The Evolution of my Fitness Routine

Hockey was everything to me during my childhood. At the age of 10 we started having off-ice training sessions. So I guess that is when you could say my gym workouts started. We were not lifting weights, but working on our hand eye coordination and plyometric and explosive power. I’ll be honest when I say I didn’t necessarily love it at first. I would have much rather been on the ice, but it did open my eyes as to how much work actually goes into a sport away from the game.
As I continued to get older and hockey got more serious,the off-ice training aspect of the game became incredibly important. Other kids would go to hockey specific trainers, but my parents couldn’t afford that. Luckily there was a gym near me, so my brother and I would go there and attempt workouts we saw on TV that NHL players were doing. I am not going to lie and say we knew what we were doing, but the effort was there. Our form was probably horrible, we definitely were not engaging the proper muscle groups… but luckily we were able to not injure ourselves.
Like most Canadian kids our dreams were not achieved. Hockey was still a huge passion, but the chance of making a living out of it was gone. Being 18 my fitness definitely took a back seat. I was having way too much fun partying with friends and being a degenerate. Strangely enough the weight started to pack on, and the next time I stepped in the gym/scale I quickly realised I was 40lbs heavier.
Having a gym near me, I bought a membership and knew I had to get my butt in shape. I was working a construction labour job at the time so most days work was a workout in itself- but it wasn’t enough. I would come home from work, go for a 5 KM run, eat dinner then head to the gym. I would do what most 19-year-old males would do in the gym- chest… a lot of chest. Sure I would mix in some arms but chest was the main focus. What about legs you ask? Who needs those when you can wear pants?
I continued running and going to the gym near me and the weight came off fast! In 3 months I was pretty well back to my average weight and I felt amazing. I was still having just as much fun with my friends, but I started watching what I was eating and drinking lower calorie cocktails. That was my fitness routine for close to 2 years. A lot of cardio and beach muscles. Looking back now I was definitely doing some sort of body building routine but not sticking to anything in particular.
After two years of falling in love with the gym,that is when I decided to become a personal trainer. So a friend and I boarded a plane to head to Melbourne, Australia to attend the Australian Fitness Academy. While I was there the knowledge was being dropped and I was applying it to my own workouts. I would write down every workout, every weight, periodize my programming, and be strict on my push/pull and press days. There was a ton to learn and it was fun to be doing something different in the gym. I would say that time in my life was when I was doing the most science based workout routine. I enjoyed it but I didn’t love it. Workouts were long and boring. Most of the time my heart rate didn’t elevate much, and I also wasn’t seeing much of a change in my body.
After leaving Australia I came back to Edmonton and started working in a small personal training studio which lead me to open up my own. That meant no bigger box gym equipment anymore. We started our business very lean so it was dumbbells, kettlebells, benches, resistance bands etc. Honestly, for 90% of the population that is all you need. We were constantly making up new exercises or only allowing ourselves to use one piece of equipment for the whole workout. This is where I learnt the most when it came to programming and being able to help my clients reach their goals without all the toys. It was a lot of fun; we played in the gym a lot and I grew as a fitness coach a ton. Those workouts lasted a few years but once again I grew bored. During that time I was doing a ton of interval and HIIT style workouts. My endurance was incredible but I definitely wasn’t very strong.
Just before opening up Zone I tried CrossFit and absolutely loved it. I was learning new things in the gym again, I was being incredibly challenged and I was able to compete! Growing up playing sports and constantly competing your whole childhood kind of just disappears as you grow older. I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I got into CrossFit. One of the main reasons I fell in love with CrossFit is because it was a really great workout where you challenge your muscles but also your cardio. Personally I love that feeling- I love sweating but I also love the “pump.”
Nowadays I am honestly doing a mixture of all the styles above. Generally my workouts consist of 8-12 minute mobility warm-up, followed by 20-30 minutes of strength, 10-15 minute intense sweat and a 10 minute stretch to finish off. The reason why I went into this long winded blog is because I wanted to tell you that you should be doing workouts you enjoy. Unless you are professional athlete or competing- do what you like- make sure to challenge yourself but enjoy it! It is great to do different styles of workouts, it is great learn new things in the gym-play, have fun.The more we challenge our minds and bodies the, greater the results will be.
“A kite can’t soar without some sort of force against it.”- Dakota Kirk
By Brett Kirkland


We certainly do! You can either purchase programs or book personal training sessions and be given your workout at the end of the session.