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Client Spotlight: March 2016

Meet our hard working client and spotlight this month, Jamie!

E3: How long have you been training with E3 Fitness?

Jamie: Just about one year

E3: What is your long term training goal:

Jamie: My long term goal is to loose weight and get into a healthy fitness routine for life.  I also want to compete in a run such as the Sun Run or something similar to that.

E3: What is your favorite exercise?

Jamie: Since I am strong in my legs, I like anything I can really push through with my lower body – kettle bell squats and dead lifts are great.

E3: What has been your biggest fitness obstacle and how have you overcome it?

Jamie: The biggest obstacle for me was making fitness part of my daily schedule and pushing myself to keep doing it.  I have never been a “gym” guy and although I have been active all of my life, working out was just something I never did.  Now I am trying to work out a minimum of five days a week including two days of training.  The next challenge I have started is changing my diet and cutting out items like bread and beer (harder then I thought).

E3: What is your most memorable fitness accomplishment:
Jamie: I started to do the Grouse Grind last year and it wasn’t pretty when I started.  Now my time is better and my overall energy level is still there when I reach the top.
E3: Would you recommend training with E3 Fitness to your family and friends? Why?
Jamie: The main reason I would recommend training with E3 Fitness to friends and family is that E3 works with you to meet your goals and is very good to push you in the right directions.
E3: Thanks for your commitment and hard work Jamie. You have worked incredibly hard to get to where you are, keep it up! 

Client Spotlight: June 2015

Meet Dave, our client of the month:

E3: How long have you been training with E3 Fitness?

Dave:  NOT LONG ENOUGH.  Approximately 6 years?

 E3: What is your long term training goal?
Dave:  My goal is ever evolving depending on how disciplined I am with other aspects of my life such as diet and other vices. In January and September of every calendar year my goal is to feel like I’m not 80 years old.  Ultimately though, I hope to not split my pants anymore and be strong like ox.
E3: What is your favorite exercise?
Dave:  Stretching at the end of the session….and box jumps.
E3: What has been your biggest fitness obstacle and how have you overcome it?
Dave:  My gimpy knee.  Due to my stubbornness I have left a legacy of eternal pain in my left knee.  It is both a blessing and a curse, depending on what exercise Jackie is proposing next.
E3: What is your most memorable fitness accomplishment?
Dave:  I peaked in high school and I think the tales of athleticism I tell now are greatly exaggerated.  With that in mind, I can honestly say my most memorable fitness accomplishments are when I stay committed to training with Jackie for any legitimate length of time and when I can see and feel my strength and conditioning change dramatically for the better. 
As a side bar, I have also run several (2) quarter marathons, but again I’m not one to brag and wish to shine the spotlight on Jackie here.
E3: Would you recommend training with E3 Fitness to your family and friends?:
Dave:  1000% I would.  Not only is Jackie a phenomenal trainer, but she is also an incredibly talented adult babysitter in my case.  Kidding aside, Jackie has always had my best interests at heart and continues to teach me each and every session.  Why?  Because if I didn’t have Jackie, I would have huge biceps, tiny legs and a bad back.
E3: Thanks Dave. We hope we can continue to work towards your goals and that you avoid splitting your pants in the future! 

Client Spotlight: April 2015

Meet Pete, our hardworking client of the month!

E3: How long have you been training with E3 Fitness?

P: Just over 5 years.

E3: What is your long term training goal?

P: Originally it was recovery from back surgery, then general fitness and now training for West Coast Trail and Everest Base Camp trek.

E3: What is your favorite exercise?

P: Almost anything – squats, presses, lunges – except negatives on the chin up bar.

 E3: What has been your biggest fitness obstacle and how have you overcome it?

P: Decreasing my recovery time seemed like a slow process but continuing regular workouts has brought significant improvement.

E3: What is your most memorable fitness accomplishment?

P: Day 2 of the Juan de Fuca trail with 35 lbs. on my back was the most grueling 8 hour workout ever.

E3: Would you recommend training with E3 Fitness to your family/friends?

P: I have introduced 2 friends as new clients to E3 Fitness. Jackie is a great motivator and is able to push me to succeed through her interesting and creative techniques. She goes the extra mile by sending me a copy of our workout to use as a guide when I train on my own.

E3: Thanks Pete, your hard work has paid off. Good luck on the West Coast Trail and Everest Base Camp trek!

How to use your trigger point ball

What is fascia and why do we need to roll?

Fascia are connective tissue fibers designed to attach, stabilize, enclose and separate muscles and other internal organs. Every structure in the body is covered by fascia (organs, muscles, nerves, etc). Over time, our layers of fascia can tear, through overuse or trauma to muscle. When tears don’t heal properly, layers of fascia adhere together in spots which in turn can cause pain, discomfort and limit our range of motion.

Releasing these adhesions offer great benefits including: 

  • Releasing knots and tightness in muscles
  • Preventing injury
  • Increasing flexibility and blood flow
  • Reducing soreness from workouts

Why use a lacrosse ball instead of a foam roller?

The small area of the lacrosse ball allows you to pinpoint the pain more effectively and is great for treating shoulder, buttocks and hip pain. The lacrosse ball also works on smaller muscle groups like biceps, triceps and calves.


1. Roll on the trigger point ball until you feel a “hot spot” (you will know when you found it as it will hurt). Once you have found this trigger point, rest on the ball for 10-20 seconds in order to smooth the fascia.

2. Never roll over bone or joints.

3. Drink plenty of water after an intense roll session.

The following photos showcase 10 areas you can roll out using your myofascial release ball. 

1. Trapezius – Place the ball between the wall and upper part of your trapezius. Pull your arm across your chest on the side you are working on. Roll back on ball until you find your hot spots.









* A great roll to release tension in your neck and shoulders.

2. Deltoid (shoulder) – Stand with your deltoid towards the wall. Place ball between you and the wall. Roll until you find your trigger points.









* A great roll for prevention and treatment of shoulder injuries including strains/tears to the rotator cuff.

3. Pectoralis Major (Chest) – Place the ball between the wall and your chest and apply pressure.


In order to find your trigger points you may need to adjust your arm as shown below.

* A great roll for those sitting at a desk all day. Rolling your chest will help prevent and treat shoulder injuries.

4. Forearm – Place forearm against the ball and press into the wall. Roll back and forth the length of the muscle groups and stop at any trigger points and hold for a sustained release.








* A great roll for prevention or treatment of conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

5. Tricep – Place the back of your arm against the ball and wall. Roll up and down from the elbow to the shoulder until you find your trigger points.









* A great release for those with any elbow pain.

6. Psoas (Hip Flexor) – Place ball in line and with your hip bone and 2 inches towards the mid-line. Rest your weight up on your elbows. Engage your core and help use the ball to push up into the psoas.







*A great roll for those with low back pain.

7. Piriformis – Sit on the ball and shift all of your weight on to one hip (your piriformis is located near your hip joint).

Extend your leg straight out as shown by Becky or cross your foot over your knee as shown by Jackie to increase the intensity.














* A great roll for those who sit all day. This roll helps prevent and treat symptoms of sciatica (radiating pain down the lower back, hips and/or back of leg).

8. Soleus (Inner Calf) – Roll ball up and down the leg to find trigger points. Once found, point your toe back towards you (dorsi flexion) and hold.







*This roll is great for those who run a lot. It helps release tension through the lower leg preventing and treating conditions such as shin splints and plantar fasciitis.

9. Gastrocnemius (outer calf) – Place the ball on the outside of your calf by crossing one leg in front of you at 90 degrees. Use your non supporting hand to place pressure on your leg allowing a deeper release.









* A great roll for those who run a lot. It will help release tension through the lower leg preventing and treating conditions such as shin splints and plantar fasciitis.

10. Soles of feet – Take off your shoes, place the ball on the floor with one foot on top (hold on to wall or stable surface for balance if needed). Apply pressure by placing more or less of your body weight on top of the ball. Roll from the ball of your foot all the way to your heel.








* Rolling the soles of your feet will help loosen the starting point of a network of tissue that run all the way up your back body to the crown of your head. It will help release tight calves, hamstrings and hips. This roll will help prevent and treat conditions such as plantar fasciitis.

Client Spotlight: September 2014

Meet Matena – Our hard working client of the month.

E3: How long have you been training with E3 Fitness?

M: I have been training with E3 Fitness since December 2013.

E3: What is your long term training goal?

M: I was involved in a motor vehicle accident, so my main training goal was to improve my strength and help decrease back and neck pain.  However, the training has helped me become more focused on staying fit overall.

E3: What is your favorite exercise?

M: Plank, trx and spin bike

E3: What has been your biggest fitness obstacle and how have you overcome it?

M: Being able to strengthen my back, legs, upper body and core muscles from my accident to complete exercises but also being able to increase the amount of reps on exercises (such as plank, squats, lunges and pushups) that seemed difficult for me before and has become less difficult.

E3: What is your most memorable fitness accomplishment?

M: I feel much stronger when I go on long walks but also stronger in general (legs, core, upper body). A stronger/more conditioned body allows you to do your day to day tasks and workouts pain free and with more energy.

E3: Would you recommend training with E3 Fitness to your family/friends? Why?

M: Yes I strongly recommend training with E3 Fitness.  I love working with Jackie, she is very friendly and a great trainer to work with.  Her knowledge and type of training fits with my situation and goals.  She encourages me to push myself more and also sees that I am capable of more which has helped me so much and has made me feel so much better of myself.

E3: Thanks Matena for all your hard work and dedication. It has paid off!

Client Spotlight: June 2014

Each month E3 Fitness will be spotlighting one of our fabulous clients in order to show our appreciation for all their hard work they put in to their health and fitness.

Meet Ali

E3: How long have you been training with E3 Fitness?

Ali: I have been training since the beginning of Oct. 2013.

E3: What are your long term training goals?
Ali: Primarily staying fit overall, improving my muscle tone, but also hoping to strengthen my core. I’ve had some lower back pain and hoped that through proper training I can treat that.
E3: What is your favorite exercise?
Ali: I have given this question a lot of thought, as I am not sure I actually I have too many…. I do like using the machines (trx, and can’t remember the name of the one that looks like a meat slicer by the front entry 😉 

E3: I think you’re talking about the Gravity Training System (GTS)  😉

E3: What has been your biggest fitness obstacle and how have you overcome it? 

Ali: Everything that I have done in the gym thus far, is new to me, as I have never been to a gym or exercised before. I have never been a sporty person, so sometimes just getting the motions right takes a bit of time. Becky has been great about noticing when I struggle with an exercise, she’ll stop me, have me do some corrective exercises or she will break it down for me in smaller parts. Becky’s encouragement and positive feedback helps every time. 

E3: What is your most memorable fitness accomplishment?

Ali: There have been quite a few: after months of training, my stamina improved, my lower back pain has subsided and just a general good feeling. It has also been my first year participating in the Sun Run 10k, and the Child Run 5k.

E3: Would you recommend training with E3 Fitness to your family/friends? 
Yes, definitely. The trainers (Kaitlin and Becky) have been always super friendly, supportive and knowledgeable. They have always encouraged me to push my limits, as they seem to be able to see that I am capable of much more then I think I am. Love it! 
E3: Thanks Ali for all your hard work! 

How Strength Training Can Make You Younger

You don’t have to give in to aging: How strength training can make you younger

Posted by the Globe and Mail, April 25th 2014

Aging. The very thought can make you cringe. Many people fear the aging process and are willing to go to great lengths to try to halt it. Aging is associated with aches, pains and diseases. Even folks in their 40s are starting to use the excuse: “I’m not getting any younger” to justify their physical limitations. Many think that aches and pains are part of the deal. They expect their bodies to deteriorate. And they can’t be blamed for feeling that way. The media drives home the message that the population is aging, and that we are getting sick and frail. With such a dark cloud around the subject, how can one not be afraid of aging?

The riddle of the Sphinx is: “What is that which has one voice and yet becomes four-footed and two footed and three footed?” Any idea? The answer is the human being. We start off on all-four, learn to walk upright on two feet, only to end up needing a cane. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can’t avoid aging, but what if I told you that the process can be slowed down, even partly reversed?

For the past few decades, cardio exercise has been lauded as the king of health maintenance. But recent research shows that strength training can do a lot of good for you. Rest assured I don’t want to start a battle between the two forms of exercise. There are many benefits to aerobic training. It is just time to give strength training the respect it deserves. Men can get the same cardiovascular benefit from 30 minutes of strength training a week as they would from 30 minutes of brisk walking every day.

Reversal of aging

One unfortunate aspect of aging is the loss of muscle tissue and strength. But it is possible to slow down the aging process by improving strength. A 2011 study published in the journal Sport Medicine examined the effects of strength training on aging muscles. It found that strength training increased insulin sensitivity and reduced pain and inflammation from arthritis. The researchers noticed that the effects of aging were reversed!

Better brain

A group of women aged 65-75 participated in resistance and balance training classes in one 2010 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine. These women not only improved their lower body power but also improved their selective attention and conflict resolution abilities. As I reported in a previous column, a contracting muscle has a positive influence on other organs.

More active genes

There’s more. In 2007, a team of American and Canadian researchers looked at the effect of strength training on aging genes. They compared 596 aging-related genes of older adults to the ones of younger participants. As expected, the older genes did not perform as well. The older participants then followed a resistance training routine twice a week for six months. After repeating the gene analysis, they saw a significant improvement in gene expression. In short: Increasing your strength will make your genes younger.

Male hormone restoration

Time also tends to decrease the amount of male hormones in the body. This usually results in lower energy levels. But incredibly, just 12 weeks of resistance training significantly increased the level of free testosterone and DHEA, according to a study published this year in the journal of the Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology.

You don’t have to live in pain or give in to the effects of aging. You can do something about it. Stop using your age as an excuse. Start caring for your muscles. Challenge your muscles twice a week with one to three sets of six to 12 repetitions. Focus on exercises that use a lot of muscles. They will give you a bigger return. If you are unsure where to start, hire a professional. Using the proper technique will help prevent injuries.

Remember– never too early, never too late.

Gilles Beaudin is a registered clinical exercise physiologist at Cleveland Clinic Canada.

Globe and Mail Link:

Congratulations Bob!

From a proud trainer…

Fall Classic, November 2013

When Bob first came to train with me back in 2010, he had never formally participated in any sport, strength or endurance training. After rehabbing from an old back injury and running recreationally, Bob was ready for his first endurance goal – To run 21.1 kilometers (1/2 marathon).

We set a plan to progressively increase his running distance, restore balance in his movement patterns through improved strength and flexibility and signed up to run the BMO half marathon in May of 2011.

There were many discussions regarding race day details. Bob had concerns about pre-race  diet, attire, proper warm up, how to space water breaks throughout the race and what he should do after he finished. All very important factors for any endurance athlete on race day. After coaching Bob on all these important factors and taking him out for his final “long run” before race day, he was ready and confident to take on his first half marathon.

At the finish line

Bob ran his heart out during that first race, finishing strong and feeling great. With his family there taking photos and cheering him on, Bob sprinted the final 100 meters with focus and determination.

Since accomplishing his first half marathon, Bob has participated in 3 other half marathon races, completing his 4th this past November in the Fall Classic (photo on the left).

It is always incredible to watch someone achieve their health and fitness goals. As a trainer, it gives me great pride and joy to have a client succeed and create a new healthier lifestyle through exercise, diet and healthy living.

Congratulations Bob, I am very proud of you.

Your trainer,

Jackie Collins

Welcoming Becky to the Team

E3 Fitness is proud to welcome our newest member: Becky Sidow. Becky’s background in fitness and yoga makes her an excellent addition to the team. Check out her full BIO here: Meet the Trainers 

Welcome Becky!

Ride To Conquer Cancer 2013

RTCC 2013 – By Jackie Collins, March 15th 2013

Gastown Cycling

This will be my third year participating in the Ride To Conquer Cancer benefiting the BC Cancer Foundation. The ride is a two day cycling journey taking place from Vancouver to Seattle. I will be riding approximately 250km to raise funds for cancer research.

This year is especially important as I’ve set my fundraising goal to $10,000!! This is certainly a daunting task, however, I’m confident that with help from friends, family, colleagues and clients I will succeed.

So far, I have been able to raise $5000.00 – Half way there! The ride takes place mid June. Therefore, I have just over 3 months to raise the additional $5000.00.

Check out my fundraising page. There is also a link to our cycling club – Gastown Cycling, where you can view profiles of the entire team.

Can’t wait for the big ride!!

Gastown Cycling: