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)


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)


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.