HELPING YOU TACKLE GYM ANXIETY, CREATE CONSISTENCY + REACH YOUR GOALS
“I've been training consistently with Shane since 2012. It's the longest I've ever managed to stick to a workout regimen, actually.
I was one of the shortest kids in the class and never athletic like my siblings. I was usually the last kid picked for teams in gym class. So, when I managed to sustain a stress fracture in my foot, I was at a loss as I really had no other way I knew how to workout. A good friend suggested I hire a trainer. I eventually did, but with a lot of reservations.
I had never spent time in a gym and was a bit intimidated by the atmosphere (though not wanting to admit that I was!). I thought I would be so conspicuous, that I wouldn't be able to finish a workout and that I would just feel uncomfortable and out of place the whole time. However, when I met Shane, and started working with him, he was so kind and very encouraging, it was almost impossible to feel discouraged with my workouts. Next thing I knew, my cast was off, I'd been training with Shane for two years, and I could deadlift 100lbs. I honestly was so astonished!!
I finally felt comfortable, and even confident, enjoying the workouts and laughing if I almost tripped over a weight! I feel my health is better now, overall, than it is ever been and, I really want to acknowledge that training with Shane has been a large part of that!
I'd encourage anyone out there, it doesn't matter if you are not athletic, never played sports, and feel uncoordinated at most times, you too can still become confident at the gym if you train with Shane!”
SCOTT & AMANDA BUELEY
"Shane is an incredibly patient and kind individual who knows more about the human body and how to care for it than most. He tailors your workouts to you and where you're at to ensure you're always making progress towards your goals.
Plus, there's the added bonus that he can give you a wicked neck massage with the roller to relieve that extra little bit of tightness at the end of a workout!
We highly recommend training with Shane!"
"I wanted to get into better shape but felt overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start. I did not have the confidence to ensure I performed exercises with the right form or used the appropriate weights. When I did go to the gym on my own, not only was I self-conscious, but I only knew a few moves and would fall into a rut, and my workouts were boring, and I found it hard to find the motivation to do them.
I had been thinking about hiring a personal trainer for a while, but after having a few mediocre experiences, I wanted to make sure I found the right fit. I really like that Shane recognizes and appreciates not only the physical but the emotional challenges for people who are new to fitness and may lack some of the skill and confidence to feel comfortable at the gym. I had previous trainers that focused on how much weight I was losing every week and encouraged me to eat “only chicken and salad.” Which ultimately made me feel bad about my choices and took away from the pride I felt for showing up for my workouts. I read through many of Shane’s blog posts before my initial session. I loved how he addressed issues like negative self-image, not feeling good enough, and self-sabotage, along with a bunch of great tips on nutrition, motivation and overcoming gym anxiety.
Training with Shane has helped to gain confidence in my ability to perform exercises correctly. The way he explains how to engage your core and where you should and shouldn’t feel fatigue/ strain just makes sense and sticks with me even outside of our sessions. The workouts have a lot of variety and our sessions always fly by! Shane was very helpful in helping me set attainable fitness goals (something I struggled with) and tailored my workouts to help me achieve them.
Not only is Shane passionate (and knowledgeable) about fitness, I love his dedication to instilling confidence in people who might not consider themselves “gym people.” Shane is as passionate about helping you achieve physical goals as he is about helping you overcome any mental or emotional obstacles that could be holding you back from being your best self! He has a positive and inspiring approach and has really helped me to appreciate and be proud of my progress.
Shane trains with care and compassion and really has a knack for making workouts fun, even when they’re challenging! When I didn’t feel like working out, thinking about how much fun I was going to have always made me look forward to it. Some days I would arrive at the gym exhausted, but Shane’s infectious positivity and encouragement always motivated me to push myself, and I always left feeling strong and energized.
My personal training experience with Shane has been very positive and has really opened my eyes to what I am capable of with the right support and guidance. It has also shown me how much fun a good fitness routine can be. I would never have imagined a year ago that I would look forward to doing squats."
"Before I started working out, I was very anxious about getting started. I had no idea what kind of exercises I should be doing or how to do them. It made working out feel like something I couldn’t do.
When I began working out with Shane, he was very understanding when it came to my inexperience and helped prevent me from getting overwhelmed. He really opened my eyes on how easy and fun working out can be when you understand what you’re doing.
When I first started, I had the goal of becoming stronger overall, while working on my fitness and physique. I could barely lift weights, but wanted to be able to lift heavier weights without becoming exhausted.
After only 3 months of working out I feel better overall, I’ve gained desired weight, lost body fat and have gained more muscle everywhere. In most exercises I can lift twice as much weight as when I started and feel great doing them!
Overall, working out with Shane has been an excellent experience. I look forward to working with him in the future!"
"I came into this partnership with a long list of things that I wanted my trainer to do for me, I was nervous, not sure I could do this. I knew if I was doing this it had to suit me and not the trainer. Shane listened and adapted.
Since 2014 my husband proudly says, "I am off to my Shane time." I love that phrase. I am so honored that Shane accepted me as a client, so proud that I do what he teaches me, so very amazed that I enjoy exercise and that exercise is part of my life now.
Thank you my friend. Shane does not only make you healthier but because of who he is he makes you a better, stronger, more positive person. He is such a gift."
"I hate gyms -- the exact words I told my first personal trainer. I think it was partly because I had always engaged in activities I could do on my own: running, cycling etc. But also, I felt the gym was full of these beefed up “roid” guys and the silicone enhanced, makeup ready women. Not a place for me.
That all changed when I injured my ankle and needed some help rehabilitating it. I tried a few trainers but I found they would come and go in a big gym setting. The consistency, knowledge, and follow through was not there. I remember my daughter Nicole, asked me a few times if I wanted to go with her for a free workout with a guy named, Shane. My first thought was here we go again—they are going to talk me into signing up for something.
I remember walking in and meeting Shane for the first time. He instantly made me feel comfortable. After the workout I thought this is what I need to help me achieve my fitness goals: become stronger so that I can continue to do the things I want to do.
Not long after we had started with him, an unfortunate situation arose. His response to that situation really showed his belief in what he is doing and why he is doing it. It blew me away. I had never met or dealt with anyone, anywhere, who showed that commitment. From that point I knew I had found the right person.
I am starting my third year with Shane. I look forward to my workouts with him. It is a time for laughter, but also hard work. He knows how and when to push me enough, and he keeps me accountable. I have found that through these past few years I have improved my strength and endurance.
I am a believer that things happen for a reason. If that injury never happened, I am sure I would never have met Shane. I would never have embarked on this fitness path. I am so glad I did. Thanks Shane!"
“I was working out semi-regularly and knew my way around a gym, so my initial reason for looking into a personal trainer was to have more structure and accountability. Shane was referred to me through a family member (and previous client) immediately after hearing this from me.
When I first met Shane I was impressed by how thorough he was in getting to know me personally and figuring out not only what my goals were, but also the best way to get me to them.
Soon after, it became evident I had some issues with posture and tight muscles which caused a lot of muscle soreness. Initially our workouts included a bunch of stretching and strength training strategies that specifically targeted these areas.
Shane knew exactly what we needed to do and at what intensity to do it. I very quickly found my body changing!
As time went on, Shane taught me a lot about what my body needed, how to protect myself from the physical stresses my job puts on me, and how to construct a workout efficiently and effectively.
Not only have I been able to work with Shane one on one, he was also able to construct a program for me, which I could confidently complete on my own.
Shane is a lot more than some guy who will stand there uninterested and demand that you push out one or two more reps. He has an abundance of knowledge in many aspects of health and fitness (and even has resources to back up what he tells you). Shane puts a lot of effort into tailoring a plan very specifically for your goals and takes both your physical and mental ability into account.
Shane is a good mix of both fun and work. He can keep you laughing while you find yourself doing way too many lunges. Well... as far as I'm concerned ANY amount of lunges is too many (Yes, I still hate lunges, Shane).
Whether you’re new to the gym environment or just need a little extra push, Shane is the guy to go to if you want to feel supported and have fun during your workout.”
“When starting any new, unfamiliar activity things can be intimidating. You worry about how things will go. You question yourself. Can I actually do this? Finally getting my act together and getting into the gym was one thing, but the thought of meeting a trainer was even more anxiety inducing. I feared that he or she would take one look at my and wonder why I was even there (too far gone?). Fortunately my experience with Shane was easy. He is positive, delightful, and professional. All my anxieties disappeared within the first few minutes upon meeting him. Shane and I have been working together since the winter of 2012.
I began my fitness journey training in a gym with a trainer at age 57. Before I started I wasn’t feeling too great. With a bulging 38-inch waist and weighing in at 245lbs, it was getting tougher and tougher to just tie my shoes! Additionally, I had developed a rare neuro-muscular problem in my right leg. Adding everything up, I realized I was going downhill fast. I recognized I must start somewhere if I was going to lose the weight I always wanted to lose, feel better and keep the muscle atrophy in my right leg to a minimum. Well, that was 4 years ago and now I am happy to report that I weigh less than 230lbs, my waistline has gone down to 36 inches and best of all – I feel great and enjoy going to the gym! My doctor is impressed too.
Prior to getting fit, I had always wanted to go on a hiking tour. With my fitness levels so low, and with my leg giving me issues, I thought that the trip was forever a fantasy. Thanks to Shane’s encouragement and tailoring my workouts to help me prepare for the journey, I got my groove back and was able to hike the Amalfi coast last year. Hiking 15-25km per day was actually enjoyable. I had a lot of fun and came home feeling fit and relaxed.
In hindsight, I took the bull by the horns, and my well being a priority. While it was a challenge, it wasn’t as tough or discouraging as I had imagined it would be. I give Shane a lot of credit for not only getting me started, and setting goals, but also then meeting the goals. Shane makes my workouts enjoyable and effective.
No more hanging out, wasting time at the gym. My workouts optimize the time I am at the gym and are directed towards what I need to improve and how I feel that day. Not only is Shane a qualified trainer, he has an extremely positive attitude and a lot of experience in helping people take on challenges. I am glad I connected with him.
Thank you, Shane!"
“I went to Shane Kokas in 2012 with a goal of achieving balance in my life. After changing cities we began to work virtually. I spent many years in pursuit of a career that had reached a stable place at that point. My goal was better health to achieve a better quality of life.
Like any new undertaking, I had my reservations. “Would I be able to do it?” “Would I be able to stick to it?” “Would my trainer be able to stick with me?”
I no longer dread going to the gym. I no longer think of the gym as something I just need to get over with. After about a year, I noticed that I was actually looking forward to going to the gym! I surprised myself when I realized I was actually enjoying the workouts. As I continued down this road to fitness, I realized I was also getting stronger because I was able to lift my carry on luggage onto the overhead bin with no problem! More recently, I was pleasantly surprised at how my endurance improved. I had gone back to swimming, a sport I’ve always enjoyed, and had gone beyond the half lap I used to do.
None of these would have been possible without the help of my trainer, Shane. He came with his expertise and provided a wealth of information. He made sure to keep the work outs challenging and interesting. But more important than his technical knowhow, his genuine interest and compassion helped me succeed. He has been steadfast. He was named one of the Top Trainers in Edmonton. They couldn’t have made a better choice.
I have been working with Shane consistently since 2012. My week now consists of 2 days of working out with him, 2 days of swimming and 2 days of ballroom dancing. I can now swim 10 laps and I am preparing for my second ballroom dancing competition! I only hope that Shane continues to take this fitness journey with me.”
“Working out for me has always been a huge mind game. I felt anxiety about returning to the gym when I would miss a workout whether it was because I was sick, out of town, on vacation or just lazy. The feeling was that I had lost everything I had worked so hard to achieve and that I would not be able to do my workout. As a result I had a very difficult time returning to the gym and ended up extending the time before I would get back working out.
Shane has made me realize that everyone has times when they can’t or don’t workout and that it is ok to forgive yourself when you fall out of your routine. While the first workout back might be a bit hard it is ok to cut back on the intensity and the amount of weight and work back up to where I was before the break. Taking a break does not mean that I have lost everything I have gained…. It is not a roadblock just a twist in the road on the fitness journey
My goals were to incorporate fitness into my daily routine and to stay strong and healthy as I age.
I have incorporated exercise into my daily routine whether it is a session with Shane, at the gym on my own or an outdoor activity. I no longer have as much anxiety about getting back in to my gym routine when I miss a few days. While I still struggle with the mind games, Shane has helped me realize that I am strong enough to overcome them!”
“I have trained with Shane Kokas since winter 2012 to around winter 2017, and it was a life changing experience.
After high school I stopped being physically active, focused majority of my time and energy on work and school. Finally after noticing some challenges in my day to day life such has physical problems and lack of confidence. I started feeling pain in my knees as I would wake up or simply stand up after sitting. I did not want to go out with my friends as much. I started making excuses to avoid appearances – I knew it was time for a positive change in my life.
The beginning months were challenging – difficulty in running, couldn’t jump and even trouble doing basic body weight squats. Having a personal fitness program that is designed to help you achieve your end goal has definitely helped me stay on track and motivated during my training.
Shane has helped me improve myself physically in many ways; I am now lifting my heaviest weights to date, running at higher intensity for longer period, performing box jumps (without pain!) all while dropping weight and continuously keeping it off. I have even managed to inspire my younger sister to get back into a fitness regime.
I genuinely enjoy going to the gym now, it is a part of my schedule and I give it importance. In the beginning I felt out of place and uncomfortable thinking everyone would judge me but were all there to improve ourselves and collectively meet our own personal goals.
My health has improved immensely no more knee pains! My personality is now being shared with my friends and family. It’s amazing! I truly believe Shane Kokas is a positive part of my journey to a healthier and more fit me. He has helped me change by overcoming challenges that at times seemed impossible, but when we stop challenging ourselves we do not allow ourselves to grow.
So challenge yourself and with proper help and guidance you too can bring positive change in your life!”
“Being fit has always been very important to me, but the idea of having a personal trainer would mean that I would have to put aside 2 or 3 hours a week to train. I thought it was a big commitment for me, so I decided to always work out o my own, and on my own time, which didn't happen very often. Any little excuse, and I would miss.
Making the decision to start training with Shane was probably one of the best decisions I have made in a very long time. Sure it is a big commitment, but I love working out with Shane, and seeing the improvements that I have made. I never want to miss a session. Shane has made me feel very comfortable and listens to my fitness concerns.
My goals were to become fit, and to make my body stronger, so I could do activities without getting injured. I also wanted to firm up my muscles.
Since training with Shane, I not only feel much stronger to do activities (i.e. cartwheels, or even running fast), but I do feel more fit, healthy and happy about myself.
Shane is very knowledgeable in his field and he has taught me a lot about the body and fitness.
I know that I would never push myself as hard as I do without you Shane. Thank you so much, you have really changed my life for the better.”
"In 2012, I first began to work with Shane. Having worked with 6 other trainers in my life, I knew that some are a good fit and some are painful. Shane fit like Cinderella sliding into her glass slipper — perfect!!! And now I almost forget who my last trainer was, because I have never looked back.
The most important thing that makes Shane a great trainer is that this is what he wants to be. Unlike many of my trainers in the past, who were doing personal training as an interval job while waiting to get into university programs or moving on to the next job, Shane is committed to personal training. This is what he wants to do, and it shows.
Beyond being an amazing one on one trainer (which we will get too) he also writes a fitness blog, has been published in fitness magazines and newspapers and in his ‘free time’ (usually on weekends so not to upset his clients) attends seminars on new training techniques and sports injury rehabilitation. I have struggled with knee pain for years and after one such seminar, he was able to add exercises that even better targeted my underling injury.
He also doesn’t have a cookbook approach to training everyone like so many gyms and trainers have. I remember the first ever trainer I worked with wanted me to become a body builder like her — seriously everything from heavy weights and a diet of raw egg shakes!!! Aargh, that didn’t last.
But that is not Shane. He designs each workout to meet one’s goals and current fitness level. And my goals are re-visited and modified on a regular basis. I once did a partner workout with one of his other clients and he was able to still create individual exercises that targeted our needs. It was truly exceptional. Shane is also able to modify his exercise plan on the fly. There are days when my knee pain flares up and he adds and subtracts various exercises on the spot. There was even the time when I returned from New Zealand after attempting a tortuous 5day hike when he knew the best thing for me that day was an hour of active release. It was only then that I was able to start walking again without pain.
Shane is always available for me and I frequently contact him on off hours when I am feeling ‘weak’ with diet choices or more often for a boost of self-confidence. I love taking active vacations, especially hiking and biking but sometimes I find myself biting off more than I can chew. While Shane works hard with me to help me to train for these trips I sometimes fail to live up to my end of the bargain and spend no time preparing on my own. What gets my through these trips with a smile on my face, is Shane.
Shane will on his own accord, text me to find out how things are going. He will send me personal messages of inspiration and confidence. The most recent one was “the struggle you are in today is developing the strength for tomorrow”. I know it sounds corny but it worked!!! That’s the thing; he knows the exact thing you need to get you back on track and feeling accomplished.
The one that sticks out with me the most was during a bike trip to Napa, I was feeling good with my effort but there were several pedal heads that were leaving me in the dust and chomping off way more miles. Shane would ask for a daily update and when I got home he gave me a congratulations card with the total miles all added up. It was an incredible boost of confidence and a reminder of how far I have come. Only Shane would have thought to do that.
In New Zealand when I finished the Milford Track hike (known to me as my Everest) I got a picture of me at the end of the track printed on 2 precious postcards. There was no doubt in my mind who I was sending the first one too, Shane!!! To this day, he has it up on his refrigerator.
Shane is that one in a million trainer that combines competence, caring and compassion. When I joined a private club last year, they offered me several free sessions with one of their trainers and I didn’t even think for a second about giving up Shane.
At risk of sounding like a future stalker, wherever Shane goes, I go. He is just that good. And I know I am extremely fortunate to have found him.
He is a big part of all the success I have had and will continue to have in the future."
"Before training with Shane I was quite nervous. As someone who doesn't go to the gym I felt intimidated to work out in front of people I thought may judge my appearance or lack of 'fitness'.
Shane helped me feel accepted and comfortable from day one. He met me where I was at mentally in regards to working out, and gently changed my fears of the gym by his own personality and professional training skills.
As someone who struggles with back pain, I wanted to learn how to work out to get overall healthier without straining my back anymore. I also wanted to make sure I understood each exercise in what muscle it should be working and the correct form.
The first few sessions I felt like I was really struggling by the end of the session as far as energy and mentally feeling like I was capable of getting through a session. By the end of the 12-week sessions that I purchased, I was able to get through more exercises each session, had more stamina and felt proud of myself.
Shane also took extra time to explain what muscles I should be 'feeling' in each exercise and made sure that my back was never strained but felt better then when I came in. I would highly recommend Shane. He's amazing!"
"I have had the privilege to have Shane as my personal trainer over the last year. I won his contest a year ago when one of his clients had given him 15 sessions to give away in a contest. I couldn't believe I won!
It was an amazing experience and also broken up. With COVID19 last year, it was a challenge both mentally and physically for so many.
I had lots of struggles and when I was in my workout Shane made me feel like I could escape all my issues and put it into the workout. I am going to continue my workouts at home because Shane gave me the tools, advice and direction to feel confident in my abilities to push myself in my workouts!
Thank you Shane, it has been so amazing to be reconnected in your life."