Love Your Workout Week – Win lululemon!

The number one way to make working out a habit is to absolutely LOVE the way you move.  You have to look forward to the physical and mental challenge and ENJOY how that workout gives right back to your body and soul!

It’s one of our main focuses at Sweat… so we are kicking off February with Love Your Workout Week, a brand new workout schedule (check your inboxes), TRX Yoga, and another special event Champagne and Chaturanga on Valentine’s Day!  

Make sure to open your SweatHuntsville email this week not only for full details, the scoop on our $14 drop-in sale, but also a sneaky way to earn bonus points for that coveted lululemon gift card for our #loveyourworkout Facebook picture contest.   


Every morning for the next 7 days at 7:45 our Facebook page will have full instructions on how to feature our #loveyourworkout theme of the day and win a $20 gift card provided to you by lululemon athletica Huntsville!!  You DO NOT have to be a Sweat member to win BUT you must be Huntsville/Madison resident.

Those on the email list have a sneak peek at the whole week plus an extra way to get bonus points, but to make sure that everyone is ready to roll for tomorrow here’s a peek at Monday—

Monday, Feb 1 Theme:  #loveyourworkout GEAR

You know that workout outfit that makes you feel like you can conquer the world… the one that makes you feel totally badass… your “I’m about to own this workout” gear is what we want to see.  It can be ANY particular brand but if it’s lululemon you should totally give our local store some Facebook love and tag them too!!  You can find their handle- @lululemonHuntsville.

@SweatHuntsville… OMG, anything and everything with a fun back makes me feel bad ass! #loveyourworkout


1.  Post a picture with you in your favorite workout outfit

2.  Tag us… our handle can be found like this: @SweatHuntsville

3.  Use the hashtag #loveyourworkout

4.  How you pose and anything you choose to say beyond that is simply bonus points in your quest to snag that lululemon gift card.  Goofy, sweaty, fierce, sexy, and/or strong…we LOVE it all!!

FEBRUARY WORKOUT SCHEDULE is completely different!!!!- check your inboxes!!


How to eat out and not blow your goals!

The idea that in order to eat well, you have to stay at home and cook everything is not only ridiculous but unrealistic.   And while you can certainly have your favorite restaurants to frequent, we aren’t always in full control of what restaurants are picked.

So instead of another “fear the food” or “top 10 blah-blah-blah” list, let’s work through the process of how to THINK through a menu so you can make the BEST choices for yourself and your goals.

Thinking Through the Menu:

  • Step 1:  Where’s the protein?

Totally cool paying $15 for a green salad, BUT ONLY if you pack it with 4-6 oz of meat.

When you look at a menu, I want you to scan it first for the dishes that come packed with tons of protein that is not fried.

Question, how much they are serving you if it’s not already on the menu.

Protein is a no-brainer in terms of filling you up, keeping you lean, and fueling your body.


Enjoying your food and being nourished are NOT mutually exclusive concepts.

You should be cheating, a little bit, EVERY SINGLE DAMN DAY!  Remember:  Expectations of perfection create binge behavior.  Therefore, you are to purposefully and mindfully allow for fun cheats that bring SATISFACTION to your meals DAILY.

Once, you scan the menu and know which items come packed with that protein punch, narrow things down by their level of satisfaction.  Don’t automatically order a salad simply because it’s a salad and some fitness magazine told you it has magical super powers.

Look for fats or carbs that will hit the spot.  Look for your ability to customize and have things on the side or added or taken away depending on what your palette might be needing that day.

For example, I’m never wowed by dried fruit and croutons on a salad.  I’d much rather a small slice of bread or half of a potato for my carbs.  Therefore, my best choice may be a grilled chicken sandwich where I can eat as much or as little of the bread as I want or a small steak and a potato.

This is NOT a statement that MY CHOICE is YOUR BEST CHOICE.   What satisfies you may NOT satisfy me and that’s totally cool.  You eat those croutons and dried fruit proudly if that’s what’s going to keep you loving your salads!!  #LOVEYOURFOOD

  • Step 3:  Acknowledge what your body uses for fuel too!!

I do not metabolize fat well.  I store it.  Therefore, a strict “paleo” mindset is to my detriment.  However, other’s work completely the opposite from me.  While I burn carbs off with no problem, others will store them easily.

I have to worry more than some other people how lean a meat is or how much butter or oil the restaurant uses to cook their food.  Gravies and heavy sauces are usually out of the questions for me, unless it’s a re-feed day and you can read about that in Step 4.  Luckily, I don’t like those things anyway…satisfaction zero.

Other’s can bypass worrying about fats but need to decide if wine or a small potato will be their carb for the meal.  Sugar in their dressings or sauces may be something that help further eliminate things off a menu.

Know, respect, and work with your metabolic formula!!!  It makes a huge difference in results.

  • Step 4:  Is it a re-feed meal?

If the answer is yes...forget everything...ENJOY whatever!

To understand that statement you have to know the difference between a binge, a cheat, and a re-feed.

Here’s are the definitions I gave my Sweat Unfiltered group earlier this year.  (If you love this sort of help click the link and join to get more high quality education on mindset, food, and exercise.)

“A binge is an all out non-stop continuous meal of either healthy or unhealthy foods.  It’s oftentimes provoked by stress or consuming too few calories prior to the binge.  While one is on a binge, there is very little care as to what one is eating and how much but is then followed by tremendous amounts of guilt.  Think cookie monster behavior.

Binges are bad.

Cheats are good!

Cheats are a FAT LOSS TOOL!  They prevent binges by taking the edge off of cravings so that you don’t ever feel deprived and lose control….a glass of wine at night, 1-2 square of dark chocolate, some extra bacon on your salad etc.  Cheats may veer you off slightly in terms of macros or calories but you are looking at the big picture here- not bingeing.

ReFeeds are amazing…

…mentally and physically!  Once every 7-10 days, you need to step away from your macros, your calories, your goals and just enjoy whatever…. but to get the most muscle building gains from them you need to adhere to the following…

1.  from first bite to end bite your refeed is no more than 2 hours long (and can be less, obviously!)

2.  have one hell of a workout/lifting session planned the next day.   Kill that workout and move ‘dem doughnuts and pizza slices to those biceps and glutes!!!  LOL!!

Because of that you can see why ReFeeds work best when they are fairly well planned out.  Your refeeds keep you mentally and physically “juiced” up!!”

So if you are wondering what you are going to do for special ocassions like Valentine’s Day or an anniversary… you already know the answer.  You plan a damn re-feed and have an appetizer and a bottle of wine and whatever delicious thing you want out of the menu AND eat the most decadent dessert your feel like.  Then get a killer workout the next morning!!

Deadlift day baby!!
Deadlift day baby!!

No brainer!!!  No guilt!!!

Four simple concepts that make restaurant eating much less stressful for anyone trying to maintain or gain physique changes.  It’s not about a “good or bad” list, it’s not about a super foods or processed foods, it’s about narrowing choices based on your goals, your personal tastes, and your metabolism.

Most of all guys I want you to start QUESTIONING all of those Best and Worst top 10 lists and FEAR THE FOOD posts out there!

If you read them, ask yourself…  Is that true for everyone?  Could this be different for me?  Does this make sense for me today, right now?  Can I tweak this a little bit to make it worthwhile?





What if you woke up every morning craving the hour you get to give back to your body?  What if you actually looked forward to putting on your gear, heading out the door, and challenging what you thought you were capable of?



I believe that’s exactly how it should be FOR EVERYONE.  The very thought of knowing there are tons of people out there literally DRAGGING themselves to the gym, tells me there is something critically wrong with how many in this fitness industry approach their job.

People don’t NEED a workout!  People aren’t lacking WHAT to do!  They can download a WOD on youtube any day of the damn week.  If the issue was simply exercise why are so many people completely disillusioned with working out?

Because people need to be cared for both outside and in … Yes, they need to be educated on form, intensity, and given a safe program design but OMG people have to be taken care of on the INSIDE too!!

When I say “love” your workout, I don’t mean rainbows and chocolates and roses.  I don’t mean easy and effortless and smooth.  If you know Sweat, you know we bring it… daily!

I mean that despite the sweat, blood, and tears you can feel both outside and in that your exercise and gym/studio is making you better.  It is actively CONTRIBUTING to your health and confidence. It builds you up without breaking others down.  It accepts you as you are, where you are and teaches you a skill set beyond squats and lunges.  It embraces the now but draws you into the possibilities of the future.

Last Friday, I opened up my inbox to three testimonials that brought tears to my eyes.  Here’s one:

“Three weeks into my workouts I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you and Sweat!
We all come with “a story”. I spent the last two years caring for my father with Alzheimer’s. It was a 24 hour/7 day a week commitment (no me time). Relocating back to Huntsville and finding Sweat has been a Godsend! You have surrounded yourself with trainers who really make the effort to help everyone succeed. I love the positive environment and support.
Although some days I still struggle to eat enough, your nutritional emails and blogs are motivational. When I worked in the corporate world I paid a trainer because I could go to the gym and he would tell me what exercises to do (while he stood and counted) and what to eat. My biggest breakthrough from your coaching is to THINK for myself. I have a much healthier relationship with food when I understand what my body needs and why. I finally feel like I am in control. My setbacks don’t have to define me.”

And THAT at it’s very core is the definition of #loveyourworkout.  The trainer, the studio, the workout, the people – the COLLECTIVE – on a mission to effing DIG and get into the nitty gritty and GIVE, GIVE, GIVE everything they have inside.

That kind of LOVE is what creates CONSISTENCY.



That’s the spirit we are kicking off Feb 1 -14 with TONS of exciting stuff!


Be on the lookout:

  1.  Monday- check your inboxes for an email w/ details about the reduced drop-in rate Feb 1st-14th!  (To get this email check your profiles and make sure you have “opted-in” to receive our newsletter.)  Those reduced drop-ins are a perfect opportunity for you to bring a friend, partner, or loved one to Champagne and Chaturanga.  Members, this class is already included in your membership!  If you need help signing up let me know.
  2. This email will also have info about our #loveyourworkout Facebook Picture Contests Feb. 1st – 7th!  There is an opportunity to win a $20 Lululemon Gift Card everyday!!!!  We will drip out SPECIFICS about each picture contest through our Facebook page so add us to your favorite list!
  3. Don’t forget!  TRX Yoga is FREE this month.  We kick it off Feb. 18th.  Go to here to check out the line up!


Portable, Practical, Higher Protein Mix and Match Snacks

I’ve been getting tons of questions about snacks lately so I wanted to start off your week with a simple way to automate your snack time decision making.  Yes… I said “automate”… in other words let’s IMPLEMENT a process that will require virtually NO THINKING from you.

You are busy enough as it is and work out too hard to go long hours without nourishment!


Before we go into things though, you have to recognize that, possibly, snack time is a particularly hard time for you to manage because those in between meal hours carry some real social baggage.

For example, it is totally normal to sit down, break out a plate, fork, and maybe even a knife at breakfast, lunch, and dinner and that alone makes our protein choices (critical in fat loss) much greater.  Snack time…is a whole different ball game!!!

  •  We are usually multi-tasking like crazy at snack hours! Finishing emails, projects, picking up the kids etc.  Time never seems to be on our side here.
  • Snack hours are also prime time meeting and appointment hours!!  Who wants to break out a tuna packet then?  Time for boiled eggs?? Nope!

Being unprepared and fasting for too many hours is the #1 reason many folks binge at night.  For lasting fat loss, we have to eliminate that!

So here’s is my Snack Time Mix and Match Process.

  1.  Take into serious consideration your work and life schedule between the hours of 10-2 and 3-5?  Based on that…
  2. Pick/Buy at least one item from each of the 3 categories below that would allow you to eat freely based on the social guidelines that surround you.

Carb:         Rice cake                 Apple, berries, 1/2 banana                     3oz Sweet Potato                   Nut thins                            Wasa Crackers

Protein:   Protein Powder      4-5oz meat or deli meat                         Cottage Cheese                      Fage Greek Yogurt             Turkey Jerky          Smoked Salmon

Fat:             TB Nut butter         Avocado                                                   Cheese                                    Coconut Oil                          Nuts mix

When buying snack foods, I always opt for convenience rather than deals.  Remember, you are paying slightly more for convenience, portability, and automation!!!!  That’s huge in terms of helping you stay consistent.  Totally worth the pennies guys!!

That means yogurts, nut butters, nuts, cottage cheese, and avocado all get bought in individual packets whenever possible.


I’ve got a  10a.m. or 3 pm meeting every Tuesday?  How do I prepare for that?  

Carb:  apple     Protein:  Powder     Fat:  nut mix

Saturday errands around town?  Starving in car line? Pack a spoon and…

Carb:  1/2 banana      Protein:  Cottage Cheese     Fat:  Nuts

Over scheduled on Thursdays so what can I prep and eat in 5 minutes!  

Carb:  Rice cake     Protein:  Deli Meat/smoked salmon       Fat:  Avocado


I hope this helps!  Please remember that through your super hectic life it is more important for you to nourish yourself than for you to dismiss a meal.  It matters in terms of fat loss, but it’s just as important for your moods, productivity, and efficiency in your work and family life!

Be good to your body!

Remember, that although I give a ton of FREE content away on this blog, I actually get even deeper with my inner circle, Sweat Unfiltered.  Join FREE.  I email, once a week.




Jan 18-24, 2016- Favorite Pics of the week, training schedule, and #MyDamnWay






If I had one wish to grant to everyone struggling with their fitness goals, it would be to give them back OWNERSHIP of their journey.

There is so much information out there now-a-days, people are living under this giant cloud of food guilt.  I listen to people on the daily, scared to eat fat or scared to eat starches or scared to eat both!  Meat and broccoli is about the only thing left for them to put on a plate and not walk away feeling like a diet loser.

This week, on our blog, on our Facebook, on our Instagram, and on Sweat Unfiltered we will be giving you tools to empower you to shut out the noise, to recognize no one knows your life, your body, your likes, your dislikes, or your metabolism quite the way you do.  In the end, we know and you know, you won’t stick to anything unless you not only get results but LIKE how you eat as well.

How the hell do you do that?

How the hell do you give yourself permission to do things your damn way?

Check in with us this whole week as we talk about nutritional autonomy, self-reliance, creating a process, and automating behavior.

  1.  BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND- our training schedule!!!

    I didn’t realize you guys actually looked at this thing until I took it away and started getting tons of inquiries about it.  Sorry!!  Don’t forget, members, open gym hours in January and February are there to help you get your workout in even though we may not have a class happening.  Great time for you to get in a quick workout and still get all your errands in!  Monday and Friday hours are 10:30am-12pm, Tuesday hours are 9:30am-11:30, and Thursday evening 6:30pm-7:30pm.   No kiddos those hours though.

Sweat Training Schedule (1)

2.  Love, love, love dumping all the great pics from the week in one place.  Fun to relive the classes I’ve coached with you, the vomilicious moments of classes I’ve taken with you, and also to be able to peek into the classes I wasn’t there to coach or see.  Can I say I’ve been impressed with just how on it you guys have been!!!!

Josh’s Wednesday Vain
Josh’s Wednesday Vain
Josh’s Wednesday 20/20/20
Josh’s Wednesday Vain
20160113_180346 (1)
Josh’s Wednesday Vain
John's Friday Night Crew
John’s Friday Night Crew
John’s Friday Night Crew
Eric’s Saturday Punch
TRX Yoga Prep w/ Christy and Karen
Jeidi’s Friday Vain
Jeidi’s Friday Vain
Friday Night Crew
Me wanting to vomit during ball slams
#vomilicious fun
husband and wife workout team
breathless and burning
Friday Drenched
3 point TRX Rows
John's Friday Night Crew
bag taps

IMG_5037 IMG_5050


Favorite Pics of the Week

A huge reason why people walk into Sweat and decide we are the right place for them has to do with one word, INTENSITY.


And, as we define it, INTENSITY is a conscious decision to meet a challenge, to your fullest capability, despite obvious discomfort.

Which means REAL INTENSITY is hard as hell to do at home, alone, with no accountability, and then to repeat it consistently enough to create change.

Equally as difficult is to program for yourself movements that you are acutely aware are difficult to perform and execute.

That’s not because you are weak in mind and spirit but because intensity doesn’t feel good in the moment.  It down right sucks at times so it’s counter intuitive to choose a high level of intensity and stick with it from beginning to end.

However, in class, when you look around and notice that others are enduring what you are considering to quit, it switches your mindset from mindless maintenance mode and into I’ve got what it takes.  I’m capable of more.  I’m ready to endure because I’m in the pursuit of better.


And while we, at Sweat, embrace wholeheartedly the many different fitness levels that will naturally exist within a class setting, INTENSITY creates the same physiological effects for everyone, rookie or pro, and that’s pure sweat.

The challenge of HEAVY and/or FAST, makes your heart rate go up and makes your muscles burn.  That heat from your body means your body is now taxed with the need to cool itself off.  Sweat is your BIO FEEDBACK that you’re not just moving but are working out and kicking ass.

(See, I don’t just hate to open the doors and let cold winter air in b/c I’m cold natured.  Opening the doors in the winter or keeping it too cool inside takes away the crazy important feedback you need to have in order INTENSITY UP to your max level!  I literally witness your ability to work hard drop within the first 2 minutes.)


Way to DIG DEEP this week, btw.

My phone was littered with examples of hard work so I chose a few of my favorites for you to check out and share.  I love to post our classes on Facebook and Instagram so make sure you check us out there too!!!!

Rita killin' it on the rowers
Rita killin’ it on the rowers
Linda killin' it
Linda killin’ it
10a.m. 20/20/20 circuit 1
10a.m. 20/20/20 circuit 1
TRX 9a.m.
TRX 9a.m.
TRX 9a.m. Everest/rows
TRX 9a.m. Everest/rows
Jennifer Mckannan Switch kick
Jennifer Mckannan Switch kick
Punch 8a.m.
Punch 8a.m.







David Garnett switch kick
David Garnett switch kick
Push Up to Pike "Hibbs and Holly"
Hibbs and Holly
Vain day Wednesday 5:30a.m. Leg day
Wednesday 5:30a.m. Leg 
Thursday crew
Thursday crew
Punch 5:30pm Thursday crew
Punch 5:30pm crew
Thursday crew
Thursday crew
Legs and lungs
Legs and lungs
Burpees Before
Burpees before
burpees after
Burpees after
gorgeous lateral lunge
gorgeous lateral lunge
Sylvette and Jessica working hard as always
Sylvette and Jessica working hard as always

Meats and Cheats

For the longest, binge eating was wrecking all the hard work I’d put in during my workouts.  I’d approach each and every morning with grand intentions, only to end up eating 1/2 the peanut butter jar at 3 pm or eating an entire box of granola bars before bed.

I’d binge eat on THOUSANDS of calories worth of healthy food each week.  I was  not only hungry for more calories but clearly seeking MORE ENJOYMENT out of my food as well.  I needed satisfaction.

So slowly, through trial and much error, I slowly shifted my mindset and evolved out of the meal plan mentality and completely embraced the need for imperfection in my day.

I shared this info graphic with my #FreshStart2016 group last week so that as they grocery shopped for their goals, they would steer clear of perfection and set themselves up for a successful and enjoyable week.

MEATS AND CHEATS is a cornerstone of a mindset shift I want to accomplish not only with this #FreshStart2016 group, at Sweat in general, but really way beyond.

Fresh Start Grocery Guidelines (3)

“Can you write me a meal plan?” or “Just tell me what you are eating!” is a very common question or comment asked and while I have no problem sharing with you exactly what I do, it’s not something I enjoy answering because it’s totally irrelevant.

My body, my metabolism, my workouts, my schedule, my goal, my palette all get factored into the equation so…

your body, your metabolism, your workouts, your goal, your schedule, and your unique palette must be present every step of YOUR way as well!

But, while my exact meal plan won’t be of any use to you, the mindset, the psychology behind the #MEATSANDCHEATS totally is!!

One of the most important parts in eliminating binge eating has been prioritizing meats and cheats over anything else at the grocery store.  That’s right, what am I going to cheat on, is more important than what veggies I’m going to eat.

It’s not where are my veggies?  It’s where is my #BINGEPREVENTION for the week!!!

Proteins will fill you, fuel you, and shred you.  We should all love our proteins, whatever they may be!

Truthfully, I don’t care what kind you buy but acknowledge that some of us work well with high fats and some of us don’t.  Some of us have time to cook from scratch and some of us don’t!  Some of us can easily run to the store and find a high protein solution and others are stuck once they hit the office.

What you buy and how much you buy is entirely up to your life!  No generic meal plan can take care of those questions for you.  It’s introspective.

Cheats will keep you consistent and on track in the long run!  Cheats are to be incorporated daily.  Not avoided.

Done correctly and strategically, cheats actually keep you focused on your goals for the long term.  A daily cheat will keep the binge monster away.  That’s right…if you walk to the checkout counter from with an Instagram braggable shopping cart, I guarantee you a binge by mid-week.  Want to be more consistent with the high nutritional expectations you have for yourself then follow the pointers on the infographic.  Stay clear of binges.  Embrace the cheat!!!

Priority #1 in fat loss is not tupperware prepping!  It’s about finding solutions and work arounds that create change by making it enjoyable to repeat.  So the next time you walk into the grocery store and don’t have a clue what to buy…focus on the Meats and Cheats and huge part of the work has already been done for you!