A former elite middle distance track athlete, Thomas has taken his passion for athletics and fitness and molded it into a vessel for helping others achieve their personal fitness, health and athletic goals. Thomas has worked in the sports and recreation industry since 2002, as an athletics coach and strength trainer. In 2009, he began training full time in London before returning to Toronto in 2011. After years of working in a big chain gym, disenchanted by the work environment and training methods, he opted to open Primal Gym and forge his own vision for a fitness facility that puts it’s members and clients first. Since it’s opening Primal has seen two expansions with the addition of Primal MMA and Training Studio / Clinic in 2014.
Thomas believes in a wholistic approach to training, encompassing all aspects of fitness and wellness, both body and mind. He views the human being as an athlete inherently, and trains his clients following this mantra. Thomas trains clients of all ages, with a wide spectrum of goals. From young athletes looking to gain an edge with their strength and conditioning, to individuals who simply want to look and feel better through weight loss, lean muscle development and a change in body composition. His specialties include Hypertrophy (muscle development), Fat Loss, Injury Rehabilitation, Athletic Conditioning and Strength and Conditioning for MMA.
Having grown up playing high level competitive sports, specifically elite level Hockey, Justyn was immersed in athletics and strict training regimens from a young age. After hanging up his skates, Justyn transitioned into coaching hockey teams in the GTA. Having taken his knowledge of training in competitive sports, he transitioned into the fitness industry learning the ins-and-outs of strength training and nutrition. Through years of thorough research and first-hand experience, Justyn has a deep understanding of how nutrition plays a pivotal role in athletic performance, recovery, strength training and bodybuilding.
A strong believer that the mind is our most powerful weapon, Justyn continually pushes himself beyond his physical limitations to prove that our bodies are capable of exceeding our own expectations. Having dedicated himself to his passion, martial arts, Justyn has competed in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Boxing tournaments across Ontario.
Kalon has been physically active for most of her life: For almost 20 years, Kalon rode horses and was a competitive eventer and show jumper on the provincial circuit for the last 5 years of her equestrian career. When not at the barn, Kalon fed her energetic spirit by joining her high school swim team and became a semi-professional hip hop performance dancer in 2014. In order to become a stronger dancer, Kalon’s industry mentor encouraged her to find a personal trainer, and the rest is history: Presently, Kalon has experience in most forms of weightlifting (CrossFit, Olympic Lifting, etc.) but her true passion lies with Powerlifting and she is hoping to compete in the sport within the next couple of years. At Primal, Kalon is not only the General Manager but coaches the evening Strength program twice a week, fulfilling her academic background in education (B.Ed.) and biology (B.A.S.). A loud, fun-spirited, laugh-loving lady, Kalon has a clear adoration for all things health and wellness (and Primal!) that you just can’t teach.
I have always been passionate about sports and athletics. Since playing rugby and lacrosse in high school, I have become increasingly interested in different training methods and improving my athletic performance. Recently, I have become interested in functional resistance training and mobility work to gain an edge in the competitive Jiu Jitsu world.
I am hoping to share my jiu jitsu, health and exercise knowledge with others. It has had a huge positive impact on my life and I love seeing the how it positively impacts others as well.
I am certified Personal Training Specialist (PTS) with a passion for powerlifting and strength training. Whether you’re interested in losing weight or gaining lean muscle mass, body toning or increasing strength, I’ll help you achieve your goals with practical programming involving basic barbell movements and efficient conditioning. Growing up, my athletic interests were geared specifically towards hockey, but in high school, I joined the wrestling team. Weighing in at 155 lbs, I wanted nothing more than to become bigger, stronger, and faster to gain a competitive edge. My coach introduced me to the weight room, and I was hooked. With four years of intensive barbell training, I have gained 90lbs of mass, and my comparative strength has increased more than threefold. My focus has typically been powerlifting, but I also have experience with Strongman and Olympic weightlifting. I still strive to get bigger and stronger everyday, and I’m working towards powerlifting competitively in the near future.
PJ Palacpac is a graduate of the Fitness and Health Promotion Program at George Brown College. He was able to enhance his knowledge and skills both in Personal Training and Group Exercise Leadership and receive his certificate as a trainer through CFES. PJ’s passion and love for fitness started at a very young age having participated and trained in multiple sports. He grew up as an athlete competing mainly in swimming and basketball and that drive has led him into his new passion, calisthenics and movement training. With his knowledge and skills his goal is to help clients attain their fitness goals as well as empower them to live healthier lives. PJ started off as an intern here at Primal and is now honoured to finally become a part of the team.
John is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach and Fascial Stretch Therapist. He uses a combination of training and therapy techniques to correct movement patterns and promote healthy pain free movement. Training with John, you can expect to gain new ranges of motion and get stronger and more powerful while moving with less pain.
John also offers sessions of pure Fascial Stretch Therapy out of the treatment room. FST is an assisted table stretching system that will release tight tissues in your body, increase fluid movement and break up adhesions in your joints. Ask John for a free demo to feel what FST can do for you.
I’m Lou Berkovits, a practicing yogi and Power Yoga teacher committed to sharing my love and passion for yoga. I teach a vinyasa or flow of movements based on the Journey Into Power series created by Baron Baptiste. I have consistently found this series to be the most challenging, rewarding and beneficial. Regardless of how many times I have practiced this flow, no two experiences have ever been the same. Each practice is as unique as that day, as that time, and as that moment. Get ready to work hard, get sweaty, get messy, and create the possibilities that lie within you to evolve into your grounded and true self.
Ryan has eleven years of personal training experience and has had success with countless clients. He has a deep understanding of the sciences that guide exercise, which he developed while studying at George Brown College, and pairs it with an art he has been shaping since age 12, when he first discovered weight training.
He believes the key to achieving results lies in identifying needs through thorough assessment, creating a strong foundation and practicing flawless fundamentals. This allows you to maintain constant progress and avoid injury, leading to your highest level of physical fitness. Personal training isn’t just about reaching your goals, but also understanding your own body and building confidence and independence in and out of the gym.
He takes pride in having a diverse skill set and being able to work with a wide variety of clients. Specializing in assessment, Fascial Stretch Therapy, mobility training, strength and conditioning, nutrition and kickboxing; he has all the tools necessary to ensure your success and the highest level training experience. Within a few short sessions his clients are able to move better than they ever thought possible and are on their way to a life changing experience.
Mike began training jiu jitsu in the notorious 10th Planet system. After 6 years he travelled much of the US going from gym to gym and learning from many incredible black belts and coaches. The trip ended in California, one of the jiu jitsu meccas, the final stop before returning to Montreal. From there Mike began studying and living at the famed Tristar gym, spending time and learning from some of the top mixed martial artists and coaches in the world. He now calls Toronto home and proudly represents and teaches at Body of Four under Professor Marco Costa and their affiliate Primal MMA under Egor Radzik. Over the course of 10 years Mike has trained exclusively No gi Jiu Jitsu. This has afforded him the opportunity to refine the details and learn the nuances that make or break no gi techniques. His love for grappling and passion for sharing and exchanging techniques is what drives him to become the best competitor, coach and(one day) mentor he can be.
I grew up in the east end of Toronto and have always had a close relationship with sports and athletic training. When I was 7 years old, I began competitive swimming for the Toronto Swim Club, and continued for the next 10 years. Over the years, I fell in love with racing and all of the preparation that goes into it. That love lead me to Halifax, NS, where I obtained a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Kinesiology at Dalhousie University. In my final year, I worked in the Kinesiology department as a teaching assistant for an Injury Assessment/Prevention course, where my knowledge of the human body grew tenfold.
Now, I strive to apply my knowledge to each and every one of my clients, while also continuing to learn more every single day. I consistently work to make sure that I don’t leave potential on the table, and I’m dedicated to making sure you don’t either. Life’s too short to live sub-optimally, so let’s change your life today.
Josh is an NSCA Certified Personal Trainer and Agatsu Kettlebell Instructor who has been an athlete for the past 13 years. Josh started his journey into fitness as a troubled youth who found an outlet in sport at Toronto’s own Sully’s Boxing Gym where he trained and competed in boxing for 4.5 years. Through a curiosity of what the human body was capable of he eventually went on to compete in Ultra Marathon, Road Running, Triathlon and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He discovered early on the power of discipline and mindset in the pursuit of goal. Josh believes that a healthy mindset and physical fitness provide us with a notable advantage in the pursuit of our dreams.
“I often find my self blown away by how much potential human beings have with regards to performance. I’m here as a coach to help you understand what ‘functional’ is for you, to help you grasp what makes sense in the light of your goal. I aim to help pave a path and encourage you on your journey from A-Z, to help you discover how far you can really take yourself… its further than you think”
Through competitive hockey and baseball, Jake has learned lifelong lessons of communication, discipline, and self-development. Through applying these experiences, Jake began his fitness journey by learning the foundations of weightlifting in his highschool gym. Since then, he has found interest and inspiration through a variety of activities, from yoga to mountain biking. Jake believes that, with a goal in mind or not, it’s imperative to get active and improve every day.
Since joining Primal, Jake has found a strong passion in mixed martial arts and boxing, and has since begun to learn the basics of striking and BJJ. Jake strives to build his fitness foundation while learning and constantly collaborating on technique – Jake maintains that every new day is a learning opportunity.