Trainer: Ty Khan
Goal(s): Weight Loss and Becoming Pain Free
Date: January 20th, 2019
I have been a hairstylist for 17 years and have had issues with my back for as long as I can remember. 1 year ago, I was sitting in my doctor’s office in so much pain that I thought I wouldn’t be able to continue in the career that I love. She told me that I had severe disc degeneration and I needed to make some major changes to my lifestyle. I had to lose weight and strengthen my core, but I wasn’t allowed to lift or rotate any weight. I was completely lost and knew that if I tried to workout alone, it would just get worse.
I had been following F.R.E.E. Fitness on social media for a couple years, always saying “I should try their program”, but never made the call. Just a couple weeks before my diagnosis, I had won a F.R.E.E. giveaway and when I got home from my doctor’s appointment, I finally sent F.R.E.E a message. Some may call this coincidence, but to me it was a glaring sign.
Fast forward to this year. I have now been training with Ty Khan for a full year. He builds my workouts to be challenging but safe, and he’s always making sure I’m pain free. Training to move differently hasn’t been easy, but Ty is always encouraging, and doesn’t let me quit. We always end up laughing about something during our entire session. He has held me accountable since day one, and I couldn’t have reached my goals without his support and knowledge.
I am amazed with my results! I am stronger, most of the time I am pain free, my posture has improved, and I am back to working full-time as a stylist. I have lost 40 pounds so far and I’m able to lift weight again! My workouts with Ty are a highlight of my week. Most importantly, I am the healthiest I have ever been and have found a new passion for fitness.
Over the last year, I have discovered that my injury is not a deal breaker for being active. It may have come with a list of things I “CAN’T” do, but now I treat training as an experiment with Ty to see what I “CAN” do. If you suffer from a chronic condition, have an injury, or have been told you just can’t, trust me when I say that those things do not define you or your journey. Keep going! There are options for fitness that can work for you no matter your situation. The team at F.R.E.E. have a passion to help people and they have the knowledge and expertise to equip you with all the tools to reach your goals.
Thank you to Ty and the F.R.E.E. team, I am so grateful to be part of this fitfam!
Trainer: Tony Nguyen
Goal: Being Healthy Again
Date: December 12th, 2018
When I first starting training with Tony and F.R.E.E. Fitness, my goals were to live and maintain a healthy lifestyle with a primary focus on working around my injuries from work. I had to accept some difficult truths, one being that I don’t have the energy and motivation to address my fitness goals with my lifestyle. To me, it made sense to train with a professional that specializes in safe and efficient workouts that challenge me to push my limits and keep me accountable.
So far, I have lost 30 pounds. Tony has taught me how to strengthen the areas around my injuries while being patient so that they could properly heal. I am eating better and making healthier choices. I have gained a great friend who believes in helping me reach my goals. This is the primary reason why I’ve become stronger and have gained more confidence in myself.
Tony has committed to working with me since the beginning. He keeps me engaged by creating awesome workouts that are tailored to my needs. I think his best qualities are that he is knowledgeable, approachable, and always finds a way to make me laugh during our training sessions.
I never thought that I would achieve these fitness goals. Eating a balanced diet and feeling better about myself were aspirations that seemed to far and difficult to reach. Tony believed in me before I believed in myself. Training with him is a highlight of my week because of his encouragement, enthusiasm, and friendship. He motivates me to become the best version of myself, and for that I will always be grateful.
I’ve never met a trainer who listens to his clients like Tony. If you trust in his abilities, he will empower you to believe that you deserve to live your very best life.
Thank you, Tony!
Coach: Max Larocque
Goal: Olympic Weightlifting
Date: November 13th, 2018
When I first started training with Max Larocque, I wanted to compete in weightlifting, get in shape, and live a healthier lifestyle. It all started with a thought. My gym buddy (Michelle Leslie) who is training with Tony from F.R.E.E. Fitness, was prepping for her powerlifting competition! After watching her compete, she suggested that I would do well in Olympic weightlifting. That suggestion turned into a catalyst, so I went to a Recreational Centre (Terwillegar at the time) and tried to snatch based on a video tutorial that I found on YouTube. With no bumper plates at 95lbs (43kg), I landed the first few lifts, and the feeling of getting the bar over my head was strangely satisfying. You can say, I was “hook gripped” from that point forward. And I thought to myself, well, if I want to get better at this, I better find a coach.
There’s a large list of accomplishments that I’ve achieved since starting with Max. I switched to measuring in kilograms, gained some muscle definition, healed my shoulder, lost 36 pounds (from 236 lbs to 200 lbs), did my first pull-up, front and back squatted more than my bodyweight, snatched and cleaned & jerked a personal record 85 kg (187 lbs), 95 kg (209 lbs). I’m certainly not done improving under Max, and with each program, I’m constantly lifting more and more weight.
Max is great at breaking down the movements and pinpointing what you’re doing right and wrong, but where he really shines is adapting his programs to fix these little errors. His programming adjusts to your weak points, so it’s always a struggle (in a good way), but it always pays off in the end. As he always says, “trust the process and stick to the programming”. Max has been around the block enough to know what works!
Since starting with F.R.E.E. Fitness and Max, I have gained a great deal of strength, but I’ve also become part of a supportive and inclusive community of weightlifters. I have become more confident in abilities and have become healthier in general. Fitness has now become part of my lifestyle and I find it’s the best way to decompress at the end of the day. When I’m stressed, I put my worries into the bar and “jerk” them away!
My biggest advice for starting and sticking to your fitness journey is to find something that is fun and interesting to you. If you have any fitness related goals, I would recommend taking that first step and setting up a session with max or any of the F.R.E.E. Fitness trainers!
Coach: Max Larocque
Goals: Olympic Weightlifting
Date: September 19th, 2018
When I was introduced to Olympic Weightlifting a few years ago at 37, it was an instant love affair. It was a brief introduction and I knew if I wanted to really explore this route, I would need to find a trainer who specialized in this sport.
Fast forward to almost three years later and queue Max. Thanks to social media where it allows clients to explore and research into potential trainers who may be a fit, Max and I eventually connected but it wasn’t until a year into chatting from time to time, did I decide it was time to dive down this route. Max has been my Coach now for a year and what an incredible year it has been! His wealth of knowledge and attention to detail, his passion for the sport mixed with his down to earth nature was an automatic fit for me.
At 41, business owner, mom of four, busy family household where it’s role reversal and I’m the sole income provider, I’m used to being “the boss”. With that “title” comes a lot of responsibility and stress. So when it comes to my health and fitness, training with Max is not only for my own well-being and mental health, it’s how I choose to spend my “me” time. Growing up as an athlete, it’s exciting to be passionate about something that I hope to compete in one day. With something as technical as weightlifting, I want to know when my lifts are not performed to the best of my ability, how I can improve them, and words of praise when I do execute them properly. Max has very quickly picked up on this and he’s exactly what I need as a weightlifting coach.
Though my fitness is always for me, there is extra motivation for me to do well because I want to make him proud too, as I feel my ability to lift well is a direct reflection of his training and coaching. In my short year into this sport, I’ve seen amazing progress. I’m so grateful to have weightlifting and Max in my life!
Thank you, Max
Trainer: Tony Nguyen
Goals: Get Strong
Date: September 13th, 2018
When I first started training with Tony and F.R.E.E. Fitness my goal was to get strong. I’ve been pretty active throughout most of my life, but I had never actually felt strong. Working with Tony, I wanted to push myself and see what my body could do.
I first started training with Tony after I won 8 free sessions during F.R.E.E.’s Instagram Christmas giveaway. After those first 8 sessions I was totally hooked. Although I had tried repeatedly, I never felt totally confident in the gym, or creating a workout program I could maintain. Tony helped me gain confidence, and also showed me how important it is to have a goal, and a program to help get you there.
After my first few months with Tony I saw huge improvements in my strength. After learning how to squat and deadlift properly I was adding more and more weight each week. It was great to be able to track and see my progress, all the way up to deadlifting 187 lbs for one rep at approximately 134 lbs body weight. I would have never dreamed of attempting such a weight before training with Tony.
Training with Tony is like going to hang out at the gym with a friend for an hour. We had goals and some hard work to get through, but Tony always made it fun, and was always up for listening to whatever else happened to be going on in my life. I looked forward to our sessions every week.
My experience with F.R.E.E. has firmly embedded fitness in my lifestyle. What was once an on-again-off-again thing is now something that I crave. I actually miss the gym when I’m not there! Not only do I know a good workout will make feel so much better physically, but it’s also my stress relief. As a bonus, I always have so much fun with everyone at the gym, even when I’m not in a session with Tony.
To everyone who’s been interested in F.R.E.E., just start. If you’re scared, nervous, intimidated, unsure – just start. You will not regret it.
Trainer: Tyler Khan
Goals: Improve Fitness and Activity Levels
Date: August 30th, 2018
I have been trying to invest in myself for the past four years, starting with weight loss surgery in 2014. While I did lose 100 pounds after the surgery and was ecstatic with the result, I knew that I wasn’t any fitter than I was before the surgery. When I started with Tyler, my original goals with seeing a personal trainer was to boost my fitness level and achieve some overall toning. My friend, Carrie, had been seeing a Tony from with F.R.E.E. Fitness for over a year and would patiently answer the same questions from me over and over again while I struggled to be brave enough to take that first step.
I knew that I needed to be accountable to someone other than myself if I was going to find success in my fitness journey but I was terrified of stepping so far out of my comfort zone. I am so glad that I finally got brave enough! I honestly can’t believe how far I’ve come in such a short time! At my first session I wasn’t even able to do a single squat without help. Now my back squat personal record (PR) is 63 pounds and my deadlift PR is 143 pounds! More importantly, I can now work at my job without experiencing any pain in my shoulder. What an amazing feeling!
And oh my goodness, what can I say about my trainer, Ty?! He is amazing! I have never felt so supported and encouraged while doing something so far outside my comfort zone. He is incredibly knowledgeable and I trust that he is completely committed to helping me train in a safe, injury free manner. Plus, we have a lot of fun at my sessions which makes the time go by so quickly that I’m usually surprised when we get to the end!
This experience has changed me in so many ways! Yes, I’m fitter than I was before. Yes, I’ve lost inches and my clothes fit better. The best part though is the incredible boost in confidence that I have had. It is an amazing feeling to know that you are getting stronger every week, and that feeling shows in how I carry myself and interact with people in the other areas of my life. If you’re unsure whether having a personal trainer is for you… it is! Be brave, take the plunge and contact F.R.E.E. Fitness because you won’t be sorry!
Thanks F.R.E.E. Fitness!
Trainer: Tyler Khan
Goals: Tone and Build Strength
Date: August 21st, 2018
When I first decided to contact F.R.E.E., my goals were to get toned and to build strength. In January I left my Ukrainian folk ensemble of 14 years. I had trained with the company twice a week for over a decade and was stuck in an unhappy rut with no idea what to do with my free time, or activities to fill the void. I have been an avid yoga practitioner for years but have always struggled to enjoy a gym routine. A friend posted about F.R.E.E. Fitness on Instagram, and I decided to give them a call. As an artist, I was very happy to hear about their “Pay How You Feel” program and decided to give it a try. I was set up with Tyler Khan and what I didn’t know was that the focus would be on Olympic Weight Lifting!
When I first began, I fully expected to try it for a week and then quit. Weight lifting?! That wasn’t for me. I could barely lift the bar itself! As a dancer, I was surprised and upset that my “strong legs” were not up to the task and that I could not even perform a full squat, despite having the range of motion. Working with Ty, he was able to inspire a newfound love for the technique and form behind the sport. I got hooked! I felt that Oly gave me a great workout, as well as the hyper-focus that I was missing since leaving dance.
Since starting with F.R.E.E., I have grown to love my body and my strength. Weightlifting is incredibly humbling and rewarding. The day that we first began to add weights to the bar I was on cloud 9; results came fast in terms of building strength and endurance. I’m excited every week to add more weight to the bar and to continue to improve on my form. My body composition has shifted, and while I have not lost many pounds, my arms and legs are much more toned. I even have a booty now! Bonus: My mental health has never been better. I struggle with chronic anxiety and depression, as well as insomnia. Hitting the gym with Ty has boosted my confidence and helped me to break all kinds of mental barriers, and keep the depression at bay. It takes a lot of confidence and bravery to do something crazy like lift heavy weights over your head.
Ty has also helped me rebuild my relationship with food and nutrition – something that I felt very negatively towards since discovering multiple food allergies. I take pride when I apply myself towards actively building my meals and focussing on how much better I feel when I am able to eat properly! Plus, I’ve been sleeping. I fully credit Ty and his insight on my nutritional breakdown. I haven’t had a proper night’s sleep in close to 10 years, and since meeting Ty I’ve been sleeping more and more. Nothing can beat that feeling.
Ty has a great personality, and while he holds me accountable I also feel comfortable enough to call him my friend. I love our conversations and always look forward to the next session. He is genuinely invested in my life and pushes me to set and surpass my own goals, both in and out of the gym. In February I experienced a concussion, and he checked in on me and helped me through my recovery. With his help I was able to return to the gym stronger than ever.
Meeting Ty and beginning my Oly journey has helped me take control of my life. I have always known that exercise can help to manage depression, but when you are in a low mood, it can be hard to get yourself moving. Working with Ty keeps me accountable, gets me moving, and has helped me to stay out of the darkest moods. I’m sleeping again (which is a HUGE deal), I’m confident and taking risks, I feel strong in all aspects of my life, and I am inspired to push more boundaries.
I never considered weight lifting to be a sport that I would like, and I am so glad that I gave it a shot! It has brought about so much more joy into my life, and I feel like a more well-rounded and better person for it.
To anyone who’s thought about training with F.R.E.E., give it a shot! If you struggle with mental health issues, like I do, then please do yourself a favour and get into the gym. Get yourself moving and you’ll see how exercise and health will carry you through the darkness. With Ty, or any of F.R.E.E. Fitness’ team to guide you, you’re in safe hands to break through your own boundaries. You will learn that most limitations you feel are just imaginary.
Thank you Ty and F.R.E.E. Fitness!
Trainer: Tyler Khan
Goals: Balance and Strength
Date: August 13th, 2018
When I first decided to start training with Tyler and F.R.E.E. Fitness, my goals were to work on my balance, strength and maybe grow a muscle or two. My 28-year-old daughter was working out with Ty and wanted me to try the “Pay How You Feel” introductory sessions. I haven’t maintained a fitness schedule in 61 years (except for dog walking) and I thought maybe a coach could help with motivation.
Since training with Ty, I am much more confident in my body, my balance has improved, and I am lifting heavier objects with less effort. This is the first time I’ve set foot in a gym, and he has allowed me to feel welcome and competent. Besides knowing his stuff, we have such interesting conversation (in between sets of gruelling exercise!) I haven’t wanted to miss a session yet!
I am so thankful for Ty because I feel more energetic in my day to day life. And I’ve noticed that I have triceps now, not “senior flaps” (not exactly life-changing but appreciated). I want everyone to know it’s never too late to feel more comfortable in your skin.
Thank you so much, Tyler.
Trainer: Tony Nguyen
Goals: Move Better and Weight Loss
Date: December 29th, 2017
When I started training with Tony and F.R.E.E. fitness, my goals were to get back into shape by improving my movement patterns, losing weight and to become more familiar with a gym setting so I could train on my own when I leave to Arizona in the winter months.
I was recommended to Tony by my daughter who is training with Tony and is enjoying fitness success as well! I wanted to know that I was doing exercises correctly as I have had previous surgery on my right knee.
I feel I have done very well under the guidance of Tony. Along with an exercise program, and nutritional advice, I have lost 20 lbs. I move better all around with less pain around my joints. After all these years, I finally have upper body strength!
Tony is very positive and energetic which comes across when he is teaching me new exercises. He is very aware of my abilities. I was challenged every training session in a positive way. I never felt I couldn’t do what was asked of me because he gradually build up my strength and endurance to have me running again. I feel very energetic, ready to keep on going!
To anyone who is thinking about improving their health, just remember that AGE is just a number and it’s never too late to get started. Keep moving, remain positive, work at your own pace, and good things will come your way!
Thank you, Tony!
Coach: Ahmad Eid
Goal: Strength in Powerlifting
Date: December 21st, 2017
After completing my full marathon in May 2017, I was set to get back into powerlifting by the summer. I knew I needed help with programming and that was when Tony introduced me to Ahmad. When I initially spoke with Ahmad, it was evident that his passion for powerlifting and helping his clients succeed, was second to none.
Even though I was out here in B.C., he had no qualms about programming for me and helping me prepare for an invitational meet. With programming, he took into account that I work full-time, have 2 daughters (age 7 and 9), and that my day to day schedule often leaves limited time to train. He developed a customized program to compliment my schedule and to ensure that I would be successful. My transition back into lifting from running was seamless. Because of that, my confidence in my strength and my ability to make progress grew. My husband and my kids sensed that as well during my training.
Ahmad revised my program as needed to optimize my training. He was there every step of the way. He even came out to B.C. for my meet to coach me! His commitment to ensure I had my best meet never wavered.
On the day of the competition, he was the best handler anyone could ever ask for. He ensured everything went smoothly and was on point with calling the attempts. I hit an 11 lb PR in my squat, matched my best bench and to end the day, I hit an 11 lb PR in my deadlift.
Hitting that deadlift on my 3rd attempt was so special to me. First of all, it allowed my daughters to see their mom achieve a personal best and most importantly, it allowed me another opportunity to demonstrate the power and strength of women. This is what I strive to do everyday as a mother. Ahmad, thank you for your help in providing me with that opportunity.
For anyone out there who has any doubt in their ability to make progress, don’t ever be afraid to ask for help. It is often within reach. To Ahmad, the Illuminating Strength team and F.R.E.E. Fitness, thank you so much for your community and support!
Trainer: Ahmad Eid
Goals: Strength for Performance and Weight Loss
Date: December 12th, 2017
When I started training with F.R.E.E. Fitness and Ahmad, my goals were to gain strength and to lose some weight. My focus was primarily on swimming as I am a Masters Competitive Swimmer, (i.e. swimming competitively when you’re “old”) :). Ahmad comes from a powerlifting background and impressed me with his drive to research my sport of swimming. He’s created many different programs for me that have been very progressive.
As the year has gone on my focus switched from strength building primarily for swimming to surviving a Half Ironman triathlon. He worked closely with my triathlon training program and I felt my swimming, cycling, and running, improve under his strength guidance.
I not only achieved my goal of surviving a half Ironman, but I placed 4th in my age group! Swimming competitively has also improved. I have more endurance and strength to finish my strokes.
I have tried personal training in the past but I never stuck with it because I couldn’t afford the packages traditional gyms provide. I learned about the F.R.E.E. Fitness concept and got in touch with Tony and his team. I have loved every minute in being a part of this group of passionate trainers., especially Ahmad. If you’re having a bad day, he can put a smile on your face, he’s encouraging, optimistic, and incredibly knowledgeable in strength training.
I would highly recommend if you’re looking to get a personal training to contact F.R.E.E. Fitness and get started, you will not regret it!
Thank you, Ahmad!
Trainer: Ahmad Eid
Goals: Weight loss and Healthier Lifestyle
Date: December 3rd, 2017
When I first started training with Ahmad, my original goals were to lose weight, get stronger and get back on track to a healthier lifestyle. I chose to hire a personal trainer because I like (and needed) someone to be accountable too. I like the personal touch that each session has and the individual programming catered to my fitness goals and abilities. I have been with Ahmad for a year now and have surpassed any goals I once had. I have lost over 20lbs, gained strength and confidence. In the past I would never have thought about doing barbell squats or deadlifts, but now I enjoy the new challenge!
Ahmad is very knowledgeable and eager to share his passion of fitness and nutrition. As a mom with kids and a constantly changing schedule, Ahmad has been flexible with our sessions, which makes being accountable to him much easier to do!
I feel this experience has changed my life as I now enjoy having a much healthier and fit lifestyle, which I can also share with my children. I feel better in my body and mind; and have the drive and knowledge to continue a healthier lifestyle. I also have the confidence to go to the gym on my own (Which I would have never done a year ago!). I would encourage others to enjoy the process of change and a new lifestyle.
Thank you Ahmad!
Trainer: Tony Nguyen
Goals: Weight Loss
Date: November 28th, 2017
My original goals when I started training with Tony was that leading up to age 50, the year 2017 was my year to focus on my health and wellness by setting up a nutritional and exercise program I could adhere too. I needed to increase my mobility, stamina, energy levels, and find a joy in fitness training to lose weight by my 51st birthday on December 22, 2017.
I chose to hire Tony because a friend of mine had introduced me to him. The moment I spoke with Tony, I knew that he would hold me accountable to do the work to achieve my goals. The results so far have been incredible and overall, I have never felt better! I have a spring in my step, and for the first time in my life I look forward to doing my exercise routine!
This fitness experience with Tony has been exceptional. He truly understands what it takes to nourish my body with proper nutrition and has empathy for me as his client. He walks with me, is never preachy, and is committed to do whatever it takes to reach my goals. Tony has been committed to my success. He has a no excuse mentality when it comes to improving people’s health. He has inspired me to see that results are not only measured in my 50-pound weight loss, but also in the way I move, look and feel. This is the type of trainer you want committed to your health.
This has totally transformed my life. Despite many life’s challenges and curveballs, taking care of your health is something you must do! Tony is the” tiger trainer” and has given me back my zest for life. Having a true friend to walk with in this personal journey has made all the difference in improving my health!
To anyone who thinks that they want to try, you owe it to yourself and If not now, then when? You can always be a better version of yourself!
Thank you Tony!!!
Coach: Max Larocque
Goals: Strength in Powerlifting
Date: November 21st, 2017
When I first started training with Max, I had self esteem issues and was struggling with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) which means my tummy never goes away and it’s easy for me to gain weight. One day, while I was scrolling on Instagram, I came across a post by Danielle Philibert who is a local female powerlifter; in her post, she was praising her coach Ahmad Eid. The next thing I knew, I was emailing F.R.E.E. Fitness asking about fitness train and their program. Tony Nguyen got back to me within 24 hours and set up a meeting at the Kinsmen. Max had the proper availability in his schedule and took me on as client. The first month was hard and frustrating. Working in the culinary industry, standing all day long for years on end had left me with little body flexibility.
Luckily, Max was patient with me (and still is lol). He helped me cope with my body issues by designing a proper training program and finding a proper meal plan for my goals. Quickly, my strength started to build! Despite a few medical issues, Max had me on track to reach (and exceed) my powerlifting goals. Max is an extremely supportive and positive coach. I have already competed once this past summer as a powerlifter and came second in my weight class. On November 12th, I competed in a local Edmonton meet called Power Surge and went a perfect 9/9, setting competition personal records in all 3 of my lifts (squat, bench and deadlift).
I’m so proud of how far I’ve come in my first-year training with Max and F.R.E.E. Fitness. I’m looking forward to competing again next year and I always look forward to my next training session with Max!
Thank you Max!
Trainer: Tony Nguyen
Goals: Weight Loss (35 pounds)
Date: November 17th, 2017
When I started training with Tony Nguyen, my original fitness goal was to lose weight and gain knowledge in the gym. Somewhere along the years, I had lost the motivation to take care of myself and it snowballed to the point where I had no idea how to feel healthy again. I would go hard for a month and quit because I wouldn’t see results… I had no real knowledge how to work out properly. I lacked the confidence and motivation to go to the gym alone, which is why I decided to hire a Tony as a trainer!
Since I started with Tony, I have achieved so much more then just losing 35 pounds. I feel strong and confident about myself. I no longer have anxiety walking through the gym doors. Having Tony as my personal trainer has been a wonderful experience. He gave me alternatives when I would hit a weight loss plateau by working with my nutrition and keeping me accountable to my food log. He is incredibly understanding with my schedule. As a single mother of two and working full time, my schedule can get crazy, however, Tony was very accommodating to me. I was able to enjoy our hour sessions because it was usually filled with laughter. It goes to show you that a person really cares about what they do, when they’ll go that extra mile for you and I am very appreciative that I have the opportunity to train with Tony.
This experience since starting with F.R.E.E. has changed my lifestyle because it has taught me to love and take care of myself physically and mentally. Training with this amazing team has encouraged me to branch out and find other activities that I can incorporate into my life and has given me the confidence to also include my children in these activities. I love taking them bike riding, hiking and finding different locations in Edmonton to exercise, especially the River Valley Stairs. I am proud of myself and the great deal of effort that I have put into this process of changing my life-style!
Thanks Tony for all the encouragement!
Coach: Ahmad Eid
Goal: Strength in Powerlifting
Date: November 6th, 2017
When I started training with Ahmad, I wanted to take the stress out of competition and just enjoy powerlifting lifting! At the same time, I was very excited to get stronger and to refine my (previously not great) deadlift technique! I chose Ahmad as a coach because I knew him outside of his role as a coach and really liked his personality and his approach to lifting. I was referred to him as a coach through a friend and was immediately impressed by the strength of all his athletes.
What I noticed immediately was that I became less stressed about lifting! However, at the same time I became stronger because my technique improved on all three lifts and my program was designed specifically for me! The best part was that I could still enjoy other aspects and hobbies in my life.
What I love about Ahmad as a coach is that he is so passionate about his lifters and really cares about their results. I appreciate that he is involved in my life, but in a way that respects that I also have other parts of my life besides lifting. I think he is an incredibly smart and effective coach, and I’ve enjoyed becoming better friends with him through this entire process. Working with Ahmad has made me enjoy the process of lifting and how to be more honest with myself as a lifter. I really have nothing but positive things to say about Ahmad!
I would encourage others to try out lifting, and get in touch with Ahmad if they want a coach who is truly always in your corner and who is great at what they do!
Thank you, Ahmad and Illuminating Strength
Trainer: Max Larocque
Goal: Strength, Power and Speed
Date: October 26th, 2017
When I initially approached Max as a trainer, I was looking to gain more strength, power and speed as I trained for my first FEMSPORT competition in July 2016. What I didn’t anticipate was that I would get hooked on the surge of confidence and power I felt hoisting that Olympic Lifting Bar up above my head. I made the conscious choice to begin training for a Masters Olympic Weightlifting competition, and already had an established rapport with Max. I trusted his knowledge, skill, and passion with coaching Olympic Lifting. If I was training to compete, I wanted to do so with a program designed specifically for me and I wanted to do it safely. I knew that this would be achieved by working with Max.
Unfortunately, at the end of September 2016 I had a massive abdominal attack with severe and acute pain. What was different about this pain than in the past was that it was persistent and continued on almost daily for several months. I had gone from feeling the strongest I had ever felt in September 2016 with plans to compete the following Spring, to getting knocked almost flat on my ass. With daily 2-4 hour abdominal attacks, hours of severe nausea, lack of appetite and extreme lethargy that would force me to sleep for 14 hours or more a day, my lifestyle was impacted greatly. I had to take a medical leave from work (I am a teacher) as going for tests, doctor and specialist appointments on top of the zero energy and daily pain made for a bad combo in the life of a teacher. I went from being a working mom, to a barely functioning human. What little energy I did have, I saved it for my daughter when she was home from school and on the weekends.
I followed a lot of different avenues. My medical doctors, naturopaths, homeopaths, reiki, and energy healers. Once I had a diagnosis in February of a rare liver disorder, the medical doctors left me with a “you need to get worse before we can do anything medically for you”. I refused to accept this as the finality. I had a child who needed her mother, so explored many alternative avenues to care for my health. I ended up taking my 200 hr yoga certification, which was a huge shift in thinking and re-wiring my brain. I began to implement yoga, breathing techniques, and mindfulness and meditation to deal with pain. I learned more about the science behind meditation, as well as studied reiki. I used all of these tools to become more aware of what was happening in my body, and how I could utilize my own energy to begin the process of healing myself.
I think if you ask anyone what their biggest obstacle in becoming healthy is, and they gave you an honest reply, they would say themselves. For me, I have this strong desire and expectation to be this fit, strong and healthy person I always was. I’ve had to learn to be gentler with myself throughout this process and allow myself the time to take care of my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs. My husband, daughter, and parents are an amazing support. They may not always understand what it is that I am doing on the road to recovery and overall health, but they trust that I know what I best need for myself and they support it. It has also become very important to have a core group of friends who are accepting of open, honest and authentic communication.
Lifting has offered me an opportunity to escape the pain or worries I felt were caged into my body. It allowed me moments of time to feel strong and capable when in fact the opposite was very true. Yoga, meditation and energy work have been amazing tools to use to feel more connected to my body. I am very aware of my breath, and how effective a tool it is to manage pain. I am learning to be more present and in the moment, rather than worried about what has happened or will happen. Energy work has helped me to identify when I’m taking on more than what is mine and helping me get rid of it. I managed to get myself to a much healthier weight, energy level and management of pain solely through yoga, meditation and energy work. When I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in August 2017, these tools helped me to cope with the magnitude of that difficult diagnosis. I don’t think I would have been able to get through the 8 weeks of diagnosis, specialists appointment, surgery to remove the mass, and waiting to find out that I was in the clear from cancer had I not had the tools and knowledge from yoga and meditation. Throughout that period of time, I focused on being present, wherever I was; knowing that I was safe in that moment, and that I couldn’t change the outcome out of all of the cancer hell, but I could make a conscious choice in how I would react to each and every situation from that day forward.
Max has such a wealth of knowledge and passion for Olympic Weightlifting. It’s contagious. I think I most appreciate that he could read throughout the past year when the pain was too much, or the days had been too rough that I just needed a bit of time to escape, and to feel like my body wasn’t completely falling apart on me. I hope to hell after my next surgery in December that I’ll be in a position to train with Max to compete in the future, but I’ll be giving myself all the time and space to recover. F.R.E.E. Fitness is incredibly unique because they focus on creating a community for people to work on their collective health and wellness. I love how F.R.E.E. Fitness sees the bigger picture of community, and how an investment in your health is an investment in your future.
To those who are going through health issues like mine, trust your gut. Seek answers. Feel, and experience all the emotions that come with the uncertainty of your physical health. Be present in each and every moment. There is no certainty in anything here on earth except that one day we will not be here; so love the people you care most about fearlessly. Invest your time and energy wisely into the people, places and projects that mean something to you. Our time here is finite; make it count for something.
Trainer: Jordan Pariseau
Goal: Dance Performance and Weight Loss
Date: October 17th, 2017
The reason I originally contacted F.R.E.E. Fitness was that I had hit a plateau in my weight loss and fitness routines. No matter what I tried, I simply could not drop any weight and I had lost interest in pushing myself to reach new fitness goals. I have done a variety of high intensity activities over the years and for the last 10 years, I have been involved in a high-performance dance group. At times, I dance for 45-50 minutes for a performance. To do this, I need to be in shape both physically and mentally. For the past 5 years, I have struggled with nutrition and varying my fitness routine to compliment my intense dance schedule.
I chose to work with Jordan Pariseau to compliment the massive amount of cardio work I do each week. I knew I needed to switch things up but I just wasn’t sure how. I was also looking for someone who could coach me on my nutritional goals and to keep my accountable to a routine.
I have seen both physical and mental changes since I started working with Jordan. Physically, I have seen weight loss and an overall increase in muscle tone all over my body. When dancing for long periods of time, I have seen increased stamina as well as an enhanced ability to dance while maintaining energy and stage presence. I have also noticed a shift in my nutritional habits. I no longer gravitate towards sugar and find myself choosing vegetables or a protein when I get hungry. I have noticed a boost in my energy and so have others.
I love training with Jordan because his enthusiasm and positivity is incredibly contagious and motivating. His positive approach makes me push myself harder each session. His workouts are challenging for me but at the end of each workout, I always feel I have accomplished something great. Even though workouts are always tough, I always leave feeling accomplished. Workouts with Jordan are filled with blood, sweat and laughs!
Jordan demonstrates expertise in both fitness and nutrition and this expertise allows him to tailor and adjust my workout loads to compliment dance practices and performances all while pushing me towards my fitness goals. Additionally, Jordan has helped me to better understand my nutritional needs as an athlete. He has encouraged me to keep a food journal so that we can we review it together and make adjustments as necessary. Keeping this journal helps me to better understand what I am eating every day and it also keeps me accountable. If I slip in my eating, and I do, Jordan helps to get me back on track in a solution-based approach. I appreciate his positive to move forward despite some of my slips ups!
Contact F.R.E.E. Fitness. Commit to a month; and follow your trainer’s advice!
Coach: Ahmad Eid
Date: October 3rd, 2017
The reason I decided to hire Ahmad as my powerlifting coach because I felt I was missing out on progress by programming for myself. Since starting with Ahmad, I finally feel like I know how to squat. I’m much more confident on the platform becase I’ve increased by squat by 25kg (55 pounds) and deadlift by 10kg (22 pounds).
What makes Ahmad so special as a coach is that he has a passion for powerlifting that is incomparable. He listens to feedback. He considers any concerns or limitations and programs accordingly. You know you aren’t getting a cookie cutter program as they are completely individualized for my strengths and weaknesses. As for competition day, there is no better handler out there. He makes your day run smooth and is brilliant at calling attempts. He will also go above & beyond to help any other lifters that are new to the sport!
Since starting with Ahmad, getting stronger is something that benefits me everyday. Whether it’s carrying all my groceries in one hand or being able to help build a fence, I’m much more confident with daily tasks. I always walk with my head held high. When I started powerlifting, I never set out to be anything special but as time has progressed, more people have approached me at the gym telling me how much they admire my strength and work ethic.
To anyone looking to try powerlifting, start and start now. It is never too late and you are never too old. You are stronger then you think you are!
Trainer: Tony Nguyen
Date: September 26th, 2017
When I started training with Tony, I originally wanted to lose 10 pounds and look great for my upcoming wedding. I decided to start with Tony because I wasn’t reaching my goals and the wedding was right around the corner!
Having Tony changed my life because I could walk down the aisle with confidence on my wedding day. I had lost the weight, plus toned up my body so I fit my wedding dress perfectly! This was an entire body transformation. On top of that, I am more knowledgeable in the gym and care more about my health. All the F.R.E.E. trainers are very professional and they are like a family! They welcome you with open arms at the start of each workout. I really enjoyed going to their free boot camps because they were so much fun!
Tony cared about me so much during our training sessions. I knew he wanted me to reach my goals in a healthy manner. Tony provided me with amazing workouts while properly educating me on nutrition. Tony designed a specific nutritional program for me to reach my fitness goal. He asked me to log my food and helped educate me on what I was doing right and the mistakes I was making along this journey. Tony was a pleasure to work with because he wanted me to succeed. At times, he was even more excited than me to hit my goals and I felt that enthusiasm each time I worked out with him. I have a gym membership at another gym and I rarely go. On the contrary, I couldn’t wait to “hang out” with Tony and I knew I was going to get a great workout. I always left the gym proud of myself. I feel he was there to motivate me, challenge me and gave me proper guidance to reach my goals quickly and safely!
Thank you so much, Tony!
Coach: Max Larocque
Goals: Strength in Weight Lifting
Date: July 4th, 2017
I began weightlifting as a hobby after dabbling with strength programs that involved power cleans and snatches. This sparked my curiosity in learning the full lifts. Through the internet, I could mix and match together some semblance of technique so that I could enter my first competition. However, I felt like I needed some more advanced coaching, so I started training with Max Larocque and MaximumFit Strength and Conditioning a week after.
I chose to speak to Max about coaching me from the recommendation of a friend who told me he would be able to iron out some major technical issues I was having with the classic lifts. He was a very approachable and friendly person so I knew this would be the perfect fit for me as a lifting coach.
Since being coached by Max, my snatch has gone from a very rough “hit and catch” style of 75 kilograms (170 pounds), to a smooth, controlled movement and new personal record of 88 kilograms (194 pounds). Clean and Jerk has seen similar improvements over time, smoothing out the entire lift and improving my numbers from 93 kilograms (205 pounds) to 105 kilograms (232 pounds) personal record.
The thing that stands out the most to me is how great of a relationship Max and I have now. Everyday I train with him ends up being nearly 2 hours of laughing and having a good time regardless of how difficult or easy the training. Max has helped me grow as a person, as I’ve become more outgoing and confident since he has started coaching me. I truly love weightlifting because of the good times that surrounded the sport.
Give weightlifting a try, it’s a difficult sport but one of the most rewarding feelings. Max is a great coach and is 100% worth seeing if your even remotely interested in learning these movements!
Trainer: Tony Nguyen
Goals: Weight Loss (70 plus pounds)
Date: June 27th, 2017
My original goals were to lose weight, get to a dress size 8 or 10, and to be able to run at a pace where I could keep up with my boyfriend when I first started my fitness journey. I didn’t set very specific goals on my own in the beginning which made it hard to measure my progress. I hired a personal trainer when I lived on my own in Wetaskiwin and had great success with that; I lost 40 pounds and improved my cardiovascular fitness and strength substantially. Enter May 2016 and I moved to Edmonton for a new job. I had a ton of life changes at once: new city, new job, cohabitating for the first time, etc. It was overwhelming, and unfortunately, I fell back onto old habits and gained all the weight I lost back + 20 pounds.
I was eating like garbage, and I had no motivation to go to the gym and exercise on my own. My self esteem was plummeting, since I had managed to lose weight once and I let myself gain it all back. The main trigger was when I found a stretch mark on my stomach that was fresh and pink; I hadn’t had a fresh stretch mark since I had lost all the weight the first time. That was the final straw and I knew I needed some help.
Tony and I met at university. We had a group project together in an environmental management class. I got “stuck” with a group of Vikings athletes in my group and thought “oh great, these jocks are meatheads and are going to make me do all the work!” However, it ended up being the best group I ever worked with in my entire university career. Tony and I had been friends on Facebook ever since, so I saw a lot of stuff about F.R.E.E. Fitness on social media. Tony has impeccable timing – he just so happened to personally invite me to a F.R.E.E. (and free) bootcamp a few days after I found that stretch mark. I went to one bootcamp and was hooked because of how much fun I had. Tony has been amazing in keeping me accountable. Tony texts me almost every day for updates, and sometimes several times a day if I’m intermittent fasting! Tony is also very intuitive in knowing when he needs to give tough love and when he needs to calm me down and remind me that going up a pound isn’t a sign that I’ve ruined my goals. Tony is also just a good friend in general. Sessions with Tony usually feel like hanging out with a friend, with some intense exercise in between.
I have achieved so much in the 9 months that I’ve been training with Tony! The goals we set together were to lose 100lbs, run a 35min 5k by the end of this summer (and a 30min 5k eventually), and get to a dress size 10. By the end of May, I hit the 60 pound weight lost mark, over halfway to our overall weight loss goal. I’m close to the same weight that I was before I started gaining weight back in 2016, but I’m actually smaller in measurements than I was at that time due to the huge changes in body composition that Tony has helped me achieve. I’m very close to my running goals too: I just completed Color Me Rad 5k in 35:17! I’m well on my way to achieving some admittedly lofty goals and Tony is 9000% the reason I’m doing as well as I am!
Tony’s intense commitment to accountability have changed my habits completely. Unlike the last time I lost weight, I KNOW that I can keep it off myself this time! Tony’s focus on correcting form for months before upping weights has also meant that I’m a stronger lifter and can work out on my own much more safely. I’m in the best shape of my life and I know that it’s a state I’ll be able to maintain for the rest of my life thanks to Tony.
As Tony frequently reminds me, progress is NOT linear! Going up on the scale for a couple of days doesn’t mean your goals have gone to shit. It’s also important to set non-scale goals as well. A few months ago my weight had plateaued for about a month, and I was really unhappy with it. I was anyways, until Tony pointed out that I had shaved almost 10 seconds off my lap sprint time and I was chest pressing 40lb dumbbells instead of 25lbs. Goal setting, both big end goals, and small intermediary goals, is key to helping yourself along the journey!
Thank you Tony and F.R.E.E. Fitness!
Coach: Ahmad Eid
Goals: Strength in Powerlifting
Date: June 20th, 2017
When I first started powerlifting, I was doing it recreationally through the help of a long-time friend and F.R.E.E Fitness co-founder, Tony Nguyen. My original goals were simple, lift as heavy as possible. After seeing my potential and convincing me to train for a competition, Tony directed me to Ahmad’s Illuminating Strength for more technical training and programming. Through Ahmad’s guidance, I ended up placing 1st in my division and setting a new all time personal record for my deadlift at 595 pounds. Before training with Ahmad, my deadlift personal record was 545 pounds. I increased my deadlift by 50 pounds in a matter of 6 weeks through proper programming and peaking for my competition! Going into competition day, my goal was to deadlift 580 pounds, but Ahmad saw my potential during my opening lifts and on the fly, changed my lift attempts with confidence to a higher weight. Without his insight, I would not have placed as well as I had during this competition.
Working with Ahmad is fantastic. As a coach, I can always count on his expertise. He is always there to help and works extremely hard to keep all his athletes happy and motivated. Everyone on our team is happy because he always goes the extra distance which is rare to find in a coach. He even host events like team lifts so we can build friendships with every lifter.
My biggest advice to everyone is to keep track of the small victories. Even the smallest of accomplishments moves you in the right direction and one day to your goal. #KeepMovingForward #PassionForProgress
Trainer: Tony Nguyen
Goals: Strength and Toning
Date: June 13th, 2017
When I first started training with Tony, my goals were to improve my energy levels because I work two jobs including early mornings. I was always feeling extremely tired at the end of the day and needed a change. Additionally, I also wanted to decrease my overall body fat to lean out so I could see more definition in my muscles.
The gym has always been a scary place for me because I had no idea how to use any of the machines or weights. I was very self conscious and afraid to exercise on my own. I’ve always wanted to get into shape but I was too embarrassed to try it alone. I wanted to work with a professional trainer who could guide me with their knowledge to help me achieve my goals, and I’m so happy I found Tony and F.R.E.E. Fitness.
Tony is simply amazing! Prior to our first consultation, I was extremely anxious and nervous that I almost cancelled our appointment. But from the first second we spoke, I am incredibly grateful I had not chickened out. Tony is very down to earth and is so easy to talk to. I feel like I have known him for years! Over the last 2 months, he has become my friend and in most days, my therapist. He pushes me to my limits because he believes in me, motivates me and guides me through every exercise. Most importantly, he teaches me the importance of health and NUTRITION! It’s so much fun to see how much my body has changed in so little time
Since meeting Tony, I’ve seen and felt a lot of changes. I’ve decreased my body fat around my stomach and my muscles are starting to show, especially around my mid section, arms and glutes. My energy levels are very high, my confidence and self esteem has improved and overall, my health has improved in so many ways! I have such a positive outlook towards my health, and I’m proud of how hard I’ve worked to get here. I look forward to every workout with Tony and the gang at F.R.E.E. Fitness.
F.R.E.E. Fitness is making a massive impact in my life! I was eating so unhealthy and drinking alcohol on a regular basis. This made me feel tired, lazy and unfulfilled in life. While packing on fat on my body as well. Tony explained how my way of life was not beneficial to my health and showed me how to change my habits to live a healthier lifestyle. I’m now working out 5 days a week. I started to love every part of my journey, especially my body and confidence.
I can not be more grateful for this opportunity to meet Tony and all the trainers at F.R.E.E. Fitness who are all beautiful humans helping us become better versions of ourselves. They are all knowledgeable, helpful, fun, approachable and determined to help you see your results. Contact them, and give it a try. I’m only at the beginning of my fitness journey and I’m looking forward to where will it take me in the future.
I promise you, you will not regret this decision. You deserve this!
Trainer: Derick Leavitt
Goals: Strength and Toning
Date: April 13th, 2017
When I initially started training with Derick, my first goal was to feel stronger and become more toned! I didn’t feel confident at the gym and didn’t even know where to start regarding weight lifting or an exercise regime. I felt ‘skinny-fat’ and I figured that weight lifting was the next step on my fitness journey. I got the recommendation of F.R.E.E. Fitness from a friend and I thought I would give it a try.
I’m a lot stronger now. I’m also more toned. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m a lot more confident now – at the gym and in my everyday life. I’ve also gotten into the habit of tracking my food and exercise. This helps a lot with my goals, and is a great habit to develop.
Derick is extremely knowledgeable and has a lot of experience in personal training. He’s really helped me with my form, learning new exercises, and his attention to detail is great. He’s a great teacher about proper nutrition as well. He’s also very honest and candid, which helps keep me honest too. He’s very motivating and very invested in what he does. He’s a fantastic personal trainer and I would recommend him highly.
It’s changed my view on my capabilities and the biases I held toward myself. I was an obese kid and working out used to be accompanied by a sense of dread and embarrassment. Being kind of nerdy, I thought that going to the gym was for another kind of person. I never thought I would be the type to lift weights or go to the gym. But, in spite of myself, I gave it a try. And am I ever glad that I did! Of course, looking better is great. I’m getting compliments all the time. But the extrinsic benefits of working out are great too. It helps my mood and my body is stronger, healthier, and I have more energy. I’m also really enjoying working out in itself. It’s fun to challenge myself and celebrate when I can lift more weight or run for longer. It’s given me confidence and a sense of accomplishment. I’m really excited to see how far I can go, and I’ll definitely keep on working out for the rest of my life.
Don’t let your preconceived notions of yourself get in the way of your goals. Start right now and don’t compare yourself to others. Start from where you are. Celebrate the little victories and keep moving forward, you won’t regret it!
Thank you, Derick!
Trainer: Derick Leavitt
Goals: Accountability to Health
Date: March 28th, 2017
When I started training with Derick and F.R.E.E. Fitness, my only initial goal was to become less intimidated by the gym. I had such apprehension about signing up that I honestly didn’t expect much beyond becoming familiar with its surroundings. However, I knew I needed a trainer to help with my accountability. I had no one to hold my “feet to the fire” so-to-speak. My self esteem was tanked, making a change just for myself simply wasn’t enough motivation.
Not only have I become comfortable training in a gym setting and its surroundings, but (much to my surprise) I now LOVE working out! My body has impressed the hell out of me during this time. By pushing my limits and watching myself overcome physical and mental obstacles, fitness has become as habitual as eating, sleeping, breathing and blinking. The best feeling is seeing fat burn off, watching muscles tone and grow, and feeling my cardiovascular conditioning improve has got me excited for each training session. These were all results I honestly did not believe I could ever achieve!
I love training with Derick because his training method really works for me. There was a lot of explaining why we were performing each exercise, which muscle groups we were isolating, and how each exercise would get me the results I wanted. Derick went above and beyond to help me achieve my goals. There was a process, a progression, and an outcome. All simply explained so I could better grasp the logistics of the workout.
Thank you, Derick, for helping me change my entire fitness mindset. I have learned that “fit” goes beyond the scale, and weight loss doesn’t necessarily equate to “good health”. I am in the best physical shape of my life but more importantly, I have captured the confidence I didn’t even know I lost during the difficult times of my life.
To new gym goers who are thinking about starting their own fitness journey, this is NOT beyond your capability! TAKE those full body selfies. LOVE the changes you will start to see. FEEL your strength and endurance that you will develop. You’ll notice that your toughest work out will become your warm up. WATCH the miracle that is possible with your physical health. Be PROUD of your journey. It is unique to you, and only you can make the decision to start. But once you do, great people and great support will become as important as the food you eat and the air you breathe. YOU GOT THIS!
Thank you Derick!
Trainer: Derick Leavitt
Goals: To Feel Great
Date: March 21st, 2017
I heard about F.R.E.E. Fitness last year in August. It took me about a week to work up the courage to call Tony, but once I did, he put me in contact with Derick.
The first day of training was difficult, and there were tears on my behalf. Not only because of how nervous I was, but because I was forced to confront how unhappy I was with myself, my weight, and my inability to perform any physical activity. However, Derick handled my crying with compassion and understanding. He designed each workout just hard enough to push me to my limits, but not so hard that I wanted to quit and give up.
The past 6 months have resulted in some of the most rewarding experiences in my life. Derick motivates me to be stronger, faster, and to go further than I did yesterday. I love that I’ve met his other clients, and all the trainers at F.R.E.E. Fitness! Each training session hour I spend with him is full of laughter and high fives. I love sharing the sweaty mess that I am with Derick.
What I love most about the last 6 months is that Derick has given me the confidence to go to the gym independently, something I actively avoided before meeting him. He’s made me feel like I’m a part of an amazing process!
Thank you, Derick and F.R.E.E. Fitness 😊
Trainer: Tony Nguyen
Weight Loss: 40 pounds
Date: January 17th, 2017
When I originally started my fitness journey, I wanted to be more active so I could feel healthier. Throughout the last 5 months, I have set multiple weight loss checkpoints, usually “non-scale” related goals. I’m proud to say I have achieved most of those goals and in the process, I have lost around 40 pounds! I can fit into clothes I bought years ago, so I basically have a new wardrobe! I am running without having to stop and most importantly, I can play and have fun with my nephew without being exhausted. I’m excited to hit my next goals for an upcoming family wedding in July. With a new “non-scale” goal to feel comfortable wearing a shorter dress with cow girl boots.
I started training with Tony when he was working at a box gym a few years back. After he started F.R.E.E. Fitness, I new I needed him back in my life when I felt myself falling into depression. Being active seemed like a perfect method of self care to help myself feel better. I knew I needed to make a change immediately so I messaged Tony. He responded right away with a phone call and scheduled me in the week after to start my fitness journey.
Tony is great at making sure you know what’s going on in your exercise and nutrition program. He takes the time to make sure I’m performing all exercises correctly, while explaining the importance of each exercise as well. He is amazing at making you feel supported and will take the time to check in with you between sessions to see if things are going well. He truly goes above and beyond.
Before I met Tony and F.R.E.E. Fitness, I originally had severe social anxiety around males. There was no way I could walk into a gym full of males and feel secure. When I met Tony, I was initially nervous, however, Tony’s amazing personality and caring nature helped me feel at ease. Getting to know Jordan, Max, Ahmad, Derick and the rest of F.R.E.E. Fitness has also helped! I very rarely get social anxiety thanks to Tony’s support and encouragement!
As expensive as training, gym memberships, classes and gym attire may seem, your health is worth so much more. Making a commitment to my health and F.R.E.E. Fitness is the best investment I’ve made for my lifestyle. Commit to yourself and set small goals at a time so it’s easier to reach your accomplishments. Lastly, have fun! 🙂
Trainer: Jordan Pariseau
Weight Loss: 25 pounds
Date: September 26th, 2016
I started working out with Jordan three months before my holiday in Asia. I’ve already lost 15 pounds by myself but I wanted to get that ‘bikini body’ ready for my trip. My individual workouts weren’t getting me the results I wanted so I decided to train with F.R.E.E. Fitness. I’ve never had a personal trainer before so I didn’t know what to expect. Jordan tailored a program that challenged me and a diet that would optimize my weight loss. Without him, I wouldn’t be able to lose the last few pounds and reach my goals.
Jordan is very knowledgeable about health and fitness. Not only that, but he is so passionate and committed to his clients that I actually look forward to every session with him! He always pushes me to do my best because he knows that I can, and training with him feels like I’m with a friend who’s constantly telling me that I can do better!
My only goal when I started was to get that ‘bikini body’ but I ended up gaining so much more. I’ve built muscles in places I never thought were possible. My strength, mobility, and endurance have greatly improved. My energy levels are up, which in turn, motivates me to work out more. I even turn to fitness to help with stress management, now that I’m back in school. And last but not the least, I gained a friend in Jordan!
These guys are the real deal and they are definitely changing the personal training game in Edmonton. You have the power to change your life and choosing to train with F.R.E.E. Fitness has been one of the best decisions I’ve made so far.
So if you’ve always wanted to get in shape but don’t know where to start, give Team F.R.E.E. a call. I know you won’t be disappointed.
Trainer: Tony Nguyen
Weight Loss: 25 pounds
Date: September 20th, 2016
Before meeting Tony, I wanted to improve my core strength as I had suffered a back injury that I wanted to prevent from reoccurring. In the past, I have worked with personal trainers that were unable to help me reach my healthy weight goal. With Tony, he was able to work out a plan that would finally help me reach my strength goal and ideal weight..
After learning what my goals were, Tony was committed to seeing me succeed. He wasn’t just a personal trainer “doing his job”. He was committed to helping me recover from my previous back injury and help me achieve my weight loss goal. We discussed my weekly “homework” and he gave me things I could do at the gym on my own. We food logged and worked on cutting out the excess sugar and unnecessary carbs in my diet to one where healthy fats, protein, and veggies were more abundant. The support from Tony was steady and the results were ongoing. After each milestone, we set new goals and I reached a new confidence in being healthier.
My first achievement was understanding my abilities in the gym. From there we worked on food logging and choosing a meal plan that worked for my lifestyle. We tried different workout plans to accommodate my back injury and recovery. With each passing month, I was getting stronger, my eating habits improved, my goals inched closer and I actually believed I could reach my own goals. People started to notice my overall health improvements and were asking how they could work with a coach like Tony.
Tony worked with me at my own personal level. I was unsure I could lift any amount of weight especially with my back injury. Historically, I was unable to change my weight and therefore, I didn’t think I could live and enjoy life at a healthy weight. Tony was confident I could achieve more than I believed possible. He would check in with me between training sessions and build workout plans depending on the pains or busyness of my schedule. This was definitely more than just “personal training”, Tony was there for me during my fitness journey.
There are no words to explain how my transformation has changed my life. I am more confident in the gym and I never assume that I can’t do something until at least trying it first. When I am unsure about a workout, Tony is there to walk me through it or offer an alternative if the pain was too great. I’ve lost weight, body fat, and I’m in a whole new dress size. I don’t have the 3pm hunger pains/munchies or require naps like I used to. Training with Tony has given me the confidence in myself to believe I have the will power to achieve anything I set my mind to.
Train with Tony and F.R.E.E. Fitness, you won’t regret it. No matter how big or small your goals, Tony will be there for your transformation. Regardless of how many times you’ve tried and failed. Let this be your gift to yourself that you matter and you deserve this healthy lifestyle. It adds years to your life and you are worth it!
Coach: Ahmad Eid
Goal: Strength in Powerliftng
Date: September 5th, 2016
I began working with Ahmad Eid after competing in my first powerlifting meet in late 2015. My goals were to increase my strength in my squat, bench press, and deadlift. Also, to improve my technique and execution for all three lifts so I could get stronger.
When I first met Ahmad, he was super approachable and friendly. Shortly after, he developed a custom training program for me to build strength in all three of my lifts. These programs include exercise accessories to target specific muscle weaknesses, unlimited technique critiques and program modifications throughout each phase. The best part about each training program is that they are fun, despite being challenging!
What sets Ahmad apart from other coaches and trainers is his passion for helping others reach their goals. Ahmad will take the time to properly individual each program while working around an athlete’s busy schedule, injury or stress related factors. He is always there to help encourage and support his athletes, both inside and outside the gym.
In the last six months of training with Ahmad, I gained an additional 50 pounds of strength to my squat, 55 pounds to my bench press and 50 pounds to my deadlift (setting me up to compete at the Canadian Powerlifting Union Nationals in 2017). Competing at Nationals is something I never thought would be possible for me, especially with only one year of serious training. Working with Ahmad has not only made me stronger, it has made me more positive, outgoing, and confident. I could not recommend anyone other than Ahmad as a strength coach.
Making time for exercise can be challenging in life when you are busy, however, having a coach and trainer like Ahmad will save you time because his expertise is unmatched. He is one of the best investments you can make to reach your fitness goals.
Thank you Ahmad!
Trainer: Tony Nguyen
Weight Loss: 40 pounds
Date: August 30th, 2016
I started training with Tony Nguyen because I felt like I was in a major slump in life because I was unhappy with my health. By chance, I met Cole Robinson at work one night and I took it as a sign for opportunity. My old routine wasn’t working for me so I decided I needed to make a change in my life.
When I first met Tony, my initial goals were to lose 30 pounds, improve my sleep and most importantly, improve my anxiety. Maybe (in the back of my head) even become one of those mythical morning people.
I am so happy with my results so far. I have lost under 40 pounds and my strength has improved immensely. My sleep has improved dramatically and my anxiety has practically disappeared. I even quit smoking during the first month of training because it was hindering my performance during our training sessions. I have found that I’m an all-around happier person since I started exercising regularly. I feel great after each workout, and get excited when I see new results every week. I want to continue training to see how far I can push my new limits.
Tony is passionate about what he does and it shows during each workout. He isn’t fake and his love for fitness is never forced. Tony’s passion for helping others has kept me coming back every week. Having someone in the fitness world to support me through this transformation is exactly what I needed to take the steps to get me where I am today. On top of it all, he is extremely knowledgeable and diligent when it comes to the human body, how it works, and how important proper nutrition is towards achieving your goals. His expertise is the real deal and I learn something new from Tony every week.
If you haven’t done so already, check out F.R.E.E. Fitness. They’re wonderful people with a real passion for helping others become better versions of themselves. Their zest for helping others is contagious and all it takes is for you to give them a call.
Thanks Tony and F.R.E.E. Fitness!
Trainer: Tony Nguyen
Weight Loss: 60 pounds
Date: August 15th, 2016
When I first started training with Tony, my goals were simply to “be healthy”. To me, this meant learning to live an active and healthy lifestyle. My wife, Sofia was the reason I started training with Tony, as she had been training with Tony for about a month before I initially started my fitness program. She told me he was super friendly, not intimidating and truly cared about his clients.
I had just finished a job where I was living out of a hotel room, eating terrible food and not taking care of myself. I packed on a lot of weight and I felt terrible about myself. I would eat because I was bored, stressed and unhappy. So I decided to meet Tony and I can honestly say that it was one the best decisions I have ever made. I love you Sofia, thank you for all your love, support and encouragement in my fitness journey.
In the first photo, I weighed 265 pounds and was the heaviest I’ve ever been in my entire life. As of August 13th, I weigh 215 pounds! Over the course of about 10 months, I lost 50 pounds. I still have more body fat to lose; but I was able to reach my initial goal of reaching 215 pounds before Christmas. My strength is also up and I can back squat 250 pounds!
Tony is the best trainer, hands down. If you are upfront and honest about what your goals are, he will guide you in the proper direction. He understands that every client is unique. Therefore, something that may bring success for one of his clients, may not for others. Tony will adjust, so be sure to ask him questions. If you are unsure about anything health or fitness related, Tony will always give you the most straight forward and honest answer. He has provided me with such a great support network and has really made me feel like a member of the F.R.E.E. Fitness family. He really cares about his clients and them reaching their goals.
Something that I will take from Tony and pass on to others is that, “fitness is more than just aesthetics”. By living an active and healthy lifestyle, I have changed my life. I can’t wait for what the next few months will bring training with Tony.
Thanks Big Chief!
Coach: Cole Robinson
Weight Loss: 27 pounds in 40 days
Date: August 10th, 2016
I’ve been working with Cole for 40 days and have lost 27 pounds on the snake diet. This diet works so well; however, I would say there were about 10 days where I wasn’t even close to following the plan because I love camping season, and boy do I enjoy my beer and rum! The beauty of this diet is if you have the dedication to jump right back into it after deviating away from it, you will still see amazing results.
I went on a stag fishing trip for 3 days and before I left, I weighed 186 pounds. I drank copious amounts of beer and ate whatever I wanted all day. I came home weighing 191 pounds. However, I jumped right back into the snake diet and was down to 184 pounds within the next 4 days. As far as training is concerned, I’m lucky if I hit the gym 2 times a week right now. A bonus to the diet is that my skin has even cleared up while being on it. I love this diet because it allows me this kind of flexibility, while still producing the weight loss results.
Thank you Cole, you really know your stuff!
Trainer: Tony Nguyen
Weight Loss: 60 pounds
Date: August 3rd, 2016
Initially, before committing to the F.R.E.E. Fitness program and training with Tony, I wanted to lose about 30 plus pounds. However, my actual intentions were to feel better, have more energy, build my confidence in myself and to improve my well-being to avoid serious health problems down the road. I had been starting and stopping basic exercises for a long time and while I have seen some results training on my own, my commitment always failed. In the end, I wasn’t getting the results I wanted. I heard about F.R.E.E. Fitness through a friend at work who had already lost a good amount of weight training with Tony. The fact that my friend called Tony “a walking encyclopedia for nutritional information” was very appealing to me because I wanted to learn more about health and wellness.
The first day I met Tony, he sat me down and helped me figure out what fitness goals I wanted to achieve. Step by step, he helped explain what I needed to do to achieve those goals. He’s stern but also incredibly encouraging and is in great shape himself. It’s reassuring to know that you’re taking advice from someone who actually takes care of his own health as much as he’s taken care of mine. What really amazed me most early on was that I didn’t have to kill myself at the gym, and be sore for days like I’d always done to myself in the past. The exercises selected by Tony were the actual exercises I needed to perform to achieve my goals.
I’ve lost 54 lbs so far. I can run without wanting to die, which is an amazing feeling! I’ve moved from an extra large size to a small/medium in all my clothing, and I’ve lost about 10 inches off my waist. My neck size has dropped from 17 inches to 14.5 inches. Minor back pains that I used to have are gone!
Today, I have more respect for myself knowing what I’ve accomplished training with Tony. Particularly, considering all the fitness fads out there and how many people aren’t successful at reaching their goals. Every person I have met has had something positive to say about my fitness journey. I feel much more confident about myself as an individual, which has helped make life more enjoyable.
I have learned it’s about making small positive choices everyday. I have had so many friends say they want the results I’ve achieved and that they envy my determination. While I am tired of people not having the courage to take a step forward because of fear, I understand where they are coming from because I had the same doubts about myself before meeting Tony. My journey was simple: I found Tony, I listened to what he said, and I just did it. It’s that easy. So if you’re not happy with where you are right now, do something about it! I’m sure glad I did.
Trainer: Cole Robinson
Weight Loss: 25 pounds
Date: August 3rd, 2016
Trainer: Jordan Pariseau
Weight Loss: 30 pounds
Date: August 3rd, 2016
My original goals when I first met Jordan were to lose weight and build muscle. I chose to hire a personal trainer because I wasn’t sure what I needed to do to reach those goals. I was definitely unsure about how to lift properly, especially with clean form. With Jordan’s help, I lost about 30 pounds of body fat and learned the “in’s and out’s” of the gym complimented with proper nutrition.
The things I love most about working with Jordan is that he has always pushed me to my limits and has always encouraged me to be better. Jordan inspires me to achieve my goals and empowers me to never give up. My training experience has also made me feel more confident about the way I look today. Jordan has taught me I can always be the person I want to be if I put in time, dedication and commitment. After training with F.R.E.E. Fitness, I will always encourage others to never be afraid to chase your goals you want to achieve. Anything is possible if you set your mind to it. And most importantly, never give up. Only you can become the person you want to be.
Thanks Jordan, you’ve changed my life.
Trainer: Tony Nguyen
Date: August 3rd, 2016
Since beginning my training program with Tony Nguyen, I have rekindled my love of fitness and living a healthy lifestyle. Tony’s positive energy, encouraging words and his ability to push me to my furthest ability during our sessions, I have made amazing strides in my level of fitness and absolutely love the body that I have sculpted. I always look forward to all my training sessions and I’m never disappointed with what Tony has planned for each workout. The level of difficulty was always perfectly matched and has created everlasting results not only to my physical body but my mental capabilities.
Lastly, Tony has not just been my trainer; he has become an awesome friend. I will always remember the jokes and laughs we shared during each of our sessions. I am 100% ecstatic with my results and I am so happy that I made the decision to train with Tony!
Get Started Today
Our training philosophy FOCUSES on increasing lean muscle and improving body composition, while taking a holistic approach to improve self-confidence and overall health. We encourage our clients to RISE up to new challenges that test an individual’s physical and mental capacity. We help provide ENERGY for our clients to build a foundation of strength, improved mobility and optimal joint health. We believe in EMPOWERING clients to be confident in the gym by establishing manageable exercise and nutritional routines.