Friday, October 31, 2008

Review of "Bigger Faster Stronger"

Here is my published review of the great documentary, Bigger Faster Stronger. By the way, I highly recommend you check out this film... it's now on DVD.

America prides itself on being a dominant super-power in the world. That pride is accompanied by an insatiable desire to “win” and pressure to be the best. Boys grow up idolizing larger than life heroes such as Hulk Hogan, Rambo, Rocky, and Conan. They dream of growing up to be just like them and want to be bigger, stronger, faster, and better than the next guy. What happens when they find out that all of their heroes have a dirty little secret?

The director Christopher Bell brings us this honest, educational, and entertaining documentary that takes a personal look at the win-at-all-cost American culture.
Well narrated and professionally directed, “Bigger Faster Stronger” boasts a diverse cast including government officials, medical experts, elite athletes, average gym-junkies, and the director’s own two brothers.

Are steroids the drug of choice for champions or cheaters? Do you follow the rules or follow your heroes? Is it really cheating if everyone is doing it? “Bigger Faster Stronger” tackles the charged issue of steroid use and raises some good questions but doesn’t answer them for you. Rather, this film presents some interesting ideas and invites the viewer to look past the media hype and rethink the common myths and stereotypes that abound. Different perspectives are offered, political scandals are exposed, and it becomes apparent that there is a discrepancy between the truth and how that truth is often embellished by the media.

As a trainer and strength athlete myself, I found this film to be particularly interesting because it is a subject matter that we are inundated with in the strength athletics and fitness industry. The information was well presented in a humorous and straight forward manner. It is backed up with plenty of research and is also very engaging and easy to follow for those who are unfamiliar with the topic. I give it a rating of 4 ½ out of 5.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Abbreviated Workouts

I've been experimenting with short, full body workouts these last few weeks, due to my schedule becoming MUCH tighter (with clients, projects, and preparing for our bouncing baby to arrive)! I've set up a circuit training routine involving compound strength and power movements performed back to back with minimal rest, typically moving from a lower body movement to an upper body exercise (ie- deep squats, push press, stiff deads, bent rows, power cleans, strap pushups, etc). I'd do each exercise for 1 set of 6-8 reps, then move to the next... repeating the circuit if time allowed.

Even though I was only using moderate weight, I tell you this program kicked my butt! Admittedly I do feel I have lost a little strength this last couple of months, but training this way (along with a cleaner diet) has kept me much leaner and my joints feel great.

Next week I'm switching back to my standard 3 day split (the tried and true Power Program my team designed, that works like gang-busters for every strength athlete I've put on it!), but I'll be modifying it until my schedule allows me to get in full workouts again. I'll let you know how it goes.

I'll also be making the Power Program available soon in ebook form... watch for it.

Comment or email me if you want a full description of the abbreviated workout I've been following, and I'd like to hear from any of you re- what programs you've tried and found effective for strength or gettin' lean. Let me know!
Stay Fit,

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Stay Fit Tip

Health Tip:

Positive thinking has been found to boost the body's immune system to enable us to fight off infection.

Power Quote:

“Many want to change their results, but they are unwilling to change themselves...they therefore remain bound!”
— James Allen

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Stay Fit Minute #3: Shovelling Snow Sucks

OK, this was one of my first StayFit vids, so ignore the hack acting! (LOL)

Winter now has a pretty solid foot-hold, and we've had some decent snow-fall (although nothing like last year so far!). This Stay Fit video will demonstrate a series of exercises to prepare you for the inevitable snow-shovelling many of us have to face. I have a client who complained who used to seriously hurt his back almost every year while shovelling snow. I put together a series of basic exercises for him to help prevent this, and I'm happy to say it has.

As a matter of fact, every winter there are many people who injure their backs while shovelling the new snow-fall because of muscular imbalances and being out of shape. I thought it would be helpful to post these exercise basics to prevent these types of injuries.

I don't consider this a complete training program, but becoming comfortable with these movements will help. Once you are stable enough, I would also include the deadlift movement (introduced later). I also suggest you switch sides often when shovelling, and remember to use correct shovelling technique!


Monday, October 20, 2008

My New DVD is almost done!

The DVD that I've been working on FOREVER is finally finished, and I'm sending it off for reproduction / packaging next week! I'm pretty excited about this as it's been a big project for me, and I'm happy with how it turned out. Check it out at, and wish me luck with it!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Nutrition Tip

A great way to increase your water consumption without drinking more water is to eat more salads, vegetable and fruits. They all contain a high percentage of water and essential nutrients.

If you fall in love with fresh fruits and vegetables, and incorporate a wide range of them in your diet, you will also naturally decrease fat intake and reduce health risk.

TIP: Before you eat anything, ask yourself, is this food supporting my health or destroying my health? Then decide if you really want to eat it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Stay Fit Tip

Health Tip:

Studies show that 75% of North Americans do not consume the recommended amounts of calcium on a daily basis. To increase your calcium consumption, consider adding dark, leafy greens such as kale, turnip greens and spinach to your diet.

Power Quote:

“Do the thing and you will get the energy to do the thing.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Stay Fit Minute #2: Office Exercises

One of the first videos I made for clients 'back in the day'. Many of my clients work at a desk, so there was a need for this topic.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing everyone a great thanksgiving weekend. Enjoy some good food and hopefully some good company, and remember it's not just about the turkey... we can all find alot to be thankful for. And as I've always believed, an "Attitude of Gratitude" will bring more good things your way!

Health Tip:
Deep sleep rejuvenates you. When you receive adequate sleep, you will look and feel better.

Power Quote:
“You will either step forward in growth or you will step back into safety.”
— Abraham Maslow

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Strongman Training

Hey guys,
If you're interested in coming out for strongman group training, Team Barbarian should be back at it next Saturday Oct.18 at 3PM, and most Saturdays coming up look OK. This contest season is all but done... now we gotta build our base for next year! Message me to let me know if you're coming. If you're new, live in the GTA, and you're reading this, for more info goto for more info on Team Membership.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Stay Fit Tip

Health Tip:

In a study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, scientists discovered that men who performed 3-weight workouts a week for 6 months, not only built muscle and lost fat, but also improved on scores to measure tension,anger and overall mood.

Power Quote:

“In your life's defining moments there are two choices — you either step forward in faith and power or you step backward into fear.”
— James Arthur Ray

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Beside Every Successful Man...

I was just thinking back on how much my life has changed (for the better) over the last few years, and I was considering how fortunate I was to have the influences I've had. At one time I was satisfied doing enough to just "get by".... I had minimal ambition, aside from my training. In fact, I was under the delusion that I was "playing it safe" by working at a 'secure' job to pay the bills, while avoiding the risks of building my own business. I had no idea of the incredible potential we human beings have!
Thank God I met my wife, Olga. I can honestly say that this was a sharp turning point in my life, where things began to evolve, and haven't stopped since! I left behind the mundane jobs that were putting me to sleep, and I'm happy to say I now run my own training business and love every minute of it. Not to say that it isn't hard work, but I'm growing something that is mine, and I'm doing it because I want to. And it is in large part because of the support, encouragement, and wisdom of my wife and the faith she had in me that I was able to start doing what I love for a living!

When you feel you've accomplished something you gotta give yourself a pat on the back, but it's also important to give credit where it's due. This props goes out to my better half!


StayFitMinute Live Broadcasts

Check out this site where you can set up your own live broadcasts! I'll be putting something together on here in the near future.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Stay Fit Minute #1 - Beginner Workout

This is a basic home workout for new trainees which targets the main muscle groups using minimal equipment. This routine should be easy enough for most people to perform, however always consult a medical professional before beginning any program.

Change is the Only Constant

There is a great saying I like that goes something like: "there is no security in life, only opportunity." I'm reminded of that as my life seems to be in the midst of great change once again.
Our daughter will be born in about a month! My DVD is now finished and almost ready for distribution. I'm studying for my CSCS (which is long overdue). And I'm ready to launch my newsletter and produce my ebooks that I've put on the back-burner.
With such transition it becomes difficult to maintain a regular routine, and I've found myself missing an odd workout, and running a little short on sleep (2 things I always advise clients against). The positive outcome of this is that I've been motivated to develop a training program that can accomodate a busier schedule, which I hope to publish for my clients once I've had a chance to make some adjustments. It's also forced me to become better prepared with my meal planning.
In the end, whenever life feels as though it's being turned upside down I get excited, because I know it's a time of opportunity... and if you approach it correctly you will almost always come out in a better place once things settle.
It would be great to hear from any of you with similar experiences, who have still been able to keep up your training program! What changes did you make? How did it go?
Till next time, Stay Fit.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Stay Fit Tips

Health Tip of the Week:

According to Dr. Epstein with Harvard Medical School, sleep is just as important to health as diet and exercise. It is important to not get less sleep to fit in exercise. Both are essential.

Power Quote of the Week:
“The will to win is important and the will to prepare is vital.”
— Joe Praterno