On the surface, Trina Medves had it all: a successful career, a fulfilling part-time gig as a fitness instructor and a growing family.
“I was a law clerk in a really successful firm. I loved my job, I loved working with people,” said Medves, a Winona resident.
But despite all she had going for her, Medves felt she had more to offer.
After having her first child 12 years ago, Medves opted not to return to her office job. Instead, she applied her skills as a certified fitness instructor to create Fit4Females, a fitness and lifestyle business designed for women from all walks of life. Fit4Females reaches its 10-year anniversary this June.
“When I really gave the thought about who I wanted to change, I knew that my demographic was going to have the biggest impact.”
Medves was recently named Canada’s No. 1 Fitness Instructor Specialist by canfitpro, the country’s largest fitness education and certification provider. She appears on the cover of canfitpro’s latest national magazine.
Medves was inspired to launch Fit4Females following her own postnatal experience.
“When I really gave the thought about who I wanted to change, I knew that my demographic was going to have the biggest impact,” said Medves. “I knew if I could get to the women and their families, I could then change the husbands, their partners and their kids and that there would kind of be a ripple effect.”
For many postnatal women, priority one is restoring their pre-baby body.
But many new moms may experience what Medves calls “Mummy tummy.”
“Sometimes there’s a real issue where there’s an abdominal separation, called diastasis recti,” said Medves.
Women may also experience pelvic floor weakness, which requires the attention of a pelvic floor physiotherapist. Bladder leakage is a common symptom.
When Medves launched Fit4Females, her very first program was a Stroller Fitness class designed for postnatal women. The program includes an introductory questionnaire that addresses the physical changes in new moms’ bodies and stresses the importance of followup medical appointments.
Medves promises weight loss results for new moms, but stresses the need for patience.
“(Women) don’t realize all the changes they’ve had during those nine-and-a-half months,” said Medves. “What I do, and what my trainers do, is we educate them.”
Today Medves divides her Stroller Fitness participants into two groups: moms in the zero to six-month range, and moms in the six month-plus range.
“It’s just awareness and letting people know it’s OK,” said Medves. “The postnatal body is not the same.”
For moms of less than six months, Medves often customizes lower impact workouts and modifications to conventional boot camp exercises.
“We make sure they are still being challenged,” she said.
By starting slow and gradually building, Medves literally helps clients walk before they can run.
“They know that they are working up toward that ladder,” said Medves.
Working with a team of instructors, Medves offers a series of specialized classes at F.H. Sherman Learning and Recreation Centre, with occasional classes at Lois Laxton Dance Studio. Along with Stroller Fitness, Fit4Females features adult boot camp classes, online personal training and private coaching.
Fit4Females clients range from teens as young as 13 to post-menopausal women in their early-60s.
Medves said earning canfitpro’s No. 1 designation this year was a dream come true.
Each year at the World Fitness Expo, Medves would see another instructor on stage and think to herself, “I want that to be me.”
Her fitness leader colleagues agreed.
Last year, one of her team leaders nominated her for the national award.
Part of Medves’ work over the past year was organizing a tribute for one of her stroller moms who lost her baby to spinal muscular atrophy. Medves wanted to raise awareness, using the Fit4Females platform.
In Dec. 2015, she started running classes for charity, in support of the cause.
“It just brought everything together. It solidified everything that I knew,” said Medves. “I really spent a big chunk of my year just doing that.”
Along with her various classes, Medves leads an online community of health-conscious women through her website and blog at fit4females.com.
The site includes free tips for fitness and nutrition, recipes, forums and more.