Meet Your Team
Meet our team of personal trainers, registered massage therapists and lifestyle coaches from Hamilton. Our team is highly certified and dedicated to continual learning so that we can always support your goals.
Damian has been a Fitness Personal Trainer since 2000 and founded Xelf Fitness in 2005. His lifelong relationship with exercise, nutrition, and seeing others struggle to find their balance has been the driving factor behind his passion to help others become Empowered Exercisers.
Damian graduated with a Bachelor of Education in Kinesiology from McGill University in 2003, where he worked as a fitness consultant during his studies. The hours spent in the gym showed Damian that everyone functions at a level of increased energy, heightened mood and improved confidence during and after exercise. Damian received his ACE Personal Trainer Certification from the American Council on Exercise in 2004. He went on to become a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist with the NSCA in 2006.
When he was young, Damian pursued fitness through soccer and basketball, but it was not until his post-secondary studies where he came to fully appreciate how exercise can be used as a tool for people to love and improve their lives.
After graduation, Damian began working as a personal trainer for a mainstream fitness centre but was dissatisfied with their coaching approach, which focused more on sales and an external, temporary approach to fitness.
Damian personally crafted and created the Foundation Program and the Empowered Exerciser Membership — which are unique and impactful programs that greatly support people to live an active life that they enjoy with Functional Strength Training as their foundation. The goal is to guide, coach, and inspire people to live in shape instead of always trying to get in shape. The Xelf Foundation Program and Empowered Exerciser Membership is the place to start for beginners to resistance training or anyone who has not yet succeeded at exercising consistently long term.
Damian is very passionate and dedicated to his angle as a Fitness Professional who enjoys most, the opportunity to teach and inspire the in-active and yo-yo exerciser population. His talk is called, EMPOWERING YOU TO BENEFIT GREATER FROM EXERCISE. If you would benefit from motivation and a realistic bigger picture of how you can live the benefits of exercise, you must attend his next presentation. He sees personal and professional value in constantly educating himself through literature on mind, body, soul, exercise and nutrition.
Damian is also a:
- Accelerator Lifestyle Coach
- Certified C.H.E.K. Institute Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach
- C.H.E.K. Exercise coach
Damian is motivated to bring a well-rounded approach through his experience and education to others who seek improved health, energy, athletic ability, everyday movement ability, and a better body that they can experience more joy through.
Omar has been an exercise coach with Xelf Fitness since November of 2014.
His relationship with exercise hasn’t changed in many years but what has changed is his vast ability to get others to develop a better relationship with exercise. After feeling the benefits of strength training, Omar believed that people are more likely to try doing activities they once loved to do. This is the ultimate goal of Xelf — to use strength training as a foundation to live an active life that you enjoy.
How do we do that, you ask? By creating a solid relationship with exercise that enables you to feel empowered going to the gym as opposed to discouraged or forced.
Omar chose to be an exercise coach at Xelf Fitness Studio because he appreciates the approach that Xelf takes with every individual and unique member. It’s one of compassion, empowerment & acceptance.
Measure-Monitor-Manage. This system ensures everyone is getting the most out of their workouts every time and is also a great way for the coaches to track how far along everyone is in their progress.
Further, teaching people proper technique and watching clients develop independence in a place they started out shy and intimidated is very rewarding for Omar. The friendly environment allows people to get comfortable and learn quickly when surrounded by like-minded individuals.
Since Omar’s first day at Xelf with Damian, he has had a vision of this company growing into something extremely effective and known as a place of comfort and reward. He believes that the comfort starts with the coaches, how they will make you feel, and how they help you realize that you are gaining something every session.
The reward is your independence, comfort, growth and of course strength, movement ability, core stability and posture.
Alison graduated with Honours from Everest College and became a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) in July 2012. She worked at ptHealth in Waterdown for the first 5 years of her career, while simultaneously opening a clinic in her home. Alison even received the Hamilton Spectator’s Platinum Award for Best Massage Therapist in 2017!
Alison joined the Xelf Fitness Team in September of 2017 and knew almost instantly that she found the perfect fit for her approach to Health and Wellness. Xelf “Exists to empower people to live active lives they enjoy, so that the journey is appreciated and the benefits are lived”. This philosophy is one of the reasons that Alison knows she has found where she is meant to be. Working at Xelf is different than working in a traditional clinic. This is a business based on providing the best care for clients, not offering all services to everyone without a specific purpose. The staff is very apt at identifying limitations, modifying routines for health conditions or injuries and knowing when alternative therapy, such as massage, may be helpful.
Being able to be on the gym floor with clients and offering helpful tips or being available to provide support is a rewarding component to Alison that is not available anywhere else. It has also given her a wider range of clientele which she enjoys because she likes to be challenged and continuously expand her knowledge. Whether she is treating professional or national athletes, babies, elderly, or anyone in between, Alison’s approach is holistic and unique to the individual and provided with care and compassion.
Alison considers herself a treatment therapist and gets great joy out of solving the puzzle that each individual patient presents. Relaxation is an important component of any massage but identifying the root cause of a patients pain and preventing further symptoms is always the goal. Alison is incredibly passionate about the health benefits of massage therapy and believes it is her calling to help “transform people back to health”.
Coach Jordan is our head coach for Semi-Private Training at Xelf Fitness. He’s passionate, educated, caring, and knowledgeable on what it takes to live an active life with strength training as your Foundation.
Jordan has been living out his passion as a Fitness Trainer since 2013. He studied Health, Wellness & Fitness at Mohawk College. He has many years experience coaching 1 on 1 and group exercises classes.
Being active and staying healthy has always been a part of his life. When he was 4 years old he started playing soccer and it has been a passion of his ever since. Jordan believes strength training is a key element to be in good shape for his sport and his life! When he is not training others in the gym he is training himself either running, in the gym or chasing around his 2 year old boy.
Jordan enjoys the benefits of physical activity and the good feeling that comes from within. Jordan is inspired to instill that same feeling in others and is grateful for the opportunity to do so everyday.
“Our bodies are the only place we have to live, take care of them”
Alice is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner who graduated from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition with Honours, where she gained a deep understanding of human health. Alice is passionate about returning to her roots by living the philosophy Hippocrates so eloquently worded: let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food. She feels deeply privileged to be able to help so many in her own community take a similar journey.
Alice is a firm believer in lifelong learning and she continues to expand her knowledge in human nutrition. She has completed extensive training in topics such as sports nutrition, blood sugar management, herbal medicine, pre- and post-natal nutrition, paediatric nutrition, detoxification and Ayurveda to name a few. She particularly values an individualized approach to care based on ancestral roots; lifestyle; genetics; familiarity in the kitchen; unique relationship with food – whether emotional, cultural or habitual; and much more. Alice’s biggest joy comes from helping people take autonomy over their own health, feel their bodies thrive and reach their full potential! Alice’s priority with any client is to have every one of her clients feel supported, better educated and empowered.
Prior to becoming a holistic nutritionist, Alice worked as a social entrepreneur and a business consultant for tech startups, government agencies and non-profits, focusing on causes such as climate change, economic justice, environmental conservation, food sovereignty and regenerative agriculture. She was named Top 30 Under 30 Sustainable Leaders in Canada by Corporate Knights and Top 30 Under 30 Entrepreneurs by BC Business. When Alice is not working, you can find her on a trail or camping with her son.
Mary met Damian in 2009 when he was speaking at a workshop. She asked herself, “was it really possible that there was an exercise coach who would accept me just as I was (over weight and out of shape) and start building from there?” She took a leap of faith and started the Foundation Program at Xelf Fitness. As a result of the Foundation program, she understands that previous experience does not make or break your success. Everyone has the potential to become an Empowered Exerciser.
Mary has experienced tremendous success with Xelf, it has been 7+ years and she is still going strong. Other clients actually look forward to their workouts and the positive environment is energizing. Her physical strength has made a huge difference in terms of being able to live a more active, vibrant life and it has given her the energy and emotional strength to achieve many personal goals. Mary feels proud of her many accomplishments and can actually say “I love my life!”
As a Life Coach, Mary understands what a positive attitude can do for someone. Her extensive training and certification with the Coaches Training Institute has equipped her with the tools and experience to be able to work with people and support them when they need it most. For the past 7 years, she has had the privilege of watching people accomplish their goals; health and fitness, career or life transitions. When someone decides the time is right to make a change in their life then the opportunities are endless.
Her approach to life coaching is that we journey together in order for you to realize your personal greatness. Mary will support you as you discover who you are on the inside, decide what you want from this moment on and what you are willing to do about it and then diverge from past habits and self-limiting beliefs so you can start down a new path.