Friday, May 23, 2014

Find Some Stairs, Do This Circuit

Want to change up your workout routine now that the weather is nicer? You don’t have to go very far!
All you’ll need for this circuit is a set of stairs.

We used the ones just behind The Pulse, however, the bleachers could work well or even inside one of the stairwells in DBAC if it’s raining. Not to mention, you could also try this at home!

Warm It Up

Use the stairs to help warm that body up.

Run up and down them at an easy pace 4 times and then complete the following full body dynamic stretches:


-Walking lunges

-Shoulder rolls

-Arm circles

Now that you’re warmed up, let’s hit that full body circuit on the stairs! Perform each exercise consecutively as fast as you can. Try to beat your time every time you complete the circuit. 

Single Sprints

Run up and down the stairs 2 times touching every step as you go. Make sure you're keeping your torso upright, arms low, and driving upwards with your knees to help propel you upward.

Incline Push-ups

Complete 10 reps of your incline push-up. Focus on keeping yourself in one straight line from your shoulders to your toes and lower your chest all the way down to the bar. If you can easily complete 10 reps, try performing the push-ups with your hands on the bottom stair! 


Take it back to the stairs by running or walking them two at a time. Run back down the stairs and repeat.  Complete this two times. 

Horizontal Row

Work that back, why don't you! Using the railing, walk yourself underneath it so that your hands are directly above your your shoulders, starting with arms straight. Tuck your shoulders down and tighten your core to maintain a straight body throughout the exercise. To modify, try bending at your knees! Complete 10 reps before moving to the next exercise. 


Start by facing the railing and step up, one stair at time, as you cross your front leg in front, similar to carioca. Once you get to the top, run down and repeat facing the other direction. Complete two times.  

Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat

Using the stairs, place one foot behind you so that you're in a split squat stance. Bend at the knees, keeping weight in your front heel. Your front leg should be at 90 degrees, make sure your knee doesn't go past your toe. Complete 10 reps on the left, then on the right. 

Lateral Squat

Facing the railing once again, you'll sink down into a deep squat, pulling that tailbone back and down and go up the stairs two at a time. Once at the top, run back down and do it again switching directions! Complete twice. 

Mountain Climbers 

Using the stairs, you’ll bring yourself down into a high plank position. Your hands should be directly underneath your shoulders, creating a straight line down to your toes. From here, bring one knee forward. Complete 20 reps, switching legs, fast or slow. 

 Way to work, Pulse Nation! Take some rest until your breathing returns to normal and then repeat this circuit again from the top! 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Get Outside This Summer! Where To Go In Hamilton

With the summer almost here, it's time to get outside! Where, you ask? We'll tell you! There's a variety of places right in our backyard that are free to use and loads of fun!

Bayfront Park

Extending over 40 acres, Bayfront Park is full of activity. As a site for many summer festivals and concerts, it’s also a great place to fish.

Located in the west end of the Hamilton Harbour, you can walk, run, or bike through many of its pedestrian trails which lead to Pier 4 Park.

If you’re tired of your regular run route, why not give this place a try! All the activity will definitely keep you motivated.

Trail Blaze 

Hamilton has so many trails, it’s impossible for you to get bored. Check out the different trails around you here. With an assortment of distances and terrains, you can keep your body and mind guessing as you take in the beautiful scenery. 

 Do Go Chasing Waterfalls

If you haven’t been to Webster’s Falls yet, you’re in for a treat! This 22 metre high plunge waterfall is located in the Spencer Gorge/Webster’s Falls Conservation Area.

With picnic tables, trails, and even a cobblestone footbridge, this is the perfect place to soak up some vitamin D!

So grab some friends and bring a Frisbee. Or make the journey solo and bring a great book.
With Webster’s so close, it's the perfect time to take advantage

Chedoke Stairs 

289 stairs separate you from a solid workout.

Why not give these bad boys a try! Being that they’re so close to The Pulse, you can jog there to warm up, run them up and down, and then jog or walk back as your cool down. Stay tuned for a stair circuit idea coming at you this Friday! 

Cycle Those Country Roads

Grab your bike, it's time to ride! Hamilton has a plethora of different routes which will make for a great day. 

For all things bikes, check this out. Make a day of it by exploring places like Dundas, Copetown, or Flamborough. You may even want to stop in at Cafe Domestique for an afternoon pick-me-up, which is sure to be filled with cyclists just like you. 

So let's get moving outside and reap all the benefits the outdoors has to offer us! 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What Gives You The Edge? A New S&C Trainer

Looking to get that edge in Sport? The Athlete’s Edge recently welcomed a new head strength and conditioning coach to the team. Originally from Iran, Ben moved to Vancouver at the age of 10.

With a long CV, Ben is prepared to help take our athletes to the next level. He has a Honours BSc in Kinesiology from Western University and a Masters in Kinesiology from UBC.

A lover of sports such as basketball, rugby, and football, Ben played football at Western and for UBC’s team while completing his masters.

We sat down with Ben to chat about his experience, his favourite type of training, and what he’s looking forward to most about being part of the group.

Give us a little background information—how did you end up in strength and conditioning?

For the majority of elementary school I was in Iran, so I didn't have many chances to play organized sports until I moved to Canada. Once I started playing sports, I couldn't get enough. I played rugby, basketball, and football. I got a football scholarship to Western so I went there (sorry) and played for 4 years while I got my BSc in Kinesiology. During my time at Western, my strength coach Jeff Watson was awesome! So naturally I became interested and decided to move back home and continue my education at UBC.

What types of people have you worked with in the past?

I have worked with a variety of populations. I have trained Olympic Gold medal winners and Olympic level athletes, NHL players, NFL players, CFL players, wrestlers, tennis players, volleyball players, basketball players, long distance runners, rowers, snowboarders. I've also trained general population and rehab clientele.

What teams will you be working with at McMaster?

I’ll have the pleasure of working with our men and women's swimming teams, volleyball teams, and basketball teams.

What’s your favorite sport?

I like them all! I played football for most of my life, so I understand it more than any other sport, but I just like watching great athletes do their thing!

What’s your favourite way to sweat?

Playing sports. I love playing squash, basketball, or anything with friends. I also do workout and run but would way rather play sports.

We know our Marauders and Athlete's Edge clients will be in good hands with him and we're looking forward to seeing him in action! 

For more information about the Athlete's Edge program, check them out online or on Facebook & Twitter.  

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

What Gives Women’s Hockey Canada The Edge?

Hockey Canada announced a couple weeks ago that 104 players were invited to attend Canada’s National Women's strength and conditioning camp taking place on our campus at McMaster.

While much of this camp is kept hush, hush, we sat down with McMaster's Strength and Conditioning Coordinator, Steve Lidstone, to chat about why this camp is beneficial and how he thinks athletes can stay motivated on a long journey like this one. 

What types of sessions are you leading for these women?

The athletes will be put through a variety of different training, testing, and team building activities over their five day period here. Sessions will be run by a few different coaches. 

Why is a camp like this so important?

A camp like this is an essential first step to get the athletes ready for the long journey ahead of them. It will be five days of hard but rewarding work.

With the Winter Olympics being so far away, what are some ways to stay focused and motivated during the journey?

It can definitely be a challenge as four years can seem daunting. Similar to athletes who play sports during the year, it can be demanding to keep that focus. 

Taking the journey one day at a time is always a great way to keep focused. Also keeping track of your training, so you can see your gains, can help with motivation when you see positive results. 

Storing the big picture in the back of mind is essential. Having that goal in mind whether it's to represent Canada at the Olympics, hit a PB, or play your best game, goals are great motivators. 

There are going to be days where you don’t want to hit the gym, you don’t want to be restricted to a certain diet, and you really just want to play a friendly game of your chosen sport. Just remember that you're an athlete and it will all be worth it. I see being an athlete as a privilege, not everyone has the dedication, drive, and ability to do what you do. 

What are you most looking forward to with the camp?

For those that know me, they know that I love training athletes. I’m excited to see the caliber of high-performance athletes that will be at the camp. Additionally, it’s always great to interact with other coaches, and trainers, to see how they do things. We can always learn something new.

The athletes will be in Hamilton for 5 days and all training sessions at the strength and conditioning camp are closed to the public.

Interested in taking your training to the next level? Athlete's Edge can help with that. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Yessica’s Zumba® Fitness Playlist April 2014

To keep momentum going for you Zumba® lovers, we're posting Yessica's April playlist.

These tunes will keep you moving all through the month of May!


On the floor
Jennifer Lopez
Besos al aire
Zumba® Fitness
Vamo a portarnos mal
Calle 13  (Zumba® Fitness)
Ella lo que quiere es salsa
Victor Manuelle
Enrique Iglesias
Daddy Yankee
Rompe el piso
Los Matanes
C’est la vie AKA Vivir mi vida
Zumba® Fitness/Marc Anthony
No naci pa’ perder
Zumba® Fitness/Ljay ft. Jose Reyes
Darte un beso
Prince Royce (Zumba® Fitness)
Human nature
Boyz II Men
You rock my world
Michael Jackson

Friday, May 2, 2014

What’s On Your Summer Bucket List? 5 Items From Pulse Staff

We’re switching up our usual #FormFridays to focus on a little #FunFriday!

With summer on the way, it’s time to start making that summer bucket list.

Research shows that people who write down their goals are 50-90% more likely to achieve them. 

So let’s do it!

First, the summer bucket list doesn't necessarily need to be extreme and outright crazy. Items included can also be simple and things that will make you happy. If you view it as a list for self-improvement, hopefully you’ll be able to find meaning and fulfillment in everything on it.

You've seen them at the gym, maybe even attended their classes, see what these 5 instructors have on their bucket list for the summer. 

1.      Improve My Golf Swing –Sara (Cycling Instructor)

Along with spending more time with her family, Sara is hoping to focus on her golf game by taking lessons in order to improve!

2.      Pick up Meditation – Lauren (Cycling Instructor, Fitness Instructor)

With a busy schedule, Lauren sometimes finds it hard to be mindful and live in the moment. In hopes of changing that, she’s planning to pick up meditation. It just so happens that there’s meditation classes being offered through recreation's instructional programs. To join Lauren, take a look at the instructional programs offered for summer. They start this Monday, May 5th. (Plus, first class is free!)

3.      Take More Advanced Yoga – Blair (Fitness Instructor, Cycling Instructor, Dietician)

Blair has been practicing yoga since the fall. She’s been doing beginner/intermediate classes and unlike high school, where she didn’t like yoga, she was surprised at how much she enjoyed the slower pace. Plus, she found that yoga can actually be very challenging and has seen improvements with her flexibility. This summer, she’s going to try out more advanced classes and work towards mastering the side crow and handstand.

Looking to take your yoga to the next level? Why not try Power Yoga? Take a look at the times offered through instructional programs.

4.      Compete In a Triathlon —Caylea (Cycling Instructor, Fitness Instructor, Trainer)

As a runner and a cyclist, the next step for Caylea is to complete her first triathlon. Caylea likes having something to train towards and is welcoming this next challenge with open arms. We can't wait to see her in action! 

5.      Pick Up Squash With My Dad—Jill (Cycling Instructor)

Spending time with family is definitely on the list for Jill this summer. One way Jill is looking to do this is through squash. Since her dad is a big squash player, what better way to have bonding time, then over a game of squash.

Thinking about picking up squash this summer? Check out our squash court information here.

Want to learn how to play squash? Beginner squash lessons could be yours on Tuesdays at 4:40pm through recreational programming

What's on your bucket list? We want to know! Tweet us or comment below to help yourself stay accountable!

From all of us in Athletics and Recreation, have a fun and safe summer! 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Do Exercise And Rehab Go Hand In Hand?

MBA Association President, Aravind, is back on the blog this week to chat about exercise and rehab.

As an active person, an injury can become annoying and tedious. Depending on the injury, some people may have to give up exercise altogether. In other cases, some find that exercise actually helps with recovery.

As an avid exerciser, Aravind, wasn't going to let his injury stop him from exercising. However, he had to change his regular exercise routine. 

How Did Your Injury Affect Your Exercise Regime?

I had a chronically loose shoulder which affected my upper body workouts tremendously.  I had surgery for it May of 2012.  It put me in a sling for 5 weeks and was approximately 6 months before I was cleared for sport.  After the surgery and the sling, I had to relearn how to lift my arm again and move it properly.

What Did You Do For Rehab?

I had a heavy dose of Sport Med Therapy, including 3 main parts:

I was in weekly for physiotherapy and massage at the Sport Medicine Centre.  Massage helped breakdown scar tissue and stiff muscles that had developed from the surgery and sling. 

With physio, I was able to learn how to move my shoulder again through my rehab exercises. The centre provided me with access to their state-of-the-art equipment for rehab and recovery. They are top of the line in terms of their staff, and I felt like I was in good hands when I was there.

Rehab Exercises

I planned my surgery date in the summer so that whenever I wasn't working my summer job, I was free to do my rehab.  I would probably spend an hour or more 3x a week going through my warm up and rehab exercises for my shoulder.  Every day I would work on gradual movement and flexibility for my shoulder for 15-30 minutes.

Still Hitting The Pulse 

There has been some proof that even if you are lifting heavy on one side and not the other, the other will still show some gains. Not 100% mind you, but I can attest to the fact that it is true.  It also kept me from withering away and going crazy from not picking up anything heavy.

For my arms, I did a lot of single arm work and for legs, I focused on balance exercises or machines for heavy loading since holding barbells wouldn't go so well.

Physio & Massage, Friend Or Foe?

There’s a lot of information out there on physio, massage, and sport therapy. Many people tend not to believe in it. I think this is partly due to the fact that they may not understand it. I know this first hand because my parents didn't want me to get the surgery. They thought my shoulder would just heal with time and that the doctors were out for money. 

At the end of the day, it was my decision and I opted for it.To put things in perspective, my shoulder was so damaged that there was a time where I was afraid to play any sport (basketball, volleyball, flag football), because I had popped my shoulder out multiple times in all these sports; let’s not get started on racket sports.

When I got the surgery, the doctor told me that for a pro sport player the normal recovery time was between 4-6 months. More typically, it was around 6 months to a year for the average person. However, he said, if I followed my rehab plan, he thought I could be back on the field within 6 months.

My surgery was on May 28th, 2012, and I was playing intramural flag football that fall, in large part due to the sport med staff.

How Will Exercise Continue To Fit Into Your Life Long Term?

It’s my time away from the rigors and stresses of life.  It’s the time that I don’t think about emails or about work. It’s time that I lift heavy things, I play ball, I socialize with the other regulars in between sets. But most importantly, no matter what, it’s the one place that when I walk out, I can always walk out with my head held high because: I never regret it when I do it; I always regret it when I don’t. 

**If you're injured, always be sure to consult your doctor before starting an exercise program!