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Build a Beach Perfect Body - In The Winter!!!

It is November and it is starting to snow in Toronto maybe once per week. By December it will be snowing more regularly. By January there will be a foot of snow on the ground.

But if you count the months until mid June (the start of swimsuit season) then there is November, December, January, February, March, April and May - 7 months to get prepared if your goal is to lose weight and look fit for swimsuit season.

Now pay attention... most people only start trying to get fit a month or two before swimsuit season - and most of them FAIL to meet their exercise / weight loss goal.

The reason why is because they are focusing all of their exercise goals into a month or two month period and then wonder why they failed. When asked why they will point to reasons like not enough time, the workouts were too difficult, they fell off the wagon diet wise, lack of motivation and so forth.

I argue that they need to change their approach.

#1. Stop trying to do everything a month or two before swimsuit season. Start exercising NOW, many months before swimsuit season is even close. Thus their excuse that they didn't have enough time will be null and void.

#2. By doing the first it also means the workouts don't need to be quite so intense. People burn out and lose motivation if their workouts are too intense. In contrast if they start exercising over a 6 month period their workouts will be about one third the intensity of a 2 month workout regimen designed to accomplish the same goal. Thus the second excuse about workouts being too difficult will likewise be null and void.

#3. If you are going to make lifestyle / dietary changes you need to make permanent changes that you can stick with it. Now I admit that means making changes during the Christmas holiday season - a season during which many people are prone to binge eating on chocolate treats, xmas dinners, etc. But it can be done and you can do it if you give it an honest try. Start by making the switch to dark chocolate only (70% or better) - no more sugary chocolate or "white chocolate". Eat more veggies during xmas dinners and make fruits and vegetables part of every meal you eat, and every snack. Find the fruits and veggies you love and stock up on healthy foods you love.

#4. Find ways to motivate yourself. Music I find is a great motivator. Another way to motivate is to use fun activities that you enjoy doing. eg. Ice skating, downhill skiing, or just plain going for an afternoon walk and taking your camera with you.

Wait, its cold outside! I hate going outside in the cold!

Then invest in some thermal underwear. Learn how to layer clothing so you don't feel the cold. Get tight fitting clothes that fits really well and keeps you warm. Wear 3 or 4 layers under your jacket, get good thermal gloves, a neck warmer, hat, thermal longjohns for wearing under your pants/jeans, warm boots, thick socks - and voila! You will probably be so warm you will be unzipping layers!

Dressed like that and you can go jogging / winter walks / ice skating / tobogganing like when you were a kid and you won't really be bothered by the cold at all.

Next you need to avoid the temptation to just relax all winter indoors watching cable television, mucking around on Facebook and nonsensical videos on YouTube. Cancel the cable (33% of it is advertising anyway), take a vacation from Facebook, and go outside and make your own winter oriented videos and then post them on YouTube instead of watching other people's junk.

Things To Do This Winter!

#1. Cross Country Skiing - burns a tonne of calories! Burns 500 to 700 calories per hour depending on your weight.

#2. Take Up the Biathlon - cross country skiing with a rifle on your back! Yeehaw! Who says cross country skiing isn't a manly sport???

#3. Archery Biathlon - don't like guns? Take up the archery biathlon. Basically the same idea, but using a bow and arrow.

#4. Snow Shoeing - also burns lots of calories. Good for balance training too, plus it doubles as weightlifting for your legs. Try it and you will see how hard it is.

#5. Snowboarding - Good for cardio and balance. Works your abs too!

#6. Downhill Skiing - Same as snowboarding, makes for fun cardio.

#7. Ice Skating - Great cardio and balance training.

#8. Hockey - On skates or as Road Hockey, this sport will get you outside and having fun while also providing great cardio. Just don't forget to shout CAR!!!

#9. Shoveling Snow - Okay so technically it is not a sport... but it is very good cardio and weightlifting exercise. Shoveling snow is very hard so if you have a poor heart be certain to take it easy while shoveling snow because it is so difficult people are known to have heart attacks.

#10. Taking the dog for a walk - Seriously. Pets need to get outside and exercise too. So take the dog for a walk as often as you can. Or better yet, try competitive dog jogging.

300,000 Pageviews and 150,000 Unique Visitors

Earlier today, sometime around noon, surpassed 300,000 pageviews from approx. 150,000 unique visitors. (Each unique visitor to stays for an average of 2 pages.)

I realize it is not a popularity contest but it is nice to know the website is growing in popularity.

Most of our visitors come from Canada and the USA - and quite a few are from Toronto, possibly looking for a personal trainer or a sports instructor who teaches archery, boxing, ice skating, swimming and similar activities.

The great city of Toronto has a lot to offer for people looking to either stay fit or become more fit.

Toronto has many bicycle trails, lots of parks, our beaches are rated 5-star world class (betcha didn't know that, eh?), public ice skating arenas, tennis courts, swimming pools, university gyms, YMCAs, publicly funded recreation centres, an archery range, and numerous other things for Torontonians to utilize if they desire to go outside and exercise.

As a personal trainer I believe in spreading the knowledge of such locations - and giving away free frugal exercise advice - because if people want to exercise, then it is best they have those resources at their disposal. It helps my personal training clients, but it also helps anyone who is just looking for exercise advice - including people not in Toronto and therefore outside of my market demographic.

It is true I only make money when clients actually hire me to help them to lose weight, gain muscle or train for a specific sport - but that doesn't mean I don't also feel a certain amount of pride knowing that I helped thousands of other people who are just looking for good solid exercise advice.

So if I have helped 150,000 people to exercise and improve their health, then absolutely, I feel I should toot my horn once in awhile about how awesome free information is and that helping other people is always a good feeling even when you aren't getting paid for it.

The beauty of exercise is that anyone can do it. You don't need a personal trainer to exercise. Or a gym. Or your own exercise equipment at home. You just need the will to do it. But having the advice - especially free advice - available can make all the difference to some people who want to make the most out of their workout.

Charles Moffat
Toronto Personal Trainer /

Movember and Prostate Cancer

I just finished shaving off my beard - and my mustache.

I was tempted to grow a mustache for Movember (to raise awareness for prostate cancer and other male cancers), but I changed my mind because every time I have done so my mustache is so itchy it annoys me. (I even tried using conditioners and other things on it to make my mustache softer, but they don't work well enough to suit my needs.)

The Movember Foundation encourages men to be aware of any family history of cancer, to have an annual checkup with their doctor and to adopt a healthier lifestyle - all things which I heartily support for both men and women.

However since I am not growing a mustache myself I have instead decided to write a post - this one - promoting healthy food and some interesting facts / statistics.

The average person has cancer 40 times during their lifetime, the difference is that usually your body fights it off. As you get older however and toxins build up in your body the toxins make it more difficult for your body to fight off the cancer growing inside you. When it gets really bad the cancer becomes malignant and life threatening by shutting down one or more of your body's vital organs.

The connection between toxins and cancer growth in the human body are well documented. Alcohol, cigarettes, and other sources of toxins can build up the amount of poison in your system that leads to cancer.

So how do you get rid of these toxins?

The easiest and most effective way is through a healthy diet which includes lots of green vegetables. Foods like spinach, broccoli, peas, cabbage, lettuce, asparagus, brussel sprouts, etc. Other types of vegetables are also good, as long as they are high in alkaline.

Another thing that is super effective against cancer is Green Tea. A single cup of strong green tea has more alkaline than two cupfuls of broccoli.

Lastly you will want to avoid foods you know to be carcinogenic. Foods that are burnt for example contain carcinogens, so try to avoid eating meat that is burnt. Well done is good, but avoid any burnt pieces.

Which means that even if you cannot grow a great mustache like Tom Selleck, Burt Reynolds, Sean Connery, George Clooney, Hulk Hogan and others well then at least you can still eat and drink healthier - which in turn will decrease your chances of developing prostate cancer and similar cancers.

Want to learn more about this and similar topics?

Just Google something like green tea prevents prostate cancer and learn more!

Whey Protein + French Press

Do you get annoyed by the chunky bits of whey powder in your drink when drinking a protein shake?

Well, here is a hot tip.

Buy a French Press (typically used for making coffee) and use it for mixing your milk and whey powder together.

No chunky bits of whey protein. Huzzah!

The Lowly Chin Up Bar

If you have a chin up bar, or a place in your home where you can place a chin up bar, you should absolutely be using it.

The chin up bar is a great body-weight device for weightlifting. The concept is simple - lift your own bodyweight using your biceps.

This is something some people have simply never done. They don't have adequate strength in their biceps to physically lift their body - and their body is sometimes in ample proportions. Which is basically a polite way of saying a person is too fat to do a chin up.

But that doesn't mean a person will NEVER be able to do a chin up. With some weightlifting exercises over a period of two months a person who is overweight (but not obese) should be able to do a chin up after the two month period.

To achieve this they would need to do the following...

1. Bicep Curls with 20 lb Dumbbells - 12 sets of 8 reps, every 2 days for 60 days.

Rationale: Doing bicep curls will build up your biceps, the primary muscle used during chin ups. Doing 12 sets of 8 reps means your focus is on muscle gain, not on endurance. You can build endurance later...

2. Pushups (or Knee Pushups) - 12 sets of 8 reps, every 2 days for 60 days.

Rationale: Doing pushups will build your triceps and deltoids. The deltoids (shoulder muscles) are a secondary muscle used during chin ups. Even though they are secondary you will still need those muscles during a chin up.

3. Jumping Jacks - 10 sets of 100 jumping jacks, every day for 60 days.

Rationale: Lowering your body weight via cardio exercises will increase your chances of doing a chin up by reducing the amount of fat in your body. Jumping Jacks and Jogging are both good for this.

4. Jogging (or Jogging on the Spot) - 15 minutes, every day for 60 days.

In the morning of every day you should attempt to do a pushup. After 60 days of doing the above workout they should have lost some fat weight and gained some muscle weight - enough muscle that they can lift their body during a chin up.

You will also need to be eating a balanced diet. That means no binge eating on unhealthy foods, eat smaller portions, learn to snack healthily, cutting out sugary drinks and all those things you know are bad for you.

If you are more overweight (ie. obese) you will need to do a lot more jogging, jumping jacks, and other cardio activities to reach the point where you can do a chin up. So this process may take longer than you were hoping if you are severely overweight.



Now keep doing them! Now is the time to start building endurance and strength at the same time. Work your way up so you can do a set of 5 chin ups at a time.

Once you reach that point you can basically swap out the #1 exercise above (Bicep Curls with 20 lb Dumbbells) and replace it with the following:

1. Chin Ups - 20 sets of 5 chin ups, every day. Or 12 sets of 8 chin ups.  Or 10 sets of 10 chin ups. Or 8 sets of 12. Or 7 sets of 15. Or 5 sets of 20.

Rationale: Now that you can do chin ups you can keep doing them, and if you increase the number of chin ups you do per set then you will be building both your strength and your endurance simultaneously. So pick whichever set combination from above that you want to do and keep doing them. Upgrade to the next set combination when you feel you are ready for a challenge.

Note! Keep doing the pushups, the jumping jacks and the jogging.

Add other exercises to your routine. Yoga for example is great for core muscle strength. But you might also try swimming, ice skating, archery, marathon running, competitive sports...

Basically if you make doing that First Chin Up your exercise goal, and then once you achieve that chin up goal you need to start setting new exercise goals so you can keep progressing. Making recognizable progress will help you keep motivated and keep exercising.

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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