Hey, I'm Zac!

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First of all, thank you so much for visiting my website and reading my blog. It means so much to me to have you here!

My interest in physical fitness and strength training goes back to the first time my fitness and strength were tested: Grade 2. “Canada Fitness Testing”. I placed in the lowest percentile and remember whining to my mom about it. In a loving, and effective way, she told me, "Whining will not make you better at the tests. You know what the tests are. Practice them." She was my yoda. It worked, and so I continued on my lifelong journey to learn how the body can be trained to adapt to physical demands.

By the age of twelve, the strength I had worked hard to achieve had me feeling like pretty hot shit on the monkey bars, until I was jumped by two much older kids who tried to steal my skateboard. Somehow, I got away with just a few bumps and scrapes, and my skateboard, but I was shaken up pretty bad. That’s the day I decided to join the wrestling team. Wrestling is where I really began to learn what it means to work hard.

Following high school, I wanted a change, so I moved to Kelowna and landed a job at the best gym in town. The gym was an old garage with cinder block walls filled with people putting themselves to the grind to extremely loud music. I attained my first personal training certificate there (1994), and trained clients part time when I wasn’t managing the gym. It was the perfect job for me to have while playing Junior Football for the Okanagan Sun, which led me to playing for UBC (Vancouver, BC), in 1997. A great year to be there, with the season being capped off with winning a national championship. That was also the year I began working on achieving my Kinesiology Degree.

A few years later, my degree was completed back home, at the University of Calgary. I began training clients from all demographics, and furthered my training to include the NSCA-CSCS. More doors opened up. I was offered opportunities to train professional athletes, youth, pre and post natal women, fitness competitors, people with disabilities and brain injuries and seniors, each one trusting me to be able to help them. I felt honored, and I still feel the same way today each time I work with a client.

In 2008, I was recruited by the Canadian Armed Forces to become their fitness instructor/evaluator/and adventure training coordinator. I worked in the Calgary ASU, in the Currie Barracks, which soon after became the home of my very own training facility,

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While training for the military, I continued to train clients outside of my military hours. My personal training business continued to grow and doors continued to open through connections I made in the Canadian Armed Forces. Most evenings, I could be found yelling at a group of people in a park, pushing them to run faster up a hill or driving my old Toyota pickup with the box full of sandbags and ropes and other heavy objects. After spending a few winters renting space to train my clients in, I stumbled on to a space in the Currie Barracks near my Military building. The math looked promising on this old, run-down brick army building that was exactly my style.

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The name s*m*a*s*h came from a shirt I used to wear on game days for football, bought at Value Village for $2. As I was pondering what to call my training business one day, I noticed the shirt, and the acronym just rolled off my tongue, “Strong Mind And Strong Heart”. It fit so naturally with everything I had learned about training and life in general. The connection between the body and the mind. The Vitruvian Man, Leonardo da Vinci, has been a concept I've always been drawn to. Keeping the connection between the mind and body are crucial for overall health. And that’s what s*m*a*s*h is all about - a community people who all want the same thing - to work hard. I've been very fortunate to have been surrounded by many great people and opportunities throughout the years, and I'm excited to see how the s*m*a*s*h community will grow and evolve in the years to come!