Changes in Fitness Over The Last 18 Years

26232331_10155944697862456_7554832138060745684_oWe are celebrating our 18th Anniversary at Northwest Personal Training and Drew Carney from the KGW Early Morning Show recently did a segment with us to discuss what has changed over the last 18 years since we opened our doors. Here’s the highlights from that segment:

Dynamic Warm-up

It used to be common practice to perform static stretching before all exercise. Now we have learned it’s not a great idea to stretch prior to working out when the tissue is not properly warmed up. Instead we have learned the importance of a dynamic warmup – the body doesn’t go well from 0-60 so you need to warm the muscles and connective tissue, lubricate the joints and prepare the energy systems for the intense activity. So instead of holding a stretch for a sustained period of time, instead we will mimic the movements we will perform during the activity but at a lower intensity, low impact, low load, low speed before we gradually increase the intensity, load, impact and speed.

High Intensity Training

With new programs like CrossFit, Tabata and Bootcamps, we have learned the importance of High Intensity Training and its benefits including weight loss, overall fitness and muscle conditioning. Back in the day, it was all about Aerobic, Long, Slow Distance Training. Now that HIT Training has become all the rage, people have misinterpreted to believe that every workout needs to be High Intensity and that is not accurate.

  • Even high level elite athletes only perform high intensity training sessions a couple times a week. You need to mix it up and sometimes go long and easy, moderate and other times hard and fast. So balance out your program.
  • Going hard all the time can lead to injury, illness and burnout
  • Also, if someone is deconditioned and just getting started they don’t want to just jump into high intensity exercise. Perform low impact movements with good form and pain free before you jump into HIT. Progression and modifications are key so you don’t experience overuse injuries.


Years ago, your fitness options were more limited. You may have joined a gym and worked out on a Treadmill, Eliptical and did some weights. Or maybe you did a Step or Low Impact Aerobic Class. We were one of the very few Personal Training studios in the community. Now, exercise enthusiasts have so many options. You can now choose between Indoor Cycling, Indoor Rowing, Barre classes, Zumba, TRX, Rope Training, Bootcamp, Yoga, Pilates, Kettlebell classes and many more options. Boutique, specialty studios are popping up in every neighborhood including Star Cycle, Barre3, Pure Barre, Orange Theory and more. 18 years ago your gym options didn’t include Low-cost options like Planet Fitness or LA Fitness – today, you can’t use “I can’t afford it” as an excuse when you can literally pay $10/month for a full membership.

Core and Hip Conditioning

Years ago, if you wanted a 6-pack, it was all about hundreds of crunches. We have now learned the importance of stabilization training, hip strength and core conditioning from all angles instead of only one type of abdominal conditioning. Now a solid Core Conditioning program includes movements like Planks, V-Sits, Supine Dead Bugs, Bridging, Supine Planks, Supermans etc. We have learned if your core and hips are strong from all angles, that strength radiates out to your extremities so you move and perform better. If your hips and core are not strong, you are more likely to strain your knees and back.

One thing that hasn’t changed? The evidence is still extremely conclusive that regular physical exercise is absolutely critical to overall health and wellness – physically, mentally and emotionally!

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

Note:  As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a 2 week pass at her world-class training studio to help get you started.  Contact 360.574.7292 for more details.

Cover Clover Run 2016Join us for the…..COUVE CLOVER RUN – 3, 7 & 10 MILES – March 25th, 2018
Celebrate in your festive green while running or walking 3, 7 or 10 miles along an extremely fast and scenic course to support local charities! We will make you earn your post-event party but it will be off the charts hosted by Main Event and other downtown Vancouver Pubs & Breweries.




Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at

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