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.

Septuagenarian Frailty

Retirement brings a major adjustment in priorities. The primary focus and the reason for getting up in the morning is your workout. This becomes the meaning of your existence. Your passion.

To do otherwise makes no sense. Whether you’re young or old find friends who share this overriding value. Finally, you got a few bucks in your pocket. Figure out ways to stick around long enough to spend it. 

Couples Workout
Couples Workout

If you don’t want to become a frail septuagenarian you have to do resistance training. This week at Weight-lifting Tuesdays we did Sumo Deadlifts. Don’t let the name scare you. My butt is still sore. Sore in a good way.

You have to do yoga. Better to start sooner than later. Because people can get stuck in their ways when they get old. And here at Studio 2388 we all about never getting old. Do Abs Saturday because you’ll never have perfect back without working your core.

NO CLASSES NEXT WEEK. Sorry, my beautiful friends, you have to fend for yourself… think I don’t notice everyone is thrilled to see me go on vacation?

So get it done this weekend. Yoga, Abs is on. Next class after that is Yoga on Friday, November 15

 Ciao, Pietro

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A Must For Your Back

Again and again you see people living a life of limited mobile, discomfort, and downright pain. Due to a problem that could have been rectified in 3 weeks, or at most 6 weeks, but now has become a chronic injury.

Doing nothing is the worst than in engaging risky activity prematurely. Not that I suggest either. After a relatively brief downtime, depending on the seriousness of the injury, and of course, consulting your doctor, you begin therapy. The therapy morphs into a weight-training program that turns your weakness into the strongest part of your body.hugging knees

If you have sciatica or its tendencies, you need to come to Yoga Class this Friday. It’s important part of what you’re body needs to learn to fix spinal irregularities. Stiff neck, hips, knees, shoulders, wrists, ankles, almost anything. Don’t believe anyone who tells you there’s nothing do about it.

The recipe for a perfect back is 2-fold: stretching and strengthening. You have to curl, arch and twist the back. And you have to do back-strengthening exercises to build up the muscles around the injury. This recipe has been forged in the furnace of experience. And my back, with its own up-and-down history, is perhaps the best proof of its success.

Yoga brings harmony to the body and mind. Weight-lifting contours the body like nothing else. And Abs Class puts the focus on the hitherto most neglected part of the body.

Ciao, Pietro

 

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Starting Back Up

Classes are back with Abs on Saturday, Sept 14, 10 am.

Abs Class flattens the stomach, strengthens the back. And obliterated love handles and muffin IMG_0537tops. You won’t find a core workout which leaves an imprint like this. It includes the most important exercise on earth, squats.

Weight-lifting Tuesdays re-commences Sept 17, 730 pm. Once again, this class fills a gap I didn’t see anywhere else. Put simply, squats and bench press. And whatever else is required. It’s also an opportunity to get a little personalized training from yours truly.DSC_0469

This yoga class a wonderful way to wind down from your busy week! We don’t try to make yoga into strength training, or a cardio class. We already do all that. Yoga is about slowing down, quieting the mind, and having a pleasurable stretch which fixings so many issues in the body.

We finish all the classes with one of the most delicious, healthiest smoothies you’ve ever had in your life. That alone is worth the price of admission.IMG_0536

Please check-in if you’re coming, or even if you’re not.

Ciao, Pietro (otherwise known as Peter)

 

 

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In Summer, Getting Serious About Diet

Allow the heat and humidity to quell your appetite. The weather itself will help shrink the hunger. Trimming pounds in the summer is easier than winter.

I don’t subscribe to what people say about fruit. Who lump it in with processed sugar.  I believe fruit is a wonderful tool for weight loss. Packed with electrolytes. It digests effortlessly. And it’s the best hydration on earth, better than water.

More importantly, make sure to fast a little every day. Whether you

Just PT till Sept
Just PT till Sept

prefer the evening or morning or mid-day, stretch the period of time you go without food a little. Just like you stretch yourself on the matt, or push yourself to the next level with benchpress or squats.

No more clases till September! Yoga, Abs and Weight Lifting classes are down for the season.

Still open for the business with Personal Training. Ciao, Pietro

 

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Redefining Your Mid-section

Thickening with age isn’t inevitable. However you get your cardio, though tennis or hockey, or even Abs Class, isn’t going to completely undo this tendency. You have to get a handle on your diet. And when you lose the handle. You have to find it again.

I believe the body needs to be empty from top to bottom for an extended period every day. The entire length of the alimentary canal. Nothing in the stomach or bowel. It gives your organs an opportunity to shrink back to normalcy, undoing years and eventually decades of being stretched and over-taxed.   

A Perfect Meal
A Perfect Meal
 
This is powerful information if you ask me. It unlocks the wisdom of the ages. It expands life expectancy. You feel good in your bathing suit again. Your body wants to do it once it starts. Every day you struggle with this a little bit. Just like you struggle on the bike, matt, bench.
 
And if you do, you’ll get the body you’ve always dreamt of. And more years to enjoy it.
 
Come to class! Ciao, Pietro
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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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