Spoiler Alert: No diet tips or exercise suggestions

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My career as a personal trainer can now be measured in decades. Thirty years ago in Montréal, personal training was not a thing and certainly not a career option. Today, I am fortunate to be able to earn a living helping people better themselves, some of whom I have been coaching for decades. The following advice is the fruit of my many years as a personal trainer. My hope is that it may inspire you to get moving or to continue moving.

Regardless of the domain, the advice of a qualified professional consultant more than pays for itself. As is…

Jack of all trades, master of one

In a nutshell, I am a career personal trainer with 2 certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (Corrective Exercise Specialist, Behavior Change Specialist) as well as, an Honors Degree in Psychology and a Diploma in Sports Administration. Now, enough about me, how are you? I am joking, of course, but that question also highlights what has guided my ambitions throughout my journey: an interest in the other and a desire to be of service.

Upon reflection, it seems like I stumbled into each chapter of my life be it academic or professional but always seemed to make the…

What would it look like?

décollage_stephanchatigny -Authors own picture

It is easy to feel ambivalent about religion. On the one hand, it has provided solace and meaning for many but on the other, it is also responsible for a great deal of intolerance, persecution and bloodshed. When we consider the impact religion has had on human societal evolution and geopolitics, it is interesting to opine on what the world would look like today had the main religions not played such a determining role.

Aside from providing a raison d’être for human existence, religion has also unified and rallied various ethnic groups around a common cause. It can be argued…

Mastering yourself is the real challenge

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If you are looking for a miracle formula for better health and specifically weight loss, here it is: Burn more calories than you take in. That’s it! If you apply this method, you will lose weight and, in all likelihood, feel better. It can be that easy but unfortunately, for many, it is not . The reasons for this are numerous but ultimately, it boils down to an inability to master oneself; that is, master one’s desires, priorities, emotions and stress. Failure to do so sets us up for inaction or worse, ill health.

A lack of time is without…

The Physical, Emotional and Spiritual

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To paraphrase Olivia Newton-John: “Let’s get metaphysical” for a moment. As we are inundated with opinions and advice on how to eat, move, breathe and live, it might be worth taking a step back to remind ourselves of the true meaning of wellness and consider the notion of balance.

It is my contention that a person who is well has achieved balance in the physical, emotional and spiritual realms of his or her life. For the sake of simplicity, we shall define balance as the absence of dysfunction.

Being well in the physical realm means being physically capable of performing…

The cause and cure

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As a personal trainer, I have often witnessed firsthand the negative effects of poor posture and muscular strength imbalances on human movement. These factors inevitably lead to exercise compensation patterns the client is unaware of and ultimately, possible injury. Since no one is perfectly balanced or symmetrical, extra attention must be given to proper form during exercise and faulty movement patterns must be identified early and corrected. This article will offer a rudimentary treatment of a common compensation pattern: shoulder hiking during exercise.

An exercise compensation pattern will occur when neuromuscular imbalance exists. The main reasons for this are:


Protecting the next generation.

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Here we go again. I may be just another older guy lamenting the decline of civilization as we know it but enough is enough! It seems civility and good taste are eroding rapidly in everything from song lyrics to language use and finally, social media. It is not only shockingly unsettling (to me at least) but arguably pernicious to society itself.

An argument could be made that previous generations were victims of too many social mores and consequently, freedom and individuality were stifled. It may also be natural (and expected) for the newest generation to rebel, to a certain degree…

This is how it is going to go down

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You wake up one morning and you finally say to yourself: Enough is enough. You are tired of being tired. You’ve had it with looking and feeling older than you actually are. Congratulations! You have taken the first important step towards living your better life; you have made the decision to become healthier.

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” — Jim Rohn

As with any successful project, you should have a plan. But before a plan can be hatched, an objective must be set. It could be body…

An imperfect art but a perfect metaphor for life

Nocturne: décollage_chatignystephan on Instagram

About two years ago, I began collaging. For me, it consists of leafing through magazine pages, finding images that become a theme and then glueing them to a surface (either a canvas board or a sheet of wood). I fell in love with the soothing process and the feeling of accomplishment obtained in completeing a collage. What began as a curiosity has become a full-blown hobby and has been an important ingredient in my antidote against Covid. …

Understanding human movement to build a conditioning program

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For the sake of constructing a balanced and complete conditioning program, it may be useful to break down human movement into the following fundamental categories:

Push (think push up)

Pull (think rowing)

Flexion (think bending forward)

Extension (think bending backwards)

Rotation (think twisting your torso left or right)

Squatting (think sitting down and getting back up)

Gait (think walking)

All of our daily movements involve some combination of the above patterns. In constructing a training program, these movement patterns should be considered and included to various degrees with adjustments being made according to individual muscular imbalances.

Our day to day…

Stephan Chatigny

Mind over matters. Mots de tête.

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