ANNIE PASQUARIELLO/Special to Bullet News
Blood, sweat and tears could be one way to describe how Dan Giancola personally invests in his clients.
Former CFL player Giancola has been a personal trainer for 12 years and recently started his own fitness studio, BTO Performance, where he offers group and personal classes.
Talking about clients’ accomplishments and the “Wall of Fame,” it is clear he is dedicated to transforming lives. Whether it is losing weight, toning up or completing a bucket list, he wants people to succeed.
He has just finished up BTO’s first eight-week fitness challenge where the winner will receive a makeover from Truvi Beauty Bar plus a photo shoot.
Giancola says the idea is to surround people with positivity.
“We have covered every angle to support people to lose weight. It is physical and mental.”
With support and sponsors from the community, Giancola has been able to offer more than just eight weeks but a new lifestyle with naturopaths and life coaches.
Anna D’Amore of Truvi says she got involved because she believes in what Giancola is doing and believes when you look good you feel good.
“I love the energy and where the momentum is going.”
The Thorold native, Giancola, started his CFL career as a 29-year-old rookie with the Toronto Argonuats in 1999 and has played for the B.C. Lions and Montreal Alouettes. With no signs of slowing down, Giancola says he never officially retired, but left the CFL in 2009.
As a professional football player, Giancola says he was blessed to work with some of the best trainers in the world and passes that knowledge on to his clients.
“We are lucky to have someone with his professional background. He uses it to help us all and not everyone gets that chance,” says client Roman Lysiuk, 59.
Giancola’s own energy is one of the many reasons that help people stay motivated.
Colin O’Connor, 30, says that he has worked with many skilled trainers before, but Giancola is the only person who is in it for the people.
“He encourages people of all ages, weight and gender. It is impressive what he is able to do.”
Mark Green, 42, started going to Giancola to lose weight for his wedding in which he lost 55 pounds and now down 65 pounds. He says he likes training with Giancola because he is positive and encouraging.
As business is growing at BTO and Truvi, both entrepreneurs realize how important it is for businesses in the Niagara Region to help each other grow. Both businesses have been working together in the eight-week challenge, but also everyday with referrals.
“We are small family businesses and entrepreneurs. Businesses should work together which will help the economy and hopefully create jobs. Yes, it is helping business, but it is also helping people,” says D’Amore.
They are creating a community with the businesses involved and at BTO. Giancola says it is like a family in all of the classes and his own family is involved.
“My wife (Christina) is the company. I always say I’m just a trainer and work for my wife. She has done everything and handles all of the business.”
All of the sponsorship money will go to SickKids Foundation, as it is special to Giancola and D’Amore who want to teach their own children the importance of such a charity.
Giancola’s classes may seem intimidating but he says there is no need to feel that way.
“There is no intimidation. My heart is so into it. You just have to show up.”