KR contributes a bi-weekly fitness column to the Edmonton Journal.

Setting up your affordable home gym

Not everyone has the time or desire to join a fitness centre. Luckily, outfitting a home gym has become easier with more affordable equipment and the advent of functional training. If you’re thinking about making better use of a bedroom, basement or condo social area, consider outfitting your space with some of the pieces below. Keep in mind, you get what you pay for. Avoid going too cheap — unless you’re looking for something to hang clothes, in which case, …

Secrets to aging well include taking control, eating healthy and exercise

More than once my wife has been mistaken for my older son’s girlfriend. A few times for her sister’s daughter. Not sure who they think I am. Exercise, proper nutrition and good stress management are the controllable factors to aging well. Of course, you can’t reset your chronological clock. But you can affect your physiological age, to the good or bad, by 20 years. That means the average 50-year-old can choose to feel like 70 or 30, depending on how …

More Common Fitness Myths

Many people ask why the protocols we use with clients to get results aren’t common knowledge. The facts are out there if you know where to look. Unfortunately, evidence-based best practices are too often overshadowed by misinformation, quick fixes and myths. Exercisers tend to mimic the skinny person, who copies the muscle guy, who saw something on Twitter or YouTube. Usually their recommendation is framed by, “Well, it works for me.” You get the picture. Below we hope to shed …

Ten steps to nicely shaped muscles

Who doesn’t want rounded, nicely shaped muscles? Beyond esthetics, it conveys vitality and builds strength in women and men alike. While there may not be a pill that magically inflates muscle, there is a formula that will strengthen and shape your pecs and glutes at any age. Yes, at any age! With lots of fitness noise out there, it’s easy to become distracted and lose your way. If you stray from the formula, your results will diminish or stall — …

Sensible tops scare tactics when making good food choices

We’ve been fielding many questions lately about the What the Health documentary currently running on Netflix. If you haven’t seen the movie, its based on the premise that big industry (U.S. meat and dairy) has buddied up with government and non-profits, much like the tobacco industry did years ago. The documentary suggests agencies trusted with keeping us healthy have compromised their mandate in exchange for lucrative funding. There are no shortage of documentaries out there questioning the value of meat-based …

Fitness Questions and Answers

Often the best learning comes from questions or comments that have been posed by others. That said, it’s time for another edition of Overheard in the Weight Room. Q: I’m pretty active in the summer months. Can I wait and start exercising in the fall? A: Define active. People tend to overestimate their activity levels regardless of season, unless you are the person who admits, “I sit all day.” Just because you’re outside and moving around doesn’t mean you are …

Weight Training: Quality vs. Quantity

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Tighten muscle and lose fat now with these revolutionary new exercises. With summer comes a hot list of innovative exercises that flood print and video (much the same for fall and winter by the way). That’s 10 new exercises you aren’t currently doing. Oh well, change everything or add 10 more movements to your existing list (then ask for time off work because your workout just passed the three-hour mark). Just how many resistance exercises are too many? As with …

Help reset the clock by squatting with consistency

Watching a toddler squat down to scrutinize ants the other day reminded me how much we’ve lost to years of sedentary living. We were designed to squat comfortably and lift reasonably heavy objects without folding like a taco. In fact, Olympic weightlifters spend hours in the gym simply trying to re-establish this innate, primal pattern. You’re mistaken if you think that lowering a loaded diaper to the ground while maintaining a straight back is unique to being an infant. In …

Four important pillars for finding a personal trainer

Think of the professions that demand a high level of expertise. From medical practitioners to auto mechanics, we all want to know that we have someone who takes care of us. Someone that’s honest, ethical and, most of all, knows their stuff. Fitness is no different. If you’re investing all that hard work (and money) you want to ensure that your personal trainer is much more than abs and sinew. After recruiting and developing fitness staff for close to 30 …

Lure of the 16-inch plate

I noticed a few things while vacationing in the Mayan Riviera a few weeks ago. First, without inked family likenesses, angel parts or apocalyptic landscapes covering my body, I felt somewhat naked. Thigh tattoos referencing Dante’s Inferno were big. Second, it seems consumption levels straight out of Sodom and Gomorrah (intended to relieve the drudgery of daily temperance), may not be the exception. Nay, based on the weight and scale of plates passing our poolside buffet, I’m guessing epic carb …