Fitness School

New types of fitness classes are opening all the time in gyms across Canada. Here are a few of the trendy, creative options you can enrol in today.


One of the year’s most popular new fitness class trends is body weight training, according to a worldwide study by the American College of Sports Medicine. Also known as calisthenics, each class uses little to no equipment and instead incorporates activities such as jumping jacks and burpees.

“Calisthenics creates a good foundation as it focuses on the basics,” says Vahin Gounden, owner of a calisthenics gym. “Since your body will rely on its base level of strength, anyone—regardless of your level of fitness—can perform these workouts.” He says it promotes lean muscle mass while increasing mobility, flexibility, and endurance.

The explosive movements in each class require a short burst of intense power. Eat fruit and other nutrient-dense carbohydrates 90 minutes or more before class to boost your muscles’ glycogen levels. Creatine supplements are thought to improve workout performance when we’re doing quick, high intensity movements.



Golf Fitness

I Have To Mimic The Golf Swing In The Gym To Get “Golf Fit”” Your workout doesn’t have to look or feel “golfish” to benefit your golf game. “Many keen golfers, recognising the need to strengthen the body to improve their golf game, hit the gym with their golf swing in mind. Generally the go to piece of equipment is the cable machine to perform some kind of weighted golf swing. “Golfish” exercises can be detrimental to your swing, despite the best intentions. You will have competing motor demands. Basically, in your attempt to replicate the swing, your brain files that information in the golf swing folder. After performing numerous altered swing patterns in the gym, these habits will cross over into your swing, impacting your mechanics. With the additional weight attached, you may sacrifice technique and stability in an attempt to mould that sought after swing position, in the process making unnecessary compensations. The best way to enhance the body to optimize performance is to develop sufficient stability, mobility and strength in a holistic manner, focussing on improving human movement quality such

Physical Fitness

Benefits of Physical Fitness

Staying active means keeping your body functioning at a high level. Regular exercise will maintain the performance of your lungs and heart to most efficiently burn off excess calories and keep your weight under control. Exercise will also improve muscle strength, increase joint flexibility and improve endurance.

Another main benefit of physical activity is that it decreases the risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death in America. Additionally, it can decrease your risk of stroke, colon cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure. Regular exercise has been long associated with a fewer visits to the doctor, hospitalization and medication.

Exercising does not have to be something boring and dreaded. It can be something that you enjoy that helps to increase the overall happiness in your life, as well as relieve symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety. Try to find some activities that give you pleasure, or even a buddy to do them with so that exercise is a fun and enjoyable activity (and one that you continue on a regular basis because it adds

Fitness Tips For a Stronger

Toss out those typical New Year’s exercise resolutions. Forget old, tired workout clichés. As we flip the pages of the calendar, our panel of influential fitness professionals explains why we should also flip the script on our exercise routines to make this our strongest, healthiest year eve

Make a life goal, not a fitness goal

“Is it hard,” asks Menachem Brodie, a certified strength and conditioning coach who has trained gold-medal athletes, “to make sacrifices to hit your fitness goals? Yes! But will you be more motivated? You bet your Tim Horton’s you will be!”

To unlock this type of motivation, dump traditional goals such as losing weight. They’re too ordinary to inspire us. “Stop seeing fitness goals as just items to check off,” Brodie says. “When our goals are something we care about, the path unfolds before us. Motivation to push through will be there!”

Go big or go home, literally. “Pick an activity that you’ve been wanting to do your whole life,” he says. “Hike up Everest. Kayak across the beautiful lakes in Switzerland. Go on a safari in Africa.”

Brodie remembers one client who had struggled to lose weight for

Powered Fitness Edge

A wide receiver wide open to something new

One of Whalen’s go-to vegan staples is coconut water, which he drinks before, during, and after exercise. “I’ll often mix other things with it, like spirulina or lemon juice,” he says. “Spirulina adds amino acids, and lemon juice is alkalizing.”“A healthy plant-based diet has had an extremely positive effect on my athletic performance and overall health,” says Griff Whalen, a wide receiver who’s played for the Miami Dolphins and San Diego Chargers. “I’ve become stronger, leaner, and faster, all critical for my career. I feel much less soreness in my joints and tendons, feel like I can breathe easier while training or competing, and feel more recovered the next day.”

This NFL athlete has convinced many people to give veganism a try, including his teammates. “My biggest recommendation is to educate yourself … and find some great resources,” Whalen says, since the switch can be quite a change. “Have someone help you make a plan … so you can be successful.”

Plants for the goldi

Rebecca Soni has won dozens of medals at the world’s top international swimming competitions, including three Olympic gold medals. She switched to a

Isometric Exercises

What Is Isometrics?
Isometric exercise is your body’s answer to the question, “What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?” The answer is that your muscles will get stronger without actually moving. If you’ve been doing your homework and reading up on strength training, then you already know that your muscles gain strength when you challenge them to produce more force than they’re used to. This is typically done by forcing them to move against resistance or weight, like when you do a bicep curl while holding a dumbbell. As you gradually increase the weight or resistance, the muscle responds by getting stronger.

But muscles don’t actually have to move this added weight in order to get stronger. If the resistance is so high that they can’t make it move, they can still get stronger just by trying. There are three ways a muscle can contract to produce force (and eventually build strength):

  • concentric contraction occurs when a muscle is contracting while getting shorter. This is the contraction your biceps do, for example, when lifting a dumbbell up during a bicep curl.
  • An eccentric contraction occurs when a muscle is contracting while getting longer. This is the contraction your biceps do, for example, when lowering a dumbbell back down during a bicep curl.
  • An isometric contraction occurs

Boxing for fitness

Boxing for fitness is not only a great workout, it’s also a lot of fun. There’s no need to step into a boxing gym to get a great sweat going; your own living room or backyard will suffice. This at-home boxing workout can be done with very little equipment.


  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart and hands by your face, making two fists.
  2. Engage your core and twist from side to side, keeping your feet planted into the floor and twisting from your waist

Boxer’s Skip

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms by your side.
  2. Imagine you’re holding a jump rope (or if you have one, use it). Skip from side to side (like a slalom skier) as you jump rope.

Side to Side Lunge

  1. Stand with feet as wide apart as possible, toes facing forward.
  2. Reach one arm to your opposite foot—trying to touch your foot.
  3. Bend the knee on the side you’re reaching toward.

Arm Circles Forward

  1. Stand with feet together, arms out to your sides and parallel to the ground.
  2. Make large circles forward.

Arm Circles Backward

Stand with feet together, arms out to your sides

Pillars Of Golf Strength


Strength is the most misunderstood and under-appreciated physical quality for golfers in my opinion. The main reasons for this are Tiger Wood’s injury woes, misinformation spread by golf media and instructors, and the common dogma that strength training is dangerous. It is extremely frustrating when people with no qualification or expertise in an area spread their mis/uninformed opinion to millions of people. This has meant that convincing clients the benefits of getting stronger is sometimes an uphill battle.

Increasing the force production that can be attained in a movement is largely determined by two factors. One of these is neural factors, in very simple terms the quality of the signal sent from the brain to the relevant muscles to produce the requested movement. This entails improving synchronisation of the involved muscle groups, and increasing the recruitment of the fibres (especially fast twitch/type 2x) in those muscle groups. It is through these neural improvements that enable significant increases in muscular strength and power, without increases in muscular size. Why can someone like Justin Thomas at 5’10 and 145lbs/65kg swing the driver at 118 mph on his fastest efforts? A large reason is neural efficiency. He must

Golfer Can Learn To Fitness

Justin Rose is a major champion, an Olympic Gold Medalist and a stalwart in international team competition.  This you probably know.  What you might not know is that he’s an absolute beast in the gym.  While Dustin and Rory and Jason probably get more attention for their workouts, Justin is another pro that golfers should model their approach to physical preparation after.

Justin works with Justin Buckthorp, a London-based strength coach who trains numerous pro golfers, including Chris Wood and Charley Hull.  Smart trainers usually create smart (and strong) clients.  The Justin’s are no exception.  Justin Rose recently sat down with Dr. Ara Suppiah on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive to discuss the importance of fitness, nutrition and warm-up.

Justin has battled back pain since his days as an elite amatuer.  In his appearance on Morning Drive, he talked to Dr. Ara about how he’s addressed his back issues through strength training.

To be clear, pain is not normal or accepatable in golf.  If you’re in pain, get assessed/treated/stronger ASAP.  However, like any sport, injuries happen in golf and the gym is sometimes unfairly presented as the cause of pain or injury in professional golfers.  This couldn’t

Techniques To Improve Grip Strength

How To Train The Grip

Traditional isolation exercises people often think of as grip work, wrist curls for example, aren’t all that effective. What really gets your grip strong is doing compound movements with significant load where the implement is held in such a way your grip is the limiting factor.

With more programming and movement variations geared towards improving grip strength in coordination with peak tension and stability throughout the pillar (shoulders, hips and core functioning together), we not only ensure greater carryover to athletic performance but also that building strength is not only adding poundage to the bar, but is maintaining proper biomechanics, and movement function. This is because making grip the limiting factor limits load, which would otherwise be moved with heavy compensation patterns and loss of positional authority at the spine, pelvis, shoulders and hips.

“For the golfers purposes training should provide the opportunity to strengthen movement patterns, improve injury resilience and enhance central nervous system function”

Thick Grips

Below is Rafa Cabrera Bello hitting some thick grip RDL’s (he’s MacGyvered a thick grip by wrapping a towel around a standard barbell) to improve


Some people think that golf is more of an endurance sport and that we need to train our golfers like endurance athletes. This could not be further from the truth. To hit a golf ball the golfer needs to fire muscles in the correct order at maximal velocity.  Golfers actually share much more in common with a sprinter than a marathoner.  A sprinter operates at maximum intensity, relying on powerful, coordinated contractions.  Much more similar to golf than steady state cardio.  Sure you walk between shots, but being a great walker isn’t what differentiates great golfers from their competition.  Power is one of the key factors that set better golfers apart and, it turns out, power pays.  The most powerful golfers in the world use more fast twitch muscle fibers than the average golfer. Fast twitch muscle fibers can be trained using sprinting and ballistic training techniques.

Search “jogging” in the exercise section of the TPI site.  Of the thousands of exercises in the database, none involve jogging.

Now search sprinting.  Dozens of exercises, from shuttles to skips, that involve sprinting.

Most avid golfers already have fairly capable endurance systems.  Golfers walk between four and

Speed Drop

Golf And Age:

The vast majority of golfers experience a significant loss in club head speed and distance as they age. It’s a complaint I have heard from pretty much every golfer I have trained who is into their 50’s, and certainly 60’s. Golf score, and either directly or indirectly, level of enjoyment from the game starts to decline as this speed reduction occurs. Let’s make one point very clear. It’s not your chronological age that is primarily responsible for the decline in distance, it is your drop in strength and speed/power. There is a huge difference, because chronological age cannot be changed, but strength, power and speed levels most certainly can….at any age.

Why Does Speed Drop Off With Age?

By understanding the mechanisms that underlie this drop off in power it becomes much easier to try and apply appropriate training interventions.

1 Decrease In Muscle Activity / Neural Drive:

To carry out a movement, our Central Nervous System (CNS) must activate motor units (MU’s). Motor units are comprised of a motor neuron (nerve), and the muscle fibers that it innervates. In an effort to avoid complexity, the

Muscle Fiber

Type of Muscle Fiber

One of the most influential factors is muscle fiber type. We have two basic types of muscle fibers, often referred to as “slow twitch” and “fast twitch.” Slow twitch muscle fibers are best used for cardiovascular (aerobic) activities. They produce small levels of force for long periods of time and thus are better suited for endurance activities. Fast twitch fibers are best used for anaerobic activities. They produce high levels of force for short periods of time and are best suited for power activities such as weightlifting.

Most men and women have an equal combination of both slow twitch and fast twitch fibers. However, some people inherit a high percentage of slow twitch fibers that enhance their performance in endurance activities, such as long distance runners. Most world class marathon runners have a very high amount of slow twitch fibers. World class sprinters or football players, for example, have relatively more fast twitch muscle fibers. Although both fiber types respond positively to strength training workouts, the fast twitch types experience greater increases in muscle size and strength, and thus may obtain greater and/or faster results from a strength training program.



Exercises to become a better runner

There are a variety of exercises that can be performed in order to strengthen the appropriate muscles to improve your running economy and decrease your risk for running induced injuries.  Runners need to focus on strengthening that will keep their body well balanced.

Planks can be performed in order to improve core strength, lower back strength and shoulder strength.  In order to perform a plank exercise you will prop yourself up on your elbows with your feet slightly apart.  You need to make sure your body is aligned and you keep your abdominal muscles tight and your shoulders are directly above the elbows. You will hold this position for 45 seconds to 1 minute (holding as long as possible, taking quick breaks when necessary) and then add time as you get stronger. You can perform 3 to 5 reps. You can modify this exercise to include side planks that target the obliques, single leg planks, mountain climber planks and supine planks.

 Another helpful core exercise for ruce athletenners is windshield wipers.  In order to perform this exercise lie on your back with your upper legs perpendicular to the floor with your knees bent to 90-degrees.  Keep the bend

Interval training

HIIT is defined as short, intense, unsustainable bursts of physical activity, paired with intervals of quick rests.  This type of intense training causes a sort of metabolic disturbance which can result in the body burning calories at a higher rate up to 48-72 hours later. HIIT can also increase metabolism, reduce insulin resistance, improve cardiac function, produce faster gains in endurance levels than steady state cardio training and can be an effective way to recruit/build type 2 fast twitch muscle.

This type of training can be done anywhere and usually doesn’t require equipment and may be more efficient in terms of time commitment. This type of training also burns more fat effectively than typical endurance cardio.   The body has to heal after this type of training so it is not recommended that you perform HIIT every day – usually it is recommended to perform this type of training a maximum of 2-3 days per week (it’s important to note that more is not better).

This training program involves intense work periods that are performed at 80% to 95% of a person’s estimated maximal heart rate which is the maximum number of times your heart will beat in a

Exercise to diabetes

Risk factors
Obesity and inactivity are two of the main risk factors of acquiring diabetes.   Environmental factors may be mostly modifiable which means that many people that acquire diabetes may have been able to avoid this condition and may also be able to reverse this condition with lifestyle changes.  Diet is a crucial aspect of the overall management of diabetes as well as exercise and physical activity.

Type 1 versus Type 2
Type 2-diabetes can be difficult to treat and can be expensive to manage and that is why avoiding this diagnosis is imperative.  Diabetes occurs because the body does not produce or does not properly use insulin.  Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreases that allows glucose or sugar to enter the cells.  If the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin or when muscle, fat, and liver cells do not properly respond to the insulin that is there then glucose builds up in the blood which can become toxic.  Hyperglycemia is a condition that occurs when there is too much glucose in the blood.  Type 1-diabetes is not related to diet and inactivity but is the type of diabetes that occurs in children and young

Prevent knee problems in the future

One way to prevent knee pain is to manage your weight. Increased weight can increase stress on the knee joints and lead to pain and other conditions. Increased weight also increases the risk of getting osteoarthritis in the knees which can lead to pain, limited mobility and a possible knee replacement surgery down the line. Taking extra weight off your body can improve your ability to function and can also decrease your risk for knee conditions in the future. Evidence shows that losing weight helps treat knee osteoarthritis so if you never gain the weight you can decrease your risk of acquiring osteoarthritis in the first place.

Proper shoe wear/footwear can be important in preventing knee injuries, particularly in workouts of long duration, outside workouts or those that are on uneven/hard surfaces. Poor alignment of the foot and ankle can increase dysfunction up the chain and can affect the knee and hip joints. If you have poor alignment of the foot and ankle this can lead to muscle imbalance and ultimately knee dysfunction and pain. Proper footwear is especially important for runners due to the high impact that running causes on the knee joints itself and without the proper footwear

The exercise for lowering stress

The key to stress management is finding a way to relieve your stress so you can cope with any situation that unfolds.  Luckily there are many proven strategies to help someone handle and decrease stress.  Fortunately exercise falls among the many tools that can help you to get a handle on the stress in your life.

Stress not only affects your brain, but with so many connections to your nerves, it can be felt throughout your body.  For many, stress can manifest in sadness, anger, exhaustion, mood swings, insomnia, poor eating, panic attacks and many other ways.  The key to helping to reduce or manage stress is linked with learning coping skills and raising the endorphins in your brain to counteract these feelings.  While exercise has been found to be a great outlet for stress, others turn to meditation, acupuncture, massage therapy, conventional therapy and music as other ways to manage stress.

 Studies show that it is exercise that can play a very significant role in helping stress reduction and management.  As you engage in physical activity, your body reacts by releasing endorphins.  These endorphins are actually hormones that work to fight stress.   As the endorphins are

Fixing a damaged metabolism

How does your metabolism get damaged in the first place?  Quite often after long periods of excessive caloric restriction and over exercising, your metabolism can be negatively affected.  You start out thinking that dieting is all about calories in and calories out. Slowly but surely you start to take in less and less calories, and increase the time spent working out.  As you jump on the scale, it is baffling why your body doesn’t seem to want to lose the weight you calculated should have happened.  Week after week you start to decrease your intake hoping to see bigger numbers but that never happens.

What actually is happening is related to your metabolism regulating hormones.  As you take in less and less, your body’s hormones, such as thyroid and leptin, begin to drop in an effort to create homeostasis in the body.  At the same time the muscle tissue begins to break down and be used for energy (which will lead to an even slower, more depressed metabolism).

At the same time, as your body gets used to eating less calories, it also adapts to the increase in exercise.  And over time it will expend fewer

Physical exercise

Numerous studies have shown that physical exercise seems beneficial in the prevention of cognitive impairment and dementia in old age. Now researchers at Goethe University Frankfurt have explored in one of the first studies worldwide how exercise affects brain metabolism.

In order to further advance current state of knowledge on the positive influence of physical activity on the brain, gerontologists and sports physicians at Goethe University Frankfurt have examined the effects of regular exercise on brain metabolism and memory of 60 participants aged between 65 and 85 in a randomised controlled trial. Their conclusion: regular physical exercise not only enhances fitness but also has a positive impact on brain metabolism.

As the researchers report in the current issue of the medical journal Translational Psychiatry, they thoroughly examined all the participants in the SMART study (Sport and Metabolism in Older Persons, an MRT Study) by assessing movement-related parameters, cardiopulmonary fitness and cognitive performance. In addition, magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) were used to measure brain metabolism and brain structure. Following this examination, the participants mounted an exercise bike three times a week over a period of 12 weeks. The 30-minute training sessions were