Monthly Archives: August 2014

5 Ways to Save Money On Personal Training

I’m always looking for ways to make high quality training more accessible to people who are seriously looking to change their lives for the better.

Contrary to popular belief, personal training is not as expensive as some people think it is. Not only that, but provided that you get the right trainer, you will achieve your fitness goals and you will see why it’s a great life-changing investment for you.


Integrating safe forms of exercise into your daily routine now is a great way to prevent many costly health problems down the road.

Although you don’t really want to be a price shopper when it comes to your health and well-being, you can still find high quality personal training without paying an arm and a leg.

Here is how:

1. Split a training session with a friend/co-worker/family member. There are many advantages to small group personal training and you can read 5 of them here.

2. Explore your pricing options. If you found the right trainer, check out all their pricing options before writing them off as “too expensive”. Maybe you can’t afford to train 3 times a week, but you could afford one time per week or twice a month just to stay on track.

3. Ask the trainer about sharing a package with your friends. Generally, the more sessions you buy, the lower the cost per session. For example, I let people share the bigger packages with their friends/family/coworkers. So, if someone buys 36 sessions, if they have two other people that want training, they can each get 12 sessions and split the total cost of 36 sessions by 3.

4. Get in on a promotion. Once in a while, some trainers will run contests and special deals where you can save money and/or win free sessions. I’ve done that before and found that people love a good deal. Whenever I can, I will always seek ways to help clients save money while at the same time get stellar results. I’ve also ran Groupon deals to help people save some money on my training services.

5. Refer others. Most trainers have some sort of a referral program. For example, I offer a free session or cash rewards to any client who refers a new client to me (amongst other incentives). Some of my clients have told me that they absolutely love my referral program, especially since some of them ended up with more than 5 free sessions.

If it benefits my clients in any way, I will keep doing it.

Please keep in mind that these are some of my examples on how I’ve helped my clients save money. Referral programs and policies differ from trainer to trainer so my advice is to always ask your chosen trainer the details of their promotions.

If you found this useful in any way, please share.

If you want your shot at winning a FREE session, sign up HERE.

11 Amazing Athletes Share Their Keys to Success

Ever wondered what is the key to success? Many people have different theories as to how people succeed in athletics and in fitness. Some people say that “good genetics” is the key to athletic success, while others say that “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”.

Over the past few weeks, I decided to do my own research. So, I contacted all the good athletes I know and asked them what has been the key to their successes. Their answers are guaranteed to inspire all of you. Read on to find out.

1. “My first marathon at 3:28 and tenth marathon at 2:28 were 11 years apart with 3 babies between, which provided the necessary physical and mental breaks from training and racing. Consistency in a healthy diet while gradually increasing the quantity and quality of my training has been key to my success. Of course, along the way: Set goal. Achieve. Repeat!” – Krista DuChene , (pictured just below), one of the top elite Canadian female marathoners.


2. “The first key to success for me has been never giving up on my goals. So many other kickboxers tried to get a world title but they didn’t have the determination to never give up. The second key is hard work. I think I’ve worked harder than any of my opponents during our 7-8 week training camps.”- Gabriel Varga, (pictured below), Professional Kickboxer at GLORY World Series & two-time Pro World Champion.


3. “I attribute the key to my own personal success to consistency (continuous training without injury), determination (completing workouts even when I might not feel like it), motivation (setting goals each year), hard work (to improve oneself in anything, it usually takes hard work) and of course my coach (I wouldn’t be where I am today without him). I believe my success on the track as a child also sparked a competitive nature at a young age that I carried into adulthood where I want to be the best I can possibly be.”- Erin Burrett, (pictured below) Asics Canada sponsored elite runner


4. “I believe the key to my success is consistent, hard work. A healthy running form and proper coaching have allowed me to increase my training load over the past ten years with very few setbacks. Because I took up serious training later in life, I had a relatively small window of time to be competitive therefore consistency was always a priority. I’ve always been fortunate enough to be surrounded by supportive family and friends who encouraged me to go as far as I could. This helped me stay motivated to train really hard and recover like a true elite athlete even though that status was beyond reach.”Marilyn Arsenault, (pictured below) one of Canada’s top female masters distance runners & multiple record holder


5. “There are so many factors that account for my success as a runner. I suppose it’s a combination of years of commitment, hard work, and consistency. Then you need the support of amazing friends, family team mates and of course a great coach. I love to run, whether it be training or competing- this undying love and passion for running, has definitely been a huge part of my success. Gotta love what you do!”- Natasha Wodak, (pictured below) elite Canadian runner & podium finisher in multiple events of various distances


6. “Sport is all about consistency and specificity. You don’t have to do world class workouts all the time, but especially for endurance sport, the longer you can train at a high level, the better off you’ll be. You also have to think about what your strengths and weaknesses are and what sort of event you are training for and challenge your training to fit that.”- Adam Campbell, (pictured below) elite sponsored ultra-marathon runner & mountain runner, multiple podium finishes


7. “I’d say the key to my success and recent breakthrough has been simply stringing together months of consistent solid workouts, slowly building and getting a little bit stronger every practice. Prior to this year, my training had been somewhat of a roller coaster thanks to injuries, accidents, and downright bad luck.  My coach has always said “Whoever stays healthy the longest runs the fastest”, and I guess he is right!”-Jessica O’Connell, Canadian 5k Champion & Commonwealth Games 2014 5000m Top 10 finisher.


8. “You have to love it. You can’t do something well enough to be with the best, if it isn’t done for the right reasons. I think you have to love what you do to be the best you can be at something.”-Kirsten Sweetland, (pictured below) triathlete & Canadian Commonwealth Games 2014 silver medalist


9. “Three things come to mind when I think of what really helped my career. The first is consistency- day to day, week to week, year to year and over two decades I focused on being consistent- consistent with the training, consistent with my attitude, consistent with my intent. Knowing what I needed was crucial. It’s easy to get sucked into what other people are doing- I was good at figuring out how much I needed in terms of workload and recovery. Persistence- like anything it certainly did not happen over night. It took years and years and years of work to get there.”-Jasper Blake, (pictured below) world class Ironman triathlete


10.  “A true passion for bettering MYSELF both inside and out has allowed me to bring a more well rounded mindset to training clients more proficiently. Building solid relationships with the people I work with. Learning their WHY’s and really participating in their journey with them.”- Kyla Gagnon, (pictured below; Jamie Watling photo) NPAA Elite-pro bikini modelKylaGagnon

11. “I feel fortunate to have had the chance to be involved in sports. The success I have had comes from a few things. First, I had a very supportive family. My dad was always out at races and encouraging me in all sporting activities. I had a couple of helpful coaches that taught me a lot. Finally, I am not exactly the super talented star, but I have an incredible work ethic and my secret weapon has always been my consistency.”- Craig Odermatt (pictured below), elite masters’ distance runner


As we can see, there are a few takeaways when it comes to athletic success:

First: love what you are doing; pick a sport that you are truly passionate about and do it only because you love it, not because you want recognition.

Second: consistently work hard, but also recover properly in order to remain uninjured.

Third: learn from other people who have been there and done that, such as quality coaches and other athletes.

All of these athletes have inspired me in many different ways.

So many people out there quit before they find out what their true potential is. If you are an aspiring athlete reading this, or maybe you are just getting into fitness, all I want to say is: stick with what you love and never give up. If their words inspired you, please share 🙂

PS. I don’t own any of the photos, I just found them online.


5 Reasons Why Small Group Training Is Awesome

Have you ever wanted to try personal training but thought it was intimidating or too expensive?

If yes, then read on to find out how personal training can be both fun and cost effective.

As a trainer myself, I always try to seek ways to help clients get in the best shape of their lives without breaking their budgets.

If I can find a way to give someone a break on the costs, I will.

This is where small group personal training comes in. Here are 5 reasons why it’s amazing:

1. It’s cheaper than 1-on-1 training. Bring a friend (or two) and your cost per session decreases drastically. Therefore, finances are no longer a barrier to getting fit.

2. It’s fun. Having a few extra people join you for a workout increases your level of accountability (you’re not in this alone), friendly competition, camaraderie and just plain good fun.

3. You get a lot of attention from the trainer. Small group training allows you to get more individual attention from the trainer because there are usually only 2 or 3 people in the group, as opposed to 20 or more (which is the case with some group fitness classes). Therefore, you get the best of both worlds.

4. It’s motivating. Seeing one or two other people working out hard with you encourages you to push yourself. It’s great to have supportive people around you who are also working hard to reach their goals.

5. You’re more likely to stay on track. When you are committed to doing small group sessions, you are less likely to miss them because apart from making a commitment to the trainer, you’ve made a commitment to the other person (or people) that is/are sharing the sessions with you. You’ll also have another person (or two) that can to the gym with you on days when you are not working with the trainer.

So, if you have a friend (or two) that have similar fitness goals and are at a similar fitness level to yours, then group personal training is a great option for you.

If you don’t have any friends/colleagues/family members with similar fitness goals and levels, then ask the trainer to match you up with someone who is. Therefore, you will save money and potentially make a new friend.

There is no way to lose with small group personal/partner personal training.


SUCCESS Story: Congratulations, Steve Adams! 10k and Half Marathon Personal Bests

I first met Steve at the gym in the beginning of December 2013. It all started when we got chatting about running, core workouts and other fitness-related topics.

Later on, he inquired about training with me. More specifically, he wanted to improve his running times. He committed to 10 training sessions, which is roughly 10 weeks, as he wanted to meet me once a week.

Since he was already in good shape when he started, I told him to continue his lifting program the was he has been doing it. Clearly, he was enjoying it, so all I had to do was work with him on his running speed.

Here are 3 things that helped him improve his running:

First, I added intervals and 1km repeats to his program. When we did those, I had him running faster than what he was used to.

Second, I had him doing faster tempo runs (between 3km and 7km) at his desired 10k race pace or, preferably, faster.

Third, I told him to keep on doing his longer runs on his own, but just a little bit faster than what he was doing.

About 5 weeks into our training program, Steve decided to run a 10k race. I said it was a great opportunity for him to get a personal best because I believed he would.


Above: Steve at a race.

I was THRILLED to get a text from him telling me that he achieved a personal best of 42:41 in the 10k and that he enjoyed the run. He also said that his previous personal best in the 10k was 46:46 and it felt challenging to run at that pace.

I was extremely happy to learn that not only is he running faster, but he is also finding it easier.

Shortly thereafter, he had an almost 20 minute improvement in his half marathon time. He started out with a half marathon personal best of 2:05:36 and ended up with a personal best of 1:46:29.

Here is what Steve had to say about working with me:

“After 10 sessions with Yana, I improved my 10k time from a painful 46:46 down to an enjoyable 42:41 – All while continuing a fairly intense lifting program. I also improved my half marathon time from 2:05:36 down to 1:46:29. On top of getting much faster in a short amount of time, her style of training made me so much more resilient and strong in my races as well as training. She’s awesome!”

I’m very proud of his accomplishments as a runner. He was great to work with and I know that he will succeed in whatever he puts his mind to.

Interview with Triathlete Kirsten Sweetland

Kirsten Sweetland’s story is nothing short of inspiring. About 7 years ago, Kirsten became the youngest Canadian to win a World Cup race at the age of 18. This major win made her a rising star in the triathlon world and she was well on track to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Unfortunately, she fainted 400m away from the finish line of a qualifying race and therefore she missed out on the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Ever since then, and for the next five years, Kirsten suffered from one injury after another.  At one point, she wasn’t sure if she would ever get an opportunity to race again and realize her true potential as an athlete. She suffered many stress fractures, a torn plantar fascia and food allergies.

However, despite all the setbacks, Kirsten continued her pursuit of athletic excellence and it all came together for her on July 24, 2014 when she crossed the finish line to take the silver medal in the women’s triathlon at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. She won Canada’s first medal in this year’s games, making the whole country proud.


Less than two weeks before the Commonwealth Games, Kirsten took the bronze medal in a World Triathlon Series event in Hamburg.


Her story may be one of the best comeback stories I’ve ever heard. At this rate, I foresee great things for her in Rio 2016.

Kirsten’s perseverance is a great lesson to everyone, from beginners to elite athletes. She is living proof that any challenge can be overcome when you are genuinely passionate about what you are doing. She never gave up and that’s admirable.

I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to interview Kirsten and share it with you.


Yana: What achievements in your career are you most proud of?
KS: Junior World Championship gold medal 2006, Mooloolaba World Cup gold medal 2009, Hamburg World Triathlon Series bronze medal 2014 and Commonwealth Games silver medal 2014.


Yana: At what point in your life did you decide that you wanted to become a professional triathlete?
KS: The first time I wrote it on paper. I think I was 9!
Yana: What do you feel has (have) been the biggest challenge(s) that you’ve had to overcome to get to where you are today?
KS: Figuring out my body! I have had more injuries and unfortunate situations than anyone would believe! Many, many stress fractures due to an undiagnosed leg length discrepancy, torn ligaments, concussion, severe late onset food sensitivities. You name it, I’ve had it!
Yana: In the midst of all the setbacks that you’ve faced, what motivated you to keep going?
KS: I’m not really sure, to be honest. It’s just that I truly love it and I just worked towards getting back from one setback at a time. I think if I had looked at all that I said above as a whole, it would have been pretty depressing, but one thing at a time seems manageable.
Yana: What aspects of your training have contributed to major improvements (personal bests)?
KS: Consistent training without much time off from injury or illness.
Yana: What piece of advice do you have for athletes who would like to take their sport to the next level?
KS: You have to love it. You can’t do something well enough to be with the best, if it isn’t done for the right reasons. I think you have to love what you do to be the best you can be at something.
Yana: If you weren’t a triathlete, what would you be?
KS: Well, I would still “be” Kirsten. I feel like I “do” triathlon, but I’m not defined by it. So anything else I took interest in would be something I “do” not something I “am” if that makes sense. I would like to study chiropractics one day and hopefully practice that somewhere down the road!      
Yana: What is your ultimate career goal?
KS: To express my true potential, get the very best out of myself, whatever that may be. I think that would be the best feeling no matter what the result was 🙂
To learn more about Kirsten, check out her blog and follow her on Twitter.
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