Athlete Factory Monthly Newsletter - April 2015
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Name: Talia Benson
Age: 22
Sport: Swimming

When did you start swimming? What inspired you to start?
I started swimming with the North Van Cruisers when I was 7 years old. I started training all year round and competing at a national level when I was 12 with Chena North Shore Swim Club in North Vancouver. I have always loved the water and took to it naturally and was very fortunate to have fantastic coaches when I was starting out in the sport who coached me very well technically, gave me confidence, taught me to have fun, and inspired me to pursue swimming.

Who are your role models?
Honestly, my role models are my parents. They taught me that that if I really wanted to be successful in my sport (and in any aspect of life) sometimes you just have to put your head down and work your way through it. They taught me to swim because it was my own passion and not to under circumstance feel pressured to continue in my sport because I felt I had to swim for them. They taught me that getting up early for practice in the morning won’t kill me, not to sweat the small stuff, and not to let temporary obstacles stop me from achieving my goals, to block out the noise and focus on the job at hand. My parents are amazing people and I am so grateful for their unconditional support of my decisions and dreams.
What are some achievements you are proud of?
The Dinos won CIS championships in 2011 when I was in my first year and that was very exciting. I’m also proud that I have been a Dino for all 5 years of eligibility and have stuck with swimming for 15 years through thick and thin. There are not many athletes in any of the varsity sports who can say they did that.

What are your short and long-term goals?
As I am retiring from swimming this month my goals are short-term. My goal is to make an A-final and place top 8 at CIS championships. And my goal has always been to go under 2:00 for 200 free, which would be taking 2 seconds off from my current best time.

What advice would you give young swimmers?
Consistency. I have trained with many different coaches and the seasons that I’ve swam the best are the ones where I’ve trained under coaches who have demanded consistency. Consistency is showing up to every practice, giving it your all everyday, relentlessly, week in and week out. Consistency will give you confidence when you’re standing behind the blocks because you know you’ve done everything you can to be as good as you can at that moment.

What challenges have you overcome?
The biggest challenge, I think, is balancing school with my sport. Early mornings, two swim workouts a day plus a lift is difficult to juggle as well as going to class and homework. I’ve been a student athlete since grade 6 so I’ve always just done the work because it needs to be done and its what I’ve always done.

What do you enjoy most about training at the Athlete Factory?
I love the coaches and the attention to detail and focus on technique they give to every repeat of every lift or exercise. I’ve had back issues throughout my entire swimming career and so my program focuses maintaining the strength I’ve built in rehabbing my back with the Athlete Factory. I also enjoy meeting other elite athletes who are committed to being better athletes from the world class coaching at the athlete factory.
How has training at the Athlete Factory helped you? 
It has helped me in all aspects of my swimming. Before I came to the Athlete Factory in 2012, I had had two back-to-back terrible seasons with swimming, was injured and sick all the time and was so far off of my best times. It was the summer in 2012 and I was definitely considering not returning to swim for the Dinos in the fall. Kevyn Peterson who was working at Athlete Factory at that time told me to check it out. I’m so happy that I did because they helped me get back on track, set up a nutrition plan and a weekly training schedule. Robin Bauer was assigned as my head coach and has been very patient with me (as I can be very stubborn), helped me get over my injuries and I can owe a major part of my successes in the past 2 years to him.

How do I distinguish the difference between a muscle strain and a tight muscle?
Muscle strains are a common injury that I see in the clinic. Unfortunately, when I see these types of patients the injury has typically become worse than it originally was due to improper care. It can be difficult to know when the muscle is strained (when the actual muscle fibers are torn), or when the muscle is simply tight. 
The simplest question I ask my patient when they first come to see me is “how does the muscle feel after it has been stretched?” If the muscle that’s been stretched feels achier or sore afterwards, then it NEEDS TO STOP BEING STRETCHED IMMEDIATELY. This typically means that the muscle fibers are torn. If the muscle continues to be stretched, then the muscle fibres will continue to tear apart. This also means that the muscle should not be massaged or ‘rubbed’. Do not touch the area. Simply rest, ICE, and then book an appointment to see a Physiotherapist or an Athletic Therapist. 
On the other hand, if the muscle feels sore, and then it is stretched and feels better or ‘looser’ after, then continue to stretch and foam roll the area. It can also help to have a longer warm-up or cool-down to tend to the area that is in question. Again, after it warms up and has been moving, it should feel better.
If, after all that, it is still unclear whether or not the muscle is strained, then book an appointment with one of the therapists and we will help you distinguish between the two. 
The most important thing to remember is that if the injury is handled correctly the moment it happens, the rehabilitation time can be cut in half, if not more, by simply resting the area instead of trying to ‘work through the discomfort’. 
Shannon Forsyth, MScPT, CAT(c), BHK

Athlete Factory Sports Therapy Clinic


Performance Assessments:
Wednesday April 1st 5:30
Tuesday April 14th 7:30
Saturday April 25th 10:00am

Recovery Sessions:
Sundays 12:00pm
Mondays 6:30pm

Holiday Hours/Closures:
Good Friday April 3rd 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Easter Sunday April 5th CLOSED


Train every day at The Athlete Factory!

Memberships are available to our athletes for only $30 a month. Memberships give you full use of the facility during our open hours. It’s a great way to make sure you get in all of your training sessions – and our coaches are always on hand to help! 


Interested in joining our team of Conditioning Coaches? 

Send resume & cover letter to

Hey Parents, try our Factory Fix!

Factory Fix Circuit Class runs every Saturday 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Current Athlete Factory clients and Non-Athlete Factory Clients welcome with all training levels welcome!

Drop Ins Welcome

We are pleased to join forces with the CBA (Calgary Basketball Academy) Organization.

CBA is one of the largest clubs in Western Canada. They are committed to growing youth basketball in Calgary. CBA believes in providing structure and discipline to assist young adults to be as successful as possible both on and off the basketball. We are excited to work with an organization whose vision aligns with our own.


Congrats to swimmer Tabitha Somerset on winning 3 medals, a silver in relay, 1 bronze in relay and 1 bronze in the 100 free at the Internationales PAMINA Nachwuchsschwimmfest 2015 Germany.

Congrats to golfer Logan Carver on coming top 5 at the CJGA Worlds Qualifier tournament!

Congrats to Rebecca Waterman whose team Calgary Hyper won U16 AA Ringette Provincials, now best of luck at Nationals in April.

Lucas Huculak competes in the Badminton Alberta Junior Circuit and won the BS U11. This was the last tournament of the season, and the Junior Circuit will start up again in the fall.

Congrats Ryan Portello Moguls Skier on making the finals at Le Massif.

Muay Thai athlete Olivia Awad is the 2015 WKA Champion.

Coleman Vollrath set a franchise record with the WHL Victoria Royals, at an all time high most shut outs in a season at 6!

Congratulations to Abby Lever and Taz Hansen on two big wins in Arizona with the Calgary Roller Derby Association All-Stars! 

Congrats to Summer Masikewich’s St. Francis Basketball team on winning city finals.

Congratulations to Sebastian Somerset on getting his third age group National time. 

Natalie Pearce and Hilary Dube won cities in basketball!

Congrats Jevon Childress! His Bantam basketball team (Spartans) won Cities! His team went to provincials and came 5th overall with Jevon receiving player of the game in their second game in the provincial tournament!

Congrats Erika Stark on your bronze at provincials in your rookie skeleton season!

Synchro swimmers achieve success at National Qualifiers, Cassie Winkelaar finishes in 1st place in the 13-15 Duets and 3rd in the 13-15 Solo and Breanne Law finishes 3rd in the Senior Solo!

Congrats to Nicole Joe on coming first place at the Junior Women Free Figuring skating competition!

Congrats to PeeWee hockey player Brayden Baustad on scoring 5 goals in 5 games at Provincials in Edmonton!

Welcome Bryn Roy from the Montreal Allouettes. Looking forward to getting results for the upcoming CFL season. 

Congratulations Kirstie Kasko on being named to the Canadian swim team who will compete in the 2015 Parapan American Games.

Best of luck to CWSC teams and athletes heading to compete in Brazil this month! Joga Bonita!

Congratulations to the FAST athletes who qualified for the Whistler Cup! Nicole Foster, Cassie Zumwalt, Lexie Brandon, Rylee Forsyth, Catherine and Alexandra Carruthers, Devin Mittertreiner, Ryan Finley and Luke MacDonald! Devin received some further

Well done Nick Blevins and the Canadian Men's Rugby Team, who end their tour with a win of Samoa.


We are pleased to increase the number of weekly group sessions offered to now include:

  • Mondays - 5:00pm - 14+ Sprint & Jump
  • Mondays - 630pm - U14+ Sprint & Jump
  • Tuesdays - 7:30pm - 14+ Energy Systems 
  • Wednesday - 5:30pm - U14 Energy Systems 
  • Thursdays - 7:00am - 14+ Energy Systems
  • Thursdays - 630pm - U14 Energy Systems
  • Thursdays - 6:30pm - 14+ Sprint & Jump 
  • Saturdays - 10:00am - 14+ Sprint & Jump  

Talk to your Lead Coach about adding these into your program!

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Our mailing address is:
Bay 6, 510 77th Ave SE
Calgary, AB T2H 1C3 Canada
ph. 403 255 7703

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