Brandt takes natural path

Rossland man in pursuit of excellence without cheating

A former Rossland resident has taken a unique but natural path into the fitness world, pursuing a lifelong dream that began long ago in Greater Trail.

Chad Brandt is the coach, manager, and owner of Action Conditioning in Lethbridge, a burgeoning gym that combines specialty fitness training and youth programs in addition to teaching nutrition and health.

“It’s not a ‘gym, gym,’” said Brandt. “Everyone here is guided through me or one of my programs to guarantee results in a guided system so people aren’t lost in the process.”

But it’s not just a profession for the Rossland Secondary School grad; it is a way of life that has also brought Brandt success in the natural bodybuilding world.

“I wanted to show my clients that I’m a coach that practices what he preaches, and I trained right along with everybody,” he added.

After a year of training specifically for the bodybuilding discipline, Brandt entered his first competition at the Western Canada Classic in Calgary in October and finished second in the novice division – narrowly losing to a heavyweight competitor.

The finish assured Brandt of his amateur status and he will shoot for pro status when he enters three competitions next fall.

“It’s all about getting into better condition,” he said. “I have the tips from the judges on what I need to work on and I’m an advocate of every coach needs a coach.”

Although a fitness expert, Brandt hires two coaches, a nutrition and a bodybuilding coach, to keep him on task and motivated.

In competition, Brandt is required to perform a series of mandatory poses that are judged on muscularity, definition, proportion, symmetry and stage presence followed by a free-posing session in the evening round.

But the fundamental requirement of natural bodybuilding is to do it drug free, as laid out in the World Anti-Doping Code.

The governing body, International Drug Free Athletics (IDFA), takes its role seriously. After the results are announced, the top five athletes are given a urine and lie detector test “to ensure there are no cheaters,” says Brandt.

The 38-year-old fitness guru employs the same rigorous guidelines in his own gym and personal workout habits, a journey that began at a very young age.

“I started when I was just a young kid watching my dad workout to black and white posters. I’ve been addicted that long.”

Brandt went on to train the Trail Smoke Eaters and work at the Trail Aquatic Centre, where he formulated his body-for-life fitness program. He completed a degree in Kinesiology at the University of Lethbridge and opened a small gym in the Alberta city two-years ago.

Since then, he has moved into a new 10,000-square-foot facility with state of the art equipment.

Brandt personalizes individual training programs, encouraging a group dynamic that keeps participants engaged and accountable to other members of the group.

But most of all Brandt and his Action 90 fitness regimen is a refreshing approach to fitness and not just about pushing weights.

“It’s showing some serious results . . . There’s nutrition, I host cooking classes, yoga – it’s the whole meal deal . . . but it’s the nutrition that’s huge, people come to me solely for nutrition because they are too scared to go to a gym.”

Brandt also plans workouts for clients online across Canada and the U.S. He plans to release his Action 90 fitness workout on cd this year and hoping to return to Trail soon to share his expertise.

“I’ve always asked my clients what they like . . . I make workouts not so boring, I make them fun and exciting – I still follow the rules of fitness per se but if someone needs to get fit they just don’t want to sit on a machine.”

For more information, visit Brandt’s website at actionconditioning.ca.