Meet Courtney – she’s a passionate fitness professional, a committed life-long learner and a BCPTI grad with an incredible story! We asked her to share what it meant to achieve weight loss and a better mindset about fitness, and what her life/career has been like since she started working as a personal trainer. Plus, she gave some great tips for working with clients that are trying to lose weight and transform their lives based on her own experiences. We’re so proud of her and we hope you get inspired or learn something from her blog!
The reason why I am so passionate about what I do is because I have been in my clients’ shoes.
I was the kid who tried everything possible to get out of gym class, and hated every second of it. I sat on the couch and ate a lot of junk food and chocolate. I didn’t know any better. I don’t even remember being a healthy weight as a child, it was always a part of my life and my identity.
I hated how I looked in photos, but I was too embarrassed to do something about it. I wanted to lose weight, but I was terrified to tell people that, and I felt that wanting to lose weight was something to be ashamed of, so it was something I tried to do secretly with no knowledge or help and trying to hide it from everyone I knew.
When I started high school, my school had a female fitness gym class that was resistance training based, so that’s how I got into resistance training and over the course of high school, I fell in love with it. I started training when I didn’t have class and I remember walking down the stairs after class and my legs being so sore, I could barely move. As a result of this I was happier, healthier, eating better and getting stronger.
During my senior year my gym teacher started a women’s rugby team and pushed me to join. I had never played a sport in my life, and suddenly I was running agility ladders and getting rugby balls thrown at me. Everyone I knew could not believe it, and did not believe I would stick with it.
I graduated high school, moved to Vancouver to go to school to be a makeup artist and joined a rugby team. This is really where my knowledge and passion for fitness grew, and it became such a big part of my life. I spent all my free time in the gym.
Quickly it became clear to me I was a lot more passionate about rugby and fitness than makeup. A few months later I suffered a severe concussion and ended up dropping out of school and spent all of my time playing rugby.
Eventually I retired from rugby after suffering some more injuries, got a membership at Gold’s Gym and spent everyday there. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I knew my two passions were fitness and animals, I loved helping people, and I always believed in do what makes you happy.
Two months later I met Cody Taylor, a BCPTI Graduate and Assistant Fitness Manager at Steve Nash Sports Club Morgan Crossing, who pushed me to go to BCPTI. That changed my life.
At the beginning of January, I started BCPTI and I have never looked back, it was easily the best thing I have ever done. I was introduced to a whole new world of functional training, which was brand new to me. I have worked as hard as I can since the first day of the program. Now I’ve been a trainer for six months and I love what I do, I get to help people change their lives and everyday I remind myself how lucky I am that I get to call the gym my home.
What do trainers need to know from your perspective of having achieved weight loss and a big lifestyle shift?
Accountability is key. Self-control is like a muscle, the more you do it the easier it gets but the beginning is going to be really hard because that muscle is really weak. It’s important to tune into your clients emotional health as well as physical health because they go hand in hand. I think reminders of the goal are really important because it’s so easy to lose track of that. Visuals are really powerful. Give really detailed instructions because if your client is unsure, even about what seems like the most basic thing to you, they will be nervous and anxious and unsure. And going along with that, help your client feel at home in the gym.
What does a former athlete need to know about training a client who started out where you did?
Your client doesn’t love the gym, they don’t have the same drive for exercise, in fact they probably hate it. It’s probably very hard mentally for them, and they probably have a voice in their head telling them they can’t do that thing you just asked them to do. A lot of people who are overweight, see that as their identity and hold themselves back because they think that they can’t do it, or are scared of the ‘side effects’.
How would a trainer help their client achieve the success you did?
Emotional connection, make sure they know you care. Make it fun, support them, make them feel at home in the gym. Remind your client of their goals, but more importantly their why! Give them something that makes them want to follow your advice, maybe its a competition or bet, maybe its accountability, but give them a reason to not get lazy. Your client wants to make you proud, so celebrate their wins.
How would a trainer have inspired you to end up where I am today?
Show me that you care! Make me feel like your ‘athlete’ clients without overworking me.
What got you to where I am today?
In regards to my weight loss journey, consistency, constant reminders, and having fun.
In regards to my career as a trainer, amazing incredible mentors. I can honestly say I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of Cody Taylor, who is now my trainer and one of my closest friends. Also Logan at BCPTI, and the whole team at Steve Nash Cambie.
I love learning. I’ve taken as many courses as I can including TRX Suspension Trainer, TRX Rip Trainer, Trigger Point Multi Tool Mobility, and Therapeutic Fascial Mobility. I’ve also attended numerous seminars including Rehab: Shoulders, Intro to Functional Patterns, Hypervolt, Dotfit, and Precision Nutrition. I plan on continuing going to these certifications and seminars as much as I can because it gets me excited about what I do. I take new knowledge and inspiration back to the club to help my clients one step further and it’s a great opportunity to interact with and learn from the trainers from other clubs.
When I’m not taking courses, I try and read and listen to podcasts as much as I can on topics such as coaching, biomechanics, anatomy, personal development and sales.
What are you most proud of in your career so far?
I am most proud of how much I have learned and grown as a person. I have helped countless clients overcome joint pain, move better and feel better. In my opinion, that’s so priceless because that’s literally life-changing. A huge part of my job is to have fun with my clients, and it’s incredible that I get to do that!
Inspired by Courtney’s story? To find out more about the BCPTI program click here.