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.

Smugs Fitness...a hub for StrongFirst Instructors in Atlanta!

Did you know that Smugs Fitness has more StrongFirst certified instructors than any other gym in Georgia?

Our coaching staff maintains a long list of impressive certifications, but one of the first things that you notice upon entering our gym is the StrongFirst banner.  We have four StrongFirst certified instructors on staff.  StrongFirst refers to itself as a “school of strength”.  Founded by Pavel Tsatsouline in 1998, the organization has become the world’s leader in hardstyle kettlebell instruction.  The organization also offers some of the most well-respected certifications in both bodyweight and barbell training.  As the StrongFirst website states, “We teach men and women how to reach high levels of strength. Quickly, safely, and without interfering with their duty, job, or sport.”

As a Smugs Fitness client, you’re probably wondering what that means for you. 

Whether participating in personal training or group training, you will be learn the basics of hardstyle kettlebell movement from some of the most qualified professionals in the fitness community.  Each Smugs Fitness trainer has successfully completed the StrongFirst Girya (SFG) three-day certficiation.  We have been tested on the ability to safely and effectively coach the six basic kettlebell movements.  We have demonstrated proper form and have met the demanding strength requirements.  We have also successfully passed the endurance component, the dreaded kettlebell snatch test. 

As a client, this means that you will be coached by a passionate, qualified instructor, and your training will be guided by many of the StrongFirst principles.  Whether your goal is to pick up hundreds of pounds or to simply feel better as you navigate your daily activities, your Smugs Fitness coach will use the knowledge gained through our StrongFirst education to help you reach your health and fitness goals. 

Also, if you're traveling or even moving, let us know.  We'll locate a StrongFirst instructor to assist with your training while you're away.  We actively communicate with our StrongFirst peers around the world, and we'll ensure that you receive high quality coaching while you're away from your Smugs Fitness coach.

How can you be a part of StrongFirst?

Every Smugs client and coach has two opportunities each year to participate in the StrongFirst Tactical Strength Challenge (TSC), a worldwide StrongFirst competition.  Participants complete three events at Smugs Fitness on the date of the challenge and submit scores to StrongFirst.  The three events are the deadlift, pull-ups or flexed arm hang, and kettlebell snatches.  Because this event is held twice a year, it's a great way for all of us to measure our strength gains.  It's also one of the most fun competitions that we've found.  Imagine a room full of friends cheering for one another.  We have a strong, supportive gym community at Smugs, and it may be most evident during the Tactical Strength Challenge.  The next TSC is October 28th, and our coaches are happy to discuss your options for participating.  You'll get an awesome shirt just for signing up, and you'll get to look forward to an incredible Saturday morning with your Smugs family in the fall.  

Register for the TSC here:

More information about StrongFirst is available here:

If you’d like more information on training with one of our FOUR StrongFirst certified instructors, please CONTACT US.

Original Strength Workshop Coming to Atlanta November 4th!

Exciting news! Iron Root Studios and Smugs Fitness have teamed up to bring the Original Strength Pressing RESET Workshop to Atlanta. The workshop will be held on November 4, 2017 at Iron Root Studio from 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM.

Internationally recognized Original Strength will introduce their cutting edge movement restoration techniques, called Pressing RESET. Featured by The Washington Post, The Huffington Post and CNN, these techniques are based on the idea of Pressing RESET. You can press reset on your body by tapping into your nervous system to restore mobility and youthful potential. Positive, even amazing results have been reported where OS RESETS were implemented and performed regularly. The resets are suitable for everyone and require little time or space to perform and zero equipment.

Many in the Smugs Fitness Community have already been introduced to the OS RESETS during our training sessions and/or corporate wellness programs. Smugs Fitness coaches are practioners of the OS methodology and highly recommend attending this workshop! After all, the better we move, the better we feel, and the better we live!

Here is the link to register: REGISTER FOR OS ATLANTA

Sign up before July 24th and the cost is only $219! After July 24th, the cost is $294.

You can learn more about Original Strength by visiting their website ( and/or checking out some of the videos below:

The Invigorating 3 Minute Reset

The Best RESET for a Sitting Lifestyle

Hope to see you there!



New Class at Smugs Fitness!

Kettlebell Class!

Smugs Fitness is excited to announce a new class offering to our schedule! Coach JoAnna Rogers (SFG) will be bringing her knowledge, energy, and metal to the gym every Saturday morning with our Kettlebell Class! The class will employ the use of kettlebells and focus on the fundamental Kettlebell movements (Swing, Squat, Press, Getup, Clean, Snatch). Individuals of all levels are welcome to attend!

The drop in rate is $20/class and the class is limited to 10 participants. 


Final Week (Week 4) AB-ril Challenge Workouts 04/23 - 04/30/2017

WEEK #4: April 23rd – April 30th

#23: 2 Rounds:

40 seconds Hollow Rocks

40 seconds REST

#24: 30 Kettlebell Situps (or use any weight you have)

#25: 2 Rounds:

12 T-Plank Rotations (6 per side)

16 X-Situps  (8 per side)

#26: 2 minutes to perform as many Situps as possible

#27: 3 Rounds:

40 seconds Windshield Wipers (Floor)


#28:One Round

10 Bird Dogs  (per side)

20 Hollow Rocks

30 Glute Bridges

#29: 4 minute Tabata (20 seconds WORK, 10 seconds REST)


#30: One Round:

1 minute Hollow Body Hold

Rest 30 seconds

30 seconds Plank

Rest 15 seconds

1 minute Spiderman Plank