Difference In The Decades - Strength Training As You Age

Turning 34 this year made me think back over the last decade of my personal fitness journey and how things have changed over the years. If you know me, you know I'm always striving to get better and strength training was one way I could channel that feeling of achievement, of lifting more...but as I got older, I had to learn some hard lessons and adapt along the way - It wasn't easy, but the lessons were invaluable and helped me take a much smarter training approach with myself and my clients for the long term - here's what I mean:

In my 20's, I could go to the gym to lift weights for 1 hour sessions about 5 days a week on a regular basis and recover enough to do it all over again the next week. No cardio, this was just heavy lifting... I loved and competed in power lifting, which included dead-lifting, squatting or bench pressing as much weight as I could for 1 rep. I would do sets of 1-5 reps, rest up to 5 minutes and do it all over again for sometimes up to 10 sets with a single exercise! Sounds boring to some but I couldn't get enough of the feeling of getting stronger and lifting more and more weight every week. This was great and my body felt invincible... of course until my late 20's settled in and I started getting injuries. It was a hard lesson, but a very important one - to understand my body's limits and be smarter about managing my training loads plus planning more rest. Many studies show you hit your muscular peak by the age of 25 and then begin declining, slowly at first and then devastatingly fast later on. By the time you hit 80, nearly half of your muscle will have disappeared especially without any strength training. This was a really hard pill for me to swallow, but being a trainer I had to prepare for the inevitable and do it in the best way possible.

In my 30's, I repeated less of my past mistakes and rarely over trained. For someone who still had a goal of being unreasonably strong, I learned to drop my strength training days to about 3/week, incorporate more cardio so that I could be better at sports and keep up with my kids. Also, I was injured way less. It's hard - when you know you couldn't do what you used to. I see this in my clients all the time. To some, aging just sucks... but the good news is you don't have to see a significant decline or hardly any with age if you train the RIGHT way and know when to take breaks. Also, there's a myth that heavy weight lifting is only for athletes or that it will build bulky muscle. Quite the contrary, heavy lifting (<5 reps) can be extremely beneficial to people of any age if done under the right progressions.

So how does this all apply to you? Well assuming that your goals are similar to most in that you want to sustain an optimal level of muscle mass and body fat for your age, stay fit to perform all the activities you enjoy, and live a long life without disabilities - here are some of my tips/recommendations from working with over a thousand clients, and making a guinea pig out of myself..

In your 20's
Exercise: 30-45 minutes of focused strength training followed by 15-30 minutes of HIIT cardio 4-6x/week

The great thing about being in your 20s is that your body is so strong, you recover faster and can get away with abusing it more with back to back strength days. The bad thing is that you often do, punishing it with late nights, bad eating habits, and not listening to your body's aches can eventually catch up. Various strength training methods such as super sets, and heavy lifting (<5 reps) will work wonders without requiring long rest periods between workouts. 

In your 30's
Exercise: 30-45 minutes of focused strength training followed by 15-30 minutes of HIIT cardio 3-5x/week

With the 30s, you start noticing that weight doesn't come off quite as easily as it used to and it takes longer to recover between workouts. This is because after age 20, your basal metabolism drops by 1 to 2 percent every decade, and as lean muscle decreases and body fat increases, adding cardio to your routine becomes more important. Also, you want to start taking 24-36 hours of rest between heavy lifting days.  

In your 40's
Exercise: 30 minutes of focused strength training followed by 15-20 minutes of HIIT cardio 2-4x/week

This is the decade where some see significant changes in their bodies with hormones and an even faster slowing of metabolism as lean muscle mass decreases.  "After 40 and certainly after 50, virtually all women find that they gain fat more easily in the torso -- below the bra, through the triceps area, on the back, and in the belly" says Pamela Peeke, MD.  Strength training for this group is vital to build a solid foundation of strength/muscle for the later years.  However, you want to be more mindful when it comes to over-training, limit heavy lifting(<5 reps) to 1-2 days/week.

In your 50's and beyond
Exercise: 30 minutes of focused strength training (heavy/light) followed by 15-20 minutes of HIIT cardio 2-4x/week
Stretching and rolling is key daily to maintain mobility.

If your metabolism feels like it's slowing to a crawl, it's not in your mind. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh studying 541 midlife women found an average gain of 12 pounds eight years after menopause. If you haven't began strength training yet, this is definitely the time to start. Aim to take 24-48 hours rest between strength days as recovery takes longer and alternate between heavy/light strength days.  Only do heavy lifting if you've done proper progressions usually with the help of a coach.  

The good news is a lot of the changes that come with aging can be prevented if you train the right way by managing the main training variables: muscle groups, load/intensity, frequency and rest. In my earlier years (even when knowing better), I just trained as hard and as often as I could while paying the price later on. With strength training, there's a lot that goes with the saying train smarter not harder.

I've seen a 60 year old client increase their strength by over 40% in a span of 6 weeks by just doing focused strength training 2x/week. Strength training (with occasional heavy lifting) is vital to life's demands, to stay fit, and to keep off weight.

Macro-Morphing: Eating For Your Body Type

We all have a body-type or combination(s) of body-types.   And so, should different body types all exercise and eat the same?  Of course not… each body type(or combination of) will have a different reaction to varying macro-nutrition ratios.  If you don’t understand what macro’s are yet, here’s an article that explains what macro’s are and how to apply the principles of macros to your diet (Click Here)

We are typically not 100% of one body type, most of us are combinations of two body types usually with a primary and secondary characteristic. We use the term macro-morphing to help you understand how to eat according to your body type with the right set of macro-nutrients.  Below is a look/description of the 3 different body types and general characteristics of each:

Ectomorph: are naturally thin with skinny limbs.

Celebrity Example: Lance Armstrong

Mesomorph: are naturally muscular and athletic.

Celebrity Example: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Endomorph: are naturally broad and thick.

Celebrity Example: Jennifer Lopez



(from ISSA)

Ectomorphs - 25% protein / 55% carb / 20% fat

Carb timing ideas: Should include lots of carb-dense foods around exercise.Has a high carb tolerance so usually has a harder time gaining weight, especially muscle. Veggies and/or fruits (~3:1 serving ratio) should be eaten at each meal.

  • 50% or more of calories should come from carbs, protein 2nd, fat 3rd

  • Able to process carbs very efficiently and turn into energy without storing excess body fat.

  • Be sure to eat multiple times throughout the day, your meals should be 5-6 times a day.

Mesomorphs - 30% protein / 40% carb / 30% fat

Carb timing ideas: Should include carb-dense foods around exercise. Has moderate carb tolerance so should consume minimally processed carbs in moderation. Veggies and/or fruits (~4:1 serving ratio) should be eaten at each meal.

  • Balanced macro diet, e.g. mostly equal across protein, fat, and carbs

  • Maintenance easy for this body type, especially with a close eye on protein. As long as you stay within your macros/calories you’ll be ok, however your body is accustomed to being active so an inactive lifestyle will still lead to weight gain.

Endomorphs - 35% protein / 25% carb / 40% fat

Carb timing ideas: Almost all carb-dense foods should be included around exercise. Has low carb tolerance so should be very careful to limit carbs if the goal is weight loss or maintenance. Veggies and/or fruits (~5:1 serving ratio) should be eaten at each meal.

  • Guaranteed to gain weight if you go over your calories for the day/week. Need a close eye on macros is very important for this body type.

  • Aim to eat most of your carbs in the morning. Be aware of sugar content in fruit and moderate portions of fruit.

“When trying to lose weight or body fat, there’s no perfect macro law.  No macro mix can save you if you eat way too many calories or way too few.”

Your body type, metabolism and weekly physical activity level all have some bearing on your ratios. Also, you must pay attention to portion control and eating too much food(even if it’s healthy) can inhibit your goals. Simply understand that your body type can have a bearing on how easily you reach your fitness goals however don’t let your body type be an excuse for not reaching your goals.. These ratios are a starting range for most body-types and don't be afraid to experiment for better results. Get to know your body!

Nutrition (Macro’s) for Performance Vs Weight Loss

Proper nutrition guidelines are the foundation for optimal fitness and physique.  Specifically, looking at macro-nutrients in your diet can be the make or break in achieving your goals vs just looking at calories alone.  Macro ratio’s are the different %’s of fat/protein/carbs in your diet.  

If you’re just starting from scratch and looking for weight loss, it’s important to track your macro’s so that you’re losing an optimal amount of fat while preserving muscle mass.  Similarly, for performance (if you’re someone who already exercises regularly, have an ideal body fat range and high level of fitness) macros are important to track if your goal is to increase muscle mass and/or improve fitness. 

Eating for Weight Loss

When it comes to general weight loss, a simple and common approach is to decrease your daily caloric intake by 500-1000 calories/day based on your prescribed basal metabolic rate(BMR) or how many calories you burn per day.  By doing this and adding a HIIT workout in 3-5x/week you’re likely to lose about 2lbs/week.  Let’s look below for an example…

Caloric need varies from 1,000-4,000 calories/day

Depends on age, sex, weight, activity and more…

An example for our members…

Male 40 yrs:  BMR = 1,800 cal - Revive Class(650 cal)

Female 40 yrs:  BMR = 1,400 - Revive Class (450 cal)


In the above example, if you’re a 40 year old male who eats 1800 calories/day and do a HIIT workout, you’ll create a caloric deficit of about 650 calories.  However, not all calories are created the same and so we need to focus on our macros: protein, carbs and fats.  Without getting too far into what each macro is, you can look at the chart below for recommendations on Macro ranges for weight loss. Optimal protein levels are very important during a weight loss plan so that you focus on losing body fat vs muscle. An important reason why tracking your macro’s may be more useful than simply calories alone.

Muscle Gain can be used synonymous with performance

Muscle Gain can be used synonymous with performance

Eating to Perform

If you’ve already got the above under control, it’s time to dig into the difference between fueling your activities, versus eating to lose weight.

Your ideal volume of various nutrients per day will be determined by your daily activities. As long as you’re eating high-quality, whole foods, you can easily adjust the amount you’re eating to suit your needs.

Making a point of eating 1-2 hours before your training session and within an hour of your training session ending will do a whole host of good things for your body. It will:

  • Replenish the muscle glycogen that you lose during activity

  • Reduce muscle loss

  • Increase muscle protein synthesis

  • Reduce post-training soreness and fatigue, enhance recovery

  • Reduce cortisol levels

When eating for performance, both the pre and post training meal should definitely contain both carbs and protein to give you the maximum benefit.

So what’s the difference between eating to perform and eating to lose weight?

If you look at the chart above, Muscle Gain is synonymous with performance so generally speaking you need a higher percentage of carbohydrates and most likely a higher caloric intake as well.  If muscle gain is part of your goals, you need carbs pre- and post- training, but you’ll also need more of them more of the time. If you’d like to lose some body fat/weight while preventing muscle loss, it is typically done at a slower rate than someone just wanting to lose weight and can be done by adjusting your caloric intake.

As an athlete you need to give yourself the proper amount and type (macro’s) of fuel.

How Do You Know The Difference?

If you see more than two pounds disappear in a week, you’re dealing with more than just fat loss. When people start upping their workouts and cutting calories, they’ll see fat loss pretty quickly—but it shouldn’t be at a rapid rate for a performance goal.. This two-pounds-a-week is most everybody’s threshold for fat burn. If you drop 5+ pounds in a week, the vast majority of that will be water weight and a little bit of muscle loss as well and these results are more suitable for someone wanting more dramatic weight loss.

For more help on nutrition, you can email us at contact@revivelifestylefitness.com or click the link below to schedule a meeting!

Ingrid E. - When I Finally Decided to Commit to Revive's 6 Week Challenge

When I finally decided to commit to the Revive 6 week challenge, my only goal was to lose some body fat and reset my fitness and nutrition habits after a pretty indulgent summer. As the weeks went by, I felt the positive effects this challenge was having not only on my body but on my mental and emotional health as well. Which ultimately brings me to why I became a Revive member in the first place.

I started working out with Mike in January 2015; it was before he had the studio and we were doing outdoor bootcamp. I had just lost my mother in May 2014 and relocated to Calgary with my family in July that same year. Through all the grief and stress of those two events alone, I managed to gain over 20lbs in about 6 months. I was unhappy, unhealthy and in a bad place mentally and emotionally. I came to realize that I didn’t want to “eat my feelings” any longer and I wanted to be the person I used to be, maybe even better. Meeting Mike and becoming part of an exercise group that included women who were caring, understanding and also fun to work out with, helped me lose the weight and want to continue on my wellness journey.

I had contemplated participating in the 6 week challenge a few times but never had the courage to try. I knew how important the nutrition part of the challenge was and I was more than intimidated. I decided it was going to be a birthday gift to myself and that for 6 weeks I was going to be committed. Having Kiran as my coach was awesome. She answered every question, guided me every step of the way and was my own personal cheerleader. I found the nutrition plan easy to follow and the recipes were delicious. I worked out 4 times a week, which helped with my results.  It was motivating to see my fellow challengers succeed as well.

After completing the challenge, I lost 13.8lbs, 6% body fat and gained a whole new attitude regarding my health and wellness. I’m stronger, I have way more energy and I sleep better. The best and most unexpected bonus is that the inflammation around my hip due to arthritis is gone.

Thank you Mike, Kiran and everyone in the Revive community who inspired and motivated me to participate and be successful. It was so worth it!

Low Impact, HIIT Training: Maximize your Results while Minimizing your Injuries

The mentality for many of us when it comes to the gym is how can I get the best results in the shortest, most efficient amount of time.  In our search for these results, we often go to the places that offer the highest calorie burn or the workout that looks the most intense and thus why HIIT(High Intensity Interval Training) is so popular.  As important as this is, it’s also crucial to consider the longevity of our body, our joints, and how we can sustain the highest level of fitness throughout our ENTIRE life.  

A common feature to most HIIT training programs is that they are high impact based ie. involving some form of running or jumping.  High impact training can produce great results but can often come with a higher chance of injury. Low impact training, on the other hand, can deliver the same great results with a lesser chance of chronic and acute injuries.

Different levels of impact defined:

LOW - IMPACT -  involves activities where one foot is still on the ground or stable surface (ie. rowing and cycling)

LOW - IMPACT - involves activities where one foot is still on the ground or stable surface (ie. rowing and cycling)

HIGH - IMPACT - where both feet are off the ground at the same time (ie. running or jumping)



The concept of HIIT is a workout method that uses short intervals of high intensity exercise followed by periods of rest - when programmed properly, can deliver amazing results including improvement of strength, cardiovascular fitness, and reduction of body fat.  Popular workout methods such as Crossfit and traditional boot camps that incorporate HIIT training are known to deliver many of the benefits of HIIT training.   Coincidentally, almost all of these popular workout trends incorporate high impact training. High impact training typically involves repetitive movements of running, jumping and anything that puts a significant load on your joints over 2x your body weight.  High impact training does have its benefits, however when done in a group environment, can lead to a high occurrence of injury without sufficient 1on1 coaching.

Running, for example has been known as a form of exercise with a very high incidence of low body injuries.  This is not to say running is bad for you, but it is recommended to get personal coaching and planned progressions for optimal performance and to minimize injuries.

“Half of the running population gets injured in some way every year, and this estimate may very well be on the low side.”

Below is chart that indicates a generalized rate of injury to results from High to Low Impact Training:

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***Results - refer to most common results from HIIT training which include increase of cardiovascular fitness, increase in muscle strength/tone, and a decrease in body fat. Results and Rate of Injury may vary in different fitness settings.


Smarter training can help you stay at your peak longer

What’s the alternative?  When you look at a model such as low impact HIIT where you can still push the body without the high forces on the joints, you get similar if not better fitness results. This means receiving all the benefits of HIIT training with a lesser chance of injury. Low impact movements are generally characterized as having one foot on the ground or stable surface - movements such as squats, step-ups, rowing, cycling are all good examples of low impact movements.   More so, today’s life expectancy is higher than ever – we may not understand the longevity of our joints in our 20’s and 30’s but preservation is key.  By “training smarter” and using low impact in our programs, we can reduce the chances of injuries, maximize gains from training and be stronger for longer. 

Tim S. - Subject: Revive is Amazing!

Imagine how we felt when an email with the above subject line landed in our Inbox. There is nothing like being reminded that we ARE making a difference in people's lives. Here is what long term client Tim had to say about Revive... 

Hi Mike,

I've been meaning to write this email for a while now, just wanted to let you know what a change Revive has had on the quality of my life.

I've always been a very active individual, exercise has been a huge part of my life, always. I started working out in grade 8, and aside from a few short forced breaks due to injury, in those 30 years I have never had a stretch beyond 2-3 weeks, usually beach vacations, when I wasn't actively doing something in a 'gym' of some sort.

I began having difficulties once I started working in a office in my mid 20's. Starting with 4 years of really bad plantar fasciitis then into a ten year period of nagging hip issues that eventually culminated into two separate incidents of lower back disk herniation's. The summer of 2016 was a low point when I suffered fairly severe sciatica. 

Through all of that time, I have stayed active, but suffered through constant discomfort/pain and required regularly physio and chiro visits. 

Things took a dramatic change for me once starting at Revive in late 2016.  I haven't needed to go for treatment once since that time. 2017 has been my first pain free year, probably since I was 30, so nearly 15 years. Here's what my past 5 years were like in regards to the number and costs of physio/chiro visits.

Year      # Visits      Cost

2013       25              $3,217

2014       24              $2,721

2015       24              $2,635

2016       44              $3,556

2017       0                 $0

2018       0                 $0

Its been a long and challenging journey to get back to place where I can be comfortably active again. I wanted to give you, and everyone a Revive, a HUGE thanks, for all that you have done for me! It's been life changing.



December Member Feature: Shannon


Shannon has been a dedicated Reviver for the past 6 months and her story is an inspiring one.  Shannon is a fitness fanatic but suffered a devastating back injury that took her out of training for nearly a year. Since finding Revive, she's gotten back on her feet and is feeling strong again. 

Her journey started with some personal training at Revive to rehab her back where she then graduated to taking classes.  Our low impact, HIIT format was the perfect fit for Shannon as she could push herself without worrying about re-injury.  The rest is history...

Tell me about your journey in health and fitness - how and when did it begin? Were you always active? Or did you start later in life?

I started getting into fitness at the age of 20. I was pretty overweight in my late teens. I decided that i wanted to make a change so I joined a gym and my fitness journey began. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with it and I haven’t stopped since!

I heard you suffered an injury.  Could you tell us more about that and why you chose Revive?

I had a horrible back injury last winter. I had to stop all fitness, which is devastating to an active person.. I would drive past revive all the time and i was curious what it was all about. So I researched it and thought to myself, this place sounds amazing and is exactly this kind of training my body needs when I am able to move again. I stopped by finally in the summer and met Mike. I started with some one on one sessions with him just to regain some strength and correct movements that I had been doing incorrect. Mike was absolutely fantastic. after working with him it didn’t take long until he said the most exciting words to me “ I feel you are ready to do the revive classes” It was music to my ears and I have been coming ever since! I just absolutely LOVE it!!

Have you noticed any changes in your health, body, or mindset since you started coming to Revive?

Absolutely! I feel much stronger all over especially my core. I have realized that fitness does not have to be high impact and you don’t need to beat yourself up to get you into great shape. Revive to me is an all over challenging fitness regimen with loving kindness for your body. Its absolutely perfect and I am so happy that I found it!

What is your favourite exercise?

KB Cleans!

Least favourite?


Describe Revive in one word?


How often should I do HIIT?

A question commonly asked at Revive is how often should I come?  When it comes to HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) training, it's definitely no walk in the park.  This means we recommend spending 15 minutes or more in your yellow or red heart rate zones to reach a state of EPOC where you're burning extra calories after the classes is finished. Many other factors come into play such as your nutrition, sleep/rest, hydration and overall stress levels.  Even to our most faithful Reviver's, we recommend 1-2 days off per week so that your body can regenerate and get stronger.  On that note, we designed our classes to be low impact so that you can maximize your fitness, look your best, while lessening the risk of injury.  

Here is a summary of training outcomes in relation to workout frequency (per week)

1-2 classes:  Improved health and weight maintainence

3-4 classes:  Improved performance/fitness and weight loss

4-6 classes:  Peak performance

***For those doing 4+ classes/week, we recommend a time frame of 4-6 weeks of that frequency with a week of active rest after.

Other Factors to consider:

Rest/Sleep:  The more consistent(average 8 hours) and deeper your sleep, the faster your recover.  During sleep/rest is when muscles repair and you actually get stronger - without sufficient rest, over training is more likely to occur.

Nutrition:  You have to fuel your body properly not only to meet your fitness goals but to aid in the post workout recovery process.

Hydration:  Water is the foundation of our bodies.  Aim for at least 2 liters/day and 2.5 liters or more on days you train.

Stress:  Exercise is considered an eustress(good stress), however when too much exercise is combined with negative stress ie. emotional, it can have a negative effect on your metabolism and hormones. 

Body Composition Scanning: What the scale isn't telling you

When it comes to our health and personal goals, too often we go to the scale as a measurement of success and betterment.  Does less pounds always equal better health?  If I lose that nagging 10lbs will I feel better? and what exactly am I losing… muscle… fat… my mind?  I know working with many personal training clients over the years that numbers on a scale only tell a part of the story. In fact, I took a BIA (body composition) scan with BioScan recently using their Evolt 360 scanner and the results were interesting to say the least…

As presumed, I had a healthy weight, good lean muscle mass and overall, a positive fitness score.  What turned out to be a good wake up call was my visceral fat rating… I was almost at risk!  To you non-fitness buffs, visceral fat is the fat we carry in our mid-section or sometimes known as the muffin top... the technician was basically saying I had a dad-bod.  A high visceral fat rating is clinically proven to be one of the leading causes to many chronic health issues and cannot be measured on a scale.   Further to that, the kind woman doing my assessment explained the causes for high visceral fat are lack of sleep, poor nutrition and stress.  So of course, I had to agree to all 3 points as life has been a little tougher since the arrival of our second child.  Having done this scan, it reminded me of how little value we get from stepping on a scale.  Also, that exercise alone isn’t the solution.  So, before you get on that scale again ask yourself if you’re getting enough rest, eating mindfully and taking time for yourself. More so, make sure you track what type of weight you’re losing (or gaining) as you may be trading fat for muscle, and that’s not such a bad thing!

Here is some other useful information I received when doing a body composition measurement

Identify personal long term health risks

A BIA can show serious risks to your health like diabetes, hormonal imbalances, cardiovascular disease etc. that are affected by high fat stores and low muscle mass

Subcutaneous fat

This is the fat underneath your abdominal wall and surrounding some of your vital organs. High amounts lead to increased blood pressure, hormonal imbalance and impairs circulation.

Skeletal muscle mass

A high level of skeletal muscle mass can help with an increased metabolic rate, higher energy levels and increased strength

Fitness Age and Score

An indication of your body’s internal health age based on your individual scan results

Prescribed dietary guidelines 

BioScan’s technology can also prescribe caloric intake as well as macronutrient ratios

We are looking forward to introducing Body Composition scanning through BioScan as a new service for our clients, beginning with the challenge this Fall. It has certainly opened our eyes to strengths, weaknesses, and progress, and we know it will for you too!

For more information visit:  http://www.bioscancanada.ca/

September Member Feature: Natasha + Catherine


We have so many amazing couples and families who come to Revive together (or separately!) - it's always so inspiring to see family members setting great examples for each other and committing to a healthy lifestyle together!

This month we are featuring Natasha & Catherine, a mother-daughter duo who you would never guess could be mother and daughter, but who have been working out together 2-3 times/week since June! You may have even met Catherine's son/Natasha's brother Brad in the studio, too! We sat down with them to find out what inspires them.

Tell me about your journey in health and fitness - how and when did it begin? Were you always active? Or did you start later in life?

Natasha - I was super late to the game - I cut gym all the time because I hated it so much, and was cut from every team. I really seriously started working out in 2010 because my husband had really high cholesterol, so first we cleaned up our eating, and then we both started working out. We each lost 55 lbs, and I got hooked.
Editor’s note - anyone who has been in a class with Natasha knows that she is a total powerhouse! Hard to believe she wasn’t a natural in her youth!

Catherine - I was always more into sports, more of a tomboy growing up, in track and baseball teams, but never kept it up. Then life happened - I got married and had kids, and dealt with some major health issues. I couldn’t find my groove, and then Natasha brought me back to Revive in June and it got me hooked again.
Natasha: I actually thought you would drop dead in that first class!
Editor’s note: Catherine did not drop dead! She was back two days later and has been a regular, super-strong member and example ever since! 

Why is it important for you to be active, healthy, and mobile?

C: Well, Natasha inspires me. But as I get older, I see people even in their 60s and they look - well - old! As I get older, I want to be able to be healthy - for my husband, my kids, and my grandkids.
N: My dad had a heart attack, Mom had her sickness, everywhere around me were warning signs and examples. Healthier people just seem to stay healthier.

Have you noticed any changes in your health, body, or mindset since you started coming to Revive?

N: I joined in April, had been traveling and was ready for a change. I didn’t think I would like the format at first but I loved it - I got hooked!
C: I love the smallness of it, the boutiqueness of it, someone telling me what to do, the variety, and the teachers.
N: It’s amazing how varied the classes are - they don’t get old.

What is your favourite exercise?

N: Push-ups - I just feel so strong
C: Anything on TRX

Least favourite?

C: burpees
N: rowing

Best pump-up song?

N: Anything I can sing along to in my head - 80s is great! Nothing too angry.
C: Agreed - I love Michael Jackson!

Later this same, day, Natasha sent a follow-up email...

I wanted to say something today but I got all flustered and never mentioned it! One of the things that I love so much about Revive is all of the instructors. In all other gyms that I have attended, there is always at least one class that I never seem to make it to because for one reason or another, I do not like the instructor. Not the case at Revive! I have taken a class from every instructor there and have loved everyone. It is such a great group of knowledgeable, warm and energetic instructors (and the rest of the staff as well!). It really is a pleasure to come into the Studio. 

Thank you!


Thank YOU - Natasha & Catherine! You are a joy to have around and an inspiration to us all :) 

5 benefits of HIIT that you can't see in a mirror

HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts have been shown to be highly effective to get your bod in shape but did you know that they are also beneficial for your mind and body in ways that you can't see in a mirror? Check out these 5 benefits that you are getting when you get your HIIT on at Revive!

1) Improvements in aerobic and anaerobic fitness - Perhaps this goes without saying but HIIT is highly effective in improving both aerobic and anerobic (you know that breathless feeling you have in the red zone?) fitness. This is the good news, the bad news is that when we see this happening we are going to be reminding you to increase your FTW on the bike!

2) A healthier heart - HIIT training has been shown to improve cardiovascular health, decrease blood pressure and improve cholesterol profiles. 

3) Increase in insulin sensitivity - This is a good thing as low insulin sensitivity can lead to health problems like diabetes. Recent studies show that HIIT appears to be more effective than steady state exercise in its ability to reduce blood sugar levels.

4) The mind connection - During vigorous exercise, mood enhancing endorphins are released which not only make you feel great post workout but at a deeper level can reduce feelings of stress, anxiety & depression. Enhanced productivity and creativity are an extra bonus - you're welcome! 

5) Slow down the aging process - What? Recent research has shown that HIIT exercise boosts a cell's mitochondrial activity (remember your Bio 10)?! Your mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell and their activity typically declines with age which can lead to cell damage and dysfunction. HIIT has been shown to kickstart mitochondrial activity which could be one way to slow some signs of aging. 

There are many reasons beyond physical appearance for making exercise a part of your healthy lifestyle. Benefits from exercise in general, and HIIT in particular, go well beyond what you see in the mirror. So get out, be active, and do some good for your mind and body! 

Understanding Heart Rate Training

It’s been just over a month since we started bringing heart rate monitoring to all of our classes at Revive, and we are so excited about the measurable results that our clients are seeing! We’ve had incredible feedback, and we’ve also had a lot of questions, so we are answering some of the most common ones here, and now.

1. Why should I use a heart rate monitor?

To maximize results, get instant feedback and workout smarter.  For our HIIT classes, when you reach your yellow/red zones for 15 minutes or more, that promotes an effect called Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption, or EPOC.  EPOC refers to a post workout response where your metabolism is elevated and therefore you burn more calories at rest for up to 36 hours after your workout.  

2. What do the different colours mean?

Red = maximum (90-100% max heart rate)
Yellow = hard (80-90% max heart rate)
Green = moderate (70-80% max heart rate)
Blue = light (60-70% max heart rate)
Grey =  very light (less than 50% max heart rate)

3. How is my maximum heart rate calculated?

As a baseline measurement, your maximum heart rate (or MHR) is calculated as 220-your age. With that said, this is not a perfect science and your actual maximum heart rate may be higher or lower depending on genetics, fitness level, and body composition. Your Trainer can work with you over a few classes to adjust your maximum heart rate to ensure it is most accurate for you.

4. Why can’t I get into the red zone, even though I am working really hard?

Everyone’s training thresholds are different and it actually has nothing to do with your fitness level. John’s maximum threshold could be in yellow while Jane’s is in red… all at the same time, their perceived effort is the same.  

5. Do I want to be spending most of my time in the red zone?

No, we typically recommend doing 15 minutes or more in yellow and red combined.  However spending the whole class is not recommended and is not the purpose of HIIT training.  HIIT training is intended for you to work hard under certain time intervals followed by periods of recovery.  If you’re not recovering fast enough, take a few more minutes to get your heart rate down.

6. Why am I reaching 105% of my maximum heart rate?

The 220-age formula to measure max heart rate isn’t always accurate so you may go above 100% of your max HR which technically should never happen.  If you see this occur, please ask one of our Trainers to adjust for you.  

7. Why does my watch display a different calorie burn than the monitor?

Polar was the company that started heart rate training and provides leading edge technology with monitoring HR.  When it comes to chest strap vs watch, the chest strap is about 20% more accurate due to the placement right above your xiphoid process. Its response time to HR changes are also instantaneous vs watches which are often delayed and therefore make it difficult to accurately measure recovery.

8. Why is there so much difference in calorie burn when we all did the same class?

Total calories burned during class is measured through an algorithm that takes in consideration your sex, weight and age.  Basically, factors like the younger you are, the more you weigh and if you are a male would all boost your calories burned.


Keep an eye out for upcoming Fundamentals of Heart Rate classes where we will go through the purpose of HR training, complete a workout designed to explain the target zones, and help you understand which zones are right for you. And if you have any more questions about Heart Rate training in the meantime, please ask one of your Trainers or send us an email at contact@revivelifestylefitness.com

Stronger For Longer

Stronger for Longer

Your Goals - Our Purpose

It’s been an amazing ride these past 8 months and we can’t thank our members enough for being a part of the journey.  Through this time, I’m sure many of you have noticed some changes at Revive as we aim to serve you better. I can understand change isn’t always easy, but with change comes growth – In the end, our purpose is to make your goals a reality.  So, I’ve summed up some points below of our current brand promises along with some of the new additions to Revive as we hope to elevate your experience… keeping you Stronger for Longer.


Heart Rate Based Training

The use of heart rate monitors has always been a point of discussion within our team and our decision to implement them in all our classes came with two reasons:  To coach you better, and to optimize your workouts with evidence-based results.  Overtraining and stress are two major factors that can limit one’s performance and we hope with our coaching, you will understand how to reach your goals with a balanced approach.  The use of HR monitors serves as a way we can help our members understand how to train smarter and not (always) harder. 


Low Impact HIIT

This has been one of our main promises since day 1.  Why? 

1) Having worked almost 10 years in a physiotherapy clinic helped me understand the effects of chronic injuries and high impact stress on our joints.  Injuries from running are typically the #1 cause of chronic sport injuries seen by physiotherapists.  This is not to say running is bad for you, not in the least bit, but many people do too much of it too soon without getting proper training to run efficiently. 

Further, we’re all living longer these days - It’s predicted that by 2050 the average life expectancy will be 85. So, we’re all living longer but does that mean that our joints will last?  Not unless we take care of them now and learn to train smarter.  That’s our goal with low impact training - to let you push yourself now and well into your later years - to have your ideal lifestyle in and out of the gym.

2) HIIT serves as one of the most effective ways to maximize fitness and burn fat.  With our HR monitors, you can now monitor your intensity as we recommend achieving 15 minutes or more in the yellow and red zones combined during class.


Community and Connection

It’s been so great for our team to get to know our members and see you achieve amazing results with Revive.  As our relationships with you grow, we realize fitness is only part of our offering as our community grows stronger with you. You are the core of our business and we appreciate all your support.  Let’s keep the good times going and stay stronger for longer. 

Benefits of Low Impact HIIT Workouts

Get a great sweat while avoiding those nagging injuries.  Low Impact HIIT workouts are a growing trend that promote building you up and not breaking you down.  Below are some reasons to try a workout that's not only smarter for your body but is going to give you a good butt-kicking as well.

Helps shed weight and burn calories

Low impact does not mean low intensity.  HIIT workouts are scientifically proven to help you burn fat, improve metabolism and lose weight.

Stronger for longer

Our workouts are designed to save the joints so that you can stay active for life.

Good for every fitness level

Whether you’re just getting back into it, new to exercise or wanting a change, Low Impact HIIT may be the thing for you.  Our goal is to optimize fitness and minimize injuries.

Full Body, everything in under an hour

We give you a full body, strength and cardio workout in 55 minutes!

Changes daily

Our workouts change daily so your fitness doesn’t plateau.  This keeps your body guessing as we switch our fitness focuses week to week - keeping it fresh and fun.

5 Reasons to Cross-Train for Race Season

April is here and preparation for race season is in full swing. Whether you love marathon, obstacle or adventure races, cross-training will add huge value to your performance. Cross-training is a broad term that can include resistance training, mobility/stretching, and low impact endurance activities such as cycling and rowing. These activities combined with running not only boosts performance but considerably reduces the overuse injuries common to runners.


Here are the top 5 reasons to add a cross-strengthening program into your training plan:


1. Greater Performance

            Cross-training benefits running performance and allows for longer periods of training.  Because of the impact on your joints caused by running, few runners (especially beginners) can handle more than 6 hours of running/week without running into injury. By including low-impact endurance activities such as cycling and rowing, allows you to train twice the amount whilst improving your cardiovascular fitness.


2. Mobility

            Mobility refers to the overall range of motion a joint can move through. This is more than simply flexibility (muscle length) as it also refers to how well the nervous system controls the joint/muscle.  When you have trigger points(knots) in your muscles, your control of that muscle is inhibited and stretching won’t always help. So, in addition to your stretching program, try using a foam roller and release balls to get deeper into your muscles allowing for better mobility.           Look for a restorative class in your area that uses myofascial release or a good massage always helps!


3. Strength

The key to a great performance for any athlete or weekend warrior begins with strength. Back, core and hips are among the most common areas of the body that require proper strengthening when first starting a running program. These areas often take the brunt of the impact associated with running and produce the most explosive force(hips) during an activity. Building strength initially involves lighter weight and great attention to detail as proper technique is the priority. Finding a qualified trainer to help you build a solid strength foundation will not only improve your running, but aid in post-workout recovery and injury prevention.    


4.  Power

            A further benefit to strength training is improving power.  Power is your body’s ability to produce high amounts of force in short periods of time.  As a runner, by improving your power, you will also improve your stride length and efficiency thereby improving your running pace.  This can be done with HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts defined by short, intense bursts of activity followed by a rest interval. 


5. Injury Prevention

            Cross-training not only prepares the body for the rigors of running, but also for what happens after. Over 50% of overuse injuries runners experience relate to a weakness in the hips (gluts mainly) thereby affecting other structures down the chain in the lower limbs ie. knees/ankles.  By strengthening the hips, core and surrounding structures, you drastically decrease your chance of injury.  We recommend starting with 1-2 low impact endurance activities per week of about an hour such as cycling to lower the impact your joints experience.