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Business Member Spotlight: 360 Athletics

By | Business

Business Name:

360 Athletics

What type of business are you?

Fitness Equipment

Tell us about your business.

Headquartered in Oakville, Ontario, 360 Athletics has been Canada’s most trusted wholesale equipment supplier for institutional and fitness products for over 40 years. We proudly represent industry leading brands like COREFX, BOSU, HYPERICE, TriggerPoint, and Air Relax.

How long have you been in the fitness industry?

10 years

What attracted you to the fitness industry?

In doing market research, we discovered there was a need for a trusted equipment supplier in the fitness industry. Our expertise has always been distribution and sourcing. With a strong education platform, we believed we could grow our brand business and help make a difference. The people in this industry are amazing. It’s rewarding to see people inspired by our products and making an impact in their lives and others.

What has been your greatest challenge as a business owner/operator and how did you overcome it?

It’s always a challenge adapting to an ever changing landscape. People are looking to source products and content much differently than 5 years ago. Retail is shrinking while e-commerce and Amazon are replacing. Social media has a huge influence over the way people shop and make decisions.
What do you hope your buyers achieve within your product/service? We’re always striving to bring new innovative products and services to our customers. We pride ourselves in being leaders in the industry for recognizing trends and needs from our customer base.

Tell us your greatest memory/highlight in your career?

The canfitpro Toronto shows are always a highlight. We work very hard as a team to improve year after year. The last five years running we’ve surpassed high expectations from the previous year. It’s always a highlight and nice to share the success as a team.

How long have you attended canfitpro events?

8 -10 years

What is the percentage of Canadian business you currently have?

> 50%

How do you plan to grow your Canadian Business in the next 12-24 months?

We continue to build out new websites to improve our presence online. We’ve recently launched , and a new website is next.

Do you have a favourite quote or saying you try to live by each day?

Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.

Why is the Boutique Biz Booming?

By | Business

By Matthew Taub

This past weekend I was a presenter at the Canadian fitness professional conference, canfitpro 2019. One of the presentations I was asked to do was a panel on Boutique Fitness. It was incredible to hear the thoughts and opinions of the panel as to why Boutique fitness is so hot right now.

Lets start with a definition of what Boutique fitness is. The overall consensus is a smaller facility. Foot print of approximately 800 to 3500 square feet. Impeccably clean, offering either a signature or a few signature classes with a limited number of people maxing our each class. These can be one off studios like Rory Pederzolli’s Rocket Cycle or Kelly Taphouse’s Move Fitness for women only. Or part of a chain like F45, Soul Cycle and Orangetheory Fitness.

These studios are not competing directly head to head. They are providing service to a unique clientele that are looking for something specific. Originally the Boutique fitness studios were made popular and were directly targeted to the millennial age bracket. People with little time, knowing specifically what they wanted. That has obviously broadened over the years but the demographic of millennial is still targeted. Wearable tech and instant feedback, two areas very popular with millennials. These studios now offer a sense of belonging. That no matter where you start, you are here and you are welcome.

No Longer After the Same Fitness Dollar

With big box fitness, the model was always based on getting the other guys members. The thought was, there was only one type of person with one specific amount of money for fitness and we were all after that same dollar. It was about getting the member of your competitor out of that location and into yours.

Boutique Fitness is not after that dollar. With so many Boutique and Big Box gyms in tight contained areas, Boutique fitness isn’t fighting for the big box dollars across the street. Boutique Fitness is looking at all the people walking past their doors AND the Big Box gyms. In Canada there are roughly 1 in 25 people that are a member of a GoodLife Fitness Big Box. That leaves 30 million people not going to any gym. Boutique or Big Box.

It Feels Like They’re Breaking Up With You When They Cancel

The Boutique fitness world is Booming today because people feel like they’re not selling fitness. They’re selling family. When a member cancels their membership they’ll often be heard saying “it feels like I’m breaking up with you”. Boutique Fitness is booming because when people join they know they’re joining a family. They’re coming for the workout. For the camaraderie. They’re coming because of they’re coming to spend time with family.

About Matthew Taub

Matthew Taub is a 25 year fitness industry veteran. An international fitness presenter and fitness educator. Previously a Beachbody Live P90X Master Trainer, format expert and choreographer, Matthew is now the Regional Fitness Manager and Regional Trainer for Orangetheory Fitness. Beginning his career in fitness as a sales associate he has worked through all areas of the fitness world from consultant to gym owner. Working with personal trainers and studio owners as well as big box fitness, his passion has lead him to helping others change their lives. Whether it be the members in his studios, clients or staff he works with. Being a part of someones change is what motivates Matthew to continue to help others day after day.

Lemon Coconut Energy Balls Recipe

By | Nutrition

By Shelby Stover

Gluten Free and Vegan – Makes 8 balls

Having healthy snacks on hands is crucial for busy days! These lemon coconut energy balls are loaded with nutrients, easy to pop in your mouth and will help keep you fuelled as you run out the door.

I’m a firm believer in helping my clients find something that is simple for them when it comes to their health goals. And there’s nothing simpler than a no bake snack you grab and go!

These no bake, gluten free, vegan balls comes together quickly and are loaded with nutrients. They’re naturally sweetened with dates and the coconut and chia seeds contain some healthy fats, and thanks to the fresh lemon juice, they’re also a bit uplifting which makes them a pretty awesome midday snack.

Plus, they require zero baking, which is a win with most of my clients! Whip up a batch or two and keep them in the freezer for busy days. Dates don’t freeze solidly so you can just pop these into your mouth right out of the freezer. However, most people prefer to have them sit at room temperature for a few minutes.

Paired with a piece of fruit, these no bake balls are an energy boosting snack to help keep you moving. They’re also the perfect size for little hands. Kids love these balls because they’re sweet and I, as a mom, love them because there’s no added sugar!


  • 1 C dates, soaked for 20 minutes in warm water
  • 1 TBS water (from the soaked dates)
  • 1/8 cup + 1/8 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut, divided
  • 1/3 C oat flour
  • 1 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 1 TBS chia seeds


  1. In a food processor, blend the dates and the water until mostly smooth (leaving behind some chunks is perfect!).
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, saving 1/8 cup coconut for later.
  3. Mix until everything is combined.
  4. Use your hands to portion and roll the mixture into 8 balls.
  5. Place the remaining coconut onto a plate and roll the balls in it to coat them. You’ll have to press down slightly for the coconut to stick.If you want to skip this step for time, just add the coconut into the mixture with everything else!
  6. Place the balls in the freezer for one hour to set.

About Shelby Stover

Meet Shelby Stover, a Strength & Nutrition Coach and the person behind the blog, a health, fitness and food blog geared towards moms! Shelby is a busy mom to two little girls, a crazy foodie and a regular DIY beauty lover. She loves sweaty workouts, tasty and super simple meals and living as naturally as possible- though there’s definitely a lot of trial and error there!

Instagram: @fitasamamabear 
Twitter: @FitasaMamaBear
YouTube: Shelby Stover

It’s All About You!

By | Healthy Living

By Leah Staff, BA Psychology, Speech Communication Minor, PTS

Stop! Don’t cancel that appointment with your trainer! Didn’t complete your workouts this week? Your nutrition intake was more than a shade off target? You might be tempted to cancel your session because you are too embarrassed to face your trainer but hang on a minute. Your trainer likely told you that in order to achieve your goal (the outcome), consistency in your behaviours (workouts, rest and nutrition) is absolutely necessary. But as an intelligent adult you already knew that. So yes, when you haven’t been able to keep up your side of the program it is tough to face your coach; however, here are some points to remind you that your fitness level is not about keeping your trainer happy, but rather this process is 100% about you.

First, your coach is completely in your corner. She wants you to succeed and that can only happen if you continue to show up. When you’re feeling unsuccessful, this support might feel like pressure. Pause for a moment to reframe her desire for your success as being there to help you through every human bump on your journey.

Second, trainers are people too. They have families, schedules, life hassles, and sometimes they even have other jobs! They live with the same constraints of managing daily life and the toughness of getting everything done during a week. From their personal experience, they will not be shocked that you had a difficult week. Plus, unless you are their very first client ever, their professional experience entails other clients who’ve had the same struggles.

Third, trainers are weird and they know they’re weird! They love exercise! When workouts are skipped they get grumpy, don’t sleep well, feel less energetic and they hate it. They are are also keenly aware that most people don’t feel as strongly about exercise as they do. In fact, more people than you might think actually hate everything about exercise. The entire reason trainers work in fitness is because they enjoy it. They will always hope that you’ll learn to love it too, but they aren’t shocked when it’s not love at first sweat.

Fourth, your trainer only knows what you tell her. If there is something about your workout that you don’t like, that hurts, that feels too hard, and that makes you feel conspicuous or in other ways makes it tempting to skip your workouts – speak up! She wants to know! There are many paths (behaviours) that lead to your goal (outcome) and your trainer is completely capable of designing a new road with scenery that is more appealing to you.

Fifth, you’re the boss. When it comes right down to it, you have paid for these workouts with your hard-earned cash and cancelling last minute is money down the drain. Your trainer is your coach, hired by you, working for you. A good trainer will help you figure out a strategy to turn your exercise journey into another part of your weekly habits. Tap into her coaching skills by showing up and being transparent about your struggles. She can’t help you if you’re not there.

Try reframing your embarrassment, disillusionment or despair into a recognition that setbacks are a normal part of forming new habits. People rarely succeed on their first attempt to instill life-long exercise habits. In fact, you can look at it this way: every time you teach yourself to shake off low fitness weeks and get back into the gym groove, you are that much closer to staying consistent. So get out there and go see your trainer – she’s waiting for you!

About Leah Staff

Leah is a communication and wellness expert who prides herself on all sides of corporate consulting: thorough analysis, leadership input, alignment with business goals, and strategic solution delivery. She spent 25 years working in health and fitness as a presenter, educator and coach. Working in the corporate world since 2008, Leah has implemented over 100 wellness programs across Canada with national award-winning success. Curious as to why some individuals and organizations embrace change and flourish while others seem to struggle or even resist growth, she returned to school part-time to find out more about communication and human behaviour. In December 2018, Leah graduated With Distinction with her Psychology Degree, Speech Communication Minor from the University of Waterloo.

Leah consistently provides a superior learning experience with engaging, interactive workshops that foster effective communication skills. Participants leave feeling empowered to apply new practices that positively impact their professional and personal progress.


LinkedIn: www.linkedin/leahstaff

Increase Weight Loss with NEAT

By | Nutrition

By Eric Williamson, RD, MSc, CSCS, PhD (C)

You’re working out, you know you’re eating less and you’re still not losing weight?  Is it a slow metabolism that you can’t do anything about?  For most people, not quite.

A well-controlled research study conducted at The University of Copenhagen took 61 overweight men and split them into three groups: one group had no calorie deficit (control group), one was put in a moderate calorie deficit (-300 calories) and another was put in a large calorie deficit (-600 calories). Diets were controlled and the deficit came from energy expended on the different structured exercise programs they were put on. The subjects maintained these programs for 13 weeks. At the end of the study, both deficit groups lost equal amounts of fat, 4.0 kg in the -300 calorie group and 3.8 kg in the -600 calorie group.

If the one group was in a 2x greater caloric deficit, why didn’t they lose more weight?  A big part of this answer is a little something called Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT).

NEAT is the amount of energy you burn aside from scheduled workouts. This is by fidgeting, maintaining posture and, in large part, ambulation (i.e. mainly sitting, standing and walking). For some people, calorie deficits result in doing less of these things, meaning less calories burned over the course of the day compared to if they had not been exercising and restricting calorie intake. The real kicker is that this reduction in activity is completely unbeknownst to the individual experiencing it.

How do you counter this? Step counting can be an effective solution.

Your next best strategy is to wear a pedometer or download a step counting app. Set a daily target and increase this target by 50-100 steps per week towards 10, 000 steps/day for optimal health. When you’re aiming to lose weight, make sure this number doesn’t go down!

There is also another bonus. 

Calorie deficits and losing fat are stressful on the body. They can set off some physiological alarm bells that there is not enough food available in your environment, so you better do something about it! This can put you at risk for mood disturbances (i.e. grumpiness and depression), insomnia, poor recovery from workouts and other effects of stress. Walking, particularly in a scenic environment, can provide a form of stress relief to counter this.

Eating nutrient dense foods, exercising and still having trouble losing fat?  Don’t let your brain trick you into becoming lazier. Take control of your NEAT!

About Eric Williamson, RD, MSc, CSCS, PhD (C)

Eric Williamson is a registered dietitian and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. within the area of exercise nutrition and metabolism. Eric works all athletic backgrounds from elite athletes to those looking to balance fitness with busy work and family lives. His primary goal is to help people find the most effective nutrition strategies for their unique physiology and lifestyle while balancing the many other important areas of their lives to achieve overall success and fulfillment.

canfitpro 2019 – A Few of My Favourite Things!

By | Business

By Kathleen Trotter, PTS

I have been attending the Toronto canfitpro conference for just shy of 20 years, the last ten with my colleague and dear friend Harry. This weekend is something I look forward to every year. I cherish the opportunity to catch up with Harry and my other colleagues, expand my knowledge base, and most critically, become professionally re-energized and inspired. I always leave with extra pep in my step, excited to return to work Monday.

This year didn’t disappoint. Here are a few of my conference take-aways, and two of Harry’s favorite points….

On Motivating Clients

  1. Nothing kills motivation like being confused

If you want your clients to eat well and exercise between sessions (yes, you do), set them up for success – give them the tools they need to remember their homework and your recommendations.

You speak the “fitness language” – as you should, it is your job – but most of your clients don’t. You can’t just throw a bunch of information at them and expect them to magically memorize it all. Understanding new information and movement patterns comes through repetition, review and the creation of associations. Some ways to do this include:

  1. filming demo videos or taking photos that they can review at home
  2. when discussing any new concept ask them to repeat the info back to you in their own words
  3. give them AMPLE opportunities to practice exercises within sessions, and
  4. provide useful metaphors and images

For example, teach them the “hand portion control” tool – the palm of the hand is a serving of meat, the thumb is a serving of fat, the fist a serving of vegetables and a cupped hand a serving of grains. If you want more info on how we learn, google Bloom’s Taxonomy.

  1. Life is better with friends

Friday of canfitpro was a crazy day. If not for Harry, I might have skipped. Obviously, I didn’t skip – I knew Harry was waiting for me, that spending time with him would be fun, and that the home and work “crazy” would wait till end of day.

The main take-away being, social connection is motivating. Sure, not earth-shattering information, but critical to keep top of mind when trying to motivate clients: suggest clients get a fitness buddy, join a sports team or walk/ run club and /or try a supportive community such as weight watchers.

  1. Fun is just fun —- interactive elements can be motivating

Our trade show experience reminded me that if you want your clients to get excited and invested in their health process you have to find ways to loop them into the experience. The vendors I found interesting – and will remember – are the ones that made the experience more interactive; the booths that allowed me to demo products, created a dialogue and/or were interactive (loved the canfitpro photo booth).

The main take-away being, get your clients involved in their fitness process: set-up friendly tracking competitions in your gym, create a journaling system that your clients can email to you, set up a gym Facebook group, and/or host nutrition workshops. Never forget that although fitness is your job – and probably one of your life joys – most of your clients don’t LOVE to exercise and eat healthfully. You can’t just expect them to “buy into” your training program and suggestions just because you say “do it”. Entice them, get them involved – make the gym more than simply a place to get on a treadmill.

Nutrition Tips

  1. The tip I implemented immediately – as in, I went to the store directly post lecture – is “add baking soda and cinnamon to your grocery list”. In Strength Smarts – The Protocols That get You Stronger ,Benjamin Siong suggested adding baking soda to food, especially post workout, to improve blood PH levels, and making a tea of baking soda, cinnamon and sea salt. Cinnamon improves insulin sensitivity.

NB: I add cinnamon to coffee. I find it has a rich, slightly nutty flavour and is an excellent replacement for sugar.

  1. A statistic I heard multiple times is that there is a 90% failure rate for weight loss in North America. Meaning, nine out of 10 people who lose weight will gain it back. Body composition is a complex issue, with multiple variables including genetics, environment, lifestyle, knowledge, age and gender. Help your clients understand the various dimensions to weight loss and weight maintenance – help them have a multi-factorial approach to their health. Always tailor your programs and advice to the person in front of you.

Main take-away here: become the trainer/coach who facilitates weight maintenance. Helping your clients lose weight is one thing, helping them keep it off will not only set you apart from competitors, but is a desperately needed skill.

Harry’s Favourite Points

  1. There is a Feedback loop – a giant chicken and egg – between the brain and body. Info does not simply flow top down from the brain to the body, there is also a bottom up feedback loop from the body to the brain. An excellent example is that when you exercise your body “steals” oxygen from the brain, forcing the brain to create new blood vessels.

Main take-away being, motion, especially new movement patterns and activities that require dexterity, helps to keep the brain alive and adaptive.

  1. Sure, tell your clients about the benefits of probiotics, but not at the expense of other digestive information. Probiotics seem to receive almost endless positive hype (I want their PR team!), but never forget that digestion requires the entire ‘system’ (the entire body); we may mostly focus on the gut, but digestion actually starts at the mouth. Talk to your clients about a wide variety of digestive topics such as pre-biotics, HCL (stomach acid required for digestion), proper chewing techniques, stress management and hydration.

A Few Excellent Training Reminders

1. You are only as strong as your weakest link. Sure, bench pressing and/or sprinting will leave your clients feeling empowered and athletic, but if their rotator cuff muscles and ankle stabilizers are disproportionality weak, you are simply setting them up for injury. Identify your client’s weak link(s) then include the appropriate exercises in their training program.

2. Tailor your space to your client’s needs. For example, if you train individuals who have impaired grip strength (MS, Parkinson’s, stroke, Cerebral Palsy etc), make sure you have appropriate equipment such as small squishy balls, bands and possibly Active Hands. I had never heard of Active Hands before Kristy Hoornick’s lecture titled Fitness for Adults with Disabilities, but I plan to invest. This glove type apparatus helps individuals with impaired grip dexterity and strength hold equipment.

3. Speaking of grip, don’t forget to vary the type of grips you use during strength workouts. Too many of us, myself included, are excellent at mixing up/periodizing bench angles, exercises, equipment, reps, sets, time under tension etc, but forget to vary grips. Yes, try different positions – neutral, wide etc – but also literally try different grip diameters. Invest in bars of different widths, use kettlebells and/or try Fat Gripz (these wrap around dumbbells to increase the diameter of the handles).

 “Big Picture” Take-aways

Identify your client’s “primary driver” (i.e. the activities, habit changes etc) that will most impact their success. “Don’t mow the grass if the house is on fire” – i.e. if your client is not sleeping, stop focusing on training minutiae, such as whether they do narrow or wide bench press – instead, get them sleeping.

Whether you are talking about postpartum parameters, weight loss, athletic performance, longevity, and/or exercise selection, make sure to work with the person in front of you. Find their top health dominoes, the changes that will elicit their biggest changes. Make sure the program you design meshes with their goals, NOT yours.

Work to improve how clients manage chronic stress and inflammation. Help clients eat more vegetables, sleep, drink water, form better coping mechanisms for stress, and decrease their sugar intake. The negative cascading effects of chronic stress and the sheer number of diseases associated with inflammation is mind boggling – think cardiovascular disease to IBS. Anything you can do to improve how your clients manage their stress and decrease their chronic levels of inflammation is a WIN.

About Kathleen Trotter

Kathleen Trotter holds a masters in Exercise Science, is the author of two books including the new book Your Fittest Future Self, and is a Personal trainer, Nutritionist, Pilates Specialist and Life Coach. Visit her at

Twitter: @FITbyKathleenT

Instagram: @fitbykathleent

Facebook:  FIT by Kathleen Trotter

Meet our Members: Gail Brooks

By | Healthy Living

At the young age of 49, Gail Brooks began training for Ironman races and achieved her dream goal of becoming an Ironman at 52.  Gail’s desire to continue goal setting, achieving one’s dreams and living life to the fullest has helped her on her impressive journey as a ‘senior’ triathlete, having started the sport later in life. And she’s not done yet, qualifying for the ITU World Triathlon Edmonton in 2020 at the age of 54, and participating in the 2020 Ironman in Penticton.

Gail has been a long standing canfitpro member since 1995 and certified as both FIS and PTS, instructing at YMCA and City of Calgary.

Why did you choose canfitpro?

I am proud to say I have been a canfitpro member for 24 years!  Originally certified in Quebec, I moved to BC and now live in Alberta. Having the canfitpro certification has provided me with the freedom to instruct throughout Canada.  My canfitpro membership allows me to be able to recertify annually through continued education courses and conferences, providing me the opportunity to meet fitness leaders and instructors alike.

What is your WHY? Why have you chosen this profession?

I am a Gemini! I feel I have always had two sides to my personality. One side of me has grown a career as an Executive Assistant for over 25 years and the other side of me has grown as an avid instructor and amateur athlete. Instructing and facilitating wellness opportunities is my passion. The feeling I get from instructing classes is like no other – I truly feel connected to my participants, to a greater purpose, and mostly to my true self.

What gets you excited to go to work each day?

Knowing I will be moving my body at some point during the day. It is akin to brushing my teeth – I can’t imagine a day going by without either instructing or training. This is my joy. I find that regular exercise keeps my mind, body and spirit primed for my full-time job and life as a working wife and mother to two children and an athlete.

What do you enjoy most about what you do?

Meeting people and helping them push themselves to achieve more than they ever thought they could. Building a community within my classes and making participants feel as special as they are. The time I share with participants is unique as it may be one of the only times in the day where we connect to what is truly important in our individual lives. Sharing these moments together is a gift.

Movement of the Month: Barbell Single Arm Lateral Lunge to Press

By | Movement

By Coach Kennedy

Barbell bench press, barbell squat, barbell deadlift, barbell bent over row, barbell hip thrusts:  we’ve all heard of these very important, KEY fundamental movements in exercise and I’m sure we’ve all performed them at some time or another. I’m a big believer that fitness tools, if applied with purpose, not circus, are a great way to add variety and fun to one’s programming. Why does this matter? Adherence, that’s why. When programming is designed with purpose, AND at the same time is made to be fun, people stick to it longer. Longer means results… results equal happy clients… happy clients equals renewals and referrals, and so on and so on!

With that said, in reference to tools, let me point out that the typical barbell can be used for far more than just your fundamental movements.  In fact, if you get creative, you can perform complete programs, if you were so inclined, that ONLY used a barbell. Think about it…the movements I mentioned above are all very static movements, important but nevertheless static.

This brings me to the Movement of the Month: Barbell Single Arm Lateral Lunge to Press.

This exercise is a great example of taking a barbell and using it with movement in an upright position, not on your back, not just bent over, but actually using it in a very functional way, if you will. Life and sport happen this way, therefore it’s a great idea to consider how an exercise transfers to life and sport when designing programs. Do they serve a purpose? Do they help your client achieve their goal?

As for the benefits of the Barbell Single Arm Lateral Lunge to Press, they’re endless!

Let’s begin with mobility, which is required in order to perform the lateral lunge correctly.

This leads into deceleration. As you begin to come down into the lunge your quadriceps need to be able to slow you down, decelerate you with control. And, the faster you come down into the lunge, the greater the ability to decelerate. It’s called eccentric strength.

Power is a combination of strength and speed. You’re required to move with some speed, from when you hit the ground, in order to come back up into your starting position. It’s like you’re exploding once your lead leg hits the ground. There is also some direction change, which requires agility.

In addition, let’s consider the muscular coordination required from “toes to fingertips” in order to perform this integrated movement. This coordination is intra (within each muscle) and inter (with other muscles creating the movement). All in all, a very effective, dynamic, integrated, multi-planar movement using a good old-fashioned barbell in a very NEW way.

And lastly, as I said before, it’s fun and totally different from what we generally see being done with barbells. Which means clients enjoy it, they think it’s cool and they always come back for more!

Exercise Execution:

Begin by standing with feet hip- to-shoulder width apart, soft knees, core braced, shoulders in their set position (elevate, retract and depress) and the barbell set up with your landmine placed in your right hand. Take a lateral lunge to your right, maintain a tall spine. As soon as you complete the lateral lunge, reverse your movement back to the starting position while simultaneously pressing the barbell. Repeat for the allotted time or repetitions then change sides.

Watch the video for an exercise demonstration.

Exercise Protocol:  

Generally performed for 30 seconds per side or can be measured in repetitions, 6-12 per side depending on your goals. Apply exercise based on your client’s fitness level.  In other words, regress and progress as required.

Not sure how?  Contact

Special thanks to Rich Wigmore and Taylor Rawson, cofounders of RT Health Company, for allowing me to use there space for all of my videos and mentorships.

About Coach Kennedy

Coach Kennedy (Kennedy Lodato) is a 27-year veteran of the fitness industry with a thirst for knowledge and a passion for teaching and running his CK Mentorships, CK Private Coaching and Fitness Educator of LIVE education to the fitness industry.

Before pursuing his true felt passion for mentoring trainers and coaches, he occupied the positions of Personal Trainer, Sport Conditioning Coach and Personal Training Manager. Kennedy is a three-time recipient of the canfitpro PRO TRAINER of the year award, master instructor for various industry companies including canfitpro and EBFA Global (Evidence Based Fitness Academy).

For more information visit:

Business Member Spotlight – Bloor Street Fitness & Boxing

By | Business

Tell us about your business?

Bloor Street Fitness & Boxing was opened in 1994 by former national lightweight champion Paul Ryan. The gym began as a non-profit organization to help at-risk youth get off the streets. From its boxing beginnings, the gym has grown into a fully equipped, two-level boxing and fitness centre serving Toronto’s west end community.

Bloor Street Fitness is an inclusive, dynamic and fully equipped fitness centre, with all the amenities of a big gym and none of the pretension. The second floor contains a full-size boxing ring, originally from New York City’s Time Square where Muhammad Ali and Rocky Marciano boxed in 1969. At BSF, we pride ourselves on being a “no-attitude” neighbourhood gym with professional and dedicated staff and amazing members.  Whether you’re looking to box your way to a better body, take group fitness or train with our certified personal trainers, there is something for everyone at Bloor Street Fitness.

What attracted you to the fitness industry?

I was involved in sport from an early age and was always looking to gain the competitive edge. My goal was to  become a better rotational athlete and to find ways to overcome past injuries and decrease the risk of future injuries as to lengthen my playing career. This pursuit of knowledge led me to further study the body and eventually to the fitness industry. 

What made you choose to operate your own business?

I got involved at the gym level with the goal to help more people. I am able to share more knowledge with a team of trainers and this gives us the ability to reach more people looking to become better movers. 

What has been your greatest challenge as a business operator and how did you overcome it? 

A challenge I have faced is keeping a well educated, cooperative, and productive team of personal trainers together to service our members. It is always hard on members when their trainer moves on from the gym. We have worked to create a working environment and a cooperative team that enjoys being together. We educate our trainers to be at the top of their profession through in house team training and development sessions, inviting industry experts to teach our trainers and having our staff attend canfitpro conferences.

What do you hope your member’s achieve within your facility?

My hope is that each member will gain the confidence, knowledge and support to achieve their goal. Our trainers strive to help members become better athletes and movers so any life or athletic skill can be easily done. 

Tell us your greatest memory or highlight in your career?

The highlight of my career is seeing the light bulb go off in my clients/trainers minds when they understand and feel the improvements happening in their bodies. It is rewarding to me when they hit the golf ball further or get through a round of golf pain free or accomplish whatever else their goal may be. 

Quote: Build a Better Life

Visit the Bloor Street Fitness & Boxing website at and be sure to follow them on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter!