Category Archives: Fitness

Edmonton Fitness Classes for Beginners

Edmonton Fitness Classes for Beginners

Edmonton Fitness Classes for Beginners

Edmonton Fitness Classes for Beginners

by Travis Wade

Top 5 Places To Work Out In Edmonton

Edmonton Fitness offers many different types of classes for all levels of fitness. Whether you’re looking for a fun class that will keep you motivated, or a challenging workout that will leave you sore, there’s something for everyone at Edmonton Fitness.

Travis Wade Fitness Inc.

Edmonton Fitness Classes for Beginners

Travis Wade takes a holistic approach to fitness giving you a much bigger bang for your buck. He helps you improve confidence, happiness, health, and fitness through exercise, diet, and many other modalities that enhance lifestyles.

The exercise portion is with Travis Wade who is a twelve-year veteran trainer and as much as possible with Tendayi Tichiwanhuyi. Tendayi has his masters in kinesiology and ergonomics. He is a registered massage therapist and a certified tennis coach! I know a few trainers that have their degree but Tendayi is the only one I know that has his masters and he has two masters!

Normally the price of personal training with a trainer of Tendayi’s caliber would be unaffordable for the average person but at Travis Wade Fitness they make it very affordable. Tendayi can train professional athletes but his favourite is to train beginners that are serious about making changes in their life.

They have a nice quaint training studio at 9853 80 ave in Edmonton equipped with competition bench-press and squat-rack with bumper plates and platform.  They also have all the cable pulley machines needed, a pull-up bar, heavy bag, agility gear, leg-press, plyometric equipment, kettlebells, dumbbells, TRX, and many others.

If you’re serious about getting in shape but don’t know how, come see the people at Travis Wade Fitness.

Evolve Strength

Edmonton Fitness Classes for Beginners

The people at Evolve Strength did their homework and came up with a great facility that incorporates many types of training. They have cross-fit equipment, powerlifting, Olympic lifting, strongman, body building, speed and agility, and everything you can think of a gym might need.

To top all that off they offer many personal trainers to help you with your training needs. Their trainers are not beginners and offer knowledge in their specialty. Whatever type of training you are looking for they will have a trainer to match your needs.

One of the added benefits with Evolve is their focus on recovery. They have many services on site to help with recovery including massage therapy, physiotherapy, chiropractic, mental health therapy, orthopedic surgeons, acupuncture, and dieticians. All under one roof!

They have three facilities in Edmonton; one on the northside, one downtown, and one on the south side. Have a look at your membership options with Evolve Strength here!

Fitset Ninja

Edmonton Fitness Classes for Beginners

Fitset Ninja takes a fun approach to fitness. One of the keys to getting in shape and staying in shape is to make exercise fun and that’s exactly what Fitset Ninja does. They have many obstacles and offer a gym that doesn’t resemble any other gym you’ve seen.

The strongest motivation is intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is when you like the activity you are doing and want to do it for the fun of the activity itself as opposed to the results you get from the activity. That is what Fitset Ninja offers.

Fitset Ninja offers a variety of classes and memberships and you can even book a birthday party for kids five and older. Their gym has all the fun stuff you see on American Ninja Warrior and they can set you up with a Canadian competition if you choose to go that far.

Their location is at 11511 120 st NW, Edmonton. For options with Fitset Ninja have a look at their website here.

Edmonton Sport and Social Club

Edmonton Fitness Classes for Beginners

Edmonton Sport and Social Club offers a variety of group sports and fitness classes for beginners. You can register a team or they will set you up with a team in whatever sport you choose. They also offer mixed sports where you play a different sport every time. They offer group fitness classes as well.

The key to maintaining your fitness is finding something you like to do and keep doing it. You will meet new people and they get together for fun events outside the sport as well.

The location of the activity varies all over town. To join a team or register a team see the ESSC website here.

The University of Alberta – UofA Health & Wellness Centre

Edmonton Fitness Classes for Beginners

The Physical Activity and Wellness Centre at the U of A is a massive facility that offers a 19.5 metre climbing wall with Top-roping: 17 ropes on five separate climbing walls to a maximum height of 15 metres, and bouldering. The fitness centre was upgraded with $900,000 worth of new equipment and it’s almost four times the size of the old fitness centre.

Some of the services offered are an accredited fitness appraisal through the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, certified exercise physiologists, certified personal trainers, certified strength and conditioning specialists, and registered dietitians.

This facility is located right on main university campus, east of the Butterdome. If you’re interested in joining one of their classes, check out their schedule here.

I wish you lots of health, love and happiness!

Travis Wade

The only holistic personal trainer in Edmonton.

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The 10 Best Core Exercises – Core Strengthening Exercises

the best core exercises

The 10 Best Core Exercises

the best core exercises

Delavier, F. (2010). Strength training anatomy Paris: Éditions Vigot

by Travis Wade

Core exercises were the first exercises I ever did intentionally. When I was a kid, I decided to start working out because I started liking girls. The only exercises I knew were the sit-up and the push-up. 

I began with sit-ups on my bed, and I did a thousand sit-ups. I was sore! The next night I did it again (I really liked girls). I was sooo sore! The soreness isn’t why you shouldn’t do sit-ups, but you shouldn’t do sit-ups. I’ll explain why and show you the best core exercises crucial to your workout program.

A huge problem I have seen with people that do sit-ups is the very last vertebrae, and the sacrum will get an agonizing subluxation. The sacrum constantly gets pushed on until it pops out. Inasmuch, the sit-up works the rectus abdominis muscles, which is only one set of muscles of the core. I will show you safer core exercises to work these muscles and much more.

Core Strengthening Exercises

We need core workouts for a few main reasons; strength, core control, and stability. I’ll start with my favourite, which is strength. Core strengthening exercises will make you stronger in any movement. All strength originates from the core and goes out to the limbs. It is our foundation. Our body sits on top of the pelvis, and our feet dangle down from there. 

When you contract the muscles of the core, you harden the area around your waist. The muscles clamp down on your mid-section, and your intra-abdominal pressure goes up. If you look at the strongest people in the world, they all have a core like a massive tree trunk. The following are guaranteed to be the best core strengthening exercises to maximize your crushing strength. For more tips on strength, see my article on strength.

The Best Core Exercises For Core Control

core stability

Core control is often overlooked, and something I work on with all my clients. It starts with learning the main muscles of the core and how to initiate each one. Typically muscles of the core fire autonomically as needed without conscious thought. We need to learn how to activate these muscles on-demand to gain ferocious athletic ability.

The Best Core Exercises For Core Stability

core control

Core muscles are mainly slow-twitch muscle fibres meaning they have a lot of mitochondria. They can be incredibly strong, but they need to be used all day for stability. The core muscles hold our bodies up, and if they are weak, the body will buckle, and an injury will occur. Almost all my new clients will have weak core muscles. The good news is they are the fastest healing muscles in the body.

Intra-Abdominal Pressure

at home ab workouts

Delavier, F. (2010). Strength training anatomy Paris: Éditions Vigot

Intra-abdominal pressure is where injury prevention starts and where all strength originates. The diaphragm is on top, the pelvic floor on the bottom, the obliques are on the sides, the rectus abdominis is in the front, the quadratus lumborum is in the back, and the transversus abdominis goes all the way around the midsection like a girdle. If I was to throw a ball at your stomach and you braced with your core, these are the muscles that would contract to protect you.

Any time you push, pull, or use your legs, the first thing you do is increase the abdominal pressure. Pretend like you are blowing up a balloon that starts in your abdomen and blows up out to the limbs you are using. That’s where all strength originates. On a side note, you are your strongest when you are holding your breath because you can contract your core muscles the hardest when you’re holding your breath.

The Best Core Exercises For the Diaphragm

diaphragmatic breathing

Increasing the strength of the diaphragm will increase your overall core strength, which reflects on the strength of every movement you do. To learn awareness and control, you need to start with contracting the muscles in a stationary positioning, then with movement. For the first progression of the diaphragm, we can practice diaphragmatic breathing technique

The diaphragm has tendon-like tissue centred on top called the central tendon. The muscles of the diaphragm are attached to the central tendon and the lower ribs. When the muscles contract, they draw the central tendon down like an elevator. When you relax, the central tendon moves back up, expelling the air out of the lungs. Pulling the central tendon down will push on the organs in the abdomen. You’ll see the tummy rise and fall with each breath.

1. Diaphragmatic Breathing Technique

Lay comfortably supine on the ground or in bed with the knees bent and propped up with a pillow. Put one hand on your chest and one hand on your stomach. The hand on your chest should remain as still as possible through the exercise. The one on your stomach should rise and fall with each breath. Inhale through your nose, then clench your stomach muscles and exhale through your mouth with pursed lips. After doing this exercise once, you will feel the muscles that get worked, and it will be easy peasy to do this core exercise anywhere at any time.

2. Sandbag Breathing

The next progression is called sandbag breathing, and it is often used in yoga. If you increase your diaphragm’s ability to do the breathing, it will be more autonomic and reduce the load on the nervous system.

Lay supine for this one as well and get comfortable. Focus on relaxed breathing and feel the rise and fall of your abdomen. Then place a sandbag on your belly and breath the same way. Relaxed diaphragmatic breathing. If you don’t have a sandbag, just use a pillow with some weight on it. You can increase the weight as you see fit. 

Do these core exercises for about five to ten minutes at a time.

The Best Core Exercises For the Rectus Abdominis

rectus abdominis

Delavier, F. (2010). Strength training anatomy Paris: Éditions Vigot

The rectus abdominis muscles are the most superficial muscles of the abdomen and the ones that give us the six-pack. People think that if they spend their nights doing a thousand sit-ups a night, they will get a spectacular six-pack. There are ways to get a six-pack, but that isn’t one. However, improving the rectus abdominis will help with being able to increase your intra-abdominal pressure.

3. Head and Chest Lift

For the first exercise, lay supine on the floor and bend one knee up. Put your hands behind your lower back to maintain the natural curvature of the spine. Pretend that there is a scale under your head and shoulders and lift your head and shoulders so the scale will read zero. Keep the crown in line with the rest of the torso. Don’t bend your head up; keep your chin away from your chest. Hold that position for a few seconds, then give yourself a slight break and repeat.

4. Plank

Another one I like is doing a plank circuit. First, you have to learn to hold a plank in a proper plank position. Number one don’t let your lower back sag or the pressure will come off your muscles and onto your spine. You will get a sore back, and it wrecks your spine. Also, don’t pike your hips up in the air. It’s hard to do, but with practice, you will be able to keep your body perfectly straight.

5. Plank Circuit

The next progression is adding movement. I like adding movement because our bodies are dynamic. You don’t want to be strong in just one position; you want to be strong while you move. Add whatever movements you see fit, but here in the video below, are the ones I use regularly.

Obliques Exercises

obliques exercises

Delavier, F. (2010). Strength training anatomy Paris: Éditions Vigot

The obliques run diagonally on the abdomen’s sides and give us the twisting motions at the waist. They work with the quadratus lumborum to provide us with stability, balance, and movement. We have inner and outer obliques, as shown in the diagram above.

Quadratus Lumborum

Delavier, F. (2010). Strength training anatomy Paris: Éditions Vigot

6. Anti-Rotation

Anti-rotation is a simple movement, but very useful. You can use a cable at chest height or a resistance band. Stand perpendicular to the pully or resistance band with feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart. Lower your centre of gravity by bending at the knees and hips. Stabilize with your core, and don’t stick your butt out for any core exercises. Tighten the abs instead of having them stretched out. If they are stretched out, you can’t use them very well.

Hold the band with both hands to your chest then extend your arms straight out in front of you. Don’t lock your elbows but reach all the way then come back to the starting position. Do the movement as slowly as possible. Focus on keeping your body symmetrical through the action and keeping your butt low.

7. Side Plank

After you exercise the obliques while they don’t move, then it’s time to add some movement. The side plank with movement is excellent for the obliques, glutes, and quadratus lumborum. Start by laying on your side and get up onto your elbow. Bend your knees at ninety degrees. Lift your hips as high as you can off the ground and lift your top leg as high as you can. It’s best to start with just holding the side plank position and then add movement once you perfect it without movement.

With this core exercise, the difficult part is keeping the core engaged, so you don’t twist or stick your butt out. Fire up the abdominal muscles and keep the lower back flat. Do the exercise slow and controlled to make sure you don’t twist or fall out of alignment then come halfway back down. Your hip shouldn’t be touching the ground, and your legs shouldn’t be together. Repeat the exercise on both sides.

The Pelvic Floor

pelvic floor


The pelvic floor muscles go from the tip of the tailbone to the pubic bone. It’s like a hammock holding the organs up. In men, we can squeeze our pelvic floor, closing off the anus and urethra. Women can tighten their pelvic floor, squeezing off the anus, uterus, and urethra. 

8. Kegel Exercises

You can do kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor. To do kegel exercises, focus on squeezing your orifices shut as hard as you can and do it repeatedly.

If you are doing kegel exercises to prevent incontinence, then repetition is a must. The nervous system drives muscle tone, and repetition will increase your muscle tone to avoid incontinence. Do a set of ten every time you sit down.

These exercises will work the pelvic floor if they are done correctly. It is essential to know these muscles exist and to know how to get them to fire at will. (No demonstration for this one)

How To Work the Transversus Abdominis

Transversus Abdominis

Delavier, F. (2010). Strength training anatomy Paris: Éditions Vigot

The transversus abdominis is a crucial muscle that gets overlooked way too often. The transversus abdominis is a girdle around our midsection that squeezes in to make us as solid as a tree trunk. Muscle tone in this area gives us a knockout figure as well. The muscle part of the transversus abdominis is located mostly on the sides where our obliques are.

The layers on the sides of our mid-sections are the external obliques, internal obliques, and the transversus abdominis. The midline of the transversus abdominis is the rectus abdominis sheath, which attaches to the linea alba. The linea alba is tendon-like tissue that runs from the sternum to the pubis along the body’s midline.

best core exercises
at home ab workouts

Delavier, F. (2010). Strength training anatomy Paris: Éditions Vigot

The top of the transversus abdominis originates along the inner aspect of the ribs near the sternum. The origins go all the way down to the twelfth rib. Below that, the origins of the transversus abdominis are at the lower and mid back’s facial tissue. The origins of the lower part of the transversus abdominis are at the pelvic bone and inguinal ligament

This lower part of the transversus abdominis is superficial to the rectus abdominis. Above the belly button, the transversus abdominis goes behind the rectus abdominis. There is a pocket just below the belly button level where the rectus abdominis tucks in on each side to go deep to the transversus abdominis.

9. Deadbug

To exercise the transversus abdominis, I like to use the deadbug. There are many adaptations of the deadbug, but again we will start with the stationary variation. Lay supine on the floor with the hands perpendicular to the floor straight up from the shoulders. Bend the hip and knee joints at ninety degrees. We call this ninety-ninety. You look like you are on your hands and knees but up-side-down. From there, push your lower back into the floor as hard as you can, suck in your gut, then breathe everything out of our lungs as hard as you can. Breath out harder!

10. Deadbug With Movement

When you add movement to the deadbug, it will require coordination. You will need to fire the right core muscles at the correct times. It takes reasonable core control to get this right. You will start in the same position as the deadbug and push down with your lower back into the floor as hard as you can. Then straighten the opposite hand from the opposite leg. Breathe everything from your lungs, bearing down with your abs as hard as you can. Breath out harder! Then return to the starting position and do the other hand and the other leg.

This exercise works all of the abdominal muscles at maximum strength if you give it everything you got. It will work your stability, maximum strength, and core control. I use deadbug variations with all of my clients.

All of the muscles I talked about, contribute to intra-abdominal pressure, stability, core control, and overall strength of the body. I know your gym teacher probably told you to do sit-ups; mine did, but science tells us there are safer, more effective core exercises. My thousand-sit-ups-a-night didn’t last long, and I didn’t get girls. My abs are stronger than ever and I still don’t. Be the best you can be by doing what the best do. Breathe, brace, and be badass!

I wish you lots of health, love and happiness!

Travis Wade

The only holistic personal trainer in Edmonton.

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Corrective Exercise Explainer Video – Corrective Exercise

personal trainer Edmonton


These are the most common physical issues people have and the corrective exercise used to fix each one.

personal trainer Edmonton

by Travis Wade

The best way to explain corrective exercise for the most common imbalances is with a video.

This is a great adducting movement that I superset with abducting movements that I forgot to add in the above video. Put the band on the outside of the foot then on the inside and do the same movement.

Lengthen and Strengthen

That’s how to strengthen the most common weaknesses. Corrective exercise requires lengthening and strengthening in the right areas. These next few videos are how to lengthen in the most common places that are tight. This first one is for the hip flexors. The hip flexors get tight because we do so much sitting and it shortens the muscles.

Corrective Exercise For Lordosis

corrective exercise

Lordosis is over-arching of the lower back. Lordosis can lead to pain and injury, and the tightness of the psoas is usually the cause. I am showing you the most common causes of all of these imbalances, but of course, it’s not going to be the cause 100% of the time. If you use the corrective exercise in the above video, it will help to lengthen the psoas and hip flexors.

corrective exercise

From Strength Training Anatomy by Frédéric Delavier. Page 171.

Corrective Exercise For Kyphosis – Upper-Cross Syndrome

These next couple of corrective exercises are for the pecs. With upper-cross syndrome, we need to strengthen the back muscles, but a lot of times, we need to lengthen the pecs as well. Upper-cross syndrome is the most common cause of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Body Mechanics

Body mechanics are fundamental in helping realign the body. If you do corrective exercise in the gym but have terrible mechanics in your daily life, you are taking two steps forward and three steps back. I am just going to go over a few things that people do and how to correct body mechanics. I’ll start at the feet again.

Most people have some duck foot going on or maybe some pigeon toe. When you walk or run, you should have the toes pointed straight ahead, not at an angle. Every exercise in the gym must be done like that as well. It takes practice, but it becomes natural after a while.

Corrective Exercise For Knock Knees

Knock knees are very common as I mentioned, and the glutes usually need to be strengthened to help fix that. When people lock their knees (straighten them all the way), it makes this issue worse. The most common cause of knock knees is when people sway when they walk instead of rotating the shoulders. Watch the video for a better explanation.

Corrective Exercise For Shin Splints and Heel Spurs

Shin splints are caused by tight calves about 80% of the time. The following video shows you how to mobilize the whole backline, which includes the calves. The backline is calves, hamstrings, glutes, spinal erectors, and the back of the neck. When you lean forward onto the toes, you will feel it more in the calves. If you lean back onto the heel, you will feel it more in the hamstrings.

Heel spurs are usually caused by tight calves or tight arches of the feet. When the calves are tight, they pull on the Achilles tendon, which draws on the periosteum of the heel. The periosteum is the connective tissue casing around the bone. It tears away from the bone, and calcium builds up in the space between the periosteum and the bone. Chances are it’s the arches of the feet pulling on the periosteum, and you will need to roll out your feet.

Bunions and corns are caused by tight arches as well usually. Please stay away from high heel shoes at all costs to prevent many foot problems including tight arches.

I hope these videos helped you. If you know someone that can use some corrective exercise, forward this on to them. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. One last thing is posture is depicted by our nervous system. The nervous system determines our muscle tone. Without the nervous system firing muscle we would all be a puddle on the floor. To train the nervous system to hold your body up in a proper posture you just have to remind the nervous system to do what you want it to do; repeatedly. It takes about 2,000 times for your nervous system to do something automatically without you having to tell it what to do. Kind of like learning a musical instrument. Practice and repetition. You will forget at times and it might have even been a week since you reminded your nervous system to hold your body up properly but don’t give up. It takes about 2,000 times so its a guarantee you will forget at times. You will need to lengthen and strengthen in the right areas as well so you will have the ability to hold yourself up properly but you will also need to train the nervous system as well.

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Home Workout Program – No Equipment Home Workout Program

at home work out program

Home Workout Program!

This is a home workout plan with no equipment necessary! Videos explaining every exercise!

at home work out program

by Travis Wade

I want to share a work out program that you can do at home. I keep hearing on social media about people that are gaining weight sitting at home. A little piece of me dies every time I see these comments.

I think this is the perfect time for people to get in the best shape of their life. The hardest part is having the time for meal prep. That problem is solved for most of us. If you would like diet information, sign up for a program, and I will send you diet info as well. I have recipes galore and tons of diet information. This post is about the workout tho.

Most people are likely sitting on the couch with movies or that Tiger King thing separated by trips to the fridge and complaining about getting fat. If your willing to split it up with some exercise, I have a basic full-body program for you to follow.

If the program looks good and you want one designed with your goals in mind, all I need is for you to sign up on this page. You will also get recipes and diet info.

Warm Up Mobilizers

Try to relax your muscles as opposed to trying to force the movement.


There are many variations of this exercise. The idea is to increase the intra-abdominal pressure as high as you can. Each time you breathe out, tense up your abdominal muscles as hard as you can and press your lower back into the floor. Do ten breaths x3.

Wipers With Pillow

You can use a pillow but if you have something heavier that would be even better. Ten on each side x3.

Hip Opener

Fifteen on each side x2.

Front Squat

Do ten x3. But know how to do a squat properly first. Here is a video showing how to do a proper squat.

Push Ups

Do them from your feet if you can. Ten x3.

Single Leg RDL

Try not to rotate the foot out and lift up the hip. Keep both hips at the same level through the movement and keep the foot rotated in. Do ten x3.


Try to squeeze the shoulder blades together, sit with the feet straight out front, and sit up forward as much as you can with a straight back, keeping the hands back. This is an excellent exercise for working the muscles of the shoulder blades, not just the shoulders.

Mid-Trap Squeeze With Press

You’re trying to keep the chest up as high as you can, but don’t lift your head back. Keep your head in alignment. Rotate your elbows low while keeping your hands as high as you can. At the tip of the movement, double down on keeping the hands high off the ground and chest up.

Home Workout Cool Down

The purpose of the cooldown is to re-lengthen the muscles you have just tightened up and to put yourself back into rest and digest mode so you can eat. It isn’t healthy to eat while in fight or flight mode. Inasmuch, if you don’t re-lengthen your muscles, DOMS will be more intense. DOMS- delayed onset muscle soreness. Doing the warm up exercises after each workout is perfect for a full body cool down.

I hope you like the full-body home workout. I hope it gets you off the couch and feeling good. If you want more programs like this, there is an endless supply here.

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