Strength Training in Toronto

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What is strength training?

Technically, Strength Training is a type of physical exercise that uses resistance to train muscles to be strong and balanced. You’re methodically training yourself to better fight the effects of gravity as we age, ideally, with grace and strength. A balanced strength training program will improve and strengthen healthy posture centered around stabilizing your core and spine. It teaches your joints and muscles how to build leverage and strength through proper movement patterns that literally get wired into your nervous system the more you practice. The gains you develop in strength and muscle are a slow build but the changes in your bone density, muscle tissue and nervous system last for about 20 years after about a year of consistently training. It’s the type of work that continues to give back. Based on higher demands routinely put on your physical and mental, ideally in balance with your lifestyle, your body learns to repair tissue faster, your hormones get a healthy boost which improves things like sleep, digestion, energy, mood and more. There are countless variations of movement patterns and lifts that can be taught but essentially they are broken down to progression of pushing, pulling, rotating and stabilizing.  

What is a strength training program?

When looking for a well constructed strength training program there are a few key points to be considered. A good program will start the client off with basic movement patterns. This often starts with body weight then progresses using additional loads and resistance. These movements are put into a combination of a prescribed number of repetitions which are performed for a certain number of sets. Rest intervals are introduced between sets to keep the training stimulus mainly anaerobic (working intense enough that you need to take a rest after say, 8 repetitions). This combination or ratio of work and rest is what is needed to trigger the right hormones to build muscle, increase strength and drop body fat. A program consists of typically 2-5 workouts a week and needs to be repeated typically for 2-4 weeks in order to create a physical and psychological adaptation. If you are getting bored of your workouts or you stop seeing or feeling results, the program needs to be altered. As Coaches we are trained to look for changes in stability, drops in strength or overall plateaus that don’t improve and adapt the program accordingly.

A good program should work on strengthening your deficiencies and nourishing your strengths. 

This change in your program is part of what’s called “Periodization” and needs to be individually prescribed. Each person is built differently. Especially when it comes to our genetics. Everyday things like activity level, nutritional needs and psychological needs are important for us to understand who and why you are the way YOU are. Your coach will get to know you and develop your programs right along with that.  A good program should work on strengthening your deficiencies and nourishing your strengths. Periodization means that every few weeks once an adaptation is met the type of workout is changed. This whole process of challenge and adaptation is what builds and nourishes your body and mind towards its optimal functioning. 

To get a little technical for a moment: say the structure of your workouts was previously higher reps and lower weight such as 4 sets of 12 of any given exercise. This type of workout challenges your body to build more lean muscle and drops body fat. Over time this particular approach gets maximized and an injury can occur from repeating the same movements over and over. The next “phase” of the program will introduce a different style of workout, which will typically be a lower rep and higher weight approach. This moves away from increasing lean muscle and starts developing the nervous system to increase pure strength and stability.

Why is strength training important?

Strength training provides a type of regulation and reset button for the body to move stress and release tension. It just means we have to work through the stress first!

Strength training holds the key to improving health on various fronts. Two of the biggest predictors for longevity and quality of life are:

1) how much lean healthy muscle you have

2) how strong you are 

Maybe you’ve had this experience: You start your workout tired and unmotivated (as you’ve been the whole day... or week) you warm up, start lifting, focus, feel all the frustrations in your life. You choose to either leave the session (highly unlikely in most cases) or hunker down and push through that next set and the next until you breakthrough or are so thankful that you’re done that you forget about the state that you were in when you first started! 

Why have we all experienced this? Strength training provides a type of regulation and reset button for the body to move stress and release tension. It just means we have to work through the stress first!

Physically increasing lean muscle tissue helps with things like blood sugar management, detoxification and energy production. Increasing strength leads to improving bone density and joint integrity. Training will regulate and improve your quality of sleep by balancing a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol helps with energy production when it’s being produced in the right amounts, but it’s over-produced due to stress, it can also be detrimental to the body. During a workout cortisol is increased in the body to help meet the energy demands. Afterwards it is flushed out of the system and is replaced by other hormones that help the body relax and find its balance. Many lifestyles are sedentary and fraught with stress which leads to inflammation, poor sleep and compromised immune systems. Strength training provides a type of regulation and reset button for the body to move stress and release tension. 

Mentally, strength training provides a huge boost in confidence. People often leave a workout feeling empowered and with a sense of accomplishment. The easiest way to motivate yourself is to get your body moving. Many individuals and leaders specifically start their day with a workout. They feel it increases mental clarity, confidence and calms the mind and body.   

Who are the best Strength Trainers at Motus?

The best Strength Trainers at Motus are truly the ones you align with the most. Sometimes it’s straightforward and sometimes it’s the opposite of what you’d expect. For example maybe you work hard all day long never stopping yet need a trainer that will reinforce the nuances of your psychological state and not just drive you into the ground like everyone else in your life! Motus is a collective of individuals with unique perspectives and specialized training. Together we can tackle almost any goal or malfunction. Individually we can take your practice and health to a new depth.  

Scott is a master at teaching awareness of proper movement patterns in the body. A registered Kinesiologist and Professor at Humber College, his programs are like taking a course exploring the possibilities and realities of movement. He educates you on the details and precision of your body. His progressions are custom tailored to your goals. Scott’s niche is with clients who have movement disorders and rehabilitation, though he also focuses on strength and athletic development. His endless enthusiasm, knowledge and tenacity ensures that Scott will not stop until he gets to the root issues of helping clients and bringing them to their optimum mobility and strength. 

Ryan has a special gift for motivating people to find their raw strength and confidence within themselves to either lift that crazy weight or find the strength to simply get to this “gym” called Motus. His niche is building strength and stability while working with often clients of the LGBTQ community. This often includes trans and non binary folk and people who have experienced anxiety in typical gym settings. He specializes in custom programs and safely pushes clients towards empowering themselves in the gym and in their fitness lifestyle. His “tough love” energy is supportive yet firm and helps direct clients to empowering themselves with lifting weights and getting fit. 

Jacob’s approach is purely strength and conditioning both physically and mentally. He uses a variety of methodologies and approaches to optimize his client’s physical and mental fitness and vitality. With a background in strength training for athletic development as well as nutrition his programs are challenging, cutting edge and can take a client to a high level of physical awareness and strength. Jacob is also a long time Fascial Stretch Therapist and TCM Practitioner and can sort out all your physical aches and pains with a variety of skills and tools!  

Strength Training Exercises


Women Strength Training

It’s empowering for women to see other women who have been lifting and training. 

We offer a variety of options for women looking to start or improve upon a strength training program. Motus values itself as an inclusive space for clients and especially women who want to be able to focus on their workouts with a trainer undisturbed by typical big box gym distractions and social annoyances. We have both a female kinesiologist and personal trainer if a client prefers to have a female practitioner. It’s empowering for women to see other women who have been lifting and training. There’s a lot of stigma around strength training for women in terms of a fear of “bulking up” or getting “too strong”. Women are built to be strong, just like men. This will not warp their body composition, only enhance it.

Women do not have the hormones required to put on muscle mass as some males do. Instead, most women will increase their lean body mass and sustainably drop body fat but will keep their body composition in relation to their biological body. Whether your body is genetically lean or plus size, strength training helps to find that optimal body composition for you. Female clients at Motus do not look bulky but are anything but weak. Many clients are lifting beyond their own body weight, performing multiple chin ups and other impressive lifts. As a matter of fact, once in a strength training program, due to a woman’s own hormonal make up, they often recover faster than men throughout workouts and they can handle more volume than men.

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Do you offer group strength training classes?

Motus currently offers two strength training classes on the weekends. Both are at noon on Saturday’s and Sunday’s. Due to our small box gym approach we keep the class small and intimate. There are typically 4-10 participants in a class. Classes are typically a circuit based approach that incorporate a full body workout. The classes are mainly offered as an add-on for clients to train during the week and want to add on another workout. The group setting is fun, motivational and brings a strong sense of community to our clients. What sets Motus apart from a typically F45 or Orange Theory is that they are a “pre-packaged workout system” that typically works only one strength training system with sometimes limited weights. At Motus our small group fitness classes take the principles of periodization (using differently training systems over time) and are equipped to use classical strength training lifts such as squats, deadlifts, presses and pulls in a progressive manner. That means, for example, that there are various types of squats based on your level of training. Some beginners need to master their own body weight or start with lighter dumbbells. While advanced trainees can make sure they can train with heavier back or front squats. Although group classes are not nearly as personal as 1:1 training, due to the smaller class sizes, there is still an added focus on the clients from the trainer. Our trainers are career trainers with often a decade or more of experience. More cookie cutter and technologically based systems simply don’t offer the same quality of training. This can be an added bonus to clients who enjoy the small group class setting but don’t want to sacrifice the quality of 1:1 personal training. 

Get in Touch

Ask us anything: We’re happy to answer any questions, book a tour of the space and have a chat (no charge), or just get started.

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