The Perfect Accountability Partner

If there’s one thing we know for a fact, it’s that working out is much more enjoyable with a buddy (or 12).  I can’t be sure, but it may have something to do with the whole “misery loves company” principle.

Valerie and Krista are a shining example of the magic of finding the perfect accountability partner. This mother-daughter duo have been keeping each other motivated since last April and they have no plans to quit. 

Krista has been an on again, off again exerciser for most of her life. She was even a committed Bomb member for a while, but inevitably, life would cut in and exercise would fall to the bottom of the priority list.

Valerie played competitive tennis as a teenager and has kept active by walking every day, but didn’t think that group fitness was going to be the right fit for her. With a big push from Krista, she decided to give it a go. 

Seven months later, despite obstacles like late-night conference calls with colleagues around the world, a new, more demanding job, a kid who’s allergic to sleep and the constant parade of viruses that infect their family, Krista and Valerie have been committed to their early morning classes. And it shows! They are both stronger and more capable in class and in life. Krista even said that burpees don’t make her feel like she’s dying anymore! 

The commitment really stems from their love for each other.

When one considers skipping a class, she quickly realizes that she doesn’t want to let the other down. It’s one thing to text your neighbour and tell her you’re taking the day off. But when its your mom or daughter on the other end of the phone, it becomes much harder to come up with a worthy excuse. 

Now, I realize not everyone has a close relative they can join the gym with. The perfect accountability partner doesn’t need to share your DNA, but it does help to find someone in your life who you care a lot about. Someone who you want to see succeed and would hate to disappoint.

Because often times it’s easier to do things for others than for ourselves. And who knows, maybe along the way you’ll realize that all that do-gooding for someone else did some good for you too.

Sally

Krista & Valerie.jpg

Three Important Books We Read in 2018

In 2018 we really upped our reading/audible game and got nerdy learning about true behaviour change. “The Secret” and Tony Robbins take a seat please.

After subtracting the books that you might find drier than a hog's bath mat, we were left with three of the most important books we read this year…

1) Atomic Habits by James Clear

This book distills complex topics into simple behaviors that can be readily applied to daily life and work. It’s packed with practical strategies that will teach you how to master tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.

Why It’s Important
Sooo many reasons but here’s one strategy that you can take action on right now…

The Two-Minute Rule - “When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do.”

The more you ritualize the beginning of a process, the more likely it becomes that you can slip into the state of deep focus that is required to do great things.

So, if you’re trying to get fit, the first step is to just get your workout clothes on and if that leads to the gym, then fine. If you’re trying to write then just go and write one sentence and stop.

This sounds nuts but Victoria has run 63 days in a row (she wrote about it here) and credits it to the first few weeks where her only goal was to get dressed. 

2) Coddling of the American Mind by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt

 As the subtitle suggests, this book argued that good intentions and bad ideas are setting up a generation for failure. It mostly focuses on freedom of speech at college campuses where we are treating students like customers as opposed to students.

Why It’s Important
While we believe we are looking out for the well-being of our kids and society, some actions – like over-protecting our children or being offended at everything - are actually contributing to an increase in mental health issues and a decrease in seeing each other as humans.

We really liked that the authors went into detail to show that answers to these issues are more nuanced than just good vs evil, left vs right.

Just because someone supports immigration control doesn’t make them a racist, and someone who wants tighter gun laws doesn’t necessarily want to take away all your guns.

It also makes a great case that the more adversity you are exposed to the stronger you’ll become, like this quote from Van Jones…

“I don’t want you to be safe ideologically. I don’t want you to be safe emotionally. I want you to be strong. That’s different. I’m not going to pave the jungle for you. Put on some boots, and learn how to deal with adversity.

I’m not going to take all the weights out of the gym; that’s the whole point of the gym. This is the gym.”
 
3) Thanks for the Feedback by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen

We give and receive feedback all the time but we never really think about how to get good at it. It’s often spontaneous, off-the-cuff and well, you didn’t f*cking ask for it in the first place.

This book offers a powerful framework to help you take on life’s blizzard of offhand comments and unsolicited criticism with curiosity and grace.

Two things that you can implement right now…

  • Simply ask for more of it. When’s the last time you asked “Hey partner, how am I doing over here as a husband/wife/parent.” The more feedback you ask for the better you’ll get at taking it. We’ve had 200+ members leave feedback for us since we started asking for more, and every single one had a suggestion to improve. That toughens you up.

  • When giving feedback try and focus on the behaviour so that the receiver doesn’t feel that their identity is being attacked. Instead of saying “You’re never around any more.” – something that might trigger them to feel like a bad partner or parent - try “I feel we’re never spending enough time together, can we discuss how we fix that?”

Now if that’s the third time you’ve tried to bring that up, just implement the Newfie Fish Wake-Up Call…

Step One – Slap ‘em with it.
 
Kevin & Victoria

3 Important Books We Read in 2018.png

A Weight Loss Tip From Stephen King's It

Do you remember the made-for-TV version of IT? It's a story about six kids who battle a shape-shifting clown and then “IT” returns to terrorize them as adults.

If you watched the movie between the ages of 13-20 it probably holds a special place in your heart.

Watching it now, however, it has not dated well. The acting is pretty awful and that ridiculous spider at the end! What were they thinking!?

But it’s still great and brings back memories of watching it under the covers on VHS or a shitty late-night cable channel.

That’s what nostalgia does to us – splatters us with the inability to separate the quality of something versus how it made us feel.

The film is based on the book by Stephen King – and by book we mean doorstop – 1,100+ pages long.

Anyway, there’s a chapter that explains how one of the kids - plump and constantly bullied - decided to get skinny. Enter Asshole Gym Teacher…

-------------

“I got a football team to coach, and basketball, and track, and somewhere in between I’ve got swimming team. So I’ll just say it once. You’re fat up here.”

And he tapped my forehead right where his damned whistle had bonked me.

“That’s where everybody’s fat. You put what’s between your ears on a diet and you’re going to lose weight. But guys like you never do.”


-------------

Now the coach is a huge dick, but he’s on to something about putting your brain on a diet.

When we have an urge to passionately change something – like diet or exercise – we tend to overthink it.

And when we do start the transformation, we over-analysis every little detail before we’ve even given ourselves the chance to begin.

We get too smart for our boots.

Add in every vibration, ping and a kid tugging on a pant leg, all vying for your attention, it’s no wonder our brains explode as we struggle to meditate for two minutes.

And it’s no wonder our brains itch to check our phones as we watch our kid’s soccer game.

Maybe the solution is to put our brain on a diet. Especially for things that are necessary but that you’re not super into.

Bringing it back to health and fitness – that’s what we try to do. To keep it simple as possible and done-for-you as much as we can.

Instead of going to the gym and wondering what you’re going to do, you can show up to an already organized program. You try your best while you are there, then on to the next thing.

Instead of wondering what’s for dinner tonight, you have a recipe to follow. If you batch everything, it will all be ready to go.

Prepare it. Eat it. Forget about it.

So take some time to think about things that need to get done but is not in your 5% - the things you have (or like) to do.

Then work out how you can outsource the rest.

Kevin & Victoria

P.S. Our done-for-you 30 day program – The Weight Loss Challenge begins on Monday, January 14th 2019.

Following that is a brand-new part two version – where we let you geek out a bit and try to improve your own self-sufficiency.

But just remember that we all float down here at BOMB.

And if you join us, maybe you’ll float too…

Check it out here

7f_retrospectivstephenkings00.jpg

Feeling Better Than Ever Before

Shane has come SO far since he first joined Bomb! Having him in every morning class down at the Beach is really awesome -- he humbly motivates others, and is always a welcoming smile and energy for new members to feed off.

Not only has he gained so much strength from when he first started, he has also noticed a great positive difference in his life outside of Bomb: 

"I have been with Bomb since it opened in the Beach - a regular on weekdays. I love the daily variety of exercises and programs offered.  Living with a thyroid condition, workouts were never an easy task for me.

Prior to doing regular exercise and having a balanced diet as part of my lifestyle, it took me years to regulate my thyroid hormones.  Nowadays, I enjoy my newfound energy and excellent health from this exercise routine; and losing weight is just an added bonus.

I have lost 30 lbs since my first day at Bomb and feel better now than I've ever felt before."

Keep it up, Shane! You are a great inspiration to the Bomb family.

Robyn

Shane - Before & After.jpg

Being Fit Isn't Just For Other People

Kathy joined Bomb about two years ago. At the time, she had been suffering from back pain for about five years and had just received a diagnosis of early osteoarthritis.

Her discomfort was very persistent and the reality that it was worsening and beginning to prevent her from doing much more than getting through a day of work and parenting was frightening. It had her wondering about her future.

Would she ever be able to take dance classes again? Would she be able to carry her grandchildren? How long before she’d lose her independence?

With these kinds of terrible thoughts in her head, Kathy decided to take action. She instinctively knew that she needed to strengthen her muscles so they could carry the load that her joints were failing under. And so, she hesitantly joined Bomb.

Kathy and I knew each other before she joined and I remember the first time I saw her at the gym. She told me that she had never been interested in fitness and didn’t think she’d like it much, but she kept coming anyway.

And in a classic case of fake it till you make it, Kathy started to find herself (gasp!) enjoying her workouts.  And even better, her back pain started to melt away!

I think it was about a year after she joined that I realized how strong Kathy had become.  It was another few months before I realized I should share that feeling with her and her reaction was a combination of pride and surprise.  I don’t think she really recognized how far she’d come.

She said she hadn’t even really realized that she had achieved muscle definition until someone else pointed it out to her.  When we chatted for this interview, she told me that she never thought she was someone who could be a strong person and that it took her a good long while to realize that she had become one.

Before joining Bomb, she would see other fit women and immediately brush aside any idea that she could be fit too. It’s something we really connected on because for most of my life, I felt the same way.

And, not to make this about me, but the feeling you get when you stop relying on others to lift heavy things is pretty incredible.  And it’s not really about what you can lift in the gym.  It’s about self-sufficiency.

It’s carrying all your groceries in at once.  It’s shoveling the snow yourself instead of relying on your partner.  It’s volunteering to help your neighbour move their couch.  And it’s about moving through your day with the confidence that you can handle whatever physical task is going to come your way.

So, how did Kathy do it?  The recipe isn’t too complicated.  She adopted a simple philosophy of “sign up & show up”.  Signing up is the easy part, especially because in Bomb, she found the right fit for her. Showing up is a little harder, but when she’s feeling tired, she reminds herself that she’ll only regret NOT going.

And it turns out, that when she shows up, she’s intent on learning and improving. By that, I mean she’s never worried about what others in the class are up to.  She focuses on her form.  She pays attention to corrections, asking questions if she’s not sure she gets something.  And she works to the best of her ability, every class. And the results are undeniable.

Kathy is officially a powerhouse who’s always up for another fitness challenge.  Most recently, she started taking Kevin’s Beast class and is loving how it feels to lift a barbell.

What I love most about Kathy’s story is seeing her progress from thinking she couldn’t be fit to wondering what else she is capable of.  Being fit is not just for other people.  It’s for anyone willing to sign up and show up with an open mind and good intentions.

Sally

IMG_2747.jpg

How Small Actions Can Build into an Automatic Routine

James Clear recently published a great book called Atomic Habits. He writes about how small actions that you take every day can build into automatic routines that really shape who you are.

I got sucked into his ideas while listening to him on Jay Ferruggia's podcast (#264, if you're interested).

For the last 32 days, I have been putting James Clear's Atomic Habits book to the test...  

I was hopping on a plane to Montreal to take an army course that was taking me away from reality in exchange for my green uniform and 2 weeks of leadership training with 100 of my peers.  I was warned that the days would be long and that my nights would consist of homework and mandatory "networking".

So the goal that I set for myself was that I would run every day.  Maybe for a minute, maybe for an hour, and I could skip one day per week.  Running isn't brand new to me.  But over the last few years, it's turned into a more occasional, social activity.  

I got a LOT out of this book, but the two points I want to touch on with you are the ones that still sit with me a month after getting through this book and putting in an honest effort to create a new habit AND regularly evaluate it against James' ideas.
 
You do not rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems
 
In my case, the system that I put in place was that every day when I got back from the school, I would immediately change from my uniform into my running gear.  I didn't stop at the bathroom, I didn't stick around to make dinner plans with my colleagues, I put my shoes on.  School started at 7am.  SEVEN!  My brain was melted by noon, and when we got out of class at 5, the idea of going to dinner and bed was super appealing.  My goal was simple.  Get off the campus.  Every night. If that meant putting on my gear and walking the 300m from my dorm to the gate and back, I would consider that a win. 
 
By the time I came back to Toronto just 2 weeks later, I had found enough value in my newly developed habit, that it made all sorts of sense to keep it up. The time has stayed the same, just the location is different.  I do plan to cut back the running days at some point, but continue to reserve a chunk of my afternoon for exercise.
 
How can I create an environment where doing the right thing is easy? 

You'd think that adopting a new fitness habit when working in a gym everyday would be easy, but being removed from my normal routine actually made it MUCH easier to adhere to.  I used every trick that I know of to make sure that I was setting myself up for success.

  • I didn't feel the need to broadcast my goal when all of my colleagues, but living in a dorm (with shared washrooms), it was obvious that pretty quickly that I had a routine.  Within days, my colleagues (who probably think that I am this disciplined all the time!) wished me well on my workout, or asked how it went when I saw them in the meal hall or the pub later on.  

  • It's so easy to let other commitments get in the way.  Because I knew that I would have several commitments after dinner throughout the initial weeks, I found a time frame where I was guaranteed to be available.  Sometimes we finished at 4, sometimes we finished at 6, but that time immediately after school was a time where there was no way in hell that anyone was going to be functional enough to want to start our homework.

  • I found things to look forward to on my run.  Beautiful scenery, great music or an audio book, a chance to chat on the phone without my voice echoing down the hall.  I really set it up so that missing a run would be missing an opportunity.

This habit has definitely evolved from just "put on your shoes" to a gateway for a couple of more specific goals with measurable outcomes, but the takeaways from this book also really helped to shape where I'd like to take it next. (basically, all of chapter 19).

So what about you? What simple systems can you create to make your life healthier? And then how can you change your environment so those systems are easy to implement and repeat?

Let me hear about them!

Victoria

P.S. As a disclaimer, I have a decent amount of experience with running and exercise in general.  A daily running habit without a solid base is probably not an awesome idea!

IMG_5084.jpg

Power Generation

I was having a conversation with a coach last week regarding common humps and hurdles that people in the gym can’t seem to get over.

One that we both agreed on was the lack of power generation, and it’s one that if you fix will explode your results as quick as the click of your fingers.

Lack of power generation (or force creation) can be summed up using a common example:

Scenario: Bench Press. You can burst out 15 repetitions using a pair of 20lbs dumbbells, but the moment you try to use a pair of 25lb-ers you’re lucky if you can do 2-3 reps.

Has this ever happened to you?

There can be other forces causing you to fail at this progression, for example, poor mobility or you are simply at the edge of the maximum weight you can lift, but more commonly it is the lack of power creation.

So how do you fix this sticking point and create force? Simply by making sure you are firing on all cylinders.

Imagine a 4-cylinder car that can only turn on 2 or 3 of them. It would not be as powerful as a machine as it could be.

It will not elicit the results as expected.

Exercise patterns usually have way more than four and if you can turn on all cylinders, you will develop into a serious bad-ass.

Ladies and gents, parked cars will implode as you walk by them.

Flowers will shrivel in the yards that you pass.

People will bow at your feet and offer to wash them.

Well, we can all dream anyway.

Using the bench press example from above, most people just use their arms to move the weight and maybe even squeeze the chest, but here’s how you turn on all the cylinders to get the most out of the exercise and lift more than you think you can:

  • Lock your shoulders back and squeeze your upper back muscles together

  • Before you lift, squeeze your glutes and abs, squeeze the dumbbells tight

  • Through your nose, inhale to the pit of your stomach, this will also set your spine in place

  • Plant your feet, spread your toes, and push into the ground as you lift the weight

  • In fact, think of pushing your whole body away from the dumbbells and into the bench

  • Exhale strongly

But most importantly, make sure you explode with the weights or movement.

You should pretty much never, ever perform the concentric movement slowly. And you just thought you had to lift with your arms and do an Arnold Schwarzenegger “clunk” with the weights.

Another quick example you can do right now is a push-up. Rather than only using your arms to push your body up:

  • Spread your fingers into the ground

  • Peel your shoulders back and down

  • Tuck your elbows. Imagine you’re holding a piece of paper in-between your armpits

  • Squeeze your abs, clench your butt

  • As you lower down, inhale to the pit of your stomach, this will also set your spine in place

  • Keep your shoulders peeled back as you lower, don’t “neck pinch”

  • Breath out strongly, extend your arms as you push up using your whole body

You’ll notice that both exercises have common traits. In fact, most exercises do. It also gives you the power to complete one more repetition than you think whether you are a beginner or advanced, whether you can currently do 5 or 15 reps.

Once you master firing on all these identical cylinders you’ll see immediate progressions whether it’s a squat, bicep curl, lunge, burpee or a Muay Thai punch or kick.

And of course, people will offer to wash your feet.

Kevin

PS – The next time you do a push-up using the above cues you might find you actually do FEWER repetitions than normal. Now before you demand your money back (for this free blog), all I can say is congratulations, you’ve finally done a push-up… CORRECTLY!

3 Unconventional Ways to Find More Time to Exercise

We recently asked our members - “What is the one thing that gets in the way of you exercising regularly and making healthier eating choices?”

The overwhelming response was Lack Of Time.

So we thought we’d give you some tips that we use to make time to exercise. Now you may shake your head at some of these, but bear with us.

At the Rio Olympics this year, around 100 new world or Olympic records were broken. Athletes are getting better but the general population is getting fatter so what most people are doing right now isn’t working.

So therefore we ask that you take the Apple approach and “Think Different”.

See where it takes you.

Do Less

The thousands of adverts you’re exposed to each day encourage you to “buy more shit” to keep up with the Jones’s, otherwise you’re a loser.

Or that every day should be filled with adventure from dawn until dusk and that your life should be abundant all the time.  In reality, there are just some days you’ve got to cut off communication and binge watch House of Cards or Stranger Things on Netflix.

We’re taught to put our kids first too. And since you have to pay the bills and put food on the table, you can put “working” up there as well.

But we’ve got it all wrong.

Your kids don’t need to go to hockey on Monday, piano on Tuesday, soccer on Thursday and karate on Friday all at 7 years old to become well developed.

They also don’t have to go to Timmy’s 5th birthday one week and your third cousin’s baby shower the next. 

There are a few members who bring their kids to the gym who hang out at the front and watch their parent work out. That’s just as powerful a learning tool as taking them to soccer.

Kids develop through their environment at a rapid pace, so you can take them to sports and you can take them to your annoying cousin’s baby shower, but if you’re blowing out your ass just climbing up the stairs, quick to snap out (in your head as well as verbally) or would rather be anywhere else than in the moment with them, then that will affect your kids way more than anything else.

You can’t put your kids and work before your health - it has to run alongside it.

You have to set an example. By cutting out all the stuff that’s not important to you, so you can exercise more and eat healthier, you can become that example.

Take A Nap

Take a work day from hell, add 2 kids and a husband to it, add my own self-interests and you’re telling me that by taking a nap I’ll have more time to exercise? WTF!

If we were to tell the truth, it’s not really a lack of time you have to exercise, it’s a lack of mental energy. You see there are only so many BIG things you can give your concentration to in a set period of time, that’s why you feel unmotivated to exercise after an 8 hour shift; your mental energy hits zero.

Having a 15-30 minute power nap resets your alertness, relaxes you, makes you more productive and prevents burnout.

How do you find time to nap?

It lurks in the cracks of your day. At your afternoon break. When the baby is asleep. On your journey home. Hide in a closet after dinner!?

Kevin takes one almost every day. Yes, he drools on the pillow, much to the disgust of Victoria. But there’s no way he could work out up to 5 days per week without it.

Invest in Done-For-You Services

This is an extension to number one. You’ve cleared out the unimportant stuff but still need to tackle everyday tasks like feeding yourself, cleaning and maintaining your house and wardrobe, and caring for the kids.

Consider hiring a housekeeper that can also do a bit of food preparation for you.

Have a meal box delivered to your house using companies like Mama Earth or Meal Angels. Get your groceries delivered to the house.

Use a babysitter for more than just covering your kids while you go out and get messed up drunk.

“Mom after one beer…”

drunk-mums_orig.jpg

Get them to take your kids to their sports or pick them up from after school club so you can stay and get your training in or prepare meals for the week.

Use a gym that looks after your kid while you get your workout in.

Obviously this costs money, but think of the benefits this will bring you. More time to exercise and de-stress, more time to take on passion projects.  More time to manoeuvre your way to that dream job. More quality time spent with your family.

So yeah, some unconventional methods that 99% of the population probably don’t even consider. But as we head to a population where 50% are overweight and out-of-shape, why would you do the same things as everyone else?

Athletes put themselves first, and they live an unconventional life where they strip away the non-essentials.

They become selfish.

It’s a paradox, but if you become that little bit more selfish, and take care of your essential needs, then you’ll be able to provide greater attention and help to other people.

Kevin & Victoria 

The Hierarchy of Fat Loss

"As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble" - Ralph Waldo Emerson (writer, philosopher)

5705205.png

A few month's back we let you peek inside the construction of our training at the gym based around the most effect principles for fat loss. It was taken from an important article (for us anyway) written by one of our mentors, Alwyn Cosgrove, and it bears condensing into one blog post.

If you've always wondered why our classes and training are set up in a certain way, why you do burpees, goblet squats, strider sprints and alternating lunges, it is all based on the following principles. 

1) Nutrition

Yes, it's true, you can lose fat without exercising. In fact, Alwyn's article mentions nutrition as the first two components of fat loss, it is that important. You simply cannot do a bicep curl in one hand, while munching on a burger with the other, and expect amazing results. You can NEVER outwork a poor diet. The ones who tell you that you can are liars, thieves, or blessed with freaky genetics.

Losing weight via healthy eating is great, but you also don't want to become weak, get injured, have excess skin, and lose that endorphin rush that is so important from exercising. So the next step you want to incorporate in the hierarchy of fat loss, is...

2) Metabolic Resistance Training

You'll have likely heard of the effects of this type of training, whereby after creating a "metabolic disturbance," you can burn fat up to 36 hours after your workout. Study after study has been made to conclusively show that this is the best training method for fat loss (refer to the original article for evidence).

So how does it work and what does it look like? The most effective way to create a metabolic disturbance is to try to engage and intensely attack as many muscle groups as possible, using resistance. Bicep curls and side lying leg lifts might get you stronger but single joint work is not as effective for fat loss. Things like weighted lunges, step-ups, pull-ups, goblet squats, deadlifts, trx crunches and rows are far more effective. Surprise, surprise, you may have noticed these exercises in our Bootcamps, Get Strong and TRX classes and is a staple of our personal training.

So unless you have a metabolic health disorder or you're an alien from another planet (the same one who allegedly abducted Renee Zellweger and replaced her with a completely different person) it's nearly impossible that this type of training won't work for you. It's pretty hard to cheat biology!

So how do you make metabolic resistance training effective? Make sure you lift weights that are heavy enough to burn your muscles and drain your central nervous system. Do compound movements as mentioned above. Ensure that you are engaging your core and the correct muscles for each repetition, and that you're leaving each training session blowing out your derrière! If you are quite bulky, losing weight through nutrition first will really help you perform better in training.

Finally, we do realize not everyone likes to lift weights, so the next stage is level is...

3) High Intensity Anaerobic Interval Training

Or as I'm sure you'll have heard its shortened term - HIIT. This is where you perform short but intense bursts of exercise, with little rest in between. If you've been part of Victoria's Strider classes you may have experienced intense sprints, hill climbs etc... like this, and if she's feeling extra horrible that day, she'll put you through a Tabata-style class of burpees, jump squats and more compound movements.

Much like #3, this has to be done with intensity. Walking in and out of a burpee doesn't cut it if you're more than capable of doing it with a jump. Like we said above, if you have trouble performing these types of exercise, losing some weight by correcting your nutrition, and starting off at a less intense pace is the way forward. If mobility or tightness is an issue then dynamically stretch, foam roll and  attend Yoga, Pilates, Stability Ball, Fitness Essentials and the Sunday Tune-Up before progressing.

Here's a brief mention of the last two in the fat loss hierarchy...

4) High Intensity, Steady State Aerobic Training (e.g. running at an intentional fast pace over a long time period) 

5) Low Intensity, Steady State Aerobic Training (e.g. walking)

Conclusion

Ok, so you might be thinking what does this all mean to me? What it says is, if you are a busy parent and only have 1-2 times per week to workout and you want to lose fat, then you shouldn't be running slow for 20 minutes and then doing a mat-based Pilates class. You should be paying attention to your diet, and then smash your muscles hard and fast (i.e. a session each of #2 & #3).

If you have more time on your hands, say 3-4 sessions per week then variance in your training will be the best route. If you do high intensity training three times per week then a fourth session of lower intensity (Yoga, Pilates, Running) will help you recover better while still putting stress on the body and still expending calories.

What this hierarchy also shows is that if you are couch-based and ready to take on a fat loss program, you might want to work your way up from the bottom of the intensity ladder for a few weeks, as your tight, inactive body might not be able to take the stress of a high-intensity class.

Finally, this also clarifies that while there is no magic pill or 30-day, 60lb weight loss transformation, whoever "created us" has said if you work hard for around 3-4 days per week for just 30-45 minutes, and eat healthy 80% of the time you'll lose weight, gain muscle, be strong and live longer.

Kevin

Fitness Instagram Star Breaks Internet By Making a Post About Someone Else

SANTA MONICA, CA - Fitness Instagram superstar Chesty Lane lost 500,000 followers yesterday after making a post be all about someone else.

Fellow fitness influencer, Brock Twolegs, picks up the scandal... "So I was scrolling through my 'gram. It was a usual day of colleagues posting shirtless meal prep videos and photos of themselves contemplating over a sunrise backdrop, by themselves, quoting themselves.

And then Chesty's post pops up with someone else in it! OMG my chin hit the floor. I mean, this person was clearly just a 5, maybe a 6 if Chesty had bothered to use a filter. And then there was some bullshit about blah blah struggles blah blah no time to exercise blah blah. How dare she spend all this time building up super-fans to then go and blow it all by talking about someone else!"

Chesty declined to comment for this story but, as of print, the incendiary post has been deleted and she was back with a new video promoting her 24-hour sexy belly slim down program, a spoken word essay on why sweat is simply your fat crying, and a reminder that cow dung spread on toast is 2018's new superfood.

Her follower count has steadily begun to rise.

instagraminfluencer.jpg

Your mission, if you choose to accept it...

We recently caught the latest Mission: Impossible movie. Usually after five sequels there are diminishing returns as far as enjoyment and box office go.

However, this one was fantastic - maybe the best action movie of the past eight years. There were scenes where you couldn’t separate CGI from a human stunt. Definitely a film to see on the big screen.

Anyway, one of the recurring situations is that the hero, Tom Cruise, consistently sacrifices the fate of the world in order to save just one person. In this case he gives up plutonium BOMBs in exchange for his teammate’s life.

He can get the bombs later but he can’t get his buddy’s life back. Now we know this is just a film and it seems quite ridiculous to do something like that.

Or is it?

I think we do it all the time.

There are many instances, probably parenting comes to mind for most, where we give up or pause everything for the sake of someone else. It can be your career, health and fitness, and even your marriage. You'll get to it later.

But what if the opposite were true?

What if you worked just as hard on everything you were about to pause.

What if you can continue to get better in your career, keep working on your health and try and hold dearly onto your weekly date night?

How would that help in becoming a better parent/partner/human?

It probably seems like an impossible mission (🧐) to do all this.

However, the other theme of the movie is Tom Cruise’s battle with himself for acceptance (or rejection) of who he really is. Is it worth trying to relentlessly save the world at the cost of all his relationships?

So your mission, if you choose to accept it (really pushing the cheese button now), is to take a moment to think about what is normally worth sacrificing in the relentless pursuit of something else.

Then ask yourself what if the total opposite is really the way to go?

You keep working out while you start that new job. You work on your marriage even when a kid comes along.

What could that look like and how could it actually help you in that relentless pursuit of who you're meant to be?

Kevin & Victoria

P.S. We realize the hero’s name is Ethan Hunt and not Tom Cruise. But at a rate of 20 smug smiles per film, regardless of subject, can we just take every character he plays and call them Tom Cruise?

Anyone agree? No? Okay, we’ll grab our coat.

Mission+Impossible+2.jpg

The Beginning of Life 2.0

It takes, on average, 66 days to form a new habit (science!).

When Jason Bell looks back at his first 66 days at Bomb, he likes to think of them as the beginning of “Life 2.0”.  A lot changed in those 66 days and beyond.

Jason went from an activity level of zero, to exercising every morning.  From being sluggish and bloated to feeling great and full of energy.  From eating all the food, to choosing quality over quantity.  He also lost 45 pounds and saw improvements in his health across the board in his before and after blood work.

I mean, WOW!  I think we can all agree that this is a pretty amazing transformation.

But what I think is even more amazing is how Jason arrived at Day One of his journey.  Jason spent his thirties thinking about how he’d like to get healthy by the time he was 40.

But eventually, 40 came and went, and the only thing that had really changed was his waistline. It wasn’t until his third baby was born that he realized it was time for him to act.  He knew that the best thing he could do for his kids was to live a long and healthy life.  

So he, and his wonderful wife Michelle (who is down 20 pounds herself!!), sat down and started planning for the future of their family.

They scheduled physicals.  They researched life insurance.  And they started looking for ways to live a healthier lifestyle. I happened to be at the desk the day Michelle walked in to Bomb for the first time.

Like many new members she had lots of questions and was a bit apprehensive about getting started, but she quickly set aside her anxiety and registered herself and Jason for the Weight Loss Challenge, which started that day!

I took her measurements on the spot and she booked a time for Jason to come that evening, warning me that he wasn’t yet totally sold on the idea. When I asked him about that, he gave Michelle all the credit.  She pushed him into the pool and he had no choice but to start swimming.  High five Michelle!

It's now been about four months since the Bells took the plunge.  I asked Jason what keeps him motivated.  He talked about his fitness tracker and the push he gets seeing what other members are capable of.

But what he truly relies on is some advice from his doctor.  She told him to focus on reflection, resilience and restraint.  These three Rs are Jason’s new life mantra.  They help him stay mindful of how his daily choices impact his health.  They keep him from giving up when he hits a stumbling block.  And they give him room to enjoy a balanced life.

Of all the ways Jason’s life has changed since last May, the thing he is most proud of is the example he’s setting for his kids. He loves when they ask questions about the gym and the encouragement they give him to keep working hard. He hopes his example will start his kids on the path towards are lifetime of healthy, active living.  And we can’t wait till they are old enough to join him in class!

Sally

Jason - Before & After.jpg

Two Quick Ideas to Improve your Kids Well-Being

With school time back in rhythm and after school and evening activities picking up for the season, here are two quick things to consider for the mental and physical well-being of your little ones.

Remember that unstructured play time is just as important as structured training.

"Don’t ever say a child is “just” playing. That's like saying a surgeon is “just” operating or a pilot is “just” flying an airplane. Play is the essence of being a child." - John Rosemond

Sometimes parents are flummoxed when we don't have a strict plan laid out for our PA days, camps or our after school program. "So you don't know what you're doing this week?" they say.

The truth is that the structure is loose. It's usually based around a theme, and at the end of our programs the children have time to get curious and explore what they've just learned or get better at the things that interest them.

They can use their imagination, spontaneity and find self-motivation. 

As kids get older and become more socially trained to be another cog-in-the-wheel, unstructured free time becomes just as important as structured hockey practice and fills a hole that a strict school timetable may not be able to provide.

Stop thinking weight training will stunt your kid's growth

Strength and conditioning specialist Eric Cressey explains this better than we could...

"When your kid sprints, she encounters ground reaction forces several times greater than her body weight.

When he jumps out of trees, those numbers are even higher – and he’s probably landing on a more unpredictable environment.

When she wears a big backpack full of books, she’s actually lifting weights without any coaching whatsoever.

Doing a goblet squat with a 20-pound dumbbell isn’t going to stunt your 9-year-old’s growth. And it isn’t going to turn him into a meathead steroid abuser.

What it will probably do is teach them a lot about the value of hard work. It’ll demonstrate that consistently showing up and putting effort into something can lead to specific quantifiable improvements.

It’ll make them more durable to participate in and enjoy sports – and do so at a higher level than they otherwise would have experienced."

You can read the whole post here.

We would add that most athletes, like wrestlers, tennis players or kick-boxers would rather face someone with slightly more talent than them but who's not as conditioned.

So strength-and-conditioning programs really matter, and yes, they should include lifting weights and unstructured play.

P.S. We have some after school Fit Kids programs across all three locations. You can check them out here.

2015-10-24BombFitnessPromotionalShoot-205.jpg

A Quick Fix Became the New Norm

Sometimes people come to us for a specific reason - in this case to get in shape for a wedding.

But sometimes they find much, much more... and then leave anyway!!!

Thanks Tom & Claire, maybe Ottawa will hate your guts and kick you back over to us 😊

--------

We can't thank you both and the entire Bomb training staff for everything.

Collectively we lost over 20lbs and looked absolutely fantastic at our wedding (If I do say so myself). As we said our goodbyes we have told our trainers that Bomb has been life changing. This couldn't be more true.

We were on a path of junk food and sitting on the couch. I could see the waist line growing bit by bit every year. We had little motivation and even less energy. Then Bomb opened up just down the street (at Broadview).

What we thought would be a quick fix / weight loss before the wedding became the new normal for us. We absolutely fell in love with the gym, being much more active and having more energy throughout the day. 

Bomb is truly a one of a kind gym. We made new friends along the way and each and every trainer we met became a friend and someone who we would look forward to seeing each week.

Except Kerry and her evil laugh as we did Cardio Conditioning... it never seemed to get easier over our time with her 😉 

Again, thank you so much for everything. We will keep up the fitness routine in Ottawa and that is something that wouldn't have happened without Bomb.

Love Tom and Claire

P.S. If you're looking to get fit for a specific goal - you may need a specific program. Check out our semi-private training page to find out how we can specialize your health and fitness needs - along with a very special offer.

DAV_0544.JPG

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead

Since it's Halloween we thought we'd scare the sh*t out of ourselves and go listen to the most frightening podcast we've ever heard.

Studies on the effect of lack of sleep have blown up the health industry over the last year or two and so sleep expert and neuroscientist,  Dr. Matthew Walker, decided to watch the world burn as he unleashed the hell that lack of sleep causes.

If you're already depressed by the thought of Monday morning, this will cheer you up no end! Here are the cliff-notes...

* If you’re getting 6 hours of sleep or less, your time to physical exhaustion drops by up to 30%.

* If a surgeon is doing an important surgery on you and they had less than 6 hours sleep - the chances that they make a critical mistake, including death, goes up by 170%.

* The shorter your sleep on average, the shorter your life. Short sleep predicts all cause mortality!! Quote that to the "I'll sleep when I'm dead" person - because it will likely be next week.

* Insufficient sleep is the most significant lifestyle factor for determining whether or not you’ll develop Alzheimer’s Disease and is linked to bowel, prostate and breast cancer.

* Shift workers have higher rates of obesity, diabetes, and cancer due to lack of sleep and consistent sleep patterns.

* Lack of sleep is a critical factor of the obesity epidemic.

* People sleeping 4-5 hours a night will on average eat 200-300 extra calories each day, which can lead to adding 10-15lbs on to your weight in just 12 months.

Have we scared you yet? No!? Okay, we'll carry on...

* Men who sleep 5-6 hours a night will have a level of testosterone 6-10 years their senior.

* Every 30 seconds, there is a car accident linked to lack of sleep. Drowsy driving kills more people on the roads than alcohol or drugs combined.

* Many children diagnosed with ADHD are just under slept.

* If you’re dieting, but not getting sufficient sleep, 70% of all the weight you lose will come from lean muscle, not fat.

* 1 in 20 medical residents will kill a patient due to a fatigue related error.

* After 20 hours of being awake, you are as physically and cognitively impaired as you would be if you were legally drunk.

We don't wish to end it on a Debbie-downer so here are some tips to help you sleep better at night.

How to create conditions where you can sleep better

* 7-9 hours is ideal.
* Dim the lights in your house 2-3 hours before bed.
* Black out light completely from your bedroom.
* Make sure the room is cool - your brain needs to drop its temperature 2-3 °F in order to sleep.
* Warm your hands and your feet to move the blood away from your core out to the surface or have a hot bath before bed.
* Don’t go to bed too full, and don’t go to bed too hungry.
* Don't look at a screen before bed, read a book.

We used to think that to live a healthy life it was all about diet then exercise, but study after study shows that sleep could now be the number one thing you should fix above all else.

You can watch the podcast here and it's on iTunes etc... Shout out to Podcast Notes for the show notes.

sleep-clock-sleeping-woman.jpg