Fit 2 the T was developed by Tara Newbigging a graduate from Laurentian University of Sudbury Ontario. Tara graduated in 2007 with an Honors Bachelor of Physical Health and Education degree with her major in Health Promotion. She is certified in kinesiology, personal training, fitness instruction, sport balance training, Zumba Dance Instruction, and is a wellness consultant and Pro fitness model. Tara has been working in the fitness and health industry for over eight years. She has worked for Johnson and Johnson McNeil Consumer healthcare and Microsoft Canada as a wellness and fitness consultant.
Tara does corporate outreach presentations as well as education seminars for various audiences. Some Fortune 500 companies Tara has presented for are 3M Canada, Libro Financial, Microsoft Canada, McNeil Consumer Healthcare as well as The Athletic Clubs of London, Guelph, and Brantford Ontario and St. Josephs hospital in Guelph Ontario.
Tara has written many articles on health and wellness related topics for local magazines and in corporate newsletters. As a well rounded Wellness educator, Tara “Walks the Talk” of leading a healthy lifestyle. In April 2008 Tara won the WNSO Ian Walling FAME fitness competition and became recognized as a Pro Fitness / swimsuit model.
Tara moved to Yellowknife NT, in June of 2008 and successfully started Fit 2 the T. She has helped many individuals achieve personal fitness fitness goals by working with many clients one-on-one doing personal Training and nutrition consulting.
Tara also brought Zumba fitness to Yellowknife. She was the first ever certified instructor to start teaching classes in town. Zumba went from no one knowing what it was, to becoming very popular around town. Tara’s Zumba classes have a special flare to them that keep people coming back for more. Tara also has done both on and off-ice conditioning with the YK Figure skating club, as well as the Yellowknife Boys Minor hockey midget team. Her expertise, passion for fitness and commitment to training helped many of the athletes significantly improve their overall performance both on and off the ice.
Tara has also worked closely with the Yellowknife Health and Social Services department on a variety of Health promotion events; including helping Stanton Medical Centre with their ‘Why Weight Program’. Tara has also worked with William Mac. school with their Physical and Health education programs, as well as WSCC, and BHP.
During summer of 2009, Tara developed and successfully executed Yellowknifes first ever outdoor Fitness Bootcamp. A plethora of participants took part in three, four week long sessions of intense outdoor workouts at a variety of locations around Yellowknife.Tara’s passion is helping others realize the benefits of leading ahealthy lifestyle.
“Those who believe they can are right, and so are those who believe they can’t.”
ARTICLE WRITTEN BY: KRISTEN COOK
Three years ago most Yellowknifer’s hadn’t heard of Fit 2 the T Fitness or ‘Zumba’. But when 23 year old Tara Newbigging came to North in May 2008 she made a big impact with the introduction of ‘Zumba’, a Latin-inspired dance fitness program. And she hasn’t stopped since.
Starting out small, with just a handful of clients, word of mouth spread quickly and month after month the classes where filling. “I didn’t expect Zumba to get this big, I needed help”, says Tara. Fortunately, in December 2009, two of her die-hard Zumba enthusiasts, Donna Wong and Heather Butt-Paul took steps to become certified ZUMBA® instructors. Teaming up with Tara, the three of them became the Fit 2 the T Zumba team and provide a variety of different fitness level options to the ever growing client needs.
With Donna and Heather steadily developing their own clientele, the three of them rounded out the Zumba program and Tara was able to focus her attention to other Fit 2 the T fitness programs. When she wasn’t busy instructing Zumba, Tara offered personal training, corporate wellness programs, and bootcamp style fitness on top of managing the operational needs of her business.
However, the growing business had also posed new challenges. The number of requests for the same time slots were beginning to conflict and Tara was finding it increasingly difficult to accommodate everyone. It was during a group training session with other fitness instructors, that she came up with a new idea. Why not bring a group of people, who are at similar fitness levels and provide personal training in a group? “I had no idea at the kind of success we could get in a group setting”, Tara remembers. Clients were attaining their fitness objectives from the group sessions but they were also benefitting in unexpected ways. Much like what Zumba had done, the group training sessions were creating new friends. The group members were providing motivation, support, and reinforcement to each other that one-on-one training couldn’t provide.
Despite the hard work, when asked about the best part of training, Tara easily answers, “I do it because I love it, I inspire change, I’m helping people and I see them so happy”. Tara demonstrates a true passion for sharing her knowledge and teaching her clients how to get the most out of their workouts. She doesn’t just talk the talk, she is the example. Karlyn McDonald captures it well, “before I knew her, when I saw Tara participating in a fitness class, I thought, I want to look like that”. Tara’s background in fitness started with skating as a girl and continued through school. She graduated from Laurentian University in June 2007 with an Honors Bachelor of Physical Health and Education degree and a major in Health Promotion. She also worked in the fitness and health industry for over eight years. Tara is a wellness consultant, certified in kinesiology, personal training, fitness instruction, sport balance training, and her love, Zumba Dance Instructor.
Fit 2 the T provides a service and it’s been an ongoing learning experience. Much of Tara’s wisdom has been through trial and error and the support of friends and family. Because she is so passionate about what she does, she has to remind herself that she can’t be everything for everybody and just do what she can. As a full time trainer, for as much as she helps her clients, they also help her. There is no “one size fits all” and Tara takes what she has learned and applies it to each person to help them understand what works for them and get the results they want.
But what makes Tara stand out the most and is creating a tremendous amount of admiration, is her commitment to her clients. I talked with several of her clients about their experience, and there was a familiar mantra; “When I’m done, I feel awesome” or “I measure success by how I feel both physically and mentally”. Tara has a way of taking the numbers out of the equation and focuses on helping people feel better about themselves. As Donna Wong puts it, “there’s an aura around her, just the way she embraces everybody”. And, you only need to look to see the physical results. Karlyn McDonald sums it up, “I don’t know if Tara realizes the profound impact she has had on people”.
Tara is always changing things by balancing her knowledge and skills with what her clients want. Sometime the new programs, music, or schedules work and sometime they don’t, but she listens to the feedback and is always trying to make it better. There is no one harder on Tara than herself, but her incredible energy and dedication to making fitness fun and just doing what she loves has inspired so many people to choose a healthier lifestyle and they are happier for it.
Nomination for Can Fit Pro Professional of the Year entry- Written by: Kristen Cook
In the short time that Tara has been in Yellowknife, she has had a tremendous impact on the Northwest Territories capital city, and this year has begun to make an impact on some of the remote communities where she is promoting health and fitness. In just three years she has gone from a young unknown, to the face of fitness within the city. This past year has been the most exciting for Tara as her hard work, continued improvement and unwavering dedication to health and wellness have begun to create a demand that is challenging, exciting and energizing.
This year Tara was awarded a grant to teach health promotion to both of Yellowknife’s Catholic and Public School districts. Tara developed a curriculum specifically designed for youth, ages 10 to 14, and delivered the program in the schools to bring early awareness to heath and wellness and teach the children how fitness can fit into their lives. The program incorporated academic aspects and hands on participation to reinforce that fitness can be fun.
Another major achievement for Tara was to be hired as the trainer for the NWT Canada Winter Games Hockey team. Tara developed and instructed the dry-land program to help prepare the boys team for the NWT Canada Winter Games held in Halifax in February 2011. Tara also has done both on and off-ice conditioning with the YK Figure skating club, as well as the Yellowknife Boys Minor hockey midget team. Her expertise, passion for fitness and commitment to training helped many of the athletes significantly improve their overall performance both on and off the ice.
In a more program related achievement, Tara recognized that her client list was growing and the requests for personal training were exceeding her ability to accommodate everyone. As a result, in September 2010, Tara introduced a group functional training class to her programs. This class is specifically designed to provide the personal training experience, in a group setting. This class addresses many of the challenges to fitness and health awareness. One of the most obvious benefits are they are more affordable than a one on one training program. This has a trickle down affect which encourages repeat membership. The class may fluctuate in size slightly with people coming and going, but the program works so well that the core group of participants who signed up in September return each session because they see the results. This program works so well, that between sessions, the core group continues to meet at the gym and work out together. Which leads to another benefit of the group training environment; participants encourage each other to do their best and push past what they thought was possible. Tara has developed an environment that combines the support of group classes and the time and attention of a personal trainer. In these 45 minute classes she provides cardio, strength, functional, core, and flexibility training. She changes the circuit each class so participants never know what the workout will be, never get bored, and this incorporates the muscle confusion approach.
Tara has been involved in fitness for over 15 of her 26 years, but formally she dedicated her lifestyle and career to fitness for the past 8 years.
She graduated in 2007 from Laurentian University of Sudbury Ontario with an Honors Bachelor of Physical Health and Education degree with her major in Health Promotion. She is certified in kinesiology, personal training, fitness instruction, sport balance training, Zumba Dance Instruction, and is a wellness consultant. In April 2008 Tara won the WNSO Ian Walling FAME fitness competition and became recognized as a Pro Fitness / swimsuit model. She is certified with Canfitpro and a member in good standing, where she also achieved her certification as Personal Training Specialist and Fitness Instructor Specialist.
She is well rounded in fitness training, gaining experience working with different organizations while going to school. She has worked for Johnson and Johnson McNeil Consumer healthcare and Microsoft Canada as a wellness and fitness consultant, presented for are 3M Canada, Libro Financial, Microsoft Canada, McNeil Consumer Healthcare as well as The Athletic Clubs of London, Guelph, and Brantford Ontario and St. Josephs hospital in Guelph Ontario.
But the accumulation of her love for physical fitness and hard work truly flourished when she moved to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories in June of 2008 and successfully launched Fit 2 the T Fitness. It has been in this past year that her dedication to seeing the success her ever growing clientele has helped her develop her programs to where they are today.
A description of the innovative strategies, techniques or practices the nominee has used to help clients achieve their fitness goals during the period between September 1, 2010 and May 1, 2011.
This year Tara pulled together her experience and knowledge to develop fitness models that provides cardio, strength, functional, core, and flexibility. She uses a similar model for those who are just beginners as she would for those with a strong foundation in fitness but scales the load and intensity to each person. This approach enables her to tailor the coaching method to her clients, but still work towards and achieve a balanced physical, mental and spiritual fitness goal.
A unique strategy Tara developed was a mix and match style of fitness classes. She offers sessions that run about 4 to 5 week long, and incorporate multiple programs, such as Zumba, bootcamp, core, stretch, and group training. There are enough classes to accommodate most schedules, and each class is designed to work with or in support of another. Clients can mix and match the classes to meet their needs and priorities. When needed, Tara always makes herself available to help clients design the session that works for them.
Tara also offers corporate health and wellness, brining fitness to the workspace. She has worked with a variety of Yellowknife based organizations such as WSCC (Workers Safety and Compensation Commission), Yellowknife Health and Social Services, and BHP Billiton Diamonds (Ekati Diamond Mine).
Tara is always seeking new and innovative ways to develop herself and her clients. By reading various documentation, or participating in other programs in and out of the city, she will never ask anyone to try something she hasn’t already proven to work on herself. And much like her fitness model, she is always changing things up, upgrading her competencies and learning new skills. In a community where networking opportunities are limited, she reaches out to others to ensure her skills are current and relevant.
However, the most magnetic and perplexing technique Tara incorporates is not something that is easily put into words. From personal experience and from interviewing many others on this subject, regardless of which classes they take with Tara, participants have all identified a “certain something” that makes you want to come back again and again. The feeling makes you want to put everything into your workout, push yourself a little harder, and not disappoint her. This “certain something” has been referred to as an “aura” or “enthusiasm” but what it does, is helps participants feeling better about themselves. And, it is this feeling that Tara purposefully cultivates and utilizes to help her clients achieve and sustain their personal fitness goals.
When you sign up with Tara you get much more than you realized. What you will gain is confidence, balance, inner and outer strength, a love for fitness, and so much more. It’s a personal feeling that resonates outward and it feels fantastic.
Community involvement, focusing on the promotion of health and fitness, including but not limited to campaigns, lectures, and newspaper and magazine articles. How did the nominee’s work enrich his/her community?
As public awareness grows she is being invited to participate on multiple city events. The Yellowknife Health and Social Services department have asked her to work with them on a variety of health promotion events; including helping Stanton Medical Centre with their ‘Why Weight Program’. As well, Tara is a regular instructor with Taiga Adventure Camps is for young women, ages of 11 – 17 from every NWT community.
Although most of her work so far has been in Yellowknife, this year Tara traveled to two Northwest Territories communities, Behchoko (Rae-Edzo), NWT through the health and wellness awareness programs and Norman Wells, NWT through the NWT Recreation & Parks Association, Fast and Female Weekend. This year the Fast and Female hosted 46 female skiers between the ages of 9 to 19 from nine NWT communities aimed at inspiring and motivating aboriginal girls in cross-country skiing.
Tara is a strong proponent for Cancer awareness and hosts fundraising events year round. She along with her Fit 2 the T team have hosted three Zumba events this year, and she is often seen with her team to kick off events such as the CIBC Run For Our Lives, Terry Fox Run, and Yellowknife Relay for Life, rallying up the crowd.
Tara’s company, Fit 2 the T Fitness has been covered in many local media outlets such as YKOnline.ca, CJCD Radio, Northern News Services, and promoted with the Northwest Territories tourism organization, Northern Frontier Visitor Centre. This past year she was interviewed for the “Up Here Business, Young Entrepreneur” edition which is due to be released in the fall of 2011.