How to sharpen YOUR Saw

pexels-photo-267967.jpegIn Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, habit number 7 involves what he calls Sharpening the Saw. Simply put, it is the habit of self-renewal, the that allows you to keep doing all of the other hard work that demands most of your life. There are four dimensions that you want to focus on physical, mental, social/emotional, and spiritual, and you want to put equal attention towards each.

During our annual inter-gym March Madness competition, we challenged our members to take time to sharpen the saw and take some time for themselves. The response was overwhelmingly positive.

Investing in yourself is the single most powerful investment you can make in life, because you ultimately are engine of the car that is your life. And if you don’t take time to do some routine maintenance on yourself, you will quickly find that things start breaking down. Below is a list of some of the suggestions that we recommended to our members, feel free to use it as a starting block then build your own sharpening the saw routine from it! Be sure to choose from each of the four dimensions equally.

Physical: Beneficial eating, exercising, and resting

Social/Emotional: Making social and meaningful connections with others

  • Pay it forward or do a random act of kindness
  • Teach someone how to do something they don’t know how to do because you want to, not because you have to
  • Invite someone who challenges you to grow (friend, co-worker, boss, mentor, parent) out to lunch/dinner/or coffee, turn off your phone and engage in meaningful conversation with this person, long distance? Have a facetime coffee with them.

Mental: Learning, reading, writing, and teaching

Spiritual: Spending time in nature, expanding spiritual self through meditation, music, art, prayer, or service


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March 19, 2018 · 10:33 am

From ‘the land of mediocrity’ to beast mode, this is Kathryn J’s inspirational journey.

Member of the Month: Kathryn Johnson


From ‘the land of mediocrity’ to beast mode, this is Kathryn J’s inspirational journey.

What the staff at KORE has to say about Kathryn:

Elise: When I think of Kathryn, I think of the quote by Lysa TerKurst

“Big things are built one brick at a time.

Victories are achieved one choice at a time.

A life well lived is chosen one day at a time.”

To say that I have been impressed by Kathryn would be an understatement. This is a young lady who made a decision to make a change in her health, and has been unstoppable ever since. A lot of people I work with are impatient when it comes to change. Let’s face it, though intuitively we know it will take a long while to truly achieve anything worth having in life, we all still really want a bit of that instant gratification. Since our first meeting, Kathryn has been patient with the process. She has diligently set out to achieve each on of her monthly action items and though it has not always been perfect, she has been able to make (and stick with) those tiny adjustments to her life that ultimately has made all the difference.

Kathryn started out at the gym doing the most fundamental exercises and has work her way into the exercise category that made another (very strong) gym member say “ I want to do that workout, it looks intense!” Her body composition has improved, her movement quality has improved, her strength has improved, and (my favorite), she walks a lot taller. I cannot be more proud of her achievements.



What Kathryn has to stay about her journey:

How did you hear about us?

Around last June, I decided I was a tired of being mediocre regarding my health and fitness. My background is in public health but as health professionals know, “knowledge is not sufficient to inspire behavior change.” It was around this same time I found myself changing jobs into a leadership position over a group of organizations working to improve health outcomes. I’m a firm believer in leading by example, so I knew I wouldn’t be comfortable providing guidance on healthy lifestyles if I, myself was not walking the walk. So one day a flip switched and I found myself googling “personal trainers in Columbia” and stumbled across several websites, including K.O.R.E.’s. I remember immediately calling Todd to set up my screening and asked, “Can I come tomorrow?”


What prompted you to seek us out once hearing about us?

Even from the website, I could tell I would like the atmosphere… I was right!


What was your initial goal when you signed up with us?

I want to be in the best physical shape I possibly can be…the whole nine yards. I joke with friends and say “abs by June!” (That joke would be funnier if K.O.R.E. had a trainer named June.) Before joining, I thought to myself, if there is something I don’t like about my body at 24…I’m not going to like it any better in 10 years without putting in some hard work.


Has this goal changed since you joined KORE Wellness?

I still have the same goals but have since added in a few more, including becoming a better runner. I’ve never been able to run a solid mile without stopping. About six months into working out with KORE, I attempted again and ran a solid 1.5 miles without stopping on the first try. My goal is to now run a 5k in under 28 minutes this April… stay tuned.


Now that you’re working on/have achieved this goal, has your view of yourself changed?

I really cannot stress enough the difference K.O.R.E. has made in the trajectory of my health and facilitated a change in my mindset. I am so much more confident in my workouts, which has trickled into my personal and work life by being more open to new experiences that not only challenge but grow me.


How do you feel about your future health?

While I’m really pleased with the progress I’ve already made, I’m looking forward to what I accomplish over the years by remaining consistent. K.O.R.E. has given me the push I needed to vacate the “land of mediocrity.”


What have you liked best about working with us?

I enjoy all the trainers and appreciate that you can be comfortable and not feel judged. I appreciate them helping correct my form and giving extra encouragement to finish strong.



Our path in life is shaped by our decisions… all the little, insignificant seeming ones and the really big, weighty ones. Similarly, so is our health. Over the holidays, my dad introduced me to Jocko Willink’s book, “Discipline Equals Freedom Field Manual.” One excerpt reads: “Discipline your body. Free your mind. Get up early, and go. Get after it and you will become the person you want to be. And you become that person through: One. Small. Decision. At. A. Time.” Someone recently reminded me that fitness is a marathon, not a sprint. Keep making the good, small decisions and your consistency will pay off over time.

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March 12, 2018 · 9:04 pm

The ins and outs of Hydration

pexels-photo-416528.jpegOne of the biggest trends in health and fitness lately has focused on hydration and water consumption. This is no surprise since the human body is anywhere from 50-60 percent water. Water forms the base of almost every cell in the human body. It is essential for everything that takes place in the body. Water is especially crucial in metabolism and energy production which is potentially one of the reasons the health and fitness world has pushed it so hard.

Not drinking enough water can have serious health consequences. Mild dehydration can cause headaches, muscles cramps, dizziness, among others. Severe dehydration can cause rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure, loss of elasticity in skin, even confusion and delirium. On top of these things, in a hot climate like Columbia, dehydration can easily lead to heat exhaustion, another dangerous situation you want to avoid.

Drinking too much water can also have negative consequences. In the body, almost all the water is mixed with electrolytes like sodium, potassium, magnesium, etc. The balance of these electrolytes in your cells is what is most important. When you drink too much water without replacing the electrolytes, the electrolytes become diluted and the cells drown. While this is something that rarely happens, it is always a good idea to make sure that you are getting enough electrolytes with your water. Adding some good quality salt, or magnesium like the one we have at the gym, to a big bottle of water will do wonders!

So really how much water do you need? Many of you are participating in our February Hydration challenge. The first goal of this challenge was to make the participants aware of how much they really are drinking throughout the day. After that the goal was to use new strategies to increase the from the baseline. The standardized goal for everyone was 100 ounces. Obviously, each person is different and has different water consumption needs. Another number we use to recommend water intake is 1/2 of your body weight in ounces per day. So if you weigh 150 pounds, your goal is 75 ounces per day. With all of these recommendations, the best idea is to listen to your body. Start to add more water or electrolytes and see how you feel. Over time work your way up. Being properly hydrated will do great things for your health!

Here were some tips we came up with for our recent hydration challenge:

  • Take 10 big gulps every time you grab your cup to drink some water.
  • Set milestone deadlines throughout the day, finish my first bottle by x time, second by x.
  • Earn your glass of wine with a glass or water. Before you pull out the corkscrew, fill up and drain that glass of water.
  • Don’t like toting a water bottle around? Keep a separate bottle in the locations you frequent most often. Have a bottle for your house, one for your office, and an one for in transit that you use in the car, at the gym, at the movies, etc.
  • Invest in a nice water bottle that you’ll actually use.
  • Class it up: Add some jazz to your water with a slice of lemon or lime or a sprig of mint.
  • Earn your morning coffee with 8-16 ounces of water. Before you can take your first sip of your coffee, you’ve got to finish that glass of water.
  • Make it a game: How can you incentivize your progress? For every day you hit your water intake goal, you get a point and when you accumulate 10 points you earn a ____________.
  • Pour your daily intake into a large container like an old gallon jug and use that to refill your cup.
  • Try switching it up with Seltzer water or club soda every once in a while, a can of La Croix can quickly become your mid-afternoon 12-ounch indulgence!
  • If you love apps, check out apps like Water Reminder or Water tracker. If you aren’t into apps, try a 1 hour timer that you keep resetting to remind you to take a few sips of water.
  • Bottoms-up! Use a dry erase marker on your reusable water bottle and on the bottom (or somewhere you won’t rub it off) tally the amount of bottles it will take to meet today’s water intake. Every time you drain your bottle, mark off one notch.
  • Drink 8 ounces 20-30 minutes before each meal.

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March 5, 2018 · 9:02 am

Protected: KORE Wellness Kettlebell Training: Brick

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February 17, 2018 · 2:03 am

Protected: KORE Wellness Kettlebell Training: Nothing ventured, nothing gained

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February 14, 2018 · 2:01 am

KORE Wellness Kettlebell Training: Cardiac Distress

Cardio Circuit (1 Kettlebell)
20 Swings
20 Burpees
20 Snatches or Single hand swings to forehead height (10 Right / 10 Left)
20 Swings
As many rounds as possible in 20 min

Complete the workout and post the following to this blog:
Number of sets or Time it took to complete the workout
Kettlebell Weight Used
Any Amendments to the workout
Number of sets
Average heart rate and calories burned (if using a HR Monitor)
Rating for workout

KORE Wellness Kettlebell Training Routines are to be followed only by those who have good knowledge of how to use a kettlebell.  If you have not had your technique checked out by a certified RKC or Strong First instructor, there is a strong likelihood that you are not using proper kettle bell technique.


KORE Wellness is a training studio located in Columbia, SC.  At KORE Wellness we strive to make your health journey not only successful but a complete transition.  We put a lot into our training programs and accept only serious applicants so we can maximize our time with those who are determined to succeed.  At KORE Wellness, you show up prepared to work hard, think, and learn.  Life long health is about transforming the way you think and do things, it is more than just a workout or just a change of eating habits.  In order to achieve life long success, you must change daily habits, an inner dialog, and make a commitment to something greater than your current self.

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February 13, 2018 · 2:01 am

The surprise secret to success? Building up and supporting those around you. Member of the Month, Tony Clyburn’s Story


The surprise secret to success? Building up and supporting those around you. Member of the Month, Tony Clyburn’s Story

Tony supporting one of his gym buddies in her first Murph!

What the staff has to say about Tony:

Jared: Tony elevates everyone around him. We don’t just look for hard work, consistency, or things like that. Yes, Tony has those qualities, but what he does best is making those around him better. He has helped develop community within our classes and motivates others to be better, which in the process makes him better.

Tony is super consistent not only with attendance, but attitude, work ethic, etc. So the past few months haven’t been all that different than the few before that, and the few before those. I really enjoy watching new members join, and then get brought into this group with Tony and others, and then start exhibiting the same consistency and hard work.

I have only been teaching class with Tony for about a month now, and in that time we have been working on a bit of shoulder pain. His lack of quit comes out most when we are working with or around that pain.

Elise: I’ve known Tony for about 13 years now, we met when I was training at another gym and the trainer he had been working with moved away. At the time, Tony was stuck in a difficult life-situation and kettlebell training was a great outlet for the stress he was dealing with.

Now, Tony’s life has improved 10-fold and his focus on training at KORE Wellness is through much more of a long-distance lens. What I believe is Tony’s true gift, is his ability to support those around him and build relationships based on providing the accountability and support needed to drag yourself out of bed at 5:00AM. When you’ve checked in with your gym buddies and told them that you’ll be there in the morning, that simple fact of knowing they are expecting you to be there to support them is a huge driving force to “get you out of a warm bed and into a cold gym” (Tony’s favorite saying).

The other thing that stands out for me about Tony is that he’s accepted the fact that what he WANTS to work on, (Strength and cardio) has taken second chair to what he NEEDS to work-on (Mobility) in order to achieve long-term success in the health-fitness category. This is something that a lot of people who come to KORE struggle with, no one likes being told that they are going to need to work things that they think are trivial, in order to achieve their goals. Tony listened to our suggestions and I commend him for embracing a focus on QUALITY of life (one of our KORE Values)!

Member of the Month Questions

  • How did you originally hear about us?

A friend of a friend told me about KORE years ago- somethings about plyometrics that top athletes did. So that was the spark.

  • What prompted you to seek us out once hearing about us?

Look, there are a few things that I don’t like doing alone: math, long distance travel and working out. I wanted a supportive environment that did not have the trappings of a “gym” but challenged me physically and intellectually.

  • What was your initial goal when you signed up with us?

It was simple – keep moving. I think that my grandfathers died too young. They did physical things but ultimately I think they were felled by stress. So, respectfully, I am fighting back with strength and movement.

  • What was holding you back from achieving this goal (before you joined)?

Well, I am my biggest enemy when it comes to getting up and out early. It’s about a 20 minute drive, so I made a bargain with myself that I’d enjoy the drive – seeing the town when few people are stirring and enjoying the shower after the workout as a reward.

  • Has this goal changed since you joined KORE Wellness? If yes, what is your new goal?

Yes. I want to be a conditioned athlete; that is; stamina over lifting/pulling capacity, which is opposite of when I started.

  • Now that you’re working on/have achieved this goal, has your view of yourself changed?


Yes. Well, I am kinda thinking it is a lifelong or long-term goal to improve my flexibility. I hate pain. You know back in the day, high school gym teachers would say, “No pain, no gain.” They were wrong.

  • How do you feel about your future health?

Very optimistic. I know exercise and diet are key for me to live the life I want and enjoy the success financially and spiritually that I aspire to.

  • What have you liked best about working with us?

Easy one. The family. There is a hopeful encouraging attitude that is the basis for KORE. It really is a blessing to my wife, Lisa, and me.

  • What would you say to someone who is struggling with the same goal(s)?

I’d tell them to do a planned/assisted “something” every day, and let the universe take care of the rest; others have succeeded, so will you.


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February 12, 2018 · 9:30 am