There will be many of you with the New Year’s resolution to lose weight. Yet there are people out there who enter the New Year with a six-pack and a smile
. These people are not genetically gifted robots but people who work hard. And they work especially hard if they work out at Fit Factory Fitness in Toronto.
Getting seriously fit is a lot of sweat
(and occasionally blood and tears too).
Co-owner Ivan Ho told us about how he dove into this business venture post-university when he wasn’t sure what he was going to do with his life. As his business took shape, he and his partner Sargent Tony Austin found themselves training their clients for competitions like Tough Mudder.
If you want to do something you’ve never done before in the New Year, consider their obstacle courses. In some cases, you’ll be doing it for a greater good than a six-pack.
So how does one decide to build a gym?
I graduated from Western with a Kinesiology degree. I was doing a lot of personal training. My first company was an in-home personal training fitness company. That went well for a year and boot camps were getting more and more popular. I gave group training a shot. My classes weren’t good enough because my style was catered to one-on-one. I started looking for group instructors.
And you met Tony (who we have to admit, scares us a little).
We sat down and introduced ourselves. I was like, “I need someone like you.” And he said the same. I have the marketing business savvy and he has the ability to keep our clients. It was the perfect marriage.
You complete me, man. We hear the classes make traditional boot camps look tame.
We learned that our style is really unique. Tony has a military style. He’s the real deal! He’s Black Hawk Down. He was a marine for 22 years. Apparently the US Marine is the most elite of all military forces in the world and Tony was the one training marines. He is the most hard-core guy you can find. The results are amazing.
Should people expect yelling?
They are yelling at the person inside your head who is telling you that you can’t do it. They aren’t yelling at you. You have to tell yourself you can.
We hear that many of your boot campers are training for Tough Mudder. They are tough mudders!
We had the idea of creating a training course for Tough Mudder. A lot of people heard about us from the obstacle-training course
. We have everyone from athletes to moms, beginners to professionals.
If we walked in the door and said, “I want to try this obstacle course,” what should we expect?
The obstacle courses are based on military training. In the field, in the rain, in the mud, in the snow. We have a location in Wild Water Kingdom. There is a lot of area to play around with. We put the training into a 2 or 3-hour workout once a month. You can expect it’s going to be tough and kick your ass. It may be the toughest thing you’ve ever done. Races allow you to go at your own pace. We train you so hard that the competition becomes nothing. That’s how you excel at it.
We hear that you also have a soft side. Tell us about your charity initiatives:
During breast cancer month, we came up with the event “Pink Obstacle Course” all in support of benefitting breast cancer research. It kicked off breast cancer awareness month. With three weeks of promotion, it raised $45,000! Now we’re creating fitness events for other charities: Sick Kids Foundation and Canadian Cancer Society. We did our first event for Multiple Sclerosis Society and that event raised over $100,000. We’ve been very fortunate to work with these big name charities. It’s been very cool!
They sound fortunate to work with you! Are the charity obstacle courses at least a teeny bit easier?
We tried not to do that. A lot of our regulars who come want to be challenged. We definitely scale it down but we don’t want to kill anyone!
That’s a relief.
You don’t normally have the opportunity to give back and to get fit simultaneously. New Year’s Goals: check!
Fit Factory opened their King West location in late 2014. They continue to run their annual fitness events and charity events. You can find all the details on their website.