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Strength

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I first connected with Meghan this summer when I was looking for a trainer who could work with me on Olympic lifting while my regular trainer was away. I had some pretty sport specific things I was looking for help in improving. Meghan agreed to meet with me to see if she could help me out or she would refer me to another trainer who could. I appreciated her openness to have a look and willingness to help me find the right solution I was looking for. Olympic weightlifting is a very technical discipline and there are many pieces to the puzzle to be able successfully improve the weight you can lift. During our first session together Meghan, watched my movements and quickly identified the area I needed to change and had been struggling to improve. For me it was a light bulb moment. I was not able to engage my diaphragmatic brace correctly and being able to do that, was something could change everything. Meghan set out to help me make a change the way I used my diaphragm and set my core. It seems like such a simple thing, but it made a such a huge difference to my lifting.

Simple instructions to work on and an emailed outline of what we had covered each session helped me keep on track and see almost immediate results.

Meghan’s calm relaxed style and openness to help you get where you want to go, allows you to feel comfortable asking questions.  As someone who had a very specific issue that I needed to work on, I appreciated the quickness that she was able to identify and find a solution that would give me the results I needed.  I have seen a marked improvement in my lifting as well as my overhead squats and kettle bell swings.  I am finding that the changes that she has helped me make have had really positive impact on my regular training program. I really don’t think it matters if you are just beginning to work out or experienced and have specific things you want to improve, Meghan’s knowledge and her attention to detail makes her someone I would highly recommend as a trainer.

Sue Spencer, 2017 World Masters Games Gold Medalist 60-64 age class 90kg, Canadian Masters Weightlifting record holder

September 1, 2018

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I think this is the best money I've ever spent on an exercise class! (Even though I felt like I wanted to die in the middle of it.)

Michelle A. May 10, 2015

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My years of training with Meghan have resulted in a solid core that never feels fatigued. I always feel strong whether I am at my desk all day or working in the garden hauling dirt, pulling weeds etc. I hauled 700 lb of soil this weekend without causing any soreness or pain. I can't thank Meghan enough for her expert training and sincere attention to her students. The time and effort I have put into kettlebell training has enabled me to stay strong and fit for years to come!! Great work Meghan, thanks so much!

Roland K May 10, 2015

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I have some physical limitations that make it difficult to get my heart rate up. Meghan's taught me kettlebell work that is a safe and fun way to do it. She's also given me some creative exercises using an UGI ball to keep my routine from getting stale.

Judy S. August 26, 2014

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When I walk out of kettlebell classes with Meghan, I feel so much better. My chest is opened up, and my back feels good.

Chelsea S. August 26, 2014

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I met Meghan O'Connell at a social event whilst I was in Vancouver on holidays. I got talking with her about kettlebells, not knowing that this was an area Meghan specialized in. Her in-depth knowledge of the techniques and theory instantly convinced me to arrange an introductory person session with her the following week.

Meghan worked me through the basics and some more complex moves. She easily adapted to my level of fitness and ability, and provided me with excellent advice on posture, breathing and technique throughout the session. She was spot-on in her approach.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Meghan to anyone who's looking for a personal trainer for either an extended period of time or simply a one-on-one tuneup. Thanks very much again for everything Meghan!

Dan W. August 26, 2014

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I came to Meghan to learn about kettlebells so I could change up my routine. I'm used to lifting heavy (315 lb. chest press PR), but these things kick my a@%! She won't let you put them down until she says you're done, at which point your heart is pounding and your muscles are burning. The kettlebells have helped me run faster without any running-specific training, and they give a great full-body workout. We're literally mopping up the floor when I'm done.

Mariusz S. August 26, 2014

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I'm not the type to go to the gym - at all. But I really enjoy Meghan's kettlebell classes. Meghan is enthusiastic and professional (not to mention, very strong!). Her classes feature great variety that keep me interested and motivated. I highly recommend working with her.

Bob K. August 26, 2014

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Your kettlebell classes have saved me from knee surgery!

Ken K. August 18, 2014

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I want to thank you for your great teaching. Before I went to Conklin, I bought a 16 kg kettlebell to haul with me. I've been doing workouts with it since then. Since I have a work truck here, it's perfect to lug around because I can get a quick work out in wherever I am.

Will C. August 18, 2014

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Boxing

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Thanks Meghan for your help not just on the boxing level but your overall counsel on making me healthier.

Steve K. May 31, 2017

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Meghan is an awesome instructor. I enjoyed my first kickboxing class thoroughly. She is very knowledgeable, and helps you when necessary. I will be joining her class again to help release some frustrations and get a good workout in.

Valerie S. August 26, 2014

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I love your kickboxing class!! I can’t believe how much I enjoy it. I love the challenge of the classes, the power I feel during the classes and how I’m so energized for the rest of the day. Meghan is a great instructor – very knowledgeable and helpful. I would recommend Meghan and her classes to anyone! Love them!!

Jas N. August 26, 2014

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After my first kickboxing conditioning class with Meghan, I was hooked and have been taking her class ever since. Meghan is patient and accommodating, and she makes working out fun! I’ve had other martial arts instructors before, and she’s definitely one of my favourites!

Grace H. August 26, 2014

Pain Reduction

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I am writing to thank you for all the help you have given me with exercises to improve my posture.  You have helped me develop a more positive attitude toward improving myself, and have motivated me to do the exercises regularly.  I especially liked the fact that you made notes and sent me a revised list of exercises to do after each session.

Ted C November 22, 2017

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Well, I think I owe you an apology.  I really didn’t think a week of exercises would do anything, but even after three-four days I skied both Saturday (backcountry) and Sunday (cross-country), and felt way less pain than I would have expected.  Then again, it was also really soft forgiving snow on the weekend, so I reserved judgement.  Today, I just got back from a 1hr15min ski up at Cypress with essentially no pain at all.  Even skating for some stretches.  Maybe a bit of muscle tiredness on the shin muscle, but none of the sharp pain either there or in the lower calf/achilles area.  So you are a veritable magician, and thank you!!

Anton P. May 1, 2016

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Meghan
Your powers prevail.
Not until just now did I realize (I have had a busy day) that today, once again, I had given no thought to my neck/shoulders situation. There seems not to be a shred of pain or stiffness remaining.

Paul T. November 29, 2015

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I have learned so much from Meghan. I am a senior with an auto-immune form of arthritis that has compromised me physically for several years. However, thanks to Meghan’s patient and targeted instruction I am regaining control of muscles I had forgotten existed.  I am stronger and better coordinated and am learning to integrate into my daily routines the movements that I practice with Meghan in the gym.  What a discovery! If I use the muscles of my side and shoulder as well as my arm and wrist, window washing is so much easier!

Aubin VB July 5, 2015

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I can’t sing Meghan’s praises enough! After back surgery and a bout of pneumonia I was feeling like I was destined to live the rest of my life in a half body. I was limited in my actions, my back was often in spasm and I was very unsure of my physical self. In a few short months Meghan has helped me turn that around. I now feel confident and secure in my body and am back on the North Shore trails. I am thrilled and strongly recommend that you hire Meghan. It will be your best investment ever!

Nicky F. May 10, 2015

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I hate to think what I would do or where I would be without Meghan's expert help! I honestly think I would be in a walker by now. Even at my age, I'm getting stronger, and she's helped reduce the pain level in my shoulder to the point that it's often pain-free. Meghan's training makes a huge difference to my quality of life.

Marlene M. May 10, 2015

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Meghan's genius progressions make it so easy to experience success! She picks the right steps for where my body is at, and gives very clear instructions.

Angela P. November 8, 2014

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As a competitive dancer, it is vital to develop and maintain a physically healthy and strong body for maximum success. Meghan's deep knowledge in all areas, but particularly core strengthening, is what has allowed me to achieve new heights as a dancer. Meghan is a careful listener and her programs always reflect my needs. More importantly, they allow me to achieve set goals; they are never boring and always fun, all while still pushing towards my maximum potential. If you are results-driven like myself and are looking for a professional and passionate personal trainer, I would highly recommend Meghan O'Connell.

Ben K., BC 2010 Latin Ballroom Champion. August 26, 2014

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I have been very impressed with Meghan. Working with her has helped me experience periods lately where I am not in pain, which has not happened for a long time! I find her to be very knowledgeable, professional and caring. I appreciate the thought Meghan puts in to the time we spend together and the effort she puts in to keep my workout fun and interesting. I also appreciate her ability to adapt exercises to accommodate to my middle-aged and injured body! I am pleased to recommend her.

Susan K. August 26, 2014

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The results I got from you working with my shoulder last week were amazing! Normally I have to take Alleve to play tennis, but I’ve remained pain-free through a few games now.

Linda T. August 26, 2014

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When I started seeing Meghan before my hip replacement, she helped me get stronger in my upper body. Frankly, I would have taken a lot longer to make it out of chairs post-surgery otherwise! Now that the hip has been replaced, I'm moving more smoothly than ever and I've surpassed my previous level of functioning. I never know what's in store when I show up for a session or how she comes up with some of her crazy ideas, but they all help to gently push me to new breakthroughs.

Gary August 26, 2014

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Two wonderful things have come out of working with Meghan. First, while bending over to get laundry out of the dryer lately, I was happy to realize that I felt no pain! What a welcome change... and in what is obviously related, I now feel that I have a girdle of muscle around my core, keeping me strong from the inside.

She has also been in constant communication with my physiotherapist during my recovery from a shoulder injury. Between the two of them, I feel like I've received an advanced course in how to place my shoulders.

Susan Q. August 26, 2014

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I have been working with Meghan O'Connell for about four months now to develop a program to assist me with my Parkinson's which I diagnosed with approximately eight years ago. The main problems were stiffness of the legs, a listing in my posture and a sciatic nerve problem which often follows as a result of PD.

I'm pleased to state that we're making surprising progress to all three issues as a result of a program of stretches, breathing and walking on both treadmill and with applied resistance that Meghan has set up. I hope to be able to discontinue the use entirely of all pain killer medications I have relied on for much of the past several years.

Jim W. August 26, 2014

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I initially came to Meghan to learn some movements I'd seen her do at a show, and we ended up spending a lot of time on proper body mechanics. I've been so happy to access this high level of expertise in my community -- it's been like having a dream come true!

Sheena A. August 26, 2014

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YES, finally I can feel that I am getting past the aches and pains in my hips, ankles and achilles/heels.  Your assessments, together with a variety of progressive home/gym exercises and stretches have lessened the pain and stiffness.  Our sessions keep me committed and give me feedback on how much progress has been made since we started. Your knowledge, experience and gentle care has taught me not to accept less than what is possible when living in an aging body!

Linda C. August 26, 2014

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Just wanted to let you know that whatever we did yesterday made a big difference and I have had my first pain free day since forever. It is all coming together. Golfed nine holes this morning with no pain which is a first since we started on this program.

Naidra J. August 18, 2014

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I just wanted to tell you that your training had excellent results for my Kilimanjaro climb. I was plenty fit enough and my 51 year old body performed surprisingly well. My back magically recovered in the last week before I left and I ended up being the only woman in our group who carried her pack the whole way up the mountain, and all my other aches and pains went away too! Thanks again for your excellent training and advice.

Emily M. August 18, 2014

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I wanted to tell you how much more grounded I'm feeling since doing those exercises and I already walk with more confidence. 🙂 Keeping a neutral spine and core engaged while squatting or kneeling while lifting bricks in and out of a hole all day really helped! I'm not sore today! Yay! Thank you Meghan you are an amazing teacher!

Helga M. August 18, 2014

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Health & Fitness

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Your style of training is in a class by itself.

Larry S. December 31, 2017

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Thanks Meghan for your help not just on the boxing level but your overall counsel on making me healthier.

Steve K. May 31, 2017

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My sincere thanks, Meghan, for your well planned, diverse weekly half-hour fitness sessions you provided for me for some time. I believe I have made good progress due to your expertise in personal training, and very much enjoyed our sessions together.
I wish you well in your future endeavors, as I'm sure your diligent nature will ensure success.

Bev U January 24, 2017

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Thank you for the detailed information for this client. I will do my best to continue on in the exceptional manner you have with him- and all your other clients. As I said to you earlier, I have rarely seen a trainer as dedicated, committed, and attentive as you. It is an exceptional skill.

Marla B. December 23, 2016

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I have enjoyed working with Meghan because I've learned a lot, especially about the 'non-machines' aspect of exercising. She's helped me safely transition from formerly feeling like a rehab patient to now feeling like a normal person on my way to getting fit.

Tony D. May 1, 2016

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I am really enjoying the suite of exercises this time around! I appreciate your patience in making sure I have the movements dialled before moving to more complicated/potentially injurious exercises. Excited for more.

Andrea T. November 29, 2015

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Just wanted to check in with you about how everything is going.

First, I just want to thank you so very much for your help. Your advice was invaluable to me. I've incorporated all of the changes into my routine and they have all been going smoothly. I have also added in a plank and made sure I have a big bottle of water for rest breaks. I've visibly been gaining more muscle in areas that I haven't before, as well as having a large increase to stamina and strength. I'm also involved with the Cavalier program, so I can ride horses! Woo!

I have also been getting up at 6:30 every morning to make breakfast and lunch. I've been feeling pretty good lately, and I'm starting to cook rice and some chicken and veggies for supper.
In short, I'm doing very well. I cannot say how much I appreciate your help. I will definitely schedule another session with you in the coming months for another checkup 😀
Thank you for all of your help.

Ben D. July 5, 2015

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I can’t sing Meghan’s praises enough! After back surgery and a bout of pneumonia I was feeling like I was destined to live the rest of my life in a half body. I was limited in my actions, my back was often in spasm and I was very unsure of my physical self. In a few short months Meghan has helped me turn that around. I now feel confident and secure in my body and am back on the North Shore trails. I am thrilled and strongly recommend that you hire Meghan. It will be your best investment ever!

Nicky F. May 10, 2015

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I hate to think what I would do or where I would be without Meghan's expert help! I honestly think I would be in a walker by now. Even at my age, I'm getting stronger, and she's helped reduce the pain level in my shoulder to the point that it's often pain-free. Meghan's training makes a huge difference to my quality of life.

Marlene M. May 10, 2015

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My years of training with Meghan have resulted in a solid core that never feels fatigued. I always feel strong whether I am at my desk all day or working in the garden hauling dirt, pulling weeds etc. I hauled 700 lb of soil this weekend without causing any soreness or pain. I can't thank Meghan enough for her expert training and sincere attention to her students. The time and effort I have put into kettlebell training has enabled me to stay strong and fit for years to come!! Great work Meghan, thanks so much!

Roland K May 10, 2015

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I have enjoyed my time with you while my regular trainer was away.  I
deeply appreciate your finding the time to develop my fitness and it has
been a real learning experience; you have a highly developed awareness of
strong bodies and fitness.

Portia L November 8, 2014

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Why would I recommend Meghan so strongly? Above all, she truly cares! She comes prepared each time with a program for my specific needs. Her explanations of "why and how" for every exercise are very clear. Finally, she raises their levels step by step, and won't move up until I master each level.

Rae K. August 26, 2014

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After following the program Meghan gave me, I was able to walk around the PNE all day without having to stop and sit down like I've had to do in the past. Even better, recently I did the Diamond Head climb in Hawaii with some friends. When we did the same climb a few years ago, I was huffing and puffing the whole way, and this year I felt great at the top!

Kathy M. August 26, 2014

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When I first signed up to being an exercise program after many years of sitting at a computer with little to no exercise, I knew I had to find myself a trainer. I had started and stopped previous programs over the years because I didn't know how to pace myself and to add and subtract various routines. So I always ended up quitting. Now that I was retired, I wanted to really set up something I could sustain, not just at the gym, but at home as well.

Then I found Meghan. She was very skilled at asking the necessary questions to determine where my fitness level was, what my eating habits were, and my health goals. She really listened to my story and through a shared process we were able to begin with a program that I took to immediately.

It was slow and steady and I paid attention to what my body was doing and "saying" and I could see that although the steps were small, they were very effective. This has continued throughout our training process. I have been able to gradually adjust my program as I got stronger and more confident with her encouragement and training, and I always left our sessions feeling good about myself. Often I am not able to get to the gym, but I never worry about that because Meghan helped me set up a program that I could continue with in my home and it is very effective. And because of her encouragement and her ability to keep me focused, I now know I can continue to keep myself strong and healthy as long as I make the effort.

I am very grateful to have found Meghan. She is fun, thoughtful and knowledgeable. And she always has her clients' best interests in mind.

Donna D. August 26, 2014

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Meghan is amazing.

Patricia P. August 26, 2014

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Come hell or high water, I don't miss my weekly sessions with Meghan! They make such a difference in my life that I now call her my "coach" instead of just a trainer.

Ian H. August 26, 2014

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I'm a long-time runner who wanted to improve my pace. Following Meghan's advice has helped me to pick up my pace by a full mile an hour recently, from 5 MPH to 6 MPH... although losing a few pounds didn't hurt either! After dialling up the intensity through hill repeats and using my heart rate monitor, I'm working in the same heart rate range, but now I can sustain it for longer. I hope to hit 7 MPH within a few months.

Bill R. August 26, 2014

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We get excited coming in to see Meghan because we never know what's in store, and we leave positively, happily thrashed. The workouts are so well-crafted that we've been known to smile and say, "That was absolutely superb!"

Sheree J. and Edward W. August 26, 2014

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Meghan's training has been of tremendous benefit. I first sought her help after throwing out my back in early 2012, and she tailored a program for me, concentrating on core strength and building from there. Although I've been using the gym for many years, her guidance, knowledge and personal attention to every aspect of physical training have been invaluable, and brought new enthusiasm and focus to my workouts. I highly, highly recommend her!

Bob D. August 26, 2014

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Recently when I went golfing after some time off of the golf course, I had to use a regular 3 wood, which is not as flexible as the "women's" club. I was astounded that I didn't have to struggle with it. What's more, I was hitting better and stronger than before – a full 20 yards further! I attribute this to the many the strength challenges Meghan has thrown at me as we've worked together.

Bess H. August 26, 2014

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I love the program Meghan has designed for me! I feel less pain, my hips are more flexible, my arms aren't "floppy" anymore, and I'm getting definition in the areas I wanted.

Andrea S. August 26, 2014

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Thanks for a great time again this summer! I really enjoy the sessions we have had! Best trainer I have had ever!

Elizabeth D. August 18, 2014

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Enjoyed my program! Quite distinct from my previous experience, the time went by VERY quickly and I wasn't bored. I meant it when I said that you are very good at what you do. I felt encouraged, challenged and understood. Gold star to you.

David W. August 18, 2014

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I still run into people who haven't seen me in a while. They always make a remark about my new shape. My attitude towards my body has certainly been revolutionized, as I'm very proud of what I've accomplished and my posture and gait reflect it. One year later, and 50 pounds lighter, my life is totally different than it was. You've been a big part of that. My everlasting gratitude goes to you for helping me find my way.

Michael R. August 18, 2014