February "Move Better" Challenge! Week 3: 02/19 - 02/25/18

Move better, feel better!

Week 3 - "Move Better" Challenge

Perform 3 minutes of Bird Dogs and/or Deadbugs 3 days this week. Again, these movements can be performed almost anywhere at anytime. At this point in the challenge, we hope you are learning how your body moves, feeling better, and enjoying waking up in the morning (ok...maybe not "enjoying" waking up!) Even though we are on week #3, it doesn't mean you should neglect all the great things you have done the past 2 weeks. Feel free to incorporate them into this week's practice also!

Not sure what a Bird Dogs or Deadbugs are? Check out Coach Sam's video demontration and of course, feel free to contact us if you have questions or need additional resources. Check out www.originalstrength.net for more resources on Bird Dogs and Dead Bugs.



February "Move Better" Challenge! Week 2: 02/12 - 02/18/18

Move better, feel better!

Week 2 - "Move Better" Challenge

Perform 300 Cross Body Crawls on 3 different days this week. This is a great one as it can be done anywhere! Check out Coach Sam hanging out in the living room doing his Cross Body Crawls! 

Not sure what a Cross Body Crawl is? Check out Coach Sam's video demontration and of course, feel free to contact us if you have questions or need additional resources. Check out www.originalstrength.net for more resources on Cross Body Crawls and all the great things crawling does for your body!


Things We Love, Part 2: Coach Sam's Top 3 Pieces of Equipment

Coach Sam’s (IG: @sammugavero) top three all consist of versatile pieces of equipment that allow him to take my workouts outside and use a variety of movements to create excellent, efficient full body workouts. Read on to see what Coach Sam has to say about his favorite pieces of equipment.

Suspension Trainer

Versatility…need I say more? Suspension training is my go to for full body workouts both in the gym and on the go. The number of exercises is only limited by your creativity while many of them can easily be found on the internet. Pulling, Pushing, Squatting and Hinging movements can be incorporated seamlessly into any workout and most suspension trainers attach quickly to almost anything including a door! Additionally, suspension trainers take up very little space making them excellent for travel, plus you can always take your workout outside with a suspension trainer!

Favorite: TRX Training – Suspension Trainer

Indian Clubs

I was introduced to Indian Clubs a few years ago and picked up my first set about a year ago (I have since purchased another 4 sets of clubs for use in the Smugs Fitness Lab). I’ve used them almost every single day since I purchased them. Why? They are a fantastic tool for helping your shoulders build strength, stability and endurance. They have helped me keep my shoulders strong and healthy even while working through a variety of heavy pushing and pulling movements throughout my weekly training. The other awesome characteristic of Indian Clubs is that they are very easy to transport; I’ve taken mine across the country on planes, travel with them by car regularly, and you can easily throw them in your ruck for a quick workout while you are out walking. Lastly, if you ever find yourself in an AirBnB in a sketchy part of an unfamiliar town and someone tries to break in, they make amazing tools for self-defense (not that I have experience here…)

Favorite: 2-Pound Indian Clubs from Revolution Clubs


Much like Coach Kory, I’m a huge fan of kettlebells and use them daily with my clients and in my personal practice and training. The kettlebell is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment for building strength, improving cardiovascular endurance, and for positively changing your body composition. For me, the 32 kg kettlebell is my current go to bell as it allows me perform StrongFirst’s 6 Foundational Kettlebell Skills over a wide range of reps and sets. Training is fun and impossible to get bored with a kettlebell!

Favorite: Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebell

What are your favorite pieces of equipment? 

Comment and let us know!  Are you interested in learning to use a kettlebell for safe and effective at-home workouts?  We’re here to help.  Contact us to set up a session with one of our three StrongFirst certified kettlebell instructors.

February "Move Better" Challenge! Week 1: 02/04 - 02/11/18

Move better, feel better!

The month of February is going to be focused on moving better and feeling better! With the start of the new year, many people have set aside time to exercise, but how many of you regularly practice movements to help with your mobility, flexibility. and stress? We're here to help you with that this month. For the next 4 weeks (on Sunday evening), we're going to be releasing a video detailing a new "Move Better" challenge. Do the challenge during the week that follows and record how you feel and don't forget to record how you feel throughout the month. By implementing simple, yet intentional movements into your day, you'll notice your body responding in a positive way. Your range of motion may improve, your stress level may decrease, and you might feel more energized.

Week 1 - "Move Better" Challenge

Spend 3 minutes performing Heads Nods on 3 different days between 02/04 and 02/11/18.

Not sure what a head nod is? Check out Coach Sam's video demontration and of course, feel free to contact us if you have questions or need additional resources. 




A Perfect Travel Companion

Going on a roadtrip?  Be sure to pack a kettlebell!

A kettlebell is an amazing and versatile tool for building strength, stability, and endurance. It’s easy to create an entire workout, from warm-up to cool down, using only one kettlebell, making it the ideal piece of fitness equipment for road trips.  Throw your favorite bell in your trunk, and you’ll be able to knock out a few swings at a rest stop or even a gas station.  And, once you’ve arrived at your destination, you’ll have everything you need to complete a full-body strength training session or even just a quick 10-20 minute conditioning session. 

But first, you need to learn how to use that bell!

Most of our Smugs Fitness clients learn to deadlift and then swing a kettlebell within their first few sessions.  Our coaches begin adding additional kettlebell movements as clients progress.  Over the course of a few weeks, most of our clients will be able to successfully perform 5-15 movements with a kettlebell.  Our coaches include a variety of movement patterns in their instruction, giving clients the knowledge needed to create entire workouts on their own.  This means that a single kettlebell will provide everything a client needs to get an amazing workout while traveling.

Know what you need before you buy!

Before you invest in a kettlebell, you’ll want to carefully consider which weight will allow you to safely complete several movements.   We recommend that clients go a little lighter with their first kettlebell purchase with this in mind.  Many people may be able to do a standard swing with a heavier bell, however, they probably won’t be able to press that heavy kettlebell.  As clients progress in their kettlebell training, many will continue using their lighter bell at home for more advanced movements like single-arm swings and snatches.  A lighter bell is also a great tool for working on shoulder stability through arm bars and bottoms-up carries.  And, almost every SMUGS clients knows that perfecting a Turkish get-up with a lighter bell is necessary and should be practiced often. 

If you’re already a SMUGS client, your coach will be thrilled to hear that you’re interested in buying your first kettlebell and will help guide you to the most appropriate weight and style of bell for your needs and budget.  If you’re not yet a SMUGS client and are interested in learning more about kettlebell training with one of our awesome trainers, contact us.

Opportunty vs. Setback

An injury doesn't have to prevent you from training! Staying positive, finding a professional who will help you, and viewing the injury as a time to work on new skills will help you embrace your recovery period.  Life is full of unexpected events, and the smartest people view these as an opportunity to adjust their sails and move forward.  

Dr. A (pictured Pallof pressing) is recovering from a major sports injury, however, we were able to fit in four strength training sessions last week.  A little bit of creativity and thinking outside of the box have allowed him to increase both strength and stability throughout his recovery period.  Custom training is about adapting to each client’s current situation and overall goals.  No two clients are the same, and good trainers enjoy the challenge of both programming and coaching different types of clients.

If you're interested in learning how you will benefit from custom training, contact us.  We would love to explain our training philosophy and how you will benefit from our personalized approach.

Things We Love, Part 1: Coach Kory

As coaches, we have access to a lot of fitness equipment, yet we all have our favorite, go-to items.  We asked our coaches to choose three favorite pieces of equipment, the pieces we would pick if trapped on a desert island.  First up—Coach Kory.


Kory's Top 3

If I had to pick only three pieces of equipment to use for training, I’d start with a moderate weight kettlebell.  24kg is my sweet spot.  It’s light enough for single-arm swings, but still heavy enough for goblet squats, lunges, Turkish get-ups, and suitcase carries.  I can safely get it overhead, and it will challenge me to increase both my strict press and snatch weight. 

Favorite: Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebell

My second choice would be a medium thickness resistance band.  There are so many options for both mobility and strength work using bands.  I always use a band for mobility during my warm-ups, for pulling exercises, and for adding extra resistance to other weighted movements.

Link:  Serious Steel Resistance Band

My final pick is a weighted ruck.  I am a big fan of outdoor walks for many reasons.  We could all use a little extra time in the sunshine and fresh air both for extra movement and exposure to sunlight.  Outdoor walks are a great way to reset during stressful times and seem to be far underutilized by most people.  When I’m overwhelmed, I grab my ruck, turn up my music, and walk. 

Link: GoRuck Bullet Ruck

What are your favorite pieces of equipment? 

Comment and let us know!  Are you interested in learning to use a kettlebell for safe and effective at-home workouts?  We’re here to help.  Contact us to set up a session with one of our three StrongFirst certified kettlebell instructors.

Butternut Squash Noodles with Beef, Mushrooms, Peppers and Onions

Butternut Squash Noodles with Beef, Mushrooms, Peppers and Onions

At Smugs Fitness, we’re always experimenting with quick, healthy and simple recipes we can share with our community. A few weeks ago, Coach Kory (@trainwithkory) posted a delicious recipe, “Sweet Potato Noodles with Bacon and Sage”. Coach Sam (@sammugavero) was inspired by Kory’s recipe and after doing some experimenting developed this delicious, healthy, and efficient recipe that can be prepared in a single pan in just 25 minutes!


1 pound Lean Beef (I used Kebab Steak and cut into smaller cubes)

1 container / 10-12 ounces Butternut Squash Noodles (Veggie Noodle Co. are great!)

2 tablespoons Coconut Oil (or any healthy fat that's safe for high temperature cooking)

8 ounces Green Pepper, diced

8 ounces Onion, diced

10 ounces White or Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced

2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped

Salt and Pepper


Brown the Beef over medium heat using half of the Garlic and 1 tablespoon of Coconut Oil. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Sauté the Mushrooms, Onions, Peppers, and the remaining Garlic for 3-4 minutes with 1 tablespoon of Coconut Oil. Add the Butternut Squash Noodles and sauté for an additional 4 minutes until the noodles are cooked, but firm. Season with salt and pepper.

Return the cooked beef back into the pan with the Butternut Squash Noodles, Mushrooms, Peppers and Onions. Mix together and serve!


Serving Size: 2 cups

218 Calories / 27 grams Protein / 14 grams Carbohydrates / 6 grams Fat

If you try this recipe, let us know what you think.  If you'd like to submit a recipe for the blog, email us!  We'd love to post your recipe.  And, if you're interested in learning more about fitness and nutrition, contact us!  

Sweet Potato Noodles with Bacon and Sage

The flavors in this dish are perfect for the holiday season, and this recipe is also ideal for a quick, satisfying weeknight dinner.  Simply sear a couple of steaks and enjoy a nutritious, filling meal in less than half an hour.

Sweet Potato Noodles with Bacon and Sage 

(adapted from Veggie Noodle Co.'s recipe found here)

1 container / 10-12 ounces sweet potato noodles

2 tablespoons avocado oil (or any healthy fat that's safe for high temp cooking)

4-5 slices cooked, thick-cut bacon, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

1/4 cup chopped pecans

salt and pepper

Sauté sweet potato noodles in avocado oil until cooked but still firm.  Add the chopped sage and cook for another 1-2 minutes.  Combine with bacon and pecans and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Enjoy!

If you try this recipe, let us know what you think.  If you'd like to submit a recipe for the blog, email us!  We'd love to post your recipe.  And, if you're interested in learning more about fitness and nutrition, contact us!  


ABtober Final Tally!

It was a record setting ABtober Challenge this year! We had 42 participants and 17 people complete all 31 days! Congrats to the folks below who completed all 31 workouts! Thank you to everyone who participated this year! 

Carolyn Poole

Kaye Brinson

Kirsten Vangrofsky

Lauren Hood

Liliana Martinez

Jim Shanks

Ryan Heming

Shawn Stratton

Mendy Trotter

Paula Gentry

Meredith Draper

Samantha Saykaly

Viji Namburar

Beth Murphy

Diane Clapes

Sam Mugavero (Coach Sam's Dad)

Coach Amy Underwood

Coach Sam Mugavero

Congrats also to our two winners, Meredith Draper and Samantha "The Original Sam" Saykaly,  who were randomly drawn from our group of 17 finishers (sorry coaches, your names were not put in the mix!).

You both win a Smugs Fitness Swag Pack complete with our the latest from our fall/winter collection!