ROW-Tober: It's coming...Who's in?

The ROW-tober Challenge

Back by popular demand, the ROW-tober Challenge kicks of this Saturday, October 1st and runs through 11:59:59 PM on October 31st.

The rules of the challenge are simple:

1. Pick one of the following target distances (goal) to row within the month of October.

ROW-Tober Rookie: 75,000 meters

ROW-Tober Returnee: 150,000 meters

ROW-Tober Renegade: 250,000 meters

2. Row, Row, Row, your Erg...! (until you hit your goal)

If you're interested in participating, email Coach Sam or leave a message on the Smugs Fitness Facebook Page. Anyone who completes their goal wins a Smugs Fitness Swag Pack!

Rowing begins at 12:00 AM on October 1st!

The Greatest Breakfast Ever!

Leftover Smoked Pork with Eggs

Over the Labor Day Weekend, we had my family in town so it was the perfect time to throw a pork butt on the Big Green Egg and do some smoking. The pork butt was delicious, but was so large we had some leftovers. One of my favorite things do with leftover protein is use it alongside my eggs to create a delicious, protein-packed breakfast! The leftover smoked pork lead me to prepare what may well be the Greatest Breakfast Ever! 

The Greatest Breakfast Ever


1/4 to 1/2 lb smoked, pulled pork

3 Eggs

2 TBSP Crumbled Goat Cheese

2 TBSP Homemade Barbeque Sauce (or your favorite healthy prepared sauce)

Lettuce and Sliced Tomatoes (for color, taste and carbs...the last one is kind of a joke)


1. Heat a skillet to medium heat. Add leftover PORK to skillet and allow pork to get hot.

2. Carefully crack 3 EGGS over top of the pork and sprinkle the CRUMBLED GOAT CHEESE over the eggs and pork.

3. Cover the skillet with a lid and allow to cook for 4 minutes until the EGGS are lightly cooked.

4. Remove the lid and make sure the EGGS are cooked to your liking and the GOAT CHEESE is lightly melted.

5. Plate the PORK, EGGS, and GOAT CHEESE. Drizzle the HOMEMADE BBQ SAUCE over the top and serve with a side of LETTUCE and TOMOATOES.

Once plated, find a chair with a seatbelt, strap in, and enjoy THE GREATEST BREAKFAST EVER!

What's all the Ruckus about Rucking?!?


Rucking has rapidly become one of the most popular group fitness activities across the nation and around the world. In 2015 Men’s Health called it one of the hottest fitness trends of 2015. (Article Here) It became widely popularized by the growth of GoRuck Challenges (, which are a group rucking events where participants carry loads on their backs over long distances and participate in different challenges along the way.

So…What is Rucking?

The fine folks at GoRuck define Rucking as follows:


To put weight on your back and go for a walk.

I’ve been a participant in a GoRuck Challenge and had a blast! My mental toughness was tested in addition to the physical demands of carrying a 40-pound bag on back for over 20 miles. My experience with the GoRuck Challenge left a lasting impression on me and I have regularly incorporated rucking into my own fitness regimen. Additionally, I’ve convinced a few friends and clients to join me! I have found it to be one of the safest and most effective modes of physical activity to improve your overall fitness and health AND you get to spend time with your friends, make new friends, and engage in social interaction while you are exercising!

So…Is it difficult to get started?

Rucking can start at anytime in your life and is safe, effective and requires very little equipment.

Equipment needed for Rucking

1.     Ruck (backpack)

2.     Something heavy to put in the Ruck (weights, sand, bricks, ruck plates, or any heavy object you have around the house that can fit in your bag!)

The Benefits/Effects of regular Rucking include

1.     Improved Cardiovascular Capacity and Endurance

2.     Improved Muscular Stamina and Endurance

3.     Improved Overall Strength (it’s resistance training + cardio all in one!)

4.     2-3 times the Caloric Output versus walking the same distance/time

5.     Improved general work capacity and physical preparedness (ie. When the Zombies come, you’ll be stronger, faster, and better able to move than your non-Rucking neighbors)

So what are you Rucking waiting for? Get the Ruck outside, round up some friends, and get Rucking!

***For those in the Atlanta Area, there will be regularly scheduled Rucking leaving from the Smugs Fitness Lab in Kirkwood this fall. In the meantime, check the Smugs Fitness Facebook Page for updates and impromptu Rucking outings. Come on out and join us!***

New! Kettlebell Swing and Goblet Squat Workout!

The Kettlebell Swing Ladder with Goblet Squats

One of my favorite workouts when I am short on time is the Kettlebell Swing Ladder. It's a great workout for packing in a large volume of swings into a small period of time. Since I love the combination of Kettlebell Swings and Goblet Squats, I wanted to incorporate them into a workout while still using the ladder and increasing Kettlebell weights. The workout below resulted from the combination of the two movements and the ladder. The workout should take less than 20 minutes! 

EQUIPMENT: You'll need 4 Kettlebells with different weights to perform this workout as it is written. If you don't have 4 bells, use what you have and  modify the reps/rounds to get a total of 150 Kettlebell Swings and 30 Goblet Squats.

THE WORKOUT: Complete 5 Rounds of the following (arrange bells from lightest to heaviest)

Lightest Kettlebell: 5 Swings, 1 Goblet Squat

Medium-Light Kettlebell:Swings, 1 Goblet Squat

Lightest Kettlebell: Swings, 1 Goblet Squat

Medium-Heavy Kettlebell: Swings, 1 Goblet Squat

Lightest Kettlebell: Swings, 1 Goblet Squat

Heaviest Kettlebell: 5 Swings, 1 Goblet Squat

***Recover as needed and stay Fast and Loose as you recover.***

Give it a shot and see what you think! Chime in on the Smugs Fitness Facebook Page.



New Smugs Fitness T-Shirts!

New Smugs Fitness Shirts and Tanks are on their way!

New shirts and tanks are being pre-ordered this week through Friday May 13th. If you're interested in ordering a shirt or tank, please contact Coach Sam.


The shirts and tanks are from Canvas (see size chart HERE) and will feature the new Smugs Fitness logo (top image) on the front, center chest (small) and "Strong. Fast. Built to Last." (bottom image) on the back of the shirt. The shirts come in dark heather or black and the tanks come in black or gold. 

Get yours while you can!




Kettlebell Press Workout to Improve your Strength

For those of you who know me, you know that I love training with the Kettlebell. I have been implementing Kettlebells into my training for about 7 years and am StrongFirst Kettlebell Instructor Level 1. I use Kettlebells and StrongFirst methods for helping my clients/students safely achieve their fitness and health goals.

Over the past 4 months, I’ve been training exclusively with the Kettlebell to improve my position, stability and strength overhead. I’ve trained the Press and the Get-up 3-4 days/week. In that time, I have improved my Press significantly and am comfortably pressing for 5 reps a bell 8kG greater than when I started. Additionally, my 1-rep Press has increased by 8kG.

Pressing at a higher frequency than I ever have has helped me improve, but it also helped me learn to better plan my workouts to avoid overtraining and injury. The result has been adjusting my program to allow me to Press frequently and get the most benefit in as little time as possible during each workout.  One of the workouts I use at least 1x/week requires two Kettlebells; one bell is my current “Press” bell (the bell I can Press comfortably for 5 reps) and the second bell is heavier (4 – 8 kG heavier is plenty).  The workout is presented below with suggested rest.


Total Time: Less than 30 minutes

Total Reps:

86 Swings (43/arm)

56 Press (28/arm)

SETS #1, 3, and 5:

Press Bell

5 Swings (strong arm), 5 Press (strong arm)

5 Swings (stronger arm), 5 Press (strong arm)

***Rest 2 minutes between sets and while resting stay Fast and Loose. ***

Heavy Bell

3 Swings (strong arm), 1 Press (strong arm)

3 Swings (stronger arm), 1 Press (stronger arm)

SETS #2 and 4:

Press Bell

7 Swings (strong arm), 3 Press (strong arm)

7 Swings (stronger arm), 3 Press (strong arm)

Heavy Bell

2 Swings (strong arm), 2 Press (strong arm)

2 Swings (stronger arm), 2 Press (stronger arm)

***Rest 2 minutes between sets and while resting stay Fast and Loose. ***

Mix this in with your current Press training and let me know how it works out for you. 

Spicy Cayenne Coconut Turkey Thighs!

I put together this recipe the other night after my wife came home from the DeKalb Farmer’s Market with some turkey thighs. It’s super simple and yielded delicious, moist and tender turkey thighs (assuming you can handle some spice!). I highly recommend giving it a try sometime!


3 pounds Boneless/Skinless Turkey Thighs, Cut into 6 ounce pieces

1 5.6-ounce can of Coconut Milk

1 TBSP Coconut Oil

Spice Blend

1 TBSP Herbs de Provence

1 tsp Cayenne Pepper

1 tsp Black Pepper

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1 tsp Ground Cumin


1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.

2. To prepare the Spice Blend, combine the dry ingredients into a bowl and toss until thoroughly mixed. Place the turkey thighs into a large bowl and cover the thighs with Spice Blend, tossing to ensure the Spice Blend evenly covers the thighs.  Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

3. In a large iron skillet or cast iron pan, heat the coconut oil on medium heat. Place the thighs into the hot pan and cook until each side is golden brown (approximately 6 minutes/side).

4. Add the coconut milk to the pan. Stir the coconut milk with a wooden spoon taking care to scrape the turkey bits off of the pan and continue to cook for about 1 minute. Cover and place in the preheated oven for 10-12 more minutes until the thighs have reached an internal temperature of 180 degrees Farenheit.

5. Allow the turkey thighs to rest, covered for 5 minutes before serving.

Serving Suggestion

I served Mashed Cauliflower and sautéed Brussels Sprouts with our turkey thighs. The mashed cauliflower was perfect for picking up some of the sauce that remained on the thighs and the Brussels Sprouts were a tasty treat!

Macronutrient Breakdown for the Turkey Thighs

Serving Size: 3 ounces, cooked

Calories: 188 / Protein: 23 grams / Carbs: < 1gram / Fat: 10 grams

11/19/2014: 3 Stretches you can and SHOULD be doing at home!

After a long day at work, caring for your children, or running errands all over town, stretching is probably the last thing on your mind when you get home and finally settle in for the night.  Even though it may seem tedious (and down right painful to do sometimes), getting some extra “flexy time” at night is one of the best ways to prepare your body to tackle tomorrow and to help eliminate some stress from the day.

Here are 3 stretches you can do from the comfort of your living room while winding down for the night in front of your favorite sitcom, watching the game, or reading a book.

Happy Baby

Babies are amazing little creatures and their range of motion and flexibility are incredible to see. Their hip mobility is something we should all strive for and the Happy Baby Stretch or Ananda Balasana Pose is one technique we can use to help get our hips back open and flexy again. You can do this stretch while lying on the floor watching television. Hold the stretch for a few minutes each night and you’ll see improvement to your hip mobility and see a reduction in back tightness and soreness.

Couch Stretch  

The Couch Stretch is very appropriately named because it is performed on or against your couch at home. If you’ve been running, squatting, jumping, or lunging, the couch stretch will help keep you moving throughout the week by targeting most of the muscles you worked in those movements. Mobility guru, Kelly Starrett, is a big fan of the couch stretch and has made several videos demonstrating modifications for the stretch.  Also, check out for more fun images (like this one below!) and exercises you can do from your couch!

Using Furniture to Improve Your Hip Mobility (Think: Improved Squatting!)

When you are winding down for the night and have finished the couch stretch, continue hanging around in the living room, but try some additional Hip Mobility Exercises using the couch, a chair, or an ottoman.


Hopefully, you have found this information useful and you will begin to incorporate these stretches into your pre-bedtime routine. You’ll see benefits such as improved mobility and decreased back pain in as little as 5-10 minutes per day. Happy stretchy and thanks for reading!

11/18/2014 - Easy Recipe for Carrot-Ginger Soup!

Sam Mugavero's Paleo Carrot-Ginger Soup Recipe

Preparation Time: 5 minutes  /  Cooking Time: 25 minutes 


4 lbs Carrots, peeled and cut into 3” pieces

24 oz Organic, Low Sodium Chicken Stock

16 oz Organic Coconut Milk

3T Fresh Ginger, grated or finely chopped

1/4t Ground Cayenne Pepper

1/4t Ground Nutmeg

1/4t Ground Cinnamon

1/4t salt

1/4t pepper

***adjust salt/pepper to taste***

Cooking Instructions

Place carrots and the chicken stock into a large stockpot. Place a lid on the stockpot and boil for 20 minutes until the carrots are fork-tender. Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients to the stockpot. Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture until smooth and creamy. Serve in a bowl with a sprinkle of cinnamon and garnish with a few mint leaves and a lime wedge (optional).


Note: There are hundreds of "Paleo Carrot-Ginger Soup Recipes" online, but here is one I threw together on my own over the weekend. It's spicy, creamy, and hot...the perfect soup for a chilly day. Give it a shot and let me know what you think! 

21 Days to Turkey - Nutrition Challenge

21 Days to Turkey Nutrition Challenge

GOAL:  To eat clean, unprocessed foods for 21 days and to be mindful of how your body feels and reacts to nutrient rich foods.

WHEN: November 6 – November 26, 2014

TO PARTICIPATE:   Email sam(at)smugsfitness(dot)com

Basic Requirements for Participation

Every participant must:

1. Keep a log of everything you ingest. Be detailed and specific, it is not necessary to weigh and measure your foods, unless you think it will help keep you accountable. If after a meal you feel you have over/under eaten, record it, so you can adjust at your next meal.

2. Keep a log of your sleep each night. Record how many hours you slept, if you feel rested, and any events that occurred to disrupt your slumber.

3. Keep a log of how you feel each day. Be specific about your energy levels, mood, and physical states.

***Note: You can keep all this info in one log. Use a page for each day or if you prefer electronic logging, download Evernote to your phone and keep a log there. Evernote is a great resource for logging because you can share it with others and they can check out what you are eating, how you are feeling, and they can help keep you accountable. You can even take pictures of your meals and build them into the Evernote log. I use Evernote with several of my clients to help them stay on track with their fuel and it has proven to be very effective.

4. Tell your family and friends what you are doing and get their support! Let them know it’s important to you to learn how your body responds to food.

Levels of Participation

VeteranThis isn’t your first rodeo. You’ve done a nutrition challenge before and are stoked to have some accountability and are ready to get back on the wagon.

Foods you must AVOID:

-Processed grains (if you have to ask if it is processed, consider it PROCESSED.)


-Sugar (the refined kind. Natural sugars occurring in fruits are acceptable)


-All other processed foods (if you have to ask if it’s processed, consider it PROCESSED.)


RookieEither this is your first nutrition challenge or in the past you have dabbled with participation, but haven’t completed a challenge.

Foods you must AVOID:

-Processed grains (if you have to ask if it is processed, consider it PROCESSED.)

-Sugar (the refined kind. Natural sugars occurring in fruits are acceptable)

-All other processed foods (if you have to ask if it is processed, consider it PROCESSED.)

-Alcohol intake limited to 2 drinks/week.           



Using the google document supplied by Smugs, you must record your “compliance grade” each day.  To keep it simple, there are only two grades; an “O” or and “X”. An “O” indicates  complete compliance with your selected level and an “X” indicates noncompliance with your selected level. There is no in between, you either nailed it or you didn’t. Be honest with yourself. The goal is not to score anything other than an “O”. It’s only 21 days, you can do it! 

Some things to think about…

1.     What to eat: Lean meats, nuts and seeds, vegetables and fruit, little starch, and no SUGAR!

2.     If it doesn’t rot in 7-10 days, it is probably not food.

3.     Stay away from foods that have more than 3-5 ingredients on the label and the ingredients listed should consist of words that do not require an advanced scientific degree to pronounce.

4.     The perimeter of the grocery store is your friend, the aisles the enemy. Food located on the perimeter is usually fruits, veggies, and fresh protein sources. Food located in the aisles is usually highly processed, boxed crap that has an indefinite shelf life…aka NOT FOOD.


One of the main goals for this challenge is to LEARN how your body responds to the foods you eat and how it feels without the foods you are not eating as a result of participation in the challenge. There is a wealth of information on the web and in books. I encourage you to seek your own answers to questions and educate yourself on why it is important to eat a diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods. 

Here are the websites I visit most often when in need of resources for nutrition and recipes (in no particular order):







You CAN do it! Good luck and happy eating!