Focusing on fitness fundamentals

Johnny Fukumoto and his local fitness centre Fukumoto Fitness

Photo courtesy Bruce Zinger

Johnny Fukumoto has been a leader all of his life. The 31-year-old graduate of kinesiology at Wilfrid Laurier University spent two years as a site director for Canadian Mennonite University’s adventure program to South Africa, and made three separate trips to Romania for mission work. Fukumoto understands the importance of community and giving back.

This attitude is also reflected at his gym. Located at 4-521 Golspie Street in East Kildonan, Fukumoto focuses on safety, regulation, and realistic fitness goals for his clients.

“My motivation (for starting Fukumoto Fitness) kind of came out of seeing a need for higher quality training. There’s not really a lot of regulation in fitness period, and so you get such a difference in quality and safety no matter where you go,” said Fukumoto.

Before admitting a client and taking their money, Fukumoto has them do a movement assessment, which helps to detect potential imbalances on either side of the body.


“If there’s a thousand fitness places, we will be probably the only one in a group training format who goes, ‘you may or may not be able to join, we have to take a look to see where you’re at.’ Then we can give an honest recommendation if this is a good place to start, or somewhere else,” said Fukumoto.

There are four different programs at Fukumoto Fitness, with the main one being smart group training. The program consists of up to 17 people and runs on a five-week cycle. It is completely dependent on each individual’s personal fitness, with the group ranging from 15-70 years old. The first four weeks consist of hard training, with the following week devoted to yoga and technique to give the body a rest.

“[The clients are] all working at their own fitness level and depending on their limitations, there’s different options for them within the same workout,” said Fukumoto.

Along with providing a safe and fun training environment, Fukumoto also gives back to the community in a variety of ways, including a “pumpkin charity workout,” with proceeds going directly to the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba.

“We cover some pretty important things, but mental health, and the connection with exercise, we haven’t really gone into,” said Fukumoto.

“Most of our clients, that would be the number one or number two reason that they say they come every day, is stress relief, mental health, or even managing depression and anxiety. Knowing that now, it seemed like a natural fit.”

Fukumoto noted that the workout is focused on having fun as well as getting people involved and staying active.

The event occurs on Saturday, Nov. 1, at Fukumoto Fitness. The cost is $15, and participants are asked to bring a pumpkin, which should be at least 10 pounds, to use for the exercises. Last year, the charity workout raised over $1,500.

You can check out Fukumoto Fitness by visiting their website,, emailing, or calling (204) 282-9507.