MoFitness: A Love Story

By: Jessica Desgagnes

What would become MoFitness originated when 2 strangers living abroad in Abu Dhabi – Chelsie, an art teacher at an international school, Moses, a freelance fitness coach –  had a most auspicious chance encounter.

Having energetically bonded over a mutual love of fitness, healthy and active lifestyles, and an obvious passion for imparting knowledge, it did not take long for a partnership to evolve beyond an obvious attraction to each other. Chelsie and Moses began to put their heads together to develop Moses’ freelance career into a small business beginning with Teacher Fitness Training together while in Abu Dhabi.

Teacher Fitness at Maplewood International School, Abu Dhabi

The bonded enthusiasts relocated to Montreal wherein Coach Moses worked at various gyms, building a professional network, while Chelsie took on the management and marketing of the to-be community studio. Their determination and hard work pushed them beyond obstacles, and in the summer of 2019 the duo ran a Family Fitness program and began developing a series of workshops.

During the initial pandemic lockdown in 2020 they continued to challenge themselves by filming “Daily Tips” videos, which led to the creation of their outdoor fitness class series, “SWEAT in the Park”. Their business took off and as luck would have it, a perfectly-located studio opened and they didn’t hesitate to jump at the opportunity. The studio remains open despite the challenging times as a result of the pandemic. The love for this fitness studio and its members never stops, as the small business owners continue to develop the programs and classes they offer, the newest being “Yoga Flow” and “Relax and Recharge”, a Yin class. Members continue to value one-on-one personal training, virtual small group training, and outdoor classes in the park, all in compliance with the safety codes. MoFitness is immensely thankful for it’s members both past and present, for their support and enthusiasm, which motivates them to continue inspiring an active and healthy community.

Gearing Up for a Montreal Winter Weather Workout

MoFitness is super grateful that our outdoor Winter Boot Camp is up and going again, with the pandemic restrictions having been lifted. In light of this, we thought it might be helpful for our fitness community, especially our new members, to have a quick rundown of helpful tips for outdoor classes.

Layer your clothing:

  1. Opt for a tighter fit, sweat-wicking base layer like tech or dri-fit shirts and leggings that are made of materials like polyester, which pulls moisture from your body, leaving you dry. Fleece lined and merino wool base layers are great for keeping you warm while wicking away moisture. Cotton will absorb your sweat and weigh you down, making you feel colder.
  2. Add a layer of insulation that will allow for full range of motion such as a performance vest or pullover.
  3. Finally, add a protective shell that is waterproof as it will be light and dry.

Consider the temperature and add about 20 degrees as this is closer to how you will feel while working out. Example: If it’s -10 degrees, you will feel as if it is +10 degrees. An added bonus to layering is you can easily remove items as you heat up and bundle up again when you’re done.

Protect your ears and consider investing in waterproof gloves.

Footwear:

Hiking boots are recommended and crampons might be helpful if it’s icy. You can wear sneakers, but know that they will get wet so have a warm pair of wool socks on and plan time to dry your sneakers out after.

Don’t forget to bring your mat and sunscreen!

Given that it’s cold outside the workout does not include a stretch or cool down period; instead MoFitness advises stretching at home post-workout. A good stretch in a warm shower after an outdoor workout feels amazing! 

There are plenty of perks that accompany an outdoor workout including: Vitamin D for your immune system, a boost in your metabolism, reducing symptoms of depression (being in nature helps in general), mental stamina (have you heard of Wim Hof?!), and the opportunity to socialize – safely distanced, of course.

Don’t let Montreal’s winter weather prevent you from meeting your fitness goals!

Winter Bootcamp Schedule:

  • Tuesday 6-6:45 pm
  • Thursday 6-6:45 pm
  • Saturday 10-10:45 am

Winter Bootcamp Officially Ends March 30th, 2021 at which point we will resume our SWEAT in The Park Class Series until Oct 30th, 2021.

Check out our Winter Bootcamp Promo Video

Winter Bootcamp Classes are held in Park Georges Saint Pierre (Upper Lachine/Oxford)

How Regular Exercise and Yoga Help Me Conquer Negative Thought Patterns

woman doing yoga

By Jessica Desgagnes

Buddha said: “Life is suffering”. Not misery.

I can’t pinpoint exactly when I had convinced myself that I didn’t have to work at something to grow beyond whatever a 9-5 shift – or 19:00-2:00 – was bringing to my life, but it was apparent when I looked around me that I had.

I do, however, remember the day I decided to try something that I had dismissed.

An acquaintance had posted on social media that she was looking for a gym partner to join her for partner personal training at a fitness studio that offered small group training and for whatever reason, I decided to give it a shot. Did I believe I could do “it”? Nope. I was merely open to the possibility. I maintain the choice to show up is the hardest part, and continues to be, because the mind has the capacity to crush us more than any barbell can.

“I can’t do a push-up” – honestly though, I hadn’t the strength to do one, not even from my knees – reframed, became: “I can do a push-up with my hands on the wall.”

Maybe it was easier in the short term to feed that negative energy because it was what I knew. I’d been unwittingly doing it for years. The “I can’ts” are just one example of myriad voices I battle in my head. Not-so-breaking-news: I’m not so unique that I don’t share the same thoughts loads of people around me do. The difference is acknowledging the negative thoughts and choosing to challenge them.

Making regular exercise part of my lifestyle is a tool that translates to battling negative thoughts in other areas of my life as well. It’s as if that extra push to get just one more squat in when I think that I have nothing else left in me and the instant “kick” that comes with surprising myself builds strength of body and mind.

I combat negative thoughts via my yoga practice as well. Perhaps in part because my work is physically demanding, I find myself gravitating toward Yin yoga in particular; it is quite literally the match to my yang. It’s how I give myself time for introspection. I am increasingly learning to respond to situations rather than react, or lash out, if you will.

When I give in to negative thought patterns – and I must emphasize give in -, I increasingly hinder my potential; I cage myself. When I choose to challenge my fears (which are often a product of low self-esteem) with each seemingly miniscule personal milestone my confidence grows. When my mind and body are healthier, I can better serve myself, my inner circle, and my community at large. Neuroplasticity is real: build your mind, create your life.

I would love to read your stories on the MoFitness community Facebook page! We can all afford to learn from each other.

OPEN HOUSE/JOURNÉE PORTES OUVERTES

Food and Fund Drive for the Food Depot

Studio MoFitness Mtl will be hosting an open house with the goal of raising funds and collecting food for the Food Depot of NDG. As a small business we aim to become a part of the community and help those in need around us.  One way we can do this is by using our platform to host an event to raise money for a program that helps provides access to nutritious food for our vulnerable citizens.  The need for nutritious food has only become greater due to the COVID-19 pandemic and many food banks and organizations are reporting unprecedented strain on their annual resources. They need help year round, so we have decided to use our Open House as an opportunity to raise money and collect food this September. We aim to hold 2 open house events per year at ‘off-season’ times in order to boost support and awareness for the Food Depot.

Throughout the day we will teach 30-minute sample classes, hold fitness-challenge competitions for prizes, kickboxing demos, and a 45-minute yoga session with Jewel Harini Lee.  There will be a minimum donation 10$ to participate in the classes and you must reserve your spot ahead of time; we do not guarantee space for drop-ins. Each class will end with a challenge and the winner will receive a free class at our Studio.    

The public is encouraged to drop by and chat with us outside the studio and can give monetary or food donations without participating in the class.  The Food Depot does prefer monetary donations as they can buy more than we can (1$ donated=3$ of food) and they can also buy bulk fresh food.  However, if you wish to donate non-perishable food items then we ask that they be as nutritious as possible (canned fish, beans, lentils, canned tomatoes, whole grains, whole grain pasta, etc…). The Food Depot does not accept non-food items.  Please make sure food items are not expired and are not opened.

Open House Schedule:

TimeClassInstructorMax Participants
9:30-10:00Circuit BurnChelsie Evans6
10:30-11:00SWEATMoses Nguno6
11:30-12:00Essential FitChelsie Evans6
12:30-1:00Abs and BootyMoses Nguno6
2:00-2:30Kickboxing HIITMoses Nguno4
3:30-4:15YogaJewel Harini Lee7
4:30-6:00Kickboxing demo drop insMoses and Chelsie2 per trainer/per demo

Between sessions we will run our fitness challenges for those who participated in the class and use the time to disinfect all equipment.  Wearing a mask is mandatory except during the workout.  Indoor shoes ONLY, please change once you arrive at the gym.  Try to bring your own mat, water bottle and towel. Respect the social distancing rules as much as possible. Sanitize your hands upon arrival and whenever you feel it is necessary.

We will also be announcing our official opening promotion rates and you can sign up for a membership or class package with a discount the same day.

Get in Touch to reserve your spot and support the Food Depot!

Art and Fitness Unite!

Studio MoFitness has officially opened and while we are still mainly operating in the park, we are starting to use the studio more and more. As a way to make our studio feel like a 2nd home and to connect to our community, we decided to reach out to local NDG artists to show their artwork in our entrance. For the months of August and September, when you arrive at Studio MoFitness, you will be greeted with the colourful and inspiring paintings of Samantha Gold. Below are a few photos of her work in our space as well as her artist bio. If you are interested in purchasing her work or finding out more about the artist, just get in touch with Samantha (contact info below).

Samantha Gold:

Samantha Gold is a self-taught visual artist from NDG, Montreal, specializing in knitted dolls and acrylic and watercolor paintings. Of Filipino and Jewish descent, she initially became an artist as a means of coping with chronic illness and disability. In addition to her dolls and paintings, she is a writer, makeup artist, activist, and does illustration and prop work for theatrical productions. She is a regular exhibitor at Usine106u gallery and participated in the Wish 150 project commemorating the hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Confederation. Her work is a reflection of her heritage, sense of humor, and hopes for a better world.

Contact:

www.facebook.com/samiamart 

gold.samantha@gmail.com

STUDIO MO FITNESS MTL

We are over the moon excited about this new development with our small fitness business. Sometimes good things really do come to those who wait, just don’t wait passively! We’ve been keeping our ears to the ground, looking for a studio and we lucked out last weekend! The studio is located at 2023 Decarie Blvd (formerly Happy Tree Yoga), within a 2 minute walk to Vendome metro, close to the Super Hospital and easily walkable from lower and upper NDG as well as Westmount.

We will offer Personal training, small group training and workshops. The studio will also be available to rent to other trainers, yoga instructors, for events, workshops, etc… Contact Us for rates and availability!

Stay tuned for Early Bird Promotions for our classes and personal training!

SWEAT In The Park!


What : Group Fitness (HIIT, Cardio Kickboxing, Abs and Glutes, Bootcamp)

Where : Parc Georges Saint Pierre (Upper Lachine/Oxford)

When : Tuesday and Thursday 6-7pm, Saturday 9:45-10:45 am


Price : 5$ Trial Class 10$ Single Class 5 Card Class 45$ (40$ each if you buy with a friend/partner/family) 10 class card 85$ (80$ each if you buy with a friend/partner/family)

***As we don’t have the reservation system set up yet, we will take bookings for Tuesday via email (mofitnessmtl@gmail.com) and you can send us the payment via etransfer. Once we receive payment we will send you a confirmation! Choose your package and send us your full name and phone number in the email. You must cancel at least 3 hours in advance to avoid losing your class or to get a refund (single class).

Rules

You must bring your own mat or towel; we will not be lending mats.

Don’t forget a water bottle as the park fountains are not open.

Spaces are limited due to Social Distancing obligations.

We are capping the groups at 10 people.

Reserve your spot in advance to ensure you get a place.

We encourage you to bring your own dumbbells so we can avoid equipment sharing as much as possible, but we will have equipment to use if you don’t have any dumbbells.

All equipment will be disinfected before and after the class, and all participants will be required to sanitize their hands before and after the class.

Cones will be set up to show you where to put your mat, you must stay in that space, away from other participants.

If you are feeling unwell in anyway then you must not attend class.

If you need to cancel, you must do so at least 3 hours in advance or be charged for the class.

If you have an injury or limitation, please let us know in advance so we can modify exercises accordingly.

* Failure to respect social distancing rules will result in a verbal warning and you may be asked to leave class and not be permitted to return.

If you would like to arrange your own group fitness class in a different park or at a different time, please contact us and we can arrange something for you!

Music By : http://www.bensound.com

Fitness Basics: Discover Your Gym!

Recently I took on the challenge of creating workshops for people who walk into a gym and just don’t know where to start.  The machines can be intimidating, confusing and potentially harmful if you don’t know what you’re doing. Effective, safe training requires knowledge of how to properly sit on a machine, how to position yourself, and important reminders to not do certain things in order to avoid injuries.  

As a Personal Trainer, of course I will recommend you hire a trainer to reach your fitness goals, but I see poor form in the gym all the time, even with people who look like they were born in the gym.  

My wife and I gave a workshop at The Brix apartment building to help their residents get to know a few machines in their gym, the feedback we received was consistently the same; that they just never felt comfortable in the gym, that they only knew how to use a few things and would get bored easily.  We were so happy to be able to elevate their fitness experience in their home gym and look forward to continuing to increase their fitness knowledge.  We were excited to be able to motivate them to use their gym.

YouTube videos can only take you so far, they won’t look at your form and tell you specifically what you are doing incorrectly, what you can do better and what you may want to focus on or be wary of for your specific situation.  We taught these 10 participants how to safely use the Lat Pull Down, how to use the Rowing Machine successfully, how to squat and press like a beast, as well as 4 different ways to do push-ups.   From their in the sessions to come, we will continue to give them the basics while adding on different movements to keep things interesting.

We followed up the workshop with a mini-bootcamp to make sure everyone left with an endorphin high, eager to get back at it!

Meeting neighbours and forming a community

Here are the photos from the first workshop, contact us if you’d like to provide this service to your residents or employees!

Employee Joie De Vivre

Mo Fitness wants to help your employees increase their energy and overall joie de vivre.  Our schedules have become so hectic every week, making it increasingly difficult to get to the gym. Add to that the extra stress of a Montreal orange-cone commute; often the healthiest part of our day gets pushed aside for obligations. 

Mo Fitness will come to your work place to offer vibrant and entertaining fitness classes, so your employees can sweat out their anxiety and stress before heading home to their loved ones. They can leave work feeling replenished and positive, rather than drained and dreading the next day.

Our daily life can take its toll on our mental and physical wellbeing; physical activity is the best way to improve your quality of life.  Mo Fitness can customize a fitness program for your employees based on their needs, interests, and abilities but will always include a healthy mix of cardio, strength and mobility training.  Mo Fitness specializes in cardio kickboxing, as well as bodyweight and resistance band training.


Mo Fitness is available for workshops on fitness; themes include but are not limited to : 

-Bodyweight training 

-Building an ‘at home’ fitness program

-How to use the gym effectively

-Cardio Kickboxing Basics

Mo Fitness is available for regularly scheduled evening classes (4-7pm)

– Body Weight Training

– Resistance Band Training

-Cardio Kickboxing (depends on space available)


Contact us for rates and availability, let’s get your employees happier and healthier.