I had a fabulous time interviewing Tara Campos on the John Barker Fitness Podcast. She has a wide set of certifications ranging from nutrition and personal training, to group fitness and an in-depth pilates certification.
Her passion is powerful and is delivered very well in her message on this podcast episode. Give it a listen below, and make sure you subscribe for more podcast episodes to be released.
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Visit Tara on her website at www.trainwithtarac.com or on Instagram @trainwithtarac
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John: Welcome to another episode of the John Barker Fitness podcast. Today's guest has certifications ranging from nutrition to personal training and group fitness instruction. She enjoys TRX and has a passion for Pilates. Welcome to the show Tara Campos. Yeah,
John: So I mean, thanks. Thanks for joining me on this. It's definitely something I'm excited to talk to you about with some of the things we talked about previously, but I would say let's go ahead and just get started by introducing yourself, maybe a little bit about who you are, what you do you know, where you're at with, with fitness and life in general.
Tara: Sure. so my name is Tara Campos. I'm excited to be here. I enjoy your show and listening to it for a while since you started it. I am an ASM certified personal trainer. My specialty, if you will, in addition to personal training is a TRX and [inaudible]. Those are the two areas that I tend to focus a lot of my energy and education on. I'm just a big supporter of fitness. I enjoy it. I've had success with it on a personal level and I enjoy sharing that with other people.
John: That's a great, where, where would you say your initial, like your first experience with really fitness came into play in your life?
Tara: Well, I've been a group fitness instructor for over a decade now and I always tell this funny story, at least it's a little bit funny to people when I meet them. I was at a gym, you know, hamster on a wheel doing the elliptical going nowhere. And this woman's young lady walked in and she said, Hey, do you want to take spin clowns? And I wasn't even sure what spin class was. And I said, yeah, sure. Okay. You know, I was open minded. I had no idea what the class involved and I'd never taken a group fitness class before. So it was a little nervous and I'm like, you know, is it just me? Is anyone else in there? And I just remember leaving that class, just having this great level of energy. The music was good, the time went by fast and I said, this is great.
Tara: And I just kind of overdosed on spin from that point and they just kept going back and back for more. It became one of those spinning junkies and that was my workout for a year. I mean that was pretty much all I did, you know, and like so much more fun than the elliptical. And then eventually my favorite spin instructor left her position and I was just devastated. I said, oh no, what am I going to do now with these five traits that we could I be taking her class and I come to find out that she became a Zoomba instructor. It kind of led me down this path. I discovered Zoomba I did that as a workout that I taught for eight years that introduced me to becoming Alpha certified. That introduced me to other workouts such as bar and eventually Palazzos, which has become my passion. And I think back to that example, that story of the girl coming into the elliptical room and getting me to try something out of my comfort zone because it was definitely group fitness that led me down this path to personal training.
John: I think that's really interesting how that kind of unfolded because it shows a lot about how people really can benefit a lot from branching out rather than just going and doing the routine, whether it's a weight workout or like in your case, the elliptical and branching out can really kind of broaden your perspective and make things more exciting. I wouldn't have necessarily tied, you know, the elliptical and going into a spin class leading into things like bar and Palazzos other than being sort of like a group fitness aspect. But that's a really interesting kind of journey that went through there. So I like that, that kind of unfolded like that.
Tara: Me Too. I mean, thank goodness, right? I'd still be on the elliptical, you know what I mean? But I think it led me down this path of being open minded to different fitness formats. I am definitely a creature of habit and when I find something I latch on with two hands, you know, so I spent a great amount of time doing spin. I still teach it. I spent a great amount of time doing Zumba, which I've retired from since bar was my thing for a good three years. I still teach it now, but now it's like twice a week. But it led me to try [inaudible] on a group on actually. And that's how I came to discover my favorite PyLadies instructor several years later, inspired me to pursue the path I did last year to become a fully certified [inaudible] instructor. So it's been quite the journey, you know, and personal training was kind of a detour on that path.
Tara: I was approached by a personal trainer at my gym a few years ago who's doing a demo, you know, he's like, oh, I got this great workout. And at first I kind of rebuffed it. I was just like, you know, I, I don't know if this is for me. And I started thinking about it and I said, you know, what do I got to lose anything I've ever tried? You know, I've always been open minded and I've always found something new and something I liked about something new and I'll tell you it was the best decision I ever made or definitely one of them. I really, really loved working out with a personal trainer. I still do 'em as a trainer now. A lot of people don't know that, but trainers be dreamers.
John: Yeah. Yeah. That's funny that you mentioned that because that's actually come up I think, I think once, maybe twice on these other episodes. But it's true. I think that everybody does need a trainer and and not necessarily for the fact that you know, someone might know more than they do, but it's just having that external influence that can help you see things from a different perspective. You know, if you, if you see things one day after another and you continue to see the same thing, you won't be able to really notice, you know, areas you might need improving. Right. So I think that's important to have the trainer. As a trainer,
Tara: I've had a great deal of progress and success. I have no intention of stopping training with my trainer. I told him, he's kind of stuck with me. You know, I myself had great success. I lost up to 30 pounds. I gained 10 of it back. But I'm very happy with the 10 I gained back cause it looks a lot different than the 10 that came off. But you know, more than just protecting my time and my investment in my body. It was also just, you know, it keeps me fresh. Be having somebody to talk shop with, having somebody to, you know, give you new ideas for exercises. But I think I also need motivation too. There's this idea because I spend know more than half of my week at a gym that I must just love exercise. But you know, I don't absorb other people's exercising.
Tara: I have to do it myself and I need motivation just like everybody else does. There's exercises I'm good at that I enjoy and I do those on my own. And there's exercises I'm not so crazy about that I tend to avoid unless I have a trainer telling me to do it. Yeah. It's, it's a certain level of accountability might, I don't personally have a trainer right now just because of, you know, certain things in, in life. But my wife and I put a little piece of paper on our wall that has checkboxes boxes and it was like a 21 day thing. And I think like two days ago was the last day. But basically up there we write whether or not we worked out and whether or not we, we tracked our calories and we write down with eight. Yeah. And it, it works great. Right.
Tara: And so I think having that support system, whether it's a trainer or a coach or a friend even is great. Oh, definitely. And I think, you know, it's not even, that in itself is not easy for people. You know, part of working at a gym is you offer free fitness evaluations to the new clients and you try to sell them on personal training and sometimes one person isn't willing to make that step. So one of the things that I do is I also offer couples training where you can work out with your significant, again, other or just your friend or family member. I've had a few people who share a session like that and I've also had a lot of success with small group training. We're all trained between three to six people and there'll be a theme, maybe it'll be circuit training, maybe it'll be all TRX.
Tara: And I've had that going for the last year and I think there's like a built in motivational network there that really helps people who are on the fence about training but know they need to do something, say more than Zoomba and more than the elliptical. Not that there's anything wrong with those workouts. Yeah, whatever. Whatever works for somebody. What works. But that's interesting. You do a couple of workouts I hadn't actually heard or I guess, you know, a significant other or whichever. I've never heard of that. And I think that's actually really cool. It's very cool. I mean, you've got that built in support at home and I had about four couples within the last year that I trained. And it was just really fun and interesting to watch the dynamic between the couples. You know, sometimes it'll be the female who's kind of pushing it, but then somewhere along the line, you know, cause we're humans, life gets in the way.
Tara: Maybe we're not feeling great, maybe we're not feeling motivated. And then all of a sudden the person that you've been motivating turns around and kind of says, oh no, we got to go to the gym today. We've got our session with Sarah, or whatever the case may be. So I find that that's a really great dynamic. And I, I think, you know, couples that workout together stay together. It's kind of cute right now. You know, it translates beyond just the gym. Now you're, you know, taking those conversations out when you go to dinner and you know, what are you getting? Oh well I worked out so much today. I don't know if I want to blow it on this dinner. You know, you start talking about nutrition and you know, being active beyond the gym, going on bike rides and walks and so it can be fantastic for some people. Yeah. And I think that's a great thing that, you know, people who are listening can kind of take to heart and maybe
John: Find that person that they can help them do that. If you know a coach isn't something that's within their realm of possibility. I wanted to kind of ask you a little bit about kind of what goals you have in your own personal fitness though, because we've had a couple of guests on, ranging from, whether it's a physique competitive competing or whether it's just be having a healthier life in general. So like what kind of goals do you have moving forward?
Tara: Well, what's interesting about the timing of all of this is, you know, I just made this decision fairly recently to devote more of my time and my working day to fitness before it was just, you know, something I did on the side and now it's definitely more than half of my work week. I, you know, really think me turning 40 to be blunt, had a lot to do with everything. I had this idea for a long time that when I reached that age, it was gonna feel like a milestone to me, even though I didn't feel any different the day I woke up and I felt, you know, that's a critical moment in my life where I'm going to determine am I going to live a healthy lifestyle and you know, live life to the fullest as long as I can, or am I going to do the opposite?
Tara: You know? So I made a conscious decision a while back that, you know, when I turned 40 it was going to be about maintaining an active lifestyle, healthy lifestyle. So I think it has a lot to do with that more short term though. I'm in the 600 hour [inaudible] certification program. I'm hoping to graduate from it next week actually. Fingers crossed. And I think, you know, part of that program has, it requires me when I test out to do all the advanced level movements of all of the pilot, he's exercises on both the mat and the reformer. And for that reason I also need to be physically in shape and able to do that successfully. So I know for the last few months I've been working out with my personal trainer on, you know, my hip mobility because that's an area where I tend to have some weakness in my body. So a short term, it's about finishing this out, these program. But longterm it's about being 40 and embracing that and living a long life, a healthy life. Like Joseph Pilati is one said, you're only as old or as young as your spine is flexible, you know, and I think there's a lot of truth to that. If you know you have a flexible spine and you can do a lot and you're active and you can move, you're going to be young, well into your years.
John: I really like that you tie that into really focusing on some of the weaker points and improving them. And that's something that I see and I'm not very flexible, right? It's just not something that I've been practicing. And you know, I've [inaudible] would definitely be something that I feel I would benefit from. So I guess Kinda two fold question is one, how, how do you best identify your, your weaknesses and start addressing them. And then two would be kind of, you know, how does someone get started with Pilati if they'd never even done it before?
Tara: So, you know, back to what I consider to be my physical limitations. I think that a lot of them became apparent to me from the start of my first encounter with my personal trainer. A good personal trainer will put you through a series of postural assessments and kind of give you a sense of what your, you know, functional movement looks like, what your squat looks like, what your push up, you know, looks like, where it could be improved upon. You know, I never really examined myself in those ways, but I know that I've been working out for a very long time, all through my twenties and thirties and doing things very wrong. A, I was, I belonged to one of those kickboxing franchises for a long time. And, you know, I was working up a sweat. My Apple Watch was, you know, showing that I was burning a lot of calories.
Tara: And I know when I came home I felt like I did a lot. I felt like I did something good. I felt like I worked hard. But I came to find out years later I was doing a lot wrong. I was causing damage to my body. My hamstrings were very weak because when I was squatting, I was putting more of the weight on the balls of my feet, maybe from all those bar classes and not to the back of my body, not to my heels, not to my hamstrings, not to my glutes. I was doing, you know, these hit movements in the kickboxing class, like, you know, plank ups, but I was only doing plink ups on one side of the body cause I wasn't aware of needing to be. Even when you go down on the right, you come up on the right, you go down on the left, you got to come up on the left too.
Tara: Not just the arm that feels strong. And I mean, these seem like silly things to me now and maybe to anyone who's in the fitness world, but these are like real everyday people issues that, you know, at least I can relate to my clients with. And when we have these conversations, I find that there's more people who do things wrong than there are no adults who do everything right. You know? And so I think definitely through personal training I became much more aware of my body of good posture and just an awareness of what was easier for me to strengthen quicker and what was not as easy. Cause what I found is I immediately became stronger in my upper body more so than I did in my lower body. But I'm somebody who's always had something of a strong core of my whole life cause I've always been doing all these workouts so I tend to devote more time and energy to working on my lower body. My hamstrings are very strong at this point and very happy with that. A lot of that has to do with my trainer. I still have a long way to go. But I know that for me hip mobility specifically right now is what I'm focused on. I know because when I'm doing the hinge movements, I know how difficult it is so I can, I can feel it now at this point and I can connect with, okay this is an area I need to pay more attention to.
John: So that's really cool. It, you kind of focus more on the areas where maybe you, you feel like you haven't been focused on or maybe have that external input of, hey, this is where it looks like you may be lacking or even where it stems from your, your squats, where you notice there's a certain way you're doing it. You say, well, you know, maybe because of this thing in the past, I've now got to work on putting that weight towards the back more or something like that. Right? You can identify things that are functionally a little bit different. But now you mentioned that you tried your first pull out these class on Groupon and I actually wrote that down. Yeah. Cause I haven't thought about that yet.
Tara: I knew I was going to be interested in it because I had taken a move on or two or three [inaudible] classes at you know, at a gym in the past and I had a DVD at home. But the group on class was that, that involved the Peloton reformer. Now, I don't know if all your listeners are familiar with what a [inaudible] reformer is.
John: I, so I'm not [inaudible], they probably aren't, I don't know. But you can go ahead and go ahead.
Tara: Yeah. So, so basically what it is is it resembles like a wooden frame, almost like a really narrow bed and it has a, a moving carriage that's attached to springs and you can determine your spring load, how much, how heavy it is, what the tension is, and it uses the springs to leverage, you know, the springs in your body weight to provide resistance while you're performing these movements to target certain muscle groups. And there's all sorts of movements you do on the reformer. You know, you're laying on your back or sometimes your, you know, your hands are on a foot bar with your feet against shoulder blocks. Sometimes you're doing splits, there's, there's all sorts of great things you're doing. So the reformer is the idea of taking the Palazzos mat workout, which is the foundational workout in [inaudible] and taking it to a moving surface, which, you know, comes with its own series of challenges.
Tara: So when I went to take the [inaudible] group on class, it was a reformer class. And I had not had any experience with that, but I was very curious about it. But I knew I enjoyed the [inaudible] mat class. So that's how I ended up in that. And you know, getting, kind of tying back to what we were talking about before in terms of like personal limitations, I think the one thing that I've learned over the years is because I've tried all these different workouts. You know, I've, I've done kickboxing, I've done bodies, I've done bar, I've, I've really kind of tried everything. You start to see patterns and how your body moves and you start to see patterns in terms of what comes easier for you and what is more challenging for you. And I remember even back then being challenged by some of the exercises that targeted the lower body a little bit more.
John: So I, I look and I'm looking on your Instagram account and I see this reformer that you're talking about. So I think that's definitely key with you know, the class because I didn't even know like I really know nothing about PyLadies until we know we started talking about it, but you know, floor workout versus using some of this equipment now. I think that's really cool. So I mean now what would be, and when would you, when someone would start with a Florida workout or would would want to be worried, right? Yeah,
Tara: That's my advice to everybody. Please go to a math class or two or three or 20 because the mat class is the foundation of the workout and I really have this new found appreciation of that having been in the 600 hour program, I mean I basically equate it to being in college. It's intense, you know, it's the foundation, it's the heartbeat of Paul Audis being able to do exercises on the mat. You, there's an allure of the reformer and some of the other equipment, but you know, being able to connect to employees, they call it your powerhouse. Being able to connect to your core on the mat translates into the other apparatus, which is what they call the other equipment. And that's kind of the idea of classical [inaudible] is that it's, you know, a systematic and integrative approach that your body will change when it's ready and there's different levels to the workout that you know, you earn your progression. So you started a beginner level and when you can demonstrate that you have affirmed command of the beginner level exercises, then you kind of graduate to either an intermediate level or a new piece of equipment. So I definitely think that the [inaudible] mat is where people need to start to make that connection to their core and have that strong core before they start some of the more challenging moves and, and challenging exercises on the equipment.
John: So when it comes to progression then, when you're talking about going from like the mat to the, this apparatus tying in to what you also do with TRX, is there one that you would say kind of leads better into the other? If someone were to look at doing both of them, that means your extra plots. Yeah. Like if someone was going to start with TRX and then transitioned to PyLadies, is there one that kind of would be kind of a stepping stone into the other one or is it kind of a separate beast?
Tara: I honestly think they're both very similar. You know, I've thought about this, so they're both my favorite workouts. I can't pick, do not make me pick you know, and it's like Monday, I like this one. Tuesday I like the other one. I, I love them both. You know. Both of them are so versatile and that's what I like about both of them. They're perfect for all fitness levels. The difficulty level is based upon your body position in both workouts. You know, you're adjusting either your angle of your legs or your foot position. Both can be low impact and both of them really emphasize your core and proper form. So I think it's just a matter of preference in, in my mind, TRX is almost like a newer age. [inaudible], You know, I think there's a lot of similarities between the two workouts and I really, really enjoy both of them. I enjoy teaching them and doing them.
John: Yeah. So, so would you almost say that like TRX is I don't know, for lack of a better way to put it, almost like someone took polities and created a new quote unquote apparatus to be able to perform the movements with.
Tara: I'm reluctant to say that because there might be some listeners who, you know, are really hardcore about Paul or TRX. They are two different workouts. I just know there's a lot of parallels. Both of them are excellent total body workouts, you know, emphasizing functional movement. Both have, you know, a lot of core based exercises. You can do both of them anywhere. When you think about pilates Mat, all you need is a mat and a floor and TRX. All you need is the TRX. Well, I mean you need that, but it's, it's very minimal equipment though. You can kind of hang it most anywhere where there's a sturdy structure. They even sell a door adapter. We can just hang it over a door and it's for anyone of all levels. I have all levels of fitness and all ages in both of those classes that I teach. So I do think there's a lot of parallels.
John: Okay. Yeah, so I guess, I guess it's not one, you know, being born from the other, they're just, there are two very good types of activities that kind of help with a similar principles then is what it sounds like.
Tara: They compliment each other and I tend to find most people who like one tend to like both.
John: We've gotten a lot into the, the TRX and the a Peloton and more of like the physical aspect of what you do. But you also got a nutrition certification as well.
Tara: I did it. Yeah. I'm really excited. I just became a NAZA. I'm certified nutrition coach about a month ago and it was something that was very important to me being a personal trainer, but also just for my own continuous education about nutrition. I would love to tell people that just going to a personal trainer will help you, you know, achieve the body of your dreams. But it would be a big lie if the nutrition piece is so important. And the thing is that it was not something that I became serious about until about two years ago. I like to have always told people that I ate good, I eat well. But I think everybody says that for the most part. Because there's a difference between eating good foods and eating good foods on a calorie deficit. And you know, and it gets obviously more complicated than that.
Tara: But I think for the longest time I was somebody who ate healthy foods but did not understand portion control. And it really made a significant difference in my own body in terms of not just how I look, but how I feel. So it was really important for me, I felt to be successful as a trainer, to be able to offer that knowledge and that as a service to any clients because they could be doing everything right with working out. But if you're not paying attention to what you're eating, what you're consuming, it's all for nothing. You're not seeing the results that you're, you know, expecting.
John: Yeah, I definitely agree with that. There's always this thing where they say nutrition is 80% working out as 20% or whatever the actual numbers may be. But it does play a very large role because you could work out very hard in the gym for an hour or two and in a matter of minutes completely eat what you just did.
Tara: And that's frustrating to me, John, because you know, I really invest my time in my clients. You know that my client's success is my success. You know what I mean? So it, it's, I, I share in their victories and, and when my client starts losing weight or whatever their goal might be, it may not be to lose weight. So when my clients want to gain weight, you know, whatever their goal might be, I want to share in that success and that accomplishment with them. And I know that the food goes hand in hand and that was why I pursued that. Now's them is a very well respected organization. I'm very proud to be an ASM certified personal trainer. I'm also a woman's fitness specialist. I also had their fitness nutrition specialist. But when they came out with the certified nutrition coach course, I knew that that was something I was very interested in.
Tara: I wanted that credibility. There's a lot of people out there on the Internet, especially on social media, you know, claiming to know everything about nutrition and what you should be eating. And you should be doing the Keto Diet. You should skip carbs and no sugar. And you know, everyone's got an opinion and you know, nauseam is very well respected and I really wanted to get that education and I'm not even sure I'm gonna stop with that. I might continue down the road educating myself through school, but for now it gave me what I needed to feel confident that I could guide my clients. And to be clear, the scope of practice for a nutrition coach, it involves you, you know, guiding, explaining how to food track, explaining the difference with, you know, macronutrients. It's about giving your clients ideas about how to handle tough situations, like when you go out to dinner, you know, what are some things you can do when you can't really control you know, what you're ordering on the menu, what are some healthier options, you know, that sort of thing. It's not being a registered dietician. I'm not writing meal plans for anybody or anything like that. That's not within the scope of practice. But the coach part I think really complements personal training and all the other things I do. And I know that my clients really appreciate that. You know, I'm always learning.
John: And I think that's interesting that there's that distinction between nutrition coaching and being a dietician because I've seen a lot of times where there's this, you know, sample meal plan that gets provided or whatnot, whether it's through a little, you know, free email thing or something that someone buys. And so I guess my, my thought process is that if someone doesn't really understand and doesn't really know, right. I, I would think it would be, you know, here's, you know, like, like proteins and carbs. And fats. Here's what they each do. You know, that's part of more coaching and here's some healthy options. Here's you know, an example of some things that you could have that would do that, but it's not, it kind of draws the line in saying, well here's the whole meal plan. This is what you're, you know, going to be eating.
Tara: Yeah, I mean you know that that really takes an a and you have to invest your time in education to really understand what that entails cause it's not a one size fits all thing. You know, everyone has different nutritional needs. You really need to be able to understand who your client is, what their health and history back on is. I did not go to school for that. That is not what I do, but what I am excited to do is share my knowledge of what's worked for me, which may not work for everybody, mind you, but coupled with what I learned from the NAZA nutrition course, it's been really helpful having these conversations with my clients because it's very confusing. Not a lot of people really understand. I know up until a few years ago, I didn't understand. It's very confused as a lot of information out there and it's hard to understand what's good information and what's not good information and I know you know little things that I've done that have made a big difference.
Tara: I still track my food. It's helped me tremendously. I have a food scale in my kitchen. People don't understand the difference between a small banana, a medium banana or a large banana, but there's about a 50 calorie difference between the three and it may not sound like much, but those calories add up over the course of a day over the course of a week. You know, it's really important for people to be able to understand the back of a food label beyond just grams of fat and calories because grams of fat are not inherently bad, but sugar could be and sodium could be and really it's not what one food has, but in combination with all the other foods that you consume throughout the day and throughout the course of the week.
John: Yeah, I think that understanding and that's, I like, they have a food scale. I've had one for as long as I can remember. It's interesting because I think that two of the biggest things that come to my mind when talking about measuring food are cereal and trail mix. Because if you measure out the actual serving size, it's significantly smaller than what the average person would
Tara: For. Well for me, you know, it's, it's my, my almonds and my nuts, you know, but definitely I, I and popcorn I'm a little bit of a popcorn fanatic. But that's one of the reasons that, you know, I share with my clients. Sometimes it is better to spend the extra dollar getting pre-packaged nuts or you know, packaged figs. I like my fig newtons and they sell them in like the single serve as opposed to just a whole box where it's a free for all. You know, there's a little bit more rappers to contend with and it might be a little bit more expensive, but the portion is measured out for you. There is no guesswork involved. Kind of like the halo ice cream, eat the whole pint. You know, you had 280 calories.
John: Yeah. And it's things like that that those labels, like one of the things that blew my mind was, I don't know how long I was eating Lenny and Larry's complete cookies before I realized half the cookie was the serving. And I thought, man, I, I'm dumb for not looking at that. Earlier,
Tara: I was doing the same thing with my nature's bakery figs. I mean, they sound so harmless, right? They're just figs. I thought it was, it had to be one serving, cause it came in one wrapper. Turns out for the last year, I've been eating two servings in one wrapper and logging it as one. Again, not the end of the world, not a big thing, but it added up over time. It was an extra a hundred calories a day that I was consuming that I was oblivious to.
John: Yeah. And that just, it blows my mind how things like that can just, like you said, it's not going to end the world, but it is gonna make a difference. Especially if someone's having a very calorie specific goal. But
Tara: That's exactly where the difference is though, John. And I think that's kind of what I've learned throughout my own experience and throughout, you know, my, my education in the [inaudible] courses, it doesn't sound like much. And that's the thing, it's easy for people to brush you off. It's so harmless. It's just an extra under calories. Who Cares? But you, you know, you continue to do that. People who are trying to get into tracking their food, but they disregard those little like, you know, scoops out of their hand of like the snack bag or you know, oh I just had a few nuts or I just have a couple of chips. I don't want the log that, you know, but it was a serving or two or three and it adds up over time. And the thing is you get people in there like, I'm everything, right? I'm exercising, why am I not losing weight? And sometimes it comes down to stuff like that.
John: Yeah, I think that's very true. Very, very powerful. I mean, I think it's interesting to have different pieces of information from the various guests on here and your perspective on fitness and balance and life, right, with TRX and Pele's. It's definitely something that's a unique view from what we've seen before. So I guess I kind of want to hear what some of your biggest struggles have been in specifically with [inaudible] because you know, I, I don't know if a lot of people that are listening have done it, but what are some struggles that you've maybe overcome? Through that?
Tara: I think, you know, I started this program and I like to think of myself as physically fit. But everyone, as I mentioned earlier, they have their physical limitations. And when I started my program, it's an apprenticeship is what it is. And you know, I was the shortest person in my apprentice class. I'm not a huge thing, but it made me require a I different needs. So for instance, when I use the reformer, I put it in something called first year as opposed to second year. Kind of like when you drive a stick shift, it's a little bit of a difference. There's an effect to that difference. Because the springs bring you in so tight. I had trouble with some of the exercises, so I found ways to kind of meet the needs of my body, I guess. You know, little tricks that I was able to do like add, click, edit, a clip to the a strap and that made it longer for me, which helped me take off the spring, that sort of thing.
Tara: But it's been a learning experience as is what it is, you know, it's, it's been a continuous learning experience. Okay. So I think that for me, since I started working with a personal trainer myself and getting into some of these workouts such as PyLadies and TRX, I think what's really helped me is finding what works for my body. And that might be my mantra for other people, for anyone who might be listening to this show is find what works for you. You know, not everybody is cookie cutter. Not Everybody is the same, build the same height, the same weight, the same strength level. You find what works for you? I think why I wasn't successful in my own physical fitness throughout my twenties and maybe through my thirties getting the results I wanted. It had a lot to do with being poorly educated, but it also had a lot to do with me taking all these great group fitness classes that are excellent methods of fitness, but doing things incorrectly or trying to keep up with the people next to me, maybe going through a movement too fast and not being able to do it correctly and properly.
Tara: So I think what's really helped me overcome any issues I've had is learning to do things at my own pace, learning to do what feels right for my body. And it may not be the same as somebody else. Maybe I go slower, some exercises, maybe I need a modification. Maybe I need a different piece of equipment or different piece of apparatus so that I can be successful. But if you're able to complete the movement, then it was right then it was the right movement for you to do. So. That's something that I think I'm kind of passionate about and that's why I really liked the TRX and the Palazzos workouts in particular is there's so many things you can do to make it adaptable to fit your needs or the needs of your client. More importantly, and that's really, that's really cool how you fit it specifically to your needs because I think that's really important for everybody to know is that it's not just one size fits all.
Tara: They're not going to just show up and do the same thing someone else is doing. And I think with group fitness classes, that may be one of the big hurdles for people that want to maybe start going is not feeling comfortable putting themselves in a situation where other people are there and maybe they think they're being watched or maybe they're trying to compete. But how would you say someone could overcome that from your perspective of making that first step going into group fitness? What's, what's a way to get over that hurdle? Well, again, in my situation, it was the girl who came into the elliptical room. Sometimes, you know, a friend or a family member could be the one who introduces you to something new. But not everyone's open-minded. It can be intimidating to go into a group class. I walk around my gym and I sometimes see people doing the same exact movements on the same exact, the equipment each day.
Tara: And you know, I want to, it's good that they're moving their body, you know, that's a positive. But you start to question if they're really seeing the benefit of all the time and effort that they're putting into it, it can be intimidating to go into a group class. So I think the best thing to do is start somewhere where you feel safe. You know, there's a lot of different workouts on most schedules that most gyms, if a gym is intimidating to you, the boutique studios are very popular. And a lot of these exercise studios now offer deals on Groupon where you're not making a huge commitment. Like you're not joining a gym for 12 months. You can get a group on and try three classes and be a an introductory student. But I do think it takes something on behalf of the person to have the nerve to try that experience and you know, step into the facility.
Tara: You know, likewise, there's another side to that coin. People get into the group fitness classes. I am guilty as charged, love it. And then that's all they do and they're continuously doing the same movements, maybe the same workout. For me it was spin. I must've did nothing but spin like three years and then it was doing. But you know, you can't get stuck into that groove where it's like, okay, I like this workout. I feel good when I do this workout. This is how I exercise. It's important if I had an exercise format that you enjoy because if you enjoy it, you're going to keep going. But it's also important to be open minded enough to know and recognize when your body is ready to try a new challenge, to try a new workout because you have to mix it up. Yeah. I think that that variation is key in,
John: In continual progression. And I think another point too, and these kind of goes back to what you said earlier, I think maybe it's good to have someone to go with to the group classes like you do the partner training or a couples training. I think that having someone, even if it's just a friend to go to these classes with, that's going to be huge. Cause then like, you know, you, you two might not have the same interests. So maybe one is going to want to go to spin one time, maybe go to a a TRX group class the next time because each of you is kind of contributing your own, you know, preferences.
Tara: But I got to see the, one of my frustrations as a group fitness instructor, again, I mentioned I've been doing this for a long time, but now that I'm also a personal trainer, I have higher standards now. So it's frustrating when I'm in a large class. When at the instructor I sometimes see people with poor posture or doing the exercise wrong because you can't stop the class to fix the person. You know what I mean? Like you got to keep the class moving. That's kind of how group fitness works. One of the reasons I really like my small group training TRX classes is because it's usually limited to six people cause we have six TRX straps at the place where I offer them and so I'm able to walk around and correct people's posture. If somebody has a posterior or an anterior hip tilt, which is common in TRX, it's one of the common faults.
Tara: I'm able to go around and correct them. If their shoulders are way up by their channel, I'm able to, you know, help them lengthen their neck, shoulders down the back. Similarly in PyLadies class, because I'm teaching on my feet and I'm not doing the workout in beginning in the front of the room, like with other group classes, I'm able to go around and adjust people's feet as they're pointing and flexing. I'm able to see if somebody's struggling with something where I can like kind of discreetly have them bend their knees so that, you know, it takes the pressure maybe off their lower back or whatever the case may be. So I think now as a personal trainer, I had these higher standards as a group fitness instructor. So I get frustrated when I'm teaching a format where I need to actually do the movements in the front of the class because I know how beneficial it can be when I have that opportunity to walk around and physically interact with people.
John: So that, that's, I really liked that I can kind of interested to go take one of these classes now because I, it's, I want to Jersey. Yeah, I should in new you one of these days, I'll make it over there. But so as far as, as far as you then in your training, whether it's, you know, online presence are on, you know, onsite training, where can people find you and what kind of things can you offer?
Tara: Well, I mean right now if you'd have to be in my area to take one of my classes, I work at a plotty studio. I teach two [inaudible] classes there, week met. I also work at two area gyms where I teach [inaudible] class bar class. And at the one gym where I'm a personal trainer, I also offer TRX, but I also have what I do privately. I actually have my own Palati studio in the house. I've been acquiring old equipment and refurbishing. It's kind of becoming my new habit. It's almost like thrifting except more expensive. So I'm really excited because right now I have a reformer in my house. I have a lateral barrel, I have a one to chair, I have a pile, RISD mat with a tower. So, you know, you people have to be in the area if they wanted to train with me and do one of those things. And I also do personal training in the park too.
John: Okay. So that's, I mean, that's good. I mean I, most, most people have their preference of how they want to train and so I'll do a few. What if you're okay with it? I'll, I'll put your Instagram in the show notes so people can, can find you there. The lean, if they're in your area, they can reach out to you or whatnot. But do you also have a website that you have
Tara: And my website. Yeah.
John: So yeah. Then train with [inaudible] dot com. I'll put that in the show notes too. So the people that can reach out to you, did you have a message or something? One, one thing I guess that you'd share with, with the community or you know, kind of something to add? You know, like a last impression of here's the one piece of advice that I would give to, you know, anybody's who listening.
Tara: At the end of the day, it's about finding what works for you. I mean, there's no one answer. Personal training is great. It's reshaped my body. It's given me great energy. Maybe personal training is not for everybody. It's possible. I'd like to say it is, but it's probably not bloody is great. I enjoy Paul Audis. It's, it's something I'm very passionate about. Anybody can do it, but it might not be for everybody either. I think at the end of the day it's about finding what works for you. Some exercise format that's going to make you move your body that's gonna make you wanna try other workouts ideally. So then that's gonna make you live a healthier lifestyle so that you can live good, move good and feel good.
John: Yeah. I, I think that really sums it up well that whatever is making the person the happiest and feel the best is really the route to go. And I don't, I think too many people try to maybe get into things that just because they feel like it's going to be good for them even though it might not be the right choice site. Yeah, I really like that.
Tara: I mean I think sometimes, you know, people do a workout, you know, cause their friend is doing it. Maybe their friend had great success from it and then maybe that person does that exercise or workout or died or whatever it is and it's not for them. And then they get discouraged and then they get frustrated and then they give up. You know, it, there's no one size fits all. You know, I, I don't dislike the Keto Diet, but it's not for me, you know? I don't dislike, you know, people like to run. I don't care to run. It's not my preferred exercise format. But if somebody loves to run, then go run. I mean, it's all about finding what works for you, what works for your body, what makes you feel good, what gives you those endorphins and you know, it doesn't have to be intense.
Tara: It doesn't have to be an intense strength training workout. It doesn't have to be what your friend is doing or your significant other or your family member. It's what works for you. It's what's going to be achievable, sustainable. What's something that you're actually going to do more than once and come back to and get better at. Yeah, that's, that's so true. And I think that that's going to be key for people to be able to really maintain a long sustainable, healthy habits and, and BW overall progressing in, in their health and fitness. No, I think really appreciate you taking a lot of fun. I'm a fan of your shot then think you're doing their insights and your other episodes a lot of value that people are going to be able to share what little knowledge I have with people. Is that something we didn't touch on that you might want to try at TRX or a Paul Audi's class or you know, look into their nutrition options. But you know, I'm, I'm excited to be here though. It's my first podcast. It was a lot of fun.
John: Thanks again for listening to another episode of the John Barker Fitness podcast. If you're not a subscriber, which I know many of you aren't, make sure you subscribe and share this podcast with your family and friends. Lastly, if you enjoy what you hear on this podcast, please support by visiting one of my affiliate sites listed on the page linked in the show notes. This helps keep the show running and is greatly appreciated. We'll see you on the next episode.