It all started when my parents decided that I needed to do something other than drive them crazy. I was 3. We went to our local martial arts studio. The sensei sat us down in front of a TV. He put on a video of people jumping and breaking boards with their feet, hands, head and whatever other body-parts they could use. This was cool and I was excited. That was until I watched a class with kids doing push ups off their knuckles while being yelled at by the instructor. Being a young and sheltered kid, I decided this was not for me. So, hockey it was.
After spending a few years learning the basics and enjoying the team atmosphere thing, I need to find a way to stay out of trouble in the summer too, so I joined the local baseball team. That was the beginning of my athletic career.
By the age of 15 I had gotten rather good at both sports and decided to join a gym with a friend to bulk up in an attempt to try and compete at a higher level. I joined the local YMCA and began working out with weights. A couple of years and a few gym memberships later, I decided it was time to join my first real hard core gym and become a real Neanderthal. With my sports career virtually over and being between high school and university, I had some time to train and I wanted to go where all of the strong guys went. So, I walked in the door of Mack’s gym. It was exactly what I expected, a dark and dingy gym filled with massive amounts of weight. I was greeted by Mack Miya a former world strongman and owner of the gym. Mack was about 70 years old at the time and built like a teenager on steroids. He sold me on the line “when you are in the subway holding on to the rail, wouldn’t it be nice to have a huge bulging bicep for the girls to see” being 18 and full of testosterone, he could not have chosen better words of motivation. So it began.
I came in to meet Mack the next day for some instruction. I was expecting to train some guy muscles like chest, biceps and stuff. To my surprise he lead me through all lower back, hip and other structural muscle building exercises. After the workout I asked him “why the hell did I just do this stuff, I want to be huge!” His response was we have to build a foundation of strength in your core and stabilizing muscles first. Don’t worry about vanity that comes later. Worry about your posture, structure and stability. Needless to say I really did not want to hear this but he was the pro and his gym had been producing great bodies for over 50 years so I figured he must know something. This was the start of my education.
After working out under Mack’s instruction for a little over a year and feeling quite strong, I decided I wanted to share this new found knowledge with others. So I asked Mack what he thought about the idea of me training others. He smiled and made a phone call to one of the large commercial gym owners he knew. Next thing I knew I had my first personal training job. I was 18 years old.
From there, I went on to manage some of the best personal training departments in Canada and the USA, training thousands of people in the process. 16 Years have passed since my first gym job. The wealth of knowledge and experience I’ve gathered is here to share with you. Enjoy.