Featured Testimonial: Bobbi Siffledeen

Bobbi Siffledeen "You my friend are a life changer, game changer, inspirational motivator! I am beyond grateful for what you have done for me and more importantly my family. I lived for most of my life in fear of food. Always looking for the next best "diet" and listening to all of the experts avoiding […]

Watch Out For These Words

Companies in the fitness and nutrition industry are not interested in your health but instead relieving you of your hard earned money.  Everyone wants to lose fat, get a six pack, have more energy, look younger and live longer.  The fitness and nutrition industry know this so they advertise their products or services with words […]

Five Stages of Health and Fitness

Have you ever wondered how other people live and eat compared to yourself?  Human beings vary quite extremely in the amount of fat they carry on their body.  The quantity of fat affects our health and fitness.  In the 25 years I have been working in the personal training business I have seen patterns of […]

Understanding Why You Are Fat

THE FAT PROBLEM Starvation has killed more human beings in the history of planet Earth than from any other method.  You can take war, disease, murder, old age, and death by shark attack and add them all up.  Starvation out does them all.  It was not until post World War II that obesity became a […]

Wiping Your Own Butt for a Lifetime

The deterioration of the human body is an inevitable path all of us must take during the aging process. For some this path is much more arduous than for others. The amount of fitness and function people can hold onto varies from one person to another. At one end of the spectrum you have people […]

The Best Exercise For Fat Loss

During my career in the fitness industry one of the most common questions I will hear is “what exercise is best to burn body fat?” If you had asked me this question 25 years ago I would have probably said either cross country skiing or running at 10mph. The reason I would have picked these […]

Stupid Scale

How is it that a one square foot piece of metal with springs can create such immense neurotic behavior even in highly intelligent people?  In my 23 years as a personal trainer I have seen hands on how a needle pointing to a number has dictated the mood, emotion and behavior of individuals for the […]

Obesity and financial stress – Why they are the same and what we can learn

I have talked about how the complexity of obesity is overwhelming our society. The same can be said about the financial problems plaguing most North Americans. When you break both down to the grass root issue it is quite simple. People become fat when they consume more calories than they expend and they become poor […]

Get Ripped

On November 9th, 2012 I convinced three of my male and five of my female personal training clients to join me in forgoing the pleasures of the Christmas season and try to get as lean as possible over the most difficult time of the year. Over a 65 day term the group followed my “Get […]

Why is it so hard for people to lose bodyfat in the 21st century?

For the tens of thousands of years human beings have been on planet Earth, obesity was never a problem for the majority of people. It is only in the past 70 or so years, since post World War II that obesity has become a progressively increasing issue in our society. So what happened? Why is […]

TRX Training with Paul Plakas on CTV News

Paul shows us how to properly work out with TRX suspension training. Now you don't have to be intimidated when you see this at the gym!

Valentine’s Workout for Couples

Paul shows how couples can heat things up with a special Valentine's workout for two.

Ask Paul, Seventeeth Edition

Welcome to the seventeeth edition of "Ask Paul," where I answer a few of the questions I receive on the site. I get literally hundreds of questions every month from people all over the world, and a lot of them follow a pretty common theme. I've picked quite a few from the last few months […]

A Haunted Work-Out for Halloween

Paul has exercises to teach you how to survive a Zombie Apocalypse

Get those abs working!

Some great pointers from Paul in working on your abdominal area.

Fitness products sold on television that actually work.

This segment is about fitness products sold on television that actually work. Yes, it's true, As Seen on TV products can actually make you fit!

Parents training with their toddler CTV News Segment

This segment is about Parents training with their toddler. Sometimes it is tough to get exercise for yourself when you have to take care of small children. Here are some exercises you can do to get fitter while at the same time have fun with your child and introduce them to exercise through play and […]

My Day With Lance Armstrong

Five months ago my friend Jared said to me that Lance Armstrong was coming to town. They were looking for 40 riders that would commit to raise $25,000 for breast cancer and ride 100km with him. He knew my love for bike racing and that Lance was a fitness idol of mine. He wanted me […]

The three things you need for a happy, healthy life

About fifteen years ago, one of my clients told me the three things a person must have in order to live a happy life: adventure, love and friendship. At the time the statement didn't mean much to me but as I have matured I realize how right he was. When I work with overweight people […]

Weighty Matters: do what works!

With more than half of us either overweight or obese, losing weight is something many people need to work towards for both health and appearance sake. Losing weight is easier than you may think, provided you know a few key tips. Use these tips to help you lean up in 2010: Eliminate all alcohol and […]

I’m fat because I’m tired, and I’m tired because I’m fat

Nowadays, little attention is given to the need for sleep. The human body is designed to get between seven and eight hours of sleep per night to function normally during the daytime. Most people don’t get the recommended amount of sleep. As a result, physicians often see the outcomes of obesity, metabolic syndrome, Type-II diabetes […]

The messiah of the fitness industry

Functional training has become The Messiah of the fitness world, with claims that you can lose weight, get strong and ripped, and become a better athlete. Trainers, coaches and laypeople alike throw this term around like dirty underwear in a hamper... But what does it actually mean? The new salvation known as functional training has […]

Figure Prep: eight weeks in

Okay, last month I was feeling pretty good. I wasn't experiencing huge cravings for anything in particular. Well, my friends that has changed. I'm telling you, as soon as you know you can’t have certain foods, all you think about are those foods. This is where most figure competitors slip up. Your goal is so […]

Come back to the dinner table!

I have been training Heidi for over 5 years now. She has a Masters degree as a dietician and is a professor at the University of Alberta teaching our youth about nutrition. The best story I have about Heidi is the one day I took her to do my playground workout. I designed an obstacle […]

Cardio machines: big scam in the fitness industry

Have you noticed walking into any gym what the most popular pieces of fitness equipment are being used? I guess by the title of this article you should know it's cardio machines (treadmills, elliptical trainers, stationary bikes, rowing machines, steppers). Some gyms have up to 100 pieces of various cardio machines with virtually every one […]

Seeing the big picture

Everybody wants to know “how” to lose weight, but have they ever asked themselves “why?” If it’s because you want to look good for an upcoming wedding or holiday, then we have to look at the real issues surrounding the “why”. Such an extrinsically motivated reason to lose weight says that you really want to […]

Managing your ‘Winter Hair’

When you live in a place like Edmonton, you learn to adapt to the cooler weather. Our clothes? Pack a jacket or add a scarf – either can be removed later in the day or added when the wind is particularly biting. Our skin? We instinctively respond to dry spots with moisturizers and body lotions. […]

Finding balance with Craniosacral Therapy

Lori is a co-worker of mine. She runs Pause Massage Therapy out of my personal training studio. After I beat up my clients in a workout they go and see Lori's therapists to feel good again. The biggest complaint I get from Lori is the amount of noise I make when I am either working out myself […]

Figure competition prep: five weeks in

I have had no problem so far with cravings or eating food off of my plan. I am very lucky, as my coach has given me a cheat meal every Saturday, which I find harder to take than not. The reason is because after you have had food without sugar, oils, salt and well, flavour, […]

Strength training: doing it in phases

Quite often, people hear a term like "Phases of Training" and think it's something for established athletes or marathon-runners. But the phases described below should be applied across the whole continuum of non-physically active people to the very elite in their respective sport and everyone in the middle. Phases one and two particularly are as […]

Fat: are we just accepting it?

Earlier this year, I was traveling to Vancouver from Edmonton by airplane. I was irritated that I had to sit in a middle seat. The aisle seat was vacant but the plane was sold out. As the passengers were boarding I noticed a very large man coming down the aisle. He must have been around […]

Feel good with Fall fashion

Jonn has been my hairstylist and client for about 5 years now. He is my personal Fred Connors. Jonn studies fashion trends, new hair styles and looks. He is either going to hair conferences, doing fashion shows, or running his salon "The Cutting Room". Jonn's goal is to get a six pack of abs. He is […]

Motivate yourself to a six-pack

The first time I met Duey I didn't like him. It was in University, and my team was playing his in volleyball. We were losing and I remember Duey was dancing around, cheering everytime he spiked a ball onto our side. I wanted to smash the ball into his face. I was more mad that we were losing than […]

Watching my figure…

Deanna walked into my personal training studio about 8 years ago and insisted she was a trainer we had to hire. I remember interviewing her. She was eager, excited and passionate. It was hard trying to get a word into the conversation. I found this a bit annoying but I never seen someone so pumped […]

‘I can be anything I want to be’

I find myself singing a lot — something I hear my 6-year-old sing everyday when he thinks no one is around. "I can be anything I want to be," is the line he repeats the most and the one that now plays in my head daily. It’s exciting to see an individual before their own […]

My Worst Day

The boys at Pedalheads Mountain Bike Shop told me, “Don’t do the Bow 80 if it rains the day of or the day before the race.” I should have listened to them. I wrote an article for my website on self-pity awhile back. In the article, I talked about the hardest workout day I ever […]

Why is Fat Unattractive?

Hi Everyone,
This months article may be a bit offensive to some people. It is not my intention, just me thinking out loud. I apologize in advance. Hope you like it or hate it.

The Power of Awareness

Hi Everyone, this month's newsletter is courtesy of my business partner Craig Hamaliuk. Craig is a third degree black belt in karate. Craig is a friendly guy who hugs all his clients after they finish their workout. Sometimes he even hugs my clients who feel left out from my lack of affection. There is also the other side of Craig. The side that can cause you severe harm with a lightening quick punch or kick. One time I was riding my bike to work and I saw Craig walking in front of me. As a prank I thought it would be funny to sneak up behind him and then yell out trying to scare the crap out of him. When I let out my scream he instantly jumped 180 degrees around towards me in his karate fighting stance. He had an intense look in his face and looked ready to strike me down. He scared me more than I scared him. We both laughed. Enjoy Craig's article.

Self-pity: The Easy Way Out

It is human nature to feel sorry for oneself when things are not going the right way. The dictionary defines “self-pity” as “a self-indulgent attitude or state of mind of an individual in a perceived adverse situation who has not accepted the situation and does not have the confidence or ability to cope with it. […]

The Facts on Fad Diets

Hi Everyone, This month's newsletter is a nutritional installment from one of my clients who is a Registered Dietician and teaches at the University of Alberta. I have been training Heidi Bates for over 6 years. At each workout, not only do I punish her physically, I ask her questions that I have encountered during […]

The Secret to Change

When people come to see me as a trainer they are mainly interested in three things: losing fat, having more energy and reducing pain in their body. The number one reason people go to a personal trainer is for weight loss—they want to be leaner. Everyone is different; some are trying to lose one hundred […]

Cardio Training: One Big Answer to Weight Loss

Hi everyone, This month my business partner Kevin Masters has provided a great article on everything you have ever wanted to know about cardiovascular training. For those of you who are currently motivated to do cardio-type work weekly, this article is perfect for you. If you are going to dedicate some of your time to […]

Parents are the problem with Childhood Obesity

If you were to ask any parent, “What is the most important thing to you in your life?” I would think that 100% of them would say their children are. It baffles me then, when I see obese kids. On one hand, the parents care so much for them, but on the other hand they […]

Top Ten Ways for Parents to get their Kids More Active

Interesting Statistics 80% of the reasons children are overweight can be attributed to poor choices made by the parents. (Yale University of Public Health) 20% of children under five years of age are now overweight. Over 60% of Canadian girls and 50% of Canadian boys under 17 are not active enough for proper growth and […]

Motivate Me! Part Two

Staying on the Path to a Healthy Body Weight Once you have begun a lifestyle of fitness, health and weight management, what is the motivation to keep going? What makes you continue going to the gym everyday and sweating it out? What stops you from picking up a doughnut that your co-worker brought to the […]

Motivate Me! Part One

Starting on the Path to a Healthy Body Weight Human beings are lazy. Within the next 20 years, it will be rare to see someone who is not overweight. Adults will pass on inactive lifestyles and poor eating habits to children. Fast food franchises will stop at nothing to get children hooked on high fat […]

Lift Big for the Best Gains

Is it true that lifting heavier weights is for bulking up and lighter weights is for toning? I am afraid of getting too big! The first thing to realize is there is no such thing as “toning”. Tone refers to the tension on a muscle at rest. Everyone has tone, but each one of us […]

Colon Cleanses

'What is your opinion on cleanses?' Keep the colon clean the natural way. Colon health is extremely important. Research indicates that an unhealthy colon is responsible for 80% of disease. Your intestines have a mixture of both good and bad bacteria. It is stated that the ratio should be 85/15, with good being the higher […]

Your Metabolic Rate

Basal Metabolic Rate is defined as the amount of calories burned while at rest to maintain function of vital organs such as the lungs, brain and heart. It is also the largest factor of total caloric expenditure. Simply put, it is the minimum amount of calories needed in a day to avoid the depletion of […]

Elliptical Trainers

'Why are you against the use of elliptical trainers?' ELLIPTICAL TRAINERS SUCK! I am not only against the use of elliptical trainers. I disagree with the use of any cardiovascular exercise equipment. However, in my opinion, the elliptical trainer is the worst. Its function does not relate to any real-life purpose. Being fit, lean and […]

Vibration Training

'What are your views on vibration training?' Should I 'Shake it, baby'? Vibration training is a form of exercise where you use a machine called a Power Plate. Depending on what you want, you can set the machine to vibrate at different intensities, called Magnitude or Hertz. Magnitude equals the frequency of vibration multiplied by […]

Weight Gain in Adults

When one thinks about the reasons for adult obesity, many scapegoats are given: inactivity, poor eating choices, larger portions, even laziness. In my experience, there are reasons people eat vast quantities of poor quality food and don’t exercise. I was involved in casting new participants for X-Weighted, a weight loss show I do on the […]

Paul’s Top Ten Rules on Exercising

1. AVOID ANY LYING DOWN OR SITTING DOWN EXERCISES These are the two laziest positions the human body can be in. The average North American is only in an upright position for one hour per day. You burn fewer calories than upright exercises because fewer muscles are involved. 2. AVOID USING WEIGHT TRAINING MACHINES They […]

Paul’s Top Ten Ways To Lose Fat

1. DON’T HANG AROUND UNMOTIVATED OVERWEIGHT PEOPLE We tend to share in the same habits as our friends. Find fit motivated people with like-minded goals. Create an environment where your chances for success are greater. 2. NEVER EAT FAST FOOD AGAIN Not only will it make you fat, but the chemicals from flavoring are toxic […]

These five foods could kill you

In my opinion, five main foods are the root cause of obesity, even death. As a society, we have gotten away from eating fresh, nutritious foods. Instead, we consume processed, manufactured food products capable of surviving a nuclear attack. Any food that can outlive the consumer can not be good for you. Our digestive system […]