Bryan Kelly is the Owner of SMBS Personal Training and Wellness Studio, located in Hamilton, Ontario.

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Bryan Kelly to ask him about his role as a Personal Trainer. Bryan has been instrumental in working with our team and with our team members individually to help build strength not just for our sport, but for every day life. 

What are your qualifications? 

Although the industry is not regulated, I am a Certified Personal Trainer. In order to remain certified, I need to complete credits through continuing education on a yearly basis. I am also a Certified Indoor Cycling Instructor, Certified Nutrition and Wellness Coach, and a Pilates Instructor. 

How long have you been in the fitness industry? 

I was certified in July of 2003 but have been in the industry 20+ years. 

Is there anything unique about training women with breast cancer? Any specific challenges? 

The short answer is that clients always come with challenges and it’s my job to adapt to these challenges. Even prior to being involved with Knot a Breast, I had clients that had battled cancer. Knot a Breast clients taught me more about breast cancer than I ever knew. Out of that, I’ve come to realize that scar tissue can be a huge issue and one of the largest challenges that these women face. I’ve realized the importance of how it all plays a role and how hard it is to deal with. As well, I’ve heard that it’s not something that is really dealt with enough after surgery. 

You recently had an opportunity to paddle a dragonboat. Did it change anything with regard to workouts for your KAB clients? 

I always knew that dragonboat paddling was one-sided but once I paddled, I better understood it and felt it – the “awkwardness” of the motion strengthened what I was originally thinking and helped me to stay the course with the KAB members. 

There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding around diet and nutrition. What advice would you give to those looking for this information? 

The most important thing I believe is that there needs to be a good balance – no diets, no trends, no cutting things out. There is no easy fix. Common sense and consistency is so important. A large part of working out is mental. You need to balance your approach. No over doing the good or the bad stuff!

With regard to diet and exercise, what does a typical day look like for you? 

I’ve had to revisit my diet and nutrition needs over the years due to changes in my own body. Breakfast is a smoothie with a type of greens, a combination of different sources of starches, proteins and fats to try to get as much nutrition from as many sources as I’m able to for myself. Then a snack with again a different type of green veggie with hummus, a variety of nuts, and usually a small piece of cheese. Lunch is a protein, starch and salad. And dinner changes daily (with an 8 year old more pizza then I care to admit). Depending on the goals that I set for myself and what I’m trying to achieve, I workout 4-6 days a week, mostly resistance based training. 

Do you have any success stories you can share with us? 

Honestly working as a trainer for over 20 year there has been quite a few. I’ve had people come in with an injury or have pain that affects their quality of life on a daily basis. After working with them for a while, they say that they no longer think about that pain. I love hearing that working with me has impacted a positive change to live a better quality of life. 

Your current business model is 100% remote. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this? 

Prior to the pandemic, I was doing remote training for about 15 years with select clients. So switching to 100% remote was not a big deal for me. The challenging part was getting clients to understand that they can work out in their own home with little to no equipment and still get a quality workout. I believe I have been able to deliver safe and effective programs to my clients and classes online.

What is the biggest challenge you face right now? 

It’s what a lot of small business owners face I guess – advertising and getting the message out that I can help people achieve their goals and help them feel better. 

What is the best thing about your job? 

Helping people to realize they can achieve their goals. 

What do you do for fun? 

My favourite thing is spending time with my wife, Juliette, and my son, Max. It doesn’t even matter what we’re doing, as long as we’re spending time together. 

What is something people would be surprised to know about you? 

Maybe some people don’t really know that I’m an introvert! I never was really comfortable speaking in front of a group, but when it comes to fitness and nutrition it’s not really a problem. I guess it is just where I am comfortable. 

If you were doing what your 10 year-old self wanted to do, what would your career be? 

At that time, I guess it would have been a veterinarian. When I was young boy in grade school, I spoke with my teacher about my love for animals and always having pets growing up. I thought caring for animals as a veterinarian would be great, but as I grew up I realized I would have a hard time seeing very sick animals I could not help, or seeing them die or needing to put them to sleep.  

Thanks to Bryan for taking the time to speak with us!

When asked about their experiences with Bryan, team members offered this:

When Covid hit and gyms closed, my long time personal trainer, who had trained me and supported me through two Dragon Boat and one Outrigger World Championship, decided it might be a good time to retire. Great for her, but what about me? I wasn’t sure that I wanted to compete internationally anymore, but I knew that I wanted to maintain the strength and fitness that I did have and wasn’t sure I could do it on my own. Not long after that I joined KAB and, through the Metabolic sessions he conducted for the team during the off-season, I met Bryan Kelly. After realizing that working out on my own wasn’t cutting it, I decided to reach out to Bryan to chat about personal training. Great decision. Bryan listens to his clients and works with them to ensure that they get what they want from their workouts. He’s caring, compassionate, and a lot of fun. And, while I can’t say that I always look forward to my session with him, I’m always happy that I made the effort when they’re done. I have  made gains in strength, but, probably more important, I have seen significant improvement in my functional fitness. We on KAB are very fortunate to have him as a resource and a support.Sue H

Since 2016, Bryan has provided personal training to me. His programs are customized for his clients based on their goals, strengths, weaknesses, injuries, health issues, eating habits and much more. For me, knowing we were preparing for IBCPC in Florence, Italy, I was focused on strength training and building endurance, and Bryan got me there!

Bryan is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about his training programs. He keeps me focused, energized, and motivated by changing up my program every few weeks ( he knows I get bored) and is dedicated to all his clients to make it happen. And if Bryan asks, “do you think you have more set in you”…you say YES (you won’t have a choice anyway)!Jo-Anne R.

Bryan Kelly has a studio in Hamilton but also trains his clients remotely. He is able to tailor a workout to his client’s personal needs. In addition, he is an expert in nutrition and can educate his clients on how to make food work for them and their lifestyle.

Bryan can be reached at: 

Email –

Mobile – 905.746.4433

Judy Anne joined Knot a Breast in 2006. She paddled in four IBCPC (International Breast Cancer Paddlers Commission) Dragon Boat Festivals, including the most recent festival in New Zealand. When the opportunity to paddle in the New Zealand festival presented itself, Judy Anne knew that she wanted to take part. Having been to three prior festivals (Peterborough Ontario in 2010, Sarasota Florida in 2014 and Florence Italy in 2018), she knew the impact that these events had. According to Judy Anne, the emotional impact and the positive impressions that she experienced at all of the festivals solidified her decision to go. The event brings everyone together and acknowledges how dragon boating has affected us as breast cancer survivors. “When you look around you and see nothing but a huge sea of pink, it’s so emotional in a very positive way.” 

Judy Anne Sleep 

So, it was a little more than disappointing to go halfway around the world for a world championship and then have the races cancelled because of weather.  No opportunity for a final race.  No opportunity to win.  Not that I expected to win…. 

Winning isn’t always about being first in a final race.  I feel like a winner every time I am out on the water – even if it’s at a practice where I’m struggling to keep up.  I’m an average paddler at best, but there is always room for improvement in dragonboating and ALWAYS something to learn.  After 17 years, I am still learning so much.   

There is something about being on the water and I feel so strong on the water.  When that magic happens and your teammates are placing their paddles in the water at the same time and you feel that movement – it’s indescribable.  I know in “the boys in the boat” it is described as “swing”.  They also describe the resiliency of the team;  (I’m not quoting exactly – have changed some of the words “rowing” “him”): 

One of the fundamental challenges in paddling is that when any one member of the crew goes into a slump the whole crew goes with her.  The movements of each of us are so intertwined.   (Page 87)

We need to feel connected and I am so grateful that this team has done this for me.  I am so proud to be a part of KAB and what we have accomplished and achieved together.   

Feeling confident to practice with other teams on my way to the Worlds was something I got from our team.  The team allowed me to move at my own pace and grow according to my skill level at the time.  Since joining the team, I have had three major surgeries (Zenkers diverticulum, two new hips) and this is something that breast cancer survivors often have to go through.  I never felt alone through any of them.  I felt supported and loved by this team and welcomed back when I was ready and able to come back. 

So, I feel that going to New Zealand was a “win” for me, as I felt prepared to be a proud member of KAB. 

Another “WIN” for me is knowing that I belong to the best club in the world.  The partnerships that we have (Warlocks, Tim Hortons, Macassa Bay, to name a few) mean that we have access to practicing and meeting that other teams just don’t have.  We don’t have to drag our boats into water every time we practice.  We have the luxury of changing our clothes (and even a shower) after practices and a washroom !!!  We have a low membership fee and opportunities to fundraise.  We have a voice and can choose to go to open board meetings and even put our names forward to participate as a board member.  There are many people to go to for advice and we have a lot of talent on our team! 

No one told me that it was addicting – that this feeling that I get every time I am out on the water, that I feel connected to my dad (who died 16 years ago) and to my teammates and to God – is something that sustains me and keeps me grounded.    

So that is why I paddle. 

I wanted to add the chant we did in New Zealand. The Maori have a whakatauki saying – “ehara taku toa | te toa takitahi, he toa takitini”. My strength is not as an individual, but as a collective.