Coach Toni Saret’s Passion for Fitness

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Internationally trained fitness and nutrition specialist; healthy lifestyle advocate; Health and Fitness Celebrity Coach; Co-Creator of the revolutionary 4-minute workout; former ballet dancer and Philippine Heart Association Healthy Lifestyle Ambassador Coach Toni Saret shares her artsy side while trying to touch lives one filipino at a time

By Ma. Vanessa L. Estinozo



Marie Antoinette Dimaguila-Saret or more popularly known as Coach Toni didn’t just get her hot, fit, and sexy body that we see on television in one day. It is a byproduct of years of mind and body discipline and every day fitness regimen.

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Coach Toni learned discipline throughout her formatives years, performing ballet at age four. Thanks to the “the Spartan kind of training”, she then on learned other avenues of dancing namely jazz and tap dancing.

She believes that this early exposure brought out her competitive side—always bringing out her A-game, excelling on what she sets her mind on. Though she travels back and forth to the Philippines and the United States, she feels lucky to have been exposed to the best of both worlds.

“I’d like to think my formative years were cemented here. I love the way the Filipino Catholic values are instilled in children. I got lucky enough to have been grounded with Filipino Values during these molding years. Yet fortunately young enough to adapt to the culture abroad. It’ having the best of both worlds.

Advocate of nutrition infusion

But achieving a healthy body doesn’t only require exercising every day; it also needs a healthy diet. And by diet, it means a balance amount of green veggies, meat and fish, and not starving yourself.

Coach Toni is also a Holistic Nutrition Chef. An eye opening course she took in Scottsdale Arizona, USA to learn something new and help more people eat nutritious food.

“We should eat not just to fill our starving stomachs or sate our salivating palate, but eat for nutrition infusion. Thereby filling our bodies with nutrient dense foods for a healthier, illness free body. We should opt for nutrition that help build our cells, bones,muscles, and foods that would be utilized for optimal cell performance. To be wary of empty calories and instead pick good choices that are nutrient dense.”

Coach Toni suggest healthier options like milk made out of raw almonds, eat veggies as raw as possible. As over cooking veggies can kill the phytonutrients that help the body heal. Cooking in very high heat can kill helpful enzymes and essential nutrients for optimal cellular function.

Food should serve its purpose. We eat to live and not live to eat to our heart’s content. As most times we overdo it and get carried away. We could misuse it as a coping mechanism to fill whatever void as a compensatory measure.

The notion of treating yourself with no limitation on food can lead to lifestyle diseases like obesity. Obesity continuously affects thousands of people, making it an epidemic.

A ‘fit’ relationship

Toni met her better half about a decade ago at a sports club where the former works as sports and recreational director and where PBA team Sta. Lucia Realtors practices their games and Coach Jim is their strength and conditioning coach.

“I somewhat knew I wanted someone with a sporty lifestyle and someone who challenges me. I wanted someone who could be in sync with me without trying”, says Toni pertaining to her hubby, Coach Jim.

But for a relationship to work, a person has to be half full and never half empty. “For us to complement each other, we have to be complete as individuals,” and the basis of this strong marriage started off as friends. She fell in love with not just looks but also from Coach Jim’s intelligence. Coach Jim is more a scientist, while she describes herself as the “artistic person”, which is a good compliment.

She also looked for someone who shared the same qualities with her, someone who has a zest for life, spontaneous, and outgoing. However, Toni admits that the qualities she fell head over heels for Coach Jim are being God-fearing and kind-hearted.

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Coach Toni believes that the Lord should be the apex of any union because if the person is God-fearing, you know you are in good hands and everything is just going to flow naturally.

“I think that in a marriage as in all relationships, the most important goal is bringing the best out of each other. You know that you have the right partner when he’s bringing out all the best in you.”

They have been together for the longest time and eventually wed in 2012. Like other couples, there are gloomy days and when one is slipping down, Coach Toni says “you just have to support and pull each other up to bring out the best in you.”

Passion for fitness

Nowadays, Toni inspires thousands of Filipinos in and out of the country as they are chosen to be Brand Champions of PHA’s 5-2-1-0-0 (Five-Two-One-Zero-Zero) campaign by promoting exercise and diet.

The numbers are guide to eat five small meals of leafy and greenish veggies, use only up to two hours of computer games, at least one hour of workout that is equivalent to the four-minute workout, drink and eat zero sugar, and zero smoking or any vices.

“We are so lucky. I feel blessed, empowered, and humbled that they’ve seen in us that this advocacy needs not just doctors but lay person or coaches who would be the conduit to reaching out to a lot more. Hopefully, through this advocacy we can cut all throughout the demographics because when you are young vanity is all you can think of but later it catches up on you.”

Midnight Blue Multiway Swimwear-Vanessa Unite 2The couple have created the 4-minute Metafit workout to help Filipinos exercise without any excuses. The lack of time, space, finances, accessibility to a gym, and any other excuse are addressed here.

It came about from experience and exasperation from knowing and hearing the same repetitive adjective and the same repetitive excuses that they don’t have time, they don’t have energy, they don’t have money to enroll in gyms, they don’t have space. It was an ingenious way to encourage everyone.”

This revolutionary workout can burn up to at least 600 calories (no use of equipment, just body weight) by jumping jacks that get your heart rate up, squats that can easily be done even in the office and tones your glutes, push-ups for your arms, and then lunges for toned and sexy legs.

In the advent of lifestyle diseases and obesity as an epidemic that has taken over the world, Coach Toni would like to get as many Filipinos as fit as possible. To get Filipinos into a “fit consciousness” and stir in them an awareness of being “healthier and fitter”. Perhaps even one day at a time, one Filipino at a time.

Coach Toni always asks for the Almighty’s guidance, waking up each morning praying “Lord, make me you instrument of peace, I don’t know how,”and asking for God’s blessing is the first step to change the game of boring, old, same workout routines.

Along with her husband, Coach Toni is co-head of the Elite Sports Performance Enhancement Program of the Philippine Olympic Committee and National Teams. She is also Metafit, Crossfit TRX, Blast FX, Fitness FX, Fight FX,Groove FX, Zumba certified amongst others.

The couple is co-founders of Milo-APEX Running School, Metabolic Fitness (MetaFit Philippines) Boot Camp, and leading Filipinos in the Fit Filipino (FitFil) Movement.

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