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Deadlift your way to better fitness

Other than the obvious benefit of increased strength associated with deadlifts, there are very functional advantages to incorporating them into your workouts.

  • The practice of completing deadlifts helps improve your grip strength.
  • Deadlifts work multiple muscle groups at one time, including your core which is essential to being able to perform many daily activities safely and without injury, as well as your back muscles which help improve your posture.
  • Your heart health will improve too!

So don’t let the name scare you, deadlifts can be a great addition to most workouts. Ask your trainer to see if they are right for you!

Stretching: dynamic and static

It’s important to include stretching into your workout as it can help improve posture, reduce stress, mechanical efficiency and your overall functional performance. You may have heard your trainer refer to stretches as either dynamic (involving movement) or static (involving no movement).


Dynamic stretches (involving no motion) are typically done before you begin exercising and are a great way to help warm up the body and prepare it for the upcoming workout. The Arthritis Foundation provides some great examples of dynamic stretching you can do to prepare for your workout! We especially love the “high-stepping” stretch!


Completing a post-workout stretch is incredibly important to help reduce post workout stiffness. Additionally, stretching can help improve posture, reduce stress and improve mechanical efficiency and overall functional performance! Static stretches (involving no motion) are typically completed after a workout. The type of stretches you should do will depend on which part of the body you worked (i.e. was it a full-body workout or did you focus on the upper/lower body). For some sample stretches, click here.

Your Diet

What comes to mind when you hear the word diet?

The word diet does not just describe changing what we eat to achieve weight loss; it simply describes what (and how much) we typically eat, and we can make modifications to our diet to affect many different goals and outcomes besides weight loss. For instance, we may increase our caloric intake to achieve hypertrophy or increase athletic performance, or modify the types of foods we eat to reduce cholesterol or high blood pressure.

Many people will try new diet trends after hearing a celebrity (often paid) boasting about their progress or hearing a friend swear by the latest and greatest diet trend. When it comes to choosing the right diet, it is incredibly important to consider what it is you are hoping to gain from your diet and what effects it could have on your long-term health; for instance, is there any threat of possible deficiencies or health complications? If you’re not sure how a specific diet could affect your health, we urge you to speak with your doctor before committing yourself to it.

The majority of our clients at Body & Soul (over 70%) begin their journey with us with weight loss as one of their main goals. The problem with many weight loss diets is that they are restrictive to the point of not being sustainable over a long period, and while some people find some short-term success with these diets, most find they do not lead to long-term success. A low-carb diet, for instance, may result in you gaining some (or all) of the lost weight back after finishing the diet.

Benefits of short term vs. long term goals

Most of our clients begin their journey at Body & Soul with a specific goal in mind – typically, weight loss and flexibility – however, few clients seem to have a specific timeframe in mind. After discussing their goals with their trainer, clients are better able to identify a specific deadline for their goals. It is at this point that our trainers work with the client to establish short-term goals (achieve within two months) and long-term goals (achieve after six months or more).

The primary benefit to setting short-term goals is that it allows you to identify progress on a regular basis (sooner than you might otherwise have expected), keeping you both motivated and on track to ultimately achieve your long-term goals. Consider, for instance, if you had the goal to lose 10 pounds before the summer. Sure, you could simply weigh yourself occasionally to see if you are on your way to losing the weight, but wouldn’t it be more enticing and rewarding to see clear progress towards your main goal in, say, one month, two months, and so on?

When it comes to establishing your individual goals, we highly urge you to speak with your Personal Trainer. Not only can they help you establish SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) goals but they can help you achieve them through a personalized exercise program and professional guidance.

Weight loss or fat loss?

If you hear the words ‘weight loss’, what comes to mind? For many people, often the first – and sometimes only – thing that comes to mind is the number that comes up on the scale.

When it comes to weight loss goals, many people are actually looking to ‘slim’ down and ‘tone’ up, as opposed to actually ‘lose’ weight. For these people, the number on the scale can be a poor reflection of fitness progress as it doesn’t show how much of your weight is made up of muscle and how much is made up of fat. If you’ve been exercising regularly and eating well then you are more than likely gaining muscle and losing fat. In this case, your weight may not have noticeably gone down much, though you may have noticed your clothing fit better or feel looser. To properly track fat loss, you should talk to your trainer about checking your body fat percentage using our Tanita Body Composition Analyzer scale.

If one of your goals is to lose fat, then it is important to note that achieving that goal will greatly depend on your ability to maintain a good nutritional routine that includes a caloric deficit – burning more calories than you eat – as well as a strong workout routine. In our experience, clients with a healthy nutritional routine and a strong commitment to fitness (exercising regularly both in and out of the studio) tend to report a higher level of satisfaction with their health, level of fitness and overall zest for life!