Do More Blog Jasper Blake

As an athlete protein is probably on your mind, and that’s totally understandable.

We need the amino acids found in protein to help us build and repair muscle so our bodies are fueled for our next training session or race.

But how can you make sure you are getting the protein you need? Think whole foods and trusted supplements.

Most people can benefit from natural whole food sources to get protein like fish, chicken, yogurt, eggs and beans.

A good nutritional supplement can help too, especially after hard workouts or when time does not permit you to get enough protein from whole food.  But, make sure your look closely at the labels…some protein supplements have fillers that do nothing for you.

Consider using Klean Isolate, a Klean Athlete Nutritional Supplement. It’s has 20 grams of high quality Whey Protein isolate in each serving. A good Whey Protein like Klean Athlete Isloate will help you rebuild skeletal muscle broken down during exercise. And it’s free of artificial flavoring and sweeteners. Which means you can add it to any drink to satisfy your flavor craving (e.g. berry banana smoothie).   Plus it is NSF certified for sport!

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 Adam Bornstein

We probably don’t need to tell you that lack of sleep can screw up your life.

You know that it makes it harder to concentrate and work, but you may not know that it also messes with your body on levels that directly impact your ability to lose fat.

When your sleep quality is poor, your metabolic rate decreases, making it easier for you to pack on pounds faster than you can say, “McDonald’s.” A bad night of rest also limits your ability to recover from your workouts, meaning it becomes harder to become stronger and build more muscle.

But the biggest problem is tied to your hormonal production. You see, there is an implied catch-22 when it comes to sleep quality and hormones—particularly cortisol. If you have high levels of cortisol, you have trouble sleeping. And when you don’t get enough sleep, your cortisol levels rise. Cortisol increases during times of stress, and one way stress creates itself is insomnia. The end result is a vicious cycle that crushes your body in every direction, causing more weight gain and harming sleep patterns, which also lowers growth hormone and increases insulin. And that combination has been show to kill blood flow, diminish sex drive, and cause erectile dysfunction.

If that wasn’t bad enough, researchers at the University of Warwick and University of Naples Medical Schools found that people who sleep fewer than six hours per night have a shorter life expectancy. If living longer isn’t a good enough reason to focus on your sleep, then we don’t know what is.

Posted in Coaches Corner and tagged , ,

Jeff Symonds

I have never been an athlete with a pretty swim stroke or running stride.  The success I have had has been because I am able to Get Ugly Out There and get everything I have out of myself on race day.  These are themental techniques I have used and you can use to make your next race a success.

Mental Game Plan

Most people have a physical game plan and know exactly what pace they want to hold for every portion of their race.  I always create a mental game plan and plan out exactly what I want to be thinking of during every portion of my race.  By creating a mental game plan you will have the thoughts you want to have, and should have, as opposed to letting race day excitement and fatigue determine our thoughts for us. Often times I will use landmarks as cues to predetermined thoughts.  An example being that every time I see a speed limit sign I think, “Alright, going fast feeling good!”


A key component of my Mental Game Plan is mantras.  I have them for the swim, the bike, and the run, and I repeat them over and over and over again.  Mantras help keep me focused on the task and keep negative thoughts from creeping in.  My mantras are often technical cues or related to pacing and rhythm.  For running I always think: “Re-lax, fly-ing, your pace, negative split.” For the ride, I think: “Easy Three-zy aero.” Easy to stay relaxed, Three-zy for pacing with my power meter, and aero to think remind myself to tuck my head into an aerodynamic position. For swimming I think “flowing-ing“, or if I need to close a gap “four-twen-ty” to think of my 400 pace.

Attitude and Effort

Whether it be in training or during a competition, if I find myself distracted and beginning to worry about things beyond my control, I think about the two things that I can control: attitude and effort.  Am I staying positive and am I working hard?  If I am doing these things I know I am going to get the most out of myself on that day.  If I am not doing these two things, I should have a game plan to get myself back on track.  Thinking about this becomes especially important during a taper week when stress, anxiousness and irrationality start to creep in and you find yourself having a melt down because someone ate the last of your cereal…

Honor commitment with training

Pressure.  It’s there for everyone regardless of your experience in the sport.  Endurance racing can be a selfish task that requires support and sacrifices from others just to get us to the start line.  Your supporters will always value the work ethic and commitment you put in to your training rather than the end result (trust me, it’s true!). If I’m having a bad day out there, it helps me to remember that I am honoring that support. I honor my supporters by working as hard as I can everyday to prepare for race day. I am honoring them by training hard, eating healthy and getting to bed early; not by being first across the line.

Think like a Champion

I always look for situations to practice mental toughness and positive thinking.  Board games are a great opportunity for this (and a great way to spend a rest day)! With board games, it is a lot harder to stay positive and focus on the process than it sounds. I am constantly putting this into practice when playing against my Grandma. Yes I am the type of guy that would never let my Grandma beat me at anything!  I learned that attitude from her!

Learn to Love Ugly Conditions

I am often asked what my favourite race conditions are.  My answer? The hardest conditions imaginable!  I know that most people hate the extreme cold, heat, wind, rain, hills, etc.  Even at the highest level some competitors willmentally quit before race even starts. When I am faced with epic conditions I gain a huge amount of confidence knowing that my chances of racing well just went up! And who doesn’t want to be able to say that they did a race in 90km/hr winds or freezing rain?!

Make Lists


Lists rule my life (just ask my girlfriend).  I write down the key things I need to do a week out from race day, two days before, the day before and race morning.  The lists ensure that I stay calm and get everything done. It gives me a lot of confidence to look at the lists the night before a race and to be able to say that, yes, I have done everything I can to get ready for the big day. The lists will be everything from what food I am going to eat race morning to what I need to have in my transition bags to what I am going to do if something goes wrong.


Create a list of Solutions to Common Problems


Peter Reid said that “Ironman is problem solving”.   I like to have the solution to these problems long before I encounter them on race day.   What will I do if I get a flat? What if a goggle gets filled with water?  What if my goggles get knocked off? What if I drop a bottle on the bike?  It helps to write the list out and share it someone smarter than you to get her opinion.  Yes that “her” was intentional.
Attack your fears

If there is something you fear or are worried about, I can guarantee you that the majority of your competitors feel the same way.   Attack these fears in training.  I hate riding in the rain, so every time it rains I get on my bike and head out the door.  As miserable as I am, the more I ride in the rain the better my handling skills will be and the more comfortable I’ll be in rainy weather.  When I get to a race and it is a torrential downpour, I’ll be ready.

Deliberate Practice


Deliberate Practice is making your training sessions as much like race day as possible.  I incorporate deliberate practice into every workout I do. I train alone to simulate race day and I use my exact race nutrition for long runs and rides.  If I am preparing for a 3 loop run course, I’ll run 3 loop long runs. I ride in the aero position a lot! I use my mantras and I visualize scenarios. For example, getting passed is something that will happen on race day. So when someone blows by me on my training ride or run, think about how I will respond in a race situation and focus on maintaining my pace and not getting caught up in someone else’s pace. I look at all my training sessions and ask myself how can I make this more like race day.

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Rob Britton is one of Canada’s top road cycling talents. He has been competing as a professional road cyclist for close to a decade now and like many riders is gearing up for the 2014 season. Last year Rob spent the season gaining valuable experience on the European circuit but has returned home to race for the North American team Smartstop.
Rob is currently down in the Dominican Republic at the Vuelta Indipedincia; a 7 day, 8 stage race that covers a vast portion of the country. Rob is fit and ready to go this season having already knocked off several tough camps in Maui, Tucson and Boulder, Colorado. Rob is new to the 7SYSTEMS team but we are incredibly excited to have him on board. He is stoked about the product as well. Here’s what he had to say.
“I just wanted to drop you a quick message and say, I am SO pumped on 7systems.  I can’t remember a spring when I’ve felt this genuinely good.  I have recently taken on a huge training load and my fatigue levels and immune system are solid. I’m stoked to say the least!”
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Klean Athlete Welcomes Gillian Carleton
Klean Athlete Canada will be represented by Olympic Medalist Gillian Carleton this year. Gillian is coming on board as one of Kleans brand ambassadors and will be an incredible addition to an already impressive team.
Jasper Blake Scores Winning Goal In Overtime
7SYSTEMS cofounder Jasper Blake scored an overtime goal in his beer league hockey tier to help his team win the second round of the playoffs. Said Blake; “This ranks at the top of pretty much everything I’ve ever accomplished. I’d put it right up there with the birth of my children”
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“Sir, you’re having a mild hear attack”

Wait a second, how does a healthy, active guy in his 40′s have a medic telling him this news as he gets pushed into an ambulance at the brisk hour of 2:30 am?

Believe it or not, that was the beginning of a 24 hour visit to the hospital that made me rethink a whole bunch of stuff. It turns out it was Pericarditis, an inflammation of the tissue around the heart. Symptoms can be very similar to a heart attack… chest pressure, pain in the left shoulder and tightness into the neck.

Ambulance medics don’t have sensitive enough equipment to detect the difference between a heart attack and various other heart afflictions that are far less serious. Only once at the hospital and with the use of an EKG, X-ray, Echocardiography and an Angiogram (they actually snaked a fiber optic wire into my heart!), were they able to determine what the actual issue was. The scary part was having them start shaving my chest as soon as I arrived in the Cardiac Area, and before they figured out what I was experiencing, “just in case” they had to crack open my ribs and do a by-pass!

The good news is that my release was very understated…the nurse came by to discharge me with a reminder to not drive for 24 hours and my prescriptions for some regular aspirin, colchicine and pantoprazole. Ironically the pantoprazole is only there to offset the strain on the stomach lining caused by the aspirin, which was prescribed for its anti-inflammatory function.

The bigger question is how did I end up having Pericarditis? It turns out that the most frequent cause is a virus, that in rare occasions can be brought on by a cold or flu. I had not had a cold since August, so as my further investigation has discovered, there still remains a fair amount of mystery about the full range of causes. My suspicion is that Pericarditis was actually triggered by a cold I had in the spring that I dismissed as just a ‘sniffle’. Ever since however, I had occasionally experienced a short, sharp pain in my left shoulder, which I of course attributed to some other athletic injury.

So what now? Here are 3 things I’ve decided to commit to that I share in the hopes that it can help you avoid Pericarditis or any other more serious heart afflictions. I’m not a doctor so use these as action inspiration vs fact confirmation:

Get More Sleep: There is increasing evidence that adequate sleep is critical for effective heart recovery, amongst other mental and physical benefits. Here’s a link to just one of many articles on the subject. People who exercise more and/or have higher levels of stress in their lives need to take particular note.

Have Your Heart Tested: There is a myth that this should start when you retire. Many recommend starting as young as 20. The heart is a very complicated machine so get your doctor to send you to a cardiologist to have your heart tested regularly, especially if you have family history of heart afflictions, are starting to do more strenuous exercise, do lots of exercise that lasts for over an hour each time or have experienced unusual chest pains.

Let Your Heart Recover: Physical and mental stress affects our heart. We’ve heard about the importance of giving your heart ample opportunity for ‘rest’ time during the day and night when it can be free of work, or workout stress. Now there is also increasing evidence that the kind of nutrition you consume before and especially after periods of heart stress can reduce potential harm to your heart.

Here’s to many more years of having a healthy heart!

Posted in Blog, Coaches Corner, Feature and tagged , ,

Reid Coolsaet has been a 7SYSTEMS pro team athlete for many years now and has contributed immensely to the DOMORE attitude of our company. Last month Reid took part in the Fukuoka marathon in an attempt to break the long standing Canadian Record of 2:10:09. Despite an incredibly positive lead into the event, Reid fell short running 2:11:24. Reid is a champion and was of course disappointed in the result but we feel compelled to celebrate the fact that he is so persistent in his efforts to conquer this milestone. Reid is a shining example of someone who puts it on the line and shoots for the stars. We are proud! To read his blog about the race visit his website

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Rob Britton

Rob is 7SYSTEMS newest pro team athlete. Rob is one of Canada’s top professional road cyclists and is currently racing for a North American team after a year racing the circuit in Europe.


7SYSTEMS and the DOMORE Community has partnered with adventurer John Carinha in his attempt to row a boat around Vancouver Island. John is taking on the challenge to raise funds and awareness for Autism Speaks Canada. The journey will span over 1,100km. John will be undertaking this incredible challenge in June of 2014 and is expected to take 3-4 weeks.

Adam Campbell

Ultra runner and 7SYSTEMS pro team athlete Adam Campbell took part in the North Face 50 mile event in San Francisco this month. Despite having some directional issues, Adam still managed to finish a respectable 7th overall. The trouble with being great is that 7th doesn’t cut it. Adam was not overly pleased with the result but is still a champion and one of our great DOMORE athletes! Congrats Adam!

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Scott Thorton

Scott Thorton, who won battle of the blades, is a 7SYSTEMS supporter and has used it when he was training for Ironman. We’re proud of this member of our DO MORE Community!

Lauren Groves

Pro Triathlete and long time 7SYSTEMS pro teamer Lauren Groves is on to a great new life chapter. Lauren recently started school to become a Chiropractor. Lauren spent the better part of 15 years racing at the highest levels in triathlon. Among other great results she had a top five finish at the World Championships and represented Canada at the Olympic Games in 2008. Lauren will no doubt continue to have incredible success in years to come.

Join the 7SYSTEMS Teams

Are you an Age Group athlete or aspiring professional? Apply now for one of our 7SYSTEMS Teams. We offer three levels of sponsorship with our Pro Team, ProAm Team and DoMore teams. It’s a great way to get a discount on 7SYSTEMS and generate some more exposure for yourself through our network. Please submit queries or applications to The cut off for the 2014 year is December 31st, 2013

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Louis Therien

Off-season, Halloween and Thanksgiving have passed; now it’s time to get back to your healthy eating habits for the start of your next athletic season! Seems like too many people overcomplicate things when it comes to nutrition or simply aren’t thinking about the effects that certain foods may have on their performance. I’ve always employed thesimple strategy of asking myself: “is this healthy for me, and will it help me become a better athlete?” By asking yourself this question prior to making a nutrition decision, chances are, you’ll make the right choice! Obviously, if you always answer NO you may “blow up” and overindulge by eating an entire box of Oreo’s, so make sure to reward yourself with goodies every so often!

My constant daily nutritious snack/meal is a smoothie. Load it with fruit, veggies, chia seeds, greens, coconut milk, yogurt and basically anything you have in the fridge and you have yourself one tasty drink! Great for post swims or a mid-morning snack. Probably the most nutritious meal and easiest to make!

Healthy eating habits are essential for strong performances!


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