There’s been a lot of emphasis on new exercise routines and functional training in the fitness industry - and there will always be some new shiny object that comes along.  The objective of this blog is to make a case for why the basics are, in my opinion, still supreme. The primary goal for any exercise program is to improve one’s health.  Although, there may be other positive side effects of exercise, such as enjoyment,

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You hear it all the time: “I need to lose weight!” And the instrument you use the most to track your progress - the scale. But do you just want to lose weight indiscriminately? The answer, if you haven’t already guessed, is a emphatic NO! That’s because when a person decides to lose weight, they will usually go on a ‘diet’ and eat less so they weigh less. However, your loss of weight can come

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I’ve blogged a lot about mental toughness (you can read about them here, here, here, here, here, and here), but I’m going to start the new year with a Member Spotlight blog on a Olive Branch member, a mentor and a friend, Cary Cheung.  A story on real mental toughness put into practice. Although Cary doesn’t regularly attend ACT class here in the Shanghai Olive Branch studio, he does train ACT regularly at his home

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Are you’re feeling just a bit slow and sluggish these days? Do you find that you crave sugar and refined carbohydrates a lot more than before? Has your workout schedule fallen by the wayside? Perhaps, even your waistline has increased a bit. Inevitably, you feel a bit guilty for letting yourself go - maybe even a bit self-loathing at the extreme. While it’s not ideal that you gained fat and lost a bit of muscle,

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If you’ve come to one of our classes before, then you would have probably heard me say “PUSH TO FAILURE”.  This is ingrained in our training philosophy because of one main ideology - stimulus equals adaptation. If you’re trying to make your body stronger (ie. adapt), then you need to apply a stimulus (ie. training) that is strong enough so that the body can hear it and then make the necessary improvements to build up.

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It’s everyone’s favourite time of the year when people finally have an excuse to role-play their superheroes and dress as revealing as their heart’s content! Halloween has always been a season of festivities and parties as autumn comes to an end and we have much bounty to celebrate for from the late harvests. Now, I’m not here to tell you not to go out and enjoy yourselves on this most debauchery time of the year,

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Entering China, lululemon style You may be surprised to hear that lululemon’s Unroll China event is their main event to showcase to the world that they’ve officially entered the China market.  That’s because they’ve been very slowly, but deliberately planting the seeds of their core values in Shanghai and Beijing for the last four years! I remember that early beginning very distinctly because they reached out to me before they even had a store, a

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  In a previous blog, I wrote about how to motivate yourself to train during the winter months.  This time, I’d like to share a few points why I actually prefer to train in the winter! 1.  There are less distractions during the winter! Because it’s so cold outside, there are less events held outdoors - less barbecues, less, outdoor concerts, less beach volleyball days!  People organize less social outings so that gives you more

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With less than a week to go before the the debut of Tough Mudder in China, Team Olive Branch is ready to take to the obstacle course and test what they’re made of. It’s only fitting that this week’s blog post be centered around being ‘tough’. So what does it mean to be tough anyways? From Merriam-Webster Dictionary: physically and emotionally strong : able to do hard work, to deal with harsh conditions, etc. Sounds

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  Now that October Holidays are over, and we’re all back to the regular swing of things, some of us struggle to get back on the regular workout routine.  It could be due to the depressing weather here in Shanghai, or the mundane day-to-day tasks of working again, or perhaps it’s because we’ve lost ground on our once awesome fitness level. One way to ease the transition of getting back on your workout routine is

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