About Me

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Hi! I am a fitness professional, a father of two gorgeous girls, a serious football fan and a LOVER of FOOD! I believe that to maintain balance in life we need to enjoy everything in moderation. But sometime during the past two and a half years, since my first daughter was born, I have lost my balancing ways. I'm addicted to food...my main addiction; chocolate. My workouts have taken a backseat to parent and tot gymnastics, crafting, and singing the ABC song. I NEED to find balance again. Please join me as I embark on this journey. I hope you too can find the balance in your own life.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Pickin' up steam...

Okay...we are about to start a new week...we are about to start a new month. It has all the potential in the world. Will we take advantage of it?

How has the first month gone so far? For me, nothing overly impressive, but I have been improving steadily over the course of the month. After a molasses-like start to January, Kate and I lost a combined 6 pounds this week! 5 words...soup and salad for dinner. You will not get along with the others in your home at night, but stick it out. You WILL celebrate with them when you reach your goals.

The workouts started slowly, one the first week, two the second, but I did 3 this past week, so I'm inching closer to the goal of at least 4. None of the workout this past week lasted more than 30 minutes. In fact, one was only 15 minutes, but they took full advantage of the time I had and I was always sore afterwards. My strength is definitely improving, as is Kate's for that matter. If you have been training this month, then you are certainly feeling the same. That's the beauty of working out, the benefits are virtually instantaneous. If you challenge your muscles they will respond by getting stronger. The best part is that in order to get stronger, they actually get smarter. Your muscles communicate with your brain better and you feel stronger without having to add very much muscle mass. Win Win.

I know a few of you are feeling the benefits already, but it has come to my attention that some of you may not believe that you can even attempt these challenges. YOU CAN! With the exception of some cases, everyone can do these. It's just moving YOUR own body around, something you already do all day. I'm not saying you are all going to be able to do a high level of repetitions or that your form will be perfect, but you WILL improve and you will do so very quickly. Today Kate and I repeated the 2 minute squat challenge and this time she managed 96 and I was able to pull off 97. A combined 20 more than last time! The human body is an amazing machine. See how many squats you can complete in two minutes, and please track your numbers. You can always send them to me if you like.

There are a few quick things about the squat that you should know. Feet at least shoulder width apart. If you find that you have a lot of forward bend when you squat, open your legs up wider. Your goal should be as little forward bend as possible. Sit back into the squat, (like you're going to sit in a chair) don't try to go straight down. In doing so, try to use the glute muscles not just the quads. You will find that if you use your glute muscles, any pain you may feel in your knees will immediately disappear. Most of you won't have any knee pain, not to worry. Make sure you get full range of motion out of each repetition. Try to get your quads to be parallel to the floor. Try this in a mirror, it's further down than if feels!

Enjoy the squats and let's have a good February. Remember...small, steady improvements add up the most over time.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Contest Giveaway!

In honor of hitting 100 "likes" on Facebook we're celebrating by giving away some amazing workout gear.  We have 3 prizes to give away.

First prize: Stability ball, resistance band, and skipping rope
Second prize: Resistance band and skipping rope
Third prize: Skipping rope

To enter this contest follow these 3 steps:
1. "Like" Bodyw8 Fitness on Facebook. If you already like us, ask a friend to like us and if they do, you will both be entered into the contest.
2. Leave a message on the Facebook page telling us you like us. (we're working on our ego...)  :)
3. Tell us what your favourite or least favourite exercise is.

The contest will run until January 31st, 2012.  The winners will be announced on February 1st.

Good luck and thanks for your support!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mini Pyramid: Squats / Mountain Climbers

It was all set. The girls would have their naps and I would be able to sneak in a workout. but...

Some excuses are perfectly understandable!

I had a small window of time open this afternoon, which happened to be the perfect size to give Challenge #2 a try. It takes 10 minutes total and 3 of those are resting. Not too bad. Wrong!! I think it took me 5 minutes to stand up after it was over. Please check out the video for the exercise demo. It can also be used to time your challenge. Just do what I'm doing. And count your reps.

Challenge #2 - Mini Pyramid: Squats / Mountain Climbers 

30 seconds : Squats
30 seconds : Mountain Climbers
30 seconds : Rest
45 seconds : Squats
45 seconds : Mountain Climbers
45 seconds : Rest
60 seconds : Squats
60 seconds : Mountain Climbers
60 seconds : Rest
45 seconds : Squats
45 seconds : Mountain Climbers
45 seconds : Rest
30 seconds : Squats
30 seconds : Mountain Climbers

Lay down and be proud.

I can't stress the importance of Range of Motion! Keep full range on the squats. Thighs parallel to the floor at the bottom. Move your feet as much as you can with the mountain climbers. By maximizing the distance you cover on each rep, you will maximize the efficiency of the exercise.

Track the total reps you got in each set during the rest period.

I finished with a total of 139 squats and 229 mountain climbers.  Let me know how you do.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Staying Positive!

2 weeks in...I'm trying to stay positive.

Sound familiar?

For most of us, this is what happens, we have it in our minds that we will simply drop 10 pounds and 12 inches in the first couple weeks, then reality steps in and crushes our dreams (sorry, a little frustration sneaking out). Truth is, weight loss is tough! Anyone can do a crash diet, it's the full blown lifestyle change that's hard to implement and even harder to maintain long term. Plus, the side effects of a crash diet include hair loss and divorce...neither of which interest me.

So far, I haven't dropped a pound. Not one! I also haven't been a saint on the eating front. A batch of chocolate brownies had full control over me this weekend. Oh well, they were awesome! What I do know is that I got twice as many workouts in last week as the week before. Progress! I also know that my workouts were more demanding and I was less sore afterwards. Progress! At least I have a couple positive things to build on.

What I need to remember is that maintaining a consistent bodyweight is really the key to it all. Thankfully, I won't always be in the 'weight loss' mode. If the past 2 weeks are what it takes to maintain my weight, I can easily handle that. Now time to get back on track and get through this weight loss phase once and for all.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Numbers Don't Lie -Lunge/Pushup Burnout

5 DAYS!! That's how long it took for the effects of my first workout to wear off. Yikes, my legs were broken! Warning, when doing lunges for the first time after a long absence, be cautious. I repeated the workout on Monday and was able to complete it 1 minute faster, burning over 100 more calories and the muscle soreness after was significantly reduced. That tells me one thing, that I have improved my fitness level from last week.  That was the goal, so overall a successful week 1. Not an overly impressive one, but a successful one, none-the-less.

Before I go on, I need to confess something...I am a big math nerd. I LOVE numbers! I appreciate that most people do not, but just know that the numbers never lie. On that note, I have a challenge for you. The ultimate goal of this challenge is to complete 100 lunges on each leg and 100 pushups.  And, if that doesn't sound tortuous enough, I want you to do it as quickly as you can.

Challenge #1: The Lunge/Pushup Burnout
This challenge is completed by doing 1 lunge on each leg, followed by 1 pushup. After that, 2 lunges on each leg followed by 2 pushups. Work your way up to 10 lunges on each leg and 10 pushups, then back down to 1 again and you will be at the 100 repetition goal.  Cool right?!

Now I'm not completely insane, and I definitely don't want anyone to go overboard here, so I'm going to suggest you start slow. Let's start with 25 and work our way up to 100.  To do this, go up to and including level 5 and back down to 1 again (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1).  Do this and time yourself.  If you feel some muscle soreness over the next couple days, repeat the challenge at this same level.  If your muscles seem unaffected then try level 6 the next time. Ultimately work your way to level 10.

The beauty of this challenge is that you can do it during any workout or completely on its own, as you watch a little hockey, whenever  you want! I have added a quick video of me doing the challenge up to level 3 so you can see how to perform the movements. Enjoy and let me know how it goes.

FYI - my personal best for level 10 is 9:11... Currently I am being beaten up by level 7!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Slump Has Been Broken!

I just finished my 1st workout of 2012, ending a run of workout free days that dates back into November.  It's done.  It's over!  The monkey is off my back!!  No matter how you say it, it's an amazing feeling.  And by 'amazing' I mean painful, exhausting and frightening. Painful because, as I sit here, from my ass to my ankle is shaking like a grade 7 boy as "Stairway to heaven" comes on at a school dance.  Exhausting because it took everything I had to get down the stairs to the computer to write this, and frightening because I know what that means for tomorrow.

Muscle soreness aside, the scariest part of all is that I just kicked my own ass for 61 minutes, burned just shy of 1000 calories, and all I will have to do is repeat that 2.5 more times to burn off the caloric equivalent of 1 pound of fat.  The good thing is that these aren't the only calories I will burn from this workout, but we'll get to that another day.  My fingers are actually starting to hurt too.

Working out does help you lose weight, but it has many more important benefits.  The key to weight loss is controlling what you eat, which brings me to the lunch I had today...soup and salad.  Not just any soup, it was sweet potato and lentil.  Check it out...it didn't taste horrible, and I will be a healthier man for it.  The truth is that neither my wife, nor I actually finished the bowl of soup.  Maybe that is the secret to the success of soup! :) 4 days in and things are definitely looking up.

Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup Recipe
1 box vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 onion (diced)
2 celery stalks (diced)
2 carrots (peeled and diced)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 can green lentils (drained and rinsed)
1 sweet potato (cubed) 
2 bay leaves

Throw all ingredients into a pot and simmer until carrots and sweet potatoes are tender. Remove bay leaves before serving.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Taking a Mulligan...

To me, making New Year's resolutions is like buying lottery tickets.  That feeling you get before the numbers are drawn, when you just KNOW that you are going to win.  It's the same feeling you have on December 31st, when you just KNOW that you are going to kick ass next year.  Then, the first number is drawn and you realize that the dream is over. That's the same feeling you get around noon on January 1st, when you realize that you have already broken most, if not all, of your resolutions.  Where the two differ is that your lottery dream is now over, but you still have 364 days of the year to make your resolutions count.  That is why I took it upon myself to take a mulligan on January 1st.  Things didn't quite go as planned. They never do when your 2 year old decides to skip her nap.  Seriously, sometimes I think she has it in for me.

Overall, January 1st wasn't horrible. It was certainly an improvement on the debauchery that ended 2011, but far from perfect.  But really, who starts a new routine, let alone a New Year's resolution, on a Sunday?  NOT ME! Once I had committed to beginning my new healthy living plan on the 2nd, I only had one thing left to do...finish the cookies and ice cream.  High on sugar and full of confidence, I managed a near perfect eating day, but failed miserably as my no-workout streak grew a little longer, somewhere in the 5-6 weeks range now.  When I compare January 2nd to the 1st, I can only assume that by January 3rd I will have the whole resolution thing under control and will be well on my way back to feeling healthy and strong.

Maybe New Years needs to bring about a transition stage first, not the cold turkey approach that simply breeds failure.  Seems logical and somewhat realistic, which is really the key to it all.  Goals and plans need to be realistic or they will likely not end well.  If a plan is going to be realistic, then in order to be successful, it had better be efficient!!

The reality is that most of us don't have the time and/or energy to workout 5-6 days each week, nor do we have the patience or willpower to stick to a meal plan all the time.  An efficient program would have a meal plan that allows you to lose, or maintain, weight without it feeling like a diet and a workout plan that allows you to make the most of the time available.  This is exactly what I have been working on, since my first daughter was born and I learned the cruel truth about time...there is never enough.  The program works.  Now it's time I get re-commited.  First things first...lose 20 lbs and keep it off.