Monthly Archives: January 2013


Stoicism and Equanimity Versus Motivation

If you think motivation is the key to success in your training and fitness goals, think again. Chris Stroud made a great post on how stoicisim and equanimity takes precedence over motivation. It’s a great read and you can check out his post here:

Consistency is key. Make training and fitness a part of your everyday life. Make it become just something you do every day/week/month/year and keep an eye on your long term goals. It’s not the fad diets, 30 day challenges, or 12 week boot camps that are going to make the biggest difference in your training and fitness. True success comes to those that stick it out for the long run.

By |January 30th, 2013|Blog, News, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Stoicism and Equanimity Versus Motivation

2013 Carlington Cup

JustLift helped sponsor the 2013 Carlington Cup, a local shinny tournament organized by the Carlington Community Association this past Saturday in Alexander Park, right next to the gym. We also put in a team made up of members in our club. After a week of some of the coldest weather Ottawa has seen for this time of year, with wind chills as low as -40, it managed to warm up a bit for the afternoon. Some of us actually managed to work up a bit of a sweat!



Team JustLift played as the Caldwell Cardinals, as each team entered was given custom jerseys, with each team taking a name from one of the streets in the Carlington neighbourhood. Members of the team in the 4 on 4 format (as pictured L to R) were Tiffany Denneny, Corey Tsang, Ian Haya, and Logan Commanda.

By |January 27th, 2013|Blog, News, Uncategorized|Comments Off on 2013 Carlington Cup

Winter and Kozorezova Medal at Canadian Juniors

This past Saturday, January 19, the University of Toronto Mississauga hosted the 2013 Canadian Junior Weightlifting Championships featuring the strongest athletes under the age of 21 in Canada. JustLift was represented by two of our lifters, Nico Winter (M69) and Nancy Kozorezova (W63). Both were part of the Ontario-A team, based on their impressive performances at the Ontario Juniors.

Nico Winter snatched 96 kg, and just missed 101 kg. He would then go on to Clean and Jerk 120 kg, and just missing his last jerk attempt. His total of 216 kg was good enough for second place and a spot on the podium with a silver medal.

Nancy Kozorezova was up against some tough competition, but managed to come through with a bronze medal. Her Snatch of 65 kg and Clean and Jerk of 80 kg gave her a 145 total and placed her third in the W63 division.

All of us here at JustLift are very proud of our lifters and appreciate all the hard work and dedication they have put in to their training. At 19, Nico still has another year of lifting as a junior to improve on his performance. Nancy is 18, giving her another two years of competition before she moves up to the Senior ranks. We wish them all the best in their future training and competition!

Team Ontario at the 2013 Canadian Junior Championships
Photo by Clance Laylor, from

By |January 22nd, 2013|Blog, News, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Winter and Kozorezova Medal at Canadian Juniors

Good Luck Nico and Nancy!

Our lifters Nico Winter and Nancy Kozorezova will be competing in the Canadian Junior Weightlifting Championships tomorrow at the University of Toronto Mississauga campus as part of Team Ontario. They’ve been putting countless hours into their training and we wish them the best of luck. Of course, when you train for it as hard as they have, you can’t call it luck.





  • 9:30am – Men 56, 62, 69 (feat. Nico Winter)
  • 11:30am – Women 48, 53, 58
  • 1:00pm – Women 63, 69, 75, 75+ (feat. Nancy Kozorezova)
  • 2:30pm – Men 77
  • 4:00pm – Men 85, 94, 105, 105+

There will be a live stream of the event which you can watch online on livestream. We’ll be playing it at the gym during morning training. Watch them crush it!

By |January 18th, 2013|Blog, News, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Good Luck Nico and Nancy!

Coming Back After The Holiday Lay Off

By now, most of you have resumed your regular training, but there are still a few of you missing! This article is aimed at you, and those of you who might be reading, and trying to figure out how to get back into your groove after the holiday break. This article will be aimed at two groups: those of you who took less than or a little more than a week off, and for those that have taken close to (or maybe a little over) a month off. In this text, I’ll briefly discuss three major issues you need to know about to get back at it. With introductions out of the way, let’s begin.

1) Getting Back Into the Groove

If you’ve taken a significant amount of time off, then, getting back into serious training can feel daunting. The most common reason for this is that people have unrealistic expectations. They think: “Oh, there’s no way I can do what I did before,” with an attitude of “why bother?” following shortly. Well, you’re absolutely right. It’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to do what you did just before taking a break, and even if you can, you probably shouldn’t (I’ll explain shortly). The key is to not pressure yourself about performance. In fact, the only performance goal you need to have is actually picking up a bar again. If you’re going to give yourself a goal, make it the most immediately pressing one: getting back into the gym. We can worry about displaying the best of your abilities later on. The most crucial point is returning to a consistent pattern of training attendance. If you can do that I guarantee you’ll be back to your best faster than you probably think.



Ideally, you remember (and read) a bit of what I suggested in my last post about resolutions. Don’t think “gee, I really should train three times next week.” Think “I need to go to the gym today.” Getting that first workout in is always the hardest part thus it is your first priority. Everything gets easier after that. This is where we come to step two. You’ve made it to the gym. Now what?

2) What to expect in your training after coming back from time off.

When it comes to the actual training part you have a few things to consider, the most significant being the actual amount of time you took off. If you took less than a week off, then, it might only take a handful of workouts to be back to where you were. If were talking over a week you can expect some detraining to have occurred. Give yourself at least a week to get back to where you were. If we’re talking close to a month (e.g. >2.5 weeks), then, the detraining effect will have been much more profound, and it can take just as long, possibly longer, to return to your previous level of performance. How long this process takes can be, and usually is, influenced by factors such as training experience, injury status, age, and your recovery strategies.

In your first workout back remember this: it pays dividends to be cautious. From a coach’s perspective, I’d rather see you get some practice with something challenging multiple times than going all out trying to hit your old numbers. Quality reps are what count. The reason being is that there’s less risk of injury, and more opportunities to get back into your “groove” (especially if you’re a weightlifter). This approach will readily serve to wake your nervous system back up, while stressing your body’s structural components (i.e. muscles, connective tissue, etc.) just enough to ensure you’re adequately prepared to train hard again.

3) What to expect in your recovery from these first few sessions.

Recovery, in this context, can be considered in two ways. Firstly, how your body responds to the immediate training stress you apply, and secondly, what you actively do to recover.

Regarding the former, it’s important to remember that recovery, just as with your ability in the gym, is a process that can be improved through training, so the opposite is also true: your recovery ability can become detrained. Immediately noticeable things such as soreness from training will often correlate with just how much time you took off. The best remedy for this is to train as often as you would otherwise, but in the context of what you’re currently capable of (i.e. don’t get overzealous and injure yourself). This is why I mentioned being cautious in your first workout, and I’m going to say now that the same is true for the next few as well. Soreness can interfere with technique, so if you’re feeling particularly beaten up it’s important to be aware of how you feel affects your training ability in terms of technique and the loads you can handle. This is a particularly easy time to pick-up bad habits because you feel too sore or stiff to do something correctly. Using loads that allow you to, as comfortably as possible, move with a full range of motion will help you recovery by keeping loads in line with how you’re recovering. The other important reason for doing this is to also reinforce, and ensure you heal with maximal mobility.

As far as what you can actively do to improve your recovery the first thing to consider is resuming quality eating habits. Now, because diet and nutrition are such a vast topic to discuss, I won’t spend any real time broaching that here. What I will say is: the best thing you can do at this stage is to simply focus on food quality. The majority of your calories should come from high-quality meat, vegetables, and fruits. Following this, make it a point to get ample sleep. I know life can get in the way of both of these pursuits, but the better you are about them, the better your recovery will be. The more adamantly you follow this the quicker you’ll return to repeating (and beating) your best performances in the gym.

4) Putting It All Together

The easiest way to put this all together is to resume a schedule that makes training a regular part of your life. Second to this, making the time to eat well, and sleep enough. Be humble in your expectations when you train; remember that your goal is to efficiently return to where you were before, not eclipse it (yet). Finally, remember why you trained before: because it’s fun, challenging, and immensely rewarding.

By |January 16th, 2013|Articles, Blog|Comments Off on Coming Back After The Holiday Lay Off

Wayne Getting Down To Business



Wayne recently celebrated his 50th birthday, and he’s been getting down to some serious business at JustLift. He’s got one of the best attendance records out of anyone over the last month, even over the holidays! He always works hard and gives it his all. Keep up the awesome work Wayne!

By |January 7th, 2013|Blog, News|Comments Off on Wayne Getting Down To Business

Skip The New Years Resolutions-How To Become Your Own Resolve

Here we go again. It’s the start of a brand new year, and just like every year that preceded it, it’s time to make that infamous list… That’s right, your list of New Years Resolutions. I’m going to get straight to the point: I don’t like New Years Resolutions. I think that, as well-intentioned as they may be, you should skip them entirely. In fact, I feel so strongly about this that I’m going to extend this statement even further into uncomfortable territory: If you’re making the typical resolution for one or more goals in 2013 then you’re already planning your own failure.

I’ll readily admit that this is a bold claim, one you probably don’t like. But, if what I’m about to say can help you, then, I’m absolutely okay with that.

Just before this new era of our lives begins, tradition says that we’re supposed to indulge our imaginations and think about our personal possibilities in the coming year. Following this, we write our little lists, and hope for the best, thinking we’ve just made that big, first step. The problem here is that we actually haven’t.

Let’s take a peek at the typical quality of a New Years Resolution. Often times we desire transformative goals hence why something related to body image (e.g fat loss) is almost always at the top of the list. This is the first issue we encounter. Many people confuse the action of creating a list as the commencement of their transformation. In reality, a list is more suited to being an organizational tool. It’s not the powerful statement or experience needed to initiate the kind of personal shift we desire.

Think of it this way: If you just wrote a few goals down on a piece of paper, slapped that onto your fridge with a magnet, how much effort did you really put into into it? You have a list without planning, without any kind of commanding trigger, and this is supposed to push you into action? Granted, some people take this one step further and talk to their friends or colleagues about their list. Then again, how often is this actually just a social event that’s used to make future failure okay? Ever notice how everyone half-jokes about their goals within the group, making their desires known, yet subtly admitting defeat before anything is ever even initiated? This phenomenon is so prevalent that the gym industry has its own category of clients known as the (surprise!) “resolutioners.”

I could go on and further put-down the New Years Resolution (really, I can), but I think I’ve made the most important point clear: The New Years Resolution, despite its best intentions, is not the best way to begin changing yourself for the better. So, for those of you who have or wish to make resolutions for 2013, what should you do?

Step one, the most crucial step, is holding yourself accountable. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but I’m going to tell you the why and the how. Why? Because accountability is necessary for valuing yourself. If you don’t value yourself, how can you value your goals? You need to have an active stake in your success or failure, and that stake must be you. How? You must take the time to create an intrinsic link between you and your goals. Sounds odd and complicated, though, doesn’t it? It’s not.

Let’s go back to the title of this article, the whole “becoming your own resolve” part. If your goal is to be a weightlifter or to attain that physique you’ve always wanted, then you need to embody your goal(s). I admit, this must still sound cryptic, but it’s actually quite simple. Which do you think is the better question to be asking yourself: “I really should try and make it to the gym three times next week” or “I have to train today?” See any differences? The former statement is uncertain, lacking clear commitment whereas the latter possesses immediate intention, placed in a timeline that makes it much likelier to be achieved. Let’s extend this further.

Ask yourself: “do I workout or do I train?” Working out doesn’t imply much beyond going into a gym for a session to “exercise,” it lacks commitment and specificity. Training indicates planning and working towards a specific end, a concerted effort. Your mindset must be one that embodies focus and action. That is why the language you use to think about your goals must always be precise and intentional; there’s no room for wavering. Learning to think this way is no different from training; the more practice and effort you put in, the better you’ll get. And, when this sort of mindset becomes natural, then, failure becomes the unlikelihood rather than the likelihood.

Step two: planning. Just as with the way you think about yourself and your goals, your planning must be active and intentional. Planning is often presented as a linear activity, but this is only partially true. The planning process may start as a discrete organization of ideas, but the performance of the plan will be anything but. This is why it’s crucial that you take the time to develop your sense of accountability, as this will be the foundation upon which the performance of your plan will rest. Things will go wrong, and events will occur that you can’t predict. You have to be able to fall back on yourself first before the plan, as it will be your sensibilities that dictate how you respond. An example of this is when some people miss a workout, and they utterly give up on their goal. One step of the plan didn’t work, ergo, the whole plan won’t work. The plan was likely fine, it’s that they had no sense of accountability for the plan to rely on.

The reality is that a meaningful goal is a challenging one. If you don’t have a personal foundation to support your transformation, nor a meaningful stake in the end result, you won’t make it through the process. Not only will you be more sensitive to the unexpected (and often negative) realities on the path of goal achievement, but you’ll be that much more ready to quit. It’s a synergy of failure. However…

You don’t have to do it alone. In fact, I suggest that if you embark upon a path like the one described here that you do it with other people. At JustLift, this is the fundamental reason we use a class structure for training sessions; just as we train together, we succeed together. The reality is that there are very, very, few people who’ve ever accomplished anything great by themselves. Working with other, dedicated people that have a course to navigate comparable to yours? That’s a synergy of success.

There’s a certain sense that comes with using the end of a year to take stock of your life, what you want, and who you wish to be. It’s certainly convenient, and perhaps that’s the greatest fallacy of the New Years Resolution. It’s both a casual and a convenient act, and yet, I can say with certainty, there is nothing casual or convenient in the act of evoking change in yourself. However, if you can take that first step towards accountability, your chances of achievement have already dramatically increased. Just remember, your resolution cannot truly begin with a seasonal list; it must be cultivated from within. Think of that first step as an initiation into a new phase of your life. So, let’s stop fooling ourselves and drop this resolution business. Begin by planting the seeds for change in yourself, and save the sticky note for your groceries.

By |January 4th, 2013|Articles, Blog|Comments Off on Skip The New Years Resolutions-How To Become Your Own Resolve