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Most people are not disciplined to follow an exercise program

milenio stadium - Tony Mark2


Tony Mark is one of the co-founders and owners of Balance Fitness, a boutique club that was established in 2001 at Younge and St. Clair East in Toronto. The innovative concept combines health and fitness, provides personalized training or rehabilitation program, according with your needs. With more than 30 years of experience as a personal trainer, Tony admitted to Milénio Stadium that this service is not cheap. “Membership is $150 a month, most of the big clubs will charge you almost half of the price, but here you get fast results”, he ensures.

With big plans for the future, he told us that in the next month Balance Fitness will expand their services in rehabilitation, chiropractic and nutritionism and in one or two years they will open a second location in the city.

milenio stadium - Tony Mark2Milénio Stadium: When you create a personalized training or rehabilitation program to one of your costumers what is your biggest concern?
Tony Mark: Most people are not disciplined to follow an exercise program, they don’t stick into the program. The only time that the program is successful is when you do it every day, just like it was recommended. We want to make sure that they are following the directions properly. If you are doing rehabilitation or training, it should be done multiple times a week and most people will only do it once or twice.

MS: When you opened Balance in 2001 you surrounded yourself with some of the most qualified personal trainers and fitness instructors in the city. Why is that so important?
TM: My goal is to make sure that people get the best service and the best treatment. When you have strong people around you will get better results. Surrounding myself with qualified people means that my costumers will get a better outcome and more results. And when people see results, they will be happy and actually will stick to the program longer. Currently we have personal trainers, studio instructors, meaning that we teach small group classes- Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, etc. We also have massage therapists and chiropractors. Before the pandemic we had a naturopath and an athletic therapist.

MS: What are the benefits of working out in “one of Canada’s best boutique health clubs”?
TM: You always get better service at a smaller boutique club. Now with COVID-19 people feel more safe in a small boutique than in a big club because they can workout with less people around. In a boutique club you have more time to spend with people, you can focus more on the individuals. In a big club you have 52 participants in a group class, but at Balance we have 6 participants. The teacher can spend more time looking after and taking care of the participants in the class.

MS: Nowadays more and more people want to feel good when they look in the mirror. But that raises some red flags because we all have different bodies. Do you find hard to explain this to some of your costumers?
TM: Most people are not realistic. Boutique or not most people will take a picture of a movie star and say that they want to look exactly like that person. They don’t realize that their body type is completely different from that person in the picture. My job is to make sure that I bring them down to reality. You may not look like the person in the picture, but you can be in the best possible shape for your body type. There is a huge risk on this. They don’t understand that the movie star is getting money to look a certain way and to get in shape for a role. Let’s use Tom Cruise in “Top Gun: Maverick” as an example. He is 59 years old, and he looks phenomenal in the movie. But besides the preparation for the movie, he is also working out 3/4 hours a day, plus he is eating properly. It’s not only 1 hour a day, most of the average people work out 2 to 3 times a week. For most people it wouldn’t even be healthy to train 3/4 hours a day.

MS: Health is possible with some joy?
TM: You don’t need to go hardcore every day to be healthy. You can do the basics like going for a walk after dinner every day and doing some basic movements like push ups. Health is definitely possible with some joy. For mental health for example, exercise is one of the things that psychologists always recommend. When you workout you release hormones.

Joana Leal/MS

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