ABril Challenge 2018 begins April 1st!


It's that time! The annual ABril Challenge is upon us and begins Sunday, April 1st! Every April we come together to work on strengthening our trunks, adding stability to our midsection and tightening up those tummies in preparation for the funa nd sun of summer! Hope you'll join us in one of the most popular Smugs Fitness events of the year!


Every Saturday night by 8:00 PM, the ABril Challenge workouts for the upcoming week will be posted to the Smugs Fitness Blog. (www.smugsfitness.com/blog) Perform each of the workouts daily or get them all done prior to 11:59 PM on April 30th to complete this challenge. 

How do I track my workouts?

CLICK HERE FOR GOOGLE SPREADSHEET to track your completed workouts. 

When will the first week of workouts be released?

March 31, 2018 at 8:00 PM

Who is eligible?

If you are reading this blog post, you are eligible! Sign up and join us for a month of core-tastic fun!

What if I have additional questions?

1. Check out our Facebook Page each day for a video demonstration of each workout and/or leave us a comment/message.


Have fun and stay strong!


Find Time and Space for Your Mind

Life is busy. Life is hectic. Your brain can get overwhelmed because it constantly must be in "go mode". Regardless of where you are in life, it is often difficult to find ("make")  time to decompress, breathe, and reflect.

You must treat your mind and  body to a time of reflection and quiet to help turn off "go mode" and allow your being to reset.

Find a space where you can drift away for a few seconds or minutes to help your body and mind relax. For Coach Sam (@sammugavero), he finds peace and quiet while perched above the hustle and turmoil of the morning rush. His favorite place to decompress is located in Hapeville, GA on the walking bridge above the railroad tracks. You can see for miles there. Planes above are taking off from and landing at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, trains and cars are passing below, and families are starting their day with a walk to school. While it's not a "quiet" place, perched above the hustle is peaceful and beautiful. 

Find your place. Reset your body and mind. 

Defining Success in the Gym

Most people associate fitness and wellness with weight loss, and many of our new clients come in defining success in the gym as a decrease in the number on the scale.  But, at Smugs Fitness, we define success quite differently and take a big picture approach to fitness and wellness.  We define success in many different ways.  We constantly assess whether our clients are moving better, have more energy, are stronger both inside AND outside the gym, are sleeping well, have the tools necessary to make informed nutritional decisions, and are able to effectively manage the many stressors of daily life.  We discuss the importance of mobility and stability in addition to overall strength.  We empower clients through strength training and help improve our clients’ overall confidence. 

Our clients receive more than a weight loss plan and a sweaty workout.  Each client receives a customized program for their individual needs, and no two custom training clients complete the same workout.  We offer a truly personalized experience, something few gyms can say. 

And, we can confidently state that we’re able to change the way our clients define success in the gym.  It’s no longer defined as a specific number of pounds lost.  It’s defined as an overall improvement in daily life. 

If you're interested in learning more about our approach, CONTACT US.

February "Move Better" Challenge! Week 4: 02/26 - 03/04/18

It's the final week of our February "Move Better" Challenge! We hope you have enjoyed moving this month and learning about how movement makes your body feel. This final week, we're bringing in another new movement; Rocking. Your task for this week is to spend 3 minutes rocking on 3 seperate days. 

Not sure you know how to rock? See Coach Sam's video demonstration for a few examples. Have fun!


Enjoy and check back often for more challenges from Smugs Fitness. Up next (in April), the famous ABril Challenge!


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.