Finding your trainer soulmate​

Personal trainer coaching client on stationary bike. Image credit: Universal Training Academy

Finding your trainer soulmate

So, you’ve decided to get a trainer because you’ve heard that a trainer is what you need to reach your goals. And yes! Working side-by-side with someone who “gets” you is often the first step. At TrainingSpaces, we have a roster of in-house trainers who each have unique specialties and expertise. When you contact us, we’ll try to  match you with the trainer we think will be the best fit.

But there are also some things for you to consider:

What do you want to achieve? What are your expectations from this relationship? Do you have a clear goal in mind or is it just overall well-being and improved fitness? The more specific you can be, the better it will be for us to match you with the right trainer.  

Be honest about past experience. It might be difficult to admit that you haven’t stepped into a gym since Canada Fitness was handing out participation pins. Maybe you were an all-star athlete but were sidelined by an injury — one that still plays up when you do squats. Everyone has a background in exercise experience and being upfront is essential. It’s a baseline and a reality check. Your history is what makes you unique and allows your trainer to customize the best plan to achieve your goals.

Be realistic. How many hours can you commit to training? Often we want to jump into things and commit ourselves to the process. However, promising to train like Chris Hemsworth before shooting the next Thor movie is completely unrealistic — unless you are Chris Hemsworth and Marvel is paying you to work out 24/7. On the other hand, suggesting that you want to train every two weeks to lose 20 lbs by Labour Day is equally unrealistic. Think about how much time you can really afford to train and set small goals.

Prepare to experience mental and physical achievements. Part of the beauty of working with a trainer is building a relationship with someone who really knows and understands you. Being comfortable being yourself is so important to this relationship. In the mix of repetition and physical exercise, I’ve seen clients figure out their next career move, relationships, and sort through family dynamics. Go with the process and don’t be scared if something triggers that emotional release. It’s not frightening. It’s human.

Speak up. I’m not talking about the “it’s too heavy” complaint — I’m talking about the “I can’t do this because I will damage myself” feedback. Throughout your workout, it’s our responsibility to keep you strong and safe. If you are uncomfortable, you need to let us know. If you cannot tell your trainer how you are feeling, this is the wrong person for you. There’s no shame in admitting that you just don’t click with your trainer. Let us know as soon as possible. This way we can rematch you as quickly as possible.

Finding a trainer can be a daunting experience so take your time. Your trainer soulmate is out there!


How did you find your trainer? What was/is the best thing about him/her? Let us know in the comments!

Special occasion weight loss

Foot on scale with flowers for weight loss post
Foot on scale with flowers for weight loss post

Special occasion weight loss

Woman in bridal gown doing pull-upsI’ve had a lot of clients come to me with a specific goal or date in mind. It’s the wedding dates or the high-school reunions that have motivated them to take the first steps to weight loss. Whether powered by a desire to transform themselves or fit into a magical size, these are some of the most committed people that I’ve ever seen.

They meet with me multiple times a week.

They follow the diet rules. (BTW, I hate the word “diet.”)

They track their food and obsessively count calories.

And they count down to that special day.

And, not surprisingly, many of them achieve their goals. When you’re dedicated and have an end date in mind, your own laser focus can take you wherever you need to go. As a trainer, I work with my clients to target specific areas and celebrate weight-loss milestones. I love seeing my clients achieve their goals, but there’s always this little voice in my head that haunts every weigh-in.

“What about the day after?” it says.

Don’t backslide

Because I’ve seen it happen so many times. The day after the marathon is completed or the cake is cut. What happens next? What happens when real life sets in and there’s no focused end date for this fitness-first mentality?

Sadly, I’ve seen the most motivated people cancel workouts and slide back into unhealthy habits without a solid goal and a date. I’ve seen all the good work replaced with weight gain and frustration. Without the focused goal date, it’s difficult to get re-motivated until the next big event. We’ve talked about the challenge of maintaining commitment before. And the cycle continues.

That’s why I always recommend that my clients train for life — real life and not a cut-off date. By integrating healthy habits into the everyday, you can avoid the disappointment of special-occasion weight gain … that follows special-occasion weight loss. Focusing on overall wellbeing develops patterns and a healthy baseline.

So, train for today and not tomorrow.


Laura's question of the week

Have you ever resolved to lose x amount of weight for a specific occasion? What was it for?

  • Wedding?
  • Christening?
  • Bar / Bat Mitzvah?

Were you able to maintain it? Let us know!

stock shot of tape measure around waist of woman in bridal gown

First time at the gym

The gym: Internal studio view through fisheye lens
The gym: Internal studio view through fisheye lens

First time at the gym

The gym, studio space, or even outdoor bootcamp can be an intimidating environment. For many people starting on their road to fitness, these spaces are less than inviting.

A trendy spin studio can be dimly lit and a place where everyone knows each other — leaving you feeling like you’re experiencing high-school flashbacks. Maybe your yoga studio has so many equipment options that you don’t even know where to start. Do you need a block? A bolster? A strap? What even are these rollers?

And gym lockers. Will you remember your code or will you embarrass yourself by getting the person on the desk to unlock it for you?

Being in any new space can trigger anxiety, even from the most experienced gym-goer. But, like most things in life, the key is really to think about this gym time as your time. It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing. If you can focus on yourself and what you need to get out of your time at the gym, it can help all these distractions fade into the background.

Prepare yourself

Asking questions, even ones you think might be stupid, is a good way to familiarize yourself with a space. The people on the desk … it’s their job to help you. Anything you can ask has probably already been asked (in a much ruder way!) many times.

Google the gym or class before you go and read reviews. Everyone likes to complain online and while these reviews shouldn’t be held as gospel, they can help prepare you for what’s to come.

Arrive early and get comfortable in the space. If you’re taking classes, the instructors will probably introduce themselves and be honest about your fitness level. They’ll appreciate it and keep your issues in mind.

The trick with any studio or gym is to think of it as a space that exists for YOU. Without you, there wouldn’t be any business. They want you to have a positive experience and most gyms want active feedback.

We all had our first days in class where we felt like outsiders. And most of us accidentally walked into the wrong change room, opened a door that turned out to be a supply closet, and yes … forgot our locker combination. Just showing up is points enough so take that first step and be brave. Soon, someone new will be looking to you and asking where the bathroom is.

Guest post: what is kinesiology?

Kinesiology image reproduced from fitafter50.com
Kinesiology image reproduced from fitafter50.com

Guest post: what is kinesiology?

Trainer Andres Palomino describes kinesiology in this post reproduced from his site.

One of the most frequent questions from people that I have had the opportunity to meet is … What is kinesiology? Who are Registered Kinesiologists?

According to the COKO, College of Kinesiologists of Ontario“Kinesiology is the scientific study of human movement, performance and function. Kinesiology incorporates the sciences of biomechanics, anatomy, physiology, psychology and neuroscience into an all-encompassing healthcare practice. Kinesiologists use the latest evidence-based research to treat and prevent injury and disease, and to improve movement and performance. Kinesiologists work with people of all ages and physical abilities in many settings to help them achieve their health and wellness goals, and improve quality of life.”

On April 1, 2013, Kinesiologists became licensed professionals in the Province of Ontario. The College of Kinesiologists of Ontario is the body responsible for the licensing of individual kinesiologists in the province.

The title kinesiologist is protected in Ontario, meaning that only members of the College can call themselves kinesiologists or claim to be kinesiologists. Members must use the titles “kinesiologist” or “registered kinesiologist”, or the designation R.Kin, when providing services.

To register with the College, an applicant must:

  • Have a four or five year kinesiology degree;
  • Complete the Jurisprudence e-Learning Module, which tests their knowledge on the laws, regulations and standards that apply to kinesiology in Ontario;
  • Submit a criminal record check to the College;
  • Pass the College’s entry-to-practice exam;
  • Provide proof of carrying professional liability insurance.

All kinesiologists who are actively practising must carry professional liability insurance.

Once registered, members have a series of obligations and responsibilities that they must fulfill to remain in good standing.   Some of these include:

  •  Acting in the patient’s / client’s best interest;
  •  Adhering to the College’s Code of Ethics;
  •  Practising according to the College’s practice standards and guidelines;
  •  Participating in the College’s Quality Assurance Program;
  •  Renewing their membership annually.

Kinesiologists prescribe exercise to treat and prevent injury and disease. Also, we work with athletes and any individuals to enhance human performance.

Kinesiologists works in the following areas:

  •  Health promotion;
  •  Injury rehabilitation;
  •  Pain and chronic disease management;
  •  Ergonomics;
  •  Fitness training;
  •  Return to work planning;
  •  Disability management;
  •  Public health.

For more information about the profession of kinesiology, please visit the web site of the College of Kinesiologists of Ontario at www.coko.ca.

For more information about how Fit After 50 can help you to be stronger and healthier, please visit www.fitafter50.ca.

Making a commitment to fitness: Day One is today

Commitment: balance ball silhouette illustration
Commitment: balance ball silhouette illustration

Making a commitment to fitness: Day One is today


Commitment can be a pain.

You know you’ve done this at least once. We probably all have. It’s Day One. It’s the magic day when you will actually start working on yourself. Whether it’s tomorrow or Monday or the first of the month, we’ve all pushed off our start day to one that feels more “real.”

In the meantime, we give ourselves permission to indulge in the habits that we are trying to break: a last supper of all the foods that are going to be our no-goes in the future, another day of sleeping in instead of hitting the gym early, or another day of late night bingewatching instead of getting those eight hours of sleep. Whatever your goal, you’ve probably found your own little way of avoiding it. And it’s okay because tomorrow, or Monday, or June 1st … That’s when you’re going to get serious about your goals.

Things get real

And then the monumental day comes and you forget to set your alarm. Or it’s someone’s birthday at work and you just have to have a piece of cake. Or you start your first run and your running belt breaks, leaving your keys and cash all over the sidewalk. Well, so much for Day One. Now, you’re off track until next week. Or next month.

And it happens again. And again.

Break the pattern

So instead of building up Day One as the only time to get on track, why not forget about Day One altogether? Instead, look at the small things you can do today to help you work towards your goal.

Look to today and not tomorrow — and celebrate your small accomplishments instead of focusing on a bigger goal. What did you do today for yourself?


Visit our personal training page and meet our trainers!

Treadmill shot for commitment post

Laura's challenge of the week

Find one thing that gets in the way of you keeping your commitment to yourself. It doesn’t have to be anything big; little things are often easier to find, and easier to change. That’s how good things start. 

Questions? Suggestions? Let me know!