ABtober Challenge 2017: Week #1 Workouts!


20 seconds StrongFirst Plank


Complete as many rounds as possible in 3 minutes:

5/5 Sit Throughs

10 Situps


60 seconds Pushup-to-Plank


For 4 minutes, alternate between the following two exercises

30 seconds Superman Hold

30 seconds Hollow Body Hold


25 V-ups


Accumulate 3 minutes of T-Plank Rotations


3 rounds:

20 Leg Lifts

30 seconds REST


For 4 minutes, alternate between the following two exercises

30 seconds Windshield Wipers (Floor)

30 seconds Pushup-to-Plank

The ABtober Challenge starts 10/1/2017! Who's in?

ABtober 2017!

The warm weather is subsiding, pumpkin spice is all the rage and jack-o-lanterns are starting to spring up on doorsteps! For Smugs Fitness enthusiasts, the month of October also means something very special…It’s ABTOBER CHALLENGE time!


During the month of ABtober, there will be a short, core -focused workout to be completed everyday in addition to the Free Daily Workout posted each day. Don’t worry if you miss a day or two. You will have the entire month to get them all completed.

Each Sunday night in October, the ABtober Workouts for the whole week (Sunday – Saturday), will be released via the Smugs Fitness Blog. (http://smugsfitness.com/blog). We’ll track your progress via a Google Sheet once you are signed up for the challenge.

To sign up, email Coach Sam, Coach Kory, or Coach JoAnna. You can sign up at anytime during the month.  

*NOTE to Woodward Academy Employees:

Please sign up through the Cooleaf website  (www.cooleaf.com) and I will extract your information and get you set up on the Google Sheet. You’ll receive 2 Cooleaf points for each AB-Tober Workout you complete AND as an added bonus, if you complete all 31 workouts, you’ll receive an additional 50 points!


1. You will build a STRONGER MIDSECTION!

2. You will improve your stability when performing other movements!

3. Everyone who completes all thirty-one (31) AB-Tober workouts will be entered into a random drawing to receive one (1) of two (2) Smugs Fitness Swag Bags filled with Smugs Fitness gear including the newest Smugs Fitness T-Shirt, Hoodie, and Smugs Fitness Headband/Beanie/Trucker Hat (your choice), to name a few items.

(Please note: Hoodies, Headbands, and Beanie Hats are also available for purchase via Pre-order)

4. You will become STRONGER!

To get you primed and ready to rock some October Abs, here are the first two ABtober Workouts!


20 seconds StrongFirst Plank


Complete as many rounds as possible in 3 minutes:

5/5 Sit Throughs

10 Situps

Looking forward to a great month with you all!

The Smugs Fitness Coaches!

Ten Minute Workouts

Even the most dedicated gym-goers have busy days.  Despite careful planning, there are times at which sick children and flat tires derail our best laid plans.  Sometimes we need a short, intense workout to make up for a missed day in the gym or just to take a break from the stress of unexpected hassles.  Below are ten workouts which will fit into even the busiest schedule.  Most can be completed almost anywhere and with little equipment. 

Kettlebell swing EMOM

Equipment Needed: Kettlebell

Level: Intermediate

Demo: Kettlebell Swings

Instructions: Every minute for 10 minutes, perform 15 kettlebell swings.  Rest until the next minute begins.  If your bell is light, consider doing single-arm swings.  If it’s heavy, reduce the number of swings to 10. 

Bodyweight Blaster

Equipment Needed: None

Level: Beginner

Demo: Broad Jumps



Instructions: Complete as many rounds as possible of 15 broad jumps, 10 X-situps, and a 20M crawl in 10 minutes.

Manmaker AMRAP

Equipment Needed:  Pair of dumbbells

Level: Intermediate

Demo: Manmakers

Instructions: Complete as many Manmakers as possible in 10 minutes.

Push and Carry

Equipment Needed: Weighted sled and pair of kettlebells or dumbbells

Level: Beginner

Demo: Farmer’s Carry

Instructions:  Alternate between 30M sled pushes and 30M farmer’s carries for 10 minutes.

Dumbbell Blaster

Equipment Needed: Pair of Dumbbells

Level: Intermediate

Demo: Dumbbell Floor Press

Dumbbell Front Squat

Renegade Row

Dumbbell Reverse Lunge

Instructions:  Complete as many rounds as possible of 8 floor presses, 8 front squats, 8 renegade rows, and 8 reverse lunges.

Super Strength Session

Equipment Needed: Pull-up Bar and weight for pistols, if needed

Level: Advanced

Demo: Pullups

Pistol Squat

Instructions: Complete as many rounds as possible of one weighted or bodyweight pull-up and one weighted or bodyweight pistol per leg.

Thruster and Carry AMRAP

Equipment Needed: Dumbbells

Level: Beginner

Demo:  Dumbbell Thrusters

Farmer’s Carry

Instructions:  Complete as many rounds as possible of 25 dumbbell thrusters and a 30M farmer’s carry.


Equipment Needed: Kettlebell or Dumbbell

Level: Advanced

Demo: Turkish Getups

Instructions:  Complete one Turkish get-up every minute for 10 minutes.  Alternate left and right sides.

Bodyweight AMRAP

Equipment Needed: None

Level: Beginner

Demo: Mountain Climbers

Jumping Squats


Instructions: In 10 minutes, complete as many rounds as possible of 20 mountain climbers, 15 jumping squats, 10 pushups, and a 50M sprint.

Bodyweight AMRAP 2

Equipment Needed: None

Level: Beginner

Demo: Reverse Lunge Steps


bench dip

Instructions: In 10 minutes, complete as many rounds as possible of 20 reverse lunge steps, 20 situps, and 20 bench dips

Meet Coach JoAnna


We're growing!  Over the last few months, we've expanded both our coaching staff and our class offerings.  Coach JoAnna has joined our gym family and continues to grow our kettlebell program, in addition to working with personal training and corporate wellness clients.  We are excited about the energy that JoAnna brings to the gym and are thrilled that our clients get to work with another knowledgeable coach.

Having never lifted a weight in her life, JoAnna walked into a kettlebell class in early 2016 and was immediately captivated by the technical movements and efficient workout. She spent the next year studying kettlebell technique, all the while building strength and confidence in herself. In early 2017, she completed the StrongFirst kettlebell certification. As a coach, JoAnna now helps others find the same confidence and empowerment that she has found through kettlebells and strength training. Outside of the gym, you will find JoAnna spending time with her husband and two dogs, most likely on the front porch of their home in Kirkwood.

Join JoAnna for kettlebell class Wednesdays at 6:30pm and Saturdays at 9:00am.

If you're interested in training with Coach JoAanna or would like more information on our kettlebell classes, please CONTACT US.

No Time to Cook?

Our lives are busy.  Careers, kids, and commutes seem to take up most of our waking hours, so its not surprising that many of us feel like we don’t have time to cook.  We’re all aware that processed and convenience foods can’t play a major role in a healthy lifestyle, so we must figure out a way to prepare our food in the limited time that we have.  Below are two recipes that require less than five minutes of prep time and yield proteins that may be used in several ways.

Nom Nom Paleo’s Kalua Pig is a tasty recipe for pork that can be consumed right out of the slow cooker.  Or, it can easily be turned into carnitas or even topped with barbeque sauce.  The pork has a smoky flavor and also pairs well with eggs for a protein-packed breakfast. The recipe yields a lot of meat, so it's a perfect option for beginning of the week meal prep.

Gimme Some Oven’s 2-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken is another quick and easy option that produces a versatile protein.  The shredded chicken is great on it’s own, or it may be topped with avocado and tomato for a quick and easy nutrient-dense meal.  It’s also great on salads or with eggs, and most kids love it for a family-style taco night. It's another great option for meal prep day.  

If you try these recipes or have a good one that you’d like to share, let us know.  Cooking is an essential part of our daily lives, but it can be overwhelming for people at times.  There are many solutions out there for those of us who are working with a tight schedule. 

Interested in learning more about a healthy lifestyle?  We’re here to help.  Contact us

It's Time to Register for the Tactical Strength Challenge!

Twice a year, the Smugs family gathers to test our strength in the StrongFirst Tactical Strength Challenge.  We'll be getting together again on October 28th to compete and support one another as we participate in three events in our own gym.  First, all participants will have three opportunities to complete a max weight deadlift.  Second, all male competitors will complete a max effort set of pull-ups, while female competitors will complete either pull-ups or a flexed arm hang.  The last event is a favorite--  each competitor will complete as many kettlebell snatches as possible in five minutes.  

Rules and details are available HERE

The Smugs Fitness community is strong in both physical strength and in spirit, and we are certain we'll have another fantastic event this fall.  We encourage athletes of all ability levels to consider participating.  Please speak to your Smugs Fitness coach about training for the event.  

Register for the Tactical Strength Challenge HERE

Not a yet a member of the Smugs family and interested in training? CONTACT US.

Spice Up Your Protein Shake

Are you tired of the same protein shake day after day?  

Try Coach Kory's recipe for a delicious smoothie with an intense chocolate flavor.  Kory adds unsweetened cocoa powder, sea salt, and cayenne pepper to imitate the flavors used in a smoothie from her favorite local coffee shop. Try it, and let us know what you think!

Coach Kory's Copycat Smoothie

1 cup unsweetened almond milk (substitute any milk)
1 scoop chocolate protein powder (Kory's favorite is Xwerks Grow)
1/2 banana
2 teaspoons coconut oil 
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
dash of sea salt
dash of cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a blender.

Optional ingredients: ice, cold brewed coffee, collagen peptides, berries, or greens

High School Athlete Spotlight: Nicho Cucchi (Soccer)

Nicho goes to Spain!

This week one of our High School Athletes, Nicho Cucchi, is training in Spain with Real Madrid! Nicho is a junior at Grady High School and plays his club ball with Inter Atlanta FC. He has been a member of the Smugs Fitness High School Athlete Program for over a year and has steadily gotten stronger, faster, and improved his ability to recover/remain injury free. Taking the next step to prepare for college ball, Nicho has found that his strength has been a big factor in helping him toward his goals of playing at the next level.  It's a huge honor to be selected to train with Real Madrid and we are extremely proud of Nicho for his accomplishment! Hard work creates opportunities and Nicho is capitalizing on all of his opportunities! 

Congrats, Nicho and great work!

No Equipment Needed

Expanding Our Knowledge and Use of StrongFirst Principles and Learning to Use Only Bodyweight for Strength Training

Several Smugs Fitness coaches attended the StrongFirst Bodyweight one-day course over the weekend with StrongFirst team leader Jody Beasley.  JoAnna, Kory, and Sam expanded their knowledge of StrongFirst principles and learned a great deal about strength training without equipment. The course teaches students to create, maintain, and use tension to complete challenging movements like the one-arm pushup, pistol squat, and tactical pull-up.  All three coaches practiced creating tension and then worked on applying this tension while completing progressions for each movement.

Although our clients’ goals vary, the cues and progressions our coaches practiced Saturday can be applied to almost any training session at Smugs Fitness.  Whether a client is working toward completing their first push-up on the floor or a heavy weighted pull-up, the principle of creating tension will benefit them.  We look forward to sharing our knowledge and helping our clients advance their training by applying these principles.


What’s in Your Gym Bag, Part 1: Her Bag

Most of us have several items that we consider gym necessities.  Things such as a pair of favorite socks, great lip balm, and that perfect pair of leggings can help make workouts more comfortable.  If you ask your friends what they’re taking to the gym for each workout, you’ll probably find that everyone is a little different.  We decided to have both a female and a male trainer at Smugs Fitness lay out the contents of their gym bags.  Let’s start with Coach Kory’s bag.


Of course, there are the basics in Kory’s bag--a comfortable, breathable top and leggings with the appropriate attire to go under both. Let’s be honest, ladies.  A bad sports bra can ruin a workout.  Pick one that fits well and is supportive.  Coach Kory also includes both low-cut socks and tall socks in her bag.  The tall socks are worn to protect the legs when deadlifting, and the low socks are for everything else.  Kory also likes to keep a hat in her bag to throw on after workouts and for sun protection.

Favorites include: 

Lululemon 17” crops

Balega or Bombas low-cut socks

Smugs Fitness Trucker Hat


Most of us will wear a basic training shoe at Smugs, or we’ll just workout with bare feet.  Coach Kory also packs a pair of classic Chuck Taylors for kettlebell training and deadlifting.  Occasionally, she’ll toss a pair of special weightlifting shoes in her bag, but these aren’t usually used in everyday training.

Favorites include:

Nike Metcon training shoe

Converse Chuck Taylors

Gear and Electronics

Coach Kory uses a couple of special belts in her training and also likes to have a pair of wrist guards handy for those high-rep kettlebell workouts.  She also takes advantage of current technology and packs both Bluetooth headphones and a Bluetooth heart rate monitor.  However, she prefers to take notes during her workout in a composition book or on a legal pad, so both are included with a pen.

Favorites include:

Scosche Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor

Quest Lever Belt

Nutrition and Hydration

A great water bottle is a gym necessity.  Most trainers carry a double-wall stainless steel bottle to keep their water cold throughout the day, and Coach Kory is no different.  She also likes to carry a scoop of an amino complex and a scoop of whey protein in separate Blender Bottles, ready to mix with water instead of carrying the entire container of each product in her gym bag.  Kory also carries some quick snacks in her bag.  Both LaraBars and Epic Bars can usually be found in one of the side pockets.

Favorites include:

Vital Whey Grassfed Whey

Xwerks Grow grassfed whey

Rehydrate Pro water bottles

Toiletries and Other Stuff

This is where each woman will be a little different.  Many women will carry a little make-up, depending on where they’re headed after the gym.  Many prefer to keep a toothbrush, shampoo, and conditioner in their bag.  Some will even include a hair dryer, straightener, etc.  Coach Kory is usually prepared for a quick shower at the gym and carries a towel, flip flops, shower gel, deodorant, dry shampoo, a comb, and makeup removing wipes.  Two of the most important items in her bag are extra hair ties and a couple of different types of lip balm. 

How are you going to carry all of that?

Once you know what you’ll need for your trip to the gym, you’ll want to think about how you’ll carry it.  Coach Kory prefers a shoulder bag with several large and small compartments.  Some of the most important features that she’s found include an upright water bottle compartment to prevent spills, a place for damp clothes, a large compartment for shoes and gear, and a few small compartments for those precious hair ties and snacks.  Coach Kory is currently carrying a discontinued bag by Athleta.

Most of us don’t realize just how many things are needed to comfortably complete a workout until we’ve forgotten something.  Keeping a few key items in your bag will ensure that you’re ready when it’s time to get sweaty.  As the Boy Scouts say, “Be prepared”.   

What’s the most important item in your gym bag? 

Interested in training with Coach Kory or any of our other awesome trainers?  Contact us.