A local personal trainer has dropped the dumbbells and started swinging steel maces and tossing around kettlebells instead.
Scott Viala, also known as Viala the Viking due to his Norwegian heritage, is a personal trainer who runs his own personal training business out of Global Fitness Centre in Kelowna.
Viala’s methods using steel maces and kettlebells were developed working under Jonathan Chaimberg, a prominent strength and conditioning coach who also worked with UFC star Georges St-Pierre and other high-level athletes.
“He changed my whole outlook on training,” Viala said. “Originally, I did more of a traditional bodybuilding training for myself and clients. But training (with Chaimberg) really changed my whole perception of everything.”
The methods Viala uses can be more athletic than the brute force training of weightlifting.
“The kettlebell training lets you become ready for anything pretty much. It’s something fun; it’s something challenging, and the cool thing about it is it’s good for high-level athletes but it’s also good for everyday people. It’s safe—when it’s done properly—for everyone.”
Viala said the steel mace training is based on that of “ancient Hindu warriors.”
“It used to be called a gada. They would take a bamboo stick and fasten a rock or some type of stone to the end of it. They would train with a heavier gada and use a lighter one when they go into battle. So in battle they’d really be able to swing it around and use it more effectively.”
According to Viala, the draw of his personal training business is in its uniqueness and accessibility.
“It’s not just cut and dry. You can always change it; you can always evolve it. Every session I have one-on-one with someone—we can be doing the same fundamental movements, but it’s totally different every single session. (It’s for) people that just want to work hard and want a challenge. I have a client base of people that are around 15-years-old up to people that are about 65-years-old.”
Having done “everything under the sun training-wise” including personal training across the country and having owned and operated his own gym in Saskatchewan, Viala now calls Kelowna and Global Fitness Centre his home—and the home of his business.
“They let me be me here. (Global Fitness Centre) let me bring in my own equipment, my own kettlebells and my own steel mace, which is a big component of my training methods. They let me freely be myself and express myself through my training,” Viala said.
He added that many gyms have strict guidelines that personal trainers are to follow and running his personal training business out of Global Fitness Centre has worked “very, very well” for both parties.