Tanja Mitchell, 56, and Fonda Fouche, 48, both Memphis natives, started as neighbors with demanding jobs. However, after bonding over a shared love of fitness, the two have gone from acquaintances to best friends and workout partners.

“We started off walking, then we tried riding bikes, but it wasn’t enough to move the needle,” Tanja explained. On their weekly walks, they’d pass the BestBody Fitness studio and take pictures of the number and plan to call, but never got around to it – that is until a friend of Tanja’s connected her with Coach Greg, the owner of BestBody Fitness.

In September 2021, Tanja and Fonda decided to commit to a three-month training program with Coach Greg. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday since, the two have walked to his studio and spent 30 to 45 minutes circuit training, focusing on either lower body, upper body, or full body depending on the day.

At BestBody Fitness, these fitness friends have found their niche. Their dedication to the training hasn’t wavered and they’ve never missed a session. Coach Greg has been their trusted guide throughout their fitness journey and helps to keep them motivated to succeed.

“When we think a weight is too heavy or we can’t finish a session, he reminds us that we’re stronger than we think we are,” Fonda says. Although Tanja jokes that she only wants a trainer she hates, it’s clear that this duo loves training with their coach. And the feeling is mutual. “I love waking up in the morning to train them because they keep me laughing,” Coach Greg remarks.

However, Tanja and Fonda’s biggest motivator is one another. “Fitness is definitely better with a friend,” Tanja exclaims. “The best part of working out with Fonda is that we hold each other accountable, but we have fun while doing it, and we hype each other up!”

Fonda wholeheartedly agrees. “Me and Tanja together are a handful,” she laughs. “I know that we may fuss while we’re working out, but at the end of the day, we’ll always find something to laugh about.”

These fitness-focused pals have already renewed their commitment with BestBody Fitness for 2022 and plan to continue on their fitness journey the same way they started: together.

Sidebar with Coach Greg

BestBody Fitness’ Coach Greg, 40, is a certified trainer who has trained a vast array of clients for the last 12 years. His specialty is working with clients at lower fitness levels to help them reach their goals with a simple, easy-to-understand approach. For beginners looking to embark on their fitness journey, he says:

  1. Get professional help. Invest in a professional that will help guide you in your fitness goals.
  2. Eat clean. Focus on eating more nutritious meals that are high in protein and incorporate baked or grilled lean meats.
  3. Start simple. Start moving with 30 to 45 minute walks three to four times per week. Sidebar with Coach Greg
  4. Mentally prepare. Schedule your workouts in advance and keep your gym clothes in your car to hold yourself accountable and mentally wrap your mind around getting to the gym.
  5. Stay hydrated. Our body is 55-60% water and our muscles are 75% water and 25% protein, so the more water you drink the better. Consume as close to a gallon as possible every day

For more information or to book a session with Coach Greg visit Bestbodyfitnessllc.com

By Lucy Harrison
Photo by Ike Singleton