If you follow us on Twitter you’ll notice that we regularly post quotes from professional athletes and coaches. While that awful, cheesy song from Savage Garden may come to mind, a lot of affirmations can be quite profound and inspiring, and can give you that added motivation to pursue your goals. Below are the best of the bunch from this year. Pick one or two, print them out and stick it above your bathroom mirror. You never know, it may start you off each day in an empowered way.

20 - "The hardest thing about exercise is to start doing it. Once you are doing exercise regularly, the hardest thing is to stop it." - Erin Gray

19 - "The breakfast of champions is not cereal, it's the opposition." - Nick Seitz

18 - "Practice as if you are the WORST, play as if you are the BEST." – Anonymous

17 - "Fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity." – JFK

16 - "When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

15 - "Be decisive. A wrong decision is generally less disastrous than indecision." - Bernhard Langer

14 - "Winners, I am convinced, imagine their dreams first. They want it with all their heart & expect it to come true." - Joe Montana

13 - "Never let your head hang down. Never give up and sit down and grieve. Find another way." - Satchel Paige

12 - "If you do what you've always done, then you'll get what you've always gotten" -Tony Robbins

11 - "When you're good at something you'll tell everyone. When you're great at something - they'll tell you" - Walter Payton

10 - "You can easily judge the character of a person by how they treat those who can do nothing for them." - James D. Miles

9 - "We do not quit playing because we grow old, we grow old because we quit playing." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

8 - "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard." - Anonymous

7 - "If you're bored with life, if you don't get up every morning with a burning desire to do things - you don't have enough goals." - Lou Holtz

6 - "It's repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. Once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen." - Muhammad Ali

5 - "Those who do not find time for exercise will have to find time for illness." - Earl of Derby

4 - "The vision of a champion is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when nobody else is looking." - Mia Hamm

3 - "They sleep, we grind. They dream, we shine"

2 - “I look into their eyes, shake their hand, pat their back, and wish them luck, but I am thinking, 'I am going to bury you.” Seve Ballesteros

and our completely biased favourite!...

1 - "Opportunity doesn't knock, you kick its f***ing door in!" – Team BOMB

Kevin & Victoria

Whether it’s already started with holiday parties invading your personal time, workout, time, and menu planning time, or you’re waiting for the big day to start the over-indulgence, that 4-5 pounds that the average person packs on over the holidays is hiding in plain sight.  Here’s how you can avoid your share of the Christmas blubber in 3 easy steps:
1.       Remember that the second bite of that sweet will taste exactly the same as the first.  It used to drive me crazy when I would open a box of chocolate that my oldest sister had been into before me.  I’d see little bites taken out of all of the most delicious looking chocolates and a sometimes very gooey mess left behind.  While her method really ruined the surprise of what’s in the middle of the chocolate and my mom was constantly embarrassed when she offered said treats to guests, my sister got to enjoy the best of that box without eating the entire thing.   
2.       Do mini workouts.  You’d be surprised what 5 inchworms, 3 times daily can do for you:  Inchworms are a great full-body exercise that can be done anywhere (but could also very quickly remind you of just how much food you’ve been trying to cram into your stomach as it inches its way back out).  A few years ago, my grandmother went more overboard than usual on the Christmas baking and stored a lot of the excess in the deep freezer beside the room I was staying in.   Every time I wanted to grab one of the melt-in-your-mouth ginger sparklers out of there, I willed myself to do as many push ups as possible off the side of the freezer.  For the most part, it helped me to keep the freezer lid closed.
3.       Go to bed.  Sleep is always an important key for weight and stress management, but this is especially true for the days leading up to the big show.  When you’re tired, you make poor eating choices and rely on sugary or caffeinated foods and beverages to keep you temporarily energized.  Lack of sleep can also lower your metabolism and let those holiday goodies stick to you more easily.  
Enjoy this time with family and friends, but enjoy your sweets in moderation and stick to your daily routine as much as possible to keep yourself in check.   Have a very merry Christmas and we’ll see you at the studio for damage control.

This is an end-of-the-week type of recipe.   It takes no time to prepare, it’s filling, and there are leftover for lunch the next day.   Perfect for the holiday season when you’d rather be making cookies than real food. 
Here’s what you’ll need:
  • 12 mini sweet peppers (the same mixture would likely fill 3-4 larger peppers)
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (never made quinoa?  Click here for directions and more info about this super-versatile food)
  • 3/4 cup mild chunky salsa (presidents choice makes a sodium-reduced salsa that’s pretty great.  I’d also be inclined to try this recipe with a sweet corn salsa) 
  • 1 cup firm tofu, cut into small chunks
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1tbsp balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1tbsp salt-free veggie seasoning

Here’s how to do it:
Preheat the oven to 350c
Wash peppers and cut the tops off and remove the ribs and seeds, then set aside.  In a bowl or the same pot that you cooked your quinoa in, combine all ingredients.  Spoon the mixture into the peppers and put the lids back on so that the mixture doesn’t dry out in the oven.  Pop your peppers into a muffin tin or casserole dish (just make sure they are standing up - use some aluminium foil around the edges to keep them snug) and cook at 350 for about 40 minutes.

I served the peppers atop a spring mix with some sun-dried tomatoes and a bit of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Kevin ate 4, but I think normal people would be happy with 2.

Over the past few months, I’ve heard a few of our members discussing the intensity of some of our classes as an excuse not to try something new.  Examples being, “I can’t do Bootcamp, it’s too intense for me,” or “I can’t hold even hold the plank in TRX, it’s too difficult.”  I feel like I’ve spoken this little rant enough that it’s about time I put it out for the world.

That’s too intense for me!

Hopefully, this won’t come as a big surprise to many of you, but YOU choose the intensity of your workout every time. Yes, that’s right, YOU, not the instructor, your workout buddy, or even that DVD you’re following when you don’t feel like going to class.   In class, we’ll encourage you to go faster, harder, or heavier to make sure you are pushing yourself to your full potential and getting the most out of the class.  Unless you’re a master of deception, we can usually tell when you’re taking it easy instead of trying to push yourself to the next level.  Many of our classes have a broad range of participants from dead beginner to advanced and we want everyone to leave feeling like they worked as hard as they were able to.   Don’t feel like you need to be performing the hardest version of a move or picking up the heaviest weight… listen to your body and work within your limits.  I’ll never forget the day one of our members flipped me the middle finger when I asked her to step it up.  You don’t have to listen when we offer harder suggestions...but usually when we offer a regression, it’s because your form is suffering and you will do more harm than good.

Seriously?  You want me to do what?

When we opened our doors a year ago and started teaching classes that weren’t offered anywhere else in the city, we started asking participants to do exercises that were way out of their comfort zone.  We worked our little army of members from the ground up and they’ve conquered exercises that seemed impossible and are still looking to blow their minds with harder exercises every now and again. 

Think you are going to pull off a super-advanced exercise your first time trying it? Not likely.  The solution is simply regressions and practice. If you can’t hold the TRX plank, kick your feet out and do a normal plank. Can’t do that? Drop to your knees. Can’t snake the Battle Ropes? Start with one rope. For every move there is an adjustment you can make to help perform an exercise to your level.

Practice is the other one. Keep trying. Go home and practice the plank every evening. Hold it for as long as you safely can.

But I don’t want to look like the weakest person in the class

I hear your cry. What I think our studio really excels at is providing a sociable, egoless atmosphere. Everyone checks it at the door, and our members actually encourage each other throughout the class.

Do you think someone wakes up one morning and thinks to themselves, “Wow, how funny it was that she couldn’t do that exercise last week.” Exactly. Nobody! People don’t care or notice as much as you think; they’re concentrating on their own workout.

Bear in mind, the only difference between a beginner and a more advanced person is that the advanced person has learned the basics. Replace all this “I can’t” negative mindset and instead, at least say, “I’ll try!” You’ll be performing TRX Atomic Push-Ups and the Battling Ropes in no time!


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