Written by Megan Rivenburg
This month, we had the chance to speak with Tara Faye, owner of PNT Fitness and healthy lifestyle enthusiast! She is not only someone who lives and thinks in a healthy way herself, but someone who aims to share these ways with everyone she meets.
PNT Fitness offers small classes that cater to the individual needs of each client and focuses on the benefits of exercise beyond just physical activity. Here’s what she had to say:
What inspired you to want to open a fitness studio?
At the age of 26, I opened PNT Fitness with two other partners. At the time I was instructing classes at three other gyms, as well as developing my own brand and renting a studio by the hour in midtown; so it was a natural progression for me and something that so many instructors dream about because you're really able to develop the type of classes you believe in. It was one of those situations when everything fell into place, I didn't think too much about it and just went for it!
Long Island City seemed like a growing neighborhood with a boutique fitness void and it was more economical as well compared to Manhattan.
In May of 2012, I was able to buy out the other partners and run the studio solo which is when my dream really took hold.
It seems like it is important to you that you establish relationships with your clients. Why is that? What does it do for you and them?
In my opinion, this is what really makes my studio different that other studios. I make it a point to know every person's name that comes in the door, many of them I know what their fitness goals are and often times help people outside of the classes with home workouts or nutrition guidance. On a business owner level, it is great because it keeps people coming back, they know I have a vested interest in their fitness goals and when I don't see the regulars regularly, they know I'll be emailing them to see what's up!
As a fitness trainer it helps give my workouts motivation, knowing what the goals are for the clients is helpful in creating routines.
In a city like New York, it is hard to get a personalized experience in any gym or fitness class, sometimes you're one of 50 participants! At PNT Fitness, classes cap at 10 people and you get a personal trainer touch within an energized group fitness atmosphere which is obviously a huge benefit for clients!
You offer all different types of classes! Do you find it important to mix up workouts and not stick to one thing?
Absolutely. Our bodies are smart and our bodies are always in survival mode, so if you do the same workout a few times a week for several weeks in a row, your body starts to burn less calories/needs less energy to do the same movements. It is why you hear people talk about their bodies hitting a plateau.
One of the motivations behind the studio was to offer a variety of classes (indoor cycling, cardio intervals, toning classes, body sculpt, to name a few) this way people had classes to progress to and change up their routine to make sure they are getting a range from cardio to weight training and everything in between!
How does your work impact your life outside the studio? How about your outlook on life/ general mentality?
Well, owning your own business is your life. Everyday before I go to bed and as soon as I wake up and look at my phone for emails/texts news from the studio IF I am not already there; you are on call 24/7.
I do everything from social media, the accounting/bookkeeping, managing the schedules of the 7 other instructors, equipment maintenance, marketing, daily upkeep of the studio and that's just the managerial side. I also instruct 10 classes/week and have on average about 10 personal training clients. So, to be honest, there's not a lot of time "outside the studio".
Luckily I met my soul-mate about 6 months before I opened the studio (when I had more time!) and last year we got married, so I had enough time for all that! But, my husband is more of a workaholic than I am, so that's why we meshed so well and I have become a stronger business-women with his support.
It's a lot of planning ahead and time management, which I've always been pretty good at in general. My friends and family have been extremely supportive and understanding with my schedule which helps! You also have to love what you do if you're going to go all into a business.
Even now, after 5 years into owning the company, there are plenty of times when it doesn't feel like work, I truly enjoy what I do. With 'free time' I take other classes at studios and if I am reading something, it is always health/fitness related, so even my non-work personal time is tied into the business.
I think my outlook on life/people in general could be summarized in 2 of my favorite quotes: "Trying is for the Weak, Doing is for the Strong" and " Be Stronger Than Excuses". If you want a better way of life, you gotta work for it. If you want to be thinner or healthier, you gotta work for it, and people are full of excuses now-a-days and give up too quickly. Good things come to those who work hard and never stop, no giving up, think outside the box, and just keep pushing... anything is possible!
If you could go back in time and give yourself a piece of advice, what would it be?
If you're going to go into business with friends, be prepared to lose those friendships, no matter how strong you think the relationship is. At the end of the day, ask yourself which is more important to you because it's a rarity for both to succeed.
What do you want girls and women of all ages to know that you have learned through your experience with fitness?
You are stronger than you think you are... in every way! When you stop putting limitations on yourself and start taking some risks, that's when you'll start feeling 100% fulfilled.
For example, I ask a woman to pick up a "heavy weight" for class, they come back with an 5lb dumbbell! I ask them to go pickup their handbag and tell me which is heavier (in NY we carry our "lives" in our bag), so to my point, we are stronger than we think we are in literal terms, but also on a wider spectrum.
It's a fact that exercise makes woman feel more confident, when you feel more confident on the inside it infuses with other elements in our life like our jobs and our relationships. We need to stop making work an excuse to not get to the gym and think of it as an important part of your career advancement because it builds confidence and relieves stress, so that 30-50 min workout can actually HELP your career in the long run!
Focus on the positives and the way your body & mind feels after the workout and less on dreading it. It's like brushing your teeth. No one loves that 5 minutes of brushing/flossing, but it is instilled in us to do it from a very young age, it's habitual, and we all love that fresh, minty breath afterwards! Apply that to your workouts, create a habit for a healthier you, focus on how you feel afterwards and how you're able to fit into those jeans you love and less on actual act of exercise. Mind over body, we are stronger than we think, and fitness helps us realize this so we can apply it to all aspects of life!
We loved being able to gain insight into how such an amazing woman lives her life; it was a pleasure to have the chance to interview her and we are proud to be partnered with PNT Fitness!