Christiano Ronaldo is the influence behind Narnia training rule 1.  Ronaldo has one of the fittest bodies in the business. This is a man who is in touch with his body. This is a man who knows all about Narnia training. He never get’s injured. His performance is always high. Not too mention he has the kind of body behind a smart exercise program. In a nutshell he looks and feels damn fit. His results show that spectacularly. While a player with Manchester United, he was training with his team mate Gary Neville during a particular intensive sprint session. In the session, Ronaldo absolutely gave it in 5 of the sprints and then chilled out for the remainder. Gary Neville, a true red and lad known to give 110% shouted at Ronaldo asking him to try harder. But Ronaldo quite wisely replied “too much water kills the plant.” This is rule 1 of Narnia training. Do not over do.

Too much water kills the plant. Unfortunately, for many, when working out it’s all about more. The biggest mistake I see with training is over doing. The training of over doing starts young. For instance, last night I was watching a conditioning session with 9 & 10 years olds. It started off well. The kids looked sharp, enthused and the quality was there. However, the coaches kept the session going. And going. Soon these same kids who looked sharp and athletic and sporty, now looked sluggish, and slow and not very athletic. The session went far too long. Sure the kids kept going, but the only reason they could keep going was the training intensity diminished and only this diminished intensity allowed the athletes to keep going. Whatever goal the coaches had at the beginning was lost as soon as they pushed past the point when quality dropped. In other words the coaches had killed their plants.

To enter Narnia training you must do the opposite. You go hard with great technique and intention(give the plant some water) and when you feel it is time, you stop.

If you are exercising regularly and find results are not happening the way you want: it might be a good time to take stock. Maybe you should reduce training output in favor of training quality. Concentrate on the exercise technique instead of just going haphazardly through the motions so you can do more. If you are a coach, maybe you should you learn to say enough, instead of kill or continue.

One of the myths to achieve a great physique is you have to brutalize your body with hard core death routines. This is indeed a super myth. Instead, you just have to be smart. For instance, in your next upper body workout instead of rushing through the session do the most controlled tempo/ heaviest bench press you can absolutely do. As part of this lifting program do 12 of the highest quality chin ups and feel satisfied. Then stop. Don’t do more. Don’t do multiple sets of 10 with continued diminished quality. Just do 4 sets of 3 with the best form and power output possible. If you have the ability to do 10 consecutive chins with multiple sets, instead wear a weight belt and load up. However, make those 4 sets of 3 count. Slow down and emphasize technique over just completing and moving on. If you are in a running session, warm up & complete the fastest sprints possible and when your pace begins to slow down:stop. Or wear a heart rate monitor and do not start the next interval until you are properly recovered. Try to run faster, not longer. You would be surprised how many times advice like this get’s ignored. Many clients just don’t believe it because over the years (sometimes starting when they were kids) exercisers have been conditioned into the 50 shades of grey mentality of pain = results. And if it’s rushed pain even better. This is a shame because there is another easier truism out there. By living the training philosophy of ‘too much water kills the plants’ an individual will achieve the best body, feel the best, move great,have minimal injuries, diminish cravings, and look athletically good.

Any doubts, just look at Ronaldo.


People love pain. After all, look at the popularity surrounding the book 50 Shades of Grey. As a trainer, killer workouts are the easiest training programs to design. In fact, as I am sitting in a cafe & before I finish this espresso I will act like Christian Grey & drum up two killer popular routines that are done by the masses on a daily basis. One is killer boring. The other is just killer. First, the dull one. The dull one is to prepare you for what is considered the ultimate mass ‘get into shape routine’: in other words, preparing you for an endurance race where the goal is, are you ready for this: to train slow for a very long time. Come on, is it just me that thinks this is crazy. Anyway, here we go. Do twenty minutes of cardio. Every week add 5 mins. Continue until you become bored senseless or you realize you aren’t making any progress other than the ability to run for an additional 300 more seconds at an even slower pace. The second type of killer exercise routine is extremely popular with the lifting masses. Try it. It’s fun. That is, if you’re the kind of person who finds a toothache fun. Do 20 body weight squats, 10 power cleans with half your body weight, 10 muscle ups, 20 jumps onto a high box, and then run 400 meters. Complete as many times as you can in 24 mins. Record the result and try to beat it next week. And the week after. And maybe the week after that.  The payoff from both these kinds of fun exercise programs is the 50 shades feeling of receiving pain being instantly rewarding-because all that sweat and muscle breakdown-will definitely make you feel as if you are trying. Most importantly of all is the shared glory you will experience within the mass community of like minded trainees who are into it. (Proving you are not alone in this crazy journey.) However, their is large cracks in both killer systems. Each system will undoubtedly lead you to the path of injury, tightness or exhaustion, have you plateau fast, make you lose power, crave sugar, provide you the feeling of being chained to your exercise routine and quite possibly worst of all, turn you into a “give-me-5” junkie. You will also need to adopt a new training idealogy & mentality. You will call it hardcore. Others, like myself, will call it nutty. You may start quoting Nietzche, uttering spleel like “whatever does not destroy me makes me stronger.” You may even still believe the Nike Commercial when Lance Armstrong says “I’m on my bike busting my ass 6 hours a day. What are you on?”

Admittedly, I am a more Chronicles of Narnia kind of guy. In other words Lance, “I am on Narnia.”

If 50 shades of grey training is killer training with whips and implements inside the red cupboard, Narnia training is a world of pleasures going on the other side of the cupboard. Narnia training will make you feel wonderful, when optimally implemented, is easy to continue, will allow you to enjoy days off, and the results are quite fantastic. In fact, once you have experienced Narnia training you will never look at the cupboard quite the same again.
So TLA how do you know you are in an Narnia training program?

  1. You rarely get injured
  2. You feel fresh when you train
  3. Your body fat is slowly inching down
  4. Your strength or definition is slowly going up
  5. You sleep well
  6. You feel so good that you want to dance like psy every time you are alone
  7. You enjoy days off
  8. You feel great, not tired from training
  9. you can eat moderate levels of carbs of any kind and it won’t affect your body fat (In fact, the carbs will enhance your
  10. Sugar Cravings gradually disappear
  11. You never get sick. No Flu. No cold. Nothing.
  12. You smile and laugh because of all the above

However, as with all things good there is a catch. Getting into a Narnia training program takes time. It takes effort. And it takes planning. This is something many hate: after all, our lives are already super busy. In fact, Narnia training will be one of the hardest things you will ever do. For the Narnia type of training program to really succeed you have to initially become high maintenance. You know one of those really annoying do good sorts that everyone hates. Failure to do this initially and you won’t get the results you are after. Instead you will be living a story with a rather boring ending instead of enjoying an athletic physique with a fairy style ending. Finally, you also have to be patient. None of this two weeks nonsense. In fact, here is some words of wisdom. If it didn’t take you 30 days to get outof shape it probably won’t take you 30 days to get into shape.

So how do I enter the world of exercise Narnia? Stay tuned. That’s in the next blog post.

I believe every high level soccer player needs to be mentored.

It is a facet lacking in today’s game for the modern player.

An opportunity to develop individually.

Most clubs have a technical academy. But mentorship. Not a chance. That’s a luxury for Olympic athletes and tennis players.

However, mentorship should be a necessity for the high level soccer player. A norm. Players need a chance to be themselves. To advance without a team agenda. An opportunity to become in tune with their position &  individual movement. A chance to refine and refresh their mental game. A chance to become responsible for their own performance.

Most players are not doing this. It’s just not available.

Mentorship is earned & to be effective the soccer player must trust you. This puts TLA in a unique position.

The TLA studio is in it’s 13th year. We know what works from a strength and conditioning angle. We do it full time. ——Movement, nutrition, strength, power, speed, etc.–TLA participates in a yearly mentorship with Athletes Performance (we also need to keep sharp) and have a gym stocked with equipment that will make you an athlete. We also have a nutritionist and a flexibility expert. In our mentorship sessions we assess, video, and put you through drills that will make you literally explode off your feet. Can a technical director offer you this? You tell me.

Then, there is the coaching.

*Jason Kyle has recently been technical director for  two different clubs and back in the day played a reasonably high level. He started a soccer league in the East Van area called micro footie which has a yearly registration of 1000 players. Jason is a FIFA B licence & TLA owner.

*Mawuena Mallet was a TLA youth player several years back and after finishing his degree with a soccer scholarship is now back as a head trainer .

*Taylor Dickau just spent last summer teaching students full time, worked alongside technical director in Vancouver and is currently completing his Kinesiology degree.

*Scotty McGinley is our mobility and video analyst and head trainer. He looks at players movement patterns and through observation and correction has players moving like athletes.

From our wee spot in East Vancouver we have had 6 clients sign pro contracts, students achieving soccer scholarships, and players literally flying during games & tournaments following our mentorship sessions. Guess what? We are currently looking for our new wave of TLA players. The kind of player who is playing at one level and wants to take it to the next one.

Are you interested?




The London Olympics are over and now every one wants to look and feel like an athlete. A combination of athleticism, lean muscle, great core strength, and mobility.

How did these athletes develop such beautiful physiques?

TLA knows. By training like athletes.

Training like an athlete is a combination of key elements. Training variety, overload, mobility, core & movement, exercise sequence that makes emotional and physical sense, an appreciation for recovery, a body built on positive nutrition, while inside, developing a raw feeling of power.

This is what TLA is all about. Every challenge we tweak our programs. We keep what was successful from previous challenges and continue to tweak based on what works and what doesn’t. The upcoming athlete challenge is no different. We are individualizing even more, creating ten (TLA10) new training modules that will rotate every three weeks, continuing to find ways to make the sessions even more intimate and personal, while adding the success of our previous challenge, the TLA decathlon, into the overall program.

Do you want to Train like an Athlete? If you do, take the TLA Athlete Challenge.

TLA has seen it all. From clients with injury become fit, energetic, and strong to clients unsure about their limitations and becoming athletes. Transform yourself and become an athlete.

The Olympics is coming up and one of the events I loved was the Decathlon. As a boy I used to think Daley Thompson was brilliant. Some kind of superman. The top guy in the world in current times is Ashton Eaton & the top women are neck and neck between Tatyana Chernova & Jessica Ennis. (who normally do seven events and compete in the Heptathlon)

inspired by the above, the TLA has created our very own decathlon of events: each representing different aspects of athleticism. We have an endurance event, two power events, a speed endurance event, a TLA nutrition program for points & body fat measurement test, two muscular endurance events, & three strength events.

In the TLA decathlon we even have handicaps for master athletes.

The idea is to train hard in all areas and concentrate on the ones you are weakest. If your weakness is nutrition the TLA has a wee system to get that in order. If it’s strength or muscular endurance let our super sessions prep you. If it’s endurance, well go ahead, get to it & do our agility and endurance program.

Some people get terrified by the prospect of competing. But it’s more than that. Training for nothing sucks. The TLA decathlon allows you the opportunity to focus on training as well as concentrating on your weaknesses. By training and eating for performance and doing the best you can your body will look awesome.

Fancy giving it a go?

Complete. The first TLA workshop. Did we make a difference to any of those clients who walked into the TLA doors? You will have to ask the lad who now is on a soccer fit program. He was overtrained and doing just about everything wrong. Another client had a demo workout and couldn’t believe how good he felt. A woman was given a training program to do on her own and finally a TLA male client was given his weekly plan for the summer. Easy peasy. They left with answers answered/ So yep. A good start. Next workshop in two weeks. Come into the TLA doors and let’s hear it. Just say yes.

The TLA Soccer Academy is skills, fitness, out the box games, soccer intelligence, movement & World Cup completed with top coaching. Confidence will soar, fitness and skills will elevate.
> Players can pay weekly.
> $30 week.
> 9-12 age group focus


Linear Movement  //  Ball Mastery linear  //  Shooting & Passing  //  World Cup
Lateral/Multi movement  //  Ball Mastery lateral  //  Finding space/dribbling  //  World Cup
Tricks  //  Positioning  //  Out the box games  //  Mentorship  //  World Cup


STEPHANA ARNOLD is bloody amazing.

Her body is like a hard elastic band. Meanwhile, her exercises will make you feel very average.

Yet, if you put your ego aside for one hour what she will teach you is second to none.

Ben Fisk, The Whitecaps FC player said “it was the hardest session he had ever done.”

Harder than all that running in games Ben, harder than TLA weights. “Yes, without question.” was his honest response.

Stephana doesn’t use weights. Stephana doesn’t use treadmills, steps, runs, or rows. Nope. That’s for wimps. STEPHANA uses positions. The kind of positions the leader of the Kama Sutra might do if he was really in the mood. Yet, Stephana’s fun and encouraging teaching style makes you want to try and do them. Afterwards you feel brilliant. She has been doing this every Saturday for the past 4 years. At TLA we simply call Stephana’s classes BLACK SWAN.

So who is STEPHANA anyway. Here is just three highlights.

A graduate of the national ballet of Canada.

Principal dancer, ballet BC 2003-2007

Featured in 2010 Olympic Games opening ceremony

TLA wants the best for our clients. She is the best. Every Saturday Black Swan @ TLA.



Starting June 10 TLA is offering free workshops. These workshops will take place every second Sunday afternoon and until August will be hosted by TLA owner Jason Kyle

The beauty of the workshop is you choose what you want to learn: from beginners starting a program, to body fat testing and functional assessment, to understanding nutrition and goal setting for results, heart rate training, to taking a TLA demo workout.

Learn, get motivated & take your training to the next level.

Upcoming Workshop dates: June 10, June 24, July 8, July 22.

Clients mention compliments they regularly receive. These compliments vary and come often. The soccer athletes usually suggest the speed they feel alongside game health and renewed confidence. TLA men talk about energy and new muscles. TLA woman mention how tall they are walking and the need to buy clothes to fit their new figures. This week I heard two more compliments. A woman client was hanging out with her (youthful looking 24 year old) daughter and asked twice over the course of the week “Are you two sisters.” Meanwhile, a client who has been training with us for a year was approached by a total stranger, “excuse me, I have not seen you walking these trails for ages and I can’t believe how amazing your body looks. What are you doing?”

These compliments are pretty good, right.

If someone looks into a TLA session they will see individuals in constant movement. Clients are either lifting, moving, or stretching. For an onlooker it must either be an absolutely fantastic sight or what on earth a these people doing sight. Regardless of how it looks, let’s examine briefly what this movement and lifting is doing for people’s spirits: because this is definitely worth mentioning. Clients leave a TLA session invigorated. They have worked on muscles they would not normally otherwise “fire” in their day to day lives. This includes tightening their wee bums, turning on their core, overloading muscles for leanness as well as making their hearts beat. As clients do this process their bodies and minds begin to change. Muscles develop. Sometimes it’s the small muscles, sometimes it’s the big ones. As these muscles change-they take on a new shape & look better-.With the right training clients hearts becomes stronger & posture improves. Body fat disintegrates as energy and feeling of well being increases. Sleeps are deeper, clothes start to fit nicer, and both the ability and desire to do new activities goes up: after all, now you can. Blood pressure goes down, bone density goes up, creativity goes up, resting heart rate goes down, and with this renewed vigor your real age goes down. In a nutshell you are turning back the clock. This is why the TLA loves training. The list of things two hours a week can do are radical. Not many investments or lifestyle adjustments can make such claims.

Oh yeah. And did I mention after all these great changes you will also get compliments.