Local fitness trainer adapts programs

By Carter Finch

Adonay Baliho, a 23-year-old personal trainer, runs 10 kilometres by himself every morning. He used to have company on these runs — clients wanting to get in shape for the summer or avoid putting on the holiday pounds — but now he runs alone.

“Some people are spending their entire day inside their house. The personal training provides them with something to do and something to strive for,” said Bailho.

The 23-year-old is working part-time as a personal trainer to pay his tuition at the Asper School of Business. He said seven of his nine clients have cancelled on him in the last month, leaving him without a consistent income. 

“Luckily, I still live at home and my parents have waived my rent for the last two months but I’m falling behind on my student loans,” he said.

Baliho stretches before an outdoor workout./CARTER FINCH

Baliho has adapted his business model to cope with the pandemic. He does personal training over Skype, motivating his clients through the screen and exercising alongside them. Baliho said he’s charging less than he normally does for his online services because it’s less effective than in-person training.

Dylan Hatcher has been a client of Baliho’s for two years and stayed with him through the transition to online training. 

“Adonay is a great trainer,” said Hatcher. “I see staying with him now as similar to supporting a local business.”

Hatcher said that Baliho’s training program involves running consistently. Now that they aren’t running together, Hatcher takes Snapchat videos of his runs. He sends them to Baliho to track his progress and keep himself honest.

“If Adonay doesn’t get a running Snap from me you can guarantee that I’ll be getting a call from him,” said Hatcher.

Hatcher said he enjoys training with Baliho because of the tough love he provides. Hatcher remembers throwing up after his first training session with Baliho. According to Hatcher, it was the running and sit-ups that got to him.

“I can now proudly run eight kilometres and almost keep pace with Adonay,” said Hatcher.

Baliho said online training has started to get easier as he’s learning his clients’ home workout habits. He hopes to return to in-person training soon.