Lisa Hannam
Lisa Hannam

What it’s Really Like to be a Fitness Trainer

I first met fitness trainer Eva Redpath in 2008, when I was writing a stretching story. As many times as I’ve interviewed her (whether about stress reduction, New Year’s resolutions or weight loss and toning), I’ve never actually lived her healthy lifestyle. So when Equinox offered me the chance to interview one of their fitness team members, I took the opportunity to chat with her about what it’s like to be a trainer.

The 4-1-1 
Redpath is a dancer, a certified group fitness expert, award-winning trainer, creator of Body Conditioning by Dancers, a Nike master trainer and an Equinox signature program presenter. “I concentrate on movement, nutrition and regeneration,” she says about her lifestyle. “I try to do my best at everything, so I make sure I have the energy levels for that.” The Torontonian is active every day and eats well most of the time. “Eighty per cent of the time I’m eating healthy, and 20 per cent of the time I eat the foods I love. I don’t want to ever be too strict.”

ALMAY AND EVA REDPATH (Katherine Holland, 2017)-236Bonus workout with Eva, as she led a eanass for Almay’s launch of Healthy Glow Makeup Gradual Self Tan launch.

Be a Morning Person
“Starting my day on the right foot is reflected by the hour I go to bed,” says Redpath. Rest is important, and she tells me to go to bed 10 minutes earlier every night until it adds up to an hour more sleep. Why? Her morning routine, which adds an hour to my day:

  • 20 minutes meditation, including this breathing technique: four seconds inhale, two seconds hold, six seconds exhale
  • 20 minutes journalling, goal-setting and gratitude
  • 20 minutes inspirational motivation, like a Ted Talk or an audio book

“It puts your brain in gear and gives you stamina,” she says. “It’s not about waking up and checking social media.”

I’m a morning person, so going to bed an hour earlier was easy. Not looking at my phone in the morning was hard. I had never thought of using the beginning of my day to get inspired, but it makes sense.

Use Food for Fuel
“I perform better when I give my body the proper nutrition,” Redpath says, adding that she eats when she’s hungry and never skips meals. “I eat a lot of green salads and veggies. I have smoothies when I’m on the go. I get in a lot of lean proteins. I’m all about eating foods with real ingredients.” Breakfast might be coffee and an omelette or a smoothie (recipe below). Lunch is an IQ Food salmon salad (with broccoli, sweet potatoes, greens and more) within 30 minutes of her workout. Dinner will be lean protein and veggies. A snack could be a fermented protein bar. And “cheat” meals are called “treat” meals. “I work out hard and deserve a treat once in a while, but a high-quality treat. I’m going to love every bite.”
Supplements can include Greens+, protein powder, multivitamin, zinc, glutamine, magnesium, vitamin C and echinacea.

Double Chocolate Frappuccino


1 ½ cups (375 ml) almond milk (I used vanilla Silk True Almond Beverage)
1 scoop Genuine Health Greens+ Extra Energy Cappuccino (Redpath is a Genuine Health ambassador)
1 scoop Genuine Health Fermented Vegan proteins+ (I used the chocolate flavour)
1 tbsp (15 ml) almond butter (I used PC Blue Menu Crunchy Almond Butter)
1 tbsp (15 ml) cacao powder (I used Fry’s Cocoa)
1 Medjool date
Combine everything and blend until smooth

I always enjoy eating clean – I find that you can taste each ingredient in your food. But the thing I’m not so good at is sticking with healthy snacks. From Eva’s fitness trainer tips, I’ve learned that I shouldn’t waste my “treats” on snacks but on fun dinners. This smoothie tastes like a chocolate bar, btw. 

Keep Moving
“I want to be excited and inspired, so I change up my routine,” she says. “I love this catch phrase: ‘Stop exercising, start training.’ It’s about getting concrete, active fitness training.” Redpath squeezes in workouts, makes fit dates with friends and teaches these classes at Equinox:
Pure Strength  a studio strength circuit class using weights and body resistance
Streamline Sculpt – a functional training class that burns calories
Firestarter – an intense HIIT class
Stacked! – a training class that uses short intervals
EQX Barre Burn – a total-body sculpting class


I’ve varied my classes since my interview with Redpath and focused on stretching, because I’m working out harder. The Pure Strength and Firestarter classes I tried were intense, but gave me room to challenge myself. The weird part is that I’ve gained five pounds, though my stomach is tighter and my arms are more toned.

Overall, living like a trainer really pushes home the idea that being healthy is a lifestyle. Thanks Eva!