How long have you been a member at your current gym? If the answer is almost 14 years (since 2002), then you share the same level of commitment that Blaine Stavask has for Winston’s Health and Fitness.

Blaine had just come out of the Worker’s Compensation program after he had blown out his left knee. The program had taught him to compensate for his injury, but at just 25 years old Blaine says he wasn’t satisfied just getting by. He went to Winston’s, where he started what he calls a program of rehabilitation, and within three months he was squatting 300 pounds. “It was phenomenal, never in a million years did I think I’d be doing that,” says Blaine. “I was told within five years I’d have to have my knee replaced but it’s been 14 years and I haven’t had to go back to have that replacement done.” Blaine is a firm believer that Winston has helped many people in situations such as his own that otherwise would have been condemned to other experiences had they tried a different approach.

Other than phenomenal results, the atmosphere is a big factor why he’s remained at Winston’s for so long. “Winston’s has that Cheers atmosphere where everyone seems to know each other, and you’re all friends in the gym, even though you may not know each other outside of that,” says Blaine. “Indirectly, Winston’s attracts a clientele that has a team atmosphere, the camaraderie is just there in the sense that you never feel like you’re imposing on anyone if you have to ask for a hand or advice.”

Blaine also credits Winston with having the ability to push people beyond their short term goals. “Winston will say ‘those short term goals are great, but what do you want to do long term?’ And it becomes this lifestyle that you want to live, as opposed to a short term experience that you just move through.” Blaine says the examples of other members who have adopted the lifestyle are prevalent at Winston’s, and uses his training partner as an example: a 73 year old power lifter. “At Winston’s, you’re surrounded by examples of another lifestyle that’s available, when you’re 70+ years old, wouldn’t you want to be in the gym being active like that?”

The final thing that Blaine says sets Winston’s apart from other gyms in Grande Prairie is how Winston’s has been able to maintain the basis of what a gym is all about. “Winston’s still has that real gym feeling, like what you might experience in the early days of gyms. It has the nuts and bolts and the foundational experiences, all wrapped up in a nice little package — that’s appealing to many people.”