I developed my love for strength training in my early 20s, when I finally decided to fix a lower back injury that had been plaguing me for years. I’d been an athlete my whole life but my lower back was affecting my quality of life so something had to be done.
I’d never tried formal strength training but when I eventually learned the squat, bench press, and deadlift, I knew I’d found something special. The new confidence, health, empowerment, and athleticism that I found in the gym through moving heavy objects and experiencing new physical strength transferred into every other aspect of my life. I wouldn’t go so far to say that it became my whole life, as I think it’s important to have a mix of interests and hobbies, but it prompted a change in career.
Until this point, I was an outdoor education instructor. I got to facilitate my favorite activities while teaching teenagers about leadership, individualism, authenticity, and grit. And very quickly I saw parallels in the gym – self-esteem through action and strength, self-love, goal setting, and problem solving.
And I now have the privilege of facilitating another one of my favorite things – strength training.
I train clients out of Fortis Fitness, in Toronto, Canada. My approach has its base in athletic strength and conditioning, with main ingredients being the hinge, squat, push, pull, and carry – fully adapted to an individual’s needs. I don’t like gimmicks or gurus, and while my exercise library is large, you will find yourself getting brilliant at the basics. I also coach hockey players at TPA Sports.
I am a certified personal trainer through the NSCA, certified Youth Fitness Specialist through the IYCA, and Exercise and Sport Nutrition certified through Precision Nutrition. I interned at the Gary Roberts High Performance Centre where I learned from fantastic coaches and had the chance to work with hockey players from age 13 up to some of today’s NHL stars. I don’t know everything, nor will I pretend to. I pride myself on continuing education – I attend conferences and seminars multiple times per year, read daily, and practice and cement things before I teach them. If I can’t help you with something, I will refer you to someone who can and then learn more about what you’re dealing with.
For fun, I am a competitive powerlifter and hockey player, I enjoy climbing, camping, canoeing, and making friends with dogs.
Training with me is simple, but not easy. You’ll work hard, while also having fun. I’m not a cheerleader-style coach but I’m highly supportive. Contact me if I’ve peaked your interest and let’s get you started!
Precision Nutrition 1
Youth Fitness Specialist (IYCA)
Strength coach for a top high school rowing team
Interned with Gary Roberts
Team sport athletes
The “force of nature” idea came organically from time throughout my life spent in the great outdoors and learning about self-development through stepping out of my comfort zone. The power, grace, strength, and movement that are found in nature can be paralleled in the weight room and beyond with a progressive, individualized program to help you reach your goals.
An individualized strength building program gives you purpose, focus, and a way to concretely measure progress
Find your simple diet plan that can be followed consistently to jointly support your health, performance, and body composition goals
Learn how things we do outside of the gym also have a huge impact on our strength and health, either positively or negatively
A weak or sore lower back isn’t a reason to avoid deadlifts, instead it’s a reason to start doing them (properly!).
I have been training with Hil for about 8 months and have experienced a significant increase in strength, flexibly and agility. She has the ability to inspire me to push harder than I would on my own, while making sure that I don’t do anything that would set me back. I have work with other trainers and she is by far the best.- David Swain, Client