Vancouver Personal Training and Fitness Blog

Where to Start- Vancouver Personal Trainer Craig Boyd gives you tips

Posted by Craig Boyd on Thu, Apr 19, 2012 @ 11:04

Spring is here and quite a few people will be wanting to shed some winter pounds. There areVancouver Fat loss lots of reasons why people pack on a winter layer of fat. The festive season, less opportunity for outdoor activity, in rainy climates the grey gets people down are all reasons you may have fallen off your fitness routine. No matter what the reason you are not happy with your current body composition or conditioning, getting started right away is the first step.

As a personal trainer in Vancouver, B.C. Canada, the spring is our second busiest time of year. We are inundated with people looking to lose fat, get back on shape and hit summer looking and feeling great. Here are some tips we share with our Vancouver fat loss and personal training clients. 

Knowing where to start is tough. Do I start eating better? Should I start exercising daily? Where do I get the most reward for my efforts? Choosing the right starting point is definitely important. Seeing results quickly will motivate and encourage you to keep going. So here is what I would do. Assuming you have some exercise background and find yourself recently out of shape (vs being a long term sedentary person- you may need a more gradual approach to the exercise portion but the nutrition recommendations will be the same).


  1. Make on dietary change per week and stick to it. Start with the most important items. Make a permanent change and get used to it for the week. I will list them out. Trying to do all of these at once may lead to paralysis by analysis. Make one change see how you feel and keep adding a change a week until you hit your goal. See below for some dietary recommendations. 
  2. After one week of one dietary change start exercising. My heartfelt recommendation is do something daily ,aim for 6 days a week. Start with 10 minutes. A quick run or run & walk of the block will get your blood moving. Alternately, a body weight based program that you can do at home will get you feeling better. Even a brief 10 minute session will get those endorphins flowing and have you feeling better. Why daily? because you need to get in the habit of exercise. If one hour a couple times a week does not fit your schedule then you need to find ways to get exercise  in your day regularly.  You eventually want to progress to interval cardio training (alternating hard and easy) and full body circuit training. I find it the easiest to alternate each daily. 
  3. After one week of doing ten minutes a day increase it to 15 minutes.
  4. Continue on this program until your daily exercise routine is 30 minutes and you have made at least 5 dietary changes that are permanent. 

Ok there you have it a quick guide to getting started. Here is a list of dietary changes to make. I have put them in the order I would do, but the key is doing something and making it stick:

  • Eliminate Alcohol- I would eliminate completely to start for 21 days. Beer- Bad for fat lossAfter this have drinks only one night per week. Alcohol is converted into a waste product called acetate. Acetate takes priority over burning off  fat. Long and short if you drink the night before you train, you do not get as good of a rest and you will not be burning fat the next day during or after your session. Once you are at your goal weight you can most likely have alcohol 2 x per week and not see any ill affects (but it will limit your progress)
  • Go Gluten Free- Gluten is found in grain and added to most processed foods. It causes bloating, water retention and digestive stress. Most people find they have more energy to train when they elimiate grain form their diet and replace it with fruits and vegetable.
  • Cut out Caffeine- Caffeine stays in your system a long time. It has a 1/2Caffeine Addict life of 4 hours. This means if you have a cup of coffee with 100mg caffeine, 4 hrs later you have 50 mg, 4 hrs later 25mg, 4 hrs later 12.5 mg. This affects your sleep and you do not fall into as deep of a sleep. You awake tiered and need caffeine to keep you going. You need deep REM sleep for natural testosterone production. This will allow you to repair from your training and make sure you have the energy to get to your workout. 
  • Cut out carbs after noon- Breakfast and lunch should be you biggest meals. By dinner you should be winding down. Have some protein (fish is great) with a salad for dinner. This will also make sure you are not digesting a heavy meal which can affect your sleep. 
  • No processed food- If it is in a package or was not hear 100 years ago, it's most likely doing more harm than good.

There you have it. Make some of these changes and you will be well on your way to a healthier lifestyle. 

Vancouver Personal Trainer Craig BoydCraig Boyd is one of Vancouver’s top personal trainers, CrossFit coaches and boot camp instructors. He enjoys helping clients of all abilities meet their fitness and weight loss goals. His websites are 


Tags: Vancouver personal training tips, Fat loss Vancouver, Vancouver Personal Trainer, Personal Trainer Vancouver, Where do I start for fitness

The Benefits of Metabolic Conditioning

Posted by pepe picco on Tue, Oct 11, 2011 @ 15:10

You could walk into most gyms in this country and observe a range of workouttaking placefrom intense sessions to those looking like they are just trying to pass the time in between reading magazine articles or watching a program on TV. This leads us to an important question....

Q: What's the secret to fat burning and not spending your entire life in the gym?

A: The simple answer is to combine the following:

  • proper nutrition
  • portion size and meal timing
  • adequate sleep
  • managing stress levels, and 
  • some form of metabolic conditioning which leads to extreme fat burning

Although the first four fat burning secrets may not be self explanatory, I'll have to addressweight lifting for metabolic conditioning them another time. For now, I'd like to explain what metabolic conditioning is, why it's so great and how you maximize your fat loss by doing it.

What's metabolic conditioning? It's short, intense training for extreme fat loss and time efficiency.

Picture this: A person is sitting on a bench performing alternating bicep curls with 10 lb dumbells. Most of their body’s approximately 700 muscles (this number is still up for debate) are at rest. The primary mover is one double-headed muscle in the upper arm, while a few small muscles in the forearms are being moderately stimulated. The person rests for a few minutes and then moves to another machine where they are sitting while pushing or pulling. After a series of machines and isolation exercises the person moves on to the “cardio” portion of their workout, a walk or light jog on the treadmill to stay in the “fat burning” zone. The workout spans for over one hour and includes chatting on the phone, watching a little TV and a lot of slow-paced isolation movements.

On the other side of the gym, we have a person who is doing compound (multi-joint) movements which involve several different muscle groups working simultaneously through a range of motion. So if you need to do that bicep curl, how about we add a lunge to it, followed by push-ups and then an assisted or jump pull-up (a much better developer of the biceps brachii and many other muscles in the shoulders, core and upper back). Get the idea? This person finishes off with Thrusters (a squat and overhead press) and a 2-minute run on the treadmill for the first round.

How many times would you be able to do this circuit in one workout? Well, that would depend on your fitness level - but regardless of the number of rounds you can do, performing that workout at a steady pace for 20-30 min More metabolic conditioning(with quick breaks for water) would involve much more work volume than many people perform in an hour-plus workout.

So what does metabolic conditioning entail? The answer is not so simple but essentially it involves compound movements in a circuit-style workout format at a high tempo which utilizes all energy systems (aerobic and anaerobic). It affects the body on a hormonal level and the workouts are generally short and sweet leaving your body in a state of “metabolic chaos” where a lot of stored energy will be consumed in upcoming days for the body's recovery.

What makes it so great? Between your workouts you're burning more fat while you're sitting on the couch watching your favourite TV show! While some types of training boast more “fat burning” during a long training session, metabolic conditioning's fat burning is obtained in the following 24-36 hours of recovery where your metabolism stays elevated an additional 10-15% its normal rate. Do 4-5 metabolic conditioning workouts each week and turn your body into a calorie-incinerating machine!

In a nutshell: Integration not isolation.

Time commitment: 2.5 to 3.5 hours per week! Do you have time for that?


Pepe Picco

Pepe Picco is one of Vancouver’s top personal trainers, fat loss experts, strengthtraining and Nutrition coaches. Pepe enjoys coaching people of all fitness levels that want to improve their fitness. His company, Precision Athletics, provides one-on-one personal training, partner and small group training; as well as group classes such as boot camp, crosstraining & fitness and soccer conditioning. 

Check out their website. Feel free to email Pepe your questions at

Click meClick me

If you live in Vancouver, try out a personal training session for free!

Tags: Fat loss Vancouver, personal training Vancouver, metabolic conditioning Vancouver

Taking Action- Reaching your fitness and fat loss goals now!

Posted by Craig Boyd on Thu, Sep 29, 2011 @ 12:09

The biggest hurdle for someone starting the journey toward fitness and fat loss is often commitment. 

What is commitment in terms of reaching your fat loss and performance goals? It is commitment to actions that will lead toward your desired outcome. It is not simply desiring results such as fat loss and improved health. Probably 90 or 95% of the population want an improvement in some aspect of their health. Commitment is making the health and lifestyle changes necessary to see noticeable changes, and sticking with those changes.  Most people are committed to the outcome such as how great it would feel to be a dress size smaller or to be in better shape and have more energy and vitality. In summary, to see results you need to be  committed to actions that are helping you reach your goals.

Now that we have you thinking about action, let's make sure the actions are focused on items that will produce the desired results. In the health and fitness field we tend to see a few types of people not seeing results. One example would be a client that is applying themselves but focusing on the wrong actions. An example would be adding an extra cardio session (30 minutes 1 x a week) because you are not seeing fat loss results vs. checking what you areAdding more cardio may not provide fat loss eating (all day every day). Nutrition  can affect whether your body is burning fat during and after your workout. So adding an extra session may not burn any extra fat. This person may get frustrated and stop training. The answer may not have been in training more, but in adjusting your nutrition and getting more of the results you want form the sessions you are doing.  Another example  would be people setting a goal such as lose 10 lbs by Thanksgiving , but no actionable steps. Some actionable steps would be workout Monday , Wednesday and Friday at 7 am  and eliminating grain and sugar from all your meals. 

Lets look at a proper plan of actionable items for both these examples.

To see a noticeable loss in fat and improved conditioning you need to:

  • be eating the right foods at the right times
  • avoid sugar, alcohol and processed food
  • get enough sleep so that you recover form your workouts and improve your conditioning from session to session

All of these factors take time. Here are some questions to ask yourself before starting a workout routine:

  1. When will you be training? Morning, lunch or after work and which days
  2. What are you normally doing at this time? Sleeping, eating lunch , working late,  getting the kids etc.
  3. When will you be doing the things you were doing during your session, instead? Go to bed earlier so no TV, Eat at my desk so pack a healthy lunch, get spouse to grab kids I will grab healthy dinner on way home from workout
  4. Where do I find the time to do all of this? Something has to give i.e. one less hour of TV at night for more sleep to train in the morning, less time on Facebook or other social media. 

Proper planning is the answer for most of this. As they say in the fitness business "fail to plan, plan to fail". You simply want to break your new lifestyle change into do-able action steps (not goals). Most people that are in a state of perpetual goal setting fail to take the next step and set actionable items for their goals.  Here is what a start up plan would look like for a health and lifestyle change for a client wanting to train in the morning. 

  • get to bed at least one hour earlier-that may mean no TV or computer after dinner
  • pack healthy post workout snack or full breakfast before heading to bed
  • do laundry of workout clothes one night a week- Sunday
  • shop for healthy snacks and easy to prepare breakfast food- Sunday
  • bring water to work so you are hydrated before and after your workout
  • exercise for 30 minutes each day monday to Friday and do something our doors on the weekend. This should be scheduled and is not an optional item.

If you can ste these actionable items as your goals and game plan for the next month, you will see a noticeable result in fat loss, more energy and imporved performance. For allot of people starting out, the first step is making the right choices. The next step is doing them consistently. Try this plan for 30 days and let me know the results. 


Craig Boyd is one of Vancouver’s top personal trainers, boot camp Craig Boyd is one of Vancouver Personal Trainer Craig BoydVancouver’s top personal trainers, boot camp instructors, CrossFit coaches and Nutrition coaches. Craig enjoys coaching people of all levels of fitness that want to improve. His company provides one on one personal training , partner and small group training as well as group classes such as boot camp, crosstraining and fitness and complete soccer conditioning.

Check his websites are .  Feel free to email him your questions at

His company offers a free one on one or partner personal training session if you are interested click here

Click me

Tags: Vancouver personal training tips, exercise motivation, fat loss

Sport Specific Conditioning for Vancouver's Fall Sports

Posted by Craig Boyd on Thu, Sep 01, 2011 @ 14:09

Fall is in the air and many of us a gearing up for fall sports. Soccer, ice hockey, flag football and the impending ski season often inspire people to “get back in shape”. This is where many people go wrong with their sports conditioning program.

I personally know a lot of soccer players who start going on 5-10 kilometer runs to get in shape for their upcoming season. Sure, soccer does have an endurance component but the majority of the game is sprinting after the ball or the person you are defending, and then recovering. This requires anaerobic conditioning not aerobic endurance. Simply put, anaerobic conditioning is sprinting hard for 10 seconds to two minutes, then seeing how long it takes for you to recover and do it again. Aerobic endurance, on the other hand, involves understanding how long you can maintain a certain pace – for longer than two minutes.

A good way to judge if your training program is appropriate for your sport:

  1. Measure how long the effort is between breaks
  2. Determine what level the effort requires between breaks  
  3. Measure how long the break period is
  4. Determine what level the effort requires on the break period - i.e. total rest on the bench in hockey or jogging after sprinting in soccer

You would then mirror your training to these guidelines. This is expressed as a ratio of work to rest.

Sports such as soccer and hockey are often 1:3, which could be 30 seconds on and 90 seconds off. However, the two sports would differ on the effort level. Soccer is sprinting and jogging while hockey tends to be all-out effort - skating hard and fighting off opponents while wearing full padding – paired with complete rest. Your conditioning program should mimic:

  • The effort level, effort time period and the rest period of yourSort Conditioning Vancouver sport
  • Movement patterns of your sport including directional movement, acceleration and deceleration patterns


You will find most sports - with the exception of distance running - are mostly anaerobic focused. Moreover, most sports have a multi-direction movement pattern, i.e. running different directions vs. in a straight line; as well as an acceleration and breaking component.


So as you can see most fall and winter sports have little relationship to the 5-10 km steady-state run that is the ” go-to” exercise for getting in shape for the upcoming sports season. If you need some tips as to what to incorporate in your sports conditioning program, contact us for some help.


Precision Athletics is offering a Complete Soccer Conditioning program check here for details

Sport Conditioning coach Craig Boyd Precision Athletics VancouverCraig Boyd is one of Vancouver’s top personal trainers, boot camp instructors, CrossFit coaches and Nutrition coaches. Craig enjoys coaching people of all levels of fitness that want to improve. His company provides one on one personal training , partner and small group training as well as group classes such as boot camp, crosstraining and fitness and complete soccer conditioning.


Check his websites are .  Feel free to email him your questions at

His company offers a free one on one or partner personal training session if you are interested.

Tags: soccer conditioning vancouver, hockey conditioning vancouver, sports specific training vancouver, vancouver personal training yaletown

5 Tips for Hiring a Personal Trainer in Vancouver

Posted by Craig Boyd on Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 14:05

Whether you are looking for a Vancouver personal trainer who has a personal training studio or a mobile personal trainer who comes to your home, make sure to check these tips.

  1. Qualifications- At the very least your trainer should have a recognized personal training certificate. In Vancouver the two main ones are BCRPA and Can-Fit Pro. Some other ones that are equal but not as common in Vancouver are the ACE, NASM, NSCA and ISSA. A university degree in Kinesiology negates the need for a separate certification.  Your trainers also needs to hold a valid CPR and First Aid certificate in order to be insured. They must also hold liability insurance. That is the very minimum. a good trainer will hold some specialty certifications such as: CHEK Exercise Coach, TWIST Sport Conditioning coach, Pre and post natal. There are too many to list. I would say three specialty certifications is a good minimum for a trainer to be well rounded.
  2. Price- Does their price reflect their level of certification and experience. The range in price in Vancouver, British Columbia, is between $40 per hour and $120 per hour. If your trainer is at the top end of the scale do they have the qualifications and experience to match this rate. One thing to note, some trainers raise their price as they get busier. They think the law of supply and demand applies to their time. if they have less time available people will pay more for it. I think this is total crap. Just because a trainer is regularly booked does not mean you, Joe New Client should pay $120 / hr. Also beware larger studios with new staff. Do you get charged the same rate for a session with the experienced trainer (who holds 5 specialty certifications) who is training your friend as with the new trainer holding only their basic pt certificate. if so switch studios.
  3. Personality- this can be a very personal call. However, if you are planning on spending a few hours a week with a trainer, make sure you will enjoy the time. By no means is the trainer supposed to be a stand up comedy act, but the time should not drag on. Most trainers offer a free demo session. if not ask if you can watch them train a client with similar goals to you.
  4. Location- this will differ if you are looking for an in home, mobile or on location trainer. Check out the personal trainers studio or where they train. If you are planning on training at 5 pm, make sure you go by at that time. Some studios have 40 + trainers and floor space during peak times is an issue. Other things to check are shower facilities and towel service if you need them to get to work, equipment availability (free weights, cardio if you need it , etc.), parking at the location and facility hours. if the trainer is coming to your location make sure they have permission if you live in a strata building (some stratas do not allow trainers as the trainer could be uncertified, some will want the trainer's information and insurance on file).
  5. Experience working with clients with similar goals- there are lots of great trainer's in the city of Vancouver. However, does the trainer you are hiring work with clients with similar goals.If so ask if you can contact a few of them and hear their success stories. Specifically, have they had clients with your goals and have the clients stayed and set and met new goals. Personally, I have had clients who come to lose a few pounds. Once they have lost the weight they have wanted to compete in a half marathon. From the half marathon they have set a new goal of an Ironman. Coaching them along the way has been a challenge and a pleasure. Most trainers can help you drop 5 lbs for your sisters wedding. A great trainer will inspire you to achieve your best (just finishing a 10km or setting a personal best, depending on your goal and experience) If the trainer has not kept clients past their initial goals, you may want to consider a different trainer. 

Vancouver personal trainer craig boyd IMC2009


Craig Boyd is one of Vancouver’s top personal trainers, boot camp instructors, CrossFit coaches and Nutrition coaches. Craig enjoys coaching people of all levels of fitness that want to improve. His company provides one on one personal training , mobile personal trainers, on location personal trainers for movie sets, tv sets, and music tours.


Check his websites are .  Feel free to email him your questions at

His company offers a free one on one or partner personal training session if you are interested.

Tags: mobile personal trainer Vancouver, personal trainer rates Vancouver, in home personal trainer Vancouver

Getting in Shape for Beach Weddings in British Columbia

Posted by Scott Creed on Mon, Mar 28, 2011 @ 13:03

Two and a half years ago Nicole was in excellent shape, regularly training with Craig. Then her mother passed away, and in the emotional time that followed she stopped working out. After a while she realized that she had come to lack confidence in her body’s abilities and her energy levels were down. And, of course, she’d gained some weight. Everybody kept reminding her how much she’d loved working with a personal trainer, but the motivation to return just wasn’t there then.

And then, just over a year ago she travelled to Cabo, Mexico with her then boyfriend Fernando, and his family, following the loss of his dad. Fernando proposed, and they decided to return for a beach wedding February 5th 2011. Here was a great jump start to get back into training!

Fernando made it that much easier by getting her a Precision Athletics gift certificate for her birthday, which he sent his sister Simone to pick up. Simone had started running as a way of dealing with her own grief, and after talking to Craig at Precision decided she was ready to work with a personal training as well. All the ingredients were in place for the great Twelve Month Beach Wedding Challenge!

Simone and Nicole
Sisters in training: Simone Villagran (left) and Nicole Cleve are down to the last two weeks of training in preparation for Nicole’s beach wedding to Simone’s brother Fernando

It took a while to get their schedules synched up but Nicole and her future sister in law started training together (they were later joined by Kim, another member of the wedding party, and Fernando did the bootcamp).  “Not only is it more fun to train with somebody else, but it makes it easier” says Nicole. “They hold you accountable”.

“I was a bit self conscious at first that I couldn’t do things I used to be able to do”, she says. “But once I started to see myself getting back to my old self I just couldn’t stop. It’s hard to underestimate the impact not being fit has on your life until you climb out of that rut: but now I’m stronger, I’m sleeping better, I feel emotionally stronger”.

For Simone training was similarly transformational: “I don’t think Craig realizes how much he’s changed my life,” she says. “At first I was scared, I was being asked to do things I didn’t think I could do. Now I can’t believe how strong I’ve become.” Simone also did the 21 Day Challenge in April. She lost about 8 lbs of fat, but more significantly she changed her eating habits for good.

For both Simone and Nicole being fit has become a lifestyle that goes far beyond the hours when they are working out.

As Craig says “People are generally working out at most an hour a day, lots can happen in the remaining 23 hours to magnify or sabotage your results: nutrition and sleep play a huge role,”

“I think it’s great that Nicole and Simone teamed up – what a great bonding experience to cement their new relationship. I’m also really impressed that they’ve made training a priority.

“The important shift for me was when my training time became non-negotiable” states Nicole “I’ve got a lot more clarity about what I need to do take care of my mind, body and soul, and I’m not willing to sacrifice that.”

Nicole takes proactive measures rather than risking slipping behind: “I knew I had to counteract the holidays and pre-wedding celebrations so I started working out four days a week; even after the last six weeks I’m still right on track”.

The wedding has been a very concrete goal to work towards (bare back and arms, beach wedding!), but both Nicole and Simone are very clear that while it was a fun focus, it is not the main reason they’re still training, and plan to continue once they return.

But for now it is crunch time and they are working hard to make sure they’re happy with the results. And while Nicole will be the main focus on the 5th, Simone gets to do things twice – she’s in her best friend’s wedding party, also in Cabo, just two days earlier.

Craig and everybody at Precision congratulate them and hope they have a great time. And, expect to see them back in the gym bearing photos on their return!


Click here to get a free half hour personal training session.

Tags: Beach Weddings, Getting in Shape, Workout Goal

Welcome to the Personal Training Vancouver Blog

Posted by Scott Creed on Wed, Mar 02, 2011 @ 15:03

Precision Athletics was founded in 2001 by Craig Boyd and Pepe Picco, the two collectively having over 25 years of experience in the fitness industry. Their diverse expertise has been derived through collaboration with a cross section of health care professionals and a variety fitness organizations such as BCRPA, CHEK Institute and Can-Fit-Pro.

Precision Athletics manages two corporate fitness facilities in downtown Vancouver. This allows our Vancouver  personal trainers to offer you one on one partner or small group training, without the hassle or cost of signing a long term gym membership. Our locations:

858 Beatty Street , Vancouver, B.C. V6B 1C1

Facilities are available for Precision Athletics  Vancouver personal training clients, group fitness clients and tenants of the building.

Coal Harbor
Shaw Tower
5th Floor Corporate fitness center
1077 West Cordova Street, Vancouver , B.C., V6C 2C6

We have opened this blog to support  you with tips, techniques, and information to help you live a healthy lifestyle.

Click here for a free personal training session with Precision Athletics.

Tags: Personal Training, Vancouver, British Columbia