DC Personal Trainer Shares Injury Prevention Workout

DC Personal Trainer Shares Injury Prevention Workout

Cam Gatling Personal trainer in DC and at The Perfect Workout

After devoting 12 years to her basketball career, Cam Gatling knew a thing or two about strength and fitness. But when a serious knee injury knocked her down, she discovered the importance of injury prevention and the workout that was perfect for it.

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During her junior year of college, Cam tore both of her menisci, resulting in two knee surgeries. 

Recovering from those injuries helped her understand the importance of keeping your body healthy and strong to prevent injury.  

Facing rehabilitation firsthand helped Cam see how integral it was to do joint-safe exercises and have someone knowledgeable to guide her. Cam began to seek out safe and effective exercises she could continue to do in the future.

With a busy schedule graduating with a Business Management degree, serving as co-captain of the Women’s Basketball Team at George Mason University, and starting grad school for Sport Management, Cam needed something efficient too.

She found slow-motion strength training.

Despite her athletic background and years of strength training experience, Cam quickly saw results of her own when she incorporated slow-motion strength training into routine.

Within her first 4 months of using our unique exercise method – and nothing else – she lost 15 pounds. 

Cam decided she wanted to share this method with others and integrate Personal Training into her coaching repertoire. 

“My experiences made me realize that not only do I have a passion for fitness, but for impacting other people’s lives as well.”

She was invited to join The Perfect Workout’s team of trainers and achieved her Personal Trainer Certification in the DC area. 

Now, Cam works with her clients 1-on-1 in the Reston Studio, where she gets to impact their lives with her passion and coaching experience.

Her Favorite Success Stories

One of Cam’s clients told her she recently fell, but was able to get up quickly, without any problems. She said, “Before working with The Perfect Workout, that wouldn't have been possible.”

Another client told Cam, “I'm carrying around my mulch bags from my garden, and I realized that I feel stronger and I'm able to carry these bags without any help.”

“These types of stories touch my heart and I feel blessed to be a trainer here. I feel blessed to be able to have a positive impact in so many lives. And my experience has just been great.”

“I’m grateful to have found a career that allows me to carry out both of my passions. I am excited to help others reach their fitness goals while also developing life-long friendships at The Perfect Workout!”

From Overweight & Weak to Fitness Instructor in Her 80s!

From Overweight & Weak to Fitness Instructor in Her 80s!

From Overweight & Weak to Fitness Instructor in Her 80s!

Sally Determan Fit at 80 from strength training

Sally Determan was nearing her 80th birthday feeling “old and out of shape.”

Off-balance, weak, and overweight, Sally felt like she was paying a big price for years of living an unhealthy lifestyle and little to no exercise.

Fast forward 3 years, Sally is in the best shape of her life and has newfound stamina and strength to help others live a healthier lifestyle! 

As Sally approached her 80th birthday, she noticed that she was getting tired easily and everyday tasks were becoming more difficult.

“I also grew concerned about falls.”

She knew a change was needed and she couldn’t spend the rest of her life slowly declining. So, she started with trying to lose weight.

Sally began her journey at Weight Watchers where she lost some of the excess weight and incorporated water cardio into her routine.

She knew she needed to do something to increase her muscle and bone strength (to prevent falls) but lacked the motivation and know-how to lift weights at home. 

“I HATED the idea of loud, busy, glitzy gyms, filled with lycra-wearing folks 40 or more years younger than me!”

She needed guidance, privacy, and accountability.

Shortly after, Sally saw The Perfect Workout online and realized there was a Falls Church studio (not a gym!), offering a free introductory session. She figured she had nothing to lose by giving it a try, and the idea of 20 minutes, twice a week fit into her schedule.

Sally joined The Perfect Workout in January 2017 and made wonderful progress in improving her strength, stamina, and weight management.

Infographic Strength Training

After all that she’s accomplished so far, Sally is proud of her ability to keep up — actually, lead — other water cardio participants who are ten to fifteen years younger than her. 

“The entire concept that I am a physical fitness guru is astonishing!”

Knowing how important it is to have someone lead her through your workouts, and fitness journey, Sally gives a lot of credit to the team at The Perfect Workout.

“Each of the four trainers with whom I've worked have been excellent — and fun.”

Now, Sally tells people about her slow-motion strength training workouts when they ask her how she got in such good shape. She explains the method, including the concept of going as long and as hard as your muscles permit — very slowly — and how little time it takes.

The Perfect Workout Client Quote

The Inspiration that Created The Perfect Workout with Founder Matt Hedman Pt. 1

The Inspiration That Created The Perfect Workout With Founder Matt Hedman Pt. 1

The Inspiration That Created The Perfect Workout With Founder Matt Hedman Pt. 1

The workout Inspiration that created The Perfect Workout

The Perfect Workout began in 1999 with one trainer, in one studio, delivering one remarkable workout.

But the origins of our company didn’t exactly begin with a grand vision to Revolutionize the Way People Exercise. It started when Matt Hedman was diagnosed with a progressive joint disease at age 20 and was faced with the possibility of undergoing major joint surgery and giving up his passion for exercise.

In part one of this multi-part series, we sit down with Matt Hedman, the CEO and Founder of The Perfect Workout for a glimpse into the inception of our company, a greater understanding of our methodology and the man behind it all.

Play Video

Ever since Matt got his first weight lifting set at the young age of 10, he’s been all in when it comes to fitness. Which means he has been actively strength training for 38 years.

Between the ages of 10 and 20, Matt describes the way in which he used to lift weights as “haphazardly doing whatever,” following whatever he read in the latest exercise book that he was reading.

By the time he was 20 years old, he was lifting weights for 2 hours a day, 6 days a week… that’s 12 hours of lifting weights and exercising per week. That's almost a part time job!

matt hedman lifting weights at a young age

The Injury

Matt was in college and had developed a chronic pain in his left shoulder. It was so painful that even writing would hurt.

He eventually went to a specialist who x-rayed his shoulder and told him he had Osteolysis, which means “vanishing bone.”

The x-ray found that the end of the bone should have been nice and round and smooth. Instead, it was all jagged and there was so much inflammation in the shoulder, the bone was actually being eaten away.

The specialist told him this only happens in about 1% of people that lift weights. She instructed Matt to take two months off of any weight training exercise which involved the shoulder, then they’d x-ray again and see if the issue had improved.

When Matt returned for his follow-up x-ray, the bone in question had become round and smooth again. Fortunately, it had healed, which ultimately allowed him to avoid surgery.

He was given the green light to lift weights again with some minor adjustments to exercises. Eager to exercise his upper body again, Matt went back into the gym and resumed lifting weights in the “haphazard” way he always did.

“My shoulder just started to hurt again, which was disturbing and frustrating. I was 20 years old, presumably someone who'd be young and healthy and have the best opportunity to not have joints that would hurt.”

weightlifters shoulder injury human anatomy
image source: shoulder and elbow specialist

The Experiment

During this time, Matt attended the University of Washington in Seattle and stumbled upon a book in a bookstore at the University District.

It was a book by Ellington Darden, who used to be the director of research at Nautilus, the company that makes strength training machines we use in our studios. He's written about 50 books on strength training, nutrition, fitness and exercise. This particular book was geared towards young males who wanted to build bigger muscles, Bigger Muscles in 42 Days.

One of the chapters spent a significant amount of time talking about how slower movement speeds minimize impact forces on your joints and make it safer for your joints. That peaked Matt’s interest since he was experiencing his own issue with his shoulder.

The routines in Darden’s book sounded bizarre to him because at the time he was loosely following the exercise guidelines from Arnold Schwarzenegger's Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding. Matt was doing five sets of 10 repetitions or so of each exercise and was still working out 2 hours a day, 6 days a week.

“I was in college and I didn't know how much exercise that was. Now with being 48 with two young children and trying to grow our company, it's like, “Who would ever have time for that?”

At the time, it's all he knew. The routine from Darden’s book included working out every other day for about a half an hour per workout, just one set of repetitions per exercise, going very slowly 10 seconds up, five seconds down.

Matt was thinking, ‘Oh gosh, will this ever work?’”

Fortunately, there was a case study in that book that featured Keith Whitley, a big bodybuilder. During the six week program he gained 32 pounds of muscle in 42 days. That proof, combined with the shoulder problem Matt was facing, was motivation enough to give it a try.

Strength training body builder results

So he did and Matt gained significant results, very quickly.

Matt put on 10 pounds of muscle in the first 9 days of his new workout regimen.

“I thought I was working hard before when I was working out 2 hours a day, 6 days a week. It turns out I just didn't know what hard work was.

Once I learned how to make my muscles work harder, I put on 10 pounds of muscle in 9 days.

Matt Hedman

Matt’s shoulder problem also went away within about the first week and never bothered him again.

“I've been a raving fan of this method ever since. I've been personally doing this and variations of this in my own workouts for the last 28 years.”

Despite being passionate about fitness and spending more than enough time in the gym, Matt was not in the fitness industry. He had earned his degree in Aerospace Engineering.

“I went to work for GE nuclear energy in San Jose and saw my life flashing before my eyes in the second floor building in the GE complex and it wasn't what I wanted to do with my life.”

So he quit after 11 months and started working at 24-Hour Fitness. He worked for them and another fitness company for a total of 3 years before starting The Perfect Workout back in May of 1999.

During the 3 years prior to starting The Perfect Workout, Matt acquired several different certifications from mainstream fitness organizations like American Council on Exercise and National Academy of Sports Medicine. But the most important certifications he acquired were through the Super Slow Exercise Guild.

Matt became a Master SuperSlow Instructor under the apprenticeship of Ken Hutchins, the architect behind SuperSlow exercise philosophy and methodology.

There were 3 different levels to becoming a Master SuperSlow Instructor:

Level 1: was more extensive than any of the other mainstream certifications Matt had received. ACE or NASM certifications (which are still common today) generally involve a multiple choice test, and if you scored 70% you were certified. The SuperSlow Level 1 certification involves at least one written test if not more, one or two verbal tests and an extensive practical examination showing that you were capable of teaching exercise.

Many aspects of that certification became the inspiration for The Perfect Workout’s certification program.

Level 2: involved more written and oral testing with Ken Hutchins, building on the work of Arthur Jones (the inventor of Nautilus),but really putting some further refinements to it. Matt spent 9 days shadowing Ken for 14 hours a day and doing various tests.

Level 3: it was up to Ken Hutchins to appoint the achievement of Master Instructor. Once Level 3 was passed, Matt represented the guild and was then able to certify other instructors to be level 1 instructors.

Matt Hedman slow motion leg press at The Perfect Workout

The Workout

After becoming SuperSlow certified, a unique exercise experience sparked an idea in Matt that would eventually transform into the beginnings of The Perfect Workout.

He was visiting friends in Seattle and knew there was a facility nearby that used the slow-motion method. Greg and Ann-Marie Anderson owned Ideal Exercise and Greg would be the one to put Matt through a very memorable workout.

Matt was coached through just 4 exercises: the Smith Machine squat, the old Nautilus hip and back machine (a glute and hamstring exercise), weight assisted chin up and then a push up.

The Machine that brought Matt to his knees!

While on the Smith Machine he began doing some repetitions, and sure enough it got extremely difficult five or six reps in. In the next rep or two, he got about halfway up and couldn't complete the repetition, he was pushing as hard as he could.

“There was no music going on. There was a blank white wall right in front of me. There's no distractions and Greg was somewhere behind me. All I could hear was his voice saying, ‘Keep pushing!’ Then I got to the point where I couldn't even hold it up anymore. I was trying to make it go higher, but I couldn’t even hold it still and sort of forcing me down and Greg just said, “Keep pushing.”’

By the way, Matt doesn’t recommend doing exercises to this extent anymore. Pushing to muscle success is crucial, but pushing beyond that for 5, 15, 30 seconds is unnecessary. It’s much more than a person needs to train for optimal results. He states, “We just didn't know any better back then.”

Once Greg gave Matt the okay to back off from pushing, Matt’s legs were so fatigued he could not stand up. So what did he do? He crawled to the next machine!

After the 4 exercises were done, Matt found himself lying on the ground with arms burning and Greg brought him this tiny little 2oz cup of water and all he could think was… “this is incredible!”

He compared his experience with what he was trying to do in his own workouts and with his clients back at 24-Hour Fitness. It was night and day as far as the distraction-free environment, the incredible low-friction equipment, and expert instruction.

He thought to himself, “Hey, I could make a place like this down in Southern California.” But first, he went to work for Greg and Anne Marie at Ideal Exercise for about a year, had a short stint at 24-hour fitness again and then opened up the first location of The Perfect Workout.

In May of 1999, Matt founded our first location in La Jolla, California and was the owner, operator and only trainer at the time.

Matt continued to train clients one-on-one for a number of years as he gradually began to certify others and grow the business into the 60+ location, nationwide company it is today.

Matt Hedman Coaching a client at The Perfect Workout

The Impact

It’s been years since Matt has personally trained clients, but some memorable stories still stick with him.

“Barbara Nas– she was a cancer survivor. I know she was at least a grandmother or might have been a great grandmother and I think also had MS. She had multiple different conditions which were going on. She was able to walk but she needed to use a cane to walk. John (her trainer) used to say he could always hear when Barbara was coming in because he could hear the clacking of the cane coming down the hallway before she opened the door and came in

There was one day where she was supposed to come in and there wasn't any clacking of the cane, and the reason was because she didn't need to use her cane anymore.

In other words, she was able to get strong enough to where the cane was no longer necessary. I've seen John tell the story before and just the look of satisfaction on his face and saying, ‘I thought my biggest success was going to be someone gaining 20 pounds of muscle or losing 50 pounds of fat or whatever, but that was probably the most satisfaction that I've had is hearing her walk down the hallway without the clicking of the cane.’”

We've been fortunate as a company to have helped many more like Barbara improve the quality of their lives in this way.

When Matt first became a personal trainer, he did it because he was just really interested in exercise. He didn’t really have any idea that he would be doing more to help people beyond losing weight and building muscle…

Matt Hedman coaching a female client at The Perfect Workout

When he was working at Ideal Exercise up in Seattle, there were a number of people with MS they worked with. “One woman in particular who needed to use a walker to walk and even then she could barely walk even with a walker but she told us if it wasn't for the strength training she was doing with us she wouldn't be able to walk at all.”

It was then he noticed that slow-motion strength training benefits went beyond getting bigger muscles and leaner bodies.

Over the last 20 years, the impact of The Perfect Workout has directly reached over 30,000 people including Matt’s own family.

Matt is husband to wife, Julie, and father to two adorable children, Jack and Ava.

Julie and many other family members have also incorporated slow-motion strength training into their fitness routines. But being able to provide this method to his own mother is particularly special.

At 78 years young, Matt’s mom has been actively training at our Mission Valley studio for years and is currently working out in her senior living facility with our Virtual Training Program.

If having a son as the CEO of a personal training company wasn’t enough, she actually had an even greater motivation to exercise in this way.

Matt’s grandmother, his mom’s mom, had Osteoporosis and as she got older she started getting Kyphosis in her spine– which is when you start to get hunched over. The Kyphosis got progressively worse and worse with age. By the time that she was in her early to mid-80s, the Kyphosis was so severe that the bones had become too soft and could not prevent the collapse of her chest cavity, greatly reducing the amount of oxygen she was able to get.

Eventually, she couldn't breathe effectively and she passed away around the age of 86.

“I'm not sure if this is the immediate cause of death when she actually died, but it was certainly influenced by it.”

Matt’s grandmother had one son and five daughters including his mom.

“All five of them are very concerned, if not petrified to end up the same way that their mother did. But my mom, she's been doing strength training for a number of years actually, she's a good example of that.”

Slow-Motion Strength Training was originally created at the University of Florida as a solution to treat women with Osteoporosis because it was proven to help build bone density in addition to muscle and other incredible benefits. The Perfect Workout for women who want to fight Osteoporosis? We think so!

decades of research on slow motion strength training

What You Should Know About Slow-Motion Strength Training, According to Matt Hedman:

“Slow motion strength training allows a person to get incredible fitness results without having to spend your life in the gym.

I named our company The Perfect Workout over 20 years ago with the idea that people can get better results than just about anything else a person's going to do in the name of exercise.

It's safer on the joints than just about anything else for exercise and it's super time-efficient, 20 minutes, twice a week to get essentially optimal results.

Over the years, what I've found is that the thing which people usually get most interested in is the trial. People oftentimes are skeptical that you can get any results from 20 minutes. But even for people who think you should be spending your life in the gym, the vast majority of the results that can be gotten from exercise, can be done in just minutes a week, 20 minutes, twice a week.

Plus it has all these other great benefits for Osteoporosis, metabolic benefits, myokines, increase in basal metabolic rate which helps with fat loss, and there's probably a lot of stuff which we don't or we aren't even aware of yet….

You really can get great health with just less than an hour a week. I'm not saying the 20 minutes are easy. They're not. But if you do it right and challenge yourself, then you'll get incredible results and you won't have to spend the rest of your life in the gym.

What the methodology does is basically allows you to push yourself as hard as you're willing to push yourself, but it won't force you to push any further than you're willing to push yourself. So there's no danger of thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, I'm not going to be able to do this. It sounds way too hard.’ It's challenging, especially if you want to get good results, but you won't be challenged any more beyond that because it's just the right amount for you.”

 

Stay tuned for more from our Founder, Matt Hedman…

 

Haven’t experienced Slow-Motion Strength Training for yourself?

More Exercise Isn’t Better. Better Exercise is Better.

More Exercise Isn't Better. Better Exercise is Better.

Are you eating less and exercising more but gaining weight?

Spending longer hours at the gym, but can’t get rid of that tummy?

Signing up for more workout classes, but don’t have time to do the things you really want?

In this article we address a common belief that “more is better” when it comes to exercise. You’ll learn how taking a smarter, “less is more” approach to exercise can produce better results and save you time.

Eating more and exercising more isnt better, slow motion strength training is better

How to Get Stronger in Under 20 Minutes

Most people spend an hour in the gym for a strength training workout. Did you know strength can be maximized with workout sessions lasting less than 20 minutes?

One study (1) experimented with individuals who strength trained for two months. All participants in three different groups performed the same full-body workout but with different workloads.

  • GROUP 1: performed one set per exercise. (7 total sets per workout)
  • GROUP 2: performed three sets per exercise (21 total sets) 
  • GROUP 3: performed five sets per exercise (35 total sets)

** All sets were performed to muscle success (aka. Temporary muscle fatigue)

The secret to a successful workout

All groups gained strength, but the strength tests which included a bench press and a barbell squat showed no statistical difference in strength gain for each group. 

This is significant when considering the amount of time spent exercising:

 

GROUP 3 averaged 68 minutes per workout
GROUP 2 averaged 40 minutes per workout
GROUP 1 trained for just 13 minutes per workout

 

Therefore, training intensely for 13 minutes can produce similar strength gains compared to training for 68 minutes. You get a five-fold return on your time investment. 

The 13-minute routine used in Group 1 is similar to a typical session at The Perfect Workout: 

 

  • one set per exercise
  • seven exercises total
  • each set performed to “muscle success”
  • each workout targeting all major muscle groups

 

This similarity is not a coincidence. Our method is designed to help you become strong, healthy and able-bodied without wasting your time. In fact, you get your time back.

Exercise Everyday? Not Necessary

A common misconception about exercise is that we need to exercise almost every day, if not every day of the week.

This approach to exercise can actually hinder results.

In another study (2), 72 women between the ages of 60-74 were tested before and after a 16-week exercise program. There were 3 groups:

*Aerobic workouts were cycling/treadmill for 20-40 min at 80% of max heart rate

**Strength training workouts- each set of repetitions was taken to the deep fatigue point of “muscle success”

1+1 Group:

Performed 1 low intensity aerobic workout per week

1 high intensity strength training workout per week

2 total workouts per week

2+2 Group: 

Performed 2 low intensity aerobic workouts per week

2 high intensity strength training workouts per week

4 total workouts per week

3+3 Group: 

Performed 3 low intensity aerobic workouts per week

3 high intensity strength training workouts per week

6 total workouts per week

Results measured included: total number of calories expended per day (TDEE), non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), and fat loss.

 

1+1 Group:

  • increased their NEAT by 57 calories per day
  • increased their TDEE per day by an additional 30 calories
  • averaged 2.2 lbs of fat loss. 

2+2 Group: 

  • increased their NEAT by 200 calories per day
  • increased their TDEE per day by an additional 195 calories
  • 2+2 group lost the most fat, dropping 4.4 fat lbs

3+3 Group: 

  • decreased their average daily NEAT by 150 calories. 
  • decreased their TDEE per day by an average of 63 calories, despite the extra activity level of working out six days per week.
  • averaged 1.1 lbs of fat loss. 

 

The group that spent the most time exercising wound up burning fewer calories and losing less fat than both of the other two groups. 

This study is evidence that more exercise doesn't necessarily produce better results.

In fact, too much physical stress (including exercise stress) can cause the body to react in unfavorable ways. You want just the right amount of high-intensity exercise stress for optimal improvements, and no more.

If you want to get optimal results you need to value resting and recovering from your workouts

More is not better quote from Alex Stefan

Learn to Work HARDER, Not Longer.

A typical slow-motion strength training workout generally consists of 7-8 exercises per session. This may vary slightly depending on a number of factors: once or twice a week, injuries, limitations and individual goals.

 

In theory, you can hit all major muscle groups with just 4 exercises:

  • Leg Press: Glutes, Quadriceps, Calves(or Squat for Virtual)
  • Chest Press: Pectorals, Shoulders, Triceps (or Push-up for Virtual)
  • Lat Pulldown: Lats, Biceps, Abdominals (or Superman for Virtual)
  • Leg Curl: Hamstrings (same for Virtual)

 

Depending on the individual, we can also incorporate other machines to target specific muscle areas, including:

  • Leg Extension: Quadriceps (same for Virtual)
  • Preacher Curl: Biceps, Forearms (or Bicep Curl for Virtual)
  • Tricep Extension: Triceps (or Tricep Dips for Virtual)
  • Hip Abduction: Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minor, TFL (or Fire Hydrant for Virtual)
  • Hip Adduction: Inner Thighs (or Pillow Squeeze for Virtual)
  • Compound Row: Trapezoids, Rhomboids, Biceps (often interchangeable for Lat Pulldown) (or Row for Virtual)
  • Abdominal Machine: Abdominals (or Crunches for Virtual)
muscles worked on exercises

If you look at the first list, you’ll notice the entire body can be targeted with just four exercises, making it simple and efficient to get a full-body workout.

More exercises can be added to further fatigue smaller muscles that may have not achieved muscle success on bigger-muscle machines. 

For example, the biceps are the secondary muscles used on the Lat Pulldown. The Preacher Curl can be added to further fatigue them.

 

This does not mean it is necessary to do all machines and exercises in every workout.

In fact, having the ability to easily complete 11 slow-motion strength training exercises is a good indication that the intensity level is not high enough. 

Think of your workouts as a short sprint, not a mile-long race. The reason there isn’t a mile dash in track & field is because nobody can sprint that far, or work that hard for that long. 

 

Since intense effort is what stimulates best results from the muscles (and the body), demanding slow-motion strength training workouts have to be brief.

If you feel like you can perform slow-motion strength training exercises for more than 20 minutes at a time, you can probably improve your results by increasing the intensity and learning how to work harder.

 

This applies to every single exercise too.

An appropriate weight will allow you to maintain a slow speed while eliminating any momentum. Therefore, slow lifting makes greater demands on the muscles, and provides a more effective stimulus for the muscles. 

An ideal exercise should take about 1-2 minutes to hit muscle success. Anything over 2 minutes indicates the weights may be too light for you, thus making the exercise less efficient.

Rest AFTER the Workout

Have you ever thought, ”Why doesn’t my trainer give me any breaks between exercises?!” 

 

One reason is minimal rest between exercises improves the cardiovascular impact of the workout. 

The only way to “get at” your cardiovascular system during exercise is to make the muscles work hard. We achieve that by hitting muscle success. Slow-motion repetitions make your muscles work much harder than most exercises which puts a greater demand and stimulus on your cardiovascular system.

your heart and eating less and exercising more
Image Source: Cybex

Little to no time to rest between exercises quickens the process of getting to muscle success, making the overall workout more efficient. 

While strength training in general provides several improvements to the cardiovascular system, many benefits are received or amplified only when training to muscle success. 

Another Area to Avoid Resting is Between Repetitions.

One study (3) observed what happened when two different groups strength trained. Resting was compared against not resting between repetitions:

 

  • GROUP 1: lifted continuously from start to finish in each set (we use this in our protocol)
  • GROUP 2: took a short break in the middle of the set. 

 

When muscle biopsies were taken from the quadriceps, the fibers from GROUP 1 had grown 13%, whereas GROUP 2 only grew 4%. 

Keeping your muscles continuously loaded without any rest (as we employ with our slow-motion repetitions) yields the best results.

Save the rest & recovery for after your workouts. You’re going to need it!

Need Proof 20 Minutes is Enough?

We’ve helped over 40,000 clients improve their bodies and health over the last couple of decades with our 20-minute, twice a week protocol.

Here are just some of their success stories:

Over a 20-day period in May 2020, we measured just how long it takes for an average client of The Perfect Workout to complete a workout and the amount of time spent on each exercise. This is what we found out:

These are the people seeing significant results… And they are doing it with two workouts a week, for 20-minutes.

Now That You Know...

At the end of the day, we want to spend time doing the things we love, and there’s no reason for exercise to get in the way.

Now that you know:

  • You can get the same strength gains, if not more, in 13 minutes than you can in 68 minutes
  • More workouts per week can actually hinder your results
  • Doing more exercises than needed in a session is an indication the workout may not be intense enough and you can be working harder
  • You can get a full body-workout in with just 4 exercises
  • More rest in a workout can reduce muscle growth and cardiovascular impact

If you could save hours each week doing more of what you love, would you?

What you get working out with this method is not only guaranteed results, but also your time back!

We know you value your health and exercise should be at the top of your priority list, but it doesn’t need to fill up your calendar.

Imagine what you could gain from saving time in your week getting a more efficient workout.

Whether you’re looking to get stronger, carve out more time to play golf, or simply keep up with the grandkids, all you need is 20 minutes, twice a week.

  1. Schoenfeld, B.J., Contreras, B., Krieger, J., Grgic, J., Delcastillo, K., Belliard, R., & Alto, A. (2018). Resistance training volume enhances muscle hypertrophy but not strength in trained men. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
  2. Hunter, G. R., Bickel, C. S., Fisher, G., Neumeier, W., & McCarthy, J. (2013). Combined Aerobic/Strength Training and Energy Expenditure in Older Women. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. (Published ahead of print).
  3. Fisher, J., Steele, S., & Smith, D. (2013). Evidence-­‐based resistance training recommendations for muscular hypertrophy. Medicina Sportiva, 17(4): 217-­‐235.

Decreased Risk For Fall: Improving Balance for Seniors

Decreased Risk For Fall: Improving Balance for Seniors

The Perfect Workout Client happy that she improved her balance

How Beth Decreased her Risk For Fall in 6 months

A progressive neurological condition that affected Beth Johns’ coordination and balance was slowly increasing her risk for a harmful fall.

As she approached her 60s, Beth stopped trying to manage her health and fitness alone and sought out an exercise program at The Perfect Workout.

Beth lives with a condition called Ataxia.

What is Ataxia?

“Ataxia describes a lack of muscle control or coordination of voluntary movements, such as walking or picking up objects.” (Mayo Clinic)

This condition can cause:

  • Poor coordination
  • Balance problems
  • Unsteady walk and a tendency to stumble
  • Difficulty walking in a straight line
  • Difficulty with fine motor tasks, such as eating, writing or buttoning a shirt
  • Change in speech
  • Involuntary back-and-forth eye movements (nystagmus)
  • Difficulty swallowing

Beth in particular, would often feel unsteady on her feet and easily lose her balance. 

“I've fallen a few times and was really worried and discouraged that my condition was progressing much faster than I had expected it to. The more I worried about it, the less I felt like doing.”

Beth was approaching her 60th birthday and knew she needed to take a different course of action. 

She tried doing strength and balance DVDs on her own but found it was hard to stay motivated. 

Beth knew that joining a gym wouldn't work for her because she really needed the one-on-one support. She needed someone there to guide her, teach her how to exercise correctly, and keep her accountable.

Woman Celebrating International Ataxia Awareness Day

After doing her research, Beth found The Perfect workout. She felt reassured when she saw people her age improving some of her same areas of concern, like falling

The idea of being able to see results in 20 minutes, twice a week without having to be in a public setting was very appealing. 

In November, 2020 Beth joined the Southwest San Jose studio and began her training program.

Beth’s goal was to strengthen her core and increase her overall strength to decrease her risk of falling. She had also recently had been diagnosed with osteopenia and knew it was important to do weight-bearing exercise to improve her bone density

Within 7 months, Beth has noticed significant improvements.

  • Gained strength
  • Back isn’t stiff in the morning anymore
  • Improved her posture and has good balance on her feet
  • Can squat down and stand up without falling over
  • Physical therapist says she’s improved a lot in the past year.
Testimonial Improved Balance From Wife with Husband

“All of the trainers I've worked with have been wonderful. Patient and encouraging. They've pushed me to do much more than I thought I was capable of. Candice got me started. Maria and Kylie have definitely kept me going!”

 

Feeling physically stronger and steadier makes Beth feel like she’s taken charge of her Ataxia and has greatly improved her mental wellbeing. She now sees that Investing in her physical health is an investment in her future, especially as she gets older, and encourages others to do the same.

 

“Friends that I haven't seen in a while say that I really look great! I definitely feel more confident. I know that it's only going to get better.”

 

The Perfect Workout is for regular people, just like Beth. It's not intimidating. It's a personalized experience and the trainers are there to help support your success. And it’s possible to see results in just 20 minutes, twice a week.

Strong and Healthy: Doing all the Things She Loves at 67

Strong and Healthy:
Doing all the Things She Loves at 67

Strong and Healthy woman on bicycle

Being outdoors runs through Linda’s blood. In fact, she met her husband on the ski slopes.

Over the years their lives have revolved around activities such as scuba diving, kayaking, water skiing, snow skiing, hiking, and biking. Linda is an avid gardener and their sons are both Eagle Scouts. The entire McChesney family loves being outdoors and has learned many important life lessons in their adventures together.

But her outdoor adventurers were quickly halted when Linda broke her knee in a snow skiing accident.

Shortly after, she learned that she had low bone density and was facing a battle with osteoporosis

“The experience of being immobilized for months was depressing and gave me a glimpse of a future without the things I loved doing most. Something I took for granted. That revelation and the desire for a full recovery from my injury started my serious search for a sustainable exercise program.”

Testimonial from a strong and healthy woman

Linda had been to gyms, had a personal trainer, even joined one particular gym because her friends were all there. But none of that ever stuck. One day, she saw an advertisement in the paper for The Perfect Workout, but she was skeptical…

“We’ve been taught that more is better so what could I possibly gain in 20 minutes of exercise?”

Skepticism aside, Linda ultimately joined The Perfect Workout in 2016. 

“It turns out that with the right plan and a personal trainer to instruct you, guide you, encourage you, and monitor your progress, you have a lot to gain! The program is exceptional but the personal trainers have been essential to my success. Each one has taught me something new about my body, how it works, and how to take care of it. They are partners helping me reach my individual best.”

Quote from a strong and healthy woman

Like many clients during the pandemic, Linda began Virtual workouts. The studio workouts were working for her and she doubted that she could get a solid workout at home. 

Once more, her skepticism has proven wrong. 

“I cannot say enough great things about my Virtual Trainer, Kerry Borgen, who challenges me weekly! I take her when I travel. She’s flexible when I have to move my workout due to watching grandchildren during the pandemic. She’s tough, she’s compassionate, and she’s taught me to be a stronger person, physically and mentally.”

Because of her trainer and 20-minute, twice a week workouts, Linda feels like she can really “play” with her three young grandsons.

In the past couple of years, Linda gained the strength and energy to hike the Grand Canyon, from North to South rim, and enjoy mountain biking in Sedona, AZ.

“The Perfect Workout is PERFECT and the greatest testament to that is me at 67. Healthy, strong, and doing all the things I love. Osteoporosis is on the run and my knee healed beautifully.

This past year has given us many things to be thankful for and The Perfect Workout is high on my list.”

7 EXERCISE MYTHS: How Slow-Motion Strength Training is the Solution to them All

7 Exercise Myths: How Slow-Motion Strength Training Is The Solution To Them All

Exercise Myths Man Leg press

You could be sabotaging your workouts with 7 exercise myths.

Today we will identify those myths and prove that Slow-Motion Strength Training is the best possible form of exercise you can do to get the results you want.

One of the most common things we hear after someone tries our method for the first time is,
“I’ve been exercising the wrong way my entire life.”

And chances are, you might be too!

In this article, we are going to dive deep into the exercise methodology that has helped us provide the perfect workout to over 40,000 people in the last 20 years and all the reasons why you won’t want to exercise any other way.

Exercise Myths Chart

We know there are a million workout options out there to choose from and although we’d love to show you how our method beats them all, for the sake of this article we will be comparing Slow Motion-Strength Training to two of the most common ways in which people exercise: The Traditional Method and Aerobic-only method.

LET’S DEFINE EACH METHOD:

Slow Motion Strength Training (SMST):

Each exercise is performed by lifting weights or added resistance for approximately 10 seconds and lowering the weight for another 10 seconds with correct form and proper resistance. The ultimate goal is to achieve momentary muscular failure (aka. muscle success) within 1 to 2 minutes. Then on to the next exercise!

Slowing the lifting speed reduces momentum on each repetition and activates the muscles instantly and more effectively. As a result, more muscle fibers are used and ultimately strengthened. One session consists of anywhere between 5-9 exercises and is generally performed 1-2 times a week.

Play Video

Aerobic Only Method

According to Health.com, Aerobic exercise is defined as moving “your large muscle groups (think legs, glutes, and core) at the same time, usually in a rhythmic way, and for an extended period of time.”

This includes activities like running, walking, biking, and swimming, and they range from low to high intensity and can be performed anywhere from 30-90 minutes, 2-7 days a week typically.

Exercise Myth Woman Riding Bike

The Traditional Method:

We call this “traditional” because we believe it's the most widely practiced approach to exercise. This method is a combination of both strength training and aerobic exercises.

A common traditional exercise program consists of lower body strength training, upper body strength training, abdominal exercises and aerobic activity such as running or cycling. Most of the time, the training days are broken up into what is commonly referred to as ‘splits” where one day is focused on one area of the body, and the other day is focused on another, and so on.

Depending on the person, they may spend anywhere from 3-6 days a week in the gym for 1-2 hours. So for this example we will use a 4 day a week, 1 hour a day program.

Exercise myth woman traditional training battle ropes

Why do we exercise in the first place?

It’s important to outline why we exercise, identify the benefits of exercise and to make the distinction between exercise and recreation.

Exercise gives us physical benefits whereas recreation fulfills our psychological and emotional needs. According to High Intensity Exercise philosophy: exercise is performing a demanding and meaningful activity, anatomically and safely, of a sufficient intensity to stimulate the body to make anatomic and metabolic adaptive growth changes within a minimum period of time.

Anything else is considered recreation.

Exercise Vs Recreation compared

It is possible to experience all three types of benefits from exercise, but the reason why we make this clear distinction that exercise is high-intensity strength training, and anything else is recreation. So, we want to prioritize exercise first.

Why?

The benefits of exercise largely outweigh the benefits of recreation, and enhance your recreation. The benefits of slow-motion strength training will have an overall effect on your life: such as helping you become a better runner, giving you more energy to play with the grandkids, and improving your golf game by increasing your strength to hit the ball further. 

So by prioritizing exercise over recreation, you get a trickle-down effect that makes your recreational activities easier and more enjoyable.

So many of us end up confusing actual benefits with assumed benefits when it comes to exercise. I could probably wager that 90% of you reading this article have done activities like running, burpees, stair climbers and other things you absolutely hated doing, because you thought it was the thing you needed to do to reach your goal or to achieve a specific benefit.

So in order to prove to you that SMST is the best exercise method out there, we’d like to debunk some myths about exercise while simultaneously illustrating how SMST is the solution for you.

MYTH 1: I need to do “cardio” to get any cardiovascular benefits.

Many people will exercise to improve their Cardiovascular system. When you exercise the muscles in your body, particularly the larger muscles, it increases blood flow. This increase in heart rate and blood flow stimulates the capillaries in the bloodstream to expand. This expansion allows for more oxygen to enter the blood making your heart more effective in removing waste and toxins from the system.

Why is this a benefit?

By supplying the heart with exercise, you reap the Cardiovascular benefits such as:

Exercise Myths Cardiovascular benefits of strength training

(Read more about Cardio Benefits from Strength Training Here)


Who wouldn’t want that?

The common approach to getting these benefits is doing aerobic activity– also known as “cardio.”

Think about your own experiences. Think about how running a mile, hiking a steep hill, or even just tackling the flight of stairs at the end of the day makes your heart feel like it’s going to beat out of your chest.

Can you achieve them by doing the Traditional Method or Aerobics only? Yes.

However, with SMST you do it faster, more efficiently and it’s definitely safer on your body.

Aerobics, particularly high impact aerobics like running or plyometrics can be hard on the joints

Your genetics play a significant part in determining whether or not you will run into joint issues such as arthritis or osteoarthritis, and activities like aerobics can worsen the issue. The downside to that is most people have to find out the hard way by either getting injured or suffering from chronic knee or other joint pain from years of aerobics, and they had no idea it was hurting them.

One of the things that makes SMST so exceptional is that there is virtually no stress or strain put on the joints when performed correctly. In fact, the muscles are primarily under the load of the weight the entire exercise, making it both safe and effective. So, it is safe for everyone– joint issues or not– and you don’t have to find out the hard way!

Exercise Myths Full Range of Motion

Let’s Talk a Little Bit More About Strength Training and the Cardiovascular System.

Remember how in the beginning of this article we specified that the goal of SMST is to achieve muscle failure?

Lifting weights to momentary muscle failure has been proven to be a successful factor in improving the Cardiovascular system.

Studies have found that “Resistance training performed to failure can induce acute and chronic physiological effects which appear to be similar to aerobic endurance training, which in turn produces similar enhancements in CV fitness. “ (from: Resistance Training to MMF)

While strength training in general provides several improvements to the cardiovascular system, many benefits are received or amplified only when training to muscle success.

For example, after three months of training, men and women of various ages had enduring improvements in overall blood flow due to muscle success training. Training to complete exhaustion increased artery size in another study.

This is a good thing because larger arteries are less likely to experience a heart attack-causing blockage in the same way that adding lanes to a highway reduces the chances of having a traffic jam. Finally, pushing to muscle success also increases the ability of arteries to expand when blood flow increases, which reduces the stress experienced by artery walls.

SMST has a positive effect on your cardiovascular system, without the danger of affecting your joints, as it does with aerobic exercise.

MYTH 2: I need to do “cardio” to lose weight.

Just doing cardio? Oh, you’ll lose weight alright. By just doing aerobic activities like walking, running, elliptical, etc. you lose overall body weight– not just fat.

Along with fat, you lose muscle, bone, and tissue that support your ability to walk, run, balance and perform daily functions with ease and strength.

A 2007 study put overweight and obese women through 25 weeks of a restricted diet that was complimented with either “aerobic” activity, or strength training, or no exercise at all. Both the strength training and “aerobic” groups lost 26 lbs. of fat, slightly more than the women who only dieted.

Exercise myths The Formula for Weight Loss

However, here’s the difference: the strength training group not only maintained their lean mass (muscle, bone, water, and other organs), but actually gained a little. The “aerobic” and diet-only groups lost two and three pounds of lean mass. (Read more about this study- Losing Fat and Fat ONLY)

There is really no evidence that aerobic exercise or cardio is required for fat loss. In addition, simply increasing your activity level to burn extra calories is not efficient for fat loss. The single most effective method for fat loss is proper nutrition.

Ever heard the saying, “You can't out-exercise a bad diet.” There’s some truth to that!

Fat loss programs work best when you combine proper nutrition, slow motion strength training, and drinking water. Aerobics isn’t not needed to lose fat.

See image below for a study comparing fat loss results between methods:

Exercise myths Darden diet comparison

MYTH 3: More Repetitions, More Exercises, the Better.

The saying, more is NOT better absolutely applies here.

Weights are generally lifted for sets of multiple repetitions. Each time you lift and lower a weight, it is one repetition. Multiple repetitions makes up a set, and once you have stopped or taken a break from lifting the set is over.

The most common way to lift is used in the Traditional Method where you lift for 3 sets of 10 repetitions, whether you hit muscle failure or not. Lifting speeds vary but on average let’s assume the traditional speed is 2 seconds lifting, 1 second pausing, and  4 seconds lowering.

The Slow-Motion Method we use at The Perfect Workout uses lifting for 1 set until muscle failure. If the exercise is performed for 1-2 minutes, which is the recommended length of time to achieve maximum efficiency and effectiveness, then that generally ends up being 3-6 repetitions. The lifting speed used is 10 seconds lifting, 0-3 seconds pausing, and 10 seconds lowering.

Exercise Myths Slow motion vs traditional

Multiple studies have shown that doing extra work– multiple sets vs. one set– does not produce greater results. In fact, studies have shown that SMST can produce about a 50% greater increase in strength for both men and women than regular speed training.

Another important and sometimes overlooked factor is the amount of time spent recovering. SMST is only performed 1-2 times a week in comparison to the Traditional Method of 4 times a week.

There’s a reason for that!

The body needs enough time to rest, recover, and grow stronger. When doing high intensity exercise like SMST, we found that most people get best results from working out every 72-96 hours.

Exercise myths recovery resources

We want just the right amount of exercise stress in a given period of time, and no more. Working out again before the body has made changes may hamper results.

So, more is not better. 

MYTH 4: Lifting Heavy Weights is Not Safe.

Picture a bodybuilder, lifting a barbell with massive weighted plates above his head while he grunts, holds his breath and veins start popping out of his reddening forehead.

Of course that looks unsafe… and unless you’re a trained Olympic Lifter, it is.

First let’s see if we can reframe the mindset here and replace the idea of “lifting heavy weights” with lifting with “enough resistance.”

What’s heavy to me may be light for you, or vice versa.

Finding enough resistance is a crucial part of achieving muscle failure in a timeframe that is going to be effective…. And that is unique to the individual.

In one study, participants performed a routine with light weights and high reps or a routine with heavier weights that limited them to fewer reps. Both routines were similar in that all sets were performed to the fatigue point of “Muscle Success.” The training lasted six weeks.

Play Video

(Read More about Recovery & High Intensity Exercise)


The light-weight group performed about three-times as many reps…and gained less strength and muscle! In fact, the heavier-weight group gained about three-times the amount of strength.

Electromyography tests showed the heavier-weight, low-rep routine stimulated progressively more muscle fiber usage throughout the study. This was not the case for the low-weight group.

This result is important for a few reasons. It means heavier weight is needed to perpetually challenge muscles. It also explains why the heavier weight group gained more strength and muscle (more fibers trained means more fibers were improved). (Read More about this study- Enough Resistance is Critical)

As long as you maintain good, proper form, the exercise becomes safer as the muscles become more deeply fatigued. In fact, the last reps are the most productive reps performed, and they are also the safest since they are physically unable to produce enough force to strain (assuming form is not broken).

The rep in which muscle success is achieved is potentially the most productive rep. Don’t cheat yourself out of the last “impossible” rep; embrace it. 

MYTH 5: If I lift weights, I’ll get big & bulky

We hear this mostly from the ladies, and you’ll be happy to know that it's actually really hard to get big and bulky, especially if you are a female.

Strength Training in general creates lean muscle mass, and the keyword there is lean (not mass). Muscle takes up less space in the body than fat does.

Muscle

  • More Dense
  • Takes up Less Space
  • Burns More Calories
  • Improves Bone Mass
  • Reduces Injury Risk
  • Increase Definition

Fat

  • Takes Up More Space
  • Can Lead To Obesity
  • Increased Risk Of: Disease,
    Diabetes, High Blood Pressure,
    Kidney Disease, Stroke,
    And Other Diseases

MYTH 6: I need to do fast repetitions

It makes the most sense to compare SMST with the Traditional Method here, considering Aerobic-Only does not include lifting weights whatsoever.

SMST uses the 10-10 approach to lifting speeds, meaning you lift the weight for 10 seconds and lower it for another 10 seconds.

In addition, there is no rest between each repetition. The muscles stay fully loaded (working at all times) until the point of muscle failure is achieved.

Why do we go so slow?

By slowing down the lifting speed we reduce the chance of injury during the exercise. Most injuries come from excessive force and momentum.

Imagine running as fast as you can at a wall– there’s a lot of acceleration behind you. That collision will surely hurt and result in injury.

Now imagine placing your hands on the wall and pushing against it with 25% strength, then 50% strength, then 100% strength. There’s practically no acceleration and the force against the wall can be controlled and abandoned at any time.

There is no collision, and certainly no injury.

Play Video

MYTH 7: High Intensity isn’t Safe. Low Intensity is safer.

Workouts must be brief if they are going to be effective. You can either work out hard or you can work out for a long period of time, but you cannot do both. We want just the right amount of exercise stress in a workout and no more.

Evidence has shown that one slow motion set per exercise yields the best results when you work hard for a short period of time and achieve muscle failure.

WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?

Exercise Myths Cardio Benefits

Cardiovascular benefits can be achieved through all 3 methods we outlined today. SMST is the best solution because these benefits can be achieved faster, more efficiently and is safer on joints. The Traditional Method uses force and momentum, which are injury-causing movements. Aerobics can be hard on the joints, particularly for those prone to cartilage degeneration and arthritis.

Exercise Myths you do not need aerobics to lose weight

You do not need to do aerobics to lose weight. You can achieve fat loss with any of the three methods compared in this article, but a proper diet will yield the best results and SMST will aid in efficiently helping you gain fat-burning muscle.

Exercise Myths more is better

More is not better when it comes to exercise. This applies to the amount of repetitions you do as well as the number of workouts per week. The body best responds to short, brief and intense strength training exercises and needs ample time to rest, recover and grow in between sessions. Anything beyond that can hamper results, which is why doing SMST 2 times a week is all you need.

Exercise Myths weight lifting isn't safe

Lifting heavy weights or strength training with enough resistance is safe when done correctly. In fact, it gets safer with every repetition when using our slow lifting speeds. Exercising with enough resistance will use more (and deeper) muscle fibers that stimulate growth in the body. 

Exercise Myths faster is better

Exercising with slow speeds (when lifting weights) also prevents common injuries that result from using excessive force or momentum. Making the exercise safer and more challenging which contributes to it being an extremely effective method.

Exercise Myths lifting weights makes you bulk

Lifting weights does not make you big and bulky. It adds lean muscle mass to your body which helps to burn fat. Aerobic only exercises don't build muscle, yet often accelerate the loss of muscle, bone and tissue. So don’t waste away with aerobic only, and make time for strength training!

We exercise for a number of reasons, goals and benefits.

With that being said–
If you love to run, please by all means RUN!
If you love to swim, swim your hearts out!
If you love the high you get from a spin class or a bike ride in the mountains, do what makes your soul happy!

We’re not interested in getting on a soapbox and saying slow-motion strength training is the only thing you should ever do to move your body.

Not one bit.

What we want you to take away from this article is that slow-motion strength training is truly the best possible thing you could be doing for your health and fitness and will help to enhance all other areas of your life including the activities you love to do and how you feel about yourself.

Family at beach

Remember, Exercise by our definition can get you these benefits:

  • Decreased Body Fat*
  • Increased Basal Metabolic Rate*
  • Increased Strength*
  • Increased Bone Density*
  • Increased Cardiovascular Efficiency*
  • Increased Glucose Tolerance*
  • Increased HDL Cholesterol*
  • Decreased Blood Pressure*
  • Increased Resistance to Injury
  • Improved Flexibility
  • Improved Immune System

**Biomarkers of Aging
(From Dr. Alexander's High Intensity Exercise)

Exercise Myths Chart

Can you achieve all of these benefits with Aerobics only?

No. The Aerobic-Only won’t increase your strength, bone density, resistance to injury or necessarily help you lose fat.

Can you achieve all of these benefits with the Traditional Method?

Possibly. The Strength training aspect alone will provide you with more life changing benefits than anything, but again you run the risk of sacrificing three very important pillars to exercise: safety, efficiency and effectiveness. The areas to be concerned about with this method is not gaining strength (if strength training is not efficient) and getting injured (if workouts are not performed safely).

Can you achieve all these benefits with Slow-Motion Strength Training?

Yes. But you knew that by now right?

And the best part is you can do it in 20 minutes, twice a week.

Our trainers are waiting to help you get started.

Information used in this article derived from the following sources:

Muscle Success-Why to do it

Losing Fat and Fat ONLY

Enough Resistance is Critical

When Strength Training Becomes Cardio

Is One Set Enough?

Resistance Training to MMF

Wayne L. Westcott, Ph.D. (and others) Effects of Regular and Slow Speed Resistance Training on Muscle Strength, Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 2001, Vol 41, Iss 2. Pp 154-158

The Nautilus Book, Ellington Darden, Ph.D., Copyright 1990 Contemporary Books, Chicago, IL, P. 85

Total Conditioning: A Case Study. Athletic Journal. Vol. 56: 40-55, 1975

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11447355

https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/epub/10.1161/01.CIR.0000048890.59383.8D

The Science Behind Slow-Motion Strength Training and Why it’s Perfect For You

The Science Behind Slow-Motion Strength Training and Why It's Perfect For You

science behind strength training with trainers

“For years I spent hours in the gym, 5 days a week, not getting the results I wanted. It felt like a waste of time.”

 

But what if there’s a way to workout more efficiently?

 

“I’ve been a runner, tried all the bootcamps, and even spent my precious Sunday mornings slowly dying alongside all the millennials in spin class. I’m no stronger, no thinner, and now my knees constantly ache. I don’t want to keep exercising if I just end up getting hurt.”

 

But what if those weren’t the right exercise methods?

 

“I invested time and money to work with a Personal Trainer and never saw any results. I felt like they didn’t understand my needs. Personal Training is NOT for me. “

 

Maybe your workouts just weren’t customized to your goals and abilities?

 

Sound familiar?

 

Well we’re excited to share with you that there IS a more effective approach to exercise!

The Solution is Slow-Motion Strength Training.

It's the science-backed method The Perfect Workout has used for over 20 years to help more than 30,000 people change their bodies and redefine the way they exercise.

In this article, we dive deep into the methodology used, why it's the safest, most effective and efficient way to exercise, and all the reasons you’d be crazy not to do it.

For years we’ve been handing our clients a little book called High Intensity Exercise by Dr. Philip Alexander and it might be one of the best tools that explains why we do what we do.

Dr. Alexander didn’t discover High Intensity Exercise but after doing slow-motion strength training for some time he condensed the concepts of the methodology for others to easily understand and implement in their own lives.

We had the chance to sit down with CEO of ARX Mark Alexander, Dr. Alexander’s son to discuss High Intensity Exercise. 

For the full discussion on High-Intensity Exercise, what it is and why everyone (and we mean everyone) should do it, watch the video below:

Play Video

We at The Perfect Workout, Mark, and his father Dr. Alexander are all passionate about the method we use and teach to others, and we want to give you the tools you need to really understand exercise and use it to your advantage.

Whether you’ve been a long-time client of ours, or are brand new to The Perfect Workout, this article will provide you with the main concepts of High-Intensity Exercise outlined in our interview with Mark Alexander and the book High-Intensity Exercise by Dr. Philip Alexander.

Dr Philip Alexander high intensity exercise
Dr. Philip Alexander

What is High Intensity Exercise?

The first thing to know about exercise is that it is not any type of movement or activity that increases your heart rate or makes you sweat. Exercise is a stimulus that causes a response from the body, and a certain amount of time and recovery is needed for the body to benefit from the stimulus.

High-intensity exercise in particular, is brief, focused, and intentional.

Over the years, we’ve discovered that short, brief and intense exercise actually has more power and more positive effects on the body than any kind of prolonged exercise does.

This often brings up the questions– when do you actually get stronger? Where do you grow muscle?

The assumed answer– during the workout.

When actually, it happens afterward. The time spent working out was just the time that you needed to trigger that stimulus. Your body also needs to eat, sleep and rest in order to recover. You actually get stronger during that recovery period.

So in short, high-intensity exercise (HIE) is short, brief & intense, requires ample recovery and has more positive effects on the body than prolonged or low-intensity exercises.

What is exercise and slow motion strength training

What is Exercise, and what isn’t:

“Brief, intense, effective stimulus done through resistance training is essentially one way to define exercise and then everything else that you do for fun or for socialization or for sport or for competition, you would call that recreation,” Mark explained.

Exercise Vs Recreation compared

Mark made an interesting analogy between exercise and brushing your teeth. “It's just something you do, maybe it's not super fun. But if you don't do it, eventually, things will rot and decay. It's the same thing with your body, if you're not paying attention to it and doing high-intensity exercise, your muscles will decay, your bones will decay, things start to happen and you start to fall apart quite literally, it's not fun.”

What we’d like to reiterate is that exercise is truly for the purpose of improving…

But that doesn’t mean stop doing the things that you love to do! Keep playing tennis if you love the sport. Head to the golf course if it's your Saturday ritual. The exercises that we're doing together are going to actually enhance the things that you love to do outside of the workouts. It's going to make you stronger, better, more athletic and help you move easier.

What is absolutely necessary for exercise to be effective?

How to make an already effective exercise even more effective:

  • Always have to have these three things: safety, effectiveness, efficiency. 
  • Never want to sacrifice either of those.

 

What you want to do is eliminate momentum, be slow and methodical. The movement of each exercise should be extremely slow- 10 seconds to move the resistance, and 10 seconds to resist it.

You want to avoid locking out your joints- keep them bent so the muscles stay loaded (working at all times). And you’re doing it in a manner to which your muscles will fatigue. That's the stimulus we talked about just a minute ago. Fatiguing the muscles is the ultimate goal of each exercise and really what you're after.

 

Some good rules of thumb:

  • Go slow
  • Avoid momentum
  • Avoid locking out joints
  • Avoid resting in between repetitions
  • Hit muscle fatigue.


Another factor you don't want to overlook is the length of time you exercise. You don’t want to go for too long or too short.

Performing any exercise for too long is likely more cardiometabolic and a whole lot less strength and power than you wanted from the set.

You also don't want to go too short because if you perform the exercise for too little time, it's possible you just never really activate some of those cardiometabolic effects.

The ideal length of time needed for each exercise is 60 seconds to 120 seconds (1-2 minutes), or somewhere in that range.

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The Purpose of Every Exercise: Muscle Success.

Muscle success is our term for the point in each exercise when you can no longer move the resistance. Your muscles are momentarily exhausted and no longer strong enough to push even a fraction of an inch further. This is also commonly known as muscle failure.

Reaching muscle success provides a number of benefits, including stimulating stronger muscles, greater muscle tone, improvements in metabolism, increased cardiovascular health and an objective way to track your progress. 

In short, an exercise needs to be intense enough to achieve muscle success. And muscle success is the ultimate goal of each exercise and the solution to ensuring you’ve gotten the most out of your workout.

An Example of an EFFECTIVE Exercise.

The most effective exercises are going to be compound exercises where you work larger muscle groups. You’re going to get the most bang for your effort. You can absolutely do more isolated movement-type exercises like bicep curls, and tricep extensions (they just get a more finite amount of muscle and fibers involved).

The Leg Press is a great example of an effective exercise (when done safely & effectively of course).

Leg Press Slow Motion Strength Training

What you’re doing on the Leg Press is activating the glutes, the quadriceps and the calves– incorporating the large muscle groups in the lower body to work methodically.

To accomplish an ideal and effective full-body workout, you’d want to go through a series of compound exercises like the leg press, chest press, compound row, lat pulldown or pullover, or overhead press. By doing those antagonist-type movements- a muscle whose action counteracts that of another specified muscle- you’re not neglecting any body parts.

As mentioned before, you can absolutely include isolated exercises that target specific smaller muscles like the biceps and triceps to completely target and fatigue all desired muscles.

Slow Motion Strength Training at home or on machines

This full-body high-intensity workout generally includes anywhere from four to eight exercises, taking approximately one to two minutes each.

20 minutes is usually about all that you really need.

An Example of INEFFECTIVE Exercise:

Use these three principles to guide or ideals of what is HIE and what is not: 

  • Safe
  • Effective
  • Efficient


So anything that's sacrificed in any one of those, would generally fall in line with what we would classify as 
ineffective.

But let’s talk about one of the most common activities people do and challenges this concept of exercise- running.

For the record, there is nothing inherently wrong with running. But it’s not effective exercise. However, many people will run because they believe it is the thing they should be doing to achieve their health and fitness goals.

Mark says, if the reason for running is for stress relief, “Well, why don't you just go on a walk with your dog? That's probably a better stress relief, and it won't be isn't harmful on your joints!”

The most common reason for running-  “Well, I want to run because I want to lose weight.”

Again, that's an ineffective way to lose weight, and Mark explained it beautifully, “All running does is expense calories, expense your energy stores and then it makes you hungry. So, then you want to go and you want to eat. And so, you've just eradicated your run by going to Krispy Kreme and getting a couple donuts, or whatever your body was craving that you really needed at that time. And it's because your energy stores are being used in inefficient manner when you're running. And again, if you're running for sport, and you're running for social and, again, I don't want to say never run but just understand what the benefits are and why you're doing it.”

From an exercise perspective, that approach is not effective for what people think they are getting from it.

Ultimately, an exercise, like low-intensity activities do not stimulate the body to grow, therefore making them not effective.

Avoiding TOO Much High Intensity Exercise- Overtraining.

Can you overtrain?

The short answer is yes.

The long and more detailed answer is it depends on recovery. “What I've found in the high-intensity exercise world is that it's often less from the gym and more from outside stressors.”

Overtraining is when progress and getting results from your workouts stops, slows down, or even regresses because the body is not able to recover from exercise.

Factors that may contribute to the body’s inability to recover include: not sleeping well, eating a poor diet, going through a divorce, a big move, the loss of a loved one, sheltering at home amidst the coronavirus pandemic…

Any of those outside stressors will definitely impact the work that you are doing in your training sessions.

We tend to look at components of your lifestyle like recovery, sleep, diet and stress levels as being a deterrent of progress, more than overtraining.

According to Mark, about 80% of the time outside stressors are what contributes to overtraining. In addition, High-Intensity Exercise by Dr. Philip Alexander outlines a few other resources that affect the body’s ability to recover:

Recovery Ability Graph for Slow Motion Strength Training

“Yes, you can overtrain but I feel like most people in the way that they're thinking about it, it's being overly cautious on how much resistance training they're doing versus can you pay attention more to what life is doing outside of the weight room and can you mitigate stress, can you do things better in terms of what you're eating and managing relationships. Those things to me open up more doors to making overtraining not a thing.” – Mark

Avoiding TOO Little High-Intensity Exercise- Not training Enough.

Considering the mentality many of us have to overcome of “more is better” when it comes to exercise, I wouldn’t be too concerned with this.

However, it is possible to not train enough, or give enough effort.

Workouts must be brief if they are going to be effective. You can either work out hard or you can work out for a long period of time, but you cannot do both. We want just the right amount of exercise stress in a workout and no more. But that means making sure you give enough effort until the point of muscle success.

It's not easy to do, but we see many people giving up or quitting just before hitting muscle success. That’s like leaving all of your money on the table just before hitting the jackpot. You wouldn’t want to do that would you?

If exercise is not intense enough, and not performed to the point of muscle success, then it can be considered too little and possibly not high-intensity at all.

We have found that most people get best results from working out twice a week, or once every 72-96 hours. By taking more time than necessary to recover, you potentially miss out on time spent incorporating another growth-producing training session!

Not All Bodies Are Created Equal. What You Should Pay Attention to Maximize Your Recovery Process so You Get the Most Out of Your Training Sessions:

Self-awareness is key here. Look back on those outside stressors that we mentioned- Are your relationships suffering? Are you stress eating? Are you eating a lot of sugar? Are you battling a medical issue? What are those triggers that you see are happening or not?

Those are the things to start paying attention to to maximize your recovery period in between training sessions.

Sleep is another important factor (Read more about Sleep Deprivation and Exercise)

There’s power in knowing yourself, paying attention to your lifestyle and also not getting obsessed with diet and exercise.

The recovery period (time in between training sessions) allows you to take a holistic approach to your health, and exercise is just one piece of the pie. Everything else plays a really big part in it too. And doing it twice a week kind of prevents you from being obsessed about how much exercise you're doing.

It's definitely a paradigm shift that many of us have had to go through to accept the idea that more is not better. 

“It's Not How Much Exercise Your Body Can Withstand, It's How Little It Actually Requires.” 

Mark called this concept, “minimum effective dose,” and used drug companies as an example to explain it. “It's not like if there's an effective dose of 50 milligrams, it's not that taking 200 milligrams is necessarily better. It's the same with exercise. It needs to be the right dose, and there can be too much.”

Based on our earlier definition of exercise, too much activity, too much recreation, just too much of any movement can impact your body and its performance during your workouts.

You want to strive to give your body that minimum effective dose. “The more is better mentality is one we've been taught in terms of exercise. More is not better. Quality over quantity is really what I always try to push.”

Matt Hedman Founder and CEO of the Perfect Workout

It's Not the Calories Burned DURING Exercise, It's the Calories Burned AS A RESULT OF Exercise. 

Let's say you burn 600 calories while running because you think that’s what you need to do to lose weight. It’s ineffective because it's still relatively little compared to what you're in taking every day and you’re only burning calories in the moment, not after.

Instead of looking at calories lost, look at the amount of strength  and muscle mass gained. High-intensity exercise will help you gain muscle mass, and so that muscle mass is metabolic currency (as Mark calls it).

By simply adding another pound of muscle mass, your “fuel” required to simply maintain bodily functions is higher than before, and your fuel expenditure is higher, meaning you burn more calories.

Muscle mass works for you all the time. It's not just during exercise, it's all the other time that that muscle is now working for you.

In addition, activities like running where you are not building muscle mass, and even dieting with the absence of strength training leads to indiscriminate weight loss: fat, muscle, bone, water…it all goes.

What are Some of the Benefits of HIE?

HIE positively impacts our health in many ways. These are some of the common benefits our clients experience:

Common benefits of slow motion strength training

One of the intangible benefits is the time efficiency. By only needing 20 minutes, twice a week to reap the benefits above and work towards your fitness goals, you gain precious time to focus on things that you want to do!

There’s Something Else You Should Know About Exercise:

There's no magic pill, but HIE is close to it.

The Perfect Workout, Mark Alexander, and many in our community want you to start questioning traditional exercise. Ask yourself, “Well, if I don't have three hours to spend in the gym, what do I do?”

Look at the research, look at the data, and look at all the people whose lives and bodies have been changed by HIE and Slow-motion strength training.

High-intensity exercise method is a pretty straight shot. And yes, it might be a climb. We're not saying it's not, but it's worth the climb.” – Mark

When incorporating HIE into your life be sure to remember these important components:

  • Exercise must be brief, short and intense.
  • Never sacrifice safety, effectiveness or efficiency
  • Exercise should be intense enough to hit muscle success around 1-2 minutes
  • Go slow with no rest in between repetitions, approximately 20 seconds per rep
  • Recovery is an important part of achieving results
  • More is not better
  • 20 minutes, twice a week is all you need

The best way to ensure you are performing HIE correctly and reaping the benefits is to work with a Certified Personal Trainer. Each of our trainers is accredited in Slow-Motion Strength Training, and our certification is extensive, hands-on and specialized in safety and efficiency.

Already training with us? Share this article with someone who needs to know about slow-motion strength training!

What is Virtual Personal Training and is it For You?

What is Virtual Training
and is it For You?

Online Virtual training at home

Many of our clients have seamlessly incorporated our new Online Virtual Training Workouts with their Trainers into their new normal of “quarantine life,” while others still struggle to find a routine outside of the studio. Some may think that it's not possible to get a quality workout at home, and others simply just might not understand how it works.

We’ve created an innovative way to provide you with the same effective slow-motion workout, with live coaching from a Certified Personal Trainer, you can access from anywhere. In this article, we will provide you with all you need to know about Virtual Personal Training and help you determine if it is right for you.

Have you gotten stuck in the pattern of waiting for things to “get back to normal” to pick up your workout routine again?

Perhaps you’re slightly skeptical about whether or not you can get a great workout if you’re not in the studio.

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about what Virtual Personal Training is and if it’s right for our clients. We’ll dive deep into everything you need to know about Virtual Personal Training including:

  • Virtual vs. In-studio sessions: What you get in a Virtual Session and how it compares to your workouts in the studio with us.
  • Effectiveness: The intensity level and effectiveness of slow-motion strength workouts done at home.
  • Equipment & Space: What type of equipment and workout space is needed to complete Virtual Workouts.
  • Time Commitment: How often you should complete Virtual sessions and how long they take.
  • Training on your Own: The difference between working out on your own at home, or with a guide instead of getting coached by your Trainer.
  • Injuries and Conditions: How you can still benefit from Live Online Virtual Training, despite injuries or conditions.

Below are 13 Frequently Asked Questions & Answers about our Live Online Virtual Training Sessions:

1. What is a Virtual Personal Training Session?

Our Virtual Personal Training sessions are an extension of your in-studio workouts. What’s the same?

  • We use the same slow-motion method as always
  • The purpose of each exercise is to achieve muscle success
  • We walk you through every exercise and demonstrate proper form & technique
  • You get personalize coaching from a Certified Personal Trainer
  • The workout is tailored to your abilities and goals
  • As always, it takes 20 minutes, twice a week

What’s different?
The location. Since we cannot be in the studio currently, we utilize the space you have at home.
The equipment. We work with whatever equipment you currently have, even if that’s just your own body.

2. Will I Get the Same Great Workout as I do on the Nautilus Machines?

The short answer, yes.

First things first, let’s remember why you came in for your first workout with us. It was to achieve a goal. Get stronger, lose fat, reverse Osteoporosis, improve your golf swing, etc. It’s important to keep these goals in mind when you are looking forward to your Virtual Sessions.

Second, the purpose of every workout you do (ever), is to achieve temporary muscle failure, or “muscle success.” Although our Nautilus machines are ideal in helping us achieve the purpose of exercise, it can absolutely be achieved with other mediums such as free weights, resistance bands, kettlebells and bodyweight. You’d be amazed at how heavy we can make a 3-pound dumbbell feel, all while getting you to safely reach muscle success.

14 reasons why you should be hitting muscle success with online personal training

By the way, we love our machines as much as you do. We miss the clank of the weighstack when changing weights in between clients, the glide of the frictionless movement as we turn around, and how that stack of weights never seems to fail us, even when our muscles begin to fail. But we don’t stop working out because those machines aren’t in our living room.

You know what we love most, and we think you will too?– is getting results. Just because we are on a hiatus from our studios, doesn’t mean we still can’t get stronger, leaner, healthier.

And if you think about the future and all the travel you’ll be able to do to counteract sheltering at home, you’re going to want to continue with your workouts. This will set you up for success now so you can seamlessly keep training with your Trainer no matter where you are in the world.

You came for the method and the 1-on-1 coaching from your Personal Trainer. That is what you continue to get whether that’s during a workout in our studio, or online in the comfort of your own home.

Equipment is just a small part of the equation. Working with your coach to properly execute the super-slow strength training method, and ensure you keep up with performing 1-2 sessions per week, is what matters most.

3. Do Virtual Personal Training Sessions Cost the Same as In-Studio Sessions?

Yes, and we’ll tell you why. Working out at home isn’t any less valuable than working out in our studio.


The value of our 1-on-1 training sessions is the value you get from working with a Certified Personal Trainer, the specialized method that can be extremely difficult to perform on your own, and the customization and coaching you cannot get from any other online source of exercise.


We believe in the value of coaching as the key to your success. Whether in person or via live video sessions, working with a coach is the key to your success.

Our online virtual trainers do these things

4. Will This be a Waste of my Sessions?

Absolutely not! Working with a Trainer, whether it be at home is moving you toward the same purpose of achieving your goals as in-studio sessions would be.

Let’s say your goal is to lose 15lbs. Chances are, you’re also focused on your nutrition and are actively choosing what to eat and what not to eat. You wouldn’t stock up on a bunch of healthy foods to meal prep for weekly lunches, only to set them aside to go uneaten because you don’t have a workplace to take them to anymore. Of course not!

Why? Because your health is not on hold.

It's the same thing for working out. You're doing exactly what you signed up for. 1-on-1 training, a method that works, getting you closer to achieving your goals.

It’s possible you may view at-home workouts as a waste of time and that’s because the at-home workouts you’ve seen or done before didn’t work for you in the past. Our Virtual Sessions are not just at-home workouts, they are proper Personal Training Sessions focused on you and you only.

So what’s wasted? Getting 1-on-1 time with a Trainer to coach you to muscle success, safely & efficiently, and keep you accountable is not a waste of time or money. It’s time and money well spent.

5. Will the Workout be Just as Intense?

The exciting thing about our Virtual Sessions is that they are extremely customizable. In-studio workouts are customizable too but our Virtual Sessions require a high level of creativity to provide you with a specific program that is based on your goals, limitations and the equipment you have available.


Your Trainer works very hard behind the scenes to make your workouts as perfect as possible for you, and that may mean even more intense than expected.


Need more proof? Watch this video below of our client Sherry Chriss’ experience:

Play Video

6. What Happens if I Just Wait Until the Studios Open Back Up?

We look forward to reopening all of our studio locations just as much as you do. The problem with waiting to workout until we reopen our doors is you risk losing so much of the strength and progress you’ve gained so far. Not to mention, gaining back some of the things you don’t want– body fat, osteopenia, low energy and lack of motivation.

If your shower broke, you wouldn't wait weeks for it to be fixed before you decided to take a shower again would you? No way! Because it's a necessity- and so is staying healthy and strong.

Our Virtual Sessions will help you continue to get an intense slow-motion strength workout as well maintain results at minimum so when we reopen, you pick back up right where you left off, or stronger!

We don’t know exactly when we will get to reopen so until then, this is the ideal option!

7. What if I Don’t Have Any Equipment?

No machines? No problem! If you’re slightly skeptical about whether or not a bodyweight workout can be effective or challenging, try this:

Try doing a pushup right now using our slow-motion method.


Just like our machine workouts, push for 10 seconds on the way up, and lower yourself slowly for 10 seconds down
Make sure to not lockout arms, or rest in between repetitions
Oh, and be sure to keep perfect form, remember to breathe and focus on the muscles being used.

Play Video

Pretty challenging isn’t it?

Any strength exercise, including bodyweight exercises has the potential to be extremely effective.

Knowing how to do them correctly and performing them safely until muscle success is vital, but not easily achieved. That’s the importance of having a Trainer, to ensure you are doing these exercises safely and not giving up before the most critical point in the exercise– muscle success.

We’ve trained clients with dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, just their bodies and even their pets! We will get as creative as you are willing to try.

Online personal training with a pet

8. Can I Just Workout With Videos at Home? There’s Tons of Workouts on YouTube.

You’re right, there are tons of workouts out there to choose from.

But watching free videos or following cookie-cutter routines will never get you the same results (and ensure your safety!) like working with a coach.

If those videos workouts were as effective and you didn’t somehow need the accountability of an appointment and a Trainer, you’d probably be doing them already.

Videos, manuals and guides can be great resources in a pinch. What you don’t get is the customized approach. You don't have someone completely focused on you to see if you’re doing an exercise correctly, doing it safely. A video doesn’t know your goals, your injuries, limitations or how you tend to hold your breath a little before you hit muscle success. Your Trainer does.

There’s just no way watching a video will ever be as effective as working with a coach in a live personal training session. Think about how hard you can be pushed when you are working with your Trainer– it's always more than you thought you could do! Know that a video will not render that same kind of effort and certainly not the same results.

9. What if I Don’t Have Enough Space to Workout?

Most, if not all of the exercises we do require little to no space. Because we don’t incorporate movements like jump squats, sprints, or tire flips, space is not really needed.

Think about the size of our studios. The only reason they need to be as big as they are (which is not all that big) is to fit the machines in them. However, when you are on each of those machines, you are in a static position- meaning you are fixed in one place, not needing much space for movement. That goes for the same as any slow-motion or static exercise your Trainer gives you. All you need is a space that can fit the length of your body.

Online Personal Training at home

And if you’re willing to try, we can always make more space! Objects like coffee tables and chairs are moveable and if you’ve been training with us, you’ve got muscles to move them!

10. I'm Walking for Now, is that Good Gnough?

That’s great that you are moving your body; however, it just simply isn’t enough!

Aerobic activity doesn’t do much to help build strength. So by not actively building muscle through strength training, and only doing low-intensity aerobic activity, you run the risk of losing muscle at a higher rate than what is normal for an adult who does not strength train.

This doesn't mean stop walking, but it certainly doesn’t mean stop strengthening either.

11. Can I Just Workout on my Own if I’m Using the Fast Fitness at Home Manual You Gave Me?

The Fast Fitness at Home Manual is a great start and better than nothing. We created that guide as a tool for when you travel, or can’t get a workout with your Trainer. What’s missing is the value of the Trainer to push you harder, catch your mistakes and keep you safe.

It’s the same thing as working out with YouTube or doing pre-recorded workouts like Beachbody. It's better than nothing but you don’t get the intensity, the accountability, or the coaching.

12. I Have a lot of Family at Home with me Right Now, Will That be a Problem?

Not one bit. This is kind of the new norm for us all right now and we are fully prepared to train you despite any distractions or interruptions.

One way to work around this minor obstacle is to have a designated space in the house for health & wellness for the entire family! If you want to exercise, stretch, do yoga, meditate, or whatever– having a go-to spot in the house can help everyone prioritize these needs and also respect the space when it's being used.

Not only does this ensure you can get a focused workout, but helps to set boundaries for what is important during a time where boundaries and personal priorities may have been blurred.

We can’t help but emphasize how important it is to maintain normal routines right now, and your workouts are no exception. This is a vital component of stress management and helps to keep anxiety low.

We highly recommend using wireless headphones during your sessions to minimize distractions or background noise, which we’ve noticed solves the concern of other people in the house for most clients who may have it.

13. Can I do Virtual Sessions with an Injury, Condition, or Even Joint Replacement?

Yes. We specialize in slow-motion strength training and under the umbrella of that method is exercising safely. If you are still doing slow-motion strength training, the workout is safe. In addition to that, you have a Certified Personal Trainer observing you, coaching you and correcting you every step of the way to ensure your safety.

We’ve never shied away from working around an injury and it is our philosophy that anyone can do this workout. Most of our clients have come to us with an existing injury, condition, pre or post surgery and we’ve been able to help them exercise just as effectively. Our Trainers are thrilled to get creative for you as well- just ask them!

Most importantly, if you have an injury or condition that prevents you from being as mobile as normal, are challenged with deterioration, or injury gets worse with sedentarism, even more reason to keep exercising!

 

Here’s the short version of what you need to know!

  • Virtual Sessions are still 1-on-1, appointment only, LIVE with a Personal Trainer and always using our slow-motion method.
  • The cost of Virtual Sessions is the same, as the value of the session is the same.
  • The workout can be as intense as in-studio sessions, depending on the customized program your Trainer puts together for you.
  • Waiting for the studios to open up is not a recommended plan of action. We can still help you reach your goals working remotely.
  • You don't need much space, or any equipment; however, we can and will work with what you do have.
    Working out with videos, guides and manuals are better than nothing, but they cannot match the coaching you receive from a Trainer. Your 1-on-1 sessions will always provide more value for you than a video or guide ever could.
  • Walking is great for the body but it won’t help you maintain or gain strength. The best way to do that is to actively be strength training.
  • We can work around distractions, interruptions and family members at home. We are all in the same boat!
    If you have an injury, condition or joint replacement we can customize the workout for you and highly encourage you to continue with your sessions.

 

We can all agree that NOT working out is not an option, especially during a time where maintaining peak health is crucial. Although Virtual Sessions are a slightly different experience from In-studio sessions, we’re confident it will be a positive experience.

 

No matter what, keep working out. And the best way to continue working out is with your Trainer and using a method that is scientifically proven to get results and help you get them safely. That’s why you joined The Perfect Workout in the first place!

 

Have concerns? Most of our client’s concerns and questions are resolved in their first Virtual Session. Try it, Risk Free!

Practice What You Preach: Personal Trainer’s Key to Client Success

Kathrine Diaz Personal Trainer at The Perfect Workout

Katherine Diaz was introduced to The Perfect Workout by her sister who also got her start as a Personal Trainer. Once she tried the workout for herself, she fell in love with it. 

My strength is insane, my muscle tone is like never before, and I have lost and kept off 20lbs of fat.” 

When Katherine realized that she could get results, carve out more time for life, and get an endorphin rush in just 20 minutes, she decided she wanted to share this exciting workout with others.

Play Video

Katherine started by learning the importance of exercise and the right way to strength train. The more she learned about slow-motion strength training, the more she wanted to teach others how to incorporate it into their fitness journeys. 

In August of 2016, Katherine completed her extensive Personal Trainer Certification and joined The Perfect Workout’s Kingwood and River Oaks teams. 

Immediately, Katherine saw how the 1-on-1 environment allowed her to have such a large impact on her clients and their lives.

“I love how I am able to give attention to detail, provide massive amounts of education, customize every single client workout, and have the ability to keep them accountable to their habits every time they train.”

Her Fitness Journey

For Katherine, it was essential to “practice what she preached” and adopt the very things she intended to teach her clients. In addition to her 20-minute, twice a week workouts, Katherine changed her diet, cut down on junk food, and openly shared her journey on social media and with her clients. 

Sharing her own journey with her clients pushed her to stay motivated and consistent. 

“That made me feel really good about what I was doing because now I was not only doing the workout, I was doing the hardest part of the health which is the nutrition and I think that motivated a lot of my clients.”

Inspiring Her Clients To Prioritize Themselves

As a personal trainer, Katherine gets to work with people of all ages, physical abilities, and fitness goals.

One young mother, Becky, stepped out of her comfort zone to focus on herself when she came to The Perfect Workout. She felt nervous about investing in private Personal Training in the beginning, but she was determined to start her fitness journey and knew the 1-on-1 support would be worth it. With Katherine’s guidance and coaching, she was able to get stronger and make healthy nutrition changes, and she realized her investment was paying off.

Becky told Katherine, “I've learned to put myself higher on my priority list. And you taught me that.” 

It was both motivating and moving for Katherine to see Becky put her health first because she knows how common it is for moms to sacrifice so much of themselves for their family.

workout for busy moms

Another one of Katherine’s favorite success stories was a woman she began working with after they had a stroke just one month prior. “She was able to get mobility in the left side of her body, but in 8 months, we got her to walk without a cane, drive again, get down and up off the floor with no assistance from anyone or anything!”

One of Katherine’s biggest accomplishments as a Trainer is helping clients lose a significant amount of weight. Her client Rebecca weighed 270 pounds when she began at The Perfect Workout.

With Katherine’s help, she was able to stay consistent with virtual sessions during the pandemic, focus on her nutrition, and ultimately drop down to 207 pounds! 

“I feel like I'm just a very small part of it. But she (Rebecca) makes me feel like I'm a huge part of her success. And that's such a sweet thing!”

Every client’s success is a victory for Katherine. She is grateful for all the moments she’s been able to help others change their lives for the better and is excited about the possibility of working with future clients.

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