Category Archives: Personal Training


Had our second Linchpin meetup tonight.  More great people, more good times.  Tonight I was mostly chatting with the guys who own Free Form Fitness in Ottawa.  Cool guys – Jean-Luc & Rob.  So many talented and connected people in this city – fitness, art, tech, etc.  The best part is that we are all so motivated to do more, and be more.

The lesson from the night (and a great quote from the 1st X-Files movie) – “Pick up the phone and make it happen!”


Playing catch up

Seems like a short and a long time, all at the same time.  Let me catch you up:

July 21st – gym night.

July 23rd – shoulder surgery stitches removed

July 24th – strength training (where things were not as easy as i would have thought); pig roast, 2 friends birthdays

July 25th – power lifting

Just now, I am only starting to play catch up on the stuff I should have gotten done last week/end.  And more homework from the prof today during the class.  Blast!

My shoulder recovery is coming along, which means it’s healing, and it’s totally manageable.  I’ve been lucky.  No pain.

Other than that, I realize that I need to setup a more structured routine for my life.  Not enough sleep and I’m bagged.

MIA – but not for much longer…

I’ve been missing in action this last month.  Too much going on, and out of the discipline of contributing to this after each session.  I’ve been sick too, and trying to get some living and writing in, so that contributed to my tardiness.

I promise – Wednesday I will have an update.

As for tonight, I am attending the local Linchpin meeting.  Should be an interesting time, if nothing else.

Also reading the book Talent is Overrated.

Oh, but I did get my PT Certificate last week!  All shiny and new….anyone want to hire me?  🙂

Greco PT Certification – Day Three

I got to see Brad with the same client today, and doing a different routine.  Interesting to see the level of intensity shift from one day to the next.

After lunch I got to see him train an athlete.  So far, most of the people he has are general population.  Seeing him with an athlete, how he changed his approach, and what he kept the same was interesting to observe.  From the outset, you could tell the difference that was already there in the mindset of the young athlete.  It was more focused.  Not alot of talking about things that didn’t relate to his goals, and a more regimented way of approaching the exercises.

I took the day off today as Brad only had one mid-day client that I saw him with on Tuesday.  I will go back tomorrow for the morning.

On another note, the hockey game last night was awesome….all the way around.  On to ROUND 3 for Montreal.  They might be able to do this – get Stanley back to Canada….it will remain to be seen.

On yet another note, my cousin Sherri will be joining me tonight at Greco for Lean & Fit.  Her and her husband are thinking of joining.

Greco PT Certification – Day Two

Today, I shadowed Brad with six clients – 2 individuals in the morning and 2 partner groups in the afternoon.  What got me today was the fishbowl effect.  The first client is doing pretty much the same routine as I am with pushups and chinups, but something clicked today for me whereby I could visualize myself and the problems I’ve been having with my upper back and the muscles in my back in general.  Given the opportunity to watch a session rather than be a participant has allowed me to learn things about myself as well.

Again, most of the work you do at any gym is a function of your mental state.  Are you tired today?  Do you have something going on that is chewing up mental space?  Are you not sleeping well/having problems at home?  etc.?  Any number of things could be off.  The challenge is to find a quiet space inside yourself where you can get away.  I find that working out disconnects my thinking brain, to the point that while I’m working I can’t compute sometimes what is being said until I move away from the exercise.  Not a bad thing, but I can see how that might not work in all cases, with all people.

Another principle I learned today was one of going slowly and letting your body “hurt” in order to strengthen it.  Somehow, this seems counter-productive, but if you are not inclined to using certain muscles in certain ways, naturally they are going to be sore when you use them the way they are intended.  For example, keeping the back “tight” while doing a Romanian deadlift moving slowly through the exercise.  I imagine that most people don’t pay much attention to their backs, most of the time.  It’s there, it keeps you upright, but other than that, probably not used with much thought on a daily basis.  This is probably why there is so much chronic back problems in a general population.  Sitting all day also allows our back to become lazy, along with other muscles.

Tomorrow will be a shorter day.  I might throw in another class at some point this week since I’m not doing strength.

Greco PT Certification

Today I started shadowing Brad for the Greco PT Certification.  I have a much greater appreciation for the amount of work he puts into all of us, every day, to help us realize our goals.  He has so many different clients, and with so many different approaches for everyone, I’m not sure how he keeps it all straight.  He even has partner training, whereby two people come in with differing goals or expectations, and to manage both of them within a very short period of time can sometimes be very challenging.  I think he should be getting paid to be a trainer, coach, counselor, nutritionist, mentor, etc.  He certainly does wear alot of hats, and it shows that he really likes what he does.  I don’t think you could get by with a job like that if you didn’t enjoy yourself and genuinely like people.  Where are you going to hide out?  The gym IS your office.  You are accountable to the people that show up.

I think back to when I had all those projects at work – juggling all those balls – but they weren’t people with expectations, emotions, lives and histories.  That’s what he works with everyday.  Everyone wants to achieve something different and everyone brings different cards to the table.

Most of training, as I am finding out, is a mental game.  Who’s gonna win?  And it depends on how you talk to yourself.  If you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re always right.  The trick, for me anyway, is to no longer think about limitations on things.  I think, why set yourself up for disappointment?  Believe that there are no limitations and slowly work on progress.  That’s what Brad has taught me.  It’s mostly how the world works anyway.  If you had asked someone 150 years ago if future generations could be sharing information around the planet in nanoseconds and flying someone to the moon, most likely nearly everyone would have said “YOU’RE CRAZY”.  However, the people who believed that the earth was a sphere were right too, despite others telling them they were wrong.  What we tell ourselves, we believe.  And we generally become believers of our own mythologies which are a hard habit to break.

After shadowing, I snuck in a PT session of my own (so I could play hookey for hockey tonight).  Best results yet.  Pushed everything.  Did 50 pushups from Pin 1 and 50 chinups in just about 55 minutes or so.  Then we worked on the Sumo deadlift technique for about 10 minutes.  I have the up part, feels better, but the down part is more like a Romanian deadlift, and that’s the trouble I get into.  I will keep working on those over the next few weeks….

Oh, and due to some discipline and some luck, I got down to 158 lbs today.  I weighed in early in the day, but still.  At some point today my body weighed that.  I’ll take it.  Only 3 lbs to do to get to 155lbs.  I’ve got about 6 weeks.  I imagine my weight will go up again over the next week or two, but that’s okay.  I know what I have to do.

Tomorrow should be interesting with a whole new set of clients!


….one of the toughest, but best nights, I’ve had in a while.  Brad pushed me pretty good tonight on assisted band chinups (30) and pushups (50).  I’m getting to understand the how’s and why’s of things – like how my body works, how things should feel.  Funny though, I can’t take in new information if I’m in the middle of something.  I lose focus.  I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, it’s just a thing I guess.  And I guess it depends on what you apply it to.  It’s like when I am doing something physical that is hard-wired, I can get easily distracted to the point of not being able to do the physical thing anymore.  Something to keep an eye on I guess.

Afterward, we moved to the Sumo Deadlifts.  He wanted to see my form.  He think I can manage much better there than doing the regular Deadlifts.  It’s like started back at a the bottom, but that’s okay.  It will climb pretty fast again if I take it slow like last time.

I did some more upper body work in Strength class, and I think I might try squats again on Wednesday.