Damian Lockhart

xelf-053fxDamian Lockhart has been a Fitness Professional (personal trainer) since 2000 and founded Xelf in 2005. His lifelong relationship with exercise, nutrition, and seeing others struggle to find their balance has been the driving factor behind his passion to help others become Empowered Exercisers.

Damian graduated with a Bachelor of Education in Kinesiology from McGill University in 2003, where he worked as a fitness consultant during his studies. The hours spent in the gym showed Damian that everyone functions at a level of increased energy, heightened mood and improved confidence during and after exercise.

“People are the best versions of themselves when exercise is a priority in their lives.
Why wouldn’t I want to be a part of that?”

What Damian has been driven to add to the fitness industry is showing people how to create a better Relationship with Exercise and become Empowered Exercisers so that they can live the benefits of exercise.

“When it truly comes from an ‘I want’ to VS. an ‘I should or I have to’, you get to live the benefits of exercise.”

“I believe that when we paint a better picture of what exercise is and create a better Foundation for beginners and Yo-Yo Exercisers, the percentage of Regular exercisers will climb.”

As a youth Damian pursued experienced fitness mainly through soccer and basketball but it was not until his post-secondary studies where he came to fully appreciate how exercise can be used as a tool for people to love and improve their lives.

After graduation, Damian began working as a personal trainer for a mainstream fitness centre but was dissatisfied with the approach, which focused more on sales and an external, temporary approach to fitness.

In 2004 he received his ACE Personal Trainer Certification from the American Council on Exercise, an internationally recognized fitness certification. He then became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the NSCA in 2006, a certification which requires a post-secondary education in a fitness-related field and targets higher level training for athletes.

Damian has created the Foundation Program and the Empowered Exerciser Membership, which are unique and impactful programs that greatly support people to live an active life that they enjoy with Functional Strength Training as their foundation. The goal here is to guide, coach, and inspire people to live in shape instead of always trying to get in shape.

“The Xelf Foundation Program and Empowered Exerciser Membership is the place to start for beginners to resistance training or anyone who has not yet succeeded at exercising consistently long term.”

Damian is very passionate and dedicated to his angle as a Fitness Professional who enjoys most, the opportunity to teach and inspire the in-active and yo-yo exerciser population. He has worked hard to create a powerful and impactful presentation for those at the contemplation level of change when it comes to exercise.


If you’d benefit from some motivation and a realistic bigger picture of how you can live the benefits of exercise. You must attend his next presentation.

In addition, Damian sees both personal and professional value in constantly educating himself through literature on mind, body, soul, exercise and nutrition. Damian is also an

  • Accelerator Lifestyle Coach
  • A certified C.H.E.K. Institute Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach
  • A C.H.E.K. Exercise coach

It was these last three comprehensive certification programs and the countless hours reading from the topics mentioned above that inspired his views on a holistic approach to healthy living and seeing sustained exercise as an essential component to living life to the fullest.

Damian is motivated to bring a well-rounded approach through his experience and education to others who seek improved health, energy, athletic ability, everyday movement ability, and a better body that they can experience more joy through.


Gerry Visca, Canada’s Creative Coach™, International Speaker, Author, Coach

How are you evolving fitness?

  • By showing people how to live in shape instead of always trying to get in shape. By showing people how to live the benefits of exercise and creating long term results that come from within. Essentially, by creating the experience of long term success, in the exercise area of people’s lives.

XELF’s mission is to create Empowered Exercisers.  

What is an Empowered Exerciser?

  • There are many characteristics that define an Empowered Exerciser.
  • Here are 3 key ones:
    1. It comes from a place of wanting to VS should or having to. It comes from moving toward what one wants. It aligns with their values vs avoiding what one fears or feels they have to do. In today’s fast pace, high demanding world, who needs another have to? The work is having exercise become a ‘want to’ before you even start moving each day.
    2. An Empowered Exerciser isn’t the strongest or fastest but has a healthy relationship with exercise, they are motivated from within because it supports how they want to live and who they want to be. It must become part of your identity.
    3. An Empowered Exerciser sets his or her eyes, with equal attention, on a plethora of benefits that he or she experiences with exercise. An Empowered Exerciser does not set his or her attention on one specific goal because that creates a means to an end relationship with exercise that doesn’t last and allow them to live the benefits of exercise.

Why is it important to become an Empowered Exerciser?

  • Life is short and there are so many people from unique levels of physical endowment on the genetic spectrum comparing themselves to people who have a predisposition to success with exercise or some new information/gimmick outside of them resulting in temporary achievement of fitness goals at best.
  • This is a big reason why such a small percentage of people get the recommended amount of exercise year round. Clearly the popular mentality and approach to exercise works for a small percentage of people and if it was going to work for you it would have.
  • An Empowered Exerciser is a realistic achievement for the beginners and previously in-active people who’ve yet to create long term success with exercise.
  • The short answer…
  • It is important to become an Empowered Exerciser so that you can truly


Why is it important to develop a good relationship with exercise?

  • It’s simple. If you don’t like it, you won’t do it long term. It is optional right? If you always feel awkward, unsure, forced, trapped, too rigid, or you don’t know why you’re doing it, it will not last. A healthy relationship with exercise needs communication, patience, understanding, time, a willingness to change, grow and progress… like any relationship does.
  • Your relationship with exercise will determine whether or not you get fitness results that you can keep. Understand who you are as an exerciser’ and choose an approach that improves your relationship with exercise over time. This is essential.

Why did you create XELF?

  • I’ve always seen the bigger picture, temporary solutions don’t inspire me and I’m a firm believer in the process/the now as being as important if not more important than the past or end result. XELF came out of the challenges and holes I discovered over 10 years of working as a trainer. Challenges relating to exercise adherence, mindset/attitude, motivation, cost vs. benefit, selling, temporary results…etc.

What are clients experiencing with XELF?

  • Improved strength, energy, self confidence, movement ability, core stability, posture, weight loss…etc.
  • IMPROVED QUALITY OF LIFE with more physical activity participation but most important is the fact that it comes from a place in them that is totally choosing and wanting to live it.
  • XELF clients are totally learning how to use exercise as a tool to love their lives more.
  • They are experiencing a sense of ownership and personal power in the exercise area of their lives and getting the most out of their bodies.

Who is the ideal XELF client? Who is XELF for?

  • Any ‘non’, ‘yo-yo’, or ‘forced ‘, ‘sideline’, or ‘has been’ exerciser. Haha, that’s some of my own terminology you may not get yet.
  • I believe and have been told many times that, ‘XELF is the greatest place to start for ‘Beginners’ to Resistance Training’ and that ‘without this approach, exercise hasn’t and would never work for me.’
  • XELF is for the person who has yet to create an Active Lifestyle that they enjoy, maintain, and progress with over time.

Tell me about your client’s physical activities.

  • We teach functional strength training as one’s Foundation to Living an Active Life.
  • Members participate in various physical activities that they enjoy, ones that they haven’t participated in for years or never before… They get more out of them and do them for longer with less aches & pains.
  • Our members’ bike, run, stair climb, ski, swim, scooter, play squash, tennis, baseball, basketball, garden, volleyball etc.

What is your advice to trainers trying to do it on their own?

  • Find a way to have your client’s motivation come from within. Otherwise it will be 1-step forward and 2 steps back. That will be tiring and temporary for both parties.
  • Love is a long-term motivator, whereas fear is a temporary motivator. Although fear may start them moving, it is heavy, inefficient, stressful, and not a good choice for something that is voluntary and meant to be sustained long term.
  • It’s our love for life and our belief in better that gives us the motivation to put the effort in day and after day.

What are the benefits to becoming a XELF exercise coach?

  • If you’re a trainer who wants to do more than count reps and push people, if you want to have a long-term impact on the people you work with, becoming a XELF Exercise Coach is a great path to take.