Best Gym in Langley 12 Years in a Row

langley best gym

Results or Excuses.

This phrase has been on our wall since we moved into our current space in 2012.

And as I’ve been saying going on 13+ years now, IT’S HOW BAD YOU WANT IT?

Because if your health and fitness goal is important to you, you will make it a priority.
Because it’s about doing what you said you would.
Doing it repeatedly.
And doing it in spite of your mood, thoughts, and emotions.


So with that mindset:
– What are you capable of this next month?
– What are you capable of this next year?
– What are you capable of in the next 12 years?


12 years ago when we were just a 1700 square foot gym with not even 100 members, we won the best gym in Langley because all of our members voted.

That gym looked like this.

At that time, I was astounded.

How did we beat Fitness Unlimited?
How did we beat Golds Gym?
They have thousands of members?

But they didn’t have our culture.
They didn’t have our community.

I mean that year we had the 2nd largest team at the first Tough Mudder in Vancouver.
And this pic isn’t the entire team (there was over 50 people on that team).

It’s gyms like that of which I used as the blueprint.
Because I wanted to do the opposite with BEFIT.
When you go to a place like that, you do it alone, staring at people across the gym, all frowns, no smiles, lots of uncertainty…

I developed BEFIT to help people find their passion for fitness and/or find their passion for fitness again with group training workouts that are fun, fast paced, and effective in a positive environment where you walk in and everyone knows your name.

And even then with all those positives, I didn’t think it would be a possibility to win best gym in Langley another 11 years in a row.

I mean, have you seen how many gyms there are in Langley?

As an example to this, I heard on the radio a few years back that Langley had more bootcamps than the Canadian army. I don’t think that’s true any more or was true then, but it’s a testament to how many fitness offerings there are in this city of ours.

And thanks to you, we’ve done it again.


  • The Langley Advance has been holding their annual Best of the Best Awards since 1997.
  • In 2015, the Langley Times started their Readers’ Choice Awards.
  • In 2019, the Langley Times and the Langley Advance merged and are now the Langley Advance Times and have just the annual Readers’ Choice Awards.

And the voter turnout is bigger than I thought it was…

And while all 40,000 people don’t vote for all categories, it’s an indication to how many votes it takes to win something like that in this town of ours.

Here’s how we did this year:
1st place – Best Health and Fitness Club in Langley
1st place – Best Weight Loss Centre in Langley
3rd place – Best Hidden Gem in Langley

Here’s us winning best gym in Langley.

best gym in langley

And yes, we even got voted best yoga studio!? While we don’t do yoga, we appreciate your votes and will continue to work on structural balance and functional range of motion in your workouts. And as we typically say post workout, feel free to hang out and do some mobility for as long as you’d like!

Best weight loss centre in Langley!

We’ve been running weight loss challenges since 2010 and our 23rd Biggest Winner 12 week weight loss challenge starts in 1 month on September 29th. Click here to see all the details.

We’ve won best weight loss centre every year since it started in 2018. That’s 6 years in a row!

Best hidden gem!

Yes, we do get a lot of people telling us that they never heard of us. It makes sense though, we have no signage on the Langley Bypass, we do zero marketing, and we are kind of tucked away behind Kal-Tire!

Now let’s take a look at our story:

Last year, I wrote a nostalgic stroll down memory lane. I wanted to share it with you again (with a few updates over the past year) for all the new faces in our gym and community (videos included).

That being said, 3-2-1 go!!!

August 2009 – I come up for the idea of an indoor bootcamp while learning about fitness marketing. At the time, I was a personal trainer and my plan was to become a better marketer to get more clients so that I could have more experience before going for my masters degree in exercise science in the southern USA (where the plan was to eventually become a strength and conditioning coach for a college or pro sports team).

Everything changed for me that day. I couldn’t see it failing! I could visualize the path to success! And although that path has changed a bit since that day (as back then I wanted 10 bootcamps in 10 different locations), now I’m a big advocate of less is more and love being in the gym everyday with the same individuals working towards their goals.

So the number 1 rule of marketing is you need a competitive advantage against your competition. Back then, everyone only did outdoor bootcamps, so I figured if we had an indoor bootcamp with more equipment it would be a no brainer for anyone looking to start training in a group environment and improve their fitness!

I spend the next few months making mistakes and getting ready for the grand opening. I’m learning everything I can about SEO, marketing, building websites. I start training a group of ladies for free in a townhouse complex basement in exchange for testimonials and the creation of the original Bootcamp Effect logo and marketing materials. That logo is still on the wall in the gym today!

January 4th, 2010 – The official first day of business (renting out Xtreme All star cheerleading). No one shows up the first day. No one showed up the first week other than my friend Matt. It would have been easy to quit then…

February 28th, 2010 – I sprain my ankle celebrating Canada’s gold medal downtown during the 2010 Olympics. I can’t walk, can’t even crutch due to the amount of swelling and pressure when the foot wasn’t elevated. I’m in an aircast for 8 weeks. For the next 2 weeks, I’ll be forever grateful to my brother Shaun for coming with me to those sessions and demoing exercises while I sat in a chair and coached. I could have easily quit then, but didn’t.

March 7th, 2010 – I post this video to youtube for marketing The Bootcamp Effect. Humble beginnings…

Click here to watch

May 2010 – Karen Lougheed becomes a member at The Bootcamp Effect. She becomes an administrative assistant in 2011, a trainer in 2013, the manager of the gym for a number of years and has helped me troubleshoot every hard decision pretty much since then. We now own LVFIT together. I’m forever grateful you came into my life. Plus I can see my style has improved over the years… Thank you for being you Karen!

June 2010 – We run the first 12 week biggest winner challenge and begin running evening sessions for the first time! 7:30pm Tuesday, Thursday, and 10am Saturday in the field at Simonds Elementary.

We’ll be running the 23rd instalment of this challenge in the fall. Click here for more info.

During this time, I consider quitting and moving to England as we really didn’t have that many members and things weren’t taking off like I thought they would. My father, who let me quit at so many things as a kid, urged me not to quit, he kept saying, it will pick up in the fall. Don’t quit. Keep going… Thanks Dad.

September 1st, 2010 – We move from Xtreme All Star Cheerleading in Langley to Champion Cheerleading in White Rock and Newlands in Langley. We try branching out with the 2 different locations in 2 different cities but we realized everyone was just driving out from Langley for the extra sessions in White Rock, so we move everything to Newlands.

Getting the location in Newlands was a pivotal time for us at it literally saves this business with winter coming and us needing an indoor location in the evenings. This is the break we needed!

I’m grateful to Leon (my old baseball and hockey coach and manager at Newlands at the time) for renting that space to me. This location also gives us trx, boxing bags, and a more serious gym approach to our training.

January 2011 – Here’s how it looked then when we had Shaw TV come in and do a promo. More humble beginnings with our 9:30am crew at the time (including a young Karen!)

Click here to watch

We begin training at H.D. Stafford sometime during this period giving us 2 additional evening times on Monday and Wednesday at 6:30pm.

Things are going well now and we continue training at Newlands, Stafford and at McLeod park the odd time for Saturday workouts like the Hangover (300m around the track, up and down all the stairs, 20 foot bear crawl and 10 pushups) x 4 rounds for time followed by Ultimate Frisbee. At that point in time, we named all these workouts after movies, oh nostalgia!

We’re training at Newlands now with up to 24 person sessions on 12 different stations circuit style and I’m screaming over these guys playing squash while music is blaring on our little boom box. I’m now paying rent to a bunch of places and like, for a little bit more, we can have our own space and more timeslots… So I do what I do, and research the shit out of commercial real estate in Langley finding the best building in the best location for the best rate.

August 2011 – We move into our own gym! 20530 Langley Bypass Unit 103 – just 5 doors down from where we currently are! I’m told a number of years later that the president of the landlord’s company didn’t want to rent the space out to us because gyms are a high risk use that go out of business, but the vice president who I was dealing with fought for me based on my business plan and organization. I can’t even think where we’d be if we didn’t get that space! So thank you Colin!

February 8, 2012 – Here’s what the gym looked like in those days. I remember not being able to sleep at night thinking that the space was too small even though I diagramed everything out 5 different ways with every piece of equipment and flow of people in that space…

Click here to watch

August 2012 – We add more times. The energy is better and somehow we win the Langley Advance’s Best of the Best for Best Gym in Langley. Such an amazing accomplishment for such a small gym and perhaps even more impressive than winning it for the next 12 years!

September 2012 – I travel to London, England to learn from one of the best trainers in the world at the time and become a kinetic chain specialist. Fun fact, I was born in England and this is the only time I’ve ever been back.

October 2012 – Even though we were in a 3 year lease in Unit 103, we’ve outgrown it in just 1 year! Luckily, the landlord had another space in the corner that was bigger and thought would be perfect for us with the additional outdoor area. So we make the move to Unit 108 adding a turf to our gym for the first time (super cool moment)! If this space wasn’t available, this would have impacted the trajectory and speed that The Bootcamp Effect was growing at the time. I’m thankful that we were able to move then. Isn’t timing everything!

February 2014 – We’re busting at the seems in our new location again! Luckily our next door neighbour in Unit 109 is moving out so we decide to take it on the additional space. Back then I agonized over this decision… Today it seems like such a no brainer. The problems of today will be nothing tomorrow… This expansion now gives us childminding (which was short lived), because we also needed that space for the workouts (this was located where the kettlebells are today).

June 2014 – A 13 year old Rachel Mcleod joins the gym as one of our youngest members ever. 7 years later she becomes a coach here! 8 years later she graduates university as a kinesiologist!

August 11, 2014 – Here’s what the gym looked like these days. I had edited the first 2 videos, but this time, I’ve enlisted the help of our former admin Jon Johnson to shoot and cut it with me. By far the best video we’ve done to date which really captured the energy and spirit that the gym had during those days. (Jon is now a global production manager for Capcom in Japan and thanks his time at BEFIT for getting the ball rolling in his career).

Click here to watch

We continue to fine tune and move things around in the gym for years. But looking back on it, this just feels like this was time when once again the problems seem smaller than they actually were. In this video from 9 years ago, you might see a few familiar faces that are still here in the gym today! Thank you for being those stalwarts in our community!!! We appreciate you!

October 2015 – Joe Harper joins the team as a coach! Coming up on 8 years Joe!

August 2016 – Chantal Valk joins the team as a coach! Happy 7 years Chantal!

June 2017 – I felt our name didn’t depict the level of training, service, and experience our members received, so we rebranded to BEFIT. (Keeping our Bootcamp Effect roots in the letters BE while incorporating the circular BE logo that we created in 2013.

October 2018 – Karen and I open LVFIT at 19581 Fraser Highway after over a year of developing the concept and looking for spaces. Fun fact – the original location of LVFIT was going to be in either White Rock or Abbotsford! Now, looking back at it, I never would have thought it would come full circle back to BEFIT.

August 2019 – We make a new video for the gym to represent the new name, and the evolution of the service with a professional look.

Click here to watch

November 5th, 2019 – An 18 year old Grace Kingston joins LVFIT as a member. It was clear she had a natural athleticism and passion for boxing and fitness. Karen quickly identified that and guided her as she became certified as a personal trainer. 2.5 years later she joins LVFIT and then BEFIT as a performance coach! We are going to miss her as Wednesday is her last day in the gym before she goes on maternity leave!

March 18th 2020 – The gym is forced to close for 2.5 months due to Covid-19. Suffice to say, a lot of people had to leave. We are grateful for those who wanted to continue working on their health and fitness so we run outdoor bootcamps, zoom workouts, program individualized personal training workouts via true coach (which was tough), and give out almost every piece of equipment in the gym. In May of 2020 we lose 40% of our members and drop to a membership number we hadn’t seen in 7 years. Even though this was a painful time for us at BEFIT and LVFIT, it really has had a dramatically positive impact on the gym. Looking back at this 3 years later, the gym is better off for dealing with and surviving this time and bigger and better than it’s ever been.

June 1st, 2020 – We are able to reopen but with social distancing mandates in place. We were going to reopen with just 11 spots in each timeslot with everyone having their own trx, rower, bike, etc. We get mass people explaining that’s not enough spots and wanting to cancel their memberships, so the night before I come up with the idea to maximize the gym’s equipment creating 2 unique workout train in place experiences called STRENGTH and SWEAT. Necessity breeds innovation. I appreciate the push guys. STRENGTH and SWEAT are the best iterations of all the different things we’ve done over the years.

Here’s a quick recap in chronological order of our training methodology over the years at BEFIT:

  • Different workout everyday – what we did in the very beginning for a year and half
  • Repeating the workouts for the month like we do today, but just with 1 workout with no progressions or regressions
  • Bootcamp Effect and Elite aka Befit (we’d have the gym separated by a whiteboard with the different workout written on both sides)
  • Fundamentals, Fitness, Befit levels (what we’ve done for the longest period of time at BEFIT and what we would have most likely continued doing if we weren’t forced to pivot
  • STRENGTH and SWEAT – giving everyone what they want instead of trying to shove everything into one experience.

August 19th, 2021 – We are voted in by you as the best gym and weight loss centre in Langley for the 10th year in a row thanks to your support!

January 24th, 2022 – It’s with great regret and heavy hearts that we’ve had to come to the decision to move LVFIT into BEFIT. With the restrictions hitting LVFIT just over a year from our opening and dealing with 2 years of ever-changing restrictions, we feel the best move to ensure the future of the LVFIT family is to move it into the side of the gym that we really aren’t using anymore and get rid of the turf. In a way, as negative as the forced closures were, they’ve had a positive impact over the overall look and training style of our community. We never would have moved LVFIT into the gym, if we weren’t forced to have people training in their own spots at BEFIT and we never would have tried training people in their own spots, if we weren’t forced to do that too!

August 15th, 2022 – Spencer joins the team as our newest performance coach! It’s been just over a year now with him on the gym floor and he’s making a huge impact!

August 25th, 2022 – With LVFIT a part of the BEFIT community and voting for BEFIT as a gym, we are once again voted in by you as the best gym and weight loss centre in Langley! 11 years in a row thanks to your support!

June 1st, 2023 – Sherry joins the team as our newest coach at LVFIT! She’s been training with Karen for a few months now and you’ll see her running sessions solo on the gym floor in September!

July 1st, 2023 – LVFIT beefs up their strength training component and capacity with the BOX LIFT FLEX format.

August 24th, 2023 – BEFIT is voted 12 years in a row as best gym in Langley! Thank you to everyone who voted!

August 29th, 2023 – BEFIT and LVFIT collectively hit 500 active members between both gyms. This has been a goal of mine for a few years now and for it to happen in August of all months (traditionally the slowest month in our industry), shows the strength of our gym this past year!

A final thanks goes to our current team of coaches for consistently delivering an amazing high energy training experience while assisting everyone on the floor in a personal training manner.

I’ll see you in the gym and as always…

Committed to your success,
Josh Saunders, BS, CSCS

P.s. Believe in yourself. Just take that first step, it won’t be perfect, but you’ll learn, get better, take another step, make a mistake, take another step, just keep stepping, just keep working and when in doubt be the hardest worker in the room consistently and good things will come to you.

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