Written by Sally Ibarra Barceló
Photography by Dan Austin
Meet Tari Terry, the trainer building Lakeland’s fittest residents.
No matter the industry, innovators and business owners alike are always striving to be disrupters – the kind that meet customers’ needs and make products and services that benefit the masses.
“In 1984, Americans spent over $1.2 billion on home exercise equipment”, a “New York Times” article from 1985 reports.
Back then, it wasn’t just the specialized machines that kept people exercising at home but also the rise in popularity of personal trainers known as fitness instructors and home-exercise counselors. Whether it was an elite experience with a personal trainer or the wave of Jane Fonda exercise video cassette tapes, arguably, this era ushered in the personal trainer industry.
Lakelander and personal trainer Tari Terry, founder of T Fitness and Wellness, has been a staple in the fitness industry for more than 13 years. During this time, modern technology has transformed the industry. From mobile apps and on-demand workout videos to wristband accessories that monitor fitness-related metrics, these innovations are changing the way consumers invest in their fitness journey. While technology trends can be essential to facilitating personal health and fitness goals, Terry’s integrated and holistic view of wellness is results-driven and straightforward.
Unlike many trainers, Terry believes that changing the body begins by changing the mind.
“It’s all mental,” he explains. “When your alarm goes off at five in the morning you have to decide, am I lying here or am I making it to my session with Tari? Then, in my sessions I might have a client hold a 55-second plank, then add 30 seconds randomly and remind them that results come with the mental strength to push through to new heights.”
Terry’s passion for fitness began with his love for sports. While in college, he pivoted career paths from nursing to sports medicine.
“At that point, it was clear that I had found my passion. I fell in love with training people.”
“At that point, it was clear that I had found my passion. I fell in love with training people. Whether it’s an older person or someone looking for performance development, the possibilities are endless,”Terry says.
T Fitness and Wellness offers a variety of services and packages. Terry believes fitness and health are not a one-size-fits-all business. His goal is to tailor and customize clients’ journeys as much as their budget allows so that their investment breeds tangible life-changing results.
Personal training with Terry is intentional and personal. His service evaluates different facets of your life to create a realistic approach for you to meet your goals, and he administers assessments throughout your journey to track progress. Beyond just training, Terry’s approach is to help guide you through correct techniques with explanations and thoughtful sessions that help you understand exactly what you are doing and how it is crucial to reaching your goals.
“Many personal training clients travel for work, so they need to be independent and confident in their training,” Terry says. “In addition, I am working on a T Fitness and Wellness digital streaming service for workout videos which is perfect to complement these types of lifestyles.”
On-demand workout videos are a natural next step for Terry and his clients.
Group fitness with Terry also follows a unique model that allows for individual client customization and a low client-to-trainer ratio.
Focusing on a designated muscle group each day, Terry leads the class by individually instructing each client on a version of the exercise that will best fit his or her goals while helping them with form and technique. This model also builds community.
“Depending on each individual’s personal fitness goals, the workout is modified, and sometimes I may switch it up to a totally different exercise to meet the client’s needs”
Terry explains, “The goal in a group fitness class is for everyone to target the same muscle group. Depending on each individual’s personal fitness goals, the workout is modified, and sometimes I may switch it up to a totally different exercise to meet the client’s needs”.
Terry’s approach to personal training is far removed from the classic “fear your trainer” method.
“In these classes, clients become friends naturally and encourage one another by keeping each other accountable, and those relationships and this culture at TFit is important to me,” says Terry.
Tari offers other programs, including functional fitness, boxing, college and pro training, youth fitness, and even a newly implemented meal prep delivery service.
The service is more than just an online questionnaire; it’s the kind of service that involves a one-on-one meeting with a nutritionist that evaluates your personal health needs and goals. Terry is clearly passionate about fitness and nutrition, and instead of just going wide with his business and brand, he wants to go deep.
Terry feels grateful to have the capacity to breathe new life into services that serve his clients and ultimately the community he calls home.
Aside from staying busy with his business, Terry has a passion for education and children. He often volunteers to spend time with kids in underserved communities and hopes to be a positive influence in their lives.
Fitness and health goals have many benefits, including discovering new aspects of our inner selves that help us navigate other areas of our lives.
And as Tari says, every day, “It’s all mental.”
Functional fitness involves exercises that train muscles to work together and prepare individuals for daily tasks by simulating common movements you might do at home, at work or in sports. While using various muscles in the upper and lower body at the same time, functional fitness exercises also emphasize core stability.
YOUTH GROUP FITNESS
This program focuses on developing physical literacy through fun, engaging games and activities. Young athletes learn how to move properly by applying functional movement patterns within developmentally appropriate games to improve coordination, core strength, speed, balance and more. All youth programs follow the American Development Model closely to ensure that young athletes achieve long-term athletic development in a fun and safe environment.
T Fitness incorporates the mental, physical and emotional challenges of boxing into a fitness regimen and lifestyle. By providing high-energy group classes that are designed to test your limits and help you exceed your own expectations, T Fitness uncovers what it truly means to realize your potential.
Coaches are passionate about cultivating an environment where clients can improve endurance and strength, sculpt a lean and toned physique, and learn a complex skill set through the art of boxing.
“With every punch, we inspire and unleash the inner warrior that fights hard and dreams bigger,”
T. Fitness & Wellness
2611 Orleans Ave,
Lakeland, FL 33803