Although we’ve been celebrating them for decades here at IMPACT – this is our fifth year officially recognizing Canada’s Top Fitness Instructors & Trainers. From year to year, we alternate between Top Fitness Trainers and Top Fitness Instructors. This year, we ask Canada’s Top Fitness Trainers to take a bow.
As much as it’s about honouring the Top 10 in each region in our magazine, it’s also about acknowledging and saluting the hundreds of nominees and instructors everywhere who help make our communities healthier.
Nominations have been flowing in since July, 2021. All nominees were scored on subjects such as education, certifications, years in the business, philanthropy and community service. Additional topics which included success stories and personal fitness philosophies were ‘blind-scored’ by our skilled expert panelists who spent hours reading some pretty inspiring stories. What was not part of the scoring criteria was how many social media followers one had, and there was no popularity voting.
“They are talented, inspiring and passionate about helping people live their healthiest and best lives.”
The pandemic has certainly heightened our awareness of how important our health and fitness is, and this industry has continued to give back expecting nothing in return. Fitness trainers have a wealth of education and expertise and a genuine desire to help others succeed. Thank you for your passion and dedication. After many months of anticipation we are proud to present Canada’s Top Fitness Trainers 2022.
Fueled by Decathlon
Connie Beaulieu | 45
Connie Beaulieu’s passion for fitness has taken her through many roles in the industry before she fulfilled her dream of becoming an entrepreneur and fitness business owner. Now, as the owner of S.W.E.A.T® Inc. and the founder of ACTIVATE Academy, she offers a non-intimidating, welcoming and professional environment in which to train. “I love how I can positively impact someone’s life in order to help them find joy, resilience and strength,” she says.
”With over 25 years in the industry, I’ve realized that it’s not just about weight loss and intensity, metrics and measurements. It’s about creating a healthy balanced lifestyle for all stages of life. It’s about wanting more for our health, and not settling for less. I help people who want to move better and feel better from the inside out by offering an effective, time-efficient and manageable solution to fitness.”
Rosalie Brown | 60
Rosalie Brown enjoys creating programs for her clients that aren’t just effective, but also enjoyable. “My goal is to create programs my clients can feel confident doing without me continuously monitoring them,” she says. Her background in group fitness makes the fitness professional a better personal trainer. “I am better able to create programs that flow and work with music that many of my clients enjoy,” she says.
Cassie Day | 31
People are so much more than their physical body. That’s the message trainer Cassie Day has for clients. “Our worth is not a number,” she says. “It’s not how much we can lift, the number on the scale, the number of steps we take or calories we eat or the size of clothes we wear. It’s the moment you stop chasing how you look that everything changes and it’s that moment with each client that keeps me going.” Day doesn’t tell her clients what to do; she educates. How do you perform the movement and why? “The goal is to empower my clients to be able to do it without me.”
”Training makes us happier, healthier, more energized and confident humans. When we feel our best, we get the most out of our lives and have the ability to give and connect deeper with those around us.”
Anita Ivic | 39
Anita Ivic became a trainer to help people discover the tools they need to form healthy habits that are already within themselves. “I love sharing my passion for movement, self-care, healing and overall self-improvement with the people I teach,” she says. “Seeing each person progress in strength, ability and fortitude on this journey of life equally gives me immense satisfaction in our mutual accomplishment.” Ivic has helped thousands of people reach their personal fitness goals including elite athletes like Canada’s most decorated Olympian, Penny Oleksiak.
”I believe you need to practice what you preach. Everyone should be training for everyday living, for life, and build the muscle of self-resilience and self-reliance. I want to teach people how to strive for their personal best, whatever that version of them is today, to train their mind to focus, train their body to move and their soul to be fortified.”
Jahmeek Murray | 32
Jahmeek Murray has been an athlete for his entire life. Being part of a team has shaped who the ex-professional football player is. He created All Day Athlete, an athletic training program for everyday people that mimics being part of a sports team. “You won’t always have the motivation or time,” he says. “That’s why having a system in place is important. Follow a program, schedule your workouts as the most important appointment of the week and hire a coach.”
“I want to show people that they are capable of building strength and athleticism, not only for their health and longevity, but for their entire being. Confidence in the gym or on the field directly translates into their lives and relationships.”
Paul Nam | 43
Paul Nam abides by the KIS principle: Keep It Simple. His training is focused on basic functional movements and nutrition. “I teach all my clients how to isolate their muscles properly and how to track their calories. They understand the exercise easier and this gives them greater confidence,” says the trainer. “This also results in very few injuries and a stronger mind to muscle connection which creates more body awareness.”
“I decided to stay in the industry because with my years of knowledge and experience, being a fitness instructor was second nature to me. Seeing people become physically and mentally stronger makes me happy.”
Nathan Skoufis | 27
When you enter Nathan Skoufis’ gym, you won’t feel judged or intimidated. They’re both feelings the 23-time world champion and fifth degree black belt experienced when he was getting into fitness. “I wanted to make sure I had an impact on making students develop confidence, perseverance and determination so they could carry these messages with them the rest of their life,” he says. “It truly is my passion and there is nothing else I have ever wanted to do. When you make a positive difference, there is no better feeling and something I can never repay.”
“I try to make a connection and difference with everyone I work with, as just training someone to get more physically fit is the tip of the iceberg. To inspire and motivate them to be their best self, in whatever they are doing, to be a friend and help them reach whatever their goal is. To offer a beginner-friendly environment with no intimidation.”
Andrea Tam | 40
The pandemic has disproportionately affected women. They have taken on many roles over the past two years, but have often neglected to take a moment for themselves. Andrea Tam’s virtual training community offers that respite. “As new members began joining the team, they were welcomed by existing participants and a rapport began to grow amongst the community,” says Tam. “It was as though they had been best friends forever.”
“My workouts are customized to prevent you from plateauing and to ensure your body gets a challenging workout every time….I will motivate you, challenge your limits and hold you accountable…. My purpose is to continue to help you achieve your wellness goals and inspire you to live a healthy lifestyle.”
Matthew Taub | 48
At the end of every class or session, Matthew Taub thanks his clients. “When a person reaches out to me to work with them, I take that very seriously,” he says. “They’re letting you into something very important to them. Knowing what my fitness journey was like, it humbles me every time.” Taub is empathetic to the challenges people face in their fitness journey. He’s been there; he gets it. Taub started his own journey weighing 258 lbs. He’s also 16 years into recovery from addiction. “Because of my journey through weight loss and my journey through addiction and recovery, I see fitness a lot differently.”
“It’s not just about the exercise. It’s about the mind. It’s about making changes that will forever make people feel better. Exercise hard. Live easy.”
Jessie Thomas | 40
Jessie Thomas was working at a large gym when the pandemic first hit in March 2020 and facilities closed. “I needed to find a way to keep my community moving and mentally strong,” she says. “So I decided to turn my family’s farm into a fitness facility, to get people moving outside, socializing and grounded in nature.” She converted the 16-stall horse barn into two indoor studios and the round pen, which was used for horse exercise before, became an open-air facility for Thomas’ business. “My business was borne out of COVID-19 restrictions, so adapting to ever-changing conditions is not new for us,” she says. “It’s actually what we’re known for.”
“I first became a fitness trainer because I knew what it felt like to feel lost in your own body, but the thrill of the comeback…. I believe that if people can find their confidence, learn to love themselves and their movement, they are on their way.”
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