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Trainers Profiles

TAYLOR MEI

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Age:
25

City, State/Province:
Aurora, Ontario

Occupation:
Fitness professional

In your opinion is weight loss more of a fitness issue or a health issue and why?
In my opinion, weight loss is more of a health issue. There are many individuals who could “weigh” more or less but are extremely fit based on body composition. The number on the scale is just that – it can’t measure how many pushups or pull-ups someone can do.

In my opinion, the number on the scale should not determine how “fit” you are but rather, it should be just another factor to consider when looking at your overall health. In terms of health, if body composition is poor in addition to being heavyweight, then that would be a health issue. We can run into more serious concerns than our leggings or pants not fitting ideally, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, fatty organs, etc.

If you have 100 tokens in total and you could apply them to the following categories, how many would you apply to each?

  • Fitness level: 50
  • Health level: 50

I would apply them 50-50 simply because you need to pay equal attention to both! Sure, you can have an amazing fitness level but other areas of your “health” could be suffering, such as nutrition, sleep, and mental/emotional health. In order to be healthy and fit, you have to be focusing on more than just working out – you need to be exercising your body, mind and spirit (as “cheesy” as that may sound!).

You seem so passionate about fitness and movement. Please share the background that helps you move the way you do today
I absolutely love fitness! As a gymnast, my favourite part of the training was the conditioning portion! I have had a love for movement since age 5 and it’s been with me my entire life. I have a background in competitive gymnastics, dance, and cheerleading, and then in my adult years, I have moved into bodybuilding and callisthenics competitions. I love the way fitness and movement make you feel accomplished, and you can see your hard work paying off – not every day, but in the big picture, you are always working towards the best version of yourself.

On your IG page, you do a lot of amazing things. How much work goes into executing those moves in the video? As well they look so hard, are there many failures before success?
Oh my! Sometimes my videos can take me 10-15 minutes and other days they can take 1-2 hours! Creating content is something I consider “art”. I spend a good deal of time thinking about and executing the vision I have in mind that I wish to post. I have so much fun brainstorming ideas, and then when it comes to performing them, I am always genuinely happy (most of the time because sometimes, it felt like the vision was going to be impossible, and then I did it!).

What new doors has fitness opened up for you?
I am forever thankful for fitness and especially for social media! It has allowed me to meet like-minded individuals all around the world as “IG friends”, and also, eventually, as “real life” friends. Fitness has allowed me to be competitive with myself – always pushing myself to new limits and creating/accomplishing new performance ideas.

What have you learned that you would tell the 18-year old Taylor?
I would tell 18-year old Taylor to worry less about what people think. When I first started my account, which was around the age of 20, I didn’t tell people that I had made it. I was too nervous that people might think I’m foolish or that they would judge my content. I also used to be very timid in the gym, worrying about my form or if people thought I was in the way, etc. Now, as an adult and further along in my fitness career, I can assure you that nobody in the gym is focusing on you -they are all focused on themselves (as self-absorbed as that may sound). No matter what you do, someone will have an opinion, and it’s important to remind yourself that you don’t ever have to value their opinion.

Can you tell us about yourself and your fitness journey? What was the biggest challenge you have faced on your journey?
My fitness journey has been incredible! I went from doing bodyweight-banded workouts in a private studio where no one could see me to flipping the streets in whatever city I happen to be in and where I can be carefree!

Fitness has helped me gain more confidence in myself and has shaped me into a more responsible, patient, and dedicated individual and trainer. The biggest challenge I have faced with fitness has been the pandemic. I was the type of person who “needed” to leave the house to get pumped up for a workout; however, during the pandemic, that wasn’t possible. I overcame this challenge by changing my living room into a home gym. In my mind, I decided that this was my workout space and this is where I would focus. Not only was the pandemic challenging for me and my own training, but also for my business. I am extremely grateful that I was able to create a home gym because it has allowed me to take my business to the next level as I have all the means I need just in my home.

Share your unique training/coaching methods?
I think what makes my coaching unique is that I focus predominantly on fundamentals and breaking down a movement. I have different variations of the same drill, and that way, no matter what the client’s needs are, I will be able to help them understand the movement pattern. With callisthenics and inversions especially, it is so important to understand how your body moves in space, and not one way works for everyone. I think many people overcomplicate the fitness world when really, most movements can be broken down according to body weight. Correct form is everything to me. I would rather lift lighter and properly than try to go for a messy 1 rep max.

As a Personal Trainer, you offer 3 different platforms to support your clients: In-person, Zoom, Online program. Can you go into a bit of detail on the differences between each?
In-person and zoom are very similar as they are both considered 1:1. I am with the person for the entire hour providing feedback and am available to answer any question at the moment. Of course, with in-person, I’m able to spot or provide more tactile feedback. However, with zoom, my clients say I don’t miss anything!

Online programming is great for my clients who want to follow a program and to check-in. They don’t need in-person guidance as they are looking for more independent-style training. I am there for them to help answer any questions or concerns as they move through their monthly program on their own.

Trainer Philosophy:
Staying in tune with the basics and never stray from revisiting the basics if needed. Of course, also have fun with your training and creating variety, all the while staying consistent with your compound movements to complement overall strength.

Training Plan:
Training about 5-6 days a week – 3 lower body days, 2 upper body days, and a callisthenics training day.

Nutritional Plan:
Currently staying mindful and following the 80-20 rule.

Do you prefer to take and recommend all natural (no sugar, no artificial colors/flavors/sweeteners) supplements or supplements with artificial flavors and sweeteners? And Why?
I’m not a big supplement fan. Typically, I eat everything that I need to. On days when I need a little energy kick, I will go for an energy drink but those days are few and far between.

Please describe the importance of mental health?
Mental health is extremely important as it directly impacts our daily life and how we operate. In Canada, I find it harder in the winter months with the weather being gloomier. Exercise helps me feel better on the tougher days, and I know it helps many others; however, there are some days when you just need to listen to your body and take a rest or a break from your day-to-day life. We all are programmed to “work – work – work”, and in reality, we need to care for ourselves first and that allows us to take care of others later.

Take us through a typical day in life for you?
Waking up in the morning early, training clients for 5-6 hours, then working out myself in the afternoon, training clients another 3-4 hours, finishing with some client check-ins or designing app/client programs, and then, last, wrapping up with some “chill” time which I can either spend with friends/family/myself.

What do you love most about helping people?
The best is to see someone accomplish something they once thought was impossible; to see someone reach their goal weight or to achieve their first pull-up is truly heart-warming. I love promoting healthy living and watching my clients set their goals and accomplish them is a wonderful thing.

How does your kinesiology degree help you now in your daily life routine?
I rely on it on a daily basis. My degree helps with training my clients as it allows me to provide a more science-based explanation if clients are looking for that, and also, I’ve been able to simplify kinesiology into laymen’s terms to enable clients to understand better. The in-depth knowledge I have of the human body allows me to create programs for clients to help them achieve their goals and to be able to have conversations so they have a better understanding of the “why” behind movements.

Besides fitness, what do you enjoy doing?
I love spending time with family. It’s something I don’t get to always do with my busy schedule, so family time is very important to me. I love seeing my nieces and nephews growing up. If I can be a strong role model to them, that shall be my biggest achievement.

What separates Status from other fitness magazines?
Their kind generosity and their ability to communicate to their athletes. Speaking on the phone with Status, you can tell they genuinely care about sharing someone else’s story and are fully supportive of the fitness industry. They are helping spread the word and educating those who read about fitness.

If you could ask Status Fitness Magazine Editor in Chief Rodney Jang any industry question, what would that be?
Since you’ve been able to come across so many talented and amazing athletes, what are one or two things that you’ve learned during this entire process? Has your outlook on fitness changed over the years as a result of so many different interviews?

Status Fitness Magazine runs model searches across North America including the largest one at the Arnold Classic for the Status cover. As part of the Status family, you will receive a special participation invite. How excited are you for this opportunity?
That is an extremely exciting opportunity and I shall be so grateful for the invite!

Describe your coaches and the impact they have on you?
I’ve worked with a variety of coaches for gymnastics, cheer, dance, and bodybuilding. All the coaches that I’ve worked with have contributed to shaping me into the person I am today. They have encouraged me to learn how to push myself and when to rest when needed. I think everyone needs a coach at some point as we all fall into a “laziness” mode, and it’s helpful to have someone in your corner who is both supportive and understanding, yet strong enough to encourage you to restart your fitness goal.

Do you have a sponsor? List them and what they mean to you?

  • Gymshark – which is my DREAM sponsor! I was so excited when I got the partnership. I love what they stand for and how they encompass all aspects of fitness. They are such a supportive and family-oriented brand, and those characteristics are very important to me.
  • Grenade – I loved Grenade bars prior to our partnership. To find a macro-friendly protein bar is not easy, and in addition, to find one that tastes so good is amazing! I love working with them because they’ve been a brand I have admired even before partnering. They are genuine, supportive and are ahead of the market when it comes to flavour.
  • Baseblocks– such a fun brand to work with! They make callisthenics equipment for the home and that was absolutely the best, especially during the pandemic! I love how supportive they are as a brand and how they are so innovative with their products. They sponsor one of my favourite athletes, “Simon”, and to be on the same team with one of the strongest athletes I’ve seen is truly an honour.

Can you share with us your goals for fitness and life?
Overall, my goal is to always have fun with what I’m doing. I always want to be creating the best version of myself. Having fun and pushing myself to new limits both in fitness and life is my main goal.

5 things people don’t know about you?

  • I was a toddler in China when my Canadian parents came to adopt me.
  • I started pre-school a year early in Canada.
  • My favourite colour is light blue.
  • When I first started working out, my pushup form was terrible.
  • One of my goals is to compete as a pro in bodybuilding.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned through my fitness career is that not everything is as it seems. This applies to when you see an exercise routine and assume it could be easy or hard, and then it turns out to be just the opposite when you try to do it. Not everything in the fitness industry is as authentic as it should be, so it’s important to debunk and find the truth and science behind the why of what’s being advocated.

5 most important attributes you see in a person?
Integrity, kindness, determination, fortitude, transparency, and loyalty.

If you could inspire one person, who would that be? And why?
It would be anyone who is just starting their fitness journey! I love working out so much, and if I can help share that excitement and inspire someone to start along that path, that would be inspiring.

Who inspires you? And why?
My friends! I say this all the time, but truly, the people I surround myself with also motivate me to be the best version of myself I can be in the moment. Seeing them accomplish their goals also motivates me and makes me genuinely so happy to see the circle that I am in getting better every day.

What is your number one tip for people on their fitness journey?
Be patient and never convince yourself it will be easy. If it were easy, everyone would do it. Fitness journeys are different for every person and whatever your favourite fitness icon has done, might not work for you. Focus on yourself, be patient, and don’t quit!

What does success look like for you?
Success to me used to look like making money. If I were making money, I thought it meant that I would be considered successful, not only to myself but to others, too. Now, as I’m older, I realize success means so much more. It means you have the freedom to conduct your life the way you wish to. You have the ability to say “no”,  which can be scary for many people. Too many of us are “yes-men” type people when it comes to business; however, saying “no” sometimes can be the wisest thing you can do for your business. To be successful, you have to balance everything you want out of life – for me, that is. Last, success means financial stability, quality time with friends and family, and time for myself to decompress.

What is your favourite quote to live by?
“Whether you think you can or you can’t do it, you’re right”. This quote, when I first read it, didn’t make sense to me and I had to ask one of my clients what it meant exactly. This quote truly states the power that the mind has, and that if we aren’t practising its wisdom every day in a positive way, then the mind has the power to bring us down if we let it.

Connect with Taylor: IG 
Photos By: DIGITAL DUMPLING

I am a content and talent manager of Status Fitness Magazine. If you are looking to share your story or get featured in Status, contact me.

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