canfitpro Official Magazine | May/June, 2023

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Ignite Your Courage and Discover Personal Growth at canfitpro Global

In an era where remote work and virtual events have become normalized, there is one thing that cannot be underestimated –the value of group camaraderie. As fitness professionals, we recognize the powerful dynamics and positive effects of working together. Research repeatedly shows that working out in group settings helps foster a sense of interpersonal connectiveness known as ‘social support’. Social support promotes motivation and accountability and can provide a sense of structure to daily routines, which leads to more consistent, effective, and enjoyable training experiences.

It is more important than ever for fitness professionals and enthusiasts to come together, whether that be at the gym, office or in-person events, such as canfitpro Global Conference and Trade Show. While virtual workplaces and events provide some convenience and accessibility, they cannot replace all the collective learning opportunities of in-person conferences.

By attending in-person conferences, like canfitpro Global, you can network with like-minded individuals in the fitness industry. These connections can lead to

future job opportunities, collaborations, and friendships. In-person events can also supply vital knowledge and skills that cannot be gained via the internet or on one’s own. Conferences are platforms for interaction and discussion, which can lead to new insights and perspectives to help you regain confidence as we continue to navigate our ever-evolving industry. Beyond these advantages, simply leaving our normal surroundings can ignite our courage and inspire deeper reflection on our work and life goals. It provides a break from the daily routine with the opportunity to escape distractions and focus fully on learning and growth. This can be a fantastic way to break through a personal or business plateau.

I like to think of attending conferences as a work vacation. I am investing in my career but also experiencing new surroundings with friends, networking with industry leaders, and enjoying a change of pace. These are a few of the many benefits that enhance my personal and professional development and overall wellbeing. I hope you will join me so that we can learn together, lead together (even workout together), and MO’ve the industry forward in a stronger direction.

May/June 2023

Chief Operating Officer

Maureen Hagan

Director of Operations

Michael O’Neil

Director of Business Growth

Robert Robinson

Managing Editor Erin Andersen

Graphic Designer

Imran Mahmood,

Marketing & Communications Manager Manahil Sami,

Events Experience Manager Jennifer Pitt,

Senior Account Manager, B2B Sales Bill Loker,

Member Experience Manager Fatima Sunga,

Fitness Advisory Panel

Terence Boateng

Nathalie Lacombe

Melanie Levenberg

Jessica Maurer

Erin Phelan

Trevor Pickett

Funk Roberts

Jess Silver

Ben Siong

Dwayne Smith

To Subscribe

canfitpro Magazine is published six times per year by Canadian Fitness Professionals Inc. New Professional Memberships with canfitpro are $120 per year (plus GST/HST) and renewals are $98 per year (plus GST/ HST) and include a subscription to the magazine. For more information, please contact Member Services at ext. 301.

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Contact for questions regarding membership, conferences, and Canadian fitness resources.

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canfitpro May/June 2023 2 Note from the COO
Photo Credit: Angiesphototeam
3 canfitpro May/June 2023 CONTENTS 16 58 62 18 54 LIFE COACHING 64 Who Motivates Who? Creating win-win client relationships EXCERPT 66 RUNNING DURING AND AFTER PREGNANCY This is an excerpt from Break Through Women’s Running, by Neely Spence Gracey and Cindy Kuzma HEALTHY LIVING 68 AVOIDING SELF-COMPARISON AS A FITNESS PROFESSIONAL How do we avoid measuring ourselves against others? DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION 52 LGBT2SQ+ and Exercise Creating safer and more inclusive spaces as fitness professionals TRAINING 54 Functional Outdoor Training A convenient and affordable double dose of health 56 THE POWER OF ISOMETRIC TRAINING A potent training tool for overall movement quality NUTRITION 58 The Holistic Nutrition Approach to Food Labels Key takeaways to simplify labels and improve health MIND-BODY 62 Plug Into Nature Meditative techniques to recharge the heart and revitalize your energy FITNESS BUSINESS JOURNAL 16 THE TURNING POINT OF AI 18 YOUR 7-FIGURE FITNESS ENTREPRENEUR ROADMAP 22 IS THE NEW NORMAL A SOURCE OF STRESS? REGULARS 2 NOTE FROM COO 6 THE WARM-UP 8 PRO TRAINER SHOWCASE 12 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT COVER STORY 24 26 Sponsors 31 Opening Ceremonies 32 Tracks Description 34 Intensives 35 Schedule at a Glance

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canfitpro is proud of our staff and their commitment to helping you, our valued members, be successful. Our staff come from diverse and varied backgrounds and bring a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and experience to their roles.

What is your favourite holiday? Halloween

What is one interesting fact you can share about yourself?

I love fitness and working out!

How long have you been working at canfitpro?

Almost three months.

What is your role at canfitpro? I am a Member Experience Advisor.

Why is what you do with canfitpro important to you?

Nick Name: Sabs

Country of birth: Canada

Cultural background: Portuguese and Indigenous

What is your favourite food? Tacos

I love being able to assist and interact with our members. It is so fulfilling to form connections and help them have the best experience as possible working with us.

Which canfitpro core value most resonates with you?

Caring Community resonates with me the most. It is very Important to me to be surrounded by a good community and help those around me as much as I can.

What is your favourite form of exercise or physical activity?

My favorite form of activity is definitely going to the gym - mostly lifting weights. I love

challenging myself and seeing how I can improve with every workout.

How do you incorporate fitness into your life?

I try my best to make it to the gym consistently. I have started going to the gym on lunch breaks in the office which helps significantly with my productivity and mood at work!

Do you hold a canfitpro certification? Not yet!

What is your two-word WHY statement? Helping People

What is your Super-Power?

Staying focused even when the office is loud.

What do you want to be remembered for? I would like to be remembered for lifting up the people around me and always being a positive member in my community.

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canfitpro PRO TRAINERS

Meet the team ready to certify you!

Fort McMurray, AB

Courses Taught: FIS, PTS, HWL, FMA

What is your outdoor training specialty and why do you enjoy it?

Besides being canfitpro certified in all the disciplines, and a canfitpro PRO TRAINER, I am an NCCP Adult Community Triathlon Coach, a PMBIA Level 1 Mountain Bike Instructor, a CASI Level 1 Snowboard Instructor, and TrainingPeaks Level 1 Coach.

My specialty is teaching mountain biking and snowboarding to children and adults.

I also coach beginner to advanced

triathletes, dual athletes, runners, and cyclists.

I enjoy it for a variety of reasons. First, I became involved in all these sports personally and it is out of passion for these sports that I became certified. Second, I am an outdoor fanatic and love being outside with nature. Finally, and most important of all, it is watching how people change through these sports. Seeing the joy that lights up their face when they learn something new or finish their first race. Getting to be the one coaching them as they grow. Helping them build strength, endurance, confidence, and becoming much goodness comes out of outdoor sports. And we get to breathe in the fresh air, feel the sun on

canfitpro May/June 2023 8 PRO TRAINER SHOWCASE

our face, and be wrapped up in one great big hug by nature while we do it all.

What are the benefits to exercising outdoors, and is there anything extra you can achieve training outside compared to indoors?

There are so many benefits to exercising outdoors but here are three important ones compared to exercising indoors.

1. Exposure to natural light and fresh air.

2. More varied and challenging conditions (terrain and weather).

3. Stress release and improved mental health (refreshing change of environment and scenery).

What is your favorite outside activity?

Cycling, but specifically mountain biking. I did not start competing in triathlons until 2007. After competing for eight years in triathlons and completing an ironmandistance triathlon in 2012 (taking first place in my age group and qualified for Team Canada), I decided to try cyclocross and cross-country mountain biking. I was 40 years old! I felt like I discovered

something that allowed me to live and express myself in my most authentic way. I was a total newbie when I started, did not know much about the sport. But I caught on fast because I loved it so much. I spent many years racing in both cyclocross and XC mountain biking and even podiumed several times. I no longer compete in cyclocross, but I am still competing in mountain biking. Two of my biggest accomplishments include TransRockies Singletrack 6 (a 6-day mountain bike stage race in BC) and Classic (a 7-day mountain bike stage race in BC). I am now in training again for another season of ultra endurance mountain bike racing. I also ride gravel, DH, and road. I have a lot of bikes!

How do you continue to train for your outside sport during the off season?

I ride my fat bike all winter long, in Fort McMurray, even in temperatures of -30 and colder and have 600km of winter fat biking so far this season. I do a mix of short rides through the week (60-90 minutes) with a long endurance ride

on the weekend (three to five hours). Depending on conditions, I might do a mid-week endurance ride (two to three hours). I average five rides per week in the off-season. I also strength train more frequently in the off-season as well as snowboard, snowshoe, and hike. It also helps that my partner is an avid cyclist and snowboarder. We are a team; we support each other, and we often train together. We do all our races together too.

Sault Ste. Marie, ON Courses Taught: PTS, HWL, FMA

What is your outdoor training specialty and why do you enjoy it?

My outdoor training specialty of choice would be golf. I love golf because it puts me outdoors on some beautiful golf courses close to where I live. I love the challenge of improving my score. Golf challenges me both mentally and physically. I also get to spend time with friends on the golf course and have a friendly competition game!

What are the benefits to exercising outdoors, and is there anything extra you can achieve training outside compared to indoors?

Our clients can benefit by training outdoors. We can choose different park locations, giving our clients a change of scenery rather than the same workout in the same gym day after day. The sunshine is our Vitamin D and fresh air is great for mental alertness. Any type of boot camp or group fitness class can be achieved with minimal equipment. And training outdoors may feel less strenuous than training indoors.

Exercising outdoors is different than training inside a gym on a flat surface. For example, when I hike different trails, the terrain is not flat. Climbing uphill is

a good cardiorespiratory workout. I can see visually around me, experience the smells, and listen to nature.

What is your favorite outside activity? Kayaking. Being on the water gives me a sense of peace and solace. I enjoy the workout to my upper body as well as core strength and endurance. I find kayaking the perfect activity to relax and recharge while still challenging myself in a physical capacity. I am blessed to live close to Lake Superior and find healing in one of Ontario’s Great Lakes.

How do you continue to train for your outside sport during the off season? When it comes to training in the off season, I find it the perfect time to refocus on the fundamentals of fitness. This can include working on more foundational movements such as multimuscle exercises and watching my form in a more slowed down and controlled environment. I can use indoor equipment to work on specific areas of weakness in my body to ensure I am ready to rock when the spring and summer seasons roll around. I focus on rotational and unilateral movements. I also try to maintain my core strength with a wide range of exercises and my balance and flexibility.

IG: @piccolosandy and @sandlenstr

9 canfitpro May/June 2023

Courses Taught: FIS, PTS, HWL, FMA, CPR

What is your outdoor training specialty and why do you enjoy it?

Living in Muskoka means four season fun and movement! It also means multiple opportunities for clients and coaching from five above zero to -40.

Currently, I am coaching a client who competes at the World level for Dog Skijoring. This is when dogs pull you on skis. It is incredibly challenging for upper body and core. This can also be done with horses!

In the past, I have also coached winter marathon running, Ironman base training, cross country skiing, and supported a youth skate foundational movement program. I also train several active aging clients over 80 who make it an essential part of their day to walk, climb, and hike outside year round

Hive Muskoka also runs the Achilles Muskoka Chapter of Achilles Canada, which creates movement support for disabled athletes. The pandemic and aftereffects have impacted this program,

but we are hoping to get it up and moving for summer.

What are the benefits to exercising outdoors, and is there anything extra you can achieve training outside compared to indoors?

So many!

• The sunlight supports elevated mood – we are creatures that need the sun.

• Lowers blood pressure.

• It can be incredibly social, which is wonderful for mind and spirit.

• Endurance improvements - when the heart works less you use less energy, and for my clients who sweat, less sweat means maintaining a better electrolyte level.

• Exercising outside takes you away from the sofa or desk, and with a temperature shift, a shift in mood can sometimes happen.

• Your dog will love you the most with all those walks!

What is your favorite outside activity? That is like picking your favorite member of Duran Duran! Downhill skiing, a crisp morning snowshoe over hills with my family, running along the road crunching a path through the dawn with my breath keeping me warm. I love walking outside with my dog Jack and seeing his joy in

IG: @hivemuskokainc

FB: Hive Muskoka Inc

the snow.

How do you continue to train for your outside sport during the off season? Outdoor intervals, using hill training with spikes on the footwear, and fat biking outside to maintain an Ironman cycle base. I aim to pursue an activity that is four seasons so there is always a way to adapt. Battle ropes, slam balls, outdoor TRX functional physique drills (they attach to so much) and a finisher session of snow yoga! I also fuel these workouts and trainings with greens from my hydroponic tower - lush greens, ripped with nutrients.

canfitpro May/June 2023 10
Fyonna Vanderwerf Muskoka, ON
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Meet Leah Epstein Armstrong, finalist for canfitpro Personal Training Specialist of the Year 2022

Tell us about your fitness career journey. As a canfitpro certified Personal Training Specialist, I started eLifestyle in 2004. The fitness industry was typically a male dominated field at that time, so this was no small feat being a young female! In 2008, my husband joined me in running the company, and we started to grow. Since the very beginning we persevered, keeping up with the ever-changing dynamics of the fitness industry to create a fully sustainable business. Today, eLifestyle has evolved into a national wellness program. So, where we were once solely focused on personal fitness, we have evolved over the years to become an all-encompassing wellness company that can maximize engagement through a network of trainers and wellness facilitators across Canada. We also utilize

the ever-changing tech tools to help us maximize delivery, reach, and engagement of our programs.

Over the years, we have worked with high-level corporations, like Coke, BMO, AstraZeneca, KMH, etc., with our focus now on mid-large size companies to deliver ondemand eWellness health support through our Online eWellness Subscription Portal. This is an actionable solution for corporate leaders that enables them to reach all non-medical related wellness needs of their employees with an easy-to-use platform where preventative wellness tools and resources readily exist. This eliminates obstacles to wellbeing that can complicate recovery of health and return to work.

I also use my success as a vehicle to provide business coaching for other fitness professionals and influencers on how to create passive income streams by monetizing their following beyond affiliate marketing, as well as successfully entering the corporate arena.

Having over 20 years of experience in the health and wellness industry, I founded eLifestyle with a passion and commitment to move a one-size-fits-all fitness industry forward. I also co-founded our Not-For-Profit, eLifestyle Health Advocates, in 2016. I pride myself in delivering leadership that is both dynamic and empowering so individuals can achieve happy and healthy lifestyle balance as they choose to define it.

canfitpro May/June 2023 12 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Where would you like your career path to take you?

Now that I have taken the digital fitness industry back from the hands of the tech industry and becoming the number-one Employee and Family Digital Wellness app, I look forward to helping endless individuals and communities have easy access to reach their health and wellness goals. In continuation to delivering dynamic corporate programs I will be coaching more fitness professionals to do the same and receive the abundance and freedom we all deserve. I will be continuing to create humanitarian projects through my Not-For-Profit; eLifestyle Health Advocates.

What types of transformations have you made because of COVID, and how has it changed you as a fitness professional?

Early on we saw a need for the industry to expand workplace wellness programs into a digital wellness platform that was easy and accessible, so we created an Employee and Family Online eWellness Subscription Portal. Here we offer a preventative approach to physical and mental wellness by addressing issues before they evolve into greater challenges. For as low as $3 per month per employee, we maximize employee engagement, productivity, and retention in a post-pandemic environment by working with Canada’s most progressive organizations who strive to provide employees and their families with sustainable e-wellness solutions.

I also noticed that there was no industry standard for accessing the metrics of a workplace wellness program, so I am

currently researching, interviewing, and developing a gold-standard assessment tool.

While COVID closed many fitness professionals off from the world, we made a massive pivot to online. We can be anywhere in the world and continue to work. This has allowed our earning potential to become limitless, whereas before we were capped by the number of hours a trainer can train in a day, and the amount of people we can fit into our studio simultaneously. The most wonderful part is that we can extend our reach and are able to help infinitely more people reach their health and fitness goals.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

You have two ears and one mouth; you should be listening twice as much as you are talking!

Now that you have reached this point in your career, what piece of advice would you give your younger self?

Everything is going to work out in your favour; it always does. Spend less time stressing and more time enjoying!

Why did you decide to nominate yourself for the Fitness Professional of the Year Award?

The fitness industry has changed so much since the early days of my business. It has morphed into a constant social media selfie-barrage with perfectly angled shots by the hands of today’s fitness “influencers” –many of whom are without certifications, just appealing physiques. Another issue is that professionally produced Apps have been

created by tech-savvy marketing gurus who lack a true fitness background.

My mission is to revive the true essence of the fitness industry by putting fitness back into the hands of certified fitness professionals that have a true balance of personal strengths, experience, and credentials. My crux is this: I do not feel it is fair, honest, or just for any influencer to be able to post a few pictures, help a few friends, and then brand themselves as a fitness expert and start charging money for coaching. I also do not feel it is right for IT and marketing professionals to create Apps that are not backed by the fitness professionals.

Both scenarios mentioned above take revenue from the true, boots-on-the-ground fitness professionals, and in my view hurt our amazing industry. I love what I do and what I have delivered to my clients for 20+ years in the industry and 18 years in business, and if I am chosen to be the canfitpro Fitness Professional of the Year I would love to work alongside the canfitpro team, and dedicate myself to helping spread the message of the canfitpro platform through leadership and empowerment.

LinkedIn: Leah Epstein Armstrong



13 canfitpro May/June 2023
Solutions Designed to Support your Business BUSINESS MEMBERSHIP Becoming a Business Member is FREE Exclusive discounts and exclusive access for events Level up to a Gold membership to unlock additional business benefits Receive unique discount codes for you and your staff to stay certified, learn, and network Sign up as a recognized Host Facility for courses - and recruit top talent Contact us today to sign up






The Turning Point of AI



As someone who has been involved in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning for over a decade, I can confidently say that we have reached a turning point where AI is becoming more common and incorporated into every corner of life.

When it comes to the fitness environment as we know it today, AI can be recognized as the forcemajeure providing more personalized, efficient, and cost-effective solutions. For example, AI-powered Fitbit, Strava, and MyFitnessPal, all monitor users’ physical activity and provide them with tailored advice. Additionally, AI-based digital coaches such as Jaha and Endomondo are able to provide real-time feedback and personalized guidance to users, resulting in better long-term results.

Outside of fitness, we have been using AI in our daily lives for a while, but mostly in singular features that do not offer much interaction beyond completing a task. You can look to Amazon’s Alexa and Google Translate as everyday examples of this in practice. More recently, there was the public-advent of Large Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT showing us the potential and accessibility of AI applications, with thirdparty developers now integrating this technology into their own applications.

While this development is exciting, it is not entirely new. The first version of GPT was released in 2018 by researchers at OpenAI, and IBM’s Watson, arguably the first example, developed in the mid2000s, gained widespread attention after competing on the quiz show

Jeopardy in 2011.

However, what we are seeing now are tools that are ready for mass adoption, with their potential for exponential improvement within the next twelve months simply staggering. Furthermore, when we combine AI with automation, we have an incredibly powerful tool set that can improve every aspect of existing sales processes and metrics, from open rates on emails to member retention and sales conversions. Furthermore, we can reduce manual, low-value interventions and increase the certainty that an action is actually being taken, at the same time.

For example, let us consider the standard fitness industry sales process, the series of engagements that decide whether a potential customer becomes a member

canfitpro May/June 2023 16

or not. There can be multiple lead sources, but the majority comes from paid social, paid search, organic search, referrals, and email campaigns. However, how these leads are dealt with is often identical regardless of the source, and in many cases, when the volume is high, leads are serviced unevenly and, in some cases, not serviced at all.

Ideally, we want to ensure that every inquiry is serviced based on their probability of success as well as a level of personalization or service expectation based on the source and the information provided. Machine learning can train a model to look at historical leads, their sources, eventual outcomes, and their value and then score each inbound lead automatically. With this scoring, we as fitness operators can prioritize

the highest value/probability leads and allocate them to where it is likely to see success. This marriage of technology exists and is available.

Smart fitness operators are already realizing the opportunity in these advancements, leveraging dramatic improvements in the way AI helps them spot the best members, identify attrition risks, and automate actions that will future

proof their membership revenue.

Taking it one step further, by automating beyond lead routing, we can manage volume optimally as well. Once we have scored our lead, we can then decide based on the value/probability and the current volume, whether to allocate it or to answer it through automated engagements. This approach ensures that regardless of volume, we are always focusing on the highest value/ probability leads. In times of high volume, or for lower value prospects, automated routines can deliver the required initial engagement and act as a filter to tune the value/probability of the leads further. The impact this can have on your bottom line is clear.

In conclusion, AI and machine learning have arrived. They are here and they are leading the conversation, paving the road ahead for sales and marketing teams across the fitness industry regardless of size or niche. No longer are they distant possibilities on the technological horizon and no longer are they the reserve of multinationals with billions of dollars to spend on digital transformation.

The AI used today by ‘ahead of the curve’ fitness operators is already in continuous learning mode, updating its understanding every hour of every day, tuning its performance to deliver more accurate revenue and membership predictions that ultimately amount to better profit margins.

In this way, we see that the benefits enjoyed by clubs using this technology now will increase at the same rate as their AI learns and the technology powering it improves, thus forever changing the landscape for fitness operators.

Ian Mullane is the founder and CEO of Keepme, a SaaS platform dedicated to driving operator revenue through AI-powered insights and tools. An economist by training, Ian’s career has included roles with the foremost players in FinTech, including COO at Sungard. He also successfully set up and ran Singapore’s VANDA fit.

17 canfitpro May/June 2023



We have spent 17 years working with fitness professionals and business owners. Would you be surprised to know 82 percent have serious profit and lifestyle issues?

Fitness entrepreneurs are not making the money they want. Their personal lives are non-existent or suffering. And their dreams have become their prisons. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of fitness entrepreneurs ever overcome the obstacles standing in their way.

Why? If there is one thing we have learned by working with over 53,000

fitness businesses in 96 countries over the past 17 years, it is this: There are predictable stages of growing a fitness business.

Once you understand what they are, you are better equipped to navigate the obstacles that block your way - so you can accelerate getting to the dream business and lifestyle you want. We call this journey the 7-Figure Fitness Entrepreneur Roadmap.

STAGE 1: Solopreneur

When you decide to work for yourself, you quickly discover that success means you

must market yourself, sell your services, and deliver results. You must put in lots of hours learning the necessary systems and developing the required skills.

At first, it is great! You are learning, you are growing, you are making more money!

Do this well and you will grow to a sixfigure income. Problem is, there is no leverage in this business model. You are trading time for money. You slow down, the business slows down, and your income drops.

canfitpro May/June 2023 18

It is not unusual for us to speak with clients who have not taken a vacation in five or 10 years.

So, what do you do next?

STAGE 2: The Desert

For most fit pros, the logical next step is opening your own studio or gym.

That is a great business model and offers tremendous opportunities. You can create leverage and time freedom. You get paid while others deliver client services. You impact more lives – both clients who want to transform their health and future

team members who want careers. And you are building a saleable financial asset you can exit one day for hundreds of thousands of dollars if you choose.

Problem is that most fit pros bootstrap it and “open broke”. They lack the systems, skills, tools, and support needed to get their new business over the hump. They fail to create the revenue, profit, and lifestyle they once hoped to gain.

As a result, business and life get hard. VERY HARD. For a long time. Welcome to “The Desert” for fitness entrepreneurs.

You are still the lead trainer, the business owner, the manager, the membership manager, and more. Clients may only want to work with you. But you need to find time to build a business. Everything depends on it. But you do not have the needed profit or revenue. What do you do?

We estimate 82 percent of fitness entrepreneurs who enter The Desert never find a way out. Some shrink their businesses back to solopreneurship. Others work themselves to exhaustion.

To grow past this, you need strong client acquisition systems, strong profitoptimization systems, and a strong team development system. You cannot stay here, or your business, health, and relationships will suffer. You must push through.

STAGE 3: Stable, at last

Congratulations, only a small percentage of fitness business owners ever make it here. Leaving the desert means the following:

1. You consistently find and keep great clients.

2. Your profitability is “OK for now” but needs improvement.

3. Your team is good, but with gaps.

4. You are still working too many hours.

The good news: Your business is stable, and you are only a few key optimizations away from the lifestyle you want.

NOTE: This is often when a lot of studio/ gym owners mistakenly open a second location before they are ready. Too often they get sucked back into the desert with one, if not both, locations. Do not do that. Stay patient with a rock-solid, long-term vision and plan.

STAGE 4: Living the good life

At this stage, you will have a team of leaders in place who run the day-to-day operations while you direct the vision and strategy for your business.

You will need a dedicated team who are aligned to your core values and excited about a future working with you. Together you will dial in your operations and finances to achieve 30 percent profitability. Your team will keep your client acquisition systems bringing in and retaining great clients.

At this stage you will have the team and resources required to successfully expand to multiple locations. Often, we see two to five locations creating a powerful impact in their communities, incredible career opportunities for their staff, and an incredible lifestyle for their owners!

Want to learn more?

Join us for our biweekly LIVE virtual workshop, the 7-Figure Fitness Entrepreneur™. Get the plan to sell out your fitness studio and create a waiting list for your next (or first) location! Includes LIVE Q&A with NPE CEO Sean Greeley. Secure your seat now at HKIFoU


Founder and CEO, has an unrelenting passion for empowering fitness entrepreneurs to create the income and lifestyle they want.

NPE delivers the #1 suite of business growth systems, tools, and coaching for fitness entrepreneurs to grow to 6-, 7-, and 8-figures. Since 2006, NPE has helped over 53,000+ fitness businesses in 96+ countries grow to the next level. NPE has been featured 8x on the Inc 500/5000 list of fastest growing companies, and has a global team based in the USA, Canada, UK, and Australia.

19 canfitpro May/June 2023
Greeley, NPE

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Right now you’re so busy putting out dozens of little fires everyday that you ignore the REAL REASON your business is stuck.

The biggest breakthroughs don’t come from solving ALL of your problems... they come from solving the RIGHT problems.

Register for the live workshop to uncover the ONE THING holding you back -- so you can fix it and finally break through to the next level.

Register For Our Next Live 7-FIGURE FITNESS ENTREPRENEUR™ Workshop: Scan me
Presented By Sean Greeley Sean Greeley is a founder and CEO of NPE, coach, family man, author, and speaker who helps fitness entrepreneurs build sustainable and predictable 7-figure businesses.

Will you be next?

They figured it out... and you can too!

Team: Growing Your Business While Vacationing With Family

Erin Billowits

Vintage Fitness

Toronto, ON

Erin has more than doubled her business–hitting $61,000 in monthly revenue. She’s used NPE systems to train staff to build her business while taking a family vacation to France!

booking consults. Result: She’s added 6 new clients and more than $3,500 a month in recurring revenue since starting with NPE.

Uncommitted Clients & Built Her Business to All-Time High

Vancouver, BC

Lisa used NPE tools to focus her business model and raise her rates. She got rid of clients who weren’t committed to getting results. Those steps brought her revenues to an all-time high of $15,000/month.

new clients and grew from $1,000/month in revenue to $4500/month in revenue. She quit her desk job and now works full-time in fitness.

About NPE

NPE is globally recognized for delivering the #1 suite of business growth systems, tools, and coaching for fitness entrepreneurs to grow 6-, 7-, and 8-figure businesses.

Janet Archibald & Cally Ferguson

Alive & Well Personal Training

Vancouver, BC

Pricing was too low and packages were too short. They raised rates, offered long-term contracts, and went from $18,000 to $48,000 in monthly revenue in 12 months.

From ‘Last Hope’ to Taking Her Fitness Side Gig from $1,000 to $6,500 a Month in Just 6 Weeks

Janelle Ulrich

Prairie Fit Fitness

Regina, Sask

Janelle had 2 clients and $1,000 a month in revenues didn’t know how to move forward. She was ready to quit. With NPE, she’s excited to have 9 clients and $6,500 a month.


Steven Clarke

Toronto, ON

Steven has improved his mindset and utilized the tools, scripts and coaching. Result: 8 new clients and $15,000 in new revenue!

Since 2006, NPE has helped over 53,000+ fitness businesses in 96+ countries grow to the next level, and is responsible for driving over $500 million in client revenue. NPE has been featured 8x on the Inc 500/5000 list of fastest growing companies, and has a global team based in the USA, Canada, UK, and Australia.

Recognized As:


We’ve worked with 53,000+ fitness businesses over the past 17 years. Our data shows that often you’re only one or two fixes away from a massive breakthrough. Take our 5-minute assessment to get your Growth Score and uncover the major gaps in your business that are keeping you stuck.

'With NPE, we went from $18,000 to $48,000 a month in 12 months'

Is The New Normal a Source of Stress?


We are back to “NORMAL” now, right? If only what we believe about what would be a perfect, normal day existed. How great would that be? You get home from work and your partner/family/friend asks you how your day went, and you say:

“It was a perfect day. When I arrived this morning, my entire staff was there, and on time. I went over our team sales goals for the day. Everything was on track. All the clients who had booked appointments came in and they were all converted into sales. We also had a dozen new members referred by our current members and they all signed on for a year. In fact, we’re ahead of where we were before the pandemic!

I made my gym rounds, everything was clean, all the employees were there, and everyone knew what to do since they have been in place for a long time, and I

don’t need to train them anymore.

Our group fitness classes are 100 percent full; members are lining up! I had time for a full hour lunch and went for a walk in the sun, it felt great! Oh, and I found $200 dollars cash in the parking lot when I got back to my car at the end of the day!”

The picture-perfect day, right? How great would that be?

Unfortunately, we all know that a perfect day is an illusion. You are impressive at what you do, but you are running at full speed. And as fast as the days go now, they will never be this slow again.

In fact, you must work double time for half the results you had before. The staff that you had pre-pandemic are not all back, there is less participation in group

classes, less private training packages, you have many members that have not yet renewed and are still isolating at home. You must re-motivate everyone. Sometimes, you must open the club yourself and then close it at the end of the day too because your newest hire at the front desk just quit to go flip burgers in a fast-food chain instead.

Globally, markets are changing. There is no choice but to re-evaluate business practices and constantly pivot in different directions. And THAT causes STRESS.

Multiple, strong emotions are running through your brain and as a leader, club owner, manager, entrepreneur, the decisions you make are often worth thousands of dollars, so they need to be made following your wisdom and experience and not be blurred by the anxiety of the moment or by accumulated

canfitpro May/June 2023 22

stress from the past three years.

Of course, you know that exercise will provide you with feel-good chemicals like dopamine and endorphins that will allow you to think in a clearer way. But sometimes, changing into your workout gear and hitting the treadmill during a meeting, as you are bombarded with challenges to face, is not an option.

Here are 12 questions to ask yourself that will help defuse the emotional bomb from your prefrontal cortex and disengage the panic button.

1. What am I learning?

2. How is this situation making me grow?

3. A year from now, what will I have gained from this?

4. Am I exaggerating and generalizing?

5. Am I making this up?

6. Will panicking help me?

7. Is it really the employees who do not like the sales targets or is it me?

8. How fast can I face it and deal with it, instead of putting my head in the sand?

9. What is my next step to make this work?

10. Is it too early to tell if it is positive or negative?

11. What else have I gone through?

12. What am I good at that can support me as I go through this?

Use these questions next time you find yourself about to panic or have negative thoughts. You are very resourceful; you

are smart, capable, and you can figure it out. All you need is access to YOU in a calm state. Always trust that it will be much easier when you control your emotions and step into your confidence.

Founder and CEO of the THINK Yourself® ACADEMY, Confidence Expert, and International No.1 Bestselling Author of fifteen books on wellness and empowerment, Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas combines 25 years in sales and 30 years in the fitness industry. She works with entrepreneurs who want to find confidence and clarity so they can make money by living from their passion.

23 canfitpro May/June 2023

Conference August 16 - 20 Trade Show August 18 - 19




Conference August 16 - 20 Trade Show August 18 - 19





canfitpro is the largest provider of education in the Canadian fitness industry. Founded in 1993, canfitpro delivers accessible, quality education, certifications, conferences, trade shows, and membership services. canfitpro’s over 24,000 members include some of the world’s best fitness professionals, health club operators, industry suppliers, and fitness consumers.


NPE is the leading business education and coaching company for fitness professionals and studio owners to grow their business, take home more money, and have the time freedom to enjoy it. Since 2006, we’ve helped over 45,000+ fitness entrepreneurs in 96+ countries grow to the next level.



Proudly Canadian since 1979, GoodLife is the largest group of fitness club chains in Canada and the fourth largest in the world. With almost 10,000 employees, more than 1.1 million members, and 400+ Clubs, GoodLife is helping to transform the health and fitness of 1 in 35 Canadians every day. The GoodLife group of clubs includes GoodLife Fitness, Fit4Less, ÉconoFitness, and Oxygen Yoga & Fitness.

Human Kinetics

Since 1974, HK continues to be the premier publisher of physical activity resources, producing textbooks, consumer books, software, videos, journals, online education courses, and more. HK serves the fitness industry with resources in personal training, group fitness, yoga, strength training, club management, rehabilitation therapy, and more. Browse and visit the HK booth. Preferred Education Provider


Gallagher is a global leader in insurance, risk management, and consulting services. We help businesses grow, communities thrive, and people prosper. We live a culture defined by The Gallagher Way, our set of shared values and guiding tenets. A culture driven by our people, nearly 30,000 strong, serving our clients with customized solutions that will protect them and fuel their futures. Around the globe and across a full spectrum of services.


Canadian Physique Alliance

The CPA is a community of amateur athletes who compete in bodybuilding, physique, figure, fitness, bikini, and wellness categories. We are sanctioned by the National Physique Committee, the premier amateur physique organization in the world and the path for athletes who wish to one day become professional athletes of the IFBB Pro League.

The CPA ensures fair and honest judging by respected and experienced professionals who have met the highest standard of testing criteria. In 2023, there will be 20 natural competitions and one Natural Pro Qualifier in Canada.


Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC) is the not-for-profit trade association representing the voice of the Canadian fitness industry. We pursue a legislative agenda to promote and protect fitness businesses, while encouraging Canadians to be more physically active. Our initiatives focus on awareness, advocacy, and action.

canfitpro May/June 2023 26

Fitness Marketing Group Inc.

have been innovators since 1978, FMG is your one-stop shop for portable fitness equipment and educational programming. FMG specializes in portable and economical fitness equipment, and they are the exclusive Canadian distributor for Bender Balls and Gliding Discs. FMG has trained thousands of leaders in Canada for Barre Above®, Barre Above® With Pilates Focus, and Tabata GX™. This year has been exciting with the release of the Ageless Training Academy – Essentials Program.

MedFit Classroom

Those with medical conditions and chronic disease and the aging population need fitness services delivered by a specialized professional who understands their condition and knows how to make programs specific to their needs. MedFit Classroom offers specialization courses for fitness professionals to work with these populations. Gain the skills and credibility to reach the world’s largest untapped market!


PL3Y Inc. is the world’s leading provider of kid’s fitness trainings and business coaching for fitness leaders. Our innovative and award-winning program, DANCEPL3Y, fosters the development of physical literacy and promotes positive mental health.

Our individual and region-wide program licenses allow instructors to make an income while positively impacting youth in their communities. Individual instructors organize and deliver their own classes recreationally while region operators manage a team of instructors who deliver in-school curriculum-based programs.


Founded in 2004, TRX was built on the idea that fitness can be achieved by anyone, anywhere. Today, TRX is the global leader in functional fitness and Suspension Training®, a revolutionary bodyweight workout system that powers life in motion. TRX also offers its own proprietary professional education and certification.


Pelvienne Wellness Inc.

Pelvienne Wellness Inc. is the new home of the Core Confidence Specialist Certification originally created by Bellies Inc.

Founder Kim Vopni, known as The Vagina Coach. Pelvienne Wellness offers online core and pelvic floor fitness programs for women in pregnancy, motherhood, and menopause as well as certification and CEC courses for people who train female clients.

Think Yourself® Academy

Along the past 30 years, the THINK Yourself ACADEMY has inspired over 100,000 audience members and empowered thousands of clients internationally through coaching, leading-edge courses, training, and events. The Founder and CEO, Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas, is also an International No.1 Bestselling Author of fifteen books on success, communication, wellness, and empowerment.

Zumba® has helped melt the pounds and inches off more than 12 million Zumba-enthusiasts in over 125 countries, through exhilarating, calorie-burning high and low intensity, easy to follow fitness moves, and high energy music. This workout is the perfect complement to providing variety to your fitness and bodybuilding training routines.

27 canfitpro May/June 2023
IN-PERSON GLOBAL CONFERENCE & TRADE SHOW 2023 Conference August 16 - 20 Trade Show August 18 - 19 JOIN US IN TORONTO 215+ Education Sessions and Workouts 2-Day Trade Show Pass 2 Keynote Presentations and Award Ceremonies 12 CECs Valid till May 31 (SAVE $150) $399 EARLY-BIRD PRICE
35 Online Sessions 12 CECs ONLINE Opening and Closing Keynote and Award Ceremonies streamed LIVE from Toronto Valid till May 31 (SAVE $99) $199 EARLY-BIRD PRICE JOIN ONLINE
Apply Now APPLICATION DEADLINE May 24, 2023 Be canfitpro's next Fitness Professional of the Year! FITNESS PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR 2023

Register by May 24 TO WIN

1 of 5 FREE copies

Friday, August 18 @ 10:00 AM ET

Courage To: Tell Your Story - The Power of Indigenous Storytelling with Kendal Netmaker

Award-Winning Entrepreneur, Author, and Indigenous Speaker

Learn the 3 ways to tell a story that creates an emotional connection and promotes long-term relationships with your clients and customers

In a world full of noise and short attention spans, the art and skill of memorable & impactful storytelling has never been more important. Indigenous Peoples’ key to retaining their culture and traditions has been built upon oral stories for thousands of years. With no textbooks, they have been able to retain valuable teachings that have been passed down from generation to generation. In this powerful keynote, Kendal takes you into Indigenous Peoples’ storytelling communication and how to build a deeper connection with your customers and team members. He explains the importance of how storytelling is key to building long-term relationships for continued business growth.


Personal Training

Use these symbols to assist you in finding the sessions that pertain to your areas of interest on the Schedule at a Glance

Developed to support all levels of personal training and develop skills to new levels in an ever-changing industry.

Group Fitness

Designed with both freestyle and pre-choreographed instructors in mind. Create exceptional fitness experiences and pack your classes by taking your coaching skills to the next level.


Learn from Nutrition experts about the latest nutrition research, programs, and strategies to help yourself and your clients. These sessions will delve into the physiological effects of food, supplements, ergogenic aids, eating behaviour and more.


These sessions are designed exclusively by the industry’s best trainers for indoor cycling instructors and coaches looking for the latest education and training to expand their knowledge and practical skills in teaching, coaching, and class design.

Active Aging

Prepare yourself to work with this growing population by attending sessions that address specific considerations for ageappropriate nutrition, mobility and inclusion of the young at heart active aging population.

canfitpro May/June 2023 32

Yoga & Pilates

Expanding your knowledge and expertise with innovative education in the areas of Yoga, Pilates, Meditation, and Barre will equip you with new programs, techniques, and methods to help improve client and participant results, experiences within your classes, coaching sessions, and personal practice.


Dancing is a fun way to incorporate fitness for people of all ages, shapes, and sizes. It has a wide range of physical benefits including cardiovascular, muscular, endurance, improved coordination and balance. Mental benefits of dance include reduced stress and improved memory.

Medical Fitness

Support your clients with specific medical needs (e.g. Injury, diseases, etc.) to maximize the health benefits of physical activity as part of their overall program.


Explore the active pursuit of optimal health and well-being from a holistic perspective that combines healthy habits, self-care, body nourishment, mental well-being, mindfulness and engaging spirit to become the best version of yourself.

Business Management

Learn effective strategies for sales, marketing, and management of your club or boutique to grow and excel in your career.

Leadership & Coaching

Leaders provide vision, creativity, and mentorship while inspiring a shared partnership by coaching to create a motivating climate for performance.

Diversity Equity Inclusion

Learn how to better serve your community by exploring topics on diversity, weight-inclusive fitness, abilities and more. Let’s work together to make an industry that is welcoming for all.

33 canfitpro May/June 2023 canfitpro May/June 2022

Build your resume and make more money by expanding your knowledge with in-depth trainings from our trusted sponsors

Mark your calendar for Wednesday, August 16 and Thursday, August 17 and make the most of your time at canfitpro 2023.

Earn up to 4 CECs


Gain hands-on, practical experience, and learn from your peers as well as your favourite presenter(s).

full listing and pricing visit
AUGUST 16 & 17


Friday, August 18

8:00AM - 9:30AM | Friday, August 18

1000 - Making Muscles Bigger and Stronger: An Intermediate Look (W/S)

1003 - STRONG Nation® (W/S)

1005 - Advancing Breakthroughs For Shoulder Pain (W/S)

1006 - Evolution of Suspension Training (W/S)

1007 - A Holistic Nutritional Approach to Alzheimer’s (L)

1008 - Muscle-Building Across the Lifespan: The Effects of Aging on Anabolism (L)

1009 - Kettlebell Basics - Swing (W/S)

1012 - Get A Grip! Hand Strength for Performance & Longevity (W/S)

1013 - Creating Body Confidence (L)

1014 - Schwinn® Cycling: Let the Beat Drop – Mastering Cycling Musicality (W/S)

1015 - Chakra Empowerment (W/S)

1016 - Keiser: TEAM Trifecta: Together Each Achieves More (W/S)

1017 - Fascial Rolling & Release (W/S)

1018 - Fluid Strength (W/S)

1019 - The Ageless Athlete (W/S)

1021 - What’s Your Why? Using Motivational Interviewing (MI) to Promote Movement via Prescription to Get Active (RxTGA) (L)

Lee Boyce

Andrea Sandhu, Ricardo Marmitte

Brendan Fox

Krystal Say

Parvin Zarrin, PhD

Brad Schoenfeld

Gus Blessman

Emily Splichal

Kim Basler

Helen Vanderburg

Lisa Greenbaum

Krista Popowych, Sergio Velasco

Barbara Klein

Mindy Mylrea

Janice Hutton

Scott Wildeman, Dr. Erin Pearson

1024 - How To Open a New Fitness Studio or Gym and Achieve Day 1 Profitability (L) NPE

1025 - Presenting for Succeess (L)

1026 - Courage to Achieve Your Personal Best -Resilience, Longevity, Surviving and Thriving in the Fitness Industry (L)

Tatiana Kolovou

Sherri McMillan

W/S = Workshop | L = Lecture | W/O = Workout Session Sponsor Presenter(s) Track(s) 2023
Personal Training Group Fitness Nutrition Cycling Active Aging Yoga/Pilates Dance Medical Fitness Wellness Business Management Leadership & Coaching Diversity, Equity & Inclusion 35 canfitpro May/June 2023


Friday, August 19

Friday, August 18

10:00AM - 11:30AM

1027 - OPENING CERMONIES and KEYNOTE ADDRESS with Kendal Netmaker: Courage To: Tell Your Story - The Power of Indigenous Storytelling (L)

12:00PM - 12:30PM

1028 - Inspired to be canfitpro’s Next PRO TRAINER

12:00PM - 1:00PM

4000 - Nutrient Timing Revisited: Is There A Post-Workout Anabolic Window of Opportunity? (L)

4002 - The Power of Podcasting to Elevate Your Social Media Brand (L)

12:30PM - 1:15PM

canfitpro Certification Team

Brad Schoenfeld

Facilitated by: Gaby Mammone with Andrew Coates, Funk Roberts, Christine Conti, Tricia Blake

Group Presentation 1:10PM - 2:10PM

4003 - Anniversary Workout (W/O)

Jill Hewlett 1:15PM - 2:00PM

4004 - Brain Fitness for HAPPINESS & Emotional Balance! (W/S)

Melanie Levenberg 1:30PM - 2:15PM

4005 - Kids Fitness Program Sampler (W/S)

4006 - Learn Who We Are. What Trainers Need to Know for Success within the CPA

Ron Hache 1:30PM - 3:00PM

1029 - Movement Clinic: Bench Press (W/S)

1030 - Coconut Beach Camp (W/S)

1032 - TRX® Advanced Functional Programming (W/S)

1033 - Uncovering Hidden Factors of Poor Nutrition & Exercise (L)

1034 - Light Loads, Big Gains: Is There an Optimal Hypertrophy Rep Range? (L)

1036 - Great Workouts from Around the World (L)

1037 - Ultimate Cues for Fitness Professionals (L)

1038 - Debunking Myths: Exercise & Chronic Conditions (W/S)

Yordanos Tessema

Suzelle Snowden

Fraser Quelch

Bianca Cordeiro

Brad Schoenfeld

Dr. Len Kravitz

Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas

Christine Conti

W/S =
| L = Lecture | W/O =
Personal Training Group Fitness Nutrition Cycling Active Aging Yoga/Pilates Dance Medical Fitness Wellness Business Management Leadership & Coaching Diversity, Equity & Inclusion canfitpro May/June 2023 36
Session Sponsor Presenter(s) Track(s)
W/S = Workshop | L = Lecture | W/O = Workout IN-PERSON 1039 - Kids Fitness 101 - Program Design (W/S) Melanie Levenberg 1040 - Schwinn® Cycling: Breathy Not Breathless – Base-Building Threshold Training (W/S) Chris Roche 1041 - WARRIOR Rhythm (W/S) Ellen DeWerd 1042 - Keiser: Global Rise and Race Ready (W/S) Sergio Velasco 1043 - Introduction to Quadrupedal Movement Training (W/S) Freyja Spence 1044 - What Is Whole Body EMS? (W/S) X Agnes Ramsay 1045 - Functional Pilates (W/S) Helen Vanderburg 1046 - Champion The Lower Leg: Complete Calf Development (W/S) Matthew Ibrahim 1050 - Solution-Based Selling: Making Sales Easy by Uncovering People’s Needs (L) Chris Stevenson 1051 - Own It: Take Charge of Your Own Self- Development (L) Diva Richards 1052 - A Fresh Look at Compensation in the Fitness Industry (L) Nathalie Lacombe 2:15PM - 3:00PM 4008 - Walking - Powered Up! (L) Sarah Zahab 4009 - Mat Class with Mika Midolo (W/O) Mika Midolo 4010 - Give Yourself a Natural Facelift with Face Yoga (W/S) Sophia Ha 2:30PM - 3:15PM 9111 - NewBody™ (W/S) Mo Hagan, Sue Staresinic, Tracy Souza 2:50PM - 3:30PM 4012 - Surfing Safari (W/O) Bruce and Mindy Mylrea 3:10PM - 3:50PM 4011 - Eating Clean Is Eating Green - Fostering Social Responsibility Through Nutrition (L) Tosca Reno 3:10 - 4:00PM 4013 - The Power of Hormone Balance (L) Kelly Nolan 3:30 - 4:00PM 9100 - LES MILLS SPRINT™ (W/O) Cinzia Bemmann, Vili Fifita, Khiran Huston Session Sponsor Presenter(s) Track(s) Personal Training Group Fitness Nutrition Cycling Active Aging Yoga/Pilates Dance Medical Fitness Wellness Business Management Leadership & Coaching Diversity, Equity & Inclusion 37 canfitpro May/June 2023



Friday, August 19

Friday, August 18

- Deceleration & Landing: Building The Brakes (W/S)

- 4:55PM 4014 - 101 Ways To Transition To A Plant-Based Diet (L)

4:00PM - 5:30PM

1053- The Tall and Short of It: How Lever Lengths Affect Lifters (And How to Optimize Lifts for Different Body Types) (W/S) Lee Boyce, Melody Shoenfeld 1055 - Mini Band Fitness and Dance: Choreography and Effective Use (W/S)


Say, Fraser Quelch

- Training for Maximal Muscle Hypertrophy: A Summary of Expert Consensus (L)

1063 - Pelvic Floor Periodization – How To Build Programs To Help Clients With Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Lift, Run and Jump! (W/S)

1065 - Schwinn® Cycling: Dynamic Duos – Proven Cycling Fusion (W/S)

Kim Vopni, Samantha Montpetit-Huynh

Mindy Mylrea

1066 - SOULfusion (W/S) Michele Park

1067 - Keiser: The Triple C Formula (W/S)

1068 - Foundation Training – Less IS More (W/S)

1069 - Therapeutic Exercise (W/S)

1070 - Alignment Essentials for Small Group Training (W/S)

Krista Popowich

Sarah Zahab

Dr. Joel Kerr

Leslee Bender

3:30PM - 4:00PM 9112 - SH’BAM™ (W/O) Alyssa Walton 3:30PM - 5:30PM 1071
Ibrahim 3:50PM - 4:30PM
- Hop Body Shop (W/O)
Levell 4:00PM
- Innovative Muscle In Motion (W/S)
Mastracchio 1057 - TRX® & Strength Band Training Fusion (W/S)
and Mental Health (L)
- HIIT Training Extravaganza (L)
Len Kravitz
W/S = Workshop | L = Lecture | W/O = Workout
Session Sponsor Presenter(s) Track(s) Personal Training Group Fitness Nutrition Cycling Active Aging Yoga/Pilates Dance Medical Fitness Wellness Business Management Leadership & Coaching Diversity, Equity & Inclusion canfitpro May/June 2023 38
W/S = Workshop | L = Lecture | W/O = Workout IN-PERSON 1074 - 2023 State of the Fitness Industry Canada Forum (L) Panel Presentation 1075 - Pricing, Programming and Profits (L) Sherri McMillan 1076 - How To Build Credibility & Your Brand So Good People Will Follow You (L) Andrew Coates 1077 - How to Price and Package your Fitness Services To Earn $150+ per Hour (L) NPE Team 4:10PM - 5:10PM 4016 - Being A Mindful Athlete: Living a Mindful Life (L) Martha Williams 4:15PM - 5:00PM 9113 - BODYJAM™ (W/O) Alyssa Walton 4:15PM - 5:00PM 9101 - RPM™ (W/O) Cinzia Bemmann, Gavin Featherstone, Kim Gibas, Khiran Huston, Matt Thraxton 4:45PM - 5:30PM 4018 - Shaka Dance Shaka Dance Team 5:15PM - 5:50PM 4019 - The Business of Wellness Retreats (L) Matt Kinch 4020 - STRONG Nation® (W/O) Andrea Sandhu, Ricardo Marmitte Session Sponsor Presenter(s) Track(s) Personal Training Group Fitness Nutrition Cycling Active Aging Yoga/Pilates Dance Medical Fitness Wellness Business Management Leadership & Coaching Diversity, Equity & Inclusion 39 canfitpro May/June 2023


Saturday, August 20

Saturday, August 19

7:30AM - 8:30AM | Saturday, August 19

9102 - Opening (L)

9103 - BODYPUMP (W/O)

8:00AM - 9:30AM

2000 - Isometric Strength (W/S)

2002 - Discover a Teaching Vacation (W/S)

2004 - Size-Inclusive Kettlebell Tips & Tricks (W/S)

2005 - FU 50! - Beast Mode in your 40s, 50s and Beyond (W/S)

2006 - WARRIOR Combat (W/S)

2007 - Time-Efficient Training: Getting the Maximum out of the Minimum (L)

2008 - Kids Fitness Business: Matching Passion with Profits (L)

2009 - What Every Fitness Professional Should Know about Rehab (L)

2010 - Increase the Bandwidth of Your Online Teaching (L)

2011 - Becoming a HIIT with Your Clients (W/S)

2013 - Schwinn® Cycling: R.I.S.E. & #RideRight (W/S)

2014 - Healing through Yoga (W/S)

2015 - Keiser: Unleash the Beat (W/S)

2016 - Powerful Solutions To Hip Dysfunction (W/S)

2018 - Menopause & Muscle - How to Train Your 50 Year Old Female Client

2019 - Fascia + Function (W/S)

2020 - Communicating Across Cultures (L)

2022 - Courage to Humanize Mental Well-being (L)

2023 - Leadership Skills for Personal Training and Fitness Directors (L)

Cinzia Bemmann, Gavin Featherstone, Vili Fifita, Kaylah-Blayr Fitzsimmons-Nu’u, Khiran Huston, Matt Thraxton

Melody Shoenfeld

Suzelle Snowden

Damali Fraiser

Fraser Quelch

Ellen De Werd, Diva Richards

Brad Schoenfeld

Melanie Levenberg

Dr. Michael Mash

Trevor Pickett, Nicky Nock, Gareth Nock

Jay Raymundo

Chris Roche

Christine Yanke

Sergio Velasco

Brendan Fox

Lisa Mastracchio

Helen Vanderburg

Tatiana Kolovou

Facilitated by: Jennifer Elia with Christie

Noua, Marcus Smith, Unsinkable Champion

Sherri McMillan

W/S = Workshop | L = Lecture | W/O = Workout
Personal Training Group Fitness Nutrition Cycling Active Aging Yoga/Pilates Dance Medical Fitness Wellness Business Management Leadership & Coaching Diversity, Equity & Inclusion canfitpro May/June 2023 40
Session Sponsor Presenter(s) Track(s)

8:45AM - 9:45AM

9104 - BODYSTEP™ (W/O)

9:15AM - 10:15AM

5000 - Set Your Daily Routine to Boost Your Mental Well-Being (L)

5001 - Stability for Runners (W/S)

5002 - Sleep--Recovery--Adaptation--Client Results: A Practical Coaching Framework (L)

10:00AM - 11:00AM

9105 - Education Session: Key Element #5 – Bring Back the Magic (L)

10:00AM - 11:30AM

2026 - Kettlebells for Powerlifters (W/S)

2029 - Pro Athlete Core Conditioning (W/S)

2030 - TRX® Yoga Flow (W/S)

2032 - The Physiology of High Intensity Functional Training (L)

2034 - Content That Educates, Entertains, Position, and SELLS (L)

2035 - Why Do Your Clients Self-Sabotage & Keys to Transform Their Mindset (L)

2036 - Strong Body Strong Mind Gentle Spirit (W/S)

2038 - Schwinn® Cycling: Polishing Diamonds –How to Level up your Cycling Coaching (W/S)

2040 - Keiser: Ride Immersion! (W/S)

2041 - Leaking When Your Lift Is NOT Normal.... And Other Pelvic Health Myths (W/S)

2042 - Hot Booty Ballet (W/S)

2043 - Ageless Flexibility, Mobility, Stability (W/S)

2044 - Frontal Plane Fundamentals: Lower Body Training  (W/S)

2045 - Finding the Courage to Achieve Happiness and Success (L)

2046 - Your 90-Day Marketing Plan to Fill Your Schedule with Great Clients (L)


Kaylah-Blayr Fitzsimmons-Nu’u, Melvin Ong, Lisa Osborne

Lisa Greenbaum

Sarah Zahab

Nick Lambe

Matt Thraxton

Melody Schoenfeld

Dane Robinson

Krystal Say

Dr. Len Kravitz

Luka Hocevar

Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas

Ramona Braganza

Helen Vanderburg

Keiser Team

Kim Vopni, Samantha


Suaad Ghadban

Leslee Bender

Matthew Ibrahim

David Patchell-Evans

NPE Team

W/S = Workshop | L = Lecture | W/O = Workout
Personal Training Group Fitness Nutrition Cycling Active Aging Yoga/Pilates Dance Medical Fitness Wellness Business Management Leadership & Coaching Diversity, Equity & Inclusion 41 canfitpro May/June 2023
Session Sponsor Presenter(s) Track(s)


Saturday, August 20

Saturday, August 19

10:00AM - 11:30AM

2047 - Technology's Influence on Remarkable Member Experiences (L)

2048 - The Art of Hiring and Onboarding (L)

2050 - Intermittent Fasting: What’s New On How It Impacts Fitness and Health? (L)

10:25AM - 11:25AM

5004 - DripFit Travelling Bootcamp: Look Good Naked–Self-Love Tour (W/S)

Jonathan Fagg, Mark Goad, Tori Lamb

Chris Stevenson

Eric Williamson

Brenley Cunningham

Melanie Murzeau, Alejandro De La Cruz, Heather Gardner, Amanda Richardson 11:15AM - 12:15PM

5005 - Courage to Start Running: Creating Spaces of Belonging in the Running Community


11:30AM - 12:30PM

5006 - Transform Your Life with the Power of Gratitude: Gratitude for Resilience

11:45AM - 12:45PM

5008 - How To Build Your Social Media (L)

11:45AM - 1:15PM

5007 - Olympic Weightlifting Workshop: Snatch (W/S)

12:00PM - 1:00PM

2051 - Inspired to be canfitpro’s Next PRO TRAINER (L)

12:30PM - 1:00PM

9107 - LES MILLS CORE™ (W/O)

12:40PM - 1:40PM

5009 - What To Eat Everyday for Optimal Health (L)

12:50PM - 1:20PM

5011 - Little Yogi's Big Feelings (L)

Inno Delamente, Vili Fifita, Matt Thraxton

Dr. Maxine McLean

Facilitated by: Kim Basler with Andrew Coates, Suaad Ghadban, Funk Roberts, Chris Fudge

Anna Swisher

canfitpro Certification Team

Inno Delamente, Kim Gibas, Melvin Ong

Bruce Mylrea

Janessa Gazmen

W/S = Workshop | L = Lecture | W/O = Workout
Session Sponsor Presenter(s) Track(s) Personal Training Group Fitness Nutrition Cycling Active Aging Yoga/Pilates Dance Medical Fitness Wellness Business Management Leadership & Coaching Diversity, Equity & Inclusion canfitpro May/June 2023 42

Session Sponsor Presenter(s) Track(s)

Cycling: Pedal N Pulse. (W/S) Mindy Mylrea

2065 - WARRIOR Strength (W/S) Ellen DeWerd

2066 - Keiser POWER: From Science to Real-World Rides (W/S) Krista Popowich

2067 - The New Healthcare Practitioner: A Coach's Guide to Lasting Impact (W/S)


2068 - Brain Based Balance Training (W/S) Emily Splichal

2070 - What Fitness Professionals Need To Know About Back Pain (W/S)

2071 - Fail to Plan-Plan to Fail: Next Level Periodized Programming (L)

Dr. Michael Mash

Eric Wong Kai Pun, Beth Yarzab

W/S = Workshop | L = Lecture | W/O = Workout IN-PERSON
1:15PM - 2:15PM 9108 - BODYATTACK™ (W/O) Fred Kung, Lisa Osborne, Alyssa Walton
1:30PM - 2:30PM 5013 - JOGA (W/S) Jana Webb 5014 - Rocking Menopause! - How To Eat, Move And Keep Your Cool in Midlife (L)
Vopni, Samantha Montpetit-Huynh
2058 - Everything You
2059 - How to (Actually) Make Money Teaching Yoga (L) Loredana Wainwirght 2060 - Small Group Personal Mastery (L) Luka Hocevar 2061 - Brain Fitness for MINDSET & Mental Health (L) Jill Hewlett 2062 - Injury Prevention & Mobility using Animal Flow (W/S) Freyja Spence 2064 - Schwinn®
1:30PM - 3:00PM 2052 - Movement Clinic: Sumo Deadlift (W/S)
- After the Fire – Recovery & Restoration (W/S)
Yoga Flow - Workout/Master Class (W/S)
Want to Know About Strength
for Children (L)
2072 - How To Profit from an Aging Population (L) Colin Milner Personal Training Group Fitness Nutrition Cycling Active Aging Yoga/Pilates Dance Medical Fitness Wellness Business Management Leadership & Coaching Diversity, Equity & Inclusion 43 canfitpro May/June 2023



Saturday, August 20

Saturday, August 19

1:30PM - 3:00PM

2073 - The Courage to Lead HER (L)

2074 - Secrets of Seamless Service: The Power of the Customer Journey (L)

2076 - H.E.L.P. - Healthy Eating Lifestyle Program (L)

2:30PM - 3:30PM

9109 - LES MILLS TONE™ (W/O)

2:40PM - 3:30PM

5015 - Diet Lies and Weight Loss Truths (L)

2:40PM - 3:45PM

5016 - Olympic Weightlifting Workshop: Clean (W/S)

3:35PM - 4:35PM

9110 - BODYBALANCE ™ (W/O)

4:00PM - 5:00PM 5019 - Bellydance Fitness

Facilitated by Mo Hagan with Tatiana Kolovou, Diva Richards, Nathalie Lacombe, Debbie Bellenger, Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas

Lawrence Biscontini

Dr Ken Kinakin

Kaylah-Blayr Fitzsimmons-Nu’u, Julie Frias

Melody Schoenfeld

Anna Swisher

Julie Frias, Khiran Huston, Fred Kung

Corey Formica 4:00PM - 5:30PM

2077 - Power in the Transverse Plane: How To Become a Rotational Powerhouse (W/S)

2079 - B.O.B. - Blast Off Body Work! (W/S)

2080 - Bulletproof Your Feet (W/S)

2082 - Baby Boomer Bounce (W/S)

2083 - Why Is Text Neck a Headache? (L)

2084 - Become Trauma Aware (L)

2087 - Pressure Points: Unlock Physical, Emotional and Cognitive Potential (W/S)

Dr. Jonathan Mike

Krista Popowych

Emily Splichal

Milo Levell

Aesha Tahir

Lisa Greenbaum

Christine Conti

W/S = Workshop | L = Lecture | W/O = Workout
Session Sponsor Presenter(s) Track(s) Personal Training Group Fitness Nutrition Cycling Active Aging Yoga/Pilates Dance Medical Fitness Wellness Business Management Leadership & Coaching Diversity, Equity & Inclusion canfitpro May/June 2023 44

Facilitated by Ben McDonald, with Lee Boyce, Luka Hocevar, Dr. Michael Mash, Anna Swisher, Melody Schoenfeld, Andrew Coates

IN-PERSON 2089 - Schwinn® Cycling: Cycle Mixology: Curating Killer Playlists. (W/S) Helen Vanderburg 2090 - Hip To Yoga (L) Trish Curling 2091 - Keiser: Rush Ride Ready (W/S) Amanda Lau 2092 - Strength Fusion (W/S) Karla
2093 - Sensory Awareness for Sensuous Movement (W/S) Paul Galloro,
2094 - 30 Best Moves for Ageless Core (W/S)
Hagan 2095 - Quantitative Weight-Training Muscle Testing and Rehab (W/S)
Ken Kinakin,
2096 - Reslience Strategies for Optimal Performance (L) Tatiana Kolovou 2098 - Personal Training Industry Fireside Chat (L)
Claudia Micco
Dr. Scott Christie
W/S = Workshop | L = Lecture | W/O = Workout Session Sponsor Presenter(s) Track(s) Personal Training Group Fitness Nutrition Cycling Active Aging Yoga/Pilates Dance Medical Fitness Wellness Business Management Leadership & Coaching Diversity, Equity & Inclusion 45 canfitpro May/June 2023


Sunday, August 21

Sunday, August 20

8:00AM - 9:30AM | Sunday, August 20

3001 - RUNNING THE SHOW: ONSTAGE AND BACKSTAGE: Excellence in Service Training (L)

3003 - Love The Skin You Are In (L)

3004 - Road Redemption of All Dreams (L)

3005 - Three Winning Secrets to Selling Personal Training in Any Economy! (L)

3007 - All About Keto (L)

3008 - The 3 Points of Breathing (W/S)

3010 - Accessible Dance Fitness: Leading All Level Cardio Dance Fitness Classes (W/S)

3011 - Increasing Energy, Boosting Immunity, and Becoming Happier (W/S)

3013 - Train Mobility Online or In-Person (W/S)

3014 - Barefoot Fusion (W/S)

3020 - Inclusive Leadership in The Fitness Industry (L)

9:45AM - 11:15AM

3017 - Fit Pro to Health & Wellness Pro: Let's Elevate the Fitness Industry --Here's How and Why (L)

3018 - Men, Mental Health, and Positive Masculinity (L)

3019 - How To Be Strong for Long (L)

3020 - Inclusive Leadership in The Fitness Industry

3021 - The 6 Fitness Business Growth Levers To Grow Your Studio to $100K+ per Month (L)

3022 - Words that Damage the Personal Trainer/ Client Relationship (L)

3023 - Sports Supplement and Recovery: What Trainers and Coaches Need to Know  (L)

3034 - Lift, Tone & Sculpt Your Face Naturally with Face Yoga (W/S)

3026 - Endocrine Fitness (W/S)

3027 - Yoga for Arthritis + Chronic Pain (W/S)

Lawrence Biscontini

Camille Jones

Gary Henry

Adam Dare

Igor Klibanov

Ben McDonald

Christine DeFillipis

Joseph Gibbons

Ruston Webb

Karla Medina

Dwayne Smith

Debbie Bellenger

Beth Yarzab with Dr. Mitch Abrams, Gareth Nock, Eddie Panting, Funk Roberts

Chris Fudge

Dwayne Smith

NPE Team

Amy Ballantyne

Dr. Jonathan Mike

Sophia Ha

Paul Galloro, Claudia Micco

Lisa Greenbaum

Janette Yee 3030 - HIIT & Connect (W/S)

3029 - C- Sections: The Forgotten Sports Injury

Dione Mason

W/S = Workshop | L = Lecture | W/O = Workout
Personal Training Group Fitness Nutrition Cycling Active Aging Yoga/Pilates Dance Medical Fitness Wellness Business Management Leadership & Coaching Diversity, Equity & Inclusion canfitpro May/June 2023 46
Sponsor Presenter(s) Track(s)

11:15AM - 12:00PM

3036 - Inspired to be canfitpro's Next PRO TRAINER (L)

12:00PM - 1:30PM

3033 - CLOSING CEREMONIES AND FIRESIDE CHAT: Finding Your Way Through Courage (L)

2:00PM - 3:30PM

3035 - Bodies, BS and Lies: Helping Clients Build Freedom and Confidence with Their Bodies While Reaching Personal Goals (L)

3037 - A Purpose-Driven Career, Aligning Your Gifts & Avoiding Cognitive Dissonance (W/S)

3038 - Personal Resiliency & Positive Mental Health (L)

3039 - Iso’s & Recovery (W/S)

3040 - Nutrition and Gut Health (L)

3041 - The Keys To Unlocking Knee Pain (W/S)

3043 - Relax, Restore, Relight: Celebrating Our 30 Years (W/S)

3044 - Natural Barefoot Movement Reactivated (W/S)

3046 - Flexibility at Any Size - Accessible Variations (W/S)

3047 - Create An Unforgettable Workout Experience with Fitness Kickboxing (W/S)

canfitpro Certification Team

Sandy Co-Catibog, Inemesit Graham, Samantha Montpetit-Huynh, Simone Samuels, Vyshnavi Sivakumaran

Ruston Webb

Yusuf Khoja

Karla Medina

Dr. Jennifer Tang

Brendan Fox

Lawrence Biscontini

Ben McDonald

Vera Schofield

Joe Hsiung

W/S = Workshop | L = Lecture | W/O = Workout
Personal Training Group Fitness Nutrition Cycling Active Aging Yoga/Pilates Dance Medical Fitness Wellness Business Management Leadership & Coaching Diversity, Equity & Inclusion 47 canfitpro May/June 2023
Session Sponsor Presenter(s) Track(s)
GLANCE 8:15AM - 9:45AM | Friday, August 18 6000 - How To Train The Injured Client (W/S) Francesca McKenzie 6001 - Design A COREective Exercise Program (W/S) Josette Curry 6002 - Power Up: Nutrition for Race Week (W/S) Ashley Leone 6003 - 5 Connection Points That Are Not Social Media (L) Jessica Maurer 6004 - Mastering Body Neutrality for Improved Client Results and Retention (L) Kirstin Schell 10:00AM - 11:30AM 1027 - OPENING
LIVE FROM TORONTO 12:30PM - 2:00PM 6005 - Heavy Lifting for Female Athletes (W/S) Kate Laird 6006 - Triple Threat Strong (W/S) Tasha Edwards 6007 - Best Practices for Higher-Weight Clients (L) Ragen Chastain 6008 - The Business Impact of Group Fitness (L) Ingrid Knight-Cohee
Session Sponsor Presenter(s) Track(s) Personal Training Group Fitness Nutrition Cycling Active Aging Yoga/Pilates Dance Medical Fitness Wellness Business Management Leadership & Coaching Diversity, Equity & Inclusion canfitpro May/June 2023 48
CERMONIES and KEYNOTE ADDRESS with Kendal Netmaker: Courage To: Tell Your Story - The Power of Indigenous Storytelling (L)
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, August 18-19-20

6009 - Body CompositionTransformation (L)


6010 - Power Training for Older Adults = Fall Prevention and Increased Quality of Life (W/S)

6011 - Hit the Wall (W/S)

6012 - Overload Protocols for Hypertrophy (L)

6013 - Trends in Fitness Programming (L)

6014 - Decoding New Food Labels (L)

8:15AM - 9:45AM | Saturday, August 19

7000 - Movement Modifications For Your Client (W/S)

7001 - Pilates for the Mind and Brain to Enhance Quality of Life (W/S)

7002 - Artificial Intelligence: Intelligent Programming for the Client with Artificial Joints (L)

Benjamin Siong

Robert Linkul

Yury Rockit

Benjamin Siong

Sara J Kooperman

Bridget Fauteux

Francesca McKenzie

Carol Ann

Chuck Wolf

Jessie Thomas 10:00AM - 11:15AM

7003 - Find Your Ideal Client For $0 (L)

12:00PM - 1:30PM

7044 - GENERAL SESSION: Champion Mindset with Peter Twist (L)

7005 - Brain-boosting Exercise: Protecting Brain Health from Disease (W/S)

7006 - Functional Fitness + HIIT for Women (W/S)

7007 - Workout Periodization (L)

7008 - Practicing Equity, Diversity & Inclusion as a Fitness Business Owner (L)

2:00PM - 3:15PM

7009 - Strong AF (L)

7010 - Practical Programming Strategies for the Everyday Athlete (W/S)

7011 - The Mindset of Moms. Why It's Not Go Hard or Go Home (L)

7012 - Mind Your Mental Health: The Fascinating Science of Nutrition, Light & Lifestyle on Our Everyday Wellbeing (L)

10:00AM - 11:30AM | Sunday, August 20

Dr. Kella Price

Kate Laird

Dr. Jason Karp

Kia Williams

Chad Benson

Michael Piercy

Brooke Turner

Selin Bilgin

8000 - FUNctional Chair-Based Dance Fitness (W/O) Jorge Rivera

8001 - The Key Questions - What You Need to Know to Write an Effective Training Program (L)

Dagati 8002 - Top Tips for Turning Time Into Money (L) Shannon Fable 12:00PM - 1:30PM 3033 - CLOSING CEREMONIES AND FIRESIDE CHAT: Finding Your Way Through Courage (L) LIVE FROM TORONTO 2:00PM-3:15PM 8003 - Recovery Through Meditation (W/S) Yury Rockit 8004 - Successful Programming for the Aging (L) Ann Gilbert

8005 - 30 Leadership Lessons Learned - Business Panel (L)

Featuring: Shannon Fable, Dr. Jason Karp, Jessica Maurer, Carlton Braithwaite

Personal Training Group Fitness Nutrition Cycling Active Aging Yoga/Pilates Dance Medical Fitness Wellness Business Management Leadership & Coaching Diversity, Equity & Inclusion 49 canfitpro May/June 2023
Session Sponsor Presenter(s) Track(s)


canfitpro has negotiated the best possible rates at hotels adjoining the Metro Toronto Convention Centre

Delta Hotels Toronto

75 Lower Simcoe Street Rates as low as $299/night

InterContinental Toronto Centre

225 Front Street West Rates as low as $293/night

Book by July 17 and specify can tpro 2023


CN Tower Art Gallery of Ontario Ripley’s Aquarium Rogers Centre Home of the Toronto Blue Jays
9 SESSIONS TO CHOOSE FROM! Wednesday 7:00 p.m. Friday 7:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m. Saturday 6:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. Sunday 6:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m. GLOBAL CONFERENCE & TRADE SHOW 2023 August 16-20 Metro Toronto Convention Centre FOR ONLY CPR A $30 LEARN A SKILL. SAVE A LIFE. IN AN EMERGENCY, EVERY SECOND COUNTS. 51 canfitpro May/June 2023




Everybody deserves access to quality instruction, education, and support for their health and wellness, but unfortunately LGBT2SQ+ people report ‘gyms’ as one of the top places they avoid for fear of harassment and they often face discrimination in the fitness and exercise

industry, which can be a challenging and demotivating experience.

Below, I share why LGBT2SQ+ individuals often do not feel welcomed or accepted in our fitness programs and venues, how access to exercise is especially potent for the LGBT2SQ+ community, and how we can create safer and more inclusive spaces as fitness professionals.

We Built the Settings that Discriminate “Gym culture” in many places is centered around a heteronormative perspective that can make LGBT2SQ+ individuals feel unwelcome and excluded. This includes dealing with negative attitudes, judgmental stares, assumptions, or stereotypes, and even verbal or physical harassment.

Gender-segregated facilities like locker rooms and bathrooms can also be a source of discrimination for LGBT2SQ+ individuals. Transgender individuals (someone whose body does not match their gender identity) may face challenges and conflicts in finding a safe and welcoming workout environment. They may not feel comfortable using the facilities that correspond to their assigned gender at birth but using the facilities that align with their gender identity may lead to confrontations and harassment.

We must also recognize that marketing and advertising in the fitness industry focuses all too often on heterosexual, cisgender individuals, which reinforces harmful stereotypes and excludes LGBT2SQ+ individuals. This lack of

canfitpro May/June 2023 52

representation can make it challenging for LGBT2SQ+ individuals to find role models, fitness programs, and exercise resources that align with their needs and preferences.

When someone does not feel safe, or that they belong, it is challenging to feel motivated to attend facilities, or participate in programs that supports their wellness. This further perpetuates the marginalization and exclusion of LGBT2SQ+ individuals in our industry.

Exercise Benefits for the LBGT2SQ+ Community

LGBT2SQ+ individuals, like any other group, can have a wide range of fitness levels and physical activity habits, but research also shows that this community faces higher rates of discrimination and stress related to their sexual orientation or gender identity. This high burden of mental and emotional distress has been associated with a greater prevalence of coping behaviours such as tobacco, alcohol, and drug use in LGBT2SQ+ communities.

The benefits of exercise are therefore even more important as they play a critical role in the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of the LGBT2SQ+ community:

Improved mental health: Exercise can provide an effective way to improve mental health, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, decrease stress, and provide positive coping mechanisms.

Increased social support: Going to the local gym or attending group workouts

can foster social connections for those who may face isolation or a lack of other social support.

Improved body image: Exercise can help LGBT2SQ+ individuals feel more comfortable and confident in their bodies, which helps with body image issues and pressure to conform to narrow standards of beauty.

Stepping Up as Fitness Professionals

There are several steps personal trainers and fitness instructors can take to better support LGBT2SQ+ individuals:

• Educate yourself on LGBT2SQ+ issues, such as terminology, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

• Check your language and do not assume gender. Use gender-neutral terms such as ‘everyone’, ‘crew’ or ‘team’ and avoid assumptions about gender or sexual orientation. Do not be afraid to ask clients what pronouns they prefer and use those pronouns consistently.

• Create a safe and inclusive environment by A) advocating for and implementing policies that protect against discrimination, such as genderneutral bathrooms and locker rooms, and dress codes that are inclusive of all gender expressions, B) going beyond the rainbow flag sticker: choosing LGBT2SQ+friendly posters and materials in the gym and in your marketing material, and C) creating a sense of belonging and connections in ways that support all members in your workouts.

• Adapt workouts by modifying movements to suit the individual needs and abilities of your clients. This can include providing different movement options for people of all shapes, sizes, and abilities, and being aware of any physical or medical limitations related to gender transition or other LGBT2SQ+ issues.

• Celebrate diversity by recognizing and honoring LGBT2SQ+ events and holidays, such as Pride Month or Transgender Day of Remembrance. Find ways to highlight LGBT2SQ+ fitness success stories and showcase LGBT2SQ+ trainers or instructors.

Whether you own a gym, hired to deliver services, or teach your own classes, we have a vital role to play as fitness professionals to ensure that our practices, policies, and personal behaviours not only include, but anticipate, support, and celebrate LBGT2SQ+ individuals in their journeys to be active for life. Stay curious, keep learning, and if you are ever in doubt, do not forget about the simple power of kindness.

Melanie Levenberg, M.Ed., founder of PL3Y Inc., is a kid’s fitness expert, international speaker, author, TEDx presenter, LGBT2SQ+ fitness professional, canfitpro PRO TRAINER, and canfitpro 2022 Fitness Instructor of the Year.

53 canfitpro May/June 2023




Canadians are looking for fitness programs that support accessibility

and efficiency, as seen in the canfitpro Fitness Trends Report. The number one trend was Functional Fitness, including bodyweight training. Think multi-joint exercises like squats and lunges that emphasize core and whole-body integration. Body-weight training does not require any equipment, so it is ideal

for outdoor fitness. Nothing to buy, carry, or remember. Plus, training in the fresh air is convenient and fun. Both elements are critical because for any program to be sustainable, it must be realistic and, at a minimum, palatable. The benefits of any program are moot if you cannot make yourself do it.


Functional moves not only increase overall strength and fitness, they also simultaneously prepare the body to perform activities of daily living. By programing movement patterns that are required for daily life, you give your clients the strength and patterning to lift a heavy suitcase and/or do yard work with greater proficiency and ease, and lower risk of injury.

The Outdoor Gym

Amp up the walk. Nothing is more functional than walking. If accompanying your client to the park, do not just saunter — try fartlek intervals. Fartlek is a Swedish term that means “speed play.” It is an unstructured form of interval training. Pick a landmark — like a stop sign or crosswalk. Speed up to get there. Once you hit your landmark, slow down and recover. Repeat until you reach the park, increasing your intensity as you go.

Make the park your gym.

Consider a “fun” warm-up pyramid. Pick two functional exercises based on your client’s fitness level and injury profile. A low-impact version could be walking kneeups and sit-to-stands on a bench. A more intense version could be high knee runs and squats. Start with two of each, then four, then six, then eight, then 10.

After the warm-up, use a park bench to do functional core and strength moves. For example, step-ups, V holds, and/or push-ups.

• Step-ups: Place the entire right foot on the bench. Core engaged. Use the glute muscles of the leg on the bench to bring the left foot up to meet the right. Watch

the hips. Do not let the right hip jut out to the side. Step right leg down. Repeat, then switch sides.

• V holds: Sit bum on the bench, feet on the ground. Chest out. Hinge back slightly. Make sure your client engages their core and hinges from the hips, not through the lower back. Do not let the shoulders round forward. Breathe. For added fun, add a twist side-to-side.

• Push-ups: Hands on the bench. Toes on the ground. Bend the elbows and lower the chest toward the bench. Exhale to push back up. For an extra challenge, after each push-up, try jumping the feet out like a horizontal jumping jack.

Or create a circuit. Program a few functional moves followed by a run around the perimeter of the park or a cardio move like burpees.

If you can find an outdoor playground, try pull-ups and/or an incline plank with forearms on a swing.

Combine hill runs or stairs with strength work.

Mix in stairs or hill running with a functional strength move like squats or hinges. What is more functional than squats and stairs? Everyone needs to go to the bathroom and climb stairs!


• Run the stairs five times. Do two squats. Repeat the same number of stairs. Each round, increase the number of squats by two until you get to 12.

• Find a hill. Pyramid the hill and a functional strength move. Run the hill two times. Do two hinge lunges. Each time, increase the number of hill runs by

two and the number of hinge lunges by two until you get to 10 hill runs and 10 hinge lunges.

The hinge lunge integrates two key functional moves: the lunge and the deadlift. Instruct client to start in a lunge. Right leg in front. Feet forward like train tracks. Bend knees: back knee moves towards the floor. Hold. Hinge torso forward like a deadlift. Chest out. Use the right glute and core muscles to bring the torso back to vertical. Straighten legs to stand.

Final Thought

Give homework. Set a daily steps goal, a minimum water and vegetable target, and/or write down a functional outdoor program clients can do on their own. If they have a dog, suggest they do fartlek intervals with the pooch, or at the dog park do functional moves such as squats or lunges while their dog retrieves a ball. Ultimately, we want clients to be independent; give them the tools to make healthier choices throughout their life, not just during sessions.

Kathleen Trotter, MSc, is a fitness expert, life and nutrition coach, media personality, motivational speaker, trainer, writer, and author of Finding Your Fit and Your Fittest Future Self. Kathleen’s mission is to inspire people to adopt a healthier lifestyle (in an intelligent way). Connect via kathleentrotter. com or FitbyKathleenT on all social channels.

55 canfitpro May/June 2023





Whether training parents to carry their kids pain free, rugby league players and wrestlers to control the grapple/clinch or even first responders to pass their physical aptitude testing, it is a key piece in helping to improve overall movement quality.

The remarkable thing about isometrics is that it is neither muscle shortening

nor muscle lengthening of an agonist or antagonist (it is like a wrestling match between the two). Isometrics can be applied to focus on any range of motion and its health benefits are much more extensive than any isokinetic action. This includes increasing strength, stability, and proprioception of muscles and joints (reducing pain and increasing range


of motion). It is not, however, a relaxed position as it requires the muscles to be always working in the movement.

When I ask students to talk about controlling a repetition, most commonly you would hear the isotonic: concentric and eccentric motions. Concentric and eccentric actions have traditionally been seen as great mediums for hypertrophy and strength building. You can express measurable power and strength through concentric contraction, and overloading a client with eccentric loads (under controlled variables) yields great benefits in mechanical stress. But rarely would a student mention isometric contraction as a component of training.

The strength of applying the right kind of isometrics really became clear when I started training a client to pass the FPAT (Firefighter Physical Aptitude Tests). It is a series of three tests a candidate needs to pass on their way to full accreditation. My client was looking for a way to practice the equipment carry/vehicle extrication test (which is supposed to mirror the Jaws of Life usage in the field). For anyone that has taken the most recent updated canfitpro Personal Training Specialist (PTS) curriculum, this should sound familiar as an example.

The carry itself requires isometric contraction of the biceps, forearm flexors, and core musculature to carry and move two weights (44lbs and 80lbs respectively) in a relay, then holding the 44lbs weight at three different heights for 30 seconds.

The challenge of training a client to pass this type of testing is that it requires the client to develop a good base of muscular endurance (as it challenges the ATP/CP and Anaerobic Glycolysis systems), muscle mass and muscular strength in lessthan-ideal ranges of motion and stability, creating a challenge for the core, legs, and arms.

To build the required muscle for the testing we mixed in and utilized holds in the lengthened, shortened, and mid ranges of a muscle group. When training arms, about 90 degrees worked well to mimic the holds of the extrication equipment, and for legs three different pause heights for compound and isolation lifts worked well due to the changing heights needed for the test. Sometimes, we changed the work the muscle completed to either potentiate the muscle before, challenge it mid-way through or at the end of the set. Next, for strength, we built up a good linear

increase in weight over the course of a sixweek period across all lifts (that included isometric components), sometimes increasing a single 1lb at a time until holding a 45lb weight was easy. Changing grip thickness also complimented this (e.g., KB, plates, dumbbells).

For endurance, including carries with a front-loaded counterweight position (having arms at 90 degrees) and offsetting the weight to one side to mimic handles, worked very well. The length of time holding the weight in a specific position also increased to challenge the abdominals (TVA, RA and Obliques).

Lastly, combining this into the relay itself to regularly mimic the actual test to see whether the training was working was key. I am happy to say it led to a successful pass of the FPAT testing.

In this case, the Quadricep muscles fill to the max with lactate and work in all ranges causing an intense burn!

2. The mid exercise isometric; three sets of a medium weight (60-75 percent of 1RM).

A) Seated hamstring curls for 12-15 repsevery third rep using a three to five second resisted hold (trainer adds the external resistance) at a predetermined position on the eccentric/concentric portion of the lift.

Now the hamstrings are working hard! This is the easiest to apply on the seated hamstring curl for added pelvic stability.

3. The isometric to potentiate the set or finish the set; three to four sets with medium weight.

A) BB bench press against the pins of rack for 10-15 seconds at a preset range (no rest).

B) Dumbbell press for 10-12 reps or until failure with a 4/0/2/0 tempo.

Alternatively, the reverse would work.

In this case, the Pectoral muscles are initiated first or used to finish off, allowing for full maximization of all the available muscle fibres.

For a general population client, we can adopt some of these principles into their training for improved strength, stability, and ranges of motion. A parent carrying their child on their hip can be mimicked easily with a weight, leaning their body to carry the load at an acute angle, strengthening their core and improving the isometric strength of their bicep to help them prevent injury. Maybe it is the 10 grocery bag farmers walk from the car up three flights of stairs (why do three trips?). Think about how much better their overall movement quality would be if you or your client had better isometric control of that deficient area.

Here are four examples of isometrics we can use with our clients:

1. The isometric in the middle of the set; three sets medium weight (60-75 percent of 1RM).

A) Quad extensions for 10 reps – 3/0/1/0 tempo (no rest)

B) 20-30 second wall sit at 90-110° (no rest)

C) Finish with a second set of quad extensions or split squats to failure using the same weight (1/0/1/0)

4. Front loaded counterweight carries with weight plate or kettlebell to challenge endurance as well as abdominal bracing, core, and arm strength.

A) Carry a weight 20 metres out and back as many times as possible until failure - the variables of distance and weight can be recorded and retested.

This is a practical way to add in core training and isometrics and is my most used variation.

Simon Paige is an award-winning Level 5 Personal Trainer at Goodlife Fitness, S&C Coach (Ontario Rugby League, Canada Rugby league, Toronto Wolfpack), Fascial Stretch Therapist, and educator. He is an instructor with some of the world’s top fitness education companies and works 1000’s of hours each year with personal training clients.

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Food is the foundation of healthy structure and function of the body and so it is wise to be cautious about unnatural preservatives, food colourings, additives, and agrochemicals and how to avoid them as much as possible.

I encourage people to get the vast majority of their nutrients from foods that do not even have an ingredient list on the label because they are simple, natural foods. Vegetables, fruits, fish, eggs, meats, nuts, seeds, organic grains, and good-quality fats and oils should make up the bulk of your diet. For example, I recommend choosing real butter from a local, grass-fed cow if you can get it, over heavily processed “hearthealthy” polyunsaturated vegetable oil spreads. Artificial, manufactured foods rarely improve on what nature has to offer.

Things like prepared dairy products, baked goods, soups, sauces, condiments, spreads, processed meats, and snack foods round out a whole foods diet and it is important that we can navigate the labels on those foods to make the best choices for our health.

New labelling laws will come into effect in Canada in January of 2026, but until that time, front of package labels can be considered baseless marketing. Simply ignore anything on the front of a package claiming a product is low-salt, low-fat, sugar-free, or high in fiber. In many cases, those sorts of claims are an indication that the food has been heavily processed or contains artificial ingredients.

Before I even consider buying a food it must pass a simple test: is it recognizable as a natural food? For example, have you ever thought about what “Cheetos” are? Are they recognizable as something that grows? Nope, so that will not even make it into my hand, let alone my grocery cart.

The key to deciphering a food label...the ingredient list.

The ingredient list is by far the most important and valuable information on a food label, and it tells me everything I need to know about a food. There are certain ingredients that will immediately make me put a product back on the shelf. Ingredients are listed in order of greatest concentration, so anything with sugar or many of the sugar aliases; sucrose, glucose, fructose, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), dextrose, galactose, syrup of any kind, barley malt, maltodextrin or agave nectar listed in the top three ingredients is a non-starter.

I will also pass on any food containing soy, corn, canola, cottonseed, or vegetable oil in the first

five ingredients. If I do buy a food containing one of these oxidized polyunsaturated fats, I prefer that it is certified organic to minimize the pesticide and herbicide residues found in these oils when they are conventionally farmed.

Next, I consider how closely the food resembles something homemade. If it contains ingredients that are recognizable as food and it is something I could make if I had the time and the skill, then it often gets a pass. As a rule, if the ingredient list is more than ten items long and contains unpronounceable, unrecognizable items it stays on the shelf and hopefully sends a message to food manufacturers that consumers are demanding better quality food.


There is certainly a learning curve to being able to identify harmful and healthy ingredients on a food label, so take your time and do not be afraid to do a little research on unfamiliar items. Some things that sound wretched are harmless and some that sound innocent are anything but.

Once you develop the skill of being able to read an ingredient list, the nutrition facts panel might be useful to help you choose between two items. The nutrition facts panel will not tell you anything about the quality of the nutrients present, only the quantities, and while that may be helpful in some instances or as a basic starting point, it leaves a lot to be desired.

Under the carbohydrate listing you will see sugars and fibre, and sometimes starch. If you have looked at the ingredient list you have already weeded out any foods with excess sugar content, but you could use this information to compare one product to another and see which one contains less sugar or more fibre.

Aim to eat the most natural, unprocessed, freshest foods you can and opt for foods with a short, simple ingredient list to simplify reading labels and improve your health.

Ellie Steele is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Advanced EFT Tapping Practitioner, canfitpro PTS, Social Service Worker, and a health coach that helps her clients remove the blocks to embracing healthy lifestyle habits. Learn more about Ellie and her work at

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From eating whole, organic foods to the ancient art of forest bathing, the deeper our connection to nature, the greater the effect it has on our energy.

Prana, the Sanskrit “word” for life force energy, is present within all living things. It sustains life, governs the natural cycles of everything, and is accessed through breath. When we spend time in a natural environment, whether it is the woods, mountains, or by a body of water, we absorb prana and it revitalizes our energy, like plugging your phone into an electrical outlet.

The organ within our body with the greatest amount of life force is our heart. According to HeartMath Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to “awakening the heart of humanity,” the heart’s electrical field is 60 times greater than that of the brain. When we live in alignment with our heart, we truly come alive.

No matter what activity you perform outdoors, doing it mindfully and with intention will help you draw in prana and recharge your heart’s electrical field while aligning with the natural cycles of life. Next time you take your workout outdoors, try the following meditative techniques and notice the effects it has on your whole being.


Standing with feet shoulder distance apart, take a deep breath in and move and stretch as you set an intention for this experience. Then, with feet parallel, shift your bodyweight back and forth between the balls of your feet and your heels, keeping your feet connected to the ground as you do so. Next, keep your bodyweight on the balls of your feet with heels grounded and begin to bend and extend your knees, keeping shoulders, hips, and heels stacked. Repeat this six times and then hold the position with knees bent while you breathe naturally and deeply for at least 30 seconds. Feel a downward current of energy flow from the top of your head to your feet and sense it is anchoring you into the earth.

Now that we are grounded, let us have some fun!

Elevate Your Heart Rate

Whether it is a brisk walk through the woods or a 20-minute HIIT workout in a park, get your heart pumping. As you do this, breathe deeply, and notice how your body responds to the movement. The focus here is to move and have fun!

Walk With Purpose

As a cool down to your movement, walk at a natural pace and begin to slow your breathing. Regardless of speed, be intentional with each step. Notice how your feet interact with the ground and take in all sensory information: what you see, hear, feel, smell, and (if applicable) taste. Continue breathing deeply, feeling your lungs expand, softening your

abdomen, and allowing your pelvis to move freely. Naturally allow your pace to decrease.

Once you find yourself walking with purpose at a rhythmic pace, begin to coordinate your breath with your steps. Count how many steps it takes for you to fully inhale, and then match your steps on the exhale. Again, naturally allow your pace to decrease and continue engaging all your senses here.

Let Your Heart Lead the Way

Continue as above and move as though your heart is leading the way. Direct your awareness to the centre of your chest where your heart energy resides and let it guide you forward. This may feel awkward or uncomfortable at first, and if that is the case, allow the feeling to be present as you move and bring your awareness back to your breath and the energy of your heart. Affirm to yourself “I am grounded, I am joyful, I am loved,” or anything that brings a sense of peace to your experience.

Paul Galloro’s approach to health and wellness goes beyond the physical and is grounded in Love. With 18 years of experience in the health and wellness industry, he blends modern sciences with ancient practices to help people fall wildly in love with themselves.

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While we may still be fine tuning and personalizing how we do business, one thing has not changed - the power of a visual reminder. These are reference points that are top of mind and support change on the road to transformation.

The resources we share with our clients are a consistent reminder to help them reach their goals and objectives. They also add to our credibility, trust, and reinforce that we too walk the walk and talk the talk.

Nothing beats the power of personalized communication!

Most often, the tools we provide are

the same tools we use in our own daily routines. If they motive us, then why not share the same recipe for success.

Change, as we know, is tricky business and even when we have made a commitment to do something different, we need to reinforce the outcome with daily reminders. These motivators connect clients with trainers daily as part of a total communication package.

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I, for one, have taken a step or two back as part of my daily practice, giving myself permission to call out what no longer works - ditching the old and introducing (or reintroducing) a few new tried and true methods that align with a hybrid model.

Here are three suggestions to consider that are easy and inspirational.


The Power of a Quote

Find a quote to read every morning and send it to your clients. Positive quotes create uplifting energy to keep everyone moving forward as we begin each day.

The quotes you choose may be from people you admire or related to a specific topic. Either way, they will start the day by creating positive momentum. As our feet hit the ground, first thing in the morning, at the very least, reading an empowering quote is a feel-good experience.

This is a great tool to build your social media content. Educational assets and daily reminders to share with clients, with a consistent effort, motivates change.

2. Sticky Notes

What is on your mirror?

Take your top two goals and write them on a sticky note. Place them on each mirror in your house and even in the

car. The location is strategic: wherever you cruise throughout the day is a reminder of your goal.

I have even had clients who wrote daily success stories and “stuck” them below the goal. The constant reminder creates a positive reaction and acknowledging each small success builds long term momentum.

This is also a great follow up tool - ask each client to bring along their sticky notes and discuss their ongoing success strategy. You will build trust and empathy.

3. Tip Sheets

Articles, short stories, anecdotes, and instruction sheets. The one-page educational tools that help our clients connect with their goals. Reading helpful hints and testimonials from others who have successfully made the change and transformation will by far increase their success and your credibility factor.

I know you have a library of information that helps to support the strategies and concepts you teach. Why not share these tip sheets with clients weekly or monthly to boost their enthusiasm and lift their spirits?

Personalize each sheet with your logo, short bio, and contact information. If you send a PDF, I bet they will share

with their friends and family who may eventually become clients. A great marketing tool that supports your passion and motivates others on their own personal journey.

Each suggestion creates opportunities to connect with your client that is positive, educational, and inspirational.

I am willing to bet that we are all open to more success using innovative ideas that bring positive results. Building a kit of practical tools will not only increase our credibility and trust but positively reinforce our commitment to helping others build a happy, healthy lifestyle.

I often wonder; who motivates who? With every effort we make to encourage others, I am sure the benefit is win-win.

You never know who is watching your journey and being inspired.

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Trish Tonaj is a certified personal trainer, master coach, author, and speaker on mentorship. She is the founder and host for, a marketing portal in support of entrepreneurship and sharing great ideas.





I looked up to other elite mama runners, such as Kara Goucher and Alysia Montaño, who were gracious enough to answer my (many) questions. However, I still found precious little information about how to navigate this new and challenging period.

Since those early, anxious days, I’ve made it my mission to educate myself about these topics, then share what I know with the athletes I coach and the public. (At the time I’m writing this, my assistant coaches and I are working with 12 pregnant athletes!) Of course, I hope to provide useful information to guide women through. But more than anything, I want other runner moms to know you’re not alone, that you’re understood and supported.

Great Expectations

From the time Dillon and I decided to start a family, I had a clear vision for how my first pregnancy would go. I’d run right up until my delivery date—after all, I’m a pro, and that’s what my mom and sisters had done. Afterward, I’d start slowly at the sixweek mark but swiftly gain steam. I’d be back to top competitive form quickly, as pros such as Kara Goucher and Gwen Jorgensen had before me.

Reality set in right after I stared in shock at those two lines on the pregnancy test. Beginning at eight weeks, I felt nauseated and strongly averse to food, except for pizza, watermelon, and ice cream. My back ached, so I stopped running completely after 18 weeks, and round ligament pain kept me from strength training. Summer’s heat, the deviation from my typical diet, and swirling hormones left me low on energy and motivation to do much cross-training.

Athens arrived healthy and strong, but as I’ve already touched on, my postpartum route back was far more winding and difficult than I expected. It took a year and a half before I even began to find my footing and make my way back to a starting line, let alone a triumphant finish.

After the Houston Marathon and the Olympic Marathon Trials in the summer of 2020, I began to feel like the athlete I had been—and in fact, an even stronger one. But like so much else that year, things didn’t unfold as expected. I’ve already explained how my second pregnancy wasn’t exactly planned. The ease with which it happened, by the way, is something I don’t take for granted; I know many people face immense struggles in their quest to become parents, and my heart goes out to them.

This experience was dramatically different. I ate normally, with the exception of a few extra chocolate chip cookies. I was able to keep running, and I even did Fartlek workouts and longer runs through 14 weeks. I can’t say which was the cause and which the effect, but I had far less stress and more faith in my body and myself.

Time will tell how my full recovery will pan out. My athletic timeline will look different than I’d thought. But know this—I fully intend to continue chasing down my goals. Originally, I’d planned to compete through 2024, then complete my family. Now, I see no ceiling on how long I can keep aiming for my best.

Since I first announced my pregnancy with Athens, I’ve communicated with hundreds if not thousands of other current and soon-to-be runner moms. The connection between us is intense as we make our way through this surprisingly uncharted territory. The information in this article, I hope, will make those conversations accessible to more people, offering practical guidance to those who

feel as overwhelmed and alone as I once did.

Most importantly, though, I want you to recognize that this phase doesn’t represent the end or even a step away from your career as an athlete. Rather, it places you firmly in the center of an even bigger, more beautiful running story. From sports bras to running marathons to Title IX, women have made and continue to make breakthroughs in sport. Motherhood is the next great frontier.

For a long time, women worked and then became mothers. Athletes competed, then retired to start a family. Increasingly, though, we’re pushing back and setting our own timelines. Rather than choosing to give up one goal for another, we’re merely hitting pause, reserving the right to resume when we’re ready.

Nothing worthwhile is easy. Success always takes time. If you’re pregnant or a new mom, you may not hit the performances you want this year. It might take two or three or even four years—or longer—to reach your goals. But I’m here to tell you that you’re incredible and you can accomplish great things, both as a mom and an athlete. You deserve to enjoy the process, take pride in your efforts, and rebuild in the time that feels right and not forced. Even— and perhaps even more so—as a mom, pursuing your potential can change your life.

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Excerpted by permission of Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL. Available to order from Human Kinetics Canada at or by calling 1-800-465-7301.
Copyright © 2023 by Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.



HEALTHY LIVING canfitpro May/June 2023 68


As a presenter at the Global Conference, I am very attuned to the positive vibes circling the conference hall - the sense of enthusiasm in the air and that palpable sense of “so much to do, so much to learn,” that fills the conference rooms. But amidst all the exuberance and high-level positivity, can there be anything lurking in the background that we, as participants, should be mindful of while enjoying the event?

I believe there is. And I draw from my own experience on the subject, because if I feel it…likely there are other attendees who may experience and feel what I do too. What is it? Self-comparisons. When thousands of fit bodies come together at a fitness-oriented conference, it is inevitable that some of us (if not many of us) fall into the trap of comparing our physical appearance to that of others.

As fitness professionals, we are highly in touch with our bodies, our body shapes, and our body image. It is a blessing and a curse; a blessing because we have dedicated our lives and our careers to living healthy and encouraging others to do the same, and that encourages us to stay in as good condition as we can. But a curse too, because we often are (or can be) our harshest critics when it comes to our physical condition. Comparing our body shape and size to that of others can lead us down the proverbial rabbit hole of self-condemnation and the “I’m not-good-enough” self-talk. And that, in turn, can lead to a host of negative behaviours from excess exercise to eating disorders in an attempt to meet the unrealistic expectations placed on fitness professionals to look “fit”.

Indeed, the science bears this out. In a 2015 study published in the Journal of Eating Disorders, researchers interviewed Norwegian group fitness instructors to determine patterns of disordered eating behaviour. Results from the survey showed that 22 percent of male instructors and a full 59 percent of female

instructors exhibited disordered eating patterns. That almost one quarter of all male instructors and well over half of female instructors exhibited unhealthy eating patterns is not surprising given the pressures fitness professionals face to maintain idealized body shapes.

So, how can we enjoy the upcoming canfitpro Global Conference and Trade Show without worrying what we look like, and without measuring ourselves against others and the back talk that accompanies self-comparisons?

“Before you attend the conference, or even while you’re at the conference, ask yourself, ‘why am I here? What’s the purpose of me being here?” says Colorado based Pam Moore, ACE Certified Personal Trainer, Intuitive Eating Counsellor and Occupational Therapist. “Am I here to learn, to grow professionally, to network with other fitness professionals or to focus on my body?” That will reorientate your priorities so you can focus on enjoying yourself, rather than comparing yourself. But if you do find yourself comparing your size and shape with that of other attendees, Moore suggests you return to the “why”“why am I here” - to ground yourself and return to your purpose of being at the conference.

As Moore confides, “When I started teaching Spin classes, I was very self conscious that I didn’t have ‘the look’, but people weren’t coming to watch me be a model. I taught Spin classes to make fitness fun.” And that is the mantra to keep in mind at the conference. F-U-N. You are there to have fun…and if you can keep “fun” as your priority throughout the conference, you will care less about other bodies and care more about making the weekend a thoroughly immersive, enjoyable, and fun experience.

Lorne Opler, M.Ed., CSCS, is an Adjunct Professor at Seneca College in Toronto, Ontario where he teaches Introductory Nutrition. He has specific interests in the areas of exercise and mental health, nutrition and mental health, fitness for older adults and people with disabilities. His freelance fitness articles appear in Muscle and Fitness magazine, ACE Fitness, and the Washington Post. Visit his website at

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