Success Stories

F.R.E.E. Fitness » Success Stories

Our fitness programs have transformed many lives and helped individuals achieve their fitness goals. Check out some of our clients’ inspiring stories.

Samara Moussa

Trainer: Tony
Goals: Feel Comfortable at the Gym and My Wedding Day
Date: November 1, 2023

I started my fitness journey with Tony Nguyen with a simple yet profound goal: to conquer my uneasy feelings in the gym environment and gain confidence in using various workout equipment. My aim was twofold: firstly, to feel at ease in the gym, and to tailor my workout routine to my body type. I wanted to understand my physical capabilities and find the right path toward a healthier, more comfortable version of myself. Secondly, I wanted to be strong and fit for my wedding day, and to move freely in my dress.

Choosing to work with Tony was the best decision I ever made! Albeit one that required courage. At that time, I lacked confidence, unsure of where to start on my fitness journey. Working with Tony proved to be the guiding light I needed. He helped me navigate the uneasiness of the gym, turning it from an intimidating space to a supportive environment tailored to my needs. Working with Tony seemed to be the next step at that time in my life to guide me in the right direction for achieving and tackling my goals.

The physical transformations were evident: I grew visibly stronger and healthier, lifting weights I had never thought possible. My new strength translated into improved flexibility and mobility, making everyday tasks easier. However, it also improved my mental health and well-being. Through Tony’s guidance, I developed a healthier mindset about my body and the gym.

Tony always made sure that my workout plans reflected my personal goals. He was always very mindful to do an overall health check before my session to make sure we were operating and meeting my body’s needs. It’s evident that this is not only a career for Tony, but a true passion. His desire to help you achieve your best, and his ability to make sure you know you deserve the best is unmatched. Training at F.R.E.E. Fitness under Tony’s guidance was an honor and a privilege.

The knowledge and confidence I gained in the gym have been invaluable. I now navigate fitness settings with ease with the understanding of how to use equipment effectively. These skills and training sessions have provided a foundation in my journey that will continue to fuel my passion for living a healthy lifestyle.

To everyone starting on their fitness journey, I offer this advice: be kind to yourself and give yourself grace. Some days, you’ll conquer the gym, while on others, you might falter.

Embrace the process and don’t be too hard on yourself. The unexpected challenges are part of the journey. As someone who once feared the gym, I now consider it my second home, thanks to the incredible coaches and the positive community at F.R.E.E. Fitness. I found a supportive network of people, something I didn’t realize I needed until I experienced it.

Thank you, Tony!

Davina Stewart

Trainer: Hailey Doucette
Goals: Healthy Lifestyle
Date: October 5th, 2023

I work as a freelance artist and find that not only does my schedule fluctuate but my income does too. In August of 2022, a colleague and friend mentioned that they had started working out with a personal trainer and the gym offered a sliding fee scale, “Pay How You Feel’. I was intrigued. I never thought having a personal trainer was something I could have in my life.

A few months later, I finally contacted Tony and told him I was interested in finding out more about F.R.E.E. Fitness. I had been very active in the past with yoga, biking, and hiking. In recent years it seemed that I was always recovering from an injury, or some “aches and pain” so I never really committed to any regular routine.

It’s been a full year that I’ve been training with Hailey Doucette, and she has been incredible. She can schedule around my erratic work calendar, find exercises that don’t exacerbate my aches & pains, and always has such a positive outlook in life.

This past August, the benefits of having a coach became apparent while working on a show at the Edmonton International Fringe Festival. The Fringe gives each group 15 minutes to set up before the audience comes in and 15 minutes to clear the set after the show. We had done one performance and things had gone well. However, for our second performance during the 15-minute set up, we realized that the set had pretty much fallen apart. If we wanted more than just a black curtain for the performance, we needed to find something to prop up the “16-foot pole” that held the multi coloured drapes. The 15 minutes had started on the clock and the audience would be coming into the theatre in a matter of minutes. I knew there was a fix, but it meant sprinting across the Fringe grounds, down 2 flights of stairs and carrying two large and heavy wooden backdrops back up the stairs across the Fringe grounds and back to our venue. I spotted another Fringe artist walking by and quickly enlisted him to “help me move something.”

Somehow, we managed to maneuver through the crowd, grab the heavy backdrops, find our way back through the crowd, set up the new backdrop and open the doors for the audience. It was only a few minutes, but it felt like a super intense circuit workout that I crushed thanks to working with Hailey.

Without the help of Hailey and the training she puts me through (farmer carries, deadlifts sled pushes and squats), there was no way I would have been able to save the set and the show.

Thank you, Hailey!

Jessica Louison

Trainer: Tony Nguyen
Goals: Running
Age: 32
Date: July 26th, 2023


When I started training with Tony Nguyen 6 years ago, my goal was weight loss focused. However, my goals have changed from weight loss to improving my overall athleticism and long-distance running.

I remember feeling so uncomfortable walking into the gym. I was so uncomfortable in my own skin because of the unhealthy weight I had gained. I needed help to keep myself accountable and I knew that I needed to learn how to navigate through the gym on my own.

In 6 years, not only have I lost close to 70 lbs, it’s opened the doors for me to have new fitness goals such as completing my first marathon (42.2km) and now training for a 50 Km race in September 2023.

Working with Tony has been amazing. I can reach out and say, “Hey, I have this goal in mind, can you help me?” Tony has created a safe environment that I am able to be vulnerable and has helped empower me to become a better version of myself. When we talk about where I started 6 years ago, it is such a vast difference. He has shown me that surrounding yourself with like minded people makes such a positive difference in who you are as an individual. Additionally, his hard work and mentality has shown me that the possibilities are endless.

I have learnt that prioritizing my health has created a ripple effect in other areas of my life. It has helped me make changes in my social life and has improved my emotional well being. I can show my kids that I am a strong mom and woman. My kids call me “she-hulk”. I have the confidence within myself to achieve personal goals outside of fitness because of the experience I’ve had working with Tony.


Thank you, Tony!

Ashley Salzl

Trainer: Max Larocque
Goals: Increase strength, Endurance and Lose Weight
Age: 38
Date: June 23rd, 2023

When I first started training with Max Larocque, my original goals were to lose weight and increase my strength and endurance. I was familiar with the basics of exercising, using dumbbells, and cardio, but I found that without a structured program or some direction it was easy for me to get overwhelmed and talk myself out of working out. I chose to hire a coach (Max) because I wanted to work with someone who could help me with a workout plan, who would encourage me and challenge me to find my full potential, and hold me accountable to stay consistent.

Since I started working with Max last year I have lost nearly 60lbs and over 60 inches. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been and my cardio endurance has vastly improved. I’ve seen improvements with my asthma, my running, and my sports performance. I have completed my first half-marathon with two more in the books for 2023, and I recorded personal best times for 5K and 10K. I have made tremendous improvements to my mental health as well. I’ve stepped way out of my comfort zone countless times and have seen a ton of personal growth as a result. My self-confidence has improved and I am loving the person I am becoming.

Max’s approach to physical and mental health is above and beyond anything I’d experienced before. I was ready to put in the work and invest in myself and he was confident that if I followed the program, I would see results. Throughout my programs he has provided support, encouragement, and accountability, and he tailors my programs to bolster my goals and accommodate my lifestyle. He challenges me to push a little harder, lift a little heavier, or hold that plank a little longer, and in turn I’ve learned I’m capable of more than I give myself credit for. Max also understands the connection between physical health and mental health which is really important to me. I went through a ton of life changes over the last year so having him in my corner to support me, lend an ear, or share some pearls of wisdom, has helped me stay on track and continue to reach my goals.

My life has done a complete 180 since I started this journey! I am learning so much about myself throughout this experience. I am physically and mentally stronger than ever, I’m happier, more confident, and I have a newly found love for lifting heavy weights! I am proud of what I have accomplished so far and I’m excited to keep setting goals for myself, challenging myself, stepping out of my comfort zone, and seeing results.

I would encourage anyone to invest in yourself! Best thing I ever did. If you’re ready to put in the work for yourself, to make changes to improve your health and see results, get started! You’re worth it.

Thank you, Max and F.R.E.E. Fitness!

Ken Armstrong

Trainer: Matthew Wong
Goals: Lose Body Fat, and Achieve Better Health
Age: 63
Date: April 19th, 2023

In 2015, I had hip replacement. At that time, the surgeon lengthened my right leg by approximately ½ inch in anticipation of future surgery to my other leg. In addition, the surgeon put a “Z” cut into my adductor to help relieve tension. Because of the pain and trauma to my hip, I gained so much unhealthy weight. My heaviest recorded weight was 374 pounds.

When I first started training with Matthew Wong, my goal was to lose this unhealthy weight and live a healthier lifestyle. I felt working with a knowledgeable and caring coach like Matt was what I needed to be more accountable to myself. Matt truly cares about my best interest. He has guided me down the path to greater health. I respect him as a coach and friend because of his desire for me to succeed. I look forward to every training session with him.

Since working with Matt, I’ve lost over 60 pounds but in total, roughly 100 pounds. Matt has given me back significant mobility in my hips and shoulders. He’s designed programs and workouts that are manageable, but always progressing. This has allowed me to continue to coach soccer which is one of my passions in life.

I am 63 years old, but in 2009, I underwent surgery to have my thyroid totally removed, thus I’m on synthetic thyroid medication. Post thyroid surgery is when I really started to put on poor weight. Since working with Matt, I believe he has extended my life. Because of him, I’m proud to share that I am a cancer survivor.

It’s interesting when I reflect at previous photos such as the one with my old t-shirt. On one hand, it’s difficult to believe that I was that big, yet on the other hand, it doesn’t seem real that I was able to lose that much weight. During that period of life, I wasn’t living, I was just surviving. I couldn’t walk a block without sitting down. My hip and lower back couldn’t handle any exercise.

Matt has changed my mindset about my health and has taught me that this is a long-lasting journey. I look forward to the rest of my life because every aspect of my life has changed for the better. For everyone who has started their fitness journey, never give up. Keep your eye on the prize and you will be successful, no matter how long it takes.

Melisa Briones

Trainer: Tony Nguyen
Goals: Lose Body Fat, Gain Muscle and Look Good
Age: 27
Date: March 21st, 2023

When I first started training with Tony Nguyen from F.R.E.E. Fitness, my goal was to lose weight, look good and gain muscle. I wanted to boost my self-esteem and confidence. I have tried working out in the past but ended up being inconsistent because I had no one to guide me. I signed up for so many free trials from many gyms but none of them made me feel confident in reaching my goals. I was reluctant at first to hire a coach because of the cost. However, I realized that I needed to invest in my health and if I wanted results, I needed someone to push me and keep me accountable.

My original goal was to lose weight, but I think what really progressed my results since I started training was improving my nutrition. I became mindful of what I was eating. I’m a nurse and because of shift work in the hospital, I struggled with consistency. On top of that, I’m also in university continuing my education. I used to stress eat all the time by binging on unhealthy food to give myself false comfort after a tiring day.

Since working with coach Tony, he’s provided me with nutritional guidance to go along with our training every Tuesday and Thursday evenings. I feel so much more confident and stronger, and I’ve lost 20 pounds to date. The best part is that I still enjoy the foods I want but I’ve noticed how I crave healthier options more because they make me feel so much better.

Tony is so friendly and knowledgeable. I can feel his passion in what he does as a personal trainer and how he wants you to succeed in your goals. What is unique about him is that I’ve never felt that he was just “doing his job” for the money, unlike other trainers I have encountered in the past. He takes time getting to know you and gives great life advice in between workouts. It is not just “do this workout, do that”. He explains why each workout is important and its benefits to my overall health and well-being.

Working with Tony has created fulfillment in my life. It’s improved my strength, and confidence. I am surprised how I can be so productive in one day and juggle my tasks without stress eating. I remember after my shift; I would go straight to the fast food drive through. Now, going to the gym is my stress relief from work and school. I feel so much strong physically and mentally.

My advice to everyone is to love yourself, and to invest in your health because you have only one life, so please take care of it. Doing so will motivate your friends and family to do the same when you’re setting a positive example for them. If I can balance my work, school, and other activities like working out, you can too. I would also recommend a personal trainer at F.R.E.E. Fitness, it is worth it.

Thank you, Tony!

Hailey Doucette

Hailey Doucette before and after

Trainer: Max Larocque
Feeling Strong and Losing Body Fat
Age: 22
Date: June 24, 2022

When I first started my fitness journey in 2019, I was at my heaviest weight of about 300lbs, and realized I needed to make a change. Originally my goals revolved entirely around losing weight because I wanted to be ‘skinny’, however, after losing 100lbs, I started weight training for the first time and fell in love with it. Thankfully, this shifted my training focus towards wanting to become strong, instead of focusing on “weight loss”.

When I started working with Max, I was at a point in my journey where I had learned enough to know that I basically knew nothing. I wanted to find a coach that could teach me how to lift properly and safely, but also help me to shift my focus towards a lifestyle-based approach to my health and wellness.

The best way to describe the affects of hiring a coach would be the mindset of sustainable change. Max has helped to create the stability and support I needed to transform my training and nutrition into benchmarks of my lifestyle that makes me feel confident in my ability to create and sustain changes within my own life. It no longer feels like I’m walking on thin ice or waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under me as it always did prior in my health and wellness journey.

What I love about Max is that he goes above and beyond in serving his clients; he uses an all-encompassing approach that recognizes the need to address all underlying aspects of change from mental, physical, nutrition, spiritual, and beyond in order to create sustainability. He is compassionate but realistic and the changes he inspires reflects that.

In general, losing over 140lbs and focusing on weight training has given me my life back. It has allowed me to feel strong and confident and to actually “love myself”. It has allowed me to feel capable in my own life. More specifically, working with Max has helped to pull back the cloud of self-doubt that I’ve always carried about my weight and overall health. I’m no longer scared of ‘gaining the weight back’ because I know regardless of the actual number on the scale, the support and education that Max offers has given me the tools to manage my own workouts and nutrition.

To everyone starting their health and wellness journey, stick with it! Know when it’s time to ask for help because nobody succeeds alone, and we all need support in some capacity. Whether that’s hiring a personal trainer from F.R.E.E. Fitness, or working out with friend, know when you need help because finding the proper support can genuinely make the difference between prevailing after a setback or allowing that same setback to derail your progress.

Thank you so much, Max and F.R.E.E. Fitness!

Denzil Jacobs

Trainer: Tony Nguyen
Improve Fitness and Build Lean Muscle
Age: 48
Date: December 21st, 2021

When I first started training with Tony, my goal was to build lean muscle and increase my overall fitness while limiting the possibility of injuring myself. I chose to hire Tony for his expert guidance and coaching. He focuses on correct technique, thereby preventing injury. I’ve been working through a shoulder injury for many years.
Since working with Tony, I’ve developed a positive mindset with health, wellness and fitness. I’ve learned how to grow outside my comfort zone. Tony is knowledgeable, adaptable, and experienced in a variety of training techniques.

My health and wellness are important to me. It changed my life for the better because maintaining my health and wellness allows me to enjoy a higher quality of life as I get older and approach 50.

To everyone out there reading this, try to make your health and wellness a priority. Hiring a personal trainer from F.R.E.E. Fitness is an excellent way to ensure you stay motivated and challenged. Health is the new wealth!

Thank you, Tony!

Adam Finczak

Coach: Tony Nguyen
Goal: Powerlifting
Age: 32
Date: October 22nd, 2021

My original goals when I first started working with Tony Nguyen were to help me get back into strength training with confidence. After I had finished rehabilitating a torn MCL from a snowboarding accident, I had tried to get back into a powerlifting program on my own but lacked the confidence in my abilities after my injury. I knew I had to make drastic improvements in my form on all my lifts if I were to pursue strength training with longevity. I knew that trying to accomplish my goals on my own was just not working. I was stuck in an unhealthy mindset and lacked the ability to critique and guide myself. What I needed was the help of a professional with an outside perspective to my issues and goals. I also knew that I wouldn’t get the help I needed from any run of the mill trainer, I wanted someone who had a broad understanding of fitness (specifically strength training) and had the experience and knowledge I felt could really help me. Now 2+ years later, I am stronger than I have ever been, healthier in all manners, have a more diverse and well-rounded understanding of fitness, and have competed in my first powerlifting competition.

In my first competition (Oil Cup) on October 17th 2021, I squatted 190kg/419lbs, bench pressed 135kg/298lbs and deadlifted 230kg/507lbs. Before working with Tony, I hated deadlifting and always struggled with form and recurring aches and strains. Now, it is my strongest lift, and the lift I feel like I can really attack and be aggressive. It’s surreal for me to have the ability to pick up 500+ solid ass pounds.

I felt elated and emotional after my competition. Competing in a powerlifting competition was more of a pipe dream because I lacked the confidence in training. I had originally signed up for this competition two years prior and prepped for it with Tony, but due to the pandemic it kept getting delayed. Now after having competed, I can’t wait to do it again! With my total of 555kg, I qualify for the provincial championship, and I am eagerly awaiting stepping back onto the platform.

Tony has been a wealth of knowledge helping me in all manners of my fitness. He has programmed and explained each step of my powerlifting pursuits. He keeps me motivated and interested, has helped with my weight cut and nutrition, and overall, just a super genuine guy. He attended and coached me at my first powerlifting meet, running around, and helping me for seven hours, getting me hyped and staying on top of everything. I couldn’t ask for a better coach and friend.

If you have ever been interested in competing in a powerlifting competition, just do it! Whatever you feel is holding you back, or whatever barriers you have, there is someone like Tony and F.R.E.E. Fitness who can help you. Powerlifting is a very inclusive sport that pretty much anyone can get involved in. Its empowering, encouraging, teaches you a lot about yourself, and gives you the ability to compete in something that can really test you in a lot of ways. If you want to get super strong, build a great physique, and join a positive community and sport, then look no further than powerlifting in Alberta.

Thanks, Tony!

F.R.E.E. Over 40 Club

Sarah Fedoration
Trainers: Tony Nguyen and Daniel Mighty
Date: October 19th, 2021

This club is dedicated exclusively for the women who train at F.R.E.E. who over 40 years of age. Why? Because they are fierce, strong, and driven individuals who have showcased their commitment to their mental and physical health. And we are honouring them to show our appreciation for everything they do to make our community a better place. Thank you for paving the way for the future generation of women who will lead our city.

This is Sarah. She has been teaching for 22 years (and counting) after graduating from Campus Saint Jean, University of Alberta in 1999. She is currently a French immersion consultant for a major urban school board. She will be completing her Doctoral of Education at the University of Portland, class of 2023.

“I started working out with F.R.E.E Fitness four years ago after having seen a “Success Story” by a friend who was a member of the gym. Exercise has always been a part of my life and I have been involved in a variety of individual and team sports. When I exercise regularly, it sets me up for success in my nutrition, helps me deal with stress, contributes to functional fitness, contributes to overall better cardio and strength and makes me productive in my work life.

F.R.E.E Fitness is not like other box gyms. It is a unique environment where everyone, no matter their ability level, feels welcome. The trainers know the names of everyone’s clients. I currently train with Tony Nguyen and kickbox with Daniel Mighty. The trainers are skilled at creating and adapting programs to your needs and ability level. Moreover, they are teachers. It is about setting you up to do the movements correctly for longevity.

To my women and men who have thought about joining F.R.E.E., try it! Whether you are brand new or have exercised before, come try a different gym. Good health is the foundation of all we do.” – Sarah Fedoration

Welcome to the club, Sarah!

Adetutu Mebude

Online Trainer: Max Larocque
Goal: Weight Loss
Age: 31
Date: September 29th, 2021

When I started with F.R.E.E. Fitness and online training with Max, my goal was to lose weight. The reason why I hired Max was because I was going no where, fast. In my last 3 months before starting with Max, the scale was going the opposite direction. I sprained my foot doing 1000 skips a day on my 6th day of training and the scale had not moved. The ultrasound technician I was talking to about my injury told me about her awesome trainer. That reminded me about an awesome trainer I had 5 years ago before my pregnancy (Tony Nguyen). Turns out we were talking about the same awesome group of trainers, F.R.E.E. Fitness!

I lost the weight in a record amount of time. Most importantly, I learned HOW to eat well while losing weight and got introduced to the wonders of protein. Max is just what I needed to achieve my goals. He understood the assignment and came with the mental, emotional, and physical arsenal to whip me in shape. He spoke my language and knew what buttons to push to get me to where I needed to be.

Working with Max has improved my relationship with food. My kids want to eat veggies, even if it’s a string of carrot (Hey, I’ll take the win where I can get it!). They want to exercise and take walks with me now. Working out isn’t the chore it used to be before in the past. It still hurts, but it hurts good, because I’m working with people that support my vision and want to see me win. Having support to reach this goal has motivated me to seek support in other areas of my life and I’m so much better for it.

I know a lot of people say this, but people that know me know that I’ve been struggling with my weight for a long time. This was EXACTLY what I needed. If I can lose 25 pounds, trust me, you can too. You can reach those goals you set for yourself. The secret is having the right support and having your goals set almost in stone. The right support is F.R.E.E. Fitness. They’re just waiting for you to put yourself first for once. What are you waiting for? Make the call!

Thank you, Max Larocque and F.R.E.E. Fitness!

Christine Lillie

Trainer:Tony Nguyen
Date: September 24th, 2021

This club is dedicated exclusively for the women who train at F.R.E.E. who over 40 years of age. Why? Because they are fierce, strong, and driven individuals who have showcased their commitment to their mental and physical health. And we are honouring them to show our appreciation for everything they do to make our community a better place. Thank you for paving the way for the future generation of women who will lead our city.

This is Christine Lillie. She is a Filipino Canadian, a mother of one, and has been an emergency nurse for over 30 years. 👏🏼

“My experience with F.R.E.E. Fitness has made me realize that no matter how old you are or your level of fitness, there is always room for improvement. It made me realize how important taking care of your health is for your well being. I understand how food and exercise can directly impact your health. Health, fitness and mobility are the key ingredients to a happy life. Without our health, we cannot meet life’s other major challenges head on such as our financials, career path or our relationships…. There were many times I wanted to give up because I was sore, tired and depleted after training. But when I noticed the changes to my body and the improvement to my strength and mobility, I felt motivated to come back. I highly recommend hiring a trainer from F.R.E.E. Fitness, because they will help you see and feel changes to keep you motivated to come back!” – Christine Lillie

Welcome to the club, Christine!

“I will not let age change me, I will change the way I age.” – Heather Hayes

Anuvir Bhullar

Trainer:Tony Nguyen
Goal(s): Get back into activity
Age: 26
Date: September 22nd, 2021

When I reach out to Tony Nguyen this year, my original goal was to regain strength and improve my overall health and wellbeing. With the Covid-19 pandemic and a busy work schedule, I had struggled over the last year and a half with low energy, and continually gave myself lots of excuses to not be active. Additionally, I had signed up for a Spartan race, but was nowhere near in good enough shape for an event like that; I had just over a month to get from the couch to the course.

I had actually first trained with Tony at F.R.E.E. Fitness a couple years ago in 2019, and had a really good experience in achieving my goals at the time and learning proper form for key exercises. Fast forward to this year, with my Spartan race coming up and my fitness motivation still low, I decided to reach out to him again to see if he could help. It was great to have someone help me get back on track, pushing me along and holding me accountable. The value of having a program to follow was so important too.

Tony set me up with a 4-week program to help get me where I wanted to be. After the 4 weeks, I already feel more comfortable in my skin, and have more energy throughout the day. I finished my Spartan race and I am already thinking about what challenge I want to take on next.

One of things I appreciate most about training with Tony was how comfortable he makes the process. When I first started with him, I was a beginner in the gym, but I never felt intimidated or that I had to pretend to be more advanced than I was. He has also been flexible with his programming, accommodating with my work schedule and understanding about my fitness goals, whether it be through in person workouts or virtual coaching. Even while he was recovering from his own injury, he still made the time to work with me and help me reach my goals.

After my experiences with F.R.E.E. Fitness, I feel that I’m much more likely to maintain an active lifestyle moving forward. I would encourage anyone who is feeling stuck with their fitness goals, or who is on the fence about contacting a personal trainer to just take that first step and reach out to Tony and the team!

Thank you, Tony!

Jonathan Jin

Trainer:Ty Khan
Goal(s): Improve strength and return to sports
Age: 24
Date: September 8th, 2021

When I first contacted F.R.E.E. Fitness, my original goal was to get back into weight lifting after my repetitive strain injury in both of my hands. I chose to hire a personal trainer and coach because I wanted to make sure I lifted weights safely and I wanted to improve my form especially after my injury.

Since I started training with Ty Khan from F.R.E.E. Fitness, I have successfully got back into weight training after my injury, improved my flexibility, and I have achieved a new personal record on the bench press. What I love about working with Ty is that he has specifically worked with basketball players, and he plays basketball himself. This has helped to contextualize my own training goals as it relates to basketball. He also enjoys discussing an eclectic mix of conversation topics such as philosophy, science, religion, and economics during and between workout sets. This has made training with him so enjoyable.

This experience has changed my life in that my approach to strength training has now drastically changed. I now focus so much more on flexibility and range of motion in order to improve athletic ability and injury prevention in sports.

I would encourage anyone who is looking to rehabilitate from a physical injury or looking to drastically improve their athletic performance to start with a personal trainer at F.R.E.E. Fitness. I’m very happy with my progress and I plan to continue training twice a week moving forward.

Thank you, Ty!

Chelsea Lafitte

Trainer:Ty Khan
Goal(s): Strength and Flexibility
Age: 27
Date: September 2nd, 2021

When I first started working out at F.R.E.E. Fitness, I had a lot of gym anxiety because I was new to lifting weights. I originally wanted to gain strength to increase my confidence and to feel more comfortable in the gym environment. I always dreamed of being able to do a pull-up and deadlift properly without getting injured. When I first met Ty Khan, my hips were always extremely sore and tight, but it was something I just learned to live with and never intended on trying to fix.

I decided to contact F.R.E.E. Fitness because I felt lost in the gym, even though I knew my initial goals. When I was introduced to Ty, I was very happy with my decision. He was so knowledgeable and took my goals seriously. I am a shift worker, but Ty easily fit me into his schedule.

Since working with Ty, I achieved all my goals and new achieved goals along the way! I learned how to squat and deadlift heavy with proper form, I can do a chin-up, and I’ve gained a lot of strength. Something I didn’t know I wanted was the strength I found in flexibility. Ty has relieved my hip pain and I can touch my toes. I found a new love for becoming bendy and strong!

Ty really listens to what your goals are and incorporates them into amazing programming. His knowledge and experience shines through all his clients. Each session feels like going to coffee with a friend, except I’m sweating and swearing!

My outlook on the gym has completely changed. I no longer worry about what other people think, I just focus on myself and my workout. I also found a love for gymnastics and becoming more flexible, while becoming stronger at the same time.

I would like to encourage people to just take the leap and hire a trainer. Especially any trainer from F.R.E.E. It really was the best decision I’ve made for my fitness/health.

Thank you, Ty!

Heather Brown

Trainers:Ty Griffith, Daniel Mighty and Ty Khan
Goal(s): Weight Loss and Strength Gains
Age: 31
Date: October 20th, 2020

When I first started training at F.R.E.E. Fitness, my original goals were to lose weight, gain strength, and improve my energy levels. I love deadlifting and wanted to lift heavier. Since committing to my health, I have lost 36.5 pounds and 19.5 total inches. I am now deadlifting 155lbs compared to 100lbs pounds last year!

I have worked with Ty Griffith and Daniel Mighty from F.R.E.E. Fitness. I enjoyed training with Ty because he helped coach my deadlift and improved my technique. He is passionate about deadlifting! I liked that he didn’t tell me what weight I was lifting when I hit my personal best until after I completed the lift.

I enjoy training with Daniel because I love kickboxing and he is a great kickboxing coach. Every session with him, I am learning new techniques! Each session is always different and so much fun. He does 30 minute “express” sessions, which I like because they are super intense, especially after completing 9 rounds of kick boxing.

This experience has changed my life because I was the unhealthiest and heaviest I have ever been after losing my job. I fell into a depression and stopped caring about my health. What helped me get out of my rut was that F.R.E.E. Fitness held a “30-day transformation challenge” during Pandemic shut down. This helped me regain motivation to start exercising and eating healthy again. I won 3rd place in the challenge by losing 15.5lbs!

F.R.E.E. Fitness also led virtual workouts during the Pandemic shut down and I did every single workout over the 3 months. Also, I did Ty Khan’s “4 Week Hip Mobility Reset” program. It was much harder than I thought it was going to be. I feel great about myself again. I have gained so much confidence in myself.

To everyone out there, never give up. Life can be hard, especially when it does not go according to plan. The F.R.E.E. Fitness team (homies) specialize in so many different training modalities, so no matter what your fitness goal, there is a trainer(s) for your needs and price range (Pay How You Feel).

Thank you, F.R.E.E. Fitness homies!

Richard Honkanen

Trainers:Don He
Goal(s): Weight Loss and Flat Stomach
Age: 31
Date: September 29th, 2020

When I first started training with F.R.E.E. Fitness, my long-term goal was to get a flat stomach, and to lose the weight that I had gained over the past six years. When I just turned 31, I felt like I hit rock bottom. I was the largest I have ever been in my entire life… I was just out of a bad relationship, and I did not feel like the person that I once was because I lost my confidence and self-esteem. I have thought about exercising and taking my health more seriously, but I never had the motivation until now. Despite that, I knew that I would not be successful without the proper guidance and coaching. I chose to hire a personal trainer because they would keep me accountable, ensure I am doing the workouts safely and with proper form, plus provide much needed coaching on my diet.

I started working out with Don He just before the pandemic lock-down. Despite that, we continued over FaceTime three times a week, and that allowed me to build up my capacity to do cardio and start working on my diet. Since we started 7 months ago, I have lost roughly 40 pounds!

I enjoy working with Don because he is friendly and encourages me to continue working toward my goals. He is genuinely interested in helping me and it shows in his energy. I was not sure what to expect when I first started, but he is not the intimidating drill sergeant most people envision when they hire a personal trainer.

I am so glad I started my fitness journey because I used to hate looking at myself in the mirror, would eat my feelings away, and was hooked on sugar. After gaining so much weight over the years, I felt like I was not the person I knew I was deep down inside. Working with Don has improved my physical and mental health and has allowed me to gain back my self-confidence.

I looked online to investigate personal trainers and gyms in the neighbourhood a year earlier when I first turned 30. Imagine, I would be one year further ahead than I am now if only I had made the phone call back then. It does not hurt to reach out and learn more. You do not have to feel helpless or forced to just accept things the way they are. It feels scary, but just take the first step and get in touch with F.R.E.E. Fitness. You will be so glad that you did.

Thank you, Don!

Andrea Ruigrok

Trainers:Max Larocque
Goal(s): Weight Loss and Strength
Date: December 31st, 2019

When I first started training with Max Larocque, my goals were to lose weight and to improve my strength. I also needed the motivation from an experienced trainer to avoid injuring myself so that I could keep moving forward towards my goals. What I didn’t realize was how important taking care of my fitness was to help me cope with my mental health.

I first started training with Max shortly after I lost my son Cole to suicide in 2014. If I had a really low day where I was struggling with my mental health, Max gave me the appropriate amount of space during our workout while still encouraging me to finish my session. Over the years, we have become very good friends and share a lot of laughs while training. We joke, tease and have fun during our sessions. This makes it so much easier going to the gym knowing I have someone in my corner. I can not tell you the number of times I have driven to the gym crying, but after a workout I was able to face the day. Through all my ups and downs, I have received support and encouragement not only from Max, but from many of the trainers and members of F.R.E.E. Fitness. I can’t thank everyone enough for helping me get through the years.

Strong is the new sexy and looking good is a bonus! So, start now no matter what fitness level you think you are at in your life. Your physical, emotional and mental health are worth the investment.

Thank you, Max and everyone at F.R.E.E. Fitness.

Adam Finczak

Coach: Tony Nguyen
Goal(s): Get Strong Without Pain
Age: 30
Date: December, 11, 2019

(Video Description: First squat – Before Tony: (180kg/396lbs) versus Second squat – After Training with Tony: (175kg/386lbs). Although a lighter weight (-5kg), Adam’s form, control and speed has improved tremendously over the last 4 weeks.)

“When I first started training with Tony, I wanted to improve my squat, bench and deadlift form while gaining the confidence I needed to pursue powerlifting. A string of injuries over the last two years including my most recent injury, an mcl tear, left me frustrated and unsure about my capabilities to compete in powerlifting. Because of this, I chose to hire Tony because I knew I needed a new set of eyes to watch my movements and an individualized program to keep me safe. I also knew that if I were going to seriously compete in powerlifting this year, finding someone who has experience in the sport would make it way more enjoyable, so I was referred to Tony from a friend.

After running a 4-week strength program designed by Tony and working with him to improve my form and warm up routine, I can confidently say he has improved all aspects of my lifting. My strength, form, and confidence have all substantially improved.

I really enjoyed the personalized experience during each workout, including the strength program I ran in November. I really appreciated the consistent feedback he provided me as I would send him regular videos of my squat, bench and deadlift.

My experience working with Tony has left me with new goals and ambition in the gym. Competing in powerlifting has become a realistic 2020 goal. I’d recommend Tony to anyone who is looking to improve their lifting form because he has a wealth of knowledge to share and genuinely cares about his clients.”

Thank you, Tony!

Brianne Higgs

Coach: Max Larocque
Goal(s): Olympic Weightlifting
Age: 37
Date: December 3rd, 2019

I started my fitness journey about a year before committing to training with Max Larocque and F.R.E.E. Fitness. Originally, like many women, I just wanted to be “skinny”. After two pregnancies where I gained about 50 pounds each time, I didn’t recognize myself anymore. Physically and mentally. I was so unhappy.

I’m proud to say, for the first time in probably 30 years, that I no longer desire to be “skinny”. I aim to get stronger. And, if that means taking up more space and going up a pant size, then so be it.

I heard about Max because I enrolled in two Kilo Jerks weekend seminars and was given training programs that I attempted on my own in a big box gym. Believe me, Olympic Weightlifting is not something you can learn and improve on your own, I tried. It got to a point where the weight got heavier, the technique wouldn’t stick, and the injury risk elevated: I needed a coach.

This is when I decided to reach out to Max. Besides his advanced knowledge and experience level in the sport, Max has a heart of gold. I struggle with anxiety, depression and ADHD. I worried a lot about receiving criticism in a sport I knew nothing about and obsessed over feelings of being not good enough and an imposter. I can’t believe how wrong I was. Right away, I felt like I belonged in this community. Max pushed me out of my perfectionism and comfort zone, all with his gentle humor, empathy and kindness.

I love how my body has transformed since I started Olympic Weightlifting with Max. Once I stopped killing myself with only cardio (like, six-spin-classes-a-week-type killing myself) and focused on getting stronger & working smarter; my body started morphing like the Power Rangers. It was crazy. I have lost 16 inches and 25 lbs since my first Kilo Jerks class in September 2018. Since starting 3 days a week in May 2019, I have lost another 5 inches total and 2 inches off my waist!

I could go on and on how Max and Olympic Lifting has changed my life. The number one reason: I’ve never been okay with failure. I fear it. I hate it. So much, that avoiding failure has dictated a large percentage of my life. The funny thing about weightlifting is, you MUST fail to grow. You will learn more from your failures than any success could teach you. Max taught me this. And this philosophy can carry over to all aspects of your life.

To everyone who is thinking about joining a gym, self-growth, self-love and self-acceptance are never easy. But I promise you it’s worth exploring if you are unhappy. Put yourself first for once. Push yourself for YOU, and only you. Not to look like anyone else, not to be like someone else or someone else’s definition of happy. You will be surprised to find that what you’ve been reaching for has been right in front of you the entire time.

Thank you, Max, The Kilo Jerks and F.R.E.E. Fitness

Teresa Simon

Trainer: Don He
Goal(s): Improve Quality of Life
Age: 55
Date: November 25th, 2019

When I started with F.R.E.E. Fitness, my original goals were to gain the strength that I had lost living a sedentary lifestyle. I am 55 years old and I used to weigh over 200 pounds.

I decided to hire a personal trainer because I’ve joined many gyms in the past and would quit after a few weeks. Even when I was at the gym, I would only use the treadmill or the bike. I never knew how to push myself. I needed someone to guide me through proper exercises that would give me the best results.

I have been training with Don He at F.R.E.E. Fitness twice a week for 6 months. After 1 month of training, I was noticeably stronger. My daily task became easier, for example I could put my pants on standing up. When I would go grocery shopping, I could bend my knees to read the labels on the bottom shelf and stand up without support or assistance. Bonus, my golf game has improved.

When I googled F.R.E.E. Fitness on the internet, I felt like this was a place for just young people. After reading all of the testimonies on their website, it was proof that everyone has their own health goals, no matter their age or gender. It motivated me to take the chance and call F.R.E.E. Fitness. This was the best decision I have ever made starting my fitness journey with Don.

I love working with Don because he motivates me while paying attention to my form. At first, I was falling over because I didn’t have the balance in my legs to perform certain exercises like squats and lunges. Now I have developed coordination, agility and strength that I never had before. Don pushes me to work hard but he also knows my limitations, so training doesn’t get frustrating. He is personable and gets excited about all my accomplishments.

Training brings me hope that I may never need assisted living as I age. I’m living proof that age is just a “number” and that you can improve your health if you make a commitment to yourself.

I wrote this F.R.E.E. Fitness “Success Story” after taking 3 trips, lugging 3 boxes of groceries up a flight of 12 stairs. I’m not even out of breath! If I can do it, you can too.

Thank you, Don and F.R.E.E. Fitness!

Christina Lillie

Trainer: Tony Nguyen
Goal(s): Weight Loss
Age: 59
Date: November 12th, 2019

When I started my personal training with F.R.E.E. Fitness, my main goals were to decrease my waist circumference (lose belly fat), improve strength, mobility, flexibility and balance. I had a serious injury where I slipped on ice and broke my foot which required orthopaedic surgery. Because of this injury, I became incredibly inactive. During this time, I gained so much weight around my waistline that I became short of breathe with some the simplest of tasks like unloading groceries from the car or bending over to pull weeds in the garden. I also developed high blood pressure due to my poor eating habits and lack of exercise. When I measured my waist circumference, the number far exceeded what the Heart & Stroke Foundation recommended, red flags and alarm lights went off in my mind. After seeing so many of my friends and loved ones pass away, it became imperative to me that I needed to start taking care of my health to delay the onset of chronic diseases. I needed help. Wearing scrubs throughout my career made me totally oblivious about the increase in my waist circumference.

Going to the “big box gyms” was very daunting, overwhelming and intimidating. I did not know what to do or where to begin while I was there. Embarking on a fitness journey is not a one size fits all deal, especially the exercise component because every person is different. Being inundated with so much information from the internet, books and magazines, I needed help to put all the components (exercise, diet, sleep and stress management) together. Which is why I am so thankful for the opportunity to train with Tony from F.R.E.E. Fitness.

In a span of 5 months of modified eating and training twice a week, sometimes just once because I work shift work, I lost 4 inches around my waistline and over 20 pounds. My strength and mobility have improved. I can run 1km, I can deadlift 95 lbs, I can push the sled prowler, I can even shoot hoops with Tony. Another significant result is that my blood pressure has returned to normal range, 120/80.

Tony is well trained with excellent credentials; he understands how the body moves so training sessions are safe and injury free. He is caring and communicates so well to all his clients. He is a great motivator, so I always look forward to our next training session. You can tell he loves his job and does it with professionalism and enthusiasm.

My experience with F.R.E.E. Fitness has made me realize that no matter how old you are or your level of fitness, there is always room for improvement. It made me realize how important taking care of your health is for your well being. I understand how food and exercise can directly impact your health. Health, fitness and mobility are the key ingredients to a happy life. Without our health, we cannot meet life’s other major challenges head on such as our financials, career path or our relationships.

There were many times I wanted to give up because I was sore, tired and depleted after training. But when I noticed the changes to my body and the improvement to my strength and mobility, I felt motivated to come back. I highly recommend hiring a trainer from F.R.E.E. Fitness, because they will help you see and feel changes to keep you motivated to come back!

Thank you, Tony!

Michelle Goin

Trainer: Jordan Pariseau and Tony Nguyen
Goal: Concussion Recovery and Healthy Life Style
Date: October 11th, 2019

When I first started with F.R.E.E. Fitness, I had no idea that it would have such a positive impact on my life. My goals at the time were very reflective of where I was at in recovering from a very serious “second impact concussion”. Treatment and support for acute injury is far more accessible than life changing injuries like the one I had sustained.

When I started with Jordan, I was barely able to walk laps around the City Recreational Centre without becoming dizzy and nauseous because of my concussion. I wasn’t even able to look up at the basketball net or shoot a basketball without the room spinning. It had already been years of rehabilitation from when I had my accident. I didn’t think I would ever drive a vehicle or be able to go to the gym again. This was absolutely devastating to my core because I grew up playing a variety of sports like hockey, softball, soccer, tennis, volleyball and basketball. Side note: never risk a second impact concussion (for help visit Concussion Care Studio).

Then I met Jordan 3 years ago. He was kind to me and was 100 percent supportive of my recovery. My admiration for Jordan, Tony Nguyen and F.R.E.E. Fitness grew every month as I watched how much of a positive impact that they were having on every person they were training, including myself. Jordan continued to work with me and provided me with so much support that I will never be able to properly thank him for his role in making my life so much healthier and happier. My advice to anyone who has any limitations (mental or physical) is to believe in yourself over the long term.

I am currently working with Tony who continues to inspire and mentor me in so many ways. F.R.E.E. Fitness sets the bar high by bringing the most accessible, affordable and high-quality personal training in Edmonton. Every trainer at F.R.E.E. gives you permission to show up and say, “this is who I am, and this is what I want to achieve”. That alone breaks down so many barriers and provides an unlimited platform for growth. They are the real deal and they will make you a better person because they support you exactly as you are in your mind, body and soul. Jordan and Tony, I am so grateful for all the many hours I have spent rehabilitating my injury under your guidance and that the universe has gifted me with an opportunity to learn from you both. I can’t wait to achieve more of my goals this year.

Thank you, F.R.E.E. Fitness!

Maryann Stevens

Trainer: Tony Nguyen
Goal: Healthy Life Style and Weight Loss
Date: July 17th, 2019

When I first signed up with F.R.E.E. Fitness, I started this with the mind set of losing a few pounds. Over the last couple of years, I had been feeling sluggish and needed to make a change. As I’m getting older, I’ve noticed that it’s “harder” for me to get motivated to exercise regularly. It’s easy for someone to say, “just join a gym”. Sure, but I needed the accountability because I can talk myself out of anything! I wanted professional training so that I wouldn’t injure myself. (have you seen those “gym fails”?) I also wanted someone to empower me to achieve more.

After the initial shock of having to log my food intake, it was surprising to see where I could easily cut out some of my poor eating habits. For example, the amount of cream and sugar in my coffee! When Tony recommended me to cut the sugar, I basically thought, “no more coffee for me” Haha! But wrong, I made the switch to just black coffee and green tea. And guess what, I prefer black coffee! I’ve also learned how to reduce a ton of unnecessary calories. After a few tweaks in my nutrition and the timing of my meals, I’m down 15 pounds, and I’m the healthiest and strongest I’ve been in a long time. I have more confidence in my abilities and my appearance. My back is stronger (from all our squats and deadlifts), I sit straighter, and I have better balance. I feel fit for a grandma of six, I guess getting older is not such a bad thing after all.

The special thing about Tony is that he is so positive and uplifting! Every time we train, he is so encouraging. We have so many good laughs and I always feel like I’m on the right track towards my goals. He makes the workouts fun and I always leave feeling invigorated because he keeps me motivated and wanting to do better to reach my goals. You can’t get this type of training from a box gym in Edmonton

To anyone who’s ever been hesitant to start, it’s never too late! Commit to your own success and invest in your body because it’s the only one you have.

Thank you, Tony and F.R.E.E. Fitness

Jacob Romero

Trainer: Nathan Bizeau
Goal: Weight Loss
February 13th, 2019

When I first started training with Nathan Bizeau, my goals were to lose weight and get abs. I was also new to the gym and I didn’t know how to work out properly. I’m so grateful that I started with Nathan because he helped me lose 50lbs! I’ve gained confidence in myself that I never had when I was over weight. I’ve become a better and healthier person in the process and couldn’t imagine myself not exercising.

I love training with Nathan because he doesn’t build a “business relationship” with his clients, he builds a true friendship. He’s someone that I trust with my health and that is why I’m achieving my results with him.

Since training with Nathan, it’s helped change my life because I have so much more belief in myself to try new things and push myself to be better. I’m itching to set new goals after achieving my previous ones because I love the feeling of accomplishment.

Just know that you’re going to have your easy days and your hard days, but champions are made by getting through the hard days. Start now and become a champion.

Thank you, Nathan!

Coral Lavelle

Trainer: Ty Khan
Goal: Weight Loss and Becoming Pain Free
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!

Sabeen Ahsan

Trainer: Tony Nguyen
Goal: Being Healthy Again
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!

Nathan Wisla

Coach: Max Larocque
Goal: Olympic Weightlifting
Age: 24
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!

Thanks Max!

Alana Everett-Yim

Coach: Max Larocque
Goal: Olympic Weightlifting
Age: 41
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

Samantha Matters

Trainer: Tony Nguyen
Goals: Get Strong
Age: 25
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.

Carmen Puchyr

Trainer: Tyler Khan
Goals: Improve Fitness and Activity Levels
Age: 40
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!

Larissa Pohoreski

Trainer: Tyler Khan
Goals: Tone and Build Strength
Age: 28
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!

Jennifer Alder

Trainer: Tyler Khan
Goals: Balance and Strength
Age: 61
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.

Eileen Knops

Trainer: Tony Nguyen
Goals: Move Better and Weight Loss
Age: 59
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!

Dawn Barroso

Coach: Ahmad Eid
Goals: Strength in Powerlifting
Age: 36
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!

Ceilidh Jane

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!

With over 300 – 5 star reviews since our opening in 2016

369 reviews on
Vik Sarda
Vik Sarda
Nothing but positive things to say about F.R.E.E.! It’s an amazing place to work out for everyone from seasoned gym-goers to beginners. The trainers and staff create an incredibly friendly and welcoming environment that truly sets F.R.E.E. apart. I look forward to my training sessions with Mathew every week. His friendliness, combined with his wealth of knowledge, has played a pivotal role in pulling me out of a workout rut. I wholeheartedly recommend F.R.E.E. to anyone looking for more than just a gym but a community that fosters growth, camaraderie, and overall well-being. I am grateful to have found such a gem in the world of fitness.
Brad Ronaldson
Brad Ronaldson
Worked out with Tony for the first time. He’s extremely knowledgeable and knows how to target weaknesses within a functional, sport-specific workout. Definitely will go back.
L French
L French
Great gym! All the trainers are super positive and outgoing. My friends suggested this gym to me and I’m glad I went. I highly recommend.
Kenya Hushagen
Kenya Hushagen
Cannot say enough great things about F.R.E.E!! Gyms can have a tendency to feel intimidating, but I never felt more comfortable walking into this space; incredibly welcoming, friendly energy. My training with Tony over the last 4 months has been the best gym experience I've ever had. He knows my personal goals, but also sees the potential I may not even see myself and therefore pushes for even better, stronger, more efficient training out of me!
laith salman
laith salman
The best gym in Edmonton
Wes Liang
Wes Liang
I’ve been working with Tony for over a month now. Tony’s expertise and knowledge of the subject matter has been invaluable in helping me understand what is holding me back from getting in better shape. His enthusiasm and positive attitude have made the experience enjoyable and engaging. Also I find His communication with me after our sessions is really helping me focus on our next session and motivates me wanting do better at things we worked on. Can’t wait to get back to work!
Melanie Lyne
Melanie Lyne
Such a great gym! I always feel so welcomed and all of the staff are so kind! I’ve been active in gyms for 6+ years and I was recommended by a friend to come here a few months ago. I was looking for a good trainer to help me get back into an exercise routine while I recovered from a vehicle collision. I was struggling to do anything without pain at the time. Matt has been beyond helpful during my recovery! He knows how to adjust my form until it’s absolutely perfect which I love and he can explain everything to me so well! I’ve learned more than I ever had in the gym before. FREE Fitness has a great environment and an amazing team!
Benjamin Prather
Benjamin Prather
I have had nothing but positive experiences at F.R.E.E Fitness. They have super friendly members/trainers, adapt for individual needs, plan targeted exercise, and have knowledgeable trainers. Just overall a great gym!
Was staying at an airbnb in the area and wanted to find a gym nearby. Came across F.R.E.E online and they were so accommodating and helpful in allowing us to attend during our trip. The gym itself is like a literal playground. So much to do and so much equipment. (The basketball net was a huge bonus for my partner, haha). Coming here gave us a home away from home; we're so so happy we found this gym and plan on coming back whenever we're in the area. Highly recommend checking them out! :)
rai has
rai has
Free fitness is a great gym. I have been training with Hailey and she’s been incredible. Hailey is friendly, approachable, and always there to assist. She’s knowledgeable and always ready to tweak the workout to give best outcome depending on goals, physical health, -and commitment, whether you're into high-intensity workouts or something more relaxing. The gym's atmosphere is motivating and inspiring as you see trainers caring for people from every fitness level with the same passion.