INTRODUCING: Affirmagrams!

We’ve often said that health is a complex interplay of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual fitness and that, as a company, we are committed to supporting people as they work on all aspects of their personal health journey.

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Whether it be by working a sweat in the gym, challenging your mind in book club, growing your social network over a coffee in the lounge, or providing free fitness opportunities to enhance mental health, we are always looking for ways to expand the ways in which we address comprehensive health.

And, of course, we love to find ways that are not only unique and innovative- but that are also fun and a little silly, kind of like we are!

We are super excited to be launching the #GenFitFam Affirmagrams!

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Wait! What the heck is an “Affirmagram”?

What a wonderful question! You’ve heard of telegrams before, right? Well an Affirmagram works the same way.

Inspired by the science of positive affirmations and the importance of social validation to our mental health, our Affirmagram program will allow you to send and receive positive messages from community members (or from yourself if you feel the need for a pick me up!), all the while raising money to help fund our ACCESS class, a free weekly class that is designed to help remove economic barriers to fitness programming.

There are 12 different Affirmagram themes: Wish, Love Life, Carpe Diem, Smile, Thank You, For You, Be Happy, Shine, Love, Hope, Dream and Happy Day.

The cards are located on the shelf in the lobby area, beside the collection bin. Each box contains 30 individually sealed pop open cards with individual messages hidden inside.

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On the back of these little cards, there is a space for writing the recipients name and a personal message.

Send an Affirmagram in 4 simple steps:

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  1. Pick Your Affirmagram Theme

  1. Write your message (don’t forget to write the recipient’s name)

  2. Choose your donation amount ($1.00 minimum, $2.00 recommended)

  3. Slip your donation and card into the collection bin

Marsha and Zita will check the collection bin daily, and will ensure that your special message makes it way to its intended recipient at their next class!

And that’s it!

It’s that simple to make someone’s day, and help us to fund free fitness programming while you do it!

Generate has PRIDE!

Welcome #PRIDE!

This sign hangs on the door of our PT room.

At Generate Fitness, we not only celebrate diversity and inclusion, we prioritize it by committing ourselves to being a safe and welcoming space for people of all backgrounds, regardless of age, race, gender, orientation, and ability level.

We are, and always have been, inclusive in our hiring practices. Our team of trainers and instructors includes several members of the LGTBQ2IA+ community, as well as several POC and Disabled fitness professionals.

We offer free and low cost access to fitness programming, operate @diversifityeg, a non profit serving disabled community members and their families, and volunteer our time for multiple organizations that work closely with our most marginalized folks.

We are a body positive, fat affirming, weight neutral space where all body experiences are recognized as being valid and worthy of respect.

We don't just celebrate Pride.

We live it.

Every day.

Happy Pride Month, Edmonton.

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Understanding Reversibility: If you don't use it, you lose it

The following post is the third installment in a five post series called “Understanding The Principles Of Fitness”. This post concerns the principle of Reversibility. Previous posts address Adaptation and Progressive Overload, and Specificity. Future posts will address the Principles of Variability, and Individuality.

Last week, I was working with a client who had taken a few weeks off of training for a holiday. Shortly thereafter, she got sick with a cold, which also put her back in her training schedule. When she finally was able to return to training with me, she was shocked at how hard everything felt and how much more winded she was becoming at exercises that had previously felt much easier.

”How can this be? I’ve only been gone 4 weeks? Why do I feel like I am starting over completely?”

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I assured her that, while it might feel like she was completely starting over, this wasn’t the case. But I also had to explain that if she was feeling like her fitness had taken a pretty big step backwards, it was because it had.

In fitness, we talk an awful lot about progression, and about how we get stronger, faster, and more powerful when we train with regularity, consistency and intensity. However, we don’t always take the time to explain that the opposite is also true.

Of all the hard to swallow health pills there, the hardest one is very likely: if you don’t use it, you lose it. In fitness, we refer to this as the principle of reversibility.

In order to fully understand how reversibility works, it is first important to distinguish the necessary component of recovery from the less necessary and often harmful components of inactivity/ de-conditioning.

When the body trains, the muscles undergo damage. Don’t worry, it’s not a bad thing and the body is well equipped to deal with this damage and rebuild itself. As we saw in the post regarding progressive adaptation, this is actually a fundamental aspect of growth and it is the process of healing that actually allows us to grow stronger, faster, more powerful and more flexible.

Ensuring you get enough sleep can be a critical component of your training program.

Ensuring you get enough sleep can be a critical component of your training program.

Fundamental to understanding this process is the principle of recovery, or the period of time in which the body is at rest and able to focus its energy on rebuilding the damage done to the tissues. Recovery can take several forms, the most meaningful of which is sleep. (Yes, sleep is actually critical to your fitness and health goals. We will talk more about that in a future post!). Recovery can also be passive, where you take an entire day off of training altogether, or active, where you engage in lower intensity activities that are not designed to inflict significant additional damage to the working tissues. Failure to allow an adequate amount of time for tissue recovery can lead to serious health conditions, including over training syndrome,

Recovery is a fundamental aspect of fitness training, and absolutely critical to improving your over health. However, there is a relatively thin line between recovery and de-training. De-training occurs when we take prolonged breaks from our regularly training routines. This can happen as the result of an illness or injury, or just because life sometimes takes us out of the gym for a few weeks at a time.

How quickly a body begins to de-train depends on a large number of variables, including but not limited to age, fitness level, how long you have been training and the specific type of training. Well conditioned athletes who have structured periods of de-training (sometimes referred to as deloading) will generally feel the affects less intensely, whereas newer exercisers will feel the deconditioning effects in a faster, more profound way.

Not limited to losses in cardiopulmonary capacity (your ability to pump blood and circulate oxygen through your system effectively) and lean muscle mass, de-conditioning can also affect other physiological components of health including blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar regulation.

When training for endurance performance, many athletes will include weeks in their program dedicated to strategically reducing their training l

When training for endurance performance, many athletes will include weeks in their program dedicated to strategically reducing their training l

According to Adam Tzur, author of The Science of Detraining: How long can you take a break from the gym before you lose muscle mass, strength, and endurance, detraining effects can be felt in as little as 2-3 weeks. Muscles start to atrophy after two to three weeks, though evidence indicates that these gains can be more quickly recovered with newer athletes. Simlarly, aerobic capacity can be impacted by up to 25% in four weeks, and flexibility can be decreased by up to 30% in as little as a month.

While there may be advantages to taking on a period of deloading, particularly for athletes or for people beginning to experience physical exhaustion, these should e executed strategically and with an understanding that there will be a cost to performance and progress.

Rather than completely stopping all training, most exercisers would benefit more from taking on a reduce maintenance training schedule in which typically involves training at a reduce frequency (less times per week), duration (less time per session), volume (less work load per session), or intensity (less difficulty in the work performed). A lightened training schedule can greatly preserve your fitness levels, either maintaining them entirely or significantly slowly the de-conditioning process.

So, long story short: Next time you decide to take a few weeks off from the gym, make sure you remember to include some activity during your break- even if it`s just short bouts of strength or aerobic training, to keep your progress in tip top shape!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Zita Dube-Lockhart (BA/D. HS, CSEP CPT, NASM CES, AFAA GFI) is known for her voracious appetite for t̶a̶c̶o̶s̶ knowledge and her unquenchable t̶h̶i̶r̶s̶t̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶w̶i̶n̶e̶ passion for creating accessible fitness opportunities for every body and everyone.

Understanding Specificity: Practice Makes Perfect

The following post is the second in a five post series called “Understanding The Principles Of Fitness”. This post concerns the principle of Specificity. Future posts will address the Principles of Reversibility, Variability, and Individuality.

If you want to learn to jump higher, eventually your feet need to actually leave the ground!

If you want to learn to jump higher, eventually your feet need to actually leave the ground!

This May, the Generate Fitness team has decided to explore “getting comfortable with discomfort”. There are so many ways in life that this phrase applies, and the gym is no exception. The simple, cliche, and sometimes hard to accept, truth is that nothing changes unless you do.

Last week, we took at look at the fitness principles of adaptation and progressive overload, and how these two phenomenons related back to forcing your body to always feel challenged and pushed. Most of our growth lies in how much effort we are putting into our work, and fitness is no exception.

But what about those times where you feel like all you do is work harder and harder, and still don’t seem to feel like your progress is in a rut? Or you really want to improve at one specific type of training, but find that nothing you do is working for you. Well, it is entirely possible that you are working as hard as you can, but on the wrong things.

Today, we’re going to explore the principle of specificity, or- as I like to call it- “practice makes perfect!”

Training to be an exceptional goaltender in hockey is vastly different from training to be a defensemen, and even more different than the training done to be an elite level runner.

Training to be an exceptional goaltender in hockey is vastly different from training to be a defensemen, and even more different than the training done to be an elite level runner.

In exercise science, specificity refers to the fact that the body adapts to the specific stimulus and stress to which it is exposed. What does that mean exactly? Well, it means that if you want to get better at something, you need to work on it, or on its specific elements.

That’s right, folks. This is just about the the most brutal it gets: No amount of squats will make you better at burpees. Squats will absolutely allow you to improve in certain elements of a burpee, but without the upper torso engagement and closed kinetic chain component, the squat is simply a completely different exercise that works on completely different elements of your strength.

The same applies for any other skill such as flexibility, balance or coordination, or activity, be it running, cycling, kickboxing, dance. You will only improve in ways that you train yourself to improve in. Hockey players must focus on various elements of fitness training that are related to their sport. And being great at hockey does not necessarily equate being an amazing long distance runner. The two actually have very little in common besides requiring a lot of aerobic endurance.

It’s easy to understand how a sport or activity might require specific training, but it becomes a little harder to apply that same principle to our own individual training, especially when participating in group fitness. Most of us don’t have specific training goals beyond wanting to be healthier in an overall, holistic sense. Some of us may want to improve our aerobic endurance, or increase our muscle mass, but even these are much less specified than the training goals of performance athletes.

And since, in group fitness, you don’t control your program design, and may have some movements that are outside of your scope of ability, your ability to manage specificity may be even further limited.

This is why working with instructors who are highly qualified and capable of designing well-rounded programs that have appropriate modifications that will accurately reflect the movement patterns being trained becomes so very important. In part 2 of Specificity, we will explore in more detail how using the For Every Body Movement Scaffolding System, or other program design approaches can ensure that you are giving your body all the tools it needs to progress in a well rounded way that is specific to your needs.

Zita Dube-Lockhart (CSEP CPT, NASM CES, AFAA GFI) is known for her voracious appetite for t̶a̶c̶o̶s̶ knowledge and her unquenchable t̶h̶i̶r̶s̶t̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶w̶i̶n̶e̶ passion for creating accessible fitness opportunities for every body and everyone.