We’ve got a great new story for anyone looking to leap into the Keto lifestyle or commit to new fitness goals. This interview features Andrei, the owner and operator of New Element Training! Located in downtown Toronto, New Element Training (NET) believes a strong body is a prerequisite for an active, healthy and pain free life and we could not agree more. Andrei was the one who introduced Neha to the keto diet and strength training and helped her get to a full stack leg press (it's true!).
New Element Training merges the following aspects: high-effort strength training, medical strength training and mindful strength training - all into 2 x 30 minutes/week. Go to their website for facility, contact information and their unique take on fitness.
Our questions to Andrei cover: training, transformations, mindfulness, motivation, muscle mass, career change and resources.
Without further adieu, let the the questions commence!
Ryan: You offer different types of training, from mindful, medical and high effort; does this ever pose a barrier for prospective clients? If so, what kind of words of advice and encouragement do you have for those that are hesitant about entering your facility?
Andrei: I believe we are so different, and frankly ahead of the curve, that it sometimes works against us. People like familiar. We tend to be afraid of the unfamiliar. Our concept is very different from anything else out there, so it possesses certain challenges. However, this is the foundation of our brand and this is what will make our concept flourish long term.
It is said: You can write a dissertation about honey, but if you never tasted it you still don't know its taste. Just come for a free introductory session and 'taste the honey'. You may like it or you may not, but if you do like it will change your life, guaranteed.
Ryan: What are some of the transformations (both physical and mental) that you’ve seen in your facility?
- master the technique
- are training with high level of intensity
- are consistent
- take good care of their lifestyle outside the gym by eating well, managing stress, and taking care of their sleep
Neha: What are the reasons that people come work out at NET?
Andrei: It is effective. People feel stronger and definitely also look more attractive.
It doesn't take too much time commitment. 2 x 30 min a week is all it takes. Some clients only come once a week!
Also, we help clients manage their pain. Fixing low back pain, for example, is one our our specialties.
Ryan: How has mindfulness transformed HIT workouts?
Andrei: Our training comes with a degree of discomfort. This is part where you get results. Being mindful, experiencing the moment without judging it, helps us to get deeper into the exercise and get better workout effect. Plus it helps us profoundly reduce stress and anxiety. The effect you get from New Element workouts are very unique. There is nothing quite unique as us on the market right now as far as I know.
I came up with this concept while working on my own practice of everyday mindfulness and I saw how it could be effectively incorporated into our existing training model.
In fact, we are close to doing a study on it with Southampton University in UK. I truly believe being present (i.e., mindful) during your session makes all the difference.
Watch a one minute video here on NET's and mindfulness.
Neha: How do YOU stay fit and motivated - what drives you?
Andrei: I know how beneficial proper and safe strength training is for our quality of life and health. Studies show it even prolongs our life span. I don't plan on stopping, ever. For me this is like brushing my teeth. Something you just do. The fact that it comes with a better looking physique is a nice bonus :-)
Neha: You are also a geophysicist and you changed careers - what drove you to start NET?
Ryan: For people to adopt a new lifestyle they want to see results, with reference to some of your training tactics how long could one expect to see results? This includes: health related, physical and/or emotional.
Andrei: It depends on each person. As mentioned earlier, the exercise part and outside the gym part have to be done right to achieve your optimal outcome. In addition, gender, age and genetics play a role as well. Saying that, everyone will feel stronger, will have less pain (in most cases), will feel more energy (in most cases) and be healthier. People who do it right are becoming better versions of themselves week to week. Some people tell us they feel already stronger only after a handful of sessions.
If someone wants to lose some pounds of fat, then a sensible diet is crucial. You cannot out exercise a bad diet.
Ryan: Through research it’s been a common theme that losing weight and gaining muscle mass is attributed to a proper diet. Could you elaborate on this point?
Andrei - Not sure how much muscle you can gain just by the diet. You need to do strength training to increase lean muscle mass. If you do diet alone, up to 50% of lost weight may come from non-fat tissues (e.g., bones, muscles, organs, etc). This is very undesirable. It can compromise your goals and your health in the long term.
Here's a link to more of the science anchoring New Element Training's approach: Fast-Twitch Type-2B Muscles, Myokines, High-Tech Therapeutic & Strength-Building Machines.
Neha: What motivates you to keep pushing people and their limits?
Andrei - I love this concept of exercise. This is what I do myself and I know how good it is for us.
To me my three pillars of healthy lifestyle are: our type of exercise, sensible diet (e.g., paleo or keto etc), and practising mindfulness daily.
Ryan: What advice would you give to someone that is ½ way to their goal?
Andrei - It is about the journey, not the final destination. Pay attention to all those little things, which are not little at all, which improved in your life (are you feeling slimmer? do you have more energy? are you more confident? etc.). Do not compare yourself to others. Are you better version of yourself today than what you were before you started it? It is really about finding a healthy lifestyle. Be proud that you found one.
Neha - What advice would you give to someone starting Keto?
Andrei - Don't cheat. Fully commit to eat. Don't overeat proteins. At the beginning, try to eat more fat.The two common mistakes people make at the beginning, they eat too much protein and not enough fat. I did it and I felt like crap until I fixed this mistake.
Ryan: Why do you recommend Keto?
Andrei - It make sense to me. There is no need to count calories. If you hungry you eat. It also supposedly extremely good for our health and longevity, I certainly believe in it. There is tons of science behind it as well.
Ryan: What resources and books do you recommend?
Andrei - Our facility, New Element Training. Check out our website www.NewElementTraining.com
Body By Science, by Dr. Doug MicGuff MD
The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living by Dr. Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney
Soon our own book but is still a work in progress at this stage.
A big SwitchGrocery thank you to Andrei who took time out of his busy day to respond to our questions. Please check out the facility and programs on their website and Andrei and/or one of their friendly staff is a phone call or email away.
Neha's reflections on the interview...
- My favourite part of chatting with Andrei is definitely his focus on science and research when it comes to weight training and mindfulness.
- Consistency is what has helped me. I started working out at NET in 2014. It was next to my work and 2x/week was really manageable. Even though I don't work downtown anymore, I have committed to working out at NET 1x/week and I do my very best NOT to break that commitment. Sometimes, we make these big lofty goals and the change can really just be doing the same ONE thing every week! I always leave NET feeling better than when I got there.
Ryan's reflections on the interview...
- Adopting a diet such as the keto diet or going to the gym (fitness goals) are lifestyle changes and need a shift in our mindset.
- People like Andrei or any public figurehead are more often than not willing to help you achieve your goals so reach out!
- Whatever you choose to adopt Keto, Paleo, fitness and personal goals, I think it's important to stick with it. Andrei mentioned that when you’re looking to achieve goals, it’s all about “the journey” and not the final destination. Get involved and take advantage of all the resources and the community!
- No matter what your goals are make sure that they are first made with proper education and advice from a professional!
- Cheers to new goals, new experiences, new friends and a new you!
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