For this ninth volume of our Quality in Life series, we have interviewed our long-time friend, gym owner and coach, Russel Favel. This interview was incredibly fun to do, especially since this is the first one we have done that surrounds fitness and training. Currently, Russel Sean Fitness (RSF) has been open for over 10 years and has won numerous best trainer, gym, and performance facility awards for six-plus years. It is easy to see you are stepping into a top-tier facility once you get the chance to visit. Russ and his team’s dedication to helping you achieve your fitness goals and providing top-tier guidance are what sets RSF apart from the rest. Having had the chance to attend some of his classes, we can personally say it is no joke. The amazing equipment, variety in classes, trainers, and the overall sense of community you get when attending RSF is something that is rare to have all at once. These are the reasons why we were excited to interview Russ and share his journey thus far.

We decided to begin the interview by asking Russ how his passion for fitness came about, to which he replied that his passion is not necessarily fitness, but more so helping people. Growing up, Russ had always been into sports and living an active lifestyle was a part of the Favel household. While in high school, his parents had a home gym where he and his friends would often work out. It was here that he found joy in training people as he saw how it improved the way they felt in their daily lives. At this point in time, Russ was also trying to figure out what career path he wanted to pursue. After consulting a close friend and considering a number of options, he was put on to the idea of trying to pursue training as a profession. Soon after, he contacted a school in Vancouver where he enrolled in a course to become a certified trainer. After taking on this program, Russ says he immediately fell in love with it. Finding joy in learning about fitness and exercising from a more educational standpoint was something that captured his attention and furthered his passion to help people.

After receiving his certification, Russ’s desire to learn grew even larger. As a result, he thought about hosting boot camp classes at outdoor fields around his home city. This was done to both help people and improve his knowledge of exercises as well as technique. The next day he called his sister to help gather people for a class and the rest is history. These classes ran for two years from 2010 to 2012 and started off with sessions once a week, to twice, then three times after gaining more popularity. They took off so fast that Russ and the RSF community ultimately moved into the location that they have been at ever since.

As a young entrepreneur, Russ mentioned that he always envisioned having the biggest and best gym. However, after the pandemic ensued everything changed. A number of obstacles came about that Russ says he was quite challenged by and that changed his perspective on a lot of things. His journey, from RSF’s inception until now has been described as a rollercoaster ride, especially during the pandemic. Nevertheless, Russ has always tried to stay true to his goals and values. This is how he has managed to build such a strong body of people that prides itself on both aspects of quality and community.

As we asked Russ about quality in relation to RSF it was easy to understand after having taken classes there before. Firstly, quality is expressed through their training, which Russ mentions has been the cornerstone of his brand since its beginning. He has made it his goal from the get-go to never sacrifice quality for monetary value. This, in turn, ties into the way his classes have been structured. It would be easy for RSF to pack these classes to their capacity in order to gain more profit, but this is not what RSF is about. Instead, the classes are formed so that they vary in size and smaller ones are made for classes that require more attention to detail. Additionally, RSF provides a number of classes that focus on varying aspects of fitness. They make sure to incorporate exercises that focus on creating a balance in your overall health and fitness as opposed to focusing on ones that are purely for aesthetics. Moreover, they have specific programs for people who play different sports. These include a number of programs tailored to what helps one achieve success in their respective field. Each athlete is also kept accountable and is in constant contact with Russ to ensure they are taking the right steps to excel. Currently, RSF is looking to launch a new program that focuses on sustainability in fitness and looks towards a long-term goal that is not impacted by the vision of short-term pleasure. This along with their ability to adapt to circumstances such as the pandemic are yet another example of how RSF provides quality through their work.

As for community, it is a concept that has also been embedded into RSF since its inception. If you are ever in Richmond and get to take a class at RSF, you immediately get a sense of a tight-knit community that pushes each other to achieve their fitness goals. Whether it is the warm welcome from everybody in the class, the way classes are structured, or the constant encouragement and push from the trainers, it's hard to be anything but happy when you are in this gym. Moreover, when we first brought it up, Russ stressed that what community now means to him versus when he was younger differs heavily. Before, it meant that Steveston was his community. Now, Russ sees what he and his team have created to be his community that happens to be in Steveston. Overall, he views his community not as a location, but as the body of people he and his team have cultivated to encourage healthier living. In turn, this translates into having created an even tighter body of RSF goers. Now, even more so than before, RSF continues to be at the top and is always working to see how they can enhance their community’s lives.

Russ and RSF have been yet another perfect example of a medium in this world that provides amazing value to one's life through their expression of quality and community. Their dedication to expressing both concepts in a number of ways is particularly why they have maintained their place at the top. This is also why we had such a great time interviewing Russ on his journey with RSF. Our goal in writing these pieces is to provide our readers with some new and exciting content that hopefully introduces you to someone you didn't know before. As a result, we hope that through this new volume you were able to do so.

Back to blog