Personal Fitness Trainer Talk with Kelsey Vickers

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Personal Fitness Trainer Talk with Kelsey Vickers

Kelsey Vickers is a certified personal trainer, nutrition coach, group exercise instructor, business owner of Alberta Fitness and co-owner of the girls wellness program, Fit + Fierce. Her passion is helping people build healthy habits with food and exercise to promote a healthy balanced lifestyle. Her goal is to help people believe in themselves and see what they are capable of achieving. She understands that every BODY is different and it’s important to her that everyone defines what strong means to them!


Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness lead and instruct groups and individuals in recreational, sports, fitness or athletic programs. They are employed by community centres, sports and fitness clubs, outdoor centres, resorts, recreational facilities, health care facilities, retirement homes, correctional institutions, government departments, private businesses, tourism associations and similar establishments.

Job Forecast

In order to determine the expected outlook of an occupation, the magnitude of the difference between the projected total numbers of new job seekers and job openings over the whole projection period (2019-2028) is analyzed in conjunction with an assessment of labour market conditions in recent years. The intention is to determine if recent labour market conditions (surplus, balance or shortage) are expected to persist or change over the period 2019-2028. For instance, if the analysis of key labour market indicators suggests that the number of job seekers was insufficient to fill the job openings (a shortage of workers) in an occupational group in recent years, the projections are used to assess if this situation will continue over the projection period or if the occupation will move towards balanced conditions.

The analysis of key labour market indicators such as job vacancies and employment growth as well as the unemployment rate suggests that the number of job seekers was sufficient to fill the job openings in this occupational group over the 2016-2018 period.

For Athletes, coaches, referees and related occupations, over the period 2019-2028, new job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) are expected to total 37,200 , while 39,700 new job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility) are expected to be available to fill them.
As job openings and job seekers are projected to be at relatively similar levels over the 2019-2028 period, the balance between labour supply and demand seen in recent years is expected to continue over the projection period.

Employment Requirements

Completion of secondary school is usually required.

Completion of a college program in recreation or physical education or extensive experience in a specific recreational or sports program activity is usually required.
Certification is usually required in a specific area of recreational, sports or fitness activity, such as ski instructor or personal trainer, or in first aid or emergency care.
Demonstrated ability in a particular recreational, sports or fitness discipline is required.

Fitness appraiser certification may be required for fitness appraisers.

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Complete Episode Transcript

But I think overall as an entrepreneur and going into business for yourself, it’s extremely rewarding.

And you know, if you built a team and you built a gym financially, it can be really lucrative for you.

The Job Talk Podcast shares stories from people who are passionate and love what they do in their careers.

Through conversation, we explore their careers, past work experiences and the education that got them to where they are now.

We are putting together a Career Crisis Ultimate Interview series.

We are asking experts to give their best advice and guidance around work anxiety, career pressures, career goal setting, and ultimately career transformation.

To learn more about this special interview series and get notified when it’s available, please visit our web page at…. Today’s guest is Kelsey Vickers.

Here’s our Job Talk with a personal fitness trainer.

Kelsey, thank you so much for coming on the show today.

My first question for you is, were you always a certified personal trainer or did you have experience in other industries.

You know what I’m going to say.

I was a late bloomer for sure.

I started like in my thirties, actually.

My love for fitness happened later.

So, yeah, it definitely was something that I avoided at all costs actually, before, before I actually got into it.

So, you know, my, my exercise career was short previous to that.

And what were you doing previously as a career before you went into to being a certified fitness trainer.


You know, I worked in a company doing office management and kind of an office role, and then I went to school.

I was actually interested in private investigation, ended up having kids.

And then I put everything on pause and I started working out at the gym and just had some amazing mentors and I fell in love with it and it just like literally took off from there.

There is no stopping me from them from then on.


And where did you go to get your training to become so.


I went through CanFitPro and then I have any awesome as well and I’ve had some incredible, like I said, mentors throughout lots of personal trainer friends.

My husband was a personal trainer and it was so, so much knowledge was always coming at me.

So it’s been incredible.

And I’ve just I’ve worked in some great some great gyms.

Well, the reason I’m asking you this is, I guess how long does the training take for you to become certified.

Well, it’s not it’s actually there’s a really great program at NAIT.

I did not take that one, but usually like a program is about two years.

So I was I was shorter than that.

Mine was a few months and then lots of lots of training with other trainers and just kind of getting that knowledge and that experience and working out with them and just reading a ton of books and just lots of learning that way, lots of like on hands learning for me besides the book knowledge.

So it was it’s been incredible actually.


I like to talk about programs and careers like you have because it takes a relatively short amount of time to go through the training.

Yes, I know you you work on your craft.

Yes. For years.

But to actually get be trained in, it doesn’t seem like it takes that long, especially if you’re comparing it to like a medical field for sure.

It’s ten years of school.

Yeah, for sure.

I mean, I think there’s a lot of outside learning outside of these certifications and some are longer like of like the NAIT.

One is, like I said, two years and it’s very comprehensive.

So if you’re doing a shorter program, you have a lot of other learning to do because you cannot, you know, get all the information that you need.

But, you know, you’re learning the anatomy and then everything else.

I think is is coming from just hands on knowledge.

Once you finished and you were certified.

Can you talk about your first professional experiences being a trainer.

Oh, okay. I have. You know what I got? I got a good one.

So I had one client, I won’t say her name, but she was my first client and I was I was nervous but but really excited.

And that was like 11 years ago.

And she is still my client today.

She like comes back and forth, but she is still with me.

And it just it’s been an incredible relationship because she is crushing her goals.

She always does.

She she gets going and she just completes the tasks.

She does everything. She’s like a dream client.

And if she sees us, she’ll know I’m talking about her because I love her.

But so, I mean, I had an amazing first experience and to be honest, I have had a pretty smooth ride.

I have no injuries or no one died, you know, no one ever.


I just have to say, I’ve been blessed with the most amazing client base through COVID and everything I everyone kind of stuck around and we made it work through, you know, zooms and other other ways.

And it’s I’ve been blessed for sure with loyal, incredible, hardworking clients.

I feel like I have the dream story.


Have you always worked for yourself as an entrepreneur or have you worked for other businesses.

So I have.

I started my business, Alberta Fitness in 2009, and I did go to another couple gyms like just just to do classes here and there because I love also love group fitness and just and now I work for a Sturgeon Valley Athletic Club in Saint Albert, and that has been an incredible move.

We have a I co-own fit and fierce, which is a wellness program for girls.

So my partner and I actually are moving the program to that club and then I decided to move with them.

So yeah. So it’s been great.


So you’re passionate about fitness and their well-being and health of of your clients.

Yes. And I’m always interested in this, the business side of things.

You’re an entrepreneur? Yes.

How are you finding business operations.

Do you enjoy it.

And what kind of advice could you give people that are entrepreneurs and having to deal with business.

Definitely set up systems for for training.

Like the hours are something you have to consider for sure.

You know, everybody wants early mornings or they want evenings and weekends.

I have I’ve actually lucked out.

I have a lot of kind of all of that whole thing the morning, afternoon, evenings, weekends.

So you do have to be prepared for that, that there is the times that most people have off when they’re done work is when you’re working, but that’s okay.

As systems just keeping track of your people and just their progress, you have to really invest and just keep track of their progress throughout the day.

So you can’t get lazy and drop the ball and not know what to what they’re doing.

And you really have to invest, I believe, to really make a good relationship because you’re a part of a pretty big change in their lives.

So you do build a relationship.

It’s almost impossible not to.


So I. Think relationship.

Oh, sorry.

I was just going to say that.

No relationship building is key.

Yeah. Yeah.

Do you do your own accounting and that kind of thing or do you would you tell people to find a good accountant.

You know what I do for the most part, I do have like some bookkeeping, someone who does some bookkeeping for me just so that it stays on task.

But it’s not like I run the business on my own.

So I don’t have stuff like Alberta Fitness.

It’s just me fit and fierce.

We do have stuff, so that is that whole side.

We definitely have people on that and helping.

So but for me, just myself, it’s pretty easy to control, right.

I do have go to account, I have them deal with the end game, but it’s okay if you’re solo.

You just have to be on task.

Have have you.

And I hate calling these failures.

Yeah, but have you experienced any failures and what did you learn from the failures.

Like it like with people or just in the business realm overall.

Let’s let’s go business realm.

Business are let me think this is just going to take me a minute here.


You know what I like really.

Nothing jumps out at me.

So I wish I had something really great, something real gory for you, but I.

I don’t really have any fails other than, you know, I would be better at customer service.

Like, as far as sending out like happy birthday letters and things like that, like little cards, things like that.

I could have done better if I’m looking back right.

Things like that.

Those little personal touches I would have amped up right from the beginning.

But it’s a process when you’re on your own and you’re learning, you know, I’m doing that now, but right from the get go, I would really add those personal touches.

When you have a kind of a relation ship based client type of thing.

What methods do you and this is the business side of things we’ll get into.

Yeah, for sure.

For sure.

Trainer But what, what methods have you found.

Work the best in finding clients.

You know what it’s been.

I think word of mouth is the absolute best way.

I have done very little advertising like I have here and there, but definitely it’s clients talking, it’s social media.

You know, people put out, you know, I need a trainer in this area.

And your name gets mentioned and people just start talking.

And that really is by far the best advertising you can get is happy clients.

They’re they’re you’re walking example, right.

So you have people that are just learning to really love fitness and they are changing and they’re becoming more positive.

And it really it does create a ripple effect.

Their attitude, their energy, and it just kind of it talks to people on its own so that that is super helpful.

Let’s get right into it.

And what do you love about being a trainer and and the career that you’ve chosen for yourself.

You know. I feel very grateful. I really do.

I get to be part of something that’s really special.

Like I get to see people evolve and change and grow and flourish and I get to be part of this experience that’s, you know, seeing them push through limiting beliefs that they have about themselves.

They become their courage to her, you know, confidence, everything changes for them.

And I think that’s a really vulnerable kind of relationship to be in, in a in a great way that I get to be part of that.

And it’s I get them, you know, there’s trust involved.

So I just feel really privileged.

And I think it’s I think I think I lucked out.

I don’t hate my job.

I actually think this is so cool that I get to be here and talk about that.

I have a job that I love, so I’m pretty happy about that.

Yeah, and not a lot of people.

Not everyone can say that. Yes.

How do you motivate a client who’s maybe discouraged at the results.

Maybe it’s not.

The results they were expecting isn’t coming fast enough.

Yeah, you know, and that’s one thing is, is people want to see your results right away.

And I think from the get go, I, I definitely establish that it’s not, it’s not just you going to the gym once a week.

If you see me once a week or twice a week, that’s not going to get you what you’re asking.

We need to focus on everything.

So I think when I set the tone right from the beginning that foods involved your nutrition is absolutely key.

The people around you.

So I think I set the stage for myself that this is like just our relationship isn’t going to be the make or break of this.

So they have to they have to look at all of the areas that are going to make this a success. So if something if they are discouraged, it is just let’s revisit where what can we improve.

And that’s literally all we do is we go back and say, okay, what, what is working all of these things.

Have we checked all these boxes that need to be in place for things to get you to your goal.

And if and we just see what’s what’s not right or what’s not working.

How do you stay updated on fitness related topics.

You know, as I mentioned, yes, techniques are changing.

Yes, information is always off being made available.

Thank God for YouTube, right there.

There’s some amazing, amazing coaches out there.

And I watch YouTube a lot.

My husband and I and some great coaches out there.

I’m always following them on social media and just learning new techniques.

Like you said, things do change you.

There’s better, smarter ways to train.

So I’m always like following that for sure.

And not it really comes from mostly social media and magazines.

And I mean, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel with fitness.

You really don’t don’t need to get all, you know, you don’t need to stand on medicine balls and do crazy things, right.

You just you really just need to do the basics.

But how can we be efficient.

Make your time in the gym shorter but effective.

Which is more important to you.

Physical fitness or nutrition.

Because I will ask.

Yes, I’ve heard and I’ve experienced this in my life.

I’m facing you straight on to the side.

I ask, because you can’t outrun a bad diet.

True story. It’s a true story. Is that.

True? It’s a true story. ABS are made in the kitchen.

It’s true.

They you you really do have to.

Your food is huge, right.

If you are not fueling your body and you’re not replacing what you just took away from it, it’s you’re not going to get your results.

You’re not.

It’s like people who a lot of time when I give people their macros so they’re like proteins, carbs, fats, how much they need to eat, so to speak, kind of a range.

And they’re like, No way, I cannot eat that much.

And I’m like, You need to eat this much if you’re working this hard, like you really do have to eat enough calories.

That is that is big.

You need to have your pro like all of your macros matter and you need to eat cut the crap out.

Like if you’re going to the grocery, all you need to stay around the center for the most part, right.

Like that’s where all the good stuff is. I mean, sorry on the outsides.

So the stuff in the middle tends to be the stuff that’s packaged and boxed and just not your healthiest choice.

Right. But it is about being realistic, right.

Like we if there is a snack that you love, let’s turn it into something that is add something, some type of value to your body but is not is a better choice.

Right. Because there’s there’s always ways.

That’s my specialty. I love to change a snack around I can make.

That’s why I’m not I’m never judgmental towards people who smoke or drink a lot because and I notice this with my kids in hockey as soon as their hockey season starts, I am going through the drive thrus at yes.

No restaurants. Yeah. And it’s no different.

It’s just as bad for your body as smoking.

Yeah, I know.

But you know, when it happens sometimes, right.

I, I feel like one of the tricks is just, it’s the meal prep idea, it’s the preparation.

And I think that’s where we got to hammer the kids and be like, You are old enough to skate, okay.

So that means you can, like, make a choice of like a sandwich or something like a pre-game snack, a post, make sure that they have a post-game snack or something like that.

But it is hard, it’s real life and we are rushed and things are busy.

But I, I have a little handy trick and that’s bite me meals which is up there, one of our sponsors and I am a customer, a very happy customer and they have incredible food for this exact reason.

So I have my fridge full of those and that definitely helps me out for sure.

When a client comes to you, what services are you providing to them.

Are you giving them meal plans as well.

You know what? I’m no.

So what I do is I don’t really believe in meal plans so much in that I feel like people once they have a meal plan, if I say, okay, eat this throughout the day, as soon as that four weeks or six weeks is over, I feel like they haven’t really learned how to deal with it on their own.

Right? So there’s no real they’re not following it.

It just goes out the door.

And that’s what happens with a lot of people and they’re like dieting.

I feel like the real diet is like, you just eat good food.

That’s that’s the diet that you need to be on, right.

Just like move your body’s, eat decent food and it’s a win.

Like, you can’t go wrong.

So I do provide them the range of calories that I believe that they should be out with, like their lifestyle.

I know how much protein, fats, carbs that would be good for them.

And that’s that’s what I give them.

And then like a healthy food list like let’s talk about, you know, the macros.

What are those.

What does that mean? Like what are those foods.

And give them the list.

And, and that’s where I kind of bring in the support and just let’s look in your fridge.

Let’s go in your dirty, dirty pantry there that has all the snack drawers.

Let me file go to their office open drawers.

But yeah that’s we just got to find that and find a different way.

Yeah I find it’s the midnight cake. Yes.

Experiences that I’m having this cake.

That’s a good one.

So you need, you need to like do something just you need to pre do your snack before bed, like every day.

And that’s a snack that you’re pulling out, whatever that is.


If you need crunchy or salty or sweet or whatever it is, you have to find something and pre make it and you’re good and you will you will be happy, you’ll be satisfied.

So yeah, there’s another way.

What what are some of your biggest challenges that you experience day to day in your career.

I would say probably people’s attitudes about themselves, that’s that’s an obstacle that I have to go through with them and get them over because they they come in with a limiting beliefs and they come in with self-doubt and maybe just some that they just don’t believe that they can do it or they’re discouraged.

So that is honestly, I think, my biggest obstacle.

If they, you know, we build a relationship, they learn to trust me.

They see that, you know, they’re safe.

I think that’s that’s a big one.

But it’s it’s really I think at the end of the day, people’s attitudes and some and by no means are they all negative whatsoever.

But that’s I think, one of the one of the hurdles.

But I get through them. It’s all good.

And what do you think you’re most proud of.

Oh, yeah, I’m most proud of, I, I think that I get to be in a job that can create, like, a ripple effect.

And especially with our program Fit and Fierce.

And it’s for girls like grades 3 to 12 and they learn mindfulness and fitness and nutrition and they just develop like healthy habits and that they’re creating like habits that are going to build and last for a lifetime.

And that creates a ripple effect. It’s like they’re siblings.

Oh, they’re these kids are meal prepping.

They’re making their own lunches.

They’re making good choices. And then their sister, their little brother wants a piece of that. Right.

They want that.

They want that bento box looking so good. Right.

So they that creates that effect.

And then their families and maybe through their friends and when they grow up, they kind of have this idea about I have a good attitude between like for fitness and nutrition and exercise and all of that.

So it it does ripple through and maybe their kids we can maybe start to create some change in the world.

If everyone just realizes that exercise doesn’t suck, it’s actually fun.

It’s it’s good and you feel good, right.

Mentally, it’s it’s you never regret a workout.

I’ve never regretted a workout in my life, ever.

Maybe doing it like while it was doing it.

Yeah I have two daughters and you’re fit and fierce program definitely caught my eye. Yes.

And I had a feeling you I had a feeling you were going to say that that is what you’re most.

Yes, I am.

Because I can only imagine you probably see the girls confidence coming to them as they’re going through that program.

It is honestly it truly is incredible.

Like it it just makes me so grateful.

I get emotional about it when I talk about it because we see a girls that summer young and now we have girls that have gone through the program for years and they’re working with us now.

It’s just to see them grow is phenomenal.

I can’t express to you how much change that we see and just how they believe in themselves is is really key.

And their attitudes, how they talk to themselves, how they treat themselves, and that that is a lot.

That’s a big deal because there’s a lot of negative talk as you’re growing up.

It’s it’s hard, especially now. Right.

So they have to deal with a lot.

So I think just to be able to be part of you know, a team that is like their cheerleader, I nothing makes me more happy.

I started this podcast because I want to build a library of interviews with all types of occupations because I left a career that I wasn’t happy in right.

And I wonder if there’s any advice you could give to that person out there that has always been interested in personal fitness.

What kind of advice could you give them to pursue a career and maybe make a switch into your industry.

I feel like if it is calling you, if it is something that honestly speaks to your heart, I say go for it.

I If you have the ability to go through the program like NAIT, I would do that.

I think it is comprehensive. You will learn so much.

And if you if changing people’s lives is is something that matters to you or just being a positive effect, having that positive attitude, I mean, you are around positive energy a lot like you have that around you a lot because you are doing some really great things.

So it’s a happy career.

I think.

I know in the pandemic it was a little bit tough, but I think overall as an entrepreneur and going into business for yourself, but I think overall as an entrepreneur and going into business for yourself, it’s extremely rewarding.

And you know, if you built a team and you built a gym financially, it can be really lucrative for you. So financially, it can be really lucrative for you. So I feel if it’s calling you, you go and you get you get the knowledge and you get the experience and you get the education and go for it.

Don’t stop because it’s amazing.

It really is.

And you get to walk your dogs in between clients and do cool things that if you were stuck at a desk, you wouldn’t be able to do it right.

So there’s some freedoms in being an entrepreneur, but I’m also really grateful for.

Well, Kelsey, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us today.

And. Congratulations in choosing a career that can inspire and change people’s lives.

Oh, congratulations. Thank you so much.

I really appreciate you doing this because it just made me happy as well.

And I was looking at all the other things and I think this is a great resource for people going, What the heck do I want to do.

I don’t even know.

And now if I hear from somebody, it might spark something for them.

So thank you.

Thank you for tuning in to The Job Talk Podcast.

For more information, please visit us at Our podcast music was created by our friend Mike Malone in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

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