Tag Archives: ottawa personal trainer

Training for the Firefighter Physical Ability Test

I just received an email from a prospective new client who mentioned she wants an FMS (Functional Movement Screen) to see what, if any, imbalances she has and correct them as she’s training to become a firefighter. I love that she’s keen to build her body on a base of sound functional movement before adding strength. I suspect I’m going to really enjoy working with her.

As I was replying, I thought of an email that I had written to another client who decided, after he’d been training with me for a while, that he would like to do the test at some point and wondered if I could help. I took a look at the test and realized that for the most part, the training that he was already doing with me would prepare him very nicely. I wrote a detailed email explaining why I think that.
Continue reading Training for the Firefighter Physical Ability Test

Healthy eating is about choices

I was at the bike store-coffee shop this morning for an Americano between clients (Cyclelogik has great Americanos – featuring beans from Francescos….mmm…) and was feeling a little snacky. It was almost 1130 and I had another couple of assessments before lunch. So I noticed the snack offerings they had today: a big oatmeal raisin cooking and a protein bar. Not thrilling, but I considered them enough to look at the nutrition numbers for each. The power bar looked decent: less than 250 calories, and it was somewhere in the 3:1 to 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio. It has fat, but fat is really not such a big deal – unless there is so much that it increases the calorie content too much. In fact some would call fat essential. And by some, I mean smart people who understand nutrition: The “Essential” in Essential Fatty Acids is not just a marketing thing.
Continue reading Healthy eating is about choices

Addressing poor shoulder movement

Shoulder packing. Yes, that’s right: shoulder packing. It’s really a thing.

It’s a concept of how we should position our shoulder when doing any sort of lifting with our arms. Now some will say that this is ridiculous – we just move our arms and that’s how they should move. I could get behind that line of thinking. Except for one thing: many of the people that come and train with me don’t actually position their shoulder properly when moving their arms, and then they complain of pain or discomfort in their shoulder or neck when doing exercises like pushups, rows, and planks. But when I help them to position their shoulder properly, they proceed to exercise without pain or discomfort.

That’s pretty convincing for me. Why does this happen? I’d say it’s a fair bet that your computer is the culprit. In fact take a look at your shoulders right now. They’re rounded, aren’t they? Continue reading Addressing poor shoulder movement

Are you strong enough to slow down?

When it comes to exercise, most people either do too much or too little. I think this applies beyond exercise, but let’s stick with that for the moment.

Those of us in the fitness and nutrition fields write a lot about those who do too little, in the hopes of helping fight the growing obesity epidemic. Today, however, I am going to talk about the other end of spectrum: too much exercise.

We laud those around us who maintain a healthy lifestyle, and are motivated by, and impressed at their the feats of strength and dedication. I recently read about a man who has run everyday for the past 40 years. I’m sure most of us who read that were inspired, and impressed. But is that actually a good idea? In his case, he seems to be enjoying a great and long life, which is all we can really ask for. But is it because of his excessive dedication to running, or in spite of it? Continue reading Are you strong enough to slow down?

Stop Confusing Your Muscles

“I always always always shock my body with new exercises.”
“I love it when my muscles are sore, because it means I worked hard.”

Stop the Confusion
I hear some version of those two statements often. Usually it’s people excitedly telling me about their new workout routine. When I see people that say this 3 months later, they usually are not working out anymore, and do not look any different than they did 3 months prior.
Continue reading Stop Confusing Your Muscles

To Lunge or To Squat? That is the question.

This is a clip from a presentation I gave at the Ottawa Ski Show called “Training Tips for Injury Risk Reduction & Performance”. This particular clip addresses squats and lunges and a spectrum of exercises in the squat progression. I think the only exercises missing from the progression I presented are the TRX rear-foot elevated split squat and TRX single-leg squat. Once you see the video, I’m sure you’ll know where to put them.
Continue reading To Lunge or To Squat? That is the question.

My Favourite Training Tools: #4 – the FMS

We’re now into the top five of my blog-series: My Favourite Training Tools (For my American readers, please excuse the ‘u’ in favourite. It’s a Canadian thing). There are probably thousands of tools out there for fitness. Some are ridiculous fly-by-night items (I can’t help but think of the Saturday Night Live commercial spoof of the Shaker Weight) while some have stood the test of time for hundreds of years (kettlebells). In each entry in this blog series, I’ll talk about one of my 10 favourite tools.

Today’s entry features the Functional Movement Screen (FMS). This makes my list even though it does nothing to get you strong. That’s because it is an assessment tool. I love this tool because it helps me to see where people have problems with the fundamental way that they move, and then that helps me to create a great training program for them that will not only get them “faster, higher, stronger”, but will also help fix movement dysfunction that they have developed in life. Continue reading My Favourite Training Tools: #4 – the FMS