Don’t shock your brain with mobility, by Theron White

Don’t shock your brain with mobility

Many people incorporate mobility training as a way to increase their functional range.  “Functional” implies that you can use this range effectively.  If you need 30 minutes of mobility work just to be able to overhead squat a bar in a decent position then you need to do a bit of additional brain work before you start lifting.

Once you have your new found overhead range do some light banded exercises before you start lifting.  This helps with proprioception: your brains ability to tell where your joints are and what appropriate amount of effort to apply for whatever you are doing.  Just like you need to warm up your body you need to warm up your brain and nervous system.

We have some exercises posted our Facebook page, do them between mobility sets to avoid shocking your nervous system!

Theron is a Registered Massage Therapist and a member of the Ntegrated Health Team at Studeo55. He is a Crossfit athlete, husband, father and all ’round exceptional guy!



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Client of the Month: Meet Pallavi! long have you been a member at Studeo55?
 For about 3 months!

2-Why did you decide on Studeo55?
I heard great things and Sharan from Studeo encouraged me to come check it out!

Client of the Month! Meet Pallavi!

Client of the Month! Meet Pallavi!


 3-What are some of the changes you have noticed in your health, body and overall performance since starting at Studeo55?
I have started working on my weaknesses! I remember when I saw a work out with something I didn’t feel confident about, I wouldn’t go in that day. Ever since I’ve been at Studeo, I never do that anymore. I’m doing Patrick’s weightlifting classes to work on my snatches so I can one day bring the bar from ground to over head in swagger (his words). The 40 day challenge contributed to my fitness as well which was very encouraging to challenge myself. I’ve also learned how important it is to take care of your body and do mobility: to which I go To Theron!

4-What advice would you give to someone with regards to starting at Studeo55?
Don’t feel discouraged when you walk in and see guys with their shirts off and girls lifting heavy weights! That could be you! Also, be patient. Don’t be hard on yourself and think you need to be as good as everyone else. You’re only competition is you! Slow progress is better than no progress.

 5-What is your favorite training exercise?
I enjoy doing Crossfit and I would have to say one of my favourite things are over head squats!

 6-What is your favorite activity outside Studeo55?.
I love to travel. I go somewhere new around the globe every year.

7-What is something about you that would surprise others?
I lived in Africa for four years growing up! And in the Middle East for two.

8-How would you give away $50,000?
I would donate it to a dog shelter or make my own dog shelter! I love dogs.

9-Who is a “hero” in your life and why?
My dad is my hero because growing up he didn’t have money, parents or much of anything else – but he found a way to make something out of it and always worked so hard so his kids would never have to feel the way he did growing up. He’s and inspiration because I know if I want something in life bad enough, it will take take hard work and dedication.

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What’s a Crossfit competition? What makes ours different?

On Saturday, November 29th, we will be hosting our 2nd annual Survival of the Fittest Event. Here’s what you need to know.

What is a Crossfit competition?

Crossfit as a training methodology is different than the sport of Crossfit. Crossfit as a GPP (General Physical Preparedness) training program is great for everyone to get fit. Crossfit as a Sport, or for the purpose of competition, requires extra hours of training (outside of classes) honing strength, power and ability in order to become more efficient.  Crossfit is a sport that the places competitors into varied events to test all 10 attributes of physical fitness, and has come to be known as the sport of fitness. Survival of the Fittest is a Crossfit competition!

What is Survival of the Fittest?

The Studeo55 SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST Invitational is a single elimination tournament comprised of the Lower Mainland’s top 16 teams of 2 (1 female and 1 male).  These 16 teams will be comprised of invitees who have pre-qualified in an event earlier in the day. The purpose of Survival of the Fittest is to showcase the top athletes in the Lower Mainland in a fun and entertaining event that is unique in the world of Crossfit competitions.

Why are we doing SOTF?

We decided to host our own Crossfit competition after seeing so many competitions that looked alike: heat after heat of the same workout, done by a spectrum of athletes, with various stages of abilities. These competitions were, and are, not spectator friendly and are grueling for the athletes. Because of this we saw an opportunity and decided to switch up the format and create one that is both enjoyable for the athletes AND the spectators. We chose a comfortable venue, with great spectator access and slick vibe, food and refreshments, Corporate Sponsors, single elimination, MC, DJ and swag!

Need to see for yourself? Check out our video from last year!

Who are the sponsors?

Str/ke Mvmt
Clarkdale Volkswagen
Barons of Beef
FitnessTown Burnaby
BodyComp Imaging

Where do I buy tickets?


I still have questions!

Our Facebook page is here
Our Survival of the Fittest homepage is here

Or…just email

See you there!

Oh – and just in case….

….What is Crossfit?

CrossFit is a training philosophy that coaches people of all ages, shapes and sizes to improve their physical well-being and fitness. Classes are an accepting and encouraging environment.  Don’t get us wrong, this can and will be very difficult! What makes Crossfit different is that clients are coach to to do what is appropriate for them and their level of fitness. To put this plainly: everyone is doing the same workout, but everyone is moving at their own unique capacity. The first-time Crossfit class participant can train alongside the most seasoned veteran. They may be lifting different weights, but they are doing the same workout.

We like to think of Crossfit as general preparedness for life! Whether you envision climbing monkey bars with your kids or moving a couch without throwing your back out: Crossfit prepares you for it.

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Meet Coach Simon: strength, honesty, muscle ups and downward dogs.

Name:  Simon Pelland

Hails from: North Vancouver

Athletic background!

High school sports include: track and field, baseball, soccer, basketball, mountain biking, surfing.  Was recruited by no one out of high school and received and athletic scholarship from UBC Okanagan following an open try out.  Played 5 seasons for them leading to a full

athletic scholarship in my fifth year.  Over those 5 years I’ve been to Nationals twice in the CCAA .  Our team has won a provincial bronze silver and gold medal.  Turned down an offer to play semi-professionally in Seattle to begin my career in health and fitness training.

My favourite: coach, teacher or mentor, what they taught me – give me a shining moment/memory:

My high school basketball coach because of the many hours he spent after practice coaching me physically and mentally for life.  He taught me that there is always someone out there working right now to be better and if you want to be the best, you have to out work that person.  He became a father figure for me and taught me to believe that anything is possible.  He taught me the importance of paying attention to the details…what else could you be doing…

A memory I’ll always have was when he first taught me how to set a screen.  I used to be soft on my screen until one day he set a screen on me and it chipped my tooth.  From that day on I learned that you need to meet force with force.  Along with is tough side he would stay after practice to school us on the importance of caring for others and respecting others.  Much more than a basketball coach

Glory days! My favourite athletic memory:

My last game when I walked off the court with a great win for our team.  I played a great game and had fun with teammates who challenged me in so many ways.  I was smiling almost the whole game because of the pure enjoyment it gave me that night.  Not only that I finished my last game with a long-time friend and teammate from high school who was also graduating that year.  It was a great game to finish with.

My biggest athletic heartbreak, and what I learned:

Dislocating my shoulder three weeks before playoffs in a meaningless game.

I learned about proper rehab, I discovered I wanted to work in the health industry to teach people how to avoid injuries.  And my game got so much better after that because I was forced to work on things I wasn’t good at.

My family taught me:

The importance of honesty cannot be overstated.  Honesty about the hard things to share when caring for the people you love and honesty when you weren’t true to your word.  My mom raised me completely on her own.  She demonstrated and taught me independence and strength, and for some reason…how to knit a scarf.

Currently working on:

Currently working on muscle ups.  It’s a huge goal of mine to have the mobility to do a downward dog with my heels on the floor.  I might just quit yoga the day that happens.  Also, I know many of you will be angered to read this, but I’m always working on gaining a few good clean lb’s.

My wish for each of our athletes:

My goal for all clients and athletes that attend Studeo55 is to create a new possibility for them.  One that pushes what they thought was possible for themselves and one that enriches them with new tools to facilitate their health.  And best of all, the confidence that is built knowing they are in integral part of the Studeo55 community.

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Mobility Monday. Get those ankles moving!

Poor ankle mobility is a comphoto 2mon issue holding back your squat.  Squatting with proper knee and hip alignme
nt, and proper depth, requires a large amount of dorsiflexion at the ankle.  Restrictions can occur from previous ankle injuries, even simple sprains, or from simply never exercising the ankle into that
range.  This is a simple mobility e
xercise that will help work out joint adhesions.


Use a thin band, tied as low as possible on a pole, and place it in the crease around your ankle facing away from the band. A towel in between the band and your skin might make it a bit more comfortable. In a lunge position photo 1(with the banded ankle forward), slowly move your knee over your toe as far as possible 10-12 times.  Repeat 2-3 times prior to your workout, and enjoy your new-found squat depth!








Jessica is a Registered Physiotherapist and Crossfit competitor at Studeo55!

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Meet the Team: Coach Matt talks about the value of having a coach, what his family taught him and what he wishes for you!

Name: Matthew Ward

Hails from: Nanaimo, BC

Athletic background! (list it ALL! Go back to little league please!)

Most recent: Competitive Crossfit Athlete, UBC Track and field, Douglas College Golf, College of the Rockies golf, Elite downhill mountain biker, Elite Xterra racer (off-road triathlons), road and xc races, football, rugby, soccer, hockey, rock climbing…maybe some

more but that’s about it.

My favourite: coach, teacher or mentor, what they taught me – give me a shining moment/memory:

I have been self-coached for most sports, I think this is why I see the value in having a coach for whatever it is you do because I missed out on some direction when I was younger.

My early triathlon and running coach was Stefan Jakobsen he co-owns Frontrunners in Nanaimo. He was a professional triathlete, sub 10hr Ironman and sub 2:30 marathon so a pretty legit competitor. No matter how a race went or what happened that day he would always finish it smiling and in good spirts. I certainly was not like this when I was growing up I had a terrible attitude if I didn’t win I was a pain in the neck. It was years later when his influence on me seemed to finally make its mark.

Glory days! My favourite athletic memory:

5th at Xterra world Championships in Maui. This was the last family trip I went on with both my parents and is pretty special to me.

My biggest athletic heartbreak, and what I learned:

5th at Xterra world championships…because cause I really wanted a podium. I learned to swim better!

My family taught me:


Currently working on (goals, events, PRs, whatever you like!):

225 snatch, 300 clean and jerk, 400 squat, sub 51 400m

My wish for each of our athletes:

To not just use the valuable information they get from each and every session in the gym. But apply it to everyday life ie how to pick things up, stretching, and satisfaction of completing a task. These things will really aid in a person overall health and wellness.

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Have you tried our Pumpkin Pie Smoothie?

The Pumpkin Pie Smoothie!

This is THE epitome of naughty but nice. Our new shake is a creamy blend of pumpkin spice, vanilla whey protein and a spot of organic almond butter. Get it with almond milk or 1/2 almond milk 1/2 water!

The Pumpkin Pie Smoothie!

The Pumpkin Pie Smoothie!

Great as a breakfast on the go or after your workouts. Try this fall inspired smoothie today.

300 cal 13g fat 21g carbs 26g protein

Brought to you by Nutritionist, Personal Trainer and Drive Instructor Jana Finkbiner.

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Meet the Team: Coach Jana on basketball tournaments, channeling competitiveness and getting better every day!

Name: Jana Finkbiner

Hails from: Calgary, Alberta

Athletic background! (list it ALL! Go back to little league please!)

Where do I begin? Playing catch with my Dad and finding myself wrapped up in a jujitsu gee while my Dad practiced submissions I guess!

From there, club soccer for about 6 years when I was about 8 years old, Middle and High School Track and Field (100m, 200m, long jump, triple jump, 4x 100m, and 1500m), Middle and High school Basketball as well as very competitive Club teams through High School. I dabbled in racing 5km and 10km runs but ultimately found spinning and group

fitness instructing. That led me down the roads of weight lifting and athletic conditioning. One of my passions is boxing. I trained with some great coaches and alongside some real pros for 2 years.

My favourite: coach, teacher or mentor, what they taught me – give me a shining moment/memory:
My Track and Field coach in Middle School paved the way for me to start believing in myself and understanding the value of hard work and tenacity. He taught me how to challenge my competitive nature into to performance and sportsmanship. His name was Mr. Miller…well we called him Killer Miller!

My boxing coaches Robbie Hannon and Brian Peers opened my eyes to a whole other level of sport, condition and picking yourself up when you get knocked down…literally!

I am the kind of person that really thrives under coaches. Being a coach myself has really only  enhanced my own desire to acquire teachers. The more I learn, the more I’m inspired to help others.

Nathan Mallelieu has been a mentor and coach to me. Challenging me, supporting me and always asking me the tough questions.

Glory days! My favourite athletic memory:
Club Basketball with the girls…traveling to tournaments every weekend definitely stands out, but honestly I’m constantly falling in love again with different kinds of training or trying something new so it’s like a constant reinvention!

My biggest athletic heartbreak, and what I learned:
Definitely over-training has been a problem for me and before I know it I’m exhausted and injured. Last year I went into a sparring match against a girl. I was getting ready to fight and I knew I was tired going in. My body felt slow, I was distracted and couldn’t control my anxiety. I got beat up badly which ultimately set me back from having my own debut fight. I was devastated but learned a valuable lesson. Going too hard and not giving your body the proper recovery time will keep you from reaching your goals and your performance will suffer.  I learned that rest and proper nutrition is as important as my training. I can’t reach my goals if I can’t put one foot in front of the other. Honour your body and it will honour you.

My family taught me:
My family has really taught me about treating others with love and respect. Putting someone else before yourself and always going above and beyond to be the best part of someoneès day. I try to take that with me everyday into my work as a Nutritionist, Lifestyle Coach, Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer. Family taught me a lot about forgiveness and acceptance. In life you have to get really good at forgiving…practice on yourself :)

Currently working on (goals, events, PRs, whatever you like!):
Currently I’m spearheading the Drive program and really look forward to taking it all the way! My Nutrition practice at Ntegrated Health is constantly growing and I’m thankful to be coaching so many to their goals. I’m also a new member to the Private Training team and am enjoying working with the members on the field as well as off. My personal goal is to get better, stronger, faster and more accomplished in all my endeavours.

My wish for each of our athletes:
To treat their bodies with respect and admiration. Thomas Elliot said: “You don’t get what you WANT out of life, you get WHO you are.” What you think, what you say, what you do, who you are with, shapes who you are. Life is a construction project, and you can start here:
Nourish your body with clean food and water.
Nourish your heart with strong relationships and a community of people with similar core values.
Nourish your mind by always learning from each other, your coaches and your body.

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Mobility Monday: Poor posture and headaches – here’s the fix!

Levator Scapulae Stretch

Poor posture and headaches; here is the fix.

Suffer from headaches at the end of the workday or find them more consistent at the end of the workweek? Ever think it may be due to poor posture?

What is the levator scapulae?

The levator scapulae runs between the upper part of the shoulder blades and the top four cervical vertebrae. It is a thin, flat muscle located just below the upper part of the trapezius.

Levator Scap

What does it do?

It rotates and tilts the head to the side. When both sides of the muscle work simultaneously, it raises the shoulder girdle and bends the head backward.


Why it gets tight?

The levator scapulae is shortened by bad posture, by permanently raising the shoulder or the shoulder girdle, or by holding a phone between the cheek and the shoulder.

Since the levator scapulae raises the shoulder girdle, it also works statically in times of stress since the shoulders are often raised in response to tension.


How do you know if your lev scap is too tight?

• Difficulty rotating the head (less then 90 degrees)

• Difficulty placing the chin on the chest

• Headache at the back of the head

• Kink in the neck


How to stretch it:

Starting position:


  • Sit on a chair or bench with your feet wide apart with your core slightly engaged.
  • Reach behind you with your right hand and grab the edge of the chair.
  • Lean your upper body to the left, keeping your head upright
  • Do not allow your body to move sideways.
  • Then lean your upper body a little more to the side.
  • You have now reached the correct starting position for the stretch.

Activating the stretch:

  • Rotate your head 45 degrees to the left.
  • Place your left hand behind your head and gently pull it at an angle toward your knee.
  • Stretch the muscle in this manner for 5 to 10 seconds.
  • Relax the muscle for 5 to 10 seconds.
  • Repeat 2-3 times


  • Resist by carefully pushing your head backward into your hand.
  • Relax the muscle for 5 to 10 seconds.
  • Deepen the stretch by slowly pulling your head toward your chest in the direction of your knee until you reach a new ending point.
  • Repeat 2-3 times

Special instructions from Kinesiologist Matt Ward

  • Immediately stop this stretch if you feel any sharp or burning pain in your neck
  • Radiating pain or sharpness down the arm
  • Nausea
  • Less is more so start light and aim for a deeper stretch the week after.

Studeo55 is excited to announce that we now offer active rehabilitation through our Ntegrated Clinic. The person behind the program is Matthew Ward.

Matthew is a Registered Kinesiologist and Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Through years of playing sports at a high level injuries were just part of the game but he realized there is a wide gap between the clinic room and playing field. After finishing his degree at UBC he started working at a clinic and began rehabbing people using a movement based approach and had great success. He follows the works of Dr Andreo Spina, Dr Charlie Weingroff, Dr Stuart McGill, Gray Cook and Dean Sommerset who all believe in a

functional movement based approach to rehab and training.

Matthew believes in not only rehabbing an injury but educating the patient in the process to make them more aware of everyday behaviors that can cause chronic injury.

In the gym you will find Matt practicing Olympic weightlifting and crossfit. Outside the gym you can find him on his mountain bike, skis, or on the golf course.

If you would like to book an appointment with Matt please email or

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Meet our Client of the Month. Sharon talks about Family, Health and how to Show Up!

1-How long have you been a member at Studeo55?

Since about June 2013.

2-Why did you decide on Studeo55?

I had been with my previous gym for about 20 years and, while I loved the people, trainers

Meet Sharon! Client of the Month!

Meet Sharon! Client of the Month!

and gym, I needed to up my game and was ready for a change.  Studeo55 had been recommended to me a few times, but like with any relationship, it was difficult to part ways, but I took the plunge just over a  year ago and haven’t regretted a single moment.  I needed that extra push which Studeo has given me in more ways than one! I needed to get out of my rut and once I made the decision, I cut the chord and never looked back. It was the one of my better decisions. Another important feature I was looking for was a family feel. My previous gym exuded that and I wanted to go to something with a similar feel. I’m so happy that not only did I find a gym that pushes and challenges me, but it also has a nice family feel. I should mention that I love how encouraging and supportive everyone is.

3-What are some of the changes you have noticed in your health, body and overall performance since starting at Studeo55?

For years I had thought my form and execution of exercises – i.e. burpees were done correctly.  Uhhhh, was I wrong!  Studeo has made me re-evaluate my form, health and effort.  Since joining, I have pushed myself more than I thought I was capable of and with that came results. Jana’s words ring in my head when I think about what to eat – i.e. what purpose does that food you’re thinking of eating really serve – what purpose does that donut serve? Well, aside from being mouthwateringly good, I guess nothing, but in the same breath she has always said not to beat yourself up over a cheat day.  Jana has many other words of wisdom, but too little time and space to list them all.  My challenges and negotiations to Milan, Marc or any other trainer with “why do I have to do that?” and their blank stare and response of “just do it” has made my overall strength better. I may have words, but at the end of the day it’s that push that has helped me get stronger, healthier and even more fit. I’ve noticed that the hardwork has come off with great results such as lifting more weight than I ever thought I could, running faster for a longer period of time, etc.

I guess I have noticed some body changes, but I honestly get such a high on working out and accepting the challenges imposed on me that I don’t notice and think about the changes until asked.

4-What advice would you give to someone with regards to starting at Studeo55?

Hmmmm, at the end of the day, the first step is showing up. Sometimes that’s the hardest step, but once you show up, the rest will slowly fall into place.  What do they say??? It takes 21 days for something to become a habit.  21 days may sound like a long time, but it really does fly by.

5-What is your favorite training exercise?

Maybe the question for me should be, what don’t I like.  Seriously, I love almost everything, but I do love intense cardio type of exercises that gets my heart rate up.

6-What is your favorite activity outside Studeo55?

Hanging out with my 2 favourite men. Do they workout like a crazy fiend like myself? Not if they have any say in the matter. I also like heading out on my bike (fair weather riding only), running, cooking – just to name a few.

7-If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want with you?

My 2 favourite men, raft, wine and wine opener. Well, I need a wine opener to open the wine!

8-What is something about you that would surprise others?

I really am a shy person.

9-How would you give away $50,000?

Half to a dog shelter and the other half to assisting families dealing with Alzheimers

Client of the month

Client of the month

and/or Dementia.

10-Who is a “hero” in your life and why?

My mom is my hero. She was the wisest person I know, but tough as nails. Yet, so compassionate all in the same breath. She would never accept defeat and would exhaust every avenue until the task was done.  I think I get my energy from her cause she could go

and go like the energizer bunny.  She would make me look like a slacker.

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