The Missing Ingredient In Your Nutrition Success...

This week I've spent a lot of time talking about what you need to change, and the keys to getting results and there's one word that keeps coming up.


It truly is the key to long-term results. 

So, let's talk nutrition accountability. 

Every time we ask someone about how their nutrition is it goes something like this...

"Oh, I eat pretty clean most of the time."

The frustrating thing for most of us is "most of the time" typically means that is the limiting factor in us seeing the results. 

We need to be consistent. 

So, how do you do that?


Good nutrition is no longer about knowing macros vs micros, or high fat and low fat. 

Consumption of education is what we need more of. 

Coaching and accountability are the two key ingredients. 

We know what to eat, but if we have no one holding us accountable we're going to go for the late night bowl of ice cream of that piece of candy in the office. 

Ok, so you're nodding your head and you know that you need help. 

So, where do you begin? 

Here are my top 3 keys to accountability with nutrition. 

1. Journal your food. We say it often, and those that do it see results. There's no arguing that fact. 

2. Eliminate the possibility. Part of staying accountable means not making the choices you would normally make. If you don't have the food in the house to eat you won't eat it. Sounds simple...because it is. 

3. Join an accountability group. This is why we started FLAG, Fat Loss Accountability Group. We have built the perfect pairing of coaching and education with accountability. 

The next FLAG group starts on 7/3, you must register before 6/28 so we can get you onboarded and we only have 9 spots left. 


Here are the benefits:

*Weekly group meetings with our nutrition coach so you can stay accountable, check-in, get your questions answered and create a plan of action for the next week. 

*Daily app accountability so you stay on track. We'll use our coaching app to check in with you daily to make sure you're making the best choices possible. 

*A community of like-minded people. Everyone in the FLAG group is fighting their own battle, but they share similar struggles with nutrition accountability. We'll put you in a members-only Facebook Group with them, lean on them, and build a community that will lift you up and hold you accountable. 

Sound good?

Dont' worry, we have a 100% money back guarantee so if you join the program and don't get the results you expected and we're satisfied, no questions asked, money back. 

Hurry though, we only have 9 spots left and you must register by 6/28. 


1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling 

PS: I'll be back tomorrow to finish the week strong with an awesome piece you won't want to miss. 


Three strategies for busting through the apathy

Even if you are not predisposed to depression, you are going to hit a point in this fitness journey where you begin to seriously wonder what the point is.

You’re going to put on a pair of shorts from last summer and they’ll still feel snug.

You’ll lose 10 pounds in the first two months and the scale will stick for the next 10 months.

Your co-worker is going to come in and find you sobbing at your desk and when she asks what’s wrong you’re going to tell her, through hiccups and snot, that you just can’t look at one. more. piece. of. grilled. chicken. (Or broccoli, carrots, hummus, cottage cheese…)

At some point, you’re going to look in the mirror, not like what you see, and begin to feel like nothing matters. I know, it sounds like I’m writing to you from the pit of hell, but I’m actually just in my home office listening to America on vinyl. (Depending on your musical tastes, that is the pit of hell). 

Mostly I’m writing to you from a place of experience. I allude to my struggles with depression often here, but that’s because that battle is as much a part of me as my Western Pennsylvania roots. And when it comes to depression, apathy is the number one enemy. 

What’s the point? 

I had a client ask me this a few weeks ago. She’s lost a lot of weight but has been at a plateau for a few months. It’s a very difficult question to answer- but the best I could offer is you. You are the point. You are the reason. You’re getting healthier for you. You’re getting healthier because you walked in here a year ago and said you did not want to have a heart attack at 52 years old. You walked in here determined to get off of that blood pressure medication. 

You are the point. 

Honor that space

It’s going to sound strange, but when I’m in a place of not giving a flying squirrel, I have to honor that space. And in doing so, I adjust expectations of myself. 

The phrase I often use with clients is to keep their toe in the water. Over these past few months when everything has felt harder to me, I’ve reduced my strength training to twice a week. Some weeks I can mix in a few extra runs in here and there, but all I’m asking of myself is two workouts per week. If you’re finding it difficult to get to the gym or out the door for a run, adjust your expectations. You might be surprised to find that committing yourself to 20 minutes suddenly turns into 40. 

Grab a buddy

I usually prefer to work out alone, but over the past month, Amy has been my workout buddy. She’s the only reason I hit two workouts last week. She walked into the office, pointed to my gym bag and said let’s go. So we did. We know that part of the success of Crossfit and Zumba is finding a community of like-minded people and those people are most helpful when you're just not feeling it. This work is too hard and the journey too long to constantly be doing it by yourself. 

Don't be afraid to reach out if you're struggling with that plateau or that apathy. Sometimes it's helpful just to say it aloud to someone else. We can't always fix it, but we can certainly listen. 

And maybe put on a little Whitney Houston because Whitney fixes everything. 

5 Step Process to Change

If you're looking to improve or change something here are the five steps you can follow for ultimate success. 

This could be finally doing something for fitness, achieving a financial outcome, or changing a behavior that affects your relationship or family life. 

1. Recognize The Need to Change: I've always said that being self-aware is one of highest skills we can learn as humans. Being self-aware of what motivates us, how we come across to people, and just generally being aware of how everything effects us and how we affect others. That being said, if you're looking to change you first need to recognize that you need to change. 

2. What Does Success Look Like: If you could wave a magic wand and you're living the perfect version of what you want to change is, what does that look like. Write down a clear picture of what success looks like so that you have a visual target to go after. 

3. The One Thing: What is one thing you can do today to start moving towards that picture you painted above. The biggest hurdle people face in change is they try to conquer it all, get overwhelmed, and end up not doing anything to help them progress closer to what success looks like to them. The one thing. It could be filling out an inquiry form on a gym's website, it could be setting up the bank account that you're going to automatically transfer savings too, or it could be going into your schedule and blocking off from 6 pm on so that you can be home with your family. The one thing is important not because of what it is, it's going to be tied to your goal, it's important because it's only one thing. 

4. Set Mini Milestones: Depending on what you're trying to change, it's going to be a long-term journey filled with ups and downs. In order to keep you motivated and on track it's important to break it down to mini milestones. For example, on your journey of losing 50lbs, maybe it's showing up at the gym 10x this month. 

5. Show up daily: 1% Better. I have yet to find anyone that shows up daily and does not see progress in whatever they're working on changing and improving. It doesn't matter if it's fitness, business, or life, it's about showing up daily and doing the best you can with the cards you're dealt that day. There is no magic pill, there is no shortcut, there is no secret, it's just showing up consistently, day after day, month after month, year after year. That's the secret. 

Change is hard. 

Follow these five steps and hopefully, it gives you some guidance as you go through the journey. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling



The Single Key...

I'm back from a fun filled trip to good ol' Louisville, Kentucky and I'm here today to talk about our favorite word. 


We all need it, but how do we get more of it?

And what does good accountability look like?

This past week I sat inside of a hotel conference room for three days with 9 other gym owners. 

These nine are my accountability group. 

They own gyms all around the world, some similar to Spurling, some completely different. 

However, we get together formally 3-4x a year, catch up, share what's working, and get help with what we're struggling with the most. 

In between the meetings we check in with each other, text each other, and hold each other accountable. 

Well, something interesting happened this weekend. 

One of the guys in the group asked me if I had finished Project X (I can't tell you the real name because I don't want to ruin the surprise)?

I said no. 

He called me out and said that last meeting I said I would have it done for this meeting. 


Slap in the face. 

But guess what?

You can bet your tail that will be my focal point until it's finished and that conversation will be all the motivation I need to finish it. 

He held me accountable. 

Fitness is the same thing. 

There's a reason why I don't' spend these e-mails writing a lot about nutrition tips, exercises, and workouts. 


You can find that stuff anywhere, and I don't think that's what you truly need. 

What all of us need more of in fitness is coaching and accountability. 

We know we shouldn't have that ice cream, but if we don't have someone holding us accountable, we're going to eat it anyway, it doesn't matter how educated we are on the nutrition information of ice cream. 

So, how do you get more accountability?

1. Get clear on your goal. Before you can find something or someone to hold you accountable, you need to know what you're going after. 

2. Join a group of like-minded people. The best part of Spurling Fitness is not the exercises or nutrition tips we give, it's the people. The people that are all after their individual mission, but work together to lift each other up. 

3. Post it socially. Just me writing this e-mail is more accountability. Someone may reply three months from now and ask about "Project X." Just knowing that is enough accountability for me to finish it. By posting your goals on social media, telling it to a friend, or putting it somewhere where others can see it you increase your accountability drastically. 

4. Get a coach. I pay a boatload of money to be a part of that group that I talked about above. But the return I receive from the education, coaching, and accountability that comes from all of them is priceless. Find a coach or team of coaches that will be there to check-in with you, push you, inspire you, and hold you accountable. 

5. Show up daily. Accountability is like bathing, it's required daily. Whether it's texting a buddy, booking an appointment on your phone, or checking-in on Facebook, you need to do something daily. Accountability is not a one and done thing, you need relentless daily follow-up, forever, and always. 

I truly believe strong accountability is the difference between little to no results and strong any aspect of life, but especially fitness. 

How are you best held accountable?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

PS: We just opened up 12 spots for our nutrition accountability group that starts on 7/3. If you need nutrition accountability join here >>> Nutrition Accountability Group

Happy Father's Day.....Here's to the Meat Lovers!

This may be a bit of an overgeneralization.....but what do some dad's enjoy most?  



With all these wonderful sunny days, I can only imagine that this weekend will bring with it barbecuing, cookouts and celebrating the men and dads in our lives.  So if dad doesn't want to be the chef this weekend, then you can at least serve up some grilled steak and as a gift, prepare some DIY Dry Rubs!  


                      Grilled Flank Steak

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 flank steak
  • 1 Tablespoon of butter
  • salt and pepper
  • pre-heated grill pan

1. Combine first 7 ingredients in a resealable bag and marinate steak for a few hours.

2. Remove. Season with salt and pepper

2. Add butter to pan

3. Cook 4 minutes on one side, 3 minutes on the other. Meat thermometer should reach 140* for medium rare-medium.

4. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes. Then slice diagonally across the grain for maximum tenderness.

           Cucumber Salsa

  • 1/2 English seedless cucumber
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • zest of 1 lime
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 clove garlic
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt and pepper

1. Dice cucumber

2. Add rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.

3. Serve over steak

Original recipes from:

Planting Trees

Some of you saw on Facebook yesterday that it was the 7 year anniversary of my mom's passing. 

I mention her a lot in my writing because I think it's important to understand the story behind Spurling.

When we were growing up I was never super close with my parents.

I was always independent, would go to school, go to football practice, and go to work.

I worked 35-40 hours a week as a 14-year-old, even getting in trouble with the department of labor. 

I was rarely home.

We didn't really have the means to do much as a family as far as vacations, the few we did take I remember, but overall we didn't do much. 

However, when I think back to everything my mom did for me it was like planting trees. 

She planted trees that she never saw grow. 

She instilled in me habits, behaviors, values, and drive that now is just starting to grow, just like a tree.

She is the reason why Spurling is our name, and one of the main stories behind our brand.

She planted trees that she never saw grow. 

I think there's a big lesson there.

Whether it's in parenting, in life, or in fitness, it's about planting trees that you might never see grow.

Laying the foundation for good values and good habits, both in yourself, and those around you. 

In fitness specifically, we get so caught up in the quick fix. 

In fact, we got an e-mail yesterday asking if we could help this person lose 30lbs in 30days. 

That's not a tree, that's a band-aid. 

The true value in fitness is planting seeds, planting trees, that through a strong foundation blossom into these incredible things whether it's a specific physical result, a behavior, an emotion, or something you never see because you instilled it in your child. 

Life is about planting trees you'll never see. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

The second arrow

If you’ve ever listened to Buddhist teacher Tara Brach, you’ve likely heard her discuss the Buddha’s story of the second arrow.

“If you get struck by an arrow, do you then shoot another arrow into yourself?”

If you’re me, the answer is yes, over and over and over again. It's just how I roll. 

The first arrow is when something happens - we hit the snooze button for 30 minutes instead of 10 (me, this morning), we overeat at a party when we swore we wouldn’t, we have five drinks instead of two, when someone treats us in a way that feels disrespectful. Brach describes the first arrow as the natural experiences that arise from the human animal that we are: fear, aggression, greed, craving. 

But the second arrow is our reaction to what happens. In the Buddhist teaching we are reminded that with the second arrow comes choice. 

A few weeks ago I wrote a post talking about the phrase “I can’t get out of my own way.” The second part of that expression might be “and I can’t forgive myself for that.” I have talked openly about my struggles with depression - which is a first arrow for me. I'm not sure where or why I experience depression, but it's a complicated mix of genetics and life experience. So often the things we hate about ourselves are shaped by a plethora of forces - genetics - brain chemistry - experience - but as Brach reminds us, we didn’t choose any of this. 

I didn't choose depression. In fact, I hate the way my depression makes me feel. Lazy, unproductive, sad, unfocused. I hate it. That hate is my second arrow. Hate is my reaction to how I feel. And it's often self-hate.

The fitness industry is as much about human behavior as the science of periodization, fat loss, and hypertrophy. And nowhere have I seen more self-blame and self-flagellation than in fitness. We set goals, for getting to the gym, for changing our eating habits, for more self-care, and those goals can often become clouded by those first arrows. 

Do you know there is even research out there suggesting that we are genetically predisposed to be morning people or night people? I didn't. Don't worry - I'm looking into it and will tell you when I find more information. But I know many people who just can't talk themselves into a morning workout and then hate themselves for not going. 

I’m not saying we don’t need some accountability. But what else can we make room for if we stop the pattern of self-blame? If we replace the phrases “I suck at life, I suck at adulting, if I was auditioning for the part of a grown up in a play I wouldn’t get the part”  - without this constant inner monologue of hate, what else might we make room for? 

If you create the right space, you never know, Morgan Freeman might just be narrating your life in your head. I mean, hey, it could happen.  

There are books dedicated to this tricky and complicated subject, so it’s way too much to do justice to in a short blog post. 

But as with all things, change begins with awareness. We cannot control the action - but we can control the reaction. 

The Wheel-The Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting

Yesterday I did a pretty lengthy post on planning and goal setting, but to be honest, it barely cracked the surface.

Today I want to get a bit more tactical and talk about the wheel of life and how you need to use that as your guide to goal setting. 

But first, as a follow up from yesterday, I asked you to think about and write down the answer to two questions....

What are your values?

What does your ideal day look like?

It starts with that. 

Every goal, every decision, and every plan will tie back to those two questions. 

So today we're going to dive deeper and go bit more tactical, but please don't go on until you've written down and spent time answering those two questions. 

For the few that actually took action and wrote them down, I can all but guarantee improvement right away.  

For those that didn't...just remember that ideas are crap and execution is everything :)

So onto this wheel thing.

I believe I got it from Tony Robbins, but I'm not entirely sure. 

Just like everything in life, everything I've learned came from the people I've met or the books I've read :)

So, if you think of a bicycle wheel, what holds the tire on?

The rim. 

And what's inside the rim so that it doesn't collapse as you ride the bike? 


Spokes on a wheel are the best way to think about goal setting. 

You have different spokes, and you can make up your own spokes, but these are the ones I recommend. 

  • Physical
  • Family
  • Career
  • Financial
  • Emotional & Spiritual

So, as you look to set goals, use these as your categories, and ideally, you're chipping away at each of them. 

Now, the most important thing to remember is it's all connected.

If your physical spoke is suffering it's most likely going to affect your family, your emotions, etc. 

Same thing if your financial spoke is suffering, it's going to affect your emotional, family, and career spokes. 

So just remember that they are all connected as you go through this journey. 

Alright, so where do you begin?

List out each spoke in your wheel of life and write down the answer to the following question for each category. 

What does success look like 12 months from now?


If you got to wave a magic wand and have everything come to fruition, what would that category look like?

Paint a clear picture.

Ideally, this is taking your ideal day and values and breaking it down into each subsection.

So for physical maybe it looks like a certain number of workouts per week, a certain event completion, a milestone on an exercise, or a specific pant size. 

For financial it may look like dollars in the bank, specific amount saved for retirement, or getting to debt free status.

For emotional it could be doing a gratitude journal every day, with a rank of 1-10 how your feeling that day and trying to get to an 8 or a 9. 

For a family, it could be a certain vacation, the plan to have a child, or setting a milestone as a family. 

Your specific goals are your specific goals. 

Like I said yesterday, I'm not here to tell you what your goals are, that's up to you, but hopefully, this puts some structure behind it. 

So you have your values, you have your ideal day, and you have what success looks like in each of your spokes on the wheel of life. 

It's time to execute. 

Constantly have one action item that you're executing on each day that is moving you towards that "magic wand" scenario. 

Once you answer the question "what does success look like in this spoke 12 months from now?" you can answer the question "and are the action items required to make that happen?" 

That's it. 

It's about execution. 

All of this planning is great, but if we don't have any execution of those ideas it was a waste of our time. 

You have to know what success looks like for each category, but then from there, it's about a daily execution of something that moves you closer to that goal. 

You could set certain milestones or check-ins like 30 days or 90 days. 

So if your ideal financial spoke is to have a million bucks in the bank, you can break that down into what that needs to look like a year from now, 90 days from now, or 30 days from now. 

However, it's still going to require some type of daily action, and that's where the magic is made. 

You're constantly chipping away at this sculpture with daily actions to build your masterpiece. 

Daily action. 

Daily execution. 

This is 1% better at it's finest. 

Start to map your wheel out and let me know if you have any questions. 

I hope this helped. 

1% Better. 

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling








Your Vacation.

Do you wake up on a Monday dreading going into work?

As you go through the week do you spend your time wishing for the weekend to come?

And finally, do you spend the weekend dreading Monday all over again?

If so, it's time for a change. 

One life. 

This is not a dress rehearsal. 

We have one at bat, one chance to do everything, make all the difference, and leave the world a better place. 

If you agree with that, then why are you spending over 70% of our time on earth (Mon-Fri) miserable, wishing for the 30%?

I read an interesting quote the other day...

"People spend more time planning their vacations than they do their life."


Ok, so what if you're nodding your head to all of this but you're not sure what to do to fix it. 

First off, you're not broken, all of us struggle with this, and it's just a matter of slowly chipping away at it. 

However, I truly believe life is too short to wake up miserable. There are no redo's, this is the only life we have, so why spend it with people you don't enjoy being around doing something you hate?

It starts by having a clear vision. 

A clear north star.

Once you know the "end" you can reverse engineer everything back.

Today, my goal is to give you some questions that you can start to ponder as you work towards spending a little more time planning your life than you do planning that trip to the Bahamas. 

Question 1...

What are your values?

When you think of values, think of your guardrails. 

You're on this journey (the road), going a million miles per hour, what are the guardrails that keep you on track. 

For me, my values are happiness, family, and legacy. 

So, when it comes time to creating my ideal life, my ideal day, I always go back to those three things. 

If it's not going to make me happy, help my family, or leave an impact on someone else's life and improve my legacy, I'm not going to do it. 

Let's look at a few examples...

Why do I spend an hour of every day writing this e-mail?

I'm sure there are more "productive" things I could be doing. 

However, it makes me happy and ideally leaves one person a little better after reading it so that helps slowly chip away at my legacy. 

What about cutting the grass?

I pay to have a landscaper come to our house because right now cutting my lawn does nothing for my values. 

It doesn't make me happy, it takes time away from my family, and it doesn't leave the world a better place, so I'm not going to do it. 

You can see if I didn't have my values in place, I'd probably be cutting the lawn. 

And don't pull the money excuse thing, because the $50 that I spend on landscaping is the same as what someone who really values socializing spends on restaurant and bar tabs, or the person that really values nice clothes spends at the store.

There's no right or wrong, it's just what's important to you.  

Now, the cool thing is, no one person's values are alike. 

What if one of your values is the environment, and you love being out every day planting and growing things, awesome, do it every day. 

Or, what if one of your values is also happiness and you love the satisfaction of seeing the fresh cut lawn, knowing that you did it yourself. 

Then you should be doing it as often as you can. 

I'm not telling you how to live your life, but I am telling you to spend some time planning it. 

So, now that you have your values, and you know your guardrails it's time to move onto question two...

What's your ideal day?


Now, I'm not talking sitting on the beach with a drink in your hand ideal day, I'm talking what do you see yourself doing every single day. 

Sitting on the beach with a drink in your hand sounds great, but I think we can all agree that three things would happen...

Your bills wouldn't get paid...

You'd become really unhealthy...

And ultimately, you'd get bored and lonely after a week or two. 

So it sounds good, but what does your ideal day look like in real life?

What time do you wake up?

What do you do at work?

What kind of people do you surround yourself with?

What time do you get home from work?

What do you do after work?

All of this is important. 

Because it becomes vital as you look at what makes you happy. 

If you love sleeping in until 9am and that's super important to you, maybe you find a job that doesn't require you to start until lunch time (I'm thinking restaurant/hospitality/medical) field. 

If you value being home by 5pm every night you better not work in the fitness industry. That's our busiest time of day, and it will always be, so you're most likely going to have to work during that time. 

If you value being around people and you're an IT person, that could help you make a job decision. 

Job one has you sitting at a desk working on projects. 

Job two has you going around troubleshooting with others. 

If you value people you should take job two, if you value independence and working by yourself job one sounds like a better fit. 

Again, no right answer, it's just important to have some guardrails in place. 

So, I'm not saying let's all work two days a week and sip on margaritas all day long. 

What I'm asking is do you know what your ideal day looks like?

Map out from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed what your ideal day looks like. 

Then, slowly chip away at your daily decisions to work closer to that ideal day, keeping your values in mind and using them as guardrails. 

It's not going to happen overnight, and I'm not asking you to quit your job tomorrow if you're miserable, but your daily actions should be moving you towards your ideal day. 

Finally, I used careers examples a lot for context, but this applies to all aspects of life. 

Are you happy in your relationship?

Do you love your fitness routine? 

You do know that with the right people and programs fitness can be fun, right?

Life's too short for anything but doing what you love. 

So, your two questions for today...

What are your values?

What is your ideal day?

If you can take the time to answer those you'll be making great progress, and it will rewarding knowing that your spending more time planning this one life we have then your next vacation. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

PS: What does this have to do with fitness? Fitness is just a vehicle for a happier and healthier life. You also need to factor in the other 165 hours a week you're not working out if you truly want to live life to the fullest. 










Do you ever get a new vehicle thinking that you are the only one with that model or color, and then all of the sudden you start seeing the same one everywhere you go?


Reticular Activating System. 

It's the awesome computer in our brain that most of us never use on purpose. 

What we think defines who we are. 

It's not that there are more black trucks on the road than before, you're just now thinking of black trucks so you see more of them. 

But it's not just thoughts on vehicles, it's everything. 

Every day we have thousands of thoughts that seem to leap in and out of our minds. 

Those thoughts greatly define who we become and what we achieve. 

Think about the kinds of thoughts you've had today. 

People tend to dwell on what's not working, and our thoughts are dominated by problems and self-criticism.

The RAS is the attitude programming in the brain, and you can control it. 

So if you're telling yourself you can't do something, you won't be able to do it. 

Worrying has the same effect. 

Attitude is the only thing we can control in life, yet it's also the most powerful. 

A very efficient machine, the RAS zeros in one any area of interest. 

So if our attitude is negative, we're going to have negative outcomes. 

So, what does all of this mean for you?

If you're looking to achieve certain outcomes in life and in fitness, immerse yourself in positive thoughts about it. 

Any statement you make to yourself makes a thread in your brain and the more thoughts on that topic that stronger the thread. 

So why not make them positive thoughts?

It's the only way to get a positive outcome. 

That's why goal setting is so great. 

Goals focus your attention and force your brain to attract what you want. 

Most people spend more time planning a vacation than they do planning a life. 

Setting goals in every aspect of life, including fitness, puts your RAS to work. 

I know it can be challenging, but just like when you think about black vehicles you see black vehicles, when you think about positive success, you get positive success.

Mindset will always trump everything.

Hope this got some wheels turning.

Let me know if you have any questions.

I'll be back on Monday to kick-start another great week.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling







A Recipe You Must Try This Weekend

A month or so ago Megan and I were down in a conference in North Carolina and we were grabbing lunch at the hotel restaurant. 

She ordered a bean burger, it was the first time either of us had tried one. 


I mean, I love me some meat, but this bean burger was so flavorful and delicious we had to start making them at home. 

Since that trip, bean burgers have been a staple on our weekly dinner menu. 

They seem to be more filling and more flavorful than traditional beef patties. 

Here's a great recipe for you to try this weekend. 

Give it a go and let me know how you make out. 


  • 16 oz can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste


  1. Place rinsed and drained black beans in a bowl. If needed, blot them with a paper towel to remove any extra moisture. Place in a large bowl and mash well with a fork.

  2. Place the bell pepper, onion and garlic in a food processor and process until finely minced. Transfer mixture to a fine mesh strainer to remove the excess water. (Remove as much moisture as you can--if it's too wet, the burger won't hold together as well.)

  3. Add the strained vegetable mixture to the bowl with the black beans.  Add the chili powder, cumin and salt and pepper and stir to combine. Add beaten egg and mix. Stir in bread crumbs.  Form mixture into 4 patties.

At this point you can choose to:

  1. Grill the burgers on a well-oiled grill for about 4-5 minutes on each side.

  2. Bake them at 375 degrees F on a lightly oiled baking sheet, for 10 minutes on each side.

  3. Cook them on your stove using a grill pan, for 4-5 minutes on each side.

  4. Refrigerate them for later.

  5. Freeze them, covered, in a freezer ziplock bag for a quick weeknight dinner in the future


Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving (1 patty)

  • Calories 257
  • Total Fat 3g
  • Saturated Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 40mg
  • Sodium 696mg
  • Potassium 458mg
  • Total Carbohydrates 54g
  • Dietary Fiber 12g
  • Sugars 2g
  • Protein 12g

The weather is looking sharp for this weekend, so it will be a perfect opportunity to try these. 

I'll be back tomorrow to wrap up the week. 

1% Better

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling


Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet

***Warning: Deliciousness Ahead**

Do you find yourself wondering what you should do with that ground turkey you pulled out of the freezer a few days ago?

Are you looking for new ideas on how to prepare sweet potato?

Well, wonder no more!

Here is where healthy protein meets healthy carb. Spice it up with a few of your own favorite ingredients [a.k.a, yummy colored vegetables] and BOOM. You have yourself a quick and delicious meal and possibly even some leftovers for lunch the next day!



3 small or 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 3 cups)
1 pound ground turkey
1 yellow bell pepper
1 cup onion, diced
½ cup mozzarella, shredded
½ cup water
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1.5 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper


In a large cast iron skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute and then add ground turkey. Use a wooden spoon to break apart meat and continue cooking approximately 8 minutes until browned.

Add cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Stir well to incorporate.

Add onion and bell pepper, and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Add diced sweet potato and water. Stir and cover with a lid for approximately 6-8 minutes until the sweet potatoes soften. Add additional water during this process if needed to keep the meat from drying out.  

Remove lid and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Top with shredded mozzarella and allow it to melt. Remove skillet from heat and garnish with fresh cilantro before serving.

Original recipe from:

A Relentless Pursuit...

I was interviewed on a business podcast a couple weeks ago and was asked what drives me. 

One word.


A relentless pursuit of my vision. 

I have a really clear vision for my life, my family, my business, my team, and even my fitness. 

To put it simply, I know why I do everything I do. 

I firmly believe if you want to be consistent and motivated in any effort in life you have to have a clear vision that you're working towards. 

It can be tweaked, adjusted, and grow with you, but you have to have a north star. 

What's your why?

Why do you do what you do?

Once you know that, each day is just like building a sculpture. 

We're just slowly chipping away at this thing to make it a little better each day. 

This is true for what you want in life, what you want in your career, and what you want in fitness. 

You see, a goal of tightening and toning your butt and arms will only take you so far. 

It's a great goal to start, but it's not your vision, it's not your north star. 

Toning is not WHY you workout. 

Your vision and your why should tug at the strings of your heart. 

As you ask yourself "well, why is that important to me?" you begin to go a layer deeper and you realize that maybe the deeper reason to why you told me your goal is toning is actually a goal of being happier around your family, being a good role model for your kids, and being a better spouse. 

I don't know. 

We each have our own vision and our own pursuit of a vision. 

It's up to you to learn what that is and use that as motivation to kick ass every day. 

However, I do know one thing. 

If you want to live an amazing and fulfilling life you must live for something bigger than yourself. 

We are driven by only three things:

Autonomy: a desire to direct our own lives

Mastery: a desire to better at something bigger than ourselves

Purpose: being a part of something bigger than ourselves

Those three things combined are why you do what you do, your vision, your north star. 

As I write each piece here I always try to make sure there is a clear action step, something for you to actually do so that you get something out of it. 

If you don't know why you exist, what your vision is, I would spend some time trying to figure that out. 

It won't come to you at first, but if you continue to ask yourself "why is that important to me?" and go several layers deep, it will eventually surface. 

I can promise you that it's bigger than just an individual goal, and once you find it, you'll be forever motivated. 

1% Better. 

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling








It's not too late

I spent my senior year of college in a Catholic convent.

Before you ask, there are no photos of me in a habit.

How and why I ended up in a convent is a long story for another day. But the short answer is this:

I was searching.

I did a lot of soul searching when I was in college – I got up early many days to attend a small daily massthat sometimes had as little as two of us in attendance – and I’d sit for a half hour after mass, meditating and praying on what I was supposed to do with my life.

Just so you don’t get the wrong idea, I also spent my sophomore year in college on probation for too many..err....practical jokes and what-not during my freshman year. I was searching, but I was still in college. 

The day that I graduated, I should have felt on top of the world and ready to take on the world. Instead, I was just confused as to what was supposed to come next for me. English majors who didn’t teach went on to become….

What did English majors do?

I felt, walking down State Street in Erie, Pennsylvania, in my cap and gown, that I’d missed something. My friends were graduating and going on to physical therapy school and accepting teaching jobs and OT jobs and I was walking down State Street in Erie feeling as lost as I'd ever felt.

My friends and classmates had figured something out – they had purpose and meaning. But the worst feeling I had that day, was that it was too late. If I hadn't figured out my purpose during college, I wasn't ever going to figure it out.

In the years between my college graduation and reading that quote, I had 25 jobs (I’ve now had 29). I loved that quote because I felt like George Elliot, whoever he is, was talking directly to me.

"Hey, Kim - it's not too late."

Now that I’m in the fitness industry, I love the quote even more.

It’s so easy to feel that because we never have – set foot in a gym – ran a 5K – took up golf – that we can’t. We didn’t learn those skills in our youth, and it’s too late to do that now. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

I’m calling bullshit. (Sorry mom – that I said shit).

Why not? Because there are 17-year-olds playing professional golf? If you have something that you want to do or try, here is your permission slip. 

Do it. 

I don't regret that I've come to a career and to strength training much later in life than most. I regret that I spent 15 years of my life feeling like it was too late to become what I was destined to become.

It's not too late.

Do it.

Are You Moving in the Right Direction?

Quite often it can be hard to look back over the last six months and think of the results you have achieved. 

We get so caught up in the day to day busyness that we don't realize all the progress we're making. 

This weekend alone we had three ladies post in our members only Facebook group proof that they're moving in the right direction. 

Stella went shopping and brought in a 50lb bag of dog food on one shoulder and a 2.5-gallon jug of laundry detergent on the other. 

Jennifer had a much easier time at her hike on Timber Island compared to last year. 

Kelly didn't need help carrying 80lb bags of concrete into the basement. 

This is the small stuff that makes a big difference. 

Ultimately, 1% better, is moving in the right direction. 

Sometimes it could be progress in the gym, sometimes it could be movement on the scale, it could be a smaller pant size, or it could be a feeling of confidence, energy, or feeling emotionally stronger. 

We need to remind ourselves daily that if we're struggling, we're trying, and if we're trying we are moving in the right direction. 

The journey of success is never a straight line, in fact, it's filled with zigs and zags, but ultimately, you are moving in the right direction. 

It can be hard to remember where you were six months ago, twelve months ago...

You see yourself every day, you get caught up in the day to day frustrations, but today I'm challenging you to remember you are moving in the right direction. 

I'm asking you to think back within the last year and give me one example of how you're moving in the right direction. 

Keep putting in the effort. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

PS: We're looking for awesome ladies to join our community just like Stella, Jennifer, and Kelly. If you've wanted to give Spurling a try, just click here



3 Recipes You Must Try This Weekend

Living with a pregnant woman has sure been a fun ride :)

With odd cravings at odd times, it's been a challenge for me to stay on track nutritionally. 

Becuase of course when she wants sweets, why should I be left out, right?

Well, here are three solutions that are working really well for us so I thought I might share them with you. 

I picked up a tub of our Vanilla Milkshake flavored Quest Nutrition protein powder at the gym.

Think of it not like a protein powder but as a flour replacement. 

Here are three recipes using the protein powder. 

Protein Powder Pancakes: These have been key on the weekends. Instead of making the traditional pancake mix we follow this recipe. We have used it for both pancakes and waffles. It gives you the extra protein and tastes just as good, if not better, than regular pancakes. 

Protein Powder Cookies: For this recipe, we forgo the chocolate chips and basically make what tastes like a sugar cookie. If I didn't remember to grab a bar for the gym it tastes just as good without the bar added, although that does give it even more protein. These have been great to keep in a container on the kitchen counter. 

No Bake Cookie Dough: We haven't tried this one yet, but it's on the short list of ones to make. Remember as a kid (or last week) when you use to eat the raw cookie dough right out of the jar. This is it. Give it a try and let me know how you make out. 

If you have a sweet tooth, these might be a nice solution.

Just like anything else, moderation is still key, but if you plan ahead these can be big improvements from the traditional stuff you would grab at night when you're craving something sweet. 

I hope you have a great weekend. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

What Does It Mean to Be "Spurling Strong?"

Yesterday I wrote about our motto of 1% Better. 

I hope you enjoyed it and would love to hear your examples of 1% Better. 

Today I want to share the story of Spurling Strong, a sister motto of sorts that is used alongside 1% Better. 

It's no secret that my last name is on the business. 

I take it as an extreme responsibility to keep our brand strong and loyal, but my last name is on the building not for me, but for someone else. 

If you've read my story before you may know that I lost my mom to stage four lung cancer. 

She was 52 and I had just turned 21 at the time.

She taught me everything growing up and really helped build my foundation for who I am today.

Just like a lot of the great moms out there. 

She was diagnosed in October of 2009 and fought a hard battle up until her final day on June 14, 2010. 

I can think of so many examples of her being "Spurling Strong."

The day she had to sit down and tell my brother and me at the dinner table that she had cancer. 

The day she had to go try a wig on because she had lost all of her hair. 

The day she attempted to get out of the hospital bed because she wanted to see my brother's high school graduation. 

And finally, the day we laid by her side at the Hospice House squeezing her hand, and she was strong enough to let go knowing that she raised two boys that would do just fine on their own. 

She was Spurling Strong. 

When I opened the facility I didn't put my last name on the building for me, I put it on there for her. 

Every day I wake up with a fire, this desire to get 1% better, this growth mindset to always be improving things, and the ability to leave a legacy by changing so many people's lives because I see her name in everything I do. 

That's how Spurling came about, and that's her story of Spurling Strong. 

We all have our own story...our own book we're writing. 

As clients become part of our family when they join they soon get to build their own story of Spurling Strong. 

It may not be fighting cancer, although we have several clients that have conquered that fight, it's your story about getting 1% better, about becoming a better version of you. 

Spurling Strong is being able to run around with your kids and not get winded. 

Spurling Strong is being able to have the confidence to wear that bikini this summer. 

Spurling Strong is being able to take that bag of dog food and sling it over your shoulder as your husband watches in amazement. 

Spurling Strong is the confidence to leave a steady job because you're miserable, and do something you love. 

It's the strength within you to keep fighting, to become not only physically stronger but mentally and emotionally stronger too. 

It's the strength to not give up, to not compare yourselves to others, to focus on your journey, and build your story. 

I'm fortunate enough to know hundreds, if not thousands of Spurling Strong stories. 

We all have our own story.

What's yours?

It's a true honor to see Spurling everywhere I go, and I use it as daily motivation to leave the biggest impact possible for the short time we're all here. 

Whether that's in business, in friendship, or in family, I'm here to leave a legacy, just like my mom did with Spurling Strong. 

I'd love to hear how you resonate with Spurling Strong. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

PS: I'll be back tomorrow to finish the week strong :)














What Does 1% Better Actually Mean?

You read it every day.

You see it in our facility, on our website, and we say it a lot. 

1% Better. 

But what does it actually mean?

I think it starts with why. 

Why does Spurling Fitness exist?

Spurling exists to impact, empower, and change the lives of those who are intimidated by the typical gym environment through strong coaching, continual accountability, a family-like community, and a desire to get 1% better each and every day.

That's our mission. 

That's why we do what we do every day. 

In an industry that has no regulations and "weekend trainers" giving you information, it can be tough to know what's right. 

You get thrown lines like...

"Lose 20lbs in 20 days."

"Take this pill to speed up your metabolism."

"Eat this food to shrink your belly fat."

Those are all great examples of nothing but good marketing trying to promise you a quick-fix. 

And you know what happens...

You try it, maybe you see results for a week or two, maybe a month, and then you gain it all back, plus more!

Am I right?

1% better is the opposite approach. 

It's about slowly chipping away at things. 

Realizing this is a journey and a marathon, not a sprint. 

There is no end. There is no destination. 

It's falling in love with the process. 

1% better every day. 

Just a little better than yesterday. 

It could be that you got one more hour of sleep. 

It could be that you got one extra round in on your circuit. 

Or maybe it's one more serving of vegetables. 

One more hour spent with family. 

It's small behavioral changes that don't seem like much but have both a compounding and sustainable effect. 

Not only do you get better results in the long-term, the results you do get you actually keep!

During a time when you feel overwhelmed about all the things that you could improve upon, 1% better gets you to take action, and start feeling better right away. 

Just take one action. 

We know that motivation is not something that you just wake up with. 

Motivation comes from action. 

You start doing something small, the momentum builds, and motivation is built through the action. 

That one thing, 1%, could be the thing that kick-starts everything. 

1% Better. 

Does it have one definition?

I don't think so. 

I think each our Spurling Family Members has their own definition of 1% better. 

Their own story. 

Ultimately it's there with the goal that this fitness stuff can be fun and enjoyable if you make it part of your day and surround yourself with the right people that will motivate and inspire you to be a little better every day. 

1% Better. 

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

PS: Tomorrow I'll share the story behind our other motto that stands alongside 1% better... "Spurling Strong."





Don’t work out to punish yourself

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about working out your emotions. When I get all cranked up about something, which doesn’t happen often, I put on my headphones, angry music, and beat the ever-loving crap out of my body.

It’s a nasty habit and I’m working on it.

I am a work in progress (in so many ways really), but especially when it comes to working out from a place of love for my body, and not hate or disgust. I know I’m not alone in this struggle, but coming off of a holiday weekend, now seemed like a good time to remind everyone, myself included, to workout because it's good self-care; not self-flagellation. 

Last weekend was the kickoff for summer. I mean you wouldn’t know it given the rain and chilly temperatures, but now, as we speak, it’s officially summer. 

Also tourist season.

And summer.

I hope that you enjoyed yourself. I hope you put work to the side and family and friends to the forefront. I hope that you enjoyed community, laughter, and kinship. Perhaps you took time out, as we always did growing up, to visit the graves of those who have passed, plant flowers, and took a moment to give thanks to those who served. 

But I really hope you don’t come into the gym feeling like you need to suffer for any choices you made over the weekend. 

“Make me work hard, I ate more than I should.”


Work hard because you are rested and recovered and ready to get after it. Not because you had cheesecake. We all work out (or don’t work out) for different reasons. Motivation comes in all shapes and sizes, but whatever you do, I implore you to work out because you love your body, not because you had a double-fudge brownie.

I am guilty of feeling like I have to earn my food or a treat. Last week I ordered a drink from Starbucks and caught myself saying to a friend, “good thing I worked out today.”

No, just no. 

I don’t have kids, but I have an adorable six-year-old niece, and I don’t want to catch myself making these kinds of statements around her. (It’s bad enough, although somewhat adorable, that she picked up the phrase ‘you’re killing me smalls.’) 

Work out because you love your body and love yourself.  

5 Tips to Having Your Ideal Body...And Life...

I've got a lot of good stuff happening today before we head into the holiday weekend but before I take off I wanted to share 5 quick tips for you as you work towards having your ideal health and life.

1. Focus on what you love. In fitness and in life we're here for a short time and a good time. If you don't enjoy your fitness routine, there are 1001 ways to lose belly fat, find something that you enjoy doing. The same goes for life. Surround yourself with people, things, and jobs that you enjoy being around.

2. Do what's important to you. No one but you can determine your priorities. If the family is most important, make sure that's backed up by action like being home at a certain time or being present at night instead of on a device. The same goes for fitness, if it's important to you, make a priority, and be okay with saying no to other things.

3. Keep it simple stupid. KISS. It's an analogy I try to live by in business, life, and fitness. When we try to overcomplicate things that is when we get overwhelmed. For fitness, workout a couple times a week doing something you love, get the heart rate up, burn some calories, keep your water and protein intake high, and don't consume more than you burn. Every routine or "diet" comes back to those principles, every single one of them.

4. Action will always trump ideas. The people that we see that have true success are action takers. They not only learn and educate themselves, but they take daily action to move them closer to their goals. We all know what we need to do, but it's those that take action who separate themselves from the rest.

5. 1% Better. It's our motto, you hear it every day. It's truly what we represent and live by. Daily bite size chunks of getting a little better. You only have good days and great days. Even a failure is categorized as a learning experience. This is a marathon, not a sprint. You're on a journey so fall in love with the process, not the end goal. Have a growth mindset of always wanting to get better. All of that and more encompasses 1% better.

I hope one of those resonated with you.

I'll be back Monday to keeping the fire burning.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling