28 Days to Focus Your Mind, Strengthen Your Body, and Elevate Your Spirit


By Holly Rilinger

By Myatt Murphy

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The first fitness program to combine the benefits of mindfulness with the amazingly fast, effective results of high-intensity interval training (HIIT)

Transform your life with fitness and meditation and get LIFTED in mind, body, and spirit!

There’s a secret to a successful fitness program: you won’t feel truly satisfied with your results until your mind and spirit are as strong as your body. That’s why Holly Rilinger created LIFTED, the first program to combine the mental and emotional benefits of meditation with the amazingly fast results of HIIT. This four-week program trains you to LIFT yourself higher than ever before, with:

  • Equipment-free cardio and strength workouts to melt fat and sculpt muscle
  • Goal-setting and positive thinking exercises to overcome physical and mental challenges
  • Guided meditation sessions to enhance mental clarity
  • Easy, delicious recipes to nourish your body and support your workouts

This powerful 28-day program will show you how to define your passions, focus on your goals, and commit to daily movement and meditation.



Why are you reading this book? In other words, why do you want to try LIFTED?

Maybe you think it's obvious. I mean, there are a million infomercials out there tempting us to buy something so we can have what we think we want or need. So maybe your why is to have

The perfect butt!

Sexy six pack!

Legs of steel!

Don't get me wrong—that's all very enticing. After all, who doesn't want to have an amazing, sexy, and strong body? In fact, most people's why is rooted in their bodies, and I don't see anything wrong with wanting these things.

However, if these are the only things that fuel your journey, you'll eventually fall short. No matter how much you exercise, you'll never be satisfied and never find joy—even if you get in the best shape of your life—if you don't discover your why and rethink it. Most programs don't focus on the real reason why you may want to lose weight in the first place. It's why so many people crash and burn on the fat-loss programs they try: they focus only on losing pounds, and even if they manage to succeed, they go right back to what they were doing. That's because they may address "weight loss," but they never address the why. You need to trace back to WHY you would want to have the perfect butt, sexy six-pack abs, or legs of steel—or all three!

When I ask clients why they want to change their appearance and keep asking them over and over again, eventually—I get to their real why.

Why? Because I'll look hot!

Why is that important? Looking hot means people will think I'm sexy!

Why is that important? Being sexy means I'll get attention.

Why is that important? Attention will lead to finding a special person.

Why is that important? That special person will offer me love.


At the end of the day most of the things we want and need all point back to finding love and being happier. In my classes I hear more people than ever tell me they want to feel happy and live without stress. But they are also still rooted in believing the best way to get there is through having perfect abs, a rock-hard body, and looking better in their clothes.

They rarely think about the mind or the spirit. Because even if an exercise program works for you and you reach your target weight, if you haven't addressed why you want to lose weight in the first place, you may not be satisfied with the results.

You're ignoring the underlying current that's going to create consistency, longevity, and real happiness. Which is why you'll continue to fall back to that unhappy place. You will inevitably have bad days. You might give up. Until the next time you see a pair of jeans or feel pressure about summer, or your wedding, and decide you want to be in shape again.

THE REASON LIFTED WORKS so well is that it provides a solution to that yo-yo approach by encouraging you to tap into things beyond the body. Over the next twenty-eight days you'll be following a different path to get you over your fitness hurdles, make new habits, and change your life. But it will take going out of your old comfort zones to get there.

If you're ready to trade your comfort in for change, I guarantee we'll get there together. You're looking for someone to help you along the way. And guess what—you found her.

WHO AM I? I'm currently the creative director at Cyc Fitness and was a founding instructor at Flywheel, where for six years I had thousands of people walk through the door. Three years ago I joined forces with Nike as a master trainer and currently mentor Nike's East Coast team of trainers. I've also built my own business from the ground up and have traveled the globe hosting destination camps, speaking to people of all ages, and inspiring change one person at a time.

NOW THERE ARE a lot of people who look at elite trainers and think, How do you know what I feel? You've probably never been fat a day in your life. And maybe you're thinking something like that right now. Maybe you've come to believe it's impossible to lose weight, get fit, and have a richer, happier life—and you have doubts that I can help you make that happen because I couldn't possibly understand what you're feeling and the challenges you face.

But if there's one thing I know about, it's what it feels like to have a dream that the rest of the world thinks is impossible.

I had decided when I was six years old that I would play professional basketball one day. Even though there wasn't a pro league for women at that time. Even though I was short and would grow up to be only five-feet-four.

I had all odds stacked against me. But I spent the next fifteen years turning my dream into a reality, and eventually I played pro basketball for five years.

What I didn't realize at the time was that I was teaching myself how to be a coach. I wasn't born a great basketball player destined to go pro; it took tens of thousands of hours of hard work, training my mind, body, and spirit. And without all three I never would have accomplished everything I did. Mastering how to motivate myself helped me become one of the best motivators in the game, and my passion for basketball eventually evolved into a new life's work: helping others get the body of their dreams and leading them to the life they've always wanted. And as many twists and turns as my career has taken, that three-part approach to training mind, body, and spirit has remained at the core of my philosophy—and I know it can work for you too.

When I first launched my LIFTED class—a new method that incorporates meditation and spirituality with high-intensity exercise—it was incredible to watch how well it was received and how successful it's now become. LIFTED may be an intense training program, but it brings in elements that are far from intense and what's missing in most programs—both tranquility and spirituality.

You see, my philosophy is to bring the mind, body, and spirit together into one single workout. You owe it to yourself to channel all three into everything you do. If you have a deficit in any of those three areas, you're not going to have a complete workout. You're not going to be a complete person.

You're not going to have a complete life.

When you're not happy with your body, it brings down your spirit. When you have too much on your mind, that stress can cause your body to store fat. When your spirit's down, you may make unhealthier lifestyle and nutritional choices that keep you from moving forward. And these are just a few ways all three affect each other.

You can't separate them, so doesn't it make sense to embark on a program that brings the three together?

I knew early on that all three things needed to be present, and I watched all three work together in my career and my life. I watched all three create this little whirlwind that became more and more powerful. But when I take one out, that whirlwind becomes lopsided and stops spinning upward.

It goes from LIFTing you up to holding you down.

I've had plenty of people tell me they rarely feel joy when they work out. But if you're open to experiencing what exercise could be—what happens when you make working out a complete mind, body, and spirit experience—then you'll be more likely to experience that joy, reach your goals, realize your dreams… and LIFT your life.

OVER THE TWENTY-EIGHT DAYS of the LIFTED program, the role I'll play in your life is one of a coach, yes, but also as a teammate.

I'll be shoulder to shoulder with you, sweating alongside you, and your victories will be our victories. This is what I want for you, and I can get you there. I want you to be the type of person who wakes up on fire, follows their light, and lives in their truth. The type who falls down, skins their knees, and gets right back up. I want you to dream your biggest dream and fall in love with your life every day.

What I want for you is the best life you can possibly live, and it would be my honor to help you find it. As long as you're willing to stop looking for happiness in the same place you lost it and realize that what is coming is better than what is gone, we can do it—you and me.

So what's my why?

It used to be basketball—but now it's you.

Right now, my why is to LIFT as many people as possible by getting them to understand what I've learned along the way and what has worked for not just me but the lives of everyone I've been lucky enough to train and teach over the years.

My entire mission in life is to LIFT.

That's why I do it.

You're why I do it.

So let's do it together!





Why Do You Really Want to Fly?

Before LIFTED can help you fly, you need to decide where you want it to take you.

I believe most people have an overall sense of a "feeling" they want to arrive at when they take on a lifestyle program to lose weight and change their life. But when I ask people online or in my class what their goal is for the weekend or dig even deeper and ask what their one-year goal is for themselves, I'm always hit with the same vague replies.

For example, people love to tell me that they want to be fit, but that's not a goal—that's a feeling that could be measured in many different ways. The same goes for wanting to be leaner, healthier, or stronger. It's great to want to be all these things, but they're not anything you can technically check off your list because they're not specific and measurable.

Draw It Up—Then Dream

You've gotta dream and imagine your perfect life, but know this: a dream without a plan is nothing more than a wish.

If I had simply closed my eyes and imagined that I had basketball skills, I would never have—could never have—played professional basketball. I had to come face to face with my dreams on a daily basis. I had to sit down and ask myself what I really wanted in life. I needed to think about what goals I had to achieve in the short and long term to move closer to my dreams.

I had to design my life—the life I wanted to have.

I had to make daily sacrifices and show up even when I didn't feel like it.

If that sounds daunting to you, I promise it's not as complicated as it sounds. But the fact remains: you can't move forward if you don't know which direction you should go, and a person without a goal is like a ship without a sail.

That's not going to be you. I'm going to show you how to work the program, and I'm here to give you the tools you need.

Get Your Goals in Gear!

I'm a big believer in taking the time to break things out into one-year, five-year, and ten-year goals. And I will admit, the first time I thought this way I felt so much pressure. I couldn't imagine thinking that far ahead, even though I had technically done that as a kid when it came to wanting to play basketball—then it was easy for me!

But remember, as children we feel uninhibited and unphased by the things that may deflate our dreams. That's why you need to turn back time and start using the mind you used to dream with as a child.

It's time to set up goals of your own. What I want you to do is think about and write down two types of goals: outcome and process.

Outcome Goals

Outcome goals are the goals you're hoping to achieve. They need to be definable. You can't just say you want to be fit—you need to hone in on what you wish to be fit for. You can't just say you want to lose weight—you should know how much weight you would like to lose. You shouldn't just say you want to eat healthier—you should know exactly what types of foods you want to eat more of and which type of foods you want to eat less of.

For example:

• I will lower my blood pressure by twenty points.

• I will lose five pounds.

• I will double how many veggies I eat each week.

Notice I used the words "I will." You need to believe your goals from the moment they make their way to paper.

Process Goals

Process goals are the goals you have to hit in order to make your outcome goals a reality. They are the tangible goals—the ones that you can actually do. These are the goals that get you where you want to go and make your outcome goals reachable. They need to be things that at the end of the week you can reflect back on and say, "According to what I said I'd do and what I actually did, either this week brought me closer to where I want to be—or it didn't."

For example:

• I will meditate for at least ten minutes a day.

• I will work out four times per week.

• I will make my lunch and dinner three-fourths veggies every meal.

So… why both?

I love to talk to children about this because when you sit in front of a bunch of young athletes and ask how many of them want to be pro athletes, every single hand goes up.

I get it. Who doesn't? You're looking at a future that comes off like a big shiny toy—flying in private jets, having world fame, making lots of money. There aren't too many people on the planet who wouldn't want that to happen.

That's because most people have outcome goals. But they either don't have process goals in place or don't want to have them. Because then there's more of a commitment to take action instead of hoping good things will come our way without having to try so hard. It's all about wishing and not about working toward that wish. After all, when it comes down to it, accomplishing big goals means big sacrifices and commitment.

There are other people who focus only on process goals but never have an outcome goal. Have you ever seen that person who continuously works out and never seems happy? Ever met a workaholic who can't seem to stop for a moment to appreciate what they have? That's a person without an outcome goal. These people become so absorbed in the process that they never take the time to define "What's the ideal weight I want to be?" or "How much money is enough?" So they keep going, never satisfying their spirit because their goals are never in balance with one another.

That's why you need both to make your dreams come true. Your outcome goals are the destination—they are your I wants. Your process goals are the journey—they are your I wills.

So… write them down!

For the sake of the LIFTED program I want your goals to be related to what you think my program can help you achieve. I also want your goals to be realistic and measurable within the four weeks you'll be using the program. Putting down that you want to lose fifty pounds in four weeks isn't going to happen because it's impossible, so stick with outcome goals that are attainable.

I also don't want anything to ever be a number that overwhelms you. I find that if I ask clients to write too many goals, sometimes they stretch their goals out too thin. Instead, I've found that sticking with three outcome goals is fairly reasonable. You can always have more, but three is a great starting point. Let's set ourselves up for a VICTORY!

As for choosing your process goals, I'll be taking care of that for you. That's the beauty of LIFTED. Simply by following the four-week program you'll be lifting your mind, body, and spirit, which I guarantee will put you down the path of achieving your outcome goals. So for now these will be your process goals:

• I will do all the prescribed workouts for the entire four weeks.

• I will meditate every single morning.

• I will check in with my Dream Board every day (don't worry—I'll explain that one later in the chapter).

• I will visualize a minimum of twice a day (don't worry—I'm about to explain this one right now!).

Visualization: See It and Free It!

When I was a kid I was driven purely by passion. And at that time I developed certain skills around that passion that I had no idea were actually tools that have been proven to enhance performance. One of those skills was visualization.

At night I would lie on my bed, close my eyes, and clearly visualize myself on the court. I could see myself dribbling down the court effortlessly and pulling up for a jump shot. I could feel the ball in my hands, notice my breath, and hear the crowd hush—and then erupt! I would do it to the point where my muscles would twitch, where it felt as if I were actually doing it, even though I was only doing it in my head. It felt so real, I would have to stop because I couldn't sleep. Innately I did this as a kid because it was exciting. But the best athletes in the world rely on this technique because they know the body will do whatever the mind believes it can do. They understand that once your mind has conceived something—the body naturally has an easier time doing it.

For example, when researchers in France studied the effect of visualization on high jumpers, their performance improved by 35 percent.1 Better still, by adding in physical movements as they visualized—for example, by mimicking simple arm movements—they managed to raise their performance up to 45 percent. It turns out that what I was doing as a little girl—just closing my eyes, holding a ball in my hands in my bed, and thinking through the motions—is something now backed by science.

Fast forward to today, and I still use visualization; it's been a constant tool for my entire life. As an instructor I'm no longer performance based, but to this day I'll have certain spin classes where I might be nervous, don't feel I'm on my game, or might be just a little bit depleted from life. Yet I have to go in and motivate sixty other people.

That's when I use visualization to make my thoughts connect to my body so I can produce the state and results I want to have in every class.

The power of visualization is underrated and often overlooked, yet it's one of the most powerful tools you can add to your toolbox.

Make it work for you as you use LIFTED.

Picture Every Part of Yourself

The magic of LIFTED is that the program affects every part of your life—mind, body, and spirit. So when you visualize, there are no limits.

If you have an interview the next day, close your eyes and imagine yourself feeling confident, stepping into the room tall, and making eye contact with everybody. Picture yourself having a very fluid conversation in which you're articulate and have an answer for every question they ask.

If you have a race the next day or just a training session, close your eyes and think about running every step or going through every motion. Let yourself feel what it will be like when you cross the finish line or complete the class. Imagine every part of it being effortless and enjoyable.

But know this: you don't have to save visualization for special occasions or events; we always have something to do the next day that we could do a little better. So whatever that might be, so long as it's important to you to do your best, incorporating visualization can benefit you.

Picture a Perfect Performance

As you visualize, failure is not an option. Some people will imagine themselves doing something and find themselves automatically thinking about how they might trip themselves up along the way. That is not what I want you to do. Your body can hear what you are thinking and saying about it. For real. So you need to choose your thoughts and words carefully.

It's important to forget about any flaws. Visualization sets the stage for how you feel and what amount of energy you take into whatever it is you're visualizing. So all you should be picturing is your perfect self. You need to imagine that whatever you're doing, you're not only doing it perfectly but effortlessly as well.

A recent UK study involving more than forty-four thousand subjects found that just by imagining you can do a specific task better, that's exactly what happens as a result.2 When researchers measured the effects of various motivational methods, the greatest improvements to performance came either when subjects told themselves out loud that they could beat their best score or react faster or when they imagined they could beat their best score or react faster.

That's why three-quarters through my class I will tell people that they have a choice at that moment. They can perceive themselves as exhausted, or they can perceive themselves as exhilarated. One of those choices will make that experience far easier and more enjoyable than the other one. It's your choice—only when your mind is your ally will you actually begin to see change.

Close Your Eyes Often

Checking visualization off your list each day is pretty easy to do, but for now all I want you to do is try it for a couple of minutes twice a day.

It can be at your desk. It can be on the subway or the bus. It can be while you're waiting for your kids or waiting for your coffee to brew. Eventually you may find yourself doing it fifteen to twenty times a day, and that's okay! The more you picture yourself performing in your prime, the more you'll believe you can—and the more likely you will. Remember: children daydream all day long. Somewhere along the way as adults we tend to lose this—GET IT BACK!

Some of my favorite times to do it are

In the morning: I always recommend doing some visualization in the morning because mornings are always a fresh start to everything. After all, if you can visualize the perfect day, just think about how much better the rest of your day will be.

The night before anything big: As much as I love the mornings, there are typically a lot of things that could easily distract me from doing it the morning of a big event. That's when I'll do it the night before, right before bedtime.

Any time! It takes only a few seconds to bring yourself back into the space of confidence that visualization creates—so don't be afraid to try it anywhere at any time.

I would visualize in the middle of a basketball game at the free throw line. I had a ritual every single time. My right foot would be on the line. The referee would bounce the ball to me. It would come into my hands, and I would immediately close my eyes. And for two seconds I would see the ball go through the net. I would then dribble the ball three times, bend my knees, and get ready to shoot, and I would watch the ball roll off my fingers and—go through the net.


  • "Holly is an inspiration, a teacher, a healer...also a motivator, a pal, and an incredibly insightful person. She lifts you with joy, with humor, with strength, and with belief. You will feel her support on whatever journey you're taking."—Kyle MacLachlan, actor
  • "Holly's commitment to making you feel motivated and powerful is contagious. I loved how connected I felt to my body, mind, and spirit during LIFTED."—Iskra Lawrence, model, body positive activist, and #AerieReal Role Model
  • "I've trained with Holly on and off for several years now. Even if you feel that the last thing you want to do is work out, with Holly that changes. Her great ability to know exactly what you need makes her a perfect coach and partner. And she is masterful at teaching exercise technique and nutrition."—Matthew Broderick, actor
  • "Everyone needs Holly's feel-good ethos and coaching in their life. Read this if you've ever wondered how to have more legitimate happiness--and wondered why workouts and clean eating alone haven't gotten you there. The inner life plan Holly shares taps the latest information about the power of fitness and meditation to transform your life in a way that's science-supported, incredibly fun, empowering, and realistic."—Melisse Gelula, cofounder of Well+Good
  • "LIFTED is a program that can benefit everyone, from a beginner who's on a quest to become a healthier person to the person who's followed a traditional fitness program for years and needs a deeper connection to their why's of complete human performance. I have been in the human performance industry for more than thirty years and today I got started on LIFTED!"—Coach Greg Warner
  • "Starting your day with Holly is not only a great workout, but a blast of positive energy to get you through your day and feeling good! She truly is one of the best in her field!"—Josh Capon, celebrity chef
  • "This is a method that leaves your mind, body, and soul feeling-lifted! It's about overcoming your strength hurdles, enforcing and following new habits, and simply making your life better."

    Athleisure Magazine

On Sale
Jun 6, 2017
Page Count
240 pages

Holly Rilinger

About the Author

Coach, trainer, and fitness guru Holly Rilinger is known as one of the most inspiring instructors in the game. She is a Nike Master Trainer, Creative Director at Cyc Fitness, and the creator of the popular LIFTED class offered throughout New York.

Myatt Murphy is a journalist, certified strength and conditioning specialist, and the author or coauthor of twelve books.

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Myatt Murphy

About the Author

Jillian Michaels is an eight-time New York Times bestselling author and certified personal trainer. Michaels has dominated the health and wellness space with hit television shows, immensely successful fitness DVDs, her exercise streaming platform, an award-winning podcast, and live speaking engagements.

Learn more about this author