Monday, 30 December 2013

JQ Fitness: A Year In Review

Take a peek back with us as we remember all of the amazing things that we've been up to this year!

Can you believe that 2013 is coming to a close? This year has been filled with some great memories and the opportunity to meet some amazing new faces and continue doing what we LUV! Thank you for making our job the best job out there!

So without further ado we present to you our YEAR IN REVIEW!

2nd Annual iluvthis Bootcamp BE[CAUSE] - A Burpee Can Make a Difference

On April 13 2013, we hosted our 2nd Annual iluvthis Bootcamp BE[CAUSE] charity event to raise money for Free-Theman Oakville-based charity committed to stopping and helping victims of human trafficking right here at home in the GTA and the Golden Horseshoe. 

A challenging team circuit kicked off the morning with tonnes of sweat and grunting but everyone finished with a smile. This is a family event, so a mini-bootcamp class for kids was next on deck (we start ‘em doing burpees young here at JQ!). To finish off our morning, Johanna and our trainers got over 130 participants pumped up with a high-energy kickboxing session and then had so much fun with our large bootcamp class.  

With your support and participation, we were able to raise more than $10,000 to fight again human trafficking.

There were free massages for the participants, an awesome chat from Dr. Jason Lee of Innermedica and some delicious goodies baked by Deb over at Gourmet Mom – yum! We had such a great time. If you were there with us THANK YOU for supporting Free-Them.  If you weren’t there, don’t worry one little bit because we’ve got another event coming up in February so you can get in on the fun as well J

Our event was featured in an article in the Invidiata The Collection magazine with the photography of Simon Remark from Ecstatic Photography

New Hamilton & Brampton Bootcamp locations!

This summer marked the launch of our Hamilton & Brampton locations! We've been so blessed in our ability to expand into over 15 locations across the GTA – we LUV bringing fitness and our community as close to you as possible and are so excited to open up new locations so that you can reap the benefits of our bootcamps!

We’ve been hearing some great feedback from these sites and are looking forward to seeing how they grow to be a bigger part of the iluvthis Bootcamp family.

Mississauga Waterfront Festival

We celebrated this year's Mississauga Waterfront Festival in Port Credit with kids fitness demonstrations and a fun booth!  If you dropped by our booth, we held an awesome bootcamp challenge where a few brave souls slammed that medicine ball into the ground and squatted-and-pressed that kettlebell as many times as they could in 30 seconds – we had a male and female winner who received a free 5 week bootcamp session.

Valiant efforts were taken by the men on stilts - (unfortunately they didn’t win the challenge…)

Locke St Festival

At the trendy Locke St Festival in Hamilton, our trainers Tanya and Emily along with Melissa braved the rain in the morning to hangout with our Hamilton crowd. Our tent didn’t fare as well in the rain as we did though…

Jeff and Johanna arrived in the afternoon to a clearing sky! Once again, our booth became the centre of attention as we challenged people with our kettlebells and medicine balls. Locke St. is such a unique street. So much so, we decided to move our Hamilton site right onto Locke St. at Melrose United Church! 

Half Marathon Clinic & 10th Annual Nike Women's Half Marathon

Summer is the time that we invite all our running clients and those that want to be runners to join us to start with a 5km run and progress to a 21.1km Half Marathon over 16 weeks of training. 

As we have done over the past several years, we capped the clinic off with a trip to San Francisco to run the 10th Annual Nike Women's Half Marathon with 30,000 other women and a few good men! Our trainer Amanda took the reins this year and guided everyone to a successful half marathon finish! We rocked the race...

(not to mention the FAB tutu’s that we all modeled!) did you really expect anything less?

We luved crossing the finish line to claim our Tiffany’s finished necklaces handed to us by handsome firemen in tuxedo’s!

Celebration of our 5 Year Fat Fighting Bootcamp Anniversary!

In June 2008, we started 2 bootcamp classes in Mississauga. We gave it our all, packing those 8 weeks with great people and great workouts. Well, we haven't looked back! Little did we know that iluvthis Bootcamp would evolve into a top notch fat loss and strength and conditioning program that would change people's lives and inspire health in thousands! Five years later, we have a team of 9 caring and inspiring trainers that are dedicated to coaching our community of participants across 15 locations in Brampton, Burlington, Etobicoke, Hamilton, Milton, Mississauga and Oakville. 

To celebrate our 5 years, we gave away some sweet swag bags – with water bottles, pens and our special edition #BurpeesForBreakfast t-shirts this fall! What an amazing 5 years it’s been…

I mean who doesn’t LUV free swag…

Tabata, Kickboxing and Core Small Group Fitness Classes

This fall marked the launch of our Small Group Fitness classes in Burlington, Oakville and Mississauga. We launched with 3 classes to choose from: Fat Blasting Interval Training Tabatas, High Energy Cardio Kickboxing and a Core Ripping Stability Ball class! All of which continue in the new year with NEW LOCATIONS ADDED.

4th Annual Freedom Walk for Free Them

In September we participated in the 4th annual FREEDOM WALK for Free-Them where we were honoured with the iStand Award, thanking us for our efforts to help abolish modern day slavery by raising $21,000 over the last 2 years. We then warmed up the walkers and off we went... to make a difference!

Girl's Night You - Beautiful You

In November, we hosted our first Beautiful You event, where Johanna talked about how the media affects how women perceive themselves and their value. It was an amazing ladies night and one that we will absolutely do again! Its such a privilege to remind the amazing ladies in our lives how special and truly beautiful they are!

During this event we also held a balloon raffle to raise money for Free-Them and ate delish goodies baked once again by Deb at Gourmet Mom! It was so amazing to see so many of you out for this.  Johanna’s talk was honest, informative and refreshing and we hope that you were inspired to embrace your inner beauty and value – we know we were!

It’s really been an amazing year and we're so blessed to have been able to share it with you! We hope you’ll be able to join us in 2014 as we keep pursuing our health and fitness goals and hopefully inspire you to do the same…

So from our JQ Fitness family to yours… MERRY CHRISTMAS & A HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Monday, 16 December 2013

Holiday Survival Guide: Exercise Edition

I’m sure you’re aware if you’ve set foot into a mall at any point in the last few weeks that the Christmas season is fully upon us. It’s a crazy time of year and for many of us the only exercise we find time to fit in is fighting off the other shoppers to snag that last minute present, boxing matches in the parking lot for that coveted parking spot, or running after your kids through Toys-R-Us (Tis' the Season!!)…

That said, how do we make time in our crazy lives this holiday to fit in the physical activity that our body is craving and not fall off the wagon when January rolls around – because if any of you are like me, or rather what I used to be like December was a total write off and by the time January rolled around well…..

you get the picture...

So with all of this in mind we’ve come up with some HOLIDAY DO’s for exercising this holiday season!

DO know your schedule and time availability, and don’t try to plan something that will be a burden on your schedule! Shorter and more intense bursts of activity like sprints, tabata or some of our punch-clock-workouts (Check ‘em out) will do the trick and help you stay limber and ready for action when the new year rolls around!

DO remember that if you skip out on your workouts all holiday season that getting back into the daily grind is going to totally SUCK when January rolls around.  With this is mind make sure you tackle a workout and keep your mind in the game!

DO bring your family on board! Your kids might be home from school soon and this is a great opportunity to get the whole family on board for some great family fun! Go rock climbing (inside of course!), go on a family walk with the dog, build a snowman and run around your yard. Take advantage of this opportunity to be with family and not just roasting chestnuts on the open fire.

DO skip the online shopping.  With the ease and convenience of shopping online these days there is often no reason to head out and tackle the mall parking lots and holiday shoppers. Head out to the mall and walk around a little bit, it will do your body good. Just try not to get too frustrated at those crazy mall people – patience and grace are the name of the game!

DO remember that your best exercise decision may actually be not stuffing that other holiday treat into your tummy… and check out our other HOLIDAY DO list for surviving the holiday parties and temptations along the way…

Ultimately the best thing that you can do for yourself is to maintain you normal schedule, of eating, exercise and sleep and with a few treats along the way you’ll be all set for a successful holiday season!


Just in case you don’t have enough holiday cheer in your life – try out this little holiday circuit workout we’ve put together for you!

15 Dumbbell Goblet Squats (No Dumbbell? Make it 30!)
15 Single-Arm Dumbbell Rows/Side
15 Burpees
12 Dumbbell Reverse Lunge/Leg (No Dumbbell? Make it 24!)
As Many Pushups As Possible (Leave 1-2 in the tank, don't go to fatigue)
20 Bicycle Crunches/Side



Friday, 29 November 2013

Holiday Party Fat Loss Survival Guide

The Christimas season is here and with it comes all of those holiday parties at work and home. You know how easy it can be to fall off the wagon on your healthy eating and fat loss journey with all of the delicious Christmas baking hanging around and staring right back in your face.

With this in mind we’ve come up with a few tips and tricks for you to survive the holiday season and those parties!

Some Holiday DO’s

DO eat a diet filled with veggies (for fibre and water) and tons of protein (lean meats fill you up! Have a protein shake before you go to a party so you're not wanting to go on a "see-food" diet)

DO know where you’ll be going and what you’ll be facing as early as possible so you aren’t caught off guard by those delish holiday treats hanging around in unexpected places!

DO skip out on those office “goodies” that will lead to mindless eating and probably aren’t homemade anyways (at least that’s what I tell myself), plus you’ll probably find yourself back there for seconds or thirds once you crack that tin open...

DO focus on eating meals that are well balanced and not overly adorned with carbohydrates (you’ll be able to better justify a few well-planned treats!) and it will help keep your blood sugar levels in check!

DO drink plenty of water, especially at a party. You may realize that the hunger you are feeling may actually just be your body needing some simple aqua! If you do have a holiday treat, make sure you drink a glass a water before thinking about going for seconds. (It washes out the craving)

DO be choosy when it comes to what you are going to indulge in!

Hey, it’s the holiday season after all, right!? Go in with the attitude that you are going to allow yourself a few treats along the way, otherwise you’ll leave yourself feeling deprived and could easily just binge away on all of the deliciousness potentially facing you at every corner. By knowing what’s going on in your holiday schedule you should be able to plan when you will partake in the holiday feasting and sugar-plum goodness.  This can also serve as a motivation during the week to hold off on mindlessly stuffing your face with those goodies at the office or at home.

Oh, and please DO remember that you aren’t an elf…

PS. Keep an eye out for our blog next week as we talk about exercising during the holidays, I think you’ll really like it!

I wonder how elves exercise?...

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Skip The Crackers & Eat The Cake

Special Post by Johanna Quinn,  JQ Fitness

What is it with us women anyway? When did we begin to develop such a destructive relationship with food? 


Let’s have a chat, shall we?

I was working with one of my personal training clients this morning. She is an amazing woman. She looks great. She is strong and lean, but clearly does not see the same person I do when she looks in the mirror.

I kick her butt twice a week at 6 in the morning and I mean kick. her. butt.

When I greet her she is already soaked in sweat from the 30 min she does 'prior' to "warm-up" on the treadmill. She has to get her "cardio" in, she says.
She is driven, works hard & long hours, and has a demanding job, but is determined to carve out time each day to exercise. I admire her discipline.
I have been working with her now for about 6 months. She surprised me when she said at our previous session that she wanted me to take her measurements etc.

So...this morning I showed up with the scale and tape, which always makes the female population moan and groan (it’s amplified at 6 in the morning if you were wondering). Her body fat read 28%. She was horrified and remained bothered for the rest of our session together. We began to talk nutrition. I used my favorite line "you can't out-train a bad diet". You can't trick your body. It’s too smart for that. She chimed in, "I don't understand, its not like I eat a lot of fat - how can it be so high??" (FYI- being a trainer for 17 years, I hear this all. the. time.)

See, us ladies have such a negative, twisted view of food. We see food as an enemy. We feel a sense of pride when we 'skip' a meal or choose a low-fat/low-calorie snack. As if we are winning this big battle against the big, bad, ugly enemy we call "food"…

Let’s Get Real…

Sadly, I feel like I am describing many, many women. 

Maybe even you.

I get it.

I can remember coming home one day from high-school. I probably hadn’t eaten most of the day. Maybe some caf fries for lunch or maybe just a muffin for breakfast. (Yikes, I know now, but didn’t at the time). 

I grabbed a bag of opened chips from the pantry. I probably ate most of the bag. My dad came into the room and said "Johanna, you better stop eating those chips. You don’t want to get fat do you?" I'm pretty sure I ate the whole bag just to spite what he said.

I love my dad. He meant well. I don't have “skinny” genes and he knew it. 
If you are a woman reading this I am sure you have a similar story: Someone trying to be helpful and well meaning, but who, with a few misguided words, creates the totally wrong connation with food.

The “Skinny” on Fat

Lets set one thing straight. 

Fat doesn’t make you fat.

Any one who lived through the 'fat-free' fad in the 90's can attest to this. Remember feeling so proud for purchasing everything fat-free? Even mayo??
Sadly, our waistlines kept expanding.

Fat is not the problem.

My dedicated client has a 'fat-free' diet (pretty much). She read off her daily food consumption to me. "It’s more or less the same thing everyday," she says. 

Her vice?

Those nasty flavour packets filled with artificial sweeteners that turn your water flourescent.



yep. crackers.

fat-free wheat thins, to be exact.

Ok. So let’s break it down. We know that fat doesn’t make us fat. Still not convinced? Ask a farmer what he feeds his livestock to fatten them up -  and quickly.

Its not eggs, mayo or protein shakes.
Its grains: mainly corn and wheat.

Enough said…

Time for an Overhaul

Ladies, its time to re-wire our brains!

If your body is craving something: junk, crackers, fruit-whatever. It’s a sign!
You see - our bodies are pretty amazing. If you have ever trained for a sporting event, marathon or triathlon you really know how amazing the body really is. 


It does need proper fuel, not empty calories. Fat-free, calorie-free, taste-free - whatever.

Fat-free foods are void of nutrition. Therefore, increasing cravings (which is the last thing we need - seriously). They also leave us wanting more, so we typically overindulge. (Artificial sugar is a whole other topic, lets save that for another day)

Moving forward from today, let's start to have a positive relationship with food. Food is your friend! Your body needs great, wholesome foods to keep up with your dreams and aspirations.

Looking Ahead

Here are a few tips to figure out which foods YOUR body fuels really well on. And yes, everyone is different. What works for your hubby may not work at all for you.

  1. Start tracking your eating and drinking over a few days.
  2. Pay close attention to your cravings (its your body's way of talking or screaming at you)! What are you craving? What time do you crave it at?
  3. Ask yourself a few things. - Am I stressed? Am I drinking enough water? -Have I had enough protein today?
  4. Look at your breakfast. I find that if I don't fuel myself enough at the start of the day I end up craving sweets and carb rich foods mid-morning or late afternoon.

Alright. So let’s loosen up! Enjoy life and for my sake and yours - live a little! Eat the cake and skip the crackers!

Cravings often mean your body needs more protein, more food, water or sleep! PAY ATTENTION! Your body is not only incredible, but also beautiful - no matter how much fat or how many calories are in your food.

Nourish your body, and be the Beautiful You that you were created to be.