What does a typical day in your life look like? From food, to personal care, to fitness, to time with family and friends?
Typical day: Wake up at around 5am, I shower and clean up, make a coffee, grab my meal prep, and head to Equinox, where I work as a personal trainer. I usually have my first client at 6 or 7am. I’ll fast through my morning clients until about 12pm, grab a quick snack, which is usually a couple eggs and a banana, and workout right after my snack. Then I will have my first big meal that I would’ve prepped on Sunday. I do all my meal prep for the week on Sunday so I don’t have to think about it during the week. Then I get back to training clients until about 6pm (the latest). Once I’m home, I like to relax for a bit on my own. I value my alone time a lot because I’m usually around people, socializing all day. It’s really important for me to have some time to myself at the end of the day. Maybe play some Xbox for a bit… Then I’ll usually sleep at my girlfriends place, or if she’s busy I will either have a friend over, or just have a quiet night to myself. I head to bed usually between 10 and 11pm, then back up at around 5am!
What advice do you give to your friends when they ask you how they should start making fitness a priority?
Start small! Tackle one thing at a time. Set yourself up for success and get the small wins. If you’ve never worked out a day in your life before and all of the sudden you tell yourself you’re going to train everyday, never eat out again, and quit drinking, you’ll most likely fail, get discouraged, give up, and go back to your old habits of not working out and eating what you want. Instead, start with exercising twice a week, drink an extra litre of water a day, and go from there. Once you’ve been doing that for a couple weeks and it becomes easy for you, train three times a week and try to make your own dinners instead of ordering in. In short, the biggest keys to success will be consistency, setting “SMART” goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound), and patience! If you have those three things, you are setting yourself up for success. If you are brand new to the gym, I would also recommend seeing a personal trainer for at least a few weeks before you branch out on your own. A trainer will make a program specific to your goals and help get you on the right path. But more importantly, teach you the importance of proper form and how to keep yourself safe in the gym. It is so easy to hurt yourself, especially when you go from not moving at all, to moving a bunch. The unfortunate part of group fitness classes is that no one will be able to help you with your form specifically, so you could be doing everything wrong and damaging your body. If you are injured, you can’t exercise at all and that definitely won’t help you get to your goals… You obviously have a fairly regiment routine – what keeps you motivated to stay your best? Always have a (SMART) goal you are working toward and remind yourself of it everyday. For me, I currently have a fitness goal of being able to sprint 16mph, as well as some personal goals like sleeping at least 6.5 hours a night. Clearly I need to sleep more… To keep myself accountable I always make sure to tell the people closest to me of my goals, so they are aware of what I am working towards, and don’t invite me out for drinks on a Wednesday night and I end up sleeping 4 or 5 hours… Something else that really helps me keep my routine is planning out my days and scheduling everything out into a calendar. On Sundays, I usually take a look at my work schedule and book off literally everything that I need to do for the week and set reminders at those times. I book off everything from when I will be working out, when I will be eating, a few study hours, a few hours to do some work on the computer, my down time when I can just relax, etc. I literally book everything into my calendar. It keeps me very organized and helps me get everything I need to get done, done. Doing this also helps me make sure I have a good work/life balance which is something I have always struggled with.
Any supplements (types not brands) you’d recommend?
I actually take no “fitness supplements” like protein powder, pre workout, creatine, or anything like that. In my opinion none of them are necessary and are mostly overpriced. Protein powder is just powdered food in an expensive container. I’d rather have a coffee than pre workout, pre workout is way too intense (and again expensive) for me. Creatine is one of the only supplements proven to work and be safe. So if you are going to take anything I would recommend creatine if you are looking to build muscle, and/or improve your endurance. Creatine is something humans naturally create, but supplementing with creatine will increase your ATP-CP stores. ATP-CP (adenosine triphosphate - creatine phosphate) is what we use for energy during very high intensity exercise, like a 10 second sprint, or 1-5 rep max squat. If you have more ATP-CP stores, you will be able to get one or two extra reps on your 1-5 rep max, or reach your max sprint speed for a couple extra seconds. Which in turn, will help you build more muscle and increase your endurance! Creatine monohydrate is also the cheaper than most fitness supplements which is nice. $15 worth should last you at least a month. The only supplements I currently take are Vitamin D3, and Magnesium daily. Vitamin D3 because I spend most of my days in the gym and its usually dark when I get to work and dark when I get home. So I get very little sun during the winter here in Vancouver. Supplementing with D3 really helps with my energy levels. I take magnesium because it is important for muscle recovery and helps with muscle tightness and pain. Since I am exercising so often and it’s hard to get a sufficient amount with just diet, it is important for me to supplement it. It also helps you get a deeper sleep which will improve your recovery and energy levels as well!
What is your weekly routine? How do you break up your training? What do you prioritize? What does your current split look like?
My main goals with my training right now is to improve my movement quality, build strength and athleticism, (more specifically my sprinting speed), and be pain free. As well as constantly trying to improve my body composition by building muscle and losing fat. Because we all want to look good. That all being said, my main focus is to accomplish all those goals while improving my body’s resilience and longevity. Fitness has always been a passion of mine and that started with playing sports at a young age. Like hockey, soccer and rugby, hockey being my main sport. Now currently, I have found a love for snowboarding. I want to be able to able to snowboard like I can now at 22 years old when I turn 70. I want to be able to keep up with my future kids when we play sports together. I never want to lose the ability to do the things that makes me the happiest, which is to move, train, and play sport… Even when I age. Not only that, I want to maintain a high level of performance for as long as possible. Because of all that, I prioritize rest and recovery highly in my training. I train Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and I rest Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. On my rest days, during the winter season I will head up to the mountain for snowboarding, and during summer I will do something active like play spike ball, throw a football around with some friends, swim, etc. Also on every rest day, I take half an hour at some point throughout the day to foam roll and work on my mobility. A common mistake people make in their training programs is training too much. Our body needs time to recover fully to perform at its best. If we don’t give it the time it needs, we are not only increasing our chance of injury, but we are decreasing our ability to perform at 100% of our capacity each workout. This is because of our nervous system. Our central nervous system (CNS) takes more time to recover than our muscles, so even if you’re not sore and you feel ready to train, your CNS may not be recovered fully meaning you won’t be able to train at your best. My routine is pretty simple, on Mondays and Thursdays I train lower body pull, and upper body push and on Tuesdays and Fridays, I train lower body push, and upper body pull. On Mondays and Fridays, I also do my sprint training. My goal is to be able to sprint 16mph by 2021. I started a few weeks ago and my max was 15.1mph, and now I am at 15.8mph. I like to train lower and upper body together simply because in the real world, humans use our upper and lower halves simultaneously when we move. Not just our chest and/or biceps… What is your favourite total body workout? Why? I love training with weights, especially different kettlebell movements like swings and cleans. I also love calisthenics. But I definitely think my favourite full body workout right now is sprinting. Like I said I am trying to get a 16mph sprint before the end of 2020. It is so much fun working toward an athletic goal over just lifting more weight or doing an extra rep. The tiniest details make such a huge difference in your speed especially when you are trying to improve your top speed. I love filming my sprints, see how my body’s moving and getting nerdy about what needs to be fixed in order to get faster that day. For example, on my last sprint day I took a look at the video and noticed my right hip wasn’t going into full hip extension. So, while I was resting I released my hip flexor with a lacrosse ball for just 60s to allow hip to extend fully. On my next set I increased my speed by 0.3mph to get my current record which is 15.8mph! That kind of stuff for me is so much fun and so rewarding which is why it’s my favourite workout at the moment.