May 19th, 2015                                                                       Issue 21



Most successful brands have a story at their core, a story that describes the brand's values, their image, a story that makes that brand unique. For instance, for Howard Schultz the chairman and CEO of Starbucks, it was his trip to Italy that sparked his passion to create a coffee shop concept where people would enjoy the best quality coffee and use it as a third place, a place where they could pass their time outside home and work. For Kieser Training, the Swiss-based franchise that was my inspiration for creating New Element Training, it was the story of Werner Kieser, and how despite the advice of "experts" he used weight training to rehabilitate himself out of an injury at the same time realizing the importance of strength training for health. Today, there are around 300,000 customers who are being serviced by Kieser Training facilities.


As I considered the importance of a story in relation to the core of a brand's values, I thought it was important to look back on my own story and remind everyone including myself what New Element Training is about. 



Enjoy the read,


P.S. I would love to hear what New Element Training means to you!


Andrei's story
Part I: Vanity
Andrei Yakovenko
I won't lie, my own story starts with vanity. One day at the age of 34, I looked at myself and thought if I don't take charge of my body now, I will become weak, old and overweight like many of my classmates/friends. I was not willing to accept those consequences. After all, I was quite athletic in my youth and always thought of myself as being strong, at least back in the day... I lived in a condo at the time and so I decided to wake up each morning around   5 am   and hit the condo gym for some weights and cardio, but mostly weights. Whatever I did must have worked, as after only 3 months of exercise people started to compliment the changes in my physique. I joined a 'box' gym and kept training for a couple of years. I put on some weight both in muscle and fat but then my knee and elbow started to persistently hurt. However, I didn't care about the pain as much as I did about lifting heavy weights and continued to do so, improperly...

One Christmas I bought my wife a Sony e-book. Lucky for me she was not in a big hurry to use it, so I decided to browse the online book store for a good research based book on the science of resistance training for the purpose of hypertrophy (increasing size of muscles). I came across a book called "Body by Science". The subtitle of the book was very promising, "A Research-Based Program for Strength Training, Body Building, and Complete Fitness in 12 Minutes a Week" and it was co-authored by an MD so I decided to purchase it and dove into it during the Christmas break. It would be an understatement to say that the book had changed my life. I was fascinated by the rational thinking and research backed statements, which I double checked and all added up. Wow! If one can get in his or hers optimal shape in only 15 - 20 mins once a week, that it is huge! So I put this training approach to the test. One thing I noticed was that my knee, elbow and shoulder pain all disappeared. I also noticed that it was in fact possible to build muscle only exercising that little, as it was evident by my colleague Martin (pictures below). He looked ripped after doing this training with me only once a week for about a year.


After a year of 1x/week HIT training








At the same time something was missing in my personal life. I felt a strong and persistent urge to test myself as an entrepreneur. I was in my late 30's, and as with the decision I made to take charge of my body, I made the decision to jump into the deep water of uncertainty and see if I could learn to swim. I felt that if I didn't do it, I would regret it later on. So I quit my position with a company where I was well on my way to have a long and successful career, and decided to follow my new passion...



Part II: Strength for health
I learned a lot from Body by Science and my own research of academic literature, not only on a rational approach to resistance training but also that properly conducted strength training has tremendous health benefits too.  I have learned that it strengthens the heart, improves cholesterol profile, insulin sensitivity, blood pressure, reduces the risk of developing cancer and the list goes on . I learned about MedX machines and why they were superior tools for effective strength training compared to any other tool out there.  I learned that the MedX Lumbar Extension machine either solves or alleviates about 80% of chronic back pain cases (which is as good as it gets) . Basically, what I learned is by taking proper care of our muscles, we will not only develop an attractive physique, we will also prevent a large number of health concerns.
It became apparent to me that this approach to fitness and preventive health is the most effective way to live an optimal life.  After all who would not want to look good and have great health while only spending 20 mins once or twice a week exercising? Sounds like too good to be true, but it is true.



Werner Kieser and I

I was on a mission to open a business and start offering people this jewel of a lifestyle approach. This is when I started talking to Werner Kieser, the founder of the Swiss-based, original strength for health franchise, Kieser Training. Werner has been in this business for over 40 years and his story is truly inspiring. Not only did he believe in strength training as a means to fight muscle atrophy, but he believed he could help the average person by opening a facility exclusively focused on strength training. This goes against all the other fitness industry norms but Werner was onto something. He spared no expense while using the best tools available to create a strong body (ie. MedX and Delphex machines) and grew his concept into an international franchise with over 150 facilities. When I travelled to Zurich, I met Werner and his wife Gabriela, saw the Kieser Training facilities and immediately fell in love with the concept. A bright very clean space, with super friendly staff and the largest selection of Swiss-engineered MedX you will ever find in one place. It is truly the best fitness concept, period! When I came back home, I realized I didn't want my concept to be anything else. I wanted to follow similar footsteps.


A Kieser Training facility in Zurich, Swizerland


The last few years were an evaluation of my philosophy on exercise and lifestyle. It started with something based on pure vanity but has evolved into a preventive approach for a long term sustainable fitness and health solution for the rest of my life.

All the evidence supports this approach and suggests that as long as you keep doing it, your health will be better off, you will live longer, your energy will be high, and you won't have any/as much pain as you grow older. After all who wouldn't like to grow old while looking and feeling younger, while being healthy on top of that? Did I already mention that it doesn't require multiple weekly gym hours too?


My vision is to establish the best strength for health training concept in Canada by utilizing research proven training methods, the best engineered equipment and prioritizing customer benefits.


New Element Training

It is still a journey as far as establishing this concept here in Toronto, but as Werner Kieser says: "... if the product strategy prioritizes the customer benefit... you will be sustained by the strength of the product". It is the strength of my product that keeps me motivated to keep going regardless of the challenges we face during our journey. We all make mistakes, the key is to have a product that prioritizes the customer and I believe our product certainly gives our customers the best value possible.  

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New Element Training Ltd. | (416) 792 4546 | | 439 University Ave.
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