address: 151 Surbray Grove
Mississauga, Ontario
L5B 2E2 Canada

cell : 416.627.2132


posted by coach Jay D

WTF is a BAM, JD?

When I used to work at Goodlife, as a personal trainer, we had sales goals to achieve.
I sucked. I was a great trainer, but my sales skills, sucked.
I enjoy selling as much as I’d enjoy sticking a rusty needle in my eye.

Anyhow, we used to have these “Bare Ass Minimum” sales goals that my Fitness Manager and myself would collaborate to set, monthly.
You’d have to hit your BAM if you wanted to see the next month of employment and or even achieve a bonus (sweet).

Today, I’ve stolen a page from my FM’s playbook and set up the concept of a BAM in training; a Bare Ass Minimum to achieve as part of a training program.

All of us, myself included, sometimes get caught up in life.
Time constraints suck balls when you’re trying to prep food or train for sexy bikini season or simply to get all those likes on Instagram (Just kidding, I know you’re all Strength and Movement Heads; your goals are much more intrinsic in value).

A ‘BARE ASS MINIMUM’ is a habit/action goal to achieve that’s not only part of your program as a whole, but a small chunk of the puzzle.
When strung together, all these small chunks of important puzzle comprise the grand scheme of things – your GOAL, your LONG-TERM ULTIMATE GOAL; the END-GAME.

Programs can be pretty grand in their own right and when you have kids to pick up from school, meetings to get to, vacations to bask in etc., you need a BAM when life happens.

BAMs are no longer than 10 minutes and can be something as simple as:
- 3×3 on a Strength Lift (Squat/Weighted Pullups/L-Sits for 30s Holds)
- 4×2 in a Power Movement (BB Cleans/Box Jumps)
…for you High Force Development Heads

- 200 KB Swings in 10mins (any which way divided)
- 2x200m Sled Push (65% RM)
…for your glycolytic and anaerobic heads

- 1 mile run
- 3x60s Jump Rope
…for you aerobic heads

- 3×10-12 on Bicep Hammer Curls + Tricep Dips
…for all you hypertrophy heads

The parameters can be whatever you want them to be, but they are simply PART of a bigger program; again – THE END GAME (Goal).
BAMS are not to replace entire training sessions/days, but rather to provide you with some form of movement/training alternative when Life Happens.

Point is, it’s the little steps that add up together that’ll get your ass where you need to be. These little steps need to be stepped consistently and BAMS, in my opinion, are a safety mechanism that will keep your momentum going when life gets you caught up.

So now you know….WTF is a BAM (JD).

Create your own or steal one from above.

Have A Strong Day.

Heroes: The Loss of Tommy Kono

posted by coach Jay D

[Tommy Clean and Press (O.G. precursor to Jerk Lifts)]

A few weeks back, the world lost Tommy Kono.
At the time of his death, he was an 85 year old American Weightlifting legend dedicated to leading the American Weightlifting Movement and demystifying weightlifting through his simple and encouraging coaching methodology.

Studying and Training in the sport of weightlifting under a coach, I NOW understand FULLY how technical this sport and its lifts are.
Tommy was one of the few coaches (along with a compelling life story) that I look up to.
Like Dan John, he makes something so complex into something simplified through his instruction.

Beyond that, as with most weightlifters that I’ve met, there’s this common respect for fellow lifters, the bar and the platform.
Tommy pushed everyone to treat their gym like their Dojo; to treat their place of training – sacredly.

Pretty Deep.
Only posthumous, was I able to come across this gem:


If I had my way, the weightlifting area would be treated like a “dojo” as the martial arts students would use their area and equipment for training.

The entire area would be treated with respect from the bar to the barbell plates, from the chalk box to the platform.

The barbell bars would never have the soles of a lifter’s shoe get on it to move or spin it, no more than you would place your shoes on the table top. The bumper plates would never be tossed or stepped on.

The barbell will always be loaded with double bumper plates on each side whenever possible to preserve the bar and the platform. The purpose is to distribute the load over two bumper plates instead of one with an assortment of small iron plates.

The barbell lifted would never be “thrown” down or dropped from overhead except for safety reasons. The hands will guide the bar down in a controlled manner as it is in a contest.

Anger from a failed lift will be controlled so no four-lettered words would be used.

Instead the energy for the anger will be directed for a positive result.

A good Olympic bar will never be used on a squat rack for squatting purpose. There is no need to use the good bar on the squat rack where it could ruin the knurling or cause the bar to be under undue stress, damaging the integrity of the quality of the bar that makes it straight and springy.

When a lifter finishes using the area for training, it would be left neat and clean with the barbell bars and plates properly stored.

Imagine how it would be if you did not have the gym to work out in and had to go to one of the spas, health clubs or fitness gym to practice Olympic lifting.

Imagine if you did not have a “good” Olympic bar and bumper plates for training.

Imagine if all the equipment was your very own and you had to replace it if you or someone damaged it by abuse – the money coming out of your own pocket.

Treat the Olympic barbell bars, bumper plates, platforms and any items used for training or competition with respect.

Development of a strong character begins with respect even for innate objects.

Character Building begins with Respect and Responsibility.

It all comes down to treating gear and equipment as if you paid for it yourself. If you really appreciate the art of lifting and training and movement, then have enough self respect to not only clean after yourself, but to preserve the gear for the entire community to use.

Knowledge of Self.
Evolve or Die.

Christmas Hacks (pt.2): Training + Movement

posted by coach Jay D

Previously, in Part 1 of Christmas Hacks, we talked about the Eating aspect related to staying on track towards your fat-loss and performance goals. In this section, I’ll get right into the Training + Movement aspects to focus on during the next 2 weeks of gluttony, over-indulgence and sloth that come along with the Holidays.

Train the body as one entire organism; one entire unit, rather than its individual segments. In the training world, we call these “compound movements”; Squat, Bench, Overhead Press, Deadlift, Lunge, Carry, Crawl, Climb, Jump, Pull, Push and Drag. Use your whole body whenever possible. Quite simply, More segments used equals more joints equals more muscles/nerves/capillaries involved equals more metabolic effects equals more positive hormonal effects. Phew! That was a run-on sentence of a mouthful, but ultimately, you’ll be a Strong, Lean, Metabolically Active Machine.

Moving fast is in vogue right now, within the training world. I agree – Sprinting or moving weights ballistically and powerfully ‘feels’ good; it feels and is athletic. But it’s not the only way. Yes, it gets our body primed for Power and neural activity, but there’s also merit to moving slow and long.

Aerobic training, which is slow and long over time at low intensities does much for recovery. Whether “recovery” is from the previous day’s “Strength/Power/Resistance/I did weights” programming or “recovery” is from simply being inactive or missing training sessions during the holidays – Moving slow and low does wonders for the body when it has rust to kick off and rids fogginess of the mind. “low and slow” DIRECTLY trains your aerobic capabilities while indirectly enhancing your anaerobic capabilities.

“So what is it, JD? High Intensity or Low Intensity. Make up your mind!”, you might be thinking.
The answer is to do both.
Utilize Work:Rest periods of conditioning, weight training or both to get the best of both worlds. Read about Interval Training, here.

Whether it’s treadmill Hill Sprints interspersed with treadmill walking OR Kettlebell Snatches interspersed with Planks OR Sled Pushes interspersed with walks – I aim to Work and Rest in an Interval Training format no longer than a brief 15 minute session. I’m in, I’m out and I’m feeling refreshed knowing that I not only got the best of both Anaerobic and Aerobic Worlds, but I’m strutting out of the gym knowing that I’m a Caloric furnace, even hours after I’ve left the gym.

What they don’t tell you on youtube or in the cooking/recipe-style fitness books and magazine articles is that you ought to be mindful. Be in the now. Be here. The yoga community centres their movement around this ideal. The traditional martial arts place great weight on FOCUS, so why are we simply meatheads or muscleheads blasting through our lifts without putting any of our it into it?

If it’s one thing I’ve learned from the current and last 4 months of weightlifting under my coach, it’s that focus is everything. You might think that clearing your mind is simply too new age for you, but TRUST ME, a mind is a terrible thing to waste (in the gym).

Focus your mind to complete your lift.
Escape all of the madness in your life through FOCUS.
Focus on your task and lift, leaving it all behind.

BEING MINDFUL, might be a hard concept to swallow, but BEING MINDFUL in the context of your training and especially during the Holiday season is exactly what your mind and body crave.

If you’re not able to do yoga or set aside 10 minutes daily for personal meditation time, then focus on your lifts if you’re a lifter; Visualize.
Focus on your movements if you’re into movement and flow; Visualize.
Focus on breathing from the diaphragm in between sets; Recover + Relax.

You need and owe it to yourself to DECOMPRESS your mind.
Rid your body of anxiety and Holiday stress.
It’s the only way your body will perform at its best.

Face it, socializing, shopping, wrapping, praising/worshipping and even eating/boozing all take a lot of work and drain your body and headspace.
BE MINDFUL and FOCUS. You’ll be a better Human and Athlete for it.

No really, take a hike.
After dinner or before dinner or at lunch, TAKE A HIKE. Fight the urge to nap after a big meal.


Get out of the stuffy restaurant or home of your hosts; tell them you have to take a call or have taken up smoking (Don’t actually do it) or forgot something in the car. Go Walk. You need fresh air and your guts inside of you need to digest, which simply isn’t efficient when you go sit or lay down.
Get some winter air into your lungs and walk and feel as exhilarated as those people who head to the Icy Lake and take a dip during the Canadian Winter Months for fundraising.

Rest. Nap when you can, but otherwise aim for some quality REM sleep.

Your body needs to digest and heal itself, not only from your training, but from your holiday food and drink. Give yourself enough hours after socializing and late night partying to rest properly.

In regards to recovery – as always, tack on some mobility/flexibility and release into your training and day. Enhance your performance by noting that you’ve likely missed training days, modified training days or overtrained when you were able to fit in a training day, as a means of compensation. The end result is rust and really, soreness. Do the things you know you need to do in order to RECOVER.

Remember, the goal is Performance and Fat-loss, Not zero training or mediocrity in training.
Quality trumps Quantity, and this is especially true during the Holidays.
Manage your training and Plan your training accordingly.

These are just a few important Training + Movement Guidelines to Hack Your Programming with amidst the Partying.

Merry Christmas to all and Have and Healthy and Happy 2016.
Make it your Strongest.

Evolve or Die.

Heroes: Bill Kazmaier

posted by coach Jay D

Video Piece on Legendary Strongman, Bill Kazmaier.

He seems like a gentle giant…but remember, don’t mistake kindness for weakness.

I heard he’s coming to town. Hmm?

Odd Exercises for Physical Vigor From an Oldtime Strongman

posted by coach Jay D

Although the accessibility of new fitness, exercise and training rituals and programs are faster than they’ve ever been in history via the internet, there’s nothing quite like going back in time and reading about how the Strength Community of yesteryear sought and found their strength.

Thanks to Art of Manliness, here’s a great article showcasing a few odd exercises to increase ‘Physical Vigor’.

A perfect “To-Do” for anyone’s morning – somewhere before your morning run, yet after your ‘Sun Salutation’.
Enjoy the timelessness.

Odd Exercises for Physical Vigor: An Oldtime Strongman’s 15-Minute Routine

Have A Strong Day.

The “2 Minute” and “5 Minute” Rules of Defeating Procrastination

posted by coach Jay D

The 2 and 5 Minute Rules of getting stuff done has been around awhile, apparently.
Unfortunately, I only recently heard about them. I guess someone out there was procrastinating on getting this wisdom and word out to me.
Let me share this with you…

The 2 Minute Rule of Defeating Procrastination (Starting)
One variation of this rule is to simply start a task that you’ve been putting off. In other words, whatever you’ve been pushing to get started on “later”, MUST be started within the next 2 minutes.

This concept is brewed in Newton’s Law of Motion that, “An object in motion will stay in motion.”
You are the object. Now start that damn task and motion and don’t stop.

The 2 minute rule is great because it tackles our laziness by simply starting our dreaded task. That really is often the hardest part – STARTING. Whether it’s training, savings, work or relationship-related, start your task the moment you think of doing in within a 2 minute window.

You’ll be surprised that you’ll probably end up finishing in one shot.

The 5 Minute Rule of Defeating Procrastination (Consistency/Repetition)
The 5 minute rule is usually reserved for larger projects and longer term goals.
The 5 minute rule demands that you dedicate 5 minutes towards working on your task. Once 5 minutes is up, it’s up.
Really. Honestly. After 5 minutes, STOP! Whether finished or not, STOP!!

Thereafter, dedicate 5 minutes here, 5 minutes more there and 5 minutes more later on or even tomorrow.
The beauty of this that you’re being consistent and chipping away at your goal. You’re taking little steps and progressing.

This concept is brewed in Psychology’s Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
Being consistent at a thing and working on it slowly in increments eventually leads to a larger picture; a larger goal and ultimately, success.

These 2 rules might seem like little things and overly-simplified, but that’s the beauty of it; It’s DOABLE and you’re already making strides further than you were doing nothing and procrastinating in the first place.

Get Started and Be Consistent.
These are the lessons of the “2 Minute Rule” and the “5 Minute Rule”.

Evolve or Die.

Men Are Babies (When Sick + In Many Other Instances): An Article About Training With A Runny Nose

posted by coach Jay D

I’m Sick. I’ve been sick over the last few days. I’m a big sick baby.
And for those of you who I’ve trained one on one with, I’m sorry if you’re sick because of me. Rather than get made, please appreciate my dedication to you and your journey of movement.
If you’ve joined my lunch classes, all of you MWF’ers, probably didn’t catch how nasal I’ve been since the beginning of the week (MWF’ers being Monday-Wednesday-Friday’ers, btw); the same can be said for my kettlebell classes both at Fuel Fitness and R3 Evolution on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, respectively.

So how do I cope? Do I still train?

Let’s look at the common cold or flu situation…
Your goal is to get rest and get back to optimal health. As discussed before, you don’t have to be healthy to be fit. Athletes are the prime example of this…many athletes put their personal health on the back burner in order to train. A lot of you training for personal pleasure, Movement Pursuits and Strength Seeking, are no exception to the rule, either. Fact is, a lot of you need Movement on a daily basis, sick or not.

But let’s not downplay Health. Let’s not downplay rest. Let’s not downplay proper nutrition, too.

To get healthy from illness, You need to:
Make sure you schedule when you’re gonna put your mobile device down, walk away from the desktop or laptop and just ‘X’ out of Facebook and Twitter. You people on Instagram, this means, you, too. Stop shooting your snotty kleenex.
Log at least 6hrs and 8-10 for optimal rest. Your body needs this ‘sleep’ time to combat those pathogens and foreign invaders, so don’t be stingy with your pillow time.

I usually emphasize plants in my daily diet, but of course, there’s proteins and healthy fats both from animal and plant sources, just the same. You might not realize it, but your body is using a ton of energy to combat your cold or flu. Your body heat is up, therefore you ought to be eating just a few more calories to fuel this process, on top of staying super hydrated with water. I personally, drink a lot of tea, ginger, lemon and honey concoctions and combinations. Chilli peppers and spicy foods are also a nice secret weapon to increase your vitamin C, antioxidants and induce sweating and sinus-clearing/vasodilation. Give me a big bowl of Thai Tom Yum and I’m on my way to 100%. You should be, too. Just not too much juice, k? Reach for the real whole fruit, instead.

As for Training…
Yes, you need to rest, but not necessarily halt Movement and training, all together.
In order to get better and stay on top of your training while sick:

Famous Strength Coach Dan John said, “If it’s important, do it every day”. I believe it. You don’t need to be Squatting or Deadlifting or Snatching your 1 rep max PRs daily, but rather at least “groove” the motion, or as Dragondoor/Pavel heads would tell you – “Grease the Groove”; keep it moving; use it or lose it.
For instance, my current Strength Program is in its 3rd week of 6. It’s very basic and involves: A Back Squat, A Sumo Deadlift, A Bench Press, An Overhead/Military Press and Weighted Pullup all for near max loading for no more than 5 reps/each. Would I then pick up in all my lifts right where I left off on Monday afternoon (considering I train MWFs)?. Hell no, today, at what I hope is the climax of this cold at its worst, I loaded 60% of my max. I was super conservative with my loading and let myself simply “Groove” the motion. Take the time to de-load a bit when sick and groove the motion. There will be future battles, but you can’t be at optimal lifting mode if your health isn’t all there. Be patient, grasshopper.

All the things that you dedicate a mere obligatory 5 minutes towards before you train, should be granted more time. We all know this. Use your sick day as an opportunity to dedicate a bit more time to foam rolling/myofascial release/massage, fancy mobility moves and static/dynamic stretching. Think of this time as training to get back into training once you’re back at 100%. Think of this as accessory and support work. Prehab and Rehab!

You know how you fail to time your rest periods between sets? you know how you go for a walk, grab a drink of water, try and pick up that girl/guy in the gym before attempting your 2nd set a good 10 minutes later?…Well, now’s the time where it’s actually justified. Rather than not train, all together, turn it back a dial on your intensity. Take a longer rest, do your set, then approach again.

I’ve learned, especially over the last two nights, that Moving is pretty damn therapeutic. Moving during illness, whether on my own, doing my own program or coaching a class makes me feel pretty damn good and better.
Now I might not have the exact science to back this up, but here’s my anecdote. Movement is Health. Movement is Strength.

Evolve or Die.

Overcoming Laziness (Sloth)

posted by coach Jay D

Strength Seekers, in training, as in eating well, as in sleeping, as in studying, as in saving money and investing – it gets hard.
Shoot, Life is hard.

Sometimes, we get lazy. I’m not really sure what steps we took to carve out this path of Sloth, but I’ll share a powerful video and concept that’ll hopefully light a fire underneath your ass and get you going.

Here, the SealFit Coach + Commander, Mark Divine breaks down, Laziness as, “A Feeling of Incompetence”.
He also breaks down what to do about it through 4 of the following progressive levels:

- Ignorant to your lack of “suck”/lack of skill and ability
- subconscious fear (expressed through Laziness)

- addressing the need for improvement
- acknowledging, “I really need some work and help here, but that’s ok…where to next/what to do next?”
- Mental and Moral Courage Development

- “Embrace The Suck”; soldiers in the Gulf War used this term sardonically as a coping mechanism to deal with/embrace a bad situation (aka, “Suck it up!)
- Confidence Development
- Out of Lazy Cycle + Into Success Cycle
- Commitment
- Doing the Steps required to get to your goal consistently

- Not realizing how great your skill set has become
- humbly doing a thing; not posturing or being Egocentric/Ego-Driven (“I workout! Look at me! Instagram it!”)
- Life Changing + Life Long

Hopefully, a brief understanding of where we fall within this continuum helps you as much as it helps me.
Evolve or Die.

The Importance of a Warm Up

posted by coach Jay D

The title of this entry might sound almost too elementary, but considering how cold it is this winter, here in Canada and much of North America, I felt it’d be fitting to explain the actual “Importance of a Warm Up” in the context of training…just in case you forgot.

The Warm Up part of your training is, in my opinion, equally, if not MORE important than the actual training, itself.

A Warm Up is and should be performed in order to…well….WARM UP.
But there’s a bit more to it than simply going through a bunch of obligatory movements before training.

As stated above, a warm up, especially if you’re coming in to train from the workplace at lunch, after work or to start your day (minutes out of bed), is to elevate your body’s temperature.

To train or compete cold, places your body and its individual organ systems in a really bad place. Muscles aren’t as pliable as they should be; pains and soreness haven’t been managed through foam rolling release and mobility; the skin and bones, alike, simply aren’t as effective in their operations and functions as they could be when brittle or cold; the heart and nervous system hasn’t gradually built up their contraction rates and firing capacities.

Warm Ups set you up to throw down. No matter what bullshit you’ve been dealt with prior to your training session/competition – whether that be a bad day, bills, traffic, personal matters, relationships or zombie outbreaks, you can’t and shouldn’t simply jump into your lifting or sport. You’re not mentally there; you’re somewhere else.

Moving, and literally grooving into your activity gradually, will set you into the right frame of mind, whether Rage Against The Machine is playing over the background speakers or not. Moving kickstarts and reinforces your mind to be ready; “Readiness”.

Both of these reasons are the byproducts of the Temperature and Mental Elevations briefly mentioned above.
If you want to hit your PR (Personal Record) on a lift or Score the best you can in your sport, then you better be in the best optimal state that you could be via setting the tone, both mentally and physically.

Competition aside, What about Health?
Don’t wanna break your back on a lift, dislocate a few important joints, have a seizure, asthma or heart attack?
Move slowly and gradually build up your tempo.

At the end of the day, as a Strength Coach, for myself and my athletes, I ultimately use the Warm Up to “Activate”; to elevate you and have you ‘here’ in the moment; in a given point and time.
Yes, it prevents injuries, yes, I need you to perform better than last, but really, I need you to leave all of your troubles behind and be INTO the training – mind and body right now. Here.

You do that, and you WILL perform at your best in the gym and outside in the real world.

It’s a pretty heavy concept that I’ll challenge all of you to explore in your own training for decades to come and I’ll be reflecting on the Warm Up more and more in future posts.

In the meantime, here are a few Movement Snacks/Movement Meditations/Movement Expressions/Warm Ups that I think you should go to as your “Go-To”.

Evolve or Die.

Movember: Move

posted by coach Jay D

Movember is just around the corner, and if you’ve spotted me at the head of your class, or in a one-on-one setting, just the same, then you’ve caught my face-fur harvesting in progress. This lack of contact with my razor, is all a means of setting the groundwork for Movember, when I’ll be raising funds towards Prostate Cancer Research, as well as doing everything in my power to create an awareness towards men’s health. My moustache, during this time will literally and symbolically, change the face of Men’s Health, while creating awareness and solidarity surrounding the matter.

One of the initiatives in this year’s Movember 2013, is MOVE.

MOVE is pretty much a call to arms for all Mo’Bros and Mo’Sistahs supporting the Movember Movements. It demands that each and every one of us, literally “Move” – in all forms.

In other words, it’s physical activity; it’s MOVEMENT; something that will make all of our lives that much better in quality and hopefully, longer.

I, therefore challenge all of you, men and women Strength Seekers out there to get off your asses at some point for duration of Movember and Move.
Move Daily.
Move Strongly.
Move with Vigor and Passion.

Watch the video below for details + Stay Twuned to all of JD Training’s Social Media for tips and propaganda surrounding this very important Movement next month…

Evolve or Die.