The True Face of the Fitness Industry in Canada

Today’s topic is about the fact that health and fitness aren’t “black or white”. There are many shades of grey involved in all aspects of the health and fitness industry in Canada.

At FRESH! Fitness, we believe in healthy activity in all areas of life but stick closely to our belief system and expertise. We also understand that there are many people out there who think and do things differently than us. That’s also OK. There’s a market for everyone.

Fitness industry philosophy: “Feel The Burn”

Take for example the typical health club and fitness mentality that encourages people to “Feel the burn”.

While we definitely believe in challenging yourself, we feel this saying is a throwback to ’80s aerobics and high school gym classes. Unfortunately (in our opinion), many people and other fitness industry professionals in Canada still subscribe to this philosophy. They may be well-meaning…

Let me demonstrate how we believe this “feel the burn” mindset often gets misdirected

At FRESH!, we work with many corporate professionals. In many cases, they are “Type A”, driven, and very successful in their career. However, this drive has often led them to sacrifice their health and well-being to climb the corporate ladder.

They usually come to FRESH! with a list of physical and psychological challenges including weight issues, fear of hurting their career if they prioritize their health, lack of confidence in their ability to change their health, high-stress levels, poor health and fitness habits, and a counterproductive mindset about fitness.

These are the clients who say things like: “Work is crazy right now and I’m trying to balance it with family and my health. I try to get to the gym for workouts but never seem to be able to lose weight. In fact, when work gets extra busy and I stop exercising for a couple of weeks, I gain even more weight. Why can’t I fix this?”

Virtually every trainer and fitness professional has seen this situation, yet I believe that it usually gets addressed in a destructive way.

So how does the typical fitness industry professional in Canada usually address a client like this

They say something like “You need to prioritize your health and see me more often. When you come for sessions, we will work harder and you will feel that burn!

Sadly, this is complete nonsense, and it regularly makes the situation worse.

It’s like taking someone who is highly stressed and burnt out from their job and piling on several new work projects in an attempt to help them feel better. It just doesn’t make sense…or work for that matter.

On the other end of the spectrum, some people will stop all activity in an attempt to take this burden off their plate. Solving this problem doesn’t require working them to death, or going on a silent meditation retreat.

The answer lies in the middle and involves going back to your priorities. To figure out what’s important to you and keep that in your sights regardless of what’s happening in the other areas of life.

While everyone has a different set of priorities, I believe that personal health should be at the top for everyone. This should be true for corporate executives, parents, and even the most selfless people on the planet.

You can’t properly grow, develop, build a career/business, or serve others over the long term if your own health is suffering

Staying true to your health priorities doesn’t need to take a lot of time. It’s small simple things done consistently every day. This includes:

  • Mobility/Movement
  • Healthy Eating
  • Sleep
  • Exercise (a few minutes at least a few days per week)

Other than sleep, none of these take more than a few extra minutes each day. Yet, they will provide you with hours of extra energy, enthusiasm, focus, and productivity each day. Not a bad trade-off!

The same goes for sleep. Sleeping well allows you to work harder and smarter throughout the day.

Going back to the fitness industry in Canada…here’s what we do at FRESH!

  • Keep our sessions as consistent as possible (even done remotely when people are out of town).
  • Use these sessions to check in on progress in each of the 4 Pillars.
  • Reinforce the small strategic daily habits that clients are working on implementing and improving
  • Be a coach instead of a trainer.

We look at the big picture and focus on what’s most effective to help our client reach their goals. Sometimes this involves a great workout, other times it is lighter activity and coaching on habits, mindset, fuel, or addressing key challenges our client is facing outside the gym.

There is no single “best program” that everyone can use. There are key principles and habits that are important for everyone, but how they are applied in any program is extremely customized for each person.

This is another small example of the “Shades of Grey” that exist in fitness and performance coaching. We are all unique and will require a unique mix of applications in each Pillar of Performance to get the results we desire.

I encourage you to think about:

  • What’s important to you in life?
  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • Are your values and goals in alignment?
  • Are you taking consistent action toward these goals?
  • Are you happy with the results you are getting?

Regardless of the area of life (health, fitness, finances, career, family, etc.), the same questions need to be answered.

If you’ve been neglecting your health and well-being for too long and want to find a better balance in your life plan, we would love to help. Just book your FREE Success Coaching Session with FRESH! personal trainers.

fitness industry professionals in Canada - FRESH! Fitness

Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, for more health and fitness tips and tutorials. 

We share the lifestyle we love!

Expert Personal Training and Lifestyle Coaching To Help You Thrive


  1. It sounds like Fresh is about much more than physical fitness. It is about maintaining a high level of overall health and wellness, which is something we should all strive to do.

    1. Author

      Exactly Bryan! Overall wellness of our clients is our goal. To live healthy and happy lives.

  2. Health is, as Ntensibe has said, your wealth. While I don’t take my running as seriously as I used to for my own mental health, I have started to run maybe 2-3k lately. It’s been so refreshing to get back into it and feel my feet hit the pavement again.

    1. Author

      Great to hear that Nyxie! Keep up the great work!!

  3. I found your article on the true face of the fitness industry in Canada to be eye-opening and informative. It’s important to shed light on the challenges and realities that exist within the industry, and your insights provide valuable perspective. Well done!

    1. Author

      Thank you Monidipa! Glad you liked it! Thanks for the feedback!!

  4. great post! as someone with chronic health issues, i agree with many of your key statements. keep encouraging your countrywomen and men.

  5. I completely agree with your comment. Indeed, we cannot fully develop and grow in any area of our lives if our health suffers. But the great news is that prioritising our health doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. By consistently incorporating small habits like movement, healthy eating, exercise, and good sleep, we can see a huge boost in our energy, focus, and productivity. It’s amazing how a few extra minutes daily can make such a big difference! And I love what FRESH is doing in the fitness industry by focusing on personalised coaching that considers each client’s unique needs and goals. It’s all about finding what works best for you and consistently achieving your goals. Thank you for sharing this valuable insight!

    1. Author

      And thank you Sonia for this awesome feedback, we really appreciate it. Glad you liked the post!

  6. I really enjoyed reading this post and found it very informative! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Author

      Thanks for the feedback Zab and we are glad you liked the post!

  7. Oh gosh sleep. So underrated until it is something you struggle with. Some great points, with exercise, I tend to go all or nothing but moderation would go a long way.

    1. Author

      Thanks. Glad you liked it! Thanks for the feedback!

  8. I found your discussion of the “shades of grey” in fitness to be very helpful. As you point out, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to fitness. What works for one person may not work for another. That’s why it’s so important to find a program that is tailored to your individual needs and goals.

    1. Author

      Exactly Julie! Individual approach is what personal trainers at FRESH! Fitness are all about.

  9. It is nice to think about these strategies being put to use; creating plans that work for people to stick with a health and fitness routine that will work in their daily life.

  10. Over the last few years, since focusing on my exercise routine, I’ve learned it isn’t always about “feeling the burn”. I regularly work yoga and other mobility workouts into my routine and they are just as important as the days I do cardio and dance and “feel the burn” of it all.

    1. Author

      Good point Stephanie and thanks for the feedback.

  11. This was such a great read. I recently started working out again, and I think I actually overtrained by chasing the burn.

    1. Author

      Thats what most people do unfortunatly. Thanks for the feedback Beth!

      1. Your most welcome. Now I think im getting better and better in managing my workouts!

  12. “Feel the burn” is definitely a throw back to 80s aerobics. It’s a great way to do too much. LOL

  13. Health is wealth! When I am sick, I barely can’t do any work-related activity. Nothing feels good to me aside from getting better. We all need to prioritize our health because that’s the only way we can truly be able to chase our goals and be successful at it.

    1. Author

      Thanks for the feedback Valentina, we really do appreciate it.

  14. Oh yes, I love your point of view and the services you offered! We should know how to balance priorities especially if our health is at risk.

    1. Author

      You are absolutely right Catherine. Thanks for the feedback!

  15. I really enjoyed reading this post, thank you for sharing it with us

  16. I really appreciate your perspective on the health and fitness industry in Canada. It’s refreshing to see that FRESH! Fitness acknowledges the complexities and individuality of people’s health journeys. Your emphasis on finding balance and prioritizing personal health is important. It’s great to see that your approach focuses on small, consistent habits and addressing the unique needs of each client. Keep up the great work in helping individuals achieve their goals and find better balance in their lives!

    1. Author

      Thank you Monidipa for this great feedback. We are glad you liked the post!

  17. I like the phrase: “you cant serve others if your health is suffering.” So inspiring. I wish to get back on my fitness journey soon.

    1. Author

      Good luck on our jurney Ramil. And thanks for the feedback!

  18. Oh this one hit home. Across any industry, you can’t start to motivate and encourage people if you, yourself, are barely hanging on. Self-care is so difficult to grasp for some people, especially work-a-holics, but it’s so, so necessary.

    1. Author

      Exactly Nyxie. We live in a fast-pace environment. Thats why we need to slow down and reflect on our health.

  19. “feel the burn” is a red flag to me. I don’t like being in pain! The gym is less than 200 yards from my front door – I should start going.

    1. Author

      You dont have to Richard. Its not about the gym 🙂

  20. I hate the word “coach” because everyone seems to “be one” nowadays. But when you describe how you are a coach instead of a trainer, it just lands differently. I love the idea of a good fitness coach.

  21. The fitness industry definitely needs a massive overhaul. It sounds like FRESH Fitness is making some really important changes towards aligning the industry more with physical AND mental health, rather than physical health at the detriment of mental health. Great work.

  22. I agree with the priorities. My top priority right now is health. Im trying to exercise and eat healthier!

    1. Author

      Good luck Alita. I know you will make it! Thanks for the feedback!

  23. Exercise and food health are basically much more prominent and truly it’s a growing business in the country. Would love to understand more about what’s happening in Canada. Thanks for sharing.

  24. You have hit many home runs in this post. What resonated most with me is that there is no one size fit all solution. Given that people have different priorities, life style so on and so forth, everyone requires a different wellness regime.

Leave a Comment