I Don't Have Time Or Energy...

Let's see how this goes...

Typically when we ask people why they don't work out it usually comes down to two things:

I don't have time. 

I'm too tired at the end of the day/I don't have the energy. 

First off...I get it. 

In 2017 I don't think there are many people left who are not busy. 

We've created a life that involves trying to cram 25 hours of work into 24 hours, and we didn't even factor in sleep. 

So, here's the thing...

It's a catch 22. 

The reason you're tired and don't have energy typically has something to do with no solid fitness or nutrition routine.

And because you're tired and don't have the energy you become very unproductive and reactive. 

You become busy with busy work, reactive things, but never actually make any progress with anything. 

You look up at the end of the day and something that should have taken an hour took eight hours because you went at it when you were tired and lacking energy. 

Ok, so we get it. 

We're tired, don't have energy, and need to find the time. 

How do we fix it?

Well, I'm not here to "fix" you, you're not broke, so I'll just give you 10 ideas that you may take action on. 

1. What are the three rocks that need to get done today? Most people say yes to 1001 things, and they chip away at all of them. Execute (taking action is the most important thing) on three things. Don't overload your list of things to get done. 

2. Touch it once. Meaning, don't get reactive and check a Facebook notification or an e-mail and then go back to what you're working on. Touch it once. Once you start it, you finish it. 

3. Say yes to what's important to you. If exercise and your health are important to you-you need to find a way to say yes to it. That may mean a discussion with your spouse that they need to cook dinner three nights a week because you won't be home until later, or that may be a discussion with your boss that you need to leave thirty minutes early so you can sneak a workout in. 

4. Exercise is an investment. Just like a financial investment, you put money in with the hope of a greater return out. Once you start treating it like that you'll find the time and energy. You have to put a little in to get a lot out. 

5. The most common response we get after a workout is this "I was tired and lacking energy when I came in here and now I feel great! 1% better." That's the investment piece. You're making a short term sacrifice (sneaking away for a 45-minute workout when you're tired) for a long-term gain (having more energy after). You have to put a little in to get a lot out. 

6. Always remember Parkinson's Law. Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. If you have four hours to work on something it will take four hours. If you have an hour to work on that same thing it will take an hour. Set a timer for everything. I started writing this e-mail at 9:35 and I will be done by 10:00am. That's what I set for the time frame. If I just had in mind to write an e-mail this morning, I would find 1001 distraction, circle back to it, and it might end up taking me two hours. 

7. 1% Better is ever so important here. It can be a vicious cycle. You wake up tired, so you're unproductive at work which causes you stress, you didn't meal prep so you make unhealthy choices, you get behind which makes you not have time to workout, you stay up late to catch up which means you don't get enough sleep and wake up tired. If you're not careful the vicious cycle will repeat itself. All it takes is one action, 1% better, to get out of the cycle. One more hour of sleep, one workout, don't get overwhelmed, just take one action forward. 

8. Eliminate distractions. The same people that say they don't have time are the same ones that know every reality TV show currently playing and the latest drama on Facebook. If you want to truly manage your time you have to be proactive, not reactive. Most people wake up and just react to what happens that day. If they're not careful they react to just checking that one notification, that one e-mail, reading that one article, watching that one scene, and although those are all little chunks, what they don't realize is throughout the course of the day those "just a minute" tasks added up to several hours. Eliminate distractions. Whether that's apps on your phone, tabs on your computer, or people in your life :) (kidding, kind of)

9. Chip away it. You're not going to become Mr. or Mrs. Time Management over night. Just like any other skill, it's a skill that needs to be practiced. Pick one thing each day to work on and aim to get a little better each day.

10. Pigheaded discipline and determination. I read that line in my book this morning. Action. None of what you read is new. None of what I tell you-you don't already know. The difference? Action. Execution. Have pigheaded discipline and determination to fight the busyness, fight the lack of energy, and just do one thing to move the needle. Execution will always trump any great thought or idea. You have to take action. 

So, hopefully, one of those resonated with you. 

I know you're tired. 

I know you're don't have energy. 

I know you're busy.  

But in order to get out of that vicious cycle, you have to take one action item, do one thing, and all of that sudden that one workout could be what stems into a lifelong healthy lifestyle. 

I hope this one helped. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

You are your own solution

“I just can’t get out of my own way.”

If I had a nickel for every time a client said this, I’d probably just have a lot of parking meter change, because the price of a dollar has dropped significantly since this phrase first originated.

But, I digress.

I hear this expression often, or some version of it, wherein a client identifies herself or himself as their own worst problem.

Years ago when I was getting ready to graduate from college and panicking about what I would do for a living, I said to a professor that I was my own worst problem. 

“It’s me. I’m the problem.”

But you’re also you’re own solution.

It’s been 18 years since I had that conversation with him, and while I thought he was full of it at the time, I’ve also come to realize that…shock of all shockers…he was right.

Hey Dr. Finnegan, if you’re reading this, you were right. 

You’re welcome. 

It’s so easy to hyper-focus on self-blame. It’s easy to find fault with everything that we do, but also to assume that the solution to whatever problems we are experiencing lies with some wise old sage at the top of the mountain.

I’m totally open to going to see said sage. If you know of one. 

In the meantime though, the solutions are within us. They are not always obvious. And they are not always easy to find. I had the good fortune to hear Oprah speak at Smith College commencement over the weekend, and she advised the graduates to be still.

Maybe it’s not meditation - maybe it’s a long walk or some time alone on the beach. 

Be still and listen. And trust that you are not the problem. You’re the solution. 

How big of a bite?

I'm sure you've heard the saying...

How do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time. 

It's a great analogy for taking a large task and breaking it down into smaller tasks to make the overall task seem not as big or daunting. 

When setting goals in fitness it can be challenging to pick a duration. 

Just like everything else, it's a spectrum. 

On one side you have the one-week goal or the one-day goal. 

These are the goals like: 

1500 calories TODAY.

3 workouts this WEEK.

The duration is pretty short. 

We like these goals because they're short and manageable, however, they do have a negative. 

If you don't hit your three workouts in the week do you consider yourself a failure, give up, and just go back to your old habits?

If so, the mental frustration of having a daily or weekly goal may not be best for you. 

One the other side of the spectrum is a long-term goal like...

I want to lose 50lbs. 

I want to drop 10 pant sizes. 

Again, great goals and this approach have both a positive and negative outcome. 

The positive is it allows you to think long-term and if you do have a "off" week, there is still plenty of catch up time. 

The negative to a long-term goal like above is it can seem daunting, overwhelming, and you may lose focus over that long of a stretch. 

Right in the middle of the spectrum are 30 and 90-day goals. 

We've been experimenting with 30-day goals and we really like them. 

In the past, we would recommend 90-day goal setting (and we still do sometimes) because behavioral research shows that's about as far out as a human can emotionally think. 

Meaning, anything past that seems like a stretch, and too far away to get emotionally attached to it.

However, even 90 days can seem like a stretch, and a lot can change in 90 days. 

So, as always, you have to experiment with what duration of focus works well with you. 

In reality, there all the same goal. The one-week goal is working towards the 30-day goal which is keeping you on track for the 90-day goal, which is holding you accountable to the one-year goal. 

The 30-day goal right now seems to be the sweet spot. 


Ask yourself this question:

What does success look like 30 days from now?

Write it down and look at it every single day. 

Each daily action moves you closer to that 30-day goal. 

As far as setting goals within that time frame it may look something like this:

-12 workouts

-200 hours of sleep

-X number of miles run per month

-X number of pounds lifted per month

-less than 4 dinners out


Again, we're taking that daily or weekly goal and just extracting it out to 30 days. 

We like this because if one week things get crazy (which they will) and you can only get in one or two workouts, you don't chuck it up as a failure (which you would if you had a weekly goal of 3 workouts), you just see it as I have to do some catch up the remaining three weeks of the month. 

We find that by taking your goal away from the day or week duration and extracting it out to the 30-day duration it allows for life distractions to happen and allows you to "make up" later on in the month. 

Give it a try and let us know how it goes. 

I'll be back tomorrow with another golden nugget. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling








Sesame Cucumber Spiralized Salad

**WARNING: Delicious recipe coming your way!!**

If today is any indication of what is to come in the next few months, then it's time to start collecting some "cool food" for the nights when you just cannot bring yourself to stand over a stove or oven. As we move into the summer months, the plan is to share some (ALWAYS easy, ALWAYS delicious) recipes for those heat streaks.

As I was looking for some "hot weather" recipe ideas, the first one to pop up was this Sesame Cucumber Spiralized Salad and I could instantly picture myself eating it. I knew it was the one!

Please try it or tuck it away for the coming months when it's just too hot to even think about cooking.

Here's to cool eatin'.........cool as a cucumber ;)


  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼-1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 2 cucumbers, spiralized (or sliced)
  • toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onions, for garnish (optional)


  1. Whisk together first five ingredients in a medium bowl.
  2. Add prepared cucumbers; toss to coat
  3. Top with toasted sesame seeds and green onions, if desired.

Original recipe found at: http://www.bowlofdelicious.com/2016/07/11/sesame-cucumber-spiralized-salad/

The Pivot...

Last night Megan and I were watching The Voice.

They were going through eliminations to cut the group to the final four. 

As the finalist stood on stage getting some advice from the coaches if tonight was their last night Adam Levine said something so subtle and so strong. 

I'm paraphrasing here...

"Don't treat this as the end, treat it as just the beginning. Pivot. Most of us (the coaches) who became who we are today got here because of several pivots in our life. It's just a pivot."

So yes, I'm weird like that and as I'm watching TV at night I think of how I can turn something like that into a lesson for our clients and readers. 

But think about it for a second. 

It's those that use The Voice as a stepping stone to go on to do bigger and better things that are truly successful. 

They pivot. 

It's not meant to be a journey that just ends after the show stops airing. 

A pivot in basketball is where the player plants their foot and instead of going in that direction they spin around and find a better shot (opportunity). 

Throughout your journey of a healthier and improved you think of the pivot. 

We know success is never a straight line. 

The journey you're on is going to be filled with dozens if not hundreds of pivots. 

There will be things that are just the stepping stone to bigger and better things. 

There will be times when you feel off track, just pivot, adjust, and move on. 

In basketball very rarely does the player run right down the court and score the basket. 

Very rarely do participants of The Voice become top-notch rock stars right away. 

In both situations, it's a series of adjustments, pivots, that allow them to finally score big. 

Fitness is the same way. 

Keep at it. 

Know that you'll always be needing to pivot. 

1% Better. 

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling




In It For The Right Reasons...

Why are you here?

Why are you reading this?

Why are you trying to lose weight? 

Why are you trying to get stronger?

It's my hope that you're truly "in it" for the right reasons. 

Quite often we approach fitness and this journey with a form of "punishing" ourselves. 

Becuase I'm overweight I'm going to punish myself with exercise...

Because I ate that cake I'm going to go workout....

I need to be so sore that I can't brush my teeth the next morning...

It's comments like that that scare me. 

People are in this for the wrong reasons. 

Exercise is not a form of punishment. 

You should not be working out so hard that you can't walk down the stairs the next morning. 

It's kind of like forcing a kid to eat his vegetables rather than letting him explore them on his own. 

If you force it, he will probably resist them long-term. 

However, if you create a positive environment around it, he'll discover the vegetables he likes best. 

Fitness is the same thing. 

You should be in it for the right reasons. 

In it to add to you, not take away from you. 

Add confidence. Add strength. Add empowerment. Add happiness. 

In it for the fun and community. 

In it for a desire to get a little better every day, 1% better. 

It's the people that are in it for the right reasons that see long-term success.

If you're in it just for the quick-fix, punish myself mentality I can only promise one thing...

Inevitably you will stumble, get burnt out, and never get back on track. 

If you're in it for the right reasons it's not something you have to do, it's something you get to do. 

If you're in it for the right reasons it's not something on your to-do list, it's something you can't wait to do. 

My goal for each of you is to find something, find an environment, find people that will lift you up, not bring you down and beat the crap out of you. 

Find things that cause you to be in it for the right reasons. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

PS: We at Spurling aim to create the most positive environment for those intimidated by the typical gym. If you're ready to be in for the right reasons and want a team of coaches with you at every single workout just click here and fill out the form. A member of our team will reach right out to you. 

Stop training for the past

As the only member of our coaching staff who has even sniffed 30 years old, let alone 40, I can get a little defensive about my age. I promise you that casual conversations around the office have become a bit more challenging for Josh, our very knowledgeable and mild-mannered director of training since I’ve come on board. 

Josh: “Generally we won’t have a 40 something-year-old…” 

Me: What?? What won’t you have a 40 something-year-old do? Hmm???

Josh: “Back squat 400 pounds.”

Me (Slathering Icy Hot all over my body): Why because you think they can’t? Hmmmm??? You think because I’m old I can’t back squat a small car??” (Storming out of the room in my knee wraps).

These days, I find myself digging my heels in about age the way I did about being a girl playing with the boys.

“Are you saying I can’t do that because I’m a girl?? I’ll show you!”

And I did.

Eventually, I climb out of Josh's throat and take my creaky knees into the gym for a workout. I’m getting older. And I’m grateful for the privilege of aging, I truly am. But I’m learning, at every twist and turn, to embrace the changes in my body. Each day is a new lesson in training myself to look forward and not backward. It is so easy, as we get older, to become hyper-focused on what we used to do.

I used to read a menu without playing trombone.

I used to walk up and down stairs without a crunching noise in my knees. 

I used to be able to skip my warm up without pulling a muscle. 

Currently, I'm training for a half-marathon, and hopefully a full one. Yesterday on my 5k route, as I looked at my time, I was overcome with a major case of used to’s. I used to run a 5k in 26 minutes or less. I used to run nine-minute miles. 

It can be depressing to focus on. I suppose I could force myself to run faster. Or I could just enjoy the run. 

I’m training for the future, not the past. 

I’m not going to stop doing things because I’m getting older. Honestly, my main goal is to stay active as I get older. I want to lift weights and I want to run and I’d like to beat my dad in a game of golf, and hey, maybe take up tennis.

I love me some Bruce Springsteen but I refuse to be that guy in “Glory Days.” 

I think there are plenty of those still to come. 

Let Us Go For A Drive...

Sometimes I think that people have this massive misunderstanding that we at Spurling HATE cardio. 

"All they do is lift weights."

If by lifting weights you mean we get people stronger, leaner, more toned and increase their confidence than yes, that's exactly what we do. 

A couple thoughts on cardio...

First off, let's define what cardio is. 

Cardio means that the primary muscle being worked is the heart. 

There may be some other side effects, but the main thing being worked is the heart. 

So, basically, we're talking anything from about 30 seconds in duration to hours. 

Cardio in its simplest form breaks down to two forms:

Steady State and Interval.

Steady state is what most people are familiar with. 

Going for a 45-minute run. 

Biking for 60 minutes. 

Walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes.

You get the point. 

It's steady state, which means your heart rate has an initial peak when you first start and then it stays elevated throughout the entire duration. 

Now, we're not against this type of cardio. 

Just a few notes:

1. The reason why we don't do it at Spurling is because our clients are paying for expert coaching at every visit. You don't need to pay for expert coaching to go for a 30-minute bike ride. 

2. Steady state cardio inside is boring to 99% of the world. Our number two goal outside of safety is to make fitness fun. Nothing sounds less fun than spinning your wheels on an elliptical machine for 45 minutes as you stare at a wall. 

So, we're not against steady state cardio. 

We just have our clients do it on days they don't come to Spurling, and ideally, do it outside. 

It's just more fun that way. 

Plus, it allows us to dial into more complex things when they're here like why their hamstrings are tight or fix their core weakness. 

So we get steady state cardio. 

Now we have interval training. 

This got popular when HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) and Tabata got introduced to the mainstream world. 

This is short bursts of work, followed by a period of rest, repeated for several rounds.

For example, you could walk for a minute, jog for a minute, and repeat that for 20 minutes. 

Or you could slam a medicine ball ten times, sprint 100yards, rest, rinse and repeat. 

Basically, your heart rate throughout a workout has a bunch of peaks and valleys instead of staying at the same pace the entire time. 

It goes up for 30 seconds, then comes down. It goes up, and then it comes down.

Now, here's why we like interval training:

1. It's a lot more fun. We can have you do cool stuff like slam medicine balls, push sleds, shake battle ropes, hop on a rower, or do some squats, all while getting your heart rate up. Becuase it's more fun, you work harder and stay with it longer, so you get better results.

2. It is a lot more joint friendly. Picture something. I'm 275lbs. If I go for a run, how many times in a 3-mile run does my foot strike the ground? Thousands of times. That's 275lbs repeatedly slamming into concrete. It's no wonder our knees, hips, and backs bother us. With interval training, we can still get the heart rate up using upper body stuff like ropes and medicine balls if you have joint restrictions. 

3. We're terrible at it. Seriously. When in your daily life do you shake a 50' rope, slam a 14" ball into the ground, or push a hunk of metal down turf? Never. So, your body is super inefficient at it. When your body is inefficient at things it burns a ton of calories trying to do it. 

So, let us go for a drive in separate cars

You're going to go on the highway. You're going to drive 75mph on cruise control for 45 minutes. No traffic, just steady state. 

I'm going to drive in NYC for 45 minutes. Start. Stop. Accelerate. Slam on the brakes. Interval style. 

Who burns more fuel in that same 45 minutes?

The city driver. The interval driver. 

It's not that we're anti cardio. 

We are in the business of changing people's lives, coaching you at every workout, and motivating you to become a better person. 

Steady state cardio has its place, but you can do that on your own time. 

Go for a bike ride with the family. 

Go for a hike. 

We'll focus on the interval stuff. 

The kinds of things that burn massive amounts of calories in shorter periods of time.

The kinds of things that are fun, let stress out, and things you look forward to doing, not dreading it. 

So I guess we're just a gym that has a bunch of people that like to drive in the city :)

Hope that analogy helps you understand our approach a bit more. 

It's not special, it's just effective. 

I'll be back tomorrow to keep the week going strong (and bring the sunshine)! 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling









What's Working?

As a business, the team and I do this exercise called "working, broken, confusing, and missing" a couple times a quarter. 

I think of it as an organized brain dump. 

You list out everything that's working, things that are broken, things that are confusing, and things that are missing. 

Inevitably there's always a handful of things on each list, but the "working" list is always the longest. 

We do this exercise for two reasons:

1. To see what we need to add/improve. 

2. To recognize that a lot of what we're doing is working really well. 

Just like you in your fitness journey, we aim to get 1% better every day as a business. 

It can be easy to focus on what's missing or broken, but sometimes it's best to recognize and triple down on what's working. 

So I ask you...

What's working really well in fitness, nutrition, and life in general for you?

Are you getting a couple servings of vegetables in?

Did you get a workout in this week?

Are you sleeping well?

Did you have a good time with your family?

I challenge you to do this exercise. 

Make a list with four columns and brainstorm what's working, broken, confusing, and missing in your life. 

Recognize and keep it positive by focusing on what's working. 

After that, then you can start to plug away at improving what's broken, confusing, or missing. 

It's easy to always focus on what you need to do more of but I'm challenging you to spend some time on all the great things. 

You're here. 

By reading this you're already ahead of 99% of people.

Keep it up. 

What's working for you?

1% Better. 

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling 


One Pan Roasted Garlic Chicken


This week at Spurling, we have been celebrating our moms by giving them fresh roses! To all the moms who take that first step, come in and crush their workouts, are dedicated to themselves and their goals and are getting the results they set out for......and to keep that spirit going, here is a recipe that is sure to warm your heart (and definitely your belly) with goodness. This is a one-pan recipe and as you know, we love a quick and easy recipe!

....Because cooking doesn't have to be a chore.

And moms, if you find yourself making dinner on Mother's Day, try this.

Clean up will be breeze with just one pan ;)



2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), cut into 3/4"-1" cubes
1 pound small Brussels sprouts, (if they are bigger, cut them in half)
1 medium red onion, cut into slices
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper, divided
1 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 tbsp honey
2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
6 cloves garlic, minced
optional garnish: Parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, for quick clean up. Place the baking sheet into the oven to preheat the pan with the oven; this will help the vegetables caramelize faster.

In a medium bowl combine 2 tablespoons olive oil with the honey, mustard, chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Whisk to combine. Add chicken and toss to coat. Set aside.

Add sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, onion, and garlic to the preheated sheet pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Toss vegetables with a spoon, until coated well.

Clear a space for chicken breasts around the pan. Place coated chicken breasts on the baking sheet. Spoon the remaining honey mustard marinade over the chicken. Wiggle the pan until the vegetables are in a single layer.

Bake 30-35 minutes until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are fork tender. Set oven to broil high for 2 minutes or until the edges of the vegetables begin to brown.

Originally from: http://www.theslowroasteditalian.com/2016/10/one-pan-roasted-garlic-chicken-and.html



Learning patience 

The running joke in my family is that my little brother’s First Holy Communion and high school graduation pictures were on the same roll of film.

And that she didn’t develop those pictures until he was in college.

He was 21 before he knew what he looked like as a baby..

Take a photo of any kid today and her first impulse will be to reach for the camera to see the picture on the back.  

We live in an instant gratification world. Put a status on Facebook and get instant feedback. News alerts show up on our watches, phones, and iPads. Hear a song you like and instantly own it. 

Remember sitting by the radio with your blank tape waiting for your favorite song to come on the radio?

And the DJ always talked through the intro. Always. It’s like he knew I was waiting for Richard Marx to come on.

We don’t have to wait for anything. 

And that has made the journey with health and fitness that much more difficult. Intellectually we know that results don’t come over night. One woman said it best that she didn’t put the weight on over night, so it wasn’t going to come off over night. 

Unfortunately, the intellectual knowledge that the process takes time does little to soothe us. And especially with health and fitness, it becomes very easy to question whether you're taking the right approach.

If you don't start seeing results (see Doug's post from Monday) quickly, then you assume it's time to move on to another diet or switch from P90X to Insanity. Program hopping is common because we think that the next approach will get us faster results. Not better, but faster. 

Despite the advent of all things digital - despite never having to wait for another REO Speedwagon song ever again in your life - there are some things that we can’t rush.

Regardless of your choice of exercise program, the process of body recomposition and fat loss takes time.  

So how do you learn patience?

Well, start by delaying some of that instant gratification. Post a Facebook status and refrain from checking every five minutes to see how many likes you got. (I'm totally guilty of this).

Take five slow deep breaths.

In meditation, everything returns to the breath. Focusing on your breathing can help bring you back into the now, into the moment, and doing so can shift your attention from what you want to where you are right now.

Slow down.

Are you Tigger? There's nothing wrong with Tigger, but you might want to tap into your inner Eyore for a few hours. Slow down. Breathe. A great way to slow down is the name five blue things in your surroundings. And then five red things. And then five white things.

Change takes time. Be patient with yourself and the process. 





5 Reasons You're Not Seeing Results (They're Not What You Think)

Today I'm going to come at things from a different approach.

Typically you'd read a line like above and think that I'm going to talk about exercise, nutrition, and sleep.

Well, of course, that stuff is important if you're not seeing results, but let's look at things from a different angle today. 

According to Marshall Goldsmith, there are only five reasons why people do not succeed with their nutrition and fitness goals. 

My objective today is to outline the five and give a line or two of insight into how you can conquer that hurdle. 

1. Time: They don't have time to do it. It takes longer than they expected.

This is the most common one. I've talked about this several times, but ultimately if this is your current hurdle you need to look at what's most important to you. 

Why do some people have time to workout and others don't? 


There's no right or wrong answer, only you decide what is important to you, but if you're saying you don't have time, what you're really saying is it's not a priority right now. 

Also, the second half of the reason, it takes longer than they expected. 

You have to get past that this is going to be a 14-day fix, and then you'll be done.

You must find something that you love doing so much you do it the rest of your life. 

Getting results is hard work, it takes much longer than people think, and that ties nicely into the number two reason. 

2. Effort: It's harder than they expected. It's not worth all the effort. 

This stuff is hard. 

If it was easy, 70% of the world would not be overweight. 

You have to put in the daily effort, the daily grind of getting 1% better. 

Start small, snowball that, but realize you're going to have bumps along the way, and that's all part of it.

That brings us to number three. 

3. Distractions: They do not expect a "crisis" to emerge that will prevent them from staying with the program. 

We love 10 workouts a month at Spurling.

It's what we recommend for 90% of our clients. 



There will be things that pop up, there will be hurdles that get in the way, and there will be setbacks. 

That's just part of the fun of being on this journey of getting 1% better. 

If you think you're going to just go on cruise control and get 3-4 workouts EVERY week, you're setting yourself up for failure. 

Instead, 10 workouts a month allows for some weeks that are rolling smooth to be 3-4 times, and other weeks where things pop up to be 1-2 times. 

Kids, work, family, school, medical, etc.

It will all come up. 

So, having goals is important, but be ok with not hitting them every time, and prep for distractions. 

4. Rewards: After they see some improvement, they don't get the response from others that they expected. People don't immediately love the new improved person they've become. 

This is a loaded one. 

First off, it's important to get rewarded and recognized for all your hard work. 

That's why we do things like Frequent Sweaters Club (10+ Workouts that month), Client Spotlights, Personal Record Boards, Fat Loss Club, and so much more at Spurling. 

We recognize that this process is hard, and we want to recognize our client's hard work. 

You need to find someone and/or somewhere that is going to support you through the entire process. 

The second half of number four is a bit more loaded. 

Basically, people think once they hit their goal, say 20lbs of weight loss, that glitter is going to fall from the sky and all of their happiness is going to overwhelm them. 

Well, that's simply not the case. 

I've talked a lot about what true happiness is but happiness is not a destination, it's a process. 

It's having a clear vision, being a part of a journey, and having values bigger than just yourself.

This process is hard and ongoing, so it's important to have support and recognition along the way.  

5. Maintenance: Once they hit their goal, people forget how hard it is to stay in shape. Not expecting that they'll have to stick with the program for life, they slowly backslide or give up completely. 

This is the epitome of 1% better. 

Fall in the love with the process. 

Now, that you will have to find something you love so much that it becomes something you GET to do, not something you HAVE to do. 

Review this list of five reasons and work on the area that you struggle with the most. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

PS: Registration closes on Wednesday for our next 6-Week Transformation Challenge. Click here to grab a spot. 



Cinco De Mayo Taco Celebration

May the Fourth be with you......

And right after that, we will celebrate Cinco De Mayo and by celebrate, I mean, consume of some traditional Mexican fare!

There are a few parts to this week's recipe spotlight: we have some chicken tacos but you can't have tacos without a superb taco seasoning. And whatever you do, please (I beg of you) do not forget the guacamole! You could have 11 sombreros on your head but if you do not have some guacamole to put on your taco....it is not Cinco De Mayo ;)

Without further ado, shake your maracas right over to these recipes.......Olé



  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1.25-ounce packet low-sodium taco seasoning (OR try this homemade seasoning)
  • 1 16-ounce jar of your favorite salsa
  • For serving: tortillas or taco shells and your choice of optional toppings, such as shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, shredded cheese, black beans, corn, chopped avocados or guacamole, reduced-fat sour cream, and hot sauce


  1. Place chicken in the bottom of the crock-pot.
  2. Sprinkle taco seasoning over chicken.
  3. Pour salsa on top.
  4. Cook on low (for 6-8 hours) or high (for 4 hours).
  5. Just before serving, use two forks to shred the chicken.
  6. Stir to evenly distribute salsa throughout chicken.
  7. Serve immediately with desired toppings.

recipes from:

Which One Are You?

There are really only two approaches to this whole journey. 

Quite often we hear goals like wanting to lose 20lbs in the next six weeks. 

And that's a great goal...

But, as we always talk about, what happens after that?

Do you go so hard that you just bounce back to your old behaviors and gain all the weight back?

It's probably happened to most of us at some point. 

Throughout this journey of a healthier you there are really on two tracks...

All or nothing


1% better. 

Which one are you?

We will always push you for the 1% better journey. 

The idea that each day you try to get a little better. 

This is a journey, it goes on forever, and you must choose behaviors (nutrition choices, fitness choices, etc) that you can sustain the rest of your life. 

As we always preach, consistency will always win. 

You will have hurdles, you will have setbacks, but with the 1% better mentality, you take it one day at a time, and get back on the saddle. 

The all or nothing mentality plays to the human need for instant gratification. 

That's why this whole thing is hard. 

There is no instant gratification. 

The all or nothing approach may get results fast (lose 15lbs in a month), but it usually involves behaviors that can't be sustained for the long-term. 

Thus, we're sitting here 12 months from now and the person with the all or nothing mentality may have seen results in the beginning, but shortly into the process they inevitably hit a speed bump, get off track, and never get back on again. 

That's why we'll always push for 1% better. 

Sure, you may not see instant results, you may not see amazing results in the first month, but 12 months from now, 12 years from now, you'll be ahead. 

Play the long game. 

1% Better. 

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

The One List You Must Make Everyday...

If you can't tell I am about as Type A as you can find. 

Everything is time urgent, I keep massive to-do lists, and I aim to get 1001 things done each day. 

One of my coaches and weekly contributor here, Coach Kim, always says to me...

"Doug, when would you like this done. Yesterday, right?"

As I prepare (as much as I can) for baby boy Spurling to arrive in August, I know my productivity and time management will disappear. 

In prep for that, I'm working on a few things that I thought I'd share with you as a valuable lesson on time management and taking time for YOU. 

First off, I aim to get three things done each day. 

I limit my to-do list to just three things. 

If more happens, great, but if these three things get done, it's a win for the day. 

My to-do list for each day used to be dozens of items long. 

There's always ways we can do things better, meetings that can be held, projects that can be worked on, and I would put it all on one day. 

My coach (yes, even we have coaches) cracked the whip on me and got me to limit my to-do list to three items. 

Three big rocks. 

Three things that are the most important on that day. 

It's been tremendously helpful in not overloading my to-do list, and forcing me to focus on what is most important on that given day. 


Second, and I think the more valuable lesson that I'm working on is creating a "not to do" list. 

It's still a work in progress, but basically, I'm outlining the things I'm not going to allow myself to get distracted by, the items that are just busy work and not part of the big three rocks mentioned above, and things that I need to say no to. 

By creating this not to do list it allows me to focus even more on those big three rocks. 

In our world, there will always be 1001 things you could be doing, things you could be saying yes to, but what are you saying no to?

I'm trying to say no to a lot more. 

So, my challenge for you...

If you create a daily to-do list try to keep it to the big three rocks.

What are the big three things that MUST get done that day? 

Really prioritize what are the three most important things. 

Second, start creating a not-to-do list. 

A list of things that you say no to, things that distract you from the more important tasks, and things that don't help you get 1% better. 

Creating this list has been a game changer for me, and should you choose to implement it, I know it can help you. 

I'll be back tomorrow with another dose of my daily motivational medicine :)

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

PS: Ultimately the goal of all of this is to assure you have time to take care of YOU. If you're looking to finally take care of your health and fitness but not sure where to start, we have the perfect solution for you. Join our next Six Week Transformation Challenge starting on 5/15 where you'll get unlimited sessions with our coaches so they can show you exactly what to do and how to do it, plus daily accountability, nutritional guidance, and more. If you're ready to finally drop pant sizes, tone up those arms, and have more energy join our challenge. We only take 20 people per challenge the deadline to register is May 10th. Join here ===>>> 6 Week Transformation Challenge






The gift of now

Over the weekend I made the trip to Charlottesville, Virginia for a short reunion with my college roommates. In honor of turning 40 (some of us sooner than others), we rented a house next to Monticello, drank wine, sat in the sunshine (they have that in Virginia) and caught up on our lives. 

I don’t know if it’s the magic of old friends, those that have known you for more than half of your lives, who knew you when the daily meal was ramen noodles and pretzels with ranch dressing, when drama was figuring out how to break up with a guy or getting a “C” in your philosophy course, but I was more present in the 48 hours I spent with them than I’ve been in months. 

Staying present in their presence was the greatest gift I’ve received in a long time. 

As I’ve talked about before I spend almost every waking moment doing what author Daniel Goleman calls “nexting.” I might take a few minutes to enjoy Friday night, but by Saturday morning I am planning a blog, worrying about how much I haven’t written, and plagued by a constant, vague notion that I need to be doing more.


Make more money, write more blogs, take on more clients, run more, workout more. 

Always so much guilt that I need to do more. 

This weekend, for 48 hours, I gave up more. I didn’t ask myself to write or study on the plane. I opened my laptop twice, and once was to order pizza. 

It’s amazing how the conversation changes with time - we talk about the environment and politics and raising children instead of which fraternity party to hit that night. And I was IN every conversation. Despite, or maybe because I only slept three hours Friday night to catch an early morning flight about of Boston, I found myself deliciously hanging on every word they said. 

I turned my phone off.

Like, off. 

Not on silent, not on Do Not Disturb. 


The quote on the board in our gym last week came from a client: “There is not Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, there is only now.”

My goal, more so today than ever, is to remain mindful. And that is my wish for you. To not be dulled by the daily routine, but comforted by it. To find a way to enjoy and embrace the now. 

Our only guarantee is now. 

Inside Out

They say in business that you start from the inside out. 

Meaning, don't spend time marketing to new people if your service is terrible.

Start from the inside, make that great, then you can start working on the outside, bringing in new business. 

Hopefully, you see that at Spurling. 

We aim to spend 80% of our time making the experience for our current clients the best there is, and 20% of the time trying to attract those intimidated by the typical gym so we can ultimately help them and change their life. 

Well today, I want you to take that business lesson and apply it to yourself. 

Start from the inside out. 

Try not to put the focus on how your clothes fit, what the scale says, or how you look in the mirror just yet.

But first, focus on the inside. 

What drives you?

What are your goals?

What kind of feeling are you going after?

What makes you happy?

As you start on this journey celebrate the small wins like feeling more energetic, sleeping better, feeling stronger, etc. 

That inside first approach will keep you staying positive, it will keep the momentum going, fire up that motivation, and once you have the inside locked down, then you can start tackling the outside. 

They always say it's what's on the inside that matters most, but why in fitness do we always focus on the outside?

Sure, there are certain external outcomes we want/need to do like drop pant sizes, see toned muscles, and look stronger, but we're a big believer in starting with the inside because that's what matters most. 

We always talk about taking care of yourself first so you can be at your best for others. 

Whether it's thinking about how you're progressing, or how you need to take care of yourself first to be at your best for others, think about the inside out approach.

Enjoy the weekend and I'll be back next week to keep it going strong. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling


Skinny Protein Puppy Chow

Has anyone ever tried Chex Mix Muddy Buddies???

Well, then you know just how delicious they are......try this version, otherwise known as "Puppy Chow" and tell me what you think! This recipe is all the things we love.....quick, no-baking required, kid-friendly and healthy ;) With a name like 'puppy chow', how could you not enjoy this snack!


  • 4 cups Chex cereal
  • Dry Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cupProtein powder (I used Designer Whey vanilla)
  • 1 tbsPeanut flour (or additional 1 tbs protein powder)
  • 1 tbsUnsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cupBaking stevia OR 1 cup sweetener of choice that measures like sugar
  • Wet Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup (3 oz)Chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate chips)
  • 1/4 cupCreamy peanut butter

The estimated total time to make this recipe is 10-15 minutes.

1.  In a large ziplock bag, mix together the dry ingredients and shake to combine. Set aside. 

2.  In a large bowl, microwave the chocolate and peanut butter for 45-60 seconds, (30 seconds at a time, stirring every 30 seconds until the chocolate is melted.) Add the cereal to the bowl, and stir to coat the cereal in the peanut butter chocolate mixture.

3.  Pour the chocolate peanut butter covered cereal into the ziplock with the dry ingredients, and shake until the cereal is evenly coated. Pour puppy chow onto a large baking pan lined with foil or parchment and let dry for at least 30 minutes. (Of course you can enjoy it immediately, but this time is just to allow the chocolate and peanut butter to completely set.) Store puppy chow in a sealed container, and store at room temperature for up to 7 days. Enjoy!

Original Recipe:  https://dashingdish.com/recipe/skinny-protein-puppy-chow/

Bathing And Fitness...

No, I'm not here to talk about how you need to shower after your workout.

But please do :)

I'm here this morning with a quick lesson on motivation and accountability. 

One of my favorite people to study is the late Zig Ziglar. 

One of his best quotes was this...

"People often say motivation doesn't last. Neither does bathing that's why require it daily."

I hear often from people that they need motivation and accountability.

The good news?

We all do.

Every day.

For the rest of our lives.

Just like we'll continue to bathe every day for the rest of our lives.

When you do decide to embark on this journey of 1% better and a healthier and happier you, you're going to go through ups and downs.

There's going to be good days and not so great days.

You're going to feel motivated for a short time and then you're going to lose your luster.

It's like building a fire...

 It takes action to get it going, starts off strong, but if you want to continue to the flame, you have to continue to work it, or else it will just fizzle out. 

There's a method to the madness behind everything we do. 

It's why we don't let you workout alone in our gym...

It's why we make you book an appointment for all of your sessions...

It's why we send this daily e-mail, post in the members-only Facebook group, and check-in with you via e-mail. 

The secret is not the exercise, the secret is not knowing how much protein you need, the "secret" is daily motivation and accountability.

Don't try to fight it.

We all need it.


Leverage it, lean on it, and when you're feeling down and discouraged think back to what helped you stay accountable and kept you motivated and go to that. 

Remember, just like good hygiene, fitness, nutrition, and this journey we're all on requires daily motivation and accountability. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

PS: If you're not yet a part of Spurling Fitness and you need that daily accountability and motivation along with strong coaching, nutrition, and a family-like community, now is the perfect time to make the leap. Come get ready for summer, feel stronger, have more confidence and test us out for 42 days in our 6 Week Transformation Challenge. Hurry though, it starts on 5/15, and we only take 20 people per challenge so we can provide the best experience possible. Click here to learn more and reserve your spot ===>>> 6 Week Transformation Challenge







Can You Give Me a Snowflake?

I know we're heading into summer and things are finally feeling like spring, but I need to use the snowflake as an analogy for today's lesson. 

And no, it's not the "every snowflake is unique" one....

When we get hammered with 12"+ of snow, what does it start with?

One single snowflake.

When you're in the front yard building snowballs to erect a giant snowman with your kids, what does it start with?

One single snowflake. 

No matter how big the storm, no matter how big the snowball, it all started with one snowflake. 

My challenge for you is to pick one snowflake (one action item) to execute on. 

Action kick-starts motivation. 

I've talked about motivation at length, but one of the most important things to understand about motivation is this...

It doesn't come out of anywhere. You don't just wake up and suddenly fee motivated.

It comes from action. 

You start doing something small, then the momentum builds, motivation begins, and you start tackling the problem. 

But it started with that one small action, just like the snowstorm started with that one snowflake. 

How many days a week should I work out?

If you're doing nothing right now, my suggestion is going to be one. 

How much protein should I have?

If you're getting 50 grams right now, my suggestion is going to be 60. 

Building a snowball out of snowflakes is the perfect analogy of 1% better. 

It starts with one snowflake, then another, then it starts rolling, collecting more, more momentum, and as long as you can find more snowflakes the snowball will continue to get better. 

The biggest frustration in fitness is a lack of results, right?

It can be a plethora of things, but most often it's the idea that they have to overhaul everything at once. 

They have to go to the gym 4x per week, they have to eat perfect, etc. 

They end up doing that for a week, realize it's not sustainable, get frustrated, and quit.

That's why building the snowball one snowflake at a time will always win in the long-term.

Will you lose 10lbs a week, probably not? 

But guess what?

If you lose .5lb a week for the next 12 months you'd be down over 25lbs!

Pick one small thing you can do a little better each day. 

One more serving of vegetables. 

One more workout. 

One more hour of sleep. 

One more set. 

One more...

Stack that day after day and you'll have the strongest, leanest, best feeling, best-looking snowman/woman in the world :)

Make sense?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling 

PS: We just opened up registration for our next 6-Week Transformation Challenge that starts on 5/15. This is a complete program, guaranteed to kick-start your transformation through coaching at every workout, daily and weekly accountability, nutritional support, and a family that wants you to succeed. We only take 20 dedicated people per challenge, so grab a spot today. All spots will fill. Register here: 6-Week Transformation Challenge