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 an avid salsa dancer in 2013. Today, Kalon is in full training as a semi-professional hip hop dancer with several international performances under her belt. Though she’s dabbled in other forms of weightlifting (CrossFit, Olympic Lifting, etc.) her true passion lies with Powerlifting. She is coached by our very own, Raphael Charles, and is looking to compete in the next couple of years as his athlete. Eventually, Kalon also hopes to fulfill her academic background in education (B.Ed.) and biology (B.A.S.) by attaining her personal training certificate. 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.
Easton has been active his entire life while focusing primarily on cycling, skiing and rock climbing. He is a graduate of the George Brown College Fitness & Health Promotion Program, a certified personal trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA-CPT) as well as a Group Fitness Instructor through the Canadian Fitness Education Services (CFES). He strongly believes in fitness for health and performance. Whether you’re looking for everyday functional strength, sport/activity specific improvements, fat loss, increase in lean body weight or improving overall mobility Easton has the knowledge and skills to put you on the right path. While working with clients he focuses on ensuring a client has a strong foundation to build upon, breaking down and mastering movements into their simplest stages or variations and then progressing from there. By helping you exercise safely and effectively, Easton’s goal is not only to help you achieve your own goals but to also educate and help you gain the knowledge and abilities that will benefit you along the way.
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.
My Goal: To attain the goals of my clients using the most effective means possible for their given body type and abilities…. with functionality follow the aesthetics; look good, feel good, be better in every aspect of your health. Acquire the knowledge and tools to be accountable for your own well-being.
Anna has been actively involved in health and fitness for almost a decade. As a competitive figure skater, Anna was just as excited to train off the ice as she was on the ice. Once it was time for her figure skating career to end, she began to focus her energy onto different styles of training in the gym.
At the University of Windsor, Anna studied theatre. There, she continued to grow her passion for both theatre and athletics. While focusing on physically demanding theatre genres, Anna studied to become a Personal Training Specialist with Canadian Fitness Professionals (Can-Fit Pro) and began her personal training career at the university gym “The Forge”.
Anna believes in a holistic, functional and enjoyable approach to training. Her main goal is to help you reach yours! With focused, effective, safe and sustainable training, Anna believes in taking your training to the next level.
A former competitive athlete in numerous sports including; Hockey, Football and Baseball, fitness has always been a huge part of his lifestyle. Experiences working in a sports medicine clinic, boutique studios as well as fitness testing for the NHL scouting combine over the past five years have equipped Darrel with practical knowledge to deal with a wide variety of clientele ranging from elite athletic training to post rehab and fat loss.
I’m a professional trainer, fitness coach, and fascial stretch therapist. I have years of experience in personal fitness, sports-specific training, Fascial Stretch Therapy and guided weight loss. I believe in customized, full-body fitness. I take the time to get to know you, your history, your goals and your habits, and then design a comprehensive program that works for you. This is not one-size-fits-all training. This is training that fits your body and your schedule.
Full-body wellness doesn’t have to feel restrictive, isolating, or stressful. We reach your primary goals while slowly but truly cultivating healthier habits. From sleep to stress management to nutrition, you can feel your absolute best.
I want to change how you feel about yourself and your body – and make you the strongest you’ve ever been!
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.
Sara has been passionate about movement and challenging her abilities since a very young age. Personally, she has a varied background; from being a dancer, a high performance track athlete, to currently training as a circus artist. Throughout all those years, she has always worked hard, alongside some of the best coaches. Being surrounded by such knowledgeable, passionate leaders, she quickly realized it was time to become the same to others.
After graduating from l’Université de Moncton in 2011 with her bachelors in kinesiology, Sara jumped right into the career path of a personal trainer. She has a strong passion for working one on one with clients, helping them achieve their goals, and better yet, allowing them to realize much more than they ever thought possible. She loves working with all levels, from pure beginners to high performance athletes. However, her passion goes beyond what happens in the gym. With her clients, she encourages a great focus on lifestyle elements that will allow for a healthier, more balanced life.
Over the years, she has managed to keep growing as a trainer by taking many different courses, where she also developed a passion for Fascial Stretch Therapy. This table assisted stretching method provides a significant increase in range of motion along with reducing pain and scar tissue. Sara believes in this therapy to help clients find the freedom to move, in and out of the gym.
With a very well rounded, personalized approach, Sara is eager to support and guide others to their health and fitness goals!
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.
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.
Tian (meaning “huntress” in Haida) is an upper year PhD student studying at the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute at the University of Toronto (U of T) under the supervision of Dr. Sidney Kennedy (MD). She also holds a Bachelor of Arts, Honors Specialization in Kinesiology from the University of Western Ontario and a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Science (Collaborative Program in Neuroscience) from U of T. Tian is a decorated scholar and has published several scientific research articles on mental health and traumatic brain injury.
Tian first began working and conducting research in the field of traumatic brain injury in 2012. Since that time, she has been publishing and presenting her research at international conferences around the world. During the academic year, she holds an undergraduate teaching position at U of T within the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education. The course(s) she teaches offers students with extensive opportunities to learn and practice several practical professional skills in a hands-on learning environment.
In 2019, Tian joined the College of Kinesiologists of Ontario (COKO). This clinical certification (R.Kin) allows her to work one-on-one with individuals of all ages and fitness abilities. With respect to her clinical practice and personal business, Inertia Wellness Consulting, Tian offers graded exercise therapy, vestibular/ocular therapy and cognitive behavior therapy for individuals whom are affected by persisting post-concussion symptoms (PCS).
When she is not immersed in her work, Tian likes to spend time being active outdoors: beach walks with her young Border Collie (Clover), beach volleyball, longboarding, running, ice hockey and snowboarding. She finds it very hard to sit still! Tian is also an avid gym-goer; you can find her sweating it out in one of Primal’s early morning group fitness classes on several days throughout the week. Although she played competitive soccer for over 15 years, starting at age 5, her love for exercise began when she first experienced a training facility at 13 years old.
As an advocate for physical fitness and health, she seeks to educate, inspire and empower others to be active for life! Tian strives to take a collaborative approach when working with clients to design a physical activity program that best suits their fitness-oriented goals and lifestyle.
For more information about Tian and her clinical services, please visit:
Dr. Carlo D’Emilio graduated with Honours from the University of Windsor, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Human Kinetics. He then achieved his Doctorate of Chiropractic from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto. He is a certified first responder through the Canadian Red Cross and is working towards obtaining his Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) title. While working towards his doctorate, Carlo was employed by Sports Centres Injury Rehabilitation Inc., where he worked as a member of the medical team overseeing the Ontario Provincial and National Training Program teams providing on-field coverage and clinical rehabilitation to athletes.
Additionally, Carlo has been the on-field therapist for various events including the 2012 and 2013 Indoor and Outdoor Ontario Cup Finals, 2013 Ontario Summer Games, and the 2014 OUA All-Star Game. Personally, Carlo was born and raised in Woodstock, Ontario, playing AAA hockey and OYSL soccer. While attending University in Windsor, he was a member of the varsity soccer team, which was nationally ranked during his final season. Currently, he is a member of the Aurora Hearts Soccer Club playing for their Men’s top tier soccer team.
Having been raised by a pair of exceptionally active parents, Kevin has been around physical activity all his life. Although being enrolled in a multitude of sports, Kevin fell in love with basketball at the age of 9 and in 2011 was selected to play for the U15 Canadian National team. From there, Kevin spent two years playing at Northeast Ohio Prep College. But, due to injury, finished his high school education Brebeuf College School in Toronto.
In 2014, Kevin enrolled at the University of Toronto to pursue his Bachelor of Kinesiology. Throughout his undergraduate degree, Kevin worked as a student therapist with various varsity teams to provide strength and conditioning training and soft tissue massage. Additionally, Kevin was able to work alongside professors in the biomechanics department to co-write academic papers and successfully published his first paper in his third year of studies. Upon graduating with high honours in June 2018, Kevin enrolled at the University of Toronto in August to pursue his Master’s of Kinesiology. Throughout his master’s degree, Kevin has worked with children with exceptionalities to help them develop their physical literacy and has done strength and conditioning training with high performance athletes at LPS Athletics. Upon graduating in December 2019, Kevin has his sights set on enrolling into a physical therapy program for September 2020.
Currently, Kevin is implementing his academic knowledge into real-world training scenarios by working alongside clients to help them achieve their performance goals. He hopes that he successfully enrols into a physical therapy program so that he can continue to learn and work with clients from all walks of life.
Justin is a professional Dancer/Choreographer, teaching, training and performing across North America. He has been active his whole life, and in high-school he made the switch from sports to dance; a physical medium he would find to be much more intense, challenging and attractive than any training he had endured prior. He strives to keep growing stronger physically, using his inspiration found in the staff, as well as the clientele, at Primal Academy.
Landen has been involved in sports and athletics from an early age, playing hockey, football, rugby, volleyball, swimming and track and field. While attending Queen’s University, Landen was a member of the Varsity Wrestling team and competed for 2 years in tournaments across Ontario. After trying one Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class, Landen became addicted to the sport and dropped wrestling and all other athletic pursuits to focus solely on BJJ, and to developing himself as a martial artist and a competitive grappler. With several BJJ competitions under his belt, he has earned his Blue Belt under our own Egor Radzik and is continually working to improve every aspect of his game. To compliment his BJJ, Landen actively trains long distance running, kettlebells and various body weight exercises. You can find him on the mats almost any day of the week or at the front desk of Primal Academy ready to greet you with a big smile and encouragement to help you meet your goals in physical fitness and martial arts.