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10 Sets Program or GVT

5 Day Cycle - Weight Lifting Challenge

10 Sets Program or GVT

Each month I have been writing about different weight training systems to further client education about the different styles that are available and to help others keep routines fresh. This month I would like to focus on one that works really well with a partner because those that consistently train with a partner are more successful with both fitness progress and life long fitness commitment than those that train alone.

The name of the system is the 10-Set System, otherwise known as German Volume Training. As you might imagine from the name, 

Posted in Fitness


Beat the Summer Heat; Cool Off Your Workout!

3 Workout Challenges for Swimmers and Water Aerobics

Beat the Summer Heat; Cool Off Your Workout!

Why not use these warm summer days we still have left to shake up your exercise routine? Sure, you alternate between walking, biking, stair climbing or using the elliptical. That's great! But what about really shaking up your cardio routine by adding two days of swimming and water aerobic style exercises to give your metabolism an added boost?

Posted in Fitness


How to Sustain Exercise Habits

Motivating You to Continue Exercising

How to Sustain Exercise Habits

There is a famous cartoon that pictures a man sitting in a doctor’s office.  The doctor says to the patient, “Well, you can exercise one hour a day or be dead for 24.”

This is how the majority of people think about exercise – as a means of delaying death.  Not such a positive message, right?

Not only is it a doomsday message, but we also know from research data that the efficacy of this strategy to help people sustain an exercise commitment is dismal. 

So why do we all believe that “getting healthy” is a good reason to help us sustain our exercise commitments?  Because it sounds like a logical strategy and because it is the primary message we hear from most health and fitness experts around the world.

Sadly, this message is not the right hook to keep you exercising.

Achieving health and fitness is a long-term goal that takes time, energy and commitment.  There is no immediate gratification associated with the idea of “HEALTH”. 

As humans, we are hard-wired to want immediate gratification.  Generally speaking, we want what we want, when we want it because that makes us feel good.  So, how is our desire for immediate gratification tied to sustaining exercise habits over a lifetime?

It turns out that without an immediate return on investment with respect to exercise, most people will not be motivated to sustain an active lifestyle.

What can you do to increase your chances of staying active throughout your life?

Step one:

Find out what your real immediate return on investment (ROI) is with exercise and focus on that!

HINT: Something positive that makes exercise a gift to yourself: “I will have increased energy and reduced stress throughout the day if I exercise!”

Step two:

Keep a flexible mindset with respect to exercise.  This means having an open mind about what exercise means. 

HINT: You may have in mind what you would like to do for exercise, but every now and then you might not want to do it.  Instead of applying willpower to “just get it done”, be flexible about what exercise might entail so you can enjoy some kind of activity without the negative impact of using willpower.

Step three:

Use a successful model like MAPS as a framework for coaching yourself to exercise. What is MAPS?  It is an acronym for a strategic model about exercise.  It looks like this:

Meaning: What does exercise means to you?

Awareness: What are our core beliefs about exercise?

Permission: Give yourself permission to make exercise a priority.

Strategy: How are you going to implement your intentions to exercise?


  1. Change your language about exercise from “I should” exercise to “I am willing” to exercise.
  2. Sustained motivation to exercise stems from the finding the RIGHT REASON we initiate exercise in the first place!  When motivation is linked to distant, clinical, or abstract goals, health behaviors are not compelling enough to trump the many other daily goals and priorities they constantly compete with.
  3. It is the lack of permission to prioritize self-care that is often toughest nut to crack when creating a sustainable behaviorWhen looking for ways to give yourself Permission to make exercise a priority, ask yourself this: Why would self-care ever be considered self-indulgent?
  4. Make sure that your experience from exercise isIf exercising at high intensities produces negative feeling for you about exercise, your chances of sustaining exercise are very low.  “No pain, no gain” does not work for most people – this is shown time and again in scientific research.  For sustainability, you need to choose physical activities that you enjoy!
  5. We know that moving our bodies is one of the best ways to release dopamine – the so-called “feel good” hormone in theHow do we link knowing this to wanting to exercise?  Tell yourself that by exercising today, you will feel great!

 Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to believe that: 

 You are your most functional and successful self when you exercise on a daily basis!


Posted in Coaching


How to Use your Weight Training Routine for More than Just Great Biceps

The Joy of Body Over Mind

How to Use your Weight Training Routine for More than Just Great Biceps

My personal training clients often ask me “how do you make yourself get through tough workouts without someone pushing you?”. My answer is a combination of reasons (including but not limited to pride, competitive drive and the desire to enjoy cookies on a regular basis…) but mainly I am able to get through tough workouts because I use my training time for more than just an opportunity to burn calories and tone muscles.

Think about your focus, meditation, confidence, overall wellness and accomplishment.

Posted in Coaching, Fitness


Is Slow Weight Training a Gimmick or Really Effective?

Slow Motion Fitness - My Opinion and Advice

Is Slow Weight Training a Gimmick or Really Effective?

Rarely a week goes by that a client, friend or family member does not ask me about the true efficacy of Slow Motion Fitness Training. They all tell me that they have seen on TV or talked to a trainer or a friend about this "revolutionary" weight training system that allows a person to perform super slow weight training for only 30 minutes one time per week with amazing results!

Most of those asking me this question already have a feeling that the idea of training for only 30 minutes per week is not "enough" to really improve muscular tone and provide lasting fitness and health benefits. Bottom line, that "feeling" is right. Programs – and there are many national and local Austin chains pushing this Slow Motion Training for only 30 minutes per week – are, in my opinion, a gimmick.

Posted in Fitness


Launching Inspired Fitness

IFW Launch

Launching Inspired Fitness

I have to admit that when I mentioned to several fitness clients that I was changing the name of my business and rebranding they were surprised. They all told me that they loved the current name of the business (Encourage Fitness) and felt it really embodied the spirit of my philosophies about training and exercise. I was actually happy about the initial resistance of the name change that I received from those clients. It showed me that I was right when I first chose the name Encourage Fitness, but it also underlined why the new name was very fitting.

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Metabolic Resistance Training

Raise your BMR and melt away fat!

Metabolic Resistance Training

The fitness section of our October newsletter is going to have in depth information about Metabolic Resistance Training. I wanted to give our blog followers a head start on this style of training before the newsletter comes out.

Posted in Fitness


Metabolism, Energy, Glucose and You: The Mystery Solved!

Daily Menu and Workout Ideas Included

Metabolism, Energy, Glucose and You: The Mystery Solved!

Do you ever wonder how to unravel all of the advice you hear, read and watch on TV about the “right” way to eat in order to maximize your weight loss, raise your metabolic rate, and increase your energy?  I am going to help you sift through all of that information and give you a plan to follow each day.

Posted in Coaching, Fitness, Culinary


October Newsletter - Metabolic Resistance Training

More information on MRT including 2 new workout challenges!

October Newsletter - Metabolic Resistance Training


Metabolic Resistance Training (MRT) is focused on working your whole body during each workout session using multi-joint free weight exercises in a circuit-training manner.  Specifically you are performing heavy weight resistance training and cardiovascular training in the same workout with minimal rest in between exercises and sets. Your heart rate will remain elevated during your entire workout.

Because your heart rate never fully recovers during this very intense workout, your body must work overtime to recover during the hours and days post workout. It is widely believed that it is this intense recovery period that causes an increase in your basal metabolic rate and, therefore, an around the clock fat burn to happen in your body.

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Variety, The Spice of Progress?!

The Importance of "Mixing It Up" in the Gym!

Variety, The Spice of Progress?!

William Cowper wrote "Variety's the very spice of life. That gives it all its flavor."

Within the world of exercise, variety is the very "spice" of progress. I have written a great deal in our blogs and newsletter about different types of exercise styles. Now I think it is important to write about why using a variety of exercise styles over time is so important.

Athletes generally have a favorite training style; however, we all agree on one thing...variety within our workouts is the key to progress - the spice, so to speak - in our pot of successes. H. G. Wells said, "Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature's inexorable imperative"...so true! Read on friends, and find out how this quote relates to exercise and the body.

Posted in Fitness

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