All posts by Peter

Peter started his career teaching 18 spin classes a week for the New York Sports Club in Manhattan. Now, in Toronto near High Park, he also teaches Abs, Yoga, and Personal Trains out of his studio, Panacea. He also designs tailor-made diets, and coaches on weight loss. He is the only personal trainer in town who actually make delicious, healthy meals for some clients.

Undiminished Functionality

The physical diminishment of aging is true if you believe it. People get the idea they should exercise less as they age, and these misconceptions become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

 Bodies become frail, rigid. Bellies balloon, muscles atrophy. The inevitable fall, and loss of mobility. These are the dismal consequences of neglecting the daily challenges the body requires for optimal functionality… for being a lazy-ass, in other words.
getting fitter with age
getting fitter with age
If you’re retired, no excuse. If you haven’t nurtured the habit of daily exercise, or whatever it is you think you’re doing is basically useless, or dangerous, it’s never too late to start doing the right things. If you’re rusty. Lost momentum. Need a kick start. Or a whole new approach.
Know your weaknesses. It’s always a good place to start. This is an adventure. You’ll mine the richest rewards. And know your strengths. Play offense too. Why not put a shine on your attributes?
A heart you can have confidence in. Uncomplaining joints. A clear head and a positive attitude.
You find yourself getting in better shape as you age.
Ciao, Pietro
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The Slow-walk

This is a yogic exercise. Walk as slow as you can. And then slow down even further. That’s the Jamaican slow-walk.

The objective is not to get from point A to B. But to luxuriate in the pure bliss of the movement itself. We lose sight of the big picture in our obsessive goal-orientated-ness. And the journey of life hurtles by so fast we don’t even get the chance to really appreciate it, which is tragic.

sunset boat

Try this experiment, The Slow-walk. See how long you can sustain The Slow-walk. Five minutes? Fifteen seconds before you find yourself racing again? Incorporate The Slow-walk into everyday life.

Spin is about the cardiovascular benefits of speeding up. Yoga is about calming the nervous system by slowing down. Weight-lifting is about stability and power. Abs is sexy. And sure alleviates congestion in the organs.

The combination gives you supernatural powers.

See you in class! Pietro 

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Mind-body Connection

Teaching yoga has had the unintended consequence of enriching all of my other classes. Spin, Abs, Weight-lifting. And it has enhanced my personal training, too. It’s taken everything to a whole new level.

The reason? Not only does it give you more tools in your exercise toolkit, but it brings out a more conscious meditative perspective to any and all workouts. And grounds you and brings you back to reality, your breath.

The penchant for restorative poses and extended strategic stretches is calming to the nervous system. Or should be. Yes, your hips, hamstrings, lower back, primary and secondary muscles, regaining and retaining youthful pliability.

Ian Finding His Balance
Ian Finding His Balance

I leave the subtle muscle groups to Ian:) He could charm the birds from the trees. Come bask in the glow of his warmth tonight, and benefit from the breadth and depth of his knowledge of yoga in all its genres and manifestations. 

Ian with an old friend
Ian with an old friend

 

Last week of classes before our vacation. Congratulations, my dear friends and neighbours, you’ve got a whole week off. Do something, will you, a plank a day, pigeon, touch your toes… next class after this weekend is Weight-lifting Tuesday on April 9.

One more weekend. Abs is on.  Ciao, Pietro

 

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The Buddy System

You probably noticed this hunky guy in the front row at Abs Class.

One of the initial recruits from Spin Class at Systems Fitness, Owen has always been supportive of what we do here at Studio 2388. Even trudging through the snow on blisteringly cold nights for Weight-lifting Tuesdays. After a long days work. That’s right, he often walks all the way from the Queensway.Lat Pulls by Owen

We respect his dedication. And appreciate his good-natured companionship. He’s one of the few who keeps pace every step of the way. Even those nasty modifications to the plank, making an already painful situation even more agonizing. He’s learned to love that sweet agony. And makes abs work a priority along with cardio, strength training, and stretching when he can and has to.

Owen, leg-and-glut dominate through genetics, has begun to develop a powerful upper body to go with the lower. The two of us are neck-and-neck on the squat rack. Doing squats alone is not ideal. It’s safer, and certainly more fun, under the encouragement and watchful eye of a spotter. That friendship becomes part of the reason you get there.

If alone be conservative, and drop weight in favour of more reps. Know your limit, and stay well within it. It happens, knees buckle. You can lurch forward or back. Better just to do other things until you have that person to back you up. Taking precautions is why I’ve had remarkably few injuries in my classes over the years and decades, touch wood.  And the injuries have been just the normal minor pulls and strains you recover from quickly.

Owen & daughter @ Saturday Abs Class.
Owen & daughter @ Saturday Abs Class.

Owen lives with his wife, Vicky, and his two beautiful kids. He coaches his ten-year-old son’s hockey at George Bell, conveniently. And his daughter, Sydney, 12, with her natural athletism, has even joined his father for Abs Class on occasion.

Setting a great example. Ciao, Pietro

 

 

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Empowerment

The gluts are your money-maker. Not your intellect. Sorry to say.

Sometimes I like to joke with my wife, I married you for your butt. I’m a butt-man. Butts are my business. I’m a butt-expert. I can create the perfect butt with my personal training skills. And results come almost immediately.

But vanity isn’t the most important reason for doing squats. Nor the surge to your libido. The secret weapon to fixing lower back issues permanently, in my opinion, is the gluts. The lower body stabilizes, ensures your mobility into old age.

Maritere Doing Squats
Maritere Doing Squats

Not, however, without doing some form of yoga. As you strengthen, you have to do the stretching component. Do not gamble with this forever because sooner or later you will develop a chronic injury!

In yoga you practice de-stressing techniques while holding postures. And for many, if not most of the people who consistently show up for yoga it’s the process of calming the nervous that they keep coming back for. That’s what most of us, with our busy urban lives, really need.

Ian Tuning Up
Ian Tuning Up

Here at Studio 2388,  the atmosphere facilitates that experience. Which includes infrared heat, and a smoothie which is perhaps the healthiest thing you can put in your body, and everyone agrees is delicious.

Ian is teaching Friday Night Yoga. He will be back from his Yoga Retreat in the Dominican Republic. Come say hi. Relax, have an exquisite stretch.

Don’t forget The Free Spin at Generator this Monday, March 4, at 530 pm. My debut for a regular class going forward. No charge for mi amigos. Email me back to sign up.

Ciao, Pietro

 

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Free Spin

Get your cardio done! Monday, March 4, 5:30 pm.

Enhance your biking skills and conditioning. Improve your performance on the road with off-road training. Or just have a good time burning calories.

This isn’t your average spin class…  this is an epiphanySPIN1 for both the novice and experienced rider alike. Develop the tools that will catapult your riding prowess, or take a moderate pace through scenic mountainous terrain.

Come join us for a free spin at Generate in Bloor Village. Generate is one block east of Runnymede on the south side of Bloor, on the 2nd and 3rd floors. Tons of windows and light, immaculately clean. No bike graveyard in the corner like some places I know.

Just let me know if you want to come. I’ll GENERATEput your name on a list at the front, to reserve a bike… and let’s dance!

It’s all about the pleasure principle at Friday Night Yoga. And the good-pain principle in Abs, Weight-lifting Class. Don’t forget:)

Ciao, Pietro

 

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Going With Seasonal Fluctuations

January is a month of sobriety for many of us here at Studio 2388, and around the world. One day to go before swilling a tall golden effervescent brew!

Come join me for one after yoga some Friday Night, if you don’t already! For the non-drinkers or people who prefer to go clean in February because there are fewer days in the month, we have plenty of soda water on hand.

By the end of December you’ve had it with eating and drinking. You’re ready for abstinence if only to enjoy your vices again. Give your sadly abused liver some love!

Cutting Up
Cutting Up

Loosing 7 lbs was an unintended consequence of a month off, for me. And a nice boost to the pocketbook. I’m starting to get more vigilant about Intermittent fasting, stepping up towards the minimal goal of 18 hours a day.

Your body begins to crave fasting just as it craves exercise. You absolutely shred fat this way. Fasting is a powerful skill anyone can learn. Eat well, but learn to appreciate the sensation of an empty body.

Fasting, done properly, is ancient wisdom. And the spring is all about Spring Cleaning, inside the body. Everyday completely evacuate the bowels. And stay empty for a while.

Patiently Perfectly Abs
Patiently Perfectly Abs

It’s not for everyone, use common sense. All these disciplines of eating and working out, and the enjoyment of life, are the best chance we got for longevity and quality-of-life.

See you over a smoothie. Don’t forget your yoga, abs, weight-lifting, personal training… Ciao, Pietro

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The Couple’s Workout

George drove by the studio for a while before dropping by and inquiring about personal training and the classes. He decided to do both. The personal training prepared him to do the classes safely and effectively. 

Under the structure, support and encouragement of a personal trainer things start happening almost immediately in the body, if the process is allowed to happen. Change comes quickly, the transformation accellerated. For George, it took less time than most to reduce and soon obliterate his spare tire. And begin filling out in the right places.
    
Witnessing a transformation, at any pace, is a wonderful

Couples Workout
Couples Workout

part of my job. And George is easy to communicate with, and a pleasure to train. His blossoming confidence manifested itself in his well-matched partner, and identical twin, Clare. Together they are doing Couple’s Workout.

  
Good Team-work George Clare Peter
Good Team-work George Clare Peter

Couple’s Workout is a way to make the workout more fun in combination with your significant other. Getting on board together is a power force. Especially if you’re still in the early mushy stages:) Clare’s steady progress firming up is tangible. 

 
The Couple’s Workout reduces cost. As do interspersing the classes, at $7 per class with 10-pack.   
Ian is teaching yoga tonight. Don’t forget to checkin. Ciao, Pietro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Your body’s Potential

Weight Lifting Tuesdays is a small enough class for some personalized training. Resistance training is an opportunity to imbue your body with almost supernatural powers. And it doesn’t take long for amazing benefits to accrue.

Your power of movement under duress far exceeds someone of a commensurate age. You begin to discover the miraculous potential of your body.

Weight Lifting Tuesdays
Weight Lifting Tuesdays

You can take a blow like never before. A fall. A sudden jolt. What would once hospitalize you, you hardly feel.

I’ve witnessed this again and again with myself as well as others. The fragility of aging is slowed to a halt, and reversed!

Getting lean and fit and buff looks good, feels good. I’d even go so far as to say you can’t be happy without it. It’ll carry you a long way into old age, and give you a good time along the way.

You may say, hey my top priority is stretching right now, then come to yoga with Ian tonight. You’ll be glad you did! Or maybe you’re rightfully concerned about that ballooning gut. Come to Abs Class this Saturday.

Ciao, Pietro (my alter-ego)

petergault.ca

 

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Gorgeous Flexible Calves

Calves are easily forgotten. They’re behind you. And down low.

Chances are they’re tight, extremely so. If you run,  spin, if you have lower back pain or plantar fasciitis, your poor suffering calves may be the source of the problem.

calve stretchHere’s a simple but effective way to stretch them. Lean forward and place your hands against the wall like you’re pushing a huge boulder up a hill. Your heels should be down and the back of your legs straight as seen in the picture.  Use your body weight and arm strength to intensify the stretch.

 

Be sure to hold for a lengthy period of time, say 3-to-5 minutes. And bring modifications into the stretch, by switching to one foot at a time, and raising and moving the knee laterally to include all sides of the calves.

Plantar fasciitis is almost a right-of-passage to anyone over 50. Stretch your calves! Get some half-decent Orthopedics. Drop running in favour biking, skating, where your foot is support by a rigid boot.

Back when I was training at a gym, I was given all the older people. Because I was the oldest trainer, no doubt. Now that I work out of my studio a substantial proportion of my clients are in their 60’s, 70’s, and above. As well as every other age.

The oldest person I trained was 102. He lived to 107. Not saying he survived that long because of me but I seem to have a knack for keeping people alive. I trained someone in his mid-90s  and kept him going for a long long time. He eventually succumbed mentally, and couldn’t remember his appointments anymore.

Training the elderly requires a unique skill set.  It’s a neglected area in most personal training certifications. The best way to learn is personal experience, of course:)

Yoga is on this Friday. As are all the classes.

Ciao, Petro

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