Join our winning team!

Join our winning team!

Interested in being part of our dynamic personal training team? Join us at our job fair on Wednesday, Nov. 28th at 1pm and at 5pm at the Steve Nash Sports Club Downtown. Bring your resume!!!

Ready, Set, WIN!

It’s hard to believe but in just over six weeks it will be Christmas, followed by the end of 2012.  Most people already have their holiday plans in place and some are already thinking ahead to the New Year.

But 2012 isn’t over yet.  There is still time to make some changes (and why not get a head start?) and move yourself in the direction you want to be heading.

When it comes to fitness there is no substitute for doing the work – sweat and all.  Don’t be fooled by infomercials that promise you an amazing body after 3 weeks in only 6 minutes a day.  Sorry folks – but there is no magic wand.  Our bodies are designed to move and work:  to be strong, flexible, balanced and to have stamina.

If you’re tired of doing the same old, or want to get out of a yawn-inducing plateau, or just want to add something more INTERESTING to your gym routine, pick the brain of one of our trainers.  Chances are you’ll learn something new.

Treat yourself to a complimentary consultation or demo session with the trainer of your choice and become re-inspired, not to mention better friends with yourself.   You will WIN by revitalizing your exercise program!

Do it right, do it with a trainer!

As we head into the fall – and a lovely fall it has been so far – and start to spend more time indoors (yes, including the gym), this is an excellent opportunity to revisit and refresh your workout program.  You may have new short and medium term goals at this time of year – for example:  buffing up for party season, prioritizing physical activity to counter stress, embarking on a solid nutrition program to manage weight, or even pre-conditioning for winter sports.

This month we have several incentives for members, including a Whistler weekend giveaway and free workout attire.  It’s easy to qualify for both:  simply bring in a friend as a guest to earn entry slips in our draw, or team up with one of our personal trainers to take advantage of our 4+1 session package promotion.

The value of a trainer is unfortunately often underestimated.  Even motivated and very fit exercisers will benefit from  adding variety and new movements to their routine.  Neuromuscular recruitment has a learning curve:  when we perform an exercise for the first time it breaks new ground and literally creates new pathways on a physiological level.  Repetition brings familiarity and improvement, and over time we acquire movement efficiency and progress in the form of change levels off.  Once we get good at something we hit a plateau, and we therefore need to expose our bodies to new and more challenging stimuli to start the learning and mastery process again.

Trainers do more than just write programs for their clients.  They analyze movement patterns and make corrections and suggestions, they take a big picture perspective to make sure that a client’s nutritional regimen is supporting their training and goals, and they keep their clients accountable for their progress.  And then there’s the whole fun aspect.  When a workout does more than just run through a roster of exercises but also adds intellectual and creative stimulation, that hour in the gym becomes a truly enjoyable experience.  After all, it is our mission to make fitness the best part of your day.

Stop by the training office and book your complimentary consultation with one of our 20+ trainers this week!

Posted by Laurie Smith, SNSC Downtown Personal Trainer

Plank Training

The plank is the gold standard of isometric core exercise that everyone loves and hates.  Punitive trainers and group exercise instructors will direct their students to “Hold plank for one minute!” or even longer.

Holding perfect form for a minute or more can be very intense so one can accomplish this in stages, working up to the end goal.

Most important is the form.  Frequently it is the low back muscles that fatigue first, especially in those unaccustomed to integrated core training or who spend a lot of time sitting.  Unweighted back extensions are a good way to strengthen the spinal erectors and the quadratus lumborum muscles.  When holding plank position, make a conscious effort to lift the bottom ribs up and in to avoid sagging in the lumbar spine area.

To minimize joint fatigue, stack shoulders directly over elbows so that upper arms are vertical.  Hands may be clasped together initially (this creates leverage which makes the exercise easier) but eventually forearms will be parallel on the floor.  With all the core muscles clenched it is easy to forget about breathing, but focusing on steady, regular breaths will make the exercise more accessible.  It’s hard to hold one’s breath for a whole minute at the best of times, let alone while under muscular duress!

There are many variations of the plank – such as straight arms, turning sideways on one elbow and stacking the legs, yoga’s chaturanga hover with bent elbows (see photo), or even lifting one arm or leg off the floor while maintaining hips square prone alignment and a flat back.  Common to all variations is the need to keep the body in a straight line and have all the muscles of the core (the tree trunk torso) working together.

An amazing 68 year old Australian man set a record for 33 minutes and 40 seconds in the plank which I intend to beat within a year.


Happy Planking!

Posted by Personal Trainer Laurie Smith

Together In Fitness

Most people join a fitness club because they want to lose weight, get in shape, improve their health, etc. They have a specific desired outcome or results they’d like to see from their exercise program. They also realize the benefits of having professional instruction, structure and accountability in their own fitness programs. One-on-one and partner training programs are very effective and can produce a good return on your investment, but in all fairness the cost factor can be limiting factor for many individuals.

One of the hottest trends in the fitness industry right now is small group personal training. Small group personal training offers a unique opportunity to explore a new dimension of fitness by merging group fitness with personal training. It also offers classes that focus on a specialized format, individual progression and skill development.

Whether you’re trying to lose weight, get in good shape, maintain your form or figure or achieve another goal, one of the keys to any exercise plan is consistency. However, the challenges of exercising can be daunting for many people, and it’s common for people to give up after only a short period of time. Fortunately, a small group with the supervision of a personal trainer can help you to track your progress, maintain your efforts toward your ultimate goals, and have a lot more fun as you train than you would if you exercised by yourself. The group may be made up of a group of friends, work colleagues or even people with similar training goals or interests.

Keep Motivated

Most people find that it’s much easier to stay motivated if you do it with other people and not just by yourself. If you’re interested in getting in better shape, find a group of three to five other friends who are interested in achieving similar goals. All is needed is to establish a set of group policies that can help you to stay focused and on track.

Peer Support

When you’ve entered into a difficult stage of your fitness program, having people there alongside you to share in your experience and encourage you along the way is oftentimes the difference between a successful exercise plan and one that tends to fizzle out over time. Share in your challenges and your successes with your fellow group members, and be supportive of their efforts as well.

Fun Times

Most anyone will agree that exercising alone can become boring and tedious. When your exercising is boring or tedious, you’re that much more likely to give it up before you have had the chance to reap the full benefit of the training program. To keep yourself going, make use of your fellow group members. Having other people to talk to, encourage you and share experiences with while you work out can help you to have a good time while you exercise.

Research shows that members that are involved in group programs are more likely stick with it. With all of the previously mentioned benefits, how could you not want to keep coming back? When you stick with a well-constructed program, you will get the results. Small group personal training is the missing link that may be the answer to helping you reach your fitness goals. Give it a try!

From Sept. 4th to Sept. 16th, we are offering FREE small group personal training to members and guests. For session schedule and more info, or to reserve your spot please contact Princess Labrador at or call the club at 604-682-5213.