Saturday, March 24, 2012


Recently I had sent out a survey to the Bootcamp participants. Now we all know that regular exercise will make you feel better, stay healthy and live longer, but based on the responses, how did they stack up??

Well, I am going to share with you my input on your answers – which I am sure you will find to be quite useful.


Most people say they do not have time to spend working out. Being extremely active with a career and family life is enough - you may feel that strenuous exercise would push you over the edge.

Based on the survey, the main barriers encountered when trying to participate in a fitness program were; Lack of internal motivation (31%), Busy home/family schedule (27%) and Busy work schedule (19%)

No matter what the barrier, adopting healthy lifestyle practices should be the first thing on your lifestyle design agenda!

Your body will adapt to whatever you give it. Most muscle loss occurs because we stop doing active things that require muscle power, not because we age! Take a 15 minute break at work and go for a walk or stretch. Incorporate PA into your social life. Instead of video games and movie night, try pick-up soccer, volleyball or baseball. Make sure you get enough sleep.


The majority of bootcampers (60%) participated in moderate activity or sport 3 to 5 times per week. The balance were light exercisers - once or twice per week.

Of those that workout, the majority stated that their intensity level was moderate (53%).
It's interesting to point out that 27% of those that workout felt that they were working in the vigorous range. Most people overstate their physical activity level and this is solidifies the statistics that 52% say they are physically active enough while only 4.8% are! Honestly, vigorous exercise relates to overloading the muscles, hard to breath (and converse), focused and for many, sweating and out of breath.

20% specified they were working light to moderate. In reality, this is only acceptable if you have just began exercising. As explained earlier, your body will adapt to whatever you give it. If you do not increase the intensity, your fitness gains will fall short and eventually stall.


60% of individuals want to increase their activity level in the next 6 months - that's great!
However, only 40% of you are willing to take amount of time needed.

The American College of Sports Medicine released a lengthy report recommending that as part of a routine regimen to maintain cardiovascular health and ideal body weight and composition you should engage in 60 minutes of daily VIGOROUS physical activity. According to Health Canada, we only do one-third of that requirement!

You have to be ready to commit in order to achieve something. If you plan to lose weight, build muscle and tone up You have to realize it is hard work. The more active the exercise the better. One bootcamp a week will help but you have to make physical activity a priority for both you and your family. Creating an exercise habit starts with you!


The response to participant's favorite part of my fitness bootcamp varied as much as my classes! Not one area stood out more than others. The most favorable responses came from the push on increased intensity and the variety.

A big advantage of my bootcamps is that you don't do the same exercises over and over again. Your body is very good at adapting to workouts. This way it is highly unlikely that you will plateau. If you do the same type of workout all the time, you're going to get the body you've always gotten. By adding variety, you keep things fresh and challenging, you shock your muscles into improving and you never get bored. Because of this, the chances are that you will continue to exercise.

By now you should know that my favorite saying is "Use it or Lose It". The human body was meant to move and physical activity MUST be part of your life.

Remember, there are no magic formulas for achieving improved health, permanent reductions in body fat or an increase in muscle mass. The best results come from a long-term strategy involving a permanent change in both eating and activity habits. Not from a pill, potion or some celebrity fad you have cut out of the latest magazine. It is very easy to get caught up in the 'quick results' or 'fast acting' diet scams around today, but it is important to look at the long-term effects of such actions. Your ultimate goal should be to improve your energy levels, be free from illness, and achieve your personally desired body weight.

It is your determination and perseverance, which will result in your success. Most importantly, no matter what type of activity you participate in, you must enjoy it. Exercise should be fun. You don't have to spend long hours to improve your health - time needed depends on effort. If you have fun and enjoy yourself you can easily incorporate fitness into your life forever.


As promised, in appreciation to filling out the survey I offered a free “workout with Doug” session for one lucky bootcamper. The winner was Lori A. from Thursday’s class. Congratulations Lori!

I’ll leave you with words of wisdom from the great Jack Lalanne

"Your health account is like your bank account: the more you put in, the more you can take out"

Thursday, March 8, 2012

March is Nutrition Month

All the exercise in the world will not amount to much if you don’t eat properly. Sure when you’re young you can get away with a lot more of bad eating habits, but most people continue on with them gaining unwanted fat in the process. On the flip side, you can be very careful on what you eat but that does little to increase your lean muscle tissue and metabolism, or reshape your body to improve your personal appearance, or strengthen the body to keep you young and injury free.
Good Health is based on two factors: (1) active living (physical fitness) and (2) optimal nutrition.
As March is Nutrition Month, I am going to talk a bit about Nutrition.
Healthy weight management is based on sound nutrition principles. In addition to providing energy, the carbohydrates, fat, and protein you eat provide raw materials for building the body's tissues and regulating its many activities. The challenge is to combine a balanced diet of favorite foods with a nutritional diet that will supplement your activities effectively.
Did you know that you need to run 2 miles to burn off a bottle of Coke?
Here’s the simple truth - OVER CONSUMPTION MAKES YOU FAT!
Most people say understand the concept of “Calories In versus Calories Out”.
Yet here’s a couple of interesting facts;
1) All calories are not equal. Eating calories that are processed and packed with refined sugar is not the same as eating the same number of calories that come from lean meat and fresh vegetables.
2) Diets don’t work - they are temporary solutions. Going on a diet, not only fails to teach you how to solve the underlying problem, but also destroys your metabolism. Your body thinks it is starving and goes into Survival Mode. This makes your body more efficient in storing FAT and leads to muscle loss which then slows your metabolism.
3) Do you know how much you should eat daily? Health Canada’s guideline for a sedentary male is 2,350 calories per day whereas a sedentary female is 1,800 calories. Now that’s if you don’t do anything during the day! Add 200 calories if you have a low activity level and go from there…..
If you aren’t eating enough you’re prone to the previous mentioned fat storage.
4) Most people overstate their physical activity level. If you are sweating and breathing heavy and are focused you are on the right track. And, if you are one of those that think that they can work a bit harder so they can go out and supersize dinner you are setting yourself up for failure.
5) Carbs are not created equal. Our society is bombarded with the convenience and shelf-life of so-called “healthy grains” Refined carbs, wheat and corn make up the majority of a person’s diet. Although Health Canada recommends 45-65% of calories coming from carbs, the focus should be on fruits and vegetables and not wheat and corn products.
In Dr. William Davis’s book,”A Wheat Belly Bonanza, he explains that modern-day wheat is just a strange mutation of the wheat of our grandmother just 50 years ago. The genetically-altered version is especially dangerous to our health because of the impact on blood sugar (much greater than even table sugar), massive weight gain (thus, the title of this book), to the development of diabetes, heart disease, and dementia. And we’re lining the grain industry’s pockets to boot.
6) According to the USDA, here are the 6 Top Herbs that are Rich in Antioxidants (i) Oregano (ii) Dill (iii) Cinnamon (iv) Rosemary (v) Thyme and (vi) Peppermint. These oxidants help neutralize free radicals that are responsible for premature aging, cancer development and cell damage. These herbs have more antioxidants than many of our fruits and vegetables!

Now, I’d like to bring up some nutrition myths, fallacies, and lies.....

“Low-fat products are better for you."
Most "low-fat" products have added sugar to substitute for this low-fat product. Read the label. And stay away from diet sodas. Your body does not know how to digest aspartame as it is an unnatural source. It’s also a trigger for migraines.
"Fat causes heart disease."
Totally false. A LOW-fat diet increases harmful fats in the blood 3 times more than a high, saturated fat diet. Glycation causes heart disease. When a glucose molecule bonds to a protein molecule, its that increased size of the LDL fat particle that results in the plaque build up in your arteries. Sugar (carbs) is the catalyst for this and not fat! Dr. Aiken’s may have been on to something, but then again the Inuit eat mostly saturated fat and have the lowest incidence of heart disease.
"Egg Yolks are bad for you"
FALSE! Although full of cholesterol (one large egg has 185 mg of cholesterol, ½ of the daily recommended cholesterol intake), egg yolks are full of nutrients that is actually better than most multi-vitamins. Egg yolks contain fat-soluble vitamins and essential long-chain fatty acids. Buy organic free run eggs that are free from drugs and antibiotics. It may cost you an extra bit for a dozen but you’ll definitely notice the difference. The yolk looks brighter and it tastes much better.
It should be pointed out that cholesterol is necessary for you to be healthy and by itself, does not cause heart disease. Your liver regulates how much cholesterol you produce. If you eat more cholesterol, your body will produce less and vice versa.
“High Sodium intake causes hypertension.”
Wrong – salt does not cause high blood pressure. Unless you are salt sensitive, lowering sodium intake isn’t going to do much. In fact a higher sodium intake helps to increase blood flow to the working muscles. A proper workout drink will include sodium as it helps with protein synthesis and recovery. In addition, it helps in the removal of fatigue toxins like lactic acid.
Here’s a couple of major rules to follow:
1) Eat abundantly -Fruits and vegetables, Lentils, Dry Beans
2) Eat moderately -Brown & wild rice, whole grain breads & cereals, whole wheat pasta
3) Eat sparingly – Highly processed carbs, Refined breads,cookies, cakes, candy, white rice Potatoes Potato chips. If it comes in a box and you can’t pronounce the ingredients don’t eat it.
4) Use the 85/15 RULE. - Eat healthy 85% of the time and you can each what ever you like the other 15%.
5) Eat small, frequent, evenly spaced meals throughout the day – and eat a good breakfast!
6) Stay Hydrated - As a rule, drink at least eight glasses of water a day.

If you are focused on losing weight, the best type of workouts for fat loss is fastpaced, full body resistance training. This is one of the main reasons why I emphasize working the major muscle groups in my bootcamps. If you aren’t exercising 5 or 6 times a week, you’d better forget the “Sexy Booty” and “Abs of Steel” workouts. And even if you are, remember that if eat poorly you are sabotaging your hard-earned efforts. So when it comes to nutrition – YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!