After Pic #2

How I looked before I started taking my training and nutrition seriously...

before pic for website

My Average Joe Story...

My name is Chris Friesen, I am 41 years old, and I live in Manitoba, Canada.

I have been very passionate about strength training and physical fitness for about 25 years now. I had my first taste of weight training at the tender, young age of 14. Since then, I have tried just about every program, supplement, outlandish equipment and diet trick in the book.

While I had some success in getting stronger, building muscle and burning fat eluded me. My frustration caused me to throw myself at my training with wild abandon, with ever increasing training volume and intensity, and less and less recovery time. I ignored my nutrition, with the false belief that I could out exercise a poor diet.

This left me with an ever growing waistline, low energy and libido levels, and little to show for the effort I truly was putting in at the gym. I also neglected to keep track of my training, which is a sure fire way to fail.

After all, how can you expect to improve at anything if you don't keep record of that which you are trying to improve upon?

How can you look back weeks or months to see if you truly ARE getting stronger, if your conditioning IS improving, if your body composition IS changing?

These are all aspects of training that I ignored, and it showed in my physique and in my conditioning as well. After years of effort with little to show for it, I decided that enough was enough!

I was going to go all in and figure this thing out that had eluded me for so many years. I began reading everything I could get my hands on regarding training and nutrition. Articles, scientific research papers, training programs, blogs, you name it, I read them all. I subscribed to every fitness and strength training newsletter I came across on my search. I read reviews on bodybuilding and fitness forums as well to see what other people's experiences were with those same programs and training concepts.

Not only did I read them, I implemented what I learned in my training and diet regiment. I experimented on myself, tweaked things here and there, and started to see some results. I also started to see common themes becoming increasingly apparent across all of the diverse literature that I was studying.

These crossover concepts have since become the backbone of not only my own daily personal training, but the programs I put together for my clients as well.

Since this journey began for me, I have gone from 195 pounds at 35% bodyfat, to my current weight of 155 pounds, but at 13% bodyfat instead of 35%. 

I have been involved in self-defense and combatives training, both as a student and as an instructor, for the last 22 years. I have studied taekwondo, jiu jitsu, karate, jeet kune do, boxing as well as various reality based systems such as Blauer Tactical Systems, Target Focus Training and most recently Commando Krav Maga.

I became certified in Commando Krav Maga on March 4, 2012 after an intensive certification course that taught me a lot about myself and my perceived limits. It was an emotionally, mentally and physically exhausting experience, and one that has made me a much better instructor.

One of the things it has taught me is to never cease being a student and learning new things. I often find that there is much to learn even from my own students, as long as I am open to that.

I became a Certified Partner of SAFE International in June of 2013, and am very honored to be able to bring their top notch curriculum, which is focused heavily on high school students, women and the corporate sector,  to Western Canada in 2014 and beyond!

My philosophy on self-defense centers around simplicity, and I always strive to strip away any techniques or tactics that are unessential or too complex. Self-defense is not overly complicated and should be readily available to everyone, regardless of their age, gender, fitness level or body type and that is what I focus on when developing or teaching any techniques or tactics to any of my students.

I look forward to answering any concerns or questions you may have and cannot wait to have a positive impact on your health, fitness, and self-defense goals through our regular articles, blog posts, as well as our self-defense courses and curriculum.

Feel free to email me your questions or concerns at


How I looked after I started making some small, but consistent, lifestyle changes...

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