Have you ever wondered why most of our classes involve interval training? 40/20s work/rest ratio (for example) is not picked at random. The folks over at Greatist.com pulled up a great little poster to reveal the science behind interval training, and how it helps build muscle, and lose weight. It’s a simple, quick read and should finally put a nail in the coffin to the common excuse “I don’t have time to work out”. Check it out after the jump.

The Complete Guide to Interval Training

More Health and Fitness News & Tips at Greatist.

We’ve had a lot of members approach us to ask what supplements we take, or that they should be taking. We get the feeling that you’re looking for a different answer – some miracle drug that will get you muscles overnight, or to wash the fat away like it never existed. For an average gym goer these top 5 supplements will help you with mental clarity and recovery, but unfortunately won’t get you bigger overnight…

Fish Oil

Fish oil is something the body can’t produce naturally, and this is why it’s probably the most important supplement to take. You can get this from eating fish, but the average person probably won’t consume enough (unless you're a fisherman!). Fish oils contain omega 3s, which can help reduce heart disease, help recovery from training, potentially help with fat loss, and keeps the brain healthy. Aim for a burp-free capsule, unless you like the taste of raw fish.

Vitamin D

Michelle recently wrote a BLOG about how important this is, and how people are not getting enough. Your body can produce Vitamin D from the sun but that does not mean you should sunbathe to the point of skin cancer to get it. In addition, the sun isn't very strong outside the summer months, so a supplement is really helpful. Vitamin D helps raise blood levels, builds strong bones, and aids the immune system.

Foods containing vitamin D – Canned salmon, mackerel, mushrooms, eggs

Vitamin B-Complex

Contains all eight B-vitamins, and we find this really helps our mental capacity. It can help reduce stress, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and heart disease.

Foods containing B vitamins – cereal, eggs, nuts, citrus fruits, bananas


If you suffer from gas, bloating, abdominal pain then this supplement can really help you out. Probiotics addresses your digestive systems to help your body to replenish, and nourish good bacteria.

Whey Protein

We’re not a fan of too many post-workout supplements. They can be high in calories, and the average person does not work out with a consistently high enough intensity to benefit from them. However, if you do have to listen to what the “bro’s” say in the weight room then whey protein is your best bet. It has a decent amount of quality calories and can help build muscle, help muscle recovery, and aid with fat loss.

Protein powders really need a blog of their own. If you’re in the market to supplement with protein make sure you know what you’re putting into your body as they’re not all created equally.

Before you head to your nearest Fitness & Nutrition store just keep in mind that supplements are exactly that. They should not be a substitute to eating the right foods and training hard.

See you in the gym.

Victoria & Kevin

In this blog I want to let you know why we brought The Finisher to the studio, and it’s not just to rub our evil hands as we watch you huff, puff, crawl, and fall through it. There are a ton of benefits you may not even have realized yet…

But First, What is a Finisher?

A BOMB Finisher is a series of intense exercises performed at the end of most classes to make sure you’ve drained every last bit of energy from your body, and in turn this will elevate your body’s fat burning potential. For example, our first challenge was a 2km Strider Sprint, followed by 20 Jump Squats, then 10 Inchworms with a Push-Up. The Finisher is time-based, and completely optional!! So what are the benefits?

Metabolic Conditioning

The Finishers are designed to shoot your heart rate up so that you keep burning calories long after your training session ends. This is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC. It’s designed to give you a quick, and explosive total body workout to burn fat. Due to the speed of the Finisher you won’t sacrifice muscle mass, nor will it negatively affect your personal fitness goals.

Mentally Challenging

If you took part in our first Finisher (2km Strider Sprint, 20 Jump Squats, 10 Inchworms), you’ll know how hard it was to keep your legs moving once that lactic acid attacked your legs just 40 seconds into the Strider Sprint. The Finisher will bring out your competitive side, whether that’s against yourself or someone else, and for that reason alone you’ll be able to mentally push yourself further than you thought you could.


Try and look outside the box here! I know that’s hard to say that after you sprawl over the floor post-Finisher but we've had more chitter-chatter, heckling, friendly bantering, and cheering going on at the studio than ever before. A bit of a competition to beat a trainer’s time doesn’t hurt anyone either.

But the main idea is not about beating one another’s time, or beating your trainer’s time. It’s about challenging, and improving YOU! Make it your challenge this month to complete the finisher and get your name and time on the board. THEN try to beat it. Don’t worry if you don’t quite manage it. Each time you complete the challenge, you will move further up the path to becoming fitter physically, and mentally. Results = Hard Work + Consistency, and the Finisher will help you get there.


There’s a lot of misconception out there that to lose fat all you need to do is run, or do some type of cardio workout. However, the most efficient way to lose fat is cardio PLUS strength training, and this is where the Strider Elliptical blasts other common gym machines (like the treadmill, or bike) out of the water. Read on to find out why, and learn how to get the most out of each stride.

If you use the Strider properly you have the opportunity to engage, and work all of the biggest muscle groups in your body. The Strider builds muscle in the lower body, namely the quads, hamstrings, calves & glutes. When you bring the handles in to play, while retracting your shoulders, you can even blast your back, arms, chest and abs. The more muscles you engage in one movement, the more calories you’ll burn, and in turn you’ll lose fat quicker.

Learn how to get the most out of each stride by following these quick tips, and photographic guide.

Neutral Position

In a regular Strider movement, make sure you remain tall on the Strider at all times. Don’t hunch forward, retract the shoulder blades, and your ankle remains in line with your hip. Adjust the handle bars to the correct height (slight bend in the elbows).

Core Work

To engage your abs, and light up your core, push down on the stationary handles as you stride.  Hold on to the moving handles at the top to work your arms, or hold them near the bottom and push forward on the handles for your abs.

Squat Mode

In squat mode, you can stretch out to the handle bars but don’t slouch forward. Remain tall, keep the shoulders back and down, while hinging at the hips and dropping them  just over the rear flywheel.

No matter what resistance level you’re at Squat mode burns, and really sculpts your glutes. Keep your knees tracking over your feet to really feel it in the thighs.

Sprint or Climb

Again, in sprint, or climb mode, maintain great posture. When you grab the sprint handles don’t slouch forward even when the sweat is dripping off you, and your legs start to give way!

Sprint mode will really test out how good your cardio is (or isn’t). Climbing will burn out your legs, while strengthening them at the same time.

If you haven’t tried one of our Strider classes yet, we highly recommend you do. It’s more functional than the treadmill or spin bike, and you don’t get the sore butt at the end!

To find out more about our Strider classes, click HERE.

With the flu and a short week in Toronto, I decided to pack up all of the remaining contents of my Mama Earth Organics food box and cart it up to North Bay for my mom to help me create some goodness.  What came out was a Weight Watcher's inspired one pot meal that's not much to look at, but deliciously flavourful and filling! 
2 TBSP Canola Oil
2 Large Leeks
10 Cups Cabbage, shredded (about 1 medium head)
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 (15oz) can of white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/2" pieces
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
3/4 cups of water

Heat the oil in the bottom of the pot.  Add the leeks and cook until soft.  Add the cabbage and cook just until wilted.

Add the thyme, rosemary, caraway seeds, salt, and pepper. Stir constantly until fragrant (about 30s). 

Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. 
Reduce heat and cover.  Cook until potatoes are tender - about 40 minutes. 


You'll hear us time and time again talking about incorporating fitness into your daily routine, but we can also appreciate how difficult that can be when you don't run a fitness studio for a living.

So when Kevin and I took a week away from the gym, we also took our favourite piece of equipment with us.  The following photos show just a few exercises you can do on the go to keep you energized throughout your trip.  The TRX was just about the only bit of colour on the bonny banks of Loch Lomond last week! :o)
If you don't have a TRX and aren't sure what you can do with the equipment that you do have, one of our trainers can help you to design your perfect on-the-go routine for your next trip.  

When I was young and naive I was once a victim of a fitness fad. The piece of equipment in question was an Electronic Ab Exerciser. You strapped multiple, slightly wet patches over your abs, and a machine would send pulses to contract and release your muscles. The box came with a massive ripped dude on it, and a VHS (yes, I’m from that era!) showing how I’d look like Bruce Lee in no time. Well, suffice to say it was a load of bollocks, I got no six-pack, and it was a pain in the ass to set up each time.

The crazy thing is… almost twenty years later it’s still around! It now takes the form of “The Flex Belt”. Watch the start of the infomercial below.

It has quite a sleek production, right? The lovely Denise Richards promotes it, there are several ripped guys with six packs, the FDA has approved it, there’s a celebrity trainer with a “I shit rainbows” smile, and there’s even a Spinal Tap “this goes up to eleven” moment. Heck, it must work. Well surprise, surprise… it doesn’t.

But, everyone knows that, right? But if everyone did, why is it still hanging around 20 years later? And what the hell is the point of this blog? 
Education. You need to know what works for your body, what doesn’t work, why some exercises are better for you over another, and why fads like this flat out lie to you! You do not get a six-pack by walking about with a vibrating fanny pack! You get a six-pack by doing what any successful person has done with their life – through education, and by working REALLY, REALLY HARD.

You've got to have a well thought out plan, including cardio, strength training, ab work, a stellar diet, and you need to stick to it. Only then MIGHT you see the positive kind of bump eroding from your stomach.


PS – In the same way that you should never trust a skinny chef - if you ever come across a person who says they’re a celebrity trainer, or TV personality, do not train with them. They are the devil in disguise, and only make a celebrity’s ego inflate even more. In any case, you should give us “face-for-radio” guys a chance! I’d bet you’ll see much more improvement in your results.

I've read a few great articles on kids and resistance training recently, explaining why we shouldn't be afraid of letting our children participate in resistance weight training.  

Bones across the body mature at various stages of our childhood, and young adult life. Resistance training increases muscle size and strength, and will help protect the child from injury.  Resistance training can also be used as a way to rehabilitate injuries and increase certain sport performance. Careful resistance training won't cause the growth of bones to be stunted or injured, it's the repetitive motion or traumas that most professionals see in their offices when young athletes or active people injure themselves.  Resistance training is done in a controlled condition, and increased only when the child is able and feels comfortable.  It is important to understand the basic body weight movement of all exercises, and obtain the strength to complete those properly first before moving on to weight loaded exercises. Before beginning, the child should have an examination of possible injury risk factors and again be assessed by a trainer. 

A workout should include all components of a regular workout; warm up, cardio, resistance training, making sure to work all major muscle groups, and a proper cool down.  Gains in strength will generally only be seen if a program is maintained. After a 6 week break, diminishes in strength and muscle size will begin, so it is important to maintain a consistent program. Lower weight and higher reps should be focused on when dealing with children in order to avoid any unnecessary stress on vulnerable joints or body parts. Through the program their technique should be monitored to ensure the chances of injury are decreased.

Kids can take part in resistance training programs as long as they are mature enough both physically and mentally. They should be able to listen to and follow instructions given by a trainer to ensure their safety, and to learn effectively. With the help of a professional children can be safe and have fun while exercising! 

If you want to learn more here are the links to the articles, and please don't hesitate to quiz us about kids resistance training!




Finding time to work out frequently AND have an ultra-clean diet is hard work. If you’re not at that stage where you can find time for both, here are a few inexpensive and time efficient tips to introduce to your household. Who knows, this could kick-start that well-rounded healthy lifestyle we all strive for.

Portion Control

Pack up your large main plates, and replace them with a smaller, medium sized alternative. Get rid of the sentimental, but large “I Don’t Do Mornings” coffee mugs. The more plate and cup you have to fill, the more you’re likely to overeat, and drink more coffee/pop than you need to.

Portion out your meals using measuring cups or a kitchen scale, and adhere to serving guidelines. You’ll know exactly how much you’re eating, and drinking, and what’s actually going into your meals.

You’ve probably heard that the ideal daily eating habit is to eat 4-6 small meals, every few hours. This is very true; you only have to eat enough to keep your engine running.

Prepare Meals In Advance

Pre-prepare meals once or twice per week. By blocking off a few hours out of your day each week, you’ll refrain from popping into the take-out place after a long day when you know something delicious is already prepared when you come home. Have a big family, small freezer? Buy a stand-alone unit, and pack it.

One of the main reasons for a poor diet is that people don’t enjoy cooking. Why waste 30-40 minutes preparing a meal you’ll eat in 5 minutes? By freeing up time each week, you’ll slowly start to enjoy the process of meal preparation. Make it a family event by getting your partner and kids involved.

Turn Off the TV

The stimulants you receive in doing this, slows down the connection your stomach has with the brain to let it know you’re full, and you end up eating more than you need to. I’ll also hazard a guess that sometimes, like me, you gulp it down, and shout (Edit – he actually asks very nicely - V) for seconds before you’ve even reached the first commercial break.

Plan your G-shopping trips

It’s tempting to put off grocery shopping for that extra few days and simply eat all-in-one pancake mix and canned tomatoes for each meal, but even though your pantry may still have 10 jars of pickles and pasta sauce left, your veggie crisper needs regular replenishing.  Staying out of the grocery store for more than a week will see you cutting back drastically on the amount of fresh produce you consume.

(Unless you’ve jumped on the food delivery bandwagon and are loving it as much as we are!...

Mama Earth Organic Food Boxes get delivered to the studio every Wednesday evening. Not only is the price comparable with the supermarkets, but we really like that it forces you to eat one box by the time you get next week’s. If you have no strict shopping times you’ll have a lot of fruit and veg going off. This controls food waste, and makes you eat healthily and even try tasty new foods.)


PS – We’re not financially affiliated with Mama Earth in any way. Other than that we get their box each week, and they were nice enough to offer 10% to anyone who picks up from the studio so that they can save the driver some time and gas.

Everyone loves a river-sweating Cardio Blast, a muscle-burning Fighting Fit class, and an ab-grinding TRX session (right?). But how do you let muscles heal, keep working at a relatively high intensity, remain injury free, and stay focused on your goals. The answer is a great RECOVERY system. Listed below are 5 of the most common methods to keep your engine firing at 100%.

Whole Foods

Have a healthy snack or meal within 30 minutes of finishing your exercise. Bananas, whole grains, low-fat yoghurt, and tuna promote muscle regeneration, and faster recovery.


You need to hydrate, and the healthiest way is to drink water and lots of it - 8 glasses a day at least, more if you are exercising. You can take the PEE TEST to see if you have rehydrated properly.

Everyone’s raving about chocolate milk at the minute. It has a good mix of carbs, protein and fat, and is better than a sports drink. BUT don’t use this as an excuse to stock up your fridge with this stuff. It should be taken moderately, and not consumed with your regular meals.

Avoid vitamin water, and soda pop, as they are loaded with sugar, and you’ll pay for its short-term refreshment.


Watching Honey Boo Boo barf on the floor after a cookie binge is not positive “mental stimulation”, it’s just mental, (as are the people who watch it!). Positive mental, and spiritual stimulation in this case can be opera music, a Yin or Restorative Yoga class, reading a book, lying in the middle of the quiet ocean on a yacht.

Find a space where you can zone out, and relax the mind. If you need help, there are plenty of free meditative audio readings floating around the internet.


The best of all recovery methods, and you probably aren’t getting enough of it! Proper sleep increases energy, performance, and focus levels. It also decreases the feeling of fatigue, and stress.

Get 8 hours each night, and try and wake up at the same time every morning regardless of when you go to bed. Your body loves routine, which is why it’s difficult to begin exercising in the first place.

Active Release (Stretching/Foam Roller)

This is the physical equivalent of meditation. Stretching daily, whether you have a workout planned that day or not, will maintain and improve your flexibility. Rolling will help release tight muscles and correct any imbalances. A cheap person’s massage! You can find some awesome exercises right HERE!

So there you go, the 5 best ways to recover from exercise. Don’t forget to align your recovery options with your goals. If you want to lose weight, don’t eat or drink high calorie items to recover after your next Stack Attack marathon.

See you at the studio.


NOTE: You’ll notice that protein shakes, and bars are not listed here. We all have busy lives, and these are a popular choice for snack/meal replacements on the go. If you can’t find the time to balance the 5 options above, be careful and read the label of ingredients. Just because it says “Protein Bar” doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Go for lower sugar, calorie & additive options.

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