canfitpro Official Magazine | January/February 2021

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January/February 2021


The Official Magazine




Become an Online Fitness Professional


Learn to teach, train and present online

Today’s world means that a successful fitness professional is working in a hybrid of a ‘live’ and ‘online’ environment to meet the needs of their clients and participants. As a result, there has been an increased demand for online fitness education and training. canfitpro has teamed up with international fitness industry experts to create The Online Fitness Professional Course which gives students the skills, tools and practical tips to teach, train and present online.

For registration and details, visit: * This is an online course (self-directed) † 4 FIS, 4 PTS, & 4 HWL CECs upon completion

Moving businesses forward for over 90 years. Evolving with the times and doing our best to meet the needs of our clients In the spring we lowered our rates for gym/fitness facility insurance and we are now urging Business Members to ask us for a quote. We also added coverage for “on-line training” for fitness trainers, which given the COVID-19 circumstance was more important than ever. To deal with the pandemic 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.*

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

*This condition will be reinstated once the COVID-19 situation has dissipated.

Annual premium starting as low as



Risk management is all about you. That’s why Gallagher partners with you by learning the needs of your business to anticipate challenges so you can focus on the success of your mission. Apply online or learn more by visiting: © 2020 Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. | Arthur J. Gallagher Canada Limited





Finding your fit pro community and mentors can be a powerful step in moving your career forward

52 COLLABORATION IS THE NEW BUZZWORD Creating new connections within your community for sustained profit





Cultivating An Optimal Mindset

Building mental, emotional, and physical well-being with resiliency HEALTHY LIVING









Un entrainement pour votre santé intestinale

Creating welcoming fitness spaces



Top Tips for a Successful 2021

We asked industry experts to share what they feel is important as we move into a new year COVER STORY

Re-Imagining Your Future, Today! Fitness industry experts weigh in on the future of group fitness and personal training Photo Credit: Dawn Bowman










Pressure to be Perfect

This is an excerpt from LANGUAGE OF COACHING, By Nicklaas C. Winkelman

The impact of body image on our mental wellbeing




Words to help your clients get what they DO want, not what they DON’T want


Accelerate client results by enhancing the activities they already do


Cut down on the overwhelm and cost with these three tips prior to launching your online training business


Training for Your Gut?

4 canfitpro January/February 2021









Un regard sur la gestion de troubles gastrointestinaux pendant l’exercice.




How to survive crazy times in three steps


An inside look at managing gastrointestinal distress during exercise














Fill your Cup with a Complimentary

21-Day Leader’s

guide to Resilience By David “Patch” Patchell-Evans Founder & CEO at GoodLife Fitness

As a leader, resilience is one of the most important skills you can nurture in today’s world. Through this thoughtful, habit-building, 21-day experience, you will learn how to build a “bounce back” mindset, which is essential to making tough decisions in challenging situations.

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Find your leadership journey

Note from the COO January/February, 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,

2021 – Look Up & Believe The need is greater now than ever before for each of us to look up into the light and believe that the world will need more of what we have to offer. When I reflect back on last year’s January/February editorial, I had no idea how prophetic, yet wrong, I was when I declared 2020 as the “year of the fitness professional…in a time of rapid expansion and incredible change, this will be a year of transformation as we all ramp up for the new decade ahead”. In 2020, we saw the power of connection fuel and support the radical transformation of our industry and our offerings. While we do not know what will unfold for all of us in 2021, we must believe. Belief is accepting something as true, but without action belief is simply an opinion. We must look up and use the light to find our way forward. While much has changed, Sean Greeley points out in his article that “opportunities are still abundant – if you are willing to evolve and adapt” (pg. 22). There is so much insight to be gained from reading all the articles in this issue and, by doing so, it will inspire you –breathe life into your own ideas — and help you level up. I hope you will take the opportunity to reflect back on your 2020 with the goal to identity the silver linings and lessons learned therefrom, reflect on them, and affirm all the MO’ments of greatness that came out of the bad in 2020. These lessons can, and will, give you the knowledge and the strength you will need to level up and MO’ve forward. Know that there is no win in waiting. The waiting place is not a healthy place. Waiting for the world to get back to normal and for your life and career to get back to what it was will not serve you or your members and clients. Far too much has changed, and it will not change back. What got you to where you were will not get you any further. Each one of us has the same opportunity to choose action over inaction and demonstrate resilience over fear. Recognize your goals and take the time to make a plan. Don’t wait! I’ve said it before and it’s truer now than ever before. Your future and that of the fitness industry will depend on you and me together as proud, unified, credible, and confident fitness professionals!

Maureen “Mo” Hagan

Chief Operating Officer

Manager, B2B Sales & Strategic Partnerships Robert Robinson, Member Experience Manager Kelly Ladd,

Fitness Advisory Panel Tony Felgueiras Paul Galloro Teri Gentes Amina Khan Ken Kinakin Tatiana Kolovou Sara Kooperman Nathalie Lacombe Sheldon McBee Ron McPhee Samantha Montpetit-Huynh Fraser Quelch Scott Wildeman Eric Wong Kai Pun To Subscribe canfitpro Magazine is published six times per year by Canadian Fitness Professionals Inc. New Professional Memberships with canfitpro are $98 per year (plus GST/HST) and renewals are $78 per year (plus GST/HST) and include a subscription to the magazine. For more information, please contact Member Services at ext. 301. Feedback or to contribute to canfitpro Magazine please contact: canfitpro Magazine 110-225 Select Ave. Toronto, ON M1X 0B5 416-493-3515 Toll Free 1-800-667-5622 Fax (416) 493-1756 Contact for questions regarding membership, conferences, and Canadian fitness resources. canfitpro is a division of Canadian Fitness Professionals Inc. Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 40783518 - Return Postage Guaranteed

FSC C148846

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UPDATES canfitpro is proud of our staff and their commitment to helping you, our valued members, be successful. Our staff come from diverse and varied backgrounds and bring a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and experience to their roles.

Meet Cheryl Williams - Event Experience Coordinator

Vincent and the Grenadines, and my father was born and raised in Grenada. These are both in the Caribbean islands. Favourite food: I love food so I don’t really have a favourite, however, I do have a favourite dish – Pelau. It’s a traditional rice dish of the French West Indies and popularized in other islands such as Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Favourite holiday: Christmas Fun fact about you: I take part in Caribana and other Caribbean carnivals and wear the beautiful costumes that represent my culture. Length of time at canfitpro: Three years.

Name: Cheryl Williams Country of birth: Canada Cultural background: My mother was born and raised in St.

What is your favourite form of exercise or physical activity? Spin class! I love the motivation from others in the class. I love looking over at the person beside me and trying to beat them, pushing further and harder, and breaking a sweat! How do you incorporate fitness into your life? I make it part of my daily routine - we all need food for fuel, I make fitness my fuel. I can’t go a day without doing something fun or active. What is your two-word WHY statement? Inspire and educate.

What is your Superpower? I would say “flying” is my superpower. What do you do at canfitpro? I help plan, organize, and execute canfitpro I love the feeling of being free spirited, discovering new and exciting things. You events. could say I’m always dreaming of my next big adventure! Why is what you do with canfitpro important to you? What do you want to be remembered I love to create experiences that people for? will remember. Seeing them bond, the I want to be remembered by my excitement on their faces, the joy of authenticity, being perfectly imperfect. coming together, and the collective

There was an error in our November/December print issue. The main image depicted on page 32 is not an accurate representation of the author, Adenike (Nike) Charles. We have updated the photo in the digital version of this issue online. We apologize for any confusion and inconvenience this may have caused.

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passion they share after completing a session. Their faces tell the story of all the hard work the team and I put in to execute these events.



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SHOWCASE Glen Burgess canfitpro Programs Taught: PTS, CPR What certification courses do you teach? What fires you up to teach them? I have been a canfitpro PRO TRAINER for five years now. I currently teach the Personal Training Specialist (PTS), CPR, and soon to be Functional Muscular Assessments (FMA) course. I’m also a Master Trainer for TriggerPoint Performance in Canada, teaching foam rolling and TriggerPoint Therapy 10 canfitpro January/February 2021

techniques. I absolutely love providing guidance to budding personal trainers and future fitness professionals. I am often reminded what it felt like when I was starting out in my late 20’s down this career path. I remember the time and hard work I invested to become a Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor. I thrive on helping others - watching individuals learn, grow, and become the best version of themselves.

How are you navigating the new fitness world since the pandemic hit? This time has certainly been challenging for the fitness industry in general. Many businesses and gyms have been hit hard due to COVID-19. I can honestly say it took me about three to four weeks of trying to navigate the new normal. I had to do a hard reboot personally as my business focused on private coaching, small group training, group fitness, stretch

therapy, and fitness education all being done in-person. I asked myself… what does it need to look like now? I was at a pivotal point in my career when I had to decide how I was going to make my fitness business work. It took me some time getting started… navigating the tech world of virtual coaching for one-onone clients and small groups, especially through the colder months when group training would be more difficult outside. What new fitness rituals and routines have you adopted to maintain and work towards your goals? I’ve been participating in a training course to help me improve my business systems as I transition to the online/virtual world. I was introduced to Hal Elrod and something he calls “The Miracle Morning”. In short, to give yourself an hour each day for Meditation/Silence, Affirmations, Visualizations, Exercise, Reading, and Writing. Ten minutes in each section as my own personal development heading into each day. Some days it feels like a work in progress, but I understand and appreciate the importance of

personal development, not only to better myself, but in turn knowing that my self improvement will help me with what I can give in my relationships, my family, my business, my clients, and my participants. What is the biggest piece of advice you can give a new fitness professional coming into the industry? Be hungry to learn or be a sponge and take in as much information as you can and keep practicing to develop your skills. You may never know everything about all things, but the more time you can dedicate to your passion and craft, the more that will reflect in the knowledge and care that you show your clients. That may also tie into not waiting on the side lines for something to happen. You develop a plan or idea and execute... don’t wait-- you may be afraid of failure, but if things don’t work out, we learn, readjust the plan, and try again in a different way.

activities, and I’ve suffered my share of injuries that have caused some setbacks to my current fitness level/goals. We all want to look and feel our best. That means different things to different people. In the end, it’s a belief in fitness for function. Being able to move well and being pain free, if possible, is a great measure of fitness. We need to challenge ourselves and build on the skills we have currently obtained. What is your favourite piece of fitness equipment and why? I have been obsessed with TRX suspension training since 2011, when I was certified in TRX TEAM. Aside from my own bodyweight, it’s one of the best tools I have found for functional training -- there are so many options for flexibility, strength, endurance, balance, coordination, and it’s fully adjustable and helps you engage your core the whole time.

What does fitness mean to you? In my younger years, I was always active and involved in various sports and

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Meet Kim Vopini, canfitpro finalist for Personal Trainer Specialist of the Year 2020 Tell us about your fitness career journey. I have been interested in fitness and wellness since I was in my early teens. I initially thought I would become a

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dietician or nutritionist, but after taking my first fitness certification from Suzette O’Byrne in 1996, I knew I wanted to help people move better and also teach other professionals how to train their clients

more effectively. I had no idea my fitness journey would lead me down a very niche road where I specialize in taboo topics of women’s health, but I can happily say I LOVE what I do.

I started out as a personal trainer and fitness instructor. I taught everything from bootcamp to Osteofit and loved it! In 2001, I reached a point of burnout. I had stretched myself too thin and felt as though I was good at a lot, but not great at one thing. I decided to leave the fitness industry to pursue a career in HR. In 2003, I was pregnant with my first child and used my fitness knowledge to prepare my body for birth. I also used a biofeedback device to train my pelvic floor and help prevent tearing. I had such a great experience with that product that I wanted to tell others, so I contacted the manufacturer to ask about becoming a distributor. I started a website and became the Canadian importer/distributor for the product – a medical device called the EPINO. That introduced me to pelvic health physiotherapists and the more I learned from them, the more I recognized a huge void in the fitness industry…which meant a huge opportunity. I knew I needed to recertify my fitness certifications and specialize! I actually never intended for it to become a full-fledged business, but in 2009 I was laid off from my HR position and decided to pursue this amazing opportunity! I created a workshop called Prepare to Push™ and then an event called Kegels & Cocktails™ to help get the word out. I started working with pregnant women then expanded into postpartum recovery, and then started a second business, Bellies Inc, with two other partners. As a niche business talking about taboo topics, it was not an easy road, but fast forward to now and I am proud of all I have accomplished in the last 11 years. Specializing was the best thing I could have done and I have had the opportunity to help thousands of women with my books, my online programs, my certification courses, and my coaching. After selling Bellies Inc. in June 2020, it has freed up time for me to focus on my true passions of coaching individuals, developing online programs, and my certification courses for other professionals. It has been a wild ride that I never could have expected, and I am excited about where my path will take me next! Where would you like your career path to take you? I love speaking and would love more opportunities to spread the message of pelvic health. I want to grow my master

trainer team so that my certification courses can expand beyond North America. I have recently been asked to go to India (when the world opens back up again) which is very exciting! I would also like to explore teaching as part of a faculty in a college or university. What challenges have you overcome and what did you learn that has made you a better professional? I knew nothing about running a business when I started, but I had to figure things out. I began with one product and a basic website that then expanded into a full e-commerce store with multiple products. I had to learn a lot on my own and looking back I would have outsourced some of the tasks sooner than I did, but I feel it also helped me better train my employees because I had done everything myself. I started a second business about 1.5 years after starting my first business and again, looking back, it is not something I would advise or do again. Choosing ONE thing to focus on is better for everyone. My second business was a partnership that taught me A LOT! I learned what I would look for in partners if I were to do it again, how to manage people, different styles of communication, and conflict resolution. Entrepreneurship is not an easy road, but it is definitely rewarding. I have also learned about the power of collaboration and continuous learning. I am a better teacher and trainer because I have chosen to evolve with research, learn from others, and develop relationships that will help me grow as a person and as a business owner. What types of transformations have you made as a result of COVID? I had been predominantly online prior to COVID and I was grateful for this because at a time when people were not able to seek pelvic health care in person, they were turning to online options and I was ready. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? “The unused potential is YOU.” I ran two businesses for close to 10 years. I often struggled with where to focus and never felt like I was clear. I knew that I would be better off running one business instead of two, but I had a hard time letting go of one because it had so much potential. One of my coaches said to me

point blank one day that “the unused potential is YOU”. From that moment, I began to focus most of my time on building the aspects of my business that I truly love – the teaching, the speaking, and the coaching. It allowed me to focus and to feel ok with letting go of what was holding me back from doing more of what I loved. This advice allowed me to see what I had always known but was afraid to do. I found a buyer and sold my second business. I now feel lighter and more focused and more excited about my work and the possibilities ahead. Now that you have reached this point in your career, what piece of advice would you give your younger self? While I am grateful for the lessons I gained from starting a second business, I would tell my younger self to read the book The ONE Thing and focus on one business. I don’t regret the path I have taken as it has led me to where I am today, and I am grateful for the clarity I now have to forge ahead with a renewed passion and focus. If you were to write a motto for yourself, what would it be? Be weird. Learn lessons. Be grateful. Inspire others. Why did you decide to nominate yourself for the Fitness Professional of the Year Award? I have learned that if you want something you need to take action. I am proud to be certified with canfitpro and to offer courses accredited by canfitpro. To be recognized by the organization as a leader means the world to me! I believe what I do has meaning and can help so many people. Being an award winner provides an extra level of credibility that enables me to help more people. I could have waited and hoped someone would nominate me one day, but I want to win, and I can’t win without being nominated... so, I took action and nominated myself. How do you know when you’re ‘done’ and ready for the next challenge? I love the quote from Mark Anthony that says ‘’when you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.” I truly love my work and don’t see myself ever being ‘done’. As an entrepreneur, there are always new challenges and new opportunities, and I foresee myself passionately promoting pelvic health and embracing new challenges until my time comes to leave this world.

canfitpro January/February 2021




Dawn Bowman, full-time Paramedic and canfitpro fitness instructor credits fitness and teaching to helping her find balance, stability, and happiness Tell us a little about your fitness career journey. I remember I was about 16 when I got my first Goodlife Fitness gym membership! I was so excited to be a part of the

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gym and get fit! I remember telling my parents, “I’m heading to the gym!” but never really knowing what to do when I got there. I was always a fit kid, playing sports throughout my childhood, but for

some reason I thought getting a gym membership was a big deal. I didn’t realize you still had to actually workout hard to get results!

I moved to London, Ontario to start Paramedic school in 2000 and continued my fitness journey. I played varsity soccer and volleyball throughout college to stay fit but didn’t really work hard at my fitness. I remember my first group fitness class was Body Step. Luckily, I positioned myself behind someone who knew what they were doing as I did not. I felt so uncoordinated and out of place. I persevered however and continued with group fitness. I finally got to a point that I felt confident with all classes. I thought to myself, I think I should teach this! I took my FIS training with canfitpro in 2012 and my Les Mills Body Pump training the same year. I cannot express how incredibly happy I am to be teaching group fitness. It gives me purpose and happiness. Every day I get to motivate and encourage individuals to help them meet their fitness goals. When COVID hit and everything shut down, I decided to continue to teach classes online. I needed to pivot and find a way to adapt to a very uncertain time. I have never felt so incredibly fulfilled in all my life. I had people send me messages, texts, and phone calls saying I helped them stay determined, active, and happy through such a difficult time. People trusted me and let me into their homes and for that I am forever grateful. Through the beauty of music, movement, and motivation we can find hope, happiness, and fulfilment. What challenges have you overcome and what did you learn that has made you a better fitness professional? I have been working as a full-time paramedic with Middlesex-London Paramedic Service for nearly 20 years.

With this job has come incredible challenges. When you work in a career that tests your mental and physical health every day, you need to take charge and make sure you’re doing everything possible to take care of yourself. You then sprinkle in shift work, multiple missed family functions, horrible calls, a failed marriage, life trials and difficult situations, it really starts to wear on you. The one constant I have had in my life has been fitness. Exercise gets me through. It keeps me sharp and prepares me for unexpected challenges ahead. There is never a day I go to the gym and dread teaching my classes. Even after working all night, I am still excited to see everyone and workout. Routine, discipline, lifestyle, and healthy habits have gotten me through some of the most difficult times in my life. Learning how to cope, problem solve, and critically think when challenges are presented to me has given me balance, stability, and happiness. At this point in your career, what piece of advice would you give your younger self? I always laugh at this question because I would have so much to say to her! There was a point in my life when I became very down on myself because of the choices I made. I was so mad at myself and thought why would I have ever done that, hurt that person or thought that was a good idea? I always wished I could go back in time and take back some of the stuff I did. But Doc Brown wasn’t available with his DeLorean so I decided to learn from my past. You can never go back in time and take back your mistakes. I decided to write about my mistakes instead in one of the WHY Time series, The Book of Purpose. I have now learned

what the value of trust, self-love, respect, and self-worth is. I have learned to love myself, accept my past, forgive myself, and trust the journey. Without mistakes, we will never really know how to recover from uncomfortable and hard times. It’s important to remember that none of this comes without hard work, discomfort, and challenges. Don’t be afraid to take charge of your life and start. Don’t wait for someone else to do it for you. Trust your journey and believe this path was meant for you. What keeps you motivated and ready for the next challenge? I am excited for what is still to come for me. I am so thankful and grateful for everything that has happened in my life so far, even if it was tough. I continue to work towards finding balance in my life. More recently, I have become more focused on my photography! I have had the incredible honour and pleasure of being one of the event photographers for canfitpro four years in a row. This year, however, was much different. They called upon me to capture this event completely virtually. I had to really dig deep and figure out how I was going to do this. I must say, I was quite pleased with how I was able to showcase this event through the end of my lens fabulously! Continually working with incredible people and projects to achieve success and accomplishments is what keeps me motivated. Growth and progress in life is what keeps us moving forward to succeed in achieving our dreams. Break through the negative self-talk and channel your inner strength to find your passion and purpose in life.




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canfitpro January/February 2021



Photo Credit: Dawn Bowman



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Can you describe what it is that you do within the fitness industry? I am currently the President/Owner of Functional Movement Systems which provides education to fitness and medical professionals so that they can help their clients and patients better engage in physical activity. I primarily teach and consult with a variety of sports medicine and fitness entities, focusing on reducing injury and improving performance. What do you love about what you do? I am very fortunate to come in contact and interact with a wide variety of professionals that represent many different disciplines. I truly love this since it is this interaction that allows me to grow and learn from others which inspires me to continue to improve myself personally and professionally. What is the most memorable career experience for you to date and why? I was very fortunate a number of years ago to be the keynote speaker at the National Athletic Trainers Association’s Annual Student Symposium. This opportunity really highlighted for me how much of an influence I could have on young professionals. It really made me think much more on how I should be approaching, not only my message, but how I represented my profession. What is the biggest mistake you’ve made and how have you learned from it? It was when I first started lecturing and presenting at conferences and symposiums. I was asked to present at a regional conference on a topic that I was very familiar with, so I felt I did not need to have much preparation. Since it was a smaller conference and I knew the material I figured I could “wing it”, and how

wrong I was. It was a terrible lecture and experience and I told myself right after that I would never go into any lecture/ presentation, no matter who, what, or where, unprepared. As bad as it was for me at the time, it was a defining moment for me personally and professionally. What do you believe sets certain fitness professionals apart from the rest? We have a tremendous responsibility in this profession to touch people in a way that inspires them to live a healthier life. I believe certain professionals understand this more than others and they find a way to engage and communicate this to their clients and others around them. What advice can you share to those new to the field in order to be successful? I think, too often, we overcomplicate things in our personal and professional lives. No matter the profession, work hard and be a good person. All of us know what that means! What does this award represent to you? I have been presenting and lecturing for over 20 years and to be recognized in this way is just tremendous. The time and effort it takes to prepare, present and ultimately connect with your audience is not an easy task. Knowing that I have been able to reach people with my message and hopefully inspire them to become better professionals is quite an honor. Instagram: @functionalmvmt


canfitpro January/February 2021




Creating welcoming fitness spaces By Robert Robinson, Diversity & Inclusion Committee, Chair

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MORE THAN ONE-FIFTH (22.3%) OF CANADA’S POPULATION IDENTIFIES AS VISIBLE MINORITIES AND IS PREDICTED TO GROW UPWARDS OF 30 TO 35% BY 2036, ACCORDING TO STATISTICS CANADA. In canfitpro’s recent member survey, less than three per cent of members identified as Black and less than 20% identified as a race other than White. Although we hope to see the same growth of 30-35% in rising diversity within the fitness industry, it highlights an opportunity for intentional racialization in gyms in Canada. The result of a growing BIPOC (Black, Indigenous People of Colour) population in fitness ultimately makes the entire industry better and more inclusive. One of the many priorities should be to make fitness spaces equitable and more racially diverse, starting with a review of internal policies and practices that have systemically contributed to the problem of discrimination and marginalization. Fitness spaces across the country should welcome all cultures, religions, genders and abilities, and remove any form of disparities and classism that has resulted in career and entrepreneurial oppression. Where are the BIPOC fitness professionals, leaders, club owners, and operators? This is a question that I asked eight years ago when I entered the industry and continue to ask today. In my first three-years, I attended several fitness industry events around the world and realized quickly that BIPOC groups were underrepresented and those with power and privilege need to be part of the solution. The first area of examination is recruitment. Hiring and promoting must be completed with the intention of creating more opportunity for BIPOC representation. Secondly, a closer look at what organizations are actively doing in terms of policy changes and culture adjustments to make it more welcoming to diverse communities. These may be difficult questions, but they are necessary questions. BIPOC in Fitness is a new content series designed to bring awareness to racial disparities and to illuminate a

world full of possibilities. Our goal is to remove barriers, advocate for people who belong to these groups, share their stories, experiences, and insights to make allyship an industry priority in the pursuit of transformational change. BIPOC in Fitness feature stories will be included in canfitpro Magazine and canfitpro e-Newsletters in 2021.


The first yoga class I ever attended was one of the most unwelcoming experiences I have ever had. From the start, it was clear that the teacher of this class did NOT want me there. He gave me ‘the look’ that many BIPOC individuals are familiar with, the “What are YOU doing HERE?” look, then he actually asked me that! That experience dissuaded me from practicing yoga for many years, however, I’m happy to say that it did not stop me. Now, I am a yoga teacher myself, with a drive to ensure that no one else has to ever experience what I did.


– MAYA ANGELOU Meet Dennis Perkins

As a Muslim woman wearing the headscarf, I’ve experienced my fair share of condescending remarks about my headscarf, challenging my choice to dress how I want inside the gym - “You must be boiling in all those stuffy clothes!” My advice to fellow coaches: Commit to doing more to make your diverse clients feel welcome. Don’t make insensitive comments. Connect with other diverse instructors to get insights on cultural differences and challenges your clients may experience. Ask clients how you can make them feel more comfortable. Sincere effort and a desire to learn goes a long way in becoming an ally. Meet Dawna Mensah

To address the lack of BIPOC in leadership in fitness, there needs to be programs that search for qualified BIPOC talent. There are many clubs that will aggressively recruit for instructors and trainers with less bias towards race, however, at the leadership level there is very little room available. It appears that leadership roles are offered to those ‘they know’, leaving many BIPOC candidates on the outside.

Robert Robinson is the Manager of B2B Sales & Strategic Partnerships at canfitpro and a certified Personal Training Specialist for over 7 years. He led the revision of the current edition of canfitpro’s Personal Training Specialist program and now oversees the B2B Team. Robert is an experienced sales professional with over 15 years in the financial and fitness industry.

canfitpro January/February 2021


20 canfitpro January/February 2021

FITNESS BUSINESS JOURNAL Keeping club and boutique owners, operators, and managers informed with industry news, trends, and insights. 22













Maximizing Cost of Ownership

In the first of a three-part series, Matrix shares best practices for protecting equipment assets By Ben Mcginn 22 canfitpro January/February 2021

IN THE LAST QUARTER OF 2020, OWNING AND/ OR OPERATING A FITNESS FACILITY IN CANADA, DEPENDING OF COURSE ON THE PROVINCE AND/OR AREA WHERE YOU OPERATE, WE HAVE BEEN FACED WITH ONE OF THREE DIFFERENT SCENARIOS: 1. Open and operating in a government regulated manner. 2. Closed due to COVID-related enforcement or owner preference. 3. Preparing to re-open. Considering that all facilities look to maximize the life and function of all equipment assets, Matrix Fitness Canada would like to explore a frequently asked question, while keeping the above circumstances in mind. “How can I take care of my equipment while I’m closed?” Maybe the more direct question should be: “Do I even need to do anything with equipment that isn’t constantly in use or hasn’t been used in some time?”

ensure they have a maximized life span.

It would be a good idea to have staff that have access during a closure, to go ahead and use the machines for a short time to allow those parts to move the way they are intended.

Most suppliers should have easy access to preventative maintenance guidelines. An example from our Matrix Fitness Learning Center can be found at owner-manager/

3. Hire a qualified technician if operational budgeting allows. Nearly every facility has a preferred tech agency, dealer or manufacturer that not only offers brand-specific trained warranty technicians, but a preventative maintenance program that may be set up specifically for your facility.

For those that don’t know, the answer is yes. Depending on the amount of time your facility is closed for, here is a list of good practices, along with suggestions on maximizing and taking advantage of the down time. 1. Cardio equipment rotation. This is a practice that many are unaware of. It involves having staff or a technician safely rotate cardio pieces and physically swap locations to ensure the usage of all machines on the cardio floor are experiencing roughly the same amount.

This is, of course, critical in the value and resale when it comes time to upgrade and especially critical for treadmills, as they have the most amount of wearable parts.

2. Parts that are designed and engineered to move. There are many parts on both cardio and strength machines (e.g., treadmill roller bearings under running belt tension) that are better off moving to

Another example would be machined bushings, bearings, and cables on select strength machines.

Having someone come in, if you don’t already have a designated visit rotation set up to go through equipment or to address common issues, would be a wise thing to do. At worst, a tech may be able to diagnose an issue, and if not covered under warranty, at least provide a budget to have repairs addressed when it is feasible to do so.

The operational hiatus would give the technician(s) all the room and access they need to ensure the on-site time is of good value.

Matrix Fitness has 71 Independent Service Providers (ISP) across Canada, including its own certified staff in

Montreal, Calgary, and Edmonton. Our interactive map to locate our certified training team is one of Matrix Fitness Canada’s pandemic projects! 4. A deep clean to brag about. It is very common to have equipment in a state of cleanliness that is sometimes hard to recognize. Sure, facilities have had equipment cleaning protocols for both patrons and staff elevate considerably and out of sheer necessity due to the pandemic, but how about underneath or inside that climbmill that hasn’t been moved in three years, or the 20 spin bikes that haven’t had the cosmetics removed to clean inside them?

Sure, your everyday member won’t notice anything like this, but the advantage created from a marketing or social media perspective highlighting these efforts can be very rewarding.

All facilities have members that are on the cusp of returning, but possibly need that little extra reassurance that their gym is doing all it can and then some.

We are proud of our Canadian roots and to support Canadian manufacturing, research, fitness education, and innovation.

We owe our success to our local and Canadian partners who believed in our education, equipment and services from the start, and supported our growth across Canada and abroad. As the Leaders in Mindful Movement, we are committed to championing, nurturing, and elevating Canadian fitness professionals and studio owners, and growing the mindbody fitness industry in Canada and beyond.

Article by Ben Mcginn, regional representative with extensive service and maintenance experience in Southern Alberta.

For more information on Matrix in Canada visit canfitpro January/February 2021



Training Clients Online in 2021


By Sean Greeley, NPE Founder & CEO

24 canfitpro January/February 2021

MOST FITNESS PROFESSIONALS AND STUDIO OWNERS WANT TO OWN A BUSINESS THAT MAKES $10K+ A MONTH. COVID-19 forced studio and gym revenues down about 40%. Many fitness business owners compensated for the lost revenues by trying to transition their business online. Some have hit that $10k a month goal. Others are still struggling, giving away services for free, not knowing how to stand out in a crowded marketplace. Here’s the basic framework you need to get your online business growing: Understand the online opportunities You can’t grow online if you’re not willing to take risks and adapt. And you can’t grow online if you defeat yourself before you start. Too many people see others’ succeeding and think they’re already too late: the first movers grabbed the market. Nonsense. Opportunities are STILL abundant–if you are WILLING to evolve and adapt. There are so many prospective fitness clients that need your help now more than ever! And offering online services removes tremendous barriers to reaching your clients – whether from COVID lockdowns or other reasons clients cannot make it to the gym. Create powerful online value Too many coaches (incorrectly) think they can’t deliver similar levels of value online as they do in-person. They have “head trash” around competing with free workouts on Instagram and YouTube. So, they under-charge or even give away online services for free. That’s the wrong approach. You are NOT competing against free online videos. You’re COACHING people. When someone watches a video, they have to figure out how to apply what the video says to themselves. But when you’re the coach, you’re providing expert, individual, customized


attention to them and delivering a solution to their problems. You are giving them assessments. You’re providing programming, teaching technique, offering accountability and support … and so on. That is extremely valuable to a client because your coaching offers them a personalized solution to their problems. The more value you provide, the more clients are willing to pay and the longer they will stay with you. Attracting premium-paying clients (see below) and keeping them is how you build your business to $10k/month. Find and sign up new clients online Too many fitness professionals and business owners think they need to hype their services and go hard on promotions in order to grow. Don’t waste time begging the wrong people to do business with you. Instead of offering free trials and discounted sessions, when you’re serious about growth you need to get the right strategy and systems in place to succeed.

. . .YOU’RE PROVIDING EXPERT, INDIVIDUAL, CUSTOMIZED ATTENTION TO THEM AND DELIVERING A SOLUTION TO THEIR PROBLEMS. The three most important components for marketing success are: 1. Defining your ideal client: Examples - new moms, busy executives, competitive athletes. Whoever you wish to serve, who can pay premium rates, and who you can attract in sufficient numbers to get to $10k a month (and beyond). 2. Crafting your messaging and offer: Position yourself as the expert provider of solutions for your ideal client … and make them a compelling offer. 3. Developing a lead generation plan: Many people make this too complex. Focus on quick wins, such as: networking (online and offline), content marketing (education + offers),

DON’T WASTE TIME BEGGING THE WRONG PEOPLE TO DO BUSINESS WITH YOU. public speaking, referrals, bring-afriend campaigns, advertising, and partnerships. Align your ideal client, messaging/offers, and lead generation and you’ll soon be on your way to earning $10k/month. Summary Seize the opportunities in front you (and there are plenty). Focus on delivering great value to retain clients longer. Increase the quality and quantity of new prospective clients coming into your business with a solid marketing strategy in place. When you learn how to consistently do those three things well, you too will grow your business online to 10k+/month… and a whole lot more!

Sean Greeley, Founder and CEO of NPE, has an unrelenting passion for empowering fitness business owners to grow their business and create the life they want. Since 2006, NPE has helped over 45,000+ fitness professionals and studio owners to grow their business, take home more money, and have the time freedom to enjoy it. Learn more about how to start and grow your fitness business online with NPE’s free eCourse: “Start Your Own Fitness Business: Turn Your Passion into a Business Earning $10K/Month.” We’ll show you the exact steps you can follow to start and grow your own fitness business online to $10k+ a month:

canfitpro January/February 2021



Equity Assessments for Canadian Gyms and Fitness Spaces A proactive way to address potential human rights concerns and create equitable environments By Adam Benn

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THE EVENTS OF 2020 HAVE SPARKED A GLOBAL MOVEMENT AIMED AT ADDRESSING ISSUES OF EQUITY AND BUILDING MORE INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENTS. These events have not only led to greater awareness of racism, and other forms of discrimination, but have also incited action. Among businesses and organizations, these actions include developing and strengthening current equity-related policies and the addition of equity, diversity, and inclusion training. From “human rights” to “equity, diversity, and inclusion”. The Canadian fitness industry has felt the impacts of this global movement. Currently, businesses in the Canadian fitness industry have obligations under either provincial or federal human rights legislation which outlines protections for protected groups. This legislation is meant to ensure that individuals and groups have equal access – and may involve taking actions like: - - - -

installing accessible push buttons creating accessible signage installing ramps giving time to staff for prayer, or religious holidays - ensuring that all genders have access to washrooms Gyms and fitness spaces must comply with federal/provincial human rights legislation. However, adopting a “human rights” approach may not be proactive enough to address the systemic barriers that equity-seeking groups experience. A human rights approach is a legal based approach – centred around complaints or issues. A human rights approach protects groups and individuals from discrimination, but may not always provide a clear, consistent, and appropriate set of guidelines to create equitable environments. One key tool that gyms and other fitness businesses can use to create a more inclusive environment is through an equity assessment or equity audit. The word equity most often refers to “the ongoing intentional and systemic approach to remove historic and current barriers for equity-seeking groups”. Special equity programs, like federal employment equity programs, go beyond treating persons “the same way”.

An equity assessment involves collecting and analyzing information with the goal of identifying potential barriers for equity-seeking groups. An equity assessment is a proactive way to address potential human rights concerns, rather than waiting to respond to issues of discrimination when they arise. Asking “who is in and who is out”? A place for gyms and fitness businesses to start is by taking a critical look at their business delivery model, reflecting on the following questions: - Whose needs are met by this delivery model? What are the identities? - Whose voices have been considered? Who is missing? - Are there any unintentional impacts with this service delivery model? For example, a gym might find that their current class schedules do not meet the needs of mothers/parents; or the physical space creates challenges for individuals who have visual impairments. These questions are an important foundation for understanding what barriers your clients or potential clients may be experiencing. Reducing or eliminating these barriers can lead to increased client base and/or improved client experience, especially for equity seeking groups.

AN EQUITY ASSESSMENT IS A PROACTIVE WAY TO ADDRESS POTENTIAL HUMAN RIGHTS CONCERNS, RATHER THAN WAITING TO RESPOND TO ISSUES OF DISCRIMINATION WHEN THEY ARISE. Some other important considerations: 1. Ensure you are meeting relevant Federal and Provincial Human Rights Legislation Gyms and fitness spaces in Canada are required to adhere to Federal and/ or Provincial Human Rights legislation. For example, in Ontario, equity policies might be guided by the Ontario Human Rights Code and/or the Occupational Health and Safety Act. While building an inclusive environment is a great goal, starting with the legislation ensures that the policy, at a minimum, reflects your legislative obligations. Ensure that you are aware and understand what these obligations are. 2. Who is missing – in YOUR facility? Provincial and Federal human right legislation lays out protections for protected groups. Federal Canadian

law recognizes four designated groups: “women, people with disabilities, Aboriginal peoples, and visible minorities”. Some organizations and institutions include LGBT2SQ groups as well. Generally, these groups experience barriers when accessing housing, employment and other services. However, depending on where you are located in the country, there may be other groups that face barriers. Use your assessment to also identify other groups that might be the groups you are targeting. 3. Engage your base The idea of what concepts like equity look like can change depending on who is in the room. Engaging staff and clients in the assessment process encourages input and participation, creates buy-in and results in an equity assessment that reflects the uniqueness of your environment. Inclusive environments = win for all Many gyms are operating with limited staff and resources. However, completing an equity-assessment does not have to be a laborious task. It is an opportunity to better understand the ways we can tailor our services to meet the unique needs of the clients we serve. As mentioned, this can lead to a better client experience, but can also lead to our own personal growth in our own lives as we start to understand how the systems that we operate in can work for us, or against us, depending on who we are. Working with an equity assessment also requires an awareness around one’s own identities, more specifically, what privilege identities you may hold. This work is lifelong, but the awareness developed through engaging in assessment processes can be an important first step. Adam Benn, M.A, M.Ed., is an experienced facilitator, educator, and certified personal trainer with over ten years of experience in personal training, education, and community healthcare. Adam has wide and ranging experience working with diverse populations with unique needs and supporting individuals and groups to create inclusive environments.

canfitpro January/February 2021



Reduce Your Stress and Exposures in 2021


One way to reduce your stress and make sure you and your business are covered properly in the coming year is to put a comprehensive insurance plan in place to mitigate your risk.

As the leading fitness insurance broker in Canada, we at Gallagher are frequently asked how fitness instructors and gym owners can reduce risks associated with their clients and/or premises. We have seen many different claims scenarios during our tenure as the only endorsed broker for the canfitpro “Protect Yourself” insurance program. This has allowed us to share the following advice to help you mitigate threats to your business:

• Be certain to carry liability insurance that includes an Abuse extension. Even if your claim never goes to court, expenses can be in the tens of thousands or much higher. We recommend carrying at least $2M of liability coverage as lawyers can be expensive and can deplete liability limits very quickly in lengthy claims situations. Some other programs insuring those in the fitness industry offer limits of $1M, 28 canfitpro January/February 2021

and even $500,000, and as noted these limits can be eroded to the point where you do not have enough insurance to cover the claim. Insure contents related to your fitness operations for theft, fire, and damage as these are expensive to replace. If you operate a gym, be sure to have business interruption insurance. This will cover the profits you would have made and can be the difference between your business surviving a significant claim or not. Have a response plan available to all staff so they are prepared for various loss scenarios including injuries, sickness, CPR, as well as procedures to deal with the COVID-19 exposure. Realize that any clients under the age of 18 are not allowed to enter into a contract, so while parents can sue for negligence now, the minor can also come back later when they become an adult and pursue legal action again. For these reasons, be very careful about training minors. Ensure your staff have the proper training and certifications to carry out the duties they are performing, otherwise their insurance may not respond as this is a requirement of the policy. Be sure to have a commercial liability policy to cover your exposure if you work from home and have clients come into your residence. Should your

homeowners’ insurer find out that you have a commercial operation without proper insurance, they may cancel your homeowner’s policy. By using these practices, you will greatly reduce your stress, exposure to claims, protect not only your business but also your personal assets, and help to avoid a stressful, drawn out litigation and potential trial. Insurance exists to protect you in the event of an unforeseen accident or occurrence. These situations, however, can be mitigated with some careful steps, some of which have been outlined in this article. Should you wish to obtain a quote as either a fitness trainer/instructor, in-home studio operator or gym owner, we can be reached from the canfitpro website or directly via our website at Murray Mackenzie, C.I.P., B.Comm., is Senior Vice President of Commercial Insurance at Gallagher. Murray has been working in the insurance industry for over 30 years. He is a graduate of McMaster University. Contact him at or visit

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Future-Proofing Your Organization A look at what needs to be done now to manage and minimize the impact of future shocks By Colin Milner, Founder & CEO of ICAA 30 canfitpro January/February 2021

LOCKDOWNS. PAUSING OR ELIMINATING SERVICES AND JOBS. MOVING FOOD SERVICES, SALES, REHAB, PROGRAMMING, AND HEALTHCARE ONLINE. “COVID-19 HAS DISRUPTED OUR INDUSTRY” JUST MIGHT BE THE UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE CENTURY. YET, THIS DISRUPTION HAS NOT BEEN ALL BAD. For example, so many organizations have embraced digital technology at such a rapid pace that we have achieved, in months, what would normally take years. Whether starting an internal television station to deliver wellness content, or adopting telemedicine to deliver healthcare and rehab services, organizations responded swiftly to “plug holes” in their systems—many with makeshift solutions. But plugging holes and creating a roadmap for the future are two different things. It’s true that in the midst of a pandemic few of us are probably thinking about developing that roadmap. Yet, the future will find us soon enough. The question is, “what do we need to do now to prepare?” Let’s start with the words ‘future-proof’. Experiences in 2020 reinforce the importance of building an organization that can manage and minimize the impact of future shocks. We benefit by asking ourselves the following: What elements are required to ensure the next trend or pandemic doesn’t have a devastating impact on my organization and on those my company serves? One answer? Tech fluency. If the pandemic has shown us anything, it is the value of digital offerings. If we intend to continue these offerings when more normalcy returns to in-person services, it is vital to understand tech fluency—not only is it a key to our success, but it helps future-proof our business. If you are wondering what tech fluency is, you are not alone. In a July 2017 article in the Deloitte Review, Anthony R. Stephan, Martin Kamen, and Catherine Bannister described tech fluency as “a basic understanding of enterprise technology principles and systems. This understanding makes it possible for workers to contextualize deeper technology concepts; it enables employees to follow technology trends, differentiate between tech ‘myth’ and fact, and understand how the tools they use each day contribute, directly or indirectly, to business success.”

The authors observed that “tech fluency becomes more role- and business-functionspecific” as we move along the spectrum. That means having “a detailed working knowledge of how technology capabilities and their adjacencies can drive new revenue” and create opportunities. So, how tech fluent is your organization? That’s another question that, given its importance, each of us will need to answer moving forward. With knowledge of our teams’ tech fluency, we can each step into the future feeling confident in investments we make to move our organizations away from makeshift solutions, and toward becoming vibrant, integrated, technology-driven organizations with exceptional in-person offerings.

WITH KNOWLEDGE OF OUR TEAMS’ TECH FLUENCY, WE CAN EACH STEP INTO THE FUTURE FEELING CONFIDENT IN INVESTMENTS WE MAKE TO MOVE OUR ORGANIZATIONS AWAY FROM MAKESHIFT SOLUTIONS … Future-proofing organizations will require a focus on services and products offered, where and how we deliver them, and who is charged with their delivery. We’ve all stared into the COVID-19 abyss this past year in our organizations. Who among us would choose to replay what we’ve seen? Amid heroic efforts to adapt, to learn and to find ways to meet needs, the pandemic has upended what we do and how we do it. We all want our customers to enjoy supportive, life-affirming environments and outstanding opportunities to improve their health, wellness, and quality of life. The capacity to deliver these things both in-person and online will distinguish our organizations moving forward—and elevate some beyond the rest. Colin Milner is founder and CEO of the International Council on Active Aging®. An award-winning author and leading authority on the health and wellbeing of the older adult, Milner has been recognized by the World Economic Forum as one of “the most innovative and influential minds” in the world on aging-related topics. canfitpro January/February 2021



Do’s and Don’ts of Post Pandemic Lockdown Fitness Nine lessons from a let-down customer By Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas

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HERE IS A TESTIMONIAL I RECEIVED FROM ONE OF MY FOLLOWERS, AFTER SENDING OUT AN ARTICLE ABOUT VIRTUAL FITNESS. IT GENERATED MANY LESSONS THAT I THOUGHT WOULD BE OF INTEREST. “I was previously very loyal to a gym. I loved their workouts, the atmosphere. But I haven’t been to a gym since March. I have no real desire to work out in an enclosed space with others. I know they’ve distanced, limited numbers, deep clean in between etc. But it’s the air, recirculated over and over. Many don’t wear masks. I wouldn’t want to work out in one either.” Lesson # 1: Some of your members will not come back for a while, even if you take all precautionary measures. What is your plan B to continue to serve these members? “They dropped the ball in my books, twice: First, in not keeping in touch by email during the pandemic. According to others, they did, and offered daily workout recordings, but I only found out about those through another friend in late June. It was likely a glitch in their email member management system, but a serious one.” Lesson # 2: Have you been keeping in touch with your members and participants during the pandemic? Did you review your list to make sure that everyone was included and that your database was up-to-date? Just posting on social media does not mean that your paying clients saw your posts. Did you take a minute to track the numbers of openings and clicks on your emails? Lesson # 3: Do you have a database of names or an emailing system that can help you keep track? If not, it is time to start using one. I use KEAP (from Infusion Soft). Other less expensive and free options: aWeber, Mailchimp. Make sure to get their phone numbers. A good old phone call does wonders in keeping your members engaged and shows you care. Personal contact always prevails. “Then they tried to charge my credit card $85 when they started offering classes recently. Again, no communication prior, it just arrived as a charge on my credit card.”

Lesson # 4: Avoid assuming that your clients will necessarily want to come back. Make sure to communicate with them before charging their credit card. The key is communication.

previous member base. What is your new niche? Target the people that do want virtual instead of feeling stuck trying to convince people who will only come back with your ‘in-person’ offer.

“I went in to talk to them. They were apologetic and I was understanding since I really have always loved that gym, and the front desk gal felt like a friend. But seriously, this was hardly the making for excellent customer service.”

“Trainers are personable and the good ones will figure out how to leverage their personality online.”

Lesson # 5: A lack of communication can affect even your most loyal members. “But here’s the thing. All their recorded workouts are online since March on YouTube. I plan to just use those to work out at home, mixed with other outdoor fitness stuff. As long as it’s available for free (and if not theirs, there are tons now on YouTube).”

HYBRID IS THE NEW BLACK. THE PANDEMIC LASTED LONG ENOUGH TO BE HABIT-FORMING. Lesson # 6: If you did offer free workouts during the pandemic, are they still out there for everyone to access for free? Have you created a precedent with your members by giving them your services for free? Take a moment to take these videos down. You can leave short video teasers. It would be a good idea to record a video that can be found where the workouts were posted, saying: Our operations have resumed, it was a pleasure to provide these workouts to you during the pandemic for your convenience. You can now find us here…” “Would I pay to have member access online workouts only? Possibly. Would I pay for a hybrid once I feel comfortable to go to the gym, but also have online? ABSOLUTELY. It’s about convenience.” Lesson # 7: Hybrid is the new black. The pandemic lasted long enough to be habitforming. Those who got accustomed to exercising online will more likely continue to do so. The virtual option allows you to expand outside of the physical territory of people living close to your location. I have some business mentorship clients and gym owners who speak different languages that have started to offer online classes in multiple languages and are getting clients to sign up from different countries. Think outside of your

Lesson # 8: As a business, did you reach out to your trainers and instructors? If you did not have work for them, did you at least stay in touch and kept them engaged? What level of service were you offering? They may have started their own online classes. Your staff is most likely the reason why people were coming to your facility. Get them involved in your new hybrid model. You still need them, and you can offer them great benefits, providing platforms, tools, etc. “Even if we have to get used to technology, the learning curve is not as steep as we think.” Lesson # 9: Get rid of the limiting belief that you are “bad with technology”. You have learned the insertions and attachments of all muscles in a human body, you have been running a business and taking care of staff, you can easily figure what button to push to see your clients on Zoom. Check out the THINK Yourself® ACADEMY courses available at a 50% discount for canfitpro members (promo code: cfp50) including the course THINK Yourself® A VIRTUAL FITNESS PRO that can help your facility to quickly move your business online and make money living from your passion. Visit canfitpro. Founder and CEO of the THINK Yourself® ACADEMY, Confidence Expert, International No.1 Bestselling Author of fifteen books on wellness and empowerment, and 2007 Fitness Instructor of the Year, Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas combines 25 years in sales and 30 years in the fitness industry. She works with entrepreneurs who want to find confidence and clarity so they can make money living from their passion. canfitpro January/February 2021


xperts Weigh In


TOP TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL 2021 WE ASKED INDUSTRY EXPERTS TO SHARE WHAT THEY FEEL IS IMPORTANT AS WE MOVE INTO A NEW YEAR SELL SOLUTIONS, NOT FEATURES, SGT KEN® Practice good listening skills and sell solutions, not features. Discover and document every specific and measurable goal for your clients. Create a game plan on how you are going to help your client become the best version of her or himself. A vacuum salesman does not sell a great machine, but instead helps people get rid of the dirt in their lives. In other words, it is more about how people will feel after reaching their goals that counts! Use the following three interview questions to help your clients make a dream bigger than a doubt: 1. “What is your goal?” 2. Use the feel, felt, found method. Example: “I know the way you feel. I have a friend that felt the same way when he was trying to prepare for his first major obstacle course. I found him a safe and extremely effective program that made it possible for him to perform better than he ever

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expected. I believe that program can be fitted for you! Knowing that, on a scale of 1-10 where 10 is the best, how ready are you to reach that goal right now?” 3. “What day this week are you ready to become the best version of you?” Notice that the final question did not allow a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ answer, however a choice of ‘when’ to begin. If you give an opportunity for the answer to be yes or no, you have a 50% chance of getting refused. If you close with a question of when, you help the client to stay focused on how it will feel to win! During some interview situations I replaced #3 with, “Which plan works best for you?” Again, this points the prospect toward the path to progress! Ken Weichert (aka SGT Ken®) is an award-winning international speaker, six-time US Army Soldier of the Year, Master Fitness Trainer, Master Resilience Trainer, Counterintelligence Agent, decorated combat veteran and canfitpro International Presenter of the Year (2017, 2019). Ken’s personal mission is to help people turn stress into strength and obstacles into opportunities through physical and emotional resiliency coaching and leadership training. Ken serves as the Director of Programming and Education for WaterRower®. For more information, go to

TRAIN TO PREVENT COVID-19 KYPHOSIS, TRACIE SMITH-BEYAK Train yourself and your clients to prevent or rehab postural deviations. Specifically, the deviation kyphosis that I am now coining ‘COVID-19 Kyphosis’. Kyphosis is a round back or hunchback, a condition in which the spine in the upper back has an excessive curvature. The upper back, or thoracic region of the spine, has a natural slight curve. The spine naturally curves in the neck, upper back, and lower back to help absorb shock and support the weight of the head. Kyphosis occurs when this natural arch is larger than normal. Due to the globally forced ‘virtual’ workplace that we have seen over the last year, postural ailments are significantly on the rise and very few people are lucky enough to have an ergonomic desk setup at home or at their workplace. In summary, arms are often held in a prolonged elevated front position taxing the upper body muscles to a fatigued rounded posture then forcing the head into a forward flexed position in order to see straight ahead. Symptoms of this postural deviation commonly include back, neck, and shoulder pain, but can also include:

BE FLEXIBLE WITH YOUR FACILITY PROGRAMMING SCOTT WILDEMAN A lot of time and effort can go into creating the perfect program or the perfect session for a client. However, what happens when the best laid plans need to be scrapped? What happens when your client comes into the facility over tired, over stressed, or with an injury? The answer may seem obvious to some, but just to be clear, we adapt! One of the strongest skill sets of the best trainers in the industry is their ability to progress and regress exercises and workouts on the fly given the circumstances. If your client is in a conditioning phase that requires HIIT training, but didn’t sleep the night before due to (insert a reason here), can you regress not only the exercises but the intensity? Can you “give the client what they want but sneak in what they need”? Can you leave them feeling like they accomplished something valuable, yet you didn’t push them beyond where they should be at?

• Breathing problems. • Limited physical function for tasks such as walking and getting out of chairs. The spinal curvature can also make it difficult to gaze upward or drive and can cause pain when you lie down. • Digestive problems such as acid reflux and difficulty with swallowing. • Body image problems that can lead to social isolation. Quick trainer tips include: anterior chain stretches, chest stretches, upper back and core stability posture strengthening, varying positions for the virtual workplace (sitting, standing, walking, etc.], taking regular break intervals during virtual work, balance training, and relaxation/breathing practice. Prevention is the key to avoiding chronic problems and it’s never too late to start. Tracie Smith-Beyak is a master trainer, presenter, and author. Specializing in prenatal fitness, biomechanics, rehab, and athletics she has made regular appearances in fitness, medical, and business industries for over 23 years. Tracie is a contributing author for the canfitpro online course Understanding A Fit Pregnancy.

Some practical tips for doing this: 1. Be upfront and honest and explain the why. “I can see that you are pretty tired today. In lieu of our met-con workout we had planned, I would like to keep things at more of an aerobic pace. I know you like to sweat so we will get a good sweat in, but it will not be an interval style workout.” 2. Gain permission. “How does that sound? Does that make sense?” 3. Ask for feedback! I see the very best trainers constantly ask for feedback and tailor their workouts accordingly. Instead of “how was the workout today”, which will illicit a “fine” answer, get a qualitative response. “On a scale of 0-10, how was the workout today and why?” Of course, if they give you an “8”, my next question would be “what can I do to get a 10?”. By continuously asking for feedback and adapting to your client, you ensure they are empowered in their fitness journey. Scott Wildeman is the Senior VP Fitness and Operations for GYMVMT in Alberta Canada. A dynamic leader that has helped build one of the largest PT and GF teams in Canada, his areas of expertise include Personal Training sales and business practices, career development and Human Resources.

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Helen Vanderburg

It’s time for an important and timely discussion around the future of group fitness and group training. It is no surprise this year has been unlike any other in our lifetime, and the industry trend reports we would typically see have not even been published. At canfitpro’s October virtual series event, this conversation, facilitated by Maureen (Mo) Hagan, took place with industry legends Helen Vanderburg, 36 canfitpro January/February 2021

Sherri McMillan, Kim Lavender, and Fraser Quelch. Their collective experience is outstanding; they bring perspective as operators and owners, as trainers of trainers, as coaches of coaches, and as trainers, coaches and instructors themselves who have been living through and working on the frontlines of fitness. This is your chance to take a front row seat around the table and lend an ear

to this one-of-a-kind, unique to our time, conversation. Key Lessons Learned in 2020 Helen Vanderburg Co-Owner of The ACADEMY - Fitness, Yoga and Spin Studio, Calgary, Alberta “We have to do something to stay

Photo Credit: Dawn Bowman

Sherri McMillan

connected with our community and this requires us to get uncomfortable. We have to go online to support our community. Initially, we gave away our online classes and fit talks for free. We were super reactive at the time. In retrospect, it was a really, really good thing for us to do. Reflecting back, I realized that even though we did not have a plan, I would have done the exact same thing because

Kim Lavender

it is an opportunity for people to get to know us. People will not buy your services until they know who you are, know your services, and build a relationship with you. You must be courageous, try something, step outside your comfort zone. Do not underestimate the people on your team either. Rock stars will rise out of the virtual world that may surprise you. Our clients are accessing the world for their fitness.

Fraser Quelch

You need to be a part of their choices. It is time to become a fitness influencer by getting out there. We are not going back to the clubs and classes the way they were.� Sherri McMillan Owner at Northwest Personal Training & Why Racing Events, Vancouver, Washington

canfitpro January/February 2021


“Group training and classes had been growing in popularity ..amongst our competitors... prior to COVID-19 and we had to understand what makes us stand out as the ‘experts’ and differentiates us from our competition. When the pandemic hit, we had already positioned ourselves as the private, by appointment only, personal training studio so we were positioned to serve and thrive. When the doors of our business were forced to close back in March, we went online immediately ...with virtual personal training, private... and sold our cardio equipment to members (used in group classes) so that they could participate in their workouts with us from home. The hustle was rewarded. These decisions have transformed our business and strengthened our brand further, which not only helped us retain a good majority of our clients and our income, but provided


new opportunities for our business to be recognized and rewarded by the community. Know what differentiates you and makes you stand out, then become the best at it!” Kim Lavender aka Coach Lav, Vice President of Group Experience at GoodLife Fitness, Wellington Ontario “We have all experienced this crisis at a different pace and tempo, and while we have all approached and reacted to this crisis differently one thing is part of our DNA and it’s optimism. Think about everything you have ever said to the participants in your classes and to your personal training clients, it’s now time to take our own advice. Bringing people and programs together and running a fitness business is not just a job. It’s our purpose to serve that is fueled by our passion for fitness regardless of the platform you are on or club model you work at. Making progress and having excuses cannot co-exist. “Imagine” is a powerful word and action; to open up possibility and this is for those who train and cultivate these possibilities. Understand and empathize where people and your peers are coming from. Show up and be a great teammate. Your value on the team is not defined by your playing time but how you show up and pull others along. The greatest sports conditioning coaches have to pull their athletes back to understand the short game while keeping their eye on the long game. Pull back to imagine your possibilities for your own

future and the future of our industry so you are ready to position yourself to play the long game.” Fraser Quelch Global Training and Development Consultant at Fitness Anywhere, Canmore, Alberta “The worst times and most challenging times may also be the most exciting times and allow for the most opportunity we will have the chance to experience. We have evolved 25 years in less than one year. The willingness to access fitness online and wear a mask out in public are two examples of just how much change has happened. With change comes a whole new set of challenges and with these new challenges are the greatest problems for us to solve - this is where the greatest change will occur. This is a new landscape which poses the greatest opportunity for competition. What got you here (behaviours that made us successful to this point), will not get you there. One of the biggest ways forward will begin with your own change. You have to evaluate your business model and determine how you can differentiate yourself on both a local and global level. You’ve got to be skillful in new and more diverse ways when it comes to technology, business, marketing, and performance coaching. You are now in the front seat of your members and clients’ homes which requires you to re-imagine yourself, your business, and delivery model. The way is forward, it’s the only way. Be a student and have an open mind.



This reminder has been brought to you by the canfitpro & Rescue 7 teams. In person CPR will resume soon. Visit for more details.

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You have to have a plan, not just hope. Dial into your purpose and get deeper with your why. COVID-19 has provided us time for introspection. Embrace pivot—a change of direction on your axis. It is a change of who you are. The axis is your WHY. Embrace your own personal change. The way forward is not the way that got you here.” Six Transformational Trends for 2021 1. Group training and group fitness classes will continue to grow in popularity, but not be what they once were. People will continue to crave community connection whether that be live in-person or online. A hybrid model is going to become the norm. “Virtual is here to stay.” (#1 trend prediction) 2. Club and studio schedules will be smaller with smaller teams. Less equipment in classes and more classes being offered outside the studio; on the gym floor and outdoors. 3. “Rockstar instructors and trainers reveal themselves from the generalists. Charisma and creativity win over credibility or credentials. This time in our industry has really shone a light on those things we do not focus our skill training on. What are the things that make you stand out? Know what differentiates you and makes your business stand out, then become the best at it!” - Coach Lav and Sherri McMillan

4. Instructor and trainers’ job security has been decimated, requiring a reimagining and reinvention. “You have three choices - 1. You can quit - 2. You can adapt - 3. You can thrive when you find your niche to move you and your business forward.” - Helen Vanderburg 5. Instructors and trainers will need to invite technology into their lives in order to adapt in their work environment. Your clients and members still want to be in your sessions and classes, but now they want to be in your front row. “What got you here will not get you there.” - Fraser Quelch 6. Coaching language for all fitness professionals will need to change in order to help clients tap into the “mental health and wellbeing as this is an absolute piece that is paramount to how we prescribe fitness”. For example, instead of saying “Give me four more” say “Getting through these last few reps contributes to your ability to have grit.” This is an example of new coaching language. How we prescribe fitness and coach performance will need to change - rather than focusing on appearance, weight loss, number of reps, “can you feel it”, etc. “If you are working on a screen, it has never been more important to know how to become an architect and an artist of language.” - Coach Lav

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PRESSURE TO BE PERFECT The impact of body image on our mental wellbeing By Beth Yarzab New Year, New You During resolution season it can feel as if everyone is fueled by the hopes that a new year body transformation is finally possible. Our clients come to us longing to change their body shape. This is the eternal wish marketed by the fitness industry as we know it. Unfortunately, as we aim to help others, we often put pressure on ourselves to lose weight or to reshape our bodies too. Fitness pros are supposed to set a good example, right? But are you holding yourself to an unrealistic standard? Your body image impacts your ability to help others As evidenced by the popularity of the Body Image and Mental Wellness panels 40 canfitpro January/February 2021

at the canfitpro 2020 Virtual Series, we know fitness pros need support. Over 800 delegates registered for two sessions on body image – ranking as two of the most popular sessions in the Virtual Series. The comments that lit up the chat box confirmed that fitness professionals experience intense pressure to fit into a narrow vision of what health “looks like”. The pressure can be self-inflicted, but it can also come from societal body shaming. The lack of body diversity in the fitness industry does not help. Consider healing your body image to be the most important wellness goal you make in 2021 What follows is the wisdom and guidance from a notable panel of body positive fitness pros and celebrated artists who

shared their body image stories at the canfitpro 2020 Virtual Series - Kim Basler, Jully Black, Dione Mason, Samantha Montpetit-Huynh, Jenalyn Saraza-Pacheco, Ruby Smith Díaz Body shaming “Fitness pros may feel so full of shame because they’re worried about how others are negatively judging their bodies,” says Kim Basler. “There’s a tendency to feel like we’re never ‘enough’. That we should be capable of tremendous amounts of exercise and sustaining ‘clean’ eating because we’re role models.” The outcome of this inner critic for Basler, a long-time group fitness instructor, now also a food freedom coach, was “slipping into unhealthy patterns of comparison and perfectionism.”

BODY SHAMING: THE PRACTICE OF NEGATIVELY JUDGING YOURSELF, OR SOMEONE ELSE, BASED ON PHYSICAL APPEARANCE. NEGATIVE COMMENTS OR THOUGHTS ABOUT SOMEONE’S BODY CAN LEAD TO UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS OF SIZE, WEIGHT STIGMA, AND MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES. Racism and body image Dione Mason, the first black woman to receive the canfitpro Fitness Instructor Specialist of the Year award (2017) and New Presenter of the Year award (2019), shares that she didn’t feel accepted by society and felt pressured to change her looks. Dione unpacked the racist roots that influenced her own negative body image. “I cannot blame myself for the way that I was born. I must accept myself and appreciate the diversity in how other people were born. We don’t have to fit into one ideal of what a body should look like,” says Mason. What does Body Acceptance feel like? Since bodies change throughout life, it is crucial to see ourselves through a lens of self-compassion and acceptance. “Things just start to relax,” laughed Samantha Montpetit-Huynh, when discussing how bodies can shift after age 40. Samantha knows how ridiculous the expectation is that a woman’s body should stay the same. She agrees that when we come from a place of body acceptance and body positivity, we can help others get there, too. Montpetit-Huynh, a personal trainer who works with women through all stages of life, admonishes the celebrated concept of a pre-baby body. “What’s so bad about a ‘mom-bod’?” she says. “You can be way stronger than you were before kids. And you can do things with way more confidence than before.” A dancer’s body image experience After struggling to be at peace with her body, World of Dance star Jenalyn SarazaPacheco is still triggered by self-criticism. She acknowledges that the pattern cannot be changed quickly or even permanently. “This ever-changing relationship requires me to accept my body for what it is. Perfection is not possible. Recognizing our strengths is possible and it takes the attention away from insecurities.” Body image and weight concerns are fueled by a diet culture In a society that idealizes thinness, the

message is that being thin or being lean means being more attractive and more successful. This message is perpetuated by the fitness industry, and it is just one prejudice that Ruby Smith Díaz is actively eradicating. Smith Díaz, canfitpro Personal Training Specialist of the Year (2020), is the owner of Autonomy Fitness, a body positive personal training space. She is also a social justice activist who dismantles narrow standards of health and beauty on her social media and in speaking engagements. “There are negative repercussions if we don’t stay in a specific body norm,” says Smith Díaz. “Fat phobia and body terrorism happen. They’re engineered, right from the questionable origins of the BMI, a scale that doesn’t consider gender or racial diversity and contributes to discrimination against people in larger sized bodies.” “Are we scared of being fat,” Smith Díaz asks. “Or are we scared of facing societal consequences that are perpetuated when only thin, white, young, cisgender, and able-bodies are idealized?” Be the thinker, not the thought “I think at this time, it’s important for us to keep our inner lights on,” says Jully Black. “When negative thoughts come up about your body, honour that you are the thinker, not the thought.” Multi award-winning musician, actor, and artist, Black courageously related her own body vulnerability, which includes the trauma of sexual abuse. “Share your body image struggles and lock arms knowing we are stronger together. It’s only with follow-up and follow through that your body image will evolve.” It’s your year... to develop a healthier body image Reflecting upon the stories of our Body Image panelists, do you feel a personal connection to their experiences? Channel those feelings to work on developing your positive body image. This year make your resolution to focus on how fitness feels and acknowledge that fitness does not have a look. Become a champion of fitness for EVERY body. Celebrate your clients’ healthy behaviour, not a weight loss outcome. Declare yourself a body positive fitness pro and live from that power to empower others. We can ignite massive change when we each let our body positivity shine bright.

6 MINDSET SHIFTS TO ENHANCE YOUR POSITIVE BODY IMAGE 1. Prioritize health over looks by focusing on the positive self-care choices you make and how they feel. 2. Stop comparing and start appreciating the uniqueness of every body you see. 3. Challenge negative thoughts by asking, “is that really true?”. You are likely telling a story about your body that it is time to release. 4. Repeat positive affirmations. I love my body. I love myself…or whatever resonates for you. 5. Celebrate your non-aesthetic qualities. Your laugh. The quality of your hugs. Your ability to listen and empathize. 6. Express gratitude for what your body does for you, every day.

MEET THE BODY IMAGE AND MENTAL WELLNESS PANELISTS Kim Basler: IG: @ kimbasler_foodfreedom FB: @ kim.basler Jully Black: IG: @missjullyblack @strongandsexy FB: @JullyBlack Twitter: @JullyBlack Dione Mason: IG: @dionemasonfitness FB: @dioneMASONfitness Samantha Montpetit-Huynh: IG: @samcoretrainer FB: @samcoretrainer Jenalyn Saraza-Pacheco: IG: @luv_jena IG: @luka.jenalyn Ruby Smith Díaz: IG: @autonomyyvr FB: @autonomyYVR

Beth Yarzab is a body positive fitness coach, PRO TRAINER, and member of the canfitpro Certification Team. She facilitated sessions on body positive fitness and healthy body image at the canfitpro 2020 Virtual Series and continues to champion a weight neutral approach to wellbeing within her online community.

canfitpro January/February 2021





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As an industry, we have created this belief that exercise is hard, and it sucks, and it is torture. No wonder why 80% of Canadians don’t get enough exercise! We’ve been yelling at them like drill sergeants for years. They hate it.

We all have a personal assistant inside our head taking notes and making sure that everything that we hear, say, or think gets done. The problem is: people wake up in the morning and look at themselves in the mirror and say, “Oh my! I am so tired! I feel so weak! I think I’m gaining weight!” Our personal assistant writes it down and follows the bullet points on the list: Tired – Weak – Gaining weight. Got this. Tired: “I will keep them awake all night so they will be very tired in the morning. Check!” Weak: “I know, I will make sure they skip their workout so they will get weaker. Check!” Gaining weight: “That’s an easy one. I can certainly find a chocolate bar or something deep-fried for them to eat today. Check!” You have to be really careful what you tell your personal assistant or when you talk to your clients’ personal assistant. You have to say what you want, not what you don’t want. If you hire a contractor to paint your kitchen and you say, “I would like you to paint my kitchen NOT blue” the contractor won’t know what you want. You have to tell the personal assistant what you want! Not what you don’t want. It’s the same when you give cues like “don’t arch your back, don’t drop your head”. Change your language! You know what happens if your clients’

AS AN INDUSTRY, WE HAVE CREATED THIS BELIEF THAT EXERCISE IS HARD, AND IT SUCKS, AND IT IS TORTURE. personal assistant is programmed to believe that exercise is HARD and the limiting belief that they will always gain the weight back? Let’s say they start working with you, and actually start to enjoy themselves because you are awesome, right? Their personal assistant goes in panic mode because they are supposed to hate it! Their personal assistant says, “Oh my, she’s liking it and she is supposed to hate it, and now she is losing all that weight and she’s supposed to be overweight. Oh no! I am not doing my job, what can I do? Oh, I will make her land funny on this BOSU Ball. She’s going to hurt herself and won’t be able to train anymore and gain the weight back. Perfect! Did my job! Check!” Here are a few cues that you can use with your clients right away to start making a difference: Keep Going. Almost there. Get the full benefit. Look at you, so dedicated. Expand your comfort zone. I’m sure you have a little more left. You are getting stronger right now. If you are sweating, it means it’s working. What do you need to tell yourself right now in order to keep going?

The heat you feel in your quads is proof that it is working. Look in the mirror for that one person that can control your life. You have reached the half-way point, now you know you can finish strong. Imagine how much confidence you will have at the office tomorrow knowing what you have done today. How surprised will you be when you look at yourself in the mirror in a month having reached your goal? These were just excerpts from my five page Ultimate Cueing Guide for Fitness Professionals. You can download the full guide here as my GIFT to you: Bottom line: Words DO matter and you need to pick them very carefully if you want to make sure your cues are not going against the goals you are trying to reach with your clients.

Founder and CEO of the THINK Yourself® ACADEMY, Confidence Expert, International No.1 Bestselling Author of fifteen books on wellness and empowerment, and 2007 Fitness Instructor of the Year, Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas combines 25 years in sales and 30 years in the fitness industry. She works with entrepreneurs who want to find confidence and clarity so they can make money living from their passion.


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If you’re a personal trainer, you know that consistency is the number one factor in ensuring clients meet their goals. It’s the number of victories you can string together in a row, that’s

what leads to getting quality results. And that’s what leads to getting repeat business and referrals. But the truth is, you can only

control what your clients do (or don’t do) during the handful of hours they spend with you each week. How can you be certain your clients are doing all they can to stay the course outside of your sessions together? You can’t. But if you make their “homework” simple, and dare I say even fun, the likelihood is a lot greater. Walk the weight away What I’m about to suggest may sound underwhelming. It may leave some of your clients confused and wondering if your certification is even worth the paper it’s printed on. That’s okay. Their resistance will be short-lived, after which eternal gratitude will be yours. Why not simply ask your clients to take a half hour walk every day? I don’t mean a leisurely stroll; I’m talking about a serious, focused and purposeful walk, the kind of walking one does when they’re hurrying to make it to the bus stop on time. Fast feet, steady pace, tall posture - .... that kind of walking. It may not be as exciting as a carefully crafted PDF program filled with video links, but do you really think those programs are being put to use? The fact of the matter is, walking delivers a whole host of health benefits and requires very little mental buy-in or commitment. Everyone has 30 minutes to spare during their day, even the busiest parent or entrepreneur. And, like effective forms of exercise, walking is scalable to any level of fitness or any goal.

Variables like speed and distance can be manipulated, but adding weight is the best way to maximize walking results.

WEIGHTED WEARABLES OFFER THE EASIEST AVENUE FOR SEEING CONSISTENT PROGRESS OUTSIDE OF PERSONAL TRAINING SESSIONS . . . Weighted wearables for the win Earlier this year, scientists at the University of Gothenburg made an interesting discovery. The researchers took 69 participants who all had a BMI between 30-35 and divided them into two groups. The first group was given weighted vests weighing one kilogram, the second group was given vests weighing 11 kilograms. The participants were instructed to wear their vests for eight hours a day for three weeks, going about their days as per usual during this period. The results? The group that wore the heavier vests lost an average of 1.6 kilograms over three weeks, whereas the group that wore the lighter vest lost an average of 0.3 kilograms. Those are some

substantial numbers considering the only change in behaviour was strapping on a vest. Now imagine the results if you added some focused walking to the mix? Versatility and value Weighted wearables offer the easiest avenue for seeing consistent progress outside of personal training sessions, plain and simple. Our researcher friends in Sweden have proven that adding a weighted vest or weighted shorts to a walking routine will incinerate fat; that extra weight provided by the vest also increases the cardiovascular challenge too. And, of course, the muscle-building benefits of basic calisthenics are multiplied once we add some weighted wearables to those push-ups and pullups. There’s no need for your clients to spend their money on expensive equipment that they’re not even sure how to use properly anyway. Why not accelerate their results by enhancing the activities they already know how to do? It’s as simple as putting one foot ahead of the other.

Paul Landini is a personal trainer and health columnist based out of Toronto.

canfitpro January/February 2021




Cut down on the overwhelm and cost with these three tips prior to launching your online training business By James Breese

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IN TODAY’S WORLD, THOSE WHO WANT TO GET FIT HAVE TWO OPTIONS: HIRE AN IN-PERSON PERSONAL TRAINER OR LOOK FOR AN ONLINE TRAINING PROGRAM. Each option has its pros and cons, and while in a post-COVID-19 world everyone is now “offering” online personal training, it isn’t the best solution for everyone. Sometimes, an in-person personal trainer is the best choice. However, we now have to accept, as personal trainers, online training isn’t going to go anywhere anytime soon – in fact, it’s only going to continue to grow. This means one thing, we as trainers need to adapt fast to this new emerging market or risk missing out. Technology has changed every aspect of the way businesses operate. It was only a matter of time before it hit the world of personal training. Even Apple is investing heavily in health care and wellness. According to Tim Cook, CEO, “health care is big for Apple’s future.” However, in the grand scheme of things, online training is still in its infancy. As the rise of online training continues, so does the rise of fitness marketing companies. These companies make big promises. These include the following examples: • Earn $10,000+ a month • Grow an online training business for a guarantee of increased income and freedom • Afford more time with family and friends Before you start investing your hardearned money, I want to share with you the best bit of advice I can offer to help you get online and maybe save you a few dollars, and a bit of heartache too. I learned the hard way and I hope this advice will serve you well, and help you avoid the same mistakes I made. These are my three tips to getting started with online coaching. Step 1: Choose the correct software for your business. Online personal training software is not just a valuable tool to create, deliver, and maintain your coaching services – it is essential for your business to stand out and be more professional. The more clients you have, and the more complex your business becomes, the more you and your clients will rely on the software

to keep in touch and stay on track. Personal training software should make your life easier. Too often, it doesn’t. Sometimes it’s because people chose a platform that wasn’t suited to their needs or tech skills. The challenge is picking the right one for your business. My advice here is to take up two to three offerings with some different providers and make use of their 30-day trials. Get comfortable with the software and determine which one is the best fit. There’s no one platform that’s right for everyone. Then when your free trial ends, take the one that best suits your needs. Step 2: Develop a system of assessments for online training. One of the biggest mistakes I made was not having a system of assessments that were suitable for online training. I thought I could just get through it. Boy was I wrong. Let this story be a tale of caution. The day I decided to do online training I emailed my entire email list and overnight we received 82 new clients (this isn’t the norm by the way; this is after years of hard work). Within three months, only seven stayed with us. SEVEN! Why? Because we were disorganized, had no systems and we couldn’t assess people to put them into categories and deliver a truly personalized service. We were truly terrible at delivering an online service. With online, you can’t visually see what’s going on like you would when someone walks into your facility and we know, as trainers do, not everyone is competent at certain movements and assessment procedures. The way we got around this was creating assessments around the four pillars: health, movement, strength, and cardio. Then, I tested them out with my mother – I did the Mom test. Could my Mom follow the instructions and do them correctly? If it was a yes, we kept them in, and if it was a no, we disregarded or modified them accordingly. Don’t do what we did. Avoid my mistakes as I’d hate for you to lose 75 clients too. With your new shiny online training software, figure out how you will deliver assessments, play with the software, and try them out on yourself – don’t assign them to clients yet! Make sure you know how it works first. Step 3: Getting your first online client(s). This is the exciting bit – getting your first

online client(s)! However, contrary to what some of the online marketing gurus are telling you, don’t go spending money on Facebook advertising, or at least not yet anyway. There are a lot of expensive mistakes you could still end up making. So, before you go inviting every man and his dog, to join your online training services, my advice would be to follow this simple methodology to get your first online client(s): 1. When you are comfortable with the training software, AND have your assessments nailed down, invite YOUR BEST in-person training client who is tech-savvy to try this new system out with you. They will be more forgiving and will be excited to join you on this journey. Stick with just one client for now, until you feel comfortable. 2. Once you’ve spent time working with just one client online, repeat the process. Invite your next best client to join you so you have two people. There is a big difference between working with one and ten people online. Don’t jump to big too soon. 3. Keep repeating this process until you have as many of your current inperson clients using this new software as you can handle, or want. Then when you’re ready, and only then, is it wise to start advertising it – as you’ll be ready and comfortable to handle more. Creating a complimentary mix of training possibilities to meet our client needs is a necessity in today’s fitness landscape to create stability and longevity in our business. You can still make use of your new online training software with your in-person clients, opening up a new avenue for communication, follow up, engagement, and referrals to grow your business.

Besides being chief dream maker at Strength Matters, James Breese is an author, speaker, podcaster, and vlogger. You’ll mostly find James in the mountains of Wales or Austria as well as drinking coffee, going to the cinema, listening to live music, playing cricket, and watching his beloved Wales rugby and Manchester United soccer teams. canfitpro January/February 2021








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WE ALL UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF TRAINING OUR MUSCLES AND CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM, BUT DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN ALSO TRAIN YOUR GUT? If you’ve ever experienced gastrointestinal problems (think nausea, bloating, diarrhea) during a training session or competition you might be relieved to find out there is a solution! Training your gut can help you tolerate pre-workout food and fluids better, which in turn can have a dramatic impact on your performance. Most athletes can recall a situation where “tummy trouble” interfered with a workout or competition. This is no surprise since research shows that up to 70% of athletes have encountered GI symptoms at some point in their career. GI distress can impact an athlete at any stage of training, from a team practice to gym session, but high-stress events can dramatically increase your chance of developing a sensitive stomach - like during a championship game! What is the cause of GI issues during exercise? You can probably guess that food and beverage choices before and during exercise can play a major role in our gut function, but other physiological factors can contribute too. When we begin exercising, blood flow around the GI tract is reduced and redirected toward our working muscles. Additionally, stress or anxiety can alter our gut motility by way of the gut-brain-axis. Awareness of these factors is key and a little knowhow can help you overcome some common GI symptoms that can sideline athletes. Does a nervous stomach get you into trouble during training or competitions? Here are some of the more common symptoms athletes can struggle with and what their major causes are. Nausea and vomiting Feeling nauseated or even losing your lunch will absolutely slow you down on the field, track, or rink. The longer the duration of a workout, the increased likelihood an athlete will experience these symptoms. Ultra-marathoners, for example, report a higher rate of nausea during races than 10K runners.

Nausea and vomiting can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, anxiety, hormone changes during exercise, ingesting the wrong foods/ fluids before or during your workout, or even dehydration. Cramps and Bloating Cramps and bloating are some other common GI symptoms that can bench an athlete. These symptoms can be caused by consuming the wrong foods too close to exercise, or by drinking beverages that contain a very high concentration of sugar. Some athletes can also experience cramps or bloating if they consume too much carbohydrate during their workout (for example, a marathon runner who uses too many gels during an event). Diarrhea As any athlete can attest, nothing derails performance faster than needing to run to the bathroom! This is especially true during competitions when stress can be at an all-time high. While stress or anxiety are common triggers for this inconvenient problem, food and beverage choices before and during activity can contribute too.

. . .FOOD AND BEVERAGE CHOICES BEFORE AND DURING EXERCISE CAN PLAY A MAJOR ROLE IN OUR GUT FUNCTION, BUT OTHER PHYSIOLOGICAL FACTORS CAN CONTRIBUTE TOO. Steps to train your gut If you’re tired of having GI issues impact your athletic performance, try these steps to train your gut! 1. Avoid high fat, fiber, or protein foods in your pre-workout meal, especially if you’re eating less than an hour before exercise. Fat and protein leave the stomach more slowly than carbohydrates, so if you eat them too close to exercise, chances are there will still be food in your stomach when you start your workout. This can trigger nausea, vomiting, cramps, bloating, and diarrhea. Instead, choose a high carb, lower fiber meal or snack

pre-workout. Ideas for pre-workout high-carb foods/beverages: sports drinks, toast with jam, cereal, or fruit. 2. Drink isotonic fluids during exercise. Fluids with a small amount of carbohydrate and sodium (like a sports drink) are more readily absorbed during exercise and do a better job of keeping us hydrated during prolonged exercise than plain water. Plan your hydration strategy! Drink small amounts every 10-15 minutes rather than chugging a large amount all at once. 3. Be careful with caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant and increases the speed at which food moves through the GI tract. Too much caffeine before a workout can trigger anxiety, nausea, cramping, and diarrhea, especially in high doses. Check the labels on any pre-workout supplements you take for their caffeine content, and don’t forget about pre-workout coffee or tea! 4. Optimize your gut-brain connection. Stress can dramatically impact our gut function and cause GI symptoms like bloating, nausea, and diarrhea. Anyone who has ever felt knots or butterflies in their stomach before a big competition knows this to be true! If pre-competition jitters are severely impacting your GI function and impairing your performance, implement some techniques to reduce stress and stay calm before a big event. Over time, a sensitive gut can be trained to better tolerate food and fluids preexercise. Choosing the right foods at the right times and taking steps to manage your game-day stress can help you perform better and reach the finish line symptom-free!

Stephanie Hnatiuk is a Registered Dietitian and canfitpro Personal Trainer who specializes in performance nutrition for athletes of all levels. You can find her at on Instagram or at stephaniehnatiuk. com.

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THERE IS A DANGER THAT LURKS IN THE CAREER PATH OF A FIT PRO, IN PARTICULAR WHEN WORKING AS A SOLOPRENEUR WHICH SO MANY OF US HAVE NEEDED TO SHIFT TOWARDS OVER THIS LAST YEAR. The danger is in thinking/feeling that we are alone. This thought isn’t unwarranted, in fact quite the opposite. Unless we are working inside a club or studio all day, every day, which so few of us were even doing before clubs were closed, the life of a PT or group instructor can be isolating. We rarely see our co-workers or other fit pros outside of maybe a quick hello in passing as one class ends and the next begins, though now with additional cleaning time there isn’t even an opportunity for this. It’s almost like our clients are our co-workers, which isn’t the same at all. Working as a full-time fitness instructor for many years before working with a small team in an office, to now working from home, I’ve understood both the power and necessity of community long before we even had to define what that was through bubbles. The life of a fit pro is unique, this I don’t need to tell you. In a career where we are giving so much of ourselves all the time, we are also at a higher risk of burnout and fatigue, which can lead to further feelings of isolation. Once the ego mind takes hold, this can quickly become a long dark spiral down a road of ‘not strong enough, fit enough, smart enough’, insert the ‘blank’ enough. I’ve been there so many times I’ve lost count. What has pulled me back each and every time is the lifeline and the light of the fit pro’s career path – the fitfam, our community. Since the beginning of my fitness career in 2001, canfitpro has played a massive role for me. Here, and with all my other certification organizations, the promotion of community created friendships that will last a lifetime. It’s the very reason I became a global ambassador for WIFA (Women in Fitness Association) and continue the work of building community among those that support this industry we love. Please don’t get me wrong, the work we do each and every day of building community among our clients and

participants is integral and I commend you for it! The world needs more of this now without question. Isolation is one of the top precursors to depression, anxiety and addictive behaviours, and now more than ever we need each other. We need to see each other, hear each other, laugh and cry with each other. We need community as an integral asset to our mental health, just as much as we need to exercise and eat well. When we feel connected to others, we feel connected to our self and creating this space for our clients is what keeps them connected to us. However, this is still a one-way street. Remember, our job is to provide a great experience for them, not for them to create a great experience for us.

WE NEED COMMUNITY AS AN INTEGRAL ASSET TO OUR MENTAL HEALTH, JUST AS MUCH AS WE NEED TO EXERCISE AND EAT WELL. So then, outside of your clients, your friends and family – where do you find your fit pro community? Where do you find the people that you can share your laughs and worries with? The ones that understood that when the gyms shut down this year that it wasn’t about where you were going to work out or even entirely about the money. Who did you reach out to? Who reached out to you? It was through the struggles of this last year that we saw the true colours of our communities, and where maybe we even found inspiration and support in unlikely places. Our role models and mentors are another integral piece in keeping us connected and helping us along our path. Mentorship is built-in as part of other wellness-based industries such as medicine and social work, but in fitness... this is really something we have to seek out for ourselves. However, when we do the results can be incredibly empowering and profound. Often when we first begin our careers, our first trainer or the instructor that inspired us to get into this business becomes our mentor, whether formally or informally. But, as our career unfolds and we get more comfortable in our roles often these relationships fade

away. Working with someone you admire in the industry or having some time every few weeks or months for a check in on goals and accountability can do wonders not only to move your career forward, but to help build your confidence to make it happen. Mentors can be found anywhere and for me I have multiple people I look to for advice. Some mentor me, some we mentor each other, and some don’t even know they mentor me as I read their books, watch their TED talks, or simply follow them on social media. Here are some ideas to help you get started today in building community and finding a mentor: • Start following trainers, presenters, and teachers that you admire on social media to help inspire next steps in your own career path. • If you own, manage or work in a club or studio, talk to your team about creating a mentorship program or monthly huddle outside of your regular business focused team meetings. • Can you become more involved with canfitpro? Do you still keep in touch with your PRO TRAINER or fellow trainees from when you certified? Might be a great time to reach out. • If you identify as a woman, WIFA provides a quarterly mentorship program included in their membership. • Join or set up a Facebook group with other fit pros. You don’t have to teach the same discipline or even live in the same city. Just being connected with others who do what you do with a place to ask questions and share information is so valuable. And always remember, you are never alone! We are all in this together - supporting the industry we love, supporting our clients and each other to stay fit and healthy. We are strongest together! Lisa Greenbaum is the founder of Sangha Wellness Retreats, Global Ambassador for Women in Fitness Association (WIFA), 100 top Health Influencers - OptiMYz magazine 2017-2020, and canfitpro 2018 Delegates’ Choice Canadian Presenter of the Year. Lisa specializes in yoga for trauma and chronic stress.

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COLLABORATION IS THE NEW BUZZWORD Creating new connections within your community for sustained profit


I’d like to start by asking: How are you and your team? As fitness professionals, we’ve all taken a moment to invest in our business in order to celebrate another year. We’ve been checking in with our clients and taking a moment of self-reflection. Looking within our teams to ensure that we too are on a wellness path. We’ve

experienced tremendous personal and professional change as 2020 was, without a doubt, a year of reflection and recalibrating our own GPS. When you think about it, our services have moved from a nice to have to a necessary, if you consider the importance of both physical and mental health, but many of our clients ‘parked’

their memberships or contracts last year. Our business models have been turned upside down and marketing plans have been scrapped as we begin a new year looking through a different lens. There are tremendous opportunities for this year and I truly believe the new buzzword for 2021 will be collaboration. Why collaborate? If we’ve learned anything in recent months, it’s that we need to be flexible, innovative, and resilient. If we are going to thrive in our new economy, we need to be able to pivot our business models and marketing plans to meet the changing needs of our customers. Collaboration will open the doors to new possibilities and maintain, or expand, our services while introducing new customers and prospects to support sustained profit.

OUR BUSINESS MODELS HAVE BEEN TURNED UPSIDE DOWN AND MARKETING PLANS HAVE BEEN SCRAPPED . . . What if… 1) By co-branding, you were able to expand your reach? 2) You shared advertising costs with another industry professional,

increasing frequency and trying new platforms? 3) You and a colleague joined forces to offer new services to your clients? If we all need to be innovative, what if you collaborate with someone outside the industry, in a complimentary business? There are number of outside the box opportunities with service providers who have similar client avatars. A few examples: spa’s, hair salons, clothing stores, bookstores, restaurants, and website designers. Collaboration over competition demonstrates a new attitude to support the definition. It cannot be all about the money! When working with clients, I always discuss the ratio between profit and passion. By collaborating, we can support and learn from one another while creating a new business model that will support our clients, strengthen our brand, and commit to our own health and wellness. Wouldn’t it be nice if by creating a new business model you were able to give yourself a little more free time to enjoy life, concentrate “on” your business while working “in” the business, and elevate your status as an industry professional? It may seem daunting at first, but once you’ve decided “who” you’d like to collaborate with, “if” they are the right partner, you will find that things will fall into place with ease. Collaborating will reinforce your purpose, vision, and mission while reigniting your passion for all of the reasons that you

IF WE’VE LEARNED ANYTHING IN RECENT MONTHS, IT’S THAT WE NEED TO BE FLEXIBLE, INNOVATIVE, AND RESILIENT. became a fitness professional in the first place. I suggest that we forget about resolutions for this year and begin to think about collaborating with like-minded individuals who will strengthen our relationships by starting new conversations. When we collaborate, we begin to live with purpose and reinforce the statement: “We are all in this together.”

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 the entrepreneurial spirit.

canfitpro January/February 2021



Cultivating An Optimal Mindset

BUILDING MENTAL, EMOTIONAL, AND PHYSICAL WELL-BEING WITH RESILIENCY By Teri Gentes HAS COVID-19 CHAOS, CLOSURES, LAYOFFS, QUARANTINING, AND ISOLATING HIGH-JACKED OUR HEALTH EVEN MORE THAN THE VIRUS ITSELF? If you read stats in the news on the surmounting challenges with mental and emotional anguish, opioid addiction, increased alcohol consumption and domestic abuse, it’s painfully clear the fallout from the pandemic’s health consequences are extenuating. In order to survive a climate such as this, it’s absolutely essential for us to cultivate resiliency-finding ways to sustain sanity and continue on. It may sound like a daunting feat for forces bigger than us, yet in actuality this is an inside job. The isolations we’ve been contending with since the spring of 2020 don’t come anywhere close to the imprisonment we make up in our own minds. Herein lays our ability to successfully navigate these ever changing, stormy, and often virulent waters rather than succumb to the seemingly downward current. This article, themed on a workshop of the same name, takes you through various consciousness strategies to positively impact your mental state and cultivate resilience to COVID dread. Consider this: What if COVID-19 is our break down to break through? Maybe all this COVID chaos is the forced pause we’ve all needed, forcing us to turn our attention inward and grasp the importance of truly nurturing ourselves, our loved 54 canfitpro January/February 2021

ones, and all else that matters most to us. Perhaps these COVID conditions are the needed step back to reflect and reconnect with ourselves so we can move forward from a foundation of authenticity? I’ve come to see COVID as an opportunity for each and all of us to redefine and realign with our own morals, and find real meaning in what we do, why and how we do it. As we become really clear of this we are able to contribute to the well-being of the planet in our own powerfully unique way. Ask most anybody and you will hear them say this is what they want - to help others. Seemingly so simple, yet quite impossible if we don’t know how to help ourselves. So let’s look at how we – how you can do this. Let’s start with the Covid-19 story going on in your head! Are you in a state of chronic stress with your sympathetic nervous system on high alert 24/7? You know you were not made to be ‘on’ all the time and science has shown it wreaks havoc on your immune system. A high-octane stressed state crushes your coping abilities, lining you up for a crash and burn.

How about reframing your take on the current COVID circumstances? Shift your perspective to consider the prevalent and persistent slowdown of the world as you once knew it as an opportune time to step back, reflect, and reset. See it as a time to recalibrate your pace, your direction, and your every-day habitual thinking, doing, rushing, striving, and stressing. If you have yet to do this after all these months of challenges, now is the time! One of the crucial components in succeeding at anything you do is ‘minding your mind’. Develop the habit of frequently checking-in and observing the subconscious and unconscious thoughts lurking below your consciousness. Revise accordingly. My clients regularly hear me say: “If you are looking for peace of mind you must take time to reflect and ensure you are your biggest advocate with confidence in yourself, faith in the process, and trust in your abilities. Then you consciously determine to truly make self-care and self-honoring essential. Cultivating resiliency within means surrounding yourself with all that inspires hope, strength, vision, and faith.” I suggest my clients ‘Make it a non-negotiable practice!’ Here are seven foundational steps to find your way to better health. 1. Take time for inward reflection – become aware of your breathing, your thinking, your choices, and your actions. 2. Embrace the truth of where you’re currently at and respond accordingly - changing, revising, and resetting your own state of mind and behaviors as required. 3. To facilitate this, forgive yourself and others, and allow your focus to shift to proactive recovery, letting go of self-critique, toxic grudges and a need for revenge. 4. Notice what stresses and angers you, and what brings you joy then devise a plan to cultivate more peace and happiness in your life. This begins


6. 7.

within and requires immediate, as well as consistent, attention and action. Redefine your future, visualizing your best life and imprinting the feelings of this. Embody the emotions. Speak in this state - live it. You won’t become the epitome of health if you continue to see yourself as stressed out and unwell. Align with actions to see your visions manifest. Celebrate your breakthrough and affirm your changes.

The key to moving forward and developing resiliency is to move from a victim mindset to a visionary. We are not at the mercy of our circumstances. We always have a choice and are in control of how we respond. Once we have this in check, maintenance is essential. In order to survive and thrive we need to keep our vibrations high. We do this with a regular stillness practice like the one suggested above, generating faith instead of fear. Grounding ourselves and minding our mind-set with intention creates a strong foundation and a powerful momentum. In this state we are better able to source out opportunities for co-creating innovative solutions to life problems whatever they may be. This is resiliency! I leave you with this: The Secret of Proper Discernment The refuge you seek you will never find in the outside world. It is within you. Leave the stormy world of the senses behind you, raise your consciousness to the central point of your being, and realize that here alone is the force, here alone is the peace, and here alone the refuge you are seeking. Do not condemn the world. Deify the world by your deeds, purify the world by your utterance, and ennoble the world by your presence. Selarajan Yesudian A 30 year veteran in whole-self lifestyle wellness as practitioner, coach, international speaker and published author, Teri Gentes enables action with her inspiring and empowering approach. No matter where you are on the path to better health she paves a perfect route for you to ace and sustain healthier, everyday living for life. Find her at

canfitpro January/February 2021



HEALTH AGILITY How to survive crazy times in three steps By Kathleen Trotter, PTS IF YOUR CLIENTS ARE ANYTHING LIKE MINE, THEY NEED ADDITIONAL HEALTH TOOLS AND STRATEGIES TO THRIVE. It can be hard enough to maintain a healthy lifestyle at the best of times… and this last year has been anything but the best of times. This COVID-19 pandemic requires additional skills and resources; that is, it requires health “agility.”

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Health agility is the ability to pivot, course correct, “re-route” goals, and stay on track despite life’s roadblocks. This suppleness is an excellent life skill at any time, but is an utmost necessity during the current climate. Health Agility in Three Steps Step 1: Set realistic expectations. Your clients need to know that their health path will not be “perfect.” Perfect wasn’t possible pre-pandemic—in fact, perfect doesn’t exist—and it is absolutely

not possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. This new normal will be filled with curveballs — kids will be sent home from school with sniffles, social bubbles will expand and contract depending on numbers, rules around exercising in gyms will change, etc. Make sure your clients’ expectations and goals reflect our new reality. Step 2: Goal set like a champ. Ensure your clients know their final

“destination”; make sure they know what they are working toward. Maybe their goal is 10,000 steps, or five-plus servings of vegetables per day. Every client’s goal can, and should be, unique to them, just make sure it is clear and that their destination is actually feasible; their goal needs to reflect the time, energy, finances, family realities, etc. they actually have versus the realities they wish to have. Step 3: Teach clients how to be flexible —agile — on their journey. I live in Toronto, so I tell my clients, “If Young Street has a traffic jam, don’t abandon the trip altogether. You can still get to your destination, just re-route and take another road.” If you don’t live in Toronto, no problem. Sub in your city. The point is, teach clients they can stay committed to their destination even when they hit roadblocks. If their scheduled workout gets derailed because of kids staying home from

school, maybe they get their family involved in an at-home fitness challenge. Or teach them simple and effective athome options such as Tabata intervals. Provide them links to free online workouts they can fit in and accomplish at home. Teach the mindset that there is always a fitness solution! Help clients realize they don’t have to be fearless, perfect, or have it all figured out to keep muddling forward on their health quest. I tell my clients that health courage is not absence of fear, but rather fear walking (thank you, Susan David) and that the health hero and the coward both feel the same emotions, they just take different actions (thank you, Cus D’Amato). Basically, help your clients know that they can be overwhelmed, anxious, scared, etc. and still find health solutions. Main take-away: your clients will fall off their health horse; wobbles should be expected—we are all human. They will

miss a few workouts or eat too many cookies. The trick is to help them avoid shame spiralling when they do — help them avoid two cookies turning into five. Teach them to course correct quickly, to be flexible and have multiple contingency plans so they can figure out alternative healthy meals or workouts when plans change. Replace the unrealistic goal of “never falling” with “fall less often and less intensely, and get back up faster and armed with new information.”

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

canfitpro January/February 2021



Un entrainement pour votre santé intestinale THIS ARTICLE IS ELIGIBLE FOR




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NOUS CONNAISSONS TOUS L’IMPORTANCE D’ENTRAINER NOS SYSTÈMES MUSCULAIRE ET CARDIOVASCULAIRE, MAIS SAVIEZ-VOUS QUE VOUS POUVEZ AUSSI ENTRAINER VOTRE INTESTIN ? Si vous avez déjà fait l’expérience de problèmes gastrointestinaux (nausée, ballonnement, diarrhée) pendant un entrainement ou une compétition, vous pourriez être soulagé de savoir qu’il y a une solution ! Entrainer votre intestin pourrait vous aider à mieux tolérer les aliments et les liquides préentrainements et ainsi avoir un impact important sur votre performance. La plupart des athlètes peuvent se souvenir d’une situation pendant laquelle les « bobos au bedon » ont interféré avec leur entrainement ou leur compétition. Ce n’est pas une surprise puisque les recherches démontrent que jusqu’à 70 % des athlètes ont souffert de symptômes reliés à des troubles gastrointestinaux à un moment de leur carrière. La détresse gastrointestinale peut toucher un athlète à n’importe quelle étape de son entrainement, d’un entrainement en équipe à une séance au gym. Mais les événements très stressants peuvent dramatiquement augmenter le risque de développer des problèmes de digestion, comme lors d’un match important ! Quelle est la cause de problèmes gastrointestinaux pendant l’activité physique ? Vous pouvez sans doute le deviner, le choix d’aliments et de boissons avant et pendant l’effort peut jouer un rôle important dans notre fonction intestinale, mais d’autres facteurs physiologiques peuvent y contribuer également. Lors d’une activité physique, la circulation sanguine autour du tractus GI diminue et est redirigée vers les muscles qui sont utilisés. De plus, le stress et l’anxiété peuvent altérer la motilité de notre intestin par le biais de l’axe intestincerveau. Il est essentiel de prendre conscience de ces facteurs, et un peu de savoir-faire peut vous aider à surmonter des symptômes GI courants qui peuvent mettre les athlètes au tapis. Un estomac nerveux vous cause-t-il des ennuis pendant votre entrainement ou vos compétitions ? Voici quelques-uns des symptômes auxquels les athlètes sont le plus souvent aux prises, et leurs principales causes. Nausée et vomissements Avoir la nausée ou même perdre votre diner vous ralentira surement

sur le terrain, la piste d’athlétisme, ou la patinoire. Plus long est un entrainement, plus élevées sont les chances qu’un athlète ressente ces symptômes. Les ultramarathoniens par exemple rapportent un plus haut taux d’incidences de nausée que les coureurs de 10 km. La nausée et les vomissements peuvent être provoqués par différents facteurs, incluant le stress, l’anxiété, les changements hormonaux pendant l’exercice, la consommation de mauvais aliments/liquides avant ou pendant l’entrainement, ou même la déshydratation. Crampes et ballonnements Les crampes et les ballonnements sont d’autres symptômes courants de troubles digestifs qui peuvent renvoyer un athlète au banc. Ces symptômes peuvent être causés par la consommation d’aliments ou de boissons contenant trop de sucre trop tard avant un entrainement. Certains athlètes peuvent également souffrir de crampes ou de ballonnement si ils/elles consomment trop de glucides pendant leur entrainement (par exemple un marathonien qui consommerait trop de gels pendant une course). Diarrhée Comme n’importe quel athlète peut en témoigner, rien n’est pire que de devoir courir à la toilette pour faire dérailler une performance ! C’est particulièrement vrai pendant les compétitions, alors que le niveau de stress peut atteindre des sommets jamais atteints auparavant ! Bien que le stress et l’anxiété sont des déclencheurs courant pour ce problème plutôt ennuyeux, le choix d’aliments et de boissons avant et pendant une activité peut également être un facteur contribuant. Les étapes pour entrainer votre intestin Si vous êtes excédé par les problèmes intestinaux qui affectent vos performances athlétiques, essayez ces quelques conseils pour entrainer votre intestin ! 1. Évitez les aliments riches en gras ou en protéines lors du repas précédant votre entrainement, spécialement si vous mangez moins d’une heure avant de vous entrainer. Le gras et les protéines prennent plus de temps à digérer que les glucides, alors si vous en consommez trop près de l’exercice, les chances sont qu’il restera des aliments dans votre estomac lorsque vous commencerez votre entrainement. Ce qui pourrait causer des nausées, vomissements, crampes, ballonnements, et de la diarrhée. Choisissez plutôt des aliments riches en glucides, faibles en fibres pour vos

repas ou collations préentrainement. Suggestions d’aliments/boissons riches en glucides : boissons sportives, rôties et confiture, céréales, ou fruit. 2. Buvez des liquides isotoniques pendant l’exercice. Les liquides contenant peu de glucides et de sodium (comme les boissons sportives) sont plus facilement absorbés pendant l’exercice et permettent de mieux nous hydrater pendant une activité prolongée que l’eau ordinaire. Développez une stratégie d’hydratation ! Buvez de petites quantités toutes les 10 à 15 minutes plutôt que de boire de grandes quantités en une seule fois. 3. Attention à la caféine ! La caféine est un stimulant qui augmente la vitesse à laquelle les aliments transitent dans le tractus intestinal. Trop de caféine avant un entrainement déclenche un sentiment d’anxiété, la nausée, des crampes, et la diarrhée, spécialement lors d’une consommation importante. Regardez bien les étiquettes de vos suppléments préentrainement pour en connaitre le contenu en caféine, et n’oubliez pas de faire attention à votre consommation de café ou de thé ! 4. Maximisez la connexion intestincerveau. Le stress peut avoir un impact important sur la fonction intestinale et causer des symptômes GI comme le ballonnement, la nausée, et la diarrhée. Quiconque a déjà ressenti des nœuds ou des papillons dans leur estomac avant une importante compétition sait que c’est un fait ! Si le trac avant compétition affecte gravement votre fonction GI et nuit à votre performance, adoptez des techniques de réduction du stress et restez calme avant un événement d’importance. Avec le temps, on peut habituer son intestin à mieux tolérer les aliments et les liquides que l’on consomme avant l’exercice. Choisir les bons aliments aux bons moments et prendre les actions nécessaires pour gérer votre stress pourraient vous aider à atteindre de meilleurs résultats, et à franchir la ligne d’arrivée sans ressentir de symptômes !

Stephanie Hnatiuk est une nutritionniste certifiée et une entraineure personnelle canfitpro se spécialisant dans la nutrition de performance chez les athlètes de tous les niveaux. Vous pouvez la trouver sur Instagram au ou au

canfitpro January/February 2021




This is an excerpt from LANGUAGE OF COACHING, By Nicklaas C. Winkelman We’ve all experienced the difference between a well-written book that flows and one that doesn’t. Reading the former is effortless, whereas reading the latter strains the mind. And, while some would attribute this to story quality, those same people might be surprised to know that working memory had a role to play. To illustrate this, consider the following sentences: 1. The athlete kicks the ball over the goal. 60 canfitpro January/February 2021

2. The ball goes over the goal after the athlete kicks it. Which sentence did you find easier to read? If you’re like most, you preferred the first sentence. The reason for this is quite simple. Sentence one uses the active voice, where actions occur in the sequence as they would in life (i.e., athlete kicks ball, ball goes over goal), while the second sentence is written in passive voice, where you don’t find

out who performed the action until the end of the sentence (i.e., ball goes over goal, athlete kicks ball). This is like a comedian giving you a punch line before you’ve heard the joke. Poor grammar aside, you are still able to understand the meaning of both sentences, a faculty you can thank your working memory for. Specifically, the second sentence tapped your working memory to a greater degree than sentence one, as you had to hold the outcome in your mind until you got

a system that is for the temporary storage and manipulation of information necessary for comprehension, learning, and reasoning (4, 6). From a motorlearning standpoint, we can extend this definition to include working memory’s role in integrating new information with that from long-term memory to support decision-making and movement execution (47). For clarity, considering that the storage feature of short-term memory is accounted for in the definition of working memory, we will use working memory throughout the remainder of this book. As humans, we’re well acquainted with this memory system, as it is the subject of our frustration every time we forget the phone number we just looked up or draw a blank on the name of the person we just met. While on the surface, these “sins of memory” appear to be a flaw within the system, an “evolutionary mishap” if you will; a closer look reveals that this flaw is actually a feature designed to filter information into actionable “chunks,” where only the meaningful survive (62). As famed Harvard researcher Daniel Schacter points out in his compelling book The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers (76), if absentmindedness, the inattentiveness that leads to weak memories or forgetting to do something, weren’t built into the brain, then we would be subject to remembering everything, the mundane and the magnificent, with little control over what was stored. And, while some would view this capacity for total recall as a superpower, a vastly different interpretation is suggested when we consult with the small minority of the population for whom this is true.

to the end of the sentence and found out whodunnit. Thus, your brain had to work harder to comprehend the second sentence than it did the first sentence. This simple exercise showcases the first memory system on our tour—short-term or working memory. While the terms are often used interchangeably, researchers agree that short-term memory refers to the temporary storage of information, whereas working memory refers to

Known as highly superior autobiographical memory, or HSAM, for short, people with this condition can recall, in remarkable detail, every experience they’ve ever had from childhood forward (43). When asked about the condition (52), Jill Price, the first person ever diagnosed with HSAM, provided a surprising response: Whenever I see a date flash on the television (or anywhere else for that matter), I automatically go back to that day and remember where I was, what I was doing, what day it fell on, and on and on. It is non-stop, uncontrollable and totally exhausting. . . . Most have called it a gift, but I call it a burden. I run my entire life through my head every day and it drives me crazy!

ATTENTION SERVES AS WORKING MEMORY’S GATEKEEPER—THE MIND’S BOUNCER— ALLOWING ONLY THE MOST RELEVANT, INTERESTING, OR IMPORTANT INFORMATION IN. As we discussed in chapter 2, attention serves as working memory’s gatekeeper—the mind’s bouncer— allowing only the most relevant, interesting, or important information in. Just as you wouldn’t go to the store and buy one of everything, you wouldn’t want every memory to stand equal in the mind, leaving you unable to tell the dull from the distinct. Thus, the next time you forget a number or a new acquaintance’s name, consider the alternative, and be thankful that your memory is working. Even if we accept that working memory’s apparent limitations are features, rather than flaws, it doesn’t change the fact that there is limited seating in the theater of our mind. As such, coaches will always be challenged to ensure that the right ideas are getting a front-row seat. For this reason, we will build on the concepts from chapter 2 and examine the structure and function of working memory, laying the foundation to understand how the soundwaves of words transform into the mechanics of movement.

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 January/February 2021



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