Yesterday I went for my first personal training session with Andy Shiu at O2 West. Last week John and I met with Andy to get a tour of the facility and learn a bit more about his philosophy, which were equally impressive and borderline mind-blowing.
Andy has a strong background in the fitness industry and leads a very active lifestyle. He knows what it takes to train professional bodybuilders but also how to help seniors become comfortably mobile or how to help brides fit into their dress without drastic dieting. He built up O2 West as a state-of-the-art personal training studio and it absolutely shows. He’s got technology in there that one could only dream of using at a local gym, as well as very basic tools and equipment that can optimize any workout. Walking around and listening to Andy talk about his facility and his training practices you can truly see and hear the passion he has for this industry and lifestyle.
O2 West isn’t a bootcamp facility, they teach and preach proper training techniques for all ages and fitness levels. “I’m not here to break you,” said Andy who firmly believes in total fitness as opposed to crash-course exercising. He added that many people may be intimidated at gyms either by other people, trainers, or even the equipment (by not knowing how to properly use it). He emphasizes education — how to use equipment, how to use and work your muscles properly, and how to get the maximum advantage out of a cross-fit training regime. It’s also a very private facility so you won’t feel like you’re in a fishbowl, exposed to passers-by on the street.
During my 1-hour session, I didn’t look at the clock once (and I swear it only seemed like 10 minutes). I was taught how to use the machines and even how to get the most out of a brisk walk on the treadmill (with short steps, long steps, and inclines). We did so many activities that when it was all over I had no idea (until he told me) that I did 100-200 reps of some of the exercises. That was because we moved so often from one stage to the next, keeping the muscles moving without over-exerting them.
O2 West looks like a dream for passionate trainers as well – and Andy only hires the best. As I could feel my muscles working in ways I haven’t used them in months, I was thinking about how sore I would be today. Andy immediately told me that if you’re sore after a workout, you have the wrong trainer. If you’re using your muscles correctly, working them out yet giving them time to move and flow, you shouldn’t be sore the next day.
If you’d like to check out O2 West, they’re currently having a contest where two couples (who are getting married any time in 2009) can win a full fitness makeover, valued at $4500. The deadline for entries was July 15th but it’s been held-over.
I go back again on Monday since Andy didn’t want to let too much time lapse between sessions in case I forgot some of the proper techniques. So far, I’m thoroughly impressed and I actually can’t wait to start up again next week. As a side (yet important) note, their change rooms also have huge showers and supply complimentary products and personal care essentials for women to use.
O2 West is located in the Oakridge area at 551 West 57th Avenue in Vancouver.
Disclosure: O2 West is also the sponsor of our softball team, the Radio Rockstars