Your cart is currently empty.
Name: Tabatha Maher
IFPA Certifications: Personal Trainer, Sports Nutrition, Sports Medicine Specialist, and Strength Band Specialist
Location: Maui, Hawaii
- When and why did you become a trainer?
Growing up I was always involved in athletics. My main sport was ice hockey, but I was also involved in soccer and lacrosse. In 2005 my family took a trip to Maui, Hawaii. During my stay I would enjoy a morning fitness class and afterwards would do a quick strength training session. One of the trainers at the hotel watched my innovativeness in the gym and my dedication to staying fit despite being on vacation. The trainer asked if I was a trainer and recommended that I look into it. It was at this point that I started to look into training. While attending The University of Vermont I studied and obtained my Personal Trainer Certification through the IFPA. I took a front desk job at a local gym and began to learn the ropes first hand from some of the best trainers in Vermont. I feel when someone is first certified it’s very important to first work with other trainers and be trained to gain experience before training clients of your own.
- What are some adjectives your clients would use to describe you?
I think there are many words that clients would use to describe me like energetic, enthusiastic, honest, reliable, committed, resilient, persistent, and probably one tough cookie. They probably would like to beat me up sometimes but instead they often kick the plyo box or try to destroy the resistance bands. Your client may love you underneath but during training it can be a true love/hate relationship.
- What made you choose the IFPA?
I was born in Montreal, Quebec and while I live in the US right now, flexibility is an important thing to me. It would be quite a hassle and disappointment to have to redo all of my certifications and start from square one. I have yet to find another reputable organization that offers certifications internationally. This, to me, is one of the greatest aspects of the IFPA.
- How do you keep your clients motivated?
In my eyes finding what motivates someone is a big part of the puzzle in successful training. The way I keep clients motivated is I establish a baseline with them, build rapport, and help them by using very individualized training and techniques. Everyone is different and so are their needs. I make sure to keep a good variety in their training to keep things fresh. I also listen to their suggestions, complaints and compliments. This helps to further create a better training environment for that particular client.
- If you have taken more than one course, what has been your favorite certification course?
I have taken four courses with the IFPA. Personal Trainer, Sports Nutrition, Sports Medicine Specialist, and recently Strength Band Specialist. While all of the certifications have been enjoyable I enjoyed sports nutrition the most. Nutrition is often overlooked by many people, and it can be a little more complex than one may think. While I did have a good base knowledge on how to eat, the certification really refined my skills. It helped push me to truly become informed on different nutrients and there exact functions beyond the basics. Nutrition is more than something to physically shape our bodies, it also has strong ties to our psychological wellbeing and our internal health as well. Food is medicine. Training is not just about learning how to exercise but learning how to exercise properly, how to eat properly, and how to deal with emotions properly. Training is truly multi-faceted which is why its great that the IFPA pushes people to do new certification to keep all their previous ones current.
- What is your best success story?
Success really is a hard thing to measure because each individual sees success differently. I have had many clients shed bodyfat, lose 20-30 pounds, gain strength, successfully train for marathons, among many other things. One client I am most impressed with is an 86 year old woman whom has made small changes in flexibility, strength, balance, and weight. This woman doesn’t let age get in the way of her goals and while it’s a slower process she never gives up on herself. With that being said all of those who accomplished or came within their goals are my best success stories.
- What qualities set you apart from other personal trainers? Education? Experience?
Every trainer has something unique about them. I chose to get my masters in psychology because it allowed me to work with the psychological aspect of training on a deeper level. This has proven one of the most important aspects of my overall knowledge and success in training. I am also very energetic and love to keep my clients laughing. Laughter really helps people enjoy what they are doing and sends them away in a positive mood. I believe when we leave the gym in a positive mood we are more inspired to stick to our goals, and inspiring people is one of the most important parts of a trainers job.
- How do you envision growing your personal training business?
I have continually grown as a trainer as I have moved around the country and worked in different gyms, with different trainers, and different clients. My continual experience, new found knowledge, and dedication to my career are really what help drive my business.
- What is your best advice to someone just starting in the industry?
Training is a wonderful and rewarding career. It’s something that is always diverse, ever changing, flexible, and healing. It’s important to know as much as you can about a client. The more you know the more you can cater to a clients needs and help them achieve their goals. Training goes beyond just having a client do squats and burpees. Try and be available to questions whether it’s through texts, e-mails, or other forms of communications. Only give advice that is within your knowledge base and don’t be afraid to tell a client you are not sure. Our job is also to keep our clients safe so make sure to talk to other professionals if you are unsure about something. Remember to always keep learning and to go beyond just your interests.