Choosing a Fitness Program | One Of The Biggest Tips I Can Give You!

By | bootcamps, Fit Moms For Life DVD, Fit Moms for Life Six Week Challenge, In-home workouts, Killer Kurves, MamaTone, Transformations, Uncategorized

One of my small group clients made a comment to me that got me thinking. She saw another one of my clients (extremely hardcore and dedicated), getting pumped up for his next workout. She asked me, “When does this ever stop? Don’t you get to a place where you are happy with your results and then just stop?” Unfortunately, some think that this whole eating healthy and exercising is a kick someone can go on for a bit, and then go back to their old poor choices and expect to keep the benefits that they saw. If you are on an eating plan or workout plan that you couldn’t sustain (or slightly modify), for the rest of your life, I would stop doing it ASAP. You are setting yourself up for failure.

Burnout and when people aren’t consistent are two big problems. You must learn to enjoy how eating healthy makes you feel, and how the act of exercising pumps you up! If you ask those close to me, they will tell you I get SO excited for a big crisp salad, with a can of tune and vinaigrette dressing!  Please check out my latest blog post in which I talk about this subject of consistency, and getting back on track when you fail.

FitMomTransformationCenterOct13-45 I would like to give you my top 5 things you should look for when choosing a fitness program.

1. It should be fun! I have found that if a person hates what they are doing, they will eventually quit. There might be times in the workout that aren’t pleasent, but as a whole, you must get excited and look forward to the workout. You might enjoy the actually exercises, the muscle burn, the cardio, the stretching, the socializing, the comaraderie, the muscle soreness the next day, or some other aspect, but whatever it is, you must enjoy some parts of it.

2. The instructor must be well likable and someone you can trust is knowledgable and you get along with. Similar to the first one, if you can’t stand the person who is telling you what to do, you will most likely hate it and quit. The instructor must be good at finding those buttons in you, to push you past your comfort level and do things you never thought were possible. They should be a role model for you and someone who inspires you to be your best!

3. The program must have variety and progressions. Variety is important for two reasons. First, it keeps you guessing and prevents you from getting bored with the workout. Second, it keeps your body guessing and limits the likelihood of plateaus. Progressions are so key, and one reason why places like curves will begin to struggle to keep their customers satisfied. The body needs progression, as the body gets more fit, it also begins to get more efficient at what it does and burns less calories. In order to keep moving toward your goals, larger and larger stressors need to be put on the body to continue the process towards change.

4. A combination of cardio, core, strength training, and stretching should be part of an effective program. If fat loss and muscle toning is your goal (which is seems it is for FitMomTransformationCenterOct13-4895% of the people I work with) all of these components are necessary to have to reach your fitness potential.

5. Must fit your budget: It is best to find a fitness program that fits your budget and one that is convenient for your schedule. If a program takes a long time to get to, or costs too much for you to continually be part of, you need to find a better program!

I hope these 5 tips help you in choosing the right fitness program for you! Of course if you are in the Madison area, I would love to get a chance to work with you! I hope you will find that all of my programs meet these 5 points. I believe they do, and is the reason why I get to work with about 150 clients each week to help them reach their fitness goals and feel strong and healthy.

My programs include Fit Moms, Fit Fun Bootcamps, and Killer Kurves.



Don’t Give Up!!

By | Behavior Change, Fit Moms For Life Book, MamaTone, Uncategorized

I have seen so many people reach amazing physical accomplishments that both them and myself are shocked at. One of the programs I created and run is call MamaTone Fitness. These women are in their late 20’s to late 40’s. Every day I am inspired at how hard they work and the attitude each one brings!  Half way through their 4th set of sprints up an extremely steep hill one woman said, “Do you know how old we are?” It was true that this group of women were all over the age of 40 and I had been working with them for over 6 months. If you would ask these women how they feel, many of them would say they feel better and in far better shape than when they turned 30! One woman in her mid 40’s can do 14 pullups, another mother of 4 children can bench press her weight, a few 60 year old men can do over 10 pullups, are getting off their blood pressure medications, and feel better than they did a decade ago.

I want to point out what is possible when you believe, and work towards what you are capable of. Unfortunately, I have seen many people who let their limiting beliefs such as; I am too short, I am too old, I was never athletic, and I am just big boned, to hinder their results. These individuals will NEVER reach their potential with an attitude and belief like that. 1 Don't give up

I ask you, what is holding you back from reaching your potential? Is it fear? Is it laziness? Is it low self esteem? Whatever it is, push past it and go for what it is that you only thought was possible for “that other person”.

I don’t know where you are at today, maybe you feel like you are on top of the world with your body, finances, relationships, and confidence. If so, awesome keep doing what you are doing and look to improve.


Maybe life has thrown you some curve balls and challenges recently.  I spend a lot of time reading biographies, and listening to interviews from people who have had success in various parts of their lives. The only common thing I can find in all of their stories is that they didn’t give up. When life threw them challenges and knocked them down, they got up and fought some more even though they didn’t know what would happen next. Generally those who have had the biggest successes have overcome the highest hurdles.

Sometimes it seems like we are trying every possible option to reach our goal (the cheese), but we need to keep trying and looking for new ways of doing things.

If you need someone to vent to, feel free to share your story of challenge with me via e-mail at  I’d be happy to listen and lend an eye and ear, all I ask is that you include what you are now going to do to make the situation better.

Keep Moving!!


It is OK To Be Scared…

By | Behavior Change, Cardio Workouts, Core Training, Fit Moms For Life Book, Lowerbody toning, MamaTone, Transformations, Uncategorized

DustinI can’t tell you how many times I hear, “Dustin, I really want to get in shape and feel better,  I’d like to join one of your programs but I am scared I will (fill in the blank).”  The most common answer is, I am scared I will fail or I will give up. Doing something different or uncomfortable is scary, stressful, and nerve-racking, but the alternative to that comfortable, boring, stagnant, isn’t pleasant either.

An example from my own life. I am scared…

If you have been reading my newsletters for the past few months you are aware that I have launched a brand new facility called the Fit Moms Transformation Center.  At the same time my team launched the FM4L 6 Week Challenge in 65 communities around North America.  I’ve been coordinating all this while still teaching 20 plus classes each week.  In one week alone I hired 8 new people.

I am scared…

-I am scared I can’t keep up the 16 plus hour work days that I am putting in.

-I am scared that I won’t be able to generate enough new clients to pay the very high rent at the beautiful space (for the past 7 years no fitness place has been able to pay their rent).

-I am scared that I have people joining my team/mission who are leaving cushy 6 figure careers to pursue a dream of longing to help as many moms be as healthy, connected, and happy as possible.

I am scared of failure…

Can you relate to this in any area of your life?  So what can you do, and what am I doing to get through this challenging time in my life? I first ask myself the question, “What is the worst thing that could happen?”  If you are scared to start a new eating and exercise program, the worst that might happen is that you fail again, your friends think you are crazy, your kids complain about the healthy food, or you waste a few dollars.  To me all these things aren’t too serious compared to the potential and highly probability towards the upside.

Second question I ask myself is “WHY” do I want to do this?

You need to have a HUGE why.  People who are close to me were shocked when I decided to open up such a large Transformation Center.  They knew this wasn’t my first desire, but I felt I owed it to all my long-time clients.  I wanted  to give them the space they deserved, and they had been requesting it for some time now.  I also felt I owed it to my community (Madison), which has been so good to me.  I wanted to offer a safe place for the family to come in such a way that I didn’t see being offered other places.Fit MOms

For the FM4L 6 Week Challenge and everything that entails my “why” is even more massive…  I know based off of research, personal conversations, and experience that we are “starving” for meaningful relationships in our lives.  Being unhealthy, overweight, low-energy sucks, but if you have great relationships it doesn’t suck nearly as bad.  Fit Moms For Life is all about creating nutrition and exercise programs that connect women to one another and help facilitate those relationships.

One other big question I ask myself is who can I talk to, work with, hire, or get mentored by who has done what I am looking to do?

This one is so huge…

I would rather take someone’s painful and expensive lessons and learn from them instead of having to go through them myself.  Each year I invest upwards of 50K in seeking mentors, coaches, seminars, books, etc.  I would rather live in my small one bedroom apartment at 30 years old and be able to invest in coaches rather than live in a 6,000 square foot home and not be able to continue to grow as a person through personal development.  My coaches and mentors have been where I have been earlier in their lives. They provide me the tools and confidence though advice and a systematic plan so I too can get to where I want to go.

Same thing goes with fitness.  Investing in a program that you know has a great track record and gives you an “UNFAIR ADVANTAGE” compared to anyone trying to do it on their own. This could mean joining a gym, investing in some DVDS, hiring a personal trainer, a nutritionists, or a wellness coach just to name a few. Seeking the advice of someone who lives it day to day, and has studied it will help you progress in making changes you want to make.

As I wrap this up, I want to remind you that feeling scared is OK.  We all experience it.  Asking yourself the questions above and then surrounding yourself with others who have been successful in the area that you want to improve upon will help you gain the confidence needed to be successful.  For me, I am confident that with a couple more months of super long hours at the Transformation Center membership will pick up.  I’m confident it will become a household name in Madison, and the go to place for moms and families looking to transform their lives to healthier, happier, and more connected.  I will continue to hire a team that believes in the same things and are all there to support that mission.Women

The Fit Moms For Life movement, which I believe is in the stage of being a spark, will be taking off life wild fire over the next 18 months as moms find out how much fun and incredible life can be when healthy, fit, and connected, and how much better of a mom they will be to their kids if they themselves feel successful, full of energy, and empowered.

If you want to start that journey with me (as opposed to other great programs out there) I have a couple programs starting up in Madison and also a national program.  I have a 28 Day Skinny Jeans Challenge starting Monday at my 5 fitness locations.  Three spots remain.  Click here to learn more about this, close to $3/day.

I am also launching FM4L Six Week Challenge groups on Tues/Thurs nights in Madison as well as anywhere around the world.  You can sign up by clicking here.  If you are in the Madison area, let me know if you want to come to the Tuesday or Thursday 7 PM session.  Here is a pic of all those that signed up a couple days ago at our 6 Week Challenge open.

5 Best Pieces of Fat Loss Tips

By | Behavior Change, Cardio Workouts, MamaTone, Transformations, Uncategorized

YogaI wanted to share with you my 5 best pieces of fat loss tips. Keep in mind this is based off hundreds of scientific studies, and close to 10 years and thousands of clients that I have observed.

Don’t ignore this due to its simplicity…

#1 Know where you are and where you want to go.  It blows me away that people aren’t clearer on where they currently are, and what their end goal is. Losing weight, having more energy, are not specific enough goals. Complete a pre-test of some exercise, measurements, weight, etc.

#2 Find an eating plan that is SUSTAINABLE.  Atkins never worked long term for the general population because it wasn’t practical for people living in our type of society. Crash diets don’t work because it creates too large of a calorie deficit and your body rebels by craving high calorie foods and storing as many of those calories as fat. Low fat generally doesn’t work great, because it messes up your hormones and doesn’t make you feel full.

#3 Weight training, plus HIIT, plus a little steady state cardio, is the best types of exercise for burning maximum amount of fat AND changing the actual shape of the body. Cardio alone isn’t the best, nor is just strength training. I might add, doing some yoga is a great idea to even the body out and repair it from the higher impact and weight bearing activities.

#4 Reprogram the negative beliefs and self-talk that have been sabotaging you.  You can do 1-3 but to keep the momentum and results going you need to change the thoughts that are circulating deep in your mind. Affirmations are one technique you can use.

I saved the most important for last…

#5 Find a team of support that will be there during your success and during your challenges.  This is the secret ingredient. I can’t tell you how much of an uphill battle you will face if you have an unsupportive spouse, friends, and coworkers etc. Even the most motivated and hard-willed individuals will crumble over consistent sabotage from their peer group.  One other supportive person is better then none, but I have found 4 or more people who are all there for you seems to work best. More than 10-12 and you lose the closeness and intimacy of the accountability.

I hope you find these 5 tips to be helpful. It is no coincidence that the Fit Moms For Life 6 Week Challenge (and all my local programs in Madison) are so transformational. They do an incredible job at addressing all five of these points.

I have a goal of transforming the lives of 500 women by the end of this year through our FM4L Six Week Transformational Challenge. So far we have over 200 from all over North America and we are up to 65 leaders leading groups in their local communities.

Click here to learn more about this program and at just over $2 per day this program is so affordable that money isn’t the reason you don’t join. Plus the program was designed for the busiest of women, so you can expect to spend only 90-120 min per WEEK doing the exercise.

Get started today!! >>>


Healthy Mom, Healthy Family, Healthy Community!

By | Abdominal Training, Body Assessment, bootcamps, Cardio Workouts, In-home workouts, Kids Fitness, Lowerbody toning, MamaTone, Transformations, Uncategorized
Tranformation Center

We are so excited about our new “Transformation Center”. Our tagline: “Healthy Mom, Healthy Family, Healthy Community”.

We are also exited to be offering programs for moms, (of course) guys, kids, and many things for our community such as birthday parties, movie nights, date nights (parents leave kids at our place for a night of fun), and so on.

I would like to invite you to come visit sometime, no matter where you live in the world.  We had 70 energetic and awesome people to get things going.  I might write in more detail about the experience of opening up a place, but I can say that I have never worked longer hours, felt more stress, and doubted myself on occasion. But I am confident with the support of an incredible team and community this will be a great thing for our community.

To me this is another example that the greatest things in life require hard work, nights with very little sleep, and moments of stress that you aren’t sure you are capable of handling.

So, if you have a goal right now that you are going after very hard because you KNOW it is the right thing to do and you are experiencing the emotions above, I just want to let you know to keep believing and remembering that anything above “ordinary” requires extra-ordinary work. You must be willing to do things 99% of others aren’t willing to do.

One part of the transformation center I am extremely excited about is the weekend kids birthday parties. It will give families another option for a healthy and fit party, while giving the parents a well needed break from having to “plan” or “do” much of anything. Plus it allows me to hire another 5 people which makes me happy!  My BDS (Birthday Delight Specialists) have created a short survey about kids birthday parties and I would be grateful for any of your experiences and opinions.

Click here to share you opinions >>>

We are wanting to be the #1 party destination, because a birthday party is a great way to reach kids and show them a fun time while making it healthy focused, and it allows moms to experience what the Fit Moms Transformation Center is all about.

Please also check out our Universal Fit Moms for Life Six Week Challenge >>>

Workout Out While Pregnant

By | MamaTone, Transformations, Uncategorized

Katelyn a day after coming to her last MamaTone deliver 8 plus lb baby

Over the past decade I have been working with women looking to get pregnant and then through their pregnancy as they try to do what is best for the unborn baby.  This is especially important since the newest research is showing that the health of the mom before conception and during pregnancy plays a substantial role in the predisposition that the baby will become a healthy weight adult.  Click here to learn more.

Hundreds of women have gone full term or close to it through my MamaTone, Fit Fun Bootcamps, and my monthly Fit Moms For Life DVDs, and I can’t remember one mom telling me that she feels drastically better during this pregnancy than her previous (assuming it isn’t her first).

While I am not a doctor, and I must say “talk to your doctor before engaging in an exercise program” I can say through countless case studies that I am convinced working out and still working out pretty hard, is the best way to prepare yourself and your baby for the world ahead.

Check out Katelyn’s story, she ended up coming to MamaTone the day before she gave birth to a healthy 8 lb girl.  She was still able to do unassisted pullups, pushups, and dips, and run at 9 mph the week of giving birth.  Nothing is going to slow this mama down!

How These Women Have Lost More Than 1456 lbs… Now it is YOUR Turn

By | Behavior Change, bootcamps, MamaTone, Mindset, Nutrition, Transformations, Uncategorized

I thought it would be cool to read about some women who have made amazing transformations through Fit Moms For Life.  As many set resolutions,I hope these stories will inspire you to make 2013 YOUR year.

 In case you missed it the other day, you are running out of time to join the Killer Kurves (K2) program which starts January 7th.  If you are having trouble affording it, I have a creative way for you to be able to invest in the program.  Check out the PS.
Over the past few years I have been inspired by so many who have seen massive weight loss and body transformations.  In order for someone to do that, they must have changed every area of their life.  You can’t just workout, you can’t just eat well, you can’t hang out with the same friends.  There comes sacrifices, but with those sacrifices comes great rewards.
As we kick off the K2 program, which is designed for those looking to lose 40 or more lbs, I would ask if you are thinking about making  2013 an extra special year, take a few minutes and read some of these stories.
I dare you not to be inspired.  Click the links below to read about each story

Keep moving,

Dustin Maher
PS  I have received two emails from women locally in Madison who really want to take part in K2, which starts in less than 10 days, but can’t quite afford the entire amount.

My motto in life is if there is a will there is a way.  So for any of you that this is an issue for the in person program, I want to do something I have never done before which is give you as many copies of my signed book as you want and you can sell them for the $20 (retail price) and 75% of that money will go towards your tuition to the program.  You then get to participate and the FMFL message spreads further to your family, friends and coworkers, a win/win for everyone.

10 Discoveries Jill Had To Lose 22 Inches

By | Behavior Change, MamaTone, Mindset, Nutrition, Transformations, Uncategorized

I would like to share with you a story that is a few years in the making, but well worth the wait.  As you will read below, Jill and I have spent a lot of time together, going through an entire pregnancy and seeing her kids grow up.  What impresses me most about Jill is her intensity in her workouts, and her consistency at showing up.  I think one of the biggest takeaways you will discover through her story is the same one I say all the time, it is what you put in your mouth that matters most when looking to lose weight.

Here is her story…

“I was always one of those girls that was “athletic,” but never “skinny.” Even while playing high school sports, I could gain the muscle, but always had that extra layer on to keep me from feeling thin and confident. I look back at pictures from that time and think that I was crazy to ever feel dissatisfied with myself. I would give anything to be that small again.

A lot of negative self-image thoughts along with a demanding college work load led me to gain a few pounds my freshman year. Sophomore year was a few more. By senior year I had put on about 20 pounds, even with working out regularly. It was the emotional eating that did me in.

I went through a lot of self-esteem issues the next several years. Lost a few pounds here and there, but then always put it back on again when I couldn’t handle things emotionally. The story of my life.

Jill Before

I was around 160 pounds when I got pregnant with my first child and gained the average 30-35 pounds. I was pretty happy that I was considered “average”  and hadn’t gained more than that because I was actually trying to eat well. But when you step on the scale, pregnant or not, and see it hit the 190s, that is scary. After having my baby in January of 2008, most of the pregnancy weight actually came off fairly well just from delivery, but I still wanted to lose those last 10 pounds and then some.

I had been a member at Supreme for a few years and heard about Dustin’s new MamaTone class. Yes, I’ve been doing this for almost 5 years now! (Can you tell I like the class?) Dustin and I exchanged a few emails, and I started my first class in May of 2008. The first class was humbling to say the least. I was out of breath easily, could feel things jiggling that just shouldn’t be, and I think I peed myself doing ladders. One would think that this would send me screaming for the door, but actually it did just the opposite. It made me want to try; to do this for myself and my daughter, even though I felt guilty knowing my baby was away from me and crying. I knew the other mothers in the class were there for a reason too and that we could all support each other in achieving our goals.

As months passed, I gained muscle, confidence, athleticism, and more weight. What!? How could that be!? Yes, as an emotional, nursing mother I continued to eat like one too. I was eating better so to speak, but I now know that what I thought was “healthy,” just wasn’t really. I spoke with Dustin about it, and he suggested I start food journaling. It was the best thing I ever did, and it worked amazingly. I finally started losing the weight and muscle started showing through. Once I saw what I was eating and how much of it, I could see where I needed to make adjustments and what was working for me. Read More

Discover How CBS News Anchor Sarah Carlson Lost 6 Inches Off Her Waist

By | Behavior Change, MamaTone, Nutrition, Transformations, Uncategorized

Today’s transformation is a very special one for me.  For many of you living in WI, you know Sarah Carlson as the news anchor for CBS.  I have been fortunate enough to know her also as a good friend.  Sarah is responsible for hundreds if not thousands of you reading this blog, and taking my classes.  Sarah was the first person to give me a chance on TV, and I am so grateful for that.  Sarah has gone through hell the past couple years, but has overcome and endured.  Not only has she lost close to 25 lbs, she has lost about 6 inches off her waist!  She came to me about 3 years ago frustrated that after 9 months post partum, the weight and the belly fat was just not going anywhere.  I started training her and we focused more attention on the weight training and less on the cardio.  I will admit though, Sarah still loves to run 5-10 miles 3-4 times per week, but she has been extremely consistent with her weight training, and at 113 lbs is one of my stronger clients.  She also has a pretty impressive stomach, especially from what is was like just a couple years ago.

Here is her story in her words:


Sarah Before

I could bore people to death explaining the list of “things to do” on my desk at home today. Short term disability, health insurance, doctor’s appointments, school registration… it never ends! One thing I refuse to take off my list, though, is exercise. It’s true I would get more done if I didn’t take an hour or so out of every day to work out. But it’s one of the reasons I’m surviving the stress of a soap opera life and health problems. Read More

How Jennifer Lost 100 lbs

By | Behavior Change, bootcamps, MamaTone, Mindset, NBC Morning Segments, Transformations, Uncategorized

Are you part of our community of Fit Moms?  If not put your name and email in the box to the right to receive a free gift and receive awesome articles and videos on how you as a mom can get and stay in the best shape of your life.

Today I have a video to share with you, that might be one of my favorites of all time.  It is a story of a client/friend of mine named Jennifer, who over the course of about a year has lost 100 lbs through Fit Fun Bootcamps and MamaTone. I knew Jennifer a little bit in college, and 4 years later our paths crossed again and she joined Bootcamp and MamaTone.

Check out this video

Jennifer before

The reason why this is one of my favorite videos, because it does much more than talk about the 100 lb weight loss and the physical changes she has gone through, it talks more about how she is different as a person.  Seeing the increase in self confidence, and the deep down conviction that anything can be accomplished in life, are some of the best rewards I get as a trainer.  This is far greater to me than any number on the scale.

Jennifer is one of the 31 woman featured in my book that is coming out this summer and I couldn’t be happier or prouder of her!

If you are inspired by Jennifer’s story or have a question for her, share your thoughts below using Facebook or the comments tab, and she will answer them.  To learn more about Jennifer’s photography business check out

If Jennifer’s story has wanted you to take action, I encourage you to take two action step options.  If you are in the Madison, WI area, check out our class schedule. If you aren’t in the area another great option is our virtual Fit Moms for Life program.

Working Out While on Vacation

By | Core Training, In-home workouts, MamaTone, Uncategorized

Hi, this is Liz one of Dustin’s contributors.  With Spring Break fast approaching my anxiety about getting good workouts in while away from home increases greatly!  I’m so used to MamaTone 3 times a week, running, and doing Got Core once or twice a week I know that I will go crazy if I don’t challenge my body while we are gone.  I’m a strong believer that I’m  better mom, wife, and person when I get my work outs in.  We will not have access to a gym while we are in Arizona; so I have found one way to battle this anxiety is to write down all the exercises I can think of that Dustin and Abby have taught us that don’t use equipment.  That way I don’t have to try and think of things on the spot, I have a cheat sheet.  I also recommend finding something unconventional you can use as a weight if possible.  Last fall while visiting family I found what I think of to be as a better use of soda 😉  What do you do to maintain your fitness while on vacation?

My Wake-Up Call

By | Behavior Change, bootcamps, Fit Moms For Life DVD, MamaTone, Uncategorized

Shelly K, contributor to Dustin's blog

In my last post, I wrote about Why Losing my Driver License was Rewarding, ultimately sharing there was much pleasure in being able to enter a new much lower weight and see a much thinner face in my pic.  I told you in the next post I would tell you how I did it.   Well it started with a wake-up call!

It was late summer of 2009 and I was vacationing with several close friends from grad school and their families on a private resort property in Canada.  It was tradition for 10 brave folks to take the “Island Challenge” – that is paddling a ten person canoe to a private island (maybe 1/4 to 1/2 mile), running the hilly trail route (maybe 1 mile…not sure) and canoeing back, all timed to be recorded in the trip ledger.  The canoeing part went ok, I mean you have 20 arms allworking together, but when the run-time came I petered out after about a minute resorting to walking and a little jogging while the others quickly made it back to the canoe yelling for me to keep going.  Eventually I made it to the canoe and we paddled back, but not before our time ticked past the last year’s Island challenge time thanks to the weakest link – ME!    All because I fell prey to the all too common: get married, work more, turn 30, have kids while omitting health habits of good exercise and eating.

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