Category Archives: fitness

A friend in need’s a friend indeed, a friend with weed… oh wait.

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In all seriousness, no weed was involved in this training program. Other than the weeds and grass on the soccer field, that is.

My good friend Angelina is currently training hard to get her body in shape before her upcoming surgery. As my boss (and her main trainer) went away for holidays, I was left with the much difficult task of training her. Yes, I get paid to spend time with my friends. Have I mentioned how much I love my job?

Our first session included a much anticipated (by me!) trip to the soccer field, where Angelina was given the task to lunge back and forth twice (or, a total of four lengths of the field) while carrying none other than our lovely 80 lbs vest. That’s 36 kg for all the normal people who use metric system the rest of the world.

 


 

On our second session, I had her do one of my favorite kinds of training (for others, not for me. Ha!) :  Circuit training! Because she’s my friend and I LOVE HER DEARLY, I made sure to include a bazillion burpees of all kinds– spidermans, mountain climbers, laterals, crossed, with pushups… Hey, I’m only looking out for her best interest and success. I swear.

Also, I got to try with her the same things I did at my Kickbox bootcamp! Don’t let her tell you otherwise, she loved it.  I have proof:

 

 

 

Well if that doesn’t scream “I’m so happy to be alive!” I don’t know what will.

 

She did great! And I had a blast training her. Though she got to punch and kick me, so I’m guessing she had a good time too.

 

Kickbox bootcamp

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Now that I’ve had the chance to organize my thoughts and the lessons learned at the Canfitpro conference, I’ll dive right in and share with you exactly what I learned.

Let’s start with the very first class I took, Kickbox bootcamp.

As the term bootcamp requires, this was a high-energy class with lots of movement going on at all times. Here’s a snippet of what we did:

In pairs

-Moving forward while holding a resistance band with arms extended in front of your body, and your partner is pulling the band behind you (working almost like a leash).

-Moving forward while pushing the band away from you, extending one arm in front at a time.

-Running while your partner holds you back with the band around your waist.

-Running sideways with the right in front leg first, with partner offering the same resistance.

-Running sideways  with the left leg in front, with partner still holding you back by the band.

-Doing a bear crawl– you guessed it– with your partner still trying to pull you back with the band.

In case you’re not familiar with the term, this is what a bear crawl looks like:

Except it’s nowhere near that fast when you have someone holding you back with all their might.

 

After this we put down the bands and exchanged them for gloves and targets.

-Combo: 20 punches, 20 squat kicks (like the name describes, you squat and front kick with one leg. Squat and kick with the other)

-Combo: 20 punches, 20 knee strikes

Super fun because you get to grab your partner by the shoulders and pull them down to strike. Also, great core workout!

 

Then we moved positions so that one person was lying on their back on the floor, while the partner was kneeling in front holding the targets.

-Combo: Situp, elbow strike (come up in a situp, do and elbow strike with right elbow, come back down to the floor. Situp again, strike with left elbow, repeat)

-Resistance: The person on the floor would come up in a situp and hold the position, while the partner would try to push them back, to the left and to the right. Burn!

 

After that came my favorite set:

-Striker on the floor, partner standing over them with feet by striker’s hips. The striker had to bring their shoulders off the ground and punch 20 times. My abs were screaming with this one.

-Switch! Striker now stands up while partner is on the ground, striking down as hard and fast as possible.

 

I found kickboxing to be great fun and it’s something I definitely want to try again!

The Vegan factor: The 21-day Vegan Kickstart

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You know how the internet is: you click here and there, follow one link and the next, and next thing you know you’re considering a drastic lifestyle change.  (This is normal, right?)

For the first time, the thought of adopting a vegan (or at least as close to vegan as my knowledge thus far allows) diet sounds very appealing.

I have signed up for the 21-day Vegan Kickstart, and I’m actually excited! This program will begin on September 5th, so you’re still on time to sign up and give it a try yourself.

The decision came after learning about athletes like ultra-marathon runner Scott Jurek, weight lifter Jane Black, Ironman triathlon professional (and Canadian!) Brendan Brazier, and mixed martial arts fighter Mac Danzig. The world of vegans in athleticism is eclectic, including a vast number of sports and disciplines that require endurance, speed, strength and agility. All of this can be accomplished– like the aforementioned have demonstrated with their example– through a vegan lifestyle. And I want me some of that.

I’m curious to see if or which differences I will notice while going vegan for 21 days.  If you choose to join this challenge leave a comment so I can read about your experiences!

Tying up men. You know, the usual.

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We went to the summer festival hosted by my city and stopped to watch a magic show. When the magician asked for a parent volunteer my daughter waved her hands, pointed at me and pulled me up. With that I became the magician’s assistant.

My job? To tie up the man in a straight jacket. DEJA VU. I mean. What?

I won’t bore you with the details, and since this is a fitness-oriented blog I’ll focus on the fitness perspective: Today I learned I really love my arms! This is the first time I get to see what my arms and back look like in an everyday situation, and I was pretty surprised when I saw the pictures.

I'm the one in black (I'm pretty sure because last time I checked I wasn't a dude in a straight jacket)

Yep, still the one in black

I’m loving me my strength training.

Lift heavy <3

Our very own milestones

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It all began when I was offered a job as a Personal Trainer, which was rather odd considering I hadn’t worked specifically in that field before. Also, my fitness level was far from impressive, at least far from what the average expectation would want a PT to be. Regardless of all the reasons I had for saying no I chose to dive into the yes, which proved (once again) that taking risks and leaving the comfort zone can have astounding rewards.

I initiated my training on May 23rd  and today, 50 days later, I was able to squat with 135 lbs on me. To light some perspective: on my first day of training I attempted the same kind of squats using only the 45 lbs. barbell on my shoulders and– well, I felt I was going to die; my legs were giving out, my shoulders where in pain, my lower back was not happy and I felt very weak. To have been able to do my series of squats today with three times that weight made me ecstatic!

My accomplishment may not seem like much to some and that’s ok. This is my own milestone, the first of many more to come. I think that fitness, like life, is less about following the path and more about creating it. In this my success today has been significant and has filled me with joy. What else could I ask for?

With this journey just starting and it being something entirely new for me I thought it a good time to track my progress, thoughts and other things here. Welcome!