The holidays are over and people have made their resolutions, many to get fit in the new year. The gym parking lots are packed and social media is exploding with before photos claiming this is the year! However, as the weeks (and months) pass the parking lots get quiet and the progress photos slow down. Whether you are brand new to fitness, trying to burn off all those holiday meals, or just trying to make a change in your lifestyle for the better, here are six simple tips to turn your new year’s resolution into results.

Tip #1: Set goals

We know that almost everybody is going to have the goal of weight loss, but challenge yourself to get specific. Break your goal down weekly or even daily. The goals don’t necessarily have to be about the actual amount of weight you’re planning to lose, but more on how you plan to reach your goal.

For example, set a goal of “make it to the gym 3 times this week” or “meal prep on Sunday for lunches throughout the week.” By creating simple, short-term goals, it’s easier to achieve and you’ll have more confidence in your fitness journey.

Tip #2: Write your goals down

Fitness goals written out on a piece of paper.

It is easy to ignore that little voice in your head that says “get to the gym.” We answer by saying “I can go later” or “I will do double the workout tomorrow.” Inevitably, something comes up and it just doesn’t get done.

Write your goals down and put a checkmark next to them when you accomplish them. One trick is to write them on your bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker. You are bound to look at them every morning and they are easily erased when completed. Or leave them up and see how much progress you have made, how many goals you have accomplished. The more often you see your goals, the more often you will think about them, and chances are, the more successful you will be.

Tip #3: Ask for advice

Seek out a fitness professional or a personal trainer to begin your journey. Most fitness experts got into the industry to help people, and many would be happy to give you advice. Collect their opinions on what they have seen work in other people. Although fitness professionals will usually be the most knowledgeable on nutrition, ask your friends what works for them. The more information you have, the more tools you will have to decide what direction you would like to go. And remember, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Tip #4: Pick a plan and stick to it

Nutrition plans are not one size fits all. Some work better for certain people than others. Try to find one that works with your life and is achievable for you. If it is a plan that you will constantly break the rules on, or “cheat” on, it is not for you. There are hundreds of nutrition plans out there and the only way they work is if you stick to them. Remember, this is a lifestyle change and it must be sustainable for a long time. Nobody knows you better than you do so find one that fits in with your life.

Tip #5: Drink plenty of water

It is colder outside in the winter, and with that, the desire for water can diminish, but we require just as much water in the winter as we do in the summer. Staying hydrated is key to keeping your metabolism running top-notch. A general rule of thumb is to drink at least 50% of your body weight in ounces of water per day if not 100% of your body weight in ounces on days you work out. The two biggest deterrents to physical performance are dehydration and inadequate nutrition. If your body doesn’t have the fuel it needs, it will not perform at the appropriate levels for you to reach your goals. You wouldn’t put regular unleaded in a Ferrari, would you?

Tip #6: Respect the process

This is a marathon, not a sprint. Making a lifestyle change to be healthier is not an easy thing. It’s going to take hard work and time. Remember, your body didn’t get the way it did overnight, so it is going to take some time to change. It takes about 6 weeks of a training program for friends and family to start noticing a change and about 8 weeks for you to start to notice.

The difference does not always come from the scale either, maybe your clothes fit a little better, you have more energy or you are able to lift a little more than you used to. This all means your body is making significant changes to adapt to your new way of living. Don’t get discouraged when the progress slows down, the body gets used to things, which is a perfect time to switch it up. Add an extra day into your routine or add another physical activity like hiking or biking. Challenge yourself and you will be surprised with what you can accomplish.

Take these tips for what they are, “tips” and apply them to make a serious change this year. At FAST we strive to help people with their physical and lifelong goals. Whether it is a massive lifestyle change you want or you just want to move a little better and get more active. Come talk to one of our Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists today to get jump-start your path to living healthier. Schedule a free fitness assessment.

At FAST there is nothing more important to us than your health and well-being, and we are open to serve you. The coronavirus (COVID-19) is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation, and we are working diligently to keep athletes, customers, staff, and referral partners updated on our policies and prevention preparedness.

We have been working closely with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and state and local health officials to ensure our centers and clinical teams are taking the proper action to keep everyone safe and healthy.

In addition, we offer virtual training for athletes that are unable to come to our facilities. 

Current COVID-19 Policies

  • Effective 7/6/2021 – If you are fully vaccinated, you are no longer required to wear a mask. If you would like your therapist or tech to wear a mask, please let us know. We are more than happy to accommodate your request.
  • Per the CDC guidelines, frequent hand washing is safer than wearing gloves; therefore, gloves will not be worn unless requested. When requested, gloves will be single-use only.
  • We will continue to uphold our standard of excellence in cleaning and sanitation.
  • Any athletes or staff experiencing Covid-related symptoms (cough, sore throat, fever, shortness of breath, or other symptoms listed by the CDC known to be Covid related) will be sent home and asked to return when they have 3 continuous days, symptom-free, and without medication. Confirmed positive Covid patients must self-quarantine for 10 days and be symptom and medication free the last 3 continuous days before we will schedule an appointment.

Outside the Training Center

To ensure the health and safety of everyone in the clinic, we ask that athletes and staff follow the following guidelines outside of FAST, as well:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean/disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

We thank you for your patience as we navigate updates and changes so that we are able to continue to provide you excellent care and a safe environment.

Ready to get moving? In the gym, or at home – choose what feels right for you!

Meet Kayleigh, this month’s FAST trainer spotlight. We’re grateful for all the employees that make FAST what it is, and we can’t wait for you to learn more about Kayleigh. She has her B.S. from Northwestern Oklahoma State University and is also a Women’s Basketball Assistant Coach/ Strength Coach at Scottsdale Community College.


What inspired you to embark on the fitness journey with your career?

I grew up really active and very involved in sports. I love to workout and workout with others. I really enjoy helping others reach their goals or to just live a better life style through fitness. The best feeling is seeing someone putting the hard work in and seeing the out come.  As a college athlete I had to always exercise and stay active and I really enjoyed doing so. So I want to share my knowledge and experience to other athletes, so they can go on to the next level to play.


What’s one piece of advice you’d give anyone interested in becoming a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist?

You have to be motivating and also very energetic. Your energy rubs off on whom you’re working with.  Bring the fire and passion everyday, because you’re here to help and push others to meet their goals and also build trust. Also, being a great listener is very important.  The last advice is to also have an open mind and the “want” to keep learning.


What’s your favorite workout style?

I love to lift a hard full body workout.  I like to include Olympics lifts, and also interval training is a lot of fun.  But I think I could just do lower body every time, that’s my ultimate favorite.

What’s your favorite song to listen to when working out?

One of my favorite songs to workout to is Elevate by drake. I usually enjoy listening to Hip Hop when I work out. A few artists I enjoy listening to while working out is: Kendrick Lamer, future, Meek Mill and drake.


What’s your favorite thing to eat after a workout?

I would have to say Chipotle.  I usually put almost everything in the bowl especially Guacamole.


What’s one food that you can’t live without?

I definitely cant live without Pizza/ wings and hamburgers.


What’s the best advice you have ever received?

Not every thing in life is given, if you want something you will have to apply the work. Once when you received what you worked for enjoy it and cherish it.


What motivates you?

I have several things that motivate me. One of them is waking up every morning and being greater then I was the day before.  I want to contribute more and learn more everyday.  Also, being able to help others is one of my other motivations. Knowing I have the ability to help change someone life is what drives me everyday. Finally, I love to set goals and I love to feel accomplished. So being able to have the ability to work for something no matter how easy or hard is my ultimate motivation.

Interested in training with Kayleigh? Contact the FAST Old Town Scottsdale location today to set up a free assessment with her.

The holiday season is upon us, and for many, it’s a time for gathering around the table with family, friends and good food. We’re sharing some healthier Thanksgiving recipes that will allow you to enjoy the traditional dishes with a healthy twist. Read on to get inspired!


Simple Butternut Squash Soup  

Start Thanksgiving off with a warm cup of soup. This recipe is only 6 ingredients and takes less than 1 hour to make.

  • Kyle Schneider, FAST Ahwatukee


Sweet Potato Mash

Mashed potatoes are a Thanksgiving staple for many. The knock on mashed potatoes is they are starchy, high GI, easy to over eat and have lots of unhealthy add-ons. Replace mashed potatoes with this healthier alternative, Garlic Sweet Potato Mash. I personally love sweet potatoes and the garlic will be enough to liven it up rather than adding unhealthy toppings.

  • Greg Stein, FAST North Scottsdale


Green Bean Casserole

My favorite Thanksgiving dish idea is this Green Bean Casserole recipe. With a total of 188 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 8 grams of protein, this Green bean Casserole will have you feeling less guilty about having seconds. If you wanted even a little more crunch to the dish, add some crushed almonds to the mix.

  • Brandon Wood, FAST Litchfield Park


Paleo Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is a Thanksgiving staple, so if you’re looking for a new recipe to try this year, we recommend this one.

  • Kyle Decker, FAST Arrowhead


And don’t forget about the leftovers! If you’ve got plenty of turkey left, try this Turkey Tortilla Soup! We’re wishing you a healthy and happy Thanksgiving break.

Have you hit the Starbucks line to get your first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season? It’s no secret that the PSL is many people’s favorite thing about fall, but did you know that the grande size at Starbucks has more than 50 grams of sugar plus many additives? Read on to learn how to make your own Pumpkin Spice Latte at home (without the added additives and excess sugar).


What ingredients you’ll need for a Pumpkin Spice Latte:

  • 8 ounces of coffee or 1-2 shots of espresso
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk (or nut milk of choice)
  • 3 tablespoons of pumpkin puree
  • ½ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoons of sweetener of choice (honey, agave, maple syrup)


After reviewing the ingredients for a healthier Pumpkin Spice Latte, you’ll see there’s only a handful of ingredients and most of it you’ll already have at home. The can of pumpkin puree will last you awhile, so make sure to store it in the refrigerator so you can enjoy PSLs all week long.


How to make a Pumpkin Spice Latte:

  • In a small sauce pan, mix together the nut milk and pumpkin puree. Cook on medium heat for a few minutes. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, spices and sweetener.
  • Pour your coffee into your mug of choice.
  • Blend the sauce pan ingredients with a hand held frother or blender. This will end up as a foamy milk mixture.
  • Pour the foamy milk mixture on top of your coffee and garnish with extra cinnamon.
  • Enjoy!


If you’re a lover of iced coffee, this PSL recipe is great chilled too over ice. And if you’re really feeling in the fall mood, give our pumpkin workout and pumpkin protein smoothie recipe a try. Happy fall!

With fall weather just around the corner for Phoenix, many of us are excited to get back on the hiking trails, taking our pets for walks or simply, enjoying patio weather. But did you know that your friends can play a role in helping you reach your health goals? Read on to learn more, as we’re diving into this topic today—so don’t forget to forward this to your fitness bestie.


Your Friends Can Hold You Accountable

Let’s say your health goal this fall is to do a group fitness class 3x a week. Chances are, you’ll be way more likely to attend those classes if you have a friend (or two) joining you. Over time, you’ll be used to going to classes weekly—making it a habit that you’ll not want to miss.


Social Outings and Staying on Track

If your friends know about your health goals they’ll be there to cheer you on. So if you’re planning to do happy hour on Friday night, they can help you stick to a healthier cocktail or a low-calorie beer vs. derailing your hard work at the gym. And they’ll probably be willing to wake up on Saturday morning for a group hike at Camelback.


Your Friends Can Provide Support

It can be easy to share when your health goals are going good—but not as easy to share when you’re struggling. By talking with your friends about the ups and downs, they can help you stay motivated—even through the tough times.


Here at FAST, we offer semi-private personal training sessions that are perfect for those close-knit friends who want to motivate each other and work out together. Not to mention, it’s a less expensive option that one-on-one personal training. If you’re interested in learning more, we’d love to learn about your health goals. Schedule a FREE assessment today!

Fall is officially here, and with a new season comes a spotlight on a FAST trainer. Meet Tyler Karlberg, CSCS, USA Track and Field Level 1 coach. He has his B.S. in Exercise Science from Northern Arizona University. Read on to learn more about Tyler and why we’re proud to have him as part of our FAST Ahwatukee team.


What inspired you to embark on the fitness journey with your career?

I got interested in strength and conditioning to help my own athletic performance. I was looking to level up my training and very quickly became obsessed with the process of improving athletic capacity.


What’s one piece of advice you’d give anyone interested in becoming a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist?

Don’t get into this business unless you care about helping the people you are working with. Everything you do in strength and conditioning has to be about helping your athletes/clients improve. This is a service profession.


What’s your favorite workout style?

I like to do a bit of everything, but my favorite training sessions are either heavy barbell lifts or high intensity intervals on my bike.


What’s your favorite song to listen to when working out?

Not long ago, I realized I was using music as a crutch to get me through a training session. Looking to improve my ability to push myself through challenges, I now rely on the sweet sounds of my own labored breathing as motivation.


What’s your favorite thing to eat after a workout?

My favorite post workout meal is a New York strip steak with sides of potatoes and some sort of roasted vegetables.


What’s one food that you can’t live without?

I am a sucker for some good buffalo wings.


What’s the best advice you have ever received?

Someone once told me that there is no such thing as “free time” there is only time. They helped me realize that it up to me to decide how I spend every minute of my life and if I waste it, that’s on me.


What motivates you?

I am a big believer in goal setting. Choosing long term goals that I am passionate about and picking small achievable goals every day helps push me to be my best. I am also highly driven by producing a result I can be proud of. I don’t like to put my name on things that aren’t up to par with what I feel I am capable of.


Does training with Tyler sound like something you’d be interested in? Visit our website to set up a free assessment with him at our Ahwatukee location today!

When is the last time you gave that water bottle of yours a good scrub? You might rinse it out daily but do you spend a few extra minutes really cleaning your water bottle each day? With flu season upon us, you’ll want to make sure you take these steps to keep bacteria at bay.


Daily: wash it with warm water and soap.

One of the easiest ways to clean your water bottle is to wash it daily with warm, soapy water. We recommend purchasing a bottle brush set to really get into the base of the water bottle to help rid any bacteria.


Weekly: Throw it in the dishwasher.

Before you clean your water bottle in the dishwasher, make sure your water bottle is actually dish washer safe. An easy way to do this is going to the brand’s website to view their care instructions—it’s always better to be safe than sorry.


Weekly: Clean it with vinegar.

No harsh chemicals needed. You can use vinegar to clean your water bottle and rid it from any lingering germs. After washing it with soapy water, rinse well and then fill your water bottle 1/5 to ¼ the way full with white vinegar. Fill the remainder with water and let it sit overnight. Give it a good rinse in the morning and you’ll be set!


And if you’re really worried: water bottle cleansing tablets.

Some water bottle companies sell cleansing tablets that are meant to really clean and rid your water bottle of any pesky germs. So if flu season is going around your work, gym or home, this might be a great solution to deep clean your water bottle.

To maximize the benefits of gym time—it’s important to make sure that you’re doing exercises with proper form. More often than not, we see many exercises done incorrectly, but today we’re sharing how to fix that and do these exercises safely.

Barbell Deadlift

Top Exercises that People Use Poor Form

The exercise that we tend to see the worst form on is the barbell deadlift. It is one of the best exercises for you, but if done wrong can be one of the worst for you. We see rounded backs, arching necks and pulling arms that all tend to lead to major injuries. The best way to prevent injury on the deadlift is to maintain a flat back. To do so, you should be squeezing your shoulder blades together, pushing your hips behind you with soft knees, and strongly bracing your core. Imagine a stick from the base of your neck to your lower back, like the photo above shows.

-Greg Stein, FAST North Scottsdale

Push Ups

How to Properly do a Push Up - FAST Foothills Acceleration and Sports Training

The push up is one of the most incorrectly done exercise out there. To do it correctly, start on the ground with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Set your feet in a stance that is comfortable to you as well as allows you to be successful. Think of your body as a straight line (plank position) and clinch your butt and draw in your belly button. Proceed to push up and down keeping that straight line. A great que is knowing that a push-up is really just a moving plank.

-Kyle Decker, FAST Arrowhead

Hip Hinge

FAST Training - Don't Make these mistakes at the gym

The number one exercise I see people or athletes do incorrectly is the Hip Hinge or a Deadlift variation. Most people will initiate the movement by using their back rather than using their hips and hamstrings. Although the back is used during a Deadlift, it is important to initiate the movement from the hips by pushing your butt back while keeping your shoulders pulled back to ensure you don’t have any rounding in your back while you lift. This will keep your back safe but also put more emphasis on the glutes and hamstrings as the working muscle groups.

-Jeff Placencia, FAST South Gilbert

Deadlift (any variation)

FAST Training - How to Properly Perform Exercises

This exercise proves to be one of the most improperly performed exercises. Many exercisers tend to bend too much with their knees instead of hinging with their hips, stand improperly, or have difficulty keeping their back flat. The biggest risk of injury occurs when the exercisers loses trunk stability and allows their back to round.

To help correct this issue, be sure to engage/contact the muscles surrounding the trunk and bring yourself into a shoulders back, chest out, back flat position. Once the muscles are engaged to start the lift, the chances of keeping correct form throughout the lift increase.

-Kyle Schneider, FAST Ahwatukee


FAST Foothills Acceleration and Sports Performance Training

The exercise I see most frequently performed incorrectly, is the squat. One of the most common areas a squat is done incorrectly is the knees caving inward. Placing a band above the knees is a great way to work on this aspect of the squat. The band is trying to pull the knees inward, thus the individual has to actively engage their glutes in order to keep the knees in line with the toes. This is a great tool to use as a cue, as well as also strengthening the area that is weak (hips) to fix this problem.

-Brandon Wood, FAST Litchfield Park

Chin Up

How to Properly do a Chin Up

The chin up is one exercise I see performed poorly by many gym goers. During the chin up we tend to extend or arch are back when we really want to be doing the opposite by hollowing out our body. One cue I like to give our clients is to shape your body into the letter “C” before you start your pull towards the top of the chin up. This will engage your core fully and make the chin up that much more effect and beneficial.

-Wade Haras, FAST Old Town Scottsdale

There you have it—the top exercises that people are doing wrong and how to fix your form. If you’d like to work one-on-one with a FAST certified strength and conditioning specialist, visit our website to schedule a FREE fitness assessment. We work with weekend warriors, competitive athletes, and those who are wanting to build healthy habits.

We get it, nobody has time to spend all weekend grocery shopping and meal prepping for the week ahead. Instead of spending hours in the kitchen, we’re sharing some ideas to make meal prep easy.


One Pan Meals

You read it right—one pan. Chop up broccoli, sweet potato and season some salmon, and put it in the over. The clean up on this is a breeze and it’s the perfect way to quickly make roasted veggies and protein.


Stir Fry

Load up on your favorite vegetables, quinoa and protein to make a homemade stir fry that’s just as good as take out—but much healthier for you. With simple ingredients like tamari and hoisin sauce, you can create your own stir fry sauce.


Overnight Oats

With overnight oats, you can prep this at once and then add different toppings throughout the week to add in some variety. From raspberries and chia seeds to blueberries and honey—you’ll have endless (and tasty) options to kick off your day.


Easy Snacks

If you have to lean on protein bars from time to time, read our blog post that shares the best protein bars that aren’t chalk full of sugars and carbs. Another great solution is hard boiled eggs—and Trader Joe’s has pre-made options if you’re in a pinch.


There you have it—meal prep made easy. We hope these ideas are helpful and have you spending less time in the kitchen and more time doing the things you enjoy most!

Foothills Acceleration and Sports Training (FAST) is empowered by Foothills Therapy Partners (FTP).