Meet the Precor Master Coaches: Erica Tillinghast

Personal Training

Meet the Precor Master Coaches: Erica Tillinghast

Precor has more than 50 Master Coaches in 20 countries around the world. These Master Coaches deliver workshops on Precor equipment, develop curriculum for new onsite training courses, contribute to our blogs, and provide premier coaching at tradeshows and events. Our “Meet the Precor Master Coaches” blog series highlights different members of our global team, giving you the chance to get to know them. Enjoy!

What got you into fitness?

I’ve always been an athlete. I started jump roping at eight years old and instantly fell in love with the sport’s creativity, athleticism, and teamwork. I competed at a national and international level until I was 20, and earned the Joel Farrell Award (all around female athlete award for jump rope) at the Junior Olympics, as well as national and international medals. However, my interest in fitness started when I was 13 when my mom made a lifelong commitment to healthy change. She lost nearly 100 pounds through a strong commitment to diet and exercise, became a marathon runner, and one of the most avid fitness enthusiasts I have ever met. Her transformation, done with balance and commitment – no gimmicks or supplements – has been a lifelong inspiration for me.

How many years have you been involved in the fitness industry?

I started working in health clubs in 2004, but functionally I began leading youth fitness camps and after-school programs in the mid-1990s.

What fitness certifications do you hold?

I have an MS in Exercise Science and Health Promotion. Some of the certifications and education workshops I have participated include: NASM cPT, NASM Group Personal Training Specialist, Spinning®, AntiGravity Fitness Level 1 Trainer, PTA Global Mentorship 1, Active Doctors Active Patients, TRX, and 4D PRO Bungee Fitness Trainer.

Why did you want to be a Precor Master Coach?

I started the Precor Master Coach program in 2015 to help Precor bring reputable, CEC-approved education experiences to customers around the world. The Precor education philosophy is rooted deeply in coaching and collaboration. As such, we seek to hire and maintain educators and content contributors that provide varying perspectives on the latest industry trends and best practices. I am very enthusiastic about the diversity of backgrounds within our Master Coach team around the world, and am honored to be among a group of thoughtful, intelligent and passionate educators. 

What is your favorite piece of Precor equipment and why?

Superfunctional™ on Queenax™. It is so simple and versatile, yet perfectly taps into my own spirit of play. At the same time, you can vary how you use it to mobilize, stabilize, and work up a great sweat.

Beyond that, as a runner I really enjoy the TRM 731 Interval treadmill. This gives me the autonomy and simplicity I need for interval days for my marathon training.

What is your favorite move to do on Queenax equipment?

I love the lache (hanging swing and leap using the Superfunctional).

What’s your favorite personal fitness story or memory?

I have run four Boston Marathons, and without a doubt my favorite part is the inspiration you get riding the bus and spending time with other runners in the Athletes’ Village. You board the bus to the starting line at least four hours before the race starts, and from the moment you get in line, you feel the strength of the amazing community of passionate and dedicated runners around you. Though everyone is from different cities, states, and countries, you share a common bond and have inspiring conversations about people’s personal fitness journeys that got them to the starting line. They stick with you through the 26.2 miles.

Tell us about a time you were able to help a client reach and/or exceed his or her fitness goals.

I spent a year as an Athletic Director and PE teacher at a school in Jamaica. During this time I worked to bring fitness and wellness coaching to students who had primarily been exposed to fitness through sports. I had one student who had never fit into the traditional PE construct, but at the end of the year she gave me a special note thanking me for helping her find success and belonging in fitness and wellness.   

What’s your favorite fitness mantra?

Train smarter, not harder.

What’s your favorite movie (fitness-related or not)?

Forrest Gump – “I just felt like running!”

Give us a random fun fact about yourself!

I used to jump rope in the circus!