Our Coaches

Since 2016, our team of qualified coaches have impacted the lives of over 600 clients, through 1-on-1 personal training, group training, and boxing. People always ask us, “is it really free to work out here?” Not quite, but we do our best to make sure there are coaches that fit with almost every budget. 

How do we do it?

  1. Through standardized pricing, based on how long a coach has been part of F.R.E.E., ranging from $30.00 to $75.00 per session, “Pay How You Feel”.
  2. Giving our coaches 100% of the revenue they earn—our ownership group does not keep a penny—so that our coaches can continue to work at an affordable rate for our clients.
F.R.E.E. Fitness » Coaches

Meet Our Coaches

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Tony Nguyen

Tony Nguyen

Co-Owner of F.R.E.E. Fitness and Personal Trainer

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During my free time away from the gym, I find great pleasure in golfing and fishing. I was born and raised in Whitehorse, Yukon, and subsequently, I moved to Edmonton after completing high school to pursue my Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology. My move to Edmonton was also motivated by my passion for basketball, which led me to play ACAC college basketball for the University of Augustana Vikings in Camrose. Since finishing my college playing career in basketball, I have also explored my competitive side by participating in powerlifting and olympic weightlifting. More recently, I have delved into the world of marathon running, adding a new dimension to my athletic pursuits.

In 2014, I began my journey in the field of personal training at World Health Club, where I cultivated a passion for helping individuals with diverse fitness goals. Over the past decade, I have honed my skills in training not only the general population but also university-level athletes engaged in sports like basketball, volleyball, and soccer. My pride stems from the rich ten years of coaching experience I have accumulated since 2014.

I was recently recognized as one of Edmonton’s Top 40 Under 40 for the class of 2022 for the rise and success of F.R.E.E. Fitness, an achievement I am profoundly grateful for in my career within the fitness industry.

Favourite Book

Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth you Should Have Learned in School by Andrew Hallam

Favourite Meal

Phở

Favourite Quote

“Danger? Hah! I walk on the wild side. I laugh in the face of danger.” – Simba, The Lion King

Role Models

“My parents immigrated to Whitehorse, Yukon, over 30 years ago during the Vietnam War. They learned how to speak English in a foreign country during a very difficult transition in their lives. They taught me the true value of hard work, dedication, and perseverance. I’m also a die-hard Kobe Bryant fan. R.I.P.”

Tyler Khan

Tyler Khan

Co-Owner of F.R.E.E. Fitness and Personal Trainer

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For nearly a decade, I have dedicated myself to the fitness coaching industry, honing my expertise in scientifically-backed programming and a comprehensive approach that combines muscle development and flexibility enhancement. Through my approach, clients experience significant gains in strength, improved body composition, and the freedom of pain-free movement.

I am committed to being recognized as one of the best fitness coaches worldwide. To realize this vision, I adhere to a core philosophy of transparency, personability, and scientific rigor in all my programming. I am deeply devoted to fostering a supportive fitness community where everyone feels valued and empowered.

Importantly, I do not allow factors such as age, financial constraints, or current fitness levels to hinder my clients from reaching their fullest potential. My mission is to guide each individual towards becoming the best version of themselves, no matter the challenges they may face.

Favourite Book

Freewill by Sam Harris

Favourite Meal

Sweet Potato Burritos

Favourite Quote

“Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.” – Michael Jordan

Role Models

Michael Jordan, Dmitry Klokov, A.S Medvedev, Bob Takano, Sam Harris

Max Larocque

Max Larocque

Co-Owner of F.R.E.E. Fitness and Personal Trainer

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Outside of the gym, my favorite activities include playing golf or tossing a Frisbee under the sunny skies, often in the delightful company of my dog, Lucy. My life journey began in the small town of The Pas, Manitoba, and has taken me to eight different cities across Canada, from Hay River, Northwest Territories, to Ottawa, Ontario.

Having dedicated 14 years to hockey and the past 8 years to the art of Olympic weightlifting, I’ve found solace and strength in sports. My story, like many others, involves battles with mental health and self-confidence, challenges that persisted through my teens and twenties. Fitness emerged as my sanctuary, a realm where I could maintain my mental well-being during a time when discussions about mental health were scarce. Through my struggles with addiction and alcoholism, I came to realize the intricate connection between mental and physical health – they intricately intertwine, each profoundly influencing the other.

My coaching approach goes beyond the physical aspect; it delves into the emotional, mental, and overall well-being of an individual. I firmly believe that these elements are deeply interconnected and vital to one’s holistic health.

Whether you’re embarking on your health and fitness journey for the first time or you’re an experienced lifter, I am confident in my ability to guide you. My goal is to help you evolve into the best version of yourself, considering not only your physical strength but also your emotional resilience and mental fortitude.

Favourite Book

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

Favourite Meal

A perfectly cooked, medium rare steak, asparagus, and sweet potato

Favourite Quote

“Some people want it to happen, some people wish it would happen, others make it happen.” – Michael Jordan

Role Models

“Lu Xiaojun is my sports role model because he is the 77 kg (169 lbs) Olympic lifting world record holder. He recorded a successful 176 kg (387 lbs) snatch, 204 kg (448 lbs) clean & jerk, and a 380 kg (836 lbs) lift total. As it stands, there are no other weightlifters in Lu’s class that come close to reaching his two-lift total.”

Intermediate

Albert Liaw

Albert Liaw

Boxing Instructor of Azn Assasin Boxing

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I was born in Brunei and moved to Canada at the age of two. At the age of 34, I suffered a stroke as a result of overtraining for a boxing match. Before my stroke, I worked as a marketing manager for various companies (United Cycle being the most notable). I was also a boxing instructor and marketing manager for Panther’s Gym.

I loved being part of the boxing scene so much that I quit my job as marketing manager at United Cycle and transferred to Panther’s Gym full-time. One thing led to another, and I soon found that I was involved with all aspects of boxing. I loved coaching boxing, especially the technical aspects of sparring.

During this time, I upped my own training. I would run five miles to the gym every day before sparring with my clients. I’d teach boxing drills for three hours and self-train for another two hours a day. This was my love and passion before enduring my stroke.

Since my stroke, I was forced to put my career as a boxer and coach to the side and opened a family restaurant called Golomein Noodle House with my brother. However, I’m back and ready to take on more as a boxing coach!

Favourite Book

Dragonlance – Laura & Tracy Hickman

Favourite Meal

Anything from Golomein Noodle House!

Favourite Quote

“Float like a Butterfly and Sting like a Bee.” – Mohammed Ali

Role Models

My dad, for his willingness to sacrifice daily for our family. As well as Benny Swanson for his inspirational work ethic and approach to life.

Janelle Martens

Janelle Martens

Personal Trainer of Move Free Personal Training

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I grew up in a small town in Saskatchewan playing various sports such as volleyball, soccer, and track and field. But after graduation (like most people), my health and fitness barreled downhill. I got to a place where I finally had enough of how poor I felt and wanted to make health a priority in my life.

It was four years ago that I dove back into health and fitness. My whole life transformed; my energy, confidence, and outlook on life improved. This gave me the motivation to explore various avenues of fitness.

I recently competed in my first powerlifting competition in November 2019. I’m excited to share my passion for fitness and help people make health a priority in their lives.

Favourite Book

Mark of the Lion Series & Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

Favourite Meal

Thanksgiving dinner!

Favourite Quote

“Don’t take life too seriously, you’ll never get out of it alive.” – Elbert Hubbard

Role Models

My parents. They are some of the most compassionate, genuine, and selfless people I know, and their childlike sense of adventure keeps them young!

Daniel Mighty

Daniel Mighty

Personal Trainer of Mighty Core Fitness

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I am adventurous, and I love to try new things that are challenging and exciting! I have over six years of experience in “Filipino” Martial Arts that I would love to share with you.

I strongly believe that fitness is for everybody and that it should be enjoyed by everyone. I have been coaching kickboxing for three years, and I have seen so many physical and mental benefits, including it in your regular workout program.

I am excited to have the opportunity to help people reach their fitness goals!

Favourite Book

The Go Giver by Bob Burg by Bob Burg

Favourite Meal

Honestly, I just love to eat anything good! ?. Not a fan of seafood though.

Favourite Quote

“Think all you speak but never speak all you think.” – My Grandpa

Role Models

My Momma!

Jessica Yee

Jessica Yee

Registered Kinesiologist & Personal Trainer

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I was born and raised in Edmonton, where my passion for movement started at an early age. Engaging in various activities such as dance, basketball, and ringette, I developed a keen interest in physical fitness. My journey in the fitness industry began at Propel, where I honed my skills while pursuing my Bachelor of Kinesiology at the University of Alberta.

In my training career, I have always been driven by a deep passion for injury prevention. This passion places me at the intersection of the Rehabilitation and Performance continuum. With a strong background in corrective exercise prescription in clinical settings and expertise in strength and conditioning in gym environments, I bring a well-rounded approach to my work. I am dedicated to identifying and addressing specific movement or physiological deficits, aiming to fix, prevent, and enhance performance in targeted areas. I am enthusiastic about making a meaningful impact on individuals’ well-being by optimizing their physical capabilities.

Favourite Book

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

Favourite Meal

Anything from McDonald’s

Favourite Quote

“One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as beautiful.” – Sigmund Freud

Role Models

Jacinda Ardern, Janis Irwin, Mark Cuban, Jason Glass, and Lance Gill

Michael Sobkiw

Michael Sobkiw

Owner and Personal Trainer at Function First Fitness

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I’m 44 years old and a father to a wonderful 19-year-old son. I have a passion for helping others, enjoy golfing and time with family and friends, and try not to take life too seriously. I spent 20 years of my working life in the construction industry and decided I needed to change after personally battling with my health and fitness, losing over 70 lbs, and rebuilding who I am today.

I made the difficult decision to go back to school and educate myself through personal training and nutritional coaching, so I could help others feel and live better. I understand firsthand some of the struggles people go through when it comes to health and fitness and take a foundational and practical approach to a consistent mindset.

My mission is simple: to improve people’s quality of life in a manageable and practical way.

Favourite Book

The Alchemist

Favourite Meal

Steak & Lobster

Favourite Quote

“Live your life like you’re the hero in your own movie.”

Role Models

My Support Network. Who I aspire to be and who I have become is a result of who’s around me.

Matthew Wong

Matthew Wong

Personal Trainer of RPC Personal Training

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I grew up in Medicine Hat, and I was always physically active playing all different types of sports. Throughout high school, I played team sports such as basketball and volleyball, but I also enjoyed golfing and skiing.

I started my fitness journey in my first year of college, and I quickly started to see the physical and psychological benefits of exercise. In my second year of post-secondary, I moved to Camrose to complete my Kinesiology degree at the University of Augustana.

I have been doing personal training for three years, and each year I’ve grown to love it more and more. I want to help people achieve their goals, build confidence, and accomplish things they never thought were possible.

Favourite Book

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Favourite Meal

Hard to pick, too many good ones. But I love anything with rice.

Favourite Quote

“Everything Negative, Pressure, Challenges… Is all an opportunity for me to rise.” – Kobe Bryant

Role Models

My parents

Don He

Don He

Personal Trainer of Pinnacle Strength and Conditioning

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Growing up, I was always the smallest player on every sports team. In high school, I decided I needed to make a change and started to pump some iron! Not much has changed since then since I’m still the smallest person on the F.R.E.E. Fitness team. However, since I started working out, I have become more curious about the fitness industry and how I could help more people pay attention to their health and wellness.

After becoming certified through the International Sports Science Association (ISSA), I enrolled in the Personal Fitness Training Program at N.A.I.T. I found a new passion in helping people reach their fitness goals, whether it be weight loss or any form of corrective exercise!

Favourite Book

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Favourite Meal

Phở

Favourite Quote

“You miss every shot you don’t take.” – Michael Jordan

Role Models

My Dad, Joe!

Stephen Ling

Stephen Ling

Personal Trainer of Moveable Methods

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My journey into the fitness industry began with my involvement in the sport or discipline known as parkour. It was so different from the traditional sports that I played growing up, a refreshing take on physical activity that inspired me to learn more about health and fitness.

After helping to build the world’s first parkour gym, I decided to attend school in Toronto to become a personal trainer. I have a passion for teaching movement and enjoy helping people achieve their fitness goals.

Favourite Book

The Push by Tommy Caldwell

Favourite Meal

Moroccan lamb tagine

Favourite Quote

“Give a person a fish, and you feed them for a day. Teach a person to fish, and you feed them for a lifetime.”

Role Models

All of my incredible family, friends, and mentors.

Julie Nunez

Julie Nunez

Personal Trainer of Julie Nunez Fitness

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I was always an active child growing up. I played many different sports, and I’ve always loved fitness. However, I wasn’t truly passionate about a sport until I found callisthenics, more specifically, freestyle callisthenics.

I fell in love with the movement and admired the strength it takes to execute the skills. Callisthenics and fitness have given me the strength to overcome some of the toughest times in my life and have taught me that there’s nothing that you can’t do if you set your mind to it. I saw the impact that it’s made on my life, and I immediately knew that I had to share my passion with others.

Favourite Book

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma

Favourite Meal

Sushi

Favourite Quote

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Role Models

My mom and all the other strong mommas out there.

Jacinta Kostelnik

Jacinta Kostelnik

Personal Trainer of Encore Fit

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My love for fitness started early. As a child, I loved cross country racing and as an adult I have continued to run. In college, I was introduced to weightlifting and it became an important part of my life. After college, I worked a 9-5 office job for two years. I knew there had to be something better. Everyone around me was unhealthy and unhappy and I was determined to live a better life. That’s when I decided to make my favourite activity into a career.

Over the past 10 years, my fitness journey has taken me through several life changes, including two pregnancies and subsequent post-partum recoveries. I believe that my personal fitness journey, along with the privilege to coach others since 2016, has given me the experience I need to support my clients in all stages of life. There is more to your story. Let’s work together to make your goals come to life!

Favourite Book

The Laws of Human Nature – Robert Greene

Favourite Meal

Pasta

Favourite Quote

“How can you ask someone to sit with you, if you cannot first sit with yourself?” – Unknown

Role Models

The people who make their dreams into reality.

Matthew Hebert

Matthew Hebert

Personal Trainer of Phase One Performance

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A life filled with injuries taught me the invaluable lesson of embracing a quality recovery program. When the time came to transition from the oil and gas industry, my desire was to pursue a fulfilling path. This led me to Elevated Learning Academy (ELA) for personal fitness training. Subsequently, I returned to ELA to delve into Applied Nutrition Science and later pursued Advanced Clinical Massage Therapy at Makami College. By drawing insights from these diverse disciplines, I aim to provide you with a holistic approach for optimal results.

My dedication lies in helping individuals become stronger, faster, and more enduring in whatever motivates them. Passionate about assisting others in achieving their goals, I have expanded my expertise to include endurance sports. I have actively participated in obstacle races, triathlons, half marathons, and am currently embarking on training for longer and more challenging events. My commitment is to empower you to reach your peak performance and surpass your limits.

Favourite Book Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling

Favourite Meal Burritos 

Favourite Quote “They’ve done studies, 60% of the time, it works every time.”

Role Model My Grandparents

Baseline

Hailey Doucette

Hailey Doucette

Personal Trainer of Hailey Doucette Fitness

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Growing up in Medicine Hat, Alberta, physical activity and sports were among the things I dreaded most in life. I avoided them for as long as I could. However, after relocating to Edmonton in January 2019, I realized that a change was necessary. It was then that I decided to embrace a new lifestyle, one that eventually led to a weight loss of 150 pounds.
By incorporating weight training, walking, and sports into my routine, along with a mindful approach to nutrition, I transformed my life into something more enjoyable and sustainable. Now, as your coach, my mission is to help you achieve the same transformation through education and support.

I recently earned my Bachelor of Psychology in June 2023, reinforcing my belief that lasting behavioral change stems from a shift in mindset. I am committed to helping you recognize your own potential for success and nurturing the self-efficacy you will develop as you work towards your goals.

Fitness literally saved my life, and my passion now lies in guiding others through the same journey of transformation. I aim to be the coach I needed during my own health and well-being transformation. My top priority is to create a supportive environment where you feel comfortable, confident, and knowledgeable.

Regardless of your starting point, I am dedicated to empowering you to manage all aspects of your life related to fitness and nutrition in a sustainable way.

Favourite Book
The Wisest one in the Room – by Lee Ross and Thomas Gilovich
Favourite Meal
The Apulo pizza, with extra honey, from Sepp’s
Favourite Quote
“Sacredness binds people together and then blinds them to the arbitrariness of their practice.” – Jonathan Haidt
Role Models
My mom for showing me what true selflessness and perseverance when faced with the insurmountable is.

  Chris Gilchrist

Chris Gilchrist

Personal Trainer of Chris Gilchrist Fitness

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I’ve always been active with sports and martial arts, but I was never really into health or wellness until I started to avoid certain activities due to pain or discomfort. At one point in my life, I had been living with a perpetual wrist “injury” that impacted my day-to-day life so greatly, surgery was contemplated. Fortunately for myself, I was shown an alternative path that would not only help regain full functionality and strength, but also avoided any sort of surgical route. I had gone from someone who enjoyed sports, exercise and movement as a whole to striving towards a greater understanding of the human body as a whole.

Over the course of 6 months, I had begun my own research into other sorts of concepts where people had learned to live with chronic injury or disfunction that led to a diminished exercise capacity or quality of life. After some deliberation, I switched my focus away from my current endeavors and towards health and wellness by applying to NAITs Personal Fitness Course. I was afforded an opportunity to broaden my understanding of the human body and its capabilities while showing others how good they’re meant to feel; training pain free.

Favourite Book:

Atomic Habits by James Clear

Favourite Meal:

Fajitas and Tacos

Favourite Quote:

“Look at situations from all angles, and you will become more open.” – Dalai Lama

Role Models:

My mom for being an example of mental toughness and determination while showing me that you can overcome any circumstance in life.

Huu Kim Long Nguyen

Huu Kim Long Nguyen

Personal Trainer of ELV8 Fitness

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Growing up, I did not understand a lot about health and fitness. I was someone who was fairly unhealthy. I felt winded from walking up the stairs and had back soreness every time I bent over to pick something up.

When I was 18, I discovered my love for health and fitness. For the first time, I could walk to places without breathing heavily and I could pick things up easily without any pain. All these movements seem normal to people, but for the first time I realized how important it was to exercise regularly.

I understand the feeling of not being able to do these things that you think you should be able to. I understand the struggle of feeling lost with your fitness and that it can be very intimidating to get started. This is why I want to help as many people get started and help educate people about their health and well being.

Favourite Book:

4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

Favourite Meal:

Sushi

Favourite Quote:

“Once you stop learning you start dying” – Albert Einstein

Role Models:

The Rock, Ronaldo, Bruce Lee

May Elkhatib

May Elkhatib

3x Certified - Kickboxing & Fitness Instructor of Kick It with May

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I was born in the Northwest Territories, and my family moved to Alberta when I was just three years old. Since then, YEG (Edmonton) has been my home.

My fitness journey began in 2019 as a means of personal growth and empowerment. I discovered kickboxing, a combat sport that allowed me to push my limits, break down barriers, and exceed my own expectations. In the dojo, I found untapped potential both physically and mentally, which motivated me to continue.

Soon, it became more than just my personal journey. I recognized the transformative power of kickboxing and its positive impact on others. It boosted my self-esteem, reduced my stress, and instilled a profound sense of accomplishment. Realizing these incredible benefits, I became passionate about sharing this practice with others. I wanted to help them experience the life-changing effects I had felt.

Kickboxing is more than just physical movements; it’s about discovering inner strength. I eagerly anticipate connecting with individuals who share a passion for fitness and are eager to challenge their inner warriors. Together, let’s conquer challenges and empower one another on this incredible journey!

Favourite Book:

Essentialism – Greg Mckeown

Favourite Meal:

The truth is the Middle Eastern in me likes anything stuffed with rice, such as stuffed cabbage, zucchini, grape leaves … Anything that could be stuffed LOL

Favourite Quote:

Learn to be alone and to like it, there is nothing more empowering than learning to enjoy your own company.

Role Models:

Muhammad Ali & Khabib Nurmagomedov

Muhammad Ali is a role model for me due to his dedication, confidence, courage, charitable efforts, advocacy for racial and social justice, reliance, sportsmanship, and global influence. His legacy serves as an inspiration for many.

Khabib Nurmagomedov is a good role model for his dedication, respect, humility, ability to overcome adversity, positive community involvement, cultural pride, strong values and his retirement on his own terms. He exemplifies these qualities and inspires others to follow suit.

Ari Michael Volk

Ari Michael Volk

Personal Trainer of Volk Strength

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As a quiet and introverted teenager not well-adjusted to the modern world, I felt most comfortable and at home when immersed in stories of far-off times and places, whether historical or fanciful. I began to seriously question what it was I disliked so much about my own time and what I found more appealing in these other worlds. Then, around age eighteen or nineteen, it finally dawned on me: There was a distinct richness in the physicality of existence in other eras, now severely diminished in our own time.

While I played hockey and baseball for a few years as a kid, the first truly self-motivated form of exercise I engaged in was hiking, which I simply viewed as an adventure. I had resolved to discover these other worlds by replicating them through exercise, especially outdoors. Each exercise modality, such as swimming, rock-climbing, and rowing, became a gateway of escape for me, carrying a double meaning. Weightlifting, which brought about the most dramatic changes in my own body, captivated me with the lofty notion that my body could become a form of self-expression—a representation of opposition to the disastrous mental and physical health consequences of a technology-dependent world. My one remaining challenge was that all too often, I found myself alone in these pursuits.

My mission is to bring as many people with me as I possibly can, by revealing the incredible fulfillment, adventure, health, community, and companionship that awaits them, if only they have the courage to leave the couch behind for a little while.

Favourite Book
 The Fellowship of the Ring (Vol 1., Books 1 and 2 of the Lord of the Rings) – J.R.R. Tolkien

Favourite Meal 
Slow-cooked beef stew on the evening of the year’s first snowfall

Favourite Quote
 “The most effectual means of preventing all the disadvantages and evil consequences of a neglected exercise of body and muscles is methodical physical training.” – George Hackenschmidt (1908)

Role Models 
George Hackenschmidt, Reg Park, Frank Frazetta, Mark Twain, Arminius, Robert E. Howard

Want to Coach at F.R.E.E.?