Podcast Episode 23: Following Through on New Year’s Fitness Resolutions

We're all busy, and we don't always have time to hit the treadmill or the weight room to follow through on our fitness goals and New Year's resolutions. Finley Amato, marketing lead in DHG's Dealer Services Group and ISSA-certified in strength and conditioning, shares her tips for incorporating fitness into your everyday routine.

Episode 23 Transcript:

AGH: Hello everyone and welcome back to another episode of our DHG podcast series. I’m Alice Grey Harrison your host, and I love this venue because we get to hear from our people about the things that matter the most to them; flexibility, careers, and people. I’m really excited today because I have my friend Finley Amato with me and Finley is the marketing lead for our dealer services group and she sits in our Charlotte, North Carolina office and we are not going to talk about marketing or dealer services group today. We’re going to talk about fitness because it’s a new year and many of us have fitness goals and I thought it would be fun to bring Finley in. Finley Amato hand standSo outside of work, Finley is ISSA-certified strength and conditioning and this provides her with the knowledge and expertise and specific training techniques that enable fitness, enthusiasts, athletes, and maybe part time exercise, people like me, to get stronger and improve their performance. So I put together a few questions that I thought might be top of mind for all of us as we move into a new year and new goals. Welcome, Finley.

FA: Thanks for having me Alice Grey.

AGH: Super exciting to talk about this topic with you. First of all, you know, since we’re all CPA’s and the people who support CPA’s — you have this certification, tell us about it and what inspired you to pursue this?

Finley Field HockeyFA: Yeah, I’m not a CPA but this is I guess my exciting life, but I was a division one field hockey player. So when I graduated from Davidson, I really missed that part of my life because it’s like go, go, go for four years and then once I graduated it was just kind of like, “Okay, well that’s done.” I really missed that and when I graduated, I moved just down the road to Charlotte and found MADabolic Inc., which is a strength and conditioning gym and started just working out there really helps fill that competitive physical voice that I had from missing field hockey so much. So I pursued a part-time position there as a trainer, so that was kind of a natural next step. Of course, to be qualified as a trainer and be able to work the floor there and help others move most effectively, I had to get certified in strength and weight training. So that’s kind of what got me started with the certification and then from there I just, it totally fascinated me, the mechanics behind how the body moves and not just elite athletes but working with everyday exercisers, people who are just interested in a long-term health and fitness, it enabled me to really break down the way an individual moves and be able to tailor my coaching style to helping an individual client. As some time passed, I started taking more of an interest in learning about nutrition and how food nourishes and fuels us. So I decided to pursue a certification in sports nutrition also, as fitness and nutrition kind of fall hand in hand. That additional certification has proved to be a really nice resource, not just our clients but for myself. I love food, I’m the person that goes to sleep excited to wake up because it’s like I view sleeping as like a time machine to breakfast. I’m always thinking about food and what I’m eating next. So that was a cool next step for me also.

AGH: Wow, that’s awesome. So, DHG is implementing our Energy For Life program, we have about, at this point, about 25% of our employees have gone through it and everybody — employee and partners — are going through it. It is really our overall wellness program about mind, body, spirit and emotional wellbeing. So it’s really interesting that pairing of physical activity as well as what you're using to fuel your body to gain that energy that we need. So, what are some ways that people can incorporate fitness into their everyday routines? We’re headed into our busiest time of year for many of our people and it’s easy, unless you’re someone like you who absolutely loves exercise, it’s easy to let it fall through the cracks. So, what can we do?

FA: Yeah, you're exactly right and my opinion on how you can incorporate, I think, probably aligns pretty well with Energy For Life. I mean, for me, just because I love it doesn’t mean that I want to or have time to spend hours in the gym. Working out should be efficient and you know, time efficient, effective. You know, I, like so many others in the corporate world and at DHG, we’re all really busy and we don’t all have time to go hit the treadmill and weight room for two hours. A lot of times we don’t even have time to go to the gym, period. MADabolic was really the first program that opened my eyes to just how effective 15 to 30 minute can be in terms of getting a quick workout in. So, taking what I learned from both training at metabolic and through my certification, I’m pretty confident and asserting that you can get a lot of efficient work done regardless of where you are or how much time you have. So, especially with the New Year, I see so many clients that come in through the gym doors with these lofty goals of “I’m going to work out a thousand hours a week” and then, you know, you just set yourself up for failure there because no one has that time, right

AGH: Right.

FA: You can get work done at your own gym, at home, in your hotel room when you’re traveling, anywhere. Even better, you can kind of ditch the excuse of “I don’t have time or my schedule’s too busy” because I think it’s fair to assume that even during our busiest times, with a little bit of planning, most people can carve out 15 minutes at some point in their day, whether you’re waking up earlier or trying to get a quick session in before you cook dinner. Just try — my advice would be to try and find a 15 to 30-minute window in your day to get a quick interval workout done. So that’s where I bring in interval training, this is probably the most effective form of working out within a short window. It’s amazing how much you can get in at such a short timeframe. So, for example, if you pick five movements, any combination of movements that might challenge you. You know, push up, squat, burpees, plank, push, press, setups. Whatever it is, cycle through those five movements six times, 30 seconds of work, 30 seconds of rest. That’s it okay? If you actually break down the numbers there, since we’re all numbers people and probably want to sort that math out. That’s 30 minutes of work but because you’re working as much as you’re resting, you’re really just moving for 15 minutes of movement. But you’ll be amazed at how tired you are after work and how efficient that workout is when you’re actually pushing yourself to that max capacity during those 30 seconds of work. So that’s like one small example of a quick workout you can do anywhere, you don’t have to have weights. You can use your body weight if you’re not able to get to the gym. Even a lot of travel, now there are clients side or they’re in a hotel room. There are plenty of even like five — we might cover this later, but there are a couple of apps that will throw like a quick five to seven-minute workout you can do in your hotel room.

AGH: Finley, what are some of those apps? I’m going to stop you real quick.

FA: Sure, one of them is — well, the one that I was going to talk about is called Fitnet. It’s pretty new, it has a variety of five to seven minute targeted workout that you can do wherever, if you’re traveling in your hotel room, doing something challenging for five to seven minutes. Sometimes that’s all you really need. It’s better than no minutes and you’re just kind of challenging yourself wherever you are and what’s cool about it is that you can either exercise by yourself with this app or you can connect with a live personal trainer.

AGH: Wow.

FA: Yeah, it’s really cool. So it kind of helps with accountability and it really drives home that you don’t need several hours in your schedule to carve out. So my main suggestion would be to kind of avoid that mindset of how much time you think you need, because you don’t need that much time. As long as you’re working hard in a short timeframe, that’s all you need.

AGH: Yeah, I totally agree. There’s another app that people may be familiar with that they shared during our Energy For Life training and that’s called, it’s Johnson & Johnson Seven Minute app. It’s kind of similar, same thing; seven minutes. Now, you don’t have access to a trainer, but it’s seven minutes, it’s really fast, it’s just using your body, sometimes resistance bands, which leads me kind of to my next question. If you were to recommend purchasing one tool or a couple of tools if you couldn’t get to a gym or whatever, what would they be?

FA: Okay, so I have two things, you asked me one, but I’m going to give you two.

AGH: Okay.

Finley KettlebellsFA: All right, so my first recommendation would be a kettlebell. I find them to be the most diverse and dynamic pieces of equipment that anyone can use. Can be any level of fitness can use a kettlebell. I’m a huge proponent of weight training, especially over cardio. I find it — weight training historically has gotten kind of a bad rap especially with women, they’re kind of afraid that, “I’m going to bulk up.” You know, I’m sure you hear, and you might have said it yourself Alice Grey as I have too before, the phrase “I want to tone up, I want to get toned”, right?

AGH: Right, yeah. Every day of my life I say that.

FA: Yeah, exactly. So when women say “I want to get toned”, that translates to — and they don’t know it, but that translates to “I want to build muscle”. But it’s hard for the average person, especially females, to hear “I want to build muscle” and not think they’re going to look like a bodybuilder. So, weight training is how that happens more than cardio. When you want to change the shape of your body, it comes from building muscle. You know, weight training is also just so great for long term health. Being able to pick up heavy things, it’s great for long lasting bone health, structural health, it’s just — weight training is my favorite. So that’s where I would recommend the kettlebell. I am cautious to recommend barbell training to people, which is also known as Olympic style lifting, mostly because I see a lot more barbell based injuries than with any other piece of equipment. That’s where I think the kettlebell is awesome. You can do all of the basic movements with it; squats, presses, really anything you want and you can factor that into your at home workout. Even just one kettlebell. I have one kettlebell in my house and when I can’t make it to the gym, I’ll set aside 10 minutes and do a little bit of kettlebell work on my mat in my living room floor. They’re my favorite piece of equipment. My second thing, and this would be a little pricier, it’s called — there’s this new company called Evolved Motion. It’s based out of Denver, and they make this weight training backpack, it’s the coolest thing. So I travel with it and it comes — it’s this backpack that comes with water bladders, like these water reserves and they fold up into pretty much nothing when they’re not filled so you use the backpack like a backpack. When I travel with it for work, I put my laptop and other things in it. When I get to my hotel room, I take all the stuff out of the backpack and then you can remove the straps and then you fill up the water reserves and put them in the backpack and you can tighten it and it has all these different handles, you can use it like a dumbbell or a kettlebell or, you know, anything like that.

AGH: That’s cool.

FA: Yes. So it’s a little pricier, I want to say it’s maybe like $150. So maybe a good Christmas gift or, you know, birthday gift request or if you just want to treat yourself. That’s something that I use all the time. I bring it with me everywhere so I also kind of forces me to evade the excuse of, “Well, the hotel doesn’t have a gym,” or whatever you know? So that would be another really good tool.

AGH: All right, thinking about kettlebells, I assume you can go on YouTube and find videos, instructional videos. Because I think YouTube has everything, right?

FA: Totally. I’m going to shamelessly plug myself in here also. I also have — and I don’t know if you knew this Alice Grey, I have a food and fitness blog.

AGH: Cool. No, I didn’t.

FA: Yeah, it’s called It’s mostly like I post a lot of real food recipes on there but there’s also a section of the blog, it’s called “No filter”. In there, you can find a bunch of work out ideas and I post a proposed interval and then a series of movements you can choose from and, you know, some of them include kettlebells and it will explain kind of the form behind it. That’s also — I try to post to that quite frequently to give people some new ideas for workouts they can do at home, outside of the gym. That’s a good resource if I do, if I can plug myself in there.

AGH: Absolutely. It’s so fun to hear the passion in your voice about what you do outside of work and hear about it. We have so many amazing stories and I love hearing about them.

When she’s not at DHG, Finley spends much of her Life Beyond Numbers as a coach behind the doors of MADabolic, Inc. – a strength and endurance interval gym headquartered in Charlotte. Finley is passionate about helping others embrace and integrate the values of long-term health and wellness into a balanced and happy lifestyle!

© Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP. All rights reserved.
DHG is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP.