Meet TruTeacher Ashley Farzad, the Director of Fitness at TruFusion Dallas. Ashley teaches a variety of classes including Tru Barefoot Bootcamp, Tru Hot Pilates, Tru Hot Barre, Kettlebell, HIITribe and Vinyasa yoga. She has shared her wisdom with us as we discussed her background, TruFusion, human connection, challenging her students and more!
Ashley’s Fitness Background
“I’ve always thought of movement as much more than just exercise. This outlook has taken me on quite the adventure through various types of working out, coaching, competing and mind-body connection.
I began gymnastics when I was five years old, which helped me learn how to move, built my confidence and made me curious about all things flips and fun! Starting athletic adventures at a young age shaped me into the happy and confident athlete I am today. I continued gymnastics until I was a teenager, though at least two feet taller than anyone on my teams (lol) and then rolled very naturally into cheerleading, softball, volleyball and track. I participated in competing travel teams for both cheerleading and softball for many years, which taught me that you take practice seriously for many reasons, one of the main ones being you don’t let your team down!
From Training to Teaching
My love for fitness naturally translated to coaching and leading others. After finishing collegiate sports after my freshman year, I pursued personal training which led to group fitness training, figure competitions and nutritional research all at a local gym near my school. I competed for three years before changing my focus to performance. I fell in love with CrossFit and Olympic Lifting and began practicing and coaching CrossFit for several years. When I injured my shoulder, I found myself in my first Hot Power Yoga class. I found a Baptiste Power Yoga studio where I became certified in Fort Worth, Texas before traveling to Hawaii to continue to study. I fell in love with how much there was to learn and experience in the Yoga world and immersed myself in it for over six years. I continued to coach CrossFit style workouts as I taught Yoga. A couple short years later, I began fusing the two in-sculpt style formats which are very similar to Tru Hot Pilates and Tru Barefoot Bootcamp.
I was reentering the fitness world after just having my daughter, eager to be active again. I was looking to transition from Yoga, which I taught while I was pregnant, back to high intensity interval training. My friend had been hired for the General Manager role at TruFusion North Park Dallas and we chatted about the big new shinyfitness concept coming into town! We discussed a unique opportunity to department head either yoga or fitness and I chose Fitness. Less than 2 weeks later, I rushed off to Vegas, hired an entire team and spent the entire summer in a warehouse training almost 30 people on 10 different formats. The OG warehouse group will always mean so much to me, we had a blast.
The Future of Fitness
I think group fitness is amazing. In a world where we spend so much of our time looking down at our phones or appealing to audiences we may never actually meet in person, group fitness, when done correctly, helps us connect with people. You get to know your tribe, made up magically of people you may have never met before. I’ve met many of my friends through fitness classes, whether it be other instructors or students, and those connections mean a lot to me. I love seeing my students become friends too. It’s so cool to see those bonds form!
We have such an important position and opportunity with our community to not only be group fitness instructors. We have the chance to be role models and coaches – that motivates me often with both my own classes and developing our team.
Energy Creates Energy
You must move to find a way. I’ve always held both things closely to my heart. For more than two decades, I’ve known that if I feel frustrated, lost or stagnant – I turn to movement to get back on track. When programming my classes I try to make sequences so challenging that the students get the opportunity to get outside of their minds and into their bodies. I do the same with myself.
One of the many things I like to teach my students is “You are capable of so much more than you think, you believe it for one slight second, you’ll surprise yourself and you’ll never be the same after that.”
Outside of The Studio
I love spending time with my personality packed 1 year old. She’s strong, goofy, smart, and loves to dance! She reminds me to slow down and enjoy the little things. I don’t think there’s anything that could replace the feeling of watching her accomplish new tasks and experience new things.
You can follow Ashley on Instagram to chat all things fitness, at @AshleyFarzad.