It's only 8 days until the big move to the bigger studio at 1502 Danforth Ave. So this week we’d thought you’d like to hear some updates and reveal the details of the massive discounts you can take advantage of at the Grand Opening party on Sunday, October 6th from 1-4pm.
Apart from a few classes switching around, we have a new Advanced TRX & Endurance class on Tuesdays @ 7:00pm which will fuse TRX: Blast and Fighting Fit together. As we will have showers in the new place (yipee!) there will be more early morning classes, Yoga: Vinyasa on Wednesdays @ 6:30am, and TRX on Fridays @ 6:30am.
You'll also see some new equipment and changes to class programming to keep things fresh, modern and effective. All these changes will occur from the week of Monday, October 7th.
We’d also like you to welcome Chris D and Fiona G to the team. Chris comes with the same pedigree and degree in fitness as Michelle and Victoria and will join us on Monday evenings to run Get Strong, Bootcamp and help with Stride & Sculpt. Fiona G is a competitive Muay Thai fighter and will run the Muay Thai Fitness class on Wednesdays @ 7:00pm. Both are available for one-on-one personal training too.
We will close on Monday, September 30th to put the finishing touches to the new studio and we’ll open to our current members from Tuesday, October 1st. The grand opening party is on Sunday, October 6th.
Although we’re moving to a much larger space with bigger costs, most of the membership prices are remaining the same for now. In fact, as long as you remain a member of the gym you’re guaranteed to pay the same rate you are now. This does not include special offer prices.
The 5-class pass will be $5 cheaper at $70 and our drop-in rate has fallen to $15 from $20. The 4-class Around the BOMB for new members will go up to $29. Keep scrolling down for details of our Grand Opening Party special offers.
OPEN FLOOR MEMBERSHIP
As of Monday, October 7th we’ll be running an Open Floor time (Mon-Fri, 4-6pm). We believe we are the first studio in the Danforth East area to offer this. So if you have a friend or spouse that just likes to work on their own, we have memberships available for $59 per month. With a 6-month commitment it’s only $49 per month. This also includes access to our Monday Get Strong class (@ 5pm) for only $10.
Open Floor will also be a great time for unlimited members to practice moves they learn in class, kettlebell sport training, working their muay thai skills on the bag and mitts, or even as an active release and recovery session.
Open Floor members also get discounts off class packages. Speak to us for more details.
ADD 1-ON-1 TRAINING TO YOUR MEMBERSHIP
For all unlimited members (monthly or 6-month) we now have an option to tack on a personal training session to your unlimited membership for only $40/month. That’s close to 50% off our regular price. If you’re looking to personalize your training and work on things that are not covered in class then this is a great option for you. It’s also a great time to assess and correct any muscular imbalances you probably have. Much like a stacked table with a wobbly leg, if you keep building strength on top of dysfunction it will break eventually. Please contact us for more information.
BOMB PRINTED NEWSLETTER
We’ll be issuing a studio newsletter every quarter highlighting our special offers, testimonials, upcoming events, mini-blogs and recipes. Look out for that at the studio and around the neighbourhood.
Like the studio, our blogs will be getting bigger and better too. We have a few video blogs coming up and a special series with tips on how to make your life that little bit healthier.
AND FINALLY… THE GRAND OPENING PARTY
Mark Sunday, October 6th in your calendar, and spread the word! This is the grand opening party of the bigger, better BOMB studio at 1502 Danforth Ave.
Join us from 1-4pm for a 3-hour marathon of FREE classes, raffle prizes, and HUGE membership discounts. We'll also have a Fit Kids area to drop your kid off at, so there's no excuse not to try out classes at the new space!
Below are details of our amazing special offers. These will only be on offer at the opening party and in-studio only. Puppy dog eyes won’t work if you miss it! If your pass runs out before the party date, you can pay a drop-in rate that matches your current pass.
Aerobic workouts like distance running or hanging out on the elliptical for an hour have taken a bashing over the last few years. I’m sure you’ve read in fitness magazines or on the internet something along the lines of “why run for an hour when you can expend as much calories in a 20 minute Bootcamp?”
However, you should consider the following benefits of steady state cardio…
Increased Energy & Performance
While the Bootcamp comment above can be true, most of the time it’s working your anaerobic system more than the aerobic system. You would never train for a half or a full marathon just doing Bootcamps.
Your aerobic system replenishes all energy systems, even anaerobic, and by targeting your cardio more often, this energy system you will boost performance no matter what your goals are.
Imagine a grinding 8-12 hour day at work then going to the studio to pummel through a high intensity TRX or Fighting Fit class, or going for a record on your deadlift, then its home to deal with the kids. That’s what a lot of you do and it can be considered a stress relief, endorphin-wise anyway, but think of how much pressure you’re putting on yourself physically and mentally if you did this every day. Enjoying a more even-paced, less intense cardio session can be a lot less stressful on your mind and is a great recovery session to sandwich between high intensity training.
Great For Your Heart
The cynical amongst you may argue that at least someone dies or becomes very ill at every major marathon. In most cases, these are pre-existing heart conditions that the runner may not have been aware of. In any case, compare that number against the thousands of people who die of heart disease every day and there’s no argument. Get running! Maintaining a steady heart rate above 70% of your max heart rate increases your heart’s ability to contract efficiently and pump blood to the areas that need it. You’ll notice a decreased resting heart rate, and a stronger beat.
Even if you’re a decent runner, joining our Learn to Run Program will get that extra cardio session in (up to twice per week) to compliment the more intense training. If you’re completely new to running then it is a no-brainer to get started on the cardio so that you can have more energy in your every day life.
Kevin & Victoria
Those of you know who us well, are aware that we’re not kettlebell experts by any stretch of the imagination. Fortunately for us, owning the studio also means, in addition to being able to schedule workshops that we think you’d love, we can also host ones that we (secretly) really want to do!
But before we dive in to the Kettlebell Sport Workshop on September 8th to learn even more about this awesome sport, here are just some of the benefits of Russia’s national pride and joy.
It’s a Great Conditioning & Core Activation Tool
The kettlebell is a powerful, unstable object and as you know with great power comes great responsibility Spider-Man. This is where your core comes in to play to counter-act this instability. It is forced to remain contracted throughout each movement, strengthening your core with each and every rep. With so many muscles firing, all you need is to add in a few high rep sets to build up some great conditioning.
Develops Great Below-the-Elbow Strength
We’re not so sure about those arthritic hand springs that you constantly press to try and improve your grip strength. Enter kettlebells. Swinging and pressing a kettlebell will develop your forearm, wrist and grip strength. Wrist injuries are very common and by strengthening it using kettlebells you will avoid injury to a joint that is well used in daily life.
Heading out on a long work trip or a holiday with the family. You just need to pack a kettlebell in your car, find some open space and get in a great work out without transporting heavy machinery.
Kettlebells versus Dumbbells
To the uneducated, kettlebells and dumbbells look like they will do the same thing. However, kettlebells are much more useful when trying to perform an explosive movement, such as a swing or a snatch, where momentum is key. A more obvious benefit is that kettlebells have handles and so it makes exercises like a one-leg Romanian deadlift, or a figure eight squat much easier to perform. You can do many of the same dumbbell exercises with a kettlebell, but it requires more precision and concentration due to its weight and shape.
The Russians Made Them!
During the 1960s through to the 80s all the bad ass strongmen came from Russia… and they didn’t just swing or press the kettlebells, they threw them like Olympic hammers and likely said “I WILL BREAK YOU!” before tossing them. Just like nuclear wars, vodka and hairy women, anything that comes out of Russia is tough as hell and kettlebells are no different.
So now that you know how awesome kettlebells can be and what they can do for you, why don’t you check out our Kettlebell Sport Workshop with Robin & Alberto, on Sunday, September 8th. If everyone likes them we can even set up a competitive team and maybe one day face the Russians bell-to-bell!Kevin & Victoria
Everyone knows that the squat is comparative to every day movements like picking things up from the floor, sitting on the toilet etc... but here are 4 more reasons to show you why squatting is the king of all exercises.
1) The #1 Exercise to Give You a Great Butt
That’s what a woman really wants, right? A lot of people mention “butt-toning” as their goal when joining The BOMB and so this is how the conversation usually goes:-
Member: “So I should do Hip Presses?”
Me: “No, just squat.”
Member: “How about Toe Taps?”
Me: “No, just squat.”
Member: “Mule Kicks?”
Me: **MY REACTION**
Member: “Ok, I’ll just squat.”
2) It’s Really a Full Body Exercise
Most people know that squatting builds strength in the quads, hamstrings and glutes, but it’s actually a full body exercise, especially when you add weights or variations to a regular squat. Your core has to be braced, shoulders engaged and strong. Performing a squat perfectly recruits a lot of muscle fibres in your body giving you a fantastic full body exercise all-in-one.
3) Increases Joint Flexibility & Injury Prevention
Ankles, knees and hips are all used when squatting. The movement of this exercise will dynamically stretch the muscles around these joints, not only strengthening them but helping prevent injury, especially low back pain. Make sure you are performing the squat properly or it can actually lead to low back issues, especially if you lift through the spine as opposed to the hips.
4) Makes You a Complete Bad Ass
Explosive squats strengthen the hip flexors enabling you to create more power in your jumps and running. Squatting regularly will make picking up your kids and going to the toilet a walk in the park.
So now you know the amazing effects of squatting and we hope to see you all at the $10 Squat Technique Workshop this Monday with Chris D to perfect your form. Otherwise, expect your squat to be picked apart come Tuesday :o)
We attended the Canadian Fitness Professionals conference in Downtown Toronto this past weekend. Here are some little nuggets of what we learned and encountered among the hustle and bustle of Lulu Lemon pants, sweat, and great looking people.
- Don’t mess with Zumba women, they are loud and will eat you for breakfast.
- Like the look of a fitness pro from your favourite health magazine? Well, you can easily add 10 years to most of them when you meet them in person.
- We picked up a ton of knowledge and you’ll see that implemented in the coming months, but it was also re-assuring that what we’re doing right now is on the right path.
- The onslaught of the latest fad fitness machines was at times, overwhelming, and they are not going away. If you’re looking to pick up a piece of equipment, get a trainer’s viewpoint first. Here’s a small gallery of some of them
Overall it was a great learning experience and we recommend it even if you're just a fitness enthusiast. There were some fantastic workout sessions and some really inspiring speakers. If you avoid the corporate back slapping and sales pitch work outs there are plenty of interesting seminars and presenters to take your health and wellness to the next level.
- More men should take Pilates. If you can’t activate your glutes or hips then there’s no point adding weight to the bar.
- If you’re an actor or a DJ you’ll probably make a great spin instructor.
- Jillian Michaels is really, really nice. Use people like her as motivation but go to trainers to show you how to get the job done correctly.
- Fit Kids programs are very rare. Out of 400+ seminars at the largest fitness conference in the world there was only ONE session geared towards training children. There’s a child obesity problem and nobody is trying to fix it. That’s why we’re very proud to be running our Fit Kids After School program.
- Guys, if you walk around a conference with your shirt off, our baseline opinion of you is that you’re a douche.
- Canadians are really, really good at organizing events and running them on time. The conference was crazily, efficiently run.
- If a UFC fighter singles you out for great technique, your head doubles in size.
- Biggest WOW moment! Scientists have now discovered that you are able to turn on and off genes depending on what you consume. That is huge considering we always assumed genetics can’t be naturally altered.
- The best book we saw advertised was something along the lines of getting you in shape in 6 months. Not 5 days, not 2 weeks, not 2 months. Without the sensational book title, this presenter probably doesn't have a commercial book deal but he likely knows what he's talking about. Seek out more people like him.
Victoria & Kevin
Over the past month or two we’ve had many discussions with members about all the contradictory information out there surrounding ways to eat and train. We’re in an age where there’s too much information and nobody knows what’s right and what’s wrong. Every “expert” can give you a convincing explanation why their way is correct. This weightlifter says you should squat all the way to the floor, the other one says you should squat quad-dominant, so not as low. This nutritionist says you shouldn’t eat before bed but another one says it doesn’t matter. This guy says the Plank is useless, etc…
What it all comes down to is training biases. People trying to preach that their way is the best and you should all jump on the pilgrimage to Bethlehem with Him. Biases are not evil; it’s just a person’s view on a subject as a result of how they have garnered that knowledge through their life and coaching experiences.
When it comes to fitness writers/bloggers they usually get paid by how many views they get. So they create a “shocking” headline, refer to a lonely science article to back up their views, then sit back and see who jumps on the bandwagon. Intermittent Fasting is the latest cool kid on the block (I’ll let Wikipedia explain it to you). I’ve never tried it but it’s backed up by science and testing, and, hey, it could work for you or I... but a little bit of me feels like “Oh, we’ve run out of ways to teach people what to eat, so screw it, we’ll suggest they just don’t eat at all for a while.” Diet books are carefully titled to catch your eye and make your life easier so you’ll purchase them –“Drop Two Sizes”, “Top Secret Ways to Lose Up to 10lbs in Just 2 Weeks”, “The 4-Hour Work Week”. Most never work in the long-term.
But what almost all fitness experts won’t tell you is that everyone’s body reacts differently. If they did tell you that how can they sell you their product or way of thinking? Of the hundreds of people who got in shape using Insanity DVDs, another hundred didn’t, and the same goes for the Paleo diet and intermittent fasting.
So how do you weed through all this conflicting information, who’s telling the truth? The answer has mostly nothing to do with THEM… it’s all about what’s right for YOU. The solution is for YOU to create a goal (not just “I want to get fit”, or “I want to tone” – a proper goal)… then do some research on people who you think can help YOU achieve this… work out what their training history and philosophy is and if YOU think it aligns with reaching YOUR goals, then stick with their program for a sufficient period of time. Keep a positive attitude and if it works for you, great! If it doesn’t then try something else, it is really that simple.
P.S. By the way, we think the plank is great. As we introduce kettlebell deadlifts and swings in our upcoming WORKSHOP you better have the form down to a ‘t’, and it all starts with a solid plank. But hey, that’s just our bias!This post was inspired by a blog post from one of our mentors, Ben Bruno. I highly recommend you give it a read HERE.
For those of you who haven’t been to the studio since Friday, we’re just going to come out and say it… The BOMB is moving!
Don’t worry, we’re staying in the neighbourhood and only moving one block east to a brand new facility that’s over 2400 square feet just on the main floor! (…that’s almost double the size of our current place). With the studio getting busier and busier, even in summer, and with the launch of our Fit Kids Program in September, we needed a much bigger space to keep everyone happy.
Before we go on we want to make it clear that although the studio will be larger we’re not planning to change our class model – small class sizes, lots of attention. We have no interest in opening up a big box gym and if you’ve talked to us you’ll know we dislike them as much as our members do. We’re sticking with group exercise classes, personal training, CPR courses, and amazingly dedicated members.
What we will be doing is helping you to take your training to the next level. You may not have noticed but you are getting fitter, stronger and looking great so we have to have a studio that can keep up with you. A lot of the moves we originally did in Fighting Fit have moved over to our Bootcamp classes as a testament to how hard everyone is working. Newbies who think they’re in shape are getting blown out the water by our dedicated TRXers (or is that TRXperts?).
But that’s not enough! In the new studio we will be bringing in brand new equipment, including a larger TRX frame and a beautiful functional trainer. We’ll have a dedicated Fit Kids area downstairs and more space in general to move around. We’ll also introduce even more modern fitness classes and training methodologies to keep up with the growing trend of our industry.
So here comes the cheesy part of this blog but we mean every word: There is no way we could grow or even just survive without the support of our members and the community. When we opened the studio we had no idea what type of person was going to join, we didn’t know anyone in the neighbourhood, had no clients to come with us, an unconventional business plan, and no back-up. We’ve lived in other parts of Toronto where there is no community spirit, cold condo-living where people work and play downtown, not even getting to know their neighbours or use businesses right at their door step. We are all really lucky to live in such a vibrant area with such a positive mindset to use local amenities and then tell everyone about them.
The BOMB is growing and so is this community. We hope you’ll grow with us and that you’re just as excited to join the new studio on October 1st as we are. I’m sure we’ll be throwing a few painting parties before then!
Victoria, Kevin and all The BOMB trainers
Happy Canada Day! Our Summer Shape Up Challenge kicks off on Tuesday. The assessments are done and the hard work is about to commence. It's going to be a hard road ahead so we want to give our participants some advice on how to tackle the challenge over the next 2 months. In fact, it’s useful for anyone whose training needs a little kick in the butt…
Make It Important
Well duh! Sounds like a no-brainer, however the easiest part of this process is laying down the cash. It’ll be a lot harder in the summer when your muscles are sore, and a beer on the sunny patio looks like a better option. Besides work and family we want this challenge to be the most important part of your life for these two months. If you’re running late at work and can’t make the 6pm class, come to the 7, or 8; make sure you have a backup plan.
“Train insane, or remain the same” is a popular saying between testosterone-fuelled “bro’s”… but it can apply to even the most timid. Everyone’s “insane” is different, whether 10 push-ups is crazy for you, or 50, that’s fine. The point is you should be pushing yourself harder each and every time. A hill climb on the Strider at gear 18 should turn into 19 eventually.
Quality not Quantity
Although you have an unlimited pass to classes it’s not about cramming in 8-10 per week and going through the motions so you can boast to your friends that you went to 10 classes this week. It’s about making sure you get the most out of each workout and to perform better at each class beyond that. Concentrate on proper form, including muscle engagement, alignment and the progression & regression of every exercise.
Come to the studio 5-6 days a week, but make sure it’s the right mix of classes and you recover well. Throw in a Pilates or Restorative class alongside your Fighting Fit, TRX dedication. This flows neatly into…
Sleep is your best aid and as a busy parent that can be hard. Try and get 8 hours per night. So rather than check Facebook for the third time before bed or watch your fifth TV program of the night, head to bed earlier. They’ll both still be there at the end of the challenge.
Summer is a time to hydrate even before you come to class, and especially after. If you think you’ve had your water intake for the day (men, 3.7l+ & women, 2.7l+), drink some more! Trust us.
This can be the make or break in your personal challenge. “You can’t outwork a poor diet” is another cliché, but it’s very true. We’re here to look after you at the studio but when you get home you’re on your own to deal with the temptations. Apply the tips Kimi will give you on in her talk on July 8th, and make use of her BLOGS and services if you can. Dr. Mike has some great ARTICLES too.
Oh, and surround yourself with encouraging, and supportive people. Your party animal friend can miss you for a few weeks.
We’ll be there for support, to answer any questions you have and we’ll chase you up if you start to slack off. You can ask us about the time we showed up at a member’s front door. Now what GoodLife would do that?!
K & V
Thanks to BOMB member Agnes D for this week’s healthy living recipe – Avocado Chocolate Pudding!
2-3 very ripe bananas
1 ripe avocado
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
1- 2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup of milk (I use almond)
Combine in a blender and enjoy! You can also add liquid sweetener like agave, but I find that if the bananas are very ripe then I don't need it. You can also play around with ingredients- sub cold coffee for a chocolate mocha flavour, or add peppermint extract, or juice instead of milk, or sub some berries for a banana.
"When one has reached maturity in the art, one will have a formless form. It is like ice dissolving in water. When one has no form, one can be all forms; when one has no style, he can fit in with any style." - Bruce Lee
This week I want to talk about form. Most of you know that poor exercise form can lead to injury and muscle imbalances, but it also wastes energy and will stop you from reaching your goals quicker.
To make this a little clearer and more fun we’ll use a beer analogy. Everyone has a friend (or maybe it’s you!) that can down a pint incredibly quick. No drips, just straight down the pipe, finished in a few seconds. Then there’s your friend who THINKS he can do the same (hopefully you’re not that friend!). Unlike your previous friend, this one takes several choke-inducing gulps as beer drips out of the side of their mouth, down their face and on to their shirt. 30 seconds later they’re finished. Okay, they stumbled through it but hey, they did it.
So how does beer guzzling relate to form and energy loss? Your second friend completed the exercise wasting a ton of energy (the beer). It took him 30 seconds to get the same effect as friend number one, and it was sloppy. But he did it. He completed the exercise and feels fulfilled. However if you were to keep exercising (drinking beer) this way, you’re highly likely to get muscle imbalances, poor posture, leading to a high risk of an overuse injury. Overuse injuries occur as a nature of habit, and are the hardest to correct.
We often mention the formula “Results = Hard Work + Consistency” but maybe we should change that to “smart” work. It’s not just about showing up each time and pounding through your training session without thinking. Take a moment during each exercise to make sure you’re engaging each muscle correctly, and adjusting the exercise as fatigue sets in.
Remember practice does not make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect.
I’ll finish with a good example of what you should be thinking about when exercising. A common move done wrong, especially when people get tired, is The Plank-Up (or Shoulder Push-Up). When done correctly this exercise should blast your abs, and strengthen your shoulders.
The first video shows the correct way to do this exercise. Shoulders over wrists, hips in stay in line with your body, hands replace elbow on the way up with no hip rotation. Everything’s tight, there is no wasted energy, and all the engaged muscles are working at maximum efficiency.
The second video, albeit a little exaggerated, shows all of the common errors. Shoulders not over wrists, hips too high, hands don’t replace elbows on the way up, torso rotates. This may make the exercise seem easier, and you’ll still get tired but there’s no correct muscle engagement, and a ton of energy is wasted.
So if you’re not seeing the results you expect, then take time during the next few work outs to really focus on proper form, especially when you get tired. When you can no longer do an exercise with proper form you should move to the regression. In the plank-up exercise this would be dropping to your knees.
Once you keep the correct muscles engaged, and keep proper alignment, you’ll stop wasting needless energy, and it’s very likely that you’ll begin to see quicker improvements. Remember – perfect practice, makes perfect.
P.S. I used a male in this beer drinking example. If you ever visit Scotland and head out to a pub in a small village you will very likely see many women doing the same thing!