Calgary, Alberta

Saturday, April 21, 2018 11:00 am – 6:00 pm

Sunday, April 22, 2018 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Big Four Building, Stampede Grounds

Calgary, Alberta

Author Archives: Erika Holter

April 12, 2018 0

Our April influencer of the month, Will Dodge-Smith, is a participant in the INBF Body Building Competition circuit, having competed in Edmonton last October and taking part in the upcoming May Calgary competition. This is impressive in itself, but when you consider that Will has Cerebral Palsy, a neurological disorder that effects his balance, speech and fine motor skills, it is truly remarkable. Due to his condition, Will needs to expend nearly ten times more energy than someone without Celebral Palsy, and yet he still manages to work out four – five times per week.

Will considers the Rocky Franchise and Forrest Gump as significant influencers in his life, as they are both about underdogs who work hard to rise to great success. Will also credits his inner circle (which includes, in addition to family and friends, his trainer, massage therapist and his competition trainer) for their love and support in his journey.

Thanks to Will for letting us get to know him a bit more:

Describe your ideal day and night in Calgary
I would start my day by getting up and going for a walk in Fish Creek Park and then doing a workout in my basement. Then, I would go to a matinee at the movie theatre before getting together with family and friends. I also love the Calgary Stampede and could go every day if I had the chance.

If you could spend an afternoon with any Canadian, living or dead, who would you choose and why?
I’d spend an afternoon with one of my all-time favourite actors Michael J. Fox. He seems like a guy who would be really easy to get along with. I’d like to ask him about what it was like to film movies like Back to the Future (my favourite movie series) and how having Parkinson’s has inspired him.

What are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of competing in a bodybuilding competition and showing different types of people that anything is possible no matter what your abilities or disabilities are.

Category : Celebrating Local


April 10, 2018 0

This is Lagree YYC’s second year at YYCfit, and we’re thrilled to have them and their Megaformer back this year!

The Megaformer is a moving platform that is manipulated through a system of springs, straps, and cables in combination with your own body weight to provide resistance. All movements are slow and controlled, therefore encouraging maximum exertion in a low impact workout, allowing users to stay in-tune with their bodies at all times and reducing the risk of injury.

The end result? The Lagree Method™ strengthens the body, tones and lengthens the muscles, improves endurance, jump-starts the metabolism, burns fat, increases flexibility, improves posture, and restores the body’s natural balance turning participants into strong, powerful beings resistant to the everyday stresses of work and life.

But don’t take our word for it….to get the inside scoop, we recently chatted with Alison Pidskalny, a long-time Lagree member who shared with us why Lagree is her go-to.

Can you elaborate on how Lagree has impacted your health and fitness goals?
In the span of four months I was able to increase my lean muscle mass by five pounds, half of that in my core alone! That is an incredible change, and has made a huge difference to my back health. In the same time frame, with the help of my nutritionist at Preventous, I was also able to drop three pounds of belly fat. That’s no small feat for someone in their mid-40s!

Can you advise on your strategies for fitting fitness into your schedule as a busy professional?
My mantra is, “Pay yourself first.” That means every Sunday night I have a ritual of adding workout sessions to my calendar and booking the sessions with the gym. Then I’m committed. What I love about Lagree and programs like it is that the sessions are relatively short, in this case 45 minutes. So you can slip in, get a full-body workout done, then slip out and get onto other things.

Can you advise what first attracted you to Lagree?
A friend introduced me to it and, I admit, I was intimidated to try something new. Gyms can be scary! But the trainers are so committed to the method and the form, and that was important to me with a back injury. And then you start to see results pretty fast, so I was hooked and have gone 2-3 times a week since then.

Category : Sponsor


March 21, 2018 0

In 2007, Jeannette Castillo was given a 3% survival rate upon being diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. At the time she was celebrating her 30th birthday and her second wedding anniversary. Eleven years later, following a variety of treatments including chemotherapy, radiation, stem cell transplant, and medication, Jeannette is now an advocate for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada.

A lifelong fitness fanatic, Jeannette resumed her heavy fitness load a few years ago, once she began regaining her strength, and has placed well in several fitness competitions and is a regular participant in numerous activity-related fundraising events. Furthermore, Jeannette has recently launched her new business, JCJNutrition, Calgary’s newest comprehensive health and nutrition management company.

We’re thrilled to welcome Jeannette to the YYCfit demo & seminar stage to share her powerful story. Prepare to be inspired!

And thanks to Jeannette for answering some fun questions for us:

Q: If you could spend an afternoon with any Canadian (dead or alive), who would it be?
A: It would be John Candy, especially his Uncle Buck’s character making those gigantic pancakes for his nephew’s birthday and hearing his Uncle Buck laugh!

Q: Do you have a quote to share?
A: I have a few if I could share…Survivor Quote, “Stay Strong, Live Long”; Learning Quote, “You Gotta Get Uncomfortable to get Comfortable, you dig?”; Canadian Quote, “Yeah, totally, eh?”

Q: How do you chill out?
A: Watching my nephew’s play hockey with my husband and my sister on weekends or checking out Calgary’s coolest restaurant on a Friday evening with friends.

Category : Celebrating Local


February 27, 2018 0

After a decade working for big corporations, and getting his MBA along the way, Chris finally found his calling as a health & wellness entrepreneur. He’s turning his passion for healthy, mindful eating into a food startup business. Brain Bar, is a plant-based protein bar fortified with nootropic nutrients. It’s due in stores Spring 2018.

Competing in his first fitness show taught Chris a lot about setting daily goals and practicing self-discipline to achieve them. At the time, he was broke and unemployed. He learned to develop tasty and nutritious recipes in his home kitchen with affordable, quality ingredients. Many of those he created for Muscle Insider’s Best Protein Chef Challenge. Chris shares his favourite (and easiest!) recipes on his personal blog, Doyouevencookbro.blog.

Chris is a new brand ambassador for Oranj Fitness. He draws a lot of strength and inspiration from Calgary’s health & fitness community. He practices hot yoga, is an avid volunteer for local arts & culture, and considers himself a capable outdoorsman. Through his work as an ambassador for Modern+Mindful in 2017, Chris developed a deeper appreciation for the benefits of meditation. His favourite places for meditation (in no particular order): in the sauna after a workout, camping in the mountains, or watching the sunrise over the prairies.

Thanks to Chris for answering a few questions for us:

If not birth, then what brought you to Calgary?
I came to Calgary in 2013 to help the city get back on its feet after the devastating floods. I loved it so much that I decided to stay and make my home here. After nearly a decade in downtown Toronto, I was ready for a change. Since I was born in Edmonton (cue the boos…), moving to Alberta after decades in Eastern Canada was like returning to my roots. I was drawn to Calgary by its mixture of energy, enthusiasm, resilience and resourcefulness. I want to help this city reach its world-class potential. Calgary offers many of the things I enjoy: a booming health & wellness community, a vibrant arts & culture scene, an abundance of food options, and diverse neighbourhoods to explore. By the way, we also happen to have the most impressive “backyard” in all of Canada: the Rocky Mountains.

What are the best books you’ve read in the past year?
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by legendary Silicon Valley venture capitalist Ben Horowitz. Every entrepreneur should read this book because it offers blunt advice on the struggles of startup life. The author talks about all the messy stuff you don’t learn in MBA school.
12 Rules for Life by psychologist and cultural critic Jordan Peterson. The author (who was raised in Northern Alberta and has appeared multiple times on Joe Rogan’s podcast) draws on ancient texts, scientific research, and his own clinical practice to offer wise advice for everyone in the modern world.
Rising Strong by sociologist and thought leader Brené Brown. When life knocks us down (as it inevitably will) how do we find the strength to get up, own our story, and write a new ending? The author provides an incremental process to do just that. Her work has added a powerful word to the mainstream vocabulary: vulnerability.

What are your success habits?

“Win the morning, win the day.” I believe that having a consistent morning routine is critical. When my alarm goes off at 5:00 am (even on weekends), I get up, have a quick stretch and make my bed. Then I make a big cup of coffee and cook a stack of protein pancakes while listening to a podcast. Nourishment for body AND mind. After that, no matter what the day may throw at me, I know I’ve already had some small “victories” to put me on the right track.

Thanks to Mark Bilodeau for the photos!

Category : Celebrating Local


January 29, 2018 0

The lovely Ashley Veenstra will be a major fixture at YYCfit….and we’re thrilled to tell you more about her!

Ashley has made some waves on the fitness show market, having won her first show post-baby when her son was one year old. Next up was ‘turning pro’ in 2014 and hitting the world stage in Las Vegas in 2015. All told Ashley has done eight shows so far, taking first or second place in her category in the majority of these shows. She is also a Pro competitor in “Superleague” competing in this new sport with legendary names where Pros all over the world compete in lifts and get points based on their physiques. Ashley has placed top three in all events qualifying for Team USA first, and now representing Team Canada at the Worlds taking place this upcoming September in Las Vegas.

Ashley is a published fitness model making The Hot and Fit 100 list two years in a row with Inside Fitness, and has been featured in numerous magazines, including being nominated as a Status Athlete for Status Fitness Magazine.

Aside from running Veenstar Fitness training clients in and online, Ashley and her son travel as much as possible. Ashley has a passion for writing and inspiring others along her fitness journey.

Thanks to Ashley for answering our questions!

Do you have a favorite quote to share?
“Success is not final, Failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

What are you most proud of?
Being a single mother and raising my son. We are very close, and he is my inspiration everyday, to be a better person.
Developing trainers and helping inspire them to help people. Changing lives. I was one of the top fitness managers at Goodlife Fitness across Canada. Helping my team grow to the top and the success stories from client transformations. Overcoming a lot of my personal fears and doubts with my own journey. I used to be afraid of public speaking and now I have a voice and followers. I used to be shy with my body and now I am published in magazines and am a proud fit role model for women. I used to have a lot of excuses for the reasons I couldn’t accomplish things and now I never let anything hold me back. I believe you are wiser than you think, braver then you are, and stronger in every way.

What’s your favorite way to break a sweat?
Along side of the gym and body building I love to go snowboarding in the mountains, I love wakeboarding and boating in the summer months with my family. I grew up riding horses and I really enjoy being outside, it makes me feel more grounded.

Category : Celebrating Local


January 24, 2018 0

It’s January, gyms are busy, machines are at full capacity, classes are packed….all in all an appropriate time to revisit a little ‘sweatiquette’ (Urban Dictionary defines sweatiquette as: the act of cleaning up gym equipment after use so the next person is not subjected to sweat and other bodily fluids).

Here are some basics:

• Spray, wipe, repeat. No one wants to hop onto a chest press machine that is drenched from the prior user, so work together with your fellow gym-goers to keep machines dry and clean

• Cell phone usage – a big no. If your phone is your source for workout tunes or for timing purposes, then set it to airplane mode, and get your sweat on, but otherwise, just put it away. If you’ve ever waited patiently for a machine while someone sits there texting away, or had to endure listening to someone on the elliptical next to you recounting last night’s date in remarkable detail, you can understand the frustration.

• Put your equipment away. Is that where the kettlebell was when you found it? If not, you know what to do

• Group fitness class newbies – arrive early and get a spot up front. Cool kids at the back of the class definitely does not apply here. You’ll get more out of the class, and the instructors will be in a better position to help you along.

If you have some treasured tips to pass along, we’d love to hear them!

Category : General Fitness


December 19, 2017 0

Amber Romaniuk is an Emotional Eating, Digestive & Hormone Expert and speaker dedicated to educating the world on healthy eating and overcoming self-sabotage with food. Through corporate workshops, media appearances, “The No Sugarcoating Podcast” and her own “Amber Approved” digital magazine and cookbook, she is committed to globally changing the way people eat and promoting healthy lifestyles that support energy, mood balance, and personal happiness.

Amber combines her training and her own experience of food addiction, digestive issues, body image, weight loss and management to support others trying to make massive life transformations. She works privately with women and men, high level entrepreneurs, and those committed to overcoming emotional eating and self-sabotage so they are free to create the success they desire in the world.

Thanks to Amber for letting us get to know her a bit more:

Describe your ideal day and night in Calgary
Spending the morning out for a walk in a park, an afternoon float session, an evening salt cave session followed by dinner at Yellow Door Bistro at Hotel Arts.

What are you most proud of?
Having the courage to embark on the journey of overcoming my food addiction, which created my business and the gift of supporting other people to overcome theirs without restriction, diets or quick fixes.

What are your success habits?
Always listen to myself and honor what I need.
Stay motivated, balance work and life, and grow my business from my heart and passion to help others.
Get enough sleep, eat well, move mindfully, and love every minute of it.

Check out Amber’s website for more information on one-on-one coaching to build a healthy relationship with food as well as great recipes.

Category : Celebrating Local


December 19, 2017 0

If you were in attendance at YYCfit 2017, then hopefully you had a chance to try out the Megaformer, at the Lagree YYC booth – if not, make sure to give it a try at this year’s expo. Lagree YYC’s Megaformer is a moving platform manipulated through a system of springs, straps and pulleys, employing body weight to provide resistance. Lagree YYC owner Kim Rothenberg was a certified personal trainer with a lifelong passion for fitness when she visited New York City in 2014 on a hunt for a new, leading-edge workout to bring to Calgary. As Kim describes, “I walked into my first Lagree workout in NYC confident that I was fit……….and I was quickly humbled! The Lagree Method used muscles in my body that I did not know existed, hitting me in a way that no other workout or piece of equipment ever had or could.” Kim opened the doors to Lagree YYC in February 2015, immediately attracting a diverse clientele from athletes to the formerly fitness phobic.

The Lagree Method is the best core-strengthening, calorie-burning workout designed for full body conditioning available in Calgary. Using the patented Megaformer, all of your movements are slow and controlled encouraging maximum exertion in a low impact workout, allowing individuals to stay in tune with their bodies at all times, thus reducing the risk of injury. The Lagree Method strengthens the body, tones and lengthens muscles, improves endurance, jump-starts the metabolism, burns fat, increases flexibility, improves posture, and restores the body’s natural balance.

Now with two studio locations in Calgary (Brittania and Signal Hill) and a combined total of 100+ weekly classes, ranging from Introductory to Xtreme, Kim feels blessed to be able to do what she loves on a daily basis……….helping people get or stay strong and healthy through such a meaningful workout!

Category : Exhibitor


November 28, 2017 0

Like our October influencer of the month, Andrew Obrecht, Devin is a born and bred Calgarian. A hockey player from a young age, Devin was able to parlay his love of hockey into a WHL stint with the Prince George Cougars, University of Lethbridge Pronghorns and then played in the East Coast Hockey League with the Kalamazoo Wings.

Devin’s desire to start a family led him back to Calgary, where he joined the fire department. While Devin considers this his perfect career move, he was still looking for something to fill the hockey void. Enter trail running. Followed by ultra marathons, where this seasoned hockey player and firefighter experienced a whole new level of pushing his body to the limit.

In February 2016, Devin and his wife Elise welcomed son Kai into the world. Devin heard time and time again how this new addition would limit his adventure days in the mountains. Devin was committed to staying active, but made a pact to find ways to make it a family activity. From the time Kai was introduced to his first family hike at the age of six weeks, Devin kept this pact by logging an average of 100 km per week with the Thule chariot stroller running with Kai. Other ways the family plays together: yoga, travelling, climbing, biking, skiing and more!

In addition to serving an important role in helping to relieve stress from an intense job, running has also led to some awesome travel opportunities for Devin, including Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hawaii and other various places in the USA.

In his spare time, Devin helps others with their running and strength with personalized programs, through his company Sharp Conditioning.

Thanks to Devin for letting us get to know him a bit more:

If you could spend an afternoon with any Canadian, living or dead, who would you choose and why?
Terry Fox – to truly understand the mental and physical push he had and dedication to his goal. Trying to overcome a terrible disease and being an inspiration for so many Canadians.

What is a skill you’d love to master?
Being able to fix vehicles and do more home renovations.

How do you chill out?
Watching a favorite TV series (The Punisher, Shameless, Big Mouth), board games at the cabin, listening to music.

Thanks to Mark Bilodeau for the great photos! If there is someone you would like to see profiled, please let us know!

Category : Celebrating Local


October 26, 2017 0

Introducing….Andrew Obrecht, our October health and fitness influencer of the month!

Andrew Obrecht, part owner of YYC Cycle Spin Studio, is a born and raised Calgarian. Born to two passionate and hardworking parents, he inherited the entrepreneurial spirit instilled in him from an early age. Following his university athletics career as a Defensive End with the University of Calgary Dinos Football Team, at a playing weight of 260lbs, he graduated with a BComm in International Business. He undertook a number of business ventures – facing no shortage of challenges along the way. In 2012 he had his first encounter with teaching spin. After discovering a deeply rooted passion for it, he was determined to make it his purpose.

In 2013 he was approached to by two graduates of the University of Calgary School of Business, and was asked if he would like to join together to start a new spin studio in Calgary. Andrew took the leap, and less than 3.5 years later has taught over 1000 classes in front of over 30,000 riders. YYC Cycle now has three locations in Calgary, and two locations in Edmonton, called YEGCYCLE, and the culture of community and motivation shows no signs of slowing down.

Andrew and YYC Cycle have raised over $250,000.00 for various charities through their Give’r campaigns and charitable initiatives through the studio. Outside of the studio, Andrew strives to inspire through giving back to the community by actively supporting multiple charity organizations; including, ATBX (mentoring young entrepreneurs), Prostate Cancer Centre, JDRF, United Way Canada & Prospect Human Services where he teaches spin classes for adults with developmental disabilities.

Thanks to Andrew for letting us get to know him a bit more:

Do you have a favorite quote to share?
“Momentum is almost impossible to start, but once you have it, it’s almost impossible to stop”

What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the impact that our Bikergang in YYC and YEG have created for our communities that surround us. In the last 3.5 years, they have helped us raise over $300,000.00 through our GIVE’R charity campaigns and charitable/fundraising classes.

What are your top three favorite books?
• Good to Great – Jim Collins
• Scaling Up – Verne Harnish
• The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

What is a skill you’d love to master?
Leadership – It’s something that I’m absolutely obsessed with learning more about, and continuously seek growth in! We can always be better leaders.

Category : Celebrating Local


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