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

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

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