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Schedule Changes: Oct 3-4, 2014

As I’m sure almost all of you know, our team is traveling to North Bay this weekend to compete at the Ray Hamilton Classic! In light of this, there will be a few schedule changes.

This Friday there will be no JustFit class, and JustLift Level II will only go from 5-7pm. On Saturday, everything will run as usual, however, JustLift Level I will begin at 10am along with the Level II class.

Friday – No JustFit; JustLift Level II @ 5-7pm
Saturday – JustFit @ 9am; JustLift Level I and II @ 10am

By |September 30th, 2014|News|Comments Off on Schedule Changes: Oct 3-4, 2014

Back to School and End of Summer Deals

Back to School

Are you a student heading back to school? Commit to making JustLift a part of your semester and save!

3 Months 3x/wk – $300 (Student)

3 Months Unlimited – $400 (Student)

Promotion ends September 30, 2014. Must present valid Student ID

End of Summer

Vacation season is coming to an end, so there’s no better time to dive in and get back into a steady routine of training with the JustLift family!

3 Months 3x/wk – $330

3 Months Unlimited – $440

Promotion ends September 30, 2014

Drop-In, Lift Up

Our 5 session punch card is a steal. For not much more than a month of coffees, you get coaching from our team of experts. We want to see you all come in more and improve, so we will be changing our 5 session punch card to a 10 session punch card at the end of September. But for now, you can still get the 5 session card at the old rate! Stock up now and the 3 month shelf life won’t start until your other cards are done!

5 session punch card – $65


By |August 24th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Back to School and End of Summer Deals

Bacon Swiss Burgers with Tomato and Avocado

A bacon Swiss burger embellished with ripe tomato and avocado: delectable! In this burger, I’ve spiced up the meat with thyme and Worcestershire sauce, which hint at the Mediterranean and at the steak house. In this case, a soft white bun is the best choice—any other type of bun and the burger might become too huge to eat. But of course, that’s what helps to make it delectable. Serve your favorite condiments alongside.


  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck or sirloin
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 or 2 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Vegetable oil, for grilling
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted, for serving
  • Thinly sliced ripe tomato, for garnish
  • Thinly sliced red onion, for garnish
  • Sliced ripe avocado, for garnish
  • Boston lettuce leaves, for garnish


1. If you will be grilling the burgers, preheat a barbecue grill to medium-high.

2. While the grill is heating up, cook the bacon on the stovetop in a large skillet over medium-low heat until it is just crisp, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and set it aside to drain. (If you prefer to panfry the burgers, reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the skillet.)

3. Place the beef, Worcestershire, Tabasco, thyme, and salt and pepper in a bowl, and toss lightly with a fork to combine. Form the mixture into 4 patties, each about 3 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick.

4. When you are ready to grill the burgers, oil the grill grate well. Add the burgers and grill for about 3 minutes for rare, 4 minutes for medium-rare meat. Turn them over and grill for another 3 or 4 minutes, topping the burgers with the cheese in the last minute of cooking. (Or panfry the burgers in the hot bacon fat over medium heat for 3 minutes per side for rare meat, adding the cheese as described.)

5. Place the burgers on the toasted buns, and top them with the bacon, tomato, onion, avocado, and lettuce. Cover with the tops of the buns and serve immediately.

Recipe from TEN: All the Foods We Love, Ten Recipes for Each by Sheila Lukins (Workman Publishing, 2008). Found on

By |May 27th, 2014|Blog, Nutrition|Comments Off on Bacon Swiss Burgers with Tomato and Avocado

The Notorious “Pull More”

When you’ll most likely hear this cue:

From an error or improper form in the second pull, mostly in the snatch.


  • Your muscles weren’t engaged properly, therefore letting the bar loop away from you- jumping or missing forward.
  • You’re not staying close to the bar, landing with the bar over your head instead of shoulders and/ or being rejected in the catch.

Possible solutions:

  • Make sure that off the ground: you draw your shoulders back and engage your lats (retract your scapula). What will happen now is your shoulders move back and down. It’s easier to learn how to get into this position when using an empty bar in a standing position, then going to the hang and then squatting it down to the start position.

*Note- Keep your head up in flexion, this will help turn on your upper back as well as help you keep your center of gravity in a more favorable position (belly button over the bar)

  • Sometimes the bar path will be completely straight -good for you- but if your body doesn’t move around the bar as efficiently as possible, you’ll end up with missed or ugly lifts. The point of weightlifting is to lift the weight. By extending away from it you’ll end up being inefficient in two ways. One, by not being over the bar thus not being able to keep pulling up on it (you do have to move back just enough to get out of its path when its time to turn over). And two, by having to move diagonally instead of straight down, back into the spot to receive it- I call this dive bombing.

*Note- When someone comes in and has a hard time with moving around the bar I like to set them up against a squat rack with a PVC pipe and tell them to go through the movements as if they were snatching on a smith machine.

To interpret

Here’s the tricky thing. When a coach simply tells you to ‘pull more’  its hard to know when to pull more. Instead of just pulling more, next time ask- or try to figure out where the bar went off its bar path or you weren’t as close to the bar as you could be- Then emphasize on pulling it towards you at that moment.
Alternative cues

“Keep it close”

“Pull it in”

“Jump and pull”

“Pull early”

“Lats/ Shoulders back”

“Elbows back”

“When giving a cue, you don’t want to actually ‘fix’ their mistake but make them aware of what their body needs to be feeling in the moment that made them miss the lift. You need to train them to be able to feel it in themselves what was wrong, giving them cues of what to be thinking about instead of what to be doing. When coaching, you need to find what cue, mantra, phrase, relation, sound, feeling that will make them understand what needs to be done and then ingrain it in their mind so far that it becomes second nature to them.”

Photo: Hookgrip

By |May 26th, 2014|Articles, Blog|Comments Off on The Notorious “Pull More”

The Cook Up

On Tuesday night I came home from the gym and cooked.  My boyfriend was working nights so I spent the evening cooking.  I made two big cook up dishes.  A tomato, pepper, onion and sausage bake and a chicken, sweet potato and kale soup.


I didn’t actually follow recipes, but these recipes were the inspiration – Sausage Bake Chicken/Kale Soup.  I was super lucky that all the kale that I used in the soup was the last of the kale that came from my garden! I’ll definitely be planting kale again next year!


I had a really great night at the gym last night and also on Tuesday night.  Tonight I managed to hit my personal records (PR) 3 times in each the Snatch (50kg) and Clean & Jerk (60kg)! I was very excited for this.  I’ve been having a hard time at the gym, lately, my hip flexors have been tight and hard to warm up, I’ve been gassing out and feeling pretty discouraged.  Tonight felt great.  The weights were flying,  yet I felt that I was working hard too.

So, what was different last night and tuesday from others? I ate more throughout the day.  On tuesday, I stopped at home quickly before I headed to the gym and ate some tuna and avocado (my power food!).  Last night I knew I would be working late, so I brought a meal with me to eat before the gym (chicken/kale soup).  So, lesson learned I’ll be eating from now on!

Happy lifting! See you at the gym!

By |November 23rd, 2012|Blog, Nutrition|Comments Off on The Cook Up

Lazy Sunday night healthy eating

I never have time during the week to make myself more then boiled eggs or something resembling that simple, so on the weekend I like to make something that takes a little more effort.  Saturday morning was an egg scramble with onion, mushroom and peppers, bacon,  sliced avocado and sauerkraut.  I’ve been trying to add in sauerkraut to my morning meal as much as possible for a good dose of probiotics without having to take probiotic supplements.


Last week I made my first ‘paleo’ dessert’,  Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake with Maple-Vanilla Frosting, from Melissa Joulwan’s website – The Clothes That Make The Girl.  It was a big hit at home as well as at the gym where I brought some sweet samples for my hardworking weightlifting family (or at least the ones that were there when I brought them in!).  These were quite worth the considerable effort it took to  make them.  I found them a little labour intensive considering the long ingredient list, trying to make sure the frosting was the right consistency and waiting forever for the cake to cool down.  I have to admit I was a little impatient making the frosting so it ended up being a little too runny and I had to cool it down in order to get it the right consistency, but again, well worth all the effort! Actually, I wish I had one now…


Sunday nights are often a crapshoot around my house as to whether or not we end up eating a healthy meal or ordering out due to laziness.  Often cooking up something wins because we’re cheap and don’t want to spend the money, and that was the case last night.  It couldn’t have been easier considering we had plenty of leftovers from the end of the week and we threw together a toss salad with balsamic dressing.


Finally, in anticipation of a cold week ahead, I roasted some butternut squash and onion to make soup.  I always find myself longing for a bowl of steaming creamy soup.  However, considering diary is a big no-no for me (even as a cheat its a no-go as I’m allergic) a nice blended butternut squash soup is perfect! I’ll share later in the week!

Here’s to a week of eating real food!

By |November 19th, 2012|Blog, Nutrition|Comments Off on Lazy Sunday night healthy eating

Maintaining Paleo with good food

Today I was going through my facebook account deleting old posts and looking through old pictures and came across some of my pictures from when I first started eating Paleo.  Within a year of taking the paleo bull by the horns my pictures are (to me) noticeably different, my skin was clearer, my face thinner, and my body definitely leaner.  I lost about 20 pounds with that year.  I was feeling super confident and I was on a total paleo high.

Fast forward a couple of years.  I’ve maintained about half of that original weight loss, but my weight has gone up and down.  I try not to worry about my weight when it comes to the numbers, I always know if I’ve gained or lost weight based on my clothes, but I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t succumb to those societal ideas once in awhile.  I will admit, I am vein, I like to know that I look good in my clothes, and most importantly, that I look good naked! But what really matters is, am I fit? Am I keeping up at the gym?

Recently I’ve been doing pretty good with my diet.  As I’ve mentioned in the last post I maintain about a 80/20 paleo diet, but I want to tighten that up and gear up to start making some more gains at the gym.

Over the last week or so I’ve made a number of really great meals.  Some of which I took pictures of and some I forgot because they were SO good I ate it all before realizing that I hadn’t gotten a shot of it!

On Friday night after the gym I was super hungry and there were no left overs to eat, so I cooked up a fall back meal – Sausage and Peppers.  I had some sauerkraut on the side with some mustard! This is one of my favourite meals because it is so fast and easy, with cutting veggies, I think that this meal was on my plate within 20 minutes.


Earlier that week I made what will become a staple in my household – balsamic marinaded chicken.  The chicken thighs were marinaded from the morning, I put it on bamboo skewers and barbecued them up when I got home from the gym.  I paired it with a green salad with yellow peppers and that Dreamy Avocado dressing from the “It Starts with Food” book.


The balsamic marinade was simple:

-equal parts Olive oil and Balsamic vinegar (I used about 1/4 cup each)

-3 or 4 cloves of chopped garlic or use a garlic press

-2 tablespoons of dijon mustard

-salt and pepper

combine all the ingredients and add the chicken, coat and let sit in the fridge for the day or overnight.  If your going to put them on skewers don’t forget to soak them or they will burn!

Finally the last thing I made that I wanted to highlight was Thai Curry burgers and a Thai salad.  A couple years ago I went to visit a good friend in Thailand and every since I have been hooked on Thai food and Thai flavours!

I got my recipes from the blog “Stuff I Make my Husband”.  When I try a new recipe, if I’m not really familiar with the ingredients (like with Thai cooking) I try to stick to the recipe as written.  The only thing I skipped in this recipe was the cilantro and the herb bed that the salad called for.  I don’t know about you, but to me, cilantro tastes like dirty feet smell.


This recipe was awesome! My BF who is normally a huge fan of my cooking was ‘really impressed’ with last-nights meal and happily ate leftovers for dinner tonight.

By |November 7th, 2012|Blog, Nutrition|Comments Off on Maintaining Paleo with good food

Getting back on the Paleo Bandwagon a.k.a. Paleo Faileo

Happy Halloween! The other day Ian posted a link to the “Seven Shades of Paleo” from The discussion that this article generated online between Facebook, Twitter and I’m sure many blogs was interesting. If you read that article you’ll know what I mean when I say I’m not “That Guy”! I follow a 80/20 diet. I try for 90/10 but that’s not always possible.  

After a weekend of visiting with family and eating some not-so-paleo foods, it was time to get back on that bandwagon!

Lunch was a chopped salad with chicken, bacon, a boiled egg, lettuce and yellow pepper with “dreamy avocado dressing”. I wish I had taken a shot of the salad, it was so delicious! The avocado dressing was a recipe from It Starts with Food by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig of the “Whole 30” fame (highly recommended read by the way). I’ve been wanting to try this recipe but hadn’t had a chance until today. Let me tell you, its a great way to use failed homemade mayo!

For dinner I had some left over moose roast, brought to us by a good friend! I grilled some cauliflower on the barbecue with some olive oil, S&P, and curry powder. I also added a side of pepper with some of that Dreamy Avocado Dressing.


Some advice for getting back on track with your nutrition is to make sure you have lots of good food in the house. Typically I do all my non-paleo eating outside of the house so when I need to get back on track I don’t have those non-paleo foods staring at me. I try to make sure that I have some protein cooked at the beginning of the week so that I can at least have raw vegetables for quick, easy meals. Of course, taking a few hours on Sunday to prepare some meals for the rest of the week is super helpful too. This, as I’ve mentioned before, is a huge challenge for me!


How do you get back on the paleo bandwagon after a paleo faileo?! If you’re on twitter you can follow me @sarmcgregor and let me know!

By |October 31st, 2012|Blog, Nutrition|Comments Off on Getting back on the Paleo Bandwagon a.k.a. Paleo Faileo

Power Food

A couple of years ago I discovered my power food.  That thing that I eat during the day that gives me energy, the thing that makes my lifts that evening powerful, precise, quick, and right on target! I often hit my personal records or even make new ones when I eat it! 


My power food is tuna and avocado! I love it! simple yet satisfying and keeps me going all day.  I usually have some kind of salad on the side, or mix the tuna and avocado into a salad, or spread it on slices of cucumber, pepper, etc. 

I’ve even done this with it:

(Tuna and Avocado Nori Roll with cucumber, broccoli slaw, orange pepper)
It took a couple of tries to figure out how to roll this, but having worked at the Pita Pit as a poor university student helped in my understanding of constructing a tight roll! 

I know it sounds a little strange but give it a try! I swear its delicious and I’ve converted at least a couple of people to eating this instead of regular old tuna salad.


On another note, in my continuing efforts to be more prepared food-wise for the week, last night I made my go-to quick meal, sausage with whatever veggies are around (tonight was mushrooms and sauerkraut), and prepared a big pot of chili.



I didn’t use a recipe, I just kind of threw a bunch of stuff in the pot and simmered it down.  I took some inspiration from online and went for it.  This pot has the following in it:

  • 1lb of ground beef
  • 1lb of ground lamb
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup or so of chili powder
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red pepper

Simmered down until it looked kind of thick and let it sit until it cooled down and threw in the fridge.  This will be dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow.  If we’re sick of it by Wednesday night I’ll throw the rest in the freezer for another day!


I’ve gotten some really nice compliments about the blog and so I just want to thank everyone who takes the time to read this and it’s really awesome to know that a few of you get a little inspiration from what I’ve been eating! Keep coming back! I’ll try to keep it interesting!

By |October 23rd, 2012|Blog, Nutrition|Comments Off on Power Food

JustEat – Breakfast!

Good morning! “They” say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but if you eat a Paleo diet, breakfast can be the most repetitive meal of the day, but it doesn’t have to be!

There are many options for your first meal of the day.  Traditional breakfast foods of eggs, bacon, etc. usual end up on my plate, but eating those leftovers from the night before doesn’t have to be relegated to the later part of the day!

My challenge in the morning is making sure that I end up with a hearty breakfast to bring me through to lunch, which means protein.  I have to say, eggs are a staple in my breakfast, I love them and try to switch it up and mix up how I make them.  Boiled eggs though, with whatever left over veggies from dinner, usually end up on the menu!

Since my work day starts at 8am in the office, I more often then not end up packing both my breakfast and lunch to bring with me.

This morning was egg salad with green onions, a cut-up tomato, and a banana with black coffee.


It has only been in the last couple of months that I took the leap to start drinking my coffee black.  Cream in my coffee has always been my last hurdle to pure paleo eating (minus an indiscretion in my weekend eating here and there). The experience of switching to black was not nearly as bad as I had thought it would be. I’ve often heard people weaning themselves off cream by switching instead to milk and then lessening the amount until it’s not there anymore. I decided to just switch to black.

My best advice: spend money on your coffee. Get GOOD coffee! It will make a world of difference! You know those descriptors they use for coffee? ‘Carmel’, ‘chocolate’, ‘fruity’, ‘nutty’, etc. You can actually taste that when you don’t have all that cream and sugar in there! Yum! I can’t imagine drinking my coffee anyway but black now.

By |October 19th, 2012|Blog, Nutrition|Comments Off on JustEat – Breakfast!