10 Steps to Fitness Perfection

As the year ends popular thought and tradition say resolutions, give things up, make goals, and change what isn’t working.

More myths. Go figure.  Who is in charge of this crazy thought?

KISS. Keep is simple stupid. I know, but even the urban dictionary claims it is politically correct. It does expand on the definition:

kiss principle or perfection is reached not when there is nothing further to add, but when there is nothing further to take away…

 Here is the 10-step approach to a new year of fitness success.

  1. Be consistent. Be consistent. Nail that.
  2. Make goals for a short-term kick in the pants, but create a system or program for the year.
  3. Make every workout count.
  4. Do what you enjoy while challenging yourself to grow. In other words play to your strengths while addressing your challenges. Become a monster.
  5. Get outside. Become a breatharian.
  6. Show some emotion. Be someone whose emotional skills make others feel good.   I throw this in as it helps our social success, which in turn feeds our self esteem, which then keeps us engaged in our own strength and fitness.
  7. Pay attention to what works for YOU. Try things, but keep an eye to what may challenge you a bit because that is probably what will mean progress—strength, lean body, weight loss, or self esteem.
  8. Strength train. It is the path to ultimate fitness for the long-term.
  9. Follow interval cardio training. You could get your best cardio workout by going out your front door and run fast down the street for 45 seconds, jog back, and repeat this 15-20 times. Or fewer to start.
  10. Read stuff about fitness and see what speaks to you. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And if you need some changes, there are a lot of us out there in your corner!

Create a program where there is nothing to add or take away. Create and follow your perfect plan.  Happy 2016.


Follow me on Instagram, dusty.roady.










Take a Bull’s-Eye Approach to Hit Your Target


I heard the lamest thing tonight. My roommate’s boss (who is trying to lose weight) said she is counting her macros and, ‘It is SO hard because they want me to eat SO much protein that I just don’t feel I can eat more, but I am losing weight. OMG.’

  1. She is getting the results she wants.
  2. She has no idea what ‘macro’ is, which perhaps is irrelevant. Or maybe not.
  3. She is not learning what she is doing that is causing her weight/fat loss.
  4. If she doesn’t get that concept, she will be on a yo-yo string weight-wise for a lifetime.

Well that isn’t the lamest thing I have heard nutrition-wise. My buddy at Gold’s Gym once asked me what is protein. Does bread count? More lame. But I love him regardless.

Macro(nutrients) are nutrients required in large amounts for the normal growth, metabolism, and development (growth) of an organism. They provide calories or energy and are comprised of proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids (fats).

Do I count macronutrients?

No. You don’t count macronutrients. You keep the right balance between the three to get the results you want and stay healthy.

Make it Simple

Picture a target, and eat from the inside out. Fix your plate with this in mind.

The bull’s-eye (inner circle) is lean protein and healthy fats. Eat these first.

The second circle is fruits and vegetables. Eat these next.


Next stop is the third circle is whole grains and healthier starches (see link at the bottom). If you feel full or are eating late at night, you could bypass these.

There is a little circle outside called controlled misses, or ‘cheat meals,’ which includes any food or beverage that cannot be placed in the previous 3 categories. Keep this to 10% of your daily intake (which is probably close to the 80/20 rule of eating).

Ask yourself these 3 questions anytime you consume a food:

Where is my protein and healthy fat?

Where are my nutrients and minerals?

Where is my whole grain and do I require it for my target?


Then Eat to Support Your Fitness Program

For example, if you want to beef up your lean muscle mass, your protein intake (% of your nutrition) will be higher, as much or more as 30-40%, or 1 gram/pound of your body weight.


Healthy fats are desired but will be only 15-20% of your daily intake. Better to get your fats from things like nuts, seeds, oils like canola or extra virgin, and fatty (cold water) fish.


AVOID THESE. Here’s the visual. If you put a fat out on a plate (say butter) and at room temperature or less it turns into a gelatinous mound of netherworld matter, then this is exactly what it will look like in your system. Be very afraid!


Carbohydrates are the sugars, starches and fibers found in fruits, grains, vegetables and milk products. Carbohydrates provide fuel for the central nervous system and energy for working muscles. They also prevent protein from being used as an energy source and enable fat metabolism, according to Iowa State University.


The NIH recommends that everyone should have his or her own carbohydrate goal. Carb intake for most people should be between 45 and 65 percent of total calories, depending on where you are in your plan and your activities. Steer to the lower number if you are in a recovery phase and to the higher number if you are busting loose with strength and cardio!

And honestly to lose weight initially, limit your complex carb intake to mostly unprocessed veggies. Period.

Stay Safe and Focused

Although quality of nutrients is key, your optimal calorie budget can help you build strength and safely lose weight or body fat. You can have RMR (resting metabolic rate) measured professionally, use standard charts, or experiment. Once you know what count is ideal for you, you can build your nutrition into your plan by the numbers:

For each gram:

Protein = 4 calories

Carb = 4 calories

Fat = 9 calories




Thanks to Bob Seebohar, MS, RD, CSCS, and author of ‘Nutrition Periodization for Endurance Athlete.’  The target approach


What to look for in a bar

Look for the negative

-Palm kernel oil, sugar alcohols (‘ol’ ending), glycerin (type of alcohol)

-High fructose corn syrup or sucrose (can cause bloating and diarrhea)


-Fiber (in larger amounts, can cause GI distress)

-Green tea extract (same as caffeine)

Caffeine increases perceived time to exhaustion.  This can come in handy but isn’t a cure-all. And it only works if you are not ingesting caffeine regularly.



All it takes is the Power to Stick to a System


You are warrior women.  Ready to kick it up and see how strong and beautifully lean or shapely you can get? Ready to accept that there is nothing preventing you from achieving your full strength and endurance potential to handle all life throws at you?

Easy. Forget about goals. Develop a well-designed system. Focus on daily process and sticking to your schedule, rather than worrying about the big, life-changing goals.

Okay so you can have a goal or two to plan your progress and create clarity, but make them crazy creative and fun ‘leap’ goals that require you to leap and experience ‘oh crap’ moments, that make you excited and energetic.

Set unrealistic goals to inspire yourself. Overestimate yourself: you are a warrior woman. An unusually large goal infuses your adrenaline and provides you with the endurance to overcome obstacles that go with any goal. If the payoff of a goal is mediocre or average, so is your effort. Strive to chase excitement or risk boredom.


To make progress the system will always win out. It defines your process and is the key to long-term success and developing solid positive habits. A system naturally leads to developing beneficial long-term habits. According to many habit-building sources, after about day 66 of committing to your system you will have formed a habit.

It is like travel. Time travel. Well we can wish. Success is a journey not a destination.


You will perform better in all areas of your life. You will avoid becoming a party pig, with short-term goals of just having fun. Although there is nothing wrong with having fun, just put it in your system.


Make every workout have a purpose, and plan what you want to do daily. It is perfect timing as we face a new year. Break it out (a year is a macrocycle) into 4-6 mesocycles. Use metrics (whatever you want to measure) as a way to tweak your plan. Take what you learn and if it doesn’t work, try something else. Adjust the system. Systems-driven people have found a way to look at the familiar in new and more useful ways.

For example, you could do a ‘commit’ metric. You might decide, ‘If I never miss a workout, then I will lift bigger weights in the long run.’ That’s why systems are more valuable than goals. Forget about predicting the future and build a system that can signal when you need to make adjustments

In a WSJ article, Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert) states, ‘To put it bluntly, goals are for losers. That’s literally true most of the time. For example, if your goal is to lose 10 pounds, you will spend every moment until you reach the goal—if you reach it at all—feeling as if you were short of your goal. In other words, goal-oriented people exist in a state of nearly continuous failure that they hope will be temporary.’

Scott mentions he met a businessman on an airplane who said that every time he got a new job, he immediately started looking for a better one. For this man, job seeking was not something one did when necessary. It was a continuing process.

Your system then is to continually look for better options. How can I feel better, look better, have more fun, or reach my personal best? Track the pieces without feeling the pressure to predict what is going to happen with everything. Keep it simple.

Remember every fundamental action you take can contribute to your success in health and fitness—workouts, nutrition, and mindset—so work that system!

Fitness Fun Fact–Contact me for direction

I am building my ‘Roady’s Warrior Women’ group (in CA and online) based on designing and implementing well-designed fitness and nutrition systems. I want my warriors to take the barbell and run with it and not rely on external forces to reach personal best in sport and life.

Email me if you have a plan or system with which you might like input or help. We all still battle with myths and misconceptions, and I would be happy to offer my take on your approach. We all need mentors. dustyroady@gmail.com

Thanks to author James Clear for his blog posting on the system concept









So how do you design a kick-ass training program to get your best body efficiently, safely, and quickly? How do you reduce markers of aging?

Here is where the rubber meets the road. You will need to think and train like an elite athlete. Uncomfortable? You want to succeed, so let’s look at this in a fresh way.

Athletes Reach Potential With Some Basics We Can All Use

First Lesson.

Potential = performance – interference (waste)

Learn how to minimize or eliminate the interference

When I began training for both a lean, mean body and to compete, I noticed something odd. We (our team) used the same few exercises and kept getting different, progressive results. We defied Einstein’s version of insanity, of ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’ Nice.

First lesson

You do not need to ‘shock’ your muscles to make gains. Muscles don’t get confused—your central nervous system (CNS), or brain and spinal cord, control movement. Switching up exercises, sets, and reps is one thing, but purposefully overloading your CNS is a sure precursor to overtraining and injury, not muscle gains.

Making gains is simply outdoing your previous workout or even the workout two-four weeks ago (depending on your level of training). Once you can perform one more rep of a lift or extra pound over what you did last week, you’ve achieved progressive overload and it is time to move on to the next muscle group. Change up your weights, sets, repetitions, intensity, and order of exercise.

Second Lesson

Develop, Start, and Eliminate the Interference With a Fitness Program

Our team also continuously met dream goals because we committed to progressive programs that pushed the envelope and inspired us. Our workouts were focused and never over one hour. We carefully used and balanced our energy, cutting out anything that interfered with that laser focus.

It was a blast. It was a recipe for success.

Now that you are in the athlete’s mindset, here is the perfect plan for fitness success.

-Develop a solid base of strength to develop skills safely and avoid injury

-Learn perfect biomechanics and details of each movement—perfect practice makes perfect results.

-Be consistent and practice with deliberation (this is intensity vs. volume)

-Make sure every workout has a purpose (toward the dream goal)

-Use free weights whenever possible

 –Think movement not simply muscles

-Cycle work (intensity not volume) and recovery throughout the year (we will build on the progressive concept in the next blog where we talk about sets and reps)

-Plan energy- and time-effective exercises and use free weights whenever possible (see below)

Use a Menu System for the Best Exercises

Be the Connoisseur of Your Menu to Get the Desired Experience

When eating out, do you look for quality over quantity? Do you look for the freshest and most organic over the traditional? If ‘yes,’ you will like the approach of getting the most quality out of the most targeted and succinct workout sans interference. Simply used the following menu.

First choose a few entrees from the core or go-to strength moves. These involve great body balance and recruit more major muscles and muscle groups than isolated moves. You spend less time on your workout and move faster to results. You could use 4-5 core exercises only as your full meal without complementary moves.


Squats (or one-legged squats, also called lunges)


Chest press

Cleans or push press (shoulder press)

Pull-downs or pull-ups

Rows (all kinds)


Abs (crunches, reverse crunches, captain’s chair, rotations—many more)

Now pick some ‘sides’ from the complementary exercises, which can help strengthen certain muscle groups and offer variety and fun to workouts.


Triceps dips, extensions, and kick-backs

Chest flyes

Biceps curls

Back extension

(You will find more you like over time and with experience.)

For example,



Chest press

Pull-ups (or pull downs)


Triceps extensions



One-armed rows

Push press



Reverse-grip pull downs (abs and back)

Your initial goal is perfect biomechanics (form) so use comfortable weight if not just bodyweight. Work up slowly and consistently as you get stronger, so the last few reps are challenging.

Bon appétit!

Fun Bio Facts


Why do we recommend free weights over machines (unless you have specific needs)? Most traditional resistance machines have back rests or other features that support your spine and torso while your legs or arms perform repetitions. Because the spine is passive in these exercises, it does not need do any work to support itself.

If the spine is passive, strength and power is developed in the limbs without the necessary corresponding functional strength and control in the torso. What results is a non-integrated core with strong powerful limbs, which can set the stage for injury.





To Create Lean Muscles and Look Fabulous, First Get Your Mind Right


Pretty much all articles about getting strong, lean, and mean, say the same things. Make it a habit. Motivate yourself. Track your eating.

Will this work for long-term fitness that will make you look fabulous? Phooey. If habit-forming were easy we would all be our ideal selves. There is nothing ‘gentle and easy’ about this process. Let’s attack in head on.

To create the body you desire, change your mind. Decide that it is unacceptable to be JUST okay. Take yourself to the extreme of what you can be even if you are over 40 or 50.

Yoda said it best. Do or do not. There is no try.

To be brutally honest, we don’t reach goals when we truly don’t believe in our success. And part of that belief is deprivation.


I know this part sucks, literally and figuratively. To flip the switch in your behavior toward fitness, you have to believe—to truly desire—that you can reach your goal(s). Whether it is your best body for life or just improved health.

It is a process.  This process:

  1. Truly (in your heart) desire this goal to be realized. Create a clear, strong feeling of purpose around the goal to get what you want.
  2. Believe you can attain it. This may require some soul searching, but perhaps you can grasp it in a nice yoga class.
  3. Accept that you can have it. Give yourself permission. I had a client who said she hung on to being a bit over ideal body weight as it kept her invisible, which was comfortable. She didn’t want to be out in the fray. I met her recently after losing 30 pounds and she feels motivated to keep getting healthier.
  4. Start and don’t stop. Adapt as you need if around long work hours, inures, or sickness. Sometimes movement helps all.
  5. Take strength training off your bucket list and make it a ‘do or do not’ moment. Those who act when they really don’t want to or feel like it will get results. They will get stronger, faster, or leaner. This is a more fulfilled, happy, and healthy for the long run.

Fun bio fact

Intermittent Fasting

Check out intermittent fasting.  It isn’t fasting (which can mess with your metabolism) but a way of eating  in certain spurts and then taking a break.  It has been shown to help maintain lean muscle and even lose body fat.