Meet Your Coach Mondays - Tara

Tell us why you love the Tabata format.

Tabata is a fun,challenging, high intensity workout that allows you to push yourself to your own personal limit! Whether you are new to the class or a skilled veteran, there's always an optimal variation of each movement in class to challenge yourself to your own needs. I love that the Tabata format includes short bursts of work which allows you to fit a variety of movements into one session and work many different muscle groups in a short period of time.  You'll never perform the same workout more than once and find yourself learning new exercises or overcoming new challenges with every class you participate in.

How much of your training as a collegiate athlete carriers over into your coaching?

I think my experience as a team athlete has really set me up to be an encouraging coach and I'm definitely someone that wants to push everyone in a positive way to do the best that I know they have the ability to do! Although Tabata class can feel like you're working as an individual, I like to find ways to incorporate team activities to bring in a little bit of a different challenge and give everyone the opportunity to learn about the other members that they work out with on a consistent basis. Being a volleyball athlete has also expanded my training knowledge in ways that can help increase an individual's strength, endurance, and reaction time in new ways that I feel can bring diversity to the classes.

You had been volunteering with the Seattle Humane Society for the past 2 years.  Tell us a little about why you chose to volunteer there and how that experience was for you.

The Seattle Humane Society holds a special place in my heart! I used to volunteer on a weekly basis, but my current schedule only allows me to volunteer my time every once in a while. I am part of the DBS (Dog Behavior & Socialization) program, where we work with the dogs that are available for adoption to make sure they get the attention and love that they need while they are in the shelter and patiently waiting for their forever home. We work with and train all kinds of dogs with their own unique personalities and special needs, so every shift is a new challenge!

I have always felt as though I should volunteer my extra time to animals in need because I am a HUGE animal lover, so when I found out about SHS and how amazing their volunteer staff was, I knew it was a perfect match. These people give so much of their lives to animals that people have chosen to give up, and it's truly inspiring to see how that effort can make such a huge difference and touch so many animal's and people's lives!

What else do you enjoy doing here in Seattle on your off days?

As a PNW native, I love to get outside when it's not cloudy or rainy in Seattle! I've always been a hiker but I'm trying to get more involved in longer hikes and overnight hikes because we have access to so many amazing sites here in Washington. I also love to get out on the water to wake surf, wake-board, or paddle board! I have a trip planned for later this year to go to Iceland with some friends and I'm super excited to get out of the country to do some more exploring!

 I also work as a project manager for a marketing company, so I like to do a lot of things in my spare time that allow me to be creative. I do a lot of DIY projects and am continually looking for new and fun inspiration.

I'm definitely a big sports fan so I'm always in to watch the Sounders, Seahawks, or Mariners play a game and enjoy a nice craft beer.

By Vishal Punj

Vishal Punj is the owner of Aatma Fitness Studios, a full service boutique health and fitness club in the Center Of The Universe, Seattle.

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