Greg Harvey has made an impact as a media savvy Personal Fitness Trainer, a wildlife photographer, a trendsetter and a renaissance man!
I first met Greg in 1997 in Edmonton at an information session for a new program that was to be initiated at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT). The program was advertised as the first of its kind in Canada, a college level course of studies in Personal Fitness Training. Most of us were likely attending the info session out of curiosity but I distinctly remember that this tall, intense, focused individual was also present. This individual was Greg Harvey. He was not there out of curiosity but for a distinct purpose. He knew exactly what he needed and this program was it!
We both were accepted into the program and became colleagues and forever connected by the fitness link.
Greg had a strong career background in sales as well as having worked in the oil industry. He knew how to close a sale. Now he just needed the right product to sell - a product that he truly believed in.. His past recreational pursuits included volleyball, squash, boxing, weight training and even marathon running. He also had a comedic talent for infusing moments of humor into something that seemed like drudgery.These were all elements that would successfully turn his avocation - fitness - into his vocation.
Greg graduated with Honors from NAIT and set up Fit'N'Well Personal Training Inc.
Fit'N'Well started out by providing a service in which the Fitness Trainer would come to the client's residence. Greg also began offering Fitness Training at the Terrace Fitness and Racquet club at the Radisson Hotel in south Edmonton.
Fit'N'Well attracted clients to the point that Greg began hiring other Fitness Trainers. He also worked out a deal to manage and provide exercise classes and training services for the Scotia Place Fitness Center in Edmonton's central business district.
Fit'N'Well uses a 3 pronged approach to help clients achieve their fitness goals:
- Find an activity that the client enjoys such as weight training, aerobics,squash, racquetball, yoga or running and make that the focus of each workout. Fit 'N'Well employs group exercise specialists and yoga instructors to help meet the needs of its clients.
- Have the client be accountable for their own eating habits. Although Greg is a practicing vegan, he does not push this lifestyle onto his clients. He does refer to the Canada Food Guide and promotes sensible food choices. (Despite what you see on the internet, it is beyond the scope of a Fitness Trainer to give meal plans to clients or put them on the path to extreme diets).
- Throw in extra group activities such as weekend hikes, laser tag evenings, squash tournaments, tennis ball soccer, or raquetball court volleyball games to add a fun, social element.
|Greg and Client and Newspaper write Up|
Fitness is a results driven occupation and Greg has run up a list of accomplishments.
- Fit 'N' Well has helped multitudes of clients lose excess body fat in a safe and sensible manner.
- Numerous sedentary or unhealthy people have improved their quality of life using Fit N Well principles and guidance
- Greg has been a spokesperson and media sounding board for the benefits of an active and healthy lifestyle.
Fit'N'Well has has been at the vanguard of the Edmonton fitness scene for 20 plus years now. This is no easy feat in an oil dependent Alberta economy that historically goes from boom to bust repeatedly. Right now is another bust time.Fit'N'Well has had its ebb and flow periods as well as numerous challenges unique to the Fitness Training profession.
- 20 years ago, Fitness Trainers were rarely employees of a fitness center. They were mostly independent contractors responsible for finding their own clients. When they did find a client, the fitness center would demand a cut of the fee. This cut was sometimes as much as 50%.
- Greg challenged this paradigm! After all, he was providing a service to club members as well as drawing in new members who came to the facility to train with him. The club was already benefiting without having to take a substantial portion of his earnings. The fitness centers that Greg operates out of were progressive enough to buy into this concept and not take a cut of his fee when he brought in new members. He also helped these fitness clubs to redesign their internet websites to promote the Fitness Training services.
- Unfortunately, to this day, many fitness clubs still take a large portion of a Fitness Trainer's action while providing nothing more than a facility for the trainers to operate out of.
- When Fitness Training was in its infancy anyone could call themselves a Fitness Trainer. Some were gym rats with no credentials. Others had weekend certifications. A 4 year Bachelors degree in physical education (often called kinesiology) was geared more towards preparing gym teachers or sports coaches rather than Personal Fitness Trainers. The NAIT program was meant to prepare actual Fitness Trainers. Municipal recreation centers in the metropolitan Edmonton region only allowed people with Phys Ed degrees to operate in their facilities.
- Greg Harvey challenged the status quo and pushed for change. NAIT PFT grads or the equivalent with jobs or contracts at such facilities owe a debt of gratitude to this fitness pioneer.
- Retaining Fitness Trainers is an ongoing issue. They don't seem to last long. According to Greg "The average life span of a trainer is about 2 to 3 years. Why you might ask? Is it because they have to get up at 5:00 a.m. to see 3 clients, then wait around all day for people to get off work to have more clients for 4:00 to 8:00 p.m? Also remember 15% of those clients may cancel on a given day. We do not keep 9 to 5 hours."
- Even more disturbing, some Fitness Trainers will work for someone until they get a full client base. They than leave, start their own business , and poach away those clients. Greg shrugged as he explained "Sure, it is in breach of our contract. However, do I have the time to pay a lawyer, take off work, and sue every trainer that pulls such a stunt? Besides the possibility of a judge ruling against you in court, situations like this can drown you in negativity."
- Greg has since changed his approach to hiring other trainers. "I am learning to treat people as they like to be treated rather than as I would like to be treated. Learning that is a completely different approach."
- Fitness Trainers always have to be accountable for their lifestyle. In Greg's view "Your client is always watching to see if you 'walk the talk' and 'practice what you preach.' While everyone else is going out for beer and pizza, I can guarantee you that I am not! My clients are always asking about my diet and what I ate that day. I don't have the luxury of skipping too many workouts or eating a poor diet which in the long run, I am actually grateful for."
If you live in the Edmonton area and feel a need to transform yourself physically call Fit'N'Well Personal Training Inc. at (789) 945-6882 or E-Mail email@example.com or view the website at www.fitnwell.com Why wait? Do it now!!!!
|Greg Harvey of Fit'N Well Personal Training Inc.|
A peaceful but strong man who is not afraid to fight the system when required.
I also referred to Greg Harvey as a renaissance man. He is not the sort to sit still and stagnate.
He turned his passion for fitness in a Fitness Training business. His other passion is photography - more specifically - wildlife photography. Greg stated by taking pictures of wolves, deer, bears, and moose in the Canadian Rockies. Then he began going with safari groups to Africa or Alaska on his holidays. This has evolved into another business venture www.hwsafaris.ca in which Greg takes groups on photography tours to Africa or Alaska 2 or 3 times a year.
As Greg explains "Who knows the world's best wildlife spot? It isn't the travel agency. It's the wildlife photographer who has been going to these secret spots for decades. I take small groups to the best places in the world to view wildlife. I document their holiday for them and serve as their professional photographer. At the end of the holiday, I give them the digital images that I take of them while on vacation. That way the images of them are more genuine and they don't have to do fake poses with selfie sticks."
Just think, during a cold Edmonton winter, doesn't the idea of watching wildlife in an equatorial climate sound appealing? If so call (780) 945-6885 or E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the website at www.hwsafaris.ca
|It takes stealth and patience to capture a mountain lion on film.|
Greg and I have worked together successfully in the past. Now I am brainstorming. How about combining the 2 passions. Fitness and wildlife safaris or maybe even Extreme Fitness Safaris.
- Can you out run a cheetah when smeared with chicken grease?
- Can you win a snowball fight a baboon - using coconuts instead of snowballs?
- Win a mud wrestling match with a hippo?
- Lift more weight than a gorilla?
- Swim faster than a Zambezi crocodile?
- Win a tennis ball soccer match against a group of rhinos?
Little Bobby Strong