Our Personal Training Success Stories

Jonathan –  So Proud!

Jonathan Chant6 years ago I began training a woman in her early 50’s. She had been hurt doing an exercise program a past personal trainer had given her. She was incredibly skeptical about what we could do together.  She needed/wanted to lose weight and had some musculoskeletal issues that needed to be taken into consideration.  We went through the assessment together and over time we slowly learned what she was capable of and began to see how hard she could be pushed without making it too drastic or impossible.

Like all my clients in a similar situation to hers, we started small and slowly progressed up by implementing small changes into her fitness routines, eating habits and lifestyle. We started strength training two times a week and she walked on her own. Nutritionally she cut out white flour, sugar and minimized salt (Tosca Reno style). Over time she started strength training on her own once more a week and after 2 years we started running together.  Doing 1 minute running and 1 minute walking for a couple of km’s. Over time we slowly increased the distance and the time she could run, also she began eating smaller portions and drinking less alcohol. She struggled with not eating desserts so I recommended she find some recipes with high protein and no refined sugar and find some things sweetened naturally with things like dates or bananas. She did find some high protein, medium fat, low sugar desserts that did the trick.

This whole process hasn’t been a ‘walk in the park’ even though we do enjoy walking in the park together from time to time. She’s struggled with cravings and buffets but has found the easiest way to be successful is controlling her environment and keeping better food choices around. In regards to exercising, introducing new exercises and higher intensities slowly kept her from getting discouraged and have helped to keep her motivated. Now 6 years later she is down 80 pounds and just completed her first half marathon.

I am so proud of her.

Becky – My Client’s Road to Recovery

beckyI met one of my clients in March 2014 and she was looking for help with exercise as a part of her recovery process from cancer. Due to radiation and chemotherapy treatments, she had lost a lot of muscle tissue, had significant swelling and numbness in her feet and her energy levels were low. She had become completely reliant on her wheelchair for mobility and her number one goal was to be able to walk again.

As mobility was an issue, it was difficult for her to travel and leave her apartment. Having a Kinesiologist who could come to her and work within her home was a real bonus and made reaching her goals more realistic. With the use of a walker we started with short walks down the hall of her apartment, postural exercises and strength training.

Now seven months later she is walking two lengths of the building’s hallway at least three times a day and is able to do short trips out of her home with just the walker. More importantly she is feeling stronger and has more energy to start to return to her daily activities. The road to recovery is long but by recognizing the progress she continues to make along the way she keeps motivated to reach her goal of being able to say goodbye to the wheelchair.

Richard – Looking a little Deeper

richard3A previous client of mine had a serious issue with her left shoulder and arm when we met. A long time prior to meeting she had suffered a shoulder and neck injury that had severely restricted her range of motion. As a result of this she had a fair amount of pain and difficulty with simple everyday tasks including something as simple as holding a coffee cup on that side. Her goal at that time was to minimize her pain and improve her capability to perform those simple everyday tasks. After looking a little deeper we noticed that she had sever inhibition of the stabilizers in her shoulder blade. Using a combination of manual techniques, stretches for her shoulder and exercises for her scapular stabilizers we were able to minimize her pain and as she continued she was able to later restore function and resume a more normal, full body routine while still addressing proper posture and movement.

Olivier – The Story of Mr. “X”

olivierI met with Mr. “X” in February 2013; he was 35 years old. His main goal at this time was to take control of his health with the specific goals: to lose stomach fat (ex: reduce his waist circumference) and get off high blood pressure medication. His long-term goal was to become more healthy overall and to be able to see his young kids grow old while keeping up with them when playing.

His main barriers included lack of time from his IT job and over-eating aka. portion control. I suggested that we look more in depth in those areas of his life to see what was causing this behaviour.

We realized that he was using eating as a way to cope with his emotions and stressful periods at work.

Mr “X” would say: “I have a hard time overcoming temptations” “Whenever I feel down I stop at a coffee shop to buy a coffee…and I tend to buy food as well”. What Mr “X” didn’t realize is that he was consuming readily available and low nutrient foods, which provided little energy in return. I told Mr. “X” that overcoming temptations is one of the hardest things to do as we live in an obesogenic environment and are polluted with food publicity day and night.

He understood that he had to do this challenge of overcoming temptation for himself first and also accept that losing weight takes time (he acknowledged that it took time to put on the weight too).

One of the first steps was to stop eating out so often (even coffee you can make at home) and take the time at home to cook (a.k.a prepare meals in advance). Next, I told him to allow some time between meals and not completely cut off treats, as total inhibition can lead to controllable binges.

We began an exercise prescription together in the mornings (as he tended to pass on exercise later in the day) and I told Mr “X” that it is very important to engage in a minimum of 10 minutes continuous every other day as exercise effects last only 24 hours. This was especially important to improve his high blood pressure. As time went on, we progressed into more frequent and intense training regime while always keeping track of our workouts and food intake.

He later told me that my greatest, simplest advice was telling him to just move! Take frequent breaks and stand up when you can at work. Take the stairs when you can, stop driving to work take the bus or bike…

While this may seem like a lot of information and new changes, keep in mind they were implemented progressively to match the lifestyle of Mr “X”. He has now lost 30 lbs and continues to be active throughout his workday with the hopes of one day running a marathon.

Kyle – No Matter How Difficult

Back in 2010 when I was working as a physiotherapy assistant in a retirement home, I met “L”, a 65 year old woman who had had a stroke the year before. She was coping well, however was bound to her wheelchair due to loss of muscle control on her entire left side. The muscles on that side of her body were in constant contraction, causing her a lot of pain and discomfort and her motor control and mobility was greatly hindered. When I first met her, she told me her number one goal was to be able to walk on her own again. When I took her out for her first walk, she relied heavily on me to take the brunt of the weight of her affected side. We made it only a few meters that day and she was exhausted and sore. I knew we had our work cut out for us but I also recognized how determined she was and I knew if I matched her determination that we could make her goal a reality.

I began to see her three times a week. We focused on passive stretching to loosen up the muscle, movement retraining exercises and of course, walking. Not every day was better than the last, but she stuck with it and saw huge improvements over the course of that year. After a ton of hard work, she was finally able to walk on her own all the way down the hall, with the help of only a walking stick. We started to work on walking the stairs as well and by the end of it, she was able to go up and down 3 flights only using the hand railing for support. She in many ways regained the independence that was underlying her goal of walking again. This just goes to show that no matter how difficult your situation, you just need determination and the help of someone with knowledge and compassion to coach you through it and achieve your goals.

David – Dealing with Injury

A client started with me at the beginning of February 2014 and he was interested in running the 10K at the Ottawa Race Weekend but he was having troubles with previous programs. Each time he started training more he would end up with an injury of some sort (quite often pain below the knee cap) and he would stop training. He was interested in a program that would help him get further in his training so that he could toe the line on Race Weekend. At first his goal was pretty simple, he just wanted to take part in the event and to run the whole race. Unfortunately he usually found that when he got to around 7-8km his training would fall apart. The program started with a thorough evaluation of his strength, flexibility and running mechanics, through this a number of issues became evident and the injuries were related. He had very little core strength, poor hamstring and quadricep flexibility, and an over-stride. As a result of these discoveries an individualized 16-week running program was prepared for him that also included a proper warm-up, strength training and flexibility work. Training was going great, his core was getting stronger, flexibility was improving and he was now landing much softer on his feet and controlling his stride. The running was getting better and he breezed passed the 8km barrier, running 10km easily as a training run. Also, he ran that 10km a lot faster than he originally thought he could (in 55 minutes) which in turn made us re evaluate the program and his goals. Unfortunately, after this breakthrough he also caught a nasty flu bug and was taken out of training for a couple weeks, with only a month to go before the race. Training was adjusted again to help him get back on track. Race weekend came up fast and we talked about how he should pace himself through the race, but most of all to enjoy the experience. After running another personal best in the race and running 47 minutes for his 10km debut race, he is now challenged by reaching new personal bests…or at the very least keeping his 10km time lower than his age.

Special Note – The College of Kinesiologists of Ontario does not allow us to put testimonials on our website, so we decided to put these inspiring stories here instead.

If you’re waiting to write your inspiring story, contact us we would love to help you get there.

Disclaimer: The stories told above are of real clients we have worked with over the years. Stories found on this page and/or throughout this site are real. However, these experiences should not be interpreted as typical results from working with us. Every person is different and results will vary from individual to individual.