University Rugby Player
University of Lethrbidge
In 2013 I tore my ACL and meniscus playing rugby, it was a heartbreaking injury and the end of high school rugby for me. My goal was to continue training and to be as strong as I could prior to surgery. Many of the rehab practitioners I went to were reluctant to train me and would give me stretching exercises with 5 pound weights which left me frustrated. When I came to see Zac at SMASH he spent time talking to me and did a thorough assessment of my knee. Zac believed in my ability to train and created the perfect exercises that would help strengthen my knee and improve my overall conditioning before and after surgery. Zac is the reason I came back in the minimum recovery time (6 months) and he has helped me to reach my goal of playing university rugby.
My family and I have known Zac for 4 years, I came for a group training with Rugby Alberta and loved everything about SMASH. After that my sisters and I started coming for private sessions whenever we could.
SMASH really challenges you in a unique way and it is an atmosphere that encourages you to push through and accomplish things you never thought you could. Zac is very creative in his training. He really cares about each client and he custom tailors sessions to help you improve both physically and mentally.
As a university rugby player, SMASH has helped me in all aspects of being an athlete at a higher level including; strength and conditioning, skills training, nutrition and mental preparation. My skills have improved in the gym and on the rugby field from the training at SMASH.
I love SMASH because it is a lot more than a gym. I know when I go, I will learn lots about myself as an athlete and how to be successful in my endeavors. You get the best training possible, and know that you will be pushed to your limits. You never do the same things twice, with Zac’s knowledge you will get a personalized program every time. He is an inspiring trainer who can bring out the best in everyone he trains.
I first checked out Smash as an opportunity to train under Zac in preparation of attending an 8 day Navy SEALs experience in Virginia. Over 8 short months, Zac’s encouragement and our paired persistence transformed me into a machine, ready to take on the physical AND mental challenges of the military camp. Smash Conditioning attracts all sorts of people and it is this mix of abilities and varied levels of mental toughness that push everyone who walks through the doors to their limits. Zac doesn’t yell or scream but he is persistent in his demands that you get better every day. He shows you there are ways to challenge your body and mind in new ways. Smash is gritty with few amenities. The environment forces you to get right to work. Don’t look forward to checking yourself out in front of a mirror, that’s not why you should be developing a healthier lifestyle anyway. Get to Smash and get to work! In a non-intimidating way, Zac won’t let you fail.
I met Zac in 2009 at Currie Barracks when he was the Fitness Coordinator for the Canadian Armed Forces detachment in Calgary. I immediately loved him and became addicted to the fitness classes he ran for the soldiers. So much so, that I would come in while on leave to get my sweat on.
Smash conditioning is unique, industrial, and raw. There is no pretentiousness at SMASH. Leave your pretty outfits at home, no admiring yourself in the mirror, or taking selfies with your “buds”. Show up, work hard and get on with it. Flip tires, carry logs and smash a sledge hammer during your session and walk out feeling like you’re Rocky Balboa.
I was never a real “gym person” but SMASH is NOT your typical, boring gym. It’s more like a family. A hard, kickass family. It’s encouraging to see people at all fitness levels working under the same roof and motivates you to train hard when you’re there and not quit. When I started training with Zac I was in terrible shape, ate like shit and lead a very unhealthy lifestyle. 6 years later & 6 sizes smaller, I’m in better shape than when I was 20! Thanks to SMASH I have fallen in love with fitness, live a healthy lifestyle and am a happier person.
When you train with Zac he not only motivates you to do better and push harder but makes sure that you understand how to perform the exercise properly, benefits associated with the exercise and how to increase or decrease the intensity. He cares about his clients and their progress. I cannot thank Zac (and SMASH) enough for his encouragement, mentorship, friendship and tutelage over the years. He truly changed my life….for the better!
Sgt. Carolyn Edwards
Player – Kangaroos Australian Football Team
Coach – Chieftains Gaelic Football Team
I first attended SMASH as part of the Calgary Kangaroos Australian Football team in the Spring of 2014.
I was immediately impressed with the approach to the warm up and drills. Though we were quite a large group Zac was able to provide a personal level of attention. We completed a 10 week course of those sessions and it was definitely the best Strength & Conditioning course I had ever participated in.
As the coach of Calgary Chieftains Ladies Gaelic Football team I thought that SMASH would be a fantastic option for the long Calgary winter to give us a great head start for the 2015 season. I was a little wary that the girls may be intimidated by going to a class that may be perceived as a venue for giant bodybuilders, strongmen, and powerlifters… but they attended in great numbers (with a few attending who were not on my team but wanted to take part in the quality strength and conditioning they could receive at smash).
We participated in a great range of activities and the variety in activities was highly appreciated by everyone. We worked on plyometrics, core strength, flexibility, stamina, speed, combat, balance, ball handling and many other skills that were relevant to our specific sport as well as to general well being.
We originally booked for 10 weeks but the girls liked it so much that we have been in attendance for 18 consecutive months now.
Zac and Sarah have provided great motivation and advice for every level of athlete, our team ranges from athletic beginners to elite athletes and SMASH caters for all levels in between.
Along with assisting the team in their physical development SMASH has been a great asset to our individual and team confidence as well as being a great boost to morale and team camaraderie. It has proven a great ice-breaker for girls who are new to the team too.
The mens team coach saw and heard the effects of SMASH and enrolled his team in the program as well and the club looks forward to working with SMASH in the future.
On a personal level many of my friends also attend SMASH regularly now and will continue to reap the benefits.