canfitpro Official Magazine | Sep/Oct 2021

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September/October 2021


The Official Magazine



SMART, STABLE & INTENSELY TRANSFORMATIVE MATRIX GLUTE TRAINER Glute training has never been more popular, and thanks to Matrix, it’s never been better. Our advanced biomechanics maximize activation of the glutes and hamstrings, mimicking bar-hip thrusting without the difficulty and discomfort of free weights. Complete your offering today with a smarter, more stable take on high-intensity glute training. Discover more and see the Glute Trainer in action at matrixfitnesscanada







Fostering a healthy relationship with food LIFE COACHING


The Habit Change Challenge

Stop relying on willpower to drive habit change DIVERSITY & INCLUSION


Breaking Barriers

How to be a leader in the industry’s future EXPERTS WEIGH IN


Cover Photo Credit: Dawn Bowman

A missing link in the fitness industry

Anatomy of Programming

Principled foundations for a movement based program


Beyond The Screening Process

The canfitpro 2021 Online GLOBAL Conference & Tradeshow attracted 2,000 fitness professionals again this year!










Bounce back more quickly from anything that tips our balance scales


The Power of Breath

The science behind breathing well and how it can improve every aspect of our health and athletic performance



Program to treat the whole woman including hormones, motivation, and confidence





The Functional Movement Screen can help you develop confidence, connection, and branding



How we can help our clients become more resilient

canfitpro Advisory Panel members share their thoughts on the importance of certification









Staying Certified




Become the first line of defense against lifestyle disease with education in the emerging medical fitness space



Tips to building programs to more effectively interact and engage with your clients



Five common mistakes fitness pros make


TRAINING FOR NON-TRADITIONAL YOUTH SPORTS A model to train youth athletes in small group format


S’entrainer pour les sports juvéniles non-traditionnels

Entrainement type en petit groupe pour les jeunes athlètes


A look at some postures and movements that can limit hamstring freedom EXCERPT



This is an excerpt from A Professional’s Guide to Small-Group Personal Training by Keli Roberts














Note from the COO September/October, 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 Janessa Gazmen, Certification Operations Manager Barb Pontes, Manager, B2B Sales & Strategic Partnerships Robert Robinson, Member Experience Manager Kelly Ladd,

Fitness Advisory Panel

FIT PRO’S… BEST BE READY  Your brand, your plan, and your belief in yourself and the industry post pandemic will help you navigate your path forward.  What is being described by some as a comeback is being described by contributors in this issue as a revival or a renaissance. The fitness industry has seen an immense shift over the past few months with a large majority of people now turning to fitness as an outlet and a new way of living.  A new era has begun, and you better be ready and willing to learn how to be a leader in today’s new world.  Keeping clients engaged virtually, training clients that are generally unhealthier and facilitating goal setting while embracing differences, understanding that a one-size-fits-all approach no longer will get you by as a trainer or instructor, are just a few of the important concepts we can read and learn about in this expanded canfitpro issue.   To best be ready to thrive in this new era, we cannot waste time and energy debating, and instead must accept the reality of these changes so that we can embrace the opportunities presented.  I hope you will take the time to read my reflection from canfitpro GLOBAL on page 6.  This is an extension of my editorial message here and granted me an opportunity to share the moments that help shed light on what’s possible when you lead by heart, not fear, and when you focus on what you can control and how you choose to feel, act, and behave.   You will need to remain resilient in your belief and readiness and continue to build your plan and your brand so it can stand out like… James Bond.  Read on to find out what the 007 character and you have in common and how it can enable you to understand the keys to developing a strong brand.

Maureen “Mo” Hagan Chief Operating Officer

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

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OUR MOMENT TO REFLECT By Maureen (Mo) Hagan MANY OF US AT CANFITPRO WONDERED IF WE COULD PULL OFF CANFITPRO GLOBAL EVENT FOR A SECOND YEAR IN A ROW AND CREATE A SIMILAR, OR EVEN BETTER, EXPERIENCE FOR OUR DELEGATES AND TRADESHOW EXHIBITORS AND SPONSORS. The results and responses speak for themselves. The canfitpro 2021 Online GLOBAL Conference & Tradeshow attracted 2,000 fitness professionals again this year! We are sincerely grateful to everyone who put their belief in canfitpro. This power of belief and support from those who showed up for our 7th annual Women Who Influence event, the GLOBAL Conference and interactive Tradeshow, helped draw the fitness industry together again and this was remarkable to see and experience. As a canfitpro member, one of the MO’st valuable assets from attending our online events is the opportunity to watch the recordings following the event. We hope you were able to benefit 6 canfitpro September/October 2021

from this online resource of knowledge and inspiration. Speaking of information and inspiration, Ian Mullane’s opening keynote delivered that and more by helping to de-mystify technology in our present and future by arming us with the understanding and rules for engaging, as well as the confidence that data can help us. Chantal Petitclerc’s closing keynote address shared some of her most golden moments from her story, inspiring us all to believe in what is possible, especially in the most challenging of times. Chantal taught us that it is through the experiences we have, the people we meet, and the actions and attitudes we choose, that give us power! As she reflected on her record-breaking gold medal races, she humbly shared the question that her coach would repeatedly ask of her: “Who has the power to make this happen?”, to which she would respond: “I guess that would be me!” Thank you, Ian, for helping to bolster our I.T I.Q. and, Chantel, for reminding us all that nothing is IMPOSSIBLE when you believe I’M POSSIBLE.

This year’s GLOBAL event concluded with canfitpro’s annual Awards Ceremony and this year we are excited to announce Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas, Kim Basler, Dr. Len Kravitz, and Samantha Montpetit-Huynh as canfitpro Delegates’ Choice Presenters of the Year, and PRO TRAINERS Fyonna Vanderwerf, Louise Vigneault, Ron McPhee, Simon Liang, Sue Staresinic, and Trevor Pickett for outstanding performances in their area of expertise. Suaad Ghadban and Vyshnavi Sivakumaran were named the 2021 Fitness Professionals of the Year. And finally, on behalf of the Fitness Industry Council of Canada, canfitpro wishes to congratulate David Hardy, recipient of the Canadian Fitness Industry Leadership Award. As we look to the future, I encourage you to reflect on another one of Chantal’s golden insights: “We all have the ability to be in control of everything we can control and all we can do is be ready for the things we cannot control.” A perfect piece of advice during such times of unpredictability.

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. (pre-covid times), and feasting on delicious food. One fun fact about yourself: I have four adorable rabbits! Length of time at canfitpro: Two years. Role at canfitpro: I am the Office Assistant for canfitpro. I am the first face you see when you walk through our doors, and I provide broad support for our departments and work closely with our HR department. Name Roxanne Atayan Country of birth: I was born and raised in Canada. Cultural background: I am Filipino - both my parents immigrated from the Philippines. Favourite food: I am a HUGE foodie, so it is hard to narrow it down to just one thing. But, I would say my current favorite food is a tasty jerk chicken meal with rice and coleslaw. Favourite holiday: Christmas! I love the holiday vibes/ atmosphere, gathering with all my family

Why is what you do with canfitpro important to you? I can assist people to help them reach their goals, whether it be me helping my coworkers on completing a task/project or taking part in assisting a customer to register for a course/exam. At the end of the day, I feel a sense of satisfaction when I help others out. Which canfitpro core value most resonates with you? “Caring community” resonates with me the most because I believe that we should treat others with respect regardless of status or situation. Treat others the way you want to be treated.

What is your favourite form of exercise or physical activity? Aside from body building, I love going out for walks and enjoying nature How do you incorporate fitness into your life? When I think fitness, I think both physical and mental health. Physically, I try to lift weights at least three to four times a week and go for walks daily. Mentally, I try to learn one new thing a day and before I go to sleep, I think of at least five things I am grateful for. What is your two-word WHY statement? Cherish today. I live by this because nothing in life is guaranteed, so you need to make the best out of every day. You are not guaranteed tomorrow, a month from now, even five years from now - live every day to your fullest. What is your Super-Power? My ability to cheer people up. I try to radiate my positivity onto others and always look on the brighter side of things! What do you want to be remembered for? I want to be remembered as someone who enjoyed life! I want to live my life full of memorable experiences, good company, and to explore the world as much as I can.



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canfitpro September/October 2021





By David ‘Patch’ Patchell-Evans, Founder and CEO GoodLife Fitness THERE IS NO OTHER SINGLE INDIVIDUAL WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR HELPING MORE CLUBS ACHIEVE SUCCESS THAN MIKE CHAET, AKA ‘THE CLUB DOC.’ Mike Chaet was the founder and chairman of the board of Club Marketing & Management Services Inc. (CMS), a worldwide consulting firm for the fitness industry. Mike worked in the club industry since 1965 and was involved in every conceivable level of club operation, from front desk worker to chief executive officer of a public corporation. As a consultant, Mike Chaet helped develop and manage more than 2,500 clubs worldwide. I hired Mike Chaet as a consultant back when I had 15 GoodLife Fitness clubs. His help was formidable for 20+ years. Mike was one of the first people to develop a business system that could run clubs from the ground up. It was his help at the beginning that enabled GoodLife Fitness to grow to become Canada’s largest fitness club chain and one of the largest in the world, with nearly 400 clubs. He enabled me, and others, to build the fitness industry in Canada, and to create and nurture careers for countless fitness professionals. He worked closely with canfitpro in its first decade to help select the top business leaders in the industry to come to Canada and speak at our conferences.

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Mike started his career working for Los Angeles Athletic Club along with one of the early founders of our industry, Richard “Duke” Llewellyn. He got a solid backing in the club business, and he was an all-around athlete as well. Mike was an American racquet ball champion, he ran a marathon, and he had a black belt in karate. Mike had a master’s degree in exercise physiology and a PhD in business. His PhD thesis revolved around preparing a system for running fitness clubs. He went on to use his experience in fitness club operations, along with his academic and sports background, to create an educational system that helped many people flourish. However, Mike’s greatest skill set was his huge level of empathy, his honesty, and his level of caring. He got to know the people he worked with and, while he had the business side covered, he also helped us flourish as human beings. I met Mike at Club Industry, further grew our relationship at IHRSA, and I moved to Helena, Montana for two weeks to be coached by him daily. I remember him as an early protégé of Stephen Covey, even before Covey had authored a book. Mike and I would spend hours going over Covey videos and discussing how to put that into business. I must have flown Mike to Canada 50 times to help GoodLife as the business grew. I know countless others in the industry who travelled around the world

to attend conferences Mike held in Montana. Mike would then jump on a plane and visit their clubs, no matter how far away. He had more airmiles than anyone I knew. Mike helped start IHRSA by travelling around the eastern United States with former IHRSA executive director, John McCarthy, doing seminars and promoting the fitness industry. The last time I saw Mike was at the Augie’s Quest fundraising event at IHRSA. Augie was also a great friend of his. His list of friends, and the people and businesses he has impacted and transformed, goes on and on. “Club Doc” changed the course of thousands of clubs and truly transformed and elevated our industry. After 43 years in the business, I really cannot think of anyone who influenced as many others in how they operated in business. I know a lot of successful people in the fitness industry who would share the exact same sentiments as I have here. Mike died peacefully with his children and his loving wife Mary. It is appropriate that he left this world on his own terms with his loving family all around and knowing that he made an enormous difference in the world. He was as happy in the end as he had been throughout his life. There are so many people who will miss him…I know that I will miss him more than these words can even express.


HIIT workout evenly split between cardio and weights.

Take out the treadmill and add in the heavy bag. PUNCH, KNEE, ELBOW, and LIFT to a fitter you.

Barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells mixed with explosive rounds of cardio.

Disrupt & Transform Your Workout Routine Real results happen with Regymen. Get ready to be in the best shape of your life. Visit our website for all studio locations. *Photo taken before the implementation of The GoodLife Standard and does not represent the robust safety protocols we have put in place in our Clubs.


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The psychological barriers associated with training and competition can be as demanding as the physical ones. Ask any runner and they’ll tell you that being mentally sound is vital to success. The ability to enter a flow state of mind is something that Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has devoted his career to understanding. In Running Flow, Dr. Csikszentmihalyi will open your mind not only to better performance but also to a healthier and more enjoyable experience. runnning-flow Merrithew Connect™ is a Pilates, fitness, and mindbody streaming platform designed to empower and inspire fitness professionals and enthusiasts to get the most out of their learning and fitness journeys. Encapsulating Merrithew’s 30+ years of innovation and research in the mind-body education and equipment space, users get access to new and signature workouts in STOTT PILATES®, Total Barre®, ZEN•GA®, Halo® Training, Merrithew Fascial Movement, and CORE™ Athletic Conditioning and Performance Training™.

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canfitpro September/October 2021



SHARING A PASSION FOR HEALTH AND FITNESS Meet our PRO TRAINERS who champion fitness education in their communities Ravi Chandrapal Toronto, ON Courses Taught: PTS, HWL Why did you decide to become a canfitpro PRO TRAINER during a global pandemic? The pandemic has been one of the toughest situations we have had to deal with here in Canada. Financially, mentally, and physically we all struggled. Realizing this, I decided to take my 12 years in the fitness industry and use it to help not just one, but thousands of people. By being a PRO TRAINER, not only do I get to ensure the next batch of trainers will be more than qualified for the role, but they will also be heading down a career path that will have limitless possibilities for their hopes and aspirations. Whether that is helping their clients lose weight, get stronger, take a strong control over their physical and mental health or even being able to go home with the energy to play with their kids. It is what we need as a country to bounce back into the life we used to call “regular.” What are your business goals as our industry begins to reopen? Being a PRO TRAINER for canfitpro and 12 canfitpro September/October 2021

a General Manager for GoodLife Fitness, my goal is quite simple, get people active, get them healthy, and make sure they are enjoying every moment of it! This can easily be done by certifying top quality personal trainers around the world. I have set a goal for the rest of the year to certify 50 more personal trainers so they can get 500+ clients to their fitness goals.

By January, I want to start looking for an associate to work with me who can deliver the same passion and integrity I bring to the table to also certify the next top trainers for canfitpro. Of course, there is a profit I will make from this, but I also do this with

the intention that I can sleep easier at night knowing I am trying to make the world healthier. That is why I do what I do. What are your top tips for current and future entrepreneurs? DON’T BE AFRAID. The number one thing that stops people from trying new things is the fear of failing. One of the most inspirational things I have heard was that if you need motivation, stand in a cemetery because six feet below you are ideas, dreams, and innovations that were never acted on, things that could have changed our world. Gone. If you do not get out and act on your entrepreneurial ideas, you might miss the dream life you thought about as a kid. So, what if you fail the first time? Dust yourself off and try again. My second tip is to ask questions and apply it. Speak to people you want to be like and find out how they got to be where they are. Do not stop there, apply it. Take what they said, set a date, make specific action items, and execute it. If you do these two things you will succeed. Maybe not on the first time, or on the fifth, but eventually you will. Instagram: @Ship_Shape_Fitness_Rav

Jesse Benjamin Kjipuktuk, NS Courses Taught: PTS Why did you decide to become a canfitpro PRO TRAINER during a global pandemic? A lay off from my Veterinary job forced me to pause and take a long hard look at my priorities and my overall career happiness. My heart was taking me in a new direction, so I followed.

getting personal trainers in all our communities. What are your top tips for current and future entrepreneurs? I would say taking the time to get to know your clients. What is holding them back from achieving their goals? When you find a commonality between their struggles and your own, that is where you can help! Your personal story is where your true power is.

What are your personal and business goals as our industry begins to reopen? My personal and business goals are the same. I want to help the Indigenous community heal and get healthy again. I want to help train our community members, so they have the knowledge to help others. I want to work towards Instagram: @Jesse_Benjamin_

Devin Size Toronto, ON Courses Taught: PTS (English and French)

including education positions and management at Goodlife Fitness in downtown Toronto. The goal is simple - to help trainers, clients, members, and the entire fitness industry become stronger than ever. Personal Trainers get results, and that is what I am here to do.

Why did you decide to become a canfitpro PRO TRAINER during a global pandemic? Faced with the harsh reality during the pandemic, it left me with two options fight or flight. I chose to fight by learning, working, and evolving in the background so that I could come back stronger than ever. I became a PRO TRAINER so that I can help develop the next generation of passionate trainers like myself. What are your business goals as our industry begins to reopen? I have taken on several leadership roles now in preparation for the return, Teresa Van Langen Okotoks, AB COURSES TAUGHT: PTS, FMA Why did you decide to become a canfitpro PRO TRAINER during a global pandemic? I saw the potential for education while being in lockdown. With the amount of people at home, I knew that we would need more Personal Trainers in the industry to help those who may have fallen a step back in their health and fitness. This was the best route for me to educate the next generation of trainers to help and assist those who do not have the knowledge to get back to living their best lives! What are your personal and business goals as our industry begins to reopen?

What are your top tips for current and future entrepreneurs? Two things: First, never forget your “why” and service your niche. The reason I did not quit the fitness industry during the pandemic is because I kept reminding myself why I got in it in the first place. Secondly, be an expert in what you are passionate about, and appeal to that demographic. Instagram & TikTok: @sizemattersfitness My personal goal is to create an interactive learning environment where I can share my knowledge and experience with others. I strive to make sure that the students that attend my courses will get the most updated information to practice and feel confident starting their careers! What are your top tips for current and future entrepreneurs? Create a goal for yourself. Move forward by breaking that goal down, no matter how big or small, into steps. Once you have all your steps, chose the dates that you want to achieve them and WRITE IT DOWN. Put that in your computer/phone with an alarm so you make sure you complete each one on time and stay on track! Hold yourself accountable. Instagram:

canfitpro September/October 2021


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canfitpro September/October 2021


Photo Credit: Dawn Bowman


2021 FITNESS OF THE YEAR Meet Suaad Ghadban, Fitness Instructor Specialist of the Year

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Photo Credit: Dawn Bowman

PROFESSIONAL WINNERS! Meet Vyshnavi Sivakumaran, Personal Training Specialist of the Year

canfitpro September/October 2021



to try and grow your offering. And, in the right conditions, it can help you succeed.

Suaad Ghadban, Fitness Instructor Specialist of the Year Tell us about your fitness career journey. My fitness career started at a young age. I first got into dance (jazz, hip hop, ballet) and then sport aerobics when I was eight years old. I always loved movement and I knew this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I danced competitively and professionally, and a voice inside told me that when I stopped traveling as a professional dancer I wanted to impact men and women in my community through fitness and movement because I saw the BIG IMPACT it had on my wellbeing. I will always remember going to the canfitpro conference in Toronto in 2000 and seeing all these amazing presenters on stage inspiring the crowds. I was blown away - a switch flipped and I knew that would be the next step in my career. I wanted to motivate, inspire, and lead by example. I started taking certifications and continuing education to gain more experience in different training methods (TRX, Step, Bender Ball, Drums Alive, Personal training, and many more). The next step in my career came from a very sad and difficult time in my life. I had torn my groin and could not dance or perform anymore. The physio kept giving me mini band exercises to help me strengthen my lower body. I got bored and started dancing/moving with the mini bands and that is how Hot Booty Ballet (HBB), my brand, was created. Today we have over 200 instructors in our network with over 12,000 participants attending in person and online classes. I have had the honour of presenting HBB 18 canfitpro September/October 2021

on international fitness stages, hosting a fitness segment on Global Montreal for the past nine years, and hosting events online and in person. All this has led me to becoming a Fitness Director at one of Montreal’s top fitness and health clubs Gym St-Henri, an ambassador for WIFA, and a seat on the Mohawk College Health, Wellness and Fitness Advisory Committee. Today, I inspire fitness professionals and people in the community to overcome obstacles in their lives and follow their dreams/passion. Where would you like your career path to take you from here? My dream is to have a career path in fitness that is thriving and diverse. The fitness industry today has a more sophisticated network and opportunities than in the past. I definitely want to continue growing in club management and fitness programming in health clubs. But given the myriad of choices that exist in the industry today, we no longer have to be limited to one area of expertise, and that is why I would also love to produce training programs for TV stations and online platforms. The real opportunity today for fitness professionals is to have a vision and passion for redefining what fitness and wellness will look like in the future, and I am ready to be the pioneer for our industry. What challenges have you overcome and what did you learn that has made you a better professional? Using technology and getting online was like learning a whole new language in the beginning. Online fitness is not the easiest direction to go in, but it is another way

Finding mentors was not an easy task until I joined WIFA. I remember being a young fitness entrepreneur just wanting a mentor so badly and not having one in my immediate community. I knew I needed mentors who have gone where I wanted to go. They are a great way to help you see how to expand your horizons and get you out of a jam. My advice is, if you are stuck, forseek mentors you look up to and feel a connection with in the industry. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? Take your Fun/Fitness seriously and learn about the business of your craft! What piece of advice would you give your younger self? Respect your body (always). Seize the opportunities that come your way, even if you do not feel like you are ready for them. And, expand on your knowledge and education, even if you are sure where you are going. A flexible mind and attitude will take you far and allow you to handle the uncertainties in life. If you were to write a motto for yourself, what would it be? “Move with Love, Teach with Love, and Lead with Love!” People can feel it! Why did you nominate yourself for the Fitness Professional of the Year Award? It was important for me to nominate myself because it is the perfect way to show just how much I love my industry and how much it means to me. It is also vital because my business has grown substantially in the past 12 months and I wanted to offer encouraging words and a positive vibe to my colleagues and peers. How do you know when you are “done” and ready for the next challenge? You can feel a new challenge calling you in your heart! I would never be where I am today, at 35 years old, if I did not listen to my instinct and inner voice. Sometimes you are not necessarily 100 per cent ready for the next challenge, but you jump on it anyways and that is where growth happens!

pandemic, I created Fitness In Place with my husband, Patrick, to serve individuals at home in isolated times and for folks with no income or limited income - those who generally do not have full access to the health and fitness world. Fitness In Place’s mission is to provide fitness access and community to all bodies, no matter the skill level, size, or income level. We provide accessibility by offering a sliding scale of options through three different memberships.

Vyshnavi Sivakumaran,

Personal Training Specialist of the Year Where would you like your career path to take you from here? My career path has only become more fulfilling each year, from being a Supply Chain Analyst for a corporate retailer in the U.S. to being a Professional Fitness Trainer in Toronto, Canada for the past five years. Through these years, the one passion that kept my fire going was my after-work activity of weightlifting. This empowered me in mind and body in a way that I had never felt before. I still think back to this experience that I gave myself and realize how integral movement and exercise was to reclaim my body. This is where I started a loving friendship with myself and acknowledged myself and my needs for the first time in my adult life. This is why I decided to switch careers and follow my passion for Personal Training. I felt the power within my own body and wanted to empower others to feel the same. Yoga has always been a part of that health and fitness journey, but now I want to center Yoga’s sense of self-empowerment even more, so I can improve my support of others. I want to incorporate the Trauma Sensitive Yoga philosophies into what I already know to better myself and to expand my capabilities for my virtual fitness community, Fitness In Place, and to create more access for marginalized groups. What challenges have you overcome and what did you learn that has made you a better professional? Last year, many fitness professionals were faced with a similar challenge in serving our community and clients with no access to gyms due to COVID. The idea of jumping on virtual training had never crossed my mind pre-pandemic as I have always valued the time spent in person. However, over the years at the gym, I witnessed many individuals who wanted to invest their time and energy into training but were met with financial barriers. So, when the opportunity arrived right at the beginning of the

All of this to say, I have learned that anything is possible even in the hardest of times. I had no idea that Fitness In Place would celebrate its one-year anniversary this past May. I have learned to embrace the new terrains of the fitness industry and create something that I am truly proud to be a part of. The ability to create a body-positive, non-competitive, safe environment for folks to work out in the comfort of their own home has made me a more well-rounded fitness professional. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? The best advice I have ever received is to not internalize blame for being who I am within the socio-cultural constructs of our society. I have come to understand that socio-cultural oppression is the construction of a society that benefits certain people while systematically harming and disadvantaging others resulting in social inequality and injustice. Examples of these systems are white supremacy, patriarchy, and capitalism, all of which impact our daily lives. This has helped me reclaim my own value regarding self-worth and to take up space in my career as a dark skinned, curvy woman in the fitness industry. What piece of advice would you give your younger self? Take up space unapologetically. The biggest accomplishment of mine in recent years is simply being myself; a dark skinned, curvy woman of colour in the fitness industry. I strongly believe that representation matters. As the fitness industry is largely dominated by white, “fit”, and able-bodied males and females, I know that as a woman of Sri Lankan descent I will have to work harder to build my business and my brand. Knowing all of this, I have been intentional about my presence on my Instagram account @vy_she_lifts. I advocate passionately for representation in the industry for South Asian women, but more broadly, all marginalized bodies who may face barriers in the wellness industry or wellness spaces. If you were to write a motto for yourself, what would it be? “The capacity your body holds changes, but never ceases to exist.” Post pandemic, I am heavier. I have lost

muscle. My body has changed and therefore my various capacities have too. Our minds get stuck on the “better” version of ourselves and what we think we should be. Or you could be like me, over-analyzing what I could have done better. What society fails to discuss is that your weight, the shape of your body, and the capacity you must physically endure, shifts from day to day. What continues and always remains is some level of capacity. Whatever capacity you have for the day, use it well to rest, walk for five or more minutes outdoors, jog up and down the stairs, yoga, or strength train for 10 or more minutes. One thing I have learned as a Fitness Coach is that it does not matter what you could have done, all that matters is that you believe in yourself and take action in the present... where it counts. Why did you nominate yourself for the Fitness Professional of the Year Award? Years ago, when I attended the conference and saw two individuals who did not look like me and who won the awards, I said to myself I would never consider myself to be a finalist let alone be nominated. I remember that self-loathing feeling and not recognizing what I had done thus far. This year I decided to nominate myself, with the support of my community within @fitness_in_place and other grounding support systems, because I NOW believe in myself wholeheartedly. I feel confident and excited to share the areas of “Influence & Impact, Leadership & Mentoring, Continuing Education & Community Involvement” which I have demonstrated throughout my fitness career. If there was one person I have needed to advocate for, it has always been myself. How do you know when you are “done” and ready for the next challenge? Challenges come for a reason, whenever and however. They often come in times we least expect them. I know there is a greater purpose to learn from and nurture the moments of struggle and resiliency. A great example of this is how we at Fitness In Place have adapted our at-home workout offerings, using everyday household items. Our offerings go well beyond our weekly workouts. Our members can access more services to better their health and fitness in a variety of ways such as an On Demand Library, VIP spots to Health and Fitness workshops, a private blog, and more through our accessible membership levels. To answer your question, there is no “done” for me. There is a feeling that my body shares when I know that there is a time to set things down or let things go. The next challenge will let me know when it has arrived, and when it does, I will always consider taking it on with whatever capacity I have at that moment. canfitpro September/October 2021


Photo Credit: Dawn Bowman


DELEGATES’ CHOICE 2021 NEW PRESENTER AWARD: KIM BASLER Can you describe what it is that you do within the fitness industry? Throughout my three decades working in the fitness industry, I have had the opportunity to learn, grow, and inspire others in many areas (Group Fitness Instructing, Personal Training, Team Training Coach, Group Fitness Manager). Four years ago, I started my own business working as an online Food Freedom & Mindset Coach, Inspirational Speaker, and became a published author. I support women who are struggling with disordered eating and/or body image, have low self-worth and are lacking self-care, find strength and belief in themselves again. As an expert in eating psychology strategies and mind body nutritional principles, I help them heal from within and free themselves from the “dieting mindset”. What do you love about what you do? I love witnessing women discover their self-worth and grow their courage to take necessary steps to improve their overall health and happiness. Each day, I am grateful for the opportunities to work with women across the world and help reignite the spark within them that has gone dim. I also love being an entrepreneur. It has really helped me continue to grow and evolve. The freedom and flexibility are amazing too - anything is possible! What is the biggest mistake you have made and how have you learned from it? Not believing in myself enough. As a person who is a recovering perfectionist and has had to work a lot on my self-worth, I held myself back a lot at the beginning. Afraid to create and offer my products/services, approach people for speaking opportunities, launch a group coaching program, and pressing the 20 canfitpro September/October 2021

“live” button when speaking on social media platforms. I have learned to take “messy” action and figure things out as I go. People need my help now and it is selfish waiting until I am “fully” ready to give them the support they need. The only way to get better at something is by showing up – we all owe that to ourselves! What types of transformations have you made because of COVID and how has it changed you as a fitness professional? Fortunately, I launched my coaching business online back in 2017 prior to COVID so I was set up for that transition. However, I was teaching for GoodLife Fitness as a group fitness instructor prior to the pandemic and, like many, began teaching online for free thinking it would be short term. After four months I made the transition and started my Empowered Movement Community, teaching movement and group coaching, specializing in inclusivity, and creating a safe, anti-diet space. This decision has allowed me to use my talents and passion, reach more people, and create another stream of revenue for my business. What do you believe sets certain fitness professionals apart from the rest? Without hesitation, it is the connection you make with the people who choose to work with you. Be real and ask for ongoing feedback. Find a way to stand out from the crowd. Do not be afraid to direct your energy to a certain group or niche. When you try to speak to everyone, you speak to no one. When you get clear on WHO you want to work with and communicate WHY it is important to you, they will find you! And you need to be visible, especially if you have an online business. Be consistent with your message and learn to be comfortable on video!

What advice can you share to those new to the field to be successful? It is important to find mentors who you can learn from. Do not be afraid to ask all the questions, even if you feel embarrassed to, it is the only way to learn. Get to know your unique strengths and brainstorm on why someone should choose you over someone else and communicate this! Show up authentically as yourself, you will be seen more when you can stand out from the crowd. What does this award represent to you? It is a true honour and one that I am still pinching myself about! It took a lot of courage to begin sharing my story. Working in the fitness industry since I was 16 and silently struggling with disordered eating, body image challenges and low self-worth since I was 12, has not been easy. When my mental health required me to step back from my fulltime career in 2016, there was a lot of shame and fear. To know that my presentation in the Body Image and Mental Wellness panel in October 2020 was so well received is truly so appreciated. It is proof that canfitpro delegates want more education and sessions devoted to topics like Health at Every Size, Body Positivity, Intuitive Eating, and Diversity & Inclusivity, as well as a reminder that my voice is needed. Thank you again to Mo Hagan, Human Kinetics, and to all of you who voted for me, I promise I am only just beginning!

Website: Email: Facebook: kim.basler Instagram: @kimbasler_foodfreedom

canfitpro September/October 2021


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Leslie Robertson PRIME Personal Training Orléans, ON

Kate Laird Love Your Body Fitness Ottawa, ON

Suzy Kaitman The Ballet Lounge, Ltd. Vancouver, BC

Rui Saraiva Stretch Health Canada London, ON

“I was working all the time and was stressed out. I had no time for my own workouts. With NPE’s help, I learned how to attract the right clients and restructure my pricing and packaging strategy. In just 4 months I took my business from $2,294 per month to $12,267 per month. And I have lower stress and more time for my own workouts.”

“I took the approach of ‘we have to keep doing this but this is how we do it now’ and never gave anyone the option for cancelling. I moved my services online, lost only one member and added 35+ new members to my roster. Revenue is up 31% and I even signed a new corporate client, all because everyone else closed down!”

“I was charging less than other fitness studios. Now I am charging more than my competitors thanks to NPE, who helped me realize I offer a unique and high quality customer experience. I grew sales by 50% and my recurring revenue exploded 10 times–from $1,700 to $17,000 a month!”

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












Motivate and Retain Your Fitness Clients


Today, the fitness industry is more competitive than ever. New workouts, new technology, and a younger customer base with new expectations have all changed the rules of the game. It is more than just a workout now—people are looking for an experience.

from the discomfort of the exercise, the awareness of the fatigue, helping push through and work harder. Translation: less pain, more gain!

Two of the most important qualities of workout music are tempo—or speed— and what psychologists call “rhythm response.” Most people have an instinct to synchronize their movements and expressions with music. The rhythm of the music while working out stimulates the motor area of the brain to trigger them to know when to move, thereby aiding self-paced exercises.

STRONG Nation™ is a new type of HIIT program that uses both tempo and speed to create original, custom-crafted music to sync and match every move.

Here are three key factors that will help motivate students, increase attendance in your classes, and drive the intention to return to your fitness studio. 1. The effect music has on workouts. Talk about the power of music! The vast majority of us say that fun music and a good workout go hand-in-hand—and science attests to that. Music affects the mind profoundly. It acts as a positive distraction and diverts the attention 24 canfitpro September/October 2021

We use music as a tool to motivate people to move and unleash their power, so they can reach and surpass their transformation goals. 2. The “group effect” and sense of community. The “group effect” plays a powerful role in positively influencing a club member’s overall workout experience— their enjoyment, satisfaction, exertion, and their intention to return. We know that people are more likely to adhere to an exercise program when they work out with others. The more group interaction, the more the group impacts and heightens an individual’s effort throughout the workout.

Altogether, the music, the routine, the

synchronization, and a motivational instructor in a group fitness class creates a positive group effect and experience that improves individual fitness outcomes. This is precisely the type of results members are eagerly looking for. But now we know it does more: the group aspect of the classes is a key factor in keeping people motivated and drives long-term participation. 3. Adding a unique class to your schedule. Setting your class offering apart from your competition can make all the difference in the success of your studio. Adding a unique class to your existing rotation can help increase class attendance. A great example of this is STRONG Nation™. In this

workout, fitness-aficionados are gifted with an experience that is powered by original music and movements that are synchronized to every beat. Every squat, every lunge, every burpee is driven by the music, helping students make it to that last rep, and maybe even five more. This is a workout where music is certainly not an afterthought. It has all the key factors to create a positive group effect like we mentioned above and aims to increase the motivation of the class. And hey, you never know, this just might be the class that will help you forge long-term relationships with your current tribe, and a new wave of members. Interested in training your team members to teach STRONG Nation™? Use code

TSCAN55 to receive 55 per cent off a STRONG Nation™ instructor training. To learn more on how to bring STRONG Nation™ to your location, contact our Gym Relations team at

STRONG Nation™ is a revolutionary high-intensity workout where music is created to match every move, pushing students harder to give it everything they have got, and then some. Using only their body weight, STRONG Nation™ will test their strength and stamina in a powerful cardio and muscle-conditioning session in one, all led by music.

canfitpro September/October 2021



Don’t Call it a Comeback... Call it a Renaissance! The Fitness Industry is set to grow post pandemic. Are you ready? By Scott Wildeman THE PANDEMIC WAS BRUTAL TO THE FITNESS INDUSTRY.

strong plan. It is not just going to happen because we are allowed to be open.

At the time of drafting this article, we still have clubs and studios closed in Ontario. The fitness industry has been the industry most impacted by COVID-19. We have been shuttered the longest and will continue to have customers wary to come back once restrictions are relaxed.

The pandemic caused consumers to think differently about their health and fitness. Some were able to successfully train at home or outside. Some were not. Some were able to adopt online solutions, some were not. Some are ready to burn their masks and run back to their studios, some are still wary. The pandemic has impacted your staff and your suppliers / partners. So, what does this all mean to you as an owner/operator?

HOWEVER, there is reason for hope. Reason for optimism. We know that people crave a sense of community. We know people will look to professionals for their health and wellness. BUT, to capitalize on these factors, we need a 26 canfitpro September/October 2021

Here are four key items to think about as we emerge.

1. Take time to re-think your offering and your value proposition. Has your strategy statement changed? Companies should have a mission statement (your purpose), a vision statement (who you are and aspire to be) and a strategy statement (the how). As consumer behaviours and demands have changed, has your strategy changed?

Do you offer solutions that cater to the client who enjoys online or working out at home? Pre pandemic, Peloton was the fastest growing industry player. Can you be the local online offering for your clients who

Do you cater to the personal training client who instead of coming in three times a week, will come in once per week and will have the rest of their program pushed to them, so they can do it at home or on their own schedule? Remember, the key to retention is long term behaviour change. The key to behaviour change is having a plan and a schedule, but they need to be able to change that plan or schedule based on life’s speed bumps. Do you have a solution to adapt?

2. What about our team members? They have been impacted by this pandemic too! They have been laid off, recalled, laid off again. Many of them have seen their classes or client bases cut in half. Many have looked to other industries to find “stability.”

prefer to workout at home, or will you offer a solution to the member who would like both in club and at home? Remember, the number one factor with retention is sustainable habits. We have seen countless times where clients have the best intentions, only to be derailed by life. They were registered for that 5:00 p.m. class but their boss asked them to work late, or their child was not feeling well, or they got a flat tire - these are the small things that can derail an active lifestyle.

If you are now able to offer an omni channel of services, you have solutions to help members overcome these speed bumps. So, you could not make the 5:00 p.m. class….so what. You can now do that 5:00 p.m. class at 7:34 p.m. as it is available on demand. We will see you tomorrow!

Really, you cannot blame them. It has been incredibly difficult on your employees. However, in the quest for stability, are they happy? Will they come back eventually? Do you have an olive branch for them to take hold of? Despite a good network of education providers, we all know that talented fitness professionals do not grow on trees. They are unicorns and we need to ensure we follow up with those that have moved on from the industry. Provide that avenue so they can come back, get recertified, and do what they love. Just because they took that life insurance job does not mean they are gone forever.

3. What about your suppliers and partners? You may not have been able to keep whole with all invoices or rent. Do you have a strategy to get whole? Have you negotiated a reduced amount? Do they know that their services are important to you, and that you value them as a business and a human? You will do what you can to get whole but it will take some time. Remember, they are struggling too. 4. Do you have a support network? It has been amazing to see how our industry came together over the past 18 months. We have competitors working side by side lobbying the government. We have built new relationships in our communities, as well as coast to coast. I know I have built new friendships not only in my city, but I can pick up the phone and

call a friend in a different province to see how they are doing, and how they are doing things. FIC is here to support you, the commercial fitness owner. We are a collective of owners, suppliers, and educators who all want to see the fitness industry in Canada flourish. We will continue to meet on a regular basis, both provincially and nationally. We will continue to lobby the government for incentives specific to our industry, and we will continue to help you as an owner / operator find solutions to help your business. Some of our key initiatives this fall and next year are: A. Continue lobbying federal and provincial governments for fitness specific supports such as making fitness tax deductible. B. Continue providing you with continuing education opportunities. We are so proud to have partnered with canfitpro to deliver timely and meaningful content to you each month. C. Continue providing you with business solutions. FIC has partnered with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). As a FIC member, you automatically are a CFIB member. CFIB has a full suite of services to help you as an entrepreneur. From insurance savings to management and leadership education, to networking opportunities. So do not go at it alone. We are stronger together. It has been an absolute honour and privilege serving this industry association as president for the past three years. As we usher in our new president, I will continue serving on the board as past president, I am more excited about our industry’s future than ever before. Scott Wildeman is the current president of Prescription to Get Active, a non-profit corporation that links primary care to fitness and recreation. Scott is also the past president of The Fitness Industry Council of Canada, where he was instrumental in lobbying federal and provincial governments on behalf of the industry.

canfitpro September/October 2021



How to Grow Your Fitness Career A simple one-page marketing plan to keep you focused and producing powerful results By Sean Greeley WHAT DO YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MARKETING TO GROW YOUR CAREER AS A FITNESS PROFESSIONAL? Too many fit pros think they need to learn a dozen different strategies to market their business. They try posting videos on social media, digital advertising, launching challenges, chasing likes and comments on social, discounting prices, and a whole lot more. The result is they do not have any focus, get overwhelmed, and do not produce results in terms of generating quality leads and new client numbers to show 28 canfitpro September/October 2021

for their time and effort. Yes, you need a marketing plan, but a simple one. You need a plan that is focused, easy to execute, and will consistently grow your business month-over-month. Here is a simple and effective one-page marketing plan that will keep you focused and produce powerful results: 1. Speak to the heart of a specific client. Which message works better: A message that could be addressed to anyone, or a message that directly addresses your challenges in a way that speaks to your heart?

Too many fitness professionals create marketing messaging that speaks “generally”. It sounds like you are interested in anyone – so you will be speaking directly to the heart of no one. That is why you have to be clear on EXACTLY who you want to serve, and communicate a message that matters DEEPLY to them. Answer the following: • Who is your ideal client, and what are their goals? • What obstacles are standing in their way? • How do they feel about their obstacles?

influence with) your ideal client? Identify local businesses and people of influence who already serve your ideal client base (including past clients!). Get a script and process for reaching out and connecting with them. Use your script to ask “who do you know who might benefit from an intro to me?” Consistently take action to build, grow, and cultivate your referral network!

2. Craft a powerful offer that attracts the right people. Most fitness professionals try to execute “half-baked” marketing ideas where they are not sure where and how to direct people to the next step in working together.

Before you begin marketing to your ideal client, you need to get crystal clear on what you want prospects to do. You must have an offer - something for them to start the process of working with you. For fit pros, we recommend one of two proven types of offers:

• Free consultation. You can call this what you want (e.g., “Fitness, nutrition, and diagnostic consultation” or whatever else speaks to your target client.) This is the best offer for trainers with some experience. Prospective clients get value in learning your assessment and recommendations. Then you offer to fulfill those recommendations in your programs. • Paid trial/short-term program. This is good for fitness professionals who are just starting out. Clients have a lowrisk way to get started working with you. When the trial ends, if you have provided enough value, they will join for a longer-term contract. 3. Focus on the three top leadgeneration strategies. Which works better for fitness clients: Trying a dozen different ways to get into shape –then working out for a week and then disappearing for a week? Or choosing one program and executing consistently, day after day, week after week?

• What does success look like? • What does failure look like?

Once you know these answers, you can create powerful messaging directly at them. Because your purpose is to help them solve their specific health and fitness challenges they cannot solve on their own. For example:

“We help busy moms gain energy, look good, and feel good.” “We help seniors regain their strength, endurance, and confidence.” “We help busy executives achieve excellence in health and fitness.”

Too many fitness professionals overcomplicate things. What they need is to CONSISTENTLY execute three lead generation strategies. We recommend: 1. Referrals: Who do you know? Who do they know? You need to have a referral collection script you can use. Create a plan and use it to talk to people in your “sphere of influence.” Continue to follow up and reach out to people who gave you referrals. And connect with your referrals. We have had clients who have gotten a great start simply by pursuing referrals consistently. 2. Networking: Who have you not met yet that already serves (or has

3. A/B Offer: This is for “hot prospects” and “warm leads.” That means these people are either ready to buy or people who are researching solving their health and fitness challenges. Your “A Offer” is for people ready to buy. This is your free consultation or your paid trial.

Your “B Offer” is for warm leads. These are people who are just researching and summoning the gumption to get back in shape. They need information. If you supply what they are looking for, you will gain credibility and build your list. You can help inspire them … and when they are ready to buy, you will have the A Offer to attract them.

Summary Do not get overwhelmed by marketing. The key is consistent, targeted, focused action. Choose your ideal client. Speak to their needs. Create a powerful offer that will interest them in engaging with you. And have a B Offer to build your list, gain credibility, and be there when they are ready to buy. Get instant access to our free training, “Conquer Marketing! The 1-Page Fit Pro Plan To Bank $5k/Month.” The training includes a free downloadable, 1-Page Fit Pro Marketing Plan Cheat Sheet. Get it here:

Sean Greeley, Founder and CEO of NPE, has an unrelenting passion for inspiring fitness professionals and business owners to realize their unlimited potential. Since 2006, NPE has helped over 45,000+ fitness professionals and business owners in 96+ countries grow their client base and income to the next level.

canfitpro September/October 2021



Keys To a Strong Brand Seven elements to level up your brand and keep clients coming back for more By Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas

30 canfitpro September/October 2021

HAVING A STRONG BRAND DOES NOT ONLY MEAN THAT YOUR STAFF WEARS A MATCHING DRY-FIT SHIRT. To look at seven key elements of a strong brand, let us use an example you more likely all have heard of: OO7, James Bond, a British secret service agent who was created in 1953 by Ian Flemming. The movie series has been going on for decades. James Bond is a BRAND. 1. Many Actors Playing The Same Role Although Sean Connery is my favorite, this character has been portrayed by so many different actors. What about your business? Are all the “actors” interacting with your clients fitting the profile of your brand? Of course, you absolutely need diversity and different personality styles to create an inclusive environment. Yet, you will want to make sure that all staff aligns with the general values of your brand. Whether your values include service, fun, inclusion, performance, or resilience, make sure each team member is aware and shares your core values. Invest time in recruiting the right team members. If you are a solopreneur, are you always staying “in character”? Remain consistent and professional even when you are having a difficult day. Have your own circle of support for when that happens. Your clients are not who you should seek comfort from. They are with you for their own experience. 2. The Villains Who else is always in the movies? Of course, there will be villains. And they are more evil every time. Understand the challenges that your clients are facing. What are their “villains”. Lead your marketing efforts with the understanding of their problems and position yourself as a solution to these challenges. 3. Supporting Actors In every 007 movie, we expect a Bond Girl, Miss Money Penny, Q and M. Who are your supporting actors/partners in your business? Your advisory council, your sales and marketing team, your web and tech team, your cleaning team? Make sure you delegate and surround yourself with collaborators. It is quite easy now to use multiple contractors for different specific projects. Do not try to do everything yourself. Focus on what you are good at. 4. The Bond-Uniform Of course, James Bond has been seen on screen after screen in the same Bond Suit. And we recognize it. Is there an element that identifies your staff from the clients? It creates a sense of belonging for the staff and a straightforward way to tell the clients who they can ask help from. If you are a solopreneur, make sure you keep a professional look.

5. The Fast Cars – The Gadgets What else do we expect in a James Bond movie? A fast car and gadgets! Make sure your equipment and facility are kept in excellent condition, allowing your clients access to a welcoming environment and the tools they do not necessarily have at home. Re-enter your place with fresh eyes every day and notice if everything is where it should be. We tend to get used to accumulated piles of unwanted stuff that could potentially not look inviting to the newcomer. If you work online, position your camera to avoid your client staring at your load of unfolded laundry on the bed. 6. The Stunts Explosions, stunts, and acrobatic exploits are to be expected in a James Bond movie. What are you doing in your business that goes over and above the “normal”? How do you “wow” your clients’ experience? What story will your clients share with their friends about you doing this super awesome thing for them? 7. Shaken Not Stirred What about the James Bond martini? What are the tiny details that make the client feel special? Training your staff and yourself to become great at remembering names is an absolute must. Paying attention to minute details (or using a Customer Relationships Management System CRM) can help you remember a client’s birthday or special occasion, anniversary of becoming a member, or simply remembering that the client was going away to visit their parents last week and asking them about their trip, etc. What Do They Say Behind Your Back? Your brand is what people say about you when you are not there. Brainstorm on each of these key elements, and even better, ask your clients. Survey them to find out what they expect from you or your facility. Ask them why they train with you. What do they love about you? What got them to sign up with you? You will be surprised with what you find out. I am happy to brainstorm with you on a free 15-minute virtual coffee.

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, leading-edge online courses, laser-focus business strategy and one-onone transformation coaching. She is the 2021 canfitpro Canadian Presenter of the Year.

canfitpro September/October 2021



The Fitness Future and AI How Artificial Intelligence brings very real results By canfitpro

32 canfitpro September/October 2021

IF YOU WERE AMONG THE DELEGATES AT OUR ONLINE GLOBAL CONFERENCE & TRADESHOW IN AUGUST, WE HOPE YOU DID NOT MISS THE FASCINATING DISCUSSIONS SPEARHEADED BY IAN MULLANE, FOUNDER AND CEO OF AIPOWERED SALES AND RETENTION PLATFORM KEEPME. Starting with a keynote that drew on his recent white paper – The Fitness Future: Rules of Engagement – Ian offered an exhilarating vision of a techenabled future, alongside highly practical insights on how to thrive in that future. Outlining his six rules for success in the new digital reality, Ian challenged delegates to ask searching questions of themselves, starting with the big one: If gyms are no longer the sole guardians of consumer wellness, what role will you play? Equally fascinating was the follow-up panel discussion – The Fitness Future. Applied Today – in which Carrie Kepple and Amy Styles, co-owners of Styles Studios Fitness in Illinois, shared their experience of applying the six rules in their club. The results this dynamic duo were able to present left no room for doubt regarding the power of AI (artificial intelligence) in a health club environment. No question that this is a technology not of some far distant future, but of today. “It’s early days for us still, but AI has already identified our at-risk members, allowing us to re-connect with them,” Carrie explains. “We grew our lowrisk group from 53 to 61 per cent of our membership within three months of implementing Keepme.”

Looking ahead to November And there is more to come at canfitpro’s Online 2021 Business & Leadership event, which takes place on Friday November 12. Ian will this time be joined on the panel by the trailblazing team from Willows Health & Lifestyle Centre in Australia, who will share their hands-on experience of implementing AI across their business. In a session that promises to put AI at the top of every operator’s agenda, the panellists will bring to life the diverse opportunities that exist for gyms right now, and share some astonishing results. Without wanting to spoil the surprise, let us just say for now that in the space of 18 months, that notably included COVID-19 lockdown, AI helped Willows add a year to its average length of membership. Other notable results have so far included an eight per cent improvement in sales conversion rates in just three weeks, and $35,000 of additional revenue driven by a highly targeted three-week marketing campaign. “It’s incredible to think how far we’ve already come, and we’ve only scratched the surface,” says managing director Troy Morgan. “Quite simply, AI is the future. We have high expectations for everything we do now.” Delegates will also be offered a complimentary copy of Ian’s second white paper – Everything You Need to Know About Data & AI – which, as the title suggests, provides answers to all those questions that have been stacking up in your mind. As global fitness authority Emma Barry succinctly observed when she read the paper: “Finally. A one-stop shop for all those tech terms you’ve been too scared to ask about. A hugely enjoyable read that skips through playfully, clearly, and informatively.”

canfitpro September/October 2021



Breaking Barriers

HOW TO BE A LEADER IN THE INDUSTRY’S FUTURE Megan Williamson, BA, CPT WHAT IF I TOLD YOU THAT YOUR FITNESS BUSINESS IS EXCLUDING ONE OF THE LARGEST MINORITY GROUPS IN THE WORLD? Disability is on the rise, with about 22 per cent of Canada’s population falling into this category. This is estimated to be six million people. With today’s aging population to consider, this number is increasing every year. Access to health and fitness are not as accessible for people living with disabilities. The barriers these individuals face can be external, like not having a ramp coming into your studio space, or not having accessible washrooms in a facility’s changeroom. Internal barriers for this demographic are things like feeling discomfort in the exercise space because they are using 34 canfitpro September/October 2021

a mobility aid and fear drawing attention to themselves. It can also be that the individual does not feel knowledgeable enough to know how to use a piece of gym equipment properly without risk of causing an injury or a flare up in their condition.

By becoming inclusive fitness leaders, we are encouraging anyone and everyone to attend our classes, sign up for our training, and join our gyms. In return, these individuals benefit from improving their health and wellness through exercise and community participation.

What if we had the resources to break down some of these barriers within our industry? As fitness professionals, we have an opportunity to do just that. The team at the North American Council of Inclusive Fitness (NACIF) now offers Breaking Barriers: Fundamentals of training clients with physical disabilities. This virtual course is offered to our canfitpro community and any health practitioners looking to broaden their client base and serve a more diverse roster of individuals.

How will this benefit our fitness businesses? When inclusion is implemented to our business model by educating ourselves, using best practices, and by creating more inclusive spaces, we increase our potential client and membership demographics - we help more people. Our businesses thrive on high retention of clients and memberships, this is a winwin scenario. Being able to tap into this extremely underserved market can set us apart from the competition, strengthen our brands, and empower ourselves and our fit teams.

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

So how do we become more inclusive as fit pros? It all starts with awareness. There are many distinct aspects of inclusion we can measure. Here are some main points to consider, whether you work with clients, teach classes, or own/ manage a gym facility: • Having a general background of knowledge of what disabilities you might encounter ✓ What do we need to consider when working with a client who has MS? What intake assessment methods should be considered for a client with a spinal cord injury? • Assessment tools and techniques ✓ How do we perform a physical assessment on a client who uses a wheelchair? Are there any guidelines put in place to measure their cardiovascular fitness with respect to their abilities?

• Group fitness inclusion ✓ Can we guarantee an inclusive fitness class when someone signs up? How do we prepare for this class without knowing the roster? The Breaking Barriers course will give you the knowledge and confidence to adapt and accommodate any client living with a physical disability. It is in this course where movement professionals really get to dig deep in learning about the physiological effects of specific conditions and diseases, and how to create programs for these individuals that are safe, effective, and most importantly, fun! Breaking Barriers brings inclusion to our businesses now and inclusive fit pros help break barriers for our future world. – Rick Hansen, Founder, Rick Hansen Foundation -

• Psychology and your client ✓ What psychological impacts are there on a client who lives with a disability? How do we support them to continue working with us despite some challenges, like mental illness?

“Today, one in five Canadian adults are currently living with a disability, and this number is expected to grow exponentially as our population ages. What many may be surprised to know is in Canada, almost 50 per cent of adults have, or have experienced, a permanent or temporary physical disability or live with someone who has.

• Adaptive fitness ✓ How do we adapt exercises to meet the needs of someone who uses a walker? How do we program for someone who has side effects from their condition, such as spasticity?

As a graduate with a Bachelors of Physical Education from U.B.C., health and fitness have always played an important role in my life’s journey. In the 40 plus years since I was a student and Paralympian, progress has been made, but there

36 canfitpro September/October 2021

remains a surprising number of barriers to participation in the fitness industry. Every once in a while, we have champions that come along and identify why these barriers exist, and create solutions to help accelerate progress. Whether it’s tips on physical accessibility, modified techniques and equipment, customized approaches to various disabling conditions, or access to experts, Megan Williamson and her team at the North American Council for Inclusive Fitness (NACIF) are starting a movement to normalize an accessible and inclusive approach to fitness. Through the collective actions of the canfitpro community, I invite you to join Megan in changing the conversation so that the needs of people with disabilities are addressed in a qualified way. By doing so, we become many in motion, working together to create an accessible, healthy, and inclusive Canada where people of all abilities belong.”

Megan Williamson, BA, CPT, and rehab specialist has 11 years of experience in the field and six years working at the Blusson Spinal Cord Center with clients out of the Physical Activity Research Center (PARC). Megan also helps people virtually around the globe on their adaptive fitness and rehabilitation.

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Experts Weigh In



CANFITPRO ADVISORY PANEL MEMBERS SHARE THEIR THOUGHTS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF CERTIFICATION SHELDON MCBEE 1. It is critical that fitness professionals remain certified and sit on the cutting edge of health and wellness. Despite significant industry growth in the 2010 decade and overwhelming evidence supporting the health benefits of physical activity, spending on fitness professionals is still considered discretionary. Health clubs and studios have been devalued by the government in the fight to mitigate COVID-19 mortality, further galvanizing the need to put fitness professionals ahead on the healthcare continuum. 2. There are many moving parts and voices that need

38 canfitpro September/October 2021

to be heard to lift the fitness industry to a higher standard and to be viewed as an essential entity. One of these is ensuring that fitness professionals are held to a high standard, are certified by nationally accrediting certifying bodies, like canfitpro, and can position themselves for a career. Not only does it serve our industry but the health and wellness of our society when the fitness professional can be viewed along the path of one’s mental health specialist, physical therapist, and primary physician. 3. Acquiring a nationally accredited certification comes with hard work, and resources to maintain a certification are more accessible than ever. Fitness professionals should build a plan to acquire CECs (continuing education credits) quarterly to bi-annually, take advantage of the plethora of virtual/digital education opportunities, and lobby for other fitness professionals to do the same.

SARA KOOPERMAN 1. It is incredibly important to not only become certified but to maintain your certification as a fitness professional. It is not just about building momentum and success within our own fitness industry; it is about our contribution to general health and wellness on a community level. We are all going through an incredibly challenging time during this pandemic - Canada, America, Asia, Europe, and the world. This is a global pandemic, and we as fit pros are the leaders of well-being. Our focus has shifted

from simply outside the body to inside the mind and heart. 2. As trainers and teachers, owners, and managers, we can, and must, do our part to prevent chronic disease and obesity. All exercise serves to build immunity which is so critical to lifting us out of this health crisis. We need to rise beyond getting the fit fitter and into getting our communities healthier. Getting certified in unique programs such as yoga, Pilates, meditation, active aging, and other more specialized offerings, increases our ability to reach deep into our society and help build immunities that are so incredibly important. 3. On a personal note, expanding your education base invigorates our own commitment towards our individual health. This helps to keep us focused on the future and renews our passion for sharing and deepening our efforts to societal wellness.

practices is vital to remain effective to every client and member. Being certified shows dedication to the industry, but continuing education is even more important so we can expand our toolbox of skills and experiences to best serve our members and communities’ unique needs. New courses and certifications can open new business opportunities as a professional and continue to build momentum in a lifelong career in health, fitness, and wellness.

TONY FELGUEIRAS With the ever-changing state of the fitness industry, staying up to date on the latest trends, research, and

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Anatomy of Programming Principled foundations for a movement based program

By Chad Benson, MSc, CSCS, PTS

The goal of any workout plan is to create a principle guided (e.g., assess, address, and progress), highly individualized, goal specific set of movements, organized into phases, training blocks, and acute training variables. For most of us, the way you learned anatomy influences how you currently program 40 canfitpro September/October 2021

for clients. The two most common anatomical programming approaches are: 1. Segmental approach: based on muscular origins and insertions to include individual body parts and single joint movements.

2. Holistic / functional systems approach: based on kinetic chains and fascial lines to include multi-joint movement patterns.

Figure 1. Prepair2Perform Movement Training System

There are 100 diverse ways to create a great textbook program, but finding unique ways to adapt as required, engage your client, and individualize the workout is where programming magic happens. Given the cornucopia of programming options and the need to amend programs in the moment, it is imperative that professionals use a system based on guiding principles to determine their acute exercise method choices. This quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson says it well. “As to the methods, there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.” While both systems have benefits, many industry professionals learn and program based on the segmental approach, structured into a system of progressive overload known as periodization. This system of daily workout programming represents a series of acute methods designed to micromanage programming, and therefore the person performing it. Hands up if you like the feeling of being micromanaged? While the segments-based approach can be effective, it is fundamentally flawed; and therefore, not the most effective way to help people function in life or sport. The goals of holistic, movement-based programming are: • • • • •

People, not program, first Flexibility not rigidity Movement not muscle Unification not isolation Locomotion - not building body parts that pop

If we accept the holistic systems approach, we quickly realize that our programming must focus on a system of movement; only shifting towards segments and specific muscles if there is a weak link in the chain. The percentage of emphasis placed on each system of training should be based on clients’ likes and dislikes, style preferences, and goals. This article will walk through my system of programming titled prepair2perform. (Fig. 1).

Principled foundations for a movement based program might include: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Assess, then address and progress. Train movement not muscle. Progressive overload. Tailored fitness.

And remain adaptable to the client’s abilities at any given moment. This is epitomized in this quote from Everett Dirksen. “I am a man of principle, and one of my basic principles is flexibility.” While it is essential to have a programming system, it is equally important to remain nimble while programming and coaching. No matter what the program says on paper, “do more of what the person likes and less of what they dislike.” This could mean anything from exercise preferences to managing pain free range of motion during a goblet squat. If your program meets the client where they are at, you have encompassed everything required to run an elite level workout safely and effectively. Regardless of your system, step one is the assessment and setting your clients up for success. Preparation: To save time, assessments are done quickly at the beginning of a training session and often integrated into movement prep. With the permission of the client, pictures, screenshots, or advanced

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movement assessment software can be used. Desired outcomes (Assess and Address): 1. Movement efficiency 2. Injury prevention 3. Upper and lower mobility 4. Pelvic stability and mobility 5. Thoracic stability ASSESS with these three exercises: 1. Active Straight Leg Raise (pelvic stability and lower mobility) 2. Split Kneel/Kickstand (ankle mobility) 3. Tall Kneeling Back Scratch (shoulder mobility) Tip: when training a virtual client, instruct them to set their camera on a level surface at approximately knee to hip height. Active Straight Leg Raise

Viewpoints: 1. Lateral – Trainer positioned with foot directly under knee of client, hands on hips. 2. Facing client from behind Key Execution Points: (Part 1): Client is lying on back with both legs straight. • Instruct to keep down leg straight (neutral) with toes pointing towards ceiling • Client lifts other leg toward same side shoulder without lifting head or twisting foot (Part 2): Tighten abdominals to stiffen core and reassess. If there is a difference in total ROM, correct pelvic stability using various movements (such as Stu McGill’s Big 4). Ideal Outcomes: 1. Client’s heel in alignment with or beyond their mid-thigh or trainer’s navel (noticed from viewpoint one). 2. Leg straight and without external rotation (noticed from viewpoint two). Indications: • Foot does not make it to trainer’s first hand/client’s knee cap • Asymmetry in right and left ROM • Pelvic stability (change in lumbar arch or pelvis rotates) • Leg/foot externally rotates Address with corrective movements: Hyperice Vyper Dead Bug: Strength Band Pullover Straight Leg Raise Lower:

42 canfitpro September/October 2021

Split Kneel / Kickstand

Tall Kneeling Back Scratch

Viewpoints: 1. Lateral (ROM) 2. Facing client from front (alignment)

Viewpoints: 1. Lateral 2. Facing client from behind

Key Execution Points: Begin standing in a hip width kickstand position with toes of back foot in line with front foot heel (as shown).

Key Execution Points: • Keep body tall • Place arms in T-position with clenched fists • Using one clean movement, neutral spine and head, reach and bend one arm under and other over, attempting to touch them behind the back

Ideal Outcomes: 1. Back knee four to six inches beyond the toes with alignment over second and third toe. 2. Back knee in alignment with middle of medial malleolus of front foot or beyond. Indications: • Total ROM - relative to medial malleolus of front foot • Asymmetric ROM • Tracking not in alignment with second and third metatarsal joint Address with corrective movements: Hyperice Mini Split Kneel Shifts: Hyperice Vyper Half Roller Squats:

Ideal Outcomes: 1. Top hand: below or in line with spine of scapula* 2. Bottom hand: above or in line with inferior border of scapula* * Less than one hand (e.g., distance from wrist crease to middle finger) Posterior Viewpoint Indications: Relative distance from anatomical areas indicated above. • Top hand: restriction may indicate tightness in Pectoralis major/ minor, Subscapularis, Latissimus Dorsi, Teres Major, Triceps, Serratus Anterior • Bottom hand: restriction may indicate tightness in Pectoralis minor, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, Supraspinatus



canfitpro September/October 2021


Lateral Viewpoint Indications: • Top arm: not vertical, forward of ear • Bottom arm: not vertical (Infraspinatus), shoulder forward (Pectoralis major/ minor)

or block one of strength training. Once fully prepared, the client centered strength training program should flow from the most complex/heaviest movements early, progressing towards less complex as fatigue accumulates.

Address with corrective movements: Hyperice Angel Sweeps and Side to Side Knee Drops: Hyperice Arm Clock:

Strength Movements: attempt to include each movement into the main section of the program. These movements can be programmed: 1. On different days (e.g., split routine) or in combination with additional body part exercises. 2. Left to right as a block of exercises followed by a corrective movement or recovery. 3. Agonist – Antagonist (e.g., push-pull).

ADDRESS with Movement Preparation This is a combination of mobility and stability training. The main goal of movement prep is to create acute readiness; bridging the gap between walked in the door tight as a board to 315 pound, butt to grass squat, and long-term mobility and health benefits. Desired outcomes (achieve mobility over top of stability): 1. Reduce side-to-side asymmetries and active passive ROM differences. 2. Leveling the pelvis. 3. Stacking the head and thorax over the pelvis. Prescription: • Volume: one to two sets of four to eight repetitions per movement, per side • Intensity: bodyweight load at 95-100 per cent of active ROM • Tempo: two to five second isometric hold at end ROM • Frequency: minimum of three times per week, maximum of six times per week

Performance – Strength (30 to 40 minutes): Every resistance training program created, no matter the goal, attempts to integrate the assessment results and achieve the following goals with movement-based training. To maximize the training hour, most strength blocks are organized into training blocks that minimize central and peripheral fatigue.

Progressive overload and movement management: in addition to progressing quantifiable elements such as sets, repetitions, rest intervals and tempo, movement based workouts focus on movement quality and overloading these five movement intensifiers; progressing each from low to high: 1. ROM 2. Speed of movement 3. Lever lengths 4. Fatigue 5. Complexity Here is a vertical loading program that is performed circuit style.

Desired outcomes: 1. Move without pain. 2. Progressively overload movement. 3. Manage postural stability under load. Prescription: • Two to three blocks, often organized into mini circuits of two to four movements • Volume: two to four sets of six to 10 repetitions per movement, per side • Intensifiers: goal specific; system of progressive overload (see below) • Frequency: maximum of four times per week; dependent on weekly programming and average intensity of training sessions Before fully transitioning into heavy strength training, many adult recreational clients will benefit from a hybrid movement prep and strength block. The Pallof press, renegade row, and kettlebell sumo squat are great examples of preparatory strength exercises. These exercises place a heavy focus on multidirectional stability, and consequently help bridge the gap between movement prep and heavy strength training. This hybrid block would represent either the end of movement prep 44 canfitpro September/October 2021

Art of the Science: Tailored Fitness Assessments, movement prep, strength training complete. Now what? It is time to apply the art of the science. That means giving the client both what they want and what they need. When building a relationship, it is important that both trust and rapport are achieved. Below is a list of potential ways to individualize the daily workout template by determining the client’s: • Goals ( body composition, strength, sports or life performance, health) • Exercise likes and dislikes (ask for top three and include them) • Training location (at home, gym, studio, field), equipment availability and preferences • Personality type (Myers Briggs or Merrill-Reid) • Motivators and drivers (improved ROM, weight lifted, confidence, improved energy or technique)

• Preferred style of training (bodybuilding, athletic, HIIT, max strength, Olympic lifting)

block to block. The fitness professional can often demo the next movements while this is occurring

Below are tips to integrate assessment and tailored fitness into the workout:

Regardless of what system and principles you use, be consistent, and most importantly, remember these two pro tips:

1. The best training program in the world is useless if it is notbeing done. 2. It is your client’s program, not yours.

Warm-up o Choose assessments / mobility checks that double as movement prep or warm-up exercises o Perform movements two times more on the side of the issue (e.g., Cook Hip Lift - four on right, eight on left for a weak left glute or tight left hip flexor complex) Strength Training o Program preferred exercises as early in the workout as possible o Use corrective exercises as recovery between or at the end of each complete mini circuit, or in transition from

Chad Benson is the President of Personal Trainer Academy and Director of Education at Wrkout. Before becoming an educator, Chad trained pro and Olympic athletes. He is a canfitpro PTS author and is a master trainer in Trigger Point, Bulgarian Bag, and ViPR PRO.


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46 canfitpro September/October 2021

THE FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENT SCREEN (FMS) SURVEYS SEVEN FUNDAMENTAL MOVEMENT PATTERNS TO HELP DETERMINE AN INDIVIDUAL’S CURRENT MOVEMENT ABILITIES. And while this information is a wealth of valuable knowledge, it is also important to look beyond the screening process itself to understand the true value of the FMS. Let us look at some of the broader benefits of using the FMS in your fitness business. Make Better Decisions One of the most substantial advantages of using the FMS as your entry point to training is that it will help you make better decisions regarding your clients’ health and fitness. The screen accomplishes this by providing you with a “birdseye view” perspective of your clients’ current movement status. Equipped with this information, you can make better decisions about program specifics, like selecting movement patterns that are ready to be developed, determining which patterns may require a more foundational approach such as corrective exercise, or in some cases, deciding when a referral is needed. The outcome here is simple: when you make better decisions in your client management and program design your clients see better results. Create Purposeful Programs How often have you found yourself uncertain about what exercises to add to your client’s program? It is a challenge all fitness professionals encounter at one time or another: immobilized by the number of options and variables that go into a training program.

The FMS is a great remedy for this dilemma. When used as your starting point, it provides you with a solid foundation and just enough structure, so your training maintains purpose and direction. Remember: purposeful training is what fosters coaching confidence. When you have a reason for selecting an exercise or designing a program in a certain way, you exude confidence. And I am sure we can all agree that confidence in your coaching methods is the key to delivering high energy, engaging, and effective training sessions. Connect With Professionals It is no secret that sedentarism has become a global health crisis. It is also evident that it is going to require a collective effort from fitness and health care professionals to inspire individuals to get (and remain) active. As a fitness professional implementing the FMS, you become a resource for health professionals such as physiotherapists, chiropractors, and doctors who are looking for trainers to work with their patients. Using the screen brings trust you are making appropriate decisions by using a metric. You share a common system with these health care providers which allows you to work together and build a mutually beneficial referral relationship. Set A Baseline and Improve To know whether your corrective exercises, training, or lifestyle recommendations are having a positive effect on your clients’ movement behaviour, you need to establish a baseline. This is exactly what the FMS determines: our movement baseline. When you know this information, it helps you understand if you are being effective and if not, it alerts you that it is time

canfitpro September/October 2021


Show That You Care The tools you use in the operations of your business say a lot about your guiding principles. By having a FMS kit in your gym, what does that say about you and your organization? It shows that you perform your due diligence (e.g., screening before you begin training), and that you genuinely care about your clients’ health and wellness.

Join the Movement “No man (or woman) is an island” is a famous quote from an English poet and it is more relevant today than ever. In a time where the fitness industry is being asked to follow certain guidelines that keep us apart, it is important to stay connected any way we can. As a part of the global FMS community, you get access to continuing education resources, an extensive exercise library, an interactive forum, and much more. Most importantly, you become part of a global collective of fitness and healthcare professionals dedicated to helping everyone first move well and then move often.

Build Your Brand A brand is the way a company, organization, or individual is perceived by those who experience it. The FMS offers your prospective clients an engaging customer experience and an opportunity to get to know you. In turn, you can display your expertise and offer a solution to their problem. This is a fantastic way to build connections and brand resonance with your target market without relying on just your Instagram posts. (Although they can be helpful too - #movewithfms)

Michael Panaraella is a Strength and Conditioning Coach and Personal Trainer in Vancouver, Canada. He is the founder of Thrive Performance Inc. which provides services focused on post rehabilitative care and performance training, as well as fitness instruction for the general population.

to modify the approach. Applying this mindset, you are constantly rechecking the movement baseline and looking for new and improved ways to help your clients.

ARE YOUR CLIENTS READY TO PURSUE ACTIVITY AND EXERCISE? HOW DO YOU KNOW? Physical inactivity is a leading contributor to many health-related problems. Too often the solution is to increase physical activity and exercise. Many individuals do not know where to start or what to do and they simply start exercising. But we know that exercise often leads to injury, which increases physical inactivity. Your job as a fitness professional is to break this cycle, and we can help. Learn how our approach to movement can help you better identify strategies for long-term exercise success. A Common Sense Approach to Evaluating Movement is a one-hour introduction to our way of looking at movement through the lens of function. This course is an overview of the movement philosophy and principles that drive our company. It also serves as a primer on the Functional Movement Screen, our tool for fitness professionals like you.

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BREAKING BARRIERS Fundamentals of Training Clients with Physical Disabilities Expand your coaching skills, help build your client roster, and become an inclusive Fitness Leader. Join Megan Williamson, BA, CPT and rehab specialist, and her Breaking Barriers’ team to learn the skills for working with clients with physical disabilities in the gym or studio setting. In this course, you will learn: • Instituting inclusion as a movement specialist • Disability Language • Translation and application of the international exercise guidelines • Programming for people living with Spinal Cord Injuries, MS, Arthritis, cerebral palsy, CMT, Parkinson's and clients who are amputees, with respect to their abilities or symptoms • Adaptive Equipment • And much more


Saturday, December 4, 2021 1:00pm — 7:00pm (EDT) Online Session

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TRAINING WOMEN 40 PLUS Program to treat the whole womAn including hormones, motivation, and confidence By Samantha Montpetit-Huynh

THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT ONCE WE HIT THE BIG 4-0, THINGS BEGIN TO CHANGE; BOTH PHYSICALLY AND PHYSIOLOGICALLY. As an industry, we understand the importance of strength training to support muscles and bone density, and how this becomes even more important once we hit 30 years of age. This is typically when natural muscle loss begins to occur. We call this age-related Sarcopenia and there is no perfect formulation to test the exact amount of muscle you will lose, but studies show it is an average of three to five per cent per decade once we hit 30. So, what is the big deal about 40? Well, in females, this is usually when hormones begin to start to shift and, for some, they enter perimenopause. Although some do 50 canfitpro September/October 2021

experience perimenopausal symptoms before 40, this is the average. When we are working with women over 40, there should be a basic understanding that there is a good chance that there are hormonal influences at play and hormones affect everything; including weight, muscle, strength, energy, mood, fat distribution, core, and pelvic floor weakness…just to name a few. So, with that, it is important that we understand that adjusting their exercise program is key to not only getting results but keeping them motivated and inspired to even wanting to exercise in the first place. Something I have heard a lot of these

past 20 years being in the industry, is that many women have had bad experiences with personal trainers because they felt that they were not being heard. Not only that; they were pushed to do things that they knew was not good for them. We all know at a physiological level that everyone is different, and their exercise program should be too, but do you practice this? Or do you find yourself training everyone the same or worse; training them the way you train yourself? Once I hit 40, I can certainly say that things began to “shift” when it came to my body, but then when I hit the big 5-0, it was less about my body and way more about how I felt. I wanted to feel strong and be able to keep doing the things I

love. It became more about quality of life; not pushing my one-rep max.

Supported Stationary Lunge


Now my goal is to help women feel good in the place that they are RIGHT NOW because once they can do that, then they are more inclined to want to keep going. Women 40+ who struggle with hormonal issues will often complain of fatigue, brain fog, lack of focus, joint pain, incontinence, etc., so giving them a program that is only going to accentuate their struggles is not a good strategy. Just like no one likes their weaknesses being brought front and centre, neither does your client; even if they know they need to improve – hence why they hired you. When I create a program for a woman over 40 who has not exercised in a while (hello pandemic) and has been doing lots of sitting and little else, I go back to basics because this is where functional training and improving their ability to move around in a world that is opening up will really be appreciated. I also ensure that I include core foundational training to make sure that they can confidently follow through on their program and not have to worry about injuries or leaking.

Supine Alternating Heel Drop

Upright Row


Seated March

Here is a sample program that I would create for a 45-year-old woman who presents with low back pain, knee issues, a weak core, and “aches all over”.

Now, I understand that for a lot of you, you might say, ”Hey! 40 isn’t old!” and I would agree. In fact, neither is 50, 60, or 70 for that matter. We all know as health professionals that age is just a matter of who we show up to be. Having said that, over this past year, with SO much sitting and inactivity, 40+ is looking a lot older than previous years.

Warm up: 10-minute walk, swinging arms back and forth, marching on the spot, step ups on the stairs (if knee tolerates it), step jacks. Followed by one set each: Clam shell, Side lying bent knee lift, Seated knee extension – 10 to 15 repetitions.

Incline Pushup

Workout: Two to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions, depending on the person and their ability to perform the movement.

Prisoner Squat or Sit to Stand

Bicep Curl on One Leg

The reality is, there will be a lot of catch up to do and people will be coming to people like you and me to help them so let us take a step back, assess, and set our clients up for success. When we do that, then they will have the strength and foundation to do all the exciting and “crazy” things that they dream of doing in the future. One step at a time. Samantha MontpetitHuynh is an online health coach, a serial entrepreneur, speaker, teacher, mentor, course creator, and author. She is also the winner of The Abundance Awards, 2019 Personal Trainer of the Year and canfitpro 2021 Specialty Presenter of the Year Award. Samantha is a resident fitness expert on the Marilyn Denis Show.

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THE ADVENT OF COVID HAS IMPACTED THE FITNESS INDUSTRY AND CAUSED MANY OF US TO COME UP WITH CREATIVE WAYS TO KEEP EARNING A LIVING DOING WHAT WE LOVE BY GOING ONLINE WITH VIRTUAL CLASSES, TRAINING, AND COACHING THIS PAST YEAR. THIS HAS CERTAINLY CREATED AN AWAKENING ON THE IMPORTANCE OF HEALTH AND WELLNESS. We are in a perfect storm; fitness professionals can be the first line of defense against the impact of lifestyle diseases. And so, a new era of medical fitness begins. Beyond this pandemic, we are still facing chronic disease, obesity, opioid and mental health crisis. These are continually on the rise and contribute a steady increase in common and costly long-term health problems. Fitness and exercise are extremely valuable for those with chronic health and medical conditions, for many reasons. Once the surgeries are completed and the medications have been established, a person must live with lifelong disabilities to one degree or another, oftentimes in pain.

YOU CAN TRULY BE A PIONEER INTO A NEW ERA, ONE IN WHICH MEDICINE AND FITNESS COME TOGETHER. Developing a plan for a regular exercise and wellness program can be difficult for these people; they require specialized medical fitness specialists who understand their unique needs. This is an opportunity for the fitness professional to up level their education and services to: 1. Be on the front line of healthcare by aiding in the management and prevention of chronic disease. 2. Be positioned as an essential part of the healthcare and business community. 3. Expand your offerings and scope of practice to the largest, fastest-growing demographic. 4. Gain credibility and network with other healthcare providers.

5. Increase income by expanding service offerings. There are millions of “unwell” potential clients in the market looking for you. Those with medical conditions or chronic disease are seeking specialized personal trainers; trainers who understand their condition and create programming to improve the quality of their life. You can truly be a pioneer into a new era, one in which medicine and fitness come together. Let us talk more about the education that is necessary for you to step into and succeed in the emerging Medical Fitness space. • Where are you now? Answering this question requires you to assess where you are in your career now. Knowing where you stand is the first step in moving forward in your career into this new space. • Where do you want to be? This is the key question. Do you want to broaden your potential customer base to this demographic by adding new skills? The first step in differentiating yourself and building a brand is picking up the skills and knowledge that not only sets you apart, but also adds significant value to a unique client base. • What do you need to get there? What education, skills or experience are you missing that you will need to move from where you are to where you want to be? 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. When chosen well, continuing education allows you to build on your current skillset or broaden your skills into entirely new areas. 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.


The pandemic has caused great disruption in everyone’s lives, and this provides a positive transformation. Medical Fitness is a high growth field with incredible potential for making a positive impact on the lives of others. Continuing 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. What better way to earn a living and have a career than doing what you love to do?

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Tips to building programs to more effectively interact and engage with your clients By Trish Tonaj WE HAVE ALL HAD TO FIND NEW WAYS TO RECONNECT WITH CLIENTS IN RECENT MONTHS. Virtual training has become the norm and, for many, a combination of both in-person and on-line options will become part of the new landscape. There is no doubt that it is challenging to engage participants in a virtual world. Screen fatigue and at home distractions are new obstacles that did not occur at the gym, and there is no doubt we are all experiencing higher than usual levels of stress in everyday life.

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There seems to be two polar opposites when it comes to health and fitness. Those who are what I would describe as “all in” and those who have decided to hit the snooze button. There seems to be no happy medium. But the good news is, many of those who hit snooze are now ready to commit to their health and are looking to reengage with fitness professionals. So, I ask the question: How do we support their goals and provide engaging virtual client programs? I am sure you will agree, client engagement is key to receiving referrals and renewing contracts. Everyone is

having to look outside the box to create content that is not only compelling but realistic, given the many day-to-day challenges, time constraints, and interest levels. Here are a few suggestions to consider when creating a program to better help your clients stay focused and involved: 1. Shorten the actual “work out” time by 15 minutes to allow for discussion and catching up. 2. Create handouts that you can send electronically as follow up to each session that will explain the benefits of exercises, stretches, etc. 3. Create short videos that you may

share on your own YouTube channel with step-by-step instructions for easy reference. 4. Introduce journaling as part of the program so clients may document challenges and reinforce wins. 5. Include workout sheets with calendar dates, times, and comments to track success. 6. Include outdoor activities such as walking, jogging, or cycling using “at home” equipment to encourage variety. 7. Create a Facebook page where you may post additional content, encouraging clients to share ideas with motivational tips. 8. Develop a weekly challenge that encourages other family members to participate. 9. Reinforce short term and long-term goals by reviewing the roadmap regularly as part of your weekly discussion - we need the positive reinforcement. 10. As part of the cool down, include exercises that concentrate on minimizing stress such as deep breathing or short mediation sessions. As we are unable to attend traditional networking sessions, our clients’ networks are going to become even more important as they will have the ability to introduce us to their friends and family. If you have not already, consider creating a web page or website - I have a feeling they will become a new form of business card as individuals look for an online presence with mission statements and testimonials. The business of our business is changing and how we connect with customers and

SCREEN FATIGUE AND AT HOME DISTRACTIONS ARE NEW OBSTACLES ... prospects now, more than ever, will be dependent on innovation. How we do business is going to become as important as our area of expertise and I believe “outside the box thinking” along with unique programming will put us on the inside track for success.

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!


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HOW OFTEN HAVE YOUR HEARD, “NO MATTER HOW MUCH I STRETCH AND FOAM-ROLL MY HAMSTRINGS, THEY ARE ALWAYS TIGHT?” When I assess this client, I discover that their clever body has reconfigured their posture and movement to get them around efficiently. The outcome is “tight” hamstrings. One solution is to improve how their body stands and moves so the 56 canfitpro September/October 2021

hamstrings can feel free. You know how a tight muscle feels. Whichever way you intervene it feels blocked and resistant. What is happening to make it feel tight? It could always be long. Or always short. To know which one you are dealing with you need to know what muscles do. When your bones move, the muscles attached to them respond to the bones’ position. Bones moving apart

cause the muscles attached to them to contract to prevent them from moving too far apart. Bones that stay far apart have muscles attached to them that are always working to pull those bones back. On the flip side, muscles attached to bones that stay too close together are always at rest. A muscle might feel tight because it is either always too long or too short. The bones have not moved in a direction where the muscle has an opportunity to

lengthen or shorten. A solution? Move your bones better so your muscles get to lengthen and shorten. Just like your ability to move the bones your muscles attach to; your resting posture dictates how much potential you have for movement. If you stand, for example, with weight in the heels, or a rounded upper back, or a high lumbar curve, your body’s perception of “neutral” is wonky. When you move, you may struggle to fully access the opposite of your resting posture or are unable to move those parts at all. Being stuck in any shape means less movement overall. Any muscles above or below those parts that cannot move get few opportunities to lengthen and shorten. No wonder some muscles feel tight. Let us ask your hamstring tightness question through the lens of movement and posture. What if bones much further up or down the chain are moving too much or too little and requiring your hamstrings to stay long or short? What if your tight hamstrings are in a permanent long or short position and no amount of stretching relaxes them? What if your resting posture is keeping you stuck? A solution? Improve the movement of your structures and your resting posture to reeducate your hamstrings. Muscles lengthen and shorten when the bones they attach to move apart and together. Hamstrings get long at the top when you tilt your pelvis forward and bend your knee, and at the bottom when you tuck your pelvis under and straighten your

knee. Keep this in mind while we look at some reasons why they feel tight. Here are a few resting postures that could create tightness in your hamstrings: • A stuck ribcage. If your ribcage is unable to tilt up and down, then your hamstrings will be unable to lengthen or shorten by way of your pelvis. • A lumbar spine with apex too high or too low. If you hinge too high or too low, then your hamstrings will be unable to lengthen or shorten. • Foot pressure in your heels. If your weight is mostly in your heels, then your hamstrings will remain long at the bottom. Let us examine your forward fold. Does it resemble any of these examples? 1. Spine that stays neutral and pelvis that cannot posteriorly tilt. 2. Spine with excess flexion in some areas. 3. Weight in the heels. Here are some exercises that can help re-educate the structures above and below the hamstrings to give them some freedom. After each exercise, recheck your forward fold. Check out the full demonstrations of these exercises at A. Open your upper back: on all fours, shift your weight forward and round your spine, hold the position on the inhales, on every exhale keep pushing your spine up to the ceiling. B. Change where you bend from: using

your hand, find your curve. Flex and extend your spine while redistributing the opening and closing of the joints further up and down. C. Posteriorly tilt the pelvis: standing with back against the wall, tuck your pelvis under while you bring your lumbar to the wall, keep your knees straight and do not lose contact with your head or upper back. D. Weight in your toes: going into your forward fold, shift your weight towards your midfoot. I have provided only a few examples of postures and movements that can limit hamstring freedom. Get curious and explore what shapes you or your clients are stuck in and what movements are absent throughout the body. Your hamstrings will thank you. If you are interested in more information about training hamstrings or gait analysis, head to or Gary Ward’s website, Founder of Anatomy in Motion™, Holly Middleton is a canfitpro Personal Training Specialist and movement coach specializing in Anatomy in Motion™. Owner of Flow Movement Therapy in Vancouver, she helps active people restore their body’s factory settings by helping them move better.

canfitpro September/October 2021





their specific goals, such as “I want to get fit so I can run a 10K,” or “I want to lose 15 pounds.” A specific goal can also involve improving sleep, decreasing stress levels, or lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Help people narrow their goals to two or three main objectives, then break down the small steps that move toward achievement. For instance, if a 15-pound (6.8 kg) weight loss is the goal, then breaking it into small increments of 1.5 pounds (1 kg) per week will be less daunting and feel more doable. MEASURABLE GOALS Goals should be measurable, so that you can track their progress. Measurement can be either subjective or objective. It could be pounds lost, back pain decreased, or even self-esteem improved.

Subjective measurable goals are typically centered on feelings, whereas objective goals are more externally measurable, such as being able to run a 5K race. ATTAINABLE GOALS Attainable goals must be realistic! These goals take into account the individual’s training experience, current level of conditioning, and intensity of their motivation. People frequently have unrealistic ideas of how quickly goals can be attained because magazines and celebrities are constantly selling instant weight-loss supplements or programs that guarantee miracles. Instead, you should help your client set attainable goals through education and clear explanation. Additionally, a client may decide on a

PROGRAMS NEED TO HAVE ENOUGH STRUCTURE TO PROMOTE ADHERENCE, BUT IF THEY ARE TOO RIGID, THEY MAY ELICIT GUILT AND FEELINGS OF FAILURE. specific and measurable weight-loss goal by committing to an exact number of sessions per week, and then they get a new job that doesn’t allow time for as many sessions as they originally planned. Programs need to have enough structure to promote adherence, but if they are too rigid, they may elicit guilt and feelings of

failure. Therefore, to help the individual be successful, goals need to be attainable. RELEVANT GOALS For a client to make significant changes in their lifestyle, like getting more active and joining your SGT classes or committing to modifying their diet, goals have to be relevant to them personally. This is where goal setting needs to be collaborative; it’s not good for you to set the goals if they are not meaningful to your client! To make a commitment to change, the goal must have personal relevance. TIME-BASED GOALS Time-based goals should have a deadline. This helps motivate clients to get started and stay focused. Set a long-term goal, then create some short-term stepping-

stones to help them be successful. Shortterm goals assist clients in seeing progress along the way.

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.

canfitpro September/October 2021




Fostering a healthy relationship with food By Angela Wallace, Msc, RD, PTS SOMETHING I ALWAYS REMIND MY CLIENTS IS THAT FOOD IS MUCH MORE THAN THE NUTRIENTS IT PROVIDES OUR BODY. Of course, these nutrients are important to our overall health and well-being, but it is important to remember that food is much more than that. Food can represent memories, culture, socialization, and connection. In fact, many of the ways we socialize and connect across the world revolves around food. In my practice, and in working within the fitness industry, I have noticed that sometimes people may eat healthy, but they might not have a healthy relationship with food. A healthy 60 canfitpro September/October 2021

relationship with food is eating in a way that makes you feel good both physically and mentally, from the inside out. Often, improving your relationship with food means less stress around mealtime and more enjoyment. Some signs that might indicate that you or your clients could improve their relationship with food: • Stress around mealtimes • Not feeling comfortable eating out or eating with others • Stress and anxiety about eating certain types of foods (e.g., carbs) • Feeling guilty about eating certain foods

• Avoiding or restricting certain foods for non-medical reasons (e.g., gluten) • Feeling restricted by what you can or cannot eat In this article, I will be sharing five tips to help you and your clients foster a healthy relationship with food. 1. Discover what foods bring you joy. A healthy relationship with food will look different for every person. It is important to identify what foods and food situations bring you joy. When do you enjoy eating most? What foods hold special memories? What cultural foods do you enjoy? All these factors will influence your

enjoyment around eating. Take some time to reflect on these items and notice what foods make you happy. Once you discover this, make sure these are not foods you are completely avoiding or eliminating but foods that you include in your regular diet. You can take this a step further and ask yourself what foods make your body feel best, both physically and mentally. When you eat certain foods, how do you feel? Really try to listen to what foods make you feel best. It is a fine balance and will take some reflecting and discovery. 2. Listen to your hunger cues. A key aspect to a healthy relationship with food is being able to identify and listen to your hunger and fullness cues. Sometimes we under or overeat based on how many calories we think we should consume, sometimes we overindulge on foods we love or around company. Try this: Before your next meal try to identify how hungry you are. You can try by rating on a scale of one to three how hungry you feel before the meal. 1



(Tummy rumbling)

healthy relationship with food. Mindful eating in its essence is about being present while you eat, enjoying each bite, enjoying the flavours and textures. When being mindful while eating you will also be able to identify when you are full and satisfied (this can often be missed when you are mindlessly eating). Simple ways to practice mindful eating: • Ask yourself questions. What does this taste like? What flavours do I enjoy most? Am I starting to feel full? Try to focus on what you enjoy about the meal. • Try to be present while eating and avoid distractions. Eating without being distracted by your phone, computer, work, TV, etc., can support mindful eating and allow you to be more present.



(Not hungry)

Most of the time you want to eat your meals when you are around a two. When you eat at a three you might be overeating or eating when your body does not need to and if you wait until you are at a one, you might overeat because you have waited too long! Most of us can likely relate to a time where we have not eaten in a while, and we then want to eat everything in sight! 3. Practice mindful eating. Mindful eating can help you enjoy your food more and further support your

4. Remove restrictions. Restrictions can lead to a viscous cycle of restricting and binge eating. When we restrict foods, especially foods we really enjoy or love we might become more inclined to binge on them when presented with the opportunity or after restricting for too long. Restrictions can also lead to unhealthy eating habits such as feelings of guilt or shame when eating a food that was supposed to be “restricted.” Of course, restrictions have a place. For example, if there is a medical reason

where certain foods need to be restricted or if certain foods really make you feel unwell. However, restricting foods completely for reasons that do not make you feel physically or mentally well will be likely problematic in the long-term. Tip: You can have guidelines around what and how much to eat of certain foods but restricting foods completely can be problematic. 5. Be flexible and kind to yourself. Having a healthy relationship with food takes time, practice, and patience. There will be moments of enjoyment and others where you may feel guilt when eating a certain food. Do your best to remain flexible and enjoy meals without such strict guidelines (try not to label foods as good or bad). Your relationship with food may be ever changing, it is something that is personal to you and takes time to develop and support. Practice some of the tips above to help you foster a healthy relationship with food. Remember that food is not good or bad, it is more than just nutrients, and it should be both celebrated and enjoyed.

Angela Wallace is a registered dietician and family food expert. She specializes in women’s nutrition and fitness. She loves helping women find a balanced lifestyle and healthy relationship with food that works for them and their families! You can learn more about Angela on her website or follow her @eatright_rd

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THE HABIT CHANGE CHALLENGE Stop relying on willpower to drive habit change By Casey Zavaleta

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IF YOU WERE READY TO BE BRUTALLY HONEST WITH YOURSELF, HOW MANY OF THE HABIT CHANGES YOU HAVE DECIDED TO MAKE IN THE PAST WOULD YOU SAY HAVE STUCK? (I am not talking about the ones that stick for 30 or 60 days; I am talking about the ones that result in real, sustainable change.) Perhaps more importantly for your training business, how many of the habit changes your clients have decided to make have really stuck? If your answer is lower than you would like it to be, you are certainly not alone. Inspiring behavior change is one of the most challenging aspects of our jobs as trainers. However, if what you are doing is not working, that means it is time to change your tactics. When most of us decide to improve our habits, we default to relying on our willpower. We kid ourselves into thinking that we can white-knuckle our way into making a sustainable, long-term change. The reason why we have so much trouble is that it simply does not work to rely on willpower. (Maybe it works for a week, or a month, but it does not work in the long run.) The reason is, that as humans, our willpower naturally goes up and down, which means it is unreliable as our main driver for habit change. The good news is that instead of relying on willpower, we can set the stage to rely on our environment. We like to think that we are completely autonomous beings, and that every decision we make and behavior we engage in comes from a desire inside of us. In reality, our environment has a powerful influence on our choices, and therefore on our habits. If you ever find

yourself reaching for a snack simply because it is available, grabbing for your phone for no other reason than the fact that it is sitting on the desk in front of you, or turning on the TV before bed simply because it is there, you have experienced this phenomenon before. The influence of our environment is so ingrained in our behavior that we often do not notice the impact it is having. When you start to become aware of it, you realize it influences you all the time. The next time you want to change a habit, ask yourself: How can I construct my environment to help me? Let us imagine you are working on eliminating late night snacking - not an easy feat! If you were relying on willpower, you would be working against all of your wellestablished neurocircuitry screaming at you that when you sit down on the couch at night, it has to be with a snack. Your only soldier in this fight will be the alreadydiminished willpower that is left at the end of the day. If it has been a stressful day, forget about it! You are destined to lose. How could you construct the environment in this case to work in your favor? If you did not have any snacks in the house besides carrot sticks and other nibbles that do not sound nearly as appetizing at 10 p.m., your environment is able to do the work for you. You have simply erased the option of grabbing a snack, which eliminates the fight altogether. In light of this change, you might be antsy the first couple of days, but after a week, you will have proved to yourself that you can, in fact, survive without that late snack, and things will get easier. You will be forming new neurocircuitry. The most important action step you can take in this

case happens when you are at the store, skipping over those snacks that you are most likely to eat in the wee hours of the morning. The possibilities are endless, but other examples of powerful environment changes include moving the TV out of the bedroom, placing your meditation pillow out as a reminder to do some breath work, and packing a gym bag the night before so it is easy to hit the gym after work. Although you might not default to thinking of these things as your first step towards success, behavioral science has shown us that these types of changes are much more successful than relying on willpower. Since we understand that behavior change is incredibly challenging, the DTS Fitness Education team has developed a course that teaches trainers how to coach their clients to improve their habits. The science-based DTS Habits Coach system addresses sleep, exercise, interpersonal and eating habits. If you are interested in learning more about upcoming dates for this four week virtual course, please visit Casey Zavaleta is an instructor for DTS Fitness Education. She began her career developing cognitive programs for youth and professional athletes. Now, as a trainer and instructor, she integrates her understanding of behavioral science with proven principles of training to help people make sustainable changes and ultimately feel better.

canfitpro September/October 2021



EXERCISE, MENTAL HEALTH, AND THE PANDEMIC PARADOX How we can help our clients become more resilient By Sara Hodson

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AT A TIME WHEN WE NEEDED EXERCISE THE MOST, MANY CANADIANS STOPPED EXERCISING ALTOGETHER. In a study conducted between April and June 2020, McMaster University uncovered a “pandemic paradox” – Canadians knew that they had to exercise for their stress and anxiety, but were too stressed and anxious to exercise. We are not out of the woods: the impact COVID-19 has had on mental health, physical activity, and sedentary behavior has been severe worldwide. “The pandemic has created a paradox where mental health has become both a motivator and barrier to exercise,” says Dr. Jennifer Heisz, one of the co-authors of the study. “People want to be active to improve their mental health, but find it difficult to exercise due to stress and anxiety.” Dr. Heisz, an associate professor in McMaster’s Department of Kinesiology and lead researcher in the study of more than 1600 people, wanted to find out how the anxiety of the pandemic was affecting activity levels, concerned the stress of the pandemic might cause Canadians to forego exercise altogether. She was right. Nearly half of respondents of the study were unmotivated to exercise during the early stages of the pandemic. There were several reasons: One, a lack of will and motivation; another, access to facilities and equipment. People sat more and exercised less. Although a percentage of Canadians used the time

to embrace walking, running, and online classes – this was not the norm. As gyms shuttered their doors, inactivity levels rose. According to research from Fitness Industry Council of Canada, more than 90 per cent of Canadians are not getting the recommended 150 minutes of exercise weekly. There is a direct link between inactivity levels and the rising mental health issues in Canada. In a study published in October 2020, two out of five Canadians reported that their mental health had suffered since the pandemic began. Instead of reaching for prescription drugs, we need to encourage physicians to write prescriptions for exercise. “In a head-to-head challenge, exercise versus antidepressants, both are similarly effective at reducing depressive symptoms, both are effective at reductive depressive symptoms, which is pretty amazing when you think about it,” says Dr. Heisz. “For some people, exercise is the clear winner.” As the fitness industry gets back to business, we have an opportunity to change the mental health of Canadians. Here is why exercise should be the first tool treating two of the most common mental health issues – depression and anxiety – and why resiliency is a muscle we should all be toning. Depression Since the early 1900s, researchers have been interested in the link between clinical depression and exercise. It is estimated that roughly nine per cent of the population suffers from depression, and that 17-20 per cent of us will suffer

a depressive episode at some point in our lives. Early case studies concluded that moderate-intensity exercise is beneficial for depression and results in a happier mood. Research also suggests that the benefits of exercise are long lasting: depressed adults who took part in a 12-week training program reported significant improvements in depression, anxiety, and self-concept than those who didn’t exercise – and the effects were maintained in follow-up periods. There have also been studies conducted on whether aerobic or resistance training provides greater benefits for those suffering from depression – and though research is ongoing, there is not a significant difference: both cardio and strength training work well. Why does exercise work? There are several hypotheses – the thermogenic (where our body temperature rises and elevates our mood), the endorphin and monoamine hypotheses (where exercise releases chemicals such as endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, and endocannabinoids), as well as the distraction hypothesis (namely, when you are exercising you are not thinking about your depression). There is also the hypothesis that exercise makes us feel as though we have accomplished something, which improves our confidence and self-efficacy. All of these theories hold merit, but there has not been one definitive study. In other words – it does not really matter why it works – exercise works. There is a catch-22: those suffering from depression are often the hardest to move.

canfitpro September/October 2021


Dr. Heisz recommends starting small – a dose of only 10 minutes of exercise can alter mood. The best news: only three 30-minute sessions weekly are needed for the mental health benefits to accrue with those suffering from depression. McMaster University provided a Tool Kit during the research on the Pandemic Paradox – and small gains are essential for us when working with clients who have not been exercising due to mental health reasons.

and the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis (HPA) reactivity. The HPA axis plays an essential role in how we respond to external stressors, both physically and mentally,

Anxiety Anxiety can be debilitating, and anxiety disorders are some of the most common psychiatric conditions in the world. Fear and anxiety have escalated in our society, and not simply from worries over case numbers and COVID – according to a recent survey, one-third of Canadians are worried about how they are going to pay their bills and insolvency. There has been increased anxiety in each stage of reopening across the country – Fitness Industry Council of Canada has conducted research that showed the pandemic has altered how we are going to approach exercise as we come out of the pandemic. The future is hybrid, where in-person and virtual will continue to serve our clients as a value-add.

Exercise, even at a moderate intensity, places a stress on our body – we tear our muscles and they rebuild – but there is more to it. As we exercise, we tone not only our bodies, but our minds and our physiological responses that cope with stress, anxiety, and our mental health. We place ourselves in difficult physical situations, and overcome them when we exercise – this changes our brain.

Regular exercise results in physiological adaptations in the human body, and repeated studies have shown that aerobic exercise is associated with lowering our sympathetic nervous system

“When we are faced with a threat, our adrenaline gets pumping and our body prepares for fight or flight,” says Dr. Heisz. “Research has shown that regular physical exercise helps you have a more regulated HPA access response.”

Resiliency Exercise has been proven to build resiliency in all age groups – from youth to seniors. When we exercise, we strengthen our mind-body connection, releasing chemicals called myokines into our bloodstream which improve mood, reduce anxiety and depression, and make our brains more resilient to stress – and it can take only six weeks to see the positive effects on our brains. Those who exercise regularly report having more hope and purpose in their lives.

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“There are several mechanisms at work but the bottom line is that exercise infuses the brain with feel-good chemicals that improve the overall health of the brain so that all of its systems function optimally,” says Dr. Heisz. “The dopamine reward system makes us feel good, and the serotonin system helps regulate our mood.” At LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic, we have watched people move from completely sedentary to not wanting to miss a session – and it does not take a long time. We have seen the positive mental health effects on our members as they embrace movement. We encourage our members to start slowly, and gradually build up – booking sessions, being held accountable, and exercising together! Probably one of the biggest changes we see in our members is the mental health benefits that come from feeling successful. As fitness professionals, we have an opportunity to change lives and encourage this success. Sara Hodson is CEO of LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic and President of BC’s Fitness Industry Council. To find out about bringing a LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic to a Canadian community visit

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Partner Workout Exercises Partner Bicycle

Resistance Band Partner Split Squat and Row

EXECUTION: Working together, push out one leg and pull the other in, like a bicycle. Keep the soles of the feet pressed together and move back and forward with the legs. Adapted from A Professional’s Guide to Small-Group Personal Training by Keli Roberts.


EXECUTION: Taking turns with a partner, exhale and extend the hips and knees into an upright position, simultaneously pulling the elbows in to the rib cage and pushing the shoulder blades back and down. Inhale and lower to the starting position with control. Repeat for reps or time, then perform the exercise with the opposite leg forward.



HUMAN CONNECTION AND MENTAL HEALTH A missing link in the fitness industry By Christina Raskin

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I CHOSE A CAREER IN THE HEALTH AND WELLNESS INDUSTRY BECAUSE FITNESS, YOGA, AND MEDITATION HAS HELPED ME SO MUCH AND I WANTED TO SHARE THESE BENEFITS WHILE HAVING FUN WITH SOME INCREDIBLE LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE. In short, I want to help people. I would guess that you chose this journey for similar reasons. How do we help our students? We all know daily movement has many amazing physical benefits including longevity, boosting the body’s “feel good” hormones, and increasing cardiovascular strength. But what about the benefit of human connection that we all receive when interacting with our clients and building our community of like-minded individuals? I have a member, Grace. At the age of 63 she lives alone. Her brother and sister have each past way in the last year. She comes to the studio weekly. Of course, this is helpful to keep her body physically well. However, I really believe it is the human connection she feels when she is in the studio that keeps her coming back and keeps her fit and happy.

What do humans need? Maslow’s Theory of Human Motivation outlines a set of basic human needs that are organized into a hierarchy of our needs. Our first, and most basic needs, are what we need to survive. My member Grace has her basic needs met to survive; I want her to thrive. According to Maslow, she needs to feel love and belonging to thrive.

2. Remember your Scope of Practice. You are a trainer, not a doctor. When someone is going through a rough patch that makes them feel isolated, they might need some more support. We can support in a general way, with kindness and compassion, but do not diagnosis or prescribe.

In our increasingly divided world, this need is not fulfilled for many people. We, as trainers and teachers, can help to feed this need through human connection. In addition, when a client is amid a challenge like a pandemic or a recent family death then these needs can be further threatened. Not to mention, loneliness and isolation can lead to depression, anxiety, reactivity, low selfesteem, and higher suicide rates. There are also health risks associated with social isolation. One study found that lack of human connection is a greater risk to our health than obesity, smoking, and high blood pressure. In addition, people who experience frequent loneliness have higher rates of an array of health issues, including: • Mortality • Infection • Cognitive decline • Inflammation • Cardiovascular disease The Benefits of Human Connection As social beings, humans thrive in a supportive community. While a lack of connection is linked to a general decline in physical and psychological health, the opposite is true for enhanced social connectedness. How do we apply this knowledge to really be of service to our clients? 1. Build Community! This one is such a powerful way to foster connection and boost everyone’s feel-good hormones of dopamine and oxytocin. A few helpful tips: • Introduce members to each other. • Start conversations and ask questions about their lives. Try to talk about more than just the weather. • Consider hosting social events where people can interact in a less formal setting.

If they need more help, then refer them to someone with the necessary expertise. It is not your job to fix someone, they are not broken. Your job is to support them on their wellness journey. Fitness and yoga are only part of a person’s recovery.

3. Let them set the pace. We are all different everyday based on our diet, our emotions, and our mental health. Allow for flexibility with your clients so that they can really get what they need out of the session. Follow their lead, especially if they are in the middle of a life challenge. 4. Keep the lines of communication open. Clients may not communicate with you that they are lonely or experiencing mental health challenges. However, if you do notice changes it can be helpful to start a dialogue in a kind and gentle way - from a place of compassion, without judgment.

If they do share something personal with you, then be sure to actively listen, stay neutral, and keep the information confidential.

To help our students in a holistic way we want to increase the human connection through community and support. I would argue that aspect of our role is more important than losing weight or building a six pack. Grace still comes to the studio every week; everyone knows her name and the results of her most recent physical just came back. She shared with all of us that she is strong, fit, and happy! Christina Raskin is the National Training Director of Oxygen Yoga & Fitness and the head of the O2 200hr. Yoga Teacher Training program. She owns two Oxygen studios and has taught yoga and fitness for over 18 years. She is a 500hr E-RYT who absolutely loves yoga, learning, and swimming in the ocean.

canfitpro September/October 2021



WHY MINDFULNESS MATTERS BOUNCE BACK MORE QUICKLY FROM ANYTHING THAT TIPS OUR BALANCE SCALES By Laura Warf Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing our awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting our feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, often used as a therapeutic technique to relieve symptoms of stress, decrease tension, and manage anxiety. Mindfulness is not a new concept. It originated from ancient eastern and Buddhist philosophy and dates back around 2500 years. The concept of mindfulness was introduced to the western world by Jon Kabat-Zinn. The method tunes us in to our inner and outer state, thereby assisting us to make better choices. How can mindfulness help? Most of us live out of our comfort zone on a consistent basis to keep up with the demands of life and work. The effect of accumulated stress creates imbalance within all bodily systems leading to impaired healing, hindered productivity,

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sub-optimal workout recovery, and disrupted sleep patterns. The good news is, through the practice of proven mindfulness techniques, we can tune in to our bodies signals, self-regulate our nervous system, and bounce back more quickly from anything that tips our balance scale. Try Mindful Awareness As you read this text, take three deep breaths. Pause. Notice your surroundings. What do you see? What do you hear? How do your clothes feel on your skin? Is your mind calm or agitated? Is your body relaxed or tense? Go deeper, notice the quality of your natural breath, is it shallow or deep, smooth or shaky? Are you aware of the beating of your heart? Is it fast or slow? Are you able to sense the space within and around you? Is your heart feeling light or heavy? Through the practice of mindful awareness, we can learn to go deeper

and tap into our thoughts, feelings, emotions, energy, and consciousness. The autonomic nervous system sends signals throughout our body all the time, yet we rarely pay attention unless we have a regular practice to calm the monkey mind. The more we train our parasympathetic nervous system to relax and practice the art of sensory perception, the deeper the experience becomes to non-judgmentally watch and witness ourselves. We can sense more quickly when we are centered or not and discern what kind of movement, nourishment or rest is needed in the moment. It is empowering to have the ability to take our health and wellbeing into our own hands and influence others to do the same. When to do it? Commit to mindfulness using the Kaisen approach of one per cent improvement every day. Embarking on anything

new can be daunting for most people. Behavioural change takes time. Start with mini moments to keep the process accessible and fun. Train your brain to focus better and for longer periods. Start with one minute at first, then add another minute each session. Before you know it, 10 to 15 minutes will be easy, and the skill will transfer into other life activities and daily tasks. Small successes lead to increased confidence, and an elevated enthusiasm to keep going. Mindful Breathing The use of breath, combined sequentially with movement (asana) as taught in the traditional Hatha yoga method is used therapeutically to enhance, subdue, strengthen, relax, or restore the bodymind structure based on individual needs. For example, before teaching a yoga class, or stepping into a one-on-one wellness coaching session, I often allow myself 10 to 15 minutes beforehand to get into a centered and calm state. Cardiac coherence breathing or samavritti pranayama both work well to access Alpha brain waves associated with a state of relaxation and inner well-being. However, prior to a presentation when I need to feel alert, focused, energized, and grounded, I opt for bellows breathing or Nei Gong rapid breathing combined with mindful movement to stimulate Beta brain waves which are associated with a

heightened state of mental alertness and outward focused concentration. Breath-work is a powerful method to optimize health, energy, and longevity. By exploring the many facets of mindfulness, we discover how to alter and manage our energy systems and to connect to our most vibrant Self. Our mornings matter Begin each day with awareness and intention. Our mindset matters. Be a “thought watcher” and an “emotion feeler” to consciously choose which thoughts and emotions you act on during the day. Ask yourself: What is the smallest thing I can do today that will make the biggest difference in my well-being? Think one per cent improvement each day. Here are five ways to breathe mindfully and get the results you want (each can be done in one to 10 minutes). 1. To release pressure: Take a full breath in, sip in a bit more air then release with a big sigh. 2. To steady your mind: Try mindful boxed breathing; breathe in steady for five seconds, hold the breath for five seconds, breathe out rhythmically for five seconds, suspend the breath for five seconds. 3. For calm and relaxation: Breathe in for three to four seconds, exhale for six to eight seconds.

4. To release brain fog, get fired up, and focused: Try bellows breath; on your nasal inhalation, extend your arms up overhead open the fingers wide, on the exhale, make fists and pull the hands back down towards the front of the shoulders letting the air out with a powerful HA! Perform 20 breaths for three sets, taking a five-breath rest in between each set. 5. To recover more efficiently between exercise sets or intervals: Try balanced breathing; when your heart is still pumping after an interval, use your recovery time to breathe in and out evenly for the duration of your rest period. Keep lengthening and deepening the breath until the heart rate slows. Commit daily to well-being in mind, body, heart, and spirit. Allow time each day to breathe more consciously, move and eat more mindfully, rest and recover when needed. A healthier, happier YOU will emerge. You are worth it. 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 September/October 2021



The Power of Breath

THE SCIENCE BEHIND BREATHING WELL AND HOW IT CAN IMPROVE EVERY ASPECT OF OUR HEALTH AND ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE By Teri Gentes IMAGINE IF YOU HAD ACCESS TO SOMETHING IN EVERY SINGLE MOMENT, WITH EVERY SINGLE HEARTBEAT, THAT COULD POWERFULLY IMPACT EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR MIND AND BODY! This “something” can elevate or eradicate your energy levels, your sense of clarity and calm, or feelings of internal chaos and confusion. It ignites your need to fight, flee or freeze. It directly connects to your nervous system in an instant, influences how you feel, think, move, cope, compute. Any guesses as to what is it? Well, the title of this article gives you the answer. Breathing! Something most

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all of us give little conscious thought to; frequently take for granted and often literally waste. Only recently are we humans paying more attention to, spending more time researching, and yes, fully respecting and utilizing the power of breath. Experts, like American neuroscientist Dr Andrew Huberman, human performance specialist Brian Mackenzie, and extreme athlete Wim Hof, are educating us on how we can use our breathing to transform our health, revitalize our mind, and even perform seemingly impossible feats. This article highlights some of the

research into breathwork and its potential to impact your entire life. You will find numerous resources to take a deeper dig into the many ways you can utilize the power of your own breathing and transform issues with anxiety, brain fog, insomnia, and such, improving every aspect of your health and elevating your cognitive and athletic abilities. Breath work – so what can it do? There are numerous breathing exercises and techniques we can use to improve mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. It has been practiced for ages and ages, long before our most recent grasp and respect on the power of our breath. You may be aware of many of the various

practices and may be using some now. During breathwork, pranayama, you intentionally change your breathing pattern in a conscious and systematic way. This can help: • promote deep relaxation or increase energy • reduce stress and anxiety levels • boost immunity • improve coping skills • better process emotions, heal emotional pain and trauma • enhance creativity • develop or increase self-awareness • elevate confidence and self-esteem • increase joy and happiness • and more… Dr. Huberman’s research is on how our brain and its connections with the organs of our body controls our perceptions, our behaviors, and our health. His work demonstrates that patterns of behaviour link emotional and arousal states, with the reverse also true. Behaviour patterns that enable us to adjust our state include breath work, both patterns of voluntary breathing as well as controlled breathing. For example, breathing exercises that emphasize inhaling, a slight pause holding your breath with a short exhale will drive up your levels of autonomic arousal whereas exhale focused breathing will decrease arousal. Slow, steady breathing will trigger

our parasympathetic system and keep us calm and focused. In the military this is referred to as box breathing.

his techniques to handle this can be found here:

Learn more about Dr. Huberman’s research on how our body responds to autonomic arousal from stress including what happens to breathing and how we can regulate our state in stressful situations in his Breathing Exercises for Optimized Brain Performance lecture. To practice some breath work with him tune into watch?v=GlwYT7VpkNE

He and Mark Divine, another expert in human performance, share how breath control enhances mental, emotional, and physical well-being and how it is used as a powerful tool in the performance of elite athletes in a four-part series with Neurohacker. You can check the series out here:

Breath work offers you conscious awareness of how breathing rates are directly tied into metabolic functions. Stress accelerates our breathing, triggering our sympathetic nervous system, and slower breathing triggers the para-sympathetic system calming us. The research on the powerful impact of breath work is vast and Brian Mackenzie, co-founder and President of the Health and Human Performance Foundation and Creative Director at Power Speed Endurance, focuses on optimising physical, emotional, and cognitive performance. He believes that through our breath, we can all tap into who we really are and rid ourselves of the mental and societal constructs that impede us. Given most of society lives at such a fast and stressful pace, a suitable place to learn more about

Breathing is something we do all the time and most often without thought. Developing awareness of our breathing patterns and adopting conscious breathwork practices can powerfully impact our life in every way. Take some time to venture into the many variations and begin incorporating breathwork into your daily self-care regime. As our experts clearly demonstrate, the benefits are immense. 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.

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canfitpro September/October 2021



BUILDING A FITNESS BUSINESS IN SCHOOLS Five common mistakes fitness pros make By Melanie Levenberg DO YOU HAVE A CALLING TO MAKE A LARGE-SCALE IMPACT ON THE NEXT GENERATION? Schools are a powerful place to reach thousands of kids through fitness, wellness, and mental health programs, but many fitness professionals miss the mark when launching their in-school business. From 2005 to 2013, I worked for Ophea (Ontario Physical and Health Education Association) where we designed and published thousands of school-based lesson plans, as well as delivered workshops to support teachers in delivering a quality Physical Education

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program. In my role as Curriculum Consultant, I also worked with community partners and external service providers to review and assess their fitness programs for schools. I got to meet hundreds of fitness professionals who had a deep passion for helping kids get active, build confidence, and have positive experiences with physical activity, but whose programs missed the mark when it came to working within the education system. Have you tried to “get into schools” without success? Is your marketing not landing with principals or teachers? Are you confused why your amazing program

for schools is not being booked or sold out? In this article, I will outline the biggest mistakes I have seen fitness professionals make when it comes to working with schools, and how to fix them. Mistake #1: Not Having a Clear Business Model There are various kinds of programs that can be delivered in schools, and the business model that you choose can make a significant difference on its uptake, based on the goals and content of what you are there to deliver. The top three most profitable business models I

have seen succeed in schools are: 1) Train-the-Trainer, where you teach teachers how to teach the lessons you have designed during one or multiple professional development workshops. 2) Curriculum-Based Guest Instructing, where you go into the school during instructional time and teach lessons on behalf of the teacher (e.g., as a special guest in a Phys Ed class); and 3) Wrap-Around Programming, where you teach lunch hour, or before/afterschool programs. Solution: Choose a Business Model that best aligns with your expertise, program design, and desired income level. Mistake #2: Linking Programs to the Curriculum…As an Afterthought Each province has a set curriculum for each grade level, and subject matter, that outlines what students are supposed to learn. If you are interested in the Curriculum-Based Guest Instructor business model, your program will be delivered during something called “instructional hours” which is the time in schools that is specifically dedicated to teachers teaching the provincial curriculum mandates. What I have seen too many fitness professionals do is create a program from their own experience and ideas (which are awesome), package it and then go present it to schools. When asked by principals or teachers “how does your kids fitness program meet our curriculum?”, the well-meaning fitness leaders’ cross reference their program with the curriculum, often coming back to the school with a document that loosely ties standards, expectations or outcomes to their fitness games, activities, or ideas. The problem with this approach is that this is not a curriculum-based program. A true curriculum-based program emerges from the outcomes/standards/ expectations; lesson plans and activities are designed and selected based on what students are mandated to learn at each grade level. When external fitness providers come to schools with an outline that references general terms from the curriculum, their program is lacking the components of a quality physical education program, which does not make it a good fit for PE programs. Solution: If you desire to work in schools during instructional hours, make sure that you first understand the curriculum, and then create lessons and activities to

support it. If you are not sure how to do that, hire a certified schoolteacher to help you design your program, or license a pre-packaged curriculum-based program, like those offered by PL3Y Education. Mistake #3: Using Adult Fitness Teaching Methods for Kids Adults who love to move, also love sharing their passion with their kids. As fitness leaders, you may notice that your kids follow-along to dance moves, yoga poses, kick-boxing combos in classes that you are teaching or participating in, but it does not mean that those instructional methods are appropriate for children. In most cases, they are not. Children learn differently than adults do, and so our fitness cueing and instructional methods need to reflect their physical, cognitive, and imaginative developmental phases: do not put kids in lines, let them scatter through the space; do not use cues that reference ‘toning or shaping’ the body, teach them to move because it feels good; and do not teach using only visual cues, use verbal coaching to teach, coach, and encourage them to play. Solution: Ensure that your children’s fitness program follows best practices in physical, verbal, and visual instructional cueing. Mistake #4: Not Understanding All Policies and Guidelines that Apply to Your Service Whether you choose to build your inschool business through Wrap Around Programming or Curriculum-Based Guest Instructing, there are additional guidelines and policies (beyond the curriculum) that schools must follow when providing programs to students. These include Safety Policies (equipment, spacing, and other safety guidelines for each type of activity – check out as an example) as well as, you guessed it, COVID-19 Guidelines. Solution: Make sure that you know all the policies and guidelines that apply to the type and time when your program is taught in schools. Mistake #5: Offering Something Most Teachers Can Do Themselves In order to build a successful in-school business (like all businesses), your offer must solve a problem. Not all fitness/ sport/movement programs “land” the same way in schools, based on what teachers are, or are not, willing to do themselves. When our PL3Y Education

Regional Operators walk into schools to teach a curriculum-based yoga or dance unit on behalf of the schoolteacher, they are excited and grateful that we are there to share our expertise. Many teachers have hesitations about teaching movement and physical activities (and most teachers do not feel comfortable teaching dance, among other activities). Having an understanding of how your program “fits” in schools, and designing your content based on meeting your client’s needs is key to a successful school-based program. If teachers are willing to lead your program themselves (e.g., breathing and mindfulness techniques for classrooms), offer Train-the-Trainer workshops; if you are providing a (real) curriculum-based program on a sport/activity that most teachers would not teach themselves, offer Curriculum-Based Guest Instructing, and if your program is not curriculumbased, but can complement a quality Physical Education program through after school/lunch hour sport or fitness activities, choose Wrap-Around Programming. Solution: Reflect on your program content and choose the best business model to make sure that you are meeting the needs of teachers and schools. The key to a successful school-based business is purposefully designed programs and a business model that matches the needs of your clients. When these two elements combine, your vision for making a large-scale impact on the next generation will come to life as you help principals, teachers, and parents educate and raise healthy, active, and happy kids. Melanie Levenberg, M.Ed. is the CEO/ Founder of PL3Y Inc., an international speaker, author, and TEDx presenter. She has helped fitness enthusiasts launch successful in-school businesses for over a decade. Her PL3Y Education curriculum-based dance and yoga programs have been taught in over 600 schools and have reached 2.8 million students in 13 countries. More than 25,000 teachers have participated in Professional Development workshops and over 1.1 million teachers have downloaded PL3Y’s online resources. Learn more at

canfitpro September/October 2021



TRAINING FOR NON-TRADITIONAL YOUTH SPORTS A model to train youth athletes in small group format By Mike Bracko, Ed.D., CSCS, FACSM







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THE 2021 TOKYO SUMMER OLYMPICS RECENTLY DEBUTED NONTRADITIONAL SPORTS OF CLIMBING, KARATE, SKATEBOARDING, AND SURFING. The King of non-traditional sports is the X Games. At the 2020 Winter X Games, there were 179 invited athletes and 111,500 spectators ( In the winter and summer X Games, athletes compete in BMX, skateboard, moto cross, downhill mountain biking, aerial and mogul snow skiing, snowmobiling, motorcycling, among others. With most action sport athletes making between $50,000 - $200,000, we are on the surge of youth athletes seeking instructors who can train small groups of non-traditional sports athletes. Youth Physical Development Model The Youth Physical Development Model can be used to train youth athletes. Strength Development Resistance training (body weight or external resistance) causes an increase in contractile force, cross-bridges, the Golgi tendon organs relaxing (neural adaptations), and improved biomechanics. Power Power is essential for success in nontraditional sports. Power is developed by the Golgi tendon organs relaxing so the athlete can lift more weight, jump higher, and produce explosive movements. Endurance/Interval Training Endurance should not be the main focus of training because elevated levels of endurance are not required in most nontraditional sports. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggest continuous running is boring for kids. Endurance can be improved with interval training. Agility Agility is “a rapid whole-body movement with change of velocity or direction in response to a stimulus.” Agility ladders and moving around pylons are a change of direction and not sport specific. Nontraditional agility training also requires movements such as jumping onto an unstable surface and maintaining balance, jumping from one BOSU to another, balancing on a stability ball, moving a weighted ball while balancing on one foot, etc.

Agility Drills 1. React to a stimulus – one or two lines of five to seven athletes, spaced out two to three metres, other athletes move through the stationary people as they put up left or right hand so the moving athletes must react to the hand movements and move in the direction of the raised hand. 2. Four-person triangle agility – one person is moving and in the middle of the triangle; two others are at the top of the triangle; the fourth person is at the bottom of the triangle. All athletes are spaced out between four to five metres. The bottom person starts the drill by holding a water bottle and dropping it so the “agility person” must catch the bottle or pick it up off the ground if he/she misses. Then he/she moves to the two top athletes who extend their left or right hand so the “agility person” high fives one person then the other. He/she then goes back to the bottom person and tries to catch the bottle again, and the drill repeats itself for 30 – 60 seconds.

WITH MOST ACTION SPORT ATHLETES MAKING BETWEEN $50,000 - $200,000, WE ARE ON THE SURGE OF YOUTH ATHLETES SEEKING INSTRUCTORS WHO CAN TRAIN SMALL GROUPS OF NONTRADITIONAL SPORTS ATHLETES. BOSU 1. With two feet, jump on, hold for five counts, and jump off. 2. Balance on one foot, hold for five to 10 counts, high five partner while balancing on one foot. 3. With one foot, jump on, balance for five counts, and jump off. 4. Balance on all fours. No toes on ground. 5. Balance on knees, stand up, back down on knees, five to 10 repetitions. 6. One to five BOSUs spaced one metre apart, hop one foot from one BOSU to the other. Repeat with two feet. Core Training Core training for non-traditional sports must enhance the ability of the athlete to maintain balance while having upper and lower body movements. Core training is

done vertically on an unstable surface. 1. Balance on one or two feet on a BOSU, or a TheraBand Rocker, while moving a weighted ball with one and both hands. 2. Balance on two knees on a stability ball while moving arms with, and without, a weighted ball. 3. Balance on one or two feet on a BOSU while holding one end of a rubber band (with one or both hands) which is being pulled by a partner. Dynamic Balance Wobble board or balance board: a. Balance for 30 – 60 seconds. b. High five a partner while balancing. c. Hold a weighted ball in one-hand. d. Partner pulls on rubber tubing while the other partner balances on the board. e. The “balance athlete” throws a med ball to a partner, the partner gently throws it back. 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 September/October 2021



S’entrainer pour les sports juvéniles nontraditionnels THIS ARTICLE IS ELIGIBLE FOR


Entrainement type en petit groupe pour les jeunes athlètes TO TAKE THE QUIZ LOG INTO YOUR MEMBER PROFILE AT




78 canfitpro September/October 2021

LES JEUX OLYMPIQUES DE TOKYO ONT INTRODUIT CETTE ANNÉE DES SPORTS NON-TRADITIONNELS COMME L’ESCALADE, LE KARATÉ, LA PLANCHE À ROULETTES, ET LE SURF. Jusqu’à maintenant, LA compétition de sports non-traditionnels était les X-Games. D’ailleurs, aux X-Games hivernaux de 2020, 179 athlètes ont été invités à participer et 111 500 spectateurs y ont assisté ( Les X-Games d’été comme ceux d’hiver sont la scène de compétitions de BMX, de planche à roulettes, de motocross, de descente en vélo de montagne, de sauts à ski et d’épreuves de bosses, de motoneige, et de moto, entre autres. La plupart des athlètes de sports d’action faisant entre 50 000 $ à 200 000 $, nous sommes à l’aube de voir surgir une vague de jeunes athlètes à la recherche d’instructeur. trice. s pour entrainer des petits groupes d’athlètes de sports non-traditionnels. Entrainement physique type des jeunes Vous pouvez utiliser ce gabarit d’entrainement physique juvénile pour entrainer les jeunes. Développement musculaire L’entrainement en résistance (poids du corps ou résistance externe) entrainera l’augmentation de la force contractile, des ponts transversaux (théorie du glissement), de la relaxation des organes tendineux de Golgi (adaptations neurales), et l’amélioration de la biomécanique. Puissance La puissance est nécessaire pour réussir dans les sports non-traditionnels. Elle est développée pendant la phase de relaxation des organes tendineux de Golgi ; l’athlète peut alors soulever une charge plus lourde, sauter plus haut, et engendrer des mouvements plus explosifs. Entrainement en endurance/en intervalles L’endurance ne devrait pas être un des principaux aspects de l’entrainement puisque de hauts niveaux d’endurance ne sont pas requis dans la plupart des sports non-traditionnels. Le Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggère que la course continue est ennuyeuse pour les enfants. L’entrainement par intervalles est un outil servant à améliorer l’endurance. Agilité L’agilité est définie par la capacité de tout le corps de changer rapidement de vitesse ou de direction en réponse à un stimulus. Les parcours utilisant

des échelles d’agilité et des cônes permettent de développer des réflexes de changement de direction et s’appliquent à tous les sports. Un entrainement en agilité non-traditionnel doit également inclure des mouvements comme sauter et garder son équilibre sur des surfaces instables, sauter d’un BOSU à un autre, tenir son équilibre sur un ballon de stabilité, balancer un ballon d’entrainement (medicine-ball) tout en tenant son équilibre sur une jambe, etc. Circuits d’agilité 1. Réagir à un stimulus – former une ou deux rangées de cinq à sept athlètes espacés de deux à trois mètres ; les participants se déplacent dans les rangées alors que les athlètes stationnaires soulèvent leur main droite ou gauche pour que les participant. e. s réagissent aux mouvements et se déplacent dans la direction indiquée par la main levée. 2. Triangle d’agilité à quatre – un.e participant.e se trouve dans le milieu d’un triangle formé par trois autres athlètes (une personne à la tête du triangle, et les deux autres à la base). Tous les athlètes sont espacés de quatre à cinq mètres. L’athlète se trouvant à la tête du triangle débute en laissant tomber une bouteille d’eau afin que le/la participant.e (l’athlète se trouvant au centre) l’attrape ou qu’il/elle la ramasse s’il/ elle n’a pas réussi à l’attraper. Le/la participant. e se dirige alors vers les deux autres athlètes qui tendent leur main à leur gauche ou à leur droite pour qu’il/elle fasse un « high-five » à l’un puis à l’autre athlète formant la base du triangle. Il/elle retourne vers la personne à la tête du triangle et essaie d’attraper la bouteille à nouveau ; l’exercice se répète pendant 30 à 60 secondes. BOSU 1. Sauter sur le BOSU à deux pieds, tenir l’équilibre pendant 5 secondes, puis sauter pour en redescendre. 2. Tenir l’équilibre à une jambe sur le BOSU pour 5 à 10 secondes, faire un « high-five » à votre partenaire tout en maintenant votre équilibre. 3. Sauter sur le BOSU à un pied, tenir l’équilibre pendant 5 secondes, puis sauter pour en redescendre. 4. Tenir l’équilibre à quatre pattes sur le BOSU, sans que les orteils touchent le sol. 5. Tenir l’équilibre à genoux, se lever, se remettre à genoux, effectuer cinq à dix répétitions. 6. Disposer un à cinq BOSUs à un

mètre de distance l’un de l’autre, sauter à un pied d’un à l’autre. Répéter avec les deux pieds. Renforcement de la ceinture abdominale Le renforcement de la ceinture abdominale dans le cadre de la pratique d’un sport non-traditionnel doit être axé sur l’habileté de l’athlète à maintenir son équilibre tout en bougeant le haut et le bas du corps. L’entrainement du centre du corps doit être exécuté à la verticale, sur une surface instable. 1. Se tenir en équilibre sur un ou deux pieds sur un BOSU ou un TheraBand Rocker, tout en balançant un ballon d’entrainement avec une ou deux mains. 2. Se tenir en équilibre sur deux genoux sur le ballon de stabilité tout en bougeant les bras avec, et sans, le ballon d’entrainement. 3. Se tenir debout à un ou deux pieds sur un BOSU et maintenir son équilibre tout en agrippant une bande élastique (à une ou deux mains) sur laquelle tire un partenaire. Équilibre dynamique Planche d’équilibre : a. Se tenir en équilibre pendant 30 à 60 secondes. b. Faire un « high-five » à un.e partenaire tout en maintenant son équilibre. c. Tenir un ballon d’entrainement à une main. d. Un.e partenaire tire sur une bande élastique alors que l’autre se tient en équilibre sur la planche. e. L’athlète en équilibre sur la planche lance un ballon d’entrainement à son/sa partenaire, il/elle lui relance doucement.

Mike Bracko est un éducateur physique, un entraineur de renforcement musculaire et de conditionnement physique, et un entraineur de patinage de hockey. Il détient un doctorat en sciences de l’exercice ; il est spécialiste certifié en développement musculaire et conditionnement physique, et maître-instructeur pour les instructeurs de patinage de hockey. Il est également présentateur et conférencier lors de congrès dans l’industrie du fitness en Amérique du Nord et en Asie. Il a publié à 32 DVDs traitant du conditionnement physique, du patinage, de la prévention des blessures au dos, et de l’ergonomie.

canfitpro September/October 2021


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Kerrie Adams @train_with_kerrie Port Dover ON

Owner of Train with Kerrie Home Fitness Studio

I started in the fitness industry in 2001. I was an avid gym go-er and thought it would be fun to teach a few classes on the side or do a few personal training sessions with friends or family. That quickly turned into a full-time career doing exactly what I love. I have a passion for fitness and healthy living. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE FITNESS?

After building up a clientele working in fitness centers, I decided to take the leap and open my own fitness homebased studio. It was the best decision I ever made. I love connecting with my clients one on one, or in small group classes in my studio. Each and every client of mine has their own unique goals and ambitions, and I love the challenge of setting them up for success. I love that they trust me with my advice and program designs. My ultimate goal is to help everyone of my clients succeed, through fitness and nutrition. I hope to continue to operate my @K AIZENNATUR ALS |

studio for many more years to come. The past year has presented its challenges due to Covid restrictions, but at the same time it has taught me to think outside the box! I continued to connect with my clients via zoom, and outdoor training. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE LOOKING TO MOTIVATE THEMSELVES?

I am always seeking new courses and continuing education options to keep my knowledge fresh and up to date. I would also recommend anyone looking to motivate themselves to seek out a certified trainer. The investment in your health is invaluable.

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.

Love-hate relationship with pasta? All of the pasta None of the carbs

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