Category Archives: Working Out

10 Reasons Why YOU Should Hire a PRIME Personal Trainer…

Still debating whether or not you should invest your money and hire a personal trainer? Think it’s too expensive? Don’t have time? Maybe you think you’ll just do it on your own? Maybe…

BUT, if you are tired of starting and stopping a fitness routine, don’t feel comfortable in a gym, feel lost in a grocery store, struggle to find the motivation to cook/eat properly, or maybe you don’t even know what you need to do to get yourself in better shape, maybe this blog post will inspire you to reach out to one of our personal trainers at PRIME 🙂

10 reasons why you should hire a PRIME personal trainer:

1-Goal Achievement

Our personal trainers help you define your fitness goals and show you how you can ‘redefine your prime’. We will take into account your current fitness level and discuss what you want to achieve through your workouts based on your commitment/how many days a week you are willing to train per week. While you may have some idea of the goals you want to set, our trainers will be able to help you break them down into smaller goals (daily, weekly, monthly) that are specific and realistic. Our personal trainers will also help assess your progress toward those goals.

2-Personalized Workout

We will create a specific workout plan just for you based on what you want to achieve. This personalized plan gives you better results than a general workout plan. Because we will be made aware of your physical condition and medical background, we are able to make accommodations to the program to fit your needs. We will also help you with providing workouts you can do at home as we all know that in order to get results you must exercise AT LEAST 3 times a week, 5 times a week is best.
3- Instruction
At PRIME, we will teach you the proper way to perform each exercise in your routine.  We often demonstrate the movement and watch you perform it so we can correct any issues with your posture or technique. Learning how to perform exercises properly reduces your risk of injury and increases your ability to increase strength and build muscle. You also will be able to do the exercises on your own at home or at the gym PROPERLY when  learning them from your personal trainer.
4-Motivation
Motivation is often difficult to maintain when you exercise on your own. Regular sessions with a personal trainer enhance your motivation to continue with a workout regimen. Even if you don’t use a personal trainer for every session, knowing that you’ll meet with your trainer weekly will motivate you during your own workouts. You also get the satisfaction of showing your trainer the improvements you’ve made as your exercise program proceeds (lower body fat, strength gains, more muscle, better posture, improved endurance, etc).

5-Accountability

Another common problem is lack of commitment to a regular exercise program. When you exercise on your own, it is easier to skip a session here and there or fall off the wagon completely since there’s no one to hold you accountable. When you work with a trainer, they will keep you accountable, making it more likely that you’ll stick to your training program and achieve your goals.

6-Variety

Our experienced trainers teach you a variety of exercise methods, which will keep you from getting bored. Also, if a specific exercise does not work for you or you can’t physically perform it, the trainer will modify or change it to one that suits you better and provides the same physical benefits. Our trainers also help you to make adjustments as your fitness level improves to ensure continued progress.

7-Efficiency

A PRIME personal trainer is able to make the most of your workout time, which increases the efficiency of your exercise program. This is especially beneficial when you have a limited amount of time to exercise. For example, if you only have 20-30  minutes available to workout at home, your trainer can design a routine for you that will provide the same benefits as a 60 minute workout and will burn the same number of calories.

8- Encouragement and Ongoing Support

We take pride in our passion for helping our clients feel better regardless of how busy or horrible their day may have been and our clients will always leave their session smiling! We recognize that everyone is human and will have weak moments, eat something unhealthy, miss a workout, etc but we will encourage you to keep going! It is so important to have someone to support you through the tough times (there will be many on your journey to improved health and fitness) and cheer you on during the good times.  We are proud of every single one of our clients for hard work in the gym, their time in the grocery store and cooking in the kitchen, and most importantly the decision they have made to dedicate their time and money to making better choices in their life and doing it the right way (by hiring a trainer to achieve their goals).

9-Fun

Very rarely will you be working out with one of our trainers and NOT having fun!  We realize that not everyone LOVES working out so we do our best to make it fun while kicking your butt.  Why would you want to meet with a trainer who wasn’t any fun?  Want to workout and have fun at the same time? Come train with us! You’ll learn to love working out again!

10-Nutrition Guidance/Support

We encourage our clients to follow proper nutrition guidelines.  Do we suggest meal plans and diets? NO! Do we promote healthy habits and teach our clients proper serving sizes and the difference between a protein, fat and carb and how much of each macronutrient they should be eating with each meal? YES! Do we help our clients create their own daily food intake by offering suggestions for meals and recipes? YES! We want our clients to enjoy food, look forward to preparing meals (instead of feeling deprived and eating the same thing everyday which can lead to bingeing), and not feel overwhelmed by all the confusing and conflicting information there is about nutrition out there.

If you are reading this and are a current client at PRIME (or former client of one of our trainers) feel free to add any other benefits you’ve experienced since you starting training with a personal trainer.

Don’t wait for January to start, make the choice today to make your health and fitness a priority! We are here to help you redefine your PRIME!

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Jeremy’s 6 week challenge was a success!

How many of you have committed to something 100% for 6 weeks? My client Jeremy took on a 6 week weight loss/transformation challenge and MAN was it a success.

Check out his blog to see his before photos…

Starting weight was 312lbs

Total inches: 373

Link to Jeremy’s blog for the after photos…

Ending weight 279lbs

Total inches: 347.2

CRAZY right?! His total weight loss was 33 lbs and he lost 25.8 inches! AMAZING and blew our goal (185lbs) out of the water!! Want to know how he did it?

He came up with the goal of a 6 week challenge to lose as much weight as possible.  He had been plateauing for the last few months and decided he needed to step it up to blast through this plateau.  I was obviously on board so I created a meal plan for him (6 meals a day with lots of protein, green veggies, healthy fats and complex carbs and of course 4-6L of water) and a workout routine (lifting weights 6 days a week plus cardio) and provided on-going support along the way.  he busted his butt at the gym everyday (twice a week with me and the rest on his own) and made sure he had all his meals prepped for the day EVERY SINGLE DAY!  This man never missed a workout or a meal!

We did weekly weigh ins and bi weekly measurements.  It was so motivating (for me as his trainer) to see someone so determined to lose weight and stick to the plan! He never cheated, not even once which is HUGE because he has struggled to eat healthy his entire life.  It just goes to show that with a goal, the right coach and a positive mind set you can do anything you put your mind to!

And what was the best part of the challenge!? Seeing the excitement and pure satisfaction on Jeremy’s face when we did the final weigh in and he saw 279lbs on the scale! WOOHOO! I was jumping up and down too!  He has far surpassed my expectations and I can’t WAIT to continue training him and pushing him to reach his full potential and his ultimate goal which is to be in the best shape of his life! He is the happiest and the most focused I have ever seen him, there is no stopping this man now! We are definitely on our way Jeremy!

I have many other client success stories like this so stay tuned as I plan to post about my clients (with their permission of course) more often.

I hope everyone has a fun yet relaxing long weekend!

Les 🙂

 

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Are you interested or committed?

Do you know the difference between being interested versus committed to something?  For years I didn’t know the difference!  But now I do and I can finally say that I am committed to my health and fitness so I am going to share with you the difference.

If you am interested in doing something say a doing a workout or going for a run you will allow yourself to be persuaded to not do your workout or miss your run.  If you’re committed then you will do it no matter what, or invite your friend to workout with you or get together after your workout! The key thing is that you will do your workout because you are committed to your health and fitness goals.

It’s not always easy to get committed or stay committed to our goals especially if we are doing them for someone else or setting unrealistic goals.  It is when we are ready to make changes in our life and we set our minds to accomplish a goal that we are able to achieve our goals.  Sit down and really thing about what YOU want, HOW BAD you want it, and WHAT IT TAKES to get there.  If you’re not at least an 8 out of 10 committed to your goal then it’s most likely not going to happen.  BUT you also must keep in mind that it might not happen right away, you must be patient and persevere as there will be set backs and road blocks along the way. You must also evaluate your own commitment versus interest level on a regular basis.  Many of us SAY that we are willing to do whatever it takes but in order to reach our goals we must actually DO the things that we have never been willing to do.  When this happens very little can get in our way to achieving our goal.

Achieving our goals takes work, determination, sacrifice and YES it’s hard – really hard.  But in the end the sense of accomplishment and the pride we feel for our efforts is an even greater reward than achieving our goal.  Let me use the example of training for a competition.  Here are some of the things that I experienced throughout my training and preparation for the fitness show: I was scared and unsure of how my body would transform, I made a decision to train for it, I never missed a workout, I said no to many invitations to go out drinking, eating, etc, I was committed, I made it my top priority, and I never looked back as I was willing to TRUST THE PROCESS! And the sense of accomplishment I felt when I walked across that stage was OVERWHELMING!! It’s amazing what we can do when you really commit to it! Some of us give up wayyy too soon!

So it doesn’t matter what your goal is, if your new to fitness or an expert, young or old, big or small, what job you have, where you’re from, the main thing is that you must have the courage and determination to COMMIT to your goal!  It is hard of course but the more we do things that make us step out of our comfort zone the stronger and more confident we become!

All my clients are my heroes!  I am proud of every single one of them! BUT I REFUSE to invest a lot of time in people who will not commit to reaching their goals. I want to help people become healthier, happier, more confident and improve the quality of their life, if they aren’t COMMITTED and are only INTERESTED then there is very little I can do for them and to be honest I don’t like wasting people’s money and time.  If you believe you can achieve your goal then you WILL and I will support you 110%!

So go ahead right now and check in with your level of commitment, are you interested or committed?? Is fitness a hobby or a passion of yours?  Think about this in other areas of your life, relationships, your job, your friends, etc…what will it take to flip the switch or change your attitude so that you become committed as opposed to interested?  How much more successful would you be?  What sort of help do you need to stay committed?? A coach?  A schedule? Surround yourself with more supportive friends? Whatever it is, seek the help you need and stick to it!

Many of my clients have very busy schedules, families, etc but because they have a personal trainer they FIND A WAY to get to the gym to workout because they are COMMITTED!

When I commit to a goal (I always have a goal) I am more likely to be successful if I publicly announce it (via facebook or telling family and friends).

I believe that by telling others what your goal is then it helps keep you on track as they will encourage you and cheer you on when you’re feeling down or want to give up! Sometimes by sharing your goal with others you might even inspire them to join you or they may set out to do something they have always wanted to do!:)

Sometimes we need to hire a trainer (I’ve had 4 personal trainers in my lifetime and many amazing coaches when I played sports) to help get us going in the first place and that’s okay!  I think that having a trainer is absolutely the best plan but I’m biased 😉  It’s much simpler to have an awesome coach who will help keep you focused on your goal and most importantly WHY you made the goal in the first place.  As I said before your goals need to be for YOU and no one else.  YOU need to decide on ‘what’s in it for me’ because when we can tie our goal into ‘what’s in it for me’ we know what our pay off is and why it’s important that we keep going.

So I’ll ask you again, are you interested in your goals or are you committed to them?  If you find yourself saying things like ‘I should do this’ or ‘I’ve always wanted to’ or ‘It would be nice if’ then throw it out as a goal!  It is the goals that we have passion around that we will be most successful with, so focus on those goals! Instead of saying ” I wish I” start saying “when I…”

If you’re ready to get serious about achieving your goals but need a little extra help getting started I’m always here to help get you going in the right direction and be your guide along the way :):)

So take some time, sit down and really think about whether you are interested in getting in shape or committed to it!  If you’re only interested, that’s ok too, but don’t complain to those around you about how you wish things were different, it’s up to you how you live your life, no one else!

Les 🙂

Why is weight loss so hard?! Part 1

Do you think it’s easy to lose weight? If you listen to the weight loss industry, read magazines/books/articles, shop in health food or supplement stores, you have read about or been told how easy it is–just take this pill, follow that diet or buy this piece of equipment and the fat will just disappear. In fact, we spend over billions each year on weight loss products and services and yet we’re still overweight. So with that being said, is weight loss really that simple?

The idea behind weight loss is simple–burn more calories than you eat. This can be accomplished by replacing a couple of sodas with water and adding 20 minutes of walking each day. Sounds simple…and it is. If it’s that simple, why can’t we seem to do it?

There are a number of factors that contribute to our weight gain that you already know. But it’s not just about finding time to exercise or choosing the salad over the burger–it’s about genuine commitment to make healthy decisions every day….REGARDLESS of what’s happening in your life. If you’re not ready to make some changes, losing weight will be hard. I have come up with 10 things you’ll need to look at in order to get yourself in the right mind set and on the right track to weight loss!

1. Your Attitude. If you’re only on a health kick to lose weight or look a certain way, it will be hard to lose weight permanently. Why? Because, what happens if you don’t see results quickly enough? You give up. Weight loss is a great goal, but unless you have something else to motivate you, what’s to keep you going if the scale doesn’t budge? It takes time to lose weight–how will you motivate yourself in the meantime? Find more reasons to be healthy–having more energy, dealing with health problems or wanting to live longer to be around for your kids. Those are some awesome reasons, if you ask me. We will all have moments of weakness, when we fall off the wagon, miss a few workouts, etc, but we must pull ourselves back up and start over again! It doesn’t always have to be an all or nothing approach! Tomorrow is a new day! Oh and I totally love this quote….

2. Your Workouts. If you don’t workout consistently enough, it’s hard to lose weight. Yes, it’s possible to lose weight through diet alone, but you’ll likely hit a plateau. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym, you only need to set up a reasonable workout schedule that you can follow each week. It’s not about killing yourself with workouts–it’s about finding something you like and that you’ll continue with for the rest of your life. You have to be willing to be more active on a regular basis–not just for a week here and there. Having a personal trainer or a workout buddy is a great way to hold yourself accountable!

3. Your Eating. I can’t emphasize this enough! Weight loss is 80% nutrition and 20 % exercise! TRUST ME! I used to be the person who was convinced that I could eat whatever I want as long as I workout hard everyday.  THAT DIDN’T WORK!  I get best results when I really pay attention to what I am eating and avoid any foods that will not help me reach my weight loss goals. This woman and her book totally changed my thoughts about healthy eating and the importance of nutrition…if you aren’t familiar with Tosca Reno (the Eat Clean Diet Queen) I highly recommend you check out her selection of awesome cook books 🙂 She is Canadian!

Changing the way you eat is another thing you’re going to have to do for long-lasting weight loss. You need to be willing to replace unhealthy foods with healthier choices–every single day. This might mean:

  • Keeping a food journal
  • Spending more time in the grocery store reading food labels
  • Spending more time preparing meals
  • Saying no to extra portions
  • Making conscious choices about what you put in your mouth.

For permanent weight loss, you need to pay attention to what you eat and make good choices more often than not. Maybe a structured diet eventually ends, but healthy eating never stops…there will never be a time when you’re done eating healthy. You might feel you’re sacrificing the good stuff (pizza, fast food, etc.) and your life won’t be fun if you can’t have those foods. Guess what? You can still have them…just not whenever you want. Are you ready to make these changes? Are you ready to stop giving your body the most convenient thing available (and often the most fatty) and, instead, spend time planning what and when you’ll eat? Because that’s what it takes to get healthy…permanently.

4. Your Lifestyle. If you want a healthy life, you have to be willing to change how you live. It most definitely doesn’t mean changing everything overnight, but simply being open to new ways of doing things. Some things you might need to change for a healthy life are:

  • Daily Routines. You may need to get up earlier to prepare your lunch or squeeze in a workout, use your lunch hour for exercise or go for a walk after work instead of watching TV. Are you willing to do this?
  • Limits. You might need to set new rules for yourself limiting how much TV you watch or how long you sit at the computer. You’ll need to pay attention to how you spend your time and where you’re out of balance so you can add more movement.
  • Your Pantry. I’m the kind of person who will eat an entire bag of Doritos or cookies if they’re in the house (I’m dead serious!) That means I don’t keep them in the house and if someone brings them home, they must hide them. If you want to be healthy, you may need to get rid of those foods you just can’t resist.
  • Your Schedule. If you’re not willing to sit down and change the way you live each day to include exercise, time to prepare meals and time to nurture yourself with sleep, it’s hard to lose weight!!!   People use busy schedules as an excuse not to be healthy…are you one of them? If you’re not ready to take responsibility for the schedule you’ve created, it will be hard to lose weight. I hear this excuse A LOT and I could use it as well but I choose not to! The results are worth the extra effort 🙂

5. Your Surroundings. Sometimes, you can’t control the things around you. At work, you may be surrounded by temptations–donuts, vending machines, invitations to eat out for lunch, etc. That’s just one thing you have to deal with…but what about your home? Surround yourself with things that will support you in your efforts to get healthy. That might mean spending your hard earned money on a personal trainer, setting up a corner of the house with workout equipment or instead of watching mindless TV a few nights a week choose to do an exercise video. Set up an environment that encourages those healthy choices and reminds you of them!! Always having a fridge and pantry full of healthy groceries is a guaranteed way to make sure you are making healthy food choices everyday!!

Check back later in the week for Part 2 where I will be completing this list with 5 more ways to make your journey to a healthier lifestyle a little less overwhelming…

What changes are you going to make today to make sure you are set up for success?? Are you as dedicated to your goal as you think you are?? If you really want something, stop dreaming, set a goal and start DOING IT!

Les 🙂

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What should I eat before my workout?

Desire and drive (and an awesome personal trainer) will get you far in the gym, but nutrition is the key to training success. While we pay a lot of attention to the post workout meal, (for me right now it’s a 1.5 scoops protein shake mixed with water and 10g of glutamine) what you put into your body an hour before you hit the gym is just as critical. Research shows that having the right amount and types of protein and carbs before your workouts will not only help you go longer and be stronger but will help you recover and prepare for your next session as well. Whether you’re just hitting the weights, heading out for a run or both, today I am going to give you some snacks to help fuel your workout right. Remember to aim for 1-1.5 g of protein per lb of body weight and not just before your workouts, this is how much protein you should be eating everyday! Yep, I know, it’s a lot of protein but trust me you need it in order to build muscle, increase your recovery and boost your metabolism.

Pre Workout Meal Ideas….

2-4 large scrambled egg whites (1/4-1/2 cup) with 1 cup cooked oatmeal

1 scoop of whey protein powder mixed with water with 1 banana

2 hard boiled eggs with 1 slice of P28 bread of Ezekiel bread

1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt/1% cottage cheese with 1/2 cup of sliced fruit

1-2 tbsp. of all natural peanut butter with 1-2 rice cakes (plain or butter popcorn) or slice of Ezekiel or P28 bread

3-4 oz of chopped chicken breast with 3-4 oz of sweet potato

(Keep in mind that these portions may be different for you depending on your body type and the amount you exercise per day!)

Any other meals or snacks that you enjoy before a workout?

Please share your ideas below!

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I recently had a friend share with me a great idea for my blog. She suggested I should start a weekly or monthly “Ask Leslie” post or section on my blog or Facebook page….what are your thoughts on this?? Do you have any questions that you are dying to have answered by me?? I’d love to hear from you so please, post your comments/ideas/feedback below 🙂

Thanks again to everyone who has been consistently following my blog!  I am getting some great feedback and am doing my best to keep posting at least once per week! Competition prep is really time consuming (and I am loving every minute of it!) but in less than 9 weeks I will have much more free time to keep the blog posts coming!

Les 🙂

Why am I training for a fitness competition??

Because I love being in amazing shape and well, because I want to! Simple enough!

Success Trains Failure Complains Quote

Seriously though, I get asked this question all the time and I actually ask myself this same question quite often, especially at this point in the training when I am up at 4:30 am most mornings to do 40 minutes of fasted cardio!

I have been an athlete my whole life (played club basketball from a young age, then switched to playing for an elite level club (winning Nationals my first year) volleyball team from Grade 10- 13/OAC and worked my butt off to earn myself a full volleyball scholarship to the University of Southern Mississippi).  I have always had the desire to work hard and see how far I could push myself.  That inner athlete and competitiveness will never go away! So for all of you who think I am crazy for training for a competition and pushing my body past where it wants to be perhaps this helps explains my love of training and pushing myself. I AM AN ATHLETE!

So why am I training for a competition?? Here are a few of the reasons why…

1. I LOVE WORKING OUT! And honestly if you don’t, you are missing out! If you need help finding motivation, I’d love to help you out with that 😉  I find that the best feeling is the way I feel after kicking my own butt and breaking a good sweat!

2. I always need to have a goal-Whether it’s a marathon, a photo shoot, a vacation where I want to look good in a bikini I MUST be training for something, otherwise what is the point?! April 27 is the date of my show in Montreal…and after that I will be setting a new goal!

3. I want to look the part-I am a personal trainer and who wants to train with someone who doesn’t look the part?? I have to stay in better shape than my clients otherwise I might lose them 😉 And how would I attract new clients if I wasn’t in great shape and wasn’t practicing what I preached?

4. I love challenges- What’s the biggest challenge when training for a competition? THE DIET! Bring it on, I am doing whatever it takes to get my body in the best shape possible, no cheating, no excuses, JUST DOING IT! And to those of you who think that it is an unhealthy diet, think again! I am eating clean and often and no junk food AT ALL! Yep no cheating for 3 months, try it! Sounds pretty healthy to me and my body LOVES me for it!

5. I like staying lean and seeing my body change- Training and dieting for a competition, my body changes on a weekly, and sometimes, daily basis.  Being a personal trainer, I know the effects a good weight training program and healthy eating can have on the body. But training for a competition is vastly different from general training due to the nature of the diet and intensity of training required of you daily regardless of how tired and run down you feel.  To see my body transform is not only fascinating, but motivating as well.  Seeing definition in my arms, abs and legs is very exciting and not something I see all the time, but it’s something that I am going to work very hard to try and maintain after the show.  It is seeing results that keeps me motivated and is going help me make it to the stage!

6. My clients are competing in their first fitness competition! I want to be there with them through the whole process and what better way to be there for them than to join them and compete as well! It’s going to be hard to hold back the tears on the day of the competition, I am already proud of how far they have come and can’t wait to see them in the best shape of their lives on stage (in a teeny tiny bikini and clear heels haha)!

7. The feeling of success at the end- My success is always relative to where I started.  The last time I did a figure competition I was just a girl wanting to check another item off of my bucket list and to learn what it takes to take my body to the next level, looking awesome in a skimpy two-piece bikini on stage infront of hundreds of people (scary to think about, I know).  Even though I did not place top 5, I successfully reached my goal and that felt AWESOME!  My progress was relative given where I started, however, not relative when I was on stage against women who had been competing in figure competitions for years.  I definitely fit in as a “figure competitor” and certainly belonged on stage with the others who also worked so hard.  Now, because of an awesome team of trainers I work with (Lucas and Honore specifically) and my clients deciding to compete I am training for my second figure competition.  But this time I will look even better than the last show I did 🙂 I can’t wait to step on stage again, and to be able to say I DID IT! I REACHED MY GOAL! I love that sense of accomplishment! It’s like crossing the finish line of a race, best feeling ever! Oh and I also can’t wait for my first cheat meal afterwards too!! 😉

So there you have it, all the reasons why I compete in fitness competitions!  To those of you who have competed or are currently training for a show, what motivates you to do it? I’m interested to hear from you because everyone has a story and reasons as to why they train for these things…

10.5 weeks to go!  Keep checking my Get Fit with Les Facebook page for progress pics!  Can’t wait for my abs to show 😉

Les

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I do my leg workouts on Saturday, how about you?!

Yep, that’s right, still talking about training LEGS!  In case you missed my last post here is a link so you can check it out and learn why training your legs is so important and the muscle group that needs to not be avoided in the gym (especially for the guys!)

Tonight I have decided to post my current leg workout that I do every Saturday with my wonderful training partner/friend/client Amy (who is also preparing for the WBFF fitness competition in April).  ENJOY! And before you try any of these exercises, make sure you check with a personal trainer to make sure you are doing the exercises properly to prevent injury…

Barbell Squats 15, 12, 10, 10 (weight starts at 155 then we finish with 185 or higher if we’re feeling strong!)

Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squat (my favourite) superset with 30lbsx12,12,12

Single Leg Ball Hamstring Curl 10, 10, 10

Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlifts 15, 12, 10, 10 (weight starts at 135 and we add weight (at least 10 lbs) with each set.  If you have a weak grip, I find straps really help take the pressure off your hands.  Btw most people do this exercise completely wrong (and it is unsafe and you could injury your back if done improperly) so before you start loading up the bar with weight make sure you have a personal trainer (or someone who knows how to do this exercise properly) before trying it!

Leg Extension Machine (HEAVY) 120 lbs or higher 12, 12, 12, superset with

Body weight walking lunges 20, 20, 20 (Amy and I usually hold 20-25 lb dumbbells, body weight lunges have gotten way to easy!)

Standing Calf Raise Machine 15, 15, 15, 15 (can’t remember the weight but usually just under our body weight)

Then we finish with 10 minutes on the step mill and that feels GREAT after an insane leg workout like this one (note the sarcasm!) A great way to help tighten up your legs though, FEEL THE BURN!

Workouts change every four weeks and the first week of every new program is always the toughest!  The best way to see improvements or progress in your workouts is to track your weights/rep for each workout every single workout!  It’s awesome to look back and see what you were lifting a few months ago!

What are you favourite leg exercises or workouts?  I’d love to hear from you!

Looking forward to the final leg workout of this program…switching things up next week!

Can’t believe there are 12 weeks until SHOW TIME!

Les 🙂

Why Leg Workouts are Important!!

Next time you go to the gym, take a look around and you will notice that the majority of people (men especially) are working their upper bodies, and NOT doing leg workouts. In fact, most people focus on training their upper bodies and neglect their lower half. Why is that??

Here are some reasons I believe people don’t train legs:

1. Leg muscles aren’t really “showy” and everyone would rather work on having a large chest, arms, and shoulders that everyone can notice. Seriously have you ever asked a guy to flex his quads?? Not usually! (Well I have, in fact, I LOVE I man with strong legs) Unfortunately, upper bodies always get the attention.  The mistake of avoiding hard leg training is costly, and there are two main reasons as to why. If you have a large and muscular upper body, and under-developed legs, you would look quite ridiculous (I see lots these “golf tee” body shapes all over the gym). Think about it, huge pecs, bulging arms, cannonball shoulders, and a wide muscular back, sitting on top of toothpick legs. It looks funny, just saying!

2. The good old “doing squats hurts my knees” or “I work my legs by running, cycling, yoga, etc…” REALLY? These are EXCUSES! First of all if you’re knees hurt when you bend them you’ve got a problem (tight muscles, injury etc) and should get that checked out.  Squats when done properly should not be felt in your knees, but in just about every muscle in your lower body (glutes, quads, hams, core).  And yes you use your legs to walk/run/cycle but you must do resistance training (lifting weights) in order to build muscle/make your legs stronger (and look better!)

3. Training legs is so tiring! WELL YA! That’s why it’s the BEST for you! Nothing beats the feeling you get after an awesome leg workout full of squats, deadlifts, lunges, Bulgarian split squats, leg press…the list goes on…Have you noticed how stressful these leg exercises seem to be when done heavy? That’s because your legs contain the LARGEST muscle groups on your entire body and allow you to train with very heavy weights (also the best workouts for burning calories for those of us trying to lose weight). The good thing about a killer leg workout is your body will produce more critical anabolic muscle-building hormones than usual, which means greater size and strength all over your body. Yes, working your legs affects your arms, chest, shoulders, and back muscles. But that’s a long explanation so I’ll leave that for another day…just remember, training legs increases the amount of muscle mass you can gain all over, not just your legs! (has to do with increased secretion of hormones like testosterone and growth hormone during intense leg workouts)

So if you don’t already do so, include a great leg workout in your weight training routine every week. If not for the large, strong and muscular legs you will develop (who doesn’t want that?!), then do it for the overall gains you will experience in your upper body!

OH and one more thing, DO NOT AVOID SQUATS! Unless, of course, you can’t physically do them (injury, muscles too tight, etc), or you do them wrong!  Have a personal trainer check out your squats before you go ahead and load up the weight on your back because you WILL hurt yourself. Barbell squats are not the only way to do squats…there are MANY other ways of doing squats which I will cover in my next post…They are such a great exercise for building mass all over your body, and can’t be replaced with any other exercise.

I believe that leg workouts really are a hidden secret to your dream physique, I hope you take my advice and start training legs!! Ask my clients how often they train their legs and they will tell you at LEAST once a week 🙂  Hopefully they will better understand why I am such a fan of giving them killer leg workouts now after reading this post 😉

I train my legs on Saturday, how about you?? I will share my current leg workout and my favourite leg exercises in my next post so stay tuned….

 

Les 🙂

The best Christmas gift ever…a testimonial from one of my clients (my sister!) :)

Just thought I’d share with you an amazing letter I received in a card from my sister Jenn this year on Christmas eve! I couldn’t hold back the tears as soon as I started reading it!  I am so proud of how far she has come in 1 year!! I am even more excited for the amazing things she has planned for 2013 including a 30km and 42.2 (full marathon) race!  YOU GO SIS!!  Here is her story….

 

Exactly one year ago today, I received probably one of the greatest gifts that I have ever received in my life.  My sister Leslie Robertson gave me three months of online personal training support for Christmas.  I was pretty excited to receive this gift but I was also hesitant at the same time, thinking “well, how will this work?”

My journey actually began as a result of this gift and my New Year’s Resolution (yes, some of us make those-LOL!).  On January 1st 2012, I was working out at the gym and I decided to stand on the scale in the change room.  This moment was shocking! I had not been on a scale for years, measuring myself only on the fit of my clothes (and probably a bit too scared to see what the numbers on the scale would truly be).  From the moment on, I committed to myself to my fitness plan and my resolution to meet my fitness goal.

I began with a 30 day challenge-exercise everyday for 30 days in the month of January.  I achieved that goal and lost some weight in the process.  In February, I added a weight training regiment that Leslie provided and also included some high intensity interval training a couple of times week.  I also started running, my true passion!  I decided that I would do the 5km Around the Bay race in March of 2012 as a goal to continue working towards.

It wasn’t easy training for my first 5km.  I started with run 2 minutes walk 3 minutes on the treadmill and moved to run 5 minutes, walk 2 minutes and so on until I could run 30 minutes on the treadmill without stopping.  After that I moved my training outdoors and continued to work towards my goal of finishing the 5km race.

Well, not only did I finish 5 km in March, I completed 5 more races this year, including the Yonge Street 10km, the Ancaster Heritage 5km, the Burlington Downtown 10km, the Road to Hope 5km.  My biggest fitness goal to date was the Army Half Marathon in Ottawa that I completed with Leslie in September.  It was probably one of the hardest things that I have done in my entire life, but completely worth the training and hard work.

As I continue on my fitness journey I have lost about 47 pounds and continue to lose more, hoping to hit my final weight loss goal in March 2013 of 62 pounds.  My one regret is that I did not do measurements (even though Leslie asked me to) which would have been encouraging at those stages of plateaus that I hit along the way.  I have learned that you always have to have a fitness goal in mind-my current goal in a 30km race-Around the Bay in March which will hopefully be the preliminary training ground for my ultimate goal of the Road to Hope Marathon next November.  I want to thank my sister Leslie for inspiring me to change my life-to set a fitness goal and work hard until you achieve it.  I don’t know where my weight loss journey would be right now had she not provided  me with the tools and encouragement to change my life.  Thank you for helping me to “Get Fit with Les”!!  I am forever grateful!

Love ya,

Jenn

 

Thank you so much Jenn for choosing to take full advantage of my gift of fitness last Christmas, you are a true inspiration to everyone!  Best of luck in your continued fitness journey and your BIG race goals this year!  You can do anything you put your mind to!!

Les 🙂

Be SMART! Don’t wait until the New Year to start…

Hello and hope you have all survived the craziness of the holidays-travelling, socializing, drinking and eating, staying up late, etc etc…I most certainly have enjoyed the break but am ready to get back to work!!

Now that Christmas has come and gone I hope you have had time to start thinking about your goals in the upcoming months…

Remember the best goals are S.M.A.R.T. goals…check out my friend Lydia’s blog post called “How to set SMART goals”  I have included below…

new years resolution

For example, let’s say you want to lose weight (a very common goal after all the holiday eating). Instead of making the resolution “lose weight”, let’s make a SMART goal:

S – Lose 10 pounds

M – You can measure this by weighing yourself on a regular basis (once a week is fine)

A – This is where it gets personal and specific to you. If losing 10 pounds is attainable, perfect, if not, adjust to what you can do.

R – This one goes hand-in-hand with attainable. I believe in stretch goals (aka going beyond what you think is possible) but you do want to aim for something that’s realistic.

T – Setting a deadline is one of the most important aspects of a SMART goal. Without a deadline, how will you know if/when you have achieved your goal? For our example, let’s say 6 weeks (for a safe 1-2 weight loss per week).

To sum up, our goal is to lose 10 pounds in 6 weeks. At the end of 6 weeks, we’ll know if we’ve met our goal.

SMART goals set the foundation for action

Having the goal is the start, then you need an action plan. Here’s where I think many resolutions break down. Even if you create a specific, measurable goal, without a plan, how will you get there?

In keeping with our goal to lose 10 pounds, here are some ways we can plan for success:

– Start eating clean. Cut out white sugar, white flour and processed food.
– Drink 2L of water a day. (Notice how this is specific and measurable)
– Go to the gym 3-4 times per week. Book in your calendar!
– Limit alcohol to 2 nights a week (there’s a lot of sugar in alcohol)

Those are just some very specific ways that will help contribute to the goal of weight loss. Whatever your goals are, you need to outline the steps you’ll take to get there.

To help you get started with setting your goals for 2013, I’ve created a free, downloadable goal-setting template for you.

 

SOO what are your goals for 2013?? How do you plan on achieving them??

Les 🙂

 

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