Category Archives: personal trainer

SUCCESS STORY: Congratulations, Jim Hayden! Lost 45+ LBS and much more!

I met Jim in late December of 2013 and we started working together shortly thereafter. As soon as I first met him, I knew that he was going to achieve his goals and become the next featured success story.

Jim’s goals were to lose fat, gain muscle and get stronger. More specifically, he wanted to lose 30+ lbs in about 4 months, which I thought was very realistic and attainable.

Below is what Jim looked like before:


Jim set himself up for success. Here’s why:

1. His goal was specific and measurable

2. It was also attainable and realistic

3. He was willing to do whatever it takes to achieve it and he used the “tools” I gave him.

Although Jim wasn’t happy with his fitness level when he first came to me, I immediately saw his potential. He understood right away that transformation takes commitment, patience and dedication.

Right from the start, he has been a pleasure for me to work with.

Here is what Jim had to say about his transformation and what it’s like working with me:

“In December of 2013, I had hit my limit! Age 26, 6’5”, 231 lbs. (vs. 190 lbs. 5yrs. earlier) and I was not feeling my best.  Something had to change. I needed help!!! I started January 1st in Yana’s 12 week body transformation program.

Here we go! Starting off the program was a bit of a struggle, barely being able to do 10 push-ups and feeling worn out after 30 minutes of our first 1 hour session. Fast forward to mid February. After a change to a much healthier diet and more importantly – Yana’s discipline and persistence – I had lost over 20 pounds and, more importantly, I was getting into the best shape of my life. I never felt better.

At that point, I was flying through training sessions, having fun every second of the way! Yana made achieving my fitness goals attainable and fun! It has now been over 9 months and I couldn’t be happier! Weighing in at a stabilized 184lbs (off a low of 182 lbs) and never felt so good, I’m stoked!

Thank you, Yana! You’re a true inspiration, an incredible fitness instructor and I am proud to say a friend. I hope you can continue to help inspire and motivate people the same way you did for me!

I still train with Yana once a week and I love it! Now I’m doing 10 sets of 15 push-ups just to warm up! As Yana would say ‘FITNESS PARTY!”

Below is what Jim looks like now. I see abs.


All I can say is, it is an honour and a privilege to work with you, Jim. I’m very proud of you and how far you have come. You worked hard and succeeded. Your story is an inspiration to many. You are a champion and I’m very excited to see your amazing progress, as you keep on getting stronger, leaner and fitter.

5 Ways to Save Money On Personal Training

I’m always looking for ways to make high quality training more accessible to people who are seriously looking to change their lives for the better.

Contrary to popular belief, personal training is not as expensive as some people think it is. Not only that, but provided that you get the right trainer, you will achieve your fitness goals and you will see why it’s a great life-changing investment for you.


Integrating safe forms of exercise into your daily routine now is a great way to prevent many costly health problems down the road.

Although you don’t really want to be a price shopper when it comes to your health and well-being, you can still find high quality personal training without paying an arm and a leg.

Here is how:

1. Split a training session with a friend/co-worker/family member. There are many advantages to small group personal training and you can read 5 of them here.

2. Explore your pricing options. If you found the right trainer, check out all their pricing options before writing them off as “too expensive”. Maybe you can’t afford to train 3 times a week, but you could afford one time per week or twice a month just to stay on track.

3. Ask the trainer about sharing a package with your friends. Generally, the more sessions you buy, the lower the cost per session. For example, I let people share the bigger packages with their friends/family/coworkers. So, if someone buys 36 sessions, if they have two other people that want training, they can each get 12 sessions and split the total cost of 36 sessions by 3.

4. Get in on a promotion. Once in a while, some trainers will run contests and special deals where you can save money and/or win free sessions. I’ve done that before and found that people love a good deal. Whenever I can, I will always seek ways to help clients save money while at the same time get stellar results. I’ve also ran Groupon deals to help people save some money on my training services.

5. Refer others. Most trainers have some sort of a referral program. For example, I offer a free session or cash rewards to any client who refers a new client to me (amongst other incentives). Some of my clients have told me that they absolutely love my referral program, especially since some of them ended up with more than 5 free sessions.

If it benefits my clients in any way, I will keep doing it.

Please keep in mind that these are some of my examples on how I’ve helped my clients save money. Referral programs and policies differ from trainer to trainer so my advice is to always ask your chosen trainer the details of their promotions.

If you found this useful in any way, please share.

If you want your shot at winning a FREE session, sign up HERE.

5 Reasons Why Small Group Training Is Awesome

Have you ever wanted to try personal training but thought it was intimidating or too expensive?

If yes, then read on to find out how personal training can be both fun and cost effective.

As a trainer myself, I always try to seek ways to help clients get in the best shape of their lives without breaking their budgets.

If I can find a way to give someone a break on the costs, I will.

This is where small group personal training comes in. Here are 5 reasons why it’s amazing:

1. It’s cheaper than 1-on-1 training. Bring a friend (or two) and your cost per session decreases drastically. Therefore, finances are no longer a barrier to getting fit.

2. It’s fun. Having a few extra people join you for a workout increases your level of accountability (you’re not in this alone), friendly competition, camaraderie and just plain good fun.

3. You get a lot of attention from the trainer. Small group training allows you to get more individual attention from the trainer because there are usually only 2 or 3 people in the group, as opposed to 20 or more (which is the case with some group fitness classes). Therefore, you get the best of both worlds.

4. It’s motivating. Seeing one or two other people working out hard with you encourages you to push yourself. It’s great to have supportive people around you who are also working hard to reach their goals.

5. You’re more likely to stay on track. When you are committed to doing small group sessions, you are less likely to miss them because apart from making a commitment to the trainer, you’ve made a commitment to the other person (or people) that is/are sharing the sessions with you. You’ll also have another person (or two) that can to the gym with you on days when you are not working with the trainer.

So, if you have a friend (or two) that have similar fitness goals and are at a similar fitness level to yours, then group personal training is a great option for you.

If you don’t have any friends/colleagues/family members with similar fitness goals and levels, then ask the trainer to match you up with someone who is. Therefore, you will save money and potentially make a new friend.

There is no way to lose with small group personal/partner personal training.


SUCCESS Story: Congratulations, Steve Adams! 10k and Half Marathon Personal Bests

I first met Steve at the gym in the beginning of December 2013. It all started when we got chatting about running, core workouts and other fitness-related topics.

Later on, he inquired about training with me. More specifically, he wanted to improve his running times. He committed to 10 training sessions, which is roughly 10 weeks, as he wanted to meet me once a week.

Since he was already in good shape when he started, I told him to continue his lifting program the was he has been doing it. Clearly, he was enjoying it, so all I had to do was work with him on his running speed.

Here are 3 things that helped him improve his running:

First, I added intervals and 1km repeats to his program. When we did those, I had him running faster than what he was used to.

Second, I had him doing faster tempo runs (between 3km and 7km) at his desired 10k race pace or, preferably, faster.

Third, I told him to keep on doing his longer runs on his own, but just a little bit faster than what he was doing.

About 5 weeks into our training program, Steve decided to run a 10k race. I said it was a great opportunity for him to get a personal best because I believed he would.


Above: Steve at a race.

I was THRILLED to get a text from him telling me that he achieved a personal best of 42:41 in the 10k and that he enjoyed the run. He also said that his previous personal best in the 10k was 46:46 and it felt challenging to run at that pace.

I was extremely happy to learn that not only is he running faster, but he is also finding it easier.

Shortly thereafter, he had an almost 20 minute improvement in his half marathon time. He started out with a half marathon personal best of 2:05:36 and ended up with a personal best of 1:46:29.

Here is what Steve had to say about working with me:

“After 10 sessions with Yana, I improved my 10k time from a painful 46:46 down to an enjoyable 42:41 – All while continuing a fairly intense lifting program. I also improved my half marathon time from 2:05:36 down to 1:46:29. On top of getting much faster in a short amount of time, her style of training made me so much more resilient and strong in my races as well as training. She’s awesome!”

I’m very proud of his accomplishments as a runner. He was great to work with and I know that he will succeed in whatever he puts his mind to.

SUCCESS Story: Congratulations, Stephen! 10k personal best and more!

Earlier this year, my client Stephen set a goal to run the Times Colonist 10k 2014 in under 50 minutes. His previous best time in this distance was back in 2010, which was 1:09:47.

I have been working with Stephen since October 2013 and in December 2013 he expressed an interest in one of my 10 week running programs in order to help him achieve a personal best in the 10k.

It became apparent to me that he was looking for a 20-minute improvement in his 10k time.

My response was something along the lines of this: “I cannot predict how you will feel on race day and what will happen, but what I can almost guarantee is that I can for sure help you improve your 10k time by 20 (or more) minutes in approximately 10 weeks.”

I know how hard Stephen works during my sessions and I knew that when he sets his mind to something, he will undoubtedly achieve it.

Therefore, I had no reservations when I made the above statement. That statement came directly from my belief in him.

He has shown nothing but progress in everything we’ve done during our sessions and I KNEW that he would do really well following my running program.

Now, I know you might be a little skeptical about my “guarantee” because you cannot believe that someone could improve that much in such a relatively short period of time. I DEFINITELY believed it because I’ve experienced it before.

When Stephen got through 8 weeks of the 10 week program, he spontaneously signed up for the Sooke River 10k race on April 13, 2014, which took place exactly two weeks before the TC10k.

Stephen’s performance in the Sooke River 10k proved that I was accurate in my predictions for him. He finished that race in 48:26, which meant that he already accomplished his goal of breaking 50 minutes. I was extremely proud of him.

At that point, I was pretty sure that he would post another personal best at the TC10k, because the Sooke race was not an easy course.

Once again, my prediction was spot on. He finished the TC10k  in 46:31 (chip/net time), which is almost a 2-minute improvement from two weeks ago.


Above: Stephen and I at the TC10k 2014 finish line. BIG thumbs up!

Here’s what he said to me in a text message: “Thanks for all the help and encouragement. I couldn’t have done it without you. You’re a very inspiring coach.”

Several weeks later, Stephen posted another personal best. He benched 245 lbs, which became his newest personal best.


Above: Stephen got the $20 bonus because he benched over 240 lbs.

That amazing moment when a client achieves a personal best is definitely a moment worth celebrating.

Words cannot describe how proud I am of how far you’ve come, Stephen. Thank you so much for believing in me as a trainer. It’s an honour and a privilege to watch you reach your fitness goals.

Stephen is currently well on his way to running his first half marathon this fall. He is a pleasure to work with and I look forward to seeing him cross that finish line.





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