Interview with Peter Morel of Top Shape Fitness Studio, Ottawa, Ontario


Peter Morel

Peter is founder and co-owner of Top Shape Fitness Consulting Inc. Peter was born with spina bifida, a birth defect which typically results in different forms of paralysis.

A multiple award winning fitness expert, he is recognized as one of the best adaptive exercise specialists in the world.

His previous experience in developing modified exercise routines helped him recognize that one approach doesn't work for all people, and motivated him to create an individual approach to fitness.

Peter's consulting services are sought by business, health and fitness program providers, athletes and agencies around the world. Peter was the Director of Safety and Risk Management for the Canadian Sledge Hockey Program. In 2004 he created an adaptive fitness program for the Ottawa YMCA/YWCA during his time as a personal trainer there.

He is a Certified Open Water Diver (PADI) He was instrumental in starting an adaptive rowing program with the Ottawa Rowing Club, and in June of 2007 he became a member of Canada's National Adaptive Rowing Team. Placing 6th at the World Rowing Championships in Munich Germany. He qualified the boat for the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing China. He is a Long Term Athlete Development Committee member for Rowing Canada. Peter is also a sport ambassador for the Ready Willing and Able program of Para Sport Ontario.

He was a board member for Sledge Hockey of Canada, Media and Public relations committee member for the Active Living Alliance and is a corporate partner to the National Capital Sports Council for the Disabled.

His clientele consists of world class athletes, including wheelchair track athletes, sledge hockey players a world ranked power lifter, a Guinness world record holder, hockey players and many corporate and government executives.

Peter's certifications include: American Council on Exercise (ACE), Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology (CFC) 1996-1999, the Ontario Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (OASES), YM-YWCA of Canada, Master Course Conductor for the Hockey Canada (CHA), CPR and first aid.

To upgrade his knowledge of Human Kinetics, he audited the Kinesiology program at Ottawa University.

Peter has authored numerous published health related articles including, "The Complete Training Guide for Sledge Hockey and writes monthly articles in Active Living Magazine. He has been a featured presenter for WorldFit Pros, YMCA/YWCA,and the Active Living Alliance. Peter has been featured on various radio and television talk shows such as Regional Contact (CJOH), Moving On (CBC), What's Hot and What's New (Ability Network), and was a weekly fitness expert on DayTime (Rogers television).

Peter has also developed an online course for fitness professionals looking to help persons with a disability attain their fitness goals. The Adaptive Fitness for Professionals is a one of a kind soon to be interactive course designed to teach program design for a wide variety of mobility impairments. He is a consultant for the "Soldier On" program which helps disabled veterans return to fitness programs and adaptive sports!

In January of 2013 Peter was awarded the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal for his continuing work with injured Canadian Forces personnel!

In 2015 Peter was honored again by being inducted into the Order of Ottawa! This prestigious civic award recognizes exceptional citizen contributions in the many areas of city life including arts and culture, business, philanthropy, health care, education, public service, labour, communications and media, science, sports, entertainment or other fields of endeavour that benefit the citizens of Ottawa.

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Mike Hayden

Mike is an award winning strength and conditioning coach. Mike co-manages the fitness studio, personal training and corporate fitness training programs. He has an extensive sports-specific, strength and conditioning background and currently works with athletes and teams in various sports and at all levels.

Mike is the innovator of the P.A.R.E./ PREP course and has trained many successful applicants for the Ottawa, Ontario, and Royal Canadian Mounted Police forces and the Ottawa Fire Dept.

He is an exercise nutrition specialist licensed under Dr. John Berardi PhD, one of the world's foremost exercise nutrition experts.

Mike's many designations include:

Mike is certified as a personal trainer and a Certified Fitness Consultant. His certifications include:

He is also an Adaptive Fitness Specialist, holds a Coach Level certification from Canadian Hockey Association (CHA), holds a Black Belt in Kempo Karate and Purple Belt in Jui Jitsu, and is certified in CPR and first aid.

Mike has been featured in many print publications and television programs including, The Ottawa Citizen, The Ottawa Sun, CJOH TV, The A Channel and Active Living magazine.

Mike lectures to the public and his peers on, strength training, sport-specific conditioning, sports nutrition, and healthy lifestyle changes. He is a highly sought after public speaker and a consultant to many government agencies, high tech firms and corporations.


TopShape offers a variety of individualized, specialized training solutions. We are aware that not everyone has the same fitness goals, nor do the same programs work in the same manner for everyone. This is why all our programs are tailored to each individual, and adjusted as the program progresses, in order to minimize stagnation and maximize your results.

Whether you are just looking to lose a little weight, get in better shape for your sporting endeavors, or looking to get in the best shape of your life, we will create a logical, systematic training solution, customized to meet your individual needs.