8 Scientific Ways to Be Happy

Everyone at Okanagan Peak Performance Inc trains for exactly the same thing. This may strike some as strange because we work with a variety of clientele that want to look, feel and play better. So how is it all our clients can be training for the same thing?

Nutritional Myths Seminar Recap

Tuesday a number of our clients, friends and family gathered at the facility for some beer, chocolate, wine & cheese and handed out some door prizes.

Oh yeah, there was also a nutritional seminar going on as well.

You Don’t Need More Energy

Quick question…what’s your favourite cheat food?

For a lot of people the answer would be something sweet. Maybe it’s ice cream, or chocolate or some type of candy. I like all of these.

But indulging in a treat can wreak havoc on your training goals. We’re trying to create a caloric deficit from training but then can quickly undo a lot of our efforts when we load up on sweets.

8 Steps for Weight Loss – Where hCG Fits In

Last week I introduced some of you to the hCG Diet. And a few of you were already familiar with it which is good. In fact one of you replied with what your experiences with it had been.

hCG Diet – Is It Worth the Risk?

I’m not a huge fan of quick fixes.

Usually this leaves the person involved with a band-aid solution to deal with the symptom but never addresses the cause.

It would be like taking aspirin because your head hurts from hitting yourself in the head with a hammer. Sure you can keep popping pills but you’re never going to get to the root cause of the problem.

5 Reasons for an Immediate Post-Workout Shake

The other day we were finishing a Group Fitness Training workout and I passed out shakes to those who had joined us. Yeah, that’s right. From time to time you get rewarded for coming out for a training session on a long weekend.

Anyways as we were sitting back and drinking our shakes someone asked me why we would have a shake? Why was this important?

2 Fixes to Getting the Fitness Results You Want

Do you know the following people?

The ones who complain about nutrition and exercise not working for them. That they have tried everything under the sun when it comes to workout routines or dietary changes. But for whatever reason they don’t get results.

And they’ll state emphatically it has nothing to do with their approach or their dedication. They are just different.

You know the type of people I’m talking about?

4 Reasons Our Children Will Have Worse Health Than We Do

A lot of the content on this blog is geared towards the adult population.

They are the ones who can read, or have interest in reading this type of content.

They are the ones who have gym memberships. And buy groceries. And are invested in relationships.

And they are also the ones who may face a variety of health problems and disease.

After a routine check up with the doctor they may be advised to change their lifestyle. Quit smoking. Stop drinking. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Get more sleep. You know the drill.

Or it could come about as a result of an accident. And you end up in physio. Where you’re being advised to strengthen your core. And stretch more. And focus on your posture.

Rarely do we think about the health of children.


Maybe it’s because we think of children as running and playing all the time. With endless amounts of energy. And when they do take a tumble they seem to spring right back up and carry on as though nothing happened.

But things are chaning.

Do you remember what Type II diabetes used to be called?

Give yourself a gold star if you said ‘Adult-Onset’.

The sad thing is we often don’t hear Type II referred to in this way anymore, do we? It’s sad because we’re seeing children being diagnosed what was once an adult disease.

Worse still, besides diabetes children are now developing hypertension, have cholesterol problems, metabolic syndrome and joint issues. Growing up I don’t ever remember me or my friends complaining of back pain. Ask your kids and their friends and you’ll find a number of them complain of this. Or look inside the waiting room of a physio clinic and there will be probably be some kids there.

But is it really that bad?

Yes. And it’s getting worse.

Over the past 30 years obesity rates among youth have tripled to the point where in the US 32% are considered obese or overweight.

And if this statistic alone isn’t alarming enough it gets worse in that many parents are:

* either unaware the health of their children was this poor


* did not seem worried when they were made aware

So how did things get so bad?

Well I can think of 4 Reasons Our Children Will Have Worse Health Than We Do.

Reason #1 – Immunization Scares

You can read back for a previous post I did about vaccinations. Here’s the link if you missed it:


Andrew Wakefield falsified his findings which were submitted to a medical journal for publication. Wakefield was stripped of his medical license and his findings were called ‘elaborate fraud’.

Whether it be vaccinations or another aspect of healthy eating and exercise don’t let one study cause to you abandon what has previously been considered healthy. If the finding is accurate, other labs will be able to reproduce the findings in their research and either confirm or refute the finding.

Reason #2 – Exercise v. Recreation

Growing up we were always sent outside to play. This meant road hockey. Or football. Or swimming. Or baseball. Or…

What these all had in common was they were either intense or fast. This is what exercise is about. By intense I mean the effort to move a resistance. And fast, well, means explosive and sprinting.

I’ll save the topic for a future discussion (or rant) but we seem to have moved to a place where setting out a mat and doing some stretches and poses has been substitued for exercise.

It is not.

Some of you won’t like me saying that but don’t hate the messenger. You cannot develop strength, speed and athleticism on your back with controlled breathing.

Sure they may be other benefits. But let’s put them in the category of recreation where they belong and not confuse our kids by calling them exercise.

Reason #3 – Technology

How many people reading this grew up with ipods, DS, cell phones and a facebook profile?

I sure didn’t.

If we wanted to talk to a friend we got on our bikes and went to find them. (some may have had their dad pick them up after, right AC?)

But today we don’t have to move. Everything is right beside us. It is all very convenient. And it allows us to not have to move, or interact with others.

At the end of the day these conveniences are great. But we’re burning fewer calories, moving less, interacting less and eating more as a result.

Reason #4 – Economy

Think this doesn’t have an impact on your kid’s health?

Consider that schedules change when both parents are working.

And now that time is at a premium we are looking for convenience for our nutrition.

And sometimes convenience food can be obtained for what appears to be a less expensive option.

Not to mention that equipment and registration fees for sports teams are always on the rise.

When you consider it this way, kids don’t really have a fighting chance. They will fewer chances to play organized sports and eat more of their food from a package or through a window.

If we consider childhood obesity increased 30% in years what do you suppose is in store for the next thirty?

Chris                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’

Top 5 Surfing Exercises

Do you like to surf?

Up until last week I had never tried it before it my life.

And now I’m hooked.

But you know how when you try a new sport or activity you quickly learn with muscles and movements you haven’t been much of before?

Yeah, well I was feeling it.

I had a 2 hour private lesson in the North Shore at Haliewah. What a beautiful area.

The background mountains were so impressive it looked like the backdrop of a movie. And in between catching waves the sea turtles would come over and say hello. That was really cool to have them floating right next to you popping their heads up to take a look.

But back to the actual surfing…

If this is something you do or would like to try here are 5 Exercises to Get You Ready for Your Next Surfing Trip.

Surfing Exercise #1 – Back Extensions

You spend the majority of your time in the prone position, or face down, when you are on your board. And this involves whenever you are paddling out and when you are getting set up to catch a wave. So it’s important to have good extensor strength through the mid-low back.

Surfing Exercise #2 – Shoulder Flexion/Extension

If you have access to a pool then swimming would be the most specific exercise to get ready. But if not you’ll want to get your shoulders ready for all the paddling you’ll be doing by doing some resisted flexion and extension work. I’d prefer to do with a cable column or some tubing as a dumbbell has a deadpoint in the resistance whereas a cable is constant and tubing has more resistance the further you stretch it.

Surfing Exercise #3 – Burpees to Side Stance

When you start paddling to catch a wave you have to quickly extend your upper body, brace your hands on the rails and then pop up to standing. Burpees will provide the conditioning needed to do this repeatedly and if done where you finish in side stance will prep you for your positioning on the board.

Surfing Exercise #4 – Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat

While surfing is done standing on 2 feet, each foot is doing something different. You apply pressure to your front foot to accelerate and your rear foot to slow down. The split squat helps you develop the leg strength and power to perform on the board but also helps you improve your balance and alignment.

Surfing Exercise #5 – Dive Bomber Push Up

Start in a push up position but slide your hands down a little lower to beside your rib cage. Push yourself into the up position as high as possible and rock back on your heels. You can let your hips pike up.

Now imagine a piece of barbed wire 1 foot off the ground where your hands are. You need to duck your head, then your torso and hips under this imaginary wire as you roll your body forward.

Once you have passed under the wire push your head tall, your chest forward and let your hips sink towards the ground before starting another rep.

Surfing Exercise #6 – Wrist Internal/External Rotation (Pinkie & Thumb Extended)

Some of you may be scratching your head on this one. You’ve worked out for a while. You read this blog and other fitness publications. What is this novel surfing exercise no one has ever mentioned?

Well to do it you need to curl your ring, middle and index finger towards your palm. Your thumb and pinkie should be straight.

From this position turn your thumb down and your pinkie up. Reverse this position twice more.

***special instructions for this exercise. Do NOT use a full range of motion, relax the hands and smile at someone in Hawaii after you catch your first wave. They will mirror the exercise back at you.***

Now here is some footage of me trying to catch my very first wave in Hawaii.

Hopefully we’ll have the comments section fixed up and you can tell me what you think of the exercises and my first attempt at surfing.



The Good & the Bad of the 4 Hour Body

A while back I told you some of the books I was reading. And I asked for your favourite reads as well.

A few of you recommended the 4 Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss.

And so I picked up a copy. Actually my wife got me a copy for Valentine’s Day. If I weren’t in this profession I might be skeptical as to her motives by getting me this book. But since she knew I had already been checking it out it was a safe bet.

Anyways back to the book.

Are you familiar with the author Tim Ferriss? He wrote the NY Times Best Seller The 4 Hour Work Week. In it he provides some very interesting strategies to become more efficient in your career and thus have more time for whatever it is you enjoy doing.

And with his latest work he shows you how he changed his body, for the better, with only 4 hours of training time. Per month.

Big deal you might be thinking. ‘I know lots of people who spend 0 hours per month training’.

The difference is the results he achieves in this minimal investment in time.

What kind of results?

He adds 34 pounds of muscle to his body in one month. He goes from running 5 k to 50 k in twelve weeks. He increases his lifts 150 lbs.

And he does this all while decreasing his bodyfat, improving his lipid profile, eating bear claws and croissants and drinking red wine.

Ok now we’re talking! Incredible gains. Minimal time investment. And you get to eat your favourite cheat foods!

How does he do it?

Well you’ll have to read the book to find out.

But what I do want to tell you about The 4 Hour Body are some of the good and bad things he covers. And by bad I simply mean I wouldn’t recommend you follow his advice.

Since everyone, including Tim I’m sure, enjoys getting the good news first let’s start with the parts of The 4 Hour Body I thought were good.

Good Point #1 – Distinguish between exercise and recreation

Ferriss does a great job early on to make sure we understand there is a difference between exercising and doing something for recreation. When we lays out the training plan this is intended to be exercise. It should be intense, planned, recorded, purposeful and short in duration.

Recreation on the other hand is everything else. This may include going for a walk or a bike ride, playing a round of golf or doing yoga or Pilates. He isn’t saying there aren’t health benefits to these activities but that you can’t expect the results he describes if all you are doing is recreational activities.

Good Point #2 – Use of Metrics

Ferriss mentions how he has recorded every workout he has done for the past 10 years or more. He uses glucose monitors to check his blood sugar. He owns or has tried every form of body fat testing. He carries around his own food scale.

To say the guy has some raw data would be an understatement. The more familiar you are with your numbers the better results you will get.

Good Point #3 – Emphasis on Rest & Recovery

Not only does he suggest you train only 4 hours per month he advocates long rest breaks between sets. We might think that if we’re only training 4 hours in a month than the training time must be non-stop with no chance to catch your breath. Instead he insists you rest between sets. As well as you get further into the program he recommends increasing the number of days between workouts.

Good Point #4 – Use of Spices & Flavourings

What is a common complaint of those who start a nutritional plan without all the refined sugar and processed foods they were familiar with? The say there is no flavours.

Ferriss does a great job of showing ways to make food more flavourful and interesting by incorporating a few key spices and ingredients into the mix. But this guy is all about results so you know he is suggesting ways to increasing your insulin sensitivity by adding a particular spice to your morning coffee.

Good Point #5 – MED

This stands for minimum essential dose and is probably the greatest strength of the book. Ferris uses a great analogy where he states that it takes 100 degrees Fahrenheit to boil water. Anything above 101 is wasted energy that could have been used for other purposes.

He uses the same thought process with his training. He seeks out to find the minimal investment to yield the maximum result.

If you remember reading the interview I did with Dan John a while back he spoke of seeking out the minimum as well. It looks like there maybe something to this.

If we are truly seeking results than does going longer yield a better result? What about more frequent? If not then why are we doing longer, more frequent workouts?

Stay tuned for Part II where it get into the parts of the 4 Hour Body that weren’t as good.

Chris                                                                                                                                                                                      okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’