Organic Seasoning Shakers

Do you have a million spices in your drawer? Half of them you don't know what it is and what you should put it on! Ever in a rush and don't have time to take out and locate ten different spices? This simple craft is your new go to to take your cooking to the next level!!!

Follow the ones we made or create your own!!!  

As a general guide we put an equal amount of each spice but feel free to load up on your favorites and leave out something you do not have or do not like!



TACO:  black pepper, oregano, chili powder, sea salt, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, onion powder, cumin

BBQ: sea salt, black pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder

CHICKEN: thyme, rosemary, sage, majorum, pepper, celery seed, nutmeg

CHILI: chili powder, garlic, cumin, oregano, paprika, onion, thyme

RANCH: parsley, chives, dill, garlic powder, onion powder, onion flakes, salt, pepper

STEAK: salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chili powder, dill weed



Get an empty spice jar labeled and ready! This set worked out great for us for only $19 off amazon!













What do you know about squat?

Any good exercise program should involve some type of assessment. Assessing yourself is the only way to determine how functional your movement is. So when is the last time you’ve taken a step back to really assess your movements? We’re not talking about the mirror selfie you posted to Instagram this afternoon, what we’re referring to is a good analysis of some of the basic movements that you’re performing in the gym on a weekly basis (some of them even under high loads and high repetitions). 

There’s more ways to track your progress in the gym other than the number on the scale or the weight on your bar, or how fast you did a mile. Have you ever stopped to look at HOW you’re actually moving. One of our favorite ways to track our athletes progress is by assessing their movement faults and cleaning them up. Once we’re moving better, it makes losing or gaining weight that much easier, and it goes without saying that the weights on your bar will increase with more effective movement patterns that recruit the proper muscles.

Let’s take a second to talk about something we do every single day, hundreds of times a week without even thinking about it.... we squat! If your current workout program doesn’t incorporate squats in some way, we highly recommend you add them in immediately. Your body will thank you for it. 

So what should a squat look like, and what does YOUR squat look like? Every body is different and we all move different in some way. At the end of the day, our squat should always include a few important factors before we start to add load to it.

First, your torso should remain upright and your spine must stay completely neutral throughout the movement. There are exceptions with the upright torso when it comes to the low bar back squat, but we won’t be discussing that in this post. The spine must remain neutral in order to add load to the movement and always avoid the “butt wink” (when your tailbone tucks under your hips, visualize a dog going number two). 

Second, your knees must not collapse inward towards one another, and the same applies to your ankles. Your knees should remain out in line with your toes. Your toes should be able to point straight or turned out just slightly. Refer to the image below to see what valgus knees and collapsed ankles look like. You may also find that your feet will turn outward as you squat deeper, a sure sign of instability or tightness in your lower body. 


Thirdly, your feet must maintain three points of contact with the floor. Big toe, little toe and heel must stay down as you squat. Your foot should maintain a solid arch as you splay your toes against the floor throughout the movement. 

Take two minutes to try this very simple test and start assessing your squat today. Stand with your toes against a wall about shoulder width apart. Toes should be straight ahead or slightly turned out. Raise your arms straight overhead and keep them from touching the wall if possible and don’t bend your elbows. Nose should be almost touching the wall. Slowly try and squat as low as possible while maintaining the three elements we mentioned above. Refer to the picture below and take a video of yourself so you may assess your movement. 


Did you find that your feet wanted to turn out or did turn it as you went down? Did your heels lift up and you found yourself on your toes? Were you unable to squat below parallel (hip crease below your knee)? Did you feel a lot of discomfort in your lower back or shoulders? Were you unable to squat very deep at all?

If you answered no to all of those questions and you were able to clear a full depth squat with ease, congratulations you passed the test! You possess the necessary ankle dorsiflexion, hip flexion, and thoracic stability to add some weight to that squat. As the load increases, be sure that all those points of performance remain intact. Then start to master all the forms of a squat including back squats, front squats, overhead squats and the infamous pistol squat. 


If you answered yes to one or more of those questions, let one of our coaches help you uncover the reason why. Maybe it’s because you rolled your ankle years ago playing pick up basketball and your mobility in that ankle isn’t quite where it should be? Maybe you work at a desk for hours a day or have a long commute which leaves your hips knees and lower back tight and therefore difficult to move properly when you hit the gym? Whatever the case may be, we are here to help! 

We hope you liked this article... keep your eyes open for the next blog... “How deep should you squat and why is it important to be able to deep squat” and “how’s your overhead press?”

For more information or to perfect your squat please email or we’d love to help! 

Ignite the fire to change your life... my Fitness Concepts Journey

By: Danielle Fagnant

One reason people resist change is because they focus on what they have to give up instead of what they have to gain.

Fitness Concepts not only changed my life, it saved my life. At the end of 2008 I was diagnosed with diabetes and PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and my doctor wanted me to seriously consider weight loss surgery. On January 28, 2009 my 5 foot tall, 236 pound body stepped into Fitness Concepts scared to death, but ready for change. I was immediately welcomed by friendly faces and quickly found myself a part of an amazing community. With the help of the Biggest Loser program, group fitness classes and the personal trainers a to Fitness Concepts, I not only lost over 50 pounds but more importantly was able to come off of all medications associated with the diabetes and PCOS. Fitness Concepts isn't just a gym, it's a community. That may sound cliche, however it is the truest statement possible. I would not be where I am today without the help and encouragement from everyone from the front desk staff, to the group fitness instructors and personal trainers. When I say that my life completely changed, I mean that I am truly not the same person that walked into the club 9 years ago. I went from a complete couch potato, working at a computer all day, playing games on a computer all night while eating an entire large pizza on my own, to being an active and healthy mom to an energetic 4 year old. I workout 5-6 days per week and have found such a passion in exercise that I'm now a group fitness instructor. I want to be able to bring the motivation and inspiration to members like other instructors and trainers brought to me. When you join Fitness Concepts, you truly become a part of a family. Everyone cares about you, gets excited to see you; they will share excitement about your success and stand by your side to help you get through any difficult times. Fitness and lifestyle change is a constant journey and everyone at Fitness Concepts is there with you every step of the way. 

Thinking of doing an obstacle course race this year? Spartan, tough mudder, etc... Here are 3 quick things you need to know to help you prepare:


1) GRIP – No matter what obstacle course you choose, you’re going to need some good grip to get through. With everything from bucket and jug carries, monkey bars, rope climbs, and even just the simple wall, having good grip can help you breeze through the course.

  •  How to train:
    • Basic: Plate pinch: pick up a 5, 10, 25, 45 lb. plate (depending on your fitness level) and hold onto it with just your finger tips and thumb. You can do this while stationary or while walking. This is a great way to tax your grip muscles in a very controlled way, try to hold for 15-30 seconds for 4-5 sets.
    • Advanced: Dead hangs or dead lift holds. Dead hangs are pretty boring but a great way to get used to being up on a set of monkey bars. Simply get onto a pull-up bar and hang, you can increase difficulty by adding pull-ups at set intervals or holding onto a medicine ball with your feet to at weight. Dead lift holds should be done with a comfortable working weight for the exercise and only if you’re experienced with the movement of dead lifting. Bring the bar to the top of the movement and hold for 3-10 seconds before returning the bar to the ground, repeat this at your working weight rep range.
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2) ENDURANCE – all races involve some level of distance, and that distance’s impact is relative to the person attempting it. So regardless of how “long” a race is or isn’t you want to prepare your body to complete it at the pace you desire.

  • How to train:
    • Basic (Open Heat): A good way to accomplish this is to attempt the course distance at least one a week. Your body should be able to comfortably reach it in the weeks leading up to the event. So if you’re training for a Spartan Sprint (roughly 5 miles -/+) you may want to set aside the next 8 Saturdays to get a good 5 miler done either on the treadmill, road, or trails. This will help acclimate your body to the distance and help avoid strains or injury during the race.
    • Advanced (Age Group – Formerly Competitive): So you want to step your game up and try your hand in the competitive age group waves? While training will vary drastically based on the distance and terrain you should be setting aside at minimum 3 solid cardio days. Working on intervals for speed and thresholds, tempo run to really get the body used to sustained steady work, and longer easy runs to get the longevity at a soft pace.
    • Legendary (Elite/Contender) Lets chat. J

3) STRENGTH – “Runners” are finding it harder and harder to “blitz” OCR Athlete between obstacles, and the main reason for that is the increase in obstacle difficulty and technical skill required.  As the industry matured so have the complexity and sometimes brutality of the obstacles, meaning if you don’t have the strength, that 6:00min/mile pace isn’t going to be enough to make up the ground.

  • How to train:
    • Basic: Stick to them, basic compound lifts or bodyweight movements that engage multiple muscle groups all at once are a very simple way to achieve a baseline that will help you through many of the obstacles.
    • Advanced: Start super setting. No obstacle is singular in what it demands. A great example is bucket carry, the argument can be made its all grip. Wrong, it’s all grip when you’re standing still with a bucket, but add a ½ mile climb up a mountain, you’re now leaning forward, taxing your back more, and your claves and quads are soon on fire. By super setting grip work with lunges, deadlifts with pull-ups you’re able to simulate in a controlled setting the taxation you’ll experience on the course.

Now the caveat of all this is it all depends on your goal and your event. Some events such as Tough Mudder’s Toughest 8 Hour are endurance events, and depending on your level can run into 30s and 40s with regards to mileage, training for that is vastly different than if you are just attempting to walk your first Warrior Dash, or you’re trying your hand at the competitive age groups in a Spartan Sprint. Tailor your training to match you event, and your goals for it. Questions? feel free to DM member Ryan Josti on Instagram @RJosti87


Member of Fitness Concepts Health Club? Don't forget Bear Crawl Obstacle and Fitness Park is included in your membership and located in the back of Fitness Concepts! Stay tuned on an early season obstacle race that welcomes all levels of OCR fitness @ Bear Crawl Park this June!!!


Top 10 Reasons Older Adults Should Workout!

Over 50, 65, 80? Need a reason to get up and moving and come to Fitness Concepts?

Here are ten...


1.     Reduce Risk of Falls

Balance & strength exercises can help reduce the chance of a fall and help aid in quicker recovery from one.

2.     Get in a Good Mood

Exercises releases good chemicals that make you feel great!

3.     Reduce Symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome

Hypertension, high cholesterol, blood sugar, and more can all be positively affected by exercise.

4.     Reduce Stress

Exercise can help reduce stress, anxiety and even improve sleep.

5.     Reduce Aches & Pains

A body in motion stays in motion – the laws of physics can’t be worng!

6.     Boost Your Brain

Exercise can increase memory, reduce Alzheimer’s symptoms and improve coordination.

7.     Make New Friends

Everyone needs friends and people who work out together are more likely to stick with it.

8.     There’s Nothing You Can’t Do

Afraid you won’t be able to do it? Fear not, we can modify everything to fit your current abilities.

9.     There’s Something for Everyone

There’s plenty to pick from – Silver Sneakers Yoga, Circuit and Classic classes, a no-floor Core Concepts and FitEdge Silver, a group personal training class. Try them all.

10.  It’s Fun!

Workouts include music you’ll love, play and games to make the time fly by with lots of laughs.



Super Bowl-Super Clean- Super Easy 5 Star Honey Balsalmic Wings


Place organic chicken wings in large bowl and drizzle with olive oil, italian seasoning, sea salt, and pepper. 

Spread wings out on cookie drying sheet with cookie sheet underneath wings.  


Cook for 45 minutes on 400 degrees.

Glaze: simmer in small saucepan for 10 minutes balsalmic vinegar, raw honey, and garlic. Once it turns to a glaze put wings back into large mixing bowl and combine and mix in all the glaze covering wings evenly.


Once evenly covered put wings back in the oven on srying sheet with cookie sheet as drip pan below for 5-8 minutes on broil!

 Optional: add seasame seeds!






How to be Taller in One Easy Lesson

Rhonda Hamer, ACE CPT

When was the last time someone told you “Stand up straight, young man,” or “Sit up properly, young lady”? It’s probably been a while since someone corrected your posture. Does good posture even matter with 21st century lifestyles?

Our 21st century world is one of high-tech gadgets that make life easier but with extended periods of sitting. If you use a computer, text, drive a car, watch TV or even read a book, chances are you are practicing poor posture at some point in your day.

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Using computers and cell phones lead to being hunched over the keyboard with shoulders forward, head down. Driving a car requires reaching forward, usually with just one arm and perhaps leaning on the other. Reading and watching television on a comfy couch or recliner allows us to settle in against the pillows, slump down and relax.

All of these activities, and many others, pull us out of proper postural alignment. And that’s just while we’re stationary. Poor posture while performing movements – walking, bending, lifting, reaching - can increase the risk of falls and injuries at any age.

Poor posture can lead to many health complications now and as we get older. Approximately 80% of American adults will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives and poor posture is one contributing factor. Poor posture can cause pain and weakness in every system of the body right down to internal organs.

There’s hope for us all: standing, sitting, moving and even lying with good posture can help ward off back pain and osteoporosis, improve digestion and breathing, help us sleep better and so much more. Proper posture aids in better balance, will make your workouts more effective and reduce the risk of injury. Contact one of our Personal Trainers for a postural assessment and exercises to improve your posture. And, yes, it can even make you taller. So, stand up straight, young man and sit up, young lady!



It is indisputable that group fitness is a huge component to an individual’s fitness journey and overall success. With endless class offerings, there’s no reason to not try them all! From strength to HIIT to functional training, there’s no limit to what you can do. The best part about the group fitness that we offer here is that it is all scientifically backed by some of the most educated people in the nation. Every single release that is created is tested and then modified by scientists so it creates more change in our body composition. No matter high or low, members are given the opportunity to test their maximum threshold or tune it down to a no-impact option (i.e. marching on the spot to substitute a high knee run). Group fitness is the perfect supplemental piece that you’ve been missing when you’re only weight training on the floor or doing your daily incline walk on the treadmill. These classes are formatted to create the change quickly and effectively- I simply cannot speak enough good about Les Mills and the programs they continue to develop and evolve over time.

This is my third year as a group fitness instructor (Certified AIM 1 & AIM 2 Advanced BODYATTACK Instructor) and currently chasing my fifth certification, but time and time again I always see myself coming back to BODYATTACK. Les Mills BODYATTACK was one of the first classes I had ever taken here at Fitness Concepts when I became a member in mid-2014, with little to no physical exercise currently under my belt. Incorporating sports-inspired/track-related movements and cardio, the explosive power that you experience in this group environment is life-changing and uplifting. Working together with your team to overcome the highs and the lows in this class is enough reason to come through the front doors every day, as this is what ultimately brought my fitness to the next level again and again, and continues to do so each and every day. By 2015 this was the first program that I became certified to instruct in (BODYATTACK 89). We are going on BODYATTACK 100 this spring and I am so beyond excited to be part of it. There is just so much science behind this specific class, and if only you knew what the benefits were, I guarantee you’d be in there moving with me too! Keep reading to see these very benefits!

If you are to take the full format class [which is currently offered Tuesday and Saturday mornings], expect to burn approximately 700+ calories! It sounds crazy, but keep in mind when you complete a full 55 minutes of BODYATTACK, you’ve just run the equivalent of a 5K [which is 3.1 miles in case you didn’t know].  The 30-minute format (EXPRESS) class – currently offered at 6pm on Mondays - has the same benefits, but packed into half the time for those who are on the go and need a quick yet effective workout! Members who also like to take multiple classes a visit tend to like the express classes because it gives them more variety in half the time.

A recent study at Penn State proved positive changes in leg and back strength in BODYATTACK participants. Taking this class regularly also showed significant improvements in agility, coordination and power. If you don’t believe me, take a moment to listen to the very program director herself as she describes the class feel, what you can expect going into your first class, how to ease yourself into the program if you’re a first-timer, and ultimately the benefits that you’ll reap each and every time.

Lisa Osborne is infamous for her involvement in the Les Mills franchise – not to mention she ranked 2nd place (overall) worldwide in the 2016 CrossFit Opens – This powerhouse of a woman believes in this multi-dimensional program to no end and knows there’s something for everyone in this class. There are options for absolutely everyone, just ask our participants ranging from ages 14 to 91.

This is a new year, a time to reset and assess your current regimen. Try something new! Get involved and get in the madness! You will NOT regret it. Even if it’s not BODYATTACK, Group Fitness is something all of our instructors are passionate about. For all programs, allow yourself 3-5 classes to get the full feel of the program – NEVER quit after one or two tries. Talk to the instructors. Talk to the members. Once you start, don’t ever stop. Full speed ahead!

-By Ryan Kendall