Body Transformation Challenge!

Everyone has one.  That dream body, that ideal image of what they would like to look like.  Sometimes we base this off of celebrities, the rich and famous.  Sometimes our fitness idols might be a little closer to home.  These fitness goals are high, however, they are not unattainable, as some may think.

Everyone has also thought of this excuse, that our fitness idols must have more money, and/or more time to devote to this.

We are here to debunk this myth.

Those so-called unattainable goals are at your fingertips, right now.  It is possible for you to lose fat now, to gain muscle now, and we have figured out a program that will give you those results.  8 weeks to change your life.  It is a complete overhaul of diet and exercise that we hope will give you the tools to get everything you want out of yourself, and out of us as well.

Come out to our Info Night, seen in the flyer below, at the gym on Monday, June 1st, at 5:45 pm!  Gift Bags will be handed out to everyone who comes out!



Should I go to the Gym if I am Sick?

Recently, the issue has come up about whether or not it is a good idea to work out while sick.  Is it crazy to work out while ill?  Is it bad for your health?  Will it make you worse to train with a compromised immune system?  To train, or not to train, that is the question.

We decided to look further in to the matter, as there are arguments for both working out and staying home and resting while sick.  We are not health care professionals by any means, these are just simple conclusions drawn from personal research.  All health care matters of any concern should be directed to your own Doctor. For us, three articles jumped out of some feverish internet research, (pun not intended,) and they all seemed to point in the same direction.

These are our findings, but if you are sick we urge you to consult your health care professional, and to do your own research, (just make sure it is well sourced.)  You can read these articles with the links below, and they include the following:

An interview with an expert at Men’s Health Magazine

A piece on Exercise and the Immune System from Breakthru Fitness

An article on What to Do when Sick from Science Daily

The number one message we got from all these sources was to listen to your body!  You know how bad or good you feel, and you need to treat your body accordingly.  Even if you have a training session planned with a friend that you committed to ages ago, if you can’t stand up, or are vomiting up colours that have not been named yet, you should probably stay home…or maybe go to the hospital.  On the milder end of that scale, if you are feeling extremely fatigued and like you need to rest, that may just be your body’s way of saying that you need to rest.  You should also pay attention to any pre-existing health conditions you may have already, (such as diabetes or a heart condition,) as these could be affected by the illness you have.

Another message we got from these sources was that the type of illness you catch will determine whether or not you make it to the gym for your workout!  The articles all said not to work out if your symptoms include fever, nausea, shortness of breath, chest trouble, or light headedness. Any non-expert would be able to say that these symptoms would inhibit someone from having any semblance of a workout anyways, so staying away from the gym is definitely a better option there.  Your body has a limited amount of energy, like anything else, so sometimes it just needs to direct that energy to fighting whatever illness has taken root in your body, so the couch or the bed is the best place for you.  However, nothing was said against going in to the gym with a light and manageable cold, and we have heard many people say that it helps!

There is something else to consider here though, because even the mildest colds are still contagious, and you have to be considerate of your fellow gym goers!  Use your judgement, and again, listen to your body!  Our research all said that it was important to take time to recover, and ease back in to your workout routine.  Going 100% on your first day back could send you right back to that couch.

Perhaps the greatest advice we found on the Breakthru Fitness piece was to take care of your immune system in the first place.  You won’t have to go through this whole, ‘do I or don’t I go to the gym’ debate if you never get sick in the first place!

Get enough sleep.  Eat enough food.  Eat enough good food.  Monitor your stress levels. Wash your hands.  These are basic health rules that are so easy to follow and that will help you for the rest of your life!


Join us for the Color Run!

One of our front desk staff, Mallory Bergum, has put it upon herself to organize a Sandcastle Fitness team for the Color Run.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the event, it is a 5k run, that is less about elite athleticism and more about having fun.  You start out wearing white, and get doused in color along the way in what they call a celebration of “healthiness and happiness.”  There is a massive party at the finish line, filled with music and dancing.  The event also gives back to numerous local and national charities.

We would like to invite you to join the Sandcastle Team on June 13, at 9:00 am, and you can register right now with the below links!

If you haven’t registered yet, you can register and join the team here:…

If you’ve already registered, you can join the team here:

To learn more about the event itself, click here:

This is a great opportunity to enjoy an active summer, run, dance a little, (or a lot,)  and get covered in color while you’re at it!

Recipe for Protein Waffles

Recipe Time!

Staying on top of your nutrition can be the hardest part of any fitness journey.  If you want to get fit and lose weight, sticking to your workout and nutrition plan is extremely important.  In the world we live in today, there are temptations everywhere.  There are ads on billboards, radio, television, and the internet constantly pushing junk food in your face.  Then, after being exposed to all this advertisement you go to the grocery store, or a restaurant, and the memories of how good that food looked or sounded are hard to forget.  Choosing to stick to your fitness plan requires discipline, self-control and a strong will.

However, all of this does not mean you have to starve yourself of any treats at all.  There are tons of recipes and food that can be worked in to any good fitness and nutrition plan.  These recipes are delicious, and can work with your workout plan to help you reach your fitness goals.

A great example of one of these recipes is a variation of any basic Waffle recipe, and this one is for Protein Waffles


2 Scoops Vanilla Whey Protein Powder

2 Eggs

2 Tsp Oil

2/3 Tsp Baking Powder


Water to Consistency


Blend Ingredients together to a batter consistency, and smooth.  Cook on hot waffle maker.  Makes 2 Protein Waffles, with approximately 180 Calories, 10g Fat, 6g Carbs, and 30g Protein per waffle.  This depends on the kind of protein powder you use as well.  You can substitute one of the eggs for an egg white as well if you wish, but results may vary.  To put on top, you can find a zero calorie syrup, use regular maple syrup, or heat up some frozen berries to make a warm berry topping.  It is completely up to you.

We hope you enjoy your waffles, and stay tuned, because we have something big on the way!

Follow our blog with the button below for more recipes, fitness tips, and information about our gym!

Fitness is a Journey

Let me first say that the journey to fitness is just that – a journey. There is one exception for this idea, which is that this particular journey has no ending. There is, however, a beginning. This beginning is a choice to face a lot of obstacles, but that is so worth all effort, and any hardship. Committing to an exercise regimen, and clean diet plan is a personal, and life changing experience. All I can say is that once you start this journey, there are a lot of aspects to living in this day and age that will always work against you, but if you can resist those things and work hard, you will start feeling a power that you may never have known. It is both a power that comes from knowing your physical capabilities to the point of intimacy, and the self-confidence that comes from being profoundly comfortable in your own skin.

Personally, I have found it is about finding what works for you, and your own body. Everybody is built differently, and everyone’s body works differently. I have tried, over the years, what seems like a million different methods to getting the body I want, and even that idea keeps changing.   I have tried doing tons and tons of cardio, cutting carbs, Crossfit, eating less overall, counting calories, steady state cardio, weightlifting, eating sugar-free, and multiple cleanses. Some of these things worked well, and some not well at all, but the point is that this is just for me. I was experimenting, trying out everything, in order to figure out what works for my body. I could say that I have found it, but that would be foolish. There are so many things to learn and try out, and so many resources available out there, and in my own gym, that I cannot say when I will find the perfect formula for me. I can say, however, that I am enjoying the journey.

Over the years, while working at a gym, I have had the opportunity to witness so many people start their own fitness journeys and, I have seen them both fail and succeed. I thought it would be a good opportunity to, at this point, talk about some common factors for failure, because I have beaten back these obstacles myself, and for anyone who is struggling, it is important to know that these things can be pushed past, with minimal effort. I looked up some common causes for failure online, and they go as follows:

1)  Goal Setting – Setting goals is huge, and it is very important to set specific goals. An example of a vague goal would be “I want to lose weight,” or “I want to tone up.” These goals give you no sense of urgency, nothing tangible to achieve, and so leave you more open to failure in the long run. A better goal would be, “I want to fit into this smaller dress size in time for a big event next month,” or “I want to lose this much weight by this date.” It is so important to make manageable goals for yourself, and make sure they are healthy goals as well

Tip: I found it works better to set your goals with a friend, so you have someone to hold you accountable for missing a workout, or cheating with your diet. Also, tell other people about your goals, so when that date comes around, you have something to live up to.

2)  Responsibility – Ultimately, you are the only person standing in between you and your fitness goals. You have to take responsibility for your own actions, and not make excuses. This is because at the end of the day, you are the one who decided to skip the gym that day. You are the person who decided to eat fast food. You are the one who chooses if you go get your workout done, or if you just lay on the couch and eat chips.

Tip: I found that having a workout buddy really helps this, so if you both make plans to meet at the gym, you are much less likely to skip a workout. This is very much a personal thing, and very difficult, because you have to hold yourself accountable. If you miss a day, make a note of it. If you don’t reach your goals, look back at all the days you let yourself miss, and understand, it is on you.

3)  Looking for the Quick Fix – This happens all the time, and where people want to lose weight now, without any large effort on their part. I do have to draw your attention to any fitness model, body builder, or athlete whose bodies are admired, and note that this did not happen overnight. The bodies we look at in magazines have been achieved by hard work and dedication. Look for a routine that you can stick to in the long run. The quick fixes always seem to end in a quick weight gain immediately afterwards.

Tip: Do your homework. Talk to a trainer. Figure out a meal and workout plan that you will be able to stick to over a long period of time. Personally, I would rather reach a long term fitness goal than a short term one, and the long term goals are easier than you would think to get to, it just involves a lot more consistency!

4)  Managing Time – There is always time to get to the gym. Throughout the week, there are times outside of work, or school, or whatever you do that dominates your week, where you can get to the gym. It is all about finding those times and sticking to them. There is always time to do your meal prep. It is about looking back up this list and realizing it is your responsibility to yourself and to your goals to do these things. I am totally guilty of coming home after work and being too lazy to come into the gym, using the excuse of being “too tired.” This is one obstacle that just has to be pushed past, and that little voice that says, “it’s too much work,” just needs to be shut up. There is a point where you need to listen to your body and rest, but you need to differentiate between that point and just being plain lazy.

Tip: I found, when working a very busy schedule at an office job, that it was way easier when I worked my fitness routine into my schedule, so it was no longer optional. I would go to the gym straight from work so I couldn’t go home and face that choice, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

5)  Not asking for Help – There are an abundance of resources out there to help you. It is okay to admit you have no idea what you are doing! Looking back to where I started, I can honestly say that I had little to no idea what I was doing when I started at the gym. It is about taking your pride down a notch, and asking for help. Everyone has to start somewhere, and your fellow gym-goers are no different. At our gym, members help each other with no question, because there is nothing to be gained by watching someone else struggle. It does not help your fitness goals by letting another person drown in theirs. Personal trainers are such a great resource, whether you know one, or just ask a trainer on the gym floor for help.

Tip: Next time you are at the gym, ask a trainer a question that has been bugging you for a while. Everyone has one. It could be, “If I eat this a lot, could that be a reason why I’m not reaching my goals?” Or it could be “I don’t think I’m doing this exercise right, can you help me?” There is no shame in asking.

Thank you for reading!


If you have any questions, please comment below, or contact the gym. We are always willing to help!

Our website:


Phone: 604-531-6255

Twitter: Sandcastlefit

Instagram: Sandcastlefitness

Snapchat: Sandcastlefit

Today is Transformation Tuesday!

Today is Transformation Tuesday! This week, we have a body transformation with Natalka Tanner!


This past week, we had the opportunity to sit down and talk with one of our members, Natalka Tanner.  She has gone through an amazing transformation, and we are so very proud of her!  We hope that some of the things she told us will help anyone thinking of starting on a fitness journey, and if anyone has any more questions about doing just that, please send us an email at or call us at 604-531-6255.

1) Tell me a bit about yourself, we’ll get to everything fitness in a minute.

I’m almost 26 years old, was born in Singapore and grew up in Malaysia for 9 years before coming here, so that was definitely different. I have a Bachelor of Arts in geography specializing in environmental sustainability from the University of Victoria. This gym has become sort of a hangout for me.

2) What did your lifestyle used to be like?

I used to watch a lot of TV, and there was also a lot of staying inside and eating. I sort of partied, not too crazily or anything, but definitely on the odd occasion. When I was at my heaviest, I lived in a house with four other people in UVIC and there was a lot of hanging out around the house. I used to be active in high school with soccer and other things, and then there was a big gap at university.


3) What prompted you to change it?

I was really sick. I kept going to doctors, and they did so many blood tests. After I ate anything, I would be in agony for a long time. Then my sister Talia told me about a detox where you ate raw fruits and veggies and then you take these supplements with it, and after the detox I lost 12 pounds. Afterwards, I felt better, there was no pain and I would see the changes in my body and it would motivate me to keep going. I was willing to do anything to change it.

4) Tell me about your fitness journey, up until now.

I have been on a way cleaner diet, and I go to the gym almost every day. I cut out all processed food for 3 years, up until now because I started throwing in a cheat meal now and again. I don’t eat dairy, and the closest thing would be almond milk.   At first it feels awful, but after a while it’s like a revelation and you don’t want to go back. I have been going to the gym with Talia and Kyle and following a competition diet, but I don’t want to get up on stage. My routine right now is that my sister and I have been getting up to do fasted cardio and then coming back in the evening to do weights. Other than that it would usually be just an hour and a half of weight training after work and some cardio.

5) What has been the hardest part for you? The easiest?

Up until just over a week ago I had given up the three things that were my absolute kryptonite, which were ice caps, chocolate, and fries. Sometimes when I eat things like that the pain comes back which minimizes the temptation. I thought just taste of those treats would set me back so if I could forget how it tasted, I could give it up. Now I can have these things now and again though. I think the worst part now is forcing myself to come in for a workout if I’m tired.

6) What would you say is/are the biggest factor[s] in this change for you?

The atmosphere here is huge, Sandcastle is a family.   It is so comfortable here, I love it, and I could never go anywhere else. Self-confidence is huge. After this change I can say that when I put my mind to something I can accomplish it. It is really weird looking back at how far I have come.

7) What are your goals as of now?

I’d like to continue to maintain what I have done, but also build muscle at the same time. It’s hard to say anything specific since my goals keep changing based on what I want. Recently I have looked to apply at the Vancouver Police Department, and if I pursued it my fitness goals would change to be more functional to help that.

8) Do you have any advice for people just starting out? What is your favourite thing to train?

You have to want it for yourself; you can’t want it for anyone else. You have to go all in. Consistency is huge, even if you don’t see the changes right away, keep going, it will come. Diet is so hugely important, as well as the exercise. For my favourite thing…contrary to what everyone says, I love leg day. Legs and booty, that’s the best.

Congratulations on all you have accomplished Natalka, and we will see you in the gym!


Stay tuned for more body transformations, and if you have any questions at all in starting your own journey, call us or email us at the contact info above!

About the Gym and Getting Started

It is easy enough to start by saying that Sandcastle Fitness is a gym unique unto itself.

Our members are our family, and the atmosphere here is overwhelmingly positive.  It is a common feeling people have, to dread coming to the gym, to drag their feet through the door just to get that workout in because they feel they have to.

Not here.

Our members orient their entire day around coming to the gym.  They arrive early, and they leave late.  This is not something we ask them to do, but something our members choose to do because the gym feels like home.  It is truly its own community here.  We support each other, and respect each other. Our members include everyone, from people who just use our fitness classes, to people who love the steam room more than anything else, to professional bodybuilding athletes.

Our trainers not only know our members by name, but they take time to introduce themselves to new members.  This is not so they can gain a boost in clientele, but rather because they want people to feel like they can ask questions.  We want everyone to train safely, in order to reach their fitness goals.

In this blog, we hope to not only be a resource to members, but to the anyone hoping to start a fitness journey at large.  We want to encourage people to experience the community feel of Sandcastle Fitness.

Starting a fitness journey is difficult in itself.  The challenges and setbacks are endless, but the results are completely worth it.  These challenges are unique to every person, whether it be having trouble sticking to a consistent diet, or actually getting workouts in.

Even if you can stick to a particular regimen there are so many options in terms of what kind of regimen a person can follow.  What is good for one person might be completely wrong for another.  It is such a personal journey, and one we hope to help with.

Ultimately, our gym is a community that hopes to help and share our knowledge and expertise.  We are located in South Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, and we are open seven days a week to help you start your journey.

Stay tuned to our blog, we will be posting helpful content such as workouts, trainer interviews, events, healthy recipes and much more.

If you have any comments, or general questions, please see our website!  We are always happy to help.