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Spring into Your Summer Body

Fitness hacks from Canada’s top trainers.

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Summer bodies are made in the winter

With spring right around the corner, it’s time to kick it into high gear and get back on track. While New Year’s is a great opportunity to set new fitness goals, February hit most hard with a failure rate of 80 percent on resolutions made. Don’t be another statistic and get your spring training underway with the help of City Shred’s training team to get you on course, keep you accountable, and back on top of your game in no time.

If you follow these simple strategies, your sweat equity will never feel stale.

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Tip 1: Tap into your fitness community

Fitness is one of the best ways to connect with people and stay engaged in whatever means of training you’re pursuing: new group classes, training styles, getting a workout buddy, or expanding your fitness horizons with local epic workout events like City Shred. Aligning with like-minded individuals is a great way to get motivated, stay accountable and on track with your fitness goals, all while making fitness fun.

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Tip 2: Consistency is key

Individuals are often surprised at what they can achieve in only three months if they’re just consistent. Leave the excuses at the door and keep yourself accountable through planning and prioritizing. If your goal is 45-60 minutes per day for 4-5 days per week and life gets in the way, I suggest factoring in trade-offs. Not every workout has to be an epic training session, but putting regular deposits in your fit bank will always yield results over time.

Missed your fitness class? Do some body weight movements at home, or strap on your sneakers and hit the pavement for a jog. It won’t always be perfect, but consistency is key.

Steve McCollum is a trainer, athletic strength coach and founder of Gains Gang in Toronto, ON.

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Tip 3: Get mobile

Now that the weather is starting to warm up, it’s important to make range of motion and total body mobility a goal. The winter months make the body tight and create bad posture due to tensing/forward leaning from the extreme cold.  Make sure you research or hire a professional that will aid and make this a priority.

Eddy Bucardo, is a boxing coach, strength and conditioning specialist, as well as co-founder of Unchained Athletics in Toronto, ON.

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Tip 4: Do a 10-day reset

Just like spring cleaning, our body needs a mini makeover for the season.

  • Start your day with a big glass of water.
  • Set 2-3 minutes aside to mediate or think about what you are grateful for.
  • Schedule workouts in advance to ensure you train every day, even if it’s a light workout.

After 10 days, give yourself a rest day and then stick to a regular training program 3-5 times per week.  Seeing how your body adapts after this jump start will have you feeling positive and motivated to stay on track.

Farinaz Lari is a master trainer and co-owner of District Warrior in Vancouver, BC.

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Tip 5: Schedule workouts like appointments

Treat your workouts like appointments and schedule them way in advance. One of the best ways to keep yourself accountable is to pre-plan; having firm commitments in your calendar is a good way to make sure you get there. Also, use Instagram to get inspired! Follow more local accounts that inspire you to move, be active, and be the best version of yourself. If you find a trainer or a person who motivates you, reach out to them and see if you can link up with them for a workout!

Kevin Yeboah is a Barry’s Canada trainer and Catalyst Health master trainer in Toronto, ON.

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Tip 6: Keep your body guessing

While routine is key to staying on track, variety is the spice of life. Build some novelty into your workout plan each week to keep your brain and body stimulated and engaged. Use the renewal of spring as an opportunity to come out of hibernation and add something new to your physicality by exploring different ways of being active and burning calories. If you’re not looking forward to your sweat sesh, it will make it that much harder to show up. Mix it up, find different ways to challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone.

Irina Andreea is an elite trainer, yoga instructor and founder of Holistic Adventures in Toronto, ON.

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Tip 7: Get outside

Take full advantage of your local landscape to stay motivated. As things start heating up, incorporate things like hiking, sea wall runs, outdoor workouts, and kayaking to get moving and get those endorphins going. It’s a busy time of year for everyone, so signing up for a rec league and getting friends together helps with accountability.

With summer around the corner, transition the seasons with what feels right for your body. Exercise and movement have many modalities; finding one that aligns with you and capitalizes on things like nature that take you from feeling good to great are sure fire ways to stay engaged with any fitness program.

Torin Nikiforuk is an instructor at Kondi Fitness, strength and conditioning coach at Yard Athletics, as well as a Lululemon ambassador in Vancouver, BC.

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Tip 8: Set goals and track progress

Have a specific end vision and set timeline to achieve it. Utilize a date or fun event in the summer to be a target for a performance review, just like you would for a job or any other performance goal. The transition of spring into summer is a perfect, natural timeline for a training cycle and reasonable time allocation to achieve a new goal. But, don’t set yourself up for failure and ensure your goal is attainable by setting benchmarks to note progress along the way. Whether that’s using tracking devices or apps to a journal or telling a friend, having those touchpoints will help you monitor progress and keep you accountable to conquer your goal. Remember: achieving small short-term goals will help you cross that finish line in training.

Niko Mullings is a master trainer and animal flow specialist at Body Love Inc. in Toronto, ON.

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Tip 9: Don’t wait

One of the biggest challenges people face is the mindset of not being fit enough to hit their local gym or a group fitness class, so they attempt to get things started on their own. Following an online workout as a new-comer to fitness will probably never be as effective (or as fun) as finding a community to stay motivated, accountable and more importantly, to have a trained fitness coach guide you as you embark on your fitness journey. If you don’t feel connected with what you’re doing or have the opportunity for feedback, support and improvement, you likely won’t continue – especially in the beginning before good habits and routines have been formed. Don’t wait! Grab a friend, hit a class, and make some more friends along the way. These days, there are group-training classes for everything: running, cycling, weights, dance, boxing… you name it. So, find one that piques your interest and get after it!

Liam Fisher is a head coach and founder of MVMNT Academy in Vancouver, BC.

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Tip 10: Get educated and hit the weights

Strength training is an important component of any fitness program. So if you’re using spring as a time to get back on track, make sure you incorporate weight-bearing activities into some of your workouts.

New to lifting? Start slow, master your movements, challenge yourself appropriately and celebrate your progress along the way. A coach can make sure you’re performing the proper progression for each exercise and help you focus on the quality of movement. A foundation of strength and doing workouts you enjoy is what leads to consistent training year-round.

Cassie Day is a strength coach and founder of All Day Fit in Toronto, ON.

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Tip 11: Master your mindset

Achieving any fitness goal all begins with the mind. Get your thinking on track and optimize your summer shred by finding a mantra (one to three words) that centres your thinking around your training. If you want to improve your athleticism, how do you see yourself getting there? Who inspires you? If you want to lose weight, how do you prevent relapse and recognize the obstacles that put you in your current situation? Focus on the journey and incorporate words like “intent,” “resilience” or “pivot” to help you work towards a goal. Get focused, stay empowered, and commit to the process.

Nate Bower is a YouTube fitness personality and senior instructor at Sweat and Tonic in Toronto, ON.

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Tip 12: Change it up

One of the obvious perks of warmer weather and longer days is your ability to take your workouts outside. Go for a long walk or run, ride your bike, do a 10-min HIIT workout in the sun – just get moving! Use the reset vibes of spring to shake things up and get out your comfort zone. If you prefer to keep it indoors, make it a group affair and try something different. From HIIT and spin to yoga and Pilates, there’s something for everyone, and the energy of a class setting can really motivate you. See what you like and remember: the best workout is the one you enjoy doing.

Odeta Kasa is a trainer at Equinox and Sweat and Tonic in Toronto, ON.

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Tip 13: Assess potential obstacles

As the saying goes: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” So when it comes to reaching your spring fitness goals, plan ahead, determine when and how you will get your exercise in at the beginning of the week, and hold yourself accountable. It’s not too late to get started, or to regain the momentum you started the year off with. No matter the obstacles you may have faced, find what works for you, what you enjoy (or don’t despise) doing, and if you’re finding it difficult exercising alone, consider group training or ask a friend to join you. And remember, you don’t HAVE to work out; you GET to work out.

CY Iwanegbe is a defensive back coach for UBC Football, trainer and instructor at Studeo Fitness in Vancouver, BC.

Ready to put it in action?

Grab your fit fam and get ready for an epic group-training experience that challenges you to push your limits, work as a team, and break a sweat.

City Shred, Instagram’s largest fitness event, will be hitting Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal to deliver an intense sweat session that will test your strength, endurance, agility, and speed, while motivating you to complete a killer workout like no other. Featuring renowned celebrity trainers from around the world alongside each city’s top local trainers, push yourself though a warm-up, 90 minutes of work broken into five segments, capped off with a cool-down session. Then, explore top health, wellness and fitness brands, and take home a swag bag filled with samples, free sessions and more.

If a two-hour HIIT workout isn’t enough, level up by competing in the partner burpee challenge that kicks off each event. You’ll compete for the most burpees done in 10 minutes to win $2,000+ in prizes. Find a city and date near you and learn more at city-shred.com.