Monthly Archives: August 2018

You Make a Difference

Cr8 Fitness is around because of you. Dean and I do what we do each day because of you. You are a piece of our lives, we love dearly. 

We don't want you ever to forget how important you are. At times it is even sweeter to hear it from others. You make a difference when you get into training. That difference is seen in yourself and in those you train with. 

Take it from KIm at the 9am Ladies crew, You Matter!

This is a group of ladies you would love to train with. 

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Cr8 Happy- Starting with Yourself

Be Happy With Yourself!

Don’t live your life trying to be perfect, because you’re not!

There is a philosophy that permeates the Japanese culture – “Kaizen”.

It means “Constant and Never Ending Improvement”.

It doesn’t mean perfection…

But it doesn’t mean satisfied with mediocrity either.

To me it means never letting your highs get too high or your lows too low.

To evaluate what you are doing right and to keep doing it.

To discover what needs improvement and getting better at it.

To live each day with purpose and make a difference in the lives of those around you.

I challenge you to live “Kaizen”…

I challenge you to focus on the positives…

I Challenge You To Be Happy Today!

Can you Cr8 Happy?

​To Your Best Health,

​Coach Nancy

Going Through The Motions

Ever heard that you can't get anywhere by "going through the motions"?

I have said those very words myself. To my kids, to my employees, and to my clients.

And the intent was good. It wasn't (necessarily) meant to chide or ride someone for not doing the best job they could, but as an encouragement that the pursuit of excellence is worth the effort.

But as I have matured, my perspective has changed. You have probably also heard that "50% (or some random percentage) is half the battle", and that is often true. Sometimes you gotta just show up - and go through the motions.

Now don't think Coach Dean is turning into some kind of old softy. You still have to put tremendous effort into a task to achieve your best. But some days you just don't have the physical, mental, or emotional capacity to give it your all. 

Show up and go through the motions anyway.

Reps matter. Not every lift is going to be your one rep maximum (1RM). You have to put in multiple reps, over a long period of time, at sub-maximum weights, in order to get stronger. That's physiology. 

And even those "less than max" lifts can fluctuate from day to day. Some days I walk into the gym and feel like I can lift a bulldozer. Other days the foam roller seems heavy.

Some days I wake up ready to take on the world, others I want to hide under the blankets. I don't want to get up, go to work, train, eat right - none of it. But 90% plus of the time, I do it anyway. 


Because when I put in the reps, even the not so good ones, I am winning. At the end of the day I feel better about myself, which is huge. Why do those of us who would never dream of breaking a commitment to our spouse, kids, boss or teammates so often break commitments we make to ourselves? To get to the gym, to eat like an adult, to get enough rest? 


You are worth it. You are worthy of the time and effort to take care of yourself. When you understand that, life really does get better. You'll be happier, and all those people you are busting your butt to serve will benefit from a healthy you even more. 

Coach Nancy says every day "Best Day Ever!", and I love her for it.

It's not just blind optimism or ignoring the realities of life. It's recognizing that because you walked through our doors, even when you didn't feel like it, is a huge win. You are "going through the motions" one more day, and putting in the reps that lead to real results.

Going through the motions = sustained forward momentum = a healthier, happier you.

And who doesn't want that? 

Keep making it happen!

- DC

Give Yourself Some Credit

Are you headed in the right direction? Do you see 'some' progress?

If you have lost  1 pound, you need to embrace the progress. If you can pick up more than you used to, you are succeeding. If you can get down on the floor and back up easier, you are heading in the right direction. 

One thing that makes me smile in the middle of training is seeing progress. I see it when you pick up the 16k kettlebell for the first time, or use a green band instead of the purple. I've seen people that were unable to get on the floor to being on the floor regularly. Others have come in after a long time of inactivity and find renewed movement. Progress makes me smile.

I would encourage you to ask those around you what they have seen in their own lives. It will make you smile.

 But don't leave with just a smile on your face. Share back with them what you are seeing, feeling, and noticing, make them smile too.

 It is possible to make your goals happen, when you are dedicated and persevere.

We all start with that first pound lost. We all notice we are getting stronger before losing the weight. 

Give yourself the credit you are due. Then use that to push yourself to greater consistency. 

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

Why Do I Train?

​Why to catch girls, of course!

I mean when it comes down to it, that is why  lot of guys start training, just sayin'.

​Now before you go running to Nancy, or emailing me back telling me I am already married or a dirty old man, THESE are the girls I am training to catch!

Janie and Gigi
KJ and Amy

​Janie, ​"Gigi", Karalynn, Amy and Lexi.

​Granddaughter. Wife. Daughter. Daughter. Granddaughter.

THEY are the girls who I am chasing. Literally. How did kids get so fast these days anyway? (and Nancy is Wonder Woman, as we all know)​

But seriously, they are who keep me heading to the gym when I don't feel like it, am sore, and tired, and just blah. Yeah, I have those days too. The ones where I am buried under my to-do list, have calls to make, emails to answer, training programs to write. The days where I have to be somewhere at 11:00am, 2:00pm, 4:00pm, and won't be home until 8:30pm. 

Just like you, those are the days I don't "Have the time", I have to "Make the time."

They (and my sons​, their wives, and grandson) are what keep me going back into the dungeon, willing my tight hamstrings to wake up, rolling through the soreness, ​battling the iron off the floor or overhead, and getting just one more rep. 

They are who I think of when I get an email from the band man t​itled "Squat Until You're 100", and I think "Why not me?"

Of course there are no guarantees I'll live to 100. But that doesn't mean I can't live every day to it's fullest potential.

I was reminded once again this weekend how short life really is. One of the most amazing men I ever met, Tim Smith, went it for hernia surgery on a Thursday, died of complications on Sunday.

​48 years young. Wife, kids, grandkids left in shock. Friends like me left to confront our own mortality. I am 51, and I realized once again there is no guarantee I'll live to 52.

But while I am here I am going to to fight the battle. I am going to steward the gift of this body and try to keep it healthy and productive as long as I can.


So I can better steward the other gifts, the more important gifts, that God has also given me.


Like the ones in this picture below, taken last weekend.

This is why I train.

How about you?

- DC

How Perfect Do I have to be with my Nutrition to Get Results?

....... and still get results?

The question was prompted as the questioner looked through my Facebook posts and noticed that birthday cake was eaten at some point this week. Isn’t that “non-compliant” with the food plan? 

Shouldn’t Nancy be flogged in the public square?

Before I answer, consider this – Are your goals and my goals the same?

Now I know you don’t know her specific goals, so I’ll frame it this way – Will the goals of a woman who is 5′ 7″ tall, weighs 135 pounds and has between 16 and 18% bodyfat going to be the same as a woman who is 5′ 7″  weighs 190 pounds and carries 30% bodyfat? (this is a hypothetical woman, not the questioner)

Of course the answer is no. There can be a significant difference in nutrition specifics because woman #2 needs to drop body fat, while I do not. In this case we need to separate the two questions “Am I eating to support my weight loss goals?” and “Am I getting all the Protein, vegetables, vitamins and healthy fats I need?”.  Make sense?

So here is (finally) the question and the answer I gave. It was a great question, and I appreciated it being asked. Let’s hear your thoughts and any followup questions you might have in the comments below.


Here I’ve been, wiping myself out to eat protein and veggies at EVERY meal….I can just snack smartly between meals and get all the veggies and protein I need three times a day or so….


Not sure it depends......

Fruit or yogurt or a small snack of mixed nuts is usually what I can easily find between the larger meals. This is “acceptable” or “compliant,” eh? Or am I on the right track (getting burned out) to eat so many veggies and protein each time I put something in my mouth?


I applaud your hard work and making some significant changes in your nutrition. Let’s back it up a bit. When it comes right down to it the most important thing is making your plan something you can live with – adding stress to the equation (getting burned out) is not what we are after.

Let’s talk about the reasons we are looking to get protein and vegetables in every time we eat. The typical American diet does not contain close to the amount of fruits and vegetables that is recommended in order to meet the nutritional requirements of a sedentary person, never mind someone like yourself who is training hard. The recommendation to eat veggies at each feeding is in order to help meet these requirements. I don’t know anybody (including myself) who eats too many vegetables. Eating protein, even a small amount, helps maintain blood sugar levels throughout the whole day and supports building lean tissue, which in turn helps raise your overall metabolism.

So that’s the theory and strategy. Now let’s talk reality. I have seen what compliance to a nutrition plan can do, and I believe it is optimal for rapid body composition change. That being said, what are the consequences of backing off that and developing a pattern of 3 solid protein/veggie meals and supportive snacks in between? The answer to that lies in the progress you achieve doing it that way, and we find that out with your weight and InBody measurements. So try the “new” plan for two weeks, take your measurements, and re-evaluate. If you are making the desired progress, we stay with it, if not something needs to change.

So August 31st is just over two weeks out. Take your measurements then and shoot me an email so we can re-evaluate. Sound like a plan? By the way save the date for learning all the in and outs with your InBody scan on September 

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Recovery Week is Coming

​Recovery week is scheduled for Monday, September 3rd – Friday, September 7th. We love to see each of you and we also know for  your best health and training ability we design “Rest” weeks into the training calendar. If you’ve trained with us for any length of time you’ve discovered the benefits and joys of recovery week in helping you progress onward and upward!

Steady Progress

So how can you best use recovery week?

You’ve already set aside the hour to train your body, ​Here​ are 20 different ways to use that hour during recovery week:

  1. Plan your meals and snacks for the week
  2. Find a new recipe and try it
  3. Have a massage at Chichester Massage and Body Works (remember Cr8 Fitness members receive a special price, just ask)
  4. Go for a hike with your family
  5. Roll on a tennis ball or better yet a LaCrosse ball
  6. Spend extra time with your kids and spouse
  7. Prepare your ingredients to make next week’s mealtime easier and faster
  8. Sleep in (especially for those crazy 5am-ers)
  9. Stretch
  10. Take a bike ride
  11. Have game night with your family
  12. Invite friends over for dinner
  13. Foam roll
  14. The dog needs some attention too
  15. Stretch with a purple band
  16. Go dancing
  17. Catch up on  your reading
  18. Do some activity that has been on your To Do list for a while
  19. Go Fishing
  20. Miss Cr8 Fitness terribly 🙂

​To your best health,

Coach Nancy

Risk Vs. Reward. Is it worth it?

workout fail

​"Why are we doing this?" is one of my favorite questions, along with it's corollary "How come we don't do this (​insert exercise here) in training?

​Those are both very good questions, and ones that anyone who writes training programs must be able to answer clearly and confidently.

​Today let's focus on the second one. You see, there are hundreds if not thousands of exercises and variations you could put in a training program. The more important question is "Should you?"

To me it comes down to risk vs. reward.

​In other words, does what I could gain from performing this exercise outweigh any inherent risks that may be involved in performing it?

​In our Smart Group Personal Training programs, there are lot of different factors that ​we weigh​ when making that decision.

  • Training Age of the Student
  • Physical Age of the Student
  • Current physical condition
  • Injury history
  • ​Training goals

​Just to name a very few.

​Does it really make sense to do box jumps if you are 60 years old, 30 pounds overweight, and have a history of knee injury?

​Ummm. No.

That doesn't make you a bad person, or less than. We are just going to choose a movement that is going to more appropriate for what is going on in your life right now.

The same principle applies when it comes to how we use the FMS screen with all our clients. If the screen indicates you have a shoulder impingement, or a significant imbalance left to right, you won't be overhead pressing until those issues are addressed. We might be able to address it in training, it might require medical intervention. But what good does it do to overhead press if it's going to make you worse or cause pain?

Zero. Good.

Sometimes we are stubborn, and keep doing things that are hurting us because we are trying to keep up with the person next to us, or we like that particular exercise, or we don't like being told not to. I get it, we all like to think we are immortal,

I have had to give things up at times in my own training. I have dealt with hip and back problems for years. When I have the occasional "flare up" with sciatica, I COULD keep heavy deadlifiting, and then I could find myself flat on my back for a week or unable to stand up straight.

How do I know? Been there. Done that. It was dumb.

Instead, let's just focus on good clean movement, do the mobility and flexibility work necessary to aid recovery, and build back up.

"Not now" doesn't mean "Never". 

So whether you train with us, in another gym, or by yourself, be smart. ​

Don't be afraid to ask. "Why am I doing (or not doing) this?" 

​Take the long term view. I want to train for the rest of my life, no matter how long that might be. Those who are training into their 70's, 80's and 90's didn't get there by accident.

They understand risk vs. reward.

Do you?

Keep getting better, every day!

- DC

A 4,000 Foot High Spotlight

​Don celebrating completing the 48 New Hampshire 4000 footers on Mt. Isolation with his kids as well as Stella. A long 13-1/2 mile hike that ended with 2 hours of night hiking by flashlight. This is his second time completing the 48 peaks, the first being 45 years ago in 1972.

​Did you catch that? Don has done the 48 4,000 footers twice. There is no doubt that once Don puts his mind to something, there isn’t much that will hold him back.

He has a sense of humor that tends to sneak up on you. I emailed him the day he climbed Mt. Isolation. This is what he wrote me back: “Thanks for the note and your concerns. I am OK, just schedule challenged. Yesterday I spent 14 hours climbing my last 4000 footer which made me miss class (I was going to wear my Tu Tu on the hike but my backpack got in the way)”.

As his coach, I didn’t need to learn about his climbing 48 different peaks twice in his life so far to know that though. He has tackled getting to his goals in the last year. When he first came to Get Fit NH he wanted to:

  1. ​lose some weight ​ 
  2. ​increase his ability to be active at a higher level. 

​In less than a year he has done just that. In his first six months he lost the weight he had desired. His goal for the summer was to maintain his weight while he had a bit more of a relaxed mindset and traveled. He did just that.

Don has also accomplished gaining more energy to do more - hello, 48 peaks!

I want to take this time to say congratulations to Don. Being a member of the 48 Footer club takes dedication, time, energy, and grit.

The 5am crew asked Don if they could go hiking with him on his next hike. He said; “Sure, I’m going Saturday.”

Keep Making It Happen!

Honored to be his coach,

And the Winner is…

​Katie Bean from Team MTXE!

​I am so proud of all those that participated in Sizzlin 'Summer Slimdown 2018. This year our challenge was a Coach driven as each person chose a coach to work with for six weeks. It was a group effort and we all need peeps.

​We also awarded the individual with the biggest percentage of inches lost from their hips and waist.

Katie chose Team Mental Toughness- Extra Effort. With her team behind her she won the Grand Prize of over $2400. I'll let Katie tell you more of her story.

​"In April of 2017 I began my weight loss journey. The ​gym I go to runs a weight loss challenge every spring. I hadn’t been going regularly, but decided to finally get serious about losing weight. I started off at almost 180 lbs - always tired, in pain, and depressed. I struggled to keep up with my young son. During the 8 week challenge, I lost 25 lbs. I continued to lose over the summer and by October I had lost almost 45 lbs. Then my mom got cancer, and things got stressful and the pounds started packing back on. I stopped going to boot camp and gained 15-20 lbs back over the winter. I was sad and frustrated because I had been so close to my goal.

Fast forward to this April. I was really looking forward to the weight loss challenge because I was set on reaching my goal, and hopefully winning the grand prize. It wasn’t always easy, but I stayed focused with the help of my family and coach. I ate clean, got back into hiking, ran up and down my driveway too many times, and push mowed my lawn with my old jalopy mower (the one that caught on fire last summer, lol).

​During the challenge, I lost 19 lbs and several inches off my waist and hips (the inches were what counted in the contest). I’m down almost 50 lbs from last year and only 6 lbs away from my goal weight. This past Saturday was the reveal party to announce the winner... I knew I did well, but I had no idea how well others had done (there were over 200 people participating). To make this long story short, I did it - I won!

I’d really like to thank my amazing and patient husband Jon who was there to listen to me stress, help me out, and who was happy to stay home with Jonathan while I was off hiking or exercising (even on Father’s Day). He even ate veggie wraps that tasted like lawn.

Also a huge shout out and thank you to my coach, Nancy Carlson. You make training personal and fun, and you’re always there to push me harder or email me when I don’t show up. You changed my way of thinking and taught me how to eat right and not diet, which is huge. And, you are a huge inspiration to me. During training I always think, what weight would Nancy pick up? You’re old enough to be my mother and you’re still stronger than me (and you have a great sense of humor, lol).

So in closing, here are some before and after photos, my coach and I, and a photo of my first purchase with my prize money - a new push mower!"

Katie did an amazing job. She rocked it and so did many of you. Katie didn't stop after S3 last year. She kept on pursuing her goal. The take away is life can get in the way if you allow it or you can make a decision and keep on going until the job is done.  Katie has more to go and with that new lawn mower and all of Get Fit NH behind her, she will be there soon. 

Keep Making It Happen,

Coach Nancy