Monday, October 29, 2012

The evolution of fitness Pt. 2

Last time we considered different types of goals people may have when they begin their journey of fitness. Now we will consider where to go with that goal!

First up is the seemingly universal goal of loosing a few pounds. Right off the bat I am going to say that regardless of what exercise regimen, the more important thing to look at is what you are putting in your mouth. In short, 3hrs on a treadmill does not equal 3 plates of pasta... In fact, depending on where you are starting from and how much you have to loose you may need only to change your eating habits to achieve your goal. Now lets say that you have your diet in reasonable control. From here it is a simple balance of fuel burned vs fuel consumed. At least that is the general notion that people have been taught since the dark ages. And you would not be wrong if you go by this. However, through years of studies and hundreds of fad diets, there is one resonating truth. The quality of your food is far more important then the amount of it! You may even be shocked to find out that many don't eat enough food! In a perfect world we would eat vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, lean meats, eggs and we would eat till we aren't hungry. And guess what... There would be no obesity! For more info on this check out this link. (FYI, I ignore the the strange caveman theories and look at the useful info) 

Alright, we now have our mind set for eating right and balanced exercise. Now we can look at our options for exercise. The beauty about this goal is that there are so many different routs to the same destination! So if you hate running on a treadmill then guess what... You don't have to! Really as long as you are doing activities that burn the extra glycogen stores you have built up in your muscles and that elevate your heart rate you are going to loose fat. If you are the kind of person that likes to be pushed and have others working with them then you may try one of the many bootcamp workouts that are being offered all over the place. For those looking for a more dynamic environment, I highly recommend heading to the Crossfit gym closest to you and seeing what it's all about! (FSF offers this service).

If you are the timid, apprehensive type, and you don't mind doing your own thing then there is a lot to be said for the timeless cardio/weight training combo. A simple weekly schedule could look like this. 1 hr, 3 times per week with 20min of cardio coupled with strength exercises for the remaining 40min will work wonders for your body composition so long as you are performing them properly and safely!

What You Should Take Away From This

Quality, sensible diet + Regular exercise= Healthy body composition!


Friday, October 26, 2012

Things to look forward to!

Hey everyone! It has been a crazy couple of months getting everything set up and planning but I am proud to announce that Full Spectrum Fitness is now 100% operational and ready to help you! For all the info about services offered check out the website at

Also of interest is the upcoming winter program that's in the works. Who has ever tried a spin class? Who has ever experienced a Crossfit workout? Well if you have done both or neither I'm sure everyone in the GTA will love the new group session that Full Spectrum Fitness will be offering starting this holiday season!

More info is on the way so check in again soon!

I leave you with this awesome video of an amazing Race from the weekend! Enjoy

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Raw Vegan VS. Primal Paleo?

The first and most confrontational nutrition debate is the plant vs. animal war. It seems that the 2 groups are trying to be polar opposites of one another but is one better then the other or are they just 2 paths to a similar destination? Well I have had the chance to dabble in both nutrition strategies and conclude that both have their merits. Lets expand...

Raw Vegan: Often the visual that one imagines when hearing that someone is a raw vegan is that of a thin, long haired, tree hugging, philosophy spewing hippie who lives off nothing but wheat grass juice and the energy of "mother nature". And no doubt there are many of that sort but if we look past the nutty appearance we can find that apart from all the spiritual jabber there is a fountain of well founded nutritional wisdom there. The Idea is simply simplicity. If it's hard for your body to process and digest then it shouldn't go in your mouth. Animal products are what they say to be the main cause of health problems along with grains and other starch based carbs. So the name of the game is stick with what the earth gives us without having to cook it. So things like potatoes and squash are also out... only fruits, vegetables and some nuts and seeds. Basically what you can grab just in the produce section of the grocery store.

Now Paleo is different but at the same time has similar ideas behind it. The basics are that you only buy what we had access to thousands of years ago before processed and pre-packaged foods came about. In the same way as the raw diet, Paleo shuns most starch based carbs (grains, potatoes, etc...) and focuses on a lot of veggies. The difference lies in the high amount of meat consumed and the fact that you can lightly cook your veggies. It also limits the amount of fruit you can eat due to the high sugar content and the effect that it has on you insulin production levels. You can shop for this diet by only buying what you can find outside of the  aisles of the grocery store and avoiding dairy all together as it is designed to meet the needs of baby cow and not humans. The proposed benefits of this strategy are as follows, improved digestion, reduced risk of diet related disease, increase in lean muscle gain all round well being. There are those who take this to an extreme and go so far as to eat their meat raw! It's always best to be balanced with everything though and make sure that you are not depriving yourself (so have that piece of cake every once in a while).

Even though they are both strict diets that don't lend themselves to eating out with your friends, it isn't impossible. If you know exactly what you can and can't eat it is more than likely that you can ask your server to customize your meal a bit (eg. replace the rice with some steamed veggies).

So here is what I know from trying each diet strategy thus far.

Raw Vegan + very lean with little exercise required, feel strong and at the same time keep a low body weight. 
- Need to eat a lot to sustain energy levels, does not bode well for endurance sports.

Primal Paleo + Easy to build and maintain lean muscle, consistent energy levels, improved workout performance, Long lasting energy
- requires lots of planning for meals/pre-cooking,

I have to say that I have found for my active lifestyle that Paleo has been more suited. Though I love the clean and healthy feeling I get from being raw, it leaves me with little extra energy to work out and requires to much eating to keep up with a high metabolism.

I am going to stick with this clean Paleo diet for a while and see what else happens. Stay tuned for updates on that!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Evolution of Fitness Pt 1

This is my first post under my new blog theme and I want to get off on a good foot. So let jump right in with a topic that perplexes anyone trying to start a new program. The constant changing and of what is considered to be the next best thing in fitness and all the different choices out there. Now I'm not going to come out and tell you that there is a one size fits all answer to this problem but I will say this. The industry has come a loooonnng way in the past 20 years and the new age style of training is much more scientifit and effective then the weight room junky mantality that most think of when they hear the word excercise! But the fact of the matter is that some are much better then others when it comes to real effectivness.

Lets talk about the factors that signify a legit workout program and what how you can find the right one for you!

1. The first and most important thing to look at is what does the program claim? If you are being promises and get ripped in 2 weeks deal then you are deffinitly on the wrong track! We see all over the internet and in magazines these ads with lean and rippled men and women that are saying that you can be that guy if you buy there 5 week dvd program or take this suppliment (this is a topic that I will go into detail with in the future) and it sounds really good right? Well if you were to ask one of those Profesional Fitness Models what they did to look the way that they did in the picture do you really think that their going to say "by taking this suplement or following a DVD in there living room? Hecks no! Their going to tell you about the hours they spent in the gym working there asses off to have that ideal body so that they could score the photo in that magazine! This leads me into the next factor that determins what program you should go for.

2. What is you ultamate goal? Without a deffinate goal in mind you will drift in and out of programs and diets because you can't messure your progress. So what do you want out of the program? Is it to build muscle? Or to loose weight? Or is it simply to have and sense of well being and health? These are important things to consider because your motive will determine what type of training you should be doing. In the next post we will consider the different training styles and what they are most beneficial for.

Until then train hard and enjoy the journey!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Keep a weather eye cause a storms a brewin

2 sleep away from the big day and all is good. Had a great ride on course yesterday or at least what I was able to figure out with the map. It may or may not be a MTB course but I'm not complaining either way. Lets just say that if I followed the map right we will be crushing some serious climbing and at the end of the lap is a stupid hard steep pitch. I wish I could go check it out tomorrow but havn't been able to line up a drive there. I need that G2...

Looks like all the heavy hitters will be there except Nova Scotian pride L'esperance. I haven't seen his name on the reg yet. There will be blood. Hopefully not my blood though!

Going into this race I have had a lot of help from some great people. So big shout out to the Ride with Rendal crew, papa Haviland, and the amazing guys at Evolution cycles in Richmond hill who have brought my bike back from the gates of hell a few times and made it ride like new! And a very special shout out to Mr. Peter Glassford who has got me to were I want to be this season. Hard work will show this Saturday and the best will come out on top. Can't wait!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Business time

Cross season baby! And it's about to get really heated up with Nats only 1.5 weeks away. But first lets recap the season thus far. Skipped first few O-cups to rest up after an awesome provincial MTB champs. By the time my first cross race in Guelph came I was itching to race. I wasn't sure how that would go cause I didn't do mush prep before hand and was on a large borrowed bike. It was huge! But came out with a win and that was that. Moving on now. Mr, Glassford and I got to work on training with Nationals in mind and things have gone great so far! Also super cool that Peter is taking part in this cross season.

Next race=Hillbilly Hustle=OMG! Too cold too soon and I was not prepared at all. I also tried to be all manly and go bare leg which sucked! Chown and Zack Attack maned up and crushed it while I pulled the plug after rolling my tire and then going all Hypothermic. Too bad cause that is my Fave cross race on the O-cup circuit and the course was great.

Durham cross was sweet again but this time more fast guys were there. I was training through that one so wasn't sure especially since Mark Batty had shown up. But turns out he trained through it too and we had a great race that ended with him hitting the deck on a barrier and me attacking to get away for the win. Love that course!

Off to the USA for some UCI action with Alex Sanna and his super girlfriend Hidy (sorry if I spelt that wrong). Joined by Mr, Batty and Easterner Emily Flynn and her mom it made for a super fun trip. The racing was fierce and Mark crushed day 1 with a 2nd and I was really happy with a 7th and some UCI points. Next day was... hell! They threw in an additional climb and that along with tired legs made for one of the toughest races ever! I had 11th but crashed with about 1min left and fell back to 15th. Still happy with how I rode though.

Ok almost caught up. Baseball cross=flat hammer fest. Loved the course that Watson and Barrie crew set up. It all flowed soo well and made for some tactical racing. Started 2nd row which made me start easier then usual but it might have been good cause I got to draft the whole 1st lap. Then I got board and went to the front and went hard for a while and got things going with a lead group of Zack, Mark and myself. Mark looked like he had been doing some serious training the week before and fell back the next lap leaving the 2 kids to work together. After a few laps of trading up the lead we saw Watson creeping up the field the same way a lion sneaks up and and Gazelle and then before you know it BOOM your dead. So the only logical thing to do was go faster cause we didn't want him there. He's got that old man power (old enough to race masters nats... Look out Mogg). Then it was time to break the team work and go for the win. So I put in a 1 lap dig and got a gap. But Zack never gave up and was biting at my heels for the rest of the race. I managed to hold him off and get the win.

Next race will be Nats and it's gonna be sick! We have a stupid strong U-23 field this year so it will be a show fo sho! Time to train!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Different year different race

Hey there. So this time last year I had my all time best race of my life wining Nationals in Canmore. So I have been excited all season dispite not having a great season so far to come back and try and defend the title. I can't say that my confidance was super high going in to the race but I kept an open mind and stayed optamistic. It got a bit easier to think about doing well mid week when I suddenly had really good legs. So I did everything I could think of to keep the feeling alive. I kind of succeeded and and made it to race day feeling fresh. The reason I say kind of is because the feeling only lasted the warm up and the first 10 min of the race. Cramps started to set in pretty quick after that. I was able to keep the pace high still and picked off people once I got back into a rhythm. Then lap 3 I managed to find the one difficult section on the course and then eat it hard! Dug my face into a pit of sand and smoked my hip and a rock. Got back on and bike was fine and got going again. Took me a bit to get back up to speed. I might also mention that the lead guys had checked out by this point so all I could do was try to see how far up I could ride myself. Picked off a few more people but not sure which ones were in my category though. Last lap came around and I was thinking I could move up at least one more spot. Hit the "Eye Dropper" and heard that sound that every cyclist hates the most. Felt stans spraying all over my leg. Got in to the pits and Havy gave me a sick wheel change. Got going again and just wanted to hold whatever spot I was in and get finished up. Made it but got sprinted at the line by a guy I didn't even know was there. So Needless to say not the highlight I had last year. But moving forward and looking forward to the new team relay event tomorrow. Congrats to Boucaurd, Baily and Martin on there great races. I'll be working my ass off to get to that next level and mix it up where I want to be.