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Local fitness instructor repeats top fitness award

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She yells, she pushes, and she motivates by example. She’s not afraid to call "fat" fat and "lazy" lazy, or to tell her paying customers off now and then. And she gets results – according to Cat Smiley in 2005 she has helped her Boot Camp clients to lose close to 1,100 kilograms (2,411 pounds) and close to 76 metres (2,987 inches) in girth.

"And that’s in Whistler, which has to be one of the fittest towns in all of North America," said Smiley.

Getting results is why, for the second year in a row, Whistler’s Smiley was named the Canadian Trainer of the Year by the International Sports Science Association (ISSA).

Over the last few years Cat Smiley has turned military basic training into a sport science through her Boot Camp Workout, creating an intense and balanced exercise program to help people reach their fitness goals. For some the goal is to lose weight, for others the goal is to get in shape, while others are looking to bulk up.

The ISSA, a teaching institution that provides standardized certifications for all types of fitness trainers, presents the award to trainers based on their training theories, the use of innovative/unique fitness concepts, media exposure, repeat rate of clients, client results and company growth.

Winning the award first time was hard, Smiley says, but it was more difficult the second time around.

"You’ve got much more to prove the second time, and there are always people coming up behind you," said Smiley.

"(The award) translates to a lot of things. The exercises in my Boot Camp Workout, which I created myself from scratch, this confirms that the exercises are cutting edge and innovative, and now are approved by the ISSA in the sequence, format and structure."

According to Smiley she tested five different programs on 500 Boot Camp recruits, working out five days a week, then measured the success of each kind of improvement. The programs and exercises that had the best measurable results were included in the final workout program, which Smiley is releasing as a book/fitness journal in January.

The book was laid out by Whistler’s Origin Designs and will be published by Trafford Publishing.

According to Smiley the book will contain a full workout program, including stretches, exercises, articles on health and fitness, fitness tips, and a journal to record and measure your progress. She has already received endorsements for the book from Dr. Sal Arria, the CEO of the ISSA and Peter Twist, an NHL conditioning coach who publishes books and workout DVDs.

Smiley is also starting another new project in Whistler called Fat Camp which is provoking a strong reaction. Smiley understands why people are offended but says it doesn’t help people to dance around the term.

"I’m saying it as it is, fat is fat," she said. "It also says who I am. I don’t go around saying ‘you’re fat and you’re fat’, but it’s a camp where people can go to lose weight. We train for two hours a day, I go with (campers) to shop for groceries, I count the number of steps they take during the day. You will lose a minimum of 20 pounds. You can’t follow my program and not lose a gigantic amount of weight."

One of her customers has a goal of just being able to measure weight – the scale tops out at 300 pounds. Another of her clients has a 54-inch waist.

"I think we are all getting bigger every year, and what’s considered normal is getting bigger. But the health risks don’t change over the years because everyone is getting heavier.

"People have to change their lives."

For some people, Smiley says it really helps to have a forceful person telling them what to do, giving them orders and encouragement.

"I don’t say ‘can you go for a run for me?’ I say ‘run’," said Smiley. "We had hell day the other day in Boot Camp where everybody had to do 400 pushups. If someone asks why, the answer is ‘because we can.’"

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