Monday, December 21, 2009

Take the DPA Challenge

DPA stands for "Daily Physical Activity"

You know how the holidays goes...

Booze intake goes up
Burpees intake goes down
Chocolate intake goes up
Chin-up intake goes down
Stress quantity go up
Sleep quality goes down

Well one thing we know is that when we exercise we help alleviate stress and improve sleep and we are more likely to make good food choices.

However, we are so busy eating, drinking, stressing about and losing sleep over the gifts still to wrap that healthy habits such as regular physical activity seem to slide over the holidays.

Defining Edge is issuing a DPA Challenge to help you stay in the game!

It's simple - exercise in some way every day between December 24th and December 31st.

It doesn't matter so much WHAT you do, but that you are DOING it.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Does Krista Tweet?... Kind of

I haven't got hooked on Twitter ... yet. But my friends at, grab me for an occasional tweet on TMUSCLE Twitter.

Check it out to learn MY 5 FAVORITE SUPPLEMENTS, along with the tweets of many of my colleagues.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Invest in Yourself - NEXT LEVEL Coaching

Krista Schaus & Frances Manias are proud to announce Strength & Beauty Next Level Elite Women's Coaching & Community.

For more information on how you can get on the private invitation list email


Sunday, November 29, 2009


Pictured: Tammy Coles, Sarah Frankel, Krista Schaus, Susan Abbott receive 2009 Ontario Best Team Trophy from Ontario Powerlifting Association Representative Barry Antoniow

The Defining Strength team, coached by Krista Schaus and assisted by Jayne Boer, represented very well this past weekend in Ottawa at the Last Chance Open - appropriately named as it was lifter's last opportunity to qualify for Provincials on January 23rd in St. Catharine's and Nationals in Montreal (April 2010) beyond that.

All three lifters were novices to powerlifting which involves a combined best total of 3 single repetition (1RM) attempts in the squat, bench press and deadlift (in that order).

Supportive and assistance gear is allowed such as belts, knee and wrist wraps, tight fighting suits in the squat and deadlift (which look like wrestling singlets) and bench press shirts.

The Defining Strength team for this contest consisted of:

* Mary Lupton (Master 2 class)
* Sonja Bedic (Open class)
* Ashley Werner (Junior class)

All three lifters had personal bests (PB) out of the deadlift and Sonja also a PB in the squat. At a lifter's first contest, there can be quite a bit of discrepancies between gym or training lifts and contest lifts due to "novice nerves", possible weight loss to make a weight class, changes in nutrition and hydration levels, change of environment and the distractions associated to warming up with other lifters and the commotion of the crowd, equipmenet checks and the pressure of being judged. Many technicalities will emerge that the lifter may not have experienced or the coach may not have observed in training.

In powerlifting there are many reasons a lift can not pass regardless of whether the lifter actually lifted the weight or not. A few examples - insufficient depth in the squat, not fully locking out the knees or elbows at the start or completion of the lifts, not listening to lifting commands such as "start" or "rack", a foot moving during the squat or deadlift, or heels, butt or head coming off during the bench press.

The Defining Strength team handled the multiple physical and mental pressures of their first competition exceedingly well. Coach Schause stated she "was proud to have been a part of their accomplishments thus far and look forward to the progress they are certain to make in the coming months and years".


All 3 lifters lift with only belts and wraps in the squat, belt in the deadlift with the exception of Sonja who uses a squat suit.

Mary Lupton - 90+ kg - 77.5 kg squat, 40 kg bench, 107.5 kg deadlift for a total of nearly 500 lbs (225 kg)! Mary will very soon be an M3 Class* lifter (age 60 plus) which is an inspiring feat in itself, to be pushing the body to maximum strength while others may be experiencing physical decline.

Mary has plenty more strength in all three lifts however, a few minor technicalities in the squat and bench press saw her short of her goals in those lifts. But she made up for in the deadlift by easily pulling 15 lbs more than originally planned. Mary is certain to pull 250 to 300 lbs in her next open contest Spring 2010. Mary is looking long term towards Worlds 2011 that will be hosted by Niagara Powerlifting.

Sonja Bedic - 75 kg - 120 kg squat, 47.5 kg bench, 125 kg deadlift for a qualifying (Class III) total of 292.5 kg (she needed 282.5 kg to qualify for provincials). She went 3 for 3 in the squats (successful on all 3 of her attempts) got her off to a confident start. Shoulder dysfunction late in her contest training meant Sonja would not be bringing any PB's to the lifting platform in the bench press.

The goal was to get a decent bench press in to stay in the game. If a lifter fails one of the 3 lifts, they are disqualified from the competition. So getting a good opening attempt in is of vital important. Openers (1st attempts) should be relatively easy to avoid "bombing" (disqualification).

She easily pulled her 125 kg 3rd attempt deadlift - evidence that for provincials she will be planning on another deadlift personal best. I am setting a 140 kg goal for provincials in the deadlift (308 lbs).

Ashely Werner - 67.5 kg - 107.5 kg squat, 65 kg bench, 120 kg deadlift for a 292.5 kg total putting her well above her qualifying requirements of 262.5 kg. Ashely weighed in light in her weight class - 62.5 kg meaning she had to lift against heavier (and more geared and experienced lifters). It is fair to say that most of her lifts were easy from an untapped strength standpoint. She has much more strength to reveal due in part to her combined wrestling, rowing and fitness background. With further refining and training time, we could see her on the World platform as soon as 2010 in her last year as a Junior lifter. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, we look forward to her continued success on the platform at Provincials and Nationals later this year.

The Defining Strength team will get right back into training as Provincials are just 7 weeks again - November 23rd in St. Catharine's.

Tammy Coles of Calendoia, and coach Krista Schaus also qualified for Nationals at Provincials earlier this year where Schaus took home Ontario's Best Female Lifter award, a bench press and deadlift record and the Defining Strength team won Best Team Trophy. This was the first time in Canadian Powerlifting hostiry that an all female team won the Team Trophy. For full results on that qualifying competition visit.

As the powerlifting 2009 season closes, Coach Krista Schaus also would like to extend honorable metions to team members Carol Brady of Caledonia (M2 lifter) and Jayne Boer (M1 lifter) who also lifted in their first powerlifting events in 2009. In addition to impressive lifting, both Carol and Jayne have also been an essential part of the team helping with organizing, coaching and logistics.

Additionally, Susan Abbott of Hagersville is co-coach of Defining Strength. The accomplishments of her athletes this year - Lisa Nigh, Anita Santos, Krista Miller and Natasha Farrell - has helped the team see its best competitive year to date.

Sarah Frankel of Toronto, one of Ontario's best female lifters, was also a Defining Strength team member in 2009 and has been organizing a Toronto Powerlifting team for launch 2010.

* There are both age divisions (Junior, Open, Master 1, 2, 3...) and there are classes for qualifying totals or caliber of lifting (Class IIII, III, II, I, Mater and Elite). Women's qualifying standard for Provincials and Nationals is a minimum of a Class III total (exception: Sub Junior and Master III = "previous experience only"). For details on age classes and qualifying standards click here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Free Health & Wellness Classes with Dr. Oz!

I have been "in class" the past few days but not at a school or even online.

There's not too many TV shows that I can watch the days and be able to learn valuable new health information every day. But someone is my new favorite teacher - Dr. Oz.

If you are a health, wellness and fitness nut like I am, he's likely your favorite prof these days also.

His show is a wealth of knowledge and applicable information and well overdue in the television industry.

So what have I been noting lately:

1) 2 NEW Signs of Hypothyroidism (low functioning thyroid) that I was unaware of:

- slow reflex at the knee joint (slow eccentric or return of the leg to starting position to be exact)
- eyebrow hair loss or shortened eyebrows at the end

How many shows can you take notes during every episode?

Plus one I was reminded of:

- chronic constipation

2) Cancer and cell phone radiation.

(from November 16th episode)

For more information on signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism.

They are discovering a possible link between cell phone use and brain tumors. How can you protect yourself? Top 5 tips from The Dr. Oz show November 17th:

- Hold the cell phone away from your ear. The further away the less the risk. You can minimize your risk by 1000 to 10,000 times by holding the cell phone away and using the speaker option.
- Use head sets / speaker on wires for the same reason - it keeps the cell phone away from the head
- Do not carry it on the hip or in the pocket (while it's on) unless you want to also increase your risk of testicular or ovarian cancers or of other reproductive problems such as reduced sperm count in men.
- Turn the cell phone off when carrying on your body whenever possible.
- Carry it in your purse, briefcase or duffle bag rather than on your person.

It apparently takes up to 40 years for exposure negative impacts (such as brain tumors) to appear, so more evidence of this growing problem will likely surface in our CHILDREN so start educating them now.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Harvest of Haldimand

I was very pleased to find the Harvest of Haldimand Guide at my local library last week.

The guide provides listings and contact information for local farms and restaurants that support local food.

About a year ago I had a conversation with an aestetician at a local spa that it would be great if we had a booklet or online resources to get local foods. This came about as we were talking about the benefits of the 100-Mile Diet concept. We went as far as to brainstorm about how to put such a thing together.

Well I pretty much forgot all about it until I saw my vision in real life. Ok, I didn`t do anything but dream it up. But clearly someone else had too - Haldimand County to be exact. Well done Haldimand County! And also accolades goes out to all our local producers, suppliers and supporters of the local food movement.

You can visit online at or find your guide at many establishments throughout Haldimand County such as:

Haldimand County offices
The Sachem
The Haldimand Press
Regional News This Week
Library Branches

Most importantly start supporting and visiting our local farmers, providers of agri-tainment and restaurants that support local farming.

Some of my personal favorites:

Twisted Lemon Restaurant at 3 Norton Street Cayuga - you must try their grilled vegetable and goat cheese salad. Their desserts are also to die for. Learn more about their menu and events. They will make you re-define dining as their motto suggests.

Flyer`s Cafe at 144 Queen Street Dunnville. Flyer`s has an exquisite bakery selection of fresh breads and pies. What makes them extra cool is that they are huge supporters of the arts bringing in local and international talent for your enjoyment at a very affordable price. Enjoy the food, the sounds, the environment and often the art exhibits on display.

Muddy Lane Maple Syrup at 4516 Rainham Road, Selkirk - Make sure to mark your calendar for their annual maple syrup festival (end of March or early April) where you can sample and purchase local maple syrup, take a ride through the sugar bush on horse and cart wit the kids and enjoy the local beauty.

Richardson`s Corn Maze & Farm Market at 131 River Road Dunnville. will provide you with seasonal hours so you can plan your trip to experience the best that our community has to offer from the pumpkin patch or corn maze to local berries, corn, jams and maple syrup.

The Potting Shed at 44 Haldimand Road 17 Dunnville. You will not regret visiting this award winning garden center. You can go as far as choosing your own variety of hostas. They make a very special and long lasting gift for special occasions. Let the bride or groom name their own hosta variation. Truly one of a kind. They also have an amazing selection of ornamental grasses. Learn more at

So again thank you Haldimand County and sponsors of the Harvests of Haldimand Guide. You saved me work - and honestly I would not have done nearly as good of a job!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Jeff King... No Excuses

Originally appeared at on November 26, 2006


We're all human, and sometimes we lose that motivation, even if it's just a little loss, we can always use some motivation.

Then, someone like Jeff King sends over an e mail and it sends a bolt of lighting through my veins.

Read below to see who Jeff King is, and what this Gladiator is all about!

I was born in 1973 with mild cerebral palsy. Compared to others affected by wheelchair confinement, I have only slight hip unevenness and a lesser sense of hand-eye coordination.

In high school, I began lifting weights at a local gym. I started out as a typical 98-pound weakling, but after a while I grew confident enough to wrestle and arm wrestle. In college, I discovered an official arm-wrestling tournament at a sports bar and won my first match. I soon joined a competitive circuit, and in 1996 I won the Ontario (Canada) Provincials at 180 pounds. In 1998, I placed third at the Canadian Championships--all this against "normal," able-bodied opponents.

Jeff's Message: Today, after a few brief comebacks and retirements, I coach arm wrestlers out of my home, and they've encouraged me to return to full-time competition. The most notable and recent win of my 11-year career was in the 198-pound left-hand class at the biggest pro tournament in Canada on March 27. (I can only arm wrestle left-handed because of my cerebral palsy.)

At the time of this writing, I am undefeated in 2004. I'm also finishing up my personal-trainer certification and will be testing for my black belt in the art of aikido after nine years of study.

Yes, times are tough, but, if you're half as tough as Jeff King, you'll kick those "times" in the ass!

BIG Thanks to Jeff King for the motivation and inspiration!

Jeff will be guest speaker / coach on November 20th at Everest College for a presentation on working with athletes / clients with disabilities, training modifications and also an introduction to the odd lifts.

I am also looking forward to working with Jeff more in the future when his new home gym opens up in the new year in Hamilton.

Do you know your blood type?

A, O, AB, B, RH-... so many options!

"I think I am an A, but not sure."

"My Mom is an O so I must be."

"I am pretty sure I am the rare one."

Blood type is not something you want to apply guess work to. For medical purposes, there must be certainty and if you don't know or that information is not available when you have a medical emergency, extra (and potentially valuable time) must be taken in order to find out.

It's primarily important to know for:

* medical emergency care
* family health history
* treatment for some conditions
* prenatal care
* family planning

It is also beneficial to know for individualization in diet, (such as Eat Right for Your Blood Type) but not essential.

Eating According to Blood Type

There are many people who make the decision to eat in order to please their blood type. Certain blood types may be more prone to certain health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease. Eating certain foods can help you prevent these health problems from affecting you. People with certain blood types may also become more satisfied by eating certain foods. Although some blood types should remain vegetarian, there are others which should avoid eating carbohydrates, for the most part. You may be able to live longer and feel healthier when you make the decision to go on a diet that is designed solely for your blood type.

The Evolutionary Story

•Type O – The oldest and most basic blood type, the survivor at the top of the food chain, with a strong and ornery immune system willing to and capable of destroying anyone, friend, or foe.

•Type A – The first immigrants, forced by the necessity of migration to adapt to a more agrarian diet and lifestyle, had a more cooperative personality to get along in crowded communities.

•Type B – The assimilator, adapting to new climates and the mingling of populations who represented nature’s quest for a more balanced force between the tensions of the mind and the demands of the immune system.

•Type AB – The delicate offspring of a rare merger between the tolerant Type A and the formerly barbaric but more balanced Type B.

It's not always easy to find out, but here are some avenues to pursue to find out:

Home Blood Type Test Kits at an affordable price. However my experience has taught me that many people buy home kits for blood type, hormone profiles, but do not use them and may not use them properly. This may be a good option if you want to know for dietary purposes but not for medical purposes. It is subject to error.

Your Doctor - Many people think ask or call their doctor's office or ask their doctor but are often surprised to discover that information is not in their file. Some people have reported that the information has been withheld from them if the doctor or staff beleives that you are asking for dietary purposes only. If you were born at the same hospital / medical centre where your family doctor is operating, you may have it in your file. If you have a history of fad dieting, yo yoing with your weight or symptoms of disordered behavior (as it relates to diet / exercise) then your doctor is doing his or her job by not giving you that information without asking further questions. However, you ARE entitled to know about your body.

Baby Book or Hosptical Birth Card - My parents kept everything from greeting cards to hospital birth card and my blood type was listed in my baby book. Not everyone had parent's who were scrapbooking fenatics or hoarders. But worth looking into.

Blood Donor Card - If you have ever given blood it is listed in the bottom corner of your blood donor card from Canadian Blood Services. This is a great reason to give blood also - you benefit from the information and someone else benefits from the gift of life. Check your community listings or search the internet for clinics coming up in your area.

Blood Test Clinics - This is not common, but they are starting to pop up. Due to a more integrated approach to health care, health promotion and preventative or proactive strategies, community blood testing clinics are popping up. They will even advertise them by mentioning benefits for knowing your blood type such as health benefits and personal dietary interests. That's progress!

Dunnville War Memorial Hospital is holding a Blood Test Clinic on Friday November 13th.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Healthy Contest Prep – An Oxymoron?

Originally published at

Maybe you’re one of them? Maybe you’ve considered finding a coach and stepping on the competitive stage as a bodybuilder, fitness competitor, or figure model? Maybe you’ve considered a powerlifting contest. Or maybe you’ve considered running a marathon.

And maybe you think these are “healthy” things to do. Well, if so, there’s some stuff you need to know.

So pull up a chair and listen closely as natural bodybuilder, drug-free powerlifter, and Lean Eating Coach, Krista Schaus mentors you toward a healthy understanding of the competitive process.


Extreme Competition Unhealthy?

Men and women come to me from far and wide to get advice on how to get to the competitive stage in a “healthy” or “balanced” way. You see, that’s sorta become my thing. Yes, I’ve paid my dues as a high performance coach. And as competitive strength and physique athlete.

But I’ve also spent a lot of time learning about health and physiological function from some of the best in the business – like Charles Poliquin, Dr Berardi, and more. And I’ve made it my mission to help people find a way to balance out the two. To get maximally strong for power lifting, to get maximally lean for physique competition, to get maximally fit for running, while also protecting the body from injury.

Coach Krista - A Strong, Lean, And Fit Woman

Now, it might not seem self evident – at first – that these “extreme” activities like physique competition or marathon running are unhealthy. And it’s for this reason that most people see them the logical end to some otherwise healthy activity like lifting weights or jogging.

Yet, if you think about it, there’s nothing all that natural or healthy about running to the point that you can’t walk for 2 days after, or about dieting down to abnormally low body fat levels.

Getting Super-Lean and Managing Imbalances

For example, younger females typically carry around about 25-30% body fat; older women about 30 to 35%. And younger males typically carry around about 12-17% body fat; older males about 15-20% body fat.

So, attaining the body fat levels of a bikini model (12-15%) or a bodybuilder (5%) means struggling against millions of years of evolution. And the high volumes of training, coupled with the low quantities of food necessary to attain this level of leanness, are very stressful. Especially if the negative energy balance isn’t managed correctly!

The same is true with long distance running. Logging all those miles creates the same type of negative energy balance.

It’s for this reason that musculoskeletal injuries are common during pre-contest/pre-competition periods. As are hormonal problems like adrenal burnout, sex hormone depression, and much more.

I’ve seen so many folks come to me having prepared badly in the past due to due to lack of information or misinformation. They’ve damaged their metabolisms, hormonal systems, digestive health, sleep rhythms, their body images, and their relationships with food. It’s sad actually.

But don’t think that just because some people prepare for contests badly, it’s impossible to prepare well. After all, these problems are totally manageable. And that’s what I do. I enter into every contest preparation period with the idea that competing is never healthy. And then I do my best to manage the imbalances and unhealthy nature of competing.

Is Competing Beneficial?

Ok, so there are some risks with competing. But there must be some benefits, right? Well, that’s an important question. And the answer depends on you. In some cases, competing is totally beneficial. In other cases, it’s a bad idea.

Some of the most significant physical and personal growth myself and my clients have experienced has come from pushing beyond our comfort levels and beyond what we thought was possible. From challenge comes growth.

Indeed, everyone at some point in their lives…or many times… should find their equivalent of preparing and training for “the stage”.

Coach Krista in Bodybuilding Shape

But not everyone needs to choose this particular vehicle to expand their horizons and excel at a higher level. There are many vehicles for growth and various opportunities to challenge yourself. Physique contests, endurance events (triathlons, marathons) or strength/power events (powerlifting, olympic lifting) are just some examples of how you can prepare, push and peak.

But each of these examples involves risk, commitment, sacrifice and yes, degrees of imbalance.

And sometimes what we get in the end is very different than what we expected. Some see competing as the ultimate end point – only to discover it is just the beginning. There is no “end”. You just set your sights higher or focus your attention to different things and see things differently than you did before.

One of my favorite songs from the musical Wicked is “For Good.” And one of my favorite lines is: “I don’t know if I have been changed for the better, but I have been changed for good.”
This goes for competing. It will change you – whether it is a positive change is another question. And only you can decide the answer to this one too.

But, whatever you decide to do and however you decided to push yourself, you must educate yourself and be prepared for the good, the bad and the ugly. Plus, expect the unexpected. And get rid of any fantasy now that it is healthy, normal or easy.

A New Fitness Goal: Always Be 3-6 Weeks Away
Let me be really honest about something here. There are some folks who have an advantage when it comes to physique sports. Indeed, those who find getting ready for physique contests easy are those that are naturally very lean; those that walk around with a near contest-body year-round. In essence, they’re 3-6 weeks from being ready for a contest year-round.

Personally, that’s exactly what I aspire toward. Indeed, my goal has always been to be a well-rounded representative of what I value most – strength, leanness, health and fitness. What that means in concrete terms is that I want to be able to participate in or compete in anything health and fitness related at almost any time.

If I want to step onto a lifting platform – I’m only 3-6 weeks of training away
If I want to step on the stage – I’m only 3-6 weeks of training (& dieting) away
If I want to enter a CrossFit challenge – I’m only 3-6 weeks of training away
If I want to participate in a team sport – I’m only 3-6 weeks of training away.
Maybe this is really what most people in the health and fitness world aspire toward. Maybe it’s not the contest per se that people find most important. Maybe it’s being strong, athletic, and lean enough to compete in any number of activities with only a little preparation.

Now, beyond the comfort (and ego boost) of knowing that you’re fit enough to participate in most sports at any time, there’s another huge benefit of always training for physical preparedness. When you’re training year-round and staying “3-6 weeks away,” your preparation phase is much less stressful on the body.

Think about it, if you only have 10-15lbs to lose for a competition it takes much less time (and much less of a huge lifestyle overhaul) than if you have to lose 30-40lbs for that competition. The negative energy balance doesn’t have to be as great. So, you can keep eating lots of nutrient rich foods while simply cleaning up the diet and ramping up the exercise program.

Health, Body Comp, and Food

Now, I’m not perfect. I have lost my period in the past during training. And I have battled overeating after a long period of contest preparation. But I learned from my mistakes. And I have a good system in place now.

First, I make sure that I pick my battles very carefully. For example, there are quite a few events I’d love to compete in each year. However, I have to prioritize the most important ones. If I try to do too many, or if I try to do an event if I’m feeling too burnt out from other work and life responsibilities, the mix will definitely kick me out of balance. So I’ve learned to just say no.

Second, I make sure that I always have a food plan in place for the “off-season,” for my “contest prep,” and for immediately after my contests. There’s rarely a time where I just “wing it.” Because winging it can get dicey. A little extra turns into a lot extra. And before you know it, you’re binging and out of control

PN – It’s My Secret Weapon

The best thing I’ve found for keeping me on track year-round; for both helping me maintain my off-season leanness and helping me avoid the post-contest rebound is Precision Nutrition.

No, that’s not me “selling out.” It’s me sharing my truth, based on my own experience and the experience of the competitors I’ve worked with.

PN V3 - Build The Body You Want

We’ve done intuitive eating, carb cycling, macro counting, quasi fasting, cheat meals, vegetarian fare, detoxes… and more. And PN has worked the best for the following reasons:

There’s a support system for you
Individualization is built in
There’s no counting calories, grams or weighing foods unless you need some troubleshooting
Improved body composition and health is the strategic outcome
I use PN year-round with some small tweaks and individualization changes as a contest approaches. My clients and athletes do the same.

The Wrap-Up

In the end, it seems to me that a lot of gym folks treat physique competition like recreational runners treat their local marathon. It becomes a holy grail of sorts.

In establishing this milestone goal, they forget that before rushing headlong into such an event, there’s some stuff to do. Some self-exploration is required. Some expert advice is to be sought out. And some serious sacrifices have to be made along the way.

So if you’re thinking about competing in your first physique contest – or your first powerlifting meet – or your first marathon, we here at PN encourage you to “just do it.” One caveat, though. Do it right!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

DE Client Reaches New Heights - FULL CHIN UPS!

This is an unprompted email from a Defining Edge distance client. An amazing lady who clearly works hard in the gym and keeps her goals in mind. To keep it real, SHE did this with us as her guides. Only YOU can accomplish the seemingly impossible. No one does it for you. But we were happy to help.


This is the FIRST TIME EVER that I have been able to do a full chin-up then come up and do 2 more!!!

What you guys need to understand is that
1) I have not done a chin-up nor specifically trained to do a chin-up in **months**.
2) The last time I remember attempting some, in May, I was saddened to discover that I had lost so much ground I could no longer do even a 5 second negative chin.
3) For at least 2 years I have tried with little success to progress to full chin-ups. Many trainers have had me do all kinds of chin variations (partials, negatives, legs supported, inverted rows, etc) but I was never able to progress to more than a few semi-chins at the very top of the range.

Until now.

YOUR program did this. There's no other explanation! Today was biceps and triceps day of my new Phase 3 program and I was able to duplicate this miracle event for each of my 4 sets. Furthermore, I can easily do a TEN SECOND negative - while whistling!

Frankly, I could not be more shocked or pleased! I cried!! It's like a GIFT that I received today on Day 3 of induction! I never ever saw it coming. I feel so encouraged I cannot tell you. WHERE are my egg whites and veggies?! Lemme at 'em!

When I saw chins were part of my new program I groaned that I hate them. Now I LOVE them!! I've got to build on this!! We're going to 10 full chins before 2010 - what do ya say??

Thank you thank you thank you!!! You guys are THE BEST.

Friday, July 24, 2009


worthy of a reprint. From my blog in early 2008

Strong women are those who know
the road ahead will be strewn with
obstacles, but they still choose to walk
it because it's the right one for them.
Strong women are those who make
mistakes, who admit to them, learn
from those failures, and then use
that knowledge.

Strong women are easily hurt, but
they still extend their hearts and
hands, knowing the risk and
accepting the pain when it comes.

Strong women are sometimes beat
down by life, but they still stand
back up and step forward again.

Strong women are afraid. They
face fear and move ahead to the
future, as uncertain as it can be.

Strong women are not those who
succeed the first time. They're the
ones who fail time and again, but
still keep trying until they succeed.

Strong women face the daily trials
of life, sometimes with a tear, but
always with their heads held high
as the new day dawns.

Brenda Hager

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

DE Client Keeps Pushing to the Next Level

BEFORE - Nov 2008 - 210 lbs

AFTER - May 2009 - 190 lbs

A recent Defining Edge client and Precision Nutrition Lean Eating graduate continues to push himself to the limit with Eric Cressey - well he's certainly pushing something!

An obvious glutton for punishment, Roger made an impressive transformation through a combination of the Lean Eating's daily lessons and tasks and a supportive community at Precision Nutrition and Definnig Edge's personalized protocols aimed to get him that 6 pack abs he asked for. In addition, Roger simply likes to learn as much as he can.

As you can see by this most recent Cressey Intern "Learning Session", Roger is thankful at least that he endured 3 months of Defining Edge strength and conditioning workouts. Otherwise he would have been a total embarassment.

Awesome work Roger! Keep the bucket nearby.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Women's Empowerment Weekend!

with Krista Schaus PICP & Renee Willis M.Ed. CPT

Friday July 24th to Sunday July 26th, 2009
Peacock Point (Lake Erie), Ontario CANADA

Under 1 hour south of Hamilton - 1.5 hours west of Buffalo / Niagara - 1.5 hours south / east of London

All-inclusive, Life Altering Fun!

 Semi-private training sessions Saturday & Sunday
 Physique-friendly main meals & snacks included
 Workout nutrition included
 Core pack supplements included
 Accommodations included at private full service cottage
 Biosignature reports & consultations
 Ionized foot soak & 30 min session with Natural Health Therapist
 Tips to Fiancial Fitness
 Recovery methods and grounding techniques
 Q & A’s and fireside discussions
 And so much more... TOO MUCH TO LIST!

4:00 to 7:00 pm - Meet & Greet
Physique-friendly food included
7:00 to 8:00 pm - BioSignature data collection
9:00 pm - Renee’s “Sit on the Stool” fire side discussion

7:00 – Breakfast
9:00 – TRAINING - Chest & Back - Relative Strength & Functional Hypertrophy
12:00 – Lunch
2:00 to 5:00 pm – Natural Health Therapies
& BioSignature Consultations
6:00 pm – Dinner
Special Guest
Evening – Fireside Q&A with Krista, Renee & special guest

7:00 am – TRAINING Legs - Giant Sets
8:00 am – Sauna Protocol
9:00 am – Sunday Brunch
10:30 – noon - Wrap – up Discussion
Attendees are free to say at the cottage for the afternoon for relaxation / sun

You may also wish to head to Port Dover for the afternoon, just 10 minutes from the cottage.

Anyone wishing for additional night's accomodation, inquire for cost.

• Not recommended for beginners to training or Level I Eaters
• Please report any food allergies / sensitivities
• Not recommended for anyone with a recent injury

This is a private retreat. Attendance is limited to only 6 people!

$900.00 CND

1) Confirm - Email
2) Payment – PayPal to
3) Register - Forms & further details will be emailed to you once payment is received

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Elusive Chinup!

I got a great Mother's Day present, belated, in my in box on Monday.

A client that I have been working with since August 2007 emailed me to report that she got 2 FULL chinups (dead hang bottom, chin over top) on Sunday while training with her mother.

I always wanted to be the one to witness her first chinup as it has been an apparently elusive goal and one a long time coming, but it was appropriate on Sunday that it was with her Mom.

As a coach, sometimes I feel like a Mom to my clients --- more appropriately, they feel like my children.

I am really proud of her accomplishment as she never lost sight of the goal even though at times it seemed like a dream rather than a goal. We kept saying, "it's not a matter of if, but when!".

So the obvious question now, "what next?!". Where there is 1 chinup (or 2) there is 5 or 10 or 5 with 10 lbs.

They key for her getting this chinup was simple:

1) Keep improving body composition
2) Keep getting stronger
3) Keep the dream alive


Saturday, May 9, 2009

8 Things to Stop Doing Right Now


The main purpose of this site is to help you be who you want to be and live the life you want to live. I think everyone deserves that at the bare minimum, and I believe that everyone can achieve it. Therefore, a lot of the messages that I share here are positive, inspiring and action orientated.

With this post I want to change direction, and not cover the things you should be doing, but the things you shouldn’t be doing. I’m not even going to be half-hearted about it and say you should ‘probably’ stop doing these things or ‘you can if you want’. No; you really should stop, right now.

I truly believe that successful implementation, or actually ‘de-implementation’ of these methods will dramatically improve a number of things. The first thing that will change is your overall level of happiness, the second thing that will develop is a laser-like focus for your goals and the third thing that will change is going to be your overall awareness.

What I mean by improving your awareness is that you actually might ‘wake up’ to some of the things you’ve been doing, and understand exactly why I say you need to stop doing these things immediately.

1. Doubting Yourself
- If you think that you can’t achieve something then I have some good news for you, you’re probably right. Doubts and lack of self belief are the number one way to not only fail to achieve your goals, but to prevent yourself for even trying to go for them in the first place.

Ask yourself, is there anyone in this world that could achieve what I want to achieve? If so, then you definitely can as well.

2. Looking for Answers - I don’t mean this as a sort of umbrella phrase that covers every situation in the world, sometimes we need answers. On occasion we need to know why things happened and how we can change them, but a lot of the answers we look for won’t change anything even if we get them.

“Why do some people have all the luck?”
“Why was I born into this environment?”
“Why am I not smart / pretty / cool / rich?”
These are all questions that deserve no time to be pondered. Don’t look for answers, just start creating results.

3. Procrastinating - This is something I struggled with for a long time, but regular readers of the site will know that I ‘cured’ this quite well. Basically, I make sure I know what I want in life, and any time I catch myself procrastinating or wishing I didn’t have to do a certain ask, I simply ask myself: “Do you really want this?”

Has there ever been a time when procrastinating actually served you well? Did those extra 20 minutes on Facebook or a call to your friend really help the situation? The ‘problem’ is still going to be there, so just deal with it now.

4. Blaming Someone Else - It’s far easier and more likely for us to blame someone else for our current situation rather than take responsibility ourselves. “I’m poor because John makes bad financial decisions” or “I’m unhappy because Sarah left me”.

You have to take full and total responsibility for yourself and all of your actions. Sure, there will be people who want to help you and people involved in what you do, but you are completely responsible for the outcome. If you keep looking to others as the reason for your ‘failures’ without picking up the pieces yourself, these ‘failures’ will continue to happen.

5. Judging Others - First of all, you have absolutely nothing to gain but everything to lose from judging someone. People that others would instantly judge as ‘uncool’ or ‘boring’ have turned out to be some of the most awesome people I’ve ever met in my life.

Secondly, I want to make it clear that I’m not just saying this because it is nice and should be included on a list like this; I fully believe it and try to implement it into my life. If you are going to judge people, at least judge them by their actions, and not their appearance or their background.

6. Waiting to Live - I think most of you will relate to this point more than any. I should know, I’ve spent a good few years of my life waiting for things to happen before life will be perfect and I can start enjoying it. As soon as I finish college, as soon as I’m making enough money online, as soon as I’ve gained X amount of lbs and I’m ripped etc., these are all useless thoughts that I’ve had.

You know what, these things may come, and you may get to finish college or get to your dream weight. As soon as you get there though, you’ll realise you’ve just wasted and forgotten the whole journey it took to arrive at the spot. The time to enjoy life is right now, no matter what situation you are in or what you hope the future may hold.

7. Needing Reasons to Be Happy - 2 weeks ago I wrote something that touched upon this idea in one of my blog posts:

I have a huge grin on my face as I’m writing this; in fact I’ve had one for the last few days. Should I tell you why? OK, well…there is absolutely no reason. What reason do you need to feel great, why not just feel great?
I’m feeling like that on a very regular basis these days. We often feel we need things to ‘happen’ to give ourselves permission to be happy. Yet, when you think about it, how ridiculous is that? At any moment in time, you can have complete control over how you feel. Don’t look for reasons to feel good and smile, you’re alive, that should be enough.

8. Caring What People Think - I’ll be the first to admit that this isn’t easy, and I don’t think it’s going to come instantly unless you have some drugs or alcohol available. I have no doubt that this step takes time, but you can begin to care less and less with practice.

“What people say about you is none of your business”

- Sean Stephenson
I’ve wrote a lengthy blog post on the subject that I recommend you check out. The main point from that post I want to highlight is that you should just really put life into perspective. This is the only opportunity we have, are we really going to spend our time worrying about what people think of us, something we can’t even change anyway?

I would love to hear your thoughts, what other things do you think we should stop doing right now?

Lifting each other to new heights

PICTURED: (l-r)Coach Susan Abbott PICP, Lisa Nigh, Anita Santos

Posted By JACOB ROBINSON, Simcoe Reformer
08 MAY 2009

Powerlifting may seem like an individual sport, but three local competitors have proven it takes a team to carry the weight.

Simcoe's Anita Santos, Lisa Nigh of Jarvis and Hagersville resident and personal trainer Susan Abbott are among the best in Canada, and proved it by winning two bronze medals and a gold at the Canadian Powerlifting Union National Championships in Moose Jaw Sask. last month.

Santos met Abbott two years ago and began to train with her. It wasn't long until Nigh jumped on board and, since then, the three have been a force in both provincial and national competitions.

"You really can't do powerlifting by yourself," explained Abbott. "Your equipment, the weight, all those things demand you're there with assistance. The more I've watched; I can see form and depth. Often, if Lisa is squatting, even though I'm spotting, I've got Anita watching her depth or vise versa. It's definitely not an individual sport, it's a team sport."

Competitions are comprised of squats, bench presses and dead lifts. Each person gets three attempts at each lift, and two of the three judges on hand must give it the OK before the score can be official.

All three are friends and self-described fierce competitors. It's that combination that has kept them pushing for more -- even when they didn't think it was possible.

"We're all friends, but if somebody squats 300-pounds, in our minds we want to try and do that, too," said Nigh. "We work well together that way, and we encourage each other. It's been an honour to work with them."

This year's national event was the first for Nigh and, despite tearing muscles off her ribs just weeks before the competition, she managed to hit a personal best in her bench press.

In her second nationals, Santos earned personal bests in both the bench press and dead lift.

It's those kinds of moments that have kept them coming back for more.

"It is very addictive, especially if you have a personality that is driven to compete," said Nigh. "That adrenaline rush -- when you're up there, you don't see a person in the audience. (But) you get off of that stage, and there's all sorts of people there to pat you on the back, it's amazing. There's nothing like it."

Lisa Nigh demonstrating a high level of focus and determination.

Their feats are even more amazing when you consider all the time that goes into it. All three ladies are training three to four times a week, and often travel to the Niagara Powerlifting Club, which is the home to many international contenders, for sessions.

The schedule seems hectic, and is filled with sweat and sacrifice, but it also provides results both at the gym, and at home.

"I feel a lot more fit, slim and you just feel like you can conquer the world when you've squatted 300 pounds or benched over 150 and dead lift(ed) 300. You feel like you can do anything, it's very empowering," exclaimed Santos.

"Everyone should know that, if you set goals, no matter how high you think they are, you can achieve them -- it's just a matter of making it a priority and everything is workable."

That's not to say that there wasn't any doubt as the trio began to enter competitions. They simply worked through them.

"I had lots of inhibitions about my body, (and) my strength," said Nigh. "Once you get to the point where you (get) one competition in you and try it, you go up on that stage and it's overwhelming. You think, 'What am I doing? I'm 40-years-old, this is ridiculous. But why not? Why not try it?' And I've gotten over a lot of inhibitions that way."

What all three are focused on now is the 2011 World Championships to be held in St. Catharines. Santos, Nigh and Abbott are looking to show the world what they can do. After what Nigh, Abbott and Santos have done thus far, the sky is the limit.

"They are just starting to scratch the surface as far as using gear and really pushing the limits of it," Abbott said. "There's absolutely no limit, none at all."

Thursday, May 7, 2009

An Island

On our honeymoon in France, Pete and I were awestruck by Mont St. Michel - a beautiful island and a mountain.

Someone once told me that I am an island.

I did not give it much thought until last night when I randomly flipped open a page of The Right Mountain - Lessons from Everest on the Real Meaning of Success and I read a paragraph that seemed to stick right out:

"' Seriously, what are my chances of going to Everest?'

'Possible, just possible. But only if you are willing to commit to a training program.'

Commit sounded like a threat. I asked him what he meant.

'It means e have nine months before the team leaves and I'll need you at The Fitness Institute two hours a night, four nights a week, and eight to ten hours each day on the weekend. I'll need you without fail. You need to go full tilt, under the leadership of a trainer. You'll do everything he or she says, extending yourself all the time. Your body will scream and your mind will bend, but you can't ease off one bit. You have to give more every time you feel you've reached the end. You can't complain. Not even once. Not even silently. ... That's what I mean by commit.'


But, I soon realized it wasn't just me that was going to have to commit. Everyone else who was a part of my life would have to commit as well. If they couldn't understand why, I couldn't be with them."

These few paragraphs reminded me of the "you are an island" comment and, yes I am an island. Those who commit to big goals must become one in order to achieve the goal.

Thank you to my huband, my family and all my friends and clients who understand.

To all the other islands out there, you may have occasional vistors, you may find yourself a tourism hot spot or you may be completely desserted and undiscovered - no matter what the state, remember what it means to commit. People, things, events come and go - good or bad or degrees of both - but the island remains intact.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Attitude of A Winner - "It's not over until it's over" (and it's never over)

This is an exerpt and my reply from a DE High Performance client's blog, that I wanted to share here.

For most bodybuilding shows the routine is for entertainment purposes - for the audience - and normally not considered for your overall placing.

One organization in Ontario, the UFE (United Fitness Events) is the exception. They do count the routines towards your overall placing.

So the decision is made in the prejudging. Some people use this as an excuse to eat / drink more than they should or less than optimal food choices between prejudging and the evening show.

But if you think like a winner and an athlete, you always overshoot the finish line. It's not over until it's over. And even then it's not over.

This picture was in my OPC (Ontario Police College) dorm room. It kept me going many days.

1) There is the overall and the overall is done after the winners of each weight, age or height class are determined and awarded. And in my opinion, the overall IS the competition. When you win the overall, you are the winner. I am not taking anything away from anyone who wins their category, or places or whatever... we all have goal sand we all define success. I have been very happy with winning my class (Nationals last year when I did not win the overall against my coach, but won my class) or was not the overall winner (Arnolds for example). But I mentally shoot high and see the overall as the main goal. Everything is an expectation, not an accomplishment.

2) You prepared all this time for the "big day" so take it seriously. You do EVERYTHING with 100% importance and as a professional. You are an athlete, and everything matters. The routine is what can set you apart

3) in this industry, it is not always about being the big winner. There are awards given sometimes for Best Poster, Best Costume (in the theme wear of Fitness Modelling for example) and Best Routine. You can also make people remember you with your routine, your stage presence, your overall attitude and demeanor. Some people do not win or do not place, but make covers or the inside of magazines. Or they may be featured in an Internet article or offered supplement sponsorships.

When I say "even then, it's not over". If you win the overall, you may be involved in more pictures and/or interviews (on video or audio) after the show. You may have a photographer or other industry person contact you the days or weeks after the show for interviews or photo shoots. You may be asked to do a presentation or represent somewhere (like a supplement store) and have to do your best to look the part.

Take your role as an athlete and a representatiave of the health and fitness industry seriously. This is not necessarily for Yvonne directly, but everyone who competes.

Never assume something does not matter. It all matters.

One last thing - being A winner and being THE winner are not the same. Always strive to be A WINNER and being THE WINNER will come naturally.

PS - Yvonne, I am superproud.

Originally Posted by ygentile
Well, pre-judging is done. I'm at home resting, redoing my hair and refreshing my makeup before the evening show.

I entered two classes - Open Women's (tall), and Master's (35 yrs old and up), both pro-qualifiers. I think I'll place in the top three in both. In both classes, they moved me to the center of the line (or just to the right of center), which is usually a good sign.

I found out today that the routine is not even considered in the scoring. That means two things - 1) How I place is strictly ruled on my physique and posing/stage presence in the mandatories, and not my gracefulness (or lack thereof - LOL), so 2) I can really relax and have fun with my routine tonight.


A Slender to Sexy Success Story

12 lbs of muslce in 12 months!

BEFORE - May 2008 - 118 lbs / 7.9% body fat

CURRENT - May 2009 - 130 lbs / 7% body fat

Renee's entire slender to sexy success story will be featured in Figure Athlete in May.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

NEXT LEVEL TACTICS - "Step away from the bunny!"

The first thing that comes to mind at Easter is chocolate... a far cry from the reason for the season.

So how do you partake in Easter festivities guilt free and fat-free? (I mean the potential fat on your thighs and love handles)

- Commercial Easter products and those $2.49 solid chocolate bunnies are sugar, fat, additives, plastic and other crap I cannot pronounce. At least IF you are going to go chocolate, fine a small dark chocolate Lindt bunny. I personally am a chocolate fan and do not pass up a dose of my favorite food at special occasions like Valentine's Day and Easter, but I go for quality not quantity. We deserve the very best! And good things do come in small packages... that applies to chocolate and your tightening physique.

2) EARN YOUR INDULGENCES! - As you all know, I love to train and train hard. I earn my holiday feasts by preceding them with monster workouts. Kick your own ass this Easter weekend so the family food frenzies do not go to your ass. Try to pick nutrient dense, balanced food choices at the dinner table like lean meats, veggies, sweet potatoes over potatoes and avoid the appetizers unless they are a veggie tray and shrimp ring. Nothing else will do you any good. So again - WORKOUT and then EAT... in that order.

3) THE EASTER BUNNY IS FOR KIDS - Enjoy time with family, the extra extra long weekend away from work, read a good book, relax and do a bit of nothing, let your mind unwind. And when you are tempted by the crap chocolate, remember it's for the kids. You have been there and ate all your bunnies many years ago. That part of the holiday is NOT for you. Be an adult.

4) NO GUILT - whatever you do and however the Easter weekend goes, you must EMBRACE your choices. Guilty feelings and guilt behavior such as doing 40 minutes of meaningless cardio to try and equate the damage done from the garbage you ate the night before, does you no good. It is a waste of energy and time. Whatever decision you make, make it (so stop and reflect), take ownership (no excuses) and embrace it (associate nothing but positive feelings and energy to your decision. Take ownership of your behavior and decisions.

Happy Easter! And remember, "step away from the bunny!"

Monday, April 6, 2009

NEXT LEVEL NUTRITION - Control Food Cravings

Do not allow cravings to control you – turn the tables on cravings and take control of them with this 5 Step Process outlined by Defining Edge Distance Coach, Kate Kline.

1. Stop. What emotions am I feeling?

2. Reflect. Why do I want to eat this? What will it give me? (pleasure, happiness, excitement, acceptance, etc..?)

3. Think. What are the consequences of this action? How will it affect myphysique, my progress? What are my goals? What do I want to look
like? How bad do I want to get lean? Picture what your mentor (whoever that may be) would do in this situation.

4. Consider alternatives. What other ways can I facilitate those
emotions? (having a nice conversation, giving someone a compliment, training, drinking a glass of tea, reading a cool book, thinking about something/someone special, having a healthy meal, having a piece of fruit that is good for my body, etc....)

5. Evaluate the choices and make a decision.

This 5 Step Process doesn't just apply to food cravings. You may not have food issues but perhaps have trouble controlling emotions. The same steps apply.

We all move so fast in today's society that we don't stop to THINK before we react. We just react without any consideration to the specific situations or the consequences of our reactions.

It is also why people are so quick to judge/misjudge others. We see someone doing something "different" or what we think is "wrong" and we make an immediate judgment, without taking into consideration the situation or circumstances that may have prompted the individuals' actions or behaviors.

So whether it is a chocolate cake, a co-worker or something that goes against your values - take the time to THINK and REFLECT. Not only will your health and body improve, but also your relationship with yourself and others.

Brilliant Kate! Thanks for sharing. K

Friday, April 3, 2009


This month may be about the Next Level Nutrition Challenge, but EVERYTHING can be taken to the next level in order to bring you closer to your best YOU and optimal health, fitness and performance.

April 3, 2009

Next Level Training is about pushing beyond your limits. The brain stops before the body. Thus, you have to turn off that part of your brain that says "this hurts", "that's good enough", or "I"m done" and turn ON your drive and focus on the goal and say "this is easy!", "4 more reps" and "I can do it".

The brain leads the body. ALWAYS. You are in control of everything. Whatever you think you can do, will be done. So from here on in, let's apply the 4 MORE REPS RULE.

I used this when I was preparing for the Arnold Amateur Bodybuilding championships in the final weeks. My body fat was at very low levels, beyond where the body wants to be for optimal health and performance. I was eating a diet consisting of ultra low carbohydrates which is a source of fuel for both brain and body. And I was training 2 to 3 times a day. Most brains would say "I am tired", "I am weak". So I had to work very hard to apply Next Level Thinking and not let the brain dominate the body.

So I made it a rule the final few weeks of training to say "4 more reps" during every set and "I am strong and energetic" before every workout. It worked. Not only did it work, I had some of my best, most energetic, strongest training sessions to date.

Your homework:

Do NOT let your brain interfere with your body's ability to perform optimally.
Push to the NEXT LEVEL
Apply The "4 more reps" Rule
NO Excuses! (yup, none)

If YOU would like an opportunity to push to the next level, training for the Push/Pull (bench press and deadlift) in Belle River begins on Sunday April 19th at 7:00 PM (6 weeks). This opportunity is open to ANY Defining Edge personal training clients, regardless of age or experience. Be a part of a great team of dynamic women - learn a new skill - participate in a rewarding sport - push yourself to the NEXT LEVEL.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Healthy Balance


The Defining Edge philosophy is about striving to be your best while maintaining balance and health. My first experiences with the physique industry came as a result of many athletes needing assisting in getting balanced. Many were being prepared for contest with so much deprivation and restriction for so long that the pendulum would swing very far and hard in the opposite direction after the competiition - IF they even made it that far. Many never made it to the stage because they were just too drained or unhealthy - their body rebelled.

My goal was to find a better way and stop the insanity. The sport is supposed to be about representing health, strength and fitness - NOT to be a walking skeleton on stage or to suffer the effects of 12 weeks of preparation for the next 2 years.

Thus, this recent feedback from one of my competitive clients means a great deal to me. The athletes I coach are representative of the Defining Edge philosophy and proof that it works and you CAN do it better. They DO do it better.

" many things are different about preparing for comp with you it's amazing. I'm realizing now how many things I was told to do that were wrong (and some maybe not even healthy).

With your guidance, I'm just as lean without looking emaciated, my energy level is good, my mood is incredible, and my digestive system is functioning! What a difference! :-) I'm relaxed and having fun!"

I would like to thank DE athletes and clients for having enough trust in their coaches, faith in themselves and value for their healthy to try a different path - a better path.



Welcome to DAY 1 of Krista' Next Level Challenge Series.

The sun is out

The temperature is rising

So is your level of motivation to take your physique to the next level!


To kick off Spring, I am putting out a Next Level Nutrition Challenge to all my personal training clients. I have said it many times - eating for a body transformation is SIMPLE! Not easy, but simple. If it was easy, everyone would look and feel amazing and have the body they want.

But it can be done. If we tackle the challenge as a group, a support group is created automatically.

So what does the challenge entail?

1) Stop eating crap or stuff you know does not work for you

- for some that may entail wheat, dairy, fruit, protein bars, coffee too late at night, artificial sweeteners, "chick" food like instant dinners, flavoured yogurt or cereal bars
- for others that may mean cookies, crackers, alcohol, chips, pizza, kids snacks, candy, 1/2 a jar of peanut butter or dinners out far too often.
- the more you say NO and eliminate these foods or replace them with better options for you, the closer you will get to your optimal body.

2) Eat every 2-3 hours WITHOUT FAIL! This will mean a minimum of 5 feedings daily and maybe 6.
- schedule it initially so it becomes systematic
- for example - 7:00, 10:00, 12:30, 3:00, 5:30, 8:00
- I guarantee you will have more energy throughout the day and will be less inclined to eat crap (referred to in #1) later in the day if you eat frequently.

3) Eat PROTEIN at each of those feedings. Best choice is ANIMAL PROTEIN.

- animal protein feeds muscle and increase saiety. Again, this will help you adhere to Rule #1 and also Rule #2 as when you eat protein as your foundation, you will have to eat more often as it does not bloat you and bulk you like a big meal of feel good carbs.

Get your protein from the following options (not limited to):

Beef (lean)
White Fish
Oily fish like salmon, trout, herring, sardines
Eggs and Egg whites
Pork Tenderloin
Protein Powder (high quality and various sources)

- Most of you should be aiming for 25 to 35 grams of protein at each meal or snack
- You do not have to measure because it is almost impossible to overeat protein like you can carbs

4) Eat FIBROUS VEGGIES with your protein

- raw, steamed, sauteed, blanches, boiled or grilled ideally
- various colours and varieties will provide you with plenty of nutrients
- no need to measure

5) Include a small amount of HEALTHY FATS with your protein and veggies

- you have to eat fat to lose fat
- not only will these essentials oils help you shed the excess weight / fat, your health will improve at all levels also.
- Fat is NOT a four letter word

Get your fat from the following options (not limited to):

Olive oil
Ground flax
Fish oil
Any oil blend from supplement store such as Udo's or Vega
Almond Oil
Coconut oil
Pumpkin seeds
Sunflower seeds
Sesame seeds
Hemp seeds
Natural nut or seed butters
Egg yolks
Naturally occurring fats in your meats

6) Refuel and Reward yourself with POST WORKOUT CARBS

- the best time to get your beloved carbs in you is after your workouts. Your muscles will soak up the "energy" food after depleting their stores.

Best carb options post workout:

Cooked whole grains such as oatmeal, quinoa or amaranth
Fresh Fruit - pineapple, berries and kiwi are on my Top 3 list
Dried Fruit (natural or organic such as figs, dates, prunes)
Rice cakes (many whole grains options here)
Dry cereals
Fruit Juices - pineapple, pomegranate, prune are on my Top 3 list
Root veggies - sweet potato, carrots, parsnips, squash
Beans and Lentils
Cottage Cheese or Yogurt (mix in fruit) - also a protein source, but best eaten post workout


- If you are not very carb tolerant, have a high level goal or are currently in higher body fat ranges, then you may not benefit from as many post workout carbs as others. Those of you that are carb tolerant, have done a great job getting pretty lean already, you will NEED ample post workout carbs and maybe even PRE workout carbs (like a pice of fruit) to get optimal results.

- This is called INDIVIDUALIZATION - what works for one may not work for everyone. By experimenting and continually making sound nutritional habits part of your overall health and fitness strategy, you will learn what works for you and what does not.


In a journal, outline the following:

Your GOAL - is it a certain weight, a certain size, to look / feel a certain way or something all together different. You NEED a goal to keep you motivated

What CHANGES you know you can make to help you move towards that goal. - maybe you are eating something less than optimal on a regular basis or you eat too many snack foods, diet foods or processed foods. Perhaps you know you do not eat enough protein or take in enough healthy fats. But I guarantee, you KNOW there is something you can do or change to go to the Next Level of Nutrition.

Your OBSTACLES and AIDS in accomplishing this goal - what do think will hinder your progress and what will help your program and what do you plan on doing to overcome those obstacles?

FREE nutritional seminar for DE clients when you bring a friend. Wednesay April 29th


This post is part of Krista's NEXT LEVEL CHALLENGE Series that has gone out to all her one-on-one clients.

NEXT LEVEL THINKING - April 1st, 2009

Some are big believers in The Secret, The Law of Attraction, The Power of Now and similar movements. Others think it's hokey, voodo or downright fluffy. Whatever camp you reside in, you MUST believe in your ability to accomplish whatever goal you set out. The mental component of goal achievement is priority #1 before anything you do physically to make the goal become a reality.

My business motto is ASPIRE - ACT - ACHIEVE. It is very simple and effective. The ASPIRE piece of the puzzle includes your belief in what you are aspiring towards.

Now most of you would immediately feel that you do have a strong belief in your ability to accomplish the goal. But my dealings with personal and distance (email based) clients has taught me otherwise. On the surface level, we believe and say "of course I think I can otherwise I would not even try." But upon further investigation, we have very STRONG and deeply rooted perceptions, conditioned patterns of thinking and layers of baggage that impact every fibre of our being and every cell of our body.


Well, we can very easily take on other people's energy or "stuff". Ever said this "he was just not himself", or "I just don't feel like my normal self today". Well that's because he wasn't himself and you are not yourself. If we are not personally strong one day or at a given moment, we can take on another person's energy.

Anytime you are not grounded or in tune with your "inner self", you will not be in the right frame of mind or in an optimal position to achieve your goals and become your best YOU. So how do you test for this and what do you do about it?

This test should be done every day upon waking to ensure you get your day started on the right foot... YOUR foot:

1) stand up tall, take a breath, focus on the core of your body (focus internally) and silently or out loud say "I am _________ (your name)". If your body naturally pulls you slightly / leaning forward that means YES. If it pulls you back, that is a NO.

If you get no response at all, it simply means you are not very connected or intune with yourself YET or you think this is completely silly. If that is the case, you would benefit from a Reiki session or yoga movements to learn to be more intune with your body.

2) If you scored NO (leaned back), the you must turn yourself back on. Bent down and sweep the ground with your hands and bring your hands up your legs / chest and up into the air with a deep breath. Do this 3x. You can say "I am ________" while doing this too.

3) Retest and you should be back to your old self again!

The quicker your body moves forward or back means you are very intune with yourself.

The stronger the pull forward or backwards is means the answer is a strong YES or NO.

Why is this important?

Well our fat/weight loss efforts can be hindered if we are not grounded or if we are taking on other people's negative energy.

It is important to do this upon waking and also after being in meetings or encounters with people. Eventually you will feel when you are "off", "out" or no longer grounded and be able to ground yourself pretty quickly.

This GROUNDING test and exercise is just step #1 to being in the right frame of mind to accomplish your goals. Beyond that you have to be more aware of your internal dialogue and your perceptions and belief and how they may be holding you back. And remember, we all have natural personalities and natural tendencies, but all of them can be MANAGED. You are not changing who you are, but rather managing your personality traits that may not be your most favourable ones or the ones that do not serve you well.

Until next time... keep working hard towards the NEXT LEVEL!

REMINDER: Krista will demonstrate and teach this grounding technique along with other Top Tips for Nutritional Success will be outlined in a FREE presentation for Defining Edge clients when they bring a friend. Wednesday April 29th at Highway Pentecostal Church 7-9 pm.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

8 Contests 12 Months = Exponential Growth!

Having just completed my 8th contest in 12 months, to say that it has been an amazing year competitively is an understatement. I placed 2nd in Masters at the National Natural Physique Championships in Montreal - as I should have. Mentally I was not in it 100% and Maria deserved it hands down. She was ripped and still had the energy to do back handsprings and the splits in her routine. Amazing! Her level of leanness was inspiring. I saw things on her physique that I am going to shoot for for future contests.

The lessons learned, experience gained and memories made this past year would have otherwise taken at least half a decade. I was able to transition from powerlifting as a complete newbie to bodybuilding in March 2008 (Northern Kentucky NPC Championships hosted by Beverly International) and finish 1 year later as a finalist at Arnold Amateur Bodybuilding Championships - one stage with some of the best natural bodybuilders in the world. I was able to do that BECAUSE I ignored the "rules" of bodybuilding (i.e. - you should only compete in 1 or 2 contests a year if you want to stay healthy).

Every bodybuilder I have spoken to about my competitive year has not responded favourably. I have been called "nuts", "an obvious rookie" and have been warned of the dangers of competing so many times. I have been accused of being "burnt out" for competing an average of 1 contest overy 6 weeks.

I disagree, strongly! I do not feel burnt out at all. My hormone levels are optimal (just got them checked with my doctor a few weeks ago), blood pressure is stellar (according to my doctor), I did not blow up post contest like many do... I never did the entire year. And I can eat! I eat ample calories and nutrients post contest to faciliate growth. The week post contest provides provides a significant opportunity to replete, refuel, repair and grow. IF your contest prep has been an unhealthy one (too much cardio, too little calories and nutrients and negative energy) then the odds of your body rebelling and blowing up is much higher.

Prepare properly and naturally and compete for the right reasons, and you can remain healthy and you can compete often. Not only can you remain healthy, you can increase health. I am the most balanced I have ever been - physically, mentally, spiritually.

I am chosing to take a year before I complete NOT because of any burn out, but for my family, my clients, my friends. I also want to focus on my strength training again, my 1st love. I will do one or two powerlifting events this year and reset my focus on the national bench press record. My next bodybuilding competition will not be until Arnolds 2010.

Where you can find me next (supporting DE Athletes):

UFE Spring Bash
OPA Stratford Open

Details will also be released soon on upcoming seminars and workshops I will be hosting.



Friday, March 6, 2009

Made Top 5... one goal down...

next goals:

Place top 3 and bring home some hardware tomorrow!

Amazing level of competition.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

2 Days out... Pics

This was from this morning, Wednesday March 4th, upon waking.

Cold (no warm up / pump up), end of sodium allowed in food, still carb depleting for another day and a half and not yet dried out.

Feeling pretty crappy this morning but that is to be expected. But feeling good about how my physique will shape up over the next 48 hours.