A fitness trainer sitting on a workout bench smiling.

Jeff Aker

Urban Athlete – Calgary, Alta.

Personal Trainer/Strength & Conditioning Coach

Instagram: @jeffakerfitness Twitter: @jeffaker Website:

Jeff is a trainer who helps other trainers raise their game. As Alberta director of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, Jeff leads clinics for fitness professionals. As a personal trainer, Jeff saw what exercise could do for a client with a dire health scare, and he knew he had chosen the right career. 


  • American Council of Exercise Personal Fitness Trainer
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association, CSCS
  • NCCP Level 1 Weightlifting

Why did you become a fitness trainer?

I was an athletic kid but being in the gym was the one component of athletics where I felt most at home. When I finished my undergrad it became a question of pursuing something I should do or try something I wanted to. The want ultimately became the answer to that question. Why I chose to stick with it for this amount of time was a personal experience with a client when it came to what exercise was able to do to help overcome a dire health scare 10 years ago. That was when I knew I was all in.

What’s your fitness mantra or philosophy?

Training requires the art of an elite coach, we're simply playing with a different set of skills. It is the job of a trainer much like a coach to continually assess where an individual stands with these skills and to establish the appropriate learning environments for them.

What's your favourite success story that involves being a trainer?

It was very early in my career where I began working with John, a longtime Calgary educator and pure conversationalist. He was a blast to talk with and as a result one of the first clients to truly teach me about the importance of providing a pure experience in the gym. In 2008, John was diagnosed with colon cancer in his mid 70s and was given a bleak outlook when it came to surgery and treatment. We had been training for close to seven months at the time and John had a successful recovery and according to his doctors it was the condition he was in at the time played a big part of it. John being the communicator that he was decided to film a video of his recovery as a message to cancer survivors of the importance of moving no matter how you're feeling during the recovery. We filmed at length John's training while he was attached to portable chemotherapy devices and he eventually presented this to the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary. It was John's process that ensured that no matter what challenges it may bring, this profession was where I was meant to be.

How do you give back to your community?

I have taken on a volunteer role for Alberta with the National Strength and Conditioning Association in order to provide continuing education opportunities for fitness professionals closer to home. This includes Alberta's first NSCA Provincial Clinic back in June. Currently preparing the 2018 clinic. Spent my early years as a trainer volunteering as a firefighter in my home town.


  • Master of Education in Coaching Studies (UVic)
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association, CSCS


I had a lymphoma diagnosis in my brain at age 62. Jeff came highly recommended by a work colleague. I desperately needed a guide back to health, weight gain and safe practices for the long term. I am now 70 years old with awesome development of my upper body, mid back, arms and low back. Jeff is gentle, kind and really fun

– Vi Todd