Tara and Tom McBride have known each other since they were 15 and are now a married fitness couple. They are CrossFit enthusiasts who believe in becoming a well-rounded exerciser. They tell Sundried about their lives as fitness lecturers and talk all types of training.
Tell us about your journey to fitness? Where did it all start?
We originally hail from Alberta, Canada. We grew up playing as many sports as possible, including basketball, football, soccer, volleyball, mountain biking, downhill luge, track and field, cross country running, and well, everything we could try really.
We went to rival high schools, and have known each other since the age of 15. A few years after high school, Tom was firefighting as a forest firefighter, and Tara was running triathlons and preparing to travel the world. Tara convinced Tom to try running a triathlon, and he took it as a test to prove himself to her (only in his mind, not hers). He ended up placing 2nd overall. They then started training together and to make a long story short, they got married and both ended up at a university out in Hawaii. We both graduated with double majors, and after a short return back to Canada ended up back in Hawaii where we currently teach at the university in the Exercise and Sport Science Department.
What are your training goals now?
Currently, we are training in the sport of CrossFit with the goal of being the most well rounded as possible. We may show up and have to perform a 3 rep max back squat, then have the following event be a long distance run and swim, then even a hill sprint with a sandbag. The only way to prepare for being well rounded is to train every system of the body and specialise in not specialising. It keeps training fun and exciting. Plus, it allows us to express our general fitness in a wide variety of ways. If our friends ask us to join the local half marathon, help them move some heavy furniture, or simply join the local club sports team, we are prepared at the drop of a hat.
In recent years, Tom was diagnosed with degenerative spine disease, a fairly common thing, but had some severe nerve impingement due to a bone spur and retrolisthesis of his vertebrae. The structural problems are congenital, and not due to any one accident or pattern of use. The first prescription from a general physician was to never surf, lift weights, or expose my body to impact or load ever again.
For months Tom worked with PTs, chiropractors, pain management doctors, and many other alternative medicine specialists. Nine in total. All had varying opinions, and none could fix the bone spur. Dr Kyle Mitsunaga, a spine surgeon and Stanford University graduate, looked into my situation and wanted to help. He understood how important sports and fitness are in my life, and that functional movement is important to the longevity as well as the quality of one's life.
A few hours after a relatively short (3 hour) necessary surgery to remove the bone spur, Tom walked out of the hospital. The first few weeks following the surgery were wild. Pains and aches he had endured as a teen, and not even realised at the time, were gone. "My body felt much like your feet feel after taking your shoes off after hiking all day".
Fast forward to today. I have the green light to lift heavy, play sports, and live life as it should be lived. The good doctor gave me 2 prescriptions.
1) To never become obese
2) To keep my core as strong as possible through functional movements.
Tell us one unusual fact we wouldn’t know about you:
Tara can hold her breath underwater for almost 4 minutes.
Tom was training for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, but instead decided to serve a mission for his church.
Do you follow a specific nutrition plan? If so, what/when do you eat?
To connect with our clients and athletes, we've tried dozens of the mainstream diets and nutritional recommendations. We've found that what works for us is to stick to a whole foods diet. Basically, we do our shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store and avoid the aisles. "If it has a food ingredients label it might not be food". We like to stick to the following mantra. "Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat". -Greg GlassmanWhat do you do to keep your clients motivated? Do you have any top tips to keep motivated?
What do you do to keep your clients motivated? Do you have any top tips to keep motivated?
Our workouts are constantly varied but not random. On the days that it really hurts, our community is there to support and uplift one another. The nature of our training makes it so it's never monotonous or boring. We don't segment our training because we believe that that brings segmented results.
Our clients are staying motivated because they are seeing results. Being able to better live life because of general physical preparedness is motivation in and of itself.
Talk us through your training regime.
Our training focuses on functional movements. Movements you see out in the world. Squatting, deadlifting, running, throwing, etc. Life doesn't happen in isolation, so we don't train in isolation. We don't use machines, we are the machines. The body is an amazing machine with different systems and engines that overlap and connect in a multitude of ways. If you isolate and segment these systems, they are then trained in isolation. We've tested this over and over again.
How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?
As University instructors and gym owners/trainers, we are both morally compelled and personally mandated to keep up to date with our research and fitness knowledge. All of our methodologies and practices are empirical and open source. Empirical meaning that its based on hard evidence and results and not just theory, logic, or the current dogmas. Open source means that nothing we do is a secret and if someone comes along with a better path to fitness, and can support their claim with hard evidence and results, we will adopt their philosophies and practices.
What are your top 3 trainer tips?
- Care more about what you can do and less about the scale or what you look like.
- Solid form and full range of motion will get you further than half reps and lots of weight.
- Get out of the gym and express your fitness!
Why work with Sundried?
Technical activities require technical gear. The activewear made by Sundried is both up to date and at the forefront of activewear technology. The Earth is such an amazing place and companies like Sundried are working to keep it that way. Through the support of such charities as Surfers Against Sewage and Water for Kids and a very transparent supply chain, Sundried makes sure that it leaves things better than it found it. We really like that.Favorite fitness quote:
Favourite fitness quote:
"Cardiorespiratory endurance, stamina, strength, power, speed, flexibility, agility, accuracy, balance, and coordination: you’re as good as your weakest link"