Testimonials

"My serious bodybuilding career began with Darren almost 15 years ago and I am forever grateful for his caring and responsible advice in teaching me how to get to the top of my game across those years. I learned the foundations of the sport both through his coaching and through the friendship we developed over time. He taught me how to be a true bodybuilder, yet maintain my health and wellness both on and off-season. His experience spans decades and hundreds of clients who he has helped achieve their goals. For me, Darren provides an essential guidance and sounding board as I have worked towards each of my competitions. Due to our long-distance relationship, he has had to adjust quickly and rapidly to changes, listen carefully and work with me to get me through various situations other competitors may not encounter. He has always been there for me, and always willing to discuss and hear out my concerns as I have developed into an experienced competitor and gotten to know my body. However, no matter what your experience and even if you are a top pro, having someone in your corner who knows your body and can help you make the correct decisions, keeping the emotions stable, is essential to good performance. I have worked with some other top coaches during my career and have always come back to Darren, as I have confirmed that there is no 'magic' in show prep, just solid guidance, an experienced eye and a caring attitude. Darren has all that and is an excellent coach, highly recommended by me. I am thankful for all I have learned with him and excited to embark on a new journey as I change from bodybuilding to physique. If you are looking for a team that provides support, solid information and ease of communication, I highly recommend Darren and Custom Built Training. I'm proud to be part of the team!"

Zoa Linsey
IFBB Professional Athlete


"After competing in my first show and placing 2nd, I knew what I wanted, and that was to win. I heard about Darren and saw how he was constantly on top of his clients with the program changes and diet changes and that was something I wanted. I joined the Custom Built Team on my prep for BC's and it couldn't have gone any better. I placed first in my class and ended up taking the overall, fast forward to a week later and I had the same results at Nationals earning me my Pro Card, making me BC's first Men's Physique Pro. I will tell you right now that there is absolutely no way any of that would have been possible without the help of Darren and Lara. Another huge thing is the help during the show while being on stage, making some posing changes and tweaks while on stage surely made the difference between a potential 1st or 2nd place finish. They are so good that I almost don't want to refer any physique competitors to them because I know they will turn them into fierce competition for me.

The name is no lie, customized diets and customized training programs catered to you, and you only. There is no photo copied plan given to each competitor. That is the reason why he builds champions, tweaking you into a perfect speciman. Huge thanks to Darren and Lara and I can't wait to start ripping up the Pro League with the both of them. "

Mirko Maras
IFBB Physique Pro


"If you're researching around for a trainer/coach stop looking! I made the switch to Darren in 2010 after coming off an amazing first year of competing. I was and am grateful for my success that year but knew I needed a different perspective. At Nationals 2010, I had the fortunate opportunity to experience Darren's coaching support via a friend who was also competing. She and I were in Toronto sharing a hotel room. I was unbelievably impressed by his positive and continued support during this crucial time only hours before show time. The best part is Darren wasn't even in the same city as my friend!!! His support was via continued text messages, phone calls, emails and skyping. So this decision for me was a no brainer! I met with Darren and we had an instant "click"!

After hiring Darren in 2010 I didn't get to hit the stage under his guidance until August 2012 at nationals where I earned my pro card in the Masters and Open Figure class. The reason for the lag in time was a short pit stop to have a baby. During those tough times of adapting to the new pregnancy body, Darren was always there to support and ensure that things were going to work out. In all sincerity, with Darren's guidance and a hell of a lot of hard work on my end I can say confidently that I'm in the best shape of my life after having a baby.

Darren has an uncanny ability to envision your final physique and create the path to achieve that. It's a serious gift! What I love the most about Darren is his positive direct manner! He will be absolutely straight up with you and will never let you fall through the cracks.
To me, Darren is not only a coach and a friend but a big brother who I look up to and respect.
Thank you Darren."

Erin Harding
IFBB Pro


"My first competitive season with Darren was in 2012 where I took overall woman's physique at BC provincials. I then went on to Canadian Nationals a few months later where won my pro card becoming BC's first woman's physique pro. A few months later I entered my first pro show in Culver City California and placed 4th at the Titans Grand Prix. It has been an amazing journey and Darren has been there with me every step of the way encouraging and supporting me. Darren has an undeniable eye for detail cuppled with nutritional guidance and cutting edge training. His athletes are always dialed in. Darren Toma is more than just a coach and dear friend ... He is the pro creator !!! "

Keashia Wester
IFBB Pro


"In the bodybuilding Industry, Darren has cultivated a solid reputation as one of the most knowledgeable, credible and enthusiastic strength and conditioning coach in Canada. His Hungarian work ethic & commitment to work long hours and be in direct contact with his clients; is his most enduring quality. He is a professional IFBB PRO, business owner, father, husband & friend who is organized and easy to work with. He spends a surmountable amount of time ensuring that the athletes he works with are properly educated and more importantly, utilizing his programs responsibly.

This grassroots, accessible approach, is comforting in a world of 'cookie-cutter'/franchised programs that are often marketed as a 'one size fits all' solution to every athlete's needs. Darren is responsible, informative, and above all, dedicated to dealing with athletes in an ethical and productive manner.   It was these qualities that had established my confidence in working with him back in 2006; the beginning of my journey to compete in the FIGURE DIVISION. 

This was also the year that Neilsen Thomas & Eye won the 2006 BC CHAMPIONSHIPS; dubbed as "Mr. & Mrs. BC." Eye can state with full confidence that Darren's passion for teaching fitness development is unmatched. With a contagious personality that is inspiring, he made me want to improve & advance my athletic abilities. 4 Years later, eye won the 2010 Overall Figure National Championships in Toronto, Ontario along with the prestigious IFBB FIGURE PRO CARD!  Thank you Darren for inspiring & believing in me."

Peace, Love &  Spirit,
Maria Morrone
IFBB Figure Professional


"Darren Toma has been my coach for the past seven years and what a Journey!
Not only has he transformed me every time I compete, he was able to create a program and meal plan to beat my Genetics! Having a physique that is not tailor made for figure; Darren has always had faith in my determination to prove I can be at the top. Not only is he my coach he is a friend for life and his knowledge and love for the sport reflects in all his athletes...You want to be the best Train with Custom Built!!"
Maria Sharp
7 X Canadian National Champion and IFBB Pro


"Behind every great athlete, stands a great coach. I have trained with Darren for many years and he has helped me to continuously improve every year. Darren has worked with top pros and nutrition specialists and is continually seeking new knowledge. Every workout and every nutrition plan is custom tailored to each athlete he works with and he stays very involved both during the offseason and pre-contest. Darren delivers proven results in a very simple fashion and I feel very blessed to work with one of the best coaches in the industry."
Tamara Knight
National Level Bodybuilder


"Darren has a unique way of individually training each athlete. He always instills motivation and confidence. I would not have accomplished my goals without Darrens guidance. I will continue to work with him for upcoming contests and would recommend his training to anyone wanting to succeed at the next level."
Ashley Whittington
Terrace B.C.


"If you want to meet your fitness goals with a healthy, well-balanced diet and effective workout program while feeling cared for, then Team Custom Built is your answer.  Darren and Lara were the deciding factor- the magical touch!- in the success that I experienced at the SWFC 2011.  I was going for the polished look and they made sure that I shined!

Thank you Darren and Lara for all of the individualized attention that you shared with me in the days leading up to the competition. It is a sensitive time in a competitor’s journey and the two of you honor that which boosts confidence… and feels really good! Team Custom Built is definitely about nurturing the inner Champion!" "
 

Jessica Kritner
Soulful Enterprises, Inc.  

SWFC 2011 Winner of Figure Overall 
Empowerment & Performance Consultant 
PhD Nutrition 2011 Sponsored Athlete


"I began my competitive competing years under the wings of both Darren & Lara. They taught me the ins and outs of this sport, the dedication it takes to compete, the perseverance and ultimately what it takes to grace the stage with the best physique I could. Darren & Lara are a team, with their knowledge in nutrient timing, training regimes and cardiovascular training they package and tailor a program specific to your body and your goals. Their wealth of knowledge with competition prep has been shown over the years not only with their clients but also in themselves. Darren is an IFBB PRO and Lara is a top Level National competitor they not only do they have the knowledge but also the experience to match it!

I started with Darren in 2006 where I won my first amateur show, then on to BC's where I also came out on top and in 2012 after 5 successful shows Darren and Lara formed me into an athlete that was worthy of receiving the prestigious IFBB PRO card. It is with their support and efforts to push me beyond my limits to be my best. Not only am I proud an honored to have both Darren and Lara as my coaches but to call them my friends. They put their utmost efforts into making you achieve your highest potential and without them I would not be where I am today! I am excited to take this next step towards my Professional Competitive Career in hopes to reach the highest tier in the IFBB league under their guidance.

If you are looking for full support in every aspect of your training, nutrition & posing it is without a doubt that Darren & Lara are ultimately the best combination in this industry. I have the highest respect for them and what they have done for me, this sport & many athletes. "

Michelle Krack
IFBB Physique Professional


"Darren is amazing. I full heartedly recommend him. He truly cares about u and considers u as an individual, not just another client with the same old cookie cutter program. Darren is the missing link you've been waiting for. Stick with his plan and you will reach your personal best! "
Jennifer Weintz
Bikini Athlete


"Choosing Darren as my trainer was the best decision I made when I started competing last year. He is the expert at designing a plan specific to YOUR body and lifestyle. Darren genuinely, cares about my well-being and never lets me doubt myself. I feel so confident with him as my trainer as he continues to make me the best I can be. I'm so thankful and proud to be a part of Team Custom Built!"
Kelly Campbell
National Level Bikini Competitor


"One of the greatest gifts I have ever given to myself is to work with an amazing coach. Darren Toma has been a constant source of inspiration, motivation, encouragement and support -- and much humour! With his gentle, firm and sometime downright blunt guidance, I have clarity in my purpose and a strategy to translate my vision into reality. He has helped me navigate the rough terrains, held me up when I am down and cheer me on when I am on a roll. He has kept me accountable to myself, taught me new skills, and reminded me to value myself -- without reservation!" From the bottom of my heart to my great ass… Thank you Darren!!!"
Tammy Ulmer
Bikini Athlete


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