Introducing the Catalyst Fitness team
Meet the fitness experts that are here to help you achieve your goals
|HOW DID CATALYST START?
The Catalyst concept was born from a simple diet plan. The short version of the story: clients were working out hard, but receiving little nutritional guidance. They needed help. Chris came up with a simple ‘block’ diet based off caloric intake. It worked.
We opened in 2005 in a small office space above a greeting-card store. We painted the wallpaper bright green, brought in more weight than was probably safe, and started writing training plans that were based on science – making them unlike anything else available in Sault Ste. Marie. Our clientele grew rapidly. We could have stayed there, but we didn’t.
A year later, we leased 5x the space. We started coaching groups, and doing stuff that no one had seen before. Starting with the basics (as we still do), we taught athletes to squat, and clean, and jump. We went from two trainers to four, and then added specialists in a huge variety of programs. We made a lot of noise, gained a lot of fans, and were having a great time.
WE WANTED TO DO MORE
In 2007, we wondered how we could help people even more, and started testing our program: were our workouts too easy? Too hard? What if they changed every single day? Those variables, and dozens more. Our clients started doing their homework, and getting fitter than ever before. We were now miles away from everyone else in town, had raving fans, and were having a riot. We could have stayed there, but we didn’t.
In the constant pursuit of a better workout, a higher level of fitness for our clients, we found a new style of training in 2008. We were skeptical at first, and each of our coaches tested the workouts on their own. Then we tried it with small groups of volunteers. Nearly six years later, almost every member of those original groups still do that training style. That’s something. We opened our gym in Industrial Park, and kept our Queen St. location. We had a working system, clients who were blowing away their friends, and a great view of the Santa Claus Parade. We could have stayed there. We didn’t.
WHERE WE ARE NOW
We moved everything to the Industrial Park, because the experience was better for clients. Then we expanded, to give people more access; we added a classroom, lifting platforms, a library, and acres of mat space; we went running outside; we started the Catalyst Games; we sent our coaches everywhere to learn, learn, learn; we launched the internationally-acclaimed Ignite program. And we were named one of the Top Ten Gyms in North America in 2012!
There’s always a better way, and we’ll find it. We could stay the same, but we won’t.
Ours is not the easy way: you won’t see the food pyramid, or elliptical trainers, or televisions at Catalyst, because those things don’t help you. There are no mirrors, no dress code, no smoothie bar, because those things won’t help you either. You need fewer distractions, not more.
Clients who come to Catalyst are coached. As a coaching organization, we don’t waste time, energy or money on things that won’t help our clients; if something WILL help, we bring in the best. Less chrome, more knowledge. That’s where the relentless pursuit of excellence means. That’s Catalyst.
Mike has been here since the beginning and active in the Catalyst family in varying capacities ever since. He holds a four year kinesiology degree and has completed an endurance certification.
Mike currently coaches several of our groups training classes, as well as running and biking groups. He has recently taken on a new role and is the first smiling face you’ll encounter when you decide to find out what we can offer you at Catalyst.
TWO BRAIN COACHING MENTOR
NUTRITION COACH/ONLINE SPECIALIST
Jess is a homegrown talent. She started her fitness journey over a decade ago at Catalyst fitness. Her client story is in the archives, but this is her coaching story.
Several years ago, Jess faced unexpected changes, which led her to consider a career change. Despite finding success at her job, she wanted to do more to help people find fitness and health. She took advantage of the advanced theory course and internship catalyst held at that time. She used it as the first step to coaching. To increase her ability to share her knowledge, she took the usaw sports and conditioning course, gymnastics certification course, and L1 and L2 functional fitness certifications. Since nutrition changes brought her from sickness to wellness to fitness, she also completed precision nutrition level 1 certification.
Jess still has a hunger for knowledge. She can absorb abstract concepts and high-level knowledge quickly and apply that science immediately. Her empathy and ability to relate to clients keeps her motivated to help people and leaves no room for judgement. She’s been there, she knows what it takes, and she can help people make their lives better. She shines at one on one coaching and is focusing on online coaching to help as many people as possible.
LEVEL 2 (CFL2) FITNESS TRAINER
TWO BRAIN NUTRITION CERTIFICATION
A retired sergeant, Denis was always active throughout his military days but found himself in a place where he was stagnate, overweight and unhappy. In 2015, he took it upon himself to start his journey to wellness, attending a local gym and running. After a while the routine became monotonous and dull which led to declining participation and falling fitness levels. Having previously enrolled his son at Catalyst to support his rep hockey program, Denis felt that Catalyst and its fun environment may be what he needed to get back to where he wanted to be fitness wise. The main reason he chose Catalyst was because he had recalled how much fun everyone seemed to have. In September 2016 Denis became part of the Catalyst family and hasn’t looked back since.
Starting slowly and steadily increasing the number of visits Denis knew he had found a place that not only provided the physical challenges he seemed but also a community that supported him without question. He found the benefits of Catalyst allowed him to participate in many other activities. Denis soon was participating in 5km runs, spartan races, duathlons and had become an avid cyclist. Having coached hockey and baseball for many years, Denis felt that he would like to try his hand at coaching fitness to help others with their journey to wellness. In may of 2019, Denis received his level 1 certificate and has been coaching both groups and personal training since.
“Being able to help someone on their road to wellness and to see them accomplish things they never thought they could is the biggest thrill I can get as a coach.”
FITNESS LEVEL 1 TRAINER (CFL1)
EXPERIENCED AND CERTIFIED INSTRUCTOR
CANADIAN ARMED FORCES AEROSPACE & TELECOMMUNICATIONS SUPPORT SQUADRON
INTERMEDIATE LEVEL HOCKEY CANADA (OLD SYSTEM)
Blair is currently in her fourth year of the honours bachelor of kinesiology and physical education program with a psychology minor at wilfrid laurier university. Blair has a diverse background in sport, as she grew up figure skating, playing basketball, and competing in track & field. She first started her journey at Catalyst taking one-on-one personal training to further develop strength for her competitive figure skating. Blair continued skating into university and currently competes for Laurier’s varsity figure skating team. She also furthered her education in fitness and has been coaching at catalyst since may 2018. coaching allows Blair to share her passion for health and fitness, while helping others achieve their personal goals, both inside and outside of the gym!
FITNESS LEVEL 1 TRAINER (CF-L1)
BRANDX METHOD KIDS COURSE CERTIFICATE
TWO-BRAIN BUSINESS: FIRST DEGREE COACH CERTIFICATE
FIRST AID & CPR C WITH AED