Category Archives: Fitness Blog

Functional Trainers offer strength, performance, and flexibility in one package

Strength training delivers more benefits than the name implies. Just as a good diet and cardio training help improve your general fitness, proper strength training can build your endurance, bone health, coordination, and balance. It also provides a great way to increase your metabolism not to mention your confidence and self-esteem. And if you love playing sports, strength training can enhance your performance while helping minimize or prevent injuries. Studies show that strength training only a couple of times a week can have profound eects on your body. But achieving such results requires a commitment to your workout routine. That’s why you need to choose the right equipment to keep you challenged and engaged. Fitness West offers a variety of home strength systems that provide you with an effective exercise program that can lead to better and faster results. Each and every piece of our strength equipment focuses on delivering a positive, motivating, and empowering fitness experience. After all, our goal isn’t to force you to exercise. It’s to offer you a comfortable, challenging workout that inspires you to exercise.

Check out our full line-up of functional trainers by leading brands such as PRECOR, Hoist,  Torque, and Vo3 here.

Learn How to Row

World renowned fitness experts Jay Blahnik and Josh Crosby offer tips on technique and timing for proper rowing form in this how to row clip. Whether in group exercise classes or rowing at home to maintain fitness and health, correct form is critical to prevent injury and maximize the benefits of a rowing workout.

This rowing video is an outstanding tool for competitive rowers, cross-fit enthusiasts, endurance athletes or simply anyone that has ever wanted to enjoy the benefits of rowing.

Thinking about purchasing a rowing machine or Waterrower for your home gym? Browse our collection or drop into FEC and try one out!

Learn how to get your FREE Precor Stretch Trainer

So what is a Precor Stretch Trainer? As we age, we lose flexibility. This means proper stretching can increase range of motion, increase relaxation in muscles and tendons, improve circulation, prevent injury, reduce back and joint pain and increase overall performance. The Precor Stretch Trainer is a fantastic addition to your home gym!! Receive one FREE with your next purchase of a Precor Precision Series product.

Limited one Stretcher per customer. Offer available only while supply lasts. Sorry this offer may not be combined with other promotions.

Learn how you can get a FREE Stretch Trainer with your next purchase of a Precor treadmill or elliptical by giving us a call!

Introducing the Next Generation of Treadmills and EFX® Ellipticals

Incredible design and commercial-grade parts create the smooth and natural feel that has made Precor a favourite in health clubs all over the world. New touch consoles, convenience features and integration with the Preva® network fitness app give you a personalized workout experience second only to a personal trainer.

Take advantage of our 2015 Black Friday – Cyber Monday promotion and save HUGE on select models of Precor treadmills and EFX ellipticals. Visit store for details!

We are your local Authorized Precor Dealer. Our experts have the expertise and training to insure that you will find the right equipment for your fitness goals and budget.

How to Make your Elliptical Investment a Safe One

As fall comes to an end snow and ice are fast approaching. Morning spent scraping windshields and brewing coffee. Black ice litters the sidewalks causing an increase in slip related injuries whether you are active or not.

Keeping your joints healthy is crucial for people of all ages and ellipticals offer a low impact solution for exercise in all seasons. But shopping for an elliptical isn’t as easy as you would hope with all the different styles and manufactures you can quickly become overwhelmed with options.

I’ve got a few key points to help narrow down your search and they all stem from bio-mechanics. Biomechanics is the study of the mechanical laws relating to the movement or structure of living organisms. This subject greatly interests me and I plan on studying in that field in the near future.

The first thing you need to know is that not all ellipticals are built the same, they have different pedal spacing, different stride length and a different feel. Its important to note that just because an elliptical feels good does not mean its actually beneficial for your body.

Whether you are doing lunges, squats, yoga or biking proper knee alignment is crucial, you don’t want your knee shifting forward over your toes. This is causing some of the stress to come off of the muscles off your thigh and transferring into your knee eventually leading to pain and sensitivity in the knee called Patellofemoral Compression. It doesn’t sound pleasant and it isn’t. This can be avoided with proper knee alignment being maintained with the right elliptical. If you cater to the tallest user when determining which elliptical is best, the safety in motion will apply to as well.


So the elliptical you are interested in allows you to have proper knee alignment.  The next thing to look for is a natural ankle articulation. Naturally when you walk your back heal lifts before your toes. You want the same thing to happen on your elliptical. Some manufactures like Precor allow you to go through your natural range of motion without raising your heel; while based on the proprietary motion of other brands, we’ll want to see the allowance for heel lift at the back of the pedal motion.


The final thing to look for besides what programs you see yourself using is pedal spacing, something they call the Q factor. The narrower the Q factor the more natural it will feel on your hips. When you walk your feet land fairly close, typically inside hip width.  Any wider than that and not only can it lead to hip sensitivity, but it feels funny, try it!


With those ideas in mind you are ready to begin your search for the elliptical that suits your needs. We carry a verity of ellipticals and I would be more than happy to show you in person how all of these points come together to make a bio-mechanically correct elliptical.

Nathan Vienneau

Assistant Manager

Fitness Equipment of Calgary

A Roller Coaster Ride To A Better Me

I had the pleasure of meeting Angie Mooij about a month ago and was so taken by her story of overcoming her health challenges and wanting to set a positive example for her kids. I asked her if she would be interested in sharing her experiences and thankfully she said yes. Here’s Angie’s story…

“After being refused to ride a roller coaster at Universal Studios because I was too large to fit in the cart, I made a promise to my two young daughters that when my youngest was tall enough to ride the roller coaster, “I would be thin enough to ride with them – all three of us TOGETHER!”

My name is Angie Mooij, I am a 44-year-old Mom and Massage Therapist (and now Personal Trainer) whose weight struggle began after having her daughters now 12 and 14 years old. I played the role of “supermom”, I volunteered at the school, I helped coach my kid’s hockey and I put myself last.

On June 1, 2011, about a month after the Universal Studios experience, was my official start to a new life. After 10 months focusing on diet changes – nourishing myself with lean proteins, low carbs and no processed foods – I lost 140 pounds.

After dropping the first 100 pounds, I felt compelled to get active.



I committed to the gym, talked to some people and started running and weight training.

I remember being in tears the first time I did 5 km on the treadmill. My next step was to register in the Turner Valley triathlon on July 1, 2012 celebrating my year-long weight loss journey. I almost talked myself out of it due to a torn meniscus and no ACL – bad knees from carrying the extra weight – but, when my daughters signed up as part of the same triathlon in the kids of steel, there was no turning back.

My purpose was to set an example for them and it worked. That set the tone for a plethora of events to follow, including a 100K bike ride before my knee surgery. After months of recovery I ran my first 5K last April, did the stampede half marathon in July, and the Chaparral Olympic distance triathlon in August with many other races along the way.

Since my 20s I have tried diets and plateaued, then given up each time, I would think if I have to eat one more can of tuna without mayonnaise, or one more bag of salad “I’m going to snap my crayons!”


In 2011, at 5 ft. 7″ I weighed 300 pounds, I have since lost 155 pounds. I am very aware that I could gain it all back, but I continue to learn and grow and educate myself in living consciously, and engaging in a healthy and active lifestyle, which includes whole foods and plenty of exercise!

My goal started out so small, I just wanted to shop at a normal store that didn’t have “plus size” in the name of it, and now I am a Certified Personal Trainer with goals and aspirations of helping other people do and accomplish the same things I have!

After recently completing my personal training certification, I went on a used goods website and purchased some fitness equipment, I had to hire an outside source to help me assemble it, only to find out I got “taken for”.

The people and technicians at SOS Fitness were so empathetic to what had happened and wanted to “make it right” The technician immediately phoned Jason Minion at Fitness Equipment of Calgary in Willow Park, who was also empathetic and helped me find the right piece of equipment at the right price for my home gym, his service and knowledge turned my bad experience into something GREAT – I cannot express my gratitude enough! I now have the perfect piece of fitness equipment at home so I can continue to help my clients reach THIER goals!”

Thanks Angie for sharing your personal journey to a healthier lifestyle. You are a true inspiration of dedication and persistence in overcoming challenges that many struggle with.

How to Increase Metabolism

By Julie King, Octane Fitness Blog

Metabolism often gets a bad rap, being blamed for weight gain or inability to lose weight, with people claiming, “I have a slow metabolism.” If you’re one of those people, use these tips on how to increase metabolism.

What is metabolism, really? Essentially, it is the rate at which your body uses calories and expends energy to sustain life and support activity. It shows roughly how many calories your body burns each day. If you have a high metabolism, you use more calories each day without gaining weight; and if your metabolism is low, you don’t require as many calories daily. Continue reading

Optimizing Your Workout Effectively

In our daily lives it is very hard to find the time to fit in a workout. For many the excuse of not working out is simply, “I don’t have the time, and a 20-30 minute workout will not give me my desired results.”

However this is not true! Everyone can spare 20-30 minutes a day, (it is less than 1% of the day), and more importantly, there is a way that you can optimize your workouts to gain the greatest benefits from a 20-30 minute workout. Here’s how: Continue reading