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I remember the first day I walked into a Fitness Town store quite clearly. It was four years ago. I had just left the big box commercial gym I'd been working at my first two years as a personal trainer and was ready to venture into business for myself.

I have to laugh myself silly at how naive I was back then.

So I walked into the Langley location and was price shopping for my squat rack and functional cable station needs; what was to be the base of my training style.

I remember like it was yesterday when Arlen Quashie, the manager at the time suggested to me a smith machine instead. I can't tell you how insulted I was. Any good trainer scoffs at the smith machine. It's the BOSU version of a real man's power cage.

But Arlen asked my needs and I told him I was venturing into personal training out of my home. He asked me to come check out this fancy Hoist PTS (Personal Training System) he had in the back.

"Try a squat man," he said with his unmistakable, coy laugh. So I got in there, proud, about to show this dude how this was like every other bogus smith out there; meaning it runs on a single plane of movement, destroys nuances to the compound lifts and pretty much is only good for inverted rows.

I unracked the bar with it on my back and proceeded to squat, except I fell backwards, nearly on my ass if it wasn't for Arlen who had his hand by the bar to the side the whole time; clearly knowing what was going to happen. I was astonished with this miracle of exercise equipment engineering.

See this smith is about 90% natural (the loss is the lateral tip which most people know is the hardest to stabilize and the greatest injury disaster waiting to happen anyway). Most smiths, when you squat, you lean against the bar, feet out in front of the bar to emphasize quad contraction. Not this beast. This was as close to naked bar in a power rack as possible. Plus the safety features are top-notch.

Consider me schooled. I was now ready to listen to what this guy had to say. He walked me through some other options but at the end of the day it kept coming back to the Hoist PTS with optional dual hi-lo cable stacks as being the best option for jump starting a personal training business from home.

It took a good month for me to work out the other logistics when I walked out of the store that day but in short time I'd set myself up with an original investment of just under $10,000 in equipment, flooring, all the toys to get me started down this journey. The financing option was the way to go for me and they made it easy.

Let's fast forward four years, today my PTS was sold to a gentlemen that will get some fantastic use out of it in his home.

I've come full circle, the Hoist PTS I'd put four full-time years training clients on it and came up with dozens of unique ways of combining the system with free weights to make for quality training but in my heart I know a separate functional cable system and a basic squat rack is where I'm headed towards using.

I literally built a business from one client up to the inordinate amount of clients I have now off this decision to start my own business and purchase this equipment. It's the "dream" most trainers have when they leave the commercial gym but so few ever realize (because working 60-80 hours a week and making so very little your first few years can make it near impossible to survive).

Here's my point: Since my original $10,000 purchase four years ago I've spent probably close to double that in accessories (read: dozens of foam rollers for myself and clients as well as all the perks of the FTDirect line of products which save this one man army tons of money), I've built a great relationship with the staff at various locations (big ups to Jason Minion as well for the hours he’s put into helping me in the Surrey store!), had some great chats with Dai, COO of Fitness Town and Arlen just hooked me up with my new toys: a Hoist 1910 functional cable system and the FTDirect Squat/Press Stand.
So here I am, 6 years into my personal training career, 4 years into me owning and operating my own business and $30,000 into equipment purchases through Fitness Town (let alone the referrals of clients and friends when they're in need of great equipment options).

Arlen's expertise knew what was best for my business needs before I did. He's always got my back and the rest of the staff is always quick to introduce me to what's new in stock.


Quite simply they're my first choice and I'm quick to tell anyone they should be yours as well!

My girlfriend just shakes her head now when I say "oh, yea, and I gotta stop by Fitness Town."

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