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Why Hire a Personal Trainer?

If you have never tried working with a personal trainer, there's some serious benefits to trying out a few sessions. I'm not just saying that because I'm a personal trainer... You could just as easily hire someone other than me.

Five Great Reasons to Hire a Personal Trainer

1. Your Own Private Yoda

True, you won't learn any telekinesis uses of "the Force", but the teacher-student paradigm cannot be understated. Having someone to tell you what to do, how to do it, why to do it and so forth will help motivate you to try even harder. Do or do not, there is no try.

2. Better Judges of Limits

A personal trainer will push you further but a great trainer will push you at the right time when you are ready for a new challenge. The "art" of personal training involves the ability to give clients a good workout by exerting them within the range between comfortable and hard. There is definitely a balance between a workout that feels effective, one that is not doing anything, and a session that does too much and leaves you feeling aches and pains. If you search for complaints about personal trainers you will find complaints regarding both ends of the spectrum, but never complaints about those in the middle. "My last trainer was too hot," says one. "My trainer is too cold!" says another. What you need to look for is the trainer who is "just right" for you and still challenges you the right amount.

3. Personal Trainers Organize the Workout to Maximize Efficiency

Anyone can learn to organize their workouts with a little research, but a personal trainer knows how to do it so you get the most out of your workout. Often they will focus on training big muscle groups first, and then working over to smaller muscles so you get a full body workout without missing anything. However, a personal trainer will also learn about their clients as individuals and as we all know, there is no standard prescription to exercise. Some clients have the most energy at the beginning of the session, and their trainer will learn that this is the time to do the more exerting and difficult exercises. Other clients take a good twenty minutes to get warmed up and into the session. In such cases, harder and more cardiovascular based exercises too early in will not be as effective as they could be.

4. Interval Training

Personal trainers know a lot about the topic of interval training and can push your limits even further by giving you hard and soft intensity exercises which allow you to get your heart racing even further, up your adrenaline and metabolism and allow you to get more out of a workout than you would if you were training solo. If you are training for a competitive sport they can also give you cross-training tips and exercises you can do so you can up your game the next time you're in competition.

5. A Trainer will Adapt to their Clients Needs and Wants

This is really important. A personal trainer quickly learns likes and dislikes of their clients. Some clients just want to make sure that they are exercising twice a week to stay healthy, and want a general routine that is changed up often enough so they do not get bored. At the same time, they do not want to feel like they're training for the army or the marines. Others really want to be pushed because they can't force themselves to be trained hard on their own - and they want a military-like approach. Some clients have very specific goals in mind and hire their trainer for technical exercise knowledge, sports instruction and implementation. eg. Hiring a personal trainer who also teaches boxing lessons. Whatever the case, a personal trainer is a chameleon in the gym, and can be the type of trainer that their client needs them to be.

Just don't expect them to be all like Yoda.

Need a certified personal trainer in Toronto? Hire me!

How Much Rest Do You Need?


"Hello! I am confused from various people who say I should exercise daily and other people saying I should rest every 2nd day. Who is right? What should I be doing with respect to resting?"

- Jessica Y.


They're actually both right, but I understand your confusion.

Not the answer you were expecting, is it?

Ideally what you want to be doing is alternating days where you do upper body exercises and lower body exercises, giving the upper or lower half a rest in between.

Daily exercise is your ultimate goal, but to do so without developing sports injuries you need to take a rest in-between each day so you don't over-exert yourself and injure yourself.

Doing Alternating Routines also increases your endurance over the long run, because you are getting adequate rest for your various body parts, but your heart and lungs are being exercised daily - which means your heart and lungs will get stronger and develop much more endurance.

So for example if you are doing lots of upper body weightlifting one day the next day you should be focusing on your legs and hips.

However if you are doing full body exercises that are pretty intense, such as marathon running, then you need to be taking a break for a day (or two) after running a marathon.

Also please note the differences between different types of resting:

Active Recovery - Do something less stressful to stay active and not sedentary.  Instead of running go for a walk or do yoga, lift lighter weights and increase reps or swim for fun to take a break from your competitive training schedule.
Absolute Rest - Do nothing at all!  Read a book, go to the museum or take a nice long bath.  No activity is a great reward for many consecutive days of hard training.  Your mind and body will thank you!

Alternating Routines - Give your upper or lower body the time it needs to recover by alternating routines on different days of the week.

If you hire a personal trainer (hint hint) they can help you to create alternating upper body and lower body routines, thus allowing you to maximize your exercise and rest periods.

25 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Exercise

Need more motivation to exercise? Here is 25 ways to help get you motivated.

#1. After a really good workout your body feels GOOD. A little muscle pain, but you feel energized and awesome. Think about that feeling more often and it will help motivate you.

#2. Me time is important. Having time to exercise can also be time to think and relieve stress. Exercise is great for relieving stress. (Especially boxing.)

#3. Keep track of how many calories burned. When you see the numbers it helps motivate you to burn more. Counting calories = Motivation to burn more.

#4. Choose fun exercises. Archery, boxing, skiiing, snowboarding, ice skating, swordfighting, climbing... whatever you really enjoy, do it!

#5. Combine exercise with other fun activities. ie. Photography and cycling go really well together.

#6. Imagine a slimmer, fitter you. If it helps look at old photos of you when you were younger / fitter. You can even photoshop images of yourself and then make those images your goal.

#7. Fitness magazines can help motivate you. They're also a great source of ideas for exercises you can do.

#8. Fitness films. ie. Rocky. Watching such films can really motivate you to get up and go.

#9. Fitness Models. For some people looking at other people (even photoshopped / genetically freaks) can help motivate them to work harder to achieve their fitness goals.

#10. Subscribe to fitness blogs like this one to see what other people are doing. Readings exercise ideas and success stories can really help you with motivation.

#11. REWARD YOURSELF. Never reward yourself with food. New clothes or fitness items make more fun rewards. ie. A new bicycle. Don't reward yourself for inconsistency. Only reward yourself for making your exercise schedule a constant.

#12. Fitting into smaller clothes, old or new, will make you feel awesome. Nothing like being able to fit into your old jeans from high school.

#13. Dating. Nothing like dating to make you feel attractive and motivated to keep exercising.

#14. Feel the Adrenaline rush. Some exercises give you a high because they're exciting to do. Ride that adrenaline rush and enjoy it!

#15. Music! Listen to music while you work out. The more exciting the music the better it is. I recommend two things: Movie themes from action movies; Classical music which is exciting, like the Hall of the Mountain King.

#16. An Exercise Partner. Having an exercise partner helps keep you motivated and on schedule.

#17. Exercise Classes. If you can't find an exercise partner then a class is just as good. Even better, an exercise class with FRIENDS. Or you will make new friends there.

#18. An exercise coach or personal trainer. Worth the money if you actually have tonnes of money to afford such extras. Their primary job is to motivate and challenge you. (If you live in Toronto you could even hire me as your personal trainer.)

#19. An Exercise Log / Chart. Keeping track of which exercises you did is almost as important as counting calories. Having a graph can show you visually what you've done. You can measure your weight on a weekly basis and see how much you improve. You won't see much results daily because weight fluctuates based on hormones, but weekly results will make you realize how well its working.

#20. Before, During and After Photos. Some people only take before and after photos, but during photos are also fun. You can even make a video showing the weight melt off. Take photos during the journey is fun. I recommend weekly photos.

#21. Set Big Goals that are Attainable. ie. Sign up for a marathon or a triathalon. Having an event to train for can help motivate you.

#22. Your Children and Grandchildren. Imagine living long enough to have grandchildren and being able to chase youngsters around in your 80s. As opposed to dying in your 60s or 70s from heart failure.

#23. Measure yourself with a tape and track your results.

#24. Collect motivational quotes and put them on your fridge or other things.

#25. Collect comments on how good you look. Write them down and add them to the motivational quotes.

Get The Most From Your Training Using Pre-Workout Supplements

Anyone who does bodybuilding knows that it takes a lot of time, effort and commitment and for this reason; it's worth squeezing every last ounce of muscle growth out of every weight lifting session. And whilst making sure you are working out in the most effective way is a large part of this, there's also a lot you can do before you start doing reps to maximize your training.

There are a huge range of supplements on the market and it can be difficult to decide which ones would be of real benefit to your training. Most of them are completely bogus. Here's a guide to some of the most effective supplements you can take before you head to the gym which could quite literally re-energize your whole regime.

The benefits listed on most pills

There are a vast range of different supplements but there are a number of key ingredients which have been robustly tested and scientifically proven to help achieve the desired results. My advice is to skip the supplements which are mostly untested and overpriced gimmicks and go for the ingredients we know work because they're in what the pros use - And oddly enough what the pros use is often naturally occurring things like Whey Protein which is derived from milk and Creatine which is found in red meat.

The kind of benefits you could typically expect to see after taking a pre-workout supplement including the following:
  • Increased muscle growth
  • Increased power
  • Decreased muscle cell breakdown during and post-training
  • Heightened protein synthesis
  • More stamina and endurance
  • Better energy levels
  • Less muscle soreness post-workout
  • Improved mood
  • Sharper concentration
The exact benefits you will see depend on what supplements you choose to take and how you take them; some can be used in different ways to get different results.

Strength and Power

For many bodybuilders, increasing muscle and strength is the only thing they are after. Some of them don't even care about how strong they are, they just want to look beefy.

Creatine is one of the most popular supplements but not everyone understands how it actually works. Muscles can only contract when they can access stores of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) but unfortunately only small amounts can be stored. These means that each contraction can only last for a few seconds, before the ATP store has to be replenished. The body manages this by breaking down Creatine to replace it - but if Creatine levels are low, you might struggle to complete your set.

Thus Creatine helps regulate the flow of ATP to your muscles, giving you an effective energy boost which allows you to do more reps. In other words by taking a Creatine supplement you are effectively providing direct fuel for your muscles, allowing you to complete the reps for each set whilst maximizing the weight.  Experts suggest approximately 5g of Creatine half an hour before you work out will achieve the desired result.

And the best part is that Creatine is found naturally in red meat, so if you lack the supplement just eat some beef before you workout.


Endurance may seem like a quality more suited to a cross country athlete but bodybuilders also need stamina in order to complete each set and finish their planned training. For this reason, adding a supplement which improves endurance can result in better muscle growth as the workout will be far more effective.

Citrulline Malate is a type of amino acid which not only optimizes blood flow, driving power to the muscles, but also enhances the production of ATP, thus it works really well in combination with Creatine. However, it is particularly effective in reducing muscle fatigue during workouts, even during high intensity training. Citrulline works by removing lactic acid and other endotoxins which are produced during exercise, allowing the training to last longer and for the individual to continue to perform at a higher level. The removal of the acids also means that you will suffer less muscle pain after you are done.

Because of its excellent results, many pre-workout supplements include Citrulline in their ingredients but it is also possible to take it during your training session too.

Energy and Concentration

Although workouts need physical strength, mental stamina is just as important in order to get the best results if you need to stay focused and not get distracted.

Therefore, a good dose of caffeine is a great idea as it will help you stay on track. The added benefit is that caffeine is a very effective fat-burner, ramping up metabolism and freeing fatty acids to be used as energy.

However, it's important to get the balance right as too much caffeine can actually impair focus and concentration and reduce performance. It also takes a while to be absorbed into the blood stream so make sure you take it at least 30 minutes before you start training; around 200mg is usually the right dose. You will need to check the label on your coffee or other caffeine source to make sure you don't overdo it.


There are many other useful pre-workout ingredients such as whey protein, tyrosine, anti-oxidants and BCAAs.  You do not need to take pre-workout supplements on days you aren't training but when you do train, they should usually be taken on an empty stomach to maximize and speed up absorption.

Remember that you may also want a post-workout supplement - such as a whey protein shake - afterwards too.

Skating Lessons Testimonial

"Hey there!

Thank you again for the skating lessons and teaching me how to skate backwards. It was a lot of fun and much easier having someone to show me how to do it.

I look forward to wowing my friends with my new skills.


- Caprice D.
Looking to sign up for archery lessons, boxing lessons, swimming lessons, ice skating lessons or personal training sessions? Start by emailing and lets talk fitness!


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