Canada’s Top Fitness Trainers 2018 – Ontario

Meet the IMPACT fitness pros who can change your life

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Anita Ivic

Anita Ivic, 35

Imprint Pilates – Toronto, Ont.
Founder & Business Owner; Pilates & Yoga Instructor
Instagram: @imprintpilates@imprintyoga Twitter: @imprintpilates@imprintyoga Website: www.imprintpilates.com

Private, one-on-one Pilates training is the focus at Imprint Pilates with Anita Ivic. The focus is directly on individual goals and desires with immediate results, and the body will be pain free, strong and flexible.

“I believe everyone should live a pain-free and active lifestyle and Pilates is one of the best ways to help with injury prevention, rehabilitation and fitness.”

Qualifications:

  • MERRITHEW Health and Fitness (STOTT PILATES)
  • Canadian Yoga Alliance
  • AromaTouch Technique Trainer
  • CPR – Lifesaving Society of Ontario

Why did you become a fitness trainer?

Anita started dancing ballet at a very young age and had the experience as a student, performing with artist Robert Desrosiers in the productions of “Pinocchio”,”Snow White” and “Sliding Doors” to name a few. She also performed as a student in the Nutcracker productions of the Kiev Ballet and Royal Winnipeg Ballet as the companies were touring in Ontario starring Evelyn Hart. Anita performed in many productions with the Canadian Ballet Youth Ensemble and in productions starring Karen Kain and Frank Augustine. As a teenager Anita attended professional summer Ballet intensives at L’École Supérieure de Danse du Québec. She received her BFA in Dance, from Ryerson University, Toronto, where she also had the opportunity to work with Toronto choreographers Heidi Strauss and D.A. Hoskins to name a few. As a student Anita started practicing Pilates around the age of 11 after a car accident & continued with the method to compliment her dance training. Pilates helped her with rehabilitation and would later shape her current career.

Anita went on to complete her full training at Stott Pilates. From there, Anita worked at various physiotherapy clinics & Pilates studios across the GTA. In 2008, Anita founded Imprint Pilates www.imprintpilates.com in downtown Toronto, specializing in private and semi-private training, integrated health services and specialized programs for men & woman of all ages and abilities, from rehabilitation clients to elite athletes. About 70% of clients at Imprint Pilates come for rehab/pain relief, injury prevention & of course everyone wants to stay fit! In 2011, Anita expanded and opened her second studio space incorporating Yoga and various movement based workshops and integrative healing practices. Anita believes everyone should live a pain-free & active lifestyle & Pilates is one of the best ways to help with injury prevention, rehabilitation & fitness. Pilates has been a huge part of her lifestyle & “living pain free” mantra. Anita’s love of dance, Pilates and movement continues to grow and inspire her to help others reach their mind body movement goals and prove that the body is meant to move and continue to evolve and be challenged. Anita believes in challenging yourself through mind-body exercise to be flexible, strong & pain-free. Pilates is just one of the best natural ways to keep moving safely as we continue to change and evolve!

What’s your fitness mantra or philosophy?

I believe everyone should live a pain-free & active lifestyle & Pilates is one of the best ways to help with injury prevention, rehabilitation & fitness. Pilates has been a huge part of my lifestyle & “living pain free” mantra.

What’s your favourite success story that involves being a trainer?

How do you pick just one…so many stand out!

How do you give back to your community?

We continuously donate our services to charities, events and fundraisers annually and also hold fundraisers to raise money for various causes.

Education:

  • First Aid
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts Ryerson University

Testimonial:

She Is able to tailor my program as my individual needs and goals change to continue challenging my personal best!

— David Hill


Brent Bishop, 44

Think Fitness Studios – Toronto, Ont.

Fitness Expert/Celebrity Trainer,Functional Strength & Conditioning

Instagram: @i_ambishop Twitter: @i_ambishop Website: www.thinkfitnessstudios.com

Brent is a national on-air fitness expert, celebrity trainer and published author. He is the founder of Think Fitness Studios, performance-inspired, personalized fitness centres in Toronto. With over 20 years’ experience in the fitness industry, Bishop dedicates himself to inspiring the active lifestyle through fitness and adventure.

“People are capable of far more than they may realize.”

Qualifications:

  • BSc. Kinesiology/minor Psychology – Simon Fraser University
  • A.C.E
  • NSCA

Why did you become a fitness trainer?

People are capable of far more than they may realize. For me, fitness and health are the vehicle to success in life. Creating an experience that helps people realize their true potential is my passion.

What’s your fitness mantra or philosophy?

Inspiring the active lifestyle through fitness, adventure and media.

What’s your favourite success story that involves being a trainer?

So many stories that are very memorable to me, from helping clients recover from injury to training clients to be come the best in their sport. Aside from training celebrities and helping athletes improve their game, I think one of my most memorable has been working with an entire family take control over their weight and their lifestyle. To see the impact that fitness can do to overhaul a family’s approach to health and view of what’s possible is very powerful. It’s not just the pounds lost, which was a phenomenal achievement; but it was the finish line’s crossed, the habits changed and the confidence built. These things to me are truly life changing.

How do you give back to your community?

Charity and community are essential components to my business model and personal manifesto. One of my favourite give-back events is coming up this week and is called The Big Payback. Every year at Think Fitness Studios, we hold an event were the roles of client and trainer are reversed and clients purchase time whereby they train the their trainers and get their ‘revenge’. Best thing is, all proceeds go directly to charity. This year we are supporting St. Joseph’s Health Centre again and proud to make a difference in Toronto’s west end community.

Education

  • Preferred Nutrition
  • First Aid
  • CPR
  • AED
  • Advisory Board for Cooper Institute
  • Darby Training Systems
  • BSc. Kinesiology Simon Fraser University
  • Criminolgy/Psychology – College of New Caledonia

Testimonial:

Brent teaches his clients how to sustain the results and while on the journey and the road to our new selves. He encourages us to love and appreciate who we are, where we are. Plus he’s just so damn good!!!

— Jully Black

Brent is the best. Anyone who trains with him has the best workout of their life and leaves feeling motivated enough to want to keep going. I broke through some new PB’s and physique levels with Brent’s guidance.

— Gurdeep Ahluwalia

Brent Bishop is untouchable in the Canadian fitness game. He is highly educated, supremely positive, selfless, motivational and kicks my butt all while showing me that fitness can be and is fun! He will be my trainer forever!!!! No one else comes close to Brent. That’s a FACT!

— Patricia Jaggernauth


Rebecca Graham, 30

No Borders Fitness – Midland, Ont.
Owner of No Borders Fitness; POUND Master Pro Trainer
Instagram: @nobordersfitness Twitter: @nobordersont Website: www.nobordersfitness.com

Becky is a fitness instructor who specializes in turning fitness into life strength. The owner of No Borders Fitness, Becky trains people of any age, and at every stage to elevate them to love life to the highest potential.

“Fitness has taught me if you put your mind to it, anything is possible. I became a fitness trainer to help save someone’s life who hit bottom, like I did, where I thought I wouldn’t make it.”

Qualifications:

  • canfitpro – fitness instructor specialist
  • canfitpro – personal trainer specialist
  • canfitpro- pre and postnatal specialist
  • schwinn indoor cycling, Zumba ( all designations)
  • Trx group fitness and personal training

Why did you become a fitness trainer?

While I was completing my university degree, I suffered serious panic attacks and severe anxiety. It became so serious through everything I was dealing with personally that I entered into a life where I stopped playing competitive sports and I stopped being on my competitive dance team. I gave up. While I was completing my degree, the woman helping me through this (who saved my life), told me I should seriously consider adding a fitness class into my life on a weekly basis. Through a co-op position, I was researching the studies of the benefits of Mental health and exercise. I used myself as an experiment and used exercise to regain the strength to become a happier, healthier person that could not only work through university but also serious struggles back at home. Fitness found me at a very dark time in my life. I use fitness as my outlet to show people that if I can do it, they can too. I am not a long award-winning athlete, but what fitness has taught me is that if you put your mind to it, anything is possible. I became a fitness trainer to help save someone’s life who hit a bottom like I did where I thought I wouldn’t make it.

What’s your fitness mantra or philosophy?

Today I will give everything I have because what I hold onto on the inside will be lost forever.

What’s your favourite success story that involves being a trainer?

I am currently running postnatal classes. I feel that this time in a new moms life can be hard to navigate. Our postnatal classes in our small community allow new moms to connect with one another. The session is yes, about getting a workout in, but it’s so much deeper than that. These women work through postpartum depression, regain confidence with how strong and beautiful they are, build new relationships, and find out who this new person is in their life. Some babies have learned how to walk at No Borders! I have been blessed to get to know these women on another level that most won’t. And I get to play with babies for an hour!

How do you give back to your community?

I love giving back to My hometown. This year, we had 3 major projects at No Borders Fitness. We are deeply attached to fundraising for the local Terry Fox community,. We recently had a major fundraiser for a member who is in the Ontario Ride to Conquer Cancer and during December, our classes are free if a gift is brought in for one of our 6 families we adopt to make their Christmas dreams come true. My business in the past 5 years has raised over $25,000 for local causes. If you have a way to help people, it’s our obligation to do so to make our communities happier places to live.

Education:

  • Canfit Pro- healthy eating and weight loss coach
  • First aid +CPR Lifeguarding course
  • Certificate completion of exercise and mental health
  • POUND Master Pro training camps
  • University of Waterloo, bachelors degree

Testimonial:

Rebecca finds success in others by helping them find their “why”. She is humble, passionate, and fierce in helping people achieve their goals. She really focuses on mental fitness: the body achieves what the mind believes.

— Adam Moreau


Paul Hynes, 31

Hynes Performance – Toronto, Ont.
Strength & Conditioning Coach
Instagram: @paul.hynes Twitter: @Hynes_Paul Website: www.hynesperformance.ca

Paul loves helping people become stronger. Based in Toronto, Paul holds certifications through Strongfirst and competes in powerlifting. When not lifting or coaching wonderful people from all walks of life, he’s nerding out over anything in the realm of comic books or science fiction and exploring the great outdoors.

“I work with people looking to get stronger and overcome injuries by working towards their goals in a safe and sustainable way.”

Qualifications:

  • canfitpro Personal Training Specialist
  • Strongfirst Level 1 Kettlebell Instructor

Why did you become a fitness trainer?

I don’t know what exactly got me interested in lifting weights, but the influence of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rocky movies as a kid probably played a huge part. I can still remember watching Rocky IV in the early ’90s and immediately dropping down to perform push-ups after his climactic victory. Growing up, I was always a very active kid, participating in everything from baseball, basketball and swimming to tennis and soccer. I even learned how to skate through my mother, who was a figure skater. I started strength training during my college years as an art student, where I walked into the gym as a skinny guy looking to “get jacked.” That early experience in the gym got me hooked, instilling a drive in me that helped me discover my true calling: coaching. I became a fitness trainer not only because I love helping people become stronger, healthier people, but because I also know how it feels to be a beginner. I know how it felt to walk in the gym as a new trainee, not knowing what to do or how to navigate the sea of information that exists. Several people helped me early on in my journey and set me on the right path. Now my mission is to help people remove the roadblocks that stand in the way of them accomplishing their goals.

What’s your fitness mantra or philosophy?

My mantra is “Performance is defined by you.” Performance looks different to every client. To some it means being able to move pain-free. To others, it means squatting a new personal best. This means that your goals are my goals and your success is my priority. The best part? Even though I care a lot, I don’t believe in making you “dependent” on me. My goal for all my clients is for them to not need me one day. I’m a big believer in the “Teach a man to fish” model of coaching. I want every person I work with to feel like they are the captain of their own ship: That way they can advocate for themselves I have worked with everyone from novice gym-goers to athletes, helping them feel better, get stronger and perform better. I believe that the training process is a learning experience for everyone involved and that all experience; good or bad presents each of us with an opportunity to learn, grow and get better. I don’t believe there is one “best way” to do things, but rather it’s about finding the best way for you and your goals. The process starts with meeting you where you are at right now. I don’t think that you need to “work your way up to the gym,” but rather that you can start moving forward right away, regardless of your starting point.

What’s your favourite success story that involves being a trainer?

My client Irene, who was in her late 50s, came to me having been involved in a serious car accident two years prior, leaving her with a painful back, neck and hips, plenty of mobility restrictions and she had a lot of trouble doing everyday tasks without feeling tired. She also wanted to lose weight and fit into old clothes. After training with me for a year, just twice a week she lost 14 lbs. of fat and dropped 6 dress sizes. More importantly, though, she now has significantly lower pain levels and can move freely with significantly less movement restriction. She gets out of bed without neck and hip pain now and can play with her granddaughter without apprehension. She said she feels as strong as she did 20 years ago.

How do you give back to your community?

I give back to the community by partnering with charities like Good Foot Delivery and running classes to support charitable movements like Workout for Water. I also mentor aspiring fitness professionals, offering advice, support and guidance to them as they develop and pursue future opportunities.

Education

  • CPR and First Aid
  • Sheridan College Human Performance Training Certificate
  • Precision Nutrition Level 1
  • Reactive Training Systems Classroom
  • Online Trainer Academy

Testimonial:

Paul puts in so much effort into every session I have had with him and every program he has written for me. He goes the extra mile by reviewing exercise videos I send him. Paul is 100% invested in my goals and I’ve had amazing results since I started training with him.

— Michael Prisco


Alicia Bell, 34

Train It Right – Toronto, Ont.
Personal Trainer
Instagram: @trainitright Twitter: @trainitright Website: www.trainitright.com

Alicia is a figure competitor, kinesiologist, personal trainer, online coach, track & field coach, YouTuber and fitness model based in Toronto.

“I love helping people achieve their goals and become the best version of themselves.”

Qualifications:

  • BSc In Kinesiology
  • canfitpro Certified Personal Trainer
  • Precision Nutrition – Level 1
  • Crossfit – Level 1
  • Fascial Stretch Therapy – Level 1
  • Agatsu – Level 1 Kettlebell Instructor

Why did you become a fitness trainer?

Because of my love for fitness and to better myself. I love helping people achieve their goals and become the best version of themselves.

What’s your fitness mantra or philosophy?

“It’s about making decisions based on what works best for the client, not based on what you think should work best for them.”

What’s your favourite success story that involves being a trainer?

It involves taking four high school athletes who weren’t necessarily the fastest and teaching them proper form and passes and winning a provincial championship in track. For training, it would be getting a woman to lose 30+lbs. over 20 weeks and getting her to stage for the first time. She had two other trainers before and never made it.

How do you give back to your community?

I give away free information and programs online.

Education:

  • NCCP Coaching Course Master Facilitator for Track and Field
  • CPR
  • NCCP Athletics Canada Run/Jump/Throw Instructor
  • NCCP Level 1, 2, 3 Coaching Theory
  • NCCP Level 1, 2, 3 Coaching Sprints & Hurdles Technical
  • BSc Kinesiology – Dalhousie University

Testimonial:

Alicia continues to exemplify what’s best in this industry. She is always learning and constantly refining.

— Stephen Morley


Cassie Day, 27

All Day Fit – Toronto, Ont.
Owner
Instagram: @cassiedayyy Twitter: @cassiedayyy Website: www.alldayfit.com

Athlete, coach, nutrition nut, female force and entrepreneur, Cassie has a genuine love and passion for fitness and the lifestyle she lives. She wakes up every day looking to spread positivity and rays of energy to those around her.

“My mission is to educate and empower women to love themselves and live their best life. Fitness is not punishment, and success is not only measured in pounds.”

Qualifications:

  • DTS Level 2 Coach
  • Boxing Coach
  • Big Hit
  • Agatsu Lower Body Mobility
  • Agatsu Upper Body Mobility
  • DTS Advanced Kettlebell
  • Agatsu and DTS Olympic Lifting

Why did you become a fitness trainer?

My health is who I am. Without it, my relationships wouldn’t thrive, my business wouldn’t thrive, and most importantly I wouldn’t thrive. Not only is fitness my happy place, but this lifestyle leaves me feeling healthy, strong, clear and energized. 98% of the time I feel 200%. I want everyone to feel like this. I’ve battled through grief, depression, stress, LIFE using fitness and fueling my body with the proper foods. I want people to help people realize that they can do the same.

What’s your fitness mantra or philosophy?

Fitness is not punishment – it’s an opportunity to understand and challenge our bodies, learn new things, get stronger, and have fun.

What’s your favourite success story that involves being a trainer?

“It’s hard to sum up what Cassie and the All Day Fit community has done for me because it continues to change me every single day. I went to Cassie with unhealthy goals and the wrong attitude. I thought success was only measured in pounds lost and I was terrified that as I got stronger my body would get bigger and I’d get even more self-conscious than what I was secretly. Having her guide and support me as I proved to myself just how strong and capable I could be kept me from giving up on myself, as I so often did in the past.

She has become a friend, not because of how much time we spend together or what we have in common but because she sees and feels my success as deeply as I do. This summer was when I really realized how far I’ve come in the last year. I wear shorts confidently, I don’t think twice about being seen in a sports bra or bathing suit, I don’t see the flaws I used to waste so much time focusing on. Now I love my muscular legs and am always amazed how strong they can be. My weak point was always my upper body and I was terrified to see it bulk up, but now I’m so proud of what I can lift, move and carry. I don’t think in terms of skinny anymore. Skinny is me hating my body and limiting what it can do. What I didn’t realize was when I used to say I wanted to be skinny I was just trying to find a gentler way of saying I think I’m fat. I’ve learned that my body can do incredible things. I make goals for it, I train for it, I listen to it, and in return, I’ve felt such pure happiness. I feel so lucky to have tapped into this new attitude every day.

How do you give back to your community?

I work with high schools to mentor young females. We have conversations about “owning your space” as a female in the world. As well as I teach boxing/ self-defence type workout classes.  I am partnering with Stay Gold gym in Toronto to provide fitness and nutrition counselling to at-risk females.

Education:

  • Holistic Nutritionist, CSNN
  • First-aid, St John
  • Bachelor of Commerce, Saint Mary’s University

Testimonial:

Cassie is an amazing soul – her focus is on strong, healthy women above all else. She takes the time to get to know each client and gives us all the gift of well round, holistic approaches to fitness. She’s an incredible coach and an amazing person.

— Julie May Rogers


Jenny Brown, 47

Reactivated – St. Catharines, Ont.
Owner
Instagram: @reactivated1 Twitter: @reactivated1 Website: www.reactivated.ca

Have you ever wondered about those people that never give up – those who overcome obstacles through sheer guts and determination – that won’t quit no matter what life throws at them? Jenny knows the formula for being your personal best with a mixture of unwavering enthusiasm, razor-sharp focus and the ability to pulverize barriers.

Qualifications

  • ACSM Fitness Specialist
  • No of Clients:

Why did you become a fitness trainer?

As a young child, I was told “with those knees, you shouldn’t do sport”. This was devastating to a young girl with knee arthritis who dreamed about becoming a ballerina. Luckily, I found cycling and obtained my degree in Physical Education to not only overcome by issues but to have the tools to help others to experience success in movement.

What’s your fitness mantra or philosophy?

Turn setback into comeback.

What’s your favourite success story that involves being a trainer?

I stepped out of my comfort zone to assist a former bike racer who suffered with a brain injury, depression and chronic pain to not only get back on the bike, but almost eliminate pain medication, lose 70lbs, be a healthy father and become assistant to Reactivated via photograghy and coaching.

How do you give back to your community?

Committee member of the Pathstone Childrens Mental health agency. Provide an annual free event for Kids to learn how to mountain bike Assist those who cannot afford training services, at no cost.

Education

  • NCCP Level 3 cycling coach
  • First Aid
  • Brock University Physical Education Degree

Testimonial:

Jenny Brown constantly thinks outside the box and takes on new challenges to widen her toolbox. She is very driven, compassionate and hard working. She creates a network of support among her clients as success is indeed contagious. It shows we are all in life together and success is possible no matter what your challenges are. Whether its weight loss, muscle loss through ageing or injury, heart conditions, brain injury — you name it — she’s there to help you improve your outlook on life by empowering you through physical activity that strengthens your mind, body and spirit.

—Michelle LePalud


Congratulations to All Nominees in Eastern Canada

  • Tania Atkin – One Health Club
  • Alicia Bell – Torque Barbell Club
  • Brent Bishop – Think Fitness Studios
  • Morgan Brandle – Morgan Kate Fitness
  • Jenny Brown – Niagara on the lake Community Centre
  • Heather Burbidge-Smith – completebodytransformation.com
  • Cassie Day – All Day FIt
  • Kristina Ejem – Clancy’s Boxing Academy
  • Rebecca Graham – No Borders Fitness
  • Paul Hynes – Stay Gold
  • Anita Ivic – Imprint Pilates
  • Laura Jackson – FIT CHICKS
  • Stefan Overgaard – SXS Fitness and Wellness
  • Jonathan Wiseman – OBF Gyms
  • Megan Yim – The Uptown Powerstation
  • Alison Ross – Kettlebell Krushers Fitness

Canada’s Top Fitness Trainers 2018

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