Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Q&A and weekly wrap up...

Here are some shots from Thursday morning Bootcamp. We are somewhere in Comox...anyone know this spot? It is awesome for building leg strength...once you get over the pain those stairs dish out!

Look at this action shot! Jacki is jumping and Maureen is in the eccentric phase of her jump squat. Killer!

Carol completing her 'split squats' after running up the stairs...what goes up must go down!

Stewart digging deep into his second set of push ups...

Happy Friday Everyone!

I have lot's to gab about today so here we go....
It has been a great week so far and I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend with friends & trails. Finally the temps warmed up and I am thinking I might actually go for a real life outside mountain bike ride this weekend! We will see how the weekend pans out but I am planning the following: rest day today (much needed as my legs are fatigued after too much impact/speed work over the past 2 weeks) along with acupuncture c/o Michelle Hughes at CV Acupuncture...1:45 trail run on Saturday...2hrXC bike ride Sunday...

This week I squeezed in: Z3 intervals at the track on Monday in subzero temps (wore my fleece pants and winter jacket for the first 20 minutes!) 4 * 5upperZ3 followed by 3lowerZ3...v.gross feeling to suffer through that much lactate but I know I have made some serious physiological adaptations with that one!
Strength with my Bootcamp recruits on Tues/Thurs
Stretch and CORE with SCORE on Tuesday
Z1Run and Z5 intervals on the Bike as a brick on Wednesday
Z3 Repeats at the track with N4S on Thursday...we had fun working on our sense of 'pace' last night!
Ok if you haven't noticed...I have been a super blogger lately! With multiple blogs each week I am having lot's of fun posting. I have just added a couple of gadgets to my blog on the right hand side >>>> for you to check out. A map of my visitors (cause I am itching to know who is reading this and wow- check that out!) and a list of blog followers in case you want to give me a shout out!, and a list of my 2009 Race Plans!
I have a question for you have any fav blogs that you follow? I need some new blogs to follow! I would love to hear what your favs are...send them my way puleeese (post or email
This has been fun for me and I hope you are enjoying the friday lecture series here at 'UELM'. I have to make this one quick this week cause I have SOOO much to do today! Here goes:
Q: How do I get rid of 'THIS' (making a face and pointing at midsection)? signed- EVERYwoman.
A: I get this one at least once a week so I thought I would put your theories to rest once and for all.
There is no such thing as 'spot reduction'. You cannot crunch away, will away, shake away or wish away body fat from a specific area on your body. AND HERE IS THE REASON WHY: Apolipoproteins. Yup. These proteins are basically address labels on your fat cells that determine where you will store body fat first and, of course, where you will lose it last. AND the can THANK YOUR PARENTS. That's right, these address labels are genetically determined. So, call up your mum or dad today and thank them. Then start to work on your 'caloric deficit'.
Not unlike Mr. Harper, you too must take steps to create your own personal deficit in order to reach your goals. You must spend calories and cut back on savings ... you must spend (burn) your way into a caloric deficit in order to shed body fat! Simple but ohso true, the only way to get rid of excess body fat is to consume fewer calories than you expend. That way, your body dips into it's reserves (aka the Fat Pantry) to provide the energy it needs. Let it! But, drastic measures are NOT necessary and NOT effective for long term success. Creating a small deficit every day and every week will add up to successful weight loss over the long term.
THE BEST WAY to do this: Create a 500 calorie deficit every day through a combination of intake and output (diet and exercise). Eat 250 fewer calories (2 beers) and burn 250 extra calories (30-45min run) in addition to your current routine and you WILL lose body fat. Sorry...there aren't any magic potions, lotions or gadgets in this equation.
But deep already knew that...didn't you?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

ELM Water Bottles...

Hello and Happy Thursday!
You may have seen a few shiney and flashy ELM water bottles kicking around at classes this month. I gave these super cool limited edition water bottles to our ELM members as a way to celebrate our 8th anniversary at ELM this winter.
There are still a few members who have not claimed their bottles and they have until the end of the week to do so. And, I have a few extras for sale if you are not an ELM member but in need of a little hydration! $10 special price for all of our ELM us today if you would like one for yourself and I will bring it to your next session!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

ELM 2009 Snowshoe Event!

Hello Again blog readers!

Our annual ELM Snowshoe Trek and Feast at Coastal Trek Lodge takes place next month, February 28th and I wanted to leak all the juicy details to you...

Although this is a members only event (only 10 spots left!) we will open it up to non-members if there are spaces left 1 week before the event. Here are the goods!

The details have been set and we are officially accepting registration for our popular annual ELM Members Snowshoe Event at Coastal Trek Lodge! You can look forward to an invigorating snowshoe hike followed by a delicious meal prepared by the chef of Coastal Trek Lodge. Following this special dinner you will have access to the lodge's beautiful amenities including the hot tub, steam room and fireside great room. I hope you will join us!

Please note that this is a special members only event, however, if space allows we will open it up to your friends and family.
Date: Saturday February 28, 2009
Guests: 20 maximum
Cost Per Person: $67 including tax and gratuities. Price includes all activities and use of lodge facilities but does not include snowshoes. You can rent snowshoes from Valhalla or Ski Tak Hut and I recommend you reserve a pair asap.

Reserve: By emailing us with your dinner selection (see below) and then sending your payment to ELM to secure your spot:
2891 Caledon Crescent, Courtenay, BC, V9N 7E1 (no drop offs please!)

Cancellation: One week notice

3:30 Pick up at Nymph Falls Parking Lot
4:00 2nd Shuttle to Forbidden Plateau
4:30 Depart for snowshoe
6:00 Return to lodge for fireside appetizers and drinks
6:30 Dinner
7:30 Dessert and coffee & tea served fireside
7:30-8:45 Hot tub and steam room time…
8:45- 1st shuttle departs
9:15- 2nd shuttle departs

MENU (the best part:)
Starter: Cauliflower Soup
Choice of one of the following mains:
Crunchy potato crusted Chicken breast
Wild salmon fillet with yogurt dill dressing
Spinach and mushroom filo wrap
All served with organic green salad with balsamic dressing and roasted root veggies!
Dessert: selection of homemade squares, cookies and fruit.
Cash bar available- choose from Mulled wine, VQA red or white

Email ELM today to reserve your spot!


A (GREAT) Quote for Wednesday

Do me a favor and don't bother TRYING.
You either DO or you DON'T.
-Unknown guest on the Oprah show - episode about the 'Secret'.

Seriously!! This is my favorite quote. It may seem sharp or harsh but it really is the stone cold truth. When your friends invite you out and you say you will 'TRY' to make it...are you really going? When you say you will 'TRY' to eat more fruit and veggies...are you really going to? When you say you will 'TRY' to go to the gym...are you really planning to go?

The truth is that 'trying' leaves the door wide open for failing. We CHOOSE yes or no many times every day. We CHOOSE to do or not to do. We CHOOSE to act or not to act. We choose to say yes or to say no.'s OK either way! I am not saying we can't say no. What I am trying to say is that we must accept that our actions are based on CHOICES that we make each and every day.

Thank you for CHOOSING to suffer through my Wednesday rant:) Carry on!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My Favorite Things Today

My new camera in action in the Baja this December...

Happy Sunday! I have to share a few of my favorite things with you...and NO I am not sponsored by any of these products! I just love having them in my life and figure I should share:)

#1 Hands down favorite thing right now new Olympus Stylus 1030SW digital camera. This aint just any camera is Waterproof to 33 feet, can withstand 220lbs of pressure, and works in freezing temperatures up to minus 14 degrees! I have taken underwater video (was terrified to do it the first time), dropped it in the dirt and burried it in the snow without issue. This is the perfect camera for me!

#2 My 'Skull Candy' ear buds. I love my iPod but man do I hate the head phones that come with it! They kill my ears! So, I finally bit the bullet and purchased some skull candy head phones and they ROCK. They actually go inside your ears like decidamp earplugs and the sound is amazing! Best of all you can't hear any outside noise and they don't hurt my ears:)

#3 My Arbonne Aromassentials 'Sea Salt Scrub' exfoilation oil from Penny Bindon! Penny gave me a jar of this yummy smelling stuff in December and I have developed a bit of a crush on it over the past month. Especially with all this cold dry air- it is awesome and smells just fantastic! It looks like sand floating in a sea of honey butter and smells like earth and honey and flowers. Penny sells this product line so you can chat with her at class on Thursdays if you want to try it yourself!

OK...Now I need to know...what are you Loving right now? Favorite training gear? Toys? Or things that just plain make you happy? Post Post Post Please!

I awoke to a suprise...fresh snow on the ground! Just a little ... but still it was snow! Now as I sit here at the computer I just realized that the sky is full fledged spring BLUE...and I must go out and play right after this update...

Yesterday Kathy Campbell (ELM fearless leader) and I went for a wonderful Saturday romp in Seal Bay Park with her cute pup Brodie. LSD was the perfect pace for catching up and sharing tales of winter life. Thanks for a great run you guys!

Today I bailed on my plan for an XC bike ride out to the dam when I saw the snow! Instead, I played (hmmm don't think that is quite the right word- perhaps slogged) through a 1.5hour ride on the indoor trainer. Great option for icey days- but not so fun for LSD workouts. I can't wait for spring riding and big climbs up Forbidden plateau road again! Hours and hours riding in the sweet sunshine...I digress...

The trainer allowed for some serious multi tasking, however, and I got to work on a few VERY FUN ELM projects that I must share with you. Now, these are all Womens Trips...don't you boys get mad at me! Book the dates now and watch for complete details coming soon..

June 12-14 Tofino Fitness Retreat! Once again, we have a fantastic weekend of fitness, surf and relaxation planned at our annual west coast escape to Middle Beach Lodge.

MAYBE:: July long weekend: Okanagan Kettle Valley Railway Bike Trip & Winery Tour!! This one is in the research stage only and we have not confirmed if it will be on the ELM calendar for 09 or 2010. BUT...the squeeky wheel gets the grease so puleease let me know if you would be interested. Friday-Sunday with 1 full day of biking the KVR from Kelowna to Penticton.

August 24-29: 5 day kayaking trip with West Coast Expeditions based on Spring Island, near Kayuquot on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Daily paddling, exploring, hiking, Yoga/Stretching all set against unbelievable rugged west coast scenery.

AND THE BIG DADDY: September 2010: 14 day Peru experience including 8 days trekking in the Peruvian highlands, joining the Inca Trail and reaching Machu Picchu with your own two feet. Stay tuned in February as we release the complete package details. We will be hosting a free information night in early March to give you a clear picture of what this once in a lifetime experience will look like.

Have a great Sunday!


Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Q&A

Need for Speedsters were super hi-vis at last nights run! How do your legs feel after last nights workout? Mine are tired and looking forward to a day of recovery today! We did VO2Max repeats down by the Comox Marina Park...2minutes of full out max speed followed by 4 minutes of recovery. But there was a twist...during the recovery it was push ups, squat jumps and v-sits...6 times! Great job you guys:)


Q: What causes shortness of breath and discomfort in the lung/chest area (not pain) at the beginning of a run, however slowly one runs, when the shortness and discomfort leaves after running for awhile? - Carol

A: Oh this is an excellent and oh-so-common question Carol! Many clients ask me why they have a hard time catching their breath at the start of the run yet they feel like they can keep going and going once they are 10 minutes into it. It all comes down to something known as the 'Oxygen Deficit' in the land of exercise physiology.

When we start exercising and transition from rest to light exercise, there is a gradual increase in oxygen uptake. It takes time to supply your working muscles with blood (which carries the necessary oxygen and nutrients) and is observed by an increase in your heart rate and breathing rate at the start of your workout.

It takes approximately 1-4 minutes to reach a steady state of oxygen uptake but this can be longer in certain individuals or circumstances. The time required to reach a steady state increases at higher work rates and is longer in untrained individuals than in aerobically trained individuals. Individuals with compromised lung function such as those with asthma and respiratory illness will also require additional time to reach a steady aerobic state.

Because oxygen uptake does not occur instantaneously, there is a period of time where your body is incurring an 'Oxygen Deficit'. Not enough oxygen in the bank. So, your body turns to its anaerobic metabolism to provide the required energy at the start of your workout. Once a steady state of oxygen uptake is obtained, however, your energy is provided through your aerobic system. The term 'Oxygen Deficit' is used to describe inadequate oxygen consumption at the onset of exercise. Make sense?

So, what to do? Slow down and increase the length of your warm up. Your body is telling you that you are working too hard at the start of your workout if your breathing rate spikes or your legs are burning. You may need to walk for 5-10minutes before very gradually increasing to a jogging pace. You may need to jog slower than the others in your group. You may need to warm up 20 minutes before races. And that's OK. The important thing is identifying your body's needs and providing it with a personalized warm up. Otherwise you may suffer further into your run and speed up your time to fatigue during hard efforts. And we don't want that. So, slow down to speed up!

Hope that answers your question!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Last Chance for Winter ELM GEAR!

Get the gear you need to train outdoors this winter with ELM! Thanks to our sponsors EXTREME RUNNERS we are offering great workout gear from Sugoi that is printed with the new ELM logo! *All prices include clothing, printing, shipping and taxes! Email ELM before the end of the day today!, January 22nd to order your gear!


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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Froze my Face Off Today...

Ever had a slurpy FACE? Multiply the classic slurpy head by like 100 and that is what my face felt like today while riding down Mission hill on my mt. bike into town. All I could think was 'make it stop!'. Although the sun was shining something serious this morning, the radiating heat coming through the windows fooled me silly into thinking it would actually be warm outside. So, I was underdressed and overiced on my XC bike ride today. And to think I almost wore shorts!
When I got outside I realized it was ZERO degrees and colder in the shade. Oh well, I could suffer through a short downhill ride then I figured I would warm up after I picked up Arran in town and we started climbing up to the pipeline. Nice theory. In hindsight I should have returned home to grab my subzero marsupiall mits (with the little hoods for your fingers that block out wind) and my neoprene shoe booties, and probably another core layer! But, no, I thought I could suck it up. Well I guess I did but I sure came close to tears when the burning kicked in on my fingers and toes. Nothin you can do to warm em up so onward you go. You know that feeling? Numb would be better than the sensation like you dropped a car on your toes as the blood tries to recirculate into those frozen bits... OK OK enough complaining! As if Arran didn't tolerate my whining enough today during the ride.
So, we rode a great XC ride out the pipeline and nearly to the dam before crusty snow made us turn back. The blue sky and sunshine made the numbness tolerable and we spent 1.75 hours chatting at 'Zone1 catch-up-with-your-friends and build your aeobic base pace'. There were a tonne of folks out enjoying the sunshine with their friends and families! We humans need that good old Vitamin D and mother natures sun kisses.
Hey...have a great week!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The YETI race report!

Audrey strolls off course post race....

The team poses post race....
Audrey sprints past Bonnie to beat her to the finish...

Bryan Tasaka's Atlas racing shoes on my feet....thanks Bryan!

Warming up with Korky and Audrey...

We had a bit of a...umm...rough start to the the video and you will see me take down my teammate Sarah Burrell HARD right after we crossed under the start gate...sorry Sarah! Nice captain...

TEAM ELM headed up to the mountain this morning to partake in the annual YETI snowshoe race. This was our 3rd year putting in a team and we had another rowdy roster of ELM Women rip roaring ready to go: Sarah B, Gail M, Korky R, Lo L, and Audrey E and moi. What a great day for a snowshoe run! It was CRAZY hot up you can't even imagine if you have been hiding out down here under the fog and have not been up the hill this was like a hot summer day and I was totally overdressed in my subzero tights, longsleeve layers and gloves. I was sick I was so hot. But man it felt good to be warm! If you need some vitamin D then you should drive up the hill asap!

We took on the 5K course based on previous years pain levels and rushed in to the start area right before the GO was called. We seemed to have left town a wee bit late... Superstart Bryan Tasaka, MOMAR race director, was onsite helping out with race registration and he graciously offered to let me break in his brand new Atlas racing snowshoes!! And man were they fast! Thanks Bryan! Lighter and narrower than traditional snowshoes, these babies were like feathers (so that doesn't explain why I was still hacking up a lung on the course...).

The start was ridiculous and hilarious as I took down teammate Sarah B while trying to video tape the race start. Then I struggled to take any footage for a while as we huffed and puffed ourselves straight up the guts of the mountain for 15minutes. The course was reversed this year so we gained all of our elevation right off the start. Which some didn't like so much but which I loved! That meant the majority of the distance was downhill! Anyways it was still split about 15 minutes UP and 15 minutes down and my deets were:

Finish time 33minutes...average HR 187bpm...max HR 194...that's as high as she goes!

We weren't able to hang around for awards and prizes so I will have to update you on our Team results once I get ahold of them.

All in all a great way to spend the day- fresh mountain air, glorious sunshine, a great workout and good laughs with friends!

See you there next year...for the 10k!!


Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Q&A::

YETI snowshoe race tomorrow ...and Team ELM is planning to kick some snow! Wanna come watch the action? 10am Raven Lodge up at Mt. Washington! It is 10 degrees and super sunny up there...come on up and cheer us on!

OK Here is Fridays Question and Answer session: (PS: is anyone reading this?? Buler? Buler?)

Question: When my bootcamp session is on Friday and the next one is on Monday there is not enough days to fit in an extra strength session and have a recovery day in between. So far I have opted to only do cardio in betweenbut is there a safe way to fit in an extra strength session to completethree for the week? Thanks, Penny.

Thank you for your question Penny! I am sure many of you struggle with scheduling in your workouts for a variety of reasons from busy lives to class schedules and the long, dark days of winter. The best schedule is the one that meets your needs and personal preferences.

When it comes to your specific question re: fitting in an extra strength day, here is my advice:

The best schedule would be a Wednesday full body strength training workout. Our muscles require 48 hours recovery time between intense exercise to exaustion or muscle failure. So, if you are doing 2 challenging full body workouts on Mon/Friday then the logical day for a 3rd session would be Wednesday. If time is a limiting factor during the week, I suggest picking 3-5 exercises and completing a mini-full-body workout that won't take more than 15-20 minutes. Warm up and then pick your favorite (or least favorite for more of a challenge!) exercises including 1 for upper body, lower body and core. A great combination would be a Lunge, Push Ups or Pull Ups and Crunches or a front Plank. Complete 2 sets of 10-15 repetitions and you will continue to see strength gains by adding your 3rd weekly (mini) training session!

Another option would be completing a high repetition - low resistance session on Saturday or Sunday. By completing a higher amount of repetitions (20) at a lower intensity you will be focusing your workout on endurance rather than strength. You will find that your body recovers much faster after this type of workout as you are not breaking down your muscles and exhausting the system like you do with your more intense workouts. You can complete low-moderate intensity exercise on a daily basis and you will continue to improve your overall strength and endurance as well.

The moral of the story is, the higher the intensity of your workouts, the longer recovery time you will need before your body is ready for another bout. So, you can complete endurance exercise on a daily basis whereas you need 48 hours of recovery time between high intensity workouts.

Finally, don't overlook the importance of rest in your program. I am a firm believer in scheduling in a minimum of 1-2 rest days from training each week. This downtime allows your body to rebuild tissues, restore your energy systems and replenish your muscle cells so that you become stronger. It is during your rest periods and deep sleeps that you reap the benefits of your hard efforts. Without adequate rest your body will not be able to reach new levels of strength and your hard work will never actually pay off. Worse, you risk injury and illness if your body never has a chance to catch up. Too much rest on the other hand...

I hope this answers your question!

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, January 15, 2009

A quote for...Thursday?!

One day late but here it is...

Looking for lasting happiness outside yourself is meaningless. It is
like expecting to become fit by watching other people exercise. :))) - unknown



Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Bike...water...ipod...remote controls...what else does a girl need?

Happy Tuesday! Already?

Sunday I had a 1.75hr bike ride scheduled but the snow wasn't melting fast enough for my liking. I had a couple of options:

Ride in the slush and push my bike and curse alot and freeze my hands and toes...nope.

Ride my bike on the road with stinky cars spraying mud on way ( I don't have ANY idea how you roadies do that!)

Drive 15 minutes each way to the gym and ride the spin bike indoors looking out the window...ohhh man.

OR Plan D: Pick up my buddy Cathy's cycle trainer and set up my mountain bike in the rec room and watch food tv!

Cathy and Pete are heading back to Nica this week and I get to use Cathy's trainer for 6 weeks! Oh the novelty of new toys....

Until the snow melts this option is making me very happy as I don't have to drive to ride and I can really focus on my heart rate training during this base training phase...perfect!

It was the fastest hour and 45 minutes ever and I have plenty of new recipe ideas:) I highly recommend a trainer for those of you who are not inclined to ride your bike in the wind and rain during winter. You can just set up your bike for the winter and then set it free in the summer. Saves you purchasing a stationary bike.



Saturday, January 10, 2009

Snow Fun!

If you can't beat em...join em! There is still a tonne of snow in the trails but rather than torture myself on the treadmill or miss another long workout I decided to go snowshoeing today! FUN! Korky and I trucked through the snow in the trails of Cumberland this morning and there ever a pile of snow left up there! Great workout...great scenery...great morning!

We have postponed the start of the following clinics for one week to let the snow melt and recruit a few more participants: Monday womens Trail Running, Tuesday learn to run and Wednesday Adventure Mix. Be sure to let your buddies know they have an extra week to sign up!

I must get a long bike ride in tomorrow...road or spin? Eeeesshhh.



Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday Q&A

I may have to make this a bi-weekly feature after last weeks novel of an answer...but look out class...this is a REALLY good one...

Q: I tend to feel that unless I push myself really hard that I have not had a workout. To do that I feel like I need a big chunk of time (at least 1.5 hours) and will therefore talk myself out of a workout altogether. My question: What are the physiological pros and cons of doing frequent shorter, "easier" workouts versus longer, "more intense" workouts less often? IE: 5 x 1/2 hour workouts a week versus 2 or 3 x 1 1/2 hour ones.


A: Thank you for your question Janet! I am sure there are many people who are wondering the same thing as you are!

As discussed last week, individual goals will dictate how the FITT principle is followed to determine the Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type of Activity that one should choose. Athletes with specific sport goals will have a much more specific FITT principle to ensure they reach their sport specific outcomes. 'Lifestyle' athletes have a bit more room to play with when it comes to exercise prescription as many different exercises will have benefits for overall health and wellness goals.

That being said: The intensity and duration of exercise that you work at will result in specific physiological changes in your body. There are lots of amazing things going on inside your body during your workout...

Calories: First and foremost, all exercise will burn calories as your body uses up energy to perform the movements required of it. Secondly, the harder you work the more you burn. Period. So, if your goal is caloric expenditure then you need to work on total output. This can be accomplished through intensity or duration. The lower the intensity, the longer you need to work out in order to burn the same amount of calories. The higher the intensity, the more calories you will expend in any given time. BUT how long can you last at full tilt? Not very long. So...this is where the balance between intensity and duration come together.

Endurance: In order to build your aerobic endurance you must work longer...not harder. So, the benefits of the longer workouts are seen in your aerobic endurance. When you train at a lower intensity for a longer period of time (more than 1-2 hours) some amazing things occur in your body: Your little energy factories, mitochondria, increase in number in your muscles, your red blood cells increase their ability to carry more oxygen, your body actually makes more blood capillaries to feed the working muscles, and your oxygen absorption becomes more efficient in the muscle cells all to create a higher oxygen utilization capacity...resulting in you becoming a super efficient aerobic endurance machine! Which in turn results in a lower heart rate as your heart no longer has to beat as many times to get the same job done. WOW. AND the bonus of endurance training: Your body learns to burn more fat as a fuel source so it can save the energy in your muscles for the long workout. Yup. Endurance training makes you a fat burning machine too.

High Intensity: The shorter more intense workout has additional benefits and the specific heart rate intensity (based on percentages of your maximum heart rate) determines the specific system being worked. To keep things simple higher intensity exercise ,or anaerobic interval training, will increase your speed & power and decrease your fatigue level at higher intensities. You will be able to work harder without getting tired. AND you will teach your body to deal with the bi-products of high intensity exercise: hydrogen and lactic acid. WOW. AND the bonus of interval training: You will burn more calories per minute during the workout AND your post exercise metabolic rate will be elevated resulting in more calories burned for the remainder of the day after your workout! Yup. Anaerobic interval training will make you a super duper calorie burning machine.

So, the short answer is both types of training , endurance and interval training, have amazing benefits for the human body. And you should be including both types into your weekly training plan!

Last Chance to Register!!

Look how much fun we have at ELM!

Today is your last chance to sign up for our Winter Fitness Adventures and we need a few more recruits to kick off some of our programs. Join us for Trail Running, Learn to Run, SCORE training, Adventure Mix multisport training, or Sunrise Bootcamp! If you are reading this you probably have already picked your fitness adventures for January:) But if you haven't signed up and are planning to join us for a winter class then you better email or call me today to secure your spot! Or, if you can recruit a friend to join the fun then today is the last chance...
I will be picking up final registrations this afternoon and confirming which classes will run next week by days end...still need more for Monday trails, Tuesday learn to Run and Weds Adventure Mix...
Looking forward to seeing you all soooooon! Sweat & Fun...the best combo!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A quote for Wednesday

Life isn't about what happens to us: it's about how we perceive what happens to

HELLO! This is SOOOO true. I just saw a woman on tv who lost her arms and her legs to flesh eating disease 3 days after entering the hospital to give birth to her second child. The doctors were waiting for her to have her expected breakdown in the weeks following her surgery...but this is the thing...she didn't. She was so focused on what she HAD to live for and worked her but off to rehabilitate so she could go home to her family and her new baby. She was a ray of a beam...a galaxy. It is stories like these that put it all into perspective. Focus on your ABILITIES and what you HAVE not your inabilities and what you are lacking in life and you will feel joy and happiness everyday.

Monday, January 5, 2009

SCORE changes days

Hello and Happy Monday!

More snow. Hurray. Now I have to start doing my 'Pineapple Express' dance to get the great thaw going before classes start up again this Thursday!

I had a great workout following my early Monday morning semi-private training session at the CV Wellness Centre gym. The treadmill has been my friend and my enemy over the past few weeks. I always prefer to be in the woods but the treadmill is awesome for those workouts that track speed and distance in detail. I completed a Zone 3 (anaerobic threshold) workout on the treadmill. After a warm up I completed 5 minutes at the top of my zone 3- (about my 8-10k race pace) then took it down a mere 5 beats per minute for 5 minutes...I completed 4 of these wicked sets and yes, I nearly died. But survival is a wonderful feeling and I am stronger for it! A home based body weight supercircuit of pull ups, handstand push ups, twist crunches, double arm hang/torso rotations, box squat jumps...max *3 and a sweeet stretch finished it all up.
You can bet that you will see something like this in your future very soon...I am always creating new workouts for you:)

SO! SCORE has just been moved to TUESDAYS from 4-5pm due to a recent schedule change at ELM. I hope this means you can join us starting next week!! This class is the perfect combination of Core training and flexiblity! Strengthen weak core muscles and lengthen tight and short muscles to emerge from winter a more functional and balanced YOU! Register soon so we can get this show on the road! fmi...


Friday, January 2, 2009

Friday Q&A

Ok so I let the Q&A go last summer when the weather turned nice. BUT it is back! Check here every Friday (or the weekend if I am um tardy) and you will find all of the answers to your burning fitness questions! Here is one left over from our pile last year for you to start with in 2009...

Q: I am trying to build strength and muscle tone, how often, and for what length of time should I weight train?
Thanks, Jennifer

A: Thank you for your question Jennifer!
This is an excellent question and I like that you have specified your goals for your weight training program. Your personal goals will determine what your program looks like. There are different repetition ranges and intensity guidelines depending on the outcome goal for a weight training program. Not only is the outline very individual so is the actual exercise prescription. But we will leave that for another Q&A session!

Weight training includes all exercises that are performed with an external form of resistance above and beyond normal body weight. But, body-weight resistance training can also be effective when the body is overloaded with intensity (such as squat jumps). The key to reaching your goals is achieving muscle fatigue within the prescribed duration or repetitions.

To answer your question re: building strength and muscle tone:

How often. Every other day for this type of program. Give your muscles 48 hours between resistance training workouts done to fatigue or failure. You may choose a split routine and alternate upper and lower body workouts every other day. Or you may prefer to hit the weights 3 – 4 days per week and complete a full body program. Exercises that are performed at lower intensities such as core or postural stability exercises may be performed every day as they are not overloading the musculoskeletal system in the same way. It is always recommended to give your body (and mind) one complete day of rest from activity, however.

For what length of time. The length of your workout completely depends on your personal preferences and should reflect your needs. You can achieve a very effective weight training workout in 20 minutes and in 120 minutes! It all depends how much time you have to commit to your program. Complete between 1-3 sets of each exercise with active rest (movement or alternating exercise) between sets. Research indicates that completing 2 sets to fatigue is almost as effective as completing a 3rd set. So skip the 3rd set and push yourself harder on the first 2 if you are on a time budget.

Make sure you include a minimum of 5 – 10 minutes of general (and specific for higher intensity training) warm up before you hit the weights. Not only will you decrease your risk of injury but you will prepare your muscles, joints and nervous system in a way that will ensure you get a much more effective workout. Finish your workout with a relaxing stretch of all muscle groups worked.

All programs should include exercises for the major muscle groups. You can choose your exercises by body part (triceps, biceps, chest, back etc) or by function (push, pull, lift, lower etc). Just be sure to include your core, back and those areas you like to avoid:) Be sure to include additional exercises for weak or underused areas AND avoid overworking muscles that are already overused.

FITT Principle. Fitness professionals use the following acronym to prescribe exercise:
how often (as above).
Intensity: how difficult. Select a weight or resistance level that forces you to reach fatigue or failure within the set repetition range:
The prescription for building strength and muscle tone is the following: 8-12 repetitions 1-3 sets.
For muscle bulk (hypertrophy) the ratio changes to: 6-8 repetitions 3+ sets.
For pure endurance the ratio is 12-20 repetitions 1-3 sets.
Time: The length of time spent (as above). AND the time under tension for each repetition: standard is 2 seconds on the lifting and 2 seconds on the lowering. There are other guidelines for building specific strength, speed and power, however.
Type: The specific exercise selection. As mentioned this is an entire series of articles! But refer to the general guidelines above.

I hope that helps you get started!

Thursday, January 1, 2009


We awoke to a new dump of fresh snow and the winter wonderland refuses to fade away in the Comox Valley. We are relaxing in our housecoats, drinking steeping mugs of tea and coffee and making plans to make no plans other than romping in the snow today.

I hope you enjoy the first day of the year how ever you so choose! Best wishes for a wonderful year filled with happiness, health, love and joy.

Cheers to 2009!