Toronto Health & Fitness Friday #5

It’s New Year’s Resolutions time, and just like last  year, one of this year’s most popular New Year’s Resolutions is that classic – “I am going to join  gym, lose weight, get in shape….”

But, before you run out and commit yourself to a 12 month contract with the nearest big box gym, take a look at this How To Not Get Ripped Off While Buying A Gym Membership self-help video from Pat Foran – CTV’s Consumer Alert guru.

Note – If the video doesn’t work, here is Pat’s blog entry on the same story.


And if anyone needs any help brokering a better deal with their gym, shoot me an email.


Toronto Health & Fitness Friday #4

Winter has come to Toronto…and you have two options.

  1. Hibernate
  2. Get outside and enjoy winter in Toronto

For those of you that choose the second option, Toronto has 51 outdoor, compressor-cooled ice rinks.

Click on the map to see a pdf version and/or click on this link to check on the open/closed status of your favorite rink.

On another note, earlier this week I contacted the new Toronto city government about a plan I have for using public facilities and private money to create a system of free (or nearly free) mini-health clubs all around the city.

I have heard back from the Board of Health and am currently in the process of putting together a written proposal for their review. No word yet from the other committees (Community Development and Recreation, Parks & Environment or my local councilor) but considering how busy they are right now, I’m not surprised.

I will keep you updated as to my progress


Note – If anyone out there knows of any other city governments who have been successful in improving access to health & fitness resources for their citizens, please leave a comment/link/etc…


Toronto Health & Fitness Friday #3

The Tough Mudder race is coming to Toronto in 2011.

And just in case you don’t know what the Tough Mudder is, please watch the following video.

That’s Tough Mudder…bitches.


FYI, I will be setting up training programs in the coming months to help my fellow Torontonians get ready for the Mudder. There will be programs for runners who need to get stronger as well as programs for muscle-heads and fat-asses who can’t run the 7 mile course without bringing up a lung…and their lunch.

I am also planning on setting up outdoor training sessions this winter & spring somewhere in Toronto. Location suggestions are welcome.


Note – You don’t have to be from Toronto to use these programs. They’re free for everyone.


The only reason to hire a personal trainer is….

Results. toronto

Good results.Great results. Toronto

Certainly not Oprah Winfrey losing & gaining 40+ pounds in one year kind of results.

  • We’re talking about the kind of results that make you want to rush out and buy a brand new wardrobe to show off the brand new you.
  • We’re talking about the kind of results that have you staring at your reflection in the mirror like a modern day Narcissus.
  • We’re talking about the kind of results that have you singing the praises of your personal trainer to all of your friends and family and co-workers and strangers on the street and…

We’re talking about the kind of results that each and every personal trainer should strive for.

Unfortunately, most trainees don’t get those types of results from their personal trainers.

And why not?

  • Health clubs are making huge profits off of their personal training clients.
  • The obesity/weight loss industry is making trillions.
  • And yet, as a society, we’re fatter than ever.

But, if you ask your trainer (go ahead and ask) why you’re not transforming as quickly as you think you should be, I guarantee that you will hear some version of this answer:

  • I am with you for only (1, 2 or 3) hours a week. That leaves 165+ hours where you are on your own. I can’t be responsible for what you do when I am not around.


But of course, on one level, they are right.

Ultimately, you are responsible for the food that you eat, the Starbucks mocha lattes that you drink, the quantity and quality of your sleep, your daily activity, your thoughts, your feelings, etc….

However, if you are going to pay thousands of dollars of your hard earned, recession ravaged dollars in an attempt to ward off excess body-fat and coronary incidents, maybe your trainer should take some responsibility for those hours when you are away from him or her.

Remember, you are paying for results.

So, how do you get your moneys worth?

Talk with your trainer about your health/fitness/weight loss goals

  • Are they realistic?
  • If so, how long should it take to achieve those goal?
  • What are you going to have to do to achieve those goals?
  • What is the trainer going to do to help you achieve those goals?
  • What happens if you don’t achieve those goals?

Create a Body Transformation Plan

  • This plan, created jointly by you and your trainer, is your blueprint. Goals, timelines, workouts, nutrition,etc…
  • It should also detail the responsibilities, costs and penalties that the two of you have agreed upon.

And Follow Through with the Plan

  • All of my clients know what I expect of them and what happens if they don’t keep up their end of the bargain.
  • However, they also know that if they stick to the plan but don’t achieve 100% of their results, they WON’T be stuck paying for 100% of their training session fees.
  • They pay only for the results that we have achieved as a team.



While I seldom discuss it here on Health Habits, I have been a personal trainer for a long time. While I have worked in lots of different gyms, I have been out on my own, doing in-home personal training in downtown Toronto, for the past 6 years. During that time, I have met a lot of good personal trainers and a lot of bad personal trainers. And, I have seen a lot of those bad trainers make a lot of good money from people who think that a trainer with a life-long six-pack is better than one who has had to work hard for their fitness.

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