Although meditation has been around for a very long time, only recently has it become a part of main- stream media with numerous musicians, actors, professional athletes, Olympians, coaches, and young professionals turning to the practice of meditation.

In fact, science has shown that meditation is one of only three things you can do to improve your will power (the other two being exercise and sleep)!

On top of this meditation will help you manage stress better, have more mental clarity, rejuvenate your spirituality, and help you gain a greater sense of awareness about your body.


Even with all these amazing bene- fits knowing where to start is often confusing so I have created some simple guidelines to help you out.

CHOOSE A RELAXING ENVIRONMENT. Find a nice quiet place where you won’t be disturbed for fifteen minutes or longer. Sit down, relax and rest your hands on your lap. You can sit on the floor cross-legged with support of a meditation cushion, or on a chair with your feet resting on the ground. It is not necessary to force yourself into a lotus position if you’re not used to it. Regardless of how you sit, it is important to maintain a natural curve in your back. That means no slouching.

BREATHE SLOWLY AND DEEPLY. Close your eyes softly. Direct your soft, unfocused gaze downwards. Begin by taking a few slow and deep breaths – inhaling with your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Don’t force your breathing; let it come naturally. The first few intakes of air are likely to be shallow, but as you allow more air to fill your lungs, your breaths will gradually become deeper and fuller. Take as long as you need to breathe slowly and deeply.

BE AWARE. When you are breathing deeply, you will begin to feel calmer and more relaxed. That is a good sign. Now focus your attention on your breathing. Be aware of each breath that you take in through you nose. Be mindful of each breath you exhale with your mouth. Continue focusing on your breaths for as long as you like. If you find your attention swaying from your breaths, just gently bring it back. It may happen many times. Don’t be disheartened. What’s more important is that you realize that you have wandered and bring your attention back to where it should be. As you develop greater focus power, you will find it easier to concentrate.

ENDING THE SESSION. When you are ready to end the session, open your eyes and stand up slowly. Stretch yourself and extend your increased awareness to your activities.

It won’t take long before the benefits of meditation start to show, as for time of day it ranges from person to person (actually there is never a BAD time to do it!) but if you are looking to maximize it’s effects my recommendation would be to include it as your morning ritual within an hour of waking.

Start small. Five minutes a day is all it will take to start but remember that just like exercise, progress is important so look to improve from week to week until you are able to do twenty minutes at a time — seven days a week.

And here’s the thing about meditation: if you are too busy to do it, than it is even more important to get started.


Master these key compound movements to add muscle size and strength fast.

Let’s not beat around the bush: every single one of your workouts should

be based around compound lifts.

A compound lift is an exercise where there is movement at two or more joints. A good example would be the squat (movement at the hip and knee joints) or the shoulder press (movement at the shoulder and elbow joint).


So why should compound lifts form the foundation of any training plan? Quite simply, because they involve movement at more than one joint the require multiple muscle groups to act at the same time. Compound lifts are more bang-for-the-buck moves because the more muscles involved, the heavier the weight you can lift, and the bigger the weight you lift, the bigger the growth hormone response.

This hormone response is crucial. It means that not only will you put on more muscle in the areas you’ve recently trained, but you’ll also see benefits all over your body. That’s because the hormones responsible for muscle growth also burn fat, so you’ll get bigger and leaner across the board.


That’s why bicep curls aren’t actually the best exercise for building big biceps. It’s far more effective to perform compound exercises, such as bent-over rows or chin-ups, to really fatigue your biceps by exposing them to the maximum amount of weight they can manage.

That’s not to say isolation moves don’t have a part to play, they do. For instance, they can be deployed towards the end of your workout to specifically isolate a muscle to cause additional fatigue. But the basis of each workout should be the major compound lifts.


Your feet should be shoulder- width apart with your toes pointing slightly outwards. Slowly lower yourself down— keeping your chest and chin up while maintaining a natural arch in your back. Keep the weight on your feels, your body upright and don’t let your knees roll inwards or forwards. Bring your body down until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. The deeper you can squat, the better.


Your head, upper back and glutes should be flat against the bench. Brace your core and maintain a natural arch in your back. Slowly lower the weight to your chest, taking your elbows out to 90 degrees, until the weight is almost toughing the middle of your chest or just over your nipples.


Squat down and grip the bar just outside your knees with your core braced, your shoulders retracted and over the bar and your back flat. Use your legs to power the initial lift, pushing down through your heels. Keep the bar close to your body and, as it passes your knees, push your hips forward. Keep your shoulders back throughout the move.


Grasp the bar using an overhand grip with your hands wider than shoulder-width apart. The wider they are, the harder the move becomes. Start from a dead hang with your arms fully extended. Pull yourself up by squeezing your lats together. Once your chin is higher than your hands, slowly lower yourself back to the start position.


Standing upright and feet hip- width apart, take a big step forward and keep your knee over your front foot but not beyond it. Lower down until both knees are bent at 90 degrees before pushing back off your front foot to return to the start position. Keep your back upright and core braced throughout the move.


Position the weight on your upper chest with your hands just wider than shoulder-width apart. Keep your chest upright and your core muscles braced. Press the weight directly upwards until your arms are fully extended overhead. Lower the weight back down to your chest and repeat.


Stand with your core braced, your back straight and your shoulders retracted. Bend your knees slightly and lean forward from the hips, not the waist. Pull the weight up to your lower sternum, fully retracting your shoulder blades to allow the weight to come up to your chest, then slowly lower the weight to the start.


Why dedication to a single exercise discipline (yoga, cycling, weight training, or just about anything else) isn’t healthy— and how holistic fitness programs can leave you happier and healthier in less time.

For some people, “working out” means lifting weights (preferably heavy ones); for others, cycling classes (preferably to exhaustion); yet others, yoga or pilates (nothing too strenuous).

Each and every one of these disciplines has its benefits. But also, if practiced exclusively, its drawbacks—primarily involving mechanical strain, adaptational failure, and/or constitutional imbalance/instability.

On the other hand, by mixing and matching approaches, individuals can achieve superior and more sustainable results, all the while saving time and minimizing injury.

As one goes back and forth from strenuous sessions to restorative ones and back again, one gets to know one’s own body—its strengths, weaknesses, and imbalances. One also trains and develops parts of the body—genes, neurons, muscles, hormones, ligaments, and more—in a thorough manner only cross-training can provide. But where to begin—and how to progress?

At ARM Systems of Milton, Ontario, Canada, coaches, trainers, and instructors are mandated to design, develop, and deliver programmes that consider and address all aspects of physical fitness:the mechanical (size, shape, and strength); the adaptational (speed, stamina, and agility); and the constitutional (harmony, stability, and flexibility); plus (if desired/necessary) specialized techniques and/or technologies to help clients achieve specific medical, personal, athletic, and/or professional results.

To be clear, if one were to review these concepts and categories with a clinician or practitioner, they might get critiqued as inexact and/or over-simplified. (In reality, kettlebell drills train for strength as well as stamina, only to a lesser degree. Hot yoga trains for stamina as well as stability, also/only to a lesser degree. So on and so forth.)

On the other hand, when compared to the fitness industry’s big-box, mass-market offerings, these same concepts and categories might be viewed as somewhat theoretical and/ or over-complicated. (It’s rare to find exercise authorities so insistent upon training posture, breathing, and other subtle nuances.) ARM’s middle- ground approach seeks to achieve balance between these extremes—with design, language, and technology that can help anyone become (and remain) fit, well, and vital.



THE MOVE: One to three times per week, in the context of an intelligently and result-oriented programme, partake in classic weight training. Noted styles include body building, power lifting, and circuit training.

THE VIBE: Often practiced solo or as half of a duo. Look for coaches, trainers, and instructors who are intense—but not militaristic. No threats. No insults. Nothing dangerous.

THE RESULT: A body that looks the way you want it to—one that’s fit, trim, solid, and ready to take on the world—so that you can manage the strains and stresses of day-to-day life.



THE MOVE: One to three times per week, bust a move, break a sweat, and challenge your limits with experiences that keep you moving—even when you don’t know what’s next. Options include: boot camps; martial arts; body-weight circuits; and club- and kettlebell drills

THE VIBE: Often practiced in a duo or small group. You want to feel excited, exhilarated, full of confidence and self-esteem— eventually. At first, though, you may feel taxed, confused, maybe even a bit scattered. That’s OK; you’ll adapt.

THE RESULT: Energy. Vitality. A certain springiness that, once you achieve, you won’t know how to live without.



THE MOVE: One to three times per week, work on those more subtle (but oh-so-important) aspects of physical fitness: breath, posture, balance, coordination, and so much more. Modalities—yoga, pilates, meditation, suspension training, et cetera—range from the restorative to the shockingly robust.

THE VIBE: Often practiced in medium- to large-sized groups. Hot yoga, whenever available, promotes digestion and detoxification especially well. Don’t diminish the value of softer, more “yin” (or restorative) sessions every once in a while. They’re essential to emotional and neurological health.

THE RESULT: Stronger core, faster recovery, deeper sleep, better range of motion, reduced anxiety/tension/nervousness and—oh, yes—total bliss.


Why one size does not fit all when it comes to nourishing your body.

Most health experts tend to over- simplify things

when it comes to nutrition and metabolism—insisting upon scientific “facts” that are actually far from certain and translating them into one-size-fits-all rules that take all the fun out of food.

But food isn’t just functional. Ideally, it’s so much more than that: A medium for artistic expression and creative exploration. An opportunity for sensory stimulation and almost erotic satisfaction.

An opportunity to indulge, celebrate, experience, and share good times with both friends and family.

Ignoring all of this—denying oneself fine foods and gourmet cuisines—can lead to diet disaster in the form of cheating, bingeing, and overindulging. On the other hand, indulging in a planned, measured, responsible manner tends to help people stick to their nutritional protocols in a far more healthful, sustainable, ultimately realistic way.


In order to determine a diet plan that’s best for you, you need to have a realistic sense of your baseline health, as assessed by both medical and naturopathic doctors.

Are you dealing with any diseases, illnesses, and/or conditions? Do you have any food sensitivities and/ or digestive issues? What specific health objectives are you attempting to achieve? For example: Are you looking to burn fat… build muscle… improve performance?

But there are even more basic questions for you to ask yourself. What foods do you love—and which do you loathe? Are you comfortable in the kitchen—and, if not, would you like to be? How much money are you ready, willing, and able to spend each month on groceries? Might you be able to increase your budget if it means looking and feeling better than ever, thanks to the most delicious and satisfying meals you’ve ever eaten?


In the past, the experts at ARM Systems strongly advised clients to learn and follow the now- famous “primal” or “paleo” approach to eating—pretty much without exception—and for very good reason: It works for most people, most of the time, with dining options easy to find at most restaurants and supermarkets.

However, in the past year, “primal” and “paleo” have become so diluted and commercialized—with such a wide variety of packaged and prepared foods on the market— that this diet trend has started to lose its original appeal, which was about eating whole, unprocessed, ultra-high-quality ingredients, straight from the source, that you’ve cooked yourself.

Additionally, some of the science behind the primal/ paleo trend has been disproven over the past year. Paleolithic- era meats and fruits, for example, had nutritional profiles entirely different from contemporary equivalents.

Furthermore, despite popular opinion, late paleolithic-era humans actually did eat grain and dairy—and evolutionary biologists are starting to wonder if these nutrient-dense foodstuffs (admittedly quite different from today’s supermarket selections) facilitated the formation of language, agriculture, and civilization.

Finally, the field of epigenetics exploded in 2015, altering our perception of how quickly human beings can evolve and adapt to changing environments. Turns out it’s faster than ever imagined—a single generation in some cases. So, no, we’re actually not the same as our ancestors, and we don’t always need to eat the same way they did either.


If you’re sick, unwell, and/or imbalanced, you may want to try a healing diet, for a period of one month to one year. Popular healing diets include:

THE WILD ROSE DIET is a basic alkalizing diet, paired with a variety of herbal medicines— all of which cleanse, purify, and detoxify the entire body.

THE BODY ECOLOGY DIET offers a radical simplification of Traditional Chinese Medicine’s nutritional wisdom—efficiently repairing digestive problems and restoring probiotic balance.

VEGAN AND/OR RAW- FOOD DIETS tend to be very high in fiber, enzymes, phytonutrients, and anti-oxidant/anti- inflammatory substances. On a temporary, short-term basis, these plant-based nutritional approach- es may be of special benefit to cancer patients and the extremely stressed and/or fatigued.

If you’re relatively healthy but (A) short on time, (B) uninterested in cooking, and (C) looking to improve your appearance and/or performance relatively quickly, then a primal- or paleo-inspired diet may be perfect for you.

But not for the reasons you may have been led to believe! In fact, it’s the simplicity and restricted nature of these diets— their elimination of common allergens and sensitizing agents—that probably makes them so effective. Some excellent primal/paleo resources include:

PRACTICAL PALEO, perhaps the single best primal/paleo book ever published.

MARK’S DAILY APPLE, a blog featuring some of the easiest, tastiest recipes you’ll ever find.

ARM SYSTEMS, home to a gigantic respository of recipes, shopping lists, and helpful hints, not to mention a wide variety of primal/paleo-friendly frozen entrees from the local kitchens of Primal Cravings.

Now come the truly surprising options. If you (A) truly have a passion for fine dining, (B) have a history of bingeing, stress- eating, and/or falling off the wagon from restrictive diets, and/ or (C) know how to cook (or love the idea of learning), then—believe it or not—your best bet may be to insist upon what the experts at ARM have started to call “gourmet traditionalism”.

For a dedicated foodie, it seems too good to be true. How on earth can rich, satisfying, elaborate meals possibly lead to fat loss, muscle gain, or radiant health by any standard? Scientifically, it makes zero sense. But artistically… sensually… emotionally… it makes all the sense in the world. And here’s why: Insisting upon the very best is extremely satisfying. But it’s also expensive and time-consuming—in a good way. The result: Mindfulness takes over, and over-eating is eliminated—or, at very least, minimized.

When you become a “gourmet traditionalist”, you don’t just eat whatever you want, whenever you want, however you want. Food sources must be local, organic, all natural. Preparation methods are decidedly old- school. (Microwave ovens are forbidden. Beans, grains, nuts, and seeds all get soaked. Dairy products are fine—if they’re raw and/or probiotic. You want ketchup on that burger? Fine—but you’ll have to make it from scratch.) Food is eaten on fine china, only when it can be savoured and appreciated the way it truly deserves.

But that’s not all. Gourmet traditionalism means traditionally sized portions, which tend to be small. It also means fasting every now and then—just like our ancestors did when food was scarce—so that, when you do eat, it’s even more satisfying. (Some people, for example, only eat once per day, or skip food altogether one to three non-consecutive days per week.) So many options—but do check in with your medical and/ or naturopathic doctor to make sure what’s right for you.

If the idea of gourmet traditionalism sounds good to you, check out these resources:

FRENCH WOMEN DON’T GET FAT, which reveals a distinctly continental approach to eating sumptuously but never gluttinously.

THE EVERY OTHER DAY DIET, perhaps the most rigorously studied and medically validated intermittent-fasting programme ever developed.

HEALTHY 4 LIFE, a free publication from The Weston A Price Foundation—chock full of time-saving, money-saving tips and tricks. This resource is especially helpful for couples and families who like the idea of eating traditional gourmet delights but want to proceed slowly and comfortably.


Want to achieve (and maintain) your total health in a manner that’s safe, sane, and sustainable? You can diet and exercise all you want, but some- thing comes before that. It’s called wellness—and, without it, you could be wasting your time, your money, and (most of all) your energy.

When it comes to the eternal pursuit of health and vitality,

some people jump right into diet, while others run (literally) to exercise. Yet others endeavor to bring both into their lives at the same time.

While such energy, enthusiasm and to self can be inspirational to behold—or, better yet, to experience—it’s not necessarily the safest, sanest, nor most sustainable approach. So, then, what is?

According to the experts at ARM Systems of Milton, Ontario, Canada—and their collective quarter-century of observation and experience—what tends to work best is learning, correcting, and optimizing one’s own wellness first.

But “wellness” is a slippery word, meaning different things to different people. So let’s clarify and simplify. According to Adam Robert McDonald, ARM’s founder and president: “Wellness is the most basic level of health. When one is well, one can pursue one’s daily activities without threat of pain, harm, injury, illness, or (worst of all) fatality. In other words, when one is well, one is relatively safe, sane, and stable.”

“Beyond wellness, there’s fitness, which goes beyond the basic, into a new realm—one of optimizing one’s health for better appearance and performance in all areas of work and life. Fitness is achieved very simply, though not always easily, through exercise.”

“Finally, beyond fitness, there’s indulgence, which is a very difficult concept for most Canadians to accept. We think of indulgence as evil, selfish, unnecessary. However, without a certain amount of indulgence, health cannot be sustained. After all, dieting and exercising are physically (and sometimes mentally) stressful. Good stresses, and necessary stresses, but stresses nonetheless. That needs to be balanced out, or compensated for, by foods and other sensory experiences that ease the mind, soothe the soul, and pleasure the body.”


Circling back to wellness, McDonald recommends that clients start with basic physical assessments, which can be provided by one’s own family doctor. A good assessment includes an ECG, lipid/sugar panels (A1C, cholesterols, triglycerides, et cetera), hormonal work-ups (cortisol, prolactin, estrogens/ androgens, et cetera), and other diagnostics as determined by doctors themselves.

Once test results are received and reviewed, the next step is to find a caring, competent naturopathic doctor for another assessment—this time from a slightly different angle.

Once resented and resisted by the medical establishment, naturopathic doctors are now highly respected and relied upon, to the extent that the province of Ontario has recently empowered them to prescribe basic medications. There are many reasons for this expanded trust. First, as complements to primary-care physicians, they have the luxury to treat patients like actual human beings, not just collections of symptoms and complaints.

Second, they tend to excel in areas that leave their better- known counterparts baffled and/or annoyed—subtle and/ or subclinical concerns like obesity, infertility, allergies/ sensitivities, hormonal imbalances, and many forms of mental illness.

Third, they can provide guidance and expertise in areas where patients typically make mistakes, waste time and/or money, some- times even harm themselves— areas like nutrition, supplementation, lifestyle modification, and mindfulness practices.

While all naturopathic doctors pursue the same education and receive the same certification, in practice they tend to vary in approach. Some practitioners favour approaches like Ayuruveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and others drawn from ancient eastern and/or western civilizations. Other practitioners are more traditionally “medical” in their orientation—with additional emphasis upon nutrition, supplementation, and lifestyle/mindfulness techniques. Yet others place themselves at the cutting edge of hybrid conventional/alternative research, with expertise in new areas like intermittent fasting, electro-neurological stimulation, so on and so forth.


What about dieticians and nutritionists? According to McDonald, “At one point, we were considering bringing someone like that on board. But what’s the point? A naturopathic doctor can also help you figure out what to eat, and how to supplement, but they can do it with far greater accuracy and specificity. Plus, while they’re at it, they can help you manage all of your other wellness issues as well. To us, it’s about efficiency and excellence. Naturopaths, not nutritionists, are the way to go.”

Just as MDs often refer patients to specialists—cardiologists, dermatologists, et cetera—NDs do the same, except their pool of specialists are considered “paramedical” by most SHI (supplemental healthcare insurance) plans.

For those experiencing physical aches, pains, and/ or imbalances, referrals are often made to osteopaths, chiropractors, massage therapists, and acupuncturists (especially those adept at “cupping”, the common name for moxibustion).

Other common recommendations revolve around: aroma- therapy; products for the main- tenance of skin, hair, and home; and paramedical devices—for example, small battery-operated units that send mild electrical currents into aching muscles or stressed-out brains.

However, not all wellness issues are physical. Others are mental, emotional, and/ or practical—prompted by the stresses and demands of fast- paced, over-booked, tech- nology-saturated lifestyles. Naturopathic doctors can be of service here as well, with knowledge of and access to a variety of modalities that may help. These modalities include: psychotherapy and psycho- analysis (for those seeking to understand themselves and the world around them); hypnotherapy and neuro-lingustic programming (for those seeking immediate psychic relief and/ or behavioural modification); meditation and mindfulness (for those seeking long-term tranquility and effectiveness despite life’s distractions and complications); and even life coaching (for those seeking tactical and strategic advice in the face of major challenges, obstacles, and/or limitations at work or anywhere else in life).



As a business that’s strategically and purposefully tough

on its clients and coaches, we find ourselves needing to make some clarifications every now and then. For example: The difference between pushing and bullying.

Bullying is, unfortunately but undeniably, as old as humanity itself. You can also see traces and whispers of it amongst dogs and many other domesticated animals. Whether conducted online or in the real world, it’s the public ridiculing, belittling, and/or embarrassing of someone weaker by someone stronger for the express purpose of establishing social control, dominance, and authority.

Formerly reserved for children, the concept of bullying has dramatically and controversially expanded in scope to include adults. Amongst journalists, politicians, educators, and psychologists, there’s heated debate about how to handle bullying, but one thing is clear: Bullying, when endured by children or the otherwise defenseless, cannot be tolerated in civilized society.

Pushing is an entirely different phenomenon–one that’s far more effective, beneficial, and positive for all parties involved. First of all, pushing–as we’re defining it–occurs between two consenting adults who make an informed, mutual decision to enter a relationship in which one party will do the pushing and in which the other party will be pushed.

But why push in the first place? Because, sometimes, even though you know that the best step is the next step, you just don’t feel like taking it. You resist. You hesitate. You float complaints. You manufacture excuses. All of which is perfectly understandable given human nature–and all of which must be countered in order to achieve the results one is out to achieve.

In excellent companies, employ- ers push employees to become more creative, more efficient, more innovative. Successful employees, being human beings, tend not to like it–but they stick with it anyway. Why? Because they like those paycheques and (if they’re lucky) they know they’re part of an enterprise that’s doing good things.

In excellent schools, professors push students to become more perceptive, more experienced, more intelligent. Successful students, being human beings, tend not to like it–but they stick with it anyway. Why? Because they want that degree and (if they’re lucky) they’re learning something that’s important and fascinating to them.

At excellent group-training and personal-training facilities, coaches push clients to work harder, to be more responsible, to have greater integrity, to produce superior results. Successful clients, being human beings, tend not to like it–but they stick with it anyway. Why? Because they want to become (and remain) fit and lean. They want their health and vitality back–if they ever had it in the first place. But most of all and most importantly, successful students respect and appreciate being pushed because, without that pushing, they’re stuck. That doesn’t make them bad, nor wrong, nor worthy of shame. But it doesn’t exactly make them winners in the game of life either.

At ARM TRAINING SYSTEMS, we never bully our clients. But we most certainly do push them–lovingly, strategically, and intentionally. The vast majority of our community loves that about us. To them, it’s a refreshing change from lower-cost, lower-value, big-box gyms that demand (then deliver) nothing at all.

Of course, for a vocal, sensitive minority, pushing doesn’t work–and that’s OK. Really! But those individuals should know in advance that we’re probably not the fitness solution for them. Which is why we take such great effort to develop signage, graphics, materials, and advertisements that communicate what we’re about and how we go about the business of making business people fit, lean, strong, and powerful in all areas of life.


At ARM Systems, our purpose is to have every member of our community imagine, achieve, and maintain a life well lived.

We do this by offering an all- inclusive solution that’s about much more than training on the gym floor. It is a model of personal training that includes (A) lifestyle coaching (B) access to a full service of wellness resources, (C) a sense that specific goals are being set and met, and (D) a progressive approach that delivers lasting results that pleasantly surprise!


At ARM Systems, our vision is to create a thriving community of business professionals who are continually inspired, empowered, and supported— in their daily lives; their current intentions and ambitions; and their greatest hopes and dreams.


Our mission is to inspire, empower, and champion every member of our community. Trained and certified in the areas of fitness, wellness, and performance, we work with some of the Halton region’s most interesting business people—entrepreneurs and executives who demand health, vitality, and a little bit of luxury.


To accomplish our mission, we must embody our company’s core value, which are:


We take personal responsibility for our own success and the success of those around us.


We act with integrity—no matter what, fulfilling on the promises that we make.


We communicate honestly, expressively, and intelligently.


We are committed to excellence—never resorting to mediocrity.

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