Author Archives: bodyagefitness

Treat muscle imbalances before the become the cause of an injury

Recently, I have been approached by a few people regarding some increasingly annoying aches and pains coming from one side of their bodies – ex: right hip – left shoulder, etc… – and after having assessed their muscle strength and the range of motion of their joints, we quickly realized a significant level of muscle imbalances and flexibility from one or more of their muscle groups.

These imbalances will often cause a myriad of other problems: poor posture, painful/achy joints, decreased balance and stability, hernias and herniated disk …

Many of these imbalances happen as the body ages.  As the years go by, some physical and lifestyle changes are the cause of your body going out of proper alignment:

–       Muscle mass loss; generally, people lose about 1% of their lean muscle mass per year after age 40.

–       Bone density loss; Post menopause, women lose bone density at an average rate of 2 to 3% per year while men of same age range are losing 0.4% yearly

–       Ligaments connecting bones and joints lose elasticity

–       Overall activity usually decreases as people age.  Therefore the muscles which are used on a regular basis remain strong while other weaken.

The overall result is that your bone structure loses the correct alignment you had when you were younger which puts you at risk of muscle and/or joint pain and disorder.

The good news is that a regular and well-performed exercise regime will keep your muscles strong and flexible which, in turn, will allow you to maintain proper alignment.

As mentioned earlier, the muscles which are not used regularly weaken with age.

– I have found that the “core muscles” tend to be under used and therefore lose strength and endurance. (The major muscles of the core reside in the area of the belly and the mid and lower back and peripherally include the hips, the shoulders and the neck.) Regular functional core exercises will help keep your core muscles activated and allow you to maintain good erect posture.

– Balance and stability is also often an issue with the aging population**.  Muscle imbalance from one side of the body is often the cause of this decrease in stability.  Unilateral exercises: standing on 1 foot – lunges, single leg squats… are all beneficial exercises which will help strengthen the weaker side of your body.

Many cases of chronic pain can be traced back to faulty posture/alignment.  Early prevention and cure of these issues will help you maintain a better posture, stand taller and be able to be active for many more years ahead!

Train Smarter – Not Harder!


** Falls account for more than half of all injuries among Canadians 65 years and over. One third of community-dwelling Canadian seniors experience one fall each year and half of those will fall more than once.

GOAL: Finish Strong on Race Day

This past Saturday, I took part in an annual Indoor Rowing Championship called “Beat the Beast”. Rowing a 2000 meters piece as fast as possible is the challenge. I enjoy indoor rowing races as, ultimately, it is me against the clock!

I had a GREAT RACE! In any type of racing event, I am a strong believer in: Having a race plan and sticking to it!

My plan was to try to row faster than 6:30 minutes. Therefore my pacing strategy was to get to my halfway mark (1000 meters) around the 3:15 mark and row a little faster during the second half to finish just under 6:30. Negative splitting… finishing strong… saving some energy for the end… All of these are very strong in my mind whenever I am racing or coaching someone who is planning to race and I know all of my best races have been achieved by sticking to my pre-designed plan.

Pacing for my first half was perfect. I had noticed 2 other rowers ahead of me but I wasn’t too worried about them until the second half of my race. That’s when I started to row slightly faster to see if I could catch up to them or if they were simply stronger rowers than me. Caught the first one with 500 meters to go and the last 1 with only about 150 meters to go. I finished in 6:27.7, only 1.1 seconds ahead of the closest competitor.

I have been going through this race in my mind since that time and I, once again, have this feeling of empowerment since I strongly believe that the main reason I was able to finish first and win this race was from the fact during the past few months of training for this event, I had worked on a very realistic race plan and by going through the motion and sticking to the plan, I was able to push my body to achieve the results I was looking for!

This past race only serves as another proof on how important an effective training plan and good race strategy is towards achieving good results in competitive events.

My yearly indoor rowing event is done now and I will now turn more of my attention on my road cycling events in the upcoming spring and summer.

I know many of also have upcoming road cycling events (or any other competitive event for that matter) and if you are really serious about achieving good results, take the time to:

– Design an effective training program and go through it while mentally preparing yourself for your event

– Have a pre-planned and realistic race plan

– STICK TO IT during your event!

The feeling of accomplishment you will get after having reached your goal, as you had planned, is always amazing!



Consistency Is The Key When It Comes to Overall Health and Fitness Conditioning!

Whether or not you are one of these people who made a “New Year Resolution” to get in better shape in 2014, please remember that most studies agree that it only takes between 3 to 5 days to begin to lose some of this hard earned fitness!

The agreed upon formula for anyone who wants to know how many workout days will it take to get back to the same level of fitness attained before having taken more than 5 complete days off is 2 to 1… (Will take 12 workout days to come back from a 6 days off period)

There is nothing wrong with taking 2 to 3 days off and it is often good to help the body and mind recover. But once your “rest days” are coming close to a week – off, you should remember that it will take you up to 2 weeks to get back to the level of fitness you have worked so hard for…

My advice to all my clients is to STAY CONSISTENT and even if life seems too busy to exercise today… a quick 20 to 30 minutes workout of your choice, every other day, in which you move your muscles and burn some calories will do your body and mind a ton of good!  And from experience, I can tell you that once you begin to exercise, you will often find that time flies by and a planned 20 minutes workout will end up taking 60 minutes.

Healthy thoughts for 2014!