5 Ways to Keep Your Fitness Focus

Often, I am asked how I balance my training with teaching fitness classes, how I fuel, how I stay motivated, etc. without losing steam.

I thought I’d share a few tips that keep me going throughout the week.

  • accountability
  • protein often
  • tracking
  • move anywhere
  • routine


Teaching HIIT/Ab Blast classes keeps me honest and accountable. If I can’t do the workout at a high intensity, how can I expect class participants to do it?

Post-HIIT class. Focus on upper body.

Individuals attend my class to work outside their comfort zone and it’s my job to deliver.

Sure, there are days were I am dragging and feel far from inspirational, but it is my RESPONSIBILITY to provide a challenging and engaging setting.


Whether it’s a quick smoothie for breakfast…

Green monster with Total Lean

Or, adding beans, low-fat cottage cheese and chia seeds to salads, find a way to incorporate protein into meals and snacks.

I also throw a scoop of protein powder in my cereal stay full longer.

Kashi with almonds and chia seeds

If I’m dragging, I know I need to incorporate more protein into my diet. Especially, as I am looking to build lean, muscle.


I get a lot of questions about my cute watch when I post #PROOF on instagram or twitter. It’s a Polar HR monitor, model FT 40, and I wear it for everything!

Polar FT40

During workouts or class, I monitor my heart rate constantly to make sure I am pushing myself and participants. Plus, I love seeing the stats at the end of a workout like calories burned, max HR and average HR.  

I also input all my workouts into my DailyMile account.


There are days I don’t want to go to the gym or run in +20 mph Palouse winds. It’s okay to have rest days or lower intensity days.

With minimal equipment, I can create a challenging workout at home. But, if my legs are shot, I usually opt for core work.


Planks are one of THE most effective ab exercises you can do. You engage your entire core and work upper body strength as well.

As a creature of habit, I like routine. I pack a gym bag to take to work on most days. That way I have no excuses not to get my RUNch in.

I also am routine about my eats.

I drink ProSculpt first thing in the morning and usually pack a breakfast of protein oatmeal or a smoothie and have plenty of snacks at work like no bake protein bars, almonds, and larabars especially on days I teach.

Prepare to succeed with healthy eats and exercises!


Come back for Fitness Friday. I have a BEAST of a workout to share with you!


  1. Great post!

  2. All of these are SO true! I’m actually about to snack on some cottage cheese right now. :)

  3. Excellent post. I really liked it because it’s a great reminder of everything that I already know but sometimes need to hear from someone else. Once I am in a routine, everything becomes so much easier!

  4. I liked this! So true. I really try to always add protein to my meals and snacks. I’m a protein fiend!

  5. I miss that accountability thing the most; I lack the willpower some days when I do this on my own. I wish I had the funds for a trainer again. Maybe one day…it really makes a difference.

  6. TOTALLY!! I love the accountability part! plus… I have the make up bag. We’re twins!

  7. I’m drive by accountability too. The fact that I’m going to start instructor training has given me the added focus on my form. Makes a big difference. Love your plank picture… just for you, I’m doing a plank when I finish typing… :)

  8. I need you and your will power! You rock!

  9. You are amazing and have super powers.
    You forgot that little tip. 😉
    Thanks for all the great tips to keep on, keeping on!

  10. Nice list, missy! Mmmmm want some of that monster…

  11. love all your tips! i SO need a heart rate monitor!

  12. All awesome points – I have to have my daily snack right around 3. If I don’t have it, my energy and everything seems to just get shot. And most definitely need lots of proten!

    Definitely can attest to all you say here! :-)

  13. This is such a great post!! Awesome tips :). I need to start getting back into the habit of using my heart rate monitor!! Do you think it’s more challenging to do planks on your forearms or hands??

    • Thanks for commenting Lindsay! I wonder who else is having problems with commenting!

      And, forearm plank are more CHALLENGING. lower to ground = more abs engaged – we tend to fatigue faster. Try placing your palms on the mat instead of balling up into fists (like I used to do!)

  14. If I don’t eat protein with a meal, which is rare, I end up with an “eat clean fail”. It’s not good. Great tips!

  15. Thanks for these fab tips! I DO find that I workout harder when I’m wearing my HR monitor – seeing the HR soar and calories burn total is always a motivator.

  16. awesome tips!! i

  17. ok so yeah i wasn’t really done commenting. I know for me the clean eating certainly makes in a difference in how i feel and while i’m not perfect, striving for more fruits and veggies is a good way to stay on track

  18. Great tips Jess! The nutrition aspect of this really hits home for me… I simply do not feel as well if I am not fueling myself properly! Need the reminder sometimes :)

  19. Thanks Emily! Looking forward to following your training!

  20. Wishing you a safe recover from hip surgery! U of L is big time for cheering–i 2nd the athlete part!

    I played softball at Stanford.

  21. Anonymous says:

    What protein powder do you recommend?

  22. Jess, these are some awesome tips…When I used to work, I would always bring a gym bag with me – I loved working out over lunch b/c it broke up the day and allowed me to clear my head and come back refreshed. If I didn’t get a chance over lunch, I would just go straight to the gym after work…It’s exactly like you said – the routine is what is so important!
    My one area I’m lacking these days is eating – I tend to eat on the go a lot when I’m with my son and unfortunately, it’s not always the healthiest (I do pack him a lunch though – so I guess it’s not all that bad!)

  23. I love this. People think ‘routine’ is bad 😉
    It’s not it’s not!

  24. These are some great tips! I really have to get a heart monitor to make sure I’m always pushing myself!

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