The “New Athlete” Concept: Why You Should Give it a Try

You work a 9-5 job, have 2.1 kids at home, and hustle to pay the bills. It’s called the American Dream. But in order to be your best for yourself, your bosses and your family, you’ve got to take care of yourself, too.  

That was the motivation for Tier Spellman, Director of Maintenance & Recovery Program at Equilibrium Physical Therapy in Manhattan. Given their clientele (largely corporate execs and Wall Street Bears and Bulls), she combined her passion for helping people lead healthy lives, with her background working with professional athletes, to create a system that combines health coaching, manual therapy and sports performance training.  Spellman calls it the “New Athlete” Program.  “In my opinion, EVERYONE is an athlete,” said Spellman.  

“If you are an Entrepreneur or an Account Executive, the demands are no different than a professional athlete. You are expected to perform at your job at the highest level of thinking day in and day out,” she said.  

The “New Athlete” often has hobbies, such as golfing, basketball, sailing, running marathons or rock climbing, said Spellman, “weekend warriors, so to speak.” But these corporate giants soon realize they need to find a life-work balance in order to combat their grueling schedules and daily demands, and they need more than just an occasional round of golf.

That’s where Spellman comes in.

She comes up with a three-pronged plan for each of her clients. Each plan is based on general health coaching (such as healthy eating and managing your time most effectively), personal training, and manual recovery (massage, stretching etc.)

We asked the therapist to to come up with recommendation for four common careers, as well as a “sample day” for each, so that you can follow along!

Entrepreneur/Business Owner

Time management is a major issue. Most business owners spend a lot of time with the day to day operations so I teach them how to delegate simple tasks to other people within their companies. A lot of business owners are fitness enthusiasts or former athletes so keeping their competitive edge is important to them. So I create a fitness schedule and programs that are challenging, fun and engaging.

4:00am Early Riser’s for alone time. Mindful Meditation, Yoga, Reading Book, Drinks 8oz of water with lemon

4:30am Fasted Cardio, post-workout protein shake

5:00am Strength Training with Trainer, post workout stretch and manual therapy

7:00am Drink 8 oz of water, eat Large Breakfast: Multigrain Waffles, with fruit compote, egg whites. 

9:00am Breathe for 2-3 mins, drink 8oz of water

Continue to drink water throughout the day

1:00pm Lunch: Quinoa Bowl, drink 8oz of water

Schedule a Massage Session at least twice per week for Maintenance during lunch or Second workout of the day usually 40-60 mins of cardio. 

4:00pm Light snack: Yogurt with Granola and Fruit. 

6:00pm Basketball with friends

8:00pm Home, Home Cooked Meal, Mindfulness, Meditation, Breathing before bed,


They tend to require a lot of travel whether in-state or out of state and the two areas that constantly tend to get neglected would be: quality of food and physical activity. I create workout programs that they can easily do on the road or in the hotel gym with very limited equipment. 

5:30am Wakes up, Stretches, Drinks a glass of water with lemon

6:00am Power Quinoa Bowl with fruit and nuts, Cup of Coffee Black

6:30am Gym, Workout with Trainer, 8 oz of Water

7:45am Stretch, Shower, Change for work

8:30am Protein Shake/Bar, Banana, 8oz of Water

8:50am Meditates, Breathing Exercises prior to work

10:00am Light Snack: yogurt, granola, fresh fruit, 8 oz of water 

11:00am Drinks 8oz of water

12:30pm Power Lunch: Protein Choice, Low Glycemic Carb, and a healthy Fat

Grilled Salmon, on a bed of bitter greens, with avocado and veggies, 8oz of water

Power Nap for 10-15 mins

Go outside for fresh air to breathe or walk for about 2-3 mins. 

1:30pm Back at desk drink 8oz of water

2:00pm Stretch for 2-3 mins

3:30pm Light snack: Bran Muffin, Cup of Mixed Fruit or Protein Shake, 8 oz of water

5:00pm End of Day Stretch, Meditate/Breathe- Focus with the intention on the rest of your evening. Process the work day it is now YOUR TIME.

6:00pm HIIT Training, MMA/Boxing Class, Group Fitness Class, Yoga/Pilates

7:45pm Home, Home Cooked Dinner, 8oz of Water

9:00pm Mindfulness, Meditation, Breathing before bed, light music


With long arduous hours for both groups, they tend to neglect themselves in various areas. The most common area neglected for this group would be: sleep. So power naps are a must. Also food, they grab what they can and what’s readily available so I recommend small power packed meals with foods choices that are packed with a lot of energy. Great news is that usually their break rooms have everything they need to make a protein shake or smoothie which they find a lot more feasible and easier on their digestive system. 

6:00am Wakes up, Meditation, Breathing Stretches, Drinks a glass of water with lemon

6:30am Gym, Workout with Trainer, drinks protein shake while working out

8:00am Stretch, Shower, Breakfast: Tuna Poke Bowl with Quinoa, Avocado, Sesame Seeds, Oil Based Dressing. 

Lawyer: Every hour gets up to drink 8oz of water unless in meetings should carry a water bottle. 

Doctor (Surgical): Depending on if they’re in surgery has to stay hydrated depending on scheduled procedures should drink 16-32oz of water during breaks.  

12:00pm Lunch: A very Large Salad with a protein source, lots of veggies and oil and vinegar. Schedule a Massage during lunch break at least once a week to keep stress levels down

2:00pm Stay hydrated. take 10-20 mins to breathe, walk outside for fresh air or sunlight. 

2:30pm 10 min Power Nap

6:00pm Head to the Gym for a Sport Activity, Basketball, Racquetball, Swimming, Rock Climbing. 

8:00pm Home, Home Cooked Dinner, water, meditation, breathing. 

Creative (advertising/public relations)

Creative Minds need high quality foods. Their minds depend on it; however what you find is that many in this field find it normal to “skip meals” in order to meet the deadlines. So I advise this group to keep healthy fats on deck: avocados, nuts, bananas. This group MUST eat breakfast and needs to exercise to stimulate healthy cognitive brain function. There’s never enough time in the day so this is another group of power nappers. Even when they are at rest they’re processing new ideas in their dreams so breathing before bed, playing soft music, and diffusing essential oils in their home and office are weapons to tackle the day and rest peacefully at night. I also have my creative crew pick a sport of their choice, something they don’t have to think or need a gadget for where they can completely unplug from the world of hustle and bustle. Usually golf, running, or fishing, but it’s typically a solo activity. 

7:00am Wakes up, Drinks 8oz of water with Lemon, Stretches

7:15am Eats a power packed breakfast: Grilled Snapper, with bitter greens, olive oil, avocado, 12 almonds, 10 blueberries, 5 strawberries, in a bowl of Quinoa. 

8:00am Gym, Trains with trainer for 30 mins, stretches, hydrates

9:00am Work, Breathe, Meditate for 2-3 mins set the intention for the day. 

Continue to drink water getting up every hour drinking 8oz each time. 

1:00pm Lunch Tuna Poke Bowl with avocado, sesame seeds and sesame oil on wild rice. 8 oz of water. 

3:00pm Takes a walk inside/outside for 5-10 mins, practice breathing with intention

5:00pm Schedule Massage once a week to decompress mentally or Power Nap 10-15 mins per day

7:00pm Evening Run through favorite park 

8:00pm Home, Home cooked meal, breathe, unplug, diffuse essential oils


  1. Start Your Day with You in Mind ie: Mindfulness, Meditation, breathing in Silence for the first 10-20 mins of your day upon rising. 
  2. Drink a glass of water with lemon or lime prior to your cup of coffee water in the morning helps with the eliminations of toxins that have been processing in the body while you were sleeping. 
  3. Stretch: Choose a few stretches to open your hips, neck, back, shoulders, hands and feet. Make sure to foam roll all major muscles groups: legs, back, arms, shoulders for about 2-3 mins. 
  4. Eat a light power packed breakfast: we know that you are on the go and your phone rings non-stop. A heavy breakfast is the furthest from your mind, you need to prepare the night before something quick or if you have left time in the morning make a really quick breakfast. ie: quinoa bowl, with blueberries, almonds, spinach and avocado or a healthy smoothie. 
  5. Physical Activity: Hire a trainer. Take the thinking out of your programming. You are a processor and you need to save your mental acuity for your important tasks at work and in the home. Put the demand of your workout programming on someone else and workout at least three times a week in the morning before work. 
  6. Create a schedule to spend time with the people who support you or that you care about. Whether that be friends or family your career tends to put your social life outside of work on the back burner. 
  7. Put it in your calendar: just like you book your appointments with your important clients you are your most important client. If you are taking a lunch book it and stick to the time that you set for yourself. 


If you’re interested in working one-on-one with Tier Spellman, she can be reached at

Jené Luciani is the bestselling author of three books and a regular on-air contributor on a number of national shows including NBC’s Today, Dr. Oz, and Wendy Williams. She resides in upstate New York with her spouse and their four children.