Athletics & Recreation

Personal Training

One of our Certified Personal Trainers will design and implement a training program that suits your needs and training goals. Personal Trainers are available when you need them. All appointments for Personal Training may be booked by emailing

Personal training fees

Add HST to all prices

 1 Session6 Sessions10 Sessions
Members $52.00 $306.00 $500.00
Non-Members $60.00 $354.00 $580.00

Meet The Personal Trainers at SMUfit


Amanda Franz

Amanda Franz has been a fitness professional since 2010. She provides Pilates instruction on the Mat and Specialized Equipment (certified Pilates Instructor for Original and Advanced Mat and Equipment Pilates). She also has a Master’s degree in Kinesiology. She has worked with every age group and skill level. Amanda is a figure skater from Brazil and has worked also as a conditioner trainer for figure skaters. She has a personal athletic record of winning regional and national championships and competing in the world championship in Brazil, 2011. Amanda’s other interests include biking, water aerobics, and high-intensity interval training.

Jason Zhang

Jason Zhang’s athletic career began at a Chinese Martial Arts School when he was 5 years old. He was trained as a Kung Fu athlete for more than 10 years. As an athlete, he won several prestigious prizes at different levels of competition in China. Soon after, he became a team coach and trainer. He was an instructor of Physical Education Department in Xiamen University TKK College. Currently, he is a Certified Personal Trainer and hopes that his professional athlete knowledge and background can help people understand scientific training techniques and to achieve their fitness goals. Also, as an international person and a movie stuntman, Jason’s interests are versatile. He would like to share his interesting stories and experience, and make more friends in his personal training and small group training class.

Ocean Samuel

Ocean Samuel has been a fitness professional since 2003. She is a Course Conductor for NSFA, and offers Personal Training as a Yoga Instructor 500hr, (with training in pre/post natal and yin) a certified Stott Pilates Instructor (Advanced Mat and Reformer), a Qualified Zenga and Cardiolates Instructor, and holds certifications in Spin, and NSFA ET, RT, GEL and Aqua. She also has a BA and taught English as a Second Language. She has worked with every age group and skill level, and has a diverse background of training that includes workshops in The Feldenkrais Method, Barre, TRX, and Stott Chair, Cadillac, and V2 Max. Her passion is fitness and her thirst for knowledge makes her a life-long student in the field. She enjoys sharing what she learns with her clients and offers personal training sessions to sports teams, small groups, and one on one.

Margaret Federico

Do you want to get fit? ! If you are between 45 and 65, these are the best years to develop the body and infrastructure that will last a life time. But, what ever your age, you will find personal support and goal advancement with Meg. Meg Federico , aged 59, is a fitness trainer and a writer. Seven years ago, she realized that her sedentary life style would translate into lost strength and ability in her future. To become strong and fit, to enjoy her life and to work with others, Meg began a personal fitness regime that led her to become a trainer herself. Meg has Personal Training certification from CanfitPro, Fitness Theory and Resistance Training Certification from the Nova Scotia Fitness Association, and she has taken Older Adult Group Fitness from NSFA and Older Adult Fitness Training from Canfit Pro. She has also written on the consequences and experience of aging for the Globe and Mail and the National Post. In addition to official certification, Meg received excellent personal training from Rick Horsman and Robert Brownell, both available to you, as well as Meg, through SMUFIT. Meg will be traveling until February 14, 2018. She will be available to take on new clients after her return in February 2018.

Maria Schnayder

Maria believes that fitness is the ability to enjoy a healthy active lifestyle. The beauty of fitness is you get to choose your own fitness adventures – the options are endless. As a passionate Group Fitness Leader and Certified Personal Trainer, Maria's role is to motivate, enable and make training a fun and rewarding experience. She is here to help you achieve your goals in health and fitness, through a personalized approach of regular fitness activities and guided fitness programs. Life is an adventure filled with continual improvement and we can achieve our goals no matter how big or small. Maria has studied in Israel where she achieved a Masters in Gerontology and a Bachelor of Education in Physical Training. Her certifications include Pilates Equipment Instructor, Core Stability Exercise and Motor Control and Pilates Mat Work. Maria has additional certifications in YogaFit Level 1 Teacher Training and multiple Nova Scotia Fitness Association certifications in Group Exercise Instructor, Older Adult Leader, and Personal Training., Pilates Equipment Instructor, Core Stability Exercise and Motor Control and Pilates Mat Work Instructor.

Robert Brownell

A graduate of Dalhousie University, Robert’s career began at the grass roots level as a Physical Education teacher in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Robert is a certified practitioner with the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is the owner of Body Train, a professional service dedicated to strength and conditioning and personal training. Robert had a nine year affiliation with the Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic where he reinforced his knowledge of periodization and program design. While working with the CSCA was honoured to have training experiences with Olympic and Paralympic Athletes and many Canada Games Athletes. Saint Mary’s University in Halifax has used Robert’s service since October 1998. As a Strength and Conditioning Specialist, his service has been used by Men’s Soccer, Women’s Basketball, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Volleyball, and the Huskies Football Team as well as multiple assignments with other varsity programs. Robert has worked with all levels of hockey athletes in the East Coast League, West Coast League, American Hockey League, National Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior League. Robert’s services have been used by Myosymetries, a chronic pain clinic, and by Performance Physiotherapy, a full service physiotherapy clinic. In addition to the above affiliations, Robert has had over 8,500 individual personal training sessions at the Homburg Health and Wellness Centre.

personal training picture of sonja

Sonja Esber

A business entrepreneur for over 25 years, now shares her passion for healthy living through fitness and lifestyle coaching. “My goal is to motivate, empower, educate and inspire my clients both mentally and physically to achieve their fitness and wellness foals. Through personalized one on one training sessions we are able to develop strength and flexibility for long term functional living.” Educated in Montreal, Sonja is a CanFitPro Certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Zumba, Zumba Gold, Zumba Toning certified and is currently enrolled in nutrition coaching. Sonja was the 2012 “Community Champion” recipient, nominated by her class participants and she was an active member of the 2013 “Bust a Move” Fitness Team.

Stefanie Winters

Stefanie Winters is Certified Personal Trainer, certified through Can-Fit-Pro. She is also a level 1 Agatsu Kettlebell Instructor and is Certified as a Pre/Post Natal Fitness Specialist. As a new mom of a young child, Stefanie understands the importance of balancing a healthy and fit lifestyle for her clients who often lead very busy lives. As SMU alumni, with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in History, Stefanie is happy to be able to work as part of the SMU community. Fitness has been a part of Stefanie’s life for as long as she can remember. Her parents have owned and operated their own small gym as well as being competitive body builders. This helped in encouraging her to compete in a NSBBA figure competition where she placed 3rd. Stefanie has a young son and remained active and fit throughout her entire pregnancy. Given the opportunity she will help you to reach your goals in a fun, fresh and exciting way. Stefanie enjoys working with committed and goal oriented clients who want to see a change in their overall fitness and lifestyle.

June 2015

Susan Cook

Susan Cook provides Pilates instruction on the Mat and Specialized Equipment. Stott Pilates is an excellent exercise program that will strengthen and lengthen your body, and balance the demands of your work & play. Susan will customize the work to suit your abilities, and encourage you to challenge yourself beyond what you think possible. Her creative and precise movement training will guide you towards feeling supple, strong, and ready for your next adventure. Susan is a graduate of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and has performed with the RWB, Scottish Ballet, The Banff Centre for the Arts, and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. She loves all forms of Dance and Somatic Movement. Susan’s other interests include hiking, biking, boogie boarding and x-country skiing the beautiful trails throughout HRM and NS. She has completed the Massage Therapy program at Northumberland College, and is now available for appointments at Disc Clinic and Watershed Wellness Halifax.

Thomas Kochanoff B.A., NSCA -PT, CSCS

I have been coaching, training and mentoring for over 20 years and still very much addicted to helping others. My training philosophy is based on the person first and programming second. What someone needs, their goals lead to reverse engineering what exercise modalities might work best for that person or group. Based on mobility- stability -strength mantra to guide how individuals can move better and more affective in life and reaching their goals. Better movement or performance can take place through video assessment, dynamic movement screens, Olympic lifts, body building to body weight circuits. These are all just tools that can be used to help individuals towards their goals. I’ve been fortunate enough to train youth to varsity athletes in various sports. My main focus has been volley ball, hockey, field hockey and now strength coach for a university women’s soccer program. Working with clients figuring out their limiting factors to health and performance goals is my approach in how I help my clients, teams and coaches. In my downtime, I’m huge into indoor bouldering, yoga, hiking, kayaking and of course weight training. Strength through struggle is how I live my life and coach others.

Group Personal Fitness Training

Get a small group of friends (2, 3 or 4 people) together to share the cost of your own Personal Trainer to achieve collective goals. Some examples of training groups include New Years Resolutions, Sports Specific Training, Weight Loss/Tone Up, Beginner Training, Exercise for Older Adults, Abdominal/Core Training – the possibilities are endless. Fees for any Group sessions (2, 3, or 4 people) are at a rate of time and half the above rates.

Larger Group Personal Training Rates (5 or more people):

Group rates are available upon request. Contact Sandra Jamieson @ for more information.