About Me

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Hi! I am a fitness professional, a father of two gorgeous girls, a serious football fan and a LOVER of FOOD! I believe that to maintain balance in life we need to enjoy everything in moderation. But sometime during the past two and a half years, since my first daughter was born, I have lost my balancing ways. I'm addicted to food...my main addiction; chocolate. My workouts have taken a backseat to parent and tot gymnastics, crafting, and singing the ABC song. I NEED to find balance again. Please join me as I embark on this journey. I hope you too can find the balance in your own life.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

March Quick Fit Challenge

~Written by Chad

Today is the last day of February. It's hard to believe, but spring is right around the corner and we will all be outside again soon. Time to step up the workouts a little so that we are ready to take full advantage! Speaking of workouts, I hope you all are feeling the benefits from the 2 minute workouts that we did for the February Quick Fit Challenge. I know that the exercises got a little old by the end of the month. Hell, I didn't do any of the quick fits for the last couple days. That's okay! Overall I only missed 4, and I am certain that the consistent exercising helped in my, to date, 9 pounds lost this year. Not to mention I feel considerably stronger than 4 weeks ago.

Outdoor workouts -LOVE THEM!

For me, it's all about finding a healthy lifestyle that I can successfully maintain. The two main factors that I'm working on are quick and intense workouts and eating my junk food at the best possible time, minimizing weight gain. So far so good. I have by no means given up chocolate, and I haven't really spent much time in the gym. An equation I am happy with.

If you enjoyed the February Challenge, you are going to LOVE the March version! New exercises, longer challenges, all-in-all bigger and better than last month.

Here is the link to the March Quick Fit Challenge Calendar.


I will post the links to the exercise demonstrations on facebook, so be sure to check our page.

These challenges are a little tougher than last month, but the benefits are much greater! We are taking things to a new level here, I hope you are excited!!

The nice thing about the March Challenge is that no day's workout should take longer than 15 minutes to complete and the majority of the challenges involve less than 10 minutes of working out.

Please remember that you DO NOT HAVE to complete EVERY day of the month. Just try to complete as many as you can. You can always add a couple days together to make up for missed ones, or just catch the workout the next time around. Obviously, the more days you complete, the better your results will be.

March 1st starts with 2 minutes of squat hops, as many as possible. A squat hop is a exactly the same as a squat except that you have to leave the ground an inch or two each time you thrust up. After that, take a 1 minute break then complete a 20:10 X 6 push-up challenge. This means that we will do as many push-ups as we can in 20 seconds, then take a 10 second break, then as many more push-ups as possible in 20 seconds and again a 10 second break, repeated a total of 6 times, which totals 2 minutes of push-ups. Count the cumulative push-up total.

Enjoy, and remember that it is always more fun if you are going thru the pain with a friend, so bring someone along on this journey with you.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

10 minutes of %#@& $!# workout

We are almost 8 weeks into 2012. If you have been following along then you are likely feeling both stronger and bored of the workouts. Excellent! Time to switch things up a little.

The goal is still to complete the February Quick Fit Challenge, but I want to show you all a new and quick workout. I hope that you can give it a shot by the end of the weekend.

As it often is, our goal is to complete as many repetitions as possible in a specific time. For this workout, we are looking at 10 minutes.

There are 3 exercises that we are going to cycle thru in our attempt at maximum repetitions.

The exercises are...

1. Burpee Blaster (5 reps)
2. Alternating Lunge Jumps (10 reps)
3. Up and Down Spiderman Planks (10 reps)

Please see the video for the exercise demonstration.

This workout is tough. Add it onto one of your 2 minute challenges and you've got quite a workout.

Both Kate and I did this workout the other day. She was able to complete four full cycles plus a fifth cycle of the burpees.  Due to my, slightly above average, competitive nature, I was able to complete four full cycles plus a fifth cycle of the burpees AND the alternate lunge jumps :)

Even if you only get thru once, it will be worth it. Try it and repeat every 3-7 days, you'll be amazed how quickly you improve. Always be sure to give at least 2 days to recover before repeating. 

The key to success is pushing yourself. Try hard and you can only get stronger! 


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

2 Minutes of Calm

~Thoughts From Kate

For the month of February we have been conducting daily Quick Fit Challenges that are 2 minutes in length.  We have challenged participants to complete their maximum number of repetitions in 2 minutes of various exercises (push-ups, squats, etc...).  As we near the end of February, I am completely shocked and delighted at the improvements in my strength and cardiovascular system with only 2 minutes of intense daily exercise.

This got me thinking....what else could I do for only 2 minutes a day that would have a positive impact on me personally and the way I live my life.  Immediately I thought about meditation.  For years I have wanted to learn to meditate -easier said then done.  I have read several "learn to meditate" books and have yet to succeed.  I just can't seem to sit still and quiet my mind for any significant length of time.  It takes all of about 15 seconds for me to start thinking...

What should I make for dinner tonight...

Does my butt really look good in those jeans or was Chad just avoiding a fight...

Ryan Gosling was so hunky in his last movie I saw...how and when will I be able to watch another one of his movies...

And that's when I realize that I'm supposed to be meditating -oops!
Ryan Gosling -looking good!

In my quest for 2 minutes of quiet meditation, I turned to Google.  I stumbled upon an amazing website that challenges you to do nothing for 2 minutes.  When I clicked on the link to the site, I was transported from my basement playroom covered in stuffed animals, art supplies, and two cranky children to a picture of an ocean with the sun setting behind some clouds, and the sound of the waves crashing on the beach.  There is a 2:00 minute timer in the centre of the page and the instructions to "do nothing for 2 minutes. Just sit and listen to the waves. Do not touch your mouse or your keyboard".

I cranked up the volume on my computer and got sucked into the hypnotic sounds of the waves.  The picture on my screen was so beautiful that I literally just sat there staring at my computer for the entire 2 minutes. It was amazing! Once the 2 minutes had finished, the site congratulated me and told me about another website www.calm.com.  This site doesn't have a timer, but does have various scenes and water sounds to choose from (I'm feeling more relaxed just thinking about it!).

I went back to the site two more times that day, and every day since.

I've found that, for me, 2 minutes of calm a few times a day does wonders for my mood, my outlook on life, and my stress level.

Maybe one day I'll be that Zen Mamma walking through the grocery store with my *perfect* children in tow.  But for now I'm elated to be me...a slightly frazzled, sleep deprived Mamma who worries about her kid cursing at the top of her lungs while in the grocery store checkout line.  Getting to meditate for a mere 2 minutes each day,  I'll take it!  In fact, I'm going to take it right now... bliss...


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Live happy and exercise smart.

Do you ever just have one of those days? One where virtually nothing positive happens. For us, that's been today.  Unfortunately, part of today included some heart-breakingly bad news about a family friend. The sort of news that really makes you look at things differently. Makes you weigh the importance of situations differently and makes you appreciate all of your 'little' problems.

Tonight we are starting sleep training with our 6 month old. For those of you who don't know what this means, I'll just say that it involves very little sleep and lots of tears (not just from the baby!).  I have been dreading this for the past few days, but after our recent news, I find myself oddly appreciative of the opportunity to go through this little adventure with my 3 girls. It's guaranteed to be memorable!

This is what I WANT Olivia to be doing for the next 12 hours

Chances are, this is what will ACTUALLY be happening

For most of us, health is one of our 'little' problems. We all worry about losing a couple pounds.  We all feel somewhat guilty when a muffin or cookie finds its way into the car with the coffee. We are stressed about going to the gym, or maybe I should say not going to the gym. The fact is, when it all comes down to it, we aren't going to look back and wish we had eaten a few more carrot sticks, but we will all want a few more nights out with friends. We won't be wishing for more workouts, rather a few more movie nights with the family and of course some popcorn and Junior Mints. I guess what I am trying to say is that we truly don't need to worry about every little decision regarding food and exercise. As long as we make good decisions more often than not and try to minimize the damage of the not-so-good decisions, we can be healthy. It is possible to fit into your favourite jeans and eat chocolate EVERY day. It is also possible to have a drink (or two) a day and reap only positive benefits. You just have to know how to balance things out.

My brother Troy and his girlfriend Lisa enjoying a glass of vino

Feeling happy and healthy involves much more than eating well and being active. Live your life in a way that makes you happy, whatever that means, and then develop eating habits and a fitness routine that fits into your lifestyle. There is no need to dread your meals or your workouts.

For me, a happy life involves watching TV. I love TV. There are some awesome shows out there. If I need to balance out some less than good decisions from earlier that day with a little exercise, and don't want to miss a show on TV,  I combine the two with a series of '5 minute repeats'.

What does that involve? I'm glad you asked...

Set a timer to 5 minutes or keep an eye on the clock.

Start timing.

Do 10 squat jumps and 10 push-ups... that's it!

Repeat the 10 squat jumps and 10 push-ups every 5 minutes until you have completed 10 rounds. It takes approximately 45 minutes, but each set should take less than 45 seconds.

If by the 10th set you can still perform 10 good reps of each exercise, then the next time you try this workout, do sets of 11. If you couldn't manage 10 good reps at the end of the workout, stick with 10 repetitions until you can.

Kate and I will be doing the '5 minute repeats' tonight as we are watching Survivor, and keeping our fingers crossed that our girls don't wake up. Give it a try and let me know what you think!


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Kate's Blog!

I've been wanting to jump in on this blog action for a couple weeks now but couldn't come up with the right topic...until now.

Valentine's Day is a mere two days away and I have yet to plan anything special for Chad -crap! The truth is that neither one of us have ever been over-the-top Valentine's Day kind of people. We don't buy each other gifts, or make reservations at over priced restaurants, but we do love spending the day together.  We also use Valentine's Day as a bit of an excuse to pig out over indulge a wee bit.

In the past we have ordered and eaten an entire pizza while watching movies in our pajama's, gone for brisk walks and then home for some chocolate (both hot and drizzled over ice cream), and even spent the day at the zoo. But my absolute favourite Valentine's Days are the ones that we decide to do something active together. Working up a good sweat alone can be fun, but when you're joined by your partner it's sure to produce some great motivation, laughs, and a closeness created by your shared experience. And hey, who knows what you'll get up to once you're both sweaty and high on post workout endorphins...

We've come up with a fun, 8 exercise, couple's workout for you and your special someone to try. Don't take yourself or this workout too seriously.  It's meant to invoke fun, laughter, and be some sort of combat against all the extra chocolate calories you're bound to ingest on Valentine's Day.

After performing each exercise, switch positions with your partner.  Run through each of the 8 exercises once and if you're up for more, then do them again and again... Enjoy!

High Knees/Squat Hold -60 seconds
 Exercise tips: Partner 1 will be holding a static squat with arms out straight.  Partner 2 will be doing high knees trying to hit their partners hands

Plank Tap Claps -10 repetitions
Exercise tips: Each partner will perform a plank. When you are both set, you will each reach forward with one hand and 'clap'. Return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite hand

Rows -10 repetitions
 Exercise tips: Partner 1 lays down on the floor while Partner 2 straddles Partner 1.  Clasp hands. Partner 1 will lift hips off the floor and contract their core. Partner 2 will lift Partner 1 off the floor by rowing back their arms and squeezing their shoulder blades together. If you can't lift your partner, have them bend their knees. 

Leg Press -10 repetitions
Exercise tips: Partner 1 lays down on the floor with feet up in the air. Partner 2 leans back on Partner 1's feet and contracts their core.  Partner 1 will bend and straighten their legs (leg press).  

Shoulder Press/Plank -10 repetitions
Exercise tips: Partner 1 kneels down. Partner 2 starts in and holds a plank. Partner 1 picks up Partner 2 by the ankles and does a shoulder press while Partner 2 holds their plank position.  

Dips -10 repetitions
Exercise tips: Partner 1 lays down on the floor in a bridge.  Partner 2 places hands on Partner 1's knees and does triceps dips.  Partner 1 -squeeze glutes and core.  Partner 2 -ensure elbows point straight back as you lower yourself down.  

Push-Ups -10 repetitions
Exercise tips: Partner 1 lays down on the floor with knees bent. Partner 2 places hands on Partner 1's knees and does push-ups.  Push-ups can also be done from your knees

Back-Back Chair Hold -60 seconds
Exercise tips: Start standing back to back and lower down into a squat position -hold.

Depending on the physical make up of you and your partner you may or may not be able to complete some of the exercises...but an attempt may result in serious laughter.  I tried to do the shoulder press with Chad and couldn't budge his legs...not even an inch! We had lots of fun doing this workout and hope you do too.  

Happy Valentine's Day Y'All!

Cheesy post-workout photo!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Putting it all together

It's hard to believe, but we are almost 6 weeks into 2012. Doomsday is getting closer and we are going to need to be fit in order to save the world. Kidding. I hope that you are all feeling, at the very least, a little stronger now than you were when this year began. We have been getting our bodies good and ready for some more serious workouts and we are about to have some fun!

We are going to be putting out some 5 - 30 minute workouts over the next few weeks and I hope that you will enjoy them. The idea behind our series of workouts and challenges, is that you can design a workout to fit into any available time slot. If you only have 2 minutes, and we all have 2 minutes, take advantage of it!! If you have 20 minutes or even more, link a few workouts, challenges and quick fits together and create a workout that fills the time. Or do one of our longer workouts (coming soon). Any choice is awesome.

The workout below is a little mix-up of many of the things we've been working on so far. If you haven't been with us, now is as good a time to get going as any!

Part lunge/push-up burnout, part mini-pyramid, and filled with the exercises from the Quick Fit Challenges this little workout will take about 12-15 minutes and will give your whole body a nice once-over. The only variation that is new, is that we are taking the push-up out of the thrust-up. Just do the legs. This makes it a squat thrust instead of a thrust-up.

jog on the spot for 2 minutes (lift your feet 8" off the floor)

30 seconds of plank-jacks

lunge/push-up burnout - rounds 1, 2, 3, 4

45 seconds of squat thrusts

lunge/push-up burnout - rounds 5, 6, 7

60 seconds of mountain climbers

lunge/push-up burnout - rounds 8, 9

45 seconds of squat thrusts

lunge/push-up burnout - round 10

30 seconds of plank-jacks

The link below is to a video that is the 3 minute exercise demonstration and workout description.

I will also be posting the video for the workout soon and will also post my results so that you can try to beat me.  You can do this workout all by itself or add it into any other workout that you do. It is guaranteed to make you more fit, make you sweat, and make you utter a few curse words.  Enjoy!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

It's NEVER too late!

Five days into our Quick Fit Challenge. I know that there is a group of you already doing the challenges, and doing them very well I might add,  and I assume that there is another group of you who thinks that because you missed the start of the month, it isn't worth it to jump in late. Wrong! Luckily,  today is the perfect day to get started!

There are 8 exercises we are working on this month. We have seen 4 of them. If you double up the ones you missed with the next 4 new ones, you will be all caught up and ready for the second round of the exercises. For example, today you should do 2 minutes of jumping jacks, take a 1 minute break and then do 2 minutes of squats. Tomorrow do 2 minutes of mountain climbers, take a 1 minute break and then do 2 minutes of thrust-ups.

If you ever miss a day along the way, you can always double up and get caught up. If you miss a day and don't double up, no worries, you'll get another chance at that exercise soon enough. Ultimately, our goal this month is to accumulate as many total repetitions as we can in the 58 minutes of exercise. Simply put...the more reps you can do, the fitter you are.  Once you have numbers to improve on, it starts to get fun!!

On a side note, Happy Super Bowl! One of the best days of the year. Enjoy! In fact, indulge a little, just try not to lose total control.

Our Super Bowl cake from 2009 -it was delicious! 

And don't forget, today's challenge is squats. 2 minutes of them. Push hard. The ultimate goal is 100. You will get there!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February Quick Fit Challenge - Daily updates on our facebook page.

Okay, we've been friends long enough. It's time to raise the bar! January, and all of it's negative energy, is gone. February is here and it's a clean slate. The beauty of it all, is that all we need to do is a little more than we did in January and we will be moving in the right direction. Of course, doing a lot more is also an option, but let's be realistic. In order to facilitate things, we have designed a month-long challenge for February. Complete a 2 minute quick fit challenge every day for 1 month. That's less than 1 hour dedicated to your fitness for the whole month. You will get back much more than that in strength gains...guaranteed! There are 8 different challenges so you will get to have a third and sometimes fourth chance to improve at the challenge. I have attached a copy of the month's challenges and I suggest printing it out and tracking your numbers as you go. To get more out of the month, a few times each week, the challenge should be a component of a bigger workout. Give it a shot, you will NOT be disappointed! We are starting with jumping jacks. As you will see (once I get home from taking Ayden to her 'sea turtle' swimming lesson and can load the video), I got 140. Remember when doing these...be bouncy!

Here's the proof...
 day one : 140reps