Every Workout needs a B.O.S.S.!

What do I mean a B.O.S.S.?



A trainer – barking orders at you to complete another set?





Circuit training at Asheville Family Fitness


An instructor – guiding you through complex, multi-plane movements?




NOPE! This BOSS simply stands for:

B – Burn

O – Out of breath

S – Sweat

S – Struggle

And these are CRITICAL elements to a successful workout! In order to experience the benefit of a workout, no matter what kind of workout it is or what your goals are – strength, cardiovascular, stretching / mobility, Yoga, Pilates, dance…whatever it is doesn’t matter. What matters is that it has AT LEAST 1 OF THESE ELEMENTS. And most likely the more of these elements it has, the more benefit you’ll get out of  it.

B – Burn: this is especially true for strength training. Muscle burn is the sensation of work! The muscle is demanding blood as it’s challenged, so usually there’s a warming sensation first…then, as it’s continued to be loaded it may be recruiting all available muscle fibers, eventually reaching a fatigue point, where it feels like it’s going to give out – that’s good – after this challenge, your body will make it stronger!

O – Out of breath: just like it says, at the very least you should feel a bit out of breath to know your cardiovascular fitness exercise is achieving anything. The talk test is simple: if you can carry on a conversation with little difficulty, you’re not doing enough! 

S – Sweat: Ok, some of us sweat more than others. So, if you’re like me and don’t sweat a lot, this one doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not getting any benefit. The surrounding temperature plays a role too, of course. But the more you  sweat, typically the better workout you’re getting. And you get the added benefit of flushing toxins out too! Side note: this is the primary basis for the health benefits of steamrooms & saunas.

S – Struggle: Last, but certainly not least, struggle is the key metric for almost any workout. If you’re not struggling much, you’re not going to achieve much either. Struggle is essentially how your body says to itself, “Ok, that was hard! I’d better build myself up so that I can meet that challenge if it ever comes my way again.” Or, put another way, I often say to my patients, “Get comfortable with being a bit uncomfortable.”

Follow these simple principles and your body will thank you…eventually…after the soreness subsides.






Written by Damon

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