Name: Ashlyn Merriman
Specialty: Food Chemistry, Nutrition, Personal Training.
• Bachelors of science degree with great distinction, major in chemistry.
• 2 years undergraduate research assistant position in computation chemistry laboratory; focused studies on protein synthesis, DNA analysis, and carcinogenic food items.
• 1 year research assistant position for Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
• CanFitPro Certified Personal Trainer
• ISSA: Specialist in Fitness Nutrition
Home Gym, City and Province: Perfectfit4u, Lethbridge, Alberta
My training style is versatile as I believe it’s the trainers obligation to adapt their training methods towards the learning style and fitness goals of their clientele. My focus as a fitness trainer is to promote overall health and wellness as a number one priority, supporting overall lifestyle transformation and longevity as important over body composition. Although I do find aesthetic goals important, I believe performance and functional health should be of prime focus.
Why did you become a personal trainer?
During my time at university, I studied chemistry and biochemistry full time, worked in a chemistry laboratory amongst many educated professionals, prepared for four bodybuilding competitions, and trained alongside my mother, who at the time had been a high-level competitor and personal trainer for 15-plus years. It was during these years that I found myself absorbed with knowledge about the human body, its chemical makeup, and prominently, its ability to adapt, shape, and respond to food and exercise. This captivating passion consumed me in my studies, and in the gym for the entire length of my degree. Not only did proper nutrition and training protocol lead to aesthetic benefits, but it gave me a sense of confidence and satisfaction I had yet to find in life elsewhere. My excitement over the science of the body, in conjunction with my personal experience and desire to help and motivate others to do the same, led to the perfect opportunity to make my own business in health and fitness once my science degree was complete.
What do you think is the reason your clients gravitated to you?
I believe my clients gravitate towards me because I enable the client to learn. I desire to educate, motivate and coach my clients to evolve their life, not just “instruct” them in a systematized fashion in order to change their appearance. By placing my focus on personalized health and wellness, as opposed to weight and appearance, I believe I have attracted a broader demographic of clientele. I like to take the intimidation factor away from the “gym scene” by only offering training sessions on a personal basis, in my own personal training studio. I don’t train clients in an open gym or facility, nor am I hired by a franchise or corporate company. As an independent trainer, I’m able to work with each client on an exclusive basis. Not only do my clients get a personal coach by hiring me, but they acquire their own personal gym for the time in which they are present. This exclusiveness promotes a close relationship with the client and added opportunity to teach, push, modify, and test limits without others present.
Greatest client success story.
My client Maddison started her first diet in grade 7, and from there, pretty much attempted every diet created. By grade 12, she had restricted her calorie intake to less than 500 calories per day, in conjunction with immense cardio, leaving her 5'10" frame just over 100 pounds. This unhealthy obsession ruptured into a self-damaging eating disorder. When university began, time and food resources became limited, and Maddison’s weight quickly rebounded up to 210 pounds (100 pounds heavier than her lightest documented weight). When I met Maddison, she was ready to take control of her life, and we did just that. In just over a year, Maddison progressed from body-weight workouts in her basement to independently lifting heavy weights in the gym. She now gets excited about building muscle and gaining strength, and has embraced a newfound balanced relationship with food. Not to mention, Maddison recently competed in a transformation challenge where she showcased her hard work onstage and was chosen as the top transformation in Alberta! Maddison has also started her own flexible dieting blog, which showcases her experience, newfound knowledge, and passion for food. Maddison has completely altered her way of thinking regarding fitness and food and has finally found a training and nutrition approach that serves her body and is sustainable long term.
Why do you think you can rep BSN like a boss? What do you love about the brand?
I believe I can rep BSN like a boss because like the BSN products, I am also rooted in science. My background and education works in correlation with the visual aspects of the BSN products. For example, coincidence or not, I have a similar molecular formula to the “hexagon” BSN label tattooed on my forearm. Despite being a CBBF National level competitor, and prominent in my social media forums, I have never accepted or searched for any types of sponsorships or ties with any supplement company previously (or any fitness company, for that matter). By owning a business which now employs four trainers other than myself, and a combined 500-plus clients over the past year (as we work both online and in person), I am confident that having me as an ambassador for BSN products could bring about an influx of new BSN consumers (predominantly those purchasing supplements that are recommended to my clients when beginning their personalized programming, from protein powders, BCAAs, CLA, fish oils, and glutamine to creatine, pre-workout powders, and mass gainers).
Why should YOU be Canada’s Top trainer?
Despite being young in age, I am not short of experience, knowledge, or enthusiasm. I work hard to preserve and protect the well-being of my clients. I help others achieve their goals using personalized and health-conscious protocols, not industry fads or quick fixes. As a young entrepreneur, with just over a year invested into my own business, my company has recently been named as the 2016 “best of the best” fitness facility and weight-loss centre locally; as well, I have independently been recognized as one of the top 40 under 40 entrepreneurs in southern Alberta. Although growing a successful business locally has been gratifying, I am ready to show Canada that my focus is nationwide. I desire to be a source of knowledge, inspiration, and motivation for those embarking on their own fitness journey from all over the map. I want so badly to be an acknowledged face of Canadian fitness. Lastly, I genuinely love what I do, and I live the lifestyle I promote. I live, eat, dream, sleep and breathe fitness and nutrition daily. This is my lifestyle, and there is nothing I enjoy more than sharing it with others.
What is your favorite BSN product and why?
My favorite BSN product has to be the Syntha-6 Lean Muscle Protein Powder (and the Syntha-6 Isolate Protein Powder, as depending on my nutrition goals, I will rotate between the two as they have differing carb content). I enjoy these products, specifically the Peanut Butter Chocolate flavor. Protein powder is the most commonly used supplement in my own dietary regime, and this was actually the very first protein powder and flavour I ever purchased on my own as I embarked on my personal fitness journey. Growing up, Syntha-6 Protein was my mother’s go-to, and therefore, the tradition was passed along as it has now become my personal favourite as well.