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Jul 142016


A guaranteed recipe for success.

How long has it taken you to reach the goals you set at the beginning of a project or your fitness journey? Couple hours? Perhaps a day or two? Maybe three or four weeks? How about closer to a year? Odds are, if you’ve stayed the course on your big goals, they have taken a considerable amount of time to reach. Your fitness adventure should be viewed as more of a good recipe served in the Crockpot, rather than a flash in the pan or a quick microwave option. Just like a delicious meal that must marinate over a day, your fitness takes time and should not be rushed.

I cannot think of anyone who has successfully achieved greatness, in any aspect of life, in one night. It takes consistent, steady, pressure to reach your goals, much like good, smoked chicken that needs steady, consistent heat. Regarding physical fitness, it can take months just to undo poor posture! To those at the beginning of their fitness journey this is daunting and disheartening.

My job as a trainer is two-fold, in this regard. For one, I am trying to get them to focus on their long term goal, focus on nothing else than achieving that goal; don’t think about how difficult the task at hand may be, just keep moving forward. Secondly, I aim to focus their attention on what is right in front of them. That’s contradictory, you say. Yes it is, but if you’ve ever gone on a long hike you know occasionally you need to look up in the distance to make sure you’re heading in the right direction (i.e. moving closer to your goals). On the other hand, if you’re not looking at what’s in front of you, you may very well wind up in a ditch.

Hungry for more?  Well, here is an eight-ingredient recipe to add some spice to your workout routine and, hopefully, propel you closer towards your goals.  Remember, this takes time and patience, but know that the end result is absolutely delicious and worth the wait.

Ingredient list:

- Goals

- Time

- Mobility

- Free weights

- Quality vs quantity

- Water

- Sleep

- Consistency


Cook time: short term goals- 1-2months, long-term goals 6+ months

Prep time: 30min to 1 hour daily

1. Prepare your fitness recipe by choosing two or three goals, they don’t have to be overly complicated and they can always be adjusted during this process to get better results (e.g. 1 strict pull up, sub 7min mile run, 5lb weight loss).

2. Add the time to your planner, put two to three hours into your schedule each week for the next two to three months just for working out. This is an integral part of the process; a failure to plan is a plan to fail (Armstrong, J.S)(Perry, S.C).

3. Once you are at your training facility, start with a dash of mobility work. Spend some time freeing up those tight spots created by our 21st century poses (i.e. hunched over our electronics). Creating better mobility throughout the body will help increase blood flow, and better our range of motion during exercise. By the way, aging is no excuse for a limited range of motion (Twomey, L.T.).

4. Add a heaping dose of free weights to your routine. This may be frightening for many folks, but the rule of thumb is to start light, work on having excellent form executed through a full range of motion, and continuing working up without compromising your form. You will get a much better workout by going with low weights and gradually working up to the heavier weights. Do not gauge your recipe off of the person next to you, they may be working with different ingredients, avoid cross-contamination (i.e. care nothing for what others may be thinking about you, this is YOUR journey, not theirs. Also, they may have very poor form; your mimicking that form will only hinder your progress)(Yeung, S.S.)(Farr, J.N.).

5. Introduce quality ingredients only into this recipe. Meaning, do not compromise your form for an opportunity to grab a heavier weight or get that one extra rep. Quality movement patterns are favored as they will not only give us an incredible workout, but they will preserve the integrity of our bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments (Fitzgerald, G.K.)(Mulroy, S.J.).

6. Provide yourself with copious amounts of water throughout the entirety of this cooking process. Your body is made up of 70% water, which means that the chemical reactions needed to help your body become a lean, mean, fighting machine need an aqueous environment to help you better. So drink water and TONS OF IT!

7. Add in a healthy dose of sleep. It is said that adults aged (blank to blank) should strive towards 7- 8 hours of sleep every night. If you’re like me, this makes you cringe, because there are so few a hours during the day and he ones you have must be used 100%, so why waste it on just laying in bed?! True, the days are short and our time is dire, but if you do not let your mind rest, you’re going to run it into the ground. A lack of sleep can and will cause irritability, anger, lack of productivity, and much more (Mulroy, S.J.).

8. Provide consistency. Repeat this pattern everyday and reassess at the end of the “cook time” you gave your goal. Taste the recipe a bit, do you look and feel better? Do you need to “cook” a little longer? Remember, your body is always learning, for better or for worse. Start teaching it good habits now or you’ll fall victim to the, “use it or lose it” principle (Fischer, et al).


Armstrong, J. S. (1982), The value of formal planning for strategic decisions: Review of empirical research. Strat. Mgmt. J., 3: 197–211. doi: 10.1002/smj.4250030303

Perry, S. C. (2001), The Relationship between Written Business Plans and the Failure of Small Businesses in the U.S. Journal of Small Business Management, 39: 201–208. doi: 10.1111/1540-627X.00019

Fischer, B. L., Gleason, C. E., Gangnon, R. E., Janczewski, J., Shea, T., &Mahoney, J. E. (2014). Declining Cognition and Falls: Role of Risky Performance of Everyday Mobility Activities. Physical Therapy, 94(3), 355-362. Accessed July 07, 2016.

Yeung, S. S., & Ng, G. Y. (2000). Effects of Squat Lift Training and Free Weight Muscle Training on Maximum Lifting Load and Isokinetic Peak Torque of Young Adults Without Impairments. Physical Therapy, 80(6), 570-577. Accessed July 08, 2016. Retrieved from

Farr, J. N., Going, S. B., McKnight, P. E., Kasle, S., Cussler, E. C., & Cornett, M.(2010). Progressive Resistance Training Improves Overall Physical Activity Levels in Patients With Early Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Physical Therapy, 90(3), 356-366. Accessed July 06, 2016.

Twomey, L. T. (1992). A Rationale for the Treatment of Back Pain and Joint Pain by Manual Therapy. Physical Therapy, 72(12), 885-892. Accessed July 07, 2016. Retrieved from

Roach, K. E., & Miles, T. P. (1991). Normal Hip and Knee Active Range of Motion: The Relationship to Age. Physical Therapy, 71(9), 656-665. Accessed July 06, 2016. Retrieved from

Fitzgerald, G. K., Childs, J. D., Ridge, T. M., & Irrgang, J. J. (2002). Agility and Perturbation Training for a Physically Active Individual With Knee Osteoarthritis. Physical Therapy, 82(4), 372-382. Accessed July 09, 2016.Retrieved from

Mulroy, S. J., Thompson, L., Kemp, B., Hatchett, P. P., Newsam, C. J., Lupold, D. G.,Haubert, L. L., Eberly, V., Ge, T., Azen, S. P., Winstein, C. J., & Gordon, J. (2011).Strengthening and Optimal Movements for Painful Shoulders (STOMPS) in Chronic Spinal Cord Injury: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Physical Therapy, 91(3), 305-324. Accessed July 06, 2016.

Mulroy, S. J., Thompson, L., Kemp, B., Hatchett, P. P., Newsam, C. J., Lupold, D. G.,Haubert, L. L., Eberly, V., Ge, T., Azen, S. P., Winstein, C. J., & Gordon, J. (2011).Strengthening and Optimal Movements for Painful Shoulders (STOMPS) in Chronic Spinal Cord Injury: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Physical Therapy, 91(3), 305-324. Accessed July 06, 2016.

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