Fighting Fit Over 50

There are many posts and articles out there that really drive home how important it is to stay active, especially as you get older. Simple things you do daily whether it be carrying groceries, walking up and down stairs, or just standing upright can be very challenging later in life! Granted, some people never really hit such drastic points while aging however it is not uncommon for a large portion of society. The fact is, quality of life can be greatly impacted without daily exercise. Posture may decline and balance become poor, but what’s hardest for many people is losing peace

Pokemon Go: The Personal Trainer’s Guide

As of the past two weeks, the newest app taking the world by storm has captured everyone’s attention and inner 90’s child. I’m talking about Pokemon Go. It has taken the series to a whole new level incorporating reality with fiction through use of GPS. It truly defines innovation as the world bolts from their computers to the outside world in search of Pokemon and other trainers. Now, I’m not here to push the new app (although my inner 90’s self is ecstatic and loves the idea of Poke dates) but instead provide insight as to how the app has meshed

Breaking Down Periodization

I was reading an article the other day called The Science of Periodization (link at the bottom) and was thoroughly impressed with it’s breakdown.Being a strength and conditioning coach, periodization is one of the most important parts of developing effective programs for anyone, especially elite athletes. Depending on the demand of the sport, different phases or cycles will need to be implemented in order to attain peak performance at the correct times. Whether the focus be strength, endurance, stamina, power or flexibility, timing is essential so the athlete can effectively compete. This being said, the process of periodizing a program

The Science of “Gains”: Dissecting Hypertrophy

Muscle mass or “gainz” (the “z” is apparently popular) is the most common goal I hear about in regards to male fitness. Most men want to lose excessive weight but build large quantities of muscle to look “shredded”. It’s a pretty big feat (no pun intended) and most people hoping to achieve the lean and mean look struggle to make any progress. So why is increasing muscle size (hypertrophy) a challenge? To answer this, we must first breakdown the science. What is muscular hypertrophy and what causes our muscles to increase in size? Hypertrophy can be defined as an increase in

CrossFit: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

So I’ve finally decided to sit down and write about the oh so popular trend of CrossFit. Just a heads up, it’s a long read. As a forewarning to any crossfitters reading this, stop now. Your ego will be shattered by the truth of CrossFit. Don’t get defensive as this will further prove my points in the proceeding paragraphs. You won’t win this one no matter what crazy WOD (I’ll address this later) jacked you up enough to make you believe possible. Just let it be. I will point out the positives of CrossFit, but they are few and far

Big Box Gyms: Are You Really Living “The Goodlife”?

I was having a chat the other day with a client who recently started working with me and the topic of her previous gym came up. She was at a World Gym facility and we began talking about the type of environment and service that is typically provided. To put it bluntly, the services were poor. World Gym is just one example of a major franchised chain of fitness facilities that have multiple locations across the country. For reference purposes, these are called big box gyms. I can’t say that every big box gym lacks quality service but what I

5 Reasons You Aren’t Performing At Your Best

The desire to achieve a goal puts you in a position of determining priority of your actions. What I mean by this is depending on how strongly you feel about achieving your goal, sacrifices are made in order to make accomplishment possible. For example, if someone wants to go on vacation next summer, they may work more hours in order to save up money to go. This may mean not going out for drinks every other night with friends or buying those cool new shoes in the store. The point is that because you want to travel, you prioritize your rituals

Too Young To Lift?

It is pretty common to hear parents discussing their child’s safety in physical activity and a hot topic is that kids shouldn’t lift weights. They rationalize this statement by commenting how lifting weights early will stunt growth and lead to problems during puberty. Going through high school, I would hear this typically from concerned parents of my fellow teammates during sport seasons. The bar for competition was always getting raised, so naturally we had to get better as well. The answer? Start lifting weights and get stronger. It’s no different today. With the recent Olympics, we saw teenage athletes crushing

The First Steps

I always find it humbling having a consultation with a client for the first time. It is an understandably scary thing. This stranger is coming to you because they have an issue that they hope you can solve. Nine times out of ten, it is a weight issue. Majority of clientele want to lose fat mass and improve musculature. This is a fact. I can only imagine how nervous clients that fall under this category feel. They already know they have an issue, they probably have times where they feel embarrassed about their body and they probably had a moment where

A Coach, An Athlete

Since graduating university (also post grad at college) and getting certified, my career goal was to build my business into one of the top training companies across the province. It all started rather odd believe it or not as the idea came from a conversation I had with my girlfriend. She thought a good side income would be personal training and that I should get a business card to go along with that. I thought about it and decided that I wouldn’t just want my own name as the selling point for my training. I wanted the possibility for growth to

The Essential Six

A common request among my clientele is the desire to learn how to lift weights. Many of them come from various backgrounds of fitness however regardless of this fact it all comes down to one thing: Fundamentals. Whether you are an expert lifter or a novice, all compound exercises can be derived from some variation of the essential six lifts (I will list them shortly). For those interested in learning Olympic lifting, it is even more important that one grasps the foundation of each movement to then combine and apply to one explosive lift. I find it to be poor judgment

Fitting The Mold

When looking around a gym, you typically see people performing various compound movements. The fitness professional or strength coach has been taught the bio-mechanical principles to identify cues when teaching these lifts. The problem is that most individuals cannot fit the ideal mold when it comes to performing these exercises. What this means is that although we have been taught the “perfect” way to teach the lifts, many individuals have injuries or poor flexibility that hinder them doing so. This is not to say people shouldn’t perform multi joint lifts. They absolutely should as long as caution is taken and adaptations

Training Partners and Power Couples

The drop in temperature isn’t the only thing changing this time of year. With the fall season comes back to school, back to work and football. For many high schools and universities, sport seasons are coming back in full swing. Yes, soccer and baseball may be coming to a close but that means the fall and winter sport seasons are going to draw many indoors to watch or participate. Many athletes, both young and old are now getting back to training and practices in preparation for March when championship banners are on the line. This means early morning workouts and evening

Top 6 Misconceptions About Personal Trainers

When people ask me my occupation, I would tell them I am a personal trainer and strength coach. Upon hearing what I do for a living, many people tend to revert to a pretty common stereotype. They think of some guy who is fit and walks around high fiving everyone telling them what a great job they are doing and to “feel the burn”. While I appreciate a well timed high five, the 1990’s version of your supposed typical trainer seems to mislead people into what myself and many other highly educated professionals actually do. As of recently, I have

The Truth About Your New Year’s Resolution

It’s that time of year again. The air is chilled, Christmas music playing and people frantically preparing for the holidays. A time of happiness and joy (unless you’re stuck with exams until December 23rd) and lots of good food. It’s not uncommon to see everyone relax their routines and push their health and fitness until the new year. Everyone sits around the dinner table and verbalizes what their “New Year’s Resolution” will be. It happens every year and as soon as January arrives you see a rush of enthusiasm. Before you blink, the rush is over and everyone has fallen back

The Lowdown on Altitude Masks

If you enjoyed my article on CrossFit, then you are in for another stellar review. We’ve all seen those guys at the gym or on TV wearing what looks to be like Bane’s morphine mask from The Dark Knight Rises. The product itself is what manufacturers call an altitude simulation mask (or just altitude mask). They claim that the settings can be adjusted to simulate being at higher altitudes to elicit a training effect that would occur if you were training thousands of meters above sea level. Since this training effect is so highly sought after, every rising star and gym

Ladies Who Lift: Why A Treadmill Isn’t The Answer

It’s the most common fitness demographic and the industry’s highest source of revenue: women trying to lose weight and “tone” their bodies. They want that magazine cover look with the small waist, tight abs and a bangin’ butt. It’s a very common goal with an even more common term: getting toned. Having a high female client base, I have heard this many times. The majority have a regular exercise routine that consists of Pinterest and Goodlife 3 to 4 days of the week. With so much information just a click away, many women look up workouts or exercises on social

Olympic Lifting: Sport Or Sport Performance?

Happy 2017 to all my readers out there. These past few weeks have been extremely productive for Iron Athletics and I hope it’s been the same for all of you. Recently I returned from Nashville Tennessee as an attendee of the NSCA’s 2017 Coaches Conference where I had the opportunity to meet and talk sport performance with some of the most decorated strength coaches in the industry. One of the presentations that really interested me was presented by Mr. Wil Fleming of Force Fitness. Wil discussed olympic lifting and the programs he would implement with his athletes. After much note

Some Tips For Fat Loss Training

If you read my article on calorie counting you probably guessed that I am not a huge fan of the notion. I agree that it is effective and sometimes necessary for extreme cases however I feel that the average individual becomes overwhelmed with the mathematical concept of fat loss. To do a quick recap of my previous article (click here to read it if you haven’t already), calorie counting is tracking energy expenditure and energy intake. Calories in equal calories out. If you do not expend calories to equate what you have ingested, you gain weight. The concept is correct

Thoughts On Training While Sick

This topic is a bit controversial so I want to start with a disclaimer. Consult your physician before exercising, healthy or not. It brings peace of mind and avoids possible complications in the gym. Let’s start with a scenario. You wake up and right away something feels off. You are overly tired, maybe have a headache and feel your sinuses swelling from the inside out. That “bleh” feeling is instantly recognized as a common cold. After dragging yourself out of bed you drink some tea and remember today is chest day. You then ask yourself “should I train?”. This is where

Alcohol and Athletic Performance

If there is one thing you can guarantee will come up with high school or college age athletes it's alcohol consumption. Whether it be after a big game, a weekend celebration or road trip, alcohol will likely reveal it's ugly head. Alcohol goes with athletics like Texas goes with football. Ironically, I am writing this post on St. Paddy's Day in a college town. I'm not one to spoil the party but I wanted to dig a little deeper in regards to college athletics and alcohol consumption. I will focus on the college level simply because that's where the science came

Varsity: The Hunt For Scholarships

With championships in progress or just around the corner, many athletes are preparing to put it on the line. For those athletes finishing up their high school careers, many are looking toward the future. Decisions to attend university and compete for a different team can be a stressful yet exciting time for the young student athlete. Though the thought of attending post secondary school is grand, the financial requirement to actually attend school is extremely taxing. For this reason, many athletes find themselves hunting for a scholarship in order to fund their journey. The recruitment process is very strict and

Vertical vs. Horizontal Loading: Which Is Better?

It's Week 3 of your In-Season cycle and you look on down the program and head to the power rack. It's time for back squats. You aren't extremely enthused as you are tired and sore from yesterday's conditioning session however you really want to close in on your opponent's sprint time. You lock in and crush out your reps hoping that the agony of squatting improves your sprint speed. The question I ask is "is there a better way?". Recent research being published closely examines the comparison of vertical loading and horizontal loading exercises on sport performance. Which method of

The Investment In You: Overcoming Your Own Objections

Lately I've been conducting some market research in hopes of getting a better understanding of the area which Iron Performance calls home. Information about the common demographics, annual income and population majority have been really helpful in identifying the local community. What I have gathered (and am still gathering) is an idea of what people want from fitness and what they deem reasonable to pay for it. This information is invaluable to Iron Performance because it helps better understand our customers and what they look to get from our services. So, here's what we gathered: The Data Based on a

A Well Rounded Warm-Up

We have all heard that prior to exercise, preparation is key. However, many seem to neglect the importance and do not incorporate it into their fitness regime. You see it all the time; people walking into the gym, hit the treadmill for 2 minutes and then head over to start lifting. Others may go straight to the weights and perform a “warm-up set” before they start their heavy lifts. Knowing that proper preparation is key, why do we tend to ignore such an important aspect of our workout? Improving performance while reducing the risk of injury is greatly desired by