Our Story

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Founded by Nathan Barna and Taylor Baroth, Optimal Evolution was created as a response to seeing so many people misguided in their journey to better health and performance. We found that people were simply not addressing the root causes of their disease, poor health, or diminished performance.
 

Through a holistic approach, we teach our clients how to create health, happiness, strength, and vitality in their lives so that they have the greatest opportunity to reach their dreams. We treat each individual as a complete, integrated system, recognizing the synergistic effect that all systems have on one another. We work with our clients to develop a relationship with their innate intelligence so that they ultimately gain the power to be their own guiding force.
 

By optimizing and embracing our key principles, our clients are able to create the life of their dreams and achieve the highest level of human potential— physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Whether your dream is to be an elite athlete, run a successful business, or to be the best parent, teacher, husband, or sister you can be, our goal is to guide you through your journey and help you discover your own Optimal Evolution.

Health, Love, and Strength,

Nathan Barna & Taylor Baroth Founders and CEOs

Our team

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Nathan Barna

HLC, IMS, USAW, ACSM-CPT

Nathan is a Strength Coach, CHEK Practitioner and Licensed Holistic Lifestyle Coach specializing in helping elite athletes achieve results by optimizing their health, performance, and mindset. Nathan uses a variety of techniques and assessment protocols to identify mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual imbalances that are at the root of poor performance and then provides the tools, programming, and coaching to help these athletes grow through their challenges and reach their goals.

Nathan’s story began as a teenager struggling with chronic injuries and health challenges. Every time it seemed like he was making some progress towards his dreams, he would ultimately find himself faced with another setback. After years of trial and error with little results, he came to the realization that the answers to his problems weren’t going to be found in a new technique or simply just using more effort – he had to change his entire outlook on life, the universe, and all the stories he was conditioned to believe as fact that were at the root of the thoughts, words, and actions that were perpetuating his cycle of self-sabotage.

This shift initiated a transformation that led Nathan on a journey of self-discovery. He spent thousands of hours and tens of thousands of dollars learning from the best coaches he could find and putting his knowledge to practice to create authentic wisdom. He has now dedicated his life to serving others so that they don’t have to experience the same pain and wasted time that he did.

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Taylor Baroth

RN, HLC, USAW

Taylor is a competitive weightlifter, Strength Coach, Registered Nurse and Licensed Holistic Lifestyle Coach through the Chek Institute. She is passionate about holistic wellness, women’s health, self-love and female empowerment.

 

She loves working with people in the gym who want to learn how to move correctly for every day life, strengthen their body for overall health and well-being, and those that want to get stronger and push their limits in strength sports.

 

Taylor began years ago with no barbell experience and very little confidence in herself. Over time she has witnessed her body transform and felt the shift in her self-esteem and mental health. It all started with having a safe place to grow and being surrounded by people who wanted her to succeed. She helps others build their confidence so that they too can actualize their full potential.

 

Through her own health journey and ongoing studies, Taylor is also able to help her clients develop a healthy relationship with food and their bodies, address the root cause of their health challenges, heal their gut and hormone imbalances and build a strong body-mind to regain vitality in their life.

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Abida Basiger

USAW 

Abida began her love of exercise at a young age like most people. Moving from Bosnia and not knowing English, she made her first friends by joining a group of boys playing soccer during recess. Since then, she has always competed in school sports throughout her academic years.

In college, Abida majored in Psychology and History, wishing to help others just like she received when she arrived to the States. Abida played Rugby for a short time while in her last year of college and due to an injury reached out to her old high school soccer coach for rehab. The relationship with her coach, brought the love of lifting and eventually Abida started Crossfit.

Abida trained in Crossfit for multiple years until finding Optimal Evolution to work specifically on her weightlifting technique. Thinking her weightlifting shenanigans would be short and sweet, just to learn some new skills, she soon fell in love with coming to train and not have to do cardio.

Since then Abida has thrown herself in lifting, shadowing Nathan Barna, learning the everyday of both being an athlete and a coach. Abida went through her Level One Weightlifting Certification, continues to incorporate her years of Crossfit training and plans to complete her Level Two Weightlifting, along with broadening her knowledge within powerlifting and other
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Abida is a coach who has a good balance of sweet and firm. She advocates and goes above and beyond for her clients, but she has no problem telling them when they need to address their own self-limiting beliefs. Abida is one of the morning coaches for Optimal Evolution and is ready to take you to your next level!

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Tj Robinson

CSCS, USAW

TJ is one of our coaches specializing in strength/conditioning as well as sports performance. TJ was born and raised in South Bend, IN. He would then go on to attend Penn High School and Indiana University where he received a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science.

Since then, TJ has spent the last few years in the health and fitness world, trying to learn as much possible while helping others reach their goals along the way. His time with OE started about 2 years ago when he reconnected with Nathan at East Race Muscle’s original location.

He reached out to Nate for instruction on the Olympic Lifts and had no idea that decision would lead him down a path of seemingly endless love and growth. He’s so thankful for this team and all that this journey has afforded him, and just wants to give others the same love and opportunity that he’s been given as well.

His favorite quote is “Just one day at a time” and he does his best to live by that mantra as he moves towards his purpose as we all have the right to do.

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jessica buzalski

Jessica has been lifting since about 2009. As a young child, she would watch “The World’s Strongest Man” on television and that’s when she started thinking, “I want to be able to pull a bus with my teeth”. But before that type of training ever came along, she was a runner. Her original goal was to be an olympic athlete and compete in track and field. She strives to be a well-rounded athlete and excel in whatever style of training she can. 
 

She moved her focus over to different styles of lifting. Powerlifting and bodybuilding is where it started. Many years later she now trains strong(wo)man and weightlifting. She has big dreams with her training, still including being an olympic athlete.
 

Lifting has always been much more than just “picking up weights”. It’s been a place where she could be who she wanted to be. It was her place where she could create a healthier relationship with herself and escape the hardships around her. It took time, of course, and many injuries, to really help her figure out what she was missing.

 

Being a part of Optimal Evolution helped her realize what she needed was her own love. The love that is forgiving and kind. Learning true self love is how she is able to do what she does; to help her stay healthy and focused on her goals.

 

By learning this, she is able to help those around her not just with lifting, but to live life with more self love. For you, she wants to be the light in your darkness - and to help you see your way through.