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Success Stories

Read what other people like you think about us and the Personal Training Certification Program at Hilltop Academy:

Thank you Kim, Donna and Elena, and Hilltop Academy. Having graduated in September 2017, I am thrilled to say that I’m now working for the City of Burnaby as a group fitness instructor, senior fitness instructor and potentially as a personal trainer. This is what I wrote as my personal goal for taking the course and sealing it in an envelope on the very first day of the program, and more than I’d hoped for at the time.

As in most testimonials, this has been a journey for me. This is my 4th “career” and, from teaching to the army, to bringing up a family, back to teaching, I can definitely tap into life experience. But….the night before the program started, I was struck with doubt: was I too old to be doing a fitness leadership diploma? Fortunately, any doubts were quickly dispelled,
and our classroom was free of barriers and a cohesive place to question, learn and share ideas. In addition, the amount of time we spent in the gym was tremendous. Kim is a mentor of the highest degree, and she really cares about students and clients alike.

In a nutshell, the program, the learning, all those tests that kept us up to scratch and the gym hours really prepared us to enter the fitness industry, not only with knowledge and confidence, but with the reputation of Hilltop Academy. Of course, I realised that learning does not stop there. In fact, one of my long-term goals is to start a sports science degree when I’m 65 (hoping it will still be free of charge by then!)

If you are reading the testimonials and thinking about Hilltop Academy, I’d say, “make the commitment, clear the calendar, do what you love – and make a difference!”

Rosemary ReidBCRPA certified Personal Trainer | January, 2018
Hilltop Academy was the right choice for me. The instructor taught me a lot of valuable information along with amazing tips and advice in regards to the fitness industry. The course is very comprehensive and covers everything you need to build a solid foundation, not just the basics. The instructors’ teaching methods were amazing making confusing concepts very easy to understand. But if you’re stuck – there is plenty of additional help available from Elena – you just have to ask! I loved how there was a lot of hands-on time spent at the gym polishing our PT techniques as well as so many specialty courses like TRX, small group PT, Older Adult, etc. It gave me the necessary experience and confidence for real life situations and clients. The course also taught the business aspects which was very helpful. Having industry guest speakers come to school and give us real insight into the fitness industry and who they were looking to hire prepared me for the successful transition from school to work. I’m now a self-employed personal trainer and preparing for my 2nd Bodybuilding completion and all the knowledge I acquired is streamlining me through the prep. I can’t wait to hit the stage and win! I am very happy with the choice I made to enroll into Hilltop Academy. I highly recommend this school if you want to start a successful career in the fitness industry!
Olga ChekoyBCRPA certified Personal Trainer, Owner of ChekoyBody | March 29, 2017
I cannot put into concrete words what my experience at Hilltop was like. If you are SERIOUS about getting into the fitness industry, hands down, this is where you need to be. They set you up for success. They build your knowledge and confidence up so vastly, you don`t realize how ahead of the game you are, until you enter the real life health&world. Kim Bond is magic. Her love and passion for education is without measure. She is personable, approachable, and wants her students to succeed. The office staff are amazing. Elena is a machine. She has her program and skill set down. Any help you need with career advice, the what now`s and the where to`s… she will you help you out in any way she can. Resources, recommendations, references, she is exactly who you would want as your `go-to`. Show up, put in the work, and Hilltop Academy will set you up with the formula for success. Cheers!
Raj DhaliwalBCRPA certified Personal Trainer, Owner of Ardi Fitness (604) 441-0288 | March 27, 2017
I have worked in the Health Industry for more than 10years. My work experience has been mainly disability management and felt that it is time to move on to what I felt was my passion. I’ve always been health conscious and pretty much self aware of what I want to achieve health and look wise but realized that trial and error shouldn’t be the path to a healthy lifestyle. In my mind, If I was going through such challenges and roadblocks there are others out there experiencing the same health and fitness roller coaster like I do. It was time to take control.
I finally decided to take that leap for myself and for others that I know would benefit from my experience and soon to be knowledge as a Personal Trainer. I did my research and found Hilltop Academy. Read their program and felt that it has addressed all my needs and wants but that wasn’t enough for me. I went to the info session and was curious to know more about the course, pricing and what I had to gain. The rest is history, I am a proud graduate of Hilltop Academy, a certified Fitness Leader/ Personal Trainer.
I look forward to a successful career as a Personal Trainer with the help and support from my Hilltop Family. The knowledge and education I received was definitely world class and as a Hilltop Graduate I know that I have an edge and confidence.
No regrets here just onward and upwards I go. Thank you Hilltop Academy and Welcome Smart Body Fitness.
Winnie TanBCRPA/ACE certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor and Older Adult Instructor. Owner of Smart Body Fitness | 604-440-8022
I was born into a world of poverty. I’ve witnessed and encountered varieties of abuse and body harm etc. I learned at a very young age from my family’s mistakes how not to live life. I told myself I will never turn out like them and I would do what it takes to help people struggling with any kind of battle weather it’d be mental, emotional and most of all physical. As I grew up, I was very athletic and started training for my sports at a very young age to keep my mind away from the poverty I was born into. I became obsessed with my health and became obsessed with how the body works in everyday functional movements. So through my life I was told “hey Cory why don’t you become a personal trainer, get certified and relay your knowledge and experience to others that go through or have similar struggles?” So I took that advice and started searching schools not only for there structures and the way they teach but also prices and backgrounds on the actual teachers. I came across Hilltop Academy and really became highly interested out of the few programs I’ve researched. You know when you get that feeling when you see or read something and you just know. Well with Hilltop Academy I had that feeling. Their 17 week structure and the break down excited me. They covered everything I wanted to know in a 4 month span which left me leaving satisfied and ready to attack the personal training life. The hands on approach and real life scenarios in actual gym settings gave you a sense of what you will encounter in the work field which was a nice touch. My instructor Kim Bond was a true professional and had knowledge that went beyond our 17 week structure. Not only did she teach what we need to know but also helped us look at fitness it many different ways to get you thinking outside the box ’cause fitness changes everyday. The staff were always professional and ready to help you at anytime. There poise and professionalism made it a joy to come to school and learn. Hilltop was by far the best decision towards my career I’ve made towards the path of fitness. Since Hilltop I’ve learned that I want to train athletes and teach people that our bodies matter and everyday functional movements need to be the key focus to have a healthy non-painful life as we grow older. So I teach people how to train for any sporting events as well as getting them in tune with the kinetic chain of there bodies which starts at the feet. My philosophy is “it’s not just everyday fitness – it’s everyday life” …..Why load someone with weights when they can’t even balance on one foot. I started my own company I.M.P.A.C.T FITNESS because it’s important to me to make an impact in peoples lives. To anyone who wants to achieve their passion through fitness and health I highly recommend Hilltop Academy. Thank you Hilltop staff for a great memorable experience, I applaud you all!
Cory BrelandBCRPA certified Personal Trainer, Owner of I.M.P.A.C.T Fitness | September 23, 2016

My name is Nicole Downie, I attended Hilltop Academy from August 1st to November 25th. I am a gymnastics coach of seven years so naturally I wanted to keep my career in the fitness field. I myself have had personal trainers and even after becoming BCRPA certified I continue to see my trainer once a week, not because I don’t know what to do in the gym, but because I enjoy walking into the gym once a week and not having to think and plan out my workout for that day.

Since attending Hilltop I have a job in the industry at Fitness Science and I have started up my own business Nicole Downie Fitness, which is small personal training business that focuses on those who are either looking for everyday health and fitness or athletes who are wanting more functional training.

I heard about Hilltop through a friend who attended a few years ago, he spoke very highly of the program and I can honestly say I was not disappoint. We were being informed with loads of information on the daily, Kim Bond is an excellent teacher and is very good at targeting her teaching to all learning styles.

Graduating from Hilltop was one of the highlights of my year, not only was I confident in training clients but I knew exactly what I wanted from the industry and had a much better idea of how I was going to achieve my goal. My long term goal is to open up a gym or small studio gym that allows a variety of different forms of training.

I am very fortunate that my class at Hilltop became like my second family, we were a small class so it didn’t take us long to become close to one another, we were all very supportive of each other. I was attending Hilltop while on full blown prep for The Popeyes Fall Classic 2016 bodybuilding competition where I ended up placing third in my class, qualifying me for provincials in 2017 and thanks to my Hilltop family I was able to do both school and the show! Kim and Elena are truly amazing, they go above and beyond for the students and want nothing but the best for us.

If you are looking for a school I would strongly recommend Hilltop Academy, it’s no cake walk but if you are truly passionate about the fitness industry you will love the program they offer!

Nicole DownieBCRPA certified Personal Trainer, Owner of Nicole Downie Fitness (604) 417-4314 | December 26, 2016

Choosing Hilltop Academy was the best decision I’ve made – the program, the instructors and the administration was amazing! I’ve been out of school for awhile before coming to Hilltop which made me a little scared to get back to studying. But the format of daily classes for 17 weeks made learning process easier and made the material stick better through repetition, compounding and constant practice of hands-on skills. It was a privilege to have Kim Bond as our instructor as she was able to take sometimes-boring material turn around and present it in a fun and helpful manner. Being at Hilltop for over 4 months was indispensable to acquiring Personal Training skills and techniques – there is no way I would have had the same level of confidence with any less time allocated for the program. It’s the extra time (340 hours!) and the program covering business aspects of the industry that translated into my confidence of opening and successfully running my PT/bootcamp/tabata business – ShapeX Fitness. I would highly recommend Hilltop Academy to anyone considering venturing into the fitness industry as a professional and reaching their own potential in the process!

Anna KummerBCRPA registered Personal Trainer, Owner of ShapeX Fitness (604) 306-6709 | September 30, 2016

When I finally decided to become a Personal Trainer, I immediately began a search for the best school available in this specialty. Out of all the schools I chose Hilltop Academy because of their thorough 17-week program that covered everything required by BCRPA/ACE and more! In retrospect, it was definitely the right decision to come here! We covered a very extensive range of information that was supported by many weeks of hands-on training in a gym. Everything was explained clearly and then “we practiced what we preached” over and over again until we got it right.
My instructor, Donna Hutchinson, was a true professional and an experienced coach with profound knowledge in anything fitness related.

All the staff at Hilltop Academy always went a mile above and beyond to answer and help with any questions or inquiries I ever had.

All the knowledge I received helped me tremendously with preparing for a Leigh Brandt Muscle Classic 2016 bodybuilding competition where I placed 2nd in my category!!!

To anyone who wants to devote herself/himself to the PT profession, I highly recommend enrolling into Hilltop Academy.

Oxana BogdanBCRPA registered Personal Trainer, New Westminster, BC | April 5, 2016

As for Hilltop that was one the best best best best experience education I had since I left high school. Just a really really really amazing staff, If had any concern or questions about the paper work or exam schedules Elena was right there to guide you through. Kim Bond an exceptional mentor. She would answer your question before you could ask and she knew what to say to you when you felt like there is no point to go on. Thanks Kim and Elena for making this Hilltop Academy what it is. Oh and don’t forget Mark the first aid instructor it was a blast to have him teach for the day. Mark and Kim thanks for teaching outside the box. Thank you Keep up the great work. In the future I plan getting  three levels of sport conditioning and Group fitness.

Upon my graduation from Hilltop Academy I founded P.H.A.T. FITNESS that is owned and operated by me Malkith Amar aka Sonny aka Papa fitness. P.H.A.T. stands for Personal Health Active Training. I offer a variety of services from 1 on 1 to tandem, small group PT to new program I designed called family fitness.

I have a saying “Believe in Something to Make Change Happen.” Thank you!

Malkith Amar aka Sonny aka Papa fitnessowner of P.H.A.T. FITNESS | March 15, 2016

It has been 4 years since I got a membership in a gym facility in Surrey. I wondered if I would be able to learn to use the different kinds of machines. It was really surprising to me how the new technologies have made such a big difference in a pesron’s life just from using those gym machines. I got so frustrated because I didn’t have a clue how to use those machines. The fitness staff gave very little information on how to use the machines properly. I was dreaming that one day I would have the right knowledge on how to use the gym equipment properly, and that I would be better than those girls. My passion for fitness gave me the courage to enroll in the school inspite of my hectic schedule (like work, babysitting + teaching/training youth for dancing).

I was very determined to get into a school for personal training. I searched online and found HIILLTOP ACADEMY SCHOOL. I was hesistant to give them a call because the program had started 2 days earlier.  I still called HILLTOP and asked them if I still had a chance to enroll in the class. It was then that I heard the encouraging voice of a lady and it was Elena. She told me to come in to the office and she would do the paper work so I could join the class.  I was delighted that she encouraged me to join the class, even though I was late.  She gave me all the materials and told me I would have to take 2 quizzes. My jaw dropped, but Elena gave me the best word ever, telling me not to panic, just read the text and don’t hesistate to ask questions .Throughout the lectures Elena was very patient and supportive to all her students. I passed the theory exam and Elena did a great job in mentoring me?, ESL is a bit of a problem for me.

I then went to the 2nd level of the program which is weight training. I was a bit nervous knowing Kim Bond would be my instructor.
Throughout the program till the final exam, Kim gave me  the best techniques ever when it comes to personal training. I’m proud I got the best teacher when it came to personal training.  I will carry those techniques for the rest of my life ?.

It was a good feeling that all the teachers that I met in Hilltop Academy school demonstrated desirable teaching methods for us to use. Their lively personalities also contributed to the success of their teaching? and lessons. They made the classes enjoyable and fun.

Right now, I’m doing private practice, working one-on-one with my private clients,  most of these are seniors. It is very challenging, but with the skills that I’ve learned from Hilltop Academy School, my clients are happy and satisfied having me as their personal trainer. Thank you to Hilltop Academy for all the effort and patience ?they give to all their students.  I’m proud to have been trained at Hilltop Academy School.

Aida CanonigoPersonal Trainer - 604-781-6684 | March 10, 2016

A few years ago I was watching a star BC Lions Football player being interviewed on the local news. He was smiling at a lady in the crowd. With a big smile he pulled her into the camera shot and put his arm around her and said “ This is my friend Kim Bond.”

Who, I thought? A quick search discovered that Kim Bond, BCRPA Trainer Of Fitness Leaders was the Program Coordinator & Instructor at Hilltop Academy. “The” Training Academy for Personal Trainers and Fitness Instructors on the Lower Mainland. My dream was launched.

As a life long fitness enthusiast I was thrilled to be a Graduate of the Class of July 2014. Hilltop Academy gave me the skills and professional credentials to take my pursuits to the next level. I have since started my own Mobile Training Studio, working with Older Adults and helping them to maintain their independence with proper nutrition and safe activity. Hilltop Academy also opened the door to work directly with BCRPA as an Activity Coach for the Province wide Choose To Move Program. Making the decision to enroll at Hilltop helped me to design a job I love, serving my own community.

Robin MastersACE & BCRPA Certified Personal Trainer, Older Adult Fitness & Nutrition, Steveston, BC | 778-984-1157

I started the Personal Trainer course in October and Finished in January 2015. I am now working in the fitness industry as a second job. I have opened my own company Sea To Mountain Training and have one client currently. I train out of Sport Central in Richmond B.C. I have already renewed my BCRPA certificate so I am good through until October 8th 2017. I got my insurance to cover myself and my clients from Hub International at a great price. I am charging my client(s) $75.00 per session. I am using Sport Central Gym because they have a reasonable cost to me for training at their facility and they are 24 hours.

I can not thank all the teachers at Hilltop Academy enough for everything you all did for me to make my experience in becoming a personal trainer so easy and enjoyable. Ashely and Kim brought a wealth of knowledge and years of experience to the classroom and delivered the information in a way that was easily disseminated and simply fun to learn.

If you are thinking about taking this course stop thinking and just do it. From the teachers to the whole faculty at Hilltop this Academy is designed to help you reach your goals to complete this course with the confidence you need and all the tools for you to excel in the fitness industry.

Steaphan MacleodOwner of Sea To Mountain Training - 604-379-3374 | December 14, 2015

After seeing advertisement for Hilltop in newspapers for three years, and knowing in the back of my mind that personal training and the fitness industry were in the cards for me, I finally made the call.
Six months later, I was hitting the ground running, with my certification to interviews.
From the start, I met with a level of professionalism, and organization at the Front of House.
Registration and coordinating start dates was a simple procedure thanks to the superior admin skills of Elena. I had wished I had signed up sooner.

The program clipped along at a competitive speed, with everyday in class a new learning adventure.

Hilltop is literally, the lower mainlands best kept secret, but not for long.
Thanks in majority to the hard work of Kim Bond.
She set the bar high in terms of industry quality: I was well prepared for what was to come once we graduated.

What you become, or how you use your credentials, is directly relative to how much you are driven to succeed.

There is plenty of work out there to be had, plenty of interviews led to employment right away for me:
And I explored the various options for my first six months post-grad.
I’m new to the fitness industry, but not new to the world of training, as I have a 17year history of competitive rowing and provincial level coaching under my belt.
The transition between the two, was where Hilltop came along.

I’m now working for Twist Conditioning in Vancouver.
And sky is the limit.
Couldn’t a dunnit without the superb folks at Hilltop.

Allison WebbAttended Hilltop Academy May 20, 2014 to September 12,2014

Thank you Hilltop Academy:
Frank, Elena, Kim, Ashley. The fitness program was a great base that helped me complete Ironman Canada.
Sincerery, Randy Mangalindan

Randy MangalindanHilltop Graduate 2012

I would like to thank Hilltop Academy
I have 18 years of experience as a personal trainer in Mexico. I came to Canada to pursue the same career that I have always been drawn to. I discovered the ad for Hilltop in the Vancouver Sun the opportunity to join hilltop. I met some amazing and beautiful people, starting with Dasha and met Rosanna. I had problems with student funding and the Director of the school made it her personal mission to assist me with me appeal. We appealed and I got approved. If it wasn’t for the determination of the director of the Academy I wouldn’t have been able to go through this amazing program. The class was fantastic, and I learned so much. Ashley is a great instructor that always made sure that everyone understood all the theory and practical components of the program. I just graduated and I look forward to a successful road ahead.

Manual ArmentaAttended Hilltop Academy March 21, 2011 – July 15, 2011

My name is Arie V. and I’m currently attending Hilltop Academy in my final week of the fitness program. First off, I’d like to say that this experience at Hilltop has been life changing. In January ’07 I was working as a drywall carrier, a terrible job. I saw the ad for Hilltop Academy and decided to make a change and go to school. Like you, I was very skeptical, and asked a lot of questions. I wanted to know who was teaching the class and what they were all about. The instructor, Ryan Cook, is amazing. He’s very in-depth, clear, focused, knowledgeable and very helpful. He made the class very enjoyable and fun. Within the first month, Hilltop assisted me with finding a job with a company called Survivor Boot Camp. I started teaching classes making $30/hr. Within 2 weeks after getting hired, I had gotten a raise to $35/hr due to my vast knowledge. Now I’m currently exploring the opportunities of opening a franchise in Toronto with this company. It is amazing how many opportunities were immediately available to me after the first month. If fitness is your desire, than there’s no better place than Hilltop to get fully certified!! I know people back in Ontario who have been doing the same training but have been taking twice as long. This is a 20 hrs per week, 17 weeks course. Here I am in my 17th week wondering where all the time has gone!!! So hopefully I have helped you out with your decision. Good luck,

Arie VanderreydenAttended Hilltop Academy February 28, 2007 - June 22, 2007

Hilltop Academy gave me an excellent knowledge and experience base to start my career as a fitness trainer. The Academy’s program is centralized in studies and theory of the human anatomy. I really appreciate the teachers’ efforts in my training, and I have learned tremendously from their knowledge and wisdom. The school provides you with the necessary tools to become one of the best personal trainers. It is up to you to choose Hilltop Academy for your training. Right now, I am currently working at several fitness facilities and I am having the best time of my life teaching clients, and continuously learning and becoming a better trainer.

Aiste UlozaiteAttended Hilltop Academy September 3, 2007 - December 28, 2008

I decided to enroll in the Fitness Leadership Diploma Program and the instructors were fantastic and did everything they possibly could to make everyone that enrolled as successful as they wanted to be. I have been asked in the industry why did I choose to take this course over anything else I could have done. I guess the main reason had to be that I’ve been training for quite a long time myself and wanted to help teach martial arts about two or three times a week. The feeling I had just teaching people how to be more active and achieve higher confidence in themselves, was great. Now that I have been working as a certified personal trainer for the past two years, its been nothing but joy for me, as I have seen many people come to gyms I work at and make such great changes. I have actually been thanked by many for inspiring them to become healthier. Just knowing that I have made an impact on someone’s life, the feeling is unbelievable. I gained a lot from taking this program, the benefits are endless. I learned many new techniques I can use to help people achieve different goals and how to modify a workout so everyone achieves the best results. Before this program I used to just say “do what you can, that’s all that matters to me” but now I say “o.k. this is what we are going to do to help you achieve your goal and slowly get you to where I know you can be!” I feel that school helped prepped me the best that it could for the industry. Hilltop is constantly working with all the students who have taken the program to help them get a foot in a door and become more then just someone that know how to exercise. I believe that if it wasn’t for both, Kim Bond and Ryan Cook being such a strong influence, I would just be working part-time in a gym and full-time with my other job, but because of them I have my own business, work part-time for the city of Richmond as a fitness leader. And it’s because of Kim that I want to further my knowledge and become a SFL (Supervisor of Fitness Leaders) or even one day a TFL (Trainer of Fitness Leaders). I presume my ultimate goal is becoming a physiotherapist. The best advice I could give anyone who wants to take this course is do it, you have nothing to lose and so much to gain! At the very least you should talk to a course instructor. Good luck!

Rob SharpAttended Hilltop Academy February 28, 2007 - June 22, 2007

Going to Hilltop Academy for college was a comprehensive, grounding, and encouraging experience for me. I leaned a lot from the instructors about the specialties that I am best suited for. The hands on style of learning from Kim Bond during the Fitness Theory Module, was a world of fun. She made all of the knowledge applicable and easy to remember for exams while kicking my fitness up two notches. She showed me the kind of renowned power house of knowledge and genuine positive energy I would like to be. The Weight Training Module with Tina Grant gave me a lot if customer relations and applied knowledge during most of my Practicum while having fun doing that. Jen Jollymour was a wealth of information and gave me extra tool kit of dynamic ways to continually have fresh ideas and keep my clients guessing why they rarely plateau. I LOVED the curriculum and the extra books Donna Hutchinson shared with us from her private collection and made some available to us that opened my eyes to see physiology, sports conditioning, and kinetics from a fresh and new angle. She also blessed me with alternatives of dealing with difficult clients, as well as how to maintain professional under pressure. The instructors I had were great role models of how to be a successful, professional and positive force wherever one goes after graduation.

Jacob Love
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Hilltop Academy Hilltop Academy Personal Training Certification New Westminster BC V3M 6B9 810 Quayside Drive #215 5 4.6 1 19 Personal Training Certification School Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:00pm $$$$ 604-553-0505 611690 49.2002279 -122.9119672