Posts Tagged ‘Toronto

Bodybuilding’s disgraced couple

- September 2nd, 2014
KillerBodies

Killer Bodies by Michael Fleeman

Finally got my hands on a copy of “Killer Bodies: A Glamorous Bodybuilding Couple, Raging Passions and a Tragic Death.”

This book by former Associated Press reporter Michael Fleeman has a bit of a personal connection for me.

I met Craig Titus and Kelly Ryan at a pro bodybuilding show in Toronto in 2001 — and even took photos of them on separate occasions (see cropped pics below) — just four years before they made headlines in the horrific slaying of their live-in assistant Melissa James.

The sordid tale is unfathomable. The once-celebrated bodybuilding supercouple — now divorced — are currently languishing in Nevada prisons. Ryan is eligible for parole next year. Titus will get his first chance at freedom in 2026.

But there’s no happy ending to this story.

CraigTitus+KellyRyan

Craig Titus and Kelly Ryan in Toronto in 2001. (Photo by Cary Castagna)

 

KellyRyan+CraigTitus

Kelly Ryan and Craig Titus in Toronto in 2001. (Photo by Cary Castagna)

Join Deepak Chopra in Global Meditation for Peace

- August 7th, 2014

Call me a cynic, but “world peace” seems to be a fanciful notion in these violent times of ours.

Have you read a newspaper lately?

Garnering the most attention on the planet right now, and for good reason, is the ongoing bloodshed in Gaza.

The body count is also on the rise in eastern Ukraine, where the current crisis continues to escalate.

And we mustn’t forget northern Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Libya, where bloody battles of varying intensity rage on.

All of this — and much more global strife that largely goes unnoticed in the west — comes 100 years after the start of the First World War. You know, that so-called “war to end all wars.”

And so it seems Deepak Chopra’s timing couldn’t be better.

The spiritual guru is set to lead a record-breaking Global Meditation for Peace at noon EDT tomorrow (Aug. 8).

Chopra is in Toronto this week for his biannual Seduction of Spirit retreat, a seven-day meditation and yoga gathering.

Tomorrow’s mass meditation will involve retreat participants, as well as tens of thousands of others online through live-streaming video.

“We are hoping to have about 100,000 people online,” he tells me in a phone interview.

“We’ve done smaller groups before, but this is the most ambitious project. We have applied to the Guinness Book of World Records to see if we can have the largest meditation ever in the history of known civilization.”

The best-selling author and former physician, who will be accompanied in the meditation by fellow spiritual guru Gabrielle Bernstein and American singer India Arie, says he doesn’t plan to single out Gaza, or any other war-torn regions for that matter.

“I don’t think we’re going to mention that (Gaza) specifically. I think it’s better not to,” he notes. “The main thing is if you are peaceful, then people around you will feel peaceful. And if you are peaceful, then you’re family will feel peaceful. And if many people in a critical mass in the world experience peace, that will hopefully affect the whole world.”

As Chopra explains it, peace begets peace.

“Peace can only be created by those that are feeling peaceful,” he adds. “Otherwise, you have this very strange situation of angry peace activists. So you can’t be angry and want peace at the same time. When you are peaceful, then people around you feel peaceful. When the critical mass of people in the world are feeling peaceful, then they spread that energy. It’s just like when you go to a football match and a certain number of people go crazy, then it reaches critical mass and you have a mob, and they burn down the stadium. That’s how consciousness works.”

Those interested in joining the meditation are asked to register online at globalmeditation.chopra.com.

“Once they register, they’ll be able to go online for a livestream, watch us on video on their computer and they’ll be getting instructions on how to start the process,” explains Chopra, long a proponent of daily meditation, “and we’ll all be in this together.”

Bernstein offered a more detailed explanation of the process in an online message delivered this morning.

“As a spiritual activist I believe that we can harness the power of our energy through meditation. That power is magnified when groups come together for shared meditation. When people gather to raise their collective energetic vibration they can create a ripple effect worldwide,” she writes.

“If you’ve seen the headlines lately, you know the world is in dire need of this higher vibration. Therefore, I am committed to inspiring you to start contributing more positive energy to the world through meditation.”

The live event is free and is open to anyone and everyone on the planet.

Sign up here.

“If you’re feeling powerless given the circumstances of our times, this is your chance to harness your true power,” Bernstein adds. “Join us tomorrow for the Global Meditation for Peace. Together we can help uplift and heal the world as we raise our own energy and intentions.”

Jillian Michaels coming to Canada

- February 28th, 2014
Jillian Michaels

Jillian Michaels

Jillian Michaels is going to be making some lucky Canadians sweat next week.

The tough-love trainer of Biggest Loser reality TV fame will be in Alberta, Ontario and Nova Scotia from Monday to Wednesday.

Here’s the press release with all the details …

Get into fitness groove with Madonna in TO

- January 2nd, 2014

Sweeeeet news for fitness-conscious fans of the Material Girl.

Madonna is coming to Canada next month to work up a sweat at Hard Candy Fitness Toronto — the latest addition to her growing list of high-end fitness clubs around the world (it opened in October).

And if you think you’ve got what it takes, you can audition for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work out with the 55-year-old uber-fit pop icon.

Read the press release for more details …

WEN_Madonna Hard Candy

Madonna at the grand opening of Hard Candy Fitness Berlin in October. (Stephan Schraps photos)

Madonna to attend grand opening of Hard Candy Fitness Toronto on February 11

Hard Candy Fitness members from around the world will audition to work out with the Material Girl at event

TORONTO – Hard Candy Fitness®, the global luxury fitness brand in partnership with Madonna and New Evolution Ventures, today announced that Madonna will host the official grand opening of Hard Candy Fitness® Toronto on Tuesday, February 11, 2014. The stunning 42,000 sq. ft. club is located in the heart of Toronto, in the Aura building at College Park (382 Yonge St.). The facility, which opened for workouts in October, is the brand’s largest in North America and only club in Canada and the United States.

WEN_MadonnaHard CandyAs part of the festivities, Madonna is scheduled to lead her signature Addicted to Sweat cardio-based dance class with the Hard Candy Fitness Performance Team.

In addition to a selected group of Toronto club members, Hard Candy Fitness clubs from around the world will hold auditions to send members to work out with Madonna live at the event. Auditions will take place at Hard Candy Fitness clubs at the end of January, and the selected winners will be flown to Toronto. Auditions for Hard Candy Fitness Toronto members will take place on January 30 and February 1, with final cut auditions on February 10.

We are very excited to share news of Madonna’s visit to our club and proud to host Hard Candy Fitness members from around the world at the grand opening,” said Leonard Schlemmco-owner of Hard Candy Fitness Toronto.

Hard Candy Fitness has also recently opened clubs in Berlin and Rome, joining existing locations in Sydney, Santiago, Mexico City, Moscow, and St. Petersburg, Russia. The brand is expected to announce the opening of multiple locations this year, as it continues its expansion into destination cities around the world.

In Toronto, first round member auditions will be held at Hard Candy Fitness Toronto on Thursday, January 30 from 7:30 to 10 p.m. and Saturday, February 1 from 1 to 4 p.m. Final cut auditions will be held on Monday, February 10. You must be a member of Hard Candy Fitness Toronto before January 30 to qualify for auditions. Those who make the final cut must be available all day on February 10 and 11.

For more information about the Toronto club, exclusive membership opportunities, and how to enter the auditions:

• call 416.979.1645,

• visit www.hardcandyfitnesstoronto.com,

• or email info@hardcandyfitnesstoronto.com.

Twitter:        @HCFToronto
Facebook:   Hard Candy Fitness Toronto
Website:      www.hardcandyfitnesstoronto.com

hard_candy

Hard Candy Fitness Toronto. (Image courtesy of Jennifer Toole)

About Hard Candy Fitness: Hard Candy Fitness is a global luxury fitness brand with a distinctive footprint. Clubs are focused on innovative group fitness programming and personalized fitness training. The brand was created in 2010 by Madonna, the world’s leading female pop-icon and well-known fitness enthusiast, and New Evolution Ventures, the world’s leading expert in fitness club development and operations. Hard Candy Fitness currently has club locations in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Santiago, Sydney, Mexico City, Rome, and Berlin.

For more information, please visit www.hardcandyfitness.com.

About New Evolution Ventures® (NeV): Based in Northern California, New Evolution Ventures® (NeV) has a two-decade plus record of success in delivering superior returns on investment, specializing in the acquisition, development and operations management of both domestic and international fitness endeavors.  Founded in 2008 by Mark Mastrov, Jim Rowley and Mike Feeney and following a strategic partnership with Vision Capital in 2011, the current team of NeV professionals is setting industry-wide standards one brand at a time. Operations have spanned over 20 countries worldwide and included hundreds of facilities. Our team’s industry experience has positioned NeV as a global leader in its field, expanding and reinventing the vision of fitness.

For more information, visit www.nev.com.

Mayor Rob Ford’s ‘trainer’ convicted of selling steroids in 2005

- November 20th, 2013

So let’s get this straight: Of all the personal trainers in Toronto willing and able to whip embattled Mayor Rob Ford into shape, His Worship apparently chose a bodybuilder with a criminal conviction for trafficking steroids?

Ouch. Talk about a fitness faux pas.

Media in TO are reporting today that Valerio Moscariello, owner of Team Body Pro Athletics, has claimed to be a member of Ford’s newly formed team of so-called  ”healthcare professionals” working to help the mayor after his now-infamous admission that he smoked crack in a “drunken stupor.”

Moscariello posted the following pic on Twitter and Instagram last night:

rob-ford-valerio moscariello

The caption reads: ‘Putting Toronto mayor Rob Ford through a Valerio workout. The BodyPro training system!!!’ That’s Ford’s new driver Jerry Agyemang, also a bodybuilder, in the background.

valerio moscariello

Valerio Moscariello

Moscariello’s bio on www.teambodypro.com details him as a bodybuilder with 23 years of training under his belt, along with having ties to Mr. Olympia winners Jay Cutler, Ronnie Coleman, Phil Heath and Dexter Jackson.

What his bio doesn’t mention is his arrest and conviction for trafficking steroids and human growth hormone in Nevada in 2005. There’s also no mention of his 12-year ban — imposed by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport — from “participating in any sport at any level and in any role.”

But after the National Post started asking Moscariello about the conviction and subsequent ban, he quickly recanted and shut down his social media accounts, suggesting that he’s actually not training Ford and that the photo was a “joke.” That’s despite telling the Post in an interview hours earlier that he was excited about training the 336-pound Ford and that he was going to “beat him up (in the gym) until he can’t take any more.”

Sure, the trafficking conviction was eight years ago. And who knows, maybe Moscariello is now a squeaky-clean trainer after his time in the hoosegow.

But the optics aren’t good for a beleaguered mayor trying to clean up his act. Not good at all.

UPDATE: Coun. Doug Ford tells Toronto Sun columnist Joe Warmington that Valerio Moscariello — despite his initial claims — ISN’T injecting Mayor Rob Ford with fitness advice afterall. Click HERE for the story.