5 things our most successful clients do

So you’ve been coming to the gym consistently for a year now but you still don’t look like Joe Shmo who comes to the 6:30 am class and you still can’t lift as much as Hercules (you forget his real name) who can squat three of you.

What gives? 

Hang tight and read these 5 things that our most successful clients are doing. 

#1) Buckle up for the long haul. 

Strength and physique goals take time, especially if you didn’t win the genetic lottery. When you first start the gym, you might be motivated by some rapid results in strength, weight loss, or muscle gain–commonly known as newbie gains.

Unfortunately, after some time, these positive changes start to slow down and you are now getting frustrated by your lack of progress.

Take a deep breath, and get ready to work. Further improvements can take years and people at the top of their game have been at it consistently for a long time. 

Keep showing up and someday, you’ll be the person that beginners are looking up to!

#2) Get more serious about your nutrition.

“You can’t outwork a bad diet” is an old adage that still applies today.

Getting serious about nutrition isn’t just limiting the “bad” stuff, it also includes eating enough of the “good” stuff. 

Eating a diet sufficient in protein, healthy fats, and micronutrients will ensure you’re maximizing your potential to work and recover.

#3) Make training non-negotiable.

Really fit people have decided that movement and training is non-negotiable in their life. This means that they have prioritized their fitness and finding time or money to put toward their fitness, even if it means that other opportunities take a back seat. 

Figure out if you are ready to make fitness part of your identity and structure other aspects of your life around training. 

#4) Know when you need more personalized training. 

Sometimes you encounter injury and/or plateaus that make it harder to make progress in the gym. 

Whether you need more specific coaching, help coming back from an injury, or just some extra accountability, working with a professional can help you overcome a number of obstacles. 

#5) Get serious about recovery. 

Most seriously fit people will tell you that their secret is sleep. 

If you want to break into the next tier of fitness, not only should your diet support this, but so should your recovery. This includes getting quality sleep and also effectively managing stress.

Our successful members know that what you do outside of the gym matters just as much as what you do inside of the gym. Are you ready to make this commitment for yourself?

Top 3 considerations for getting back in shape

So you fell off of the metaphorical bandwagon…now what? 

It can be heart wrenching when you’re getting back into a workout routine to face crippling soreness with what used to be your warmup weight. Even worse is when you used to crush workouts and now you can’t even run a mile without stopping to gasp for air. 

You aren’t the person you once were, and you’re eager to reach your fitness goals once again.

Here are our top 3 suggestions for getting back into shape.

#1) Change the way you are talking to yourself. 

Yes, you used to be able to back squat 4x more than you can today…that was then. Do your best to be present and accept where you are right now. You can’t change the past but you can focus on today and do what is necessary today, tomorrow, and the next day to reach your goals. 

#2) Take it slow.

You don’t have to trash yourself every workout to get back to where you were. In fact, going too hard, too fast can not only put you at higher risk for injury, but the resulting debilitating muscle soreness will make it hard to perform and get the gains that you want tomorrow. 

#3 ) Set goals that are achievable. 

Look at what the rest of your life looks like outside of the gym. 

Are the demands placed on you the same as when you were at your best? Make sure you are setting goals that are realistic with your ability to execute them. If you’re in a busy season of life, it’s okay to modify expectations accordingly and make sure your workout efforts aren’t exceeding your ability to recover.

5 tips for weight loss (that aren’t tracking calories)

One of the biggest reasons that people go to the gym is to lose weight. 

Maybe you had a baby, switched jobs, or the weight just snuck up on you and now you’re wondering how to get back to a healthier version of yourself. 

Counting calories can be the obvious solution but can be a cumbersome chore and for some, lead to disordered eating. 

If this isn’t the best option for you, you’re not alone. Try these 5 tips to improve your eating habits:

#1) Eat mindfully.

In our culture, we have a lot of expectations placed on us. Be productive at work, run kids to practices, exercise, socialize, etc. Often, this means we’re eating meals on the go, multitasking during our lunch, or eating out which causes us to lose touch with how food makes us feel and our hunger cues. 

Next time you eat a meal, try this: put away all distractions such as phone and TV, put your utensils down between bites, notice tastes and textures while you chew your food, and pay attention to how the food feels in your belly. 

#2) Focus on protein intake. 

Consuming adequate protein can make sure that if you are losing weight, you are losing fat mass, and not muscle mass. Protein also has satiating effects (helps you feel fuller, longer). Try to start with 0.8-1.0 g/lb.

#3) Focus on healthy fat intake.

Like protein, fat can help you feel satiated (full). Try to incorporate unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats into your diet from foods like nuts, avocados, and olive oil.

#4) Focus on one habit at a time.

It’s hard to go from eating a diet rich in savory and sweet foods, to a diet completely deprived of these tastes.

Rather than trying to completely overhaul your diet overnight, focus on one habit at a time. Good places to start are behaviors like hitting protein or veggies goals. Get so good at this habit that it is second nature (like brushing your teeth) and then start working on another habit!

#5) Try an abundance mindset. 

When starting a diet, people tend to go to all of the things they can’t have such as sweets, alcohol, or the dreaded carbs. Instead, focus on all of the things you can and should be eating to support your goals. Make eating these things a priority and then eat things like sweets in moderation and mindfully.

Consistency is > Intensity

The quote in the photo from Bruce Lee is one of my favorites.

I think the older I get the more it hits home both in my work and personally.

At the gym often when people are getting ready to join they are feeling really motivated.

They’ve decided to make a change and are ready to get after it. They want to start working out 5+ days a week, hit it hard, quit drinking, cut out all sugar, go to bed early, get stronger, lose a bunch of weight…

The list can go on.

I tell them that is fantastic! It is great to see them so inspired to make positive changes and that we can definitely do all those things… We just can’t do them all at the same time.

I explain we should focus on just one thing to start with and make sure we get that dialed in before we move on to the next piece.

Sometimes I feel like I might be bursting their bubble a little bit but I know that it is the truth.

If I want to help them to be successful long term then creating consistency around one habit at a time is key.

So the first thing we prioritize is consistently coming to the gym to workout 3+ days per week.

During their first month I specifically tell new members to not push themselves too intensely.

We want them to feel like they could always have done a little bit more, pushed a little harder, gone a bit faster.

Leaving a little in the tank ensures they don’t burn out, over do it, get way too sore or tired and then not be able to come back and do it again soon.

Personally I’ve fallen into the same trap of feeling motivated and wanting to make massive sweeping changes.

I might start strong and get after it with intensity. The problem is that motivation is fleeting and when it goes so does the effort and intensity I was relying on previously.

I hadn’t created a consistent habit or routine to sustain the progress and so any results I had seen go back to where they were before I started.

Consistency is like a muscle. We need to train it regularly. Once it is strong we can then apply intensity on top of it at various times to improve and accelerate our results.

Until we’ve built that consistency muscle adding intensity will only be wasted effort.

So the next time you are feeling motivated to make some improvements apply that energy and intensity to figuring out the best way you can consistently take small steps in the direction you want to go.

Need some help getting consistent?

Click here to schedule a call and find out how MontanaFit can help you crush it in and out of the gym.

Ian Marshall

Top 5 Fast and Healthy Local Lunch Options in Missoula

Meal planning and prep is a huge key to being successful with our nutrition. But sometimes things just come up and we are hungry and need something ASAP.

Having some go to healthy (and super tasty) options will be the best bet to help us stay on track.

You can’t go wrong with any of my top 6 Healthy Local Lunch Options. They will leave you satisfied without feeling bloated and sluggish the rest of the day.

All these top spots do it right by making nearly everything from scratch with quality ingredients. Next time you need a quick midday bite opt for one of these and you won’t be sorry.

El Diablo

  • Near and dear to my heart as I worked here for about 4 years and never got tired of eating the food. Marinades, salasas, sauces, guacamole etc. are all made from scratch. Opt for a bowl with rice, beans and any of the meat options then load it up with veggies and salsa and you will be good to go.

Five on Black

  • Delicious Brazilian style street food fresh made daily. Make a bowl with greens, rice, beans or sweet potato and choice of protein. Then top it with some chimichurri, cilantro, lime, and spicy coconut sauce and chow down.

Rattlesnake Market and Cafe

  • A little out of the way (unless you live in the Rattlesnake or are up there for a hike or bike ride) but well worth the effort. Several healthy salads and sandwich options to choose from as well as rotating specials. My favorite is the Carne Asada Salad. So fresh and good!

Market on Front

  • Almost too many options to choose from for fresh outstanding salads and sandwiches. Pro option is to get a sandwhich and a salad and share the other half with a buddy or save it for the next day. It’s like meal prepping but better since you didn’t prep it.

Green Source

  • Organic smoothies and various bowls that leave you fully satisfied and just feeling healthy all over. Smoothies are 100% organic and I think nearly everything else on their menu is too. I’m partial to the Acai Bowl but they have a heap of other bowl options to satisfy your cravings while having you feel great.

I do my best to prep and eat homemade meals as I know the ingredients are good and I am generally making a good decision.

It is comforting to know that these local options are always there when I need a break from cooking myself, need something fast, or just want a tasty lunch.

I know I can have something at one of these spots and it will give me the energy to power through the rest of the day. They also have me feeling ready and able workout that afternoon or evening which isn’t always the case for many fast lunch options.

Where are your favorite go to healthy lunch spots??

Tighten up your Core!

We have all likely heard “You need a stronger core.” or thought to ourselves “I really need to strengthen my core.” Unfortunately we don’t usually know why or the best way how.

A strong core is important for moving safely, efficiently, and effectively.

The primary role of the core is to stablize our midsection.  This allows us to resist forces and coordinate movement between upper and lower body.

If you watch high level skiers or sprinters (or many other athletes) you will see just how little movement there is through their midsection.

Conversely if you watch very beginners at these endeavours you will see a ton of movement through their midsections. They are all over the place and super inefficient.

While some sports and activities require strong rotation through the core (e.g. golf & baseball) most rely on having stability through the core.

One way to get a stronger core is simply by lifting weights. Specifically free weights (using most machines takes away any core activation needs).

Doing squats, deadlifts and presses and progressively increasing loads will concurrently strengthen your core as you engage those muscles in order to do the lift properly.

Another is to do some specific core exercises.

Combine both lifting with some specific core work and that’s going to be a winning formula for a bulletproof core!

Below is a short follow core along routine you could add in 2-3 times per week to tighten up that core and help you crush your pursuits outside the gym.

If you want to dive deeper come to our Core Workshop with Coach Katie of Physiotrekk on Saturday, February 20th at 10:30am.

She will teach you much more about the what, why, and how of core training and you will also get a fantastic core workout so come prepared:)

Spaces are limited. To register click here.

For each of the following exercises do 2 rounds of 25 seconds of work with 10 seconds rest. Check out the video for demonstrations and you can just follow along until you have it dialed in.

Bear Crawl

Side Plank – Right Side

Side Plank – Left Side


Plank Mountain Climbers

Member of the Month – Jon Velotta

Congrats to Jon who is our latest 5VCF Member of the Month!

He has been crushing the at home workouts lately and has seen fantastic improvements since coming into the gym two and half years ago. Read his story below:)

Keep up the awesome work Jon! We are grateful to have you as part of the community

Big thanks to Rattlesnake Market and Cafe for sponsoring our Member of the Month!! The Cafe side is doing doing take out and some delivery and the Market side is open. Please show your support and stop in there:)

Check out what Jon had to say…


Member of the Month – Alli Metz

Congrats to Alli our latest member of the month! She has been crushing it since joining last year. She gets after the workouts, keeps getting better, and always has a big smile on her face. It’s awesome having you at the gym Alli!

Big thanks to Rattlesnake Market and Cafe for sponsoring our member of the month!

Here is what Alli had to say:


Member of the Month – Angela Bridegam

Angela is our latest member of the month! She is finishing up grad school, working, and is the mother of 3 kiddos! Despite balancing all these priorities she makes time to come 5 Valleys each week and knock out her workouts. She is is constantly looking for ways to continually improve while enjoying the process and having fun.

Way to go Angela! It’s always fantastic having you in class!

Take find out more about Angela below:)

Big thanks to Rattlesnake Market and Cafe for sponsoring our member of the month!


Member of the Month – Rob Truax

Mega props to our latest Member of the Month Rob Truax! He has been getting after it at 5 Valleys for about a year and a half now. Super consistent with his workouts he rarely misses a workout and is continually working to improve and have some fun. Recently he added some focus to his nutrition and was a top finisher in our Fit Challenge. Rob droped almost 12lbs and lost 3.75 inches during that 6 week Challenge!

Awesome work Rob!! It is fantastic having you at the gym. (Find out more about Rob below)

Big thanks to Rattlesnake Market and Cafe for sponsoring our member of the month!