One of my superstar client asked me during one of our sessions recently what my recommendations are for Protein shakes. I thought I’d share my suggestions for him here for general info. At the end, I added my favorite supplement of all time, which I have been taking for over two decades now!

* * * * * * * * * *

While Protein powders and other supplements help make big gains, they are what they are called – mere supplements, or just an addition to good nutrition and heavy training.
So keep in mind that nothing will replace eating a balanced diet every day, coupled with kick-ass, ninja training.
Most people who I have talked to asking about Protein shakes are concerned about gaining muscle mass to look jacked, build bigger guns, and gain overall size and strength.
Some who may have a different goal like wanting to lose a few pounds may also be interested in Protein shakes as a recovery drink, or sometimes as a healthy snack alternative after a workout.
In my decade in the Fitness Industry, I have never been a fan of promoting or recommending any type or brand of supplement. I myself use them very occasionally, much more in the recent years than earlier even when I was still competing in Powerlifting.
Supplements have their place. Studies have shown that specific types do boost athletic performance, and some improve overall muscle mass.
While this is true, the most important this is improving your daily nutrition and eating practices. No supplement can ever replace good, quality dietary practices!

Having that said, here are three (3) supplements that I myself have used (or currently use), and would suggest taking if someone asks me.
I included a link to Amazon.ca beside each item so that you can take a look at the photos there, instead of adding them here.

1. Muscletech Creatine. https://amzn.to/2S5I5v2
Creatine is a naturally occuring chemical in every individual muscle that provides energy. This is your muscles’ first line of defense in terms of energy production because it is fast acting and is readily available, compared to glycogen, carbs, or fats that has to be converted first.
But it is in short supply and can only maintain short bursts of effort (first 15 seconds!). Of course, after you use up creatine, your body gets energy from main sources, but adding creatine gives you an extra boost of energy.
Creatine can be found in most meats including fish and shellfish, but research have found benefits to consuming it in powdered form (supplements).
I like this brand specifically because it is tasteless, and what I do is I just dump a scoop of it to a glass of water that I drink when I get up every morning.

When you buy this brand, you’ll see an instruction on how to do the ‘loading phase’ to make sure that your body adapts to the extra supply.

Apart from providing you a boost of energy to lift heavier, creatine promotes water retention in the muscles which will give size fast.
Here’s the link:
https://amzn.to/2S5I5v2
 
2.   Six Star Protein. https://amzn.to/2Wl7m3m
This is my first choice for my Protein shake simply because of the price point! It’s a lot more affordable than other brands, while providing good quality protein and tasting a lot better. Most brands out there are full of ‘fillers’ and sugars.
I mix one scoop with half water and half milk in my shaker bottle.
I drink it throughout my workout.
3. Optimum Nutrition https://amzn.to/2TeyzTD
This is one of the top, reliable brands out there for supplements in general. But I like it specifically for the taste and texture, and overall quality. Compared to Six Star, this is pure Protein Powder, and it’s something you can drink twice in a workout day.
What’s my all-time favorite supplement?
Caffeine!

This humble chemical found in almost every household may be the most widely used performance enhancer in the world. This stimulant given by Mother Nature herself has been proven to be very effective in improving both athletic and every day performance.

While it does not have a direct effect to getting jacked, losing weight, or improving your 1 rep max, caffeine slows down fatigue so you can get going longer.

So grab a cup before your next workout and let caffeine work its wonders.
What do you think?
Are you currently taking any supplements?

Comment below.

“I saw friends from my old workplace that I haven’t
visited for more than 6 months. They were surprised
to see me and they said,
‘Jessica, you look fantastic! You look totally different!’

I told them that I now go to the gym and I’m wearing Medium sized clothes. 
6 months ago, I was wearing Extra Large.
I’m so happy. I will keep going until I can wear Small again!”
– Jessica L.

**********

Jessica L. came to me a month before her 53rd birthday.

During our initial confession, she confessed that she’s been putting herself in the back-burner, sacrificing her time and energy to take care of her 20-something daughter.

She told me that she realized she wasn’t getting any younger. And if she wants to enjoy life with her growing daughter, she has to start taking care of herself, too.

Jessica’s goals were to lose weight especially in the tummy area, on top of feeling healthier and fitter in general.

She has an active job which sometimes requires her to take ‘double shifts’ working up to 12 hours once in a while. But apart from that, lifting weights was all new to her.

We started meeting twice a week on our first month to reinforce this new habit of going to the gym exercising.
I gave her an exercise program that she can do on her own for two more days, plus a High-Intensity Interval Training plan for her cardio.

She came to the gym whenever she can, up to 6 times in a week!
Before her work. After her work. On her off days.
Lucky for her, she also has access to a gym in her workplace. So sometimes she does a quick Leg workout (her favorite) at work in the morning, then trains with me at the end of her day.

 

 

After a couple of weeks or so, we structured her workouts at the gym and at her workplace so that she doesn’t over-train herself quickly.

We also had a talk where I told her that although her determination, hard work, and energy was phenomenal, what would really drive her fat loss fast would be to dial in her nutrition.

That was when things really start to happen.

Through our 3-Day Diet Diary, she realized that 70 to 80% of her food intake was mostly carbs, and she needed to eat more protein, and drink more water.

Jessica was good.

I haven’t seen someone so determined that nothing slows her down, even her favorite foods!

Fast forward to today, she’s enjoying a week-long cruise, feeling confident in basking under the sun.

This is the “formula” (if there is one) that made her drop 20 lbs and 5% of body fat

Working the abs on the stability ball.

Apart from having a stronger core, Jessica has more confidence in herself!

off:

  • Jessica followed the STRATEGY that I gave her for both
    training and nutrition. She started really determined
    and energized, but if I did not rein that energy in,
    she might have ended up fatigued and frustrated.

  • She was CONSISTENT in being active throughout the day.
    After the first month, she developed her base strength,
    improved her balance, and felt more confident in moving her body.
    Then she started to walk for 20 minutes every day to
    get to and from her workplace.

  • We dialed in her NUTRITION. As I advised her,
    she increased her water intake and watched the
    volume of food she’s eating.
    We did not follow any specific ‘diet’ plan, we simply
    tweaked her eating to match her goals.

  • The most important key is that her MINDSET changed
    about her health and fitness.
    At first, she really was not confident that she could
    get back in shape‘ and thought that being stronger and
    fitter is worthy enough goals.
    She knew that she had to take action, and she put
    exercising and healthy eating at the forefront of her
    priorities and schedule.
    She claimed that before, she used to just watch T.V.
    and eat after a tiring day at work, but now she heads
    straight to the gym instead. Sure there were tough days
    to train at the gym, but she made it a point to “do something “


Everyone knows that it’s important to be active, eat healthy, and stay fit no matter what age.

But not everyone has the specific strategies and guidance that Jessica had on top of her dedication that produced these stunning results.

If you want to get the same strategy and support that Jessica followed to drop dress sizes and feel more confident in her own body, you can start with my 28-Day Group Coaching program and set off the spark to a more confident, vibrant, and fitter you!

Read more about it here:

button_set-off-the-spark

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! 🦃

 

While it’s time to celebrate a long Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, these four (4) tips can apply to ANY occasion:

“How to Enjoy Your Food in a Party Without Ruining Your Diet.”

1. Skip the Liquid Calories.
Soda, fruit drinks, and other juices pack a good amount of calories that could go unnoticed. If you know that a feast will be served, then you’d rather skip the drinks and save the calorie space for a yummy meal!

2. Enjoy the Food First (before Alcohol).
I know that most of the time, the host will offer you a drink the moment you step in the door. But you might want to pass until you have had something to eat for one simple reason:
When you don’t have food in your stomach, the alcohol travels straight to your bloodstream.

And when  your body’s alcohol levels are up, it’s easier to lose control.
Research have shown that if you drink wine before eating, you are likely to consume 25% more food during the meal!

3. One Small Serving at a Time.
You know you’ll be pleasantly asked to get more food if the host starts to see some ceramic on your plate. So it’s better to start off with a small serving, then just go for one or two more small servings if you need to.

You probably heard some people suggest to ‘use a smaller plate‘ or even ‘use a smaller fork/spoon’ so that you consume smaller portions, but let’s be honest, it doesn’t work (who uses small plates and utensils in parties, anyway?)
By consciously scooping one small serving at a time, you become mindful and YOU take control of your consumption.

4. Socialize.
Take the time to talk to socialize and talk to people. This allows you to chew your food slower, digest, and let your brain process what’s happening in your stomach.

Did you know that it takes our brains up to 20 minutes to realize that we are ‘full’ from the time we first put the spoon in our mouths?

This is because it’s not until the food is properly broken down, digested in the stomach, and absorbed in the intestines that the gut sends a feedback to the brain to say ‘stop eating.’

Follow these four (4) easy-to-do tips so that you’ll leave confident and happy, instead of sad and guilty from breaking your diet!

“I don’t have the DISCIPLINE.”

According to a mini survey that I did last year, this was the TOP 3rd reason why people, in spite of knowing that being active and choosing to eat nutritious food is beneficial to them, do not do so.

In our day and age where information about health and fitness flourish, and personal trainers, fitness coaches, and gyms abound everywhere, obesity and non-communicable diseases still abound.

I’m sure that if I go to a room with 100 people and ask them if it is important to stay physically active and choose nutritious foods, at least 99 of them would say ‘Yes, it is!’
But people still don’t exercise regularly and over-eat more junk, and one reason they would claim is that they are not disciplined.

 

Frankly, I think it’s just a ‘dead-end’ excuse that people say to escape responsibility and taking action.

I say ‘dead-end’ because when people say…

“I don’t have the discipline to exercise.”
“I am not disciplined in my eating.”
“I can’t discipline myself to reduce stress and sleep more.”
“I’m not disciplined to stop smoking/drinking excessively.”
..etc.,

…I don’t think they expect – or want – to be disciplined at that very moment.

We don’t wake up one morning and suddenly become very disciplined.
But there are steps to take to develop self discipline every single day.

So the question to ask yourself is not,
“Am I disciplined to eat right/move more/take care of my health, etc.”

Because it’s not about whether you are disciplined or not.

>>> The better question to ask is,

“Am I willing to take consistent small steps to develop self-discipline so that I can reach my goal?”

**********

Here are the THREE (3) Secrets to Become Disciplined and Stay Fit:

1.) Clarity.
Be clear about what you want to achieve, and why you want to achieve it. Sure, you might say “I want to lose X amount of pounds” or maybe “I want to gain some muscle and look good with and without my shirt on” but this is not clear enough.

Be specific on what you want to achieve and why. And write it down on a piece of paper or your journal.

People don’t have the discipline to be fit and healthy because they don’t really know what they want. Ask yourself, “What will happen after I lose weight?” or “What are the things that I can do if I gain more muscle/get stronger?”

The answers to questions like these is what matters more than the actual #gains from exercising and eating right.

2.) Direction.
No one ever woke up one day and magically became disciplined. It takes consistent time and effort towards the right direction. Think of it as climbing  the stairs. You want to get on top, but you have to take one step at a time. Otherwise you’ll risk tripping, falling, or not get there at all.

Each single small step is what matters. But you have to determine the SPECIFIC path you should take to get there.

Discipline is about making these small decisions and actions a habit.

3.) Resilience.
Change will never be easy. You will face adversity. There will be challenging and tough times. What matters is not how you don’t face obstacles at all, but how you get past through them!

So expect adversity. Not everything will go as planned. But remember that getting back up EVERY TIME you fall is what develops the discipline.

**********

 

Be clear about your purpose.

Establish individual steps that you will take one at a time.

And expect adversity and realize that everything won’t go your way, but what matters is how you overcome each obstacle and continue.

 

I know that YOU already know that you need to stay active and eat nutritious foods 80% of the time so that you can live life to the full for yourself and for your loved ones.

I also know that YOU already know enough about exercising everyday and watching your diet.

So as a Coach, I’m here not to bombard you with more information about what to eat, or exercise videos, or whatnot.
But I’m here to guide you and coach you through these three secrets to get disciplined, so that you can crush your #fitnessjourney and be your finest self.

I don’t just give my clients workout programs to follow. That’s the easy part. It’s easy to do, and it’s easy to miss.

What I do is I provide CLARITY in purpose, direction, and motivation to be resilient. Because with clarity comes power.

If you’re someone who have tried so many things to improve your health and fitness, but nothing seems to work. Or you think you just need someone to guide you by the hand to finally develop the discipline, simply answer the short form below and we’ll see how we can team up so that you can develop the discipline to achieve your goals and more:

Like any other busy family living in Toronto, my wife and I were finding it tough to prepare nutritious, home-cooked meals every week that we won’t find boring and repetitive. Add to that our toddler who’s seems to start eating as much as we do!

So we were looking and asking around for options. We tried buying food from small Filipino restaurants/catering service for a few weeks, but realized soon enough that they serve the same meals every week, which tend to be fatty, salty, or both (don’t get me wrong, they were yummy!).

Then a friend gladly referred my wife to a farm-to-table service by Good Food, Canada and what they do is they send fresh ingredients every week based on recipes that you choose to make delicious, five-star meals at home.

To be honest, we were hesitant at first because the recipes were unfamiliar to us, and we weren’t sure if the servings will be good enough, especially for the very affordable cost per week. I thought high-quality, fresh ingredients that are used to make premium recipes would cost more!

But we gave it a try for a week, and they truly delivered! (pun intended)

basil-delicious-food-459469.jpg

I was really impressed when I opened our first box and saw how they carefully packaged each ingredient, labelled them, and portioned each one to the EXACT amount we would need for cooking!

This made it a ton easier to prepare and cook each meal, and we were able to save time for other things we have to do through the day.

Preparing the ingredients this way reduces food waste as well, because we get to use ALL of the prepared ingredients for each recipe.

What I like personally is how each recipe shows the approximate calorie content of each serving! So if you are overwhelmed about counting calories in each meal, this is definitely right for you!

The estimated time to prepare and cook each recipe is also indicated in the professionally printed recipe cards so you can plan other things-to-do around your cook time.

Each recipe is curated by their team of chefs, and the well-balanced, healthy ingredients are portioned out for easy cooking. These raw and fresh ingredients can last for over a week if refrigerated after unboxing. I was worried that no one would be home to receive our first box, but I was happy to see that the package had insulated liners and biodegradable ice packs to make sure that the ingredients stay fresh in the box for 24 to 48 hours. Each and every food container were recyclable, so literally nothing goes to waste!

Cooking with Good Food ingredients was a different, fun experience. Trying out new recipes is definitely exciting for me, and knowing that I can cook with these five-star ingredients in 20 to 40 minutes make me feel like a Master Chef in the kitchen! What a way to impress the family!

*****

In terms of getting fit and healthy, I know that nutrition is the TOUGHEST part. Whether you want to lose weight, gain muscle, or just improve your everyday performance, what you eat plays a big role in how and when you reach your goals!

Getting a farm-to-table premium service from Good Food may be the answer to make your calorie management easier, doable and consistent.
Their ingredients fresh from the farm are nutritious and well-balanced so that you can enjoy a healthy, home-cooked meal without worrying about counting calories.

You don’t need to be an experienced Cook to put together and prepare these sumptuous recipes, but cooking their five-star ingredients and recipes will make you feel like an Expert Chef!

Each subscription is good for one week and you can select how many meals and servings you want each week. You can “skip” weeks if you have other food plans or if you’re going away, so your budget remains flexible and manageable as well. There are vegetarian options, too, and I like how they all have balanced protein, carbs and fats.

I can’t keep telling you how tasty the food was, but what I can do is give you a $40.00 off on your first order and try it out for yourself!

The cut-off for each subscription is Wednesday, and each box arrives on a Monday.

If you are someone who wants to eat exciting, easy to prepare, and yummy meals made from fresh ingredients that are well-balanced and nutritious so that you can save time for more important stuff and not worry about counting calories, then take this offer to get $40.00 off on your first box by clicking HERE.

 

Let me know how it goes!

I mentioned a couple of days ago (my post here) that the Online Trainers Academy will be opening its doors again soon to a new batch of students.

How much does it cost to be Online Trainer Certified?
I know that Personal Trainers often have a tight budget simply because of the way our paycheck is laid out. So asking “How much does it cost?” is important, but a better question is “How much will I gain?”

So I won’t just tell you how much it costs, but I also want to show you what you can get form being Online Trainer Certified.

Here’s a straightforward breakdown for you:
Total investment into the Online Trainer Academy is $1,799 USD with payment plans available.

Hold on to your seat!

This is the total cost if you register on September 6, 2018.
You can save $200 USD if you register for the early bird list here.  The early bird registration will be available only on September 4 -5, 2018. After that, the full price applies.
Both early bird and regular registrants have payment plans available. You can read more here.

Full Disclosure:
If you haven’t read my post a couple days ago, I mentioned that I started off with the 1k extra program before it became the Online Trainers Academy (OTA). 1k extra was a lot less expensive than the OTA. My son was born around the time OTA was launched so I didn’t join the course right then. As a new parent, my budget was also feeling tighter and part of the reason I didn’t join immediately was the expenses. I also got comfortable with the way I was currently running my Online coaching business from what I learned in 1k extra. I had an average of 3 online clients back then.

I watched on the sidelines, reading about OTA graduates and their testimonies. (You can watch more testimonies here). I saw how the graduates were really changed in their thinking and the way they operate, and I was intrigued. I thought the OTA would just have been the same as 1k extra.
It obviously wasn’t. 1k extra didn’t have the textbooks, worksheet, scripts, coaching support, and other helpful, spoon-fed materials that I would need to scale my online training.

The year my son turned one,  I decided it was time to scale my online coaching business. I can’t stay too long at the gym anymore – I want to spend more time with my family.
I can’t even wake up too early for the gym – I was already awake 2 to 3 times every night!

Thankfully because I did the 1k extra, I only had to pay for the OTA textbook to upgrade. It really felt like a big thorn was pulled out from my chest! But in all honesty, I was prepared to pay the full price back then. I would have paid for the full price, because I knew the OTA had something that could help me scale my business.

And through the textbooks, scripts, and other materials from the OTA, my online clients tripled in number in less than two months after finishing the course. For my price point, that meant an extra $9k in a year through my online clients (I can buy tons of diapers for my son!). That is, if I stopped growing my business and don’t train any more additional online clients.

The OTA taught me not just how to train clients online – I also learned how to attract prospects, keep existing clients, promote, and grow my online business.

The cost for the OTA would have emptied my wallet, but if you put in the time, work, and effort into online training, the return is exponential. 

If my story doesn’t convince you, you can watch more testimonies here

If it does, don’t miss the chance. The pre-sale list to save $200 is only until Sept. 5. Register now by clicking here.

 

Yesterday, I’ve shared about my journey from Personal Trainer to Online Trainer which enabled me to reach more people, help more clients, and earn more money.
(If you haven’t read it yet, click here)

I thought I’d quickly share with you what Online Training is all about, and why it can be a profitable business in the Fitness Industry.

The Online Trainer Academy is a comprehensive certification program designed to show fitness professionals like you how to build and and grow an online training business for more income and freedom in a smart and strategic way.

The course will teach you exactly how to build, run and grow your own successful online training business, even if you are starting from scratch! Best of all, it will be a business that you have total control over and can ‘ramp up’ whenever you want.

Mind you, the OTA isn’t a useless get-rich-overnight scam.

I have put in a lot of extra time, work, and effort when I was starting my Online Training business. Now, I am ‘reaping what I have sown’ while I continuously grow my Online Training company.

What you’ll get from the OTA is an in-depth collection of materials that have been meticulously developed with input from 23 professional online trainers, marketers and business owners.

If you’re tired of chasing tips and tricks and feel energized by the idea of finally learning everything you need to know to build your own profitable online training business and want a certification to prove it, the Online Trainer Academy is for you.

Read this:
When you put in the work you will reap the rewards: a business of your design and the freedom that comes with it – whatever that freedom means to you.

Of course, work still has to be done. Time has to be spent. But a decision has to be made whether you would want to cluelessly go about it, or get it right the first time.

Here are more testimonials from Trainers around the world who are now Online Trainer Certified:

Read the testimonials here