Stu lit his fire for all things health and fitness at the tender age of 13 when he took a “Strength Training for Teens” course at the local recreation center on the Saanich Peninsula. Shortly after he started into regular weight training he decided to pursue a scholarly and professional career in fitness and health coaching. Stu obtained his BCRPA Personal Training certification 5 years later as he started his first year of the Kinesiology program at the University of Victoria. During school he developed his training skills at various gyms around Victoria and considered changing his career path to Physiotherapy or Chiropractics. After graduating with a BSc in Kinesiology, Minor in Biology in 2010 and realizing that the most effective parts of Physio and Chiro treatments were the corrective exercises, it was clear that health and fitness coaching had been the true course all along. After a brief training stint with a local private gym, and garnering a general disdain for the greedy corporate model of the private fitness industry, he decided that he could do it more effectively and accessibly on his own, outdoors! He obtained a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist certification from the NSCA in December 2011 and started Rugged Fitness officially at the beginning of 2012. Since then he has worked with a variety of clients with all types of abilities and backgrounds and looks forward to continuing to help the citizens of the Greater Victoria area live vibrant healthy lives.
The Rugged Fitness Philosophy
Our overall philosophy is to keep workouts dynamic, fresh, and challenging so your body will have to continuously adapt. Within this overarching philosophy are three aspects of my training that we find most important
Training outdoors comes with a host of benefits. The fresh air and natural atmosphere are invigorating to body mind and spirit and the diverse terrain challenges the body in ways an engineered surface cannot. Outdoor venues facilitate a more accessible and affordable style of training because the number of workout locations increase drastically, and training fees do not need to include facility costs.
Using resistance that doesn’t have the weight perfectly balanced around the grip has some unique training benefits. Greater muscle activation is seen with unbalanced loads, and even a balanced weight like a dumbbell can evoke greater muscle stimulation when moved to one side of the body from a balanced central position. Utilizing a variety of weight positions and types trains the body to deal with real world loads and situations while increasing the overall involvement of individual muscles and muscle groups.
Specificity is very important to my style of training. If you are working on maximum speed, for example, every single sprint repetition must be done at maximum capacity. If you are working on sport specific strength, replicating the real movements done in game is advantageous to ensure maximal performance increases. Even if your goals are more general in nature, working on specific fitness parameters from workout to workout will help expedite results.