Once again, after months of anticipation, we are proud to present to you Canada’s Top Fitness Trainers 2024.
This is our seventh year recognizing some of the best in our industry from across Canada. Each summer nominations go live for you to nominate your favourite personal trainer, or group exercise instructor (alternating years) who has excelled in their profession, and contributed to the health and well-being of others. This year did not disappoint—every single nominee deserves recognition and we have highlighted them all below.
Nominees were scored by merit and equally across the board. This included areas such as education, certiﬁcations and accreditations, years in the industry, philanthropy and community service. Additional questions included ‘their why’ and personal ﬁtness philosophies which were ‘blind-scored’ by our professional, expert panelists who spent many hours reading these inspirational stories. What has never been part of the scoring criteria is how many social media followers one has, or how many nominations one received.
Fitness trainers have a wealth of education and expertise to share, but above all they are genuinely passionate about helping others live their healthiest lives. Every trainer has an inspiring story to tell, and has given back to their community in a unique and positive way.
Congratulations, our deepest respect and recognition goes out to all nominees this year—we celebrate you! Thank you for your passion and dedication.
ZITA DUBE-LOCKHART | 43
Zita Dube-Lockhart integrates her background in psychology, sociology and exercise science to help her clients work through barriers
such as disability, chronic pain and social stigma. “Using evidence-based, multidisciplinary tools such as acoustic vagus nerve stimulation, heart rate variability training, somatics and self-compassion-based psychobehavioural strategies, my goal is to help others discover how movement provides the foundation for radical healing of the mind, body, spirit and community,” she says. Zita is the co-owner of an award-winning fitness facility dedicated to increasing accessibility for all bodies, nationwide.
REBECCA GARLAND | 46
Through her programs, Rebecca Garland supports each woman’s growth and healing journey by helping them build powerful bodies, feel confident in their own skin and live their most authentic, joyful lives. “With over two decades of experience in strength and conditioning, personal training, nutrition and Pilates, I’ve devoted my career to the wellness and empowerment of women,” she says. “Fitness is more than just physical prowess. It invites transformation, empowering us to shape not just our bodies, but our entire being.”
“Fitness offers a pathway to self-discovery, resiliency, healing, empowerment, connection, and living authentically and courageously.”
RYAN GRANT | 49
With 30 years of experience, Ryan Grant specializes in holistic well-being through personalized programs that prioritize individuality, education and consistency. Grounded in recognizing unique goals and limitations, Ryan empowers his clients to understand how their lifestyle choices affect their health, while emphasizing gradual progression for long-term success. “I view my role as that of an educator as much as a trainer,” he says.
“Being a fitness trainer allows me to combine my love for fitness with my desire to make a positive impact on people’s lives, guiding them towards a healthier, more fulfilling future.”
TONI HARRIS | 47
Transgender trainer Toni Harris has dedicated their career to fostering an inclusive and accessible community. “I believe that everybody has an individual story to tell and that the adaptations we have made over the course of our lives are protective responses that can be re-coded through specific, well-designed, trauma-informed strategies that address the dual mechanics (mind/body) of pain,” says Toni. Toni primarily works with clients experiencing chronic injury, pain, mental health issues and minority stress, as well as transgender individuals whose programming considerations may include postural distortion and the physiological outcomes of gender-affirming garments, hormone therapies, and surgeries.
“I feel called to share my learnings with others and to spread the word of how fitness and exercise can act as gateways towards self-acceptance, self-celebration and self-growth.”
RICH HILL | 33
Heavily involved in sports and athletics his entire life, Rich Hill serves clients from all backgrounds with goals ranging from weight management to enhanced performance. Rich’s approach to programming for his clients involves recognizing that they are each athletes
in the game of life—but deeper than that, he aims to help make their fitness efforts as sustainable as possible, while supporting them in remaining independent through all life stages. “I strive to empower and educate my clients to the point where they no longer need to work with me, but they can choose to do so if they are enjoying the process,” he says.
“I want to help people chase every opportunity in life and be physically able to do anything they want.”
JULIE HODGE | 52
After 33 years in the fitness industry, Julie Hodge has evolved her niche into helping women in every stage of menopause. “I became a trainer because I have always been in love with the magic of how our bodies move,” she says. “I believe that everybody is an athlete
and that through focus, training, commitment, consistency and trusting our bodies’ innate wisdom, we can all cultivate better movement.”
“Health is a gift not enjoyed by all, and I believe that we should never take it for granted.”
CORY MAYSTROWICH | 47
Cory Maystrowich takes his whole client into account—from providing accountability and the right motivation, to deeply personalized programs for each individual. For Cory, a client’s goals are just the starting point—he also considers factors such as strengths, weaknesses, nutrition, time, energy, sleep and stress levels to create the perfect program. “My training philosophy is more than just coming to the gym,” he says. “It’s about a lifestyle balanced with energy, strength, endurance, nutrition, recovery, family and happiness.”
“I feel very grateful to have my clients put their time, energy and trust in me to help them on their health and fitness journeys.”
TONY NGUYEN | 33
A trainer since 2014, Tony Nguyen’s approach doesn’t just take body composition into account—he’s just as concerned about boosting his clients’ confidence and overall well-being. “I help inspire my clients to rise above challenges, pushing the boundaries of their physical and mental capabilities,” he says. “Above all, I am committed to empowering my clients by instilling confidence in the gym through manageable exercise and nutritional routines. Through these pillars, I help guide individuals toward a transformative fitness experience.”
“I believe that health and wellness are key to building strong, productive and happy community members.”
DEVIN WOLFE | 37
Devin Wolfe believes that all exercise—whether you’re an athlete or not—should stem from a deep understanding of foundational movement patterns. “I implement properly dosed strength and conditioning methods into my clients’ lives, no matter their age, so they can reap not only performance and body composition benefits, but more importantly, better health and longevity for the rest of their lives,” he says. Above all, he’s proud of the community he’s built. “Every day that I get to see my team and our clients in the gym crushing it is memorable to me.”
“I became a trainer so I could take all the great things about different modalities and apply them to our clients, so people can fall in love with fun and challenging training that is driven by results.”
DR. ROSANNE WOODS | 58
Rosanne Woods knows that each of her clients’ journeys are unique, and she’s made it her mission to provide them with the tools they need for vibrant longevity. In each of her own life’s stages, from athlete to mom, and now in midlife, she recognizes that fitness serves evolving needs and definitions—something she champions in her training. “As a trainer, it is my job to focus on the whole person, so they feel heard and understood while recognizing their vision of fitness may be different than mine, based on where they are at in their life,” she says.
“A strong body is the foundation of quality of life and independence for meaningful longevity, so it is inherently the goal we should all be striving for as we age.”
Read This Story in Our 2024 Inspiration Issue
Read about our 2024 Canada’s Top Fitness Trainers – our top 30 from across Canada! How to Hire a Personal Trainer, The Dangers of Overtraining, Return to Running After Illness, Easy Vegan Garlic Noodles and more!