Two Lenses To Look Through...

I remember in college looking through a microscope…

I hated it.

My big head seemed like it could never get close enough, and I couldn’t get the eye squint just right to see anything.

But I microscope is an important tool.

A lens to look at things in detail.

However, we also can’t forget about the telescope.

I never have a memory as a kid of having a telescope and setting it up to lookout my bedroom window at all the stars, I’m sure I’ll do it with Kaden one day.

But a telescope serves a different purpose…

It’s looking out, it’s looking forward.

Two lenses, microscope and telescope.

We need both.

There are times in life, in fitness, in business that we need to look at things in depth, in detail.

Maybe that is looking at my daily to do list, looking at how many grams of protein I got in today, looking into how many calories I consumed, or what exercises I should do today.

It’s the detail, it’s the picking apart stuff.

In my humble opinion, that is only 50% of the equation, it’s only balanced out with the telescope lens.

We need to spend some time thinking about why we’re doing what we’re doing…

We need to get really clear on what we want success to look like in 12 months…

We need to look at how what we’re doing now is impacting the future…

It can be daunting to monitor your calories or track your workouts (microscope)…

But you always know it’s worth it because those are just baby steps and details that bring you closer to the never ending pursuit of happiness, hitting your goals, fulfillment, and a healthier life (telescope).

We need both lenses.

They balance each other out.

Always look at which lens you’re looking through and decide which one you maybe need to spend some more time on.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

What Does 1% Better Really Mean?

I remember when Kaden first started learning how to walk it was of the coolest things to watch.

If you’re a parent you know what I’m talking about.

One day they can pull themselves up and stand next to the couch…

The next day they only hold on with one hand…

Next thing you know they are standing, but their legs look they just ran a marathon, shaking and unsteady.

Then, in what seemed like a matter of a week, everyday Kaden took another step, fell, got back up, took a step, but everyday he got better.

Gradually taking more steps day by the day, you pick your head up and he’s walking, now running all over the place.

That is one of my best examples of one percent better.

You read it every day.

You see it in our facility, on our website, I end every e-mail with it, and we say it a lot. 

1% Better. 

But what does it actually mean?

I think it starts with why. 

Why does Spurling exist?

Spurling exists to impact, empower, and change lives 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. 

You’ll also notice that it says nothing about fitness.

It just talks about impacting, empowering, and changing peoples lives through coaching, accountability, and a strong community.

Now, we built the one percent better motto and the strength of the Spurling brand with fitness, but that’s really just the “tool” we use to impact, empower, and change lives.

As you’ll see, it’s much bigger than that, it’s about positive change as a whole.

Speaking of fitness and getting better…

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."

"Do this one exercise to tighten your tummy in ten days."

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. There is no break or pause. 

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!

Now, that makes perfect sense with fitness.

However, isn’t personal development and “getting better” a life-long, all encompassing journey?

Of course I want you get healthier and improve your fitness…

How about becoming a better husband, wife, mother, or father?


How about becoming better with your finances, and have that slow and steady daily chip away approach that we talk about with fitness, with your finances?


What about changing your mindset, developing a growth mindset not a fixed mindset, and working on your emotional and spiritual improvements?


Developing in your career or building a business. It’s all about the daily improvements, there is no such thing as an “overnight success.”

One percent better is a way of living, it’s about personal development in all areas of life; physical, emotional, spiritual, vocational, financial, social, and intellectual, the seven dimensions of wellness.

That’s not meant to overwhelm you.

It’s meant to excite you, to show you the possibility that there is so much positive change we can make.

In any change, it’s about one percent better, waking up and saying how I can be a little better than yesterday.

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. 

Does one percent better have a single definition?

I don't think so. 

I think each of us has our own definition of it. 

Our story. 

Ultimately one percent better is here with the goal that this 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: I love the one percent better way of living so much, and have seen the positive impact it can make so many times, that I wrote a book about it. One Percent Better; 50 powerful lessons that will change your business...and change your life. If you’re reading this that means you’ve supported me in some form, and I love for you to join me for the launch of my book at a signing party on March 14th, at 6:30pm, held at the mothership, Spurling Fitness. As a thank you for attending, I’ll give you a free copy of the book. If you can make it, please RSVP today so I know how many books to order…and how much food :)

Click here to RSVP --->>> One Percent Better Book Launch

It's time

It’s time.

You’ve been hanging on for months, years, maybe even decades. You’ve taped the picture on the mirror, made it the homepage on your desktop, and you look at it every single day. So I’m telling you now, it’s time.

It’s time to break up with that number in your head.

We all have a number in our head for our “ideal” weight. A number that floats above us constantly, that lodges itself in the corner of our minds, wedges itself in all of our goals. We use that number as a marker for our happiness - I’ll be happy when I hit 160 pounds. I feel better when I weigh 175lbs.  

But today is the day to call it off.

Even though I’ve never really struggled with my weight, I still had to break up with my ideal number when I took up strength training. I was in my early thirties when I first hired a coach, and I was quick to list out my main goal for training.

To get back to 125lbs.

Sure I wanted muscle tone and some strength and to stay healthy, but those goals were secondary to hitting my “happy” weight.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever said I just want to get back to ***lbs. Or, I was happy when I weighed *** lbs.

First of all, we need to stop training for the past. In my case, my “happy” weight was also when I was in the throes of my depression and wasn’t happy at all. I was skinny because I had no appetite, but it’s easy to forget that reality.

Second of all, that old number that’s in your head likely doesn’t account for your new strength. When you begin strength training, you are going to put on muscle. You are going to increase your bone density. And those are all great things that are going to affect your overall weight.

So it’s time to sit down, face to face with that number and have a real chat. “It’s not me, it’s you,” you might say. “You’re not reflective of my happiness. You don’t determine whether or not I feel good about myself. You do not own my self-worth.”

I don’t care what you say. And if you have to anthropomorphize the number to make the break up stick, do it. Whatever you have to do to make it happen, do it.

Break up with that old, ideal number. And move on.

A Question You Should Know The Answer To...

I have a question today that I really want you to spend some time thinking about.

I know that the more clear you get on this answer, the better your success is going to be.

I’ve never thought of the gym as a gym, or as fitness.

I never think of my business coaching as “consulting” or any of those fancy terms.

I think of it as a community that inspires positive change.

But that begs the question…

A question we should all get really clear on…

“What change do I seek to make?”

It seems simple at first, but let’s talk through it…

Regarding health…

Some people want to get “healthier” and to them that means smaller jean sizes, more confidence, and a better looking backside.

To others, “healthier” is getting off the blood pressure medicine and not getting winded when they walk up the stairs.

For some, getting “healthier” means they want to gain weight and put on muscle.

We have to get really clear on what change we seek to make…

The more clear we can get on this answer the more direct path we can take to accomplishing our goals.

Do you want to just feel good and have more energy?

You’re probably okay having that dessert a couple times a week or that bottle of wine over the weekend?

Do you want to drop 20 pounds of fat?

You’re going to have to be pretty strict with things and say no a lot more to that dessert and wine.

There is no right answer to the question, however, the change you seek determines the amount and type of work involved.

Plus, we can’t have a desire for this change, but not match it with out actions.

That’s where the frustration comes in.

If you want to just sleep better and have more energy, that work looks a lot different than the person that seeks the desire to drop two jean sizes before their high school reunion next month.

Again, the positive change you seek is up to you, but we have get clear on exactly what that change is.

Some people come to Spurling for the community and social aspect, and are looking for a social or emotional change.

Others come to Spurling for a more serious workout, and are really looking to make a physical change.

Again, no right answer, but we need to get clear.

Just to compare outside of health and fitness, take a look at my business coaching.

“I want a better business.”

What does that really mean?

Do you want more personal income?

Do you want more free time?

Are you trying to go expand, or are you trying to retire?

The clarity on the change you want to make dictates the direction of coaching we take and the work involved.

This is true for any positive change.

Now, let me end with this.

Typically when I go through this you catch yourself saying “yes, I want all of that.”

Well, remember my post from last week about the dog that picks up two bones drops both?

Think of your journey as a college curriculum…

What is your track or course right now?

What do you want to change right now?

We can always work on something else after, and of course there will be some cross-over, but ultimately, whether it’s in fitness, finance, family, business/career, or any other area of personal development, we need to get really clear on what change we’re looking to make right now, focus on that, crush that, and then move on.

That is 1% Better.

So, I’ll ask you again…

“What change do you seek to make?”

Spend some time thinking about it, and if you’re up for it, reply and let me know.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Gamify Your Fitness...

Today we kick off a Gym vs Gym MYZONE Challenge.

We’re battling a gym down in North Carolina for the “hardest working gym” and some bragging rights.

For those who are not aware, MYZONE is a heart rate monitoring software, and without boring you with the details, they gamify fitness. 

You get points for every workout. The harder you work the more points you get. 

The excitement of the challenge in our fitness community has been amazing.

As always, I try to pull a lesson out of everything. 

Why the excitement?

We just made the next month a game for our clients.

Collect points for your workouts, and try to beat the other gym.

We’re all a little competitive to some extent, right?

So, how can you gamify your fitness?

I've talked about it at length, but fitness needs to have a fun component. 

If you're just a hamster on a wheel staring at a television, you may be able to grit through it in the short-term, but you'll never stick with it long-term. 

Now, the cool thing is, fun or "gamifying" fitness can look different to each of us. 

This doesn't mean you need to go jump on a box 100 times as fast as possible and try to beat your time. 

There is fun and competitive but keep in mind safety trumps both of those. 

So, here are 5 ways to gamify your fitness:

1. Think of reps as points. Instead of thinking you have to do 50 squats, think of it as 50 points. Set a goal each day for a certain amount of points and increase it each week. 

2. Do countdowns or ladders: Pick two exercises, one upper body, one lower body. Alternate between them and do a countdown. 10 squats, 10 push-ups. 9 squats, 9 push-ups, etc. You can down a countdown, or you can do a ladder (5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). 

3. Associate good behaviors with points. Getting 7 hours of sleep is a point, getting a workout of at least 20 minutes in is a point, hitting 5 servings of vegetables is a point, getting 100 grams of protein is a point, and writing down 5 things you're grateful for is a point. Get 5 points every day! 

4. Workout in a group environment. The reason why most people find fitness boring is they think it has to be this mundane thing, headphones in, a couple minutes doing this, a couple minutes that. However, what if you worked out with a buddy, did a "you go, I go" workout, or joined our Team Training where we make fitness fun. Groups can be intimidating, I get it, but if you find the right one, they can also be one of the best motivators. 

5. Join us for the MYZONE Challenge. Seriously. It's going to be a ton of fun, and if you’re willing to give it your best we want you in our community so we can beat the other gym.

Regardless of what you choose for fitness, indoor, outdoor, yoga, or strength training (hopefully all of the above), try to gamify your fitness.

It doesn't have to be anything extravagant, you could just play games in your head (wait, we already do that). 

It will be more fun, which will drive more consistency, which will drive better results. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

4 Pillars Of Fitness

As some of you know, I spend a good chunk of my week helping small business owners grow their business through my consulting service.

I write to them daily as well, and today I talked about the 4 Pillars of Business (Marketing & Sales, Finance, Operations, & Team Development).

We’re always trying to grow and strengthen all pillars.

It made me think…

What are the four pillars of fitness?

Just like an old house, pillars are what hold everything up, without them, things crumble. 

However, if you can dial in these 4 pillars, your results will go through the roof. 

1. Mindset

This is, in my opinion, is the most important pillar of fitness.

Fat loss training is not that hard.

Work the full body, move inefficiently, eat less, and have fun doing it. 

It's the mindset that keeps you consistent and keeps you on track. 

It’s why I write about that so much more than the “6 exercises for your legs” stuff you see.

You have to get your mind right. 

You've heard me say it before, but I believe this starts with finding your WHY. 

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Why is that goal important to you?

Growth mindset vs fixed mindset. 

Positive vs negative. 

It all seems simple at the surface, but once you dig a little deeper, you quickly realize this is the hardest pillar to master.

2. Nutrition

You've heard different numbers, but it's said that fat loss is 80% nutrition. 

"You can't outwork a bad diet."

Guess what?

It's true. 

Dial in your nutrition and the other stuff becomes an added bonus. 

Some general "rules"

-Eat your bodyweight in grams of protein

-Drink half your bodyweight in fluid ounces of water

-Get a vegetable at every meal

-Avoid starchy carbohydrates other than before/after a workout

You'll see no mention of following this diet or follow that diet. 

When you're on the road at your kids' basketball game and your "diet" says to eat chicken and asparagus, but you don't have chicken and asparagus, what are you to do?

Build sound habits and the rest will follow. 

3. Training

Seems obvious, right?

You have to move to burn fat and build strength.

We're a fan of full-body metabolic resistance training. 

Basically, a fancy term for strength exercises (squats, lunges, rows, push ups) done in a circuit fashion so you get the optimal result. 

You not only work your full body and get stronger, but you shred tons of fat because you're doing it in a "circuit" fashion and get a great cardio effect. 

For most people, 3 days a week of moderate intensity (like sessions at a gym), and 1-2 days a week of light intensity (like taking the dog for a walk) is all you need.

4. Recovery

Think about what happens when you don't get enough sleep.

Your mind isn't right. 

You're tired.

You eat like crap because you're tired. 

You don't workout because you feel like crap and are tired. 

That's why recovery is so important.

Sleeping 6-8 hours a night does so many intangible things. 

Make it a priority.

So there you have it.

The 4 Pillars of Fitness.





But take a look at your situation and see what pillar needs the focus at this time and start chipping away. 

1% Better. 

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

A Dog & Their Bones...

There’s a good saying that goes something like this…

“The dog that tries to pick up two bones usually drops both.”

It’s a great line to remember we can’t be focusing on two things at the same time.

When a new client joins the gym, we know it can be overwhelming and daunting.

We aim to get them to focus on one thing…

Walk in this door 10 times.

That’s it.

Don’t try to change nutrition, don’t worry about fat loss or strength, don’t worry about anything else other than walking through the door ten times.

What we’re trying to do is build the habit of frequency.

We need frequency as the foundation before we change anything else.

If we try to set goals and go after multiple things like frequency, losing body fat percentage, getting stronger, changing nutrition, all at the same time, we have no focus and typically suffer.

Focus on one thing at time, make it a habit, and then, only then, stack another habit on top of it.

Nutrition is one people try to change in the beginning.

Where people typically fall is they are trying to pick up two bones so they drop both.

We like to separate nutrition.

It’s why we created the 90 Day “Clean & Lean” nutrition coaching that Trent runs.

He offers it 3-4 times a year, and only that often.

When you’re ready, and only when you’re ready to change, you can enroll in the next round.

When is it the right time to enroll?

You’ve been hitting your frequency…

You’re working hard…

But you just can’t seem to see many results.

There’s a strong chance it’s your nutrition.

If you’re exercising 10+ times a month with a goal of dropping body fat percentage, and you haven’t, the honest truth is it is probably your nutrition.

I’m guilty of this, as we all are at some point.

But, if you feel like you have a solid habit with your workouts and are ready to buckle down for the next 90 days on your nutrition I highly recommend you join Trent's coaching program.

I just checked with him yesterday and it looks like he has 5 of the 20 spots left before it starts next week.

We know that if we change too much at once we’re not hyperfocused and to keep my first example going, we “drop both bones.”

However, if you’re ready to make some significant change and really make nutrition a lasting habit here is your chance.

The 90 Day Clean & Lean is a nutrition coaching program run by our expert nutrition coach Trent.

As a group, you’ll meet each week, that way you have incredible accountability.

You’ll discuss what’s working, what you’re struggling with, and he’ll coach you up on a plan to follow for the next week until you meet again.

Throughout the week you have access to him, the other members, and daily accountability.

He also does some 1:1 meetings if you need them, and frequent InBody tests to make sure you’re actually hitting your results.

If you’re interested in this program just reply with “nutrition” and we’ll send you over the details.

Remember though, the program does start next week and he limits it to 20 people to give them the best experience possible, with only 5 of those spots left.

Regardless of if you do the nutrition program or not, remember the lesson…

“The dog that tries to pick up two bones usually drops both.”

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Our stuff tells our story

Shortly after I graduated college - my favorite professor - who had painted an orange trapezoid in the breakfast nook of her kitchen just because she could - looked out her window, sipping her coffee.

"Your stuff is your history," she'd said, turning her attention back to me.

I was probably lamenting to her that life didn’t work on a barter system. I was fresh off the heels of my Communications Degree, and was in my minimalist phase, wanting to own nothing more than my guitar and Birkenstocks. (Which I still have…) And I wasn’t motivated by money.

A Few months out of college, I wrote a proposed a salary of “just enough” on a job application. I proposed that I wanted just enough money to pay my bills and have some left over for dinner and a movie. I can imagine now the chuckles from the HR person who, seeing my college graduation date, must have laughed at my naivety.

I had just left the convent where the nuns, for the most part, owned relatively little. "Things" seemed evil to me - having too much stuff seemed greedy, and like it could distract you from the really important purpose of life.

Even now, despite my well known affinity for shoes, clothes, and technology, I could probably be satisfied with my laptop, guitar and a small collection of clothes.

But I've never forgotten what my professor said that day in her kitchen. Our stuff is our history.

Two weeks ago, we got a new pub table at the gym. I doubt anybody noticed - the new table was so similar that I wouldn’t have known had I not been present for the exchange. But as Josh removed the table, I made him stop.

"My life changed forever at this pub table," I said, and Chris nodded. I'd sat with Doug at that pub table for the first time on February 12th 2015. I'd just started a job at Bates College, and knew that's not where I wanted to be. I met Doug through an online network (my contact had a former intern who worked with Doug - his name is Trent Dubois). So on a snowy February evening, I sat with Doug and talked about my goals, my ambitions, and my dreams.

Many of you have sat at that pub table, and many of you are still thinking about it. Some of you have sat with Doug or Trent and you've tried to answer the same questions about yourself - what do you want? What are your goals? What do you need? How can we help?

In so many ways, that table is just a thing. A singular thing - a forgotten piece of furniture that, had I not been there to see it, would not have realized was even different. But that pub table held an important story for me - and I love stories.

But how how very, very, very right you were Dr. Marsters, that our stuff is our history.

That’s my #spurlingstory - what’s yours?

Two Traits...

I remember the fist time watching Kaden try to walk…

He looked like his legs were jello, stumbling all over the place.

I remember my first year as a business owner…

I was stumbling all over the place, mentally, physically, emotionally.

I remember the first time I stepped foot in a gym…

I had no clue what to do, how to use it, or anything.

We all have those memories of the early stages of something, when it was hard, when we had no confidence, and when we were trying something new.

But what happens?

How do we get past that?

When we’re looking to have a successful journey at something, anything, fitness or not, you can boil it to two traits that are required…


It seems obvious, but it’s why we preach it so much.

The perfect number of repetitions?

3 x 52.

3 Days a week, 52 weeks a year.

The fancy exercises, the quick-fixes, they never create any long-term success.

The only thing that does is being consistent.

Showing up when you don’t want to, prioritizing it over other “easier” things, etc.

Again, this is true for fitness, but also any area of life.

If you’re trying to build a relationship, you’re trying to have a better family.

It doesn’t matter if you have a great day, if the rest of the year you’re never around.

It’s about being consistent with your efforts.

Financial gains, same thing.

Contribute a small amount every month, consistently, and that always wins out over a big sprint, and then nothing for eons.

So the first trait you must have in any successful endeavor is consistency.

The second builds on it.


The ability to stick with it.

The grit to keep going when things get tough, or when an obstacle comes your way.

It’s that trait of perseverance that ultimately allows you to be consistent.

Remember, nothing worth having is easy.

In any journey that’s going to be life-changing, whether that’s physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially, financially, or intellectually life changing, it’s not going to be easy.

Deep down we know that, but it’s these two traits that keep us going.



Whether you haven’t started out yet and are nervous to get going, or you’re 5 years into something, these traits still apply.

There are no exceptions to the traits.

We all need them.

If you’re 5 years in, you still need consistency, it doesn’t just stop being a requirement.

You still need to persevere, because if you remember from previous posts, growth just means better problems, not no problems.

Meaning, you’re still going to have problems you’ll need to persevere through.

No matter where you are on the journey, don’t get caught up in the detail, don’t keep looking for the shortcut or the “one thing” that’s going to turn things around or give you a dramatic result.

I’m afraid if you have that approach you’ll come up empty.

However, what you can do is continue to be consistent, and continue to persevere.

Continue to just keep getting better.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

My Personal Struggle & Story...

Over the weekend Coach Kim made a great post in our private members-only Facebook Group talking about part of her #SpurlingStory.

I loved it, and it made me think about my story.

I share this in hopes that you’ll share your #spurlingstory…

So, you read my posts, you check out the Spurling website, maybe you see the words “we change lives” in the lobby, and you might think “Yeah right, what do you know about changing lives?  You’re clearly young and in shape…

How could you possibly understand how hard it would be to change my life?”

Well, I kind of do understand. It hasn't always been the way you might think...

Believe it or not, there was a time where I’d never set foot in a gym and I hated exercise.  

I was too busy shoving cosmic brownies down my throat. 

If you’ve met me or seen my picture on our website or Facebook page, you can see I’m a big guy.  Well, I was always a big guy – I weighed nearly 11 pounds at birth – in a big family. I had genetics working against me from the start.   

I was born into a very unhealthy family.  A loving family, but an unhealthy one.

Of course I didn't know how unhealthy our lives were.  I just did what they did, which was sit around a lot, eat lots of pasta dishes (we’re part Italian) and watch a lot of TV. I don't remember any physical activity, no weekend hikes, no sledding in the winter, nothing that broke a sweat. 

It’s ok though, I can't be mad about it. In hindsight, it taught me many valuable lessons about what not to do and how not to live. 

I went into middle school tipping the scales at almost 300lbs. Yes, you read that right, middle school. I was the "big kid" that everybody wanted to be friends with, just in case they needed a sidekick in a recess fight, but not really anything outside of that. I was bullied, made fun of, and I didn’t feel good about myself.  So much for middle school fun, right?

Going into high school, not much changed. I was feeling depressed, never had a social life, and was living a life that I had no clue what to do with. I went through my first two years of high school weighing on the other side of 350lbs; I believe my heaviest was 378lbs.

Always the brunt of jokes, breaking chairs, and laughing to hide my embarrassment.

I don't blame anyone for my weight.  I certainly don’t blame my parents.  They raised me the best way they knew how.  My mom showed love by making sure there was food (and a lot of it) on the table and in the house. No one ever said “just one, you’ve had plenty”.

I don't even blame myself, because back then, I didn’t know any different. It’s what I saw around me, what I thought was “normal”. Wake up, eat, go to school, eat, come home, eat, watch TV, eat, go to bed and repeat. Life revolved around eating and no activity. 

At 14, I was able to get a work permit and a job.  Having my hard-working parents as role models, they instilled in me a very strong New England work ethic. Today, good or bad, I'll outwork anybody. In fact, it's something I'm trying to balance better today, telling myself that “no Doug, you don't need to work 18 hours a day, every day.”

My family was also not wealthy so there was much to be gained by getting a job.  But what kind of job could I get?  Other kids were all going to work at our local grocery store but I knew I wanted something different. 

I decided to write a letter to the local hospital to see if they had any openings. I was expecting one of two things to happen:

1. No response at all.

2. They'd stick me in the kitchen or laundry to do a bunch of not-so-fun work. 

You know how you can look back at life and there are a handful of moments where now, it’s so clear that if the road hadn’t taken you a certain direction, you have no idea where you’d be today? 

This was one of those moments.

I received an invitation to interview to be a "Physical Therapist Aide Trainee." I didn't know what a Physical Therapist was or how I’d be aiding them, but man, to a 14 year old, that job title sounded sweet!

I got the job, and began working there during my freshman year in high school. I would go to school from 7:00 am – 2:00 pm and then take the bus to the hospital to work 2:30 – 7:00 pm. 

I wish I’d stayed in touch with that group of people I worked with, as I’d love to be able to tell them now, 15 years later, how much they changed my life.

After I was trained, I worked along therapists, helping people walk for the first time in a long time, seeing people return to functionality from traumatic life-altering events, and gaining invaluable life experience. In fact, for the first time, the fact I was a big guy had some advantages.  I could help stabilize patients, help the PT’s transfer patients, etc. 

The experiences I gained in that job began to create the spark of the passion I have today, to change people’s lives.  I just didn’t know it yet.

Despite the fact I was bearing witness to other people’s life-changing events, none of it resonated yet as a reason to change myself.  I was only 14 after all.  

I went to a vocational high school, one of those schools where you can focus on a trade vs. academics and college prep. Most of the guys chose automotive, carpentry, electrical, etc. I chose health occupations. 

Life changer moment # 2...

Because of the course work, I was able to train and become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at age 16.

After receiving that certification, I left my job at the hospital and took a job in a nursing home.

Looking back at it, I'm 16, I had no clue. I was still just living in the moment. 

But that job changed my life. From sophomore year until the day I left for college, I worked in a nursing home taking care of Alzheimer's residents. I would go to school from 7:00 am – 2:00 pm and then drive over to the nursing home and work second shift, 3:00 – 11:00 pm, bathing, dressing and feeding someone’s wife, husband, mother, father, sister, or brother.

I had no idea at the time the effect this experience was having on me but today I can confidently say it was one of the top three things that changed my life. 

But still, I was pushing 400lbs. How could I be working in the health field and be so unhealthy myself?

Remember my physical therapy job? At the time I was leaving to go be a CNA, they had hired a new therapist, a woman who’d just graduated from this school up in Maine nobody heard of. The University of New England.  For some reason that stuck with me...

Senior year.  Graduation was looming.  I didn't know what I wanted to do.  I went back in my head to that physical therapy job, and thought to myself "I'd love to do that." 

So I applied to one school, the University of New England. Luckily, I got in, and was accepted into their pre-physical therapy program. 

That spark I’d started as a PT Aide was growing into a real flame of passion for changing people’s lives, but I realized if I was going to do anything with it, I needed to change my own life first. I woke up one morning and realized how could I possibly be preaching healthy habits to my patients when there I stood, the big fat kid?  What a hypocrite I was.

The summer after graduation, I got serious about making that change.   

Knowing what I know today, I would kill my old self for the way I went about it. I would never recommend this to anyone, but somehow I managed to make it work.

The entire summer, I lived off tuna fish sandwiches and bananas. That's it. A banana for breakfast, a tuna sandwich for lunch, and a tuna sandwich for dinner. 

I don't know how I did it. But it worked...

Going from eating 5000+ calories a day, to maybe 1000, the weight came off fast. 

When college started in the fall, I was less than 300 pounds, for the first time since I was 12. I lost 75 pounds in 3 months. 

Again, absolutely not the way I recommend anyone accomplish this but I was an 18 year old kid with no guidance of what the right way was. 

Banana and tuna sandwiches continued, I kept losing weight and I moved to Maine and started attending UNE. 

Another life changer...

I met my mentor and good friend, Heath. 

Heath was a part of the Exercise Science program. I don't know why, but he took me under his wing, and showed me all the great opportunities that exist in Exercise Science. 

I quickly developed a passion for exercise. Heath taught me everything he could about the field and it really fueled my fire for changing people’s lives. 

I switched majors in order to continue under his mentorship. 

Now, instead of just eating tuna and bananas, I gained some solid nutritional knowledge and learned to combine that with my newfound love of exercise. 

I noticed the profound effect exercise had on me not just physically, but mentally.  By my sophomore year at UNE, I was 260lbs, which was about 115 lbs less than my heaviest weight. 

All of the sudden, I started making friends, gaining confidence, hanging out with girls, you know, typical college stuff. And how crazy - it took exercise before any of this happened. 

Through all of this, the feeling of having a calling continued to grow stronger.  In addition to wanting to change other people’s lives, I was about to change my own.

My original plan of a career as a PT was sound but if you’ve ever gone to physical therapy, it’s pretty clear that many people being treated are there because they have to be, insurance makes them, or they can’t go back to work until they’ve gone, and so forth.  Often not in the best mood or mindset to hear advice about making life changes, I wasn’t sure it was the right long term career decision.

The nursing home experience totally changed my life. I got exposed to more by the time I was 18 than many people have seen in their entire life.

But I knew I couldn't work with that population every day for the rest of my life. I give extreme credit to those (including my wife, Megan) who choose to work in the medical field, especially those who are really "in the trenches" involved in meeting patients’ most basic needs such as bathing, feeding, and dressing. It is draining. 

When Heath told me one day that there were actually jobs where I could do what I dreamed of - change lives – every single day for the rest of my life - I just about fell over. 

Call it what you want: personal training, strength and conditioning, I call it changing lives for a living. 

I had changed my life. 

I had lost over 100lbs. 

I was on cloud 9...

I was all of age 20 and I thought I had it all. 

On a random Saturday in October, I drove home from UNE to have dinner with my parents. I walked into their house and a chill just came across my shoulders. I knew something was up. 

I sat down at the dining room table and my mom started crying. After fighting back the tears, she spit out...

"I have cancer."

The next six months were hell. I was trying to wrap up my degree at UNE, head down to Massachusetts to see her in the hospital, and do everything I could to help her, my dad and my younger brother.

Talk about another life changing point in life...

On June 14, 2010, in a hospice house, I held my mom’s hand and watched her take her last breath. 

At the age of 52, she had died from stage four lung cancer. 

I was 21 years old, and thought I had the world by the balls. 

Boy was I wrong...

As devastating as losing my mom was, it furthered my passion for changing people’s lives. 

I began to exercise even more. I knew too many people that used food as their stress reliever, and they reverted back to their old habits quickly. I used the gym as my stress reliever. 

Ironically, I was in the best shape of my life six months after my mom died. I had my own life experience that proved that through healthy eating, good exercise, and some accountability, people could change their lives.

Shortly after graduating, I used the urgency that was created by my moms passing, and knowing that life is short, to open what you now know as Spurling Fitness.

Since then it’s been a fun filled seven years with lots ups and a few downs…

The up of having double digit growth at Spurling every year since opening, and we’re changing lots of lives..

The down of losing my dad last year…

The up of becoming a leader to an incredible team that run the operations at Spurling Fitness and changes so many lives…

The down of having to move the business (turned out to be an up) and cycle through a few employees before finding the right ones…

The up of getting married, buying a house, having Kaden, and so many personal wins with Megan…

But it’s all good…

The ups and downs are what make life fun, and what make it such a fun story to tell.

At 29, I'm not here to tell you I've experienced everything.

I still have years to live, and hundreds of lessons to learn.

However, I am quite confident in saying I've been through some dramatic changes, negative and positive, and I live my life with one goal, to change the lives of as many people as possible. 

Spurling exists for one reason, and for one reason only, to change lives.

We get to now do that through multiple avenues including our fitness community that some call a gym, our charitable work where we’ve raised tens of thousands of dollars and donated our time to those in need, and through our business coaching where I get to help business owners scale their business and show them how to have a big impact on their customers while creating a life they love.

We’re just getting started, and you have not seen the last of the Spurling Community and all the ways we can help inspire positive change in YOU…

but it’s been quite the story already.

Everybody has a story.

Every person.

Every organization.

Everybody starts somewhere.

What’s your #spurlingstory?

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Quinoa Fruit Salad


  • 1 cup dry quinoa, pre-rinsed

  • 2 cups water

  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries

  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries

  • 1/2 cup mandarin oranges

  • 1/2 cup mango chunks

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint leaves


  1. Over medium-high heat bring water and quinoa to a boil, reduce heat to a low-boil, cover and cook approximately 15 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed most of the water. Turn off the heat and leave the covered quinoa on the burner for another 5 minutes. Allow to cool then refrigerate until chilled.

  2. Combine the chilled quinoa with the fruit in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add the olive oil, lime juice and honey in a jar with a lid and shake. Toss with the salad and sprinkle on the fresh mint leaves.

What Does The Stock Market Have To Do With Your Fitness?

I love the market. 

It's one of my side hobbies. 

Not sure what exactly I love about it, I think it's the interest of how other companies are performing. 

But it got me thinking...

Isn't our approach with investments the same as our approach to fitness?

It should be anyways...

Hear me out...

You wouldn't expect to have a million bucks in the bank by the time you retire without an action plan in place would you?

It's kind of like wanting to lose 50lbs but not having a clear action plan. 

We also don't expect to have a million dollars tomorrow, we know it's going to be a slow and steady process, just like losing the 50lbs. 

However, what we can do, is create a plan of action. 

If I'm 35 years old and I want to retire at 65, assuming an average return of X%, I need to save $X. 

It's simply reverse engineering it. 

Side note: I firmly believe one the biggest skills we can develop in any sector of life, fitness included, is the ability to reverse engineer something. Take the big goal that you want, and reverse engineer it all the way down to what do I have to do this week to keep me moving towards this goal.

Just like if I want to lose the 50lbs, I would reverse engineer from a timeline, and maybe it's 1-2lbs per week. 

Now, a couple more interesting things. 

You wouldn't expect to continue to grow your investments without contributing something each month, would you?

It's kind of like expecting the 50lbs to come off without contributing consistent sweat equity and healthy eating. 

But here's my favorite relation...

In the market, there are ups and downs. 

Some days are good, some days are bad. 

Some months are good, some months are bad. 

Some years are bad, some years are good. 

But you know, at the end of the day, if you just keep doing your contribution, and have a plan of action in place, you're probably going to win. 

Winning, in this case, is having more money in your accounts than what you started with. 

You don't stop "playing" just because the stock market had one bad day or one bad month. 

You may adjust your plan of action, but you don't stop playing. 

It's just like the fitness journey. 

There's going to be good days and bad days. 

There's going to be good months and bad months. 

There's going to be good years and bad years. 

You will "win" if you show up consistently, work hard, and have some fun doing it. 

You can't just stop "playing" if you gain a few pounds one month, or go through a rough spell. 

That's called life. 

Keep at the journey.

Keep contributing. 

It will all be worth it. 

1% Better. 

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

The Key Ingredient You Don't Realize To (Fitness) Success...

Good afternoon from sunny Orlando, Florida.

I’m down here for the week for some business meetings and before they start today, Megan, Kaden, and I came down a few days early to give Kaden his first experience at Disney (it was really for us).

A lot of people ask me how I always have something to write about since I make a post Monday-Friday.

To be honest, I’m just a firm believer in that there are lessons everywhere, so I’m just hyperaware of things going on, and 99% of my e-mails are either about conversations or observations that took place the day before, and today is no different.

Today, I want to talk to you about the one of the key ingredients to success, fitness included, but really any kind of success.

Any guesses as to what it is?



Your surroundings.

Let’s go through two scenarios…

As always, I like to use one gym related and one non-gym related.

When I travel, I have the joy of either working out at the hotel gym or a local commercial gym.

The last two days I was up at the gym by 530am, ready to go.

But the second I swiped my card to get in…I couldn’t wait to get out.


The environment.

Rows and rows of machines.

Everyone just has their head down like robots, nobody is smiling.

There are stock photos on the wall, and some elevator music playing in the background.

I walked past people and they didn’t want to say hi…

Just an overall stale environment.

It certainly didn’t motivate me, I got my workout done, and as soon as I could, I got out.

Just think of how that plays to success in fitness.

What if you had an environment (like Spurling) that you love?

The second you walk in you can feel the energy…

There’s someone greeting you right away (yay, Mel)…

Everyone knows each other, and they not only care about their journey, but they want you to succeed too…

There’s good music playing(most of the time), an energetic atmosphere, inspiring graphics on the wall, and a team of coaches by your side making the experience just that, an experience.

Do you get the feel for the different environments?

Which one do you think you’ll be more successful in?

The one you hate going to, and can’t wait to get out of…

Or the one that has motivation just bleeding through the walls?

Environment is a huge key to fitness success.

Let’s look at another example…


From the time you step foot on property it truly is magical.

They even make waiting in line interactive.

The cast members (employees) are always smiling and eager to help…

You essentially forget about anything else going on in your life and you’re just immersed in the magical world of Disney.

They make everything easy, they make everything fun, they think of every detail, and you don’t even realize/care you just paid $22 for that burger, on top of the $109 to get in the door, because it’s about the show, it’s about the experience, it’s about the…


I could go on for days…can you tell I love and study Disney like a fanatic?

You have different environments you are more productive in…

You have different environments you are more creative in…

You have different environments you are happier in…

It all matters.

Notice that.

And if you’re looking to nail down your fitness, we know most people hate gyms and hate exercise, because really, they hate the environment, and as you can probably tell by now, we hate regular gyms and regular exercise too, and have a totally different environment.

Take a look around, your missing ingredient to any success, fitness included, could be your environment.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Life is too short to drink black coffee

“I like cream in my coffee. And I like to sleep late on Sundays. And nobody knows me…”

While those things are both true, they’re also lines from a song – can you name it? 

About five years ago, when I hired my first coach to help me with both nutrition and exercise, I got pretty strict with my diet. I practiced intermittent fasting, (click here to understand more of what that is about), counted out my calories for every meal, and measured all of my macronutrients

It was the most time and effort I'd ever invested in my nutrition, and I learned a lot during those first few months. Tracking food intake, measuring portions and learning to measure those portions based on macronutrients changed the way I ate, and it helped me get myself back on track after being laid off from my full time job. 

It was also during that period that I started to drink black coffee. (And asking the kind people at Starbucks to put ice in my coffee so I could drink it the same day because nuclear).

I continued drinking black coffee for the next year or more, indulging in half n’half only on the occasional weekend or when I went home to visit my parents, because my mom makes the best coffee ever. It’s Maxwell House, she makes it with a Mr. Coffee pot that she bought for 50 cents at a yard sale and it’s the best. Coffee. Ever. 

Gradually, I started putting half n’ half in my coffee, not just on Sunday’s, but on Saturdays too. Then on Fridays. And then finally, I realized something:

My life is too short to drink black coffee. Black coffee is ok. And by ok I mean disgusting. Like eating coffee grounds. Probably. Not that I've eaten coffee grounds. Except that one time when I was desperate.

Have you ever read about natural highs? Waking up two hours before your alarm goes off and realizing you can nuzzle under the covers a bit longer, the feeling of brand new squishy socks, and for me, my first cup of coffee. With cream in it. 

After suffering through black coffee for a few years, I finally decided that cream in my coffee is my non-negotiable. 

Every day I have conversations with clients about nutrition, and I ask them to do the same things I listed above – track food – measure portions – and that information is often eye-opening. If you’re trying to stay at 1600 calories for the day and you’re putting 300 calories worth of sugar and cream in your coffee, then that is certainly something to pay attention to. But once you’ve educated yourself on where your calories are coming from – once you’ve begun to measure your salad dressing and servings of almonds and the tastes you take of everything while you’re cooking, it’s important to parse out what you truly enjoy.

I can forgo a second tablespoon of olive oil on my salad, I can be content with one small piece of dark chocolate - I'm willing to make other concessions. But not with my coffee.

Be honest with yourself about your quality of life - about the things that are important to you and that you truly enjoy - and, within reason, let yourself have it.

Because life is too short to drink black coffee.

No Change Yet?

We’re into a new month, and the January “sprint” is over.

How did January go for you?

I hope you’ve made some positive change so far, and are making progress towards your 2019 goals.

If not, don’t fret, but take a minute today and make sure you’re incorporating the 5 S’s to Sustainable Change.

Chances are, if you haven’t seen the results you’ve wanted, one or more of these are probably missing from your approach.

When we look at creating sustainable change it comes down to five things. 

The 5 S's. 

Now, before I share what those are there is one keyword I think you might have missed above. 



That's the goal with all of this. 

We're trying to make changes that will last, not a change that you can only do for a month and then bail on it. 

The 5 S's of Sustainable Change.

1. Simple

You've heard me say this before. 

Keep things very simple. 

Ask yourself this question...

"How confident are you that you can do this every day?"

If it's not at least an 8, it's not simple enough. 

Simple exercise routine.

Simple nutrition approach.

Always look to simplify because simple drives significant change.

2. Segmental

Break things down into smaller chunks. 

I've written about this in detail, although it's actually quite simple, not enough people do it. 

If your goal in 2019 is to lose 40lbs, what does that look like in 3 months?


What does that look like in 30 days?


What does that look like this week?


Segmental. Break it down. 

One pound a week sounds simple, but if you don’t break down your big goals and just stay focused on “winning the week” it become overwhelming.

3. Sequential

Start with "thing 1" before you move onto "thing 2", "thing 3", etc. 

Meaning, go back to that goal of 40lbs. 

What's the first thing I need to do?

Maybe it's writing the goal down. 

Then it's cleaning out the kitchen. 

Followed by making a weekly grocery list. 

Shop right...

Start moving a couple times a week. 

Get those things down before you get super fancy.

Snowball it. 

4. Strategic

Be strategic about things. 

Don't just "wing" it. 

If you're going out with friends on Saturday, adjust things during the week leading up to it. 

Plan and schedule you workouts.

If you fail to plan, plan to fail. 

5. Support

No one can do this alone. 

I repeat, no one. 

Our coaches need coaches. 

Everyone needs some form of accountability. 

Whether that's joining a support group, hiring a coach, or getting a buddy to join you in the journey. 

We all need a teacher, we all need a coach, and we all need support. 

It's too hard doing this alone. 

This is probably the one that has the biggest impact.

If you have a strong support network, and a “team” around you who want to see you succeed, your chances of not succeeding are slim to none.

So there's the 5 S's. 

Which one do you need to implement in the rest of 2019?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Sweet Potato Turkey Chili


  • 1 lb ground turkey

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 bell peppers, chopped

  • 1 jalapeño, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 1/2 T chili powder

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

  • 1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes

  • 1 cup tomato sauce (ideally no-sugar-added)

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 large sweet potato, cubed


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over med-high heat. Add ground turkey and cook until browned (About 3-4 mins).

  2. Add in onions and cook for 3 more minutes.

  3. Add in peppers, jalapeno and garlic and cook for another 2 mins.

  4. Add spices, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans and sweet potato and bring mix to a boil.

  5. Once boiling lower heat to a simmer and cook for about 30-40 minutes, uncovered or until desired consistency is reached.


Rocks, Pebbles, & Sand...

The professor stood in front of the class with an empty jar.

In front of the jar, he had some big rocks, some smaller pebbles, and a pile of sand. 

The jar represented his life, and the big rocks, pebbles, and sand represented all the things he needed to get done. 

Some of you may know this story...

What happens when you put the sand in first?

You can sneak in the pebbles, but you can't fit in the big rocks. 

However, if you start by putting the big rocks in, followed by the pebbles, you can fit the sand in as it fills the cracks around the rocks. 

Your big rocks are things that most fulfill you in life.

Big rocks usually include time with friends and family, health, earning a living, and getting enough sleep. 

Pebbles add extra fun and satisfaction to your life but aren't necessities like big rocks are. 

Pebbles include things like hobbies, projects, being a competitive athlete, or excelling at work. 

Finally, sand. 

Your sand is bonus activities, they are enjoyable, but not crucial to survival or fulfillment. 

Sand includes things like watching TV or social media. 

So, if the jar represents life and the limited time we have, remember that you'll be able to fit a lot more in if you get your big rocks in first. 

That means taking care of your health, earning a living(work), and spending time with friends and family. 

Once those are done/scheduled, and only then, should you fit in your pebbles, things like your projects and hobbies. 

Finally, if time allows, dump in some sand, which includes watching TV, social media, and other mindless activities. 

Time is our most valuable asset, we only have so much of it, and no matter how much you want to, you can't get more of it. 

Your jar is one size, and it's up to you to fit in as much as you can. 

Where we trap ourselves is we fill it with sand and pebbles first, saving our big rocks like our health and family time until it's too late and there's no room in the jar. 

To give a specific example to health and fitness, you have a jar.

If your goal is to lose weight your two big rocks are things like workout frequency and a caloric deficit.

Nothing else matters if we’re not showing up at a decent frequency, and keeping our calories low.

Pebbles may be things like what exercises we do, and what foods we at.

And sand may be things like what type of equipment we use, or if we should eat broccoli or green beans, it’s quite often details that only matter if you have the rocks and pebbles in first.

Start filling your jar with the big rocks first, then and only then, you can fill in the cracks with pebbles and sand. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

The strength to be vulnerable

Two years ago, almost to the day, I had shoulder surgery. What was supposed to be a simple scope turned into a full on labrum repair and I was in a sling for the next six weeks.

Good times.

Fast forward two years, and I’m entering the end of January feeling good about my workouts and my health. I’m back on a fitness routine and while I’m not setting any power lifting records, I’m at least feeling good.

Until Monday night.

The details that play out from here don’t really matter.

What matters is that feeling that I know you’ve all had.

That feeling of your body betraying you. That feeling that you’ve finally set yourself on the right course or destination for healing and happiness, and then suddenly, you can’t have it because your body has other plans.

Suddenly, I go from kicking ass and taking names to sliding down the stairs on mu butt because I can’t put weight on my knee.

And it sucks.

But, last week was also what would have been the 70th birthday of my mentor, Father Drexler. He was a priest who mentored me while I was in college, and though he has been gone for over 20 years, I can still remember one of his greatest lessons, as he lay dying of cancer.

He allowed people to care for him.

And that’s hard.

It takes a lot of courage to ask for help. I think it takes comfort in your own skin. And yes, I think above all it takes strength.

Right now, my knee is messed up and it’s hard to do certain things, but I’m hell-bent on doing those things on my own. It’s my pride and ego that get in the way. I can do it and leave me alone.

But as Father Drexler eventually lay dying, he had this incredibly grace to let us do for him. He was only 54 years old at the time, but he let people read to him, bring him food, and pray over him. He gave us all the gift of allowing us to give to him.

And what a gift that was to me.

I've watched the Brene Brown talks on vulnerability. I've got a pretty solid intellectual understanding of what it means to be vulnerable. But living in that space?

That's a whole different animal altogether.

Father Drexler was keenly aware that students like myself wanted nothing more than to do something for him. We needed to feel useful. We just wanted to help. And he gave us the gift of allowing us to help him. That’s a gift I still feel two decades later.  

I’m sure you’ve been in a position before where you’ve seen a friend or family member go through a difficult time. And all you want to do is help. But if the situation is reversed you might find yourself shrugging everyone off.

Nah, I'm good. I got this.

Or find yourself frustrated.

I'm fine! Stop asking! I'm good!

Maybe, just maybe, there is more grace and kindness in allowing another to do for us, than resisting their helping hand.

Be kind,


When I put my foot to a gas pedal the more input (pressure) I give, the more output (speed) the car will produce. 

What happens if you press the pedal more?

The car goes faster.

Input = Output. 

Simply put, what you put into something you'll get an equal return out of it. 

In any facet of life, but especially fitness, if you're not happy with your output (results), then you need to change your input. 

I've always said, I think the reason why I enjoy all of this "stuff" is because it's all connected. 

Almost any principle you read from me always has a fitness or nutrition tie to it, but it can always be applied to any other facet of life whether that's family, friends, financial, career, etc. 

I like to use examples outside of the fitness world that way you can use that same principle to gain a better understanding. 

Input = Output. 

If I'm not happy with my relationship I potentially need to put more into it. 

Am I spending enough quality time with them?

Am I being empathetic, compassionate, and loving?

Chances are if I put more into it, I’ll get more out of it.

In financials...

If I want my savings to grow I need to have a certain input, the more I input, the more it will output. 

Our careers.

If I just go through the motions, and don’t really give much or try to develop myself, I can’t expect much of an output.

However, if I constantly look to get better, challenge myself, and grow, chances are I’ll have opportunities for my career to grow as well.

Now, let us dial it into fitness and nutrition. 

Nutrition is the simpler one to tie to this lesson. 

Removing all emotions (which plays a huge factor) fat loss is a simple math equation. 

If I consume less than I burn…I will lose weight. 

Whether it's the right weight (muscle, water, fat, etc) is another topic for another day, but the math is the math. 

If you're not happy with your output (results) just change your input. 

If you're not losing fat, decrease your input, and keep decreasing it until you like the output it's producing. 

In fitness...

The same principle applies. 

Input = Output. 

Inputs can be things like...

The type of workouts...

The frequency of workouts...

The intensity of workouts...

If you're not happy with the output, change the input. 

Maybe you need to bump up your frequency. 

If you change that input and it doesn't change the output maybe you need to look at the intensity of each workout. 

If I ramp up the intensity, that changes the input, and thus will change the output. 

Each day is a collection of choices. 

Those choices are your inputs. 

If you're not happy with the results, the output, you need to change an input. 

Again, for some this is a fitness lesson, for others, it's a life lesson. 

I'll end with one my favorite quotes from Zig Ziglar...

"Your input determines your outlook. Your outlook determines your output. And our output determines your future."

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Tex Mex Chicken & Zucchini


  • 1 tbsp avocado or coconut oil

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 medium bell peppers, chopped

  • 1 lb boneless & skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ pieces

  • 1 cup corn, frozen or fresh

  • 2 large zucchini, diced

  • 14 oz can black beans, drained & rinsed

  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes

  • 1 tsp taco seasoning

  • 1 tbsp cumin, divided

  • 1 tsp salt

  • Ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 cup Tex Mex or Colby Jack cheese, shredded

  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped

  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

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  1. Preheat large deep skillet on low – medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add onion, garlic and bell pepper; saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  2. Move vegetables to the side of the skillet and add chicken. Sprinkle with 1 tsp cumin, salt and black pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. Add corn, beans, tomatoes, zucchini, taco seasoning and remaining cumin. Stir, cover and cook on low-medium for 10 minutes.

  4. Sprinkle with cheese, cover and cook for a few minutes or until cheese has melted. Top with green onion and cilantro. Serve hot, on its own or with brown rice or quinoa.