Although we’re a spin studio, many of us are road cyclists. It can be scary out there. There are  more cyclists on the road this time of year, and drivers have to be extra cautious.  One thing you can do to help keep cyclists safer is check before you open your car door.  You could save a cyclist’s life and also avoid a fine or a lawsuit.

“Dooring” occurs when someone in a parked vehicle opens their door into the path of a cyclist. In Ontario, drivers face a $365 fine plus three demerit points for dooring a cyclist. They must also leave a one-metre distance when passing cyclists or face a $110 fine and two demerit points. The fine in B.C. for dooring is $81, plus two driver penalty points. One in 14 B.C. car crashes involving cyclists are the result of dooring, according to the Insurance Corp. of B.C. ICBC recommends a method called a “Dutch reach,” to avoid dooring.“ This is easily preventable with a handy trick — open with your hand furthest from the door. It makes you twist a little in order to reach the door and remind you to do a shoulder check before proceeding.”



Image by Niko Myyrä.

Leslie Reilly, Patti Martin, and Anthony Ast are the co-owners of Shift and Lift, a private fitness studio in Richmond. Reilly is the Head Spin Instructor and offers both beat and road cycling style classes (45-60 minute classes, max 14 people). Martin, a successful Richmond realtor and a runner as well, met Reilly at a music class when their children were toddlers, and they started running together. From there, fitness became a shared passion, all culminating in their dream of opening a private fitness studio. Ast is the Head Personal Trainer and offers personal training, small group (2-4 people) training, group fitness classes, and lifting classes.

While Reilly and Ast are very happy to have found their passion for fitness, their path to it couldn’t have been more different. Reilly says that she was never an athlete until the age of 18, when she discovered running, saying that it “changed my life.” She says that the more she wanted to push her body, the more she became interested in other aspects of fitness, such as strength training.

Ast, for his part, was a professional athlete for much of his youth, playing in the Western Hockey League for the Vancouver Giants, as well as the Medicine Hat Tigers. He eventually played overseas in Germany before retiring in 2016. After a long career of being professionally fit, he wanted to help others to achieve their goals as well.

Though it is clear that both Ast and Reilly walked very different paths in their journey to athleticism, one thing is clear for both of them: they truly aim to motivate people to reach their highest potential. For Reilly, it comes from a personal and professional standpoint. Outside of the gym, Reilly is a registered Clinical Social Worker and a Private Therapist. She says that we can’t leave out anything when it comes to wellness: “helping people become healthier – mentally, physically, emotionally – is my goal. Health includes all facets of our being, and we need to nourish each part.”

Reilly and Ast base their training on an integrated concept of mind, body, spirit, and credit their small class sizes with the ability to truly hone in on each client’s needs. Martin helps out with the spin classes and business end of the enterprise.

If you’d like to learn more about them or learn about April’s free weekly strength-training classes, head to their website. You can also call Anthony for information at 778-891-6695 or drop in to chat at 120-6091 Dyke Road, Richmond.



This article is an excerpt from Atomic Habits, my New York Times bestselling book.

My college strength and conditioning coach, Mark Watts, taught me an important lesson about how to be thankful that applies to life outside of the gym as well as inside it…

As adults, we spend a lot of time talking about all of the things that we have to do.

You have to wake up early for work. You have to make another sales call for your business. You have to work out today. You have to write an article. You have to make dinner for your family. You have to go to your son’s game.

Now, imagine changing just one word in the sentences above.

You don’t “have” to. You “get” to.

You get to wake up early for work. You get to make another sales call for your business. You get to cook dinner for your family. By simply changing one word, you shift the way you view each event. You transition from seeing these behaviors as burdens and turn them into opportunities.

The key point is that both versions of reality are true. You have to do those things, and you also get to do them. We can find evidence for whatever mind-set we choose.

I once heard a story about a man who uses a wheelchair. When asked if it was difficult being confined, he responded, “I’m not confined to my wheelchair—I am liberated by it. If it wasn’t for my wheelchair, I would be bed-bound and never able to leave my house.” This shift in perspective completely transformed how he lived each day.

I think it’s important to remind yourself that the things you do each day are not burdens, they are opportunities. So often, the things we view as work are actually the reward.

Embrace your constraintsFall in love with boredomDo the work.

You don’t have to. You get to.

This article is an excerpt from Chapter 10 of my New York Times bestselling book Atomic Habits. Read more here



Beware! The four horsemen of the nutritional apocalypse are here to ruin your diet! Unless, of course, you delve into the research first.

Then you discover that whatever harm they bring is highly dependent on dose and context. Unfortunately, each passing year sees less focus on dose and context, and more on alarmist media headlines and ridiculous Facebook nutrition memes.

From “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” to “you better down some protein right after lifting”, we tackle nineteen of the most common nutrition myths you’ll hear, countering them with balanced evidence.



We hope everyone stayed safe in the snow and maybe even got out to play in it!

Our racks have arrived so we are all set up for lifting. We’ve moved the bikes upstairs, the fans are on, and we have a new, special bike for the gym – an Assault bike. You’ll get to experience it when you train with Anthony. It’s a game changer!

Thank you for joining us on our Free Fridays – everyone will be entered in the draw and the winners will be notified by email.

New for March

A weekly free 30/30 class is our March Madness promotion. If you haven’t tried a class, our 30/30 is a Shift + Lift special with 30 minutes of spin followed by 30 minutes of strength and conditioning. This is a popular class and an efficient and effective way of getting in both cardio and resistance training. We know from research this is one of the best ways to improve your fitness. You can sign up online at

Free Classes

  • Tuesday March 5:  9:15am
  • Tuesday March 12:  12pm
  • Tuesday March 19: 4pm
  • Saturday March 30:  10:45am
  • Sunday March 31:  4pm

Also new for March is a Friday lift class at 5:30pm. Start your weekend off right with a pump. Whatever you are training for – cycling, road or trail running, hiking, or life in general, you need to do resistance training to maintain and build muscle.

Thank you for riding and lifting with us!


If you’re busy and trying to fit in both cardio and resistance training, our 30/30s are what you need! 30 minutes of cardio – leg pumping, heart thumping energetic beat driven spin followed by 30 minutes of strength and conditioning in one fun and efficient workout. Alex Hutchison’s article in Sweat Science explains why. To sum it up, here are some of the findings:

Each of the three exercise groups had its advantages. The cardio group had the biggest increase in aerobic fitness, and was also the only group to see a significant decrease in body weight (by 2.2 pounds) and fat mass (by 2.0 pounds). The weights group had a significant increase in lower body strength, as well as a slight decrease in waist circumference.

But the main goal of the study… was to reduce heart disease risk. The primary outcome the researchers were interested in was blood pressure, and the only group to see a significant reduction in blood pressure was the combination group…this group also saw an increase in aerobic fitness, like the cardio group, and increases in upper and lower body strength, like the weights group. And in a composite score of cardiovascular risk, which summed the contributions of blood pressure, cholesterol, lower body strength, aerobic fitness, and body fat percentage, the combo group was the only one to see a significant improvement.



It’s crazy to look back and realize I have been racing triathlon for more than nine years, and professionally for seven of those. I’m fortunate to have gained so much knowledge over that time, but I still feel like I am learning more with every year, race and training session.

In my own personal racing experience there have been a number of key lessons that I take with me into every race. These have become core principles for my approach to IRONMAN training and racing:

Sleep is king – Strive for at least eight hours

When I left my corporate job in 2012 to train and race full time, I went from getting three to six hours of sleep per night to eight to ten. My training and performances saw an immediate jump, I leaned out, and my frequency of sickness and injury/niggles plummeted. It was all I needed to see to be fully convinced of how impactful sleep is to recovery and performance. Now if I have days of disrupted sleep, my training suffers. My resting heart rate increases, my energy levels plummet and I don’t have the strength and responsiveness in key sessions.

I am frequently asked what I would change if I were to go back to my days of working a corporate job. My answer? I would actually train four to five hours less per week and sleep more. Training is only good if you CAN train. Injury or sickness means missed training, which is disruptive to athletic development. Sleeping more and staying healthy creates greater consistency and better performance gains over time.

Nutrition is Queen – Eat more, high-quality foods

Eating well to support your training load is critical. Replace packaged and processed foods with high-quality stuff. Don’t waste your calories! I frequently see amateur athletes doing things like skipping meals immediately following big sessions, not eating for hours after a race, under-eating and then binge eating, and turning to packaged bars and drinks over fresh food. Eating more is better, but also eating the right foods is important. Eating well fuels your body to be able to repair itself faster, and build muscle and overall strength.

Make a Plan To Manage Your Low (and High) Points

In the moment, when it feels like your race is falling apart and you are going backwards, it can be hard to remember that everyone goes through low points—everyone. Staying rational during those moments might seem nearly impossible, but knowing the symptoms and having a plan before the race can help you turn things around.

I’ve learned the key indicators for me are low energy; cranky, negative thoughts; zero desire to eat anything, and extreme thirst. Though it is opposite of what I WANT, I’ve learned to force down 200 calories. I can only do this because I now recognize the warning signs, and understand my negative thoughts are a result of undereating. Without fail, 15 minutes after eating, I come out of it and get back on track.

To help myself avoid the lows altogether, I make it a priority to drink every 10 minutes and eat every 15. I target 400 calories of food per hour, and my hydration needs vary based on weather conditions. In Kona this year I went through 23 bottles on the bike alone!

Of course, it can be equally easy to neglect your process when things are going great. Just remember, skipping calories or not hydrating properly will (always) temper your high with an equally dramatic low; so stay the course and commit to your plan!

Pay attention to your body during training

All too often, we head out for a training ride/run/swim, get through the session and move on with our day. But our training sessions can be ripe with information and lessons we can carry into races if we’re willing to be conscientious about how our bodies feel.

For example, I have always hit a big low about 2.5 hours into the bike in an Ironman race. I was also experiencing this same feeling on long training rides and discovered that the only thing that brings me out of it—no matter how well I have fueled or hydrated—is a bottle of Coke. It took me a while to align what I was experiencing in training with my experiences in IRONMAN races. Once I did, I began drinking Coke two hours into the bike, solving my race-day issue. For you, it may be an energy bar. Regardless, pay attention to your body in training, and use that knowledge to help you in races.

Never give up

It’s no secret. I’m one of the slowest swimmers in the women’s professional field. I’m always coming from behind. One of the key lessons I have learned from it all: Never give up.

In 2015, I was 2nd to last out of the water at the IRONMAN World Championships, and made my way up to 7th place by the end of the day. This year I was 3rd to last out of the water and ran my way to 11th place. No matter how the swim goes, or how you feel on the bike or at the start of the run, it is never over until it is over. My motto in races is “you never know what can happen.” There are days when the conditions are such that everyone feels terrible; but you don’t know that until after the race.

The only thing you can control is a commitment to keep moving forward and giving your best. Then, the outcome will be what it will be. The beauty of Ironman racing is that EVERYONE has moments where they feel great, and moments when they want to throw in the towel. Always remember that and keep moving toward the finish line.

Focus on core temperature management

I distinctly remember racing my first IRONMAN World Championships as an amateur. During the bike portion, I wore an aero helmet that offered limited ventilation. I felt like my head was going to explode as I made my way through the course.

Out onto the run I completely over-heated. Yet I was so fraught with anxiety of losing time and slowing down that I neglected to do anything about it. By mile five, I was reduced to a walk and vomited on the side of the road. I finished the race, but it was miserable.

Over time, and as I made my way through both 70.3 and Ironman races, I began to notice how much better I felt when I had cold water poured on me or ice put down my back. Now, in races, I put core temperature management at the top of my priority list. On the bike, I pour cold water on my feet. I keep a bottle of ice water in a small cooler in my transition bag to pour over myself, and on the run, When I’m too hot, I walk through the first-aid stations until my core temperature is under control. Spending the extra time during the earlier stages of the race will make all the difference later.

More is not always better

In February of 2018, I tripped and fell during an easy training run and badly strained my calf. Between the middle of February and the end of May, when I raced Ironman Brazil, I ran less than five times with my longest run being 13 miles. I went on to run under three hours. My point? High training volume is not always better. In fact, I would argue that we are all way more fit and prepared to race than we give ourselves credit for. Sometimes doing less, but higher-quality training, can be more effective than loading on the hours and miles.

Numbers don’t lie

Everyone typically feels end-of-season fatigue and looks forward to taking a bit of time off after their last race. It’s natural. Sometimes, you’re more fatigued and need more rest. But how do you gauge this? I use my Cercacor Ember device to measure 10 metrics twice a day. I take measurements in the morning when I wake up, and in the evening before I go to bed. The Ember measures my resting heart rate, respiratory rate, hemoglobin, oxygen saturation, pulse rate variability, oxygen content, carbon monoxide, methemoglobin, perfusion index and pleth variability. This little, powerful device helps to paint a picture of how tired I am, how I am recovering and if my body needs extra rest.

For example, towards the end of this season I saw my resting heart rate steadily increasing, giving me a pretty good indication that my body was tired and it was time to take a break. Learning to match how you feel (subjectively) with what the numbers say, can help to create a better platform for managing training loads and rest.

Take your easy days EASY

When I first started training, I would treat every session as an opportunity to test myself and gauge my progress. Over time, however, I’ve learned that looking for validation in every session can lead to feeling discouraged…and overtraining instead of working your plan. You know the equation growth = stress + rest? Allowing your body to rest and recover (including active recovery) is vital to performance gains. Training too hard on easy days doesn’t allow for full recovery or optimal adaptation. Sometimes it can be as hard mentally to go easy as it can be physically to go hard—but committing yourself to truly going easy will allow you to push new limits on the days when you DO go big.


For many years, endurance athletes stayed away from lifting weights, thinking that time in the gym was going to add bulk to their frame, slowing them down. But as we learn more about strength training, athletes and coaches have found that strength training is not only beneficial; it’s necessary.

Being strong is one thing, but staying injury free is another. The ancillary effects of weight lifting include stronger ligaments and tendons, as well as the creation of new neural pathways, which can help you stay healthy. Building up a bulletproof body will also allow you to withstand more training stress. The culmination of these two things is consistency in training, and that leads to faster race times.

What: Heavy Lifting

We can agree that strength and endurance are on the opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to exercise duration and energy metabolism. Maximal strength and power training make the gap even bigger. So it may seem counterintuitive that developing maximal force, which is the combination of strength and power, can provide benefits for endurance athletes. However, lifting heavy weights, sometimes explosively, could be the key to unlocking your endurance potential.

Why: Efficiency, Strength, and Resilience

In the results from a meta-analysis from the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, endurance athletes (including runners, cyclists, cross-country skiers, and swimmers) were shown to benefit from adding a strength training component to their training. These athletes saw improvements in energy cost of locomotion, maximal power, and maximal strength. Specifically, high weight, low repetition sets were found to provide endurance athletes the best bang for their buck.

Heavy lifting directly correlates to endurance performance markers such as time-to-exhaustion, and time trial times, by means of increasing muscle economy and threshold. It also gives athletes more longevity in their respective sports.

In order to see performance results over time, athletes need their bodies to be resilient. In order to continue to go faster and longer season after season, your body needs to be able to handle increased loads without breaking down. Lifting heavy weights acts as an insurance policy for your body by strengthening tendons, ligaments, collagen, and bone density.

How: Low Reps, and Adequate Rest Between Sets

The protocol for building strength is 3-6 sets, of 4-8 reps per set, with 2-5 minutes of rest between sets. Advanced lifters should be able to lift 85% or higher of their 1 rep max, but as a general guideline, you should aim to lift the heaviest weight that you can maintain throughout the sets, without compromising form.

If your technique and/or range of motion becomes compromised, drop to a lighter weight in order to get the most benefit out of the exercise, and prevent injuries. The two strength training mistakes that I see most often are compromising form in order to lift heavier weight, and not resting enough between sets.

Simply put, you need adequate rest between sets in order for your muscles to recover enough to be able to continue to lift at maximal strength. When you are lifting heavy weights, your body relies on the ATP-CP (Adenosine Triphosphate- Phosphocreatine) system for the highest intensity muscle contractions, and once you have done a set at max effort, this system does not regenerate for 2-5 minutes. Not only does your strength diminish if you shorten your rest interval, but your body begins to rely on a different energy system to produce force, which has the side effect of increasing muscle size, rather than strength.

When: Off-Season through Pre-Season

In the same way that sport-specific training sessions should be periodized throughout the year, there is an optimal time and place for lifting heavy. It’s important to begin with an adaptation cycle, focusing on mobility and stability, which prepare your body for increased loads. During the “base” phase of your season, your overall training volume should be lower, so this is an ideal time to begin your lifting program.

As you transition to your season, sport-specific training takes precedence, and strength should be used as maintenance to support your swim, bike, and run sessions. The research shows that for endurance athletes, a significant improvement in strength and associated benefits comes from strength programs that last a minimum of 24 sessions. Much like the other sessions in your training plan, consistency is key.

After the adaptation cycle, this chart outlines some general guidelines for the first phase of building maximal strength and power. As additional phases are added, the focus should be on heavier weight, with additional sets, and fewer reps per set. The exercise listed should be the primary focus for adding weight, but strength sessions should also include additional exercises to ensure balance, alignment, and well-rounded athleticism.

Week Number





Back Squat




Trap Bar Dead Lift




Front Squat




Hang Clean



Reference: Nicolas Berryman, Iñigo Mujika, Denis Arvisais, Marie Roubeix, Carl Binet, and Laurent Bosquet. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance 2018 13:1, 57-64

Laura Marcoux contributed to this article. She is a USA Triathlon Level II Coach and NSCA Strength Coach with D3 Multisport. Laura is a Kona qualifier and former Division 1 athlete at the University of Connecticut. Laura believes in developing well-rounded triathletes by incorporating functional strength into their training routines and empowering her athletes to set and reach goals that require the 3 D’s, which are the cornerstone of D3 Multisport: Desire, Determination, and Discipline.


Thank you to everyone who came to our Shift + Lift open house. It was a full house! The energy was great – lots of sweat. Jenni from Strength Through Motion came out and took us through some stretches and answered questions. And of course, we finished each session with our homemade protein balls and squares – recipes found here. Thank you again to all who came out. We look forward to seeing you on the bikes and in the gym lifting with Anthony.

Happy Winners! Each session had a draw with 3 prizes – win a t-shirt, a free ride, or a training session with Anthony Ast. Grand prize was 10 free rides.