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5 Questions with Fitness Guru Tiffany Harlan

By Michael McCarthy | December 26, 2019 | People

Six years ago, Tiffany Harlan had a revelation. While managing a high-end fitness center near Dupont Circle, she realized the DEXA machine for measuring bone density was virtually inaccessible to most people. Harlan made DEXA the foundation for a new company, Composition ID, and opened her first office. She now has four local spots and a mobile app on the way in 2020. For high-end clients with fitness resolutions, her advice rings true.


How can DEXA help in overall fitness?
We’re able to create a nutrition program that’s based on real data. Continued testing ensures clients are succeeding in their program, whether it’s losing fat or gaining muscle. We approach food, fitness and goals in a personalized way.

What are the biggest impediments to fitness?
First, not having a plan. Second, having a plan but not forgiving yourself if you stray a bit and think it’s suddenly over. Third, overthinking what you should or shouldn’t be doing. Find a professional who can help assess what you’re currently doing and guide you toward the right approach.

For the year ahead, what are three healthy habits to start?
Hydrate—I always keep a 1-liter water bottle with me. I fill and drink it four to five times. Write your goals with a deadline. But please don’t make your goal a number on the scale! Lift weights three to four times a week. Muscle expends many more calories than fat. And it’s hot.

What are the best books you’ve read in the past year?
Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones ($17, Penguin) by James Clear, and Dare to Lead: Hard Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. ($16, Random House) by Brené Brown.

What are you go-to workout tunes?
You’re going to laugh. I listen to three genres. For lifting, I like Spotify’s Rap the Beast Mode station, with songs like ‘Humble’ by Kendrick Lamar. For cardio, I love the Dance Party station on Spotify. I turn this on and feel like I can do the StairMaster forever. I love ‘Watch Me’ by Jaden. For the sauna, I can’t live without my R&B slow jams from the ’90s.

Tags: people

Photography by: by Greg Powers