Nine Steps to Fitness

Co-Owner Lisa Maria-Booth Interviewed for NH MagazineFortitude Health + Training co-owner Lisa Maria-Booth was recently interviewed by NH Magazine for their September 2017 issue’s article How to Build a Better You. Lisa was showcased among five local health gurus who shared their tips on how to start on the path to self-improvement. Below is an excerpt:

Co-owner and CEO Lisa Maria-Booth opened Fortitude five years ago with longtime collaborator Danielle Perreault. The downtown Manchester gym caught on fast, and soon, along with David Booth, she opened FortCycle and the Green Bike smoothie bar (all located in one building in the Millyard). Of course, fitness and good health are the ultimate goals, but Maria-Booth and her staff work just as hard to create a sense of community. Here, everyone from marathon runners to hesitant beginners are welcomed and supported by both the staff and members. As Booth says, “All you have to do is show up, and we’ll take care of the rest.” While no one is actually going to lift the weights for you, you will find expert advice, coaching and plenty of positive encouragement. Perhaps most importantly, what you won’t find is judgment or intimidation.

We all know, whether we want to admit it or not, that there’s no such thing as a quick fix. True fitness is not achieved with a crash diet or a miracle piece of equipment. It’s about changing habits, making good choices every single day and, yes, regular exercise. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, then Maria-Booth has a few suggestions for things you can do right now to start down a path to better health.

  • Set goals. Sometimes, says Maria-Booth, people come to her with only a desire to change … something. It’s her job, she says, to be “an inspirer, a motivator, a spark.” She helps people set smart, achievable goals. Without something specific — and attainable — to work toward, it’s much easier to give up. For instance, at first train to run a 5K rather than a marathon. Habits, she adds, can take a long time to form and a long time to break. Setting goals you can “wrap your arms around” helps push you out of a rut.
  • Keep at it. Fitness doesn’t happen overnight, but “If you keep repeating and repeating positive new habits, pretty soon it’s going to become a part of who you are,” she says. “But it takes patience; it takes a little time and repeating, and repeating. And then it’s like a needle on a record — it’s not going to skip any more since you’ve created a new groove.”
  • Find someone to hold you accountable. Tell your goals to someone you trust and that you can share with.
  • Get outside. “You might imagine I want people to be in the gym all of the time, but I don’t,” she says. One of her personal favorite ways to stay healthy is by taking advantage of the state’s many natural resources. “We have everything at our fingertips — mountains, trails, lakes, the ocean,” she says. “Being outside, getting sunshine, whether I’m in the forest hiking or swimming in the lake or snowshoeing on a really white, shiny winter day, is a huge battery recharge for me.”
  • Swap out just one bad thing. For instance, every day try trading a sugary, cream-laden Dunkin’ Donuts drink for a wholegrain English muffin with almond butter.
  • Sleep. “I love to get at least seven hours of sleep at night to feel my best, to keep my body strong,” she says.
  • Eat real food. “I stay the heck away from manufactured food products,” she says. She also avoids supplements and medications unless absolutely necessary. “I really, really believe that everything I need is in the super-healthy, colorful, look-the-same-going-in-the-body-as-it-did-coming-out-of-the-ground food.” Fresh fruit and veggies are simply better choices than boxes with long lists of ingredients.
  • Be around like-minded people. She doesn’t suggest trading in your friends, but if you can, try to be around healthy, positive people. Inspiration is important. Group classes can be a great way to find motivation.
  • Make the time. Sorry, busy people: She won’t accept the “I have no time” excuse. You do. As she points out, there are 168 hours in a week — you can set aside three for exercise. Make yourself a schedule and stick to it.

Click here to read the full article online.


You don’t need ballet slippers or a tutu for this class! Yes, it is inspired by Ballet, Pilates, and Yoga but you don’t need any type of dance background to attend! I love teaching this class and I have never taken a dance class in my life. My only dance experience is kicking my shoes off at a wedding 🙂
No experience necessary!

With upbeat and fun music, Barre blends strength training, flexibility, cardio, and core conditioning. We may use light weights, resistance bands, gliding discs, and small balls for this low-impact workout! If you are doing it properly, your abs are always engaged, so you get the benefits of working your core in every single move! It can be a tough core workout!  Barre also targets the thighs and glutes, the largest muscles of our body. This results in a huge calorie burn, builds lean muscle and can increase that metabolic rate!

Barre is perfect for all levels and not just for women!  All of you men out there this class is not for the faint of heart. Take the challenge! The men that venture into class always come back for more. See times below!

Monday 9am, Tuesday 5:45am, Wednesday 4:30pm, Thursday 12:35pm, Friday 9am, and Saturday 8:30am.


TRX can be a mysterious class for many newcomers to the Fort. A lot of people look at the straps and wonder how they work. Do they stretch? Do you hang from them like Cirque Du Soleil? How do you get your feet in there??

After the first class the mystery will be gone and you will unlock a new door in your fitness life. TRX is truly the best modality I have used in 25+ years of teaching, and I’m excited every time I see someone new trying it out.

TRX challenges the most fundamental part of our body, our core. Our core extends from beyond our abs. It includes many series of muscles and is the foundation of all our every day and athletic movements. A few weeks into consistent TRX training and, I know from experience, you will see a remarkable change in your core strength.  I see it every day!

Our daily movements each day do not occur in a single plane of motion and do not use a single muscle group at a time. It happens in multiple planes and uses multiple muscle groups. TRX challenges several muscle groups at the same time, and it challenges you in several planes of motion. This comes from the idea of creating an instability that your body, especially your core, has to balance.

And it’s safe and effective for all fitness levels! Because you can increase or decrease the difficulty of an exercise by simple adjustments of your feet or body position, a beginner and an elite athlete can both get amazing benefits. And as you progress, it is easy to increase the difficulty of an exercise without running over to a weight rack to grab a new set of weights. Just adjust your body positioning and the exercise becomes more challenging! 

TRX classes at the Fort are truly beneficial to your fitness, extremely versatile and accessible to all levels. If you’ve never given it a whirl, try it this week! If you are a veteran, move those feet to challenge yourself and reap those benefits.


Appropriately, my motivational quotes this week have turned inspirational quotes.  After all, who isn’t inspired by Tom Brady?  Two of his more poignant:

“I didn’t come this far to come this far. I’ve still got further to go.”
“You push your body to the limit but you have to train your body to deal with the limits”

So, if we dig through the afterglow and its accompanying reverance, we ask whether Brady hit the genetic lottery? Or is his undisputed fountain of youth the fruit of his disciplined TB12 practices? Probably a little of both … or a lot of both.  Embracing those ideas as our bodies age undoubtedly is a win win for our bodies and for our minds. Interestingly none of the recipe appears to be the holy grail. Brady’s fountain of youth seems to come from adopting known practices like sleep, amazing nutrition, building strong pliable muscles, commitment to consistent functional training AND never waivering from those ideas. Living the laser-focused life of a Lean Thinker, as he is called, summarizes his practices.

As we head toward the end of first quarter ‘17, keep that laser focus that drove you at the outset of the year. Eat clean, live lean. Surround yourself with like-minded people who are determined to build and sustain healthy bodies and minds in a safe, inclusive environment. Eat whole, unpackaged, unprocessed foods that look the same coming out of the ground as they do going into our bodies. Sleep at least seven hours per night. Exercise efficiently, and stretch. The commitment to become a Lean Thinker may take 5 or so hours of the 168 we each have per week. Your body, your mind is your temple. You decide.


Celebrating Civil Rights, the opportunity for every human to become their very best selves, Martin Luther King offered the following succinct motivation: 
“If you can’t fly then run. If you can’t run then walk. If you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

At Fortitude Health and Training and at FortCycle, we promote great fitness and healthy living, with options for everyone…no matter where you are in your journey. Did you determine your Resolutions for this year? We hope NOT…who has ever kept a resolution? Most often, they are unrealistic, unattainable, and don’t have a plan. We go back to our old ways…quickly, feeling defeated. Goals on the other hand are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. They are yours, they are dynamic and can change, they can be small and put the wind in your sails to soar to the next goal. They keep us moving forward. Fortitude has the perfect exciting alternative to those old Resolutions…New Years Revolutions. With our new, ROCK THE FORT unlimited membership you get all that FortCycle and Fortitude has to offer for one low price of $119 per month – the perfect recipe and pricing for great fun and fitness 2017. Additionally, due to crazy demand, Fortitude is offering a new small group training RESOLVE time slot Weds and Fri mornings at 6:45. Resolve brings you all the benefits of personal training for half the price! Fortitude makes it easy and fun to become your best self – you just need to make that a healthy life your goal and show up. Soar 2017 with The Fort.


Cycle, Strength & Stretch! FORTCYCLE’s bonus “on and off the bike” class. Fortitude Health and Training + FortCycle.together bring a true total workout. ...

Cycle, Strength & Stretch! FORTCYCLE’s bonus “on and off the bike” class. Fortitude Health and Training + FortCycle.together bring a true total workout.

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Our first CycleStrong small group personal training sessions sold out in two days. Love the format? Great cardio meets spot on, custom, personalized strength training all at a fantastic price point! Send your indications of interest and preferred times over to us at We would love to add more groups ...

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Fortitude’s Co-Owner Lisa Maria-Booth was interviewed for the September 2017 issue of NH Magazine to share her tips on How to Build Your Best You.
Click here to read her excerpt!


In the recent Best of NH 2017 poll, our place was named the ‘Cheers of gyms – just trade the barstools for bikes.’ An incredible compliment to our philosophy, our instructors, and you! Click here to read our full write-up!


With 9,136 votes cast this year with 2016 AList City Voter NH, Fortitude Health and Training won THREE BEST awards:

* Best Gym (22 nominees)
* Best Personal Trainers (13 nominees)
* Best Bootcamp (9 nominees)

Thank you!!!!


Free childcare Monday through Friday from 8:45 to 10:00am and Thursdays from 4:15 to 6:45pm. Click here for more details and to sign up.

Get in Touch!

775 Canal Street
Manchester, NH 03101

603-493-4244 (Lisa)
603-854-2002 (Danielle)