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Meet The Trainer – Grant Freeman

Grant FreemanBScKin
CSEP-CEP
CSEP-High Performance Certification

Background:

Growing up I was always involved in sports having played soccer, badminton, squash, track and field, football, taekwondo, softball, rock climbing, and more. I chose fitness as I wanted to be able to make a difference in people’s lives using exercise; exercise has played a big role in improving my mental health and I would like to use that to help others.

Experience:

4 years professionally, having trained friends and family 2 years prior.

Training Philosophy:

“I ask not for a lighter load, but for stronger shoulders” -Atlas. What we do in the gym is designed to make the rest of our lives easier, function over form.

Client Success Stories:

One of my clients had a meniscus tear where something as simple as going up and down stairs caused an immense amount of pain. This past summer they played a game of cricket with no knee issues and they haven’t had any knee pain for a long while; all of their blood work has improved and the main change they made was starting to exercise with me.

Advice for Beginners:

Find your why and don’t be worried about being perfect – be worried about being consistent. There will be good days and less than good days, having a strong “why” will help you be consistent on those bad days. Consistency leads to success.

Overcoming Challenges:

Empathy and relativity. Empathy – sometimes you need someone to listen to you – the first step in solving any problem is recognizing that there is a problem, if you understand the problem better then hopefully it will be easier to solve. Relativity – every exercise I give will be catered to your level of difficulty.

Favorite Workout:

Anything that gets me into the flow state, currently it’s dodgeball. I love being immersed in the moment where the brain shuts off and the body moves on its own. Otherwise it is calisthenics and bodyweight exercises because of how humbling the challenge can be.

Personal Fitness Goals:

To stay healthy and consistent! I am also working on my handstands, hangs, and my backflip.

Hobbies:

I chronically collect hobbies but currently, my main ones are chess, poi, dodgeball, video games (Elden Ring, and Valorant). I’m learning how to sing, speak Spanish, and play guitar.

Inspirational Figure

Thích Quảng Đức. His resolve and strength to help others resonates with me.

Fun Fact:

This year was 5 years clean of alcohol!

Meet The Trainer – Ethan Wollmann

Ethan WollmannACSM-CPT
PN Level 1
FMS Level 1

Background: How did you get started in fitness and athletics?

When I was 10 my Mom put me in ballet, reasons unknown. I was absolutely devastated. It should have been any boys dream – myself, 8 girls, and a teacher who put me front and center. But I’m pretty sure I had to wear a leotard and I’m not sure I ever recovered from that.

Fast forward 8 years, like most 18 year olds, I want to be jacked.

For some reason I feel like the blending of these two life events really epitomizes my fitness journey.

Experience: How long have you been a trainer?

2013

Training Philosophy: What is your training philosophy?

Mindful Movement – Move, learn, discover.

My movement practice constantly changes depending on my mood, primarily dictated by the state of my lawn.  Currently I’m very interested in utilizing movement as a form of play and exploration. I know this probably sounds a little obnoxious, but if you’ve ever seen me rolling around in the gym you know what I mean?

Client Success Stories: Can you share a memorable success story or moment with a client?

Every time a client comments that exercising has given them the confidence to try something they would have never tried before and enrich their lived experience.

Advice for Beginners: What advice would you give to someone just starting their fitness journey?

Consistency is by far the most important piece of the puzzle, but it’s not a ‘one size fits all’ concept. Consistency for a 20-year-old high schooler probably looks much different than a 45-year-old accountant – and not just because he’s 20 and still in high school. Understanding how fitness can mesh with your lifestyle is huge for long term success.

Overcoming Challenges: How do you help clients overcome common fitness challenges?

Avoid setting yourself up for failure. Falling victim to doing too much too soon inevitably (for most of us) makes a routine hard to stick to when life decides to interfere. Find your rhythm.

Favorite Workout: What is your favorite type of workout or exercise, and why?

Probably Bulgarian squats. If you know, you know 😉.

Personal Fitness Goals: What are your personal fitness goals for this year?

For the most part my goals are quite general when it comes to fitness. Moving pain-free is always top of mind, followed by exploring different modalities and trying to add more tools to my toolbox, expand my fitness repertoire, and to stay healthy decades down the road.

 Hobbies: What are your hobbies or interests outside of fitness?

Tennis, video games, scootering, mindfulness practices, travel, Christmas, Lord of the Rings, Roger Federer shoes, investing and losing money, chasing happiness, my daughter yelling at me, watering my lawn.

Inspirational Figure: Who or what inspires you the most?

Connecting with people.
The Roman Empire – all men think about this at least weekly.

Fun Fact: Share a fun or surprising fact about yourself.

Favourite colour: lush green
Number: Infinity 8
Season: July
Holiday destination: ocean or sea-bound
Landscape: weedless grass
Least liked element: wind

Meet The Trainer – Andrew McMillan

ANDREW MCMILLANBHK, CSEP-CPT

Background:

When I was 14 my brother and I started working out in our basement together. We would follow old workouts from the “book of muscle.” The goal was to get as big as we could for rugby and football seasons. Often, we tried exercises way too hard for us, which resulted in more laughing than workout.

Experience:

I started my training career in October 2019 with SVPT.

Training Philosophy:

Fundamentals of functional anatomy backed with the 5 pillars of fitness: Hinge, Squat, Push, Pull and Carry.

Client Success Stories:

I have a set of grandparents who started coming to me because they wanted to be able to keep up to their grandchildren. We started slow and with the basics, and now three years later they are some of my most consistent clients. They are always telling stories about what adventures they got up to last with the grandkids, grateful to have the mobility and strength to keep up with them!

Advice for Beginners:

Don’t rush through the small steps. Brick by brick you build a foundation greatness stands upon.

Overcoming Challenges:

Adjusting to fit daily needs. Everyone can finish the workout program, with minor regression/progressions to exercises.

Favorite Workout:

Deadlifts and/or squats. Just love the feeling of going down the stairs the next day.

Personal Fitness Goals:

315 hollow body bench press. More importantly though, an improvement in cardiovascular conditioning and overall mobility.

Hobbies:

Golf, waterskiing and house renovations with my partner, Kait

Inspirational Figure:

Ethan Wollman, I mean how does he get his hair to stay like that all day. But actually, I am the most inspired by my dad. He is the most hardworking person I know.

Fun Fact:

Last summer, I spent two weeks travelling through Iceland and Spain!

Meet The Trainer – Shawn Goodman

SHAWN GOODMANNAIT C.P.T.

Background:

I played numerous competitive sports growing up, depending on the time of year. It’s been a passion of mine from a young age.

Experience:

17 years

Training Philosophy:

Keep it simple, being consistent over a long period of time is the key to achieving your goals.

Client Success Stories:

I had a male client who was living with a great deal of pain and could barely walk around. He was on a fair amount of prescription painkillers every day to perform daily living tasks. After training consistently for 6months, he could get off most of the meds and could go out and enjoy activities and sports he had not been able to play since high school.

Advice for Beginners:

Don’t try to take on too much too fast. Shoot to be better than you were last week; small changes over time add up.

Overcoming Challenges:

Being honest with them is a huge part of this. Clients need to know the work that’s required to achieve their goals. You don’t have to be perfect; just slowly keep improving. It takes time to develop a consistent routine, and don’t beat yourself up if everything doesn’t go exactly as planned.

Favorite Workout:

Multi-joint movements that get the body moving in multiple planes of motion. Doing the same “comfy” workout week in and week out will hinder your progress quickly.

Personal Fitness Goals:

Fully rehab and strengthen my upper and lower body for next golf season. I suffered a few injuries this year that have limited my body.

Hobbies:

I enjoy playing golf in the summer months and Drag racing snowmobiles during the winter months.

Inspirational Figure:

Dan John

Fun Fact:

I’m a shareholder of the NFL’s Greenbay Packers.

Meet The Trainer – Cam Hood

Strength and Conditioning Coach
CSEP
CPT

Background:

I started track and field in grade 1 and have been involved in some form of athletics ever since, personally and professionally.

Experience:

I’ve been involved in the health and fitness industry for 20 years

Training Philosophy:

I believe in training “hard smart”: Training with high intensity, while choosing the correct exercise(s), in the correct circumstance, that produces the desired effect or adaptation and that poses very little risk and can be progressed and regressed.

Client Success Stories:

So many! My most recent is a client and I worked through a two-year window for her to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

Advice for Beginners:

Go slow, and soak up information and be a continuous learner. It’s your body.

Overcoming Challenges:

There’s always a way. Look at the problem, think of solutions. If it’s a common client problem, there’s probably lots of common solutions. Look to others who have been there done that.

Favorite Workout:

Any session that’s high-intensity and smart.

Personal Fitness Goals:

Becoming stronger. Becoming more athletic. Becoming more mobile.

Hobbies:

I care for rescue cats.

Inspirational Figure:

My Mom and Dad.

Fun Fact:

I dislike fitness influencers who do it for the wrong reasons and life coaches who have no business being life coaches.

Meet The Trainer – Joel Brissard

JOEL BRISSARDBSc. Kinesiology
Functional Movement Screen Level 2
Agatsu Kettlebell

Background:

I started working out due to the convenience of the gym being down the hall from my cooking job and being motivated due to the unhealthy habits and nature of the industry I was currently working in. I started with a trainer and found the challenge of exercise exciting. I also find a level of creativity in exercises that I couldn’t find personally in cooking.

Experience:

Since 2012 officially

Training Philosophy:

I think everyone should have access to movement, so… learning and understanding how to move properly, with what you were given. No one moves the same way, and what is 100% healthy?

Physical health is mental health.

Client Success Stories:

I had a guy come in, who had one of the best goals ever. “I want to get off the floor easier”.
He was diligent with his program and he came to the gym every day as routine. Winter came around and he walked into the gym, and he knew a lot of people so he shouted across the gym loud enough for a few people to hear…” Hey Joel! I went skiing, and my ass could only ever do 5 runs in a day, I had the energy to do 8!”

Advice for Beginners:

Muscle soreness as kids didn’t seem to exist, so get excited, but be smart about it… the DOMS hits much harder than it used to.

Overcoming Challenges:

Create smaller, more attainable goals, more often. Something that works in weeks, not months.

Favorite Workout:

Typically, anything with a kettlebell. You can just do so many things with where you support it, how you hold it, how you move it. That you can create continuous movement from one part of the body or another while the rest of the body rests.

Personal Fitness Goals:

No more injuries? But for real, to get back to a point where I can teach a kettlebell class.

Hobbies:

I’m a big gamer, mostly puzzle and strategy games. Since I can’t challenge myself in the gym at the moment, I still try to find ways to “compete”. So I occasionally take part in video game leagues or do small local tournaments.

Inspirational Figure:

My dad has struggled with chronic pain for as long as I can remember, and it never stopped him from trying anything—so pretty easy answer.

Fun Fact:

I have 5 birds:
2 budgies- Ducky and Petrie
1 pearly conure- Scallops
2 green cheek conures- Penny and Kevin

Kevin talks a bit, but mainly their skills involve pooping on me.

Meet The Trainer – Caroline van Egteren

CAROLINE VAN EGTERENNAIT PFT
U of A Kinesiology Degree

Background:

I was always involved in sports and enjoyed working hard during practice and games. I never really stepped foot inside a gym. As I got older and was trying to decide what I wanted to do, helping people in the gym seemed a great way to go. Going to NAIT and learning how to perform all the movements properly allowed me to go from not knowing at all what I was doing in the gym to creating the same confidence in others.

Experience:

4 years

Training Philosophy:

Meeting people where they’re at.

Client Success Stories:

My client has had their quadricep muscles removed in one leg. When we first met, I was not sure what they would be able to do and what we could accomplish together. We can do quite a lot. They went from being unable to hold their leg up during a plank to doing “stir the pot” on an exercise ball. Their functional growth continues to amaze me and makes me think that the body is capable of more than you think if you give it the opportunity to prove itself.

Advice for Beginners:

Going to the gym can be intimidating, but finding a partner or trainer that gives you the confidence to continue showing up can be key to lasting behaviour change.

Overcoming Challenges:

Something I have noticed my clients say a lot, in the beginning, is, “I feel awkward doing this”. People are worried if they’re doing something correctly, especially if it’s unfamiliar. By reaffirming that it’s okay to not be perfect right away and that I’ve been doing this for a few years – of course it will look easier when I do it. My skills are because of practice, let me help you practice too!

Favorite Workout:

I enjoy workouts with heavy dumbbells. Makes you feel strong!

Personal Fitness Goals:

I want to be happy and healthy, continue managing my chronic pain, and improve my body weight exercises (chin ups, single leg squats, etc.)

Hobbies:

Video games. Taking my two dogs on adventures. Camping. Reading. Gardening. Language learning.

Inspirational Figure:

I don’t really have anyone like that! I never have. I think about the type of person I want to be and I strive towards that.

Fun Fact:

I was classically trained in singing for 2 years.

Meet The Trainer – Jordan Gallaugher

JORDAN GALLAUGHERNAIT PFT
CSEP-CPT

Background:

I started my fitness journey in 2018 after a low point in my life. Lifting weights helped my mental health so much and I fell in love with the gym and wanted to help other people do the same.

Experience:

I graduated from NAIT in April and started working as a trainer in May 😊

Training Philosophy:

Motivation will come and go; committing and showing up for yourself is the biggest key to success. You’re the only one standing in the way of your goals. “Be stronger than your strongest excuse.”

Client Success Stories:

I was working with a client in my practicum who had had chronic shoulder pain for years, after working with him for 2 months we were able to get him a lot more mobility and his pain subsided drastically. Movement is medicine.

 

Advice for Beginners:

Consistency is key; stick to your goals and be patient. Changes won’t happen overnight.

Overcoming Challenges:

I would say one of the biggest challenges when starting your fitness journey is being intimidated in the gym, feeling like you don’t know what you’re doing, or getting injured. Teaching my clients the correct form with movements is key and making them feel confident in the gym.

Favorite Workout:

I love exercises that hit entire body! Biggest bang for your buck. One of my favourites is Kettlebell rotational rows (also known as gorilla rows)! I love this exercise because it targets your back, shoulders, biceps, and core simultaneously! It challenges core stability and develops isometric lower body strength while rowing unilaterally in a hip hinge position.

Personal Fitness Goals:

To be more consistent with my busy schedule and to complete 1 unassisted pull-up!

Hobbies:

I love hanging out with my fiancé, family, and friends! I love a good games night or catching a movie.

Inspirational Figure:

Whitney Simmons is a big inspiration to me; she has built up her business from nothing and has created a following of women lifting other women up and supporting each other.

Fun Fact:

I actually wanted to go to school to be a baker and have worked as one for the last 6 years and decided I wanted to change career paths and get into the fitness industry.

Meet The Trainer – Daniel Rousseau

DANIEL ROUSSEAUCPT
PFT
TBMM-CES
First Aid Instructor
Swim Instructor, and Lifeguard
CCNA, CompTIA A+ and MS-WSHA

Background:

National level swimmer at age 12 and career in fitness grew from there.

Experience:

27 years.

Training Philosophy:

“I’m just here to help you find your path to good health and fitness.”

Client Success Stories:

Last year (2022), I asked a client to set some goals for the new year. Immediately she replied, “I’d like to run as far and as fast as you can!” I laughed thinking this was a joke. When I realized she was serious, I told her “I already know that you’re faster and soon you’ll be able to run further than me. Try something more challenging, like putting your toe on the line and competing against other athletes.” She decided on competing in the Five Peaks Trail Running series. This year (2023), she placed 1st in her division and 3rd overall (Women’s) at three of the Five Peaks Enduro events and the 24 Km “Grit” course in Devon. She also placed 2nd in her division at Spartan Red Deer.

Advice for Beginners:

Instead of trying to come up with a good reason to go to the gym every day, change your mentality so that you must have a REALLY GOOD REASON NOT TO.

Overcoming Challenges:

Who told you life would be easy? Find purpose in challenging yourself.

Favorite Workout:

I love to run in nature. Nature is healing and running is therapy.

Personal Fitness Goals:

Right now, my fitness goals are to overcome injuries sustained in a car accident last year. Baby steps.

Hobbies:

Reading, hiking, climbing, camping, archery, boxing, volleyball, and IT.

Inspirational Figure:

Jordan Peterson.

Fun Fact:

I designed the emergency patient call systems at hospitals such as UofA, Royal Alexandra, Misericordia, and Stanton in Yellowknife.

Meet The Trainer – Jordan Johnson

JORDAN JOHNSONELA PT
ACE PT
ACE Senior Specialist

Background:

My family is heavily involved in Sports. My dad whipped pucks at me when I was old enough to stand in the net. I trained with a friend 15 years ago, and to see how he went from injured and depressed to flying around on the soccer field gave me great joy, and thought maybe training was my thing!

Experience:

10 + years and counting

Training Philosophy:

Top-down, inside-out approach. Leave no stone uncovered. Everything in the body is so connected. I like using every available tool and modality to improve one’s health and fitness and put all the pieces of YOUR puzzle together.

Client Success Stories:

In one of my first few years of training, I had a lady who was suicidal and had given up hope in her weight loss and fitness journey. She was always quiet and often looked down at the ground. We ended up winning a city-wide transformation challenge and she never looked back. Oozing confidence and even has a following of people that she now pays it forward…..she’s almost a little too confident now!

Advice for Beginners:

Have fun! Find exercises that you find enjoyable and figure out what drives you to keep coming back. For me, it’s always been sports. I love getting more athletic and strong in the gym and seeing it translate onto the court. Woah….those workouts really did help!

Overcoming Challenges:

Simplifying challenges along with many past stories about trainees who went through similar challenges. Failure is a great thing in the gym. Often you need to fail several times before you can succeed. So let’s fail today!

Favorite Workout:

My personal favorite workout has always been plyometric or jump workouts. There’s nothing like a super packed gym and everyone in shock seeing the short white guy dunk.

Personal Fitness Goals:

My personal goals for this year is to switch my shooting hand in basketball. It’s been good and bad so far this year but I love the challenge and love seeing it go from awful to hey that’s not bad.

Hobbies:

During COVID, I fell in love with cooking. I think I watched every single Gordon Ramsey video out there also really enjoy comedy; maybe try stand up 1 day??

Inspirational Figure:

My grandfather was always my idol. I still do a lot in his honour and even wear some of his old clothes. Jean jackets are back in style right?

Fun Fact:

I used to compete in in-person halo gaming tournaments with my friends… we were undefeated… no lives, but undefeated.