About

Started with a dog, now we’re here.

Our Story

The story of Lil’s has to start with the story of it’s namesake, Lilly.

Lilly was adopted from the KW Humane Society to keep Craig company during 100 hour weeks at his first gym, True North Barbell. When True North shut down and Craig opened a small, private space to train clients, it only made sense to name it after it’s ever present canine, and Lil’s was born.

Lilly, a white bulldog pictured with Craig curling dumbells
A greyscale picture depicting a smaller gym pictured with a couple benches, a dumbell rack and a cable area

It was at the first, 500 square foot gym location where the seeds were planted for what Lil's has become today. Professional and worldclass athletes came to work with Craig including Coach Dan, who was then powerlifting - member Dan.

As the demand grew so did the gym, moving through multiple locations, each bigger than the last. While expanding it's members, clients and subsequently staff that came to work under Lil’s watchful paw.

Today the adopted family, started by Craig and Lilly has grown into an extended family of members, coaches, training partners and most of all - friends. From the first day it opened, the magic of Lil’s has been more than the location, the equipment, the owner or even the world’s greatest dog; the magic has been the people and the community and it has no equal.

Meet Our Team

Craig is the founder of Lil’s Gym, a published author and former professional strongman. Craig has worked with professional athletes, Olympians and World Champions in a variety of sports and has been mentored by both Louie Simmons of Westside Barbell as well as 3x World’s Strongest Man, Bill Kazmaier.

Craig Bongelli

Dan is the head of our group training program and one of our most experienced coaches. With over a decade of training experience, as well as numerous training and nutrition certifications, Dan has worked with clients from every walk of life.

Daniel Schultz

Danielle is currently completing her Master of Practice Diploma in Osteopathic Manual Sciences (M.OMSc) at the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy in Hamilton, Ontario. After experiencing several sports-related injuries, she found relief through osteopathy and was inspired to undertake the education necessary to provide this service to others. Danielle believes in a whole-body approach, which allows for an individualized treatment plan for each person who comes to see her.

Danielle Bird

Andrew is one of Lil’s oldest members and is known by everyone for the energy and intensity he brings to each and every training session. He's able to mix his experience in powerlifting, strongman and combat sports. Working with Andrew is an experience you won’t forget!

Andrew Herdman

Chris is a technician that discovered his passion for coaching while training to compete in the ultra-competitive world of varsity rugby with Wilfrid Laurier University. It was at WLU that Chris earned a degree in Kinesiology, which began his coaching journey that brought him to Lil’s.

Chris Williamson

Interested in Training With Us?

Let’s have a conversation. Our process is very simple: you tell us about yourself, your situation and your goals. We’ll tell you what we would do if we were in your shoes, whether that’s work with us, someone else, or just advice we can give you to achieve your goals, on your own.