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Joan dropped 32 pounds and three sizes in nine months! “At age 50 I’m stronger than I’ve ever been in my life!”

unnamedInitially skeptical about about the efficacy of slow-motion strength training, after seeing great results, Joan now crows, “The Perfect Workout is perfect. It’s been three years since I was this small.”

Over the hill at 50? Hardly. Joan Morabito knew she was getting in great shape after joining The Perfect Workout. The weight was coming off, clothes were fitting looser, and she could now do things like lift the car carrier on top of her car. Getting compliments from a couple of teenagers was the icing on the cake. One of her daughter’s friends noticed after not seeing Joan for a while. “Mrs. Morabito, you look so skinny!” Her daughter added, “Oh my gosh! Your legs. Wow, Mom, that’s amazing.”

It’s especially satisfying considering what she’s gone through. Born with a hole in her heart that never closed up, Joan was vacationing in Colorado ten years ago when a blood clot caused a stroke. For a few years it slowed her down, and her balance is still a little off, but most people wouldn’t notice anymore.

In spite of getting past that hurdle, Joan got frustrated going to the gym. She really doesn’t like working out, found it too distracting, and with four kids, rarely had enough time to get there on a regular schedule. She came to The Perfect Workout last February with some hesitation. “I didn’t think I’d like it that much, and didn’t think I’d get such quick results,” says Joan.

The initial doubts quickly washed away. “The Perfect Workout is perfect. There are no distractions. It’s 20 minutes I get to focus completely on me. That’s what I need, to be completely focused on it.” Her trainer at the Memorial studio (in Houston), Rebekah, is super-positive, encouraging, and knowledgeable. “I love it! Rebekah is focused on me, and tells me exactly what I need to be doing. I trust her. I never got that kind of attention at a gym before. I want to do my best for myself, but for her, too.”

Joan’s commitment to her twice-a-week workouts, along with a change in eating habits, has paid off big-time. She lost about seven pounds before coming to The Perfect Workout, and 32 more pounds since. And while she’s lost inches everywhere and had to buy new clothes, she’s even more excited about her strength gains. “I’m definitely stronger all over. My daughter couldn’t believe it – I’m doing almost 300 pounds on the leg press. And my husband loves that I’m going to The Perfect Workout. It’s been three years since I was this small.” Last year Joan was lucky to get to her previous gym two or three times a month.

Now? “I can’t wait for Monday and Thursday mornings to come! I guard those times.” In 2015 she has a goal to get down to a size 8 at every store she shops at, continue building strength, and buy a nicer swimsuit next summer. For anyone else who’s frustrated with working out like she was, Joan has simple advice. “Go try it! Give it a try for three months. I’ll bet you after a couple weeks you’ll kick yourself that you didn’t do it earlier.”

Posted in The Perfect Workout

Reducing Sports Injury Risk

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, football participation in California and Texas has increased steadily for years…until the last two years. Football participation is decreasing in many states over the last two years. This is hardly a surprise. The last few years have also featured numerous stories about NFL players suffering torn anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL), concussions, and there was a lawsuit where former NFL players sued the league over inadequate warning for concussion risk.

In the 2011-2012 school year, there were nearly 1.4 million estimated sports-related injuries in high schools across the United States (according to the National High School-Related Sports Injury Surveillance Study). While football led the way, sports such as soccer, basketball, and wrestling also produce tens of thousands of injuries per year. How do we protect our kids from athletic injuries? How can we make sports safer?

In addition to looking at changes within the sports themselves, we can also properly prepare the participants. Strength training has demonstrated a clear ability to reduce injury risk for young athletes in research. A review of research from the Journal of Sports Medicine mentioned seven studies with high school athletes that found that a strength training program reduced injury rates in various sports. This is likely due to several reasons. As a bonus, strength training is relatively safe for kids and poses little injury risk itself.

Athletic injuries occur when the force placed on the body exceeds the force our bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments can withstand. In sports, these forces are often uncontrollable…especially with young athletes. An athlete can safely and effectively move around the field or court, but that still doesn’t stop another player from accidentally crashing into the athlete or misplacing a foot under an athlete as he or she is landing from a jump. Of course, collision isn’t always necessary. For example, even just running can lead to a strained hamstring or front thigh muscle.

Strength training prepares the athletic body to sustain many of these forces. Strength training increases bone strength as well as connective tissue strength, which reduces the risk of bone fractures or tears in tendons or ligaments. Strength training increases muscle size and strength. As an athlete becomes stronger, his or her muscles support more force, which helps during common movements such as jumping and running. In fact, long distance runners are known to adopt strength training to reduce lower body injuries.

The Journal of Sports Medicine review also mentioned strength training as a safe option for young athletes. According to one study, strength training with 13-16-year old boys led to just 3.5 injuries for every 10,000 hours of participation. Another study said strength training was responsible for less than one percent of high school sports injuries each year. From the results of seven studies, the researchers stated, “injury occurrence (with resistance training) in children and adolescents was either very low or nil.”

Strength training physically develops muscles, bones, and connective tissues. As a result of strength training, these various tissues are more able to withstand the various forces on the body that are experienced with athletics. As a bonus, strength training is comparatively very safe. Injury risk is extremely low in general and when compared to other sports. At this point, I imagine the only question parents have about strength training with their youngsters is, “What are we waiting for?!”

By Matt Hedman, President of The Perfect Workout


Reference

Faigenbaum, A. D., & Myer, G. D. (2010). Resistance training among young athletes: safety, efficacy and injury prevention effects. British journal of sports medicine, 44(1), 56-63.

Posted in The Perfect Workout

Marti lost 6 inches off her waist, 5 inches off her hips, and 3 dress sizes!

lost-3-dress-sizes-martiMarti’s advice to others with a similar distaste for exercise in general who are considering slow-motion strength training? “Take the time to do it. What’s 40 minutes a week out of your whole life? It’s worth every penny.”

“I always hated working out. I still hate it, but I go.” Marti Beck isn’t joking. She really doesn’t like exercising, and thought The Perfect Workout was another gimmick when she discovered it. Results from two 20-minute workouts a week?

It sounded unbelievable. She also wasn’t sure about the idea of having a personal trainer. “I didn’t want people telling me what to do.” Putting her skepticism aside, she decided to check it out since she wasn’t getting results working out on her own. Unlike the aerobics and circuit training in her younger days, this time Marti had help. Her personal trainer, Cindy, understood her needs and tailored a plan that worked for her.

The inches came off before the weight, as Marti admits it took a while to get rid of her bad eating habits. After she left her job as a legal secretary, she realized she had been eating out of stress. Once she started eating better, the pounds started coming off, too.

Two years after starting at The Perfect Workout, Marti has lost over 20 pounds and gone down three dress sizes. She’s gotten stronger all over, and more than anything, she’s excited about the fact that she now has biceps! Science and research prove the physical benefits of slow-motion strength training.

Working out this way loads the muscles more effectively, producing improved muscle tone, a leaner shape, increased metabolism, stronger bones, and greater strength. Marti’s physical transformation is still underway, but there’s a much deeper, emotional component. “I haven’t had my picture taken in over 30 years. That’s the reason I’m doing this. Pretty soon I’m going to have a family portrait done.”

Marti credits the trainers at Laguna Niguel with helping her on her journey. “The studio is great. It’s small and personal. I love Cindy’s patient and compassionate style. The whole staff is terrific! They’re all fabulous.” Marti, for her part, has been a dedicated client. Determined from the start, she’s never missed a workout. Of course, that’s a lot easier since she doesn’t have to spend an hour or two at every session like she did at her old gym. It’s all added up to a whole new outlook on life. Her husband of 42 years thinks it’s great, and at 64, Marti says, “I feel like I’m in my 40s!”

Posted in The Perfect Workout

Meet Taylor Fleming Personal Trainer at The Perfect Workout’s Studio in Sunnyvale, CA

sunnyvale-trainer-taylorTaylor Fleming couldn’t be happier training clients and working with great colleagues. “The best thing about The Perfect Workout is that it’s like a family. I feel that this is my calling.”

On the surface, Taylor Fleming looks like you’d expect a personal trainer to look. She’s been in shape her whole life, and you can see the toned results of her recent slow-motion strength training workouts. Yet when you hear the passion in her voice as she starts talking about things like the solitude of fitness and mindful eating, you get the feeling that she’s in exactly the right place.

Taylor was intrigued by the scientific research that backed up slow-motion strength training. As a runner, she had some knee problems and was actually over-working her body. Since changing to slow-motion, Taylor has increased her muscle mass and decreased her body fat by three percent. Even more impressive, she can now leg press the entire stack of 487 pounds for two minutes and her right knee pain is gone. “The methodology works,” she says.

Always striving to learn more, Taylor is taking classes through Integrative Nutrition, one of her passions. A few years back she overcame an eating disorder and now looks at food as fuel. When her clients ask her about nutrition, she advises them to avoid mindless eating and suggests some general rules that she follows: Drink a gallon of water a day. Eat five small meals a day, two of which are snacks. Stick to a high-protein, complex (not low) carbohydrate plan. “It’s that simple. It’s a lifestyle, not a diet,” Taylor says. Her advice on working out is similar. “Make small changes over time. Consistency is the key.”

Taylor lights up when she talks about her clients, including a 62-year old who came in quite fit from another popular workout, but with a lot of pain in her joints. Working together, they started small and worked up. She’s now leg pressing 400 pounds, almost four times her 102-pound body weight. Another client in her early 70s had a desk job and never worked out, causing her muscles to atrophy. She’s very committed to increasing her muscle mass, and never misses a workout, and now bicep curls 40 pounds and lat pulls 90 pounds. Seeing her clients’ commitment to the program gives Taylor the most satisfaction. “That progress over time, seeing how devoted they are inspires me. That’s why I’m in this industry.”

Posted in The Perfect Workout

At 91, Esther is proof that it’s never too late to start exercising. “I’ve been transformed.”

esther-perfect-workoutSince joining The Perfect Workout 10 months ago, Esther is now stronger all over, down a dress size, and feeling younger and more attractive than she has in years.

“Compared to other women my age (and there aren’t a lot of them), I’m prancing around,” says Esther Gendel. In January she went on a strenuous safari. She zips around to the theater and other cultural activities. She still works, buying houses and getting them fixed up for her grandkids. “It keeps me active. I hang around with people in their late 60s, and I’m equal to them.” No rocking chairs, canes, or lazing around for this soon-to-be 92-year old. Not at all. Esther’s prescription for youthful exuberance carries no ill side effects: slow-motion strength training. Since joining The Perfect Workout 10 months ago, Esther is now stronger all over, down a dress size, and feeling younger and more attractive than she has in years. “At first, my arms were sticks,” she says. I couldn’t even push for one rep. Now I can do seven or eight. I’m amazed at myself.”

Working out at her age is remarkable, especially considering the fact that she went through a difficult time a few years ago. Her husband got Alzheimer’s and later passed away. Then she found out her knees had deteriorated, and her doctor told her she needed artificial ones. She said, “What am I going to do with the rest of my life? If I’m going to keep living, I don’t want to be a sickly person.”

When her husband was alive, he and Esther had a trainer, but she hated every minute of it. “I despised working out because it was too much time.” The Perfect Workout is not only quicker and more effective, it’s a lot more enjoyable. She attributes that to her trainer at the West Los Angeles studio. “I like to have fun, and Raymond doesn’t stick to a serious regimen. We sing through all the exercises, and I jog from machine to machine. He’s in tune with me. While he’s counting, I’m singing. I joke with him that my tombstone is going to say, ‘One, two, three…!’ It’s social for me as well as physical.”

After a few months of working out with Raymond, Esther’s friends asked her what she was doing. She was noticeably stronger, more toned, and could climb out of the car without assistance. Recently she got into a bathing suit and realized that she had a nice figure again. Good Russian genes may be part of it (her parents lived to be 90), and not missing any of her sessions all year helped, too.

A retired teacher with a Masters Degree in Earth Science, Esther has traveled the world over, and has no plans to slow down in the near future. When she’s not gallivanting around, she enjoys spending time with her nine grandkids and two great-grandkids, all in California. They say she does more than they do, and tell her she’s the funniest person they know. It’s a great combination – a regular physical routine along with a vibrant approach to squeezing the most out of life. Here’s to continued transformation, Esther, and many more years ahead.

Posted in The Perfect Workout

The Ab Crunch: Looks, Form, and Function

The rectus abdominis, or “abs,” are the muscles many of us would like people to see when in a bathing suit. And besides the aesthetics aspect, they are also an important muscle group for function. The ab crunch machine trains the abs as well as another pair of important muscles. However, performing this exercise requires attention to detail. There is a small difference between proper execution and lower back strain with the ab crunch. In this article, we’ll discuss all of those details.

The rectus abdominis starts at the bottom of the sternum (chest bone) and the front of the ribs in that area. It runs down to the top of your pubic bone (part of the pelvic girdle), which is just above your genitals. The main function of this muscle is to pull your spine into a ‘C’ shape, bringing your chest and midsection closer together.

Of course, the abs are most known because of the “six pack.” A “six pack” has that appearance because of connective tissue. As the abs flow from the ribs to the pelvic girdle, there are three segments of connective tissue in the middle. This where the “six pack” gets its upper, middle, and lower portions. Also, a sheet of connective tissue (linea alba) runs vertically, splitting the abs in half, causing the appearance of six muscles as opposed to three. Secondary muscles in the ab crunch are the external and internal obliques. The obliques are located in the area that many refer to as their “love handles.” (We’re covering all of the fun stuff today.)

Performing the ab crunch regularly to the muscle exhaustion point of “muscle success” will help your abs and obliques become stronger and more aesthetically noticeable. However, I have to warn you: Seeing your midsection muscles is largely a result of low body fat levels. The less fat between your skin and your abdominal muscles, the easier it is to see definition in your abs. And losing body fat is mainly a result of positive dietary changes. Your desire to see your abs may beckon a change to your diet even more than the use of the ab crunch machine.

Believe it or not, the rectus abdominis does not exist only to make you look good in a bathing suit. It is also functionally significant. The abs are critical muscles for respiration and child birth. In addition, they are major stabilization muscles. In regards to stabilization, every exercise or sports movement focuses on a small group of joints. For example, throwing a baseball mainly involves the elbow and shoulder joints. For this to occur with optimal efficiency and effectiveness, muscles in various parts of the body contract to hold other parts of your body relatively still. Your abs are one of the most common and important stabilization muscles.

I mentioned previously that the abs work to pull your chest and midsection closer together, causing your spine to curl into a ‘C’ shape. The proper range of motion for the ab crunch is small compared to most exercises. The exercise may include only four or five inches of movement in each direction. It’s common to exceed this amount, and that’s where some problems occur.

In the ab crunch, as you “curl” downward, your lower back should press into the lower pad. (Your upper back should stay firmly pressed into the upper pad also.) If your lower back is about to peel off the pad, this is a cue that you’re at the end of the range of motion, and need to reverse direction and begin returning to the starting position.

When the lower back is removed from the pad, the midsection and thighs are now moving closer together. This motion is a hip-based movement called “hip flexion.” Hip flexion uses other muscle groups, and these muscle groups exert some force on the lower back. Examples of exercises that use hip flexion are sit-ups and leg lifts. While the abs assist in these exercises, the hip flexors are the dominant muscles.

In summary, “curl” down on the ab crunch machine no further than the point where you feel your lower back will start leaving the back pad. Using the ab crunch will strengthen your abs and obliques, muscles that not only make you look good on the beach but also help with critical life functions.

By Matt Hedman, President of The Perfect Workout

Posted in The Perfect Workout

Laura’s gone from a size 16 to an 8 and dropped 40 pounds!

laura-dropped-weightIn 3 months Laura Retana Shelp lost 23.4 pounds and 10½ inches off her waist with improved nutrition and two 20-minute training sessions a week at The Perfect Workout.

Laura Retana Shelp is a Registered Nurse, so when she first read the ad for The Perfect Workout, she was intrigued. She did some research online, read everything she could about it, and found that there was a lot of science backing up the concept of slow-motion strength training. Still, it took her a year and a half to make an appointment to check it out. When she finally went in to the Southwest San Jose studio, she was immediately hooked. “I loved it! It was incredible. I signed up that day, and for the next three months, I felt like a drunken sailor. My muscles were quivering every time I left.” She means that in a good way, of course, as The Perfect Workout reactivated her long-dormant muscles. But while it grew her muscles like nothing else ever had, Laura admits, “I wasn’t doing my part of it. You won’t lose weight unless you also change your diet.”

Ten years ago, Laura was a committed runner, putting in six miles a day. She also belonged to other clubs and purchased a StairMaster and treadmill for at home. Since then, life had gotten in the way of staying in good shape. She gained weight and started yo-yo dieting, never able to keep the pounds off. At her heaviest, she was horrified when the scale showed 171 pounds. For her 5’ 5” frame, that wasn’t good. “I had to go on a diet, but not call it a diet. I thought of it as a ‘lifestyle change.’ I needed to do something different,” she says. Laura and her husband both changed their eating habits. They got rid of processed foods like cookies and cake, and her husband’s favorite, bread and tortillas. They also started eating more fruits and vegetables and kept it simple, something they could live with. The first couple weeks they helped each other through it, and her husband actually lost weight faster.

The Transformation Challenge came along at the right time last February. Laura was committed to her lifestyle changes, and the slow-motion strength training had started kicking in, but she had a long way to go. She still had shortness of breath, couldn’t fit into her swimsuit, and had a hard time even reaching over to tie her shoes. During the Challenge, Laura continued eating well, and she and her trainer, Maria, went to work. “I had a trainer before who pushed me, but not like Maria does more helpful hints. She listens to me and knows me so well, and I give her everything I have. She makes each workout different, and always makes me go a little further. It’s a great connection, and I’m eager to come in and work out!”

After three months, the results were in. Laura’s consistency, hard work at every session, and lifestyle and diet change helped her lose another 25 pounds, gain all-over strength, and win the Grand Prize. “It was so uplifting. I was so excited, I went out and bought 10 swimsuits at Macy’s when they went on sale. It was so much fun, parading in front of my husband!” She’s down to a size 8, and still wants to lose another 10 pounds, to get down to 121. Her husband is a svelte 161 pounds now, and they’ve started dancing again. “We’ve reclaimed our lives,” says Laura. “It’s given us an opportunity to do the things we loved that we set aside for so long, and didn’t have the strength for. I’m going to be 59 in December, and I can see I need to do this always. It’s definitely a lifelong commitment.”

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Justin Dropped 4 Inches Off His Waist!

justin-before-afterIn 3 months Justin Brunette lost 4 inches off his waist and decreased his body fat percentage by 6.4% with effective nutrition and weekly 20-minute training sessions at The Perfect Workout.

Like a lot of guys in their late 30s, Justin Brunette had gotten so busy with work and family demands, he didn’t have time to work out. Persistent back problems and bone spurs in his elbow made him hesitant to do anything, so he started looking for the best way to get into shape safely. He discovered a book, Body by Science, by Dr. Doug McGuff and John R. Little, that advocates a form of slow-motion, high-resistance strength training. “For me, this was a new approach to lifting weights,” says Justin. “It was different from the mainstream. Completely different. It intrigued me.” It piqued his interest enough that he went out looking for a facility that could accommodate him. None of the regular gyms had it, but research turned him on to The Perfect Workout and he decided to give it a shot.

For Justin, it felt good to start getting back to where he was years ago. After playing baseball for San Diego State, he pitched in the big leagues with the Cardinals and Mets organizations, until Tommy John surgery ended his career. Over time he lost some of the fitness and strength levels he once had, especially since his work as vice president of an insurance investigations firm consumed a lot of his time. The 20-minute workouts twice a week were definitely a draw, but he was skeptical. “I thought doing more would produce more results. I was used to the traditional stuff. But after the first month I really started noticing differences.” Justin has since maxed out on some of the machines, his body fat percentage is down, and he’s constantly increasing the amount of time he can sustain each exercise. The quick progress surprised him. “I wanted to ease back into working out. I didn’t think I’d see the results I’ve had. You’re working on all key body parts. Everything gets stronger together.”

The hard work paid off earlier this year when he took the runner-up spot in The Perfect Workout’s three-month Transformation Challenge. A competitive guy, Justin says, “Once I saw the Challenge, I wanted to win it!” He credits his success to discipline (he hasn’t missed a week since he started at the Huntington Beach studio in January), the slow, controlled movements of slow-motion strength training, and a slight change in diet. Early on he restricted his calories a bit, and now he’s eating more protein, which has helped him add muscle. Justin also has high praise for his trainer. “Michael knows his stuff and really believes in the program. He’s positive, gets down to business, and asks me questions. He takes a personal interest in me.”

When he’s not running his business, Justin enjoys spending time with his wife and three and a half-year old son (with another one on the way), traveling and golfing. Going forward, he wants to continue to get stronger and stay injury-free. “I’m going to keep this in my regimen,” he says. And to anyone else with minimal time to spare who wants maximum results, Justin offers this advice: “Give The Perfect Workout a try. Believe in it and give it a go, especially the first few months. If you’re willing to do that, the motivation from there is seeing the results.”

Posted in The Perfect Workout

Column Image The Advantages of Machines

The strength training machines you see in The Perfect Workout studios are descendants of machines that were created by Nautilus, Inc. in the 1970’s. Arthur Jones not only originated the fundamental principles behind brief and intense strength training, he also invented the original set of Nautilus machines. Within a few years, machines from Nautilus and sprouting rival companies were in many public gyms as well as college and professional sports training facilities.

This led to one of the most famous on-going debates in the fitness industry: free weights or machines. In other words, is it more effective to use strength training machines or free weights, such as dumbbells and barbells? If you are reading this, you are probably aware that our studios are primarily filled with strength training machines. There are reasons for that.

While both options provide results when the user trains with a high level of intensity, we generally prefer well-designed machines for a number of reasons. Machines can be safer to train on than free weights, they allow for better concentration which can facilitate a higher intensity level, many machines provide resistance throughout each repetition’s entire range of motion, and there are several additional advantages of machines which I don’t have enough space to cover in this brief article.

If you recall the days when you first learned to drive, then you’ll probably remember someone telling you, “safety first”. The same recommendation applies to training. As you know, the goal of strength training at The Perfect Workout is to reach “muscle success”, the point when the targeted muscle is so fatigued that it cannot move the resistance any further. In many free weight exercises, training to complete exhaustion leaves the possibility that the weights may fall on the trainee afterwards. As we know, training to “muscle success” leaves our muscles with less control and fatigued for a few minutes afterward. If a person lost control of the weight when training on a machine, most machines are designed so that the weight would just fall on the weight stack (instead of on top of you!), so that’s one reason why machines can be safer than free weights.

As far as getting results, a necessary factor in successful strength training is mentally pushing your muscles to that very deep level of “muscle success” fatigue. This takes focused mental concentration, and each person has a limited ability to concentrate in any given moment. A well-designed machine can eliminate sources of distraction, enabling deeper concentration and a deeper level of fatigue in the the targeted muscles, and as a result help stimulate better improvements in your body. As an example, consider the leg press vs. a free weight squat (with a barbell on top of your shoulders). Both exercises are potentially very effective for improving the muscles in your buttocks and front thighs (and to a lesser degree the muscles in your rear thighs and calves). With the leg press, as you near “muscle success” all of your concentration ability can be used to push as hard as you can, helping you stimulate the big changes in your muscles and your body. You don’t have to worry about anything else other than pushing hard. In the barbell squat, if you approach “muscle success” fatigue levels, a significant portion of your concentration needs to be used to focus on balancing and avoiding falling down, and this reduces your mental energy available to make your muscles push hard. In this respect, the leg press has the potential to allow you to stimulate greater increases in the targeted muscles.

slide2-img2Another benefit of well-designed machines is resistance throughout the entire range of motion. A machine has the potential to better harness the power of gravity when compared with free weights strattera capsule online. For example, in a standing biceps curl with a barbell, gravity provides significant resistance to the biceps during the middle portion of each repetition. However, at the lower and upper ends, the exercise moves perpendicular to the force of gravity, basically providing rest for the muscles. Biceps exercises with machines usually feature a rotating wheel called a “cam” that varies resistance and enables constant work for the muscle throughout the repetition, and this can result in a more thorough workout for the muscles.

Just to be clear, I’m not saying dumbbells, barbells, and other free weights are not effective training tools. In fact, in 1992 when I first began using slow-motion strength training in my own workouts, I was training in a relatively primitive gym in which my initial routines involved many free weight exercises, and I still was able to make excellent improvements. If a person trains intensely, he or she will achieve great results, regardless of the equipment. However, we find that strength training machines help our clients train safely and effectively, and that’s what we’re all about.

By Matt Hedman, President of The Perfect Workout


Posted in The Perfect Workout

Kelly and Richard Got Toned and Strong!

Strength training helped Kelly get toned, and Richard estimates that he got 50% stronger, improved his posture, and lost about 75% of the aches and pains that he had in his back and shoulders.

Kelly Alessandro doesn’t know how much time she has left. Not at The Perfect Workout, but in life. Two years ago she was diagnosed with sarcoma, a very rare form of cancer, and doctors initially didn’t give her a very good chance of survival. She’s gone through surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments. Through it all, she has stayed mentally and physically strong. Kelly attributes making it this far in part to the fact that she’s in such good shape, thanks to The Perfect Workout. “I was able to recover so much better from all those surgeries because I had a strong core, because I was so strong,” she says.

The story begins before Kelly got cancer. About two

and a half years ago, she saw an ad for The Perfect Workout and decided to investigate slow-motion strength training. “I had no idea it was going to be as good as it was. Most people don’t get it. They think you have to spend an hour.” Kelly didn’t need to lose weight, she just wanted to “tone it up” and get stronger. Within a couple weeks she started seeing results, and she was hooked. Six months into her workouts, she got the bad news. She had surgery, then took five weeks off to recover. When she started her workouts up again, she was actually receiving chemotherapy at the same time, and feels like the workouts helped.

It was around this time that she finally got Richard to start working out with her. “Kelly kept nagging me,” he jokes. “I didn’t want to listen to her tell me I had to work out. She kind of shamed me. She just had major surgery, she was going through chemo, and she was still doing it.” Richard approached it with gusto the same way Kelly had, and made good progress.

Richard and Kelly agree that having a trainer keeps it safe and makes it fun. “The whole staff at Laguna Niguel has been great!” Richard is serious when he says, “I hate going! But the hate only lasts for 20 minutes. I just jump right in. I try to have fun with it. When I’m done, I’m done, and I go home and have my protein shake. The Perfect Workout is 1/335 of my week. For 1/335, I can do anything!” With everything they’ve been through together, Richard and Kelly have a remarkable sense of gratitude, and with some sarcoma experts they’ve just found, they also have a new sense of hope. Their trainers at the Laguna Niguel studio say, “Kelly’s spirit is always upbeat and positive. We’ve been honored to work with her and her husband, Richard, and their courage and determination has touched all of our lives.”

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