The Fitness Competition Guru - Tara Thatcher
Posted on 13 September 2016
What is your name and age?
What inspired you to get fit?
I was inspired to get fit after seeing a picture of myself, not looking like I was in the shape I thought I was! I was sporting a few extra chins, and was used to looking like an athlete. The picture frustrated me so much that it pushed me to work harder than ever!
What keeps you motivated to live the healthy life?
The thought of leading a long, and meaningful life, that I am physically, mentally, and emotionally equipped for. I want to be able to use my body and mind to experience and enjoy life. To be able to overcome obstacles that come my way.
Describe yourself in three words:
Loyal. Strong. Kind
How do you balance life, work, training and family?
Balancing life, family, and work is a daily commitment. By putting my needs first, and making sure that I am a priority in my life, I am able to be better in every other area. Workouts for me have to be effective and fun. I recently added a new group fitness class, Alchemy, ( which is a combination of mobility, strength, and conditioning), to my routine. I still make it into the gym a few times per week to work on strength training. I have learned to be able to make good choices on the go, and have most of my meals prepped. Family is priority for me. So making sure my time management is on point allows me to experience everything I need! A balanced life is a happy life!
What is your favorite body part to exercise and why?
I was a swimmer in high school, and one of the body parts that we utilized a lot, was back. So lifting back has been a favorite of mine for years. My workouts have shifted towards more conditioning, yoga, and less of the body part specific lifts. I am learning that I need to enjoy my workouts, and sometimes that means mixing it up! My goals have changed. And now I want to maintain a healthy, conditioned, athletic physique year round.
If you had to pick three key exercises - what would they be and why?
My Favorite movements:
1. Deadlifts. One of the only lifts that engages the whole body. Targets the posterior chain. And helps improve posture.
2. Pull ups. I always find this movement challenging. But the most rewarding when I can achieve more repetitions and feel stronger!
3. Lunges. No matter how much time I have put in to incorporating these into my workouts, they never get any easier! Always a leg day staple and so many varieties!
Paste CoWhat is your favorite cheat “treat”?
Almond croissants are my favorite! Specifically from the bakery close to me. I usually treat myself to 1-2 per week. They are heavenly. The croissant is a perfect texture, buttery and flakey. The filling is not too sweet, and there is just enough of it. And now my mouth is watering just thinking about it!
What do you think is the biggest misconception about women in fitness?
I think the biggest misconception of women in fitness is that they don't have any hang ups or struggle with feeling critical of themselves. EVERYONE has their issues. But by beginning to love and accept where we are every day, we can start to heal negative feelings towards ourselves.
What was the best part of wearing Affitnity? Did you love the clothing? Tell us why :)
I count on Affinity to make beautiful pieces that not only look great when I am styling wardrobe for photo shoots, but that feel good and are functional as well.
Anything else you would like us to know?
When I started competing in 2006 I found there to be a complete lack of direction for competitors. After a few years of competing myself, I decided to take the knowledge and experience that I had acquired and help others with it! I founded my company, Perfectly Prepared in 2011. I have expanded an now teach Posing, Presence and Mindset to competitors, lead STRONG Fitness Magazine's STRONGCAMP in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I host some of the best photographers in the fitness business, and coordinate fantastic experiences for clients in front of the camera!
Photo credit: James Patrick Photography