Monday, August 8, 2011

Bootcamp Home Workout Contest

Bootcamp Home Workout Contest
From today until Wednesday August 10th, go to my FB page and “like” it,!/StrengthPoweredFitness. Send me a message that you have done this ( and there will be a random draw for an electronic copy of the workout.
The only caveat is, you must send me a review of the workout once completed to add to my site! Easy peasy. This is the video you can win.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fat Loss Tips for Beginners

Ok guys and gals...I would like to compile some tips for people just starting to diet. We're talking never done it before and don't know where to start. I'm looking for things like setting calories or macros, what foods to eat when, how much water, how to deal w/ cravings, definition of cheat/refeed, different methods of dieting, counting veggies, using artificial sweetners, etc....anything ya'll feel like contributing.

If you get an epiphany in your own dieting experience next week or whatever, feel free to share it here.

I will start by saying...I think the first thing you need to do when starting a diet is to set realistic goals. Sometimes when you're just starting out you get excited, motivation is high and you just want to do everything at once and have everything happen all at once. Setting a realistic, attainable goal...whether it's personal or so important for keeping you on track when things don't go as planned. And what is realistic is going to be different for everybody. Some people have lived relatively healthy/athletic and "easy" lifestyles (read good genetics/young/fast metabolism) and can start out at a pretty focused level. And others have lived complete opposite to that and will need to take baby steps. Make sure you assess where you're starting from and adjust your expectations accordingly.

Want to add something? Follow along!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Shift Work and Fitness - How do you make it work?

I’ve worked shift for the last 10 years. On an ambulance in a busy urban center, with long hours: 2 – 10 hour days, 2 – 14 hour nights, with 4 days off. My first day off has been ruined because I need to sleep. How have I maintained myself? Let me tell you, it’s been a struggle. Not impossible, just takes some work around to keep my goals intact.

The decision to become a shift worker is more than just a career, it's a life style. Can you live with it? You need to weigh the pros and cons — you get 4 days off, there is time to do business during the week, you don’t have to take time off for appointments, you can make it to the gym during slow periods and not have to wait for equipment. If you have kids, you get a lot of time with them on your days off. On the other hand, you’ll miss their bath time and bedtime stories. You’ll miss waking them up and having breakfast with them as you’ll already be gone to work.

There’s no doubt about it — shift work can be difficult. The demands of juggling alternate work hours and staying connected to family and friends can have a big impact on your health — both mentally and physically. But you can still get enough sleep, eat the right foods, be physically active and maintain social ties — even when you work the graveyard shift.


Changing your normal rhythm of waking and sleeping as a result of switching shifts requires a period of adjustment. Insomnia, mental and physical fatigue, indigestion, and an overall feeling of ill health are common when your body’s internal clock is disrupted.

If your job requires you to constantly change shifts, your body will have more difficulty adjusting and readjusting as you get older. Here are some strategies to help you sleep well:

Develop a bedtime practice. Read a book, catch up on your favorite show or take a warm bath before going to bed. Allow yourself to unwind from your shift. That’s nice advice, I generally have a small breakfast and fall into bed. I hate getting woken up by a grumbling stomach!
Keep your sleeping environment...sleep ready. Sleep in a dark room. Use black out curtains/blinds or wear a sleep mask. Wear earplugs or run a fan to block out daytime noises and make sleep easier.
Maintain your sleep schedule. If at all possible, keep a consistent sleep schedule. Stick to the same sleep hours every day — even on your days off.
Change the work schedule. A more normal sleep pattern results when your shift sequence is day-evening-night rather than day-night-evening.
Take naps. I’m a huge fan of naps, if you can, try and grab one before your evening shift to help you feel refreshed and more alert at work. Rouse yourself well before your shift starts, though, in case you feel groggy when you first wake up.
Sleeping pills. If you experience severe insomnia, ask your doctor about a short-acting sleeping pill. (I’m not a fan of this one but sometimes you need to do what you need to do to survive).


You may find it difficult to make healthy food choices because what’s most readily available in the middle? For those who are not prepared, vending machines and 24-hour fast-food restaurants are a huge temptation. Unhealthy eating isn’t necessarily a given, though. Here are some tips to keep you on your game:

Brown bag it. I know it can be tough to always pack your lunch, but you cannot control what you put in your body if you are eating McDonalds at 2 am. Bringing food from home will make you less tempted to raid the vending machines. Pack a healthy lunch that fits with your meal plan. At Strength Powered Fitness you can also get nutrition plans to help you maintain or lose weight, regardless of your schedule.
Eat smaller portions. Aim for smaller portions, such as a couple of quick, healthy snacks, during your shift rather than eating a big meal. Shift work can interfere with your body’s regular digestive routine. Especially eating at night, you might need a small snack to get you through the 3-5 am lag but don’t eat a big meal with lots of calories.
Avoid late-night caffeine. Have caffeinated drinks before your shift or early during your shift. Avoid too much caffeine or caffeine late in your shift — it can make it hard for you to fall asleep after you get home.


Shift work doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. Scheduling regular exercise is important — it may help improve your sleep, your energy level and your mood. It’s totally possible and you can fit it into your day — or night. Here are some tips to get the job done:

Work out before work. Physical activity can make you more alert on your job, lucky for you the Strength Powered Fitness Studio has many different class times to work for you. It also keeps your heart in tip-top shape. Even in between my nights I try to fit in a quick home boot camp workout, after I wake up of course!
Work out on your days off. Stick to your workout schedule and keep your goals intact! There is no reason on your days off not to fit in your longer workouts. Strength Powered Fitness has many different classes to get you moving!
Find a buddy. Find a friend and exercise together. Even better, sign up at Strength Powered Fitness for bootcamp , meet some people in your area that you can work out with. It’ll make exercising more fun and will also help keep you motivated.

Social Life.

Shift work makes it tough to maintain a social life because you are working when most people are socializing. Here are some tips to help you maintain your relationships:

Phone home. Take the time to call home and talk with your kids and spouse, whoever is important to you, whether it’s just before bedtime or just after the sun rises.
Keep in touch. Let your family and friends know your work schedule. Make time for get-togethers on your days off. Its easy start missing out on social events when you are working and your friends aren’t. You have to make an effort to go out and socialize with people other than who you work with.
Get creative. A breakfast date is a nice end-of-the-day treat for you (if you can keep your eyes open) and a nice start-of-the-day treat for someone else. Get together on your long change between days and nights and have some fun.

The ability to adjust to shift work is different for every person. You may be happy working alternate hours or you may find it extremely frustrating. It takes some work to keep your fitness at the level of your choosing, keep it up, maintain a schedule and your dedication will pay off.


Monday, June 20, 2011

I love Tabatas

A solid hour of tabata training. Ass. Kicked. I wanted to do the second class as well but I forgot my timer at the studio so I had to count rounds. GRRRR.

Here’s what we did:

2 exercises, 10 rounds each, 20 seconds work, 15 seconds recovery. I had 3 groups of 3 running. Each group did 3 separate sets of exercises:

Group 1

KB Swing —-> Burpees
BB Clean and Press —-> Speed box jumps
Woodchop —-> Step Jumping Jacks

Group 2

DB Squat & Press —-> DL Burpee
Spiderman Pushups —-> KB Swing
TRX Jump Squat —-> DB Row

Group 3

TRX Pullup —-> Lateral Lunge Touchdowns
DB Snatch —-> Drivestep
Renegade Row —-> Single Leg Romanians Touchdowns

Now that’s what you call fun!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Greek Yogurt - Everyone's jumping on the greek yogurt bandwagon

I'm guessing that Greeek Yogurt is the newest food trend as I've seen a ton of new brands making it now. However, they are pretty much a failed immitation of the real thing. What makes greek yogurt so special, besides the very thick texture, is the diet-friendly macronutrient breakdown. Liberte, the *original brand that everyone is now imitating, has 18g of protein, 7g carbs, and 110calories per 175g serving for the plain. Now, plain yogurt is pretty tangy and some might say gross, however, that nutrient breakdown is completely worth it.

The flavoured, although much higher in carbs/sugars, is still fat free and almost as high in protein as the plain. For the same serving size, it carries 170calories, 16g of protein and 24g of carbs. Still a viable option as a healthy well rounded meal, especially if you mix the plain and the flavoured half and half....essentially adding some flavour while lowering the carb content overall.

Now....I have seen recently other brands coming out with their own greek yogurt however, I think the only thing they are worried about is the "thickness" of the yogurt, and not the macro nutrient breakdown. Astro's new greek yogurt has the following nutrient breakdown for 125g serving: 200calories, 13g fat, 8g carbs, 10g of protein....and that's for the plain. The flavoured is sure to be higher in calories as it will have added sugar. Obviously not a good alternative to the Liberte at all. I saw another brand with an even worse breakdown but I didn't make note of the name and I forget it now.

Presidents Choice makes a new greek yogurt and, while it's isn't quite as good as Liberte, it's an acceptable alternative. At 175g serving it's got 120calories, 12g carbs, 18g protein and no fat for the plain. While the flavoured for the same serving size has 173calories, 28g carbs and 16g protein. Very similar to the the Liberte for sure. sum sure you're reading your nutrition labels and getting a fat free, high protein, low carb greek yogurt. The only brands I recommend to my clients that I have seen available in Canada so far is Liberte and PC brands.

* I don't know if it's actually *THE* original brand in Canada but it's all I can remember seeing before it became the newest trend in yogurt.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tire Push Pull - Kitchener Waterloo Bootcamp

Here's me doing a Tire Push and Pull at the studio in Kitchener after a bootcamp class. So much fun!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Anniversary Bootcamp Class

Special class...everyone trained hard! 5-8 rounds of everything, no rest!

At the studio in Kitchener

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bootcamp Class in Kitchener Waterloo

Check out one of our bootcamp classes in Kitchener at the Strength Powered Fitness studio on Grand Avenue