At this moment, Tosca Reno, blonde, beautiful and very fit, is the star of the show at the Can-Fit-Pro conference in Toronto. There is a line outside her booth where she is signing copies of her book, The Eat Clean Diet.
A gracious older gentleman is entertaining some of the folks at the end of the line. He is dressed in a suit. Although he is in the background, his eyes sparkle. He is in his element.
The man is Robert Kennedy, an icon in the modern fitness industry. He publishes six magazines, including MuscleMag International and Oxygen. And books too: Eat Clean has 2 million sold. He is married to Tosca. The couple train together, two days on, one day off.
“I love training,” Robert tells me when we sit down to chat. “I’ve been doing it for 55 years. And I love education.”
When growing up in England, he had to make his own weights. “No-one else in my town in Norfolk did this,” he says. “It was considered weird.”
He was ahead of his time. Now weightlifting and fitness are mainstream. Look at the crowd at this show, the range of products, the innovation.
Robert doesn’t watch his diet quite as closely as his wife, but he stays off fat and sugar and gets protein from fish, eggs, and milk. He eats a lot of veggies and some lean meat.
What are the issues in the fitness world today? I ask.
He ticks off several points.
“Steroids,” he says. “Even at the Olympics — it’s a sad thing. They injure the organs. People want to win. They don’t care if they die at 40.
“The world has gone crazy for tablets and pills. Look at the ads on TV.
“People make the mistake that if they go to the gym they think they can eat whatever they want. They don’t eat clean.
Besides fitness and publishing, Robert has mastered another career. He paints in oils and sculpts one day a week under his father’s name — Wolfgang Kals. His grandfather was an architect and his father a teacher, ski instructor and a bike racer.
Blending brains, talent, and fitness is a family tradition. Tosca fits right in.