Thursday, February 28, 2013

Weight Lifting and What You Need to Know!

Female athletes lift weights almost everyday. 

Weight lifting is commonly misunderstood. People have a lot of preconceived notions on how it works and with the results it is going to give. Without fail during their consultation, new clients, especially women, will say “I don’t want to get big”. This is probably the most common concern when somebody is starting a new weight training program. Other concerns include wanting to get big, wanting to get ripped in certain areas of the body, and wanting to lift heavy.

Male athletes lift weights almost everyday. 

The first and most important thing to address is "getting big". First of all, you are likely not going to get big. It takes a lot of time and muscle focus to get the body builder bulk that people think they are going to magically put on. It takes many hours of heavy lifting per week to gain large amounts of muscle mass especially for women. Most women simply do not have the body type to get “bulky” unless they spend countless hours on muscle isolation exercises and increase their dietary consumption dramatically. There are some crazy trainers out there (some are quite popular) that will tell you that girls should not lift heavy because they will bulk up. That is a ridiculous statement that is not grounded in reality. Healthy athletic bodies are the most attractive kind and they are built by weights, cardio, and diet.
When it comes to women, it is very important to understand that your muscle growth will not be continuous unless that is your training goal. You will likely see some muscle changes in the initial 3 months of training and then you will probably have very little change in muscle size after that so don’t worry and lift heavy! 
When it comes to getting a change in muscle, there is a general guideline to follow:
6-8 Reps = Strength gain
8-10 Reps = Hypertrophy (Increase in muscle size)
12-15 Reps = Best for either adaptation to lifting (if you are lifting beneath your RM – more on this shortly) or for building a base for endurance lifting (if you are lifting to a 15 repetition maximum).
15+ Reps = Endurance training that is best for people training for longer duration events.
This guideline works with repetition maximum which means that the last rep you can physically do is your last rep. For example, if you are capable of lifting the weight 15+ times but are only lifting it 10 times, you are not going to get muscle hypertrophy.
Getting ripped in certain areas of the body is also a commonly misunderstood concept. Doing sit-ups will not get you a six-pack. Weight/resistance training will not make you leaner or more ripped on its own (except for its overall effect on your caloric burn). Weight lifting develops muscles; it can make them bigger and stronger, but will not magically burn all the fat that is covering them. You burn fat globally. This means that you don’t get a six-pack unless you are lean enough to expose those muscles. Getting lean comes from calorie deficit (calories in are less than calories out) and not from weight lifting itself. This leaning process happens all over the body at once and, unfortunately, is not guided by where you feel the burn or where you want it to happen. Fat loss will happen in the body where it wants and you have very little control over that. If you want a six-pack or cut shoulders then work harder and eat healthier and eventually the body fat covering the area that you want to lean up will burn off.

This is not what happens with a normal weight training program. 

When it comes to lifting heavy, it is important that you have proper form and adaptation to resistance training before going in the gym and lifting all the weight you possibly can. Muscles are very vascular (lots of blood flow) and therefore adapt to demands quite quickly. Tendons, bones, and ligaments are not very vascular and take time to adapt to demands. It is very important that you take your time when starting a resistance-training program so that you don’t injure yourself.
Also of importance is to remember the goal of each lift. The objective of a bicep curl is to get bicep contraction with the maximum amount of resistance on that muscle. The goal is NOT to simply move the weight from point A to point B. What this means is that while it may look cool to curl a 40lb dumbbell, it is not cool if you are swinging your hips, bobbing your head, and generally trying to move the weight from point A to B instead of remembering the true goal; the contraction of the muscle. Focus on your lift and keep your form in check!
Weight lifting is a very important part of any training program. If done properly, it can have profound affects on your body. There is a lot of misinformation out there and hopefully this post can dispel some of that for you. If you have specific questions, feel free to comment and I will do my best to answer them.
 Next week I am going to post on kids and weight training. This is a large topic on its own and deserves a separate post!

~ Yoshia

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hitting homers

We’re hitting home runs again and it feels great. You know that feeling when the things you’re working on are happening and you’re in the flow? This wasn’t the case a year ago. We lost focus and as a result we lost momentum. Some may say it’s not possible to achieve continual momentum however I disagree and here are 5 ways you can ensure you keep your train moving.

  1. Anchor your focus with a plan. Nothing new here. No plan, no purpose, no point. If you are a successful business person or even a regular SUS subscriber, you will have heard, or are already implementing this. If you are new to the game of success, this is where to start. I am continually amazed by both the power of a well executed plan as well as the number of businesspeople who consciously avoid mastering the planning habit. Then again, that’s why planning & goal setting has turned a 5 cent fix into a billion dollar self help industry.
  2. Surround yourself with the right people. Last year we had the wrong people in our business early in the year and never seemed to recover. These people were not bad people by any stretch of the imagination, in fact they were great people in the wrong roles. We were not benefitting them, nor were they benefiting us in the end. It is said that every poor hire who remains with your organization is a cost of 10k minimum. This really underscores the value of hiring the right people. The same can be said in your life where the emotional cost can be even higher.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Looking back, our ego’s prevented the support from reaching us. This isn’t the first time, ego’s played a role in our downturn, but it will certainly be the last if we’re smart. One of the key phrases we’ve learned over the years is to align & engage people who are smarter than you to help take you to the next level. This is what we did and not surprisingly it is paying dividends. When we’re above learning the lessons (even if they are the same lessons), it’s a matter of time before we hit the downward trajectory. We’re making national connections with a really strong team.
  4. Be consistent. In some of our projects we’ve been trying to engage people between two to five years now. How many people do you think would have given up? We didn’t and two to five years later, they are at our table... with their support. Part of the reason they are at our table is because we were consistently following with our original plan and able to demonstrate we were not a one shot wonder who would quit when things got tough. With consistent, comes professional persistent. You don’t usually step up to the plate on day one and the ball out of the park.
  5. Understand the process. We often give this advice when speaking with aspiring entrepreneurs. When you have an idea, it is akin to swimming across a two mile channel with your success on the other side. The 1st mile is infested with naysayers who tell you the reasons why your idea will not work. The 2nd mile is infested with arm chair experts who (without the full picture / understanding of your idea), will tell you all the modifications you need to make. Very few ideas make it to success because they drown in others ‘help’. Sometimes, you need to put on a great-big-fake-grin while others are helping you reach your success and just keep on swimming. It’s kind of like the start of an triathlon swim.

Please feel free to take the tidbits of wisdom and use them to help you, help yourself & your organization. They are tried, tested & true and speaking from personal experience, it feels much better to hit home runs (or even double & triples) than to keep striking out in the game of life.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Do Not Be Judgemental

Human beings are not born being judgemental, yet even during our first few years we can develop this tendency, which can dramatically impact us as adults later on in life. When we walk into a room full of people that we don't know, we will gravitate to a group that we judge to be similar to who we are ourselves.

When we go networking, we walk into a room and look around and decide in our minds who we are going to talk to and why. We look and our little voice inside our head comes up with some statements:

  • Too old or young to be my client. 
  • I know somebody who looks like that and they are not successful. 
  • Too bubbly for me. 
  • That person seems arrogant (do not mistake this for confidence). 
  • That person would be the easiest to talk to!
  • They are not dressed professionally. 
  • I don't like the way they look. 
All these key judgements stop us from talking with people who could easily become our next biggest client or even introduce us to people would could become our clients. 

I went to a networking event a few years ago, and there was a lady in a wheelchair who was definitely in her seventies or even possibly early eighties, and nobody was talking to her. I had the judgement go through my head that said that we have no clients her age, she is probably retired, etc. These thoughts kept going through my mind until I said myself, "go and speak with her. What do I have to lose?" I went to her, she was so enthralled that I would take the time to speak with her , and she introduced me to her three daughters who all have their own businesses - all three daughters are now clients of mine and have introduced us to their business associates & colleagues. It was a $30,000 contract that evening. 

This may not happen every time you go out, but you will not know what results you can get until you take the judgement out of the way and just go up to people and speak with them. It is actually one of the most powerful skills you can learn in life as a business owner. 

The opposite of this is also true. Now that you understand that people judge you before you have even opened your mouth as to whether or no they will speak with you, the way you show up to public event is critical to your success. When you leave home or your office, you should be dressed for success. I promise you that you will get treated very differently at events when you show up in a suit rather than a pair of jeans - I don't care what industry you are in. The way you respect yourself is the judgement that people will have about you, whether consciously or subconsciously, and whether you talk with them or not. 

We said before that the highest energy wins, and no matter how you are feeling, you need to show up with a smile and warm welcoming energy, even if you have just loss a massive order or had an argument with a spouse or business partner. Suck it up, put a smile on your face, and go out with a winning attitude. 

Remember the highest energy almost always wins!

-Thanks to Colin Sprake author of "Entrepreneur Success Recipe" and loyal customer of Innovative Fitness!

Monday, February 25, 2013

What is a Pedorthist?

We've often been asked what the difference is between Pedorthist and a Podiatrist. 

At Kintec, we carry the best selection of performance and comfort footwear at fair prices, delivered by highly-trained and passionate Fitting Experts, and offered to you with a ‘fit guarantee’. Our team consists of "Fitting Experts", usually a university-trained Kinesology or Human Kinetics graduate, and also Certified Pedorthists.

Canadian Certified Pedorthists – C. Ped (C) - are orthotic and orthopaedic footwear experts. They are one of the few healthcare professionals trained in the assessment of lower limb anatomy and biomechanics.

What does this mean? With specialized education and training (including thousands of hours of practical experience and multiple exams to become "certified") in custom foot orthotics and footwear/footwear modifications, our Canadian Certified Pedorthists help to alleviate pain, abnormalities and debilitating conditions of the lower limbs and feet.We work closely with the medical community, including your family physician, physiotherapist, massage therapists, to keep you active and enjoying the activities that you do for years to come!

The goal of every Canadian Certified Pedorthist is to help patients achieve and maintain proper foot care and lower limb health, and live healthy, active lives.

Here are a couple of great videos by the Pedorthic Association of Canada that further describe how a Pedorthist can help you with any lower body pain!

Conversely, a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) is a medical specialist who diagnoses and treats conditions affecting the foot, ankle, and structures of the leg. If someone has an ingrown toe nail, acute injury, swelling, bruising, or sudden pain, a podiatrist can be consulted.

A podiatrist will be able to diagnose the problem with x-ray, ultrasound, and other modalities and get the patient on the road to recovery. A podiatrist can also prescribe medication, administer injections, perform bunion and ingrown toe nail surgery, whereas pedorthists do not specialize in such palliative care nor can they prescribe medication or perform surgery.

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Skinny on Fats!

There are new findings all the time on fats and oils, and it is still a subject of controversy. There is still a large amount of unknown when it comes to whether a low fat diet is beneficial.

Fats have been the subject of misinformation and faulty research.  There have been holes in the arguments that dietary fat causes heart disease. It has been trans fatty acids, as opposed to saturated fats, that have been linked by researchers to be a factor in atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, cancer, and other assorted ailments.

Healthy fats have been associated with the reduction of cardiovascular risk factors, promoting weight loss and weight maintenance. They are important because they perform many life-supporting functions in each cell of our body.  Fats are;
  1. Part of the cell membrane and every organ and tissue
  2. Essential for our nervous system and production of certain hormones
  3. Needed for the absorption of Vitamins A,D, E and K
  4. Vital in Vitamin D absorption which is necessary for calcium be absorbed by our bones and teeth
  5. Able to keep our body cells protected from invasions by micro organisms and damage from chemicals
  6. Good source of energy
  7. Protect organs from trauma and temperature changes
Here are guidelines on what to avoid, and what to enjoy, in order to reap the benefits of healthy fats and oils!

Avoid hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils. These are found in most packaged foods if you read the label carefully. The front often states “no trans fats” however through chemically induce hydrogen saturation the structure of the unsaturated oil is changed.  This alters the way the body metabolizes the fats and may be carcinogenic and raise the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Avoid most commercially produced vegetable oils that come in clear plastic or glass bottles.  They are usually highly refined, using high heat and a chemical solvent process as well as bleaches and deodorizers to enhance shelf life. They also usually start with the most inferior nuts and seeds, and are often found in:

  • Margarines, Canola, Sunflower, Corn, Grapeseed and many Olive Oils
  • Commercial salad dressings, and prepared foods

Choose high quality unrefined polyunsaturated vegetable oils and consume in moderation.  These can be more expensive but you can use less, and the health benefits are priceless. Look for:


  •       Oils labeled “unrefined” like brands such as Omega, Flora, Spectrum and others. The are mechanically processed using cool temperatures and no chemicals
  •       Flax, Hemp, and Essential Balance oils are fantastic to pour on your vegetables, salads, etc. Try 1tsp for a serving.
  •       Extra Virgin Olive Oil form cold pressing, and use only for low temperature cooking
  •       KEY TIP: Do not allow your oil to smoke when cooking with it! If this happens, start again with fresh oil and reduce heat!

Cook with stable fats such as:

  • Butter, coconut oil or organic palm oil
  • Try Sautéing with ½ butter and ½ extra olive oil

Make your own salad dressing by blending:

  •       ½ cup unrefined oil (your choice of kind)
  •       ½ cup raw apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  •       Your favourite herbs and spices such as basil, oregano, pepper
  •       Add mustard or honey
  •       Shake well, and store in glass bottle for up to 4 weeks in the fridge

Buy oils in glass dark glass containers and avoid large, plastic, and light coloured oils. The more oil is exposed to heat, light and air, the faster it will turn rancid and enter your body as a free radical. 

Quality fats are an essential part of a healthy diet and by using the guidelines above you will have no trouble navigating right past the bad fats, and on to enjoying the good stuff! 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Routine Can be the Key or Killer of Exercise!

One of the most essential things in a good exercise program is routine. It is very common for people to be going strong for several months and then something comes up that changes their routine. They go on vacation, get sick, get hurt, change jobs, etc… and then you are out of your routine. One week off your routine turns into two, three, four… a year. Compounding this issue is the fact that, when you do finally get your first workout in, you feel like crap. Toxins are flushing out, joints are stiff, and generally your body has relaxed itself into a state of dysfunction. We forget very quickly how good we feel when we are exercising regularly. The first couple of weeks after stopping a regular exercise program we feel stiff and tired, but then a miraculous thing happens. The body adapts, as it does to anything, and we get used to feeling crappy. We think that the general stiffness-highlighted malaise of our sleepy, groggy selves is normal.  This feeling is not normal. You should not be tired and stiff all the time. It will take a few weeks of regular exercise to remind you of this.

Even the Dark Knight has Routine. 

So what is the fix? Simple answer. For the first few weeks of returning to an exercise program, you will have to force it. You will have to drag your lazy self off the couch and get to the gym and will yourself to exercise. Slowly but surely you will get back to your routine and all will be well. It is important to note, however, that, when you get sick, go on vacation, or change schedules again, this pattern will repeat. Now that we know this, we should plan accordingly. Pre-plan your gym times for after vacation, try to stretch and keep somewhat mobile if you are sick, and, above all, return to your exercise schedule as soon as possible after one of these setbacks! Now would be a good time to start. Always remember this simple little phrase: the hardest part about going to the gym is simply getting off your ass and going. Once you are there, you will more than likely do something productive.

~ Yoshia

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I hate Prevent Defense.

For those that don’t know what that is here is a very brief explanation. Prevent D is a sports system that basically puts everyone on defense for the last few minutes of a game. Be it football, basketball, soccer or any other team sport, the premise is that the team that is winning by a small margin tries to play out the last remaining time by playing all out defense. And normally it is not formally trained but rather a reactionary way to hold on for the win. And I hate it. I’m sure statistically it has merit and I am sure we could have a sporting argument for and against but I don’t care. Prevent Defense is terrible.

First of all, I am opposed to teams and athletes abandoning what they were doing well to do something completely different in the game. Secondly, why play with fear? When you watch or play in a game like this you can see the expectation of conceding a buzzer beating score. There is resistance and there is fear. Players get anxious and they begin to do the exact opposite of what they had been doing to be in a position to win. The culture of the team changes.
The music industry has been playing prevent defense for a decade. So have newspapers. And non-profits. And big corporations.And they are losing.

What’s needed is strong leadership and a calm mind. Two minutes more to play so keep doing what your doing but now do it better and with every last ounce of energy you have. Our plan will work or fail in that short time and if it does fail we can adjust for the next match. But for now, we won’t abandon our original idea in the last few minutes.

Failing is allowed. That is never the problem. The problem is when we don’t trust ourselves, we don’t adjust at the appropriate times and instead we react in the moment or play out our lives anxiously awaiting disaster. That is just fear.  We are too quick to change in the heat of battle rather than be patient and really looking at why we should change.

Are you changing plans at the wrong time? Are you playing with fear?

Stop playing Prevent Defense in your life. Go out and do what you planned on doing. Adjust strategically and with proper planning and above all execute your calling really well.

Written by Willie Cromack: Play it forward. <>

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Love Languages in the Workplace

As we recently just had Valentine’s Day…thought it would be timely to discuss how principles at home can be translated to work. Like it or not, your job is kind of like a romantic relationship. Your co-workers and customers see you at your best and your worst (completely exhausted at the end of a 70-hour week). You’ve made a commitment to spend every day with them (at least for a couple of years). And, just like marriages, business relationships take work to make them last over time.

So, it’s not a huge stretch to say that advice for our love lives can also be applied at the office. There’s a famous book called The Five Love Languages, that was introduced by my now wife a couple years ago. It details how different people prefer to give and receive love from their partners, and how you can make each type feel most appreciated. The premise—that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to showing how to connect & build a strong relationship—but it’s also pretty invaluable advice when you’re trying to attract a new customer, strengthen a customer relationship, or keep your co-workers happy.

Here’s an overview of the five ways that people feel ‘loved’—and how you can translate and use that to your advantage in the workplace.

Quality Time

For some people, there’s nothing better than good, quality face time. This is often true with new or prospective customers who want to feel comfortable in a relationship before moving forward with a deal or partnership. For these types, sending an email every couple weeks won’t cut it—try taking them out for coffee or dinner, stopping by their office for a meeting, or finding a way to give them some face time on a regular basis.

Quality time is also extremely important in some company cultures, and many managers place high priority on how much time you spend in the office. Arriving early, staying late, and generally being visible at the office will count during reviews, and hustling out at 5 PM or skipping after-hours work events is frowned upon. In these environments, the best way to show you’re a team player is to show up—all the time.


Just as a suitor sends an unexpected bouquet of flowers to someone he wants to impress, there are times when you might need to woo your customers or colleagues with a gift. Don’t worry—we’re not talking about bribes, kickbacks, or anything else that would go against your company policy.

Gifts in the workplace can also come in the form of information, like sending your boss or colleague a relevant article. And promotional items, boxes of treats, or a gift during the holidays can be meaningful gestures that are sometimes more appreciated than an office drop-by (especially for the “I’m too busy for everything” types). The point is to deliver something that shows you’re thinking about the person and that you’re actively interested in keeping the relationship alive.

Words of Affirmation

Most couples exchange encouraging words, and business relationships benefit from them, too. Some customers won’t think twice about the company post-its you dropped off and will consider your monthly lunch meeting business as usual, but they’ll be ecstatic over a thank-you note sent for a purchase order or a meaningful email telling them how much you appreciate their business.

Even those you don’t necessarily have to “woo”—like your colleagues—value this love language too. Who doesn’t feel better, happier, or more productive when they’re told they’re doing a good job? Sending a colleague a quick email when she’s done a great job on a project will speak volumes about how much you appreciate her work.

Acts of Service

For some people, there’s nothing better than when their significant other goes out of his way to do the dishes, take out the trash, or get the oil changed. Similarly, for some customers, nothing will impress them more than a little extra service. It doesn’t have to be a huge effort, either—little things like hand delivery or saving your customer time by making her travel arrangements can go a long way in making her feel special and appreciated.

Going above and beyond your typical call of duty is also a great way to delight your boss and co-workers. If your colleague is having a particularly stressful week and you have some free time, offer to proof her important report, or see if there’s something you can take off your boss’ plate.

Physical Touch

In a relationship, people who speak this love language like hugs and other physical contact. So what does this have to do with business? Quite a lot! Consider the dead-fish handshake or the death-grip handshake: Both make your colleague or customer uncomfortable, and both make an awkward start to a business encounter.

This is also a factor when doing business overseas, as some cultures greet with a bow, a kiss, or a handshake. If you don’t consider the implications of your physical interaction, you may accidentally offend a customer or colleague. Forgoing an important physical gesture may signal that you’re cold and unwilling to do business, and if your colleague or customer values these interactions, no amount of quality time or gifts will make up for your faux pas.

So, how do you know which language to choose? Everyone’s different, so the key is finding out which type of attention makes your colleagues and customers feel most valued. It’s not always clear at first, but listen and watch for what each person responds to over time. Do they rave about the complimentary giveaways, frequently ask to have in-person meetings, or spread the word about your exceptional level of service? Also pay attention to how people treat you—often, they will give love in the same way they want to receive it.

With a little effort, you’ll learn — how to establish long & loyal relationships in the workplace. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Ski or Snowboarding? How to improve your Comfort and Performance

By Graham Archer, V.P. of Pedorthics, C. Ped (C) at Kintec

Nothing ruins a day of skiing or snowboarding like sore feet and it is a common misconception that ski boots will cause foot pain.  Discomfort in ski or snowboard boots generally comes from areas of pressure or too much foot motion within the boot

Here's how you can stay on the slopes longer to make the best out of your day, and improve your runs!

First, let's look at how too much foot motion can contribute to foot pain and a decreased skiing experience.  The mechanics of skiing are unlike that of most other weight bearing activities.  In typical day to day activities the foot is very mobile as it shock absorbs and adapts to the surface that it is on, while in skiing the foot functions best when it is immobile.  Power while skiing is generated in the large muscle groups of the upper leg and hips and then passed through the feet to the edges of the skis.  Excessive motion of the feet decreases the efficiency of skiing, reduces the power transfer to the skis and places excess strain through the feet.

The second major cause of foot pain while alpine skiing is from too much pressure on specific areas of the feet.  Ski boots are stiff plastic shells with a foam insert that the foot sits in.  There is very little give to the bottom of the insert, the surface that your foot is sitting on.

In a typical shoe your feet will depress into the insole and midsole to distribute pressure fairly evenly throughout the feet, this does not happen in ski boots.  In a ski boot there will be empty space under the medial longitudinal arch and other cavities of the feet and high pressure under the main weight bearing areas of the feet such as the heel and ball of the foot.
Kintec's Custom Ski & Snowboard Orthotics with a high energy rebound top cover

Custom molded insoles or custom made orthotics act to fill in all the space underneath the feet and distribute weight evenly throughout the feet while in the ski boots.  By filling in this extra space an orthotic is also providing support to the foot structure and reducing extra motion within the feet themselves.

With a reduction in foot motion and an even pressure distribution your feet will be more comfortable through a long day of skiing, you will ski with more power transferring to the skis and your legs will fatigue less quickly.

Kintec provides both custom-molded and custom made inserts made specifically for ski and snowboard boots.  Contact or visit one of our stores for more details, and make the best out of the days left in this season!

Graham Archer is Vice President of Pedorthic Services at Kintec and the former President of the Pedorthic Association of Canada for 2010/2011. Graham joined Kintec in 2000 with a passion for helping people stay active on their feet. Graham holds a Bachelors of Kinesiology from Simon Fraser University and is a Canadian Certified Pedorthist with the College of Pedorthics of Canada. Outside of pedorthics, Graham spends his time riding and racing mountain bikes, fishing, trail-running, hitting the slopes at Whistler/Blackcomb, and hanging with his wife and two daughters.