Training For Next Mental Health Awareness Challenge

April 12, 2012

Many people think that the most challenging part of achieving a given fitness goal, for example losing weight or building muscle, is simply all the work that goes into reaching this final goal. In reality, maintaining this goal is equally as important and challenging. A fit and healthy lifestyle is both physical and mental and therefore requires a shift in our thinking where we must reinforce the notion that working out is not a chore. It’s pretty simple really, if you enjoy working out you will continue to work out and it won’t seem like “work”. One of the ways to help make this your reality is to change up your work-outs and keep them fun and interesting. This is where the help of a fitness professional can be very beneficial.

To keep Bryce motivated and to help physically prepare him for his goal of cycling across Canada, I regularly change up his work-outs. Every time he steps into my studio Bryce is prepared for just about any type of work-out because he never knows what he is going to get. Our last session consisted of circuit training, which is a short high-intensity work-out that is great for working both your cardiovascular and strength training at the same time. Circuit training is an extremely efficient way of completing a balanced workout (meaning that you work opposing muscles throughout the circuit) which is very important not only for esthetic reasons but to prevent injuries as well. For Bryce, circuit training is an integral part of his training regimen with me since the short rest periods in the circuit help build muscle, while also improving cardio vascular conditioning, increasing strength and burning fat – all of which are going to prepare him for cycling across Canada. (Check out my circuit training routine for Bryce at the bottom of this post!).

Aside from the physical benefits of circuit training, there are many advantages to this training system. For starters, circuit training does not necessarily have to be done in the gym and it is adaptable to all fitness levels. You can use this training system just about anywhere – in your basement or backyard or even at a park. Another advantage is that circuit training can be interactive and done in groups, so you can round up your friends and family and create a support system to keep each other motivated towards a fit and healthy lifestyle while having fun. Circuit training is an effective and convenient training system that can help change a mundane work-out routine. The point is to simply get moving and to keep moving!

12 x Single leg plyo box squat (per side)
12 x Single arm TRX row (per side)
15 x Lying leg extension
1 min. skipping
30 sec. rest
15 x Moving push-ups
12 x Seated lateral raises
15 x TRX tricep extension
12 x Seated hammer curls
1 min. variable abdominals
3-4 min. rest
**Repeat three times for a total of 3 sets**

Training For Next Mental Health Awareness Challenge

March 12, 2012


As many of you now know, based on your votes, I am training to cycle across Canada in support of abolishing the stigma against mental illness. Preparations for this daunting task happen at Sutton Health and Fitness where my trainer, Kirk Sutton, whips me into shape (both mind and body). I feel that if I can endure his one hour customized routine, I can endure biking 130-150km/day... no sweat. (we'll see!)


If you're going to do something you've never done, you must be willing to make sacrifices that you've never made before. Get up at 6:00am and go for that jog, push through those extra reps, and put down that soda! I know Bryce doesn't drink soda... but you get my drift. Progress and change are by-products of commitment. I've never seen a client succeed without being committed. Obstacles and diversions will always find their way into everyday life; indulgent dinners out, drinks with friends, that piece of birthday cake at work. You must hone in on your end goal with laser-like focus and follow it through to completion. Trust me, there is no better feeling! Get inspired! And that's what Bryce has done, he got inspired to cycle across Canada. As Bryce's trainer accountability and rigrous training (a minimum of 3 times a week under my supervision, the other 3 on his own) is crucial to me and more importantly to his end goal.

Bryce never knows what to expect when he walks into my facility. I change it up drastically every workout - the same way Bryce may face a change in intensity cycling day-to-day across this beautiful and very terrain diverse nation. In the exercise routine below, Bryce has reached a point of exhaustion - many times. His muscles are trembling, sweat is streaming down his face and at some points in each workout every ounce of him wants to drop the weights and give up. I often remind him sternly: "What do you want to do, end it when you're a little tired, or push through it to the point of exhaustion in order to achieve your ultimate goal!? Because the latter is the only way you'll make it across Canada!" There is no question that without professional trainer breathing down Bryce's neck, it would be nearly impossible to attain such a goal. I'm glad Bryce has identified that I'm capable of brining him to that level. Because, pushing through those last reps are nothing short of painful but can make a world of difference. "Only 30 more reps!" says Bryce mocking me to another client. But the truth is, I only push people as far as I think they can go. Wylde isn't just his last name (if you could only hear his wild grunts and screams in my gym!!). I believe Bryce can get there! In fact, along with my oversight, I know he can.