Profiles of Excellence: Performance Institute

In an industry that’s full of fads that come and go every few months, there’s perhaps no greater sign of true excellence than standing the test of time.

Nearly two decades after first opening their doors, the team at Performance Institute is not just going strong, but continuing to grow – all while building on their already impressive reputation.

It’s a feat that Steve Ramsbottom, who opened Performance Institute with his wife Heather in 1999, doesn’t take for granted.

“We’re very passionate about improving people’s lives, helping them with their goals whatever those goals are,” he said. “And we’re always trying to do what we do better, continually looking for new ways to improve our programs.”

The motivation is simple: the client.

“We truly care about the people who come to us. With all of our staff, from administration to trainers, our number 1 priority is to do what’s right for the client. Their goals are our goals.”

And the goals can vary widely: from high-level elite athletes to individuals seeking to simply improve their overall health. The team has worked with NHLers, toptier competitive figure skaters, a variety of professional athletes, and a host of celebrities, including Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Jessica Alba and more. They’ve also developed a reputation for their expertise in wheelchair training – in fact, Ramsbottom has trained Paralympic athletes, is currently working with the City of Surrey on developing adaptive training programs at city facilities, and he’s written a book on the topic.

The best part of all this diversity, says Ramsbottom, is that it allows the team to have a bigger, better, overall toolbox for every single client.

“If you only worked with one type of client, you can easily get into a mode of focusing your approach in very specific ways, but when you have all different levels, you have to be able to respond to different needs and we love having that variety.”

In fact, Ramsbottom is quick to encourage newcomers to check out the facility.

“Many people are intimidated by the gym environment, and they feel like they have to be at a certain level to even come in the door,” he said. “That’s 100% not the case here. We really take the time to find out where someone is coming from, to assess and teach and try to motivate each person to reach their fitness goals.

He notes their central location at Canlan Ice Sports, Burnaby 8-Rinks has been a blessing, because it’s a centralized headquarters for many sports teams, athletes and other businesses in the field.

“It’s been a great benefit, because it’s exposed us to a lot of new athletes over the years,” he said.

But a great location isn’t enough to keep a fitness organization thriving for so long. Ramsbottom credits his team, and the clients themselves, for the success of Performance Institute.

“We have got just a great staff, some of them have been with us over ten years, and our newest kinesiologist has been here just under a year, so we’ve also got that fresh blood,” he said. “They’re an amazing group who are so committed to what they do. And when clients are happy, they refer us to others. Most of the people who come to us are here because a friend or family member recommended us. At the end of the day, if you do a good job, good things happen.”

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