How to Avoid the Holiday Weight Gain

4 Tips: Maintain Your Fitness and Still Enjoy the Holidays


  • How to keep your health and fitness but still enjoy your holidays!

    Hydrate Like Crazy

We all know drinking adequate water is important. More so important during the holidays when extra goodies are being handed around. Being hydrated will not only help keep you feeling satiated but can help boost your metabolism and not to mention clear your head after all the rum and egg nogs!


  • Prioritize Sleep When You Can

Schedules can get busy during the holiday season, but to be at you best mentally and physically prioritize sleep. An increasing number of studies have shown that good amounts of sleep can have a very positive effect on your metabolism.  Simply put, proper sleep will keep your metabolism balanced and can optimize your body’s ability to regulate glucose.  While sleep deprivation can alter your ‘hunger hormones’ (leptin and ghrelin) leading to an altered appetite and poor food choices.


  • Eat Protein and Veggies First

Loading up on protein and fiber rich foods will help keep your blood sugar stable and keep you feeling full for longer.  Enjoy the holiday treats but don’t forget the healthy stuff too!


  • Get in Extra Workouts

To maintain your body composition, fitness level and to feel your best, add in an extra workout/movement to your week. Walk, don’t drive when you can, dust off the snow-shoes and hit the trails, or better yet book in a few more sessions with your trainer – they will be sure to keep you on track!

Why Won’t The Scale Budge?

Scale Won’t Budge? Here’s What To Do 

Picture this: Your fitness goal is to lose a bit of weight, get a bit stronger and just generally get a bit fitter. Not asking for much right? So with your goals all set, you’ve been consistently working out for a year and half now.. You go to step on the scale and are shocked to see it hasn’t budged! Frustrating? Yes.  If the number on the scale can make or break your day you’re not alone. You’re proud of your efforts in the gym but baffled by the number on the scale. Surely it would be going in the direction you want after all those squat jumps right?  


Please remember the scale does not measure everything. The scale is only one vague measurement of tissues, cells, bones, the food you ate and the glass of water you just drank.  The numbers do not show the bigger picture of health and fitness.  It certainly does not tell you if your cardiovascular system is becoming more efficient or if your muscles and joints are getting stronger just to name a few.  Now don’t get us wrong, there is nothing wrong with wanting to look a certain way.  And there is nothing wrong with wanting to drop body fat especially if it’s for health reasons. But don’t miss out on all the other ways to tell if you’re getting fitter, stronger, healthier!


When someone begins or increases their fitness program they will most likely gain some muscles mass.  Muscles mass is denser (or leaner) than fat tissue. It takes up LESS space than fat. 5 lbs of muscles holds much differently than 5 lbs of fat.    If you’re clothes are looser than this is a fantastic sign you’re getting leaner.   Take regular progress pictures and measurements too.  What you can’t see on the scale you can usually see in a photo.  If your measurements are better or the fit of your clothes are better than the number on the scale doesn’t really matter. Yahoo! 


Let’s take a step away from body composition and let’s look at other ways to measure your fitness and health. Measuring your physical fitness tangibles like strength, endurance, speed, mobility etc. allows you to establish some starting points that you can retest at a later date.  Who knows – this might even spark some much needed motivation for you besides stepping on the dreaded scale!  

You and a trainer can measure your strength with tests such as Max Push up Test – how many push ups you can do in a certain time frame or a wall sit test for time as well. Sounds like fun right? You can measure your speed with a very simple 1 km run – or roughly 2.5 times around a track for time.  If you’re looking to move better, a trainer can put you through the Functional Movement Screen to look at your mobility.  We promise that the feeling of being stronger, faster and fitter far outweighs the number on the scale. 

Other fitness victories that should never be forgotten include, being consistent with your program, having the energy to play with you kids, being able to walk up the stair without knee pain, better mental health and sleep. 

If you enjoy relying on the scale and are able to step on it with a neutral mind set then make sure you’re using the scale properly. Ensure you always use the same scale, same time of day, same day of the week and in the same clothing. 

If you’re still looking to move the scale then focus on making the health changes you need.  Changes such as a healthier diet, progressive exercise routine, better sleep, stress management and your relationship with food.  Take an honest look at your overall activity level as well as your consistency with exercise and nutrition. With this approach your goals will be met.  Feeling overwhelmed yet? Fear not! A certified personal trainer can help you! 



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

How to Keep Your New Year Resolutions

How to keep your New Years resolutions

Getting a grip on your New Years resolutions can be done with a little bit of planning, perseverance, and a sprinkling of grit! I know that sounds difficult but don’t go away just yet! I’ve got 5 simple steps that will help you get there!

The new year is the perfect time to start a new chapter. So many of us choose this time to make resolutions and set goals. The new year brings a fresh start and great opportunity to ditch old habits and start new ones! 

As trainers we hear all about your health and fitness goals at the beginning of the year but unfortunately it is all too familiar to see these goals dwindle by March… So what can we do to stop this endless cycle of disappointment and feelings of failure?  

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5 tips to finally get a grip on your New Year Resolutions:

  1. Start Small:

One of the biggest reasons we see resolutions fail by March is that we choose goals that are too lofty, and without a solid plan to get there. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Limit your resolutions to one goal at a time.

So you have a big health and fitness goal in mind. That’s great! But let’s break it down into small attainable ‘mini goals’.  Achieving these mini goals act like stepping stones towards your big goal. 

For example if your big goal is to lose 20 lbs, a good place to start would be to just walk for at least 30 minutes a day. 

Once that has become a habit and a staple in your daily routine then you can tackle the next mini goal; start drinking more water.. And etc etc.. These small baby steps lead to healthy habits that become the building blocks to achieving your big goal.

2. Write it Down:

I can’t stress enough the power of pencil to paper! Write your goals down everywhere and often! 

Write them down in your day timer, on your phone, in your notebook, on a sticky note and place it somewhere where you’ll see it often. 

This will help keep your vision clear when life get’s busy! 

3. Make a Plan:

Creating a detailed written plan including the key points below:

  • The steps or ‘mini goals’ you will make every week
  • Why you want to do it
  • Potential obstacles that might get in your way
  • Ways you can keep yourself on track when these obstacles pop up

Say your goal is to run four times a week and you’ve identified that a potential obstacle might be that long hours at the office will get in your way.  

Take a moment to brainstorm ways you can get around this. Just by taking a few minutes to note anything that might get in the way of your goal and finding solutions for these set backs will lead to better success with your new years resolutions 

For a wish to become a reality you need a plan to get there! 

4.  Ask for Help:

Having a solid support network can help you stay accountable and keep your new year resolutions. Find a like minded buddy, a community group with the same goal, seek a mentor or hire a personal trainer!  Make your goals known to your friends, coworkers and family and ask someone to hold you accountable. 

5.  Find your Why! 

The first few days into your new years resolutions you will probably feel motivated and confident that you will finally meet your goal. This is because you haven’t really had to deal with any temptations or discomfort yet. But as the weeks progress and life starts to return to normal routine you will be faced with some obstacles or inclinations to fall back into old habits. 

When those obstacles pop up, take a minute and remember your ‘Why’. Why do you want to achieve this goal. Keep your inspiration in mind when times get tough. 

Behaviour change is very hard at first, but trust us – keep chipping away at it! 

Sticking to your resolutions is hard work. There will be set backs along the way but learn from them as you go. If your current plan is definitely not working for you, don’t give up all together, be flexible and re-evaluate your plan.  Ask your friends for advice or ask your trainer to help with planning. Be patient with yourself – remember: greater health and fitness is a life long goal! 

Here’s wishing you the best on your journey and to finally keeping your new year resolutions. Let this be YOUR year!



Are gyms safe during Covid?

Sorry, I am going to go on a bit of a rant here… OF COURSE GYMS ARE SAFE! 

Covid times:

Covid has been tough on many industries and businesses have taken massive hits on all levels.  Companies are required to spend more money on cleaning, training and safety supplies.  We have had huge staff turnover and we have lost customers to fear, new safety rules, and social distancing in our establishments.  

Somewhere along the way the fitness industry became the enemy and the bad press for fitness in BC over the past few months has been astonishing and unwarranted.  High intensity fitness classes were shut down in vague statements produced by the BC provincial government.  Lots of people throughout the province then thought that all gyms were shut down because of these statements.  Personal training and regular gyms were never shut down… and they are safer than they have ever been!

Your Fitness Professional is a LEADER, and always has been:

The employees and managers of fitness facilities are often former captains of sports teams and athletes of all sorts.   Football, field hockey, lacrosse, hockey, gymnastics, triathlons, etc… name it, we have done it.  People in fitness are leaders and accustomed to shining in adversity.  When times are tough, you can usually see us leading the charge to make things better, it is our learned/natural behaviour. 

When did that change?  It didn’t!  So, when the government says we are in a pandemic and here are the new safety protocols… we are the first to pick up the torch and start running.  Extra cleaning?  Yep!  Wear a mask?  Yep!  Social distancing?  Sure, we can make that happen as well.  And the whole time we will keep our chins up and keep smiling!  Day after day… it’s what we do.

We may have ‘fun’ here at Rep1 Fitness… but we take your exercise, programming and safety very seriously!

Your fitness leader’s inherent nature is to help make your life better: 

We come into this industry to make you a more awesome, more fit version of yourself!  It isn’t all about the money for our industry.  If it was about money, we would pick a different field, like financials.   Exercise professionals take a ‘gym job’ with the intention of helping you chase your physical goals.  It is about your achievements, and (selfishly) how much those achievements make us smile!  

We are the field full of ‘keeners’ and ‘try-hards’, in it for the intrinsic rewards as much as the paycheque.  Keeping gyms and classes open is about the physical AND mental health of our province, led by people who have ALWAYS had your safety in mind.

Exercise professionals are SUPPOSED to keep you safe:

We always have our client’s best interests, and safety, at the forefront of our minds.  Covid times or not, we are required to maintain our certifications and constantly review our safety protocols (such as CPR).  When your fitness expert has their keen eye on you… you know you are safe.  That expert is also responsible for your safety in the gym during Covid, and we go above and beyond.  We have always kept you safe and, without going into ALL the safety protocols, we are trying (and succeeding) more than ever.

So, if you are looking for physical and mental health, there is no place better than your local Vancouver gym.  Go in, feel good working out, and know that your safety is in the hands of people whose genuine nature is to care about you! 

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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.

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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.