Announcing the Final Summit 2023 Speakers!

Headshot of Kat Horzempa

Expansive Marketing Practices

with Kat Horzempa

What story is your company telling? Are you effectively communicating your company’s values? Do you practice the values you promote? In Expansive Marketing Practices, Kat Horzempa will explore ways to authentically communicate with the communities you serve through expansive marketing practices

Kat Horzempa (she/they) is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Operations of Body Positive Fitness a queer-led, fat-centered hybrid movement company based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Kat is actively dedicated to building fat-liberated, anti-racist, gender-affirming expansive spaces for joyful movement. An administrative leader with a specialization in sales and marketing, Kat has spent over a decade in operations management in nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Their work has spanned the fitness, arts, education, manufacturing, and tertiary sectors.

Body Positive Fitness (@BodyPositiveFitness_) is a home for folks excluded from or unwelcome in mainstream fitness spaces—no matter your size, gender, disability or fitness level. Both online and in-person, Body Positive Fitness offers group classes, group training, personal training, running club, workshops and free community events, including a monthly book club hosted by Kat which highlights books from the body positive and fat liberation movements. In addition to being an ant-diet advocate, Kat is passionate about performing arts and has played many roles on and off stages in Canada and Spain.

Headshot of Vysh Sivakumaran

Movement Break & Discussion Around What Toxic Fitness Is & Isn’t

with Vysh Sivakumaran, CPTN-PT

Vysh (vai-sh) (she/her) is a certified strength coach, trauma informed yoga instructor, & a fitness industry leader in the Toronto community — working to create inclusive, body neutral, and accessible fitness, through 1:1, group, and corporate services within her online fitness community, Fitness in Place (FIP). With her powerlifting background and quick adaptation at the start of the pandemic, she was awarded Canfitpro’s Fitness Professional of the Year Award. She advocates passionately for representation in the industry for South Asian women, but more broadly, aims to be a voice for all people who may face barriers in the wellness. (Follow Vysh at @vy_she_lifts , @Fitness_In_Place, or on Linked in:

Vysh is a member of the Advisory Panel and content contributor at CanFitPro. Check out her recent article: “Trauma Informed: Practices to Keep Fitness Spaces Barrier Free to Everyone”.

Trainer Tip – Many Fitness Terms sound violent…Try switching to more Peaceful and Accurate words when Possible.

Trainer Tip – Many Fitness Terms sound violent…Try switching to more Peaceful and Accurate words when Possible.

Landmines, manmakers, skull crushers, butt blasters, battle rope, boot camp, etc… Many fitness terms sound violent and intimidating. Taking the time to notice what terms in our own practices invoke unnecessary violence is an opportunity to develop language that more accurately describes the actual exercises. Better descriptions = more clarity. Increasing clarity reduces intimidation and clients that are less intimidated are more likely to stick around. Yay retention!

Have you switched up any terms in your practice? What was that experience like?

Are you a FitPro working to make the industry more accessible for all people? Join BPFA Inclusive FitPros! Our Learning Community exists to make meaningful connections between likeminded fitness professionals. Make friends, ask questions, and participate in continuing education. We’re here to be your fitness family that celebrates all bodies!


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Announcing More Summit 2023 Topics!

Menopause Fitness. It’s time to change the “game”

with Samantha Montpetit-Huynh, CPTN-PT, PFS, NWS, Pfilates

Menopause has a LOT of stigma attached to it and many women feel like life is over. However, this is the perfect opportunity to start working WITH your body and stop fighting against it. Find out how menopause changes the playing field and how, as a professional, you must change the game.

Samantha (she/her) is the founder of SamCoreTrainer where she coaches women 40+ with the most comprehensive online health management program for women during menopause and midlife.
Samantha is a serial entrepreneur, media expert, speaker, teacher, mentor, course creator and author. You can catch her fitness segments on The Marilyn Denis Show and most recently on CBC’s Then National.

Samantha has been a recognized expert in her field for 2 decades and was awarded The Abundance 2019 Personal Trainer of the Year and CanfitPro’s 2021, Specialty Presenter of the Year.

A picture of Kate Hearald Browne in front of a chalkboard

Creativity Moves You: Unlocking the creativity that Movement Brings

with Dr. Kate Herald Browne

Kate (she/her) explores the connection between physical movement and creativity as a full health practice in this workshop. We’ll play with ways to bring intentional moments of creativity to your movement space. No prior experience with arts and crafts required! Kate is a writer and educator who specializes in connecting personal storytelling to wellness practices and she’s excited to share new ideas with the BPFA community. She is a member of the BPFA Board.

Cute handcrafted medals from the BPFA 0.5K

The 2nd Annual BPFA 0.5K!

Walk, run, dance, or cheer folks on, this 0.5K is a celebration of joyful movement and embracing that all movement is valid, even when it’s bite-sized.

More Speakers to Be Announced Next Week! Stay Tuned… 😀

#TrainerTip – Don’t Assume Every New Client You Meet Has Weight Loss Goals

#TrainerTip – Don’t Assume Every New Client You Meet Has Weight Loss Goals

#TrainerTip – Don’t assume every new client you meet has weight loss goals. Really it’s best not to assume anything about your new clients. Talk with them, ask them questions, learn what they’re here for, and challenge yourself to stay out of the habit of making quick judgements.

Would you like more education about responsible scope of practice for trainers around the topic of eating disorders?

Check out our online course: Empowering Fitness Professionals: Strengthening Confidence in the Detection, Referral, and Support of Clients with Eating Disorders. Staying in Your Lane with Knowledge and Compassion.

Course Objectives

-Learn actionable skills and strategies to recognize the signs of client eating disorders within our own practices and be empowered to take appropriate action based on scope of practice

-Connect with resources and communities

Your Instructors:

-Amanda Schlitzer Tierney, Amanda Tierney, MS, CSCS, CEDS-S. Director of Clinical Operations & Athletic Services @rockthebalance

-Hannah Frazee, BS, ACSM-EP-C. Exercise Physiologist

-Taylor Larson, RD, CSSD, LD, CEDRD. Sports Dietitian at the Victory Program and Strong Roots Nutrition @strongrootsnutrition

#EightPillars #FitnessProfessionals #FitProEducation #nasm #cpt #nasmcpt #inclusivefitnesspractices #InclusiveFitness #inclusive #BodyPositive #WeightNeutral #FatPositive #BodyEquity #education #TrainerTips #Accessibility #BPFAeightpillars #BPFA #BodyPositiveFitnessAlliance


Image description: The text, “#TrainerTip: Don’t assume every new client you meet has weight loss goals.,” over a picture of a crossed-out scale.

New Year, New You? No Way!

New Year, New You? No Way!

By Kate Browne, Ph.D. (she/her)

Once every decade or so, I deep clean my closet and take a good, hard look at what I’ve been holding on to “just in case.” In past years, I held on to clothes that were too small for my current body, but since aspirational clothing is no longer part of my body positive worldview, I noticed that what I hold onto these days is more about the kind of athlete I once was and who I might be again.

In the very back of my closet, underneath all the women’s business casual separates from at least two career changes ago, I found the padded shorts I wore playing roller derby. My playing days in the early 2010s are long gone, but my skates, helmet, and safety gear remain in a box in the garage. (I’m afraid to look, but there’s probably still an old mouthguard in there, too.) That gear was expensive, which is one of the reasons it’s hard to let go of, but letting go of the stuff also means letting go of the dream that–like the very inspiration of the name–KateThulu might live again.

What I don’t have anymore are the VHS tapes, DVDs, and infomercial ab-roller-crunch-band-lift devices that I bought when exercise was something I thought I had to do. Every few months, I swore this time would be different. This time, I would get up at 5am every day to do my Insani90X boot camp class at the gym. This time, I would be the kind of person who makes fitness a priority no matter what.

It never happened.

I never set out to be a roller derby queen. I just wondered what would happen if I showed up to tryouts. I never set out to be a runner, either. I just signed up for an 8-week 5K training program. Giving myself permission to follow my curiosity led to experiences that changed my life in ways that no resolution could match.

This time of year, lots of gyms are pushing their 2022 programming with the idea that this time will be different. You will be different. But what if we approached the new year with curiosity instead of dogged determination? Could breaking the cycle be better for business?

Rachelle Clayton of MEE Active uses free, short-term programs as lead generators that help new clients get to know her. Positioned well, these programs lead to longer term memberships that give new clients “plenty of contact/connection with the instructor & community as they learn and share their own path with others.” Here are some tips based on other BPFA members’ experiences with short-term programming:

Keep Your Goals Aligned

Starting a new exercise routine can be intimidating for clients, especially if they come from an “all in” mindset. To meet this expectation, a lot of gyms offer “total body,” “full immersion,” and “complete transformation” new year programs. Trying to recreate that experience in the short-term can lead to burnout. Keeping your short-term offering aligned with your other services is efficient and helps clients see the progression. For example, an intro workshop can lead to a paid trial or directly into regular programming.

Make Them Pay…a Little

It seems counterintuitive, but people tend to be less invested in free services. Not charging any money can also lower the perceived value of your services if you are giving them away. Keep the price in line with your overall goals. It isn’t about offering more than it makes sense to give, it’s about making your services accessible for clients who need to know more before committing.

Connect with the Right Emotion

Every infomercial fitness program and “new year, new you” promo at the gym connects with the same emotion: longing. These programs offer hope that you’ll be able to escape your crummy life once you have visible abs. It doesn’t work that way, but by the time you’ve spent $99.99 on the app, it doesn’t matter anymore.

Curiosity is just as enticing and still gives new clients what they crave: a positive, inspiring vision for the future. Could this change my life? What if I were a person who tried this? Do I belong here? Short-term programs invite new clients to find out.

Marketing Fitness Programs

Emotional HookThis will change your life!Could this change your life?
Trigger Wordsnew, transformation, total, complete, whole, all, challenge, lifestyle, no excuses, worktry, find, connect, wonder, hope, learn, discover, future, first step, small steps, start, go, fun
Success Defined By…AchievementShowing Up
Congratulations to BPFA’s very own, Dr. Kate Browne for her recent article in Self Magazine! – “Non-Alcoholic Beer Was a Game-Changer for Me. Why Is It Still So Controversial in Recovery Communities?”

Congratulations to BPFA’s very own, Dr. Kate Browne for her recent article in Self Magazine! – “Non-Alcoholic Beer Was a Game-Changer for Me. Why Is It Still So Controversial in Recovery Communities?”

“I hope that as alcohol substitutes move into the mainstream and abstinence becomes a legitimate wellness tool even for those who may not consider themselves “real alcoholics,” more people will be able to see recovery as a way to stay connected rather than a social death. I believe that this future is possible when the choice to not drink is treated with the same judgment-free generosity already extended to other dietary restrictions in restaurants, at home, and among friends.” By Kate Browne, Ph.D. (she/her)

Read the full article here…