, not just queer or trans ones. It can also be helpful to think about what information we actually need for forms. Less is generally better, unless we are gathering information on how to best support a client (e.g. asking if there are any words they do or do not want to be used for specific areas of their body, or if there are any particular movements that trigger pain). As always, this information should remain confidential. I Am Worried about Saying the Wrong Thing Scared of messing up? That is OKAY! The reality is, we all stumble when learning new things. Just like learning a new movement, being bad at it is part of the journey of being good at it. Although you may feel clumsy in the beginning, it is important to keep trying. Get comfortable with thanking people for their patience, apologizing (once), and stay committed to the growing process. We want our actions to align with our values. Sometimes when we are worried about saying the wrong thing or making

mistakes, we do not have the opportunity to build the skills that support our actions in being more aligned with our values. It can be helpful to have things we tell ourselves such as “it’s okay that I’m learning right now” or other affirmations that might help motivate us to continue to do the work to better ourselves. Conclusion Working on queer and trans allyship is an ongoing learning and growing experience. Through this process, it is important to remember that we will definitely make mistakes when trying to build new skills, but the most important thing is to keep showing up. If you are interested in learning more on how to be a queer and trans competent trainer, contact your local independent transgender educators or local 2SLGBTQIA+ organizations for additional resources and trainings.

Ruby Smith Díaz, B.Ed., is an AfroLatina artist, educator, and body positive trainer living on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil Waututh peoples. She is the winner of the canfitpro 2020 Personal Training Specialist of the Year Award. Gavrel Feldman, BA. M.Ed., RP (Qualifying), is a white and transgender seed-sower, educator, psychotherapist, and jock. They also offer in-house and virtual 2SLGBTQ+ trainings. You can read more about them at www.

canfitpro November/December 2021




What about “meditation”? Who knew you had to be so young, beautiful, and able-bodied to meditate! It is no wonder that there has been a huge pushback from body-positive wellness facilitators to change the narrative surrounding the space and the images that are

considered the “pinnacle” of a successful wellness practice. No matter how many times I repeat myself, I still hear people say they are not good at yoga or meditation because of these images of what a “yogi” looks

like. When I prod them more, the usual responses are, “I can’t sit still for such a long time”, “I’m not very flexible”, or “the people I see doing yoga on Instagram don’t have bodies like mine, are young, don’t look like me, etc.” The list can go on. The misconception becomes damaging when folks associate wellness and balance with a “certain type of person”. This has created a wellness culture in which BIPOC, older people, full-bodied students, and folks with disabilities feel othered, un-included, and marginalized in spaces that are meant to promote well-being and inclusivity. This leads potential clients who do not fall into the “acceptable” image, including folks who may really benefit from these practices, to believe that it must not be for them because of their physical makeup. This is where you come in. As a facilitator, you have the power to change the narrative surrounding wellness spaces and practices even if you fall into the “stereotype” or “ideal” image. Here are some steps you can take now to create an inclusive wellness space for all your current and potential clients: 1. Show images of different body types, ages, genders, etc. The images displayed around your studio, gym, private client space, and online platforms can truly affect how clients feel about you and their comfort levels working with you. If they do not feel represented or believe that you would not be able to cater to their needs, they are going to be hesitant about working with you. 2. If you are in a managerial role, hire folks from different walks of life.

The issue does not lie in BIPOC, older adults, and other ill-represented groups not being interested in wellness practices, but the main problem lies in not being able to find a teacher that connects with them on a very basic level. This can lead them to feel discouraged, believe “this is not for me,” or stop really great students from moving into a teaching role because there is little representation of someone who looks like them taking that route. Walking into a space to see teachers that are all young and lean is not inclusivity—it is gatekeeping.

3. Make sure your space is accessible. Having your gym or studio up a flight of stairs sends a message of ableism. To potential clients it says, “unless you can get up these on your own, you’re not welcome here.” You may believe that the goal is for your clients to be able to walk these stairs without getting winded, but what about folks who need an elevator or simply do not care to have cardio in their practice? Wellness should not just be for people who are able to walk up multiple flights of stairs and does not take disabilities into account. 4. Do not assume what someone can or cannot do based on their outward appearance. It is important not to assume someone’s fitness level or capabilities because of their age or body type, nor question why they are taking “advanced” classes because of your preconceived ideas of what someone who looks like them should be able to do. Welcome your clients to challenge themselves in a way that works for them, provide alternatives if necessary,

and give them a chance to speak up if they find a class too challenging. 5. Listen to what clients are saying and take their feedback seriously. Clients just want to know they are being heard and their concerns are not falling on deaf ears. Maybe they do not like to be touched during their practice and would like a way to communicate that properly (hello, consent cards!). Or maybe they feel like a teacher is consistently hovering over and adjusting them, which makes them feel singled out and uncomfortable. Every piece of feedback is a chance to adapt, adjust, and create a more inclusive space in which everyone feels heard and welcomed. Everyone’s experience will be different and it is important to understand how to create the best (because it is impossible to be perfect) inclusive experience. It is up to you as an instructor, owner, or facilitator—NOT the clients—to work beyond your unconscious bias to create a truly welcoming, inclusive space that promotes well-being for everybody and every body.

Andriana Crawford is a Toronto-based yoga and meditation teacher, entrepreneur, flow artist, and writer. In May 2020, she created Black Yoga Society from her struggle to find Black-owned yoga studios, healing spaces, and esoteric products. Her goal is to promote wellbeing, mindfulness, and self-care to BIPOC and beyond.


Group discounts starting at 5 or more, contact Brandon at Functional Movement Systems for more information.

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canfitpro November/December 2021



Goal Setting for Your Business Coaching strategies to help you achieve your goals in 2022 By Tricia Silverman, RD


projections, using reflection and meditation are tools that can transform your mindset for wellness, as well as for your business. Establish a Vision A vision paints a picture of where you

want your business to be in a certain amount of time - six months for example. One way of developing a vision for your business is by creating a business plan. A business plan lays out the fundamentals of your business or a project for your business, and helps you determine the

steps necessary to achieve your vision. A great resource for making a business plan can be found on the Government of Canada website by searching ‘business plan guide’. Ask Questions Answering the following questions can support your entrepreneurial pursuits. • Who do I want my business or project/ product to serve? Knowing your target market well can help you streamline your product/service development and marketing. Picture a person that represents your target market. What are their problems that your business or products can solve? • What do I want to achieve? Think about what achieving your goals looks like for you. Are you starting a new business? Do you want to become a certified coach? Do you want to add a new service? Do you want to author a book or sell a product? • What help do I need? Think about who has achieved what you want to do. Can you hire them as a coach or mentor to help you achieve your goals? Coaches, mentors, and consultants can save you time and grief. Find others interested in doing similar things in their businesses and have weekly or monthly meetings to help hold each other accountable. • How will I reach my potential customers? This is where knowing your target market is important. One question to ask yourself is, “How and where do my potential customers access information?” If you are running a program that helps people with diabetes and obesity, then forming

a relationship with doctors may be helpful, so they can refer their patients to you. If you are targeting seniors on social media, Facebook would be a better use of your time than Tik Tok. Make Projections How much money do you want or need to make for the year? To make this much, how many services/products do you need to sell monthly, weekly, daily? By looking at what you want to make and working backward to what you need to achieve weekly or daily, you can get a better grasp of the earnings potential of your business, product, or service. It is essential to look at what your expenses will look like as well, with the critical goal of aiming to keep your sales higher than your expenses, so your business will stay viable. Create a timeline and break down your goals into manageable steps Creating a timeline for your business goals is a useful way of figuring out when things need to happen. After you create a timeline, you will want to break down your goals into manageable steps, so they are more likely to occur. This is where a to-do list can save the day. Whether you like to use pen and paper, or an app is up to you. An awesome to-do app is Todoist. You can separate business and personal to-do items, and sort them into projects. It is wonderful because you can easily move items that do not get completed to new deadlines. A timer set for 20 – 60 minutes can help keep you accountable and ontask especially when you must perform some “less desirable tasks” on your to-do list. Try Meditation If you find it hard to achieve your goals, meditation can help. If you feel you need

more focus or creativity, consider using an app like Insight Timer, where you can search these terms and others, and find meditations that support a goal-achieving mindset. Use Reflection After a period of time where you have set your vision, and have been working on your goals, it is a good idea to reflect. Did you meet your goals? Is your business profitable or on its way? Did your product get launched? Look at mistakes, or setbacks as learning opportunities. What can you do better next time? As in wellness, the key to setting and achieving business goals is to commit to doing something…even if it is only one thing. Do not worry about perfectionism, which can work against getting things done. Achieving a small goal can make you feel successful, enhancing your self-efficacy. This can then give you momentum to continue setting and achieving more business goals.

Tricia Silverman is a registered dietitian, wellness/business coach, and fitness instructor with a master’s degree in Business Administration. She is an international virtual and live speaker, and is the author of the award-winning international Amazon Bestseller, Healthy Dividends: Investments in Nutrition, Movement, and Healthy Habits that Pay Off. She teaches Nutrition Entrepreneurship and Healthy Aging for Northeastern University.


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Compared with people who feel frazzled when things get stressful, stress-hardy people seem to have three important attitudes, or the three Cs of surviving stress: challenge, commitment, and control. Stress-hardy people • see change as a challenge, not a threat; • feel a strong commitment to their jobs, their families, and their decision to change; and • have a firm sense of control over their lives and how they spend their time. The third C is one reason time management is so important. By gaining control over how you spend the time you have, you’ll lower stress and increase selfconfidence. At the end of the day, you’ll also feel like you’ve accomplished what really matters to you. MORE STRESS-BUSTING TIPS There are other ways to put the inevitable pressures of daily life into a healthy perspective, so they don’t end up overwhelming you.

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DEAL WITH THE CAUSE You may not be able to change the cause of your stress completely, but you can find ways to relax things a little. If a bad relationship with your neighbor is getting you down, consider one or two changes you could make to ease the situation, such as limiting interactions or thinking of the situation differently.

LEARN TO WORRY CONSTRUCTIVELY It never pays to worry for the sake of worrying. Instead, think about constructive ways to deal with the stresses in your life. One approach that often helps is to think about the problem as if it were someone else’s instead of your own. How would you advise that person? Then consider taking your own advice.

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF When you feel run down, situations often look worse than they are. Your ability to cope may be hindered. It’s important to get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet with at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, and do something nice for yourself regularly.

ACCEPT THINGS YOU CANNOT CHANGE There’s nothing worse than banging your head against a wall that just won’t move. Unfortunately, there are plenty of things in life we can’t change, but we can change the way we think about them.

TAKE ONE THING AT A TIME Sometimes our lives are so crowded and hectic that we feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of demands on us. That’s when it’s important to stop, take a deep breath, and set realistic short-term goals. Put things that are most important to you at the top of the list. Take pride in what you accomplish. Be sure to give yourself a pat on the back now and then.

Copyright © 2021 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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By Sarah Zahab, BSc., R.Kin, CEP

THERE ARE NEARLY FOUR BILLION WOMEN IN THE WORLD. MANY OF US ARE FEMALE COACHES OR TRAIN FEMALE CLIENTS. Why do we have such a tough time talking about menstrual cycles? Why is the topic of menses so taboo? Our cycles can provide us with invaluable information about our health as well as impact our day-to-day activities, including exercise. As coaches and trainers, we need to be cycle savvy. We must be confident and comfortable asking the right questions and guiding our female clients appropriately. Missing cycles can often be an indication of overtraining, high stress levels, low body fat percentage, illness, under eating or not receiving/absorbing the correct 42 canfitpro November/December 2021

nutrients. Missed cycles should not be brushed off and we should encourage our clients to connect with their health care provider(s) to determine potential cause of underlying symptoms. There are times in our cycle when we have higher levels of energy and hormonal levels may provide optimal settings for more intense workouts. On other days, it may be warranted to guide our female clients to reduce exercise intensity for a day or two. This day or two of easier exercise will not affect training levels overall and may benefit overall fitness levels by providing extra recuperation time, a key aspect of getting stronger. Many of us struggle with taking days off or reducing intensity, but studies show that rest is a key element of seeing progress.



Most women can work at the same intensity all month and do not notice LA LECTURE DE CET ARTICLE VOUS DONNE ACCÉS variations in energy levels. OnÀthe other hand, many women experience extremely painful cycles and may find intense GRÀCE AU QUIZ DISPONIBLE AU exercise difficult during certain days. Let DANS VOTRE PROFIL us take our client’s pain seriously and DE MEMBRE. avoid brushing it off. As a woman with Endometriosis, I have been synchronizing my cycles to my workouts for years with much success.


Before starting, encourage your clients to track their cycles and get an understanding of patterns, symptoms, mood, nutrition, energy levels, etc. There are several apps available. With this information, we can note patterns that can guide us. Once patterns are established, we can start to work with our cycles to get the most out of our workouts.

There are four phases of the menstrual cycle, and each phase comes with unique physiological responses. The Follicular Phase runs from the first day of a cycle until ovulation. Follicle Stimulation Hormone (FST) is released, and estrogen levels begin to rise. This rise in estrogen typically causes a rise in energy levels. Many experts suggest capitalizing on higher energy levels and pushing workouts in this phase. Some women may find they are more comfortable performing higher loads and intensities during this phase. The Ovulatory Phase begins after the Follicular phase and lasts three to five days. Estrogen levels are still high and FST and Luteinizing hormone (LH) are increasing. LH triggers the body to begin ovulation. Many women feel they can continue pushing workouts and work at higher intensities during this phase. Of note, a 2013 study found that female skiers are at a higher risk of tearing ACLs during the pre-ovulatory phase than the post-ovulatory phase. A four-year study of 113 female footballers also found a clear correlation, possibly due to the higher estrogen levels causing ligament laxity. A 2005 study found that knee laxity increased in direct relation to elevations in plasma estradiol levels. The Luteal Phase typically lasts 14 days

(about 2 weeks) and is characterized by increased progesterone levels. Energy levels may still be high in the first week of the luteal phase but may drop in the second week as progesterone climbs. Elevated progesterone levels cause drowsiness and fatigue (remember that first trimester?) in addition to increases in core body temperature. Some studies have shown that women may fatigue quicker when performing endurance exercise in hot, humid conditions. Rate of perceived exertion (RPE) may also be high in the latter stages of the luteal phase. Some women may find working at more moderate loads during this phase may be beneficial. The Menstrual Phase lasts three to seven days but varies from woman to woman. The uterus sheds its lining that it has built up during the month. At the beginning of this phase, estrogen and progesterone are at their lowest levels. They gradually increase in the latter stage of the menstrual phase, but some women may experience low energy at the beginning of their cycle. Exercising during menstruation can be very beneficial and is often encouraged. Studies have shown that moderate intensity exercise is effective at reducing pre-menstrual symptoms. Some may find it difficult to exercise intensely during this phase. Here is where we can step in to encourage our clients to reduce exercise intensity if needed. It can be an opportunity to work on mobility, stability, or other areas of fitness. Giving our clients

permission and options may be of value during this time. Working with our cycles, pushing when feeling energized, and reducing intensity when our bodies are depleted can be an effective way to train. While many women can train with the exact same intensity all month long, some may find consistent fluctuating patterns during their cycles. Some studies have shown greater fatigability in both the luteal and follicular phases. This disagreement may be due to variations in specific study measures including limb (upper vs. lower) or task differences (dynamic vs. isometric). Either way, communicating with our clients is key. Finding out when their energy is at its peak, asking about comfort levels, strength, power, RPE, and motivation can be helpful in determining patterns. Let us work with our clients to help them feel their best, find balance, and guide them well.

Sarah Zahab is a Registered Kinesiologist and Clinical Exercise Physiologist with over 20 years of fitness industry experience. She co-owns Continuum Fitness and Movement Performance Inc., a multi-disciplinary clinic in Ottawa.

canfitpro November/December 2021











IL Y A PRÈS DE QUATRE MILLIARDS DE FEMMES DANS LE MONDE. PLUSIEURS D’ENTRE NOUS, ENTRAINEURS PERSONNELS OU DES INSTRUCTEURS, TRAVAILLENT AVEC UNE CLIENTÈLE FÉMININE. Alors pourquoi avons-nous tant de difficulté à parler de cycles menstruels ? Pourquoi est-ce un sujet si tabou ? Notre cycle menstruel peut nous fournir

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des renseignements précieux quant à notre santé et avoir un impact sur nos activités quotidiennes, incluant nos activités physiques. À titre d’instructeurs et d’entraineurs, nous devrions en savoir plus au sujet des menstruations. Nous devons être confiants et à l’aise de poser les bonnes questions afin de guider adéquatement notre clientèle féminine. Sauter un cycle de règles est souvent

une indication de surentrainement, d’un niveau de stress élevé, d’un faible pourcentage de gras corporel, de maladie, de malnutrition ou d’une mauvaise absorption des nutriments par l’organisme. Les cycles menstruels irréguliers ne devraient pas être balayés du revers de la main, et nous devrions encourager nos clientes à communiquer avec leur(s) fournisseur(s) de soins de santé afin de déterminer la cause sous-

jacente à ces symptômes. À certains moments de leur cycle menstruel, le niveau d’énergie des femmes augmente et le niveau d’hormones peut fournir des paramètres optimaux permettant des entrainements plus intenses. Cependant, à d’autres moments, il est peut-être plus approprié de conseiller à nos clientes de réduire l’intensité de leur entrainement pendant une ou deux journées. Cette journée, ou deux, d’exercices plus légers n’affectera pas l’intensité moyenne de leur programme d’entrainement, et pourrait même être bénéfique pour leur condition physique globale en offrant à l’organisme un temps de récupération additionnel, aspect clé du renforcement musculaire. Plusieurs d’entre nous ont de la difficulté à prendre des journées de repos ou à réduire d’intensité, mais les recherchent démontrent que le repos est un élément clé de la progression. La plupart des femmes pourront travailler à la même intensité tout au long du mois, et ne remarqueront pas de variations au niveau de leur énergie. D’autre part, plusieurs femmes souffrent énormément pendant leurs menstruations et peuvent trouver difficile d’exécuter certains exercices de haute intensité. Prenons la douleur de nos clients au sérieux et évitons de la balayer du revers de la main. En tant que femme atteinte d’endométriose, je synchronise mes règles avec mes entrainements depuis plusieurs années avec beaucoup de succès. Avant de commencer, encouragez vos clientes à faire le suivi de leurs règles et à comprendre la tendance de leurs symptômes, humeurs, niveau d’énergie, etc. il existe plusieurs applications pouvant les aider à le faire. Grâce à ces renseignements, il est possible de noter les tendances qui pourront nous guider. Une fois ces schémas établis, nous pourrons commencer à travailler avec nos cycles pour tirer le meilleur parti de nos entrainements. Il y a quatre phases au cycle menstruel, chaque phase présente des réactions physiologiques qui lui sont propres. La Phase folliculaire débute le premier jour d’un cycle et se termine au moment de l’ovulation. L’hormone folliculostimulante (FSH) est relâchée et les niveaux d’œstrogènes commencent à augmenter. Cette hausse d’œstrogènes entraine habituellement une hausse du niveau d’énergie. Plusieurs experts suggèrent de tirer profit d’un niveau d’énergie élevé et d’augmenter l’intensité des entrainements

pendant cette phase. Pendant cette phase, certaines femmes peuvent être plus à l’aise de soulever des charges plus importantes et d’augmenter l’intensité. La Phase ovulatoire débute après la phase folliculaire et dure de trois à cinq jours. Les niveaux d’œstrogènes sont toujours élevés et les hormones folliculo-stimulantes (FSH) et lutéinisantes (LH) augmentent. Les LH déclenchent l’ovulation. Plusieurs femmes se sentent capables de fournir des efforts supplémentaires et de travailler à plus haute intensité pendant cette phase. Il est à noter qu’une étude de 2013 démontre que les skieuses présentent plus de risques de se déchirer le ligament croisé antérieur (LCA) pendant la phase préovulatoire que pendant la phase post-ovulatoire. Une étude de quatre ans portant sur 113 joueuses de football a également mis en évidence une corrélation claire, possiblement due au fait que des niveaux d’œstrogènes plus élevés entrainent un relâchement des ligaments. Une étude de 2005 a révélé que la laxité des genoux augmentait en relation directe avec l’élévation des taux plasmatiques d’œstradiol. La Phase lutéale dure habituellement 14 jours (environ deux semaines) ; elle est caractérisée par l’augmentation des niveaux de progestérones. Le niveau d’énergie demeure élevé au cours de la première semaine de la phase lutéale, mais chute dans la deuxième semaine alors que le taux de progestérones grimpe. Un niveau élevé de progestérones provoque de la somnolence, de la fatigue (vous vous souvenez du premier trimestre ?), et l’augmentation de la température interne du corps. Certaines recherches ont démontré que les femmes peuvent ressentir une fatigue plus rapidement lorsqu’elles exécutent des exercices d’endurance dans des conditions chaudes et humides. Il est également possible que la perception de l’effort, selon l’EPE, soit élevée dans les stades de la dernière étape de la phase lutéale. Certaines femmes peuvent trouver bénéfique de s’entrainer avec des charges plus modérées pendant cette phase. La Phase menstruelle dure de trois à sept jours, mais la période varie d’une femme à l’autre. Pendant cette phase, l’utérus évacue la couche interne qui s’y est formée au cours des vingt-huit jours que comprend un cycle menstruel. Au début de cette phase, l’œstrogène et la progestérone sont à leur niveau

le plus bas. Ces niveaux augmentent graduellement dans la dernière étape de la phase menstruelle, mais certaines femmes peuvent quand même ressentir une baisse d’énergie au début de leur cycle. Faire de l’exercice pendant les menstruations peut s’avérer bénéfique et est souvent encouragé. Les études ont démontré qu’un exercice à intensité moyenne est efficace pour réduire les symptômes prémenstruels. Par contre, d’autres femmes peuvent trouver difficile de s’entrainer avec intensité pendant cette phase. Et c’est ici que nous pouvons intervenir auprès de nos clientes pour les inviter à réduire l’intensité de leur entrainement au besoin. Il s’agit là du moment opportun pour travailler la mobilité, la stabilité, ou d’autres aspects de la condition physique. Offrir des options d’entrainement à nos clientes peut s’avérer bénéfique pendant cette période. Nous adapter à notre cycle menstruel, donner plus lorsqu’on se sent pleine d’énergie, et réduire l’intensité lorsqu’on se sent fatiguée peut être un moyen efficace de s’entrainer. Si de nombreuses femmes peuvent s’entrainer avec exactement la même intensité tout au long de leur cycle, d’autres constateront des schémas répétitifs dans la fluctuation de leur énergie au cours des mois. Des études ont démontré une fatigabilité plus importante au cours des phases lutéale et folliculaire. Cet écart est peutêtre dû à la variation dans les mesures spécifiques aux études, certaines études ayant pris en compte différents membres (supérieurs versus inférieurs) et d’autres mesurant les tâches dynamiques versus isométriques. D’une façon ou d’une autre, une bonne communication avec nos clientes est essentielle. Établir à quel moment leur énergie est à son maximum, demander quels sont leurs niveaux de confort, de force, de puissance, de perception d’effort, et de motivation peut être utile pour déterminer les tendances. Travaillons donc avec nos clientes pour mieux les guider, les aider à se sentir à leur meilleur, et à trouver le bon équilibre.

Sarah Zahab est une kinésiologue agrée et physiologiste de l’exercice avec plus de 20 ans d’expérience dans l’industrie du conditionnement physique. Elle est copropriétaire de la clinique multidisciplinaire Continuum Fitness and Movement Performance Inc., située à Ottawa. canfitpro November/December 2021




A solution-based product that is innovative, informative, and game-changing for trainers and business owners By Jason Coulie A FEW YEARS BACK, I WAS A NEWLY CERTIFIED TWENTY-SOMETHING WHO WAS MOTIVATED, BRIGHTEYED, AND EAGER TO CHANGE THE WORLD ONE CLIENT AT A TIME. My local gym/studio was my oyster, and I was sure that I was going to achieve greatness in the fitness industry – or anywhere for that matter. I was selling personal training packages to clients left and right and the message was clear; people buy from people they like and people they trust. I checked both boxes for sure! I had moxie. I had the gift of gab. I had it all – but I was hiding a secret and I could not let anyone know!

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What was my secret? I could not write a workout program to save my life! I knew that it was a matter of time before my secret was out. I knew that my business would eventually fail, and I would be exposed as a below average trainer who recycled programs – who found workouts on the internet – who copied other trainers’ routines and pawned them off as my own. I was a fraud. But I knew there had to be a solution. That is when I found TRX. After attending my first TRX course, the Suspension Training Course (STC), I was introduced to programming variables,

coaching lenses, coaching styles, and foundational movements. I was blown away. I never knew that programming could be derived from a set of seven foundational movements. And from those seven movements, I could create hundreds, if not thousands of exercises. I had a “cheat code” to the game of fitness programming. Within days of returning to my studio, coworkers and fellow trainers were asking for the special sauce. I went from the trainer who consistently hid his workouts from his teammates and his clients to the trainer who posted them on social media, handed them out in-studio and

sent clients away with “off day” workouts. All because I cracked the code of programming and had the confidence to deliver both consistent workouts and a lasting fitness experience to my clients. My business would eventually thrive and grow to levels otherwise unattainable if it were not for my increased confidence, competence, and passion for programming. My story of turning an hourly job into a thriving career is not as uncommon as one may think. Mark Campbell, Owner and Operator of CORE Strong Fitness in Kansas City, MO used his passion for fitness – and passion for TRX – as the foundation for his company. CORE Strong Fitness is the only TRX based fitness studio in Kansas City and successfully runs TRX based programming and workouts focused around TRX Foundational Movements and TRX Movement Pairings. According to Mark, “Each week there is a different ‘Move of the Week’ and that becomes the base of programming for classes. For example, the MOTW: Push - Class type; TRX Sweat Class, TRX Strong Class, TRX Fit. This type of programming keeps our community motivated, challenged, and connected.” Core Strong Fitness has thrived under adverse conditions. It has seen a 57 per cent increase in usage over the last two months and has grown its member base by a similar margin. Mark attributes the success of his business to multiple factors; the programming he delivers, the TRX coaches he hires, and the member experience that his team delivers.

I spoke with Mark about the impact trainers and coaches could have on his business – both positive and negative. He urges fellow business owners to learn from his mistakes. He has systematized his talent acquisition strategy and he shared two of his secrets with us. Tip #1: “Hire based on the scheduling needs of business”. When you decide to add a class to your schedule, you should do it to increase overall usage and have more members attend classes. If you add a class and a coach to the schedule and your daily usage stays the same, you have inevitably increased overhead and reduced profit. Tip #2: Create a consistent on-boarding experience for your new coaches. “Consistency is key when I bring someone new into our family.” All trainers and coaches are required to have a TRX certification to work with clients. We have all heard the saying “power in numbers” however at CORE Strong Fitness, “it’s critical that we are all speaking the same language.” Mark adds, “Coaches at CORE Strong Fitness follow the TRX Coaching Cycle. Teaching each exercise based on NAPSMR queuing and delivering swing thoughts as clients perform the exercises to correct or re-enforce movement. When they all speak the same language, that helps me manage expectations and upskill my trainers.” Both examples – my journey into becoming a more confident and accomplished trainer – and Mark’s story about successfully building and maintaining a thriving TRX studio – have

a red thread that runs through both; the TRX philosophy, TRX programming, and the TRX Coaching cycle. At TRX, we realize how many trainers and business owners struggle to grow their business. Through strategic partnerships and industry connections, we have heard it all. It was from these conversations, stories, and meetings that we decided to create TRX CORE – a platform that is for both coaches and business owners. It was designed by trainers for trainers. In CORE, we blend TRX Certifications, TRX Qualifications, TRX specializations, and continuing education with a Fitness Business Academy that, through videos and podcasts, walks through revenue management, sales intelligence, and fitness strategy. This solution-based product is innovative, informative, and game-changing. To explore TRX CORE, enroll for your free 30 day trial today at com/join-core.

Jason Coulie is a decorated athlete, an accomplished leader, an author, and a fitness industry trailblazer. He was a collegiate AllAmerican, a member of the United States Olympic Team and a former MLB player, who turned his competitive spirit on the field into a competitive edge in business. He earned his MBA in Strategic Management and is a nationally certified Trainer through NASM, ISSA, NCCPT, and the NCEP.

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canfitpro November/December 2021




A path to professional success and positive change in your community By Lisa Dougherty DID YOU KNOW…

oftentimes in pain.

• About one in three Canadians live with at least one major chronic disease, and this is expected to rise as the population ages and the risk factors for these diseases increases. • As of 2018, approximately 27 per cent of adult Canadians (roughly 7.3 million adults) are considered obese. • Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in Canada and the third leading cause of death. • Six million Canadians have arthritis. • More than 10 million Canadians live with diabetes or prediabetes; type 2 diabetes accounts for 90-95 per cent of diabetes cases.

Research has shown a regular fitness plan positively affects chronic disease, medical conditions, disabilities, and mental health. Additionally, fitness is the best deterrent of chronic disease in primary and secondary prevention.

For many with chronic disease or medical conditions, once surgeries are completed and medications have been established, they must often live with lifelong disabilities to one degree or another, 48 canfitpro November/December 2021

Properly educated personal trainers and fitness professionals can greatly improve quality of life for millions with medical conditions or chronic disease, and be the first line of defense against the impacts of lifestyle diseases. The Challenge to Growing Your Business Into this Space Working in the “medical fitness” space, you will be on the front line of healthcare, positively impacting the health of those in your community. You will increase your income by expanding your services — advanced services that allow you

to charge a higher rate. Your scope of practice will include a whole new world of clients — one that is becoming larger every year. There are millions of “unwell” potential clients in the market looking for specialized personal trainers; trainers who understand their condition(s) and create the appropriate safe and effective programming. Most trainers do not have the expertise to work with anyone outside of the healthy, fit or near fit categories. So, the major challenge for personal trainers looking to grow into this space is finding the appropriate specialized education. Without the right education, you cannot market yourself to these populations, and the medical community will not refer patients to personal trainers that are not credible. By completing specialized education, you are diversifying your career, becoming

more valuable to your current clients and future clients. You are also increasing your value to your future employers or business opportunities. Rather than looking at continuing education as something you must do, look at it from this perspective: “How can I invest in my education to grow my business and have more clients benefit from my services?” Specialized education is an opportunity to get better at what you do, forge a path to success and create positive changes in the lives of those in your community.

Start Now with MedFit Classroom MedFit Classroom is offering canfitpro readers an exclusive 25 per cent discount on their online education, including specialist courses* for working with Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Osteoporosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Stroke Recovery and more! Visit to view available courses and get your discount. This education will help ensure that you have the specialized knowledge to make a world of difference for your clients.

*MedFit Classroom specialist courses are approved for four canfitpro CECs (Continuing Education Courses).

Lisa Dougherty has worked for over 20 years with clients with medical conditions or chronic disease. Inspired by her father’s cancer battle, she created the MedFit Network to help connect those with medical conditions to fitness, health, and wellness professionals who could serve them. Later, seeing a gap in specialized education for these professionals, she founded the MedFit Education Foundation to facilitate and create high-quality education for all facets of medical fitness.


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HOW TO PROMOTE BODY POSITIVITY Five ways to include more body positivity in your fitness classes and training sessions By Simone Samuels, PTS, FIS “Body positivity” is a phrase – a movement – that has reached popularity in recent years. Inspired by the fat liberation and fat acceptance movements of the 1960s and created and started by Black women, it encourages people of all sizes to have a positive body image and emphasizes that one’s body is inherently good today, regardless of size. Body positivity has a lot to offer the fitness industry. Body positivity should not be reduced to “being okay with being obese” (I hate that word – it pathologizes bodies) or fat people having their day in the sun. While body positivity is not just for larger bodies, it centers marginalized bodies like larger bodies, racialized bodies, and bodies with disabilities. Body positivity is about equity, social justice, and fairness. It is about treating people fairly regardless of size, which includes making sure that people – again, regardless of size – have equitable (not just equal) access to exercise and activity. When I entered the fitness industry, I knew that I wanted to promote size diversity in fitness among participants as well as instructors. I did not see a lot of fitness professionals with different body types, and as a former personal training client, I knew I was not the only one who wanted to have an instructor or trainer who could relate to being in a larger body and not assume that weight loss was the only goal of fitness. As fitness professionals who work with people in bodies of all sizes, the tenets of body positivity have significance for our practice and can, in turn, make us better coaches and leaders. Here are some ways that we can make our practice more body positive.

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Words Matter People from all walks of life and all kinds of marginalized identities come into my class. Some people are recovering from an eating disorder and some people have an eating disorder and do not know it. Some people have a long-standing acrimonious relationship with the gym and with exercise. As a personal trainer, I may already have some insight into my client’s background, but as a group fitness instructor, I may not be privy to the stories and individual characteristics of my fitness participants. Overall, we just do not know what people are bringing in with them or struggling with when they enter our classes, studios, and pools. Why not, then, make our classes as safe a space as possible? Be mindful of the words you use while you are coaching. Expressions around earning food (e.g. “Earning your beer,”) or calories (e.g., “burning off your pumpkin pie,”) or appearance (e.g. “toning your rear”) are steeped in diet culture and fatphobia and may be injurious to people in your space who have lived with or are recovering from disordered eating. I also strongly discourage commenting on people’s bodies. Saying “you’ve lost so much weight!” may unknowingly encourage an eating disorder. If the person loses weight because they have been stressed, or because they have been ill, or because they live with depression, congratulating them on weight loss makes for an awkward and potentially harm-inducing situation. Unless you are correcting form and technique, there really is no need to comment on the appearance of someone’s body.

Language helps build trust, community and belonging, and as professionals we should want all our clients to feel like they belong and that they are safe with us. Marketing and Promotion One thing that I always look for when I enter a fitness space is if the images have people who look like me. I also do this when I look at promotional material – the gym’s website, the posters, the studio’s social media. Do they have clients and fitness professionals who highlight body diversity? Or do they only have photos of non-racially diverse people with ripped abs? Such a promotion is not only alienating, but believe it or not, not everyone comes to the gym to get abs (nor should we be encouraging this goal as professionals because it is too narrow and superficial). Pay attention to the imagery in your physical space and your marketing in general (website, pamphlets, social media, fitness instructions on equipment – even fridge magnets). Do they show a diversity of bodies? A diversity of genders? A diversity of ethnicities? A diversity of cultures? A diversity of abilities? A clever idea to help highlight the diversity at your gym is to take pictures of members (with their consent!) as opposed to using stock photos where you might not find a variety of people working out. And if you order T-shirts or any other clothing for your group, make sure that you have ordered a variety of sizes. Equipment The gym can be an intimidating space for

many. Even after a gym orientation session, a lot of the machines and equipment may still seem intimidating to a beginner exerciser or a larger person who feels hyper-visible and awkward in exercise spaces. If your equipment does not already indicate how to perform the exercise safely, consider having instructional how-to posters (again, with people of diverse sizes) as a reminder of how to use the machine in question. It is all about empowering the client and instilling autonomy. And be mindful of the size of your participants when designing a program. If your client is busty or has a wider midsection, putting them on the leg press or seated bicep curl machine may be uncomfortable. You should have other options in mind, which leads me to my next point… Regressions and Progressions In our classes, no one should feel left behind or left out. I want everyone to be included, and I want everyone to feel like they can participate. Thus, the body positive fitness professional should always have regressions and progressions in mind for each of their planned exercises. Again, language is key. Instead of saying regression and implying that a modified exercise is somehow lesser or easier (which is not always the case), I say words like option, alternative or modification. Whatever it is, we want to make our participants feel empowered and included. I let my participants know that modifications are not just for people “unable” to perform an exercise (I try not to use that phrase) but also for those who would prefer not to (it is okay if you can do an exercise but prefer a different way of doing it). If a client is unable to perform any given exercise, it is not okay to just say, “try your best” or “try harder.” If an instructor does not have an option for a client, it reflects our ignorance and need for more education and not an indictment of the client as if the client has

anything wrong with them. I also let my clients work out at their own pace. I give them a specified amount of time to complete an exercise, as opposed to expecting everyone to keep pace with everyone else. I want them to compete with themselves to complete an exercise – not others. No Judgment I start my classes with a body positive chant and manifesto, reminding my participants that no one is here to judge them (including myself!). They are only competing against themselves, and I will not make assumptions about their abilities or their fitness goals. I am there to serve as a teacher, guiding them in their discovery of the joy of movement for movement’s sake, and teaching them how to exercise safely regardless of size. Judgment is not allowed in my class. On your intake forms, are you asking them to indicate their weight? Why is that necessary information? Would there be other more effective ways of establishing a baseline? Do this analysis with each question on your intake form. There are more effective ways to gauge a change in body composition than just merely weighing oneself on a scale. There are no scales or calipers in my practice. If the goal is about change in size, assessing how one’s clothes fit or taking measurements may be a better metric. Some people like photos before and after while others may find them triggering or implying that the after photo is somehow better. I try to get my clients to focus on performance goals – lifting heavier, better cardiovascular endurance, ability to perform more reps, more flexibility, ability to climb stairs without being winded etc. The point is, there are non-weight related ways to measure progress.

The fact of the matter is many of our clients join our classes or come to us to lose weight. It is not wrong to want to lose weight. We live in a fatphobic society, so it is hard not to want to. But as a fitness professional, it is my job to probe the underlying reasons. Studies have shown that most people who intentionally try to lose weight via dieting do not keep it off long term and that healthy behaviours make more of a difference to health than weight loss. That is why it is more beneficial to instruct people about healthy behaviours and introduce them to active living, regardless of size, as opposed to focus on weight. I believe that people can pursue health and be healthy at any size. Do not assume ability based on what you do or do not know about your client or participants. Create space for the client to exercise autonomy over their body, the professional-client relationship, and their experience. Focus on moving for functionality and moving for joy, as opposed to moving to change one’s appearance. All people are worthy of safe and enjoyable movement now, and not dependent on whether their body changes. As fitness professionals, we have the privilege of modelling this truth and bringing the message home. Fitness is for everyone.

Simone Samuels is a FIS, PTS, and a CALA certified fitness professional. She sits on the board of the Body Positive Fitness Alliance and is a member of Fitness Professionals Against Weight Stigma. An expert in diversity, equity, and inclusion, Simone was recently selected to consult on canfitpro certification products with a DEI lens.

canfitpro November/December 2021




THE PERSONAL TRAINING INDUSTRY GREW 2.4 PER CENT FROM 2016 TO 2020 AND WAS A 10.4-BILLIONDOLLAR INDUSTRY LEADING INTO 2020. Compound this with the online/virtual fitness market, which is projected to have 52 canfitpro November/December 2021

a compound aggregate growth rate of 33 per cent from 2019 to 2027, there is clearly an opportunity to model group training in a hybrid setting. Mastering this model and coaching style will put you in a unique position when compared to big brand digital training offerings focusing on instructing one to many, one-on-one,

or pure small groups. Of course, it takes high quality programming, well-functioning technology, and being a great presence on camera. Beyond that, coaching and cueing a hybrid training session, one with a combination of in-person and virtual clients, comes with a unique set of skills needed and challenges to overcome.

As a Personal Trainer and Group Fitness instructor, how great does it feel for you and your clients when you coach a fantastic in-person session? In contrast, how frustrating is it for you and your clients when the workout could have been coached better? When considering a session that combines the in-person and virtual client in a group setting we can magnify this a thousand-fold. Here are three simple and powerful tips to lifting your game as a trainer or instructor who is actively or considering coaching hybrid sessions. Be extremely easy to follow Virtual clients may have varying equipment, space, audio/visual quality, and other at home distractions. When creating programming, you will have a conditioning outcome of focus (strength, speed development, power, etc.). As you design a series of workouts to support the outcome, be sure to do a mock run or walk through of each session aiming to mitigate roadblocks that will distract how well the live or in-person client will comprehend their task. If your program model supports this, aim to provide programming in advance, supported by imagery and video. A best practice at Universal Athletic Club is to provide the workouts 48 hours in advance and keep programming consistent at least for four weeks. We found this builds familiarity, lowers the learning curve, and allows clients to make micro-progressions in the exercise blocks. When setting up exercises, training blocks, and circuits it helps small to large groups follow coaching directions when the group is on the same exercise or have no more than three exercises in a circuit. There are increased challenges in creating clarity with complex rep schemes, large circuits, and rep-based circuits. Setting up the session with time schemes, hard stops, and AMRAPs with three patterns or fewer will allow more bandwidth for in-person and virtual clients to apply coaching. Aim to have a well-structured but flexible formula for relaying your block set up and transitions. For example, in our Performance Training Hybrid sessions we emphasize to demonstrate the block (purpose, equipment, and exercises), offer relevant regressions, recommended load, then direct your team into the initial position. All of this done in clear view on camera and to those in-person. During

transitions between exercise blocks the coach clearly indicates the name of the exercise with another demo, identifies equipment needed, load, and starting position. How you structure your formula for success is up to you as a coach but be sure it creates clarity, offers a visual demonstration, is clear on load, and any relevant regressions. When setting up an exercise block for live and in-person hybrid sessions, confirm your clients understanding of the work ahead. It is a great practice to have your clients repeat “the rules” back to you. For example, you may say “We have three exercises, five sets of each, with a 10 minute hard stop. Team, how many exercises, sets, and time?” As coaches, you will be shocked at how this expectation sharpens live and virtual client attention. Coach with focus Award-winning leadership expert, David Cottrell, has one of my favorite quotes on coaching. He says, “To ‘Coach’ comes from the root meaning ‘to bring a person from where they are to where they want to be’”. Pretty simple. When it comes to cueing and coaching a hybrid session, much attention should go to coaching with an external focus, coaching what you see, and to cue consistently. It is well documented that coaching cues that trigger movement ideally have an external focus. Examples of these types of cues are the following: “Let’s hear the ball ‘smack’ the wall” vs “Make your hip follow through for more power on the ball toss;” “Pull the floor to your toes in plank” vs “draw your belly button and tighten your abs in plank;” “Try to get your head to touch the ceiling” vs “Bend your knees more and extend your hips and ankles to jump higher.” These types of coaching cues bring your client’s attentional demand to the outcome of the movement versus the mechanics of the movement. Research supports that this type of focus reduces attentional demand, improves movement efficiency, improves movement retention when an exercise is reintroduced, and improves muscle endurance under load. When there are clients in a live setting training simultaneously with virtual clients there is an opportunity to take advantage of this and use less things to focus on to impact both groups. There will be a real need to clearly demonstrate the exercise with proper internal cues, but as the group begins to prep for movement, give them

one clear and powerful external focus to unify how to exercise. From there you will have plenty of opportunity to manage technique and intensity with an additional or adjustment focus while they are at work. Coach what you see In a two way or one way feed, it will always be more challenging to identify adjustment cues with those training virtually. It is important to have a plan to distribute your attention between in-person and virtual clients. A great rule of thumb is to know that if things need to be corrected in the room there is a strong chance that reinforcing a correction or adjustment in intensity will be relevant to those training virtually. For example, you notice Carol’s hips sagging in plank, and you coach her external feedback with a dowel rod to adjust her. You can safely assume this may be a common fault and immediately bring attention to everyone virtually on a great external cue to keep their spine aligned in plank. Make it a coaching emphasis to review how much time you want to spend directing attention to the room, those training virtually, and to individuals. Have a cadence of rotation you can rely on but prioritize your coaching based on where correction and adjustment is needed in the moment. You may choose to cue the room then deliver immediate reinforcement to those at home, cue an individual then reinforce to those at home, or another cadence you feel works best for the flow of the session. In conclusion, the opportunity to build a great hybrid experience is still new to the industry but will begin to become the norm. It will be important to deliver well coached hybrid sessions so virtual clients walk away with an experience that is as rich as those in-person. Beyond technology, programming, and camera presence; make sure you are extremely easy to follow, coach with focus, and coach what you see. Sheldon McBee, MS, is Director of Personal Training at Universal Athletic Club. He is an ACE certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor with over 19 years of experience in health and fitness. Sheldon is an international presenter, lecturer, educator, business consultant, and fitness content developer and has presented at many industry conferences, including canfitpro. canfitpro November/December 2021




Getting back to brass tacks with solid warm-ups and adaptive workouts By Claudiu Popa, PTS THE PAST 20 MONTHS HAVE BEEN UNLIKE ANYTHING WE HAVE SEEN IN TWO GENERATIONS.

From the inability to exercise in studios and gyms to skyrocketing prices for fitness equipment, the new normal is simply a vague and uncomfortable uncertainty about the near future. All we know is that in the present moment, the immediate availability of opportunities to exercise outdoors or indoors has returned, albeit with all the proper precautions. But our newfound freedom has returned with some surprises. Regulars of this column know that I recommend prudence, safety, and careful coaching to ensure that clients ramp up their intensity as they determine their own comfort levels. In previous articles, I advocated for low-to-medium intensity in preparation for an eventual return to the gym. What I did not expect was the impact of prolonged inactivity by clients and personal trainers alike. This was nothing like a two-week break, that leaves us feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. In speaking with gym-goers and professionals alike, I was surprised to hear a consistent theme of disappointment being reported: • My legs feel like lead and it takes me longer to get going in the morning • I am only benching half as much as before 54 canfitpro November/December 2021

• Warm-ups are a drag and I cannot even stretch as well as I used to These laments were not isolated incidents. In my own observations, I noted reduced flexibility, intensity, and general energy levels for at least the first 10 workouts after reopening. Unfortunately, daily walks and a responsible diet are no substitute for vigorous exercise. We have aged by almost two years and it is logical that such an extended pause would have an adverse effect on our conditioning, but there is good news. For one, all that talk of muscle memory is real. It just happens to be a little more of a distant muscle memory, so give it a chance: instead of six workouts, do not pressure yourself and your clients to see results before completing about a dozen sessions. Instead, focus on adapting the workout around a solid warm-up that favours joints and connective tissues, an excellent set of core exercises that protect the spine and strengthen all that supporting musculature, and finally, just try to hit more muscle groups with each workout. Reminding clients to let their skeletal muscle know that atrophy is not an option – at least not yet – will make it clear that it is time to get back to the brass tacks: functional movement, cardiovascular

endurance, and the all-important personal favourites, whatever those exercises happen to be. The most trusted exercises are often the confidence builders that used to be the staples of everyone’s pre-pandemic workouts, so remember to bring those back first and not let clients get discouraged just because they cannot quite curl as much or run as far as they used to do. There is no rush to get back into some arbitrary ideal shape. What is important is to have fun, stay safe, and to appreciate the freedom to exercise the way we once did, even if we must settle for a little reduction in intensity while our bodies get back up to speed.

Claudiu Popa, PTS, enjoys strength training and fitness conditioning, specializes in older adult fitness, appreciates working with exceptional clients and collaborating with outstanding professionals. Claudiu is the founder of Workout Smart and can be reached in confidence at Claudiu@ Be sure to follow him at and on


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Tips to navigating the holidays with less stress and strategic planning By Teri Gentes

Did you know the most powerful way to avoid holiday weight gain is not simply about the food and drink? There is a much more crucial component you will want to learn to master. One of the most essential aspects of weight management and year-round optimal health is not just about what you are eating and drinking. There is something even more potent and most of us contend with this every single day. Can you guess what matters even more? This culprit is responsible for wreaking chaos with your focus, sleep, hormonal balance, food choices, blood sugar levels and yes, weight gain! STRESS! Yes, this six-letter word wreaks absolute havoc on your sympathetic nervous system. While the hormone cortisol plays a positive role in so many important body functions, stress triggered, excess cortisol increases glucose in the bloodstream, leading to rapid weight 56 canfitpro November/December 2021

gain, impaired sleep, and many additional health challenges. Chronic stress messes with your hypothalamus impacting your adrenals. The ongoing pandemic combined with the endemic holiday stress, overwhelm, sleep deprivation, and over-indulgence make for a lethal cocktail. Chronic stress wreaks havoc on every aspect of your well-being and puts you at elevated risk of weight gain. As mentioned in the research paper The Effects of Chronic Stress on Obesity, found on the NHI website, “Stress tends to alter the pattern of food consumption and promotes craving of nutrient-dense comfort foods.” Can you see how this increases your likelihood of excess eating with the abundance of fabulous temptations all around? We all know the holiday season easily heightens stress levels along with exposing us to a wide array of alluring foods.

Before we can chat about the best food strategies to avoid holiday weight gain, we must address the chronic chaotic state of our nervous system when feeling frazzled over holiday demands. Imagine if your best bet to avoiding holiday weight gain could be found in bed? If you want to get a better handle on your hormonal balance, more sleep is crucial to managing chronic stress. When you are sleep deprived, your sympathetic nervous system takes a hard hit. In a Harvard Health Publishing article, Understanding the Stress Response, we learn, “The HPA axis relies on a series of hormonal signals to keep the sympathetic nervous system — the “gas pedal” — pressed down.” Tell me, have you felt like you are on constant overdrive during the holidays or even other times of the year? It is a state most of us know all too well. Planning and taking on fewer holiday commitments and tasks is key to avoiding taking on

more pounds. Pair that with these six tips below and you have your GPS to joyfully navigating the holiday season without guilt, weight gain, or feeling the slightest bit deprived. Sure-fire ways to ace your holiday eating habits 1. Holiday time is not the right time to limit yourself to one meal a day. Party food will do in your targeted dietary intentions if you arrive to the table famished.

We all know the holiday season can be one of the most demanding times of the year. Many are pressed with yearend work deadlines coupled with more socializing, hosting, and or traveling. Nerves are often rattled, and decision making can be impaired.

2. Do not pick at it, plate it! When food is plated, research has shown caloric consumption decreases. When we can see how much we are consuming, we are more likely to not overeat. The random “grab and munch” practices make it impossible to gauge how much food you are eating, and calories pile up. 3. Sit down to eat. Walking about and grazing is sure to give you a “round about” mid-section. When we are walking around at cocktail parties, drink in hand and servers buzzing about with tantalizing looking and tasting foods, we are more likely to over-indulge. We do not

grasp how those many, rich, one-bite delicacies add up the calorie count. Let us not fool ourselves, many of these are not low-cal foods. 4. Avoid over-drinking liquid calories with a strategy. Plan for one water, one wine or whatever it is you enjoy. Staying away from Bailey’s and coffee is a given and choosing low sugar wine is always a good plan. Enjoying sparkling water with a splash of fresh fruit juice and exotic bar bitters in a cocktail glass is a great strategy as well. You will not feel deprived if you fancy up non-alcoholic options with some of the trendy bartender mixology. 5. Keep up with your daily activity. Even when socializing! When your regular workout routines are thwarted with holiday demands, company, or travel, this is a perfect time to enjoy group activities. Get out and enjoy winter sports together and plan for games or dancing at parties and after dinner. Even a round of charades gets you off the couch and less prone to continue munching after mealtime. 6. Lastly, it must be said again…your best way to avoid over-eating when out is to be sure to eat well before going out.

Skipping meals to chow down guiltfree later is a sure-fire way to set yourself up to over-eat. When we are hungry and blood sugar is low, so is your willpower. While intermittent

fasting may be your daily practice, just be sure to eat low calorie, voluminous food in the form of produce. Adding a little whole-food, high fiber, and protein is a great idea as well. Try sprinkling flax, hemp or chia seeds, lentils or beans on a leafy green salad or enjoy a small avocado half with lemon juice, sea salt, and cayenne pepper. A three ounce serving of avocado delivers six grams of fiber, three grams protein, and only 135 calories. We know avocados contain healthy fats that keep you feeling full, and that kiss of spiciness boosts your metabolism as well as immunity.

Strategic planning and a reset of the mindset over the holidays is your perfect way to fully enjoy the holiday season without that once believed, inevitable weight gain. Rewrite that story in your head and decide you will enjoy yourself fully without being overly full and packing on the pounds. Here is to you acing eating well and having a happy, healthy, holiday season.

Inspiring and enabling others to embrace and sustain self-honoring and health promoting lifestyle practices is Teri Gentes’ mission. She believes our state of health begins with our state of mind. Learn more at and follow her on social media for more on living life fully with optimal health at all ages.


canfitpro November/December 2021



HAPPY OR GRUMPY? Ten steps to re-write your mood and spread more collateral goodness By Laura Warf Do you wake up on the bright side or the dark side of the bed? Some people just wake up with a sunny disposition while others need an extra boost to get them fired up for the day ahead. Much of this has to do with mindset and inner self talk that creates ingrained belief systems – the good news is that we can re-write our story anytime! Other reasons you may feel like your energy or happiness factor may be lacking are related to lifestyle choices like eating a nutritious diet, participating in physical activity, and getting seven to eight hours of quality sleep daily. When was the last time you were around 58 canfitpro November/December 2021

someone who was in a grumpy or stressed-out mood? How did that person’s presence make you feel? Did you know that negativity, stress, and uncertainty can be picked up like second-hand smoke? Emotional contagion is a real thing! If someone in your visual field is anxious and highly expressive, either verbally or non-verbally, there’s a high likelihood you will experience those emotions as well, negatively impacting your brain’s performance. Shawn Achor, Happiness researcher and positive psychology advocate from Harvard, states the following: “Observing someone who is stressed — especially a

co-worker or family member can have an immediate effect upon our own nervous systems. A separate group of researchers found that 26 per cent of people showed elevated levels of cortisol just by observing someone who was stressed. Second-hand stress is 40 per cent more contagious from a romantic partner than a stranger, but when observers watched a stressful event on video with strangers, 24 per cent still showed a stress response.” We all have the power to influence the environments in which we work and live. Happiness is a choice. It does not mean that everything is perfect, happiness is an intrinsic state of being that encourages us

to look beyond the imperfections and be happy anyway. The pursuit of happiness is a phenomenon in Western culture and debates exist whether this pursuit is doing more harm than good. Learning to live in the moment and appreciate all the simple gifts that make life good is a more sustainable road to follow. Trying to be happy may block us from actually feeling happy! Deepak Chopra reports that your financial resources are responsible for about 10 per cent of your happiness. He says your attitude is responsible for 50 per cent of your happiness — do you see the world as a problem or an opportunity? The other 40 per cent, according to Chopra, is your ability to make other people happy. The saying that “happiness comes from within” has truth for two reasons. Firstly, setting an intention to see opportunity and possibility during trials and challenging times rewires our brain to learn to see what is right versus what is wrong in any given situation. Secondly, happiness hormones are naturally produced within the body when we follow certain practices and principles leading to greater feelings of happiness. Go from grumpy to happy in 10 steps: 1. Discuss problems without getting emotional. You will conserve your own energy and affect those around you less. 2. Learn to witness and label your pain or emotional discomfort for what it is. Watch, feel, and accept what is going on inside without judging it. 3. Be compassionate to yourself and others. No human being lives without

challenges. When you are feeling some sort of negative emotion, or if you notice it in someone else, wish yourself and them peace and happiness. 4. Shift the perspective. Offer a more upbeat point of view. Every difficult interaction is an opportunity to practice this key skill. When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change. 5. Energy flows where focus goes. Negative thinking combined with angry or fearful emotions feeds nasty behaviour and creates a negative cycle – a sure-fire way to grumpiness. Choose solution-oriented thoughts, encouraging words, and helpful actions to shift the vibe towards positivity and feeling good. 6. Keep an attitude of gratitude. Instead of focussing on what is wrong, shift your thought process towards what is right. Spiral upwards instead of downwards by changing the thoughts you think towards what you appreciate in the moment, like that warm cup of tea you just had, or anything in your life in general such as supportive friends or family members. 7. Move you body! Just 15 minutes of rhythmic physical activity is like taking an anti-depressant. Get up and get moving to boost your mood. 8. Quiet time. Start your day with at least 10-15 minutes of meditation. Breathe, get quiet, and set the tone for the day ahead. 9. Set an intention. Ask yourself: How do I want to be today? How do I want to leave others feeling? Acts of kindness like praising a co-worker or thanking

the cashier at the grocery store will help you feel good by uplifting others. 10. Be mindful. Be well. When you are well rested, well mentally, well physically, well emotionally, well spiritually, it is easier to stay centered around others (regardless of their mood) and to be a powerful force for positive transformation. Our wellness habits play an important role. How we think, feel, and act also impacts all other areas of our life. I know for sure that when I start my day with any kind of wellness practice, I feel better, and the day flows more smoothly. I also show up more positively in my interactions and conversations with others. As an added benefit, I have more energy to spare to be in greater service to others. So, the next time you find yourself in a grumpy mood, try one of these tips to shift your inner state and be more conscious of the energy we are spreading. Going forward, let us spread more collateral goodness. An initiative we can all be inspired by!

Laura Warf is the co-founder and Chief Well-Being & Happiness Officer of the School of Happiness whose mission is to guide people to cultivate a more resilient body, a clear mind, and a happy heart leading to optimal health, happiness, and fulfillment at home and at work.

canfitpro November/December 2021



RE-THI AGING 60 canfitpro November/December 2021


canfitpro November/December 2021


FITNESS INDUSTRY EXPERTS WEIGH IN ON WHAT MATTERS MOST WHEN WORKING WITH ACTIVE AGERS DURING CANFITPRO’ S ONLINE GLOBAL ACTIVE AGING PANEL. THE CANDIDNESS EXPRESSED BY THESE LEADERS REVEALS HOW IMPORTANT IT IS FOR ALL FITNESS PROFESSIONALS TO RETHINK THEIR APPROACH WHEN TRAINING OLDER ADULTS OR MORE ACCURATELY COINED THE “BOOMER GENERATION” (THOSE BORN BETWEEN 1946 AND 1964). This is your opportunity to learn from this all-star line-up of researchers, program innovators, trainers, and creative minds as they discuss the newest research, exercise assessment, program and class design, and exercise selection, including how to engage active agers both online and in-person. The session was facilitated by canfitpro Advisory Panel member Sara Kooperman, who is an industry trailblazer and the CEO of SCW Fitness Education. Setting the scene to inspire us all to rethink aging and training for older adults. An isolated elderly man trains solo with a kettlebell he finds in his garage. He reflects on his younger days as a competitive athlete and envisions himself being able to lift his granddaughter to place a star on top of the Christmas tree. His determination inspires him to get up early, face his fear and put on his tracksuit to jog to his garage, like Rocky, where he trains, contrary to concerns of his family and neighbors. On Christmas Day, he dresses in his finest suit to visit his family. He greets his granddaughter with a special gift, the Christmas star, then lifts her up to put the star on top of the tree, thereby achieving his goal. This 2020 tear-provoking pharmaceutical Christmas ad from a Dutch company, Doc Morris, shares a message of why it is important to take care of yourself so you can take care of what matters in life. It also portrays the common beliefs and biases people have towards aging and how to train older adults. Go at a level that challenges you! Dr. Len Kravitz is a researcher and professor of exercise science at the University of New Mexico and multiaward-winning fitness industry presenter. He shared what he described as the most interesting research in recent years which includes cardio-respiratory exercise, resistance training, and gait analysis. Two of the greatest activities to promote longevity according to the latest science are aerobic exercise that is brisk in nature and resistance training that is moderate to hard (relative to the person). For active agers: when you move, keep moving, and more specifically move or walk briskly. Brisk is always better when 62 canfitpro November/December 2021

it comes to cardiorespiratory exercise for the brain, heart, and the body. Cardiovascular disease is still the number one killer in the world. Cardiorespiratory exercise at a higher intensity (based on rate of perceived exertion), activates neurogenesis by triggering a protein in the brain called “brain derived neurotrophic factor” (BDNF). BDNF is directly related to enhancing memory and preventing cognitive decline. When you exercise, go at a level where you feel you are being challenged. For resistance training, muscle mass and strength are priority number one for cardiometabolic health benefits. The dominant theory that explains this is “mitochondrial free-radical theory”. Every cell in the body has an energy factory (e.g., the mitochondria), where ATP (energy) is created. Mitochondria do not differentiate between gender or age, so you can improve mitochondrial function at any age. With sedentary behaviour, molecules become unstable (aka free radicals) and free radicals attack other molecules in cells. Resistance training lessons (attenuates) the number of free radicals that the mitochondria will make and, combined with aerobic exercise, muscles make antioxidants that help neutralize these free radicals. When training older adults, progress gradually from a light to moderate intensity, moving towards a harder intensity (matching each person’s level of health). Use rate of perceived exertion over performing one rep max (1RM) to best determine intensity for resistance training.

GAIT SPEED IS DIRECTLY ASSOCIATED TO ALL FACTORS OF LONGEVITY AND CARDIOMETABOLIC HEALTH. Gait speed is another fascinating area in older adult research. Gait speed is directly associated to all factors of longevity and cardiometabolic health. Therefore, whenever you move walk briskly to achieve “exceptional life potential”. How does brisk walking measure up? Assess your client on a treadmill and ask them to walk at their natural walking speed, then measure what speed that is. Those who walk 2km/hour (1.3 miles/hour) generally have poor health and functional status, those who walk 3.5km/hour (2.2 miles/ hour) have a healthy, functional state and those who walk 4.3km/hour (2.7 miles/ hour) have an exceptional healthy life potential. Again, the research tells us that whenever you move, move/walk briskly.

Species that move more and stress less have longer life spans. Stress management and mental wellness exercises including affirmation breathing, yoga, and stretching are an equally important part of the longevity training equation. Affirmation breathing, a technique described by Lawrence Biscontini, emphasizes inhaling up (counts 1, 2, 3) and exhaling down (counts 3, 2, 1), then replacing counting with cognitive thinking. On the inhaling up replace the numbers with words “I am (adding a single-syllable positive word like ‘yes’ ‘love’ ‘joy’ ‘peace’)” and on the exhaling replace the numbers with “Let it go” (always the same words). Embrace community over cardio for deeper connections with your participants and clients. Lawrence Biscontini, mindful movement specialist, internationally acclaimed program innovator and highly decorated award-winning fitness presenter, believes that community matters more than anything else. This is true of any demographic but especially of active agers. When people can bond through shared experiences, have fun, and learn together, it is more than just a local, physical community; it allows people to connect on a deeper even more intentional level which creates trust, love, and stronger, more enriching relationships that extend beyond the class or training hour. Simplicity is key. Keeping it simple (with technology, programming, and expectations) for yourself and for your participants is your best strategy for succeeding virtually or in person. Lawrence’s virtual meetings embrace “pre-show” and/or “after-show” experiences along with virtual online tours to help his participants and clients learn the technology, space (ways to engage and interact like chat, reactions, and unmuting) and equipment. Robert Linkul does the same by offering his one-on-one clients a complementary set up session with the technology to address angles, lighting, sound, and space. It goes without saying that a winning set up will lead to a winning workout experience for everyone, and people will not leave the community that is created. Beth Oldfield, a canfitpro Fitness Instructor Specialist (FIS) and Personal Training Specialist (PTS), holds the canfitpro Active Aging certificate and is a writer and the founder of Beth’s Virtual Fitness Studio. Beth believes the same when it comes to creating community. She emphasizes that older adults look for experiences that are fulfilling and rewarding. They need your help to feel successful and they want to be seen, valued, and heard. She stresses the importance of learning client’s names and

OLDER ADULTS DO NOT WANT TO BE TREATED AS IF THEY ARE FRAGILE, SO OFFER OPTIONS INSTEAD OF LIMITATIONS. connecting with them on all levels. Older adults want to be safe, feel successful, have fun, and receive effective fitness programs that address their pain and mobility issues. Older adults do not want to be treated as if they are fragile, so offer options instead of limitations. Providing opportunities for her studio members to meet with their peers online through fitness and social interactions, both inside and outside the fitness class or training session, is also key to building community and connection. Train for real life movement and functional application. According to Robert Linkul, international presenter on training the older adult and owner of Be STRONGER Fitness, a personal training studio in California, it starts with a functional assessment. This gives the trainer a practical understanding of how their participants or client moves. Robert recommends the following moves be performed twice each in this assessment (although the client should not really know they are being “assessed”): Functional Step Up, Band Chest Pull and Chest Press, Body Weight Sit to Stands, Up and Down from the Floor, Glute Bridge, and a Gait and Balance Assessment (to assess their walking gait). Licensed physiotherapist and awardwinning program director Mo Hagan, shared that her group fitness warm-ups are designed similar to Robert’s functional assessment so she can assess her participant’s quality of movement. She also previews new exercises, destined to be used in the training portion of the class, to assess where participants’ skill level is at, and from there anticipate what modifications or progressions will be required. Lawrence agreed and offered his recommendation that as a trainer or instructor, we should not judge what our participants need to do first before progressing to the next or more advanced level. This will allow all participants, no matter their age, the opportunity to “choose” what level they desire based on their ability and/or how they are feeling. Explaining the use of exercises in real life - their functional application - is most important. Knowing why inspires participants to move more intentionally and intensively more of the time, and even face the fear of trying exercises that will prepare them for life’s daily activities

and experiences, including getting down to the ground and back up and learning to train to lower risk of falling. Functional movements and exercises that apply to or mimic real-life movements are essential to help clients and participants continue being active and enjoying what matters most to them. Robert’s “reallife-functional-five” moves in order of importance are: hinging, rowing (pulling variations) followed by split step, reachpull-press overhead, and transitioning (moving in all directions) with loaded carries (of all types). Explaining to clients/ participants how to apply these exercises in real life makes real-life functional moves more relevant!

...ALL PANELISTS UNANIMOUSLY AGREED RESISTANCE TRAINING IS THE FOUNDATION OF ALL PROGRAM DESIGN. When training older adults to be active agers, all panelists unanimously agreed resistance training is the foundation of all program design. A functional resistance training program will be comprised of exercises that fill in the weaknesses observed through assessment. Mo has found a creative way to work in resistance training and functional movements into her aerobic fitness workout called NEWBODY. This program has proven to meet the needs of active agers as Mo herself has been teaching this group fitness program for 30 years. Many participants have been coming to Mo’s classes for multiple decades and continue to experience positive cardio-metabolic benefits along with cognitive and corepostural improvement. Our goal as fitness programmers, trainers, and coaches is to offer all of this within a training format that is also fun, engaging, and progressively challenging relative to our clients or participants. According to Lawrence, creating “champions of living” should be our primary goal, not to mention an inspiring name for any active aging program.

Sara Kooperman

Mo Hagan

Dr Len Kravitz

Lawrence Biscontini

Robert Linkul

Beth Oldfield canfitpro November/December 2021



Developing Essential Movement Skills for Youth Athletes Physical literacy promotes confidence in movement and motivation to stay active By Mike Bracko, Ed.D., CSCS, FACSM TRAINING YOUTH ATHLETES IS A VIABLE MARKET FOR PERSONAL TRAINERS. TWO REASONS IT IS VIABLE INCLUDE: 1. The emergence of “non-traditional” sports such as snowboarding, BMX, skateboarding, sport climbing, downhill mountain biking, etc., and the need for trainers for these sports. 64 canfitpro November/December 2021

2. Parents realize personal trainers can enhance the fitness and athletic development of their children. An important part of training youth athletes is the development of essential movement skills (EMS). Development of EMS is important for performance of basic movement skills

now and complex sports movements later. EMS are the basic movements associated with physical activity. Youth athletes who are physically literate can develop confidence in movement, motivation to stay active, and understanding of the importance of physical activity.

EMS should be present in any program, for any athlete. An inexperienced sevenyear-old athlete can be taught to perform a series of EMS developmental exercises as part of a workout. An elite, 21-yearold athlete can use EMS exercises, and mobility exercises, as part of a warm-up. Essential Movement Skills • Static Balance Skills – the body remains in place, and the arms and legs move in all directions to challenge balance, performed on stable and unstable surfaces, on one foot and two. • Dynamic Balance Skills – movements where the body is in motion and must maintain balance such as when practicing agility. • Balance on Unstable Surfaces – BOSU, stability ball, and wobble board. • Locomotor Skills – running forward and backward, jumping, and landing on one foot and two feet, hopping on one foot and two feet, galloping, skipping, side stepping, carioca, and agility movements. • Non-Locomotor Skills — rolling, dodging, bear crawl, and crab walk. • Ball Skills – catching, throwing, kicking, bouncing, and striking (baseball, tennis, badminton, etc.). Implementing Essential Movement Skills • Relay races – relay races are a fun way to practice EMS. Relay races give the trainer an opportunity to give feedback to athletes after they have finished their turn in the relay.

• “Simon Says” – the trainer demonstrates a movement and the athlete(s) practice the movement in groups of two, three, or four while the trainer watches. The method is good for focusing on specific parts of the movement. The trainer can say, “Watch how my legs move,” and the athletes work on leg movement, then the trainer says, “Watch how my arms move,” and the athletes focus on arm movement. • One-on-One – the trainer demonstrates the movement and the athlete practices while the trainer watches and gives feedback. Demonstration and feedback are the two most important aspects of learning a skill. Feedback can be given verbally and with video. Mobility Training Mobility is defined as increasing your range-of-motion, core stabilization, muscle control, and balance. Prepubescence is an ideal opportunity to develop mobility, which aligns nicely with EMS, and adolescents and teens can do mobility training during a warm-up. Examples of mobility training exercises: • • • • • • •

Scorpion side-to-side Bent over thoracic rotation Cat – Camel McKenzie Exercise – “Sloppy push-up” Lunges with thoracic rotation Supine bridge with cross-over reach Squat with arms “folded” in front and back of body • Hip flexion with rotation

Agility as Part of Essential Movement Skills Agility is the most under-researched component of fitness in pediatric exercise science. It is also the most misunderstood and incorrectly trained component of fitness. Agility is defined as a rapid wholebody movement with change of velocity or direction in response to a stimulus. Therefore, agility in sports is when an athlete has a ball or puck and is moving fast, and must make a movement around an opponent who is moving. As such, training athletes with agility ladders or making movements around stationary cones is not agility but rather change of direction. Agility training must have decision making with fast movements. An example of agility training can be partner drills where one athlete must fake one way, and go the other direction, then move around the partner who is trying to prevent or impede the movement.

Mike Bracko is a fitness educator, strength & conditioning coach, and a hockey skating coach. He holds a Doctorate degree in Exercise Science, is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist, and Master Trainer for Hockey Skating Coaches. He presents at fitness conferences in North America and Asia. He has 32 DVDs on fitness, skating, back injury prevention, and ergonomics.

canfitpro November/December 2021



Goal-Setting Ninjas

GIVE YOUR CLIENTS THE TOOLS TO TURN THEIR WISHES INTO REALITY By Kathleen Trotter, PTS AS FITNESS PROFESSIONALS, MUCH OF OUR JOB IS HELPING CLIENTS REACH THEIR GOALS. IN MY EXPERIENCE, WE ARE OFTEN SO GUNG-HO TO GET CLIENTS UP AND MOVING THAT WE SKIP CRITICAL PREPARATORY STEPS—GOAL ASSESSMENT, SCHEDULING, ETC. We forget that no one is born a “goalsetting ninja.” Many clients will excel at stating grand health wishes but will require support, establishing the environments and systems needed to turn those wishes into a reality—e.g., the basic tools to becoming a resilient and strong “health ninja.” Goal setting and follow-through are learned skills. It is our job to teach clients the skills of goal setting—the steps needed to give their hopes “legs” and the steps needed to create health ninjas. Step 1: Hello, Goldilocks. Make sure your clients’ goals are realistic. Every goal should respect the client’s genetics and age as well as the time, energy, resources, etc., that they have 66 canfitpro November/December 2021

versus the realities they wish they had.

and thinking.

I call this the “becoming Goldilocks” part of the process. The part when each client reflects on what is too little, what is too much, and what is just right for them. The most important part is for them. Goal setting boils down to knowing yourself.

Help clients identify the WWWH of their goal: the when, where, what, and how.

A goal should be challenging enough to be stimulating but small enough to be achievable. The “win” is key. The benefits of anything are moot if one cannot make oneself do it. Step 2: Work backwards. The point of a goal is to inform the goal setter how to act appropriately in all the moments between now and the completion of the goal. Get your clients to start planning their moments. Life is crazy. If you do not help your clients control their environment, their environment will control them. Without a plan of action, life distracts. If you do not help your clients intentionally design new habits, they will default to previously ingrained ways of acting, being,

WHEN will they work out? WHERE? And WHAT will they do? HOW will they make it happen? What accommodations do they have to put into place? Childcare? Book off lunch breaks? Step 3: Help clients ditch perfection and embrace phronesis. Help your clients cultivate what Aristotle called phronesis. Phronesis is the lived experience that comes from actually “doing” (versus talking about) something. Phronesis is critical when it comes to health. Your clients only achieve their goals by learning how to take appropriate action in the here and now—e.g., the ability to eat their vegetables and exercise versus simply talking about eating better and moving. To paraphrase Aristotle, you become a builder by building and you become a harpist by playing the harp.

IF YOU DO NOT HELP YOUR CLIENTS CONTROL THEIR ENVIRONMENT, THEIR ENVIRONMENT WILL CONTROL THEM. A large part of gaining phronesis comes from letting go of the desire to be perfect so you can act. Embodied knowledge comes through action. Too often we do not act out of fear of failing, of not being good at the skill we are trying to achieve. I tell my clients, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you do have to start to get great!”

As humans we learn by doing. Remind your clients that they do not have to BE a healthier person to start acting like a healthier person, but they will never BECOME the healthier version of them if they do not START! Encourage your clients to always just “try”; if it does not work, they can use the data to try something else. Working is winning! Step 4: Re-route ... just keep going. Teach your clients that they can slow down, they can “re-route,” they can take a rest and recharge …. they just cannot stop! NO health plan ever goes as planned. Deviations are an inherent part of life. Warn clients that they will fall off their health horse; wobbles should be expected— we are all human. They will miss a few workouts or eat too many cookies. The trick is to teach them to course correct quickly, to be flexible, and to have MANY contingency plans. True goal-setting ninjas know their goal but are mentally prepared to use their “GPS” and re-route as needed!

Concluding thoughts I find it useful to offer clients perspective and remind them that, yes, goals are critical, but no one single goal is their “final destination.” Goals are stepping stones— aids to achieving the ultimate goal of an overall healthier lifestyle and mindset. This “long view” helps clients “lean in” to becoming a true goal-setting ninja, a ninja who digs deep when times are tough, finds health solutions not excuses, course corrects as quickly as possible, and thrives in their own health lane.

Kathleen Trotter holds a master’s degree in Exercise Science, is the author of two books including the new book Your Fittest Future Self, and is a Personal Trainer, Nutritionist, Pilates Specialist, and Life Coach. Find out more at

canfitpro November/December 2021





68 canfitpro November/December 2021


goals. Reaching for ambitious sales increases, marketing plans or cost cutting measures that will contribute to the bottom line and support sustainable profit. As the CEO or Founder of our companies we must share our vision with our teams so that everyone is on the same page. It creates a sense of belonging to share plans and encourage input to receive alignment and formulate a solid strategic plan. But what do we do when the personal goals appear over the top? Are we ready to commit to these goals? Do we share them openly or keep them to ourselves?

Connecting on-line with like-minded individuals has been a way to share positive energy and inspire each other by creating a dialogue that is honest and heartfelt. I found meeting for the first time in cyber space guarantees we have no preconceived judgements or opinions about one another. In more than one circumstance, I found myself networking in breakout sessions or chat rooms discussing the idea of committing to “stretch goals” – the deliberate, over the top ambitions that require extra commitment and resources for success. There is nothing like sharing empowering stories to empower each other.

How do we create and commit to pursuing a stretch goal? Being in a chat room with other individuals from various business backgrounds and industries was an interesting exercise in “outside the box” thinking. Although we were all from different professions and at various stages in our careers, we encouraged each other to think about how we would pursue a goal that would really test our sense of adventure while at the same time support self-care.

It may be considered an unusual conversation with complete strangers, but sitting behind our computers in our own personal space often creates a safe zone to share information without judgement. As an entrepreneurial business coach, I often work with clients who are ready to explore the concept of going the extra mile. I like to say we are exploring “the business of the business” when discussing

The topic was not so unrealistic, there were things we had considered at various stages on our career paths, but at that time we either did not have the opportunity or the courage to formalize an action plan. We were just not ready for the disruption that would be caused by moving towards that goal. Most of us placed the idea on the shelf to be considered at a different place in time. Everyone’s goals were similar yet quite different. Similar in that everyone was now ready to take a leap of faith to move outside their comfort zone and climb that

mountain...literally...learn to skydive, or live and immerse ourselves in another country for a year. “Why not?” was the question we began to ask each other as we shared those audacious goals. If we have learned anything in the last year, it is that change is inevitable and nothing is forever. There seemed to be agreement in our virtual space to share these new goals with friends, families, and our team so that as we look towards another new year in a quite different business climate, we can stretch our goals. We now have the courage to dust off that goal and commit to a different definition for success. It all started with a simple question: What are your stretch goals? Feel free to share your thoughts with me on social media. It will be interesting to see how many others are ready to commit to their stretch goal as we welcome in a new year. Trish Tonaj is a Certified Personal Trainer, Master Coach, Author, Mentor, and Speaker offering keynotes and workshops on how to scale and amplify your business. She is the founder and guest blog host for  a marketing portal in support of mentorship and breaking barriers to success. Trish invites You to share your story!

canfitpro November/December 2021



Be Proactive with New Year Goal Setting GET A JUMPSTART ON 2022 AND PLAN FOR YOUR TOTAL WELLBEING By Greg Hurley If you are anything like me, as the calendar turns to November/December and the temperature begins to drop, so does your motivation surrounding nutrition and fitness. For a lot of us, the winter season starts with waking up every morning to darkness and concludes with a commute home and/or logging off in the dark. As the workday seems to extend longer and the days get shorter this time of year, it is hard to find the energy to stay active and motivated with our fitness and nutrition goals that we set at the 70 canfitpro November/December 2021

beginning of the calendar year. With the holiday season around the corner, many people are likely to be tempted by the copious amounts of treats. It is easy to “write off” November and December and look to January to commit to new goals and a healthier lifestyle. Giving into temptation and straying from your diet and goals is certainly easy to do, but it is important not to fall into a routine or comfort zone that is hard to get out of.

Personally, I always like to start my New Year’s goals around November/December to get a jumpstart on the year ahead. As most of us look to utilize the remainder of our accrued vacation around the holiday season, there is no better time to get started on your fitness goals, especially since we tend to let our busy lives and work take priority. By getting into a routine of working out regularly, you are more likely to prioritize it when other activities are competing for your time.

Take into consideration your total wellbeing and utilize resources available for support. Living in these unprecedented times, it is important to not only focus on nutrition and fitness goals, but also your total wellbeing and mental health to ensure your whole self – body and mind – is taken care of. Working with many Canadian employers on their health and welfare programs during the pandemic, we saw the impact caused by uncertainty and isolation that COVID-19 caused across the workforce. There was an increase in claims related to mental illness as many employers looked to add resources to support their employees’ needs through enhanced employee and family assistance programs, virtual health care platforms, wellness accounts, increased maximums on professional services, etc. Since many benefit programs run on a calendar year, we encourage employees to utilize the resources and support available, as most maximums will reset come January 2022. The end of the year is always a suitable time to reflect on personal growth and assess your goals. For 2022, I would challenge everyone to add a measurable goal surrounding emotional health alongside your traditional fitness and nutrition goals to apprehend holistic health. To learn more about Gallagher’s Group Benefits, please visit us at Greg Hurley is an Area Vice President with Group Benefit Services for Gallagher. Greg assists employers across Canada designing, implementing, and consulting on employer health and welfare programs. Contact him at

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