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Ski Day Warm Up tips

People are rushing to the mountains for a day on the slopes!

So fun!

So exhilarating!

So sore the next day…

While we adore our access to winter sports in Vancouver, our bodies can get a bit cranky with a sudden change in activity if we don’t warm them up properly.

All it takes is 10 minutes to make a significant difference in your recovery!

Before strapping on your boots, sit down and write the alphabet in the air with your feet to do a quick and effective warmup for the ankles.

Repeat this again when you finally take those boots off at the end of your day!

Then, stretch your calves out by placing the front of your foot on an elevated surface or incline and holding still there for one full minute with the knee straight, and one more minute with the knee bent! Two minutes total per leg.

Finally, make sure you are adequately hydrated! Many days on the slopes seem to involve no water breaks and lots of beers after. Especially now that masks are mandatory! Staying hydrated is essential to proper muscle recovery, aids in important delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your tissues, which means that you won’t be as sore over the next few days!

So remember,

Hit the slopes, Don’t let the slopes hit you!

Prehab is better than Rehab!

In health and strength, Jes.

Jes Von Henske, RMT

Getting Motivated – quick guide to finding motivation

One great way to stay motivated is to find a sport or activity that you enjoy participating in.

Running, hiking, cycling, tennis, hockey, basketball or whatever works for you, your abilities and your schedule.

This choice works 2 fold

1. The activity itself is an opportunity to burn calories and increase your fitness while getting the mental benefits of doing something you enjoy.

2. Having this sport or activity in your life can work as a powerful motivator to get into the gym to supplement your sport/activity.

There are a couple great reasons to make sure you are getting in the gym along with having your activity.

Performance improvement. Whether it’s an individual sport or a team sport it can be very empowering to feel yourself getting better. And gym training can help with that.
Balance. Many leisure activities have the potential to create imbalance in strength, mobility and posture. So having a gym routine to make sure that you are working your body in ways that counterbalance your sport/activity can be very beneficial as it can help prevent injury.
So this year get out there and find something that you truly enjoy. There are activities for all ages and abilities. And then get into the gym so that you can fully experience the benefits of staying active.

Mark Pottie

Breathing & Training – when should you hold your breath?

The Right Breathing Pattern to Optimize your Performance and Fitness:

If you have worked out with a friend or trainer, you probably have heard someone tell you – don’t hold your breath! It makes sense that we should be breathing when we exercise, or else we will probably pass out fairly quickly. Why do we hold our breath unconsciously when we do something challenging, and how should we be breathing when we train?

Holding your breath during hard exercises has an advantage – it creates intra-abdominal pressure, or a stiffness in your abdomen and torso, in an attempt to help your torso stay rigid. This is a protective response which is very helpful for high-demand activities, but we don’t need to and should not be holding our breath for all of our training. Instead, our goal should be to maintain a low-intensity level of breathing throughout most of our training.

It will be challenging at first, but training ourselves to breath easier when our bodies are put under more stress from exercise will help us recover better & last longer in our workouts. Heavy breathing through our mouths uses up energy, and doing it for the full length of a workout will burn us out faster than if we can breath slower, easier, and through our noses.

If you have trouble breathing through your nose while exercising, slow down the pace during your next workout and see how long you can maintain nasal breathing as you increase the intensity. With enough practice you will find that you can breathe through your nose for more of the workout, and feel more energized while getting more work done.”


Cameron Bentley 


Rep 1 Fitness

Don’t Let Sitting Get the Best of You

Are You An All Day Desk Dweller? 

Fast and easy ways to add more movement and stretching into your day:

May the force be with you. Gravitational Force that is. Don’t let sitting get the best of you. By creating as many facet points for your framework to be against gravity, you can curb ailments and reap benefits over a multitude of functional systems in your body. The last thing you want to do is implement Newton’s Law of Inertia and stay at rest. If you do, you are exposing yourself to a decrease in

  • Metabolic capacities
    • insulin resistance, hyperlipidemia, decreased fat oxidation, a shift in substrate use toward glucose, reduced protein synthesis, loss of collagen, and more…
  • Cardiovascular systems
    • Loss of blood volume, red cell mass, fluid, and electrolyte shifts; reduction in integrity of blood vessels, and more…
  • Musculoskeletal systems
    • Muscle atrophy, bone loss, and more…
  • Rhythm and Sleep
    • Increased fatigue, strain on nervous system from poor posture, and more…
  • Balance and Coordination
    • Reduced Sensitivity to sensory systems, reduced reflexes and more..


The best way is to be active as much as you can. This does not mean you have to achieve a HIIT workout, pull out dumbbells, or sprint a 5km distance. These are ideal but you can increase the influence of gravity via low-impact, office friendly means;

  • Walk for at least 11 minutes a day
    • Getting blood circulating and your heart rate elevated can reap big benefits. If you’re able to reach 10,000 steps a day, depending on your pace can also burn 300-400 calories
  • Switch positions to Standing and do so continuously
    • Shifting the points where gravity is pulling upon and alternating the load periodically will help increase balance and coordination
    • Also putting your legs in different positions can aid in mobility
      • Piriformis figure 4 seat
      • Knee hug

(emphasis is to not stay in these positions for too long)

  • Stretching; Interaction of forces
    • Static: no movement created but sustained lengthening of muscle at end range of motion in a challenging but comfortable position (increasing force)
      • Cobra pose
      • Childs pose
      • Chest opener
    • Dynamic: active movements where joints and muscles go through a full range of motion (dance between you against Gravity) Here are some great dynamic spine openers
      • Cat cows
      • Thoracic rotations
      • Side bends
    • Passive: use of an aid to assist (force overcoming you)
      • Wall
      • Towel
      • Band
      • Chair

– Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF):  Putting a muscle in a stretched position (also called a passive stretch) and holding for a few seconds. (increasing  your force against gravity or force against an immovable object)

  • Contracting the muscle without moving (also called isometric), such as pushing gently against the stretch without actually moving. This is when the reflex is triggered and there is a 5- to 10-second window of opportunity for a beyond ‘normal’ stretch
  • Relaxing the stretch, and then stretching again while exhaling. This second stretch should be deeper than the first.


Anna Zimmer, Kinesiologist and Personal Trainer


Rep 1 Fitness

Your Mental Health + Fitness During a Pandemic.

“If exercise could be packed into a pill, it would be the single most widely prescribed and beneficial medicine in the nation.”

– Dr. Robert Butler, National Institute on Aging

Okay, so this is a HUGE topic…. I think it is the most important one I’ve ever had the opportunity to blog about.  I can tell you with confidence from personal experience, client testimonials and the steady flow of new research being done that fitness and exercise has a profound impact on mental health. 

The year 2020 has been a challenging year to say the least. If you’ve felt the effects of Covid-19 on your mental and physical health you’re not alone.

You may have seen your regular fitness fall through the cracks as the pandemic has forced many of us to work from home, or the unfortunate fact that your favourite group fitness studio or recreational team sports have come to a halt.  Many people have experienced weight gain because of this – the dreaded “Covid-15”! More on that later.. 

It’s safe to say that with the added stress and feelings of uneasiness around the pandemic plus the lack of regular exercise many people have been experiencing higher than normal rates of anxiety and depression. A recent poll done by the Angus Reid Institue a Canadian foundation for independent research,  states that 50% of Canadians reported worsening mental health since the pandemic began with many feeling worried (44%) and anxious (41%).  

Okay! Enough with the dreary stats already! Here’s a sunnier one:

A recent study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health states that walking for an hour or running for just 15 minutes can decrease your odds of becoming depressed by 26%.  We like this stat.

What Can Exercise do for Your Mental Health

  • Getting your heart rate up changes brain chemistry, increasing the availability of important anti-anxiety brain chemicals, including serotonin. 
  • Serotonin is just one of the brain chemicals responsible for your happiness. Exercise, especially getting the heart rate up can get these chemicals flowing intentionally! 
  • Exercise activates the frontal region of the brain and amygdala.  The frontal lobe of your brain is responsible for cognitive skills like problem solving, emotions and memory. In turn this helps control the amygdala, the part of the brain where emotions are processed.
  • Exercises increases your body’s production of endorphins and serotonin – see above. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain and stress. 
  • Exercise can offer a break from negative thoughts that feed drepression.  
  • Moving your body decreases muscle tension, lowering the body’s contribution to feeling anxious.
  • A consistent fitness regime can have you feeling accomplished and with an overall sense of well-being. 
  • Exercise can promote all kinds of changes in the brain. This includes neural growth, reduced inflammation, and new activity patterns that promote feelings of calm. 

The Canadian Association of Mental Health states that is very likely and even okay to feel worried and have some stress about the current situation.  Along with staying in touch with loved ones and seeking formal help from a professional if needed they highly recommend exercise, sleeping and eating well to support your mental health. 

Fitness as your Community

One of my favourite things I heard a client mention the other day was that when living in isolation due to the pandemic just the act of coming to the gym and saying hello to friendly familiar faces has been a game changer for her! Beyond fitness goals, community allows us to find a sense of belonging. It’s what can support us through some difficult moments

Training during a Pandemic

As mentioned above, the dreaded “Covid-15” has become a topic now too – the average weight gain during a quarantine is 3-15 lbs! Yikes! Thankfully Rep 1 Fitness is still operating with very safe Covid protocols in place.  If you need help with your fitness right now – or if you think a loved one needs some motivation (Hey a gift card for personal training is a fabulous holiday gift idea!) contact us

You already know that exercise is good for your body, but more and more research is telling us it can have a positive impact on mental health as well. Even the most modest amount of exercise has shown to improve emotions, sleep, stress levels and can even help you cope with depression and anxiety!

Let’s aim for 30 minutes of continual exercise on most days of the week.. Or better yet 150 minutes of moderate exercise (like a brisk walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. Vigorous would be more like running, playing singles tennis or doing high intensity interval training. If you’re not sure where to start let one of us at Rep 1 help you! 

Fitness is one great tool that will help carry us through these dark winter months during a pandemic! 

Is personal training in Vancouver safe during Covid times?

Personal and social fitness

Times have changed!  Cleaning and social distancing are the new norm.  Plastic barriers, spray bottles and hand sanitizers rule this planet.  The fitness industry is no different.  All of us used to sweat, grunt and jump around our fitness facilities with no thought of ‘distance’ between us and others.  We would use our weights and fitness equipment and think nothing of it.  Sweaty spin classes were shoulder to shoulder and it was all about how many mats we could jam into a yoga class.  ‘Safe’ is the new word for exercise in Vancouver!  See how we are safe here at Rep1 Fitness.  So how do we accomplish this and not ruin the personal training experience?  The best way is to train safe but at the same time keep personal training ‘personal’!


At Rep1 Fitness, here in Kitsilano, we have a designated space for you and your trainer!  With over 8,000 sq ft of personal training here at R1 we can afford to give you your on spot on the floor and your coach will wear a mask for your time here in the gym.  That footprint on the floor designated for your physical fitness is all that your professional will need to chase your goals.  All the exercise equipment you need will be with you.  Strength training with free weights, and even aerobic exercise, can actually be done in these exclusive spaces… especially when you have a coach with you!  


All fitness clubs should be having set times/appointments for their members… period!  Every one of us looking for regular exercise needs to set a schedule to keep our fitness regime regular, now it is almost mandatory.  This isn’t a bad thing.  Having a set schedule for yourself will help you keep your long-term health benefits because you will actually do your exercise.  Health and wellness is SO important right now for our mental well-being… schedule and appointment and stick to it.


Let’s be honest, part of the personal training experience is the social aspect.  Fitness goals and the gym are great but having your own personal ‘exercise host’ makes every workout special.  The best part of having your own host at the Rep1 fitness facility is their ability to keep your workout social but socially distanced.  The trainers will wear a mask to keep you safe in your area while you get your sweat on… but you better believe you can still hear us!  That’s our job!  Physical activity even improves your ability to be social as demonstrated by the article in PsychCentral:   The SOCIAL Aspect of Fitness

Safe fitness and personal training

Gyms and personal training may now be ‘safe’… but let’s keep it personal! Life isn’t just about spray bottles


Your time is valuable, and in this weird day and age its hard to make a plan.  That is what your personal trainer is for: they are responsible for making your time in the gym count and they should be accountable for your fitness regime.  What are your goals?  That is our mission.  With all the Covid protocols happening it can be super confusing how to actually get a simple workout finished.  That is why goals and planning are so important!  The home gym can be a good tool for lockdown times but in-house workouts might not be the best for reaching your goals.  Even if you are working on a simple stretch or core regime, having a fitness coach with a plan is a great idea.

Why should I get online personal training with REP1 FITNESS?


  • Credibility
  • Knowledge
  • Experience
  • Personal Connection
  • One-on One exercise designed for YOU

Right now with COVID 19 rampant around the world, more and more people are looking to the internet for answers; especially when it comes to ways to stay healthy and fit!  For the longest time the fitness industry was mostly constrained by four walls, but as self-isolation is becoming more a way of life we are realizing that online training is the way to go.  It is not that the online coaches, and Insta-famous personal trainers, weren’t out in the world before this self-isolation period… it is just now we are being FORCED to search for these ‘fitness professionals’.  So what do you look for when searching for an online personal training and why should Rep1 Fitness be your source for health and wellness during isolation times?  Here are the reasons to work with us:


Rep1 Fitness is an 8,000sq ft fitness facility in Kitsilano, Vancouver, with over 65 personal trainers.  The Rep1 Team has been helping people reach their fitness goals for 10 years now and we can’t wait to do 10 more!  Not only do we have an actual gym on the Westside of Vancouver, but our team has trained out of some of the best facilities in the lower mainland.  Our large client base covers all levels of fitness and all age groups.  We work with seniors, youth, and everything in between.  Here is an article on the KITSILANO.CA website talking about the ‘5 Ways to Stay Fit in the Fall in Kitsilano’… and, yes, we’re in there!


The Rep1 team is the best personal training team in Vancouver.  Our exercise and training backgrounds are diverse but we are all experienced in the field of health and wellness.  From kinesiologists to veterans that are 25 years in the industry, we have it all.  All of our team members come from extensive sport backgrounds making them great team players.  We have worked in every facet of the fitness industry from fitness classes, to sports rehab, and, of course, one-on-one personal training.  This is the team online, or in Vancouver, that should help you get your ‘sweat on’!  


What we could all use right now is a friendly face… and at Rep1 we have the biggest smiles to go with your exercise!  Get an online coach from our team and you will get the personality to go with the credibility.  It is called ‘personal’ training for a reason and at Rep1 we hire people who are the total package.    Check out our online team of personal trainers:

Gui Spiteri

Anna Zimmer

Cam Bentley

Rosie Walsh


Whether it is in a ZOOM (online) meeting or in our facility, you will get a personal plan for your training time.  We will customize your workout and get you the right physical activity for your body.  If you have injuries, you’re looking to lose weight, or you’re an endurance athlete and you need some help with those imbalances, we’ve got you covered!  Sure, we may be video conferencing with you but this will still be a one-on-one session with your goals in mind.  If you are just grabbing youtube videos with random exercises, they might not be designed for your body or injuries.  Get to the other side of social-distancing fit, healthy and injury free with a program designed by one of our personal trainers!

Go onto Rep1’s website and click the sign-up button… we will get back to you right away to set up your time with one of our online coaches!

The Best Exercises for Seniors

At Rep 1 Fitness we’ve seen our older adult clients achieve amazing health and fitness results. Perhaps the word ‘amazing’ is downplaying their achievements and we should say ‘life changing’!  

Our senior clients can be seen working on single leg balance drills, learning to lift weights or even venturing into weekend cycling races. No matter what your level of fitness is, it’s without a doubt that exercise can positively impact one’s health.  Being physically active can improve your quality of life, mental and physical well-being and can even lead to living longer.  Participating in a safe fitness program contributes to well-being at every age but is essential for older adults.  The best exercise for seniors combines 4 pillars of fitness; strength, cardiovascular, mobility and balance. 

Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, heart disease and can even slow cognitive decline.  It can help control blood pressure, cholesterol, increase circulation and maintain a healthy body weight.  Also some studies reveal that regular exercise can help reduce the risk of some diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer’s up to a whopping 50%!  A smart and safe exercise program can help strengthen your muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones helping fight against falls and osteoporosis.  

Best of all, exercise can help you stay strong, agile and energetic so you can continue the activities that bring you the most the joy in life! 

There is no ‘one best exercise’ but an exercise program that combines strength, cardiovascular and flexibility work is the most beneficial for seniors.  Try and find an exercise routine that not only includes those but one that you enjoy the most! This way exercising will be fun and you’ll be more likely to stick to the program long term. 

What if I’m a Total Beginner?

 If you’re new to fitness or haven’t been active in a while fear not! It’s never too late to start and reap the benefits of exercise.  First and foremost, before you begin any new exercise make sure you speak to your doctor.  Ensure any existing health conditions or medications are taken into account.  Ensure you start slowly and gradually build up.  If you have no idea where to start consider working with an experienced personal trainer. They have the knowledge and abilities to work safely with all age groups.  

If you’re new to fitness start with walking. Walking is one of the best exercises for seniors. You can start with 10-15 minutes several times a week. Work your way up to being able to walk comfortably for 30 minutes. This is a great cardiovascular foundation to have.  From there you can build upon your foundation! 

Starting a Fitness Program

The good thing is that greater health and fitness can be achieved by exercising just 30 minutes most days of the week. Let’s take a closer look at what your fitness program should like in detail below:

“Older adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity…” recommends the World Health Organization.

Moderate intensity exercise includes walking, swimming and even mowing the lawn. Moderate exercise should feel somewhat hard. Physical clues will be breaking a light sweat after 10 minutes, breathing quickens but you can still hold a normal conversation. 

Vigorous intensity exercise should feel very challenging. Your breathing would be rapid, you’d break a sweat after only a few minutes of exercise and you cannot carry a conversation comfortably. 

If you’re new to vigorous exercise be careful not to overexert yourself.  If you experience any pain, feel faint or dizzy be sure to stop and rest. Then gradually build up next time.  Again, working with a certified personal trainer can be very helpful as they know how to prescribe exercise intensity for your personal level. 

The Best Exercise for Seniors:

Strength Training

From there we suggest adding in a strength training regime.  Resistance training (strength training) is another best form of exercise for seniors as it helps maintain and improve your muscular strength and endurance.  This leads to better posture, stronger bones and even contributes to your quality of life! 

As we age our bodies naturally lose muscle mass.  Humans lose 3% – 5% of muscle mass every decade after the age of 30.  This can even speed up around the age of 65 if a person remains inactive.  It is crucial to stay active and strength train as you age to help slow this process down.  Sarcopenia (muscle loss with age) can come with symptoms like loss of stamina, muscle atrophy (muscle shrinking) and weakness.  With regular resistance training woman can expect to gain 0.5-1 lbs of muscle per month and men 1-2 lbs of muscle every month. These numbers can vary greatly depending on genetics, hormone levels, age, quality of sleep and diet.  Nonetheless – we can ensure you will see and feel a difference even in the first month of regular strength training!

Daily tasks like climbing stairs and carrying groceries for example all require muscular strength. With stronger muscles you can expect to do these things with ease and confidence. 

How Much and How Often?

We suggest strength training a minimum of two days per week.  Strength training includes exercises using free weights, resistance bands, weighted balls, cables and even your own bodyweight. Again, make sure you start gradually with a weight you can safely lift for 10-15 reps.   Movements that strengthen all the major muscle groups like squats, lunges, modified push ups and rows are the best exercises for seniors.  

Below are just some of our amazing older adults at Rep 1 Fitness showing us some of the best exercises for seniors:

  1. The Wall Push Up – this is a great place to start building your upper body strength. If you haven’t done a push up in a while start with your hands on the wall to decrease the difficulty. 
  2. The Squat – This lower body exercise is excellent for building strength in the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes.  If you’re smiling and laughing like our trainee in the video it means you’re doing it right! 
  3. The Lunge – Similar to the squat, this exercise builds the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes as well as challenges balance! 

Flexibility and Mobility

Our muscles and joints lose flexibility and range of motion gradually with age.  Mobility is important for performing exercises correctly as well keeping simple daily tasks easy.  Flexibility can be improved by static stretches, holding a stretch for up to 60 seconds. A joints range of motion can be improved with dynamic stretches and specific mobility drills.  

Below is one of our favourite stretches for the hips and lower back and you can do it lying down – bonus! 

Below is one of your favourite stretches for your hamstrings. Step 1, start by lying on your back, bend one leg in towards your chest and wrap a band or strap around the bottom of your foot. Step 2, slowly begin to straighten the leg until you feel a gentle stretch in the back of the leg. Hold for 30-60 seconds. 

Step 1

Step 2

Better yet, assisted stretching therapy like the Fascial Stretch Therapy, a pain free, table-based technique can increase your flexibility.  The Fascial Stretch Therapy offered at Rep 1 can help improve flexibility and mobility, reduce muscle soreness and leave you feeling relaxed. 


The ability to balance better has to be one of the best outcomes of exercise for older adults. It is widely known that over 2 million older adults in North America fall each year resulting in injuries due to loss of balance.  The great thing about balance exercises is that they can be done almost anywhere.  Try standing and holding onto a railing, fence or sturdy chair for support, then slowly take one leg off the ground so that you’re balancing on one leg. Try and stay here for 10 seconds then take a break. Repeat 5 times on each leg. Once you feel comfortable try balancing on one leg without holding onto something. 

If you’re a seasoned fitness enthusiast or a complete beginner we encourage you to continue or start your fitness course no matter your age! You’ll be sure to see and feel the positive benefits of exercise on your mind and body. And who knows where your fitness venture will take you! 


How do I recover from an injury?

Yes, that is what my shoulder looks like from an x-ray.  Early June of 2019 I went flying over my handlebars in a cycling race… and that was the end of biking that summer! 

Acute pain, surgery (which involved a hook and a plate in my shoulder), pain, rehab, pain, rehab, finally a light at the end of the tunnel, and now staring down a second surgery… which will bring back more pain.

During the 13 years of playing football I had a phone book’s worth of physical injuries.  My physio file was THICK!  Being young, I always bounced back fast and way too early.  As I’ve aged, I’ve noticed the recovery process requires me to be more thoughtful to avoid chronic pain and long-term issues. 

What do you do when you are setting up for injury recovery?  GO SLOWLY!  And be diligent

Let’s go through the steps of recovering from an injury:

  1. The acute phase (also known as the “freakin’ painful stage”):
  • Assessment: this is where you find out what you did to yourself
    • Having a great physio is always a good idea!
      • Injuries not requiring a doctor should still be assessed, even if it is a physio
    • Sometimes it is painfully obvious that you need to see a Doctor (see above x-ray)
  • Very key to get down the swelling
    • RICE (we all know it, use it!  WebMD breaks it down really simply in this article)
      • Rest
      • Ice
      • Compression
      • Elevation
    • Pain management:
      • Depending on the injury this can range from opioids to simple ibuprofen
  1. As a trainer and a cyclist my first goal was to MAINTAIN FITNESS!!!:
  • Find a way to safely keep up your physical fitness
    • Your physiotherapist or doctor can give you ideas
    • Find a way to simple cardio!: even indoor, easy pedaling on a bike will keep those muscle tissues firing
    • Your certified PERSONAL TRAINER can keep you working the uninjured muscles and with exercise motivation
  1. Begin the rehab process (also known as the “is this over yet? stage”):
  • Guided by your physiotherapist, doctor, or Kinesiologist you should begin to get back movement in your injured joint or muscle
    • START SLOW with gentle movement patterns when doing physiotherapy
    • DON’T push into pain
    • Strength and range of motion will come back, enjoy the process
  • Start functional drills at the gym, or in a controlled environment  
    • Begin using the joint, or muscle, in more functional, sport specific drills
  1. Get back to doing what you do best:
  • Be healed to the point where there is minimal risk of re-injury
    • This will be assessed by your physio, coach or fitness expert
  • Make sure you do an ADEQUATE WARM-UP
    • Get the joint/muscles and surrounding area ready to move
  • Have fun, but again, go slowly

These steps will seem to take forever when recovering from acute injuries.  BUT, if you are diligent with your physical rehab, listen to your physio, and possibly get some personal training (check us out in Kitsilano, Vancouver), you will be back to chasing your fitness goals in no time! 

How to Stay Motivated and Dedicated to your Fitness Goals.

Motivation, Dedication and Crushing your Fitness Goals!

A powerful and positive mindset if one of the key steps to keeping motivation and dedication long term!

      With New Years resolutions right around the corner it seems like everyone in Vancouver is thinking about fitness and health motivation.  How many times have you set a resolution at the beginning of the year just to watch it fade away a few weeks later?  Below you’ll find our best tips on how to stay motivated with your fitness goals…

Motivation is what pushes our lives and what pulls us to make decisions. You’ve probably experience high motivation, such as starting your new years resolutions, the first time you meet that special someone or when you notice your weight loss efforts are starting to pay off when you slip on those new skinny jeans. That can be really motivating!  You’ve most likely also experience motivation lows… when your new years resolutions starts to dwindle by mid January, your 5 times a week workouts slowly become once a week, you start hitting the snooze button more and more…

How to Stay Motivated with your Fitness Goals…

Why is motivation so extremely hard to keep? This quote from former Navy Seal and ultra endurance athlete David Goggins got me thinking… 

“Motivation is crap. Motivation comes and goes. When you’re driven, whatever is in front of you will get destroyed.” – David Goggins

With that said, it seems like motivation is much like an emotion… It comes and goes. Often without our control. You’ve probably noticed from your own experience that motivation highs make us feel really good and motivations lows make us feel less than par. 

You’ve also likely noticed that after a bought of high motivation you crash and burn only to be in the same position you were at the start.  That’s because sometimes we tend to set too huge of expectations and goals for ourselves that cannot be sustained for long periods of time. Perhaps trying to chase high motivation all of time is unrealistic.  Perhaps we should think about it in terms of staying dedicated or driven, instead of highly motivated all of the time. 

Read on to Find out 7 Key Steps on how to Stay Motivated and Finally Accomplish your Goals.

1) Baby Steps.

I’m a big believer in setting small baby step goals that won’t flip your current life completely upside down! Think small attainable goals that can fit nicely into your lifestyle.  This may sound meek but I promise that taking small steps can lead to big sustainable changes.  I’ve seen it work firsthand with all of my personal training clients!

Choose no more than two goals to stay dedicated to at a time.  When that becomes a natural part of your weekly routine or more of a habit then you can tackle another ‘baby step goal’. For example, if improving your health and wellness is a goal then your ‘baby step’ would be to drink 8 glasses of water/day until it becomes habitual.  Once that is a constant you can take on a new baby step goal and turn that one into a habit.  Then keep going and going until you become a super human!! 

“Motivation is what gets you started habit is what keeps you going”. – Jim Ryun, American Track and Field Olympian.

2) Create a Vision. 

“…unless you create a vision, see the person you want to be in your mind, your life will remain the same. You need to see the future ahead of yourself, how you want to live. Keep in touch with that vision every single day.”  David Goggin

Take a minute to envision just how it would feel to achieve your goal. How would you feel physically and mentally if in two months you reached your final weight loss goal, or finally completed that 10 km charity run?  Staying in contact with your vision and thinking of it often will result in more consistent motivation.. or should we say dedication? Whatever the word is – just keep your eyes on the prize!  

3) Find Your “Why” and Write it Down.

Having a goal is one thing but knowing why you want to achieve that goal is what will help fuel it. If losing weight is your goal you need to clearly define your reason for having that goal. Maybe you want to lose weight to prevent heart disease, reduce joint pain, look good for a big event coming up or to keep up with your kids.  We suggest writing your goal down and then beside it the “why’s” and reading through it daily.  Or better yet write it on a sticky note and post it to your mirror where you’ll see it every morning. 

4) Positive Self Talk. 

When it comes to achieving any goal your mind set and mental toughness play a highly important role. 

Elaine Mead Bsc of Positive Psychology  explains the research agrees that positive self talk can have a crucial impact on behaviour change as well as other benefits like reducing stress, easing anxiety and increasing self confidence.  From my experience as a personal trainer and competitive gymnastics coach I have found that individuals who have a positive outlook on their goals and their abilities to achieve them will succeed significantly more than someone with a negative outlook.

Examples of positive self talk may sound like:

  • “I have the power to change and I will”
  • “I am resilient and I will give it my all to make it work”
  • “With the lessons learned from this week – next week will be even better”

Positive self talk may sound cheesy, and you might feel a bit silly at first but I challenge you to come up with your own statement and recite it often especially when you’re faced with a challenge or a set back. 

5) Build a Process Goal. 

Focusing on the final outcome of a goal can often feel distant, overwhelming and leave you feeling uninspired. For example if your goal is lose weight, that’s great but it’s too general. Let’s come up with a specific number and create some small steps to get you there. 

I always encourage my personal training clients to make S.M.A.R.T goals: 

Specific:  To lose 10 lbs

Measurable: We’ll use a scale and take measurements with a measuring tape.

Achievable:  I know that from current weight, height and age, 10 lbs is a realistic and healthy amount to lose. 

Realistic: Losing 10 lbs is relevant to me and this is the right time in my life to focus on this.

Timed: Set a deadline. Since we know losing 1-2 lbs a week is healthy set that deadline accordingly. 

Now that we have some specifics let’s write down some action-oriented goals. Remember to keep them small and easily attainable.  Baby Steps!

Examples include:

  • I will walk for 30 minutes everyday this week.
  • To eat at least 4 servings of vegetables each day
  • Save the wine for Saturday night only 
  • Commit to my personal trainer twice a week
  • Bring lunch to work 3 times this week instead of eating out everyday

6) Make it Public.

Consider making your goal into a public statement. Notify friends, family, colleagues of your goal or even post it on social media (don’t forget to tag us @rep1_fitness_inc!) Social support and positive feedback from others will help keep you accountable. Consider finding a friend with a similar goal, if it’s fitness – find a workout buddy and make an exercise schedule you can both commit to. 

7) Reward Yourself. 

Everybody loves a good reward! If for example your big goal is weight loss and you’ve hit your “baby step” goal of walking for 30 minutes every day this week then reward your excellent efforts with something not food related. You could plan a fun day with friends, a movie out, a pedicure or a new pair of runners! 

With these key steps to keep your motivation high and practical ways to stay dedicated to your goals there’s no stopping how far you’ll go! Remember to celebrate the small successes and ask for help when needed.  Here’s to a happy and healthy new year and staying motivated with your fitness goals!