” I’m Brian Truong and I am in the final semester of completing my Masters Degree in Counselling Psychology from UBC. I’m currently doing a practicum at the Fraser North Eating Disorders Program offered through Fraser Health as a Student Clinical Therapist while working as a Personal Trainer for Steve Nash Sports Club and an Educator for #BCPTI. Phew, that was a mouthful! I’m glad we got that out of the way. Now let’s get started about telling you a little bit about who I am:
The thing that defines me is that I genuinely want to help people improve their life. I’m really passionate about the combination and link between mental and physical health and I have a goal of creating and implementing a holistic program that incorporates counselling alongside #fitness and #nutrition components to improve peoples’ quality of life.
I truly feel my purpose in life is to help people and I think I realized that around 12 years old. I can’t even remember how it came about but I just always knew that I wanted to be a therapist so every decision I made after that was made in order to achieve that goal. Eventually, I completed my Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology at UBC and then worked with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (#ASD) both privately and in the school district. Quite a few years later, I went back to school for my Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology. Fast forward a few years and I’m at the end of my program looking towards the future and achieving my goals.
Why Personal Training?
When I was working with children with ASD, I took the initiative to create and implement exercise programs for my students. It was a challenging thing to do because most of the students I worked with had limited verbal skills so you can’t explain how to do an exercise. I had to break down every movement into even smaller patterns and teach it via modeling, tactile prompting and other creative ways. I started training at 15, never did anything active until that point and even then I only went to the gym. I got started through “#broscience” but constantly learned through reading, watching videos, self-implementation and practice because I loved it.
My boss at the time loved what I was doing and suggested I get a certification. Coincidentally, the British Columbia Personal Training Institute (#BCPTI) had just opened its doors and was advertising in all of the Steve Nash gyms that I was a member of.
Besides just being in the right place at the right time, I did my research into the school and found the lead instructor Chad Benson to be quite well known in #fitness and accomplished in the same areas I was passionate about. The program length and class times was conducive to my work and school schedule at the time along with having an affordable cost and the team was willing to work with me through the whole process.They had options for day or night classes and payment plans to accommodate everyone and anyone – even though my formal fitness experience wasn’t much, they made me feel like I could achieve this! More importantly, it had a large practical component which I learn much better from. It didn’t hurt that BCPTI also offered a practicum placement within Steve Nash gyms affording me the ability to work in one of the largest companies in fitness on the west coast. This partnership meant that we often learned from or met people from the company with specific skill sets that could mentor and provide invaluable learning experiences. I was only planning to become a trainer temporarily as I wanted to continue working with children with ASD. I soon learned things don’t always go as planned.
Where are you now?
4 years later and I am still working as a Personal Trainer at the Morgan Crossing location in South Surrey but I also work as an Educator/Instructor in internal #education for #SteveNashFitness trainers and at BCPTI. This affords me countless opportunities to help people become personal trainers as well as aid in improving trainer skills and knowledge that will impact the community.
I started as a student at BCPTI and returned as an instructor… I’m reminded every day what an amazing place I have come to in my life with the support of those around me and the people who have mentored and developed me. Being in this position has challenged me to constantly learn, implement and practice new things all the time and to follow my passions. This type of mentality pushed me to also compete in #powerlifting and I went as far as Western Nationals breaking the national record in bench press for the 59kg weight class as well as taking the BC provincial record and the total lifted record. I’ve also taken every single certification, seminar or internal education offered by the company (that I haven’t taught) and have gone to many others outside of the company to advance my skillset. I’m one of those people who has very little ego because I believe that it has little to do with how good you are or how much you know but rather your willingness to teach others, your willingness to learn and your openness to implementing purposeful practice in the pursuit of being the best I can be.”
SNFC Personal Trainer