Tag Archives: health and wellness

Own Your Program

Own your fitness program:

Have you been following a fitness program? Are you thinking of beginning one? The first question you should answer is why.. Grab a piece of paper and randomly write out every reason you can think of for five minutes.. Now categorize these reasons. This is your first step to identifying your focus. Is it health and wellness? do you just want to look good? Is it for sport?

Once you have identified the reasons you can now select the action. Whatever it is, do your homework. Take on a training program that is sustainable. Not one that will leave you injured or in rehab more often than you are on the floor of the training room or enjoying your activities. If your coach has you doing things that you feel have no purpose in your active life ask WHY!

Remember you own your program and it should enhance your life not endanger it… Sure bones, muscle, and connective tissue heal but weigh the “opportunity loss” when it comes to living. Down time sets you back. Take your ego out of the game and stop doing “crazy shit” to prove a point to yourself, and especially others. Train safe .. enjoy life.


Bart Wagar.

You can email me at bartwagar@zenfit.ca for Q&A’s .. If I don’t know the answer I will find it for you.

Niki’s Resistance Band Workout

Zenfitter’s love to share:

zenfit_3a As we already know, most of our clients are stoked about sharing their love for the health and wellness lifestyle. Niki has been training with us for over a year and has worked hard at her progression. She has recently passed her Can-fit Pro certification and like all of us at Zenfit likes to see people become the best version of themselves.

This Is Niki’s Resistance Band workout..!


Hi Bart,
Today I switched up my routine and did a workout that required only a resistance band and body weight. I thought I would share it with you as some people don’t have alot of equipment and I thought this sequence would be good for them!  Resistance bands are inexpensive and portable!

 I warmed up by doing my stairs in my house-up & down counting as 1 time for a total of 10 times. I then did interval running on my treadmill for 25 mins-(not everyone could do this if they don’t own a treadmill but it could be modified using something else) I did 10 more times on the stairs then I got into my band workout.


LEGS                               SETS            REPS        
Squat                          3                   12-15
Jump Squat                      As many as you can 
Rest 60 secs after last move   


RB Bent Over Row             3                   12-15        
Plyo Push Up On Knees      As many as you can
Rest 60 secs after last move 


RB Overhead Press              3                    12-15 
RB Lateral Raise                  3                    12-15       
Speed Skater                       As many as you can
Rest 60 secs after last move 


RB Biceps Curl                     3                    12-15        
RB Overhead extension         3                    12-15
Split Jump Squat                   As many as you can
Rest 60 secs after last move 


Crunch                                 3                    20-30
Reverse Crunch                   3                    20-30

All exercises were done with the resistance band except the plyo exercises and abs.
I hope others could benefit from this!

Meet Kim..!

Putting it all together…

 Zenfit_KIM_MSometimes you wonder if you are making the change you want to see in the world. You put your money where your mouth is and you work toward the greater good. This is a letter from one of our Zenfit Tribe members; Kim has been with us from the beginning. She has done the work and its paying off; she’s an amazing inspiration to anyone that enters one of our camps and we wish her continued joy and success throughout her “living fitness” journey.

I just want to say a little “thank you” to both you and Lynn for running such a great program. I love coming to ALL your classes.  In the past I have gotten bored with exercise programs, and usually quit as soon as my “pass” or paid sessions run out.  I feel great, and truly have more energy than I have felt in years. (People actually comment me on that) Not only do you make it fun to be put through the paces, but you make each week different which motivates me to do a little better each time.

Most importantly … I am beginning to see the results! I never realized the potential I had. I owe that to you both!   I never thought in a million years, I would be joining such a thing like “Tough Mudder”!  I welcome the challenge and look forward to keep working with you & being in the best shape of my life in 2013.

Thanks again!


Thank you Kim for the kind words this makes our efforts worthwhile..!

Bart and Lynn.

Crazy Week

Time to Refocus

With all the Halloween festivities going on our weekly schedule took a hit. Not to worry lets refocus and be consistantly persistant. Finish the week with our Saturday Basic Training session guaranteed to challenge and make you feel great after Thursday’s sugar binge 😉

Do you beat your self up when you feel that you have slipped with your eating program..? Check out this link from Mark’s Daily Apple and feel better about your ups and downs!

Its all part of the journey,
Live life, be grateful for the things that challenge you.. Bart

Modern Wheat Perfect or Poison

Modern wheat a perfect chronic poison:

I just read this article on grain on the CBS news website and it’s no surprise to me, so I thought I would share..

Personally the most effective change I have made in my health and wellness journey is cutting all grains and sugar from my diet. (With the exception of vegetables primarily grown above the ground, and some berries).  I have also increased my fat intake, “WHAT?” animal fats from grass feed beef and free range chicken , eggs, wild fish and healthy fats from nuts like Macadamia, Almond and Brazil nuts. My energy levels have increased and stabilized. Joint mobility and function has increased and my sense of wellbeing is through the roof.

I can only speak of what experiences I have had so read the article and judge for yourself after all, we all own our personal wellness and fitness journey.

My personal top five life altering tips:


  • 1) Hydrate .55 oz. / lb. of bodyweight of clean water a day.
  • 2) Eat “primal” natural, local, and close to the earth.
  • 3) Slow Cardio, Eg. Walk your way to fat loss; don’t fall into a chronic aerobic spiral. Less is more.
  • 4) Resistance and circuit train..! Bodyweight, group training, free weights, kettlebell and more.. add stretching or yoga and sprinting sessions occasionally.
  • 5) Rest, make the effort to maintain proper sleep patterns, it’s not easy to do in this day and age, but if you cut out late night digital entertainment dim the lights in the house around 8:00 PM, it’s a great start..!


Coming soon! Are you a fat burner or a sugar burner? 

Walking Toward Fitness

Every journey begins with a first step, walking is a healthy first step toward your fitness goals.

Walking is probably the best and most overlooked fitness movement we can do for ourselves.In modern society walking has become a “last resort” as a mode of transportation. We drive, cab it, take the bus, and ride a bike all in hopes of storing up those elusive minutes of free time, so walking has lost its top of mind status in our high tech way of life. Walking is “free” so it’s difficult for companys and MLM’s to market and make money from it, so walking and its benefits get little high level exposure. The truth of the matter is we need to slow down and take ownership of our health and wellness needs and walking is a great foundation.

Have you ever heard the phrase move it or lose it? All it takes to get started is 30 minutes in oxygen each day. When walking focus on breath, core integration and glute engagement. If you are unsure if your glutes are engaging simply reach back and grab them, you should feel them engage and release through each step. Walk at a pace that will get your heart rate into a range that is 55-75% of your aerobic capacity. If you can walk and carry a conversation but feel like you are slightly outside your comfort zone then you are there. Even a leisurely stroll will begin to build a healthy sustainable mindset. Walking is a great form of stress relief, amazing for joint mobility, and great for fat loss when combined with healthy food choices.

Walking is an extremely progressive form of movement. As your fitness increases it is easy to add challenges like the ones in our Primal Walking Program inspired by Mark Sisson. Progress from flat surfaces to hills, then to trails, change the tempo; even add bodyweight movements such as lunges, push-ups or side planks. Do a series of farmers walks, carry a knapsack or use a weighted vest, even take portable fitness equipment like a TRX and turn your walk into a full on training session. You can add performance breathing techniques designed to sharpen your focus and deepen your concentration, all great progressions to enhance your life and longevity all thanks to taking a step.

We have lost or forgotten some of our walking skills in modern times. Due to the use of bulky athletic shoes designed for heel contact we have lost our natural gait, in the process we suffer increased joint and foot pain. I became a big fan of barefoot walking after a bout of Plantar Fasciitis. At first I went through the normal channels, the doctor, the specialist, sports therapist, and orthotics all with no relief. I came across an article on the Tarahumara. They use the toe strike method of running, which is natural for barefoot runners. In this article it talked about their low incidence of foot ailments, so being in a great deal of pain I said “what do I have to lose”. I started a barefoot walking program and within 3 weeks my symptoms had disappeared. Today I use New Balance minimus trail shoes as they add some protection from the elements and still have the benefits of barefoot walking.

 Walking is truly an activity that connects Body Mind and Soul. Walking is an amazing meditative activity. “Mindfulness”, when walking is a great way to stay in the moment and dissolve that dreaded past and future cycle which forces us out of the present. By focusing on our breath and each and every step we take we get closer to our inner being and true purpose. When it comes to fitness health and wellness, make small consistant, long term changes that are sustainable, and enjoy the journey.

By Bart Wagar.

“If a fine sword is not constantly polished, it will never show its luster. If you don’t practice, you will never be able to master universals and particulars. Plenty of people can talk about Zen, but not many can live it. Get to work!”


Awareness leads to Results

Awareness the Key to Results by Bart Wagar

In fitness, health and wellness, one of our main objectives is to create the awareness our clients need to “own” their fitness journey. Awareness is an agent of clarity, the key to direction. When we become aware of a challenge we must use awareness as a compass to guide us through the moment’s purpose.  This gives us the power to maintain focus and motivate us in taking that first step on the journey toward our objective.

An awareness cycle is a great tool to aid us in assessing our progress and reevaluating our goals. As needs change, and challenges are met we sometimes lose our way or get off track. The application of this process helps guide us and can be applied to any challenge in life. First we become aware of a need, and then consider the possibilities; we then make a choice, the necessary plans, and take action. We then review the results, increase awareness and adjust our plan, creating further growth.

 Awareness (need and/or goal) à Possibilities (options) à Choice (direction) à Plans à Actionà    Results à Review à is or was the experience a success ? back to awareness, adjusting, and repeating the cycle moving or on to the next experience.

We can also break this down into two very human traits, being and doing. Awareness and possibilities would fall into the being category, choice, plans and action would be doing. The increased awareness at this point brings us to a non-dual realization creating a living synchronicity, bringing a quiet confidence and patience in the journey toward our goal or vision.

As we put it all together and we become aware we must exercise caution. In reviewing our progress mindfully we cannot attach our “identity” to this awareness. We must be the witness to the journey, becoming the captain of the ship. When we attach our identity to a goal it becomes “us”. The need to achieve then becomes personal, taking us away from our initial purpose. This is where the quick fix may rear its ugly head; we look for ways to cut corners. Fad diets, over training, and unhealthy competition may creep into our practice undermining our progress.

In fitness there are many wearing the banner of health and wellness, remember that quick fixes may show short term results but break just as quickly. The awareness cycle gives us a tool to protect us from the “ego”, ours and others.  Apply this strategy to any need or goal that comes to mind and move forward at a pace that is healthy and sustainable.

 I would recommend writing this cycle out. Use the different stages of the cycle as headings to build a plan as a first step toward a goal, be detailed and truthful. The act of writing it down will take it from a thought or dream and bring it into a physical reality.

When you make it real there is no stopping you! You own it!

Bart is the President and Founder of Zenfit Inc.


Protect Your Hearing …

Ear buds + music at high volumes = future hearing loss?

A walk through any fitness facility at any hour will reveal that the majority of exercisers on cardio equipment have their ears plugged into some kind of listening device. Recent research is suggesting that the current ear-bud generation may turn out to be the hearing-loss generation. Steps are being taken in Europe to reduce the risk to hearing and Health Canada also needs to take up the challenge.

In Europe an estimated 5%–10% of personal music player (PMP) users could develop permanent hearing loss if they listen to their devices at high volume for more than an hour a day.1 In Canada, workers are regulated to a maximum exposure of no more than 8 hours of noise levels at 85-90 decibels.2 Yet some player/headphone combinations can produce sound levels reaching 120 or 130 decibels: as loud as a thunderclap, a jackhammer, or a jet taking off 30 metres away. Although PMP users do tend to stay below these high volume levels in quiet environments, the use of headphones, particularly in noisy environments, encourages listeners to turn up the volume such that their hearing is put at risk.

A British study reported that 72 out of 110 PMP users listened at volumes above 85 decibels.3 Australian research measuring the PMP levels of passers-by by found that 25% were listening at similarly high levels.4

Potential hearing damage from such noise exposure includes permanent ringing in the ears, hypersensitivity to loud sounds, lost ability to hear certain sounds, and difficulties understanding speech in noisy environments.5 Experts also worry that younger ears may be particularly susceptible to loud noise and even more vulnerable to subsequent hearing loss later in life.6In early 2011, Europe passed standards requiring PMPs to have a default maximum volume of 85 decibels (80 decibels for products marketed for children). Although users still have the option of setting the volume higher, they will be intermittently reminded that their player is above recommended limits. Manufacturers have two years to meet these standards. Ear bud headphones may actually produce a sound output up to 10 decibels greater than standard headphones.

It is important for Health Canada to follow the European lead and use the new Canada Consumer Product Safety Act to require similar changes to PMPs sold in Canada. Health Canada and others could also go a step further. Some headphones that now have maximum volume limits, ensuring that the listener is never exposed to more than 85 decibels, could be made mandatory for all headphones marketed in Canada.

Research is needed to scrutinize the effectiveness of these measures. Perhaps the default volume limit will have little impact on keeping users from turning up their device volumes, and therefore have little effect on the projected trend toward hearing loss.

Although it may take years for much of the damage to occur, it is important that PMP-related hearing changes be monitored. The significant negative impact of hearing damage on people’s lives is worth taking steps towards preventing.

European Commission, Directorate-General for Health & Consumers, Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks. Potential health risks of exposure to noise from personal music players and mobile phones including a music playing function. Brussels: European Commission; 2008.

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS). 2011. Noise – Occupational Exposure Limits in Canada. Accessed Sept. 21, 2011 at: http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/phys_agents/exposure_can.html

BBC News. MP3 users “risking hearing loss” 2007 Sept 7 (accessed 16 July 2011).

Williams W. Noise exposure from personal stereo use. Int J Audiol 2005;44(4):231–236.

Khatter K. Personal music players and hearing loss: Are we deaf to the risks? Open Medicine 2011; 5(3):137-138.

European Commission, Directorate-General for Health & Consumers, Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks. Green facts: Personal music players & hearing. Brussels: European Commission; 2008.