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First off, I want to thank you for the support you have given me with Elemental Fitness Personal Training over the past 5 years. I started this blog site and part time training business to share my knowledge and passion for health and fitness with those around me, and that I did!

Since February 2016 my wife Flora and I have been furthering our education, brainstorming ways to bring our passion for health and spirituality together and develop a business that has more to offer, inspires, motivates and leads our fellow sisters to greater heights- body, mind and soul.

As of June 20, 2016 Elemental Fitness transformed into Strength and Soul Wellness: An online holistic health company to coach and inspire women to love their body and nurture their soul.

I hope you will join us in this new venture into cyber land as we share our stories, our knowledge and our guidance towards better health.

Thank you again for your ongoing support and I look forward to hearing from you soon!
Please book your FREE 30 minute Personal Training Consultation with me today.

Have a wonderful day!

Squats are one of my favourite weight training exercises by far. Not only do they have many variations but they work several muscle groups at the same time making them highly effective.

Squats can be performed by almost all individuals providing they do not have any problems with their joints, specifically knees or hips. It’s also relatively easy to progress a squat from something very basic to something quite challenging. Before adding the squat exercise to your regime there are a few things to note:
A) Ensure your knees never exceed your toes on the down phase.
B) A squat should resemble the motion your body takes when sitting into a chair.
C) Your weight should be distributed in the mid foot and heels NOT the toes.
D) You should be gazing forward NOT at the floor as this will change your form.

I have listed my favourite types of squat in order of difficulty (easiest first):
1- Stationary body weight squat (feet in line with knees and legs shoulder width apart)
2- Stationary body weight duck squat (feet turned outward and legs slightly wider than shoulder width)
3- 180 degree turning squat
4- Hop squat
5- 180 degree turning hop squat
6- Bosu ball hop squats (start with one foot on bosu and hop side to side squating on each hop)
7-TRX Suspension Trainer stationary or hop squat
8- Goblet squat (with a dumbbell or kettle bell)
9- Bulgarian split squat (one leg extended behind the body and placed on a bench)
10- Barbell squat (Olympic bar on your upper back behind your head)
11- Wide stance barbell squat (same as above but now feet are wider than shoulder width)

Although many other squat variations exist, these are the ones I choose most often in my person training and with my clients.

When you think about it, we will be doing some form of squatting from now until we’re 100~toileting, getting up from the sofa, getting up from a chair and the list goes on.

Use those legs or you’re going to lose that strength!

So if you’re looking for an exercise that works your thighs, hips, core stabilizers, buttocks, quadriceps and hamstrings all at the same time…you best get squatting!

I made this amazingly easy energy bar recipe last week and my family loved them…so did my clients!
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I had to share because if your household is anything like mine, having quick, nutritious and nutrient dense snacks on hand are a must.

Let me know what you think.

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Raw & Vegan – Ginger Nut Energy Bars
3 cups of raw nuts (I used cashews but you could try almonds, pecans or macadamia nuts)
2 cups of pitted medjool dates
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cardamom
pinch of sea salt

Place nuts into your food processor fitted with the “s” blade and process for about 60-90 seconds or until finely ground. Then add the dates, spices and salt. Process again for another 60-90 seconds or until dates are completely ground and the mixture is starting to form a ball. I added 2 TBSP of coconut oil to the mixture to make it stick together more but this is optional.

Press mixture into an 8X8 inch pan and refrigerate for 4-5 hours. Then cut into bar shapes and individually wrap for an easy snack on the run. Rolling the mixture into balls and then in shredded coconut also works well. Enjoy!

Recipe compliments of “Nourishing Meals” by Alissa Segersten & Tom Malterre.

senior-weightsLike any professional, as a Fitness Trainer I am required to upgrade my skills, take new courses, renew my CPR & First Aid and remain as current as possible where health and exercise is concerned. If you think about it, would you really want to work with someone who is not certified to teach or who has not upgraded their skills in over 5 years? The rate at which the fitness industry changes; keeping current is a must.

Deciding on what skills I wanted to upgrade this year happened naturally. I was asked by my supervisor to run a seniors class in the Killarney Fitness Center here in Vancouver this past March. My group class started out with 4 participants and within a short time quickly grew to 6. By this fall my class size doubled and I now have a waitlist! I had no idea that working with the aging population could be so rewarding and enjoyable. Although each person has varying injuries, aches, pains, medical conditions and overall goals they work hard, do their homework and show up eager to learn. I knew right away that certifying to work in this field was in my future.

This August I began the “Older Adult” training course and have nearly completed the certification process. It has been a very eye opening experience. It has taught me a lot about what happens when we age and how to better prepare for the future. I also feel the course is making me a better trainer for not only my aging clients but my younger folks as well. It’s easy to take your balance, multitasking abilities, agility, strength and coordination for granted. That old saying “use it or lose it” really rings true here.

If you’re looking for a trainer who can listen, has compassion, empathy and knowledge and who will push you to better health please don’t hesitate to reach out. It’s honestly never too late to enjoy exercise, improved health and reduced stress levels. I am excited about this new career direction and future learning.

Please visit my testimonials page to see what my seniors have to say.
Have a healthy and happy day!

Time flies when you have a toddler, work part time, your partner works full time, you are planning a huge move and planning renovations on your new space. Since exercise is what keeps me sane it couldn’t be cut out of my day completely just done in a whole new way.

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I started using nap time (formally my workout and me time) to pack, make calls and send time sensitive emails. Workouts had to be even more creative than before.

I started using my son’s morning park time to burn off some of my own pent up energy and reduce my stress. Squats, lunges, push-ups, curl-ups, tricep dips, back raises, chin-ups, jacks and burpees became the new regime. No equipment necessary and enough to get my heart rate up while still allowing me to monitor my babe. The best part is that my little guy (nearly 2) is now randomly doing burpees. I’m sure it has something to do with the reaction from my partner and I. 🙂 A perfect example of how closely our wee ones pay attention to us and mimic our every move.

Getting creative with your workouts during bouts of high stress and limited time is very important – especially if you hope to remain sane.

What have you done to help keep yourself in check physically during a move?

EF Spring Promotions

I have started teaching a class called Tabata HIIT and totally love it!

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If you have never done Tabata you’re in for a real treat. HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. It is a style of circuit training that is done in the following way: 20 seconds of exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest. There are generally 5 exercises in the sequence and they get repeated 4 times through. When I teach my class I select 10 exercises done in 2 groups of 5. The entire routine takes exactly 30 minutes. If you’re looking to get your sweat on then give one of these workouts a try…

A) Equipment free:
* push-ups
* jacks
* step-ups on a bench
* frog jumps
* inch worms

repeat the sequence 4 times and then take a 2 minute rest

* burpees
* travelling lunges
* plank holds
* tricep dips on bench
* mtn. climbers on bench or ground

repeat the sequence 4 times through and your workout is complete!

B) Medicine ball workout:
* medicine ball travelling lunges with twist (twisting right when your right foot leads the lunge and vice versa)
* push-up with knee touch (during the up phase of each push-up touch your opposite hand to opposite knee)
* bear crawls
* foot ball runs on the spot
* medicine ball Russian twist

repeat the sequence 4 times and then take a 2 minute rest

* medicine ball squats with chest press
* bird dog
* medicine ball crunches (lying on your back, feet up, ball goes from chest to toes- resting head to ground on each repetition)
* wind sprints
* medicine ball single leg hip bridge (medicine ball remains pressed above the chest while performing a single leg hip bridge alternating legs)

repeat the sequence 4 times through and your workout is complete!

The beauty of Tabata is that it can be done with any sequence of exercises and any type of fitness equipment.

What are your favourite circuit training exercises?