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.

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!

Preparation and Motivation

There are so many obstacles to getting to the gym, often they have to do with feeling ill-prepared for the class, or for the day to day things you need to get done.  Most of the time our own mind is our biggest enemy when it comes to making time for fitness; we can find a million excuses not to work out and that break in your resolve to get fit is what you need to condition yourself to overcome.  As a father of a 4 month old, with both my wife and I working; it is really easy to say, I’m too busy, I have errands, I need to wash diapers, I’m exhausted; sometimes those are very valid reasons and I do skip the workout but the best way to avoid these conflicts is to be organized. I wanted to share with you a few tips to help you get prepared for a successful and healthy week!  The following tips are from my personal life, what my wife and I do to make sure we both get in enough exercise throughout the week.

Meal Prep: Planning out your week’s meals means that you know exactly what you need to buy at the grocery store for the whole week thus eliminating multiple runs to the store.  You can chop and freeze your veggies ahead of time, prepare smoothie jars, prepack a few days of lunches, etc…weeks that we don’t meal plan are always way more hectic and I found that we don’t eat as healthy either.

Shakshuka!

Pack your bag :  Pack your bag the night before, that way it doesn’t feel as daunting or rushed when the time comes to go to your class. 

Don’t sit down :  Some days you can’t imagine leaving your sofa after you get home from work, the best way to overcome this mental obstacle is to power through and just do housework until you have to leave for class.  Clean the house, cook dinner…doesn’t matter what as long as you stay active.  Another way to motivate yourself for an evening class is to put your workout clothes on as soon as you get home.  

Drink a coffee/tea : My wife is a teacher and she says that at least once a week after lunch, she often feels like she knows she wants to skip the gym after work because she feels too tired.  On those days she will drink an afternoon coffee or green tea so that she has the energy to get to the gym.  

Drink water :  It’s a really good idea to hydrate through out the day.  When you don’t drink enough water, your body can feel sluggish, drinking enough water can keep you energized throughout the day and make sure you are properly hydrated for a sweaty workout.

Eat Properly :  Make sure you eat enough throughout the day to keep your body happy but don’t eat so much that you need a nap after lunch.

The 2 Hour Rule : Do not eat anything heavy within 2 hours of going to exercise…It’s best not to eat anything at all within that 2-hour period but sometimes with our chaotic life we can’t always plan things out so neatly. If you are STARVING then have something small and easy to digest like a banana, a handful of nuts, a piece of cheese. 

Get Enough Sleep : I know this is a tough one but getting 7 good hours of sleep consistently, lays the foundation for a successful day.  You’ll have enough mental and physical energy to accomplish what you need to do!

As with any good habit you want to adopt, consistency and frequency is key.  Prioritizing your health might feel like you have to sacrifice down time, or social time, but after a while it won’t feel like a sacrifice at all and you’ll find yourself looking forward to that endorphin rush.  Tell your friends you’ll meet them after your workout and they’ll admire you for your resolve and lament their inability to get to the gym.  On the days that it’s toughest to get to the gym, those are the workouts that will make you feel the best because not only will you have those happy exercise endorphins rushing through you but you’ll also have the knowledge that you put mind over matter and really earned an evening on the couch!

Moses

Family Fitness NDG

Starting June 4thI will be running a twice weekly (Tuesday and Sunday) fitness class in NDG Park (Girouard/Sherbrooke) near Vendome Metro. I call it Family Fitness because I am encouraging families to get outside to be active together, however, the classes are for everyone.  There are so many obstacles to people who are trying to start or maintain an active lifestyle, so with Mo Fitness, I am removing those barriers by offering fun, accessible, family friendly and affordable fitness classes.  Parents are hard pressed to leave their kids at the end of a long work day or even on the weekends to exercise so I want to encourage you to bring your children, your partners, your families, and your friends! I also understand that committing to a monthly gym membership or paying the drop in rates at many gyms is not realistic for many people, especially families, that is why we created a reasonable price structure depending on your level of commitment and what you can afford; our prices are pretty unbeatable, especially if you bring someone along!

Below I have answered a few common questions but if you have additional questions or concerns, please feel free to email me: mofitnessmtl@gmail.com

How can you work out with children around?

If your children are old enough they can work out with you or go play in the park-even making new friends with the other kids in attendance.  The workout will mainly be done in tandem which means you will be paired up with someone, one person will work and one person will do active rest that way someone can always keep an eye on the children.  My daughter is 4 months old so she will be hanging out in her car seat or on the mat, you can always do a few squats with your baby!  My wife takes our baby to exercise classes with her and sometimes she has to finish early because our daughter starts to get upset but my wife says that even if she only gets to do 20 minutes; it’s still 20 minutes more than she would have done had she stayed home!  You may be worried that your baby won’t even last 20 minutes and while that may be true for some, you may be surprised at how the music and movement keep your little one stimulated, especially outside with so many things to see! 

The main rule for bringing children to the class is that they are your responsibility.  You must make sure your child understands that they should not run around inside the exercise zone as they may cause injury to themselves or someone else. Bring a few toys to keep them entertained and make a space for them that they should stay in or stay next to you at all times.

What type of exercise class is it?  What is the structure of the class?

I will usually start the class by leading an aerobic cardio warm up which can include anything from jumping jacks, cardio boxing, butt kicks and high knees but could also include skipping rope, light jogging, or walking.  If you have any injuries, we can accommodate you, for example; my wife can’t run on uneven ground because of an ankle injury so instead she runs stairs or skips rope. After the warm up we will move into a circuit and/or HIIT style workout which will combine strength, mobility, and endurance.  Finally, we will end the class by stretching out all the muscles we worked.  If you are feeling especially tight in a specific area, then you could ask for a special stretch to work out the tightness. 

What if I am really out of shape, have mobility issues, have never exercised before, am nervous to try the class, etc….?

The purpose of this class is to get outside and be active with your family, friends, and meet people in the neighbourhood.  This class is excellent for beginners as you will be able to work out at your level and we will make sure that you see how many exercises can be modified to suit your level.  For example; there are many ways to do a push up and even if you re the only person doing a beginner push up-no one is judging you, we all had to start somewhere.  

If you are nervous about the class then please send me an email/message and I can talk you through any of your reservations, you could also come a bit early to get oriented with the space and equipment while I set up!  

If you have mobility issues, then please let me know at the beginning of class or if you are uncomfortable with an exercise than you can ask me for a modification or different exercise to do.  Don’t be afraid to change an exercise for yourself if you know you can’t do something.  Let’s say you can’t do Russian twists, then try another core exercise like simple crunches or ask me for an idea!

What do I need to wear/bring?

You need to be in active wear, t shirt and shorts, leggings and a tank top, jogging pants and a long sleeve shirt, you don’t have to wear expensive exercise clothing; just as long as you can move comfortably in your clothes.  I will recommend that you wear proper trainers-especially if you are a beginner- if you are accustomed to training barefoot then you’re welcome to but keep in mind that we will be training outside in a public park.  Bring your own mat or towel to do ground work (crunches, etc…) bring a hand towel to wipe sweat out of your face, and bring a water bottle so you don’t get dehydrated.  If you have children with you then bring water, snacks, toys, etc for your children.  We will have some equipment but if you like a certain weight, have your own boxing gloves, or like to use yoga blocks, straps, etc then feel free to bring those along!

In Case of Rain:

We will still work out in the rain as long as it’s not really heavy rain.  Usually heavy rain doesn’t last long so we may simply seek shelter and restart once it finishes.

Stay up to date with announcements on our facebook group: Family Fit NDG.

When we make something a priority, it becomes easier to include in our life!  Hope to see you all soon!