Why Strength Training is Part of Her Plan to Live to 100

Personal Trainer Falls Church

Linda Maldonado broke her ankle in 2014 and it left her feeling hesitant that she could stay active and do the things she wanted to do. She was concerned about the future.

But her vision for the next several decades was to thrive. And she wanted to optimize her health and become strong enough to live to 100… yes, 100!

And with The Perfect Workout, Linda realized she could do all of that. Keep reading to learn how building muscle and strength has let her continue being as active as she wants to be in her 70s.

Life Before Strength

Linda joined The Perfect workout the month she turned 70. She wanted to develop as much strength as possible to counter her osteopenia and improve her balance.

Years earlier, Linda came across research showing the benefits of slow-motion training, but was worried she’d get bored with it.

So she continued to exercise on her own, going to the gym for cardio, lifting free weights and taking yoga classes. But after some time she felt like that approach wasn’t helping her get any closer to her goals.

I want to optimize my health and stay strong for the next several decades. I plan to live to 100 at least!

Linda Maldonado

But that only makes sense if those decades are full of health and vigor. (Learn more about how slow-motion strength training can help you live longer.)

Linda searched for slow-motion strength training and found the Falls Church, Virginia studio just minutes away from her home – perfect.

Personal Trainers Falls Church

Optimizing Her Health

Before The Perfect Workout and after her broken ankle, Linda was no longer sure she felt up to a trip to Machu Picchu with all those steps and altitude.

“Now, with the strength I’ve gained has come the confidence to do whatever I can – and we did climb two days at Machu Picchu in 2018, each day achieving 150 flights of stairs! With surprisingly NO pain or problem in the days afterward. That felt like a huge achievement.”

Just as the pandemic lockdown started in early 2020, Linda fell on her hands during a walk and injured her elbows, so she wasn’t able to lift any weight for several weeks.

Luckily, The Perfect Workout had launched their new 1-on-1 Virtual Training Program. Linda met with her trainer Melissa, virtually, twice a week, focusing on lower body exercises with the equipment she had at home (free weights and a ball).

Fitness Trainer Falls Church

“That worked really well – she was creative and flexible and always came up with great ideas.”

Especially in a time like quarantine, having the option to train virtually was a beneficial option for Linda, but she’s very happy to be back in the COVID-safe studio working with her trainer in person.

100 Here She Comes!

Linda will be the first to say, “This really does work!”  

The 20 minutes of exercise are challenging and intense but she can see and feel positive results.

“When I told my husband I leg-pressed 270 lbs, he said I must mean 170… hard for him to believe!”

She decided she always wants to keep up with her 20-minute training sessions. In fact, she first started training at The Perfect Workout just once a week, but quickly realized she would get better results with two sessions a week. It truly is all you need to get results, and in a fraction of the time.

Having the right method is one big lever to getting successful results. And the other is having the right trainer. Both of which Linda is experiencing on her path to living to 100.

“Having a personal trainer makes a huge difference. The trained staff know how to observe you, listen to you, make changes and tweaks that work for improved effectiveness. I always feel safe and I know my trainer has the skills and interest to make this the best possible experience for me.”

Whether you’re also on a path to 100, wanting to optimize your health, or have a specific goal like reversing Osteoporosis, becoming healthier starts with just 20 minutes, twice a week.

Start training with a Personal Trainer today!

How Tom Got Diabetes & Blood Pressure Under Control, Naturally

personal trainer

A Mediterranean escape on the itinerary.

A plan to get in shape.

A perfect workout to help get him there.

Then COVID hit.

Read about our client Tom Curry’s story of keeping up with his get-in-vacation-shape plan during quarantine and the surprising health improvements he made training at home.

His Vacation Motivation

Tom’s story started with his wife, Cathy. She had been training in our West Plano studio for about a year and a half before she finally got Tom to try it out. The only exercise Tom had been doing was walking his dogs twice a day. It was better than nothing, but not nearly enough to get in shape for a big trip they had planned.

Going to Greece was on the horizon for the Curry’s and Tom had made it a goal to get in shape for it. 

“We were going to be doing a lot of walking and I just wanted to make sure I could handle all of that for the trip.”

Tom had done weight training before but never tried the slow-motion strength workout we do at The Perfect Workout. In less than a year, it’s proven to be more effective than anything else he’s done.  

With just two, 20-minute workouts a week, Tom feels like he has more energy each day, especially the next day after his workout. And he is getting the benefits of a cardio workout with strength training. 

“I never was a big cardio fan. The idea of getting on a treadmill and doing that was not ever very much fun. I'm getting cardio with this workout, because I can certainly tell my heart's beating faster!”

Tom got in the groove of training at the studio twice a week and felt excited about his new workout regimen and how it would help him tackle the hills of Greece, and then COVID hit.

COVID Didn’t Halt his Progress

“I was skeptical of this at home (Virtual Personal Training) at first just because I'm not very good at doing things here at the house.”

Many people struggle to keep up with their workouts at home, which is why having a Personal Trainer, even via video, makes each session productive and worthwhile. 

“It’s motivation knowing that I'm connecting with somebody, even if it's on a computer screen.”

Luckily, being a resident in West Plano, TX, Tom didn’t have to quarantine nearly as long as other parts of the country, so he was back in the studio as soon as it opened back up.

After going back [to the studio] I didn't lose any ground. That was nice not having to start all over again. I can certainly tell now that I'm back in the studio that I'm a lot stronger than I was.

Tom Curry

But Tom is considered “high-risk” in COVID-terms so he needed reassurance that the studio would be a safe place for him to workout if he returned.

Tom was in excellent hands returning to the studio since we are by-appointment-only and adhere to all CDC guidelines on distance, masks, and sanitation, We've even gone one step further and installed HEPA air filters in each room, which cleans the air every 2-3 minutes, just like on airplanes and in hospitals. See what else we’re doing to keep you safe.

“They're doing a great job keeping it clean and the number of clients down. I'm in one of those categories they say you got to be really careful So far, I've felt safe.”

Diabetes & Blood Pressure Under Control

Tom has Type II Diabetes and almost a year ago he was having problems managing his A1-C levels. His Doctor was changing his medications to see if they could get it under control. After dropping one type of medication, his A1-C levels spiked up to 7.4 (anything over 7 is considered “bad.”) 

During quarantine and over the course of his Virtual Training Sessions, Tom was able to lower his levels back down to 6.4. 

“I dropped a full point during the pandemic doing things at home!”

In addition, his blood pressure dropped as a result of his 20-minute strength training workouts.

Feeling Good About Health Again

“I sing the praises when somebody asked me about [The Perfect Workout] because I think it's, far easier to go do something like this than to spend 45 minutes in a gym- 25 minutes on a treadmill and, and then trying to pick out your own routine with weights which you're inevitably going to screw something up.”

Tom is extremely happy with all of the Personal Trainers he’s worked with. They’ve all been very encouraging and are personally invested in his progress. He feels like the entire team has been very engaged in helping him make positive changes in his health.

“I really feel good about my health.“

How Susan Tripled Her Leg Strength After Total Knee Replacement

Personal Trainer Menlo Park CA

Total Knee Replacement can sound really scary to those who face it.

Major surgery. Painful recovery. And little certainty that everyday activities will get easier.

Susan Kubiak knew she needed an expert to help her beyond rehab. Read on for her journey of building incredible strength physically and mentally at The Perfect Workout.

Susan Kubiak was coming out of a total knee replacement in July 2019. After three and a half weeks in skilled nursing she transitioned to a formal rehab program to continue strengthening her knee. 

Once that program ended, Susan started looking at alternatives that allowed her to continue exercising twice a week with an instructor- two things that had worked for her during her 3 months of rehabilitation.

Susan researched big box gyms, Crossfit, personal training and her search ultimately led her to The Perfect Workout. 

“One of the things that was so attractive to me about it is that I had been using the Nautilus equipment for the leg press. That was an identical piece of equipment that I had used in my physical rehabilitation program. I was confident that that was a solid way to go.”

Data-Driven Motivation

“The other thing that I really like about the program is the ability for it to keep data. I really appreciate looking at that. It's highly motivating to me to see that I am making progress.”

At The Perfect Workout we track the amount of weights that you're lifting so we can see your strength progress, but we track so much more than that. We also track:

 

  • Workout Settings: Our staff keeps a detailed profile on your seat settings, modifications and overall program so you can get the same excellent workout with any trainer, at any of our locations.
  • Time under Tension: which is the amount of time spent on the exercise, and we use this as a benchmark to understand if it's time to increase resistance or scale it back
  • And other measurements such as body measurements, weight tracking, and before and after photos if its a method you’re interested in… but no pressure from our Trainers!


This is a science-backed program and we want our clients to have access to this data to really understand what slow-motion strength training is doing for your body.

Stronger Than Ever

One of Susan’s proudest achievements so far has been building up strength, particularly on her favorite machine… The Leg Press. 

When she left physical therapy, Susan was pushing 80 pounds (on the same leg press we use in the studio). Six months later, she is pushing 225 pounds. In that short amount of time she’s been able to increase her strength by 280%. Impressive!

Now that she’s proven her body won’t let her down with this safe and effective method, the thing Susan is most proud of is her mental strength.

“You can be your worst enemy, if you will trust your head, your body will follow. I can physically perform these tasks in the right way with encouragement and education. I don't let my head get in the way of letting me down.”

The trainers at The Perfect Workout have been able to help Susan create a stronger muscle-mind connection and it has left her feeling strong and empowered.

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“The positive nature of the trainers and the background that they have is just so encouraging for me, and particularly in something that I'm not an expert in. They're the experts, I need their help. I need their guidance.”

Susan recently celebrated her 66th birthday and feels like having an exercise program that allows her to perform strength training safely, but intensely is vital.

“And the science behind this is just incredible.”

How to Build Strong, Defined Thighs

Personal Trainer Mill Valley CA Want firmer thighs and a lifted booty? The Leg Curl is an exercise you don’t want to skip. If you’ve been training with us, you know our 20-minute workouts target the entire body including one of the biggest muscles- the hamstrings. If having a strong, firm thighs and a lifted backside is something you’re striving for… keep reading.

The Muscles Used

The hamstrings are large muscles that make up the back of your thighs and are the primary movers worked in the Leg Curl. In addition to the hamstrings, this power exercise also targets the calves. These main muscles targeted by the Leg Curl are largely responsible for the appearance of your thighs and lower legs and train the muscles that are responsible for running speed. To learn how to target the hamstrings along with your buttocks, read our article on the Leg Press.

How it Works

The hamstrings contract to provide knee flexion, which is the technical name for the movement performed during the Leg Curl. Each hamstring is a group of four muscles that start on your pelvis (around the bottom of your buttocks), cover the backs of your thighs and attach to the lower leg, just below your knee. The hamstrings have two major functions: to flex your knee, and pull your thigh backward (hip extension). Performing the exercise looks like this:  The Leg Curl (seated in particular) begins with you seated and legs stretched out in front of you in between two pads. Your feet are flexed with toes pointing straight up to engage the muscles in the back of the leg and upper body is upright and relaxed. As you begin to move the weight, you’re trying to pull your heels close to your buttocks, keeping your toes pointed up throughout the entire range of motion. Once you have reached your full range of motion- you’ve brought your heels back as far as they can go, you want to squeeze your hamstrings in the contracted position for approximately 3 seconds and slowly resist the weight back to the beginning position. Like all exercises, you avoid resting in between repetitions and slowly push yourself to reach Muscle Success.

Why Do It?

Building the muscle fibers in the hamstrings can provide a firm appearance to the backs of the thighs, and can also create an ovular shape. This can be seen if you look at the back of someone’s thighs from a side view. The Leg Curl is a very efficient exercise, in that the calves (gastrocnemius) assist the hamstrings in flexing the knees. Many women wear high-heeled shoes because the elevated heels force the calves to contract, making the leg look more defined and shapely. Using the Leg Curl can create that same muscularity in the lower legs without needing the shoes.

Hamstrings in Day-to-Day Function

The hamstrings are a major muscle group responsible for pulling the leg down after the knee rises. The foot drives into the ground and propels you forward. The acceleration comes from the leg and foot being pulled down as fast as possible. The faster the foot can move downward, the greater the acceleration. For any athlete who sprints, such as those playing baseball, softball, and football, the Leg Curl trains a muscle that is critical to maximizing acceleration. You don’t need to be an athlete or play competitive sports to benefit from this exercise. Performing the Leg Curl regularly will help to improve leg strength and overall mobility for anyone.

Maximizing Your Leg Curl in 2 Minutes or Less

In order to get the most out of your 1-2 minutes on the Leg Curl, your coach will help you achieve these three things:
  1. Full Range of Motion: A full range of motion helps to give a thorough workout to the targeted muscles. Think “heels to butt” and give those hammies a big squeeze as you strive for each repetition.
  2. Flex Your Feet: A fuller range of motion can be accomplished when the ankles are dorsi flexed, meaning the tops of your feet are pulled towards your shins. If your toes are pointed down as you flex your knees, your calves will be multitasking with two responsibilities, and they will do poorly in each. Keep your toes up to make sure your calves can do their best in flexing your knees.
  3. Muscle Success: You knew it was coming! Achieving muscle success by fully fatiguing the hamstrings will help you build the strength you’re looking for.
Whether you desire firm, rounded thighs or to run faster during your favorite sport, the Leg Curl is a quick & efficient way to achieving strong and sexy stems. Strengthen your legs and define your entire body with a 20-minute workout. get started senior workout

Finally, A Workout You Can Do For the Rest of Your Life

Strength is the underlying factor in independence.

It’s a well-known fact that strength, along with muscle, decreases with age.

As our strength drops below the level required to perform daily activities, we cross the threshold of independent to dependent.

One way to avoid dependency in old age is to strength train.

When it comes to strength training with the elderly, though, some people may have some concerns. In this article we will dive into how older adults can benefit from slow-motion strength training and why it's a workout you can do for a lifetime.

 

How old is too old for strength training?

Researchers in Denmark set out to answer this question with a study that split 23 men and women, between 85 and 97 years old, into either a strength training or control group for 12 weeks. The participants were mainly living in nursing homes or at their own homes, although just about all of them were dependent.

The strength training routine was performed using heavy weights on the leg extension only, which trains the quadriceps. Training sessions occurred three times per week, and the load used was adjusted every two weeks to stay at 80% of the latest one-rep max.

In addition to the one-rep max test, the training men and women performed pre- and post-study tests for isometric strength at four different knee angles. Muscle biopsies were also used to see the change in muscle fiber size.

The results were as follows: 

    • Isometric knee strength increased at all four positions, with an average increase of 37%.
    • Overall muscle size increased 9.8%.
    • Type 2 muscle fibers increased 22%.
    • Also, no injuries were reported during the training.
    • The control group (who didn’t perform any strength training) experienced no changes in strength or muscle size.

 

arx adaptive resistance exercise

 

The Importance of Type 2 Muscle Fibers

Type 2 fibers produce the greatest amount of strength and power. For athletes, type 2 fibers are the ones responsible for producing efforts such as sprinting, swinging a golf club, throwing a ball, and jumping.

In people who struggle with daily activities, these fibers provide the power necessary for getting out of a chair, holding a bag of groceries, or even holding an arm up to blow dry or comb hair.

Research has consistently shown that aging causes type 2 fibers to deteriorate quicker and to a greater extent than type 1 fibers (which perform basic high endurance, low strength tasks like standing, walking, etc.).

Increasing type 2 fiber size is of greater need for seniors.

As a result of strength training for 12 weeks, men and women with an average age of 89 years gained significant strength and increased muscle tissue while no injuries were noted.

How old is too old? Here’s a quote from the researchers:

“We believe that it is never too late to improve muscle function and increase muscle mass and therefore recommend that greater focus should be placed on heavy resistance exercise training in the future rehabilitation and preventative treatment of the elderly population.”

 

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Reverse the Effects of Aging

Two studies, performed by separate groups of researchers in Spain, provide hope that even some of the oldest adults can reverse some of the effects of aging to improve their independence and functional abilities.

The participants in these studies performed two to three months of strength training and benefited by gaining strength, muscle mass, balance, and became more capable of performing basic living activities... and just about all of these individuals were in their 90’s and lived in nursing homes.

“Sarcopenia” is the term for muscle atrophy (losing or shrinking muscle size) and strength as we age. The average strength loss is about 15% by our 65th birthday.

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In 2014, 13 men and women, with an average age of 93 years, completed about three months of twice-weekly strength training along with balance and gait training.

At the conclusion, these individuals were quicker to rise from a chair, were able to stand from sitting more frequently within a small period of time, demonstrated better balance, and became stronger and more muscular.

Strength gains were noticed in the upper and lower body, including muscles that move the knee and hip joints.

Another study, published in 2011, featured eight weeks of only strength training for men and women between 90 and 97 years old. In this study, the participants trained three times per week. Lower body strength increased about 17%, or an increase of 23 lbs. in the maximum amount they could leg press.

When looking at these results, it’s clear to see that we have a choice in how we age. Our actions play a role in how much muscle mass and strength we have as well as how functionally-able we are in our older years. Strength training provides us with an opportunity to control those factors for the better, even in our 90’s! I think the researchers in the 2011 study summarized the point well in their final statement:


“These findings support that regular physical training, with a special focus of resistance 
exercise, is feasible and useful over the entire lifespan.”

 

adaptive resistance exercise

References

Cadore, E. L., Casas-Herrero, A., Zambom-Ferraresi, F., Idoate, F., Millor, N., Gómez, M.,…& Izquierdo, M. (2014). Multicomponent exercises including muscle power training enhance muscle mass, power output, and functional outcomes in institutionalized frail nonagenarians. Age, 36(2), 773-785.

Serra-Rexach, J. A., Bustamante-Ara, N., Hierro Villarán, M., González Gil, P., Sanz Ibáñez, M. J., Blanco Sanz, N., … & Lucia, A. (2011). Short-term, light-to moderate-intensity exercise training improves leg muscle strength in the oldest old: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society,59(4), 594-602.

Kryger, A. I., & Andersen, J. L. (2007). Resistance training in the oldest old: consequences for muscle strength,fiber types, fiber size, and MHC isoforms. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 17(4), 422-430.

 

Bye Bye Flab! One-Stop-Shop for Sculpted Back & Arms

Want a better upper body?

One brief exercise could be your ticket to more defined arms, sculpted shoulders, and a leaner looking waist.

If you read our leg press article from a few weeks ago, you’ll recall that the leg press is the one-stop shop for just about all lower body muscles.

When it comes to the upper body, the Lat Pulldown is the one-stop shop. 

 

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The Muscles Used

In one set of the lat pulldown (LPD) – roughly 1 to 2 minutes – you can train pretty much all of the major muscles in the upper body. 

These muscles are the prime movers in the lat pulldown.

  • Latissimus Dorsi (the “lats” or wings of the back)
  • Trapezius (“traps” or upper back)

In addition, there are other major muscles involved:

  • Pectoralis Major (chest) 
  • Posterior Deltoids (shoulders)
  • Biceps brachii (front of upper arm)

 

Strength Trainer Carlsbad CA

 

How it Works

With the LPD, you start seated in the machine with your arms raised in front of you, holding onto the handles. As you pull the handles down toward the ground, your shoulder blades are also pulled down, and the lower traps perform that action. As your upper arms come down, your elbows flex (or bend), bringing your wrists closer to your shoulders.

This is where your biceps come into play. Your forearms are heavily utilized in the LPD as well. The forearms have the most fundamental role in the pulldown: maintaining grip of the handles. And finally, your abdominal muscles are used significantly to stabilize your torso during the exercise.

 


 

 

How LPD Blasts Flab & Sculpts

You might be wondering how does this exercise eliminate a flabby upper body and leave me looking sculpted?

Training the lats improves the shape of your back. As lean muscle tissue is added to the lats, it gives a ‘V’ shape to your back. If you feel you have “love handles,” gaining muscle in your lats might help them become less noticeable.

The pulldown also helps improve aesthetics with your arms. As mentioned, your biceps and shoulders are key players in this exercise, and this exercise will help make your upper arm muscles more defined.

 

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Do the LPD, but Do it Right.

To get the most out of the LPD, work with one of our Trainers to get proper coaching and guidance at any of The Perfect Workout studios.

In the meantime, here are some helpful tips:

  • When performing the pulldown, don’t think of the main goal as pulling your hands or the handles down. Focus mainly on pulling your elbows to your sides. The lats are the main muscle group used, and focusing on your elbows and upper arms can assist you in becoming more aware of the lats as you train.
  • As you transition from the positive (pulling down) to the negative (slowing letting your arms up), your shoulders will subconsciously rise (or shrug). Pull them down, or “unshrug,” This action will force your back muscles to work harder.

Fatiguing your muscles to “muscle success” is where you'll receive the most value with the LPD.

In just one short set performed one or two times per week, you are training the major muscles of the upper body while improving the shape, tone and strength of your back and arms. 

 

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The Science of Losing Fat, Preserving Muscle & Doing it in 20-Minutes

Imagine stepping on the scale and it reads: Congrats! You’ve Lost 10lbs of fat, muscle & bone.

What!?

Who wants to lose muscle and bone?

Unfortunately losing weight can mean losing more than just body fat. So if you want to lose fat and only fat while adding lean muscle to your body, this article is for you.

 

It’s Simple: Muscle Burns Fat

If you want to lose fat efficiently, you must know this: Muscle burns calories.

By adding more lean muscle to our bodies, we increase our resting metabolic rate, or the calories we burn on a daily basis.

So, how do we add more muscle to our bodies?

Strength Training.

In fact, strength training is more effective in burning fat than most “aerobic” activities because the added muscle helps you burn calories, even while you rest. Aerobics can burn a lot of calories but only in the moment of the activity.

Strength training research shows that women’s resting metabolism actually decreased 75 and 103 calories per day with “aerobic” and diet-only changes.

With a slower metabolism, maintaining fat loss becomes more challenging.

With more muscle, maintaining fat loss becomes easy.

 

Personal Trainers West LA CA

 

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But I’ve Lost Weight with Aerobics Before…

Many of our clients and even our Trainers love to do aerobics and believe it or not, we fully support it – especially if it's something you love to do.

But for many, aerobic activities like running feel like a chore, and people do it because they believe it's absolutely necessary to lose weight.

It’s not.

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.

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.

Remember, if your weight is decreasing, are you really getting to your target destination? In other words, are you losing just fat, or are you losing fat along with muscle and other tissues?

Losing weight does not necessarily imply that you will be leaner WITH better muscle tone, and that’s what you really want.

 

Personal Training West LA CA

 

How to Burn Fat in 20 Minutes

Strength training is often said to transform the body into a calorie-burning machine. If so, can you get the same metabolic effect from a 15-20-minute workout using only one set for each exercise as you would from a longer, multiple-set session?

You probably know the answer is yes, but here is the research to prove it:

A recent study used two different protocols: 

  • A full body workout using one set, each performed to muscular fatigue 
  • A full body workout using the same amount of exercises, also working to muscle fatigue, but featuring three sets of each exercise 

The researchers in the study measured the calories expended at rest each day for a week after both workouts.

There was NO difference between the two groups. A workout using one set per exercise increased metabolism to the same degree that a three-set routine did for 24, 48, and 72 hours afterwards.

 

Debbie lost 90 lbs in her first 2 years at The Perfect Workout

 

The study also showed the higher calorie expenditure rate wore off 96 hours after the workout.

By strength training twice a week, your resting energy expenditure is likely elevated all the time. By the time one session's effects wear off, another session occurs and the process starts over.

Finally, the researchers noted another bonus that you can relate to: saved time.

The one-set workout took an average of 16 minutes compared to 37 for the three-set trial. Essentially, you can save 21 minutes and achieve the same boost in metabolism by performing a full body workout with only one set per exercise.

If you’re going to get similar results from working out for 16 minutes as you would for 37 minutes why would you waste any time and work out longer than necessary?

20 minutes of slow-motion strength training is all you need to be efficient at burning fat and if you are training twice per week, you can experience this calorie-burning benefit on a perpetual basis.

 

Robin Lancaster dropped 15 lbs in her first 3 months of Virtual Training!

 

Strength Trainer West LA CA

 

Don’t Forget Diet

Improving eating habits has the most influence on losing weight. However, diet by itself can also  lead to indiscriminate weight loss: fat, muscle, bone, water…it all goes.

Thankfully, there is a way to minimize or eliminate muscle loss during diet-induced weight loss: strength training.

Changing eating habits is the most influential method for losing weight, and strength training is the most effective method ensuring that the lost weight is only fat. 

 

Dr. Finkelstein (left) lost 44 lbs with 20-minute workouts. Justin Brunette (right) lost 4 inches off his waist and his body fat dropped 6.4% in 3 months at The Perfect Workout!

 

If losing fat is your goal, the solution is simple:

  • Slow-motion strength train to muscle fatigue, twice a week
  • Eat a diet conducive to your needs and to lose fat
  • Limit aerobic activity

 

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References

Hunter, Gary R., et al. “Resistance Training Conserves Fat-free Mass and Resting Energy Expenditure Following Weight Loss.” Obesity 16.5 (2008): 1045-1051.

Stiegler, Petra, and Adam Cunliffe. “The role of diet and exercise for the maintenance of fat-free mass and resting metabolic rate during weight loss.” Sports Medicine 36.3 (2006): 239-262.

Heden TT. One-set resistance training elevates energy expenditure for 72 h similar to three sets. Eur J Appl Physiol 111: 3: 477-484,2011.

Catenacci VVA. Physical Activity Patterns in the National Weight Control Registry. 16: 1: 153-161, 2008

 

Stay Upright to Stay Alive. STRENGTH TRAIN

Fitness Training Mill Valley CA

Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall. Every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from one (CDC).

Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.

To avoid battling the trauma of a fall, strength training is the solution. Here’s how…

Older adults who strength train, even for as little as two months, are less likely to fall.

This is likely due to the importance of strength itself, which is a large underlying factor in

Balance.

The Center for Disease Control states that one in every three adults at least 65 years old fall every year. About 20-30% of these falls lead to injuries of some kind. When considering these statistics, it’s no surprise that falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries in older adults.

Part of the reason why falls are so dangerous for older adults but less so for middle-aged adults or children is due to bone density.

Osteoporosis, a disease of low bone mass, is most common in older adults, especially post-menopausal women. Men and women generally start losing bone density in their mid-thirties but this trend doesn’t become significant until around 55 years old. 

 

Strength Trainer Mill Valley CA

 

As bone mass decreases, bones become hollower and break easier, even with a soft fall from a standing position. Effective strength training can slow bone density loss, and even reverse the process and increase bone density in many people.

Strength training can prevent falls from occurring too. Two studies focused on adults between 85 to 97 years old strength training and measured rate of falls before and during training.

One study, published in 2014, noticed an increase in balance and a lower rate of falling during 12 weeks of strength training when compared to the months prior to training. In a 2011 study, older adults who strength trained experienced an average of one less fall during the eight-week training period when compared to a control group that only performed stretching.

A 2013 research review of 107 fall prevention studies showed that strength training led to lower fall rates 70% of the time.

The participants in both groups experienced another benefit which may explain why balance and fall rates improved: they gained strength in muscles that control their knee and hip joints.

Strength dictates the ease of the body to move, especially when overcoming obstacles such as walking on unstable surfaces or over objects.

 

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Read Adele's story of how she got strong enough to walk without her cane!

 

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The Worst Kind of Fall

There’s a condition which is responsible for taking the lives of about one of every four people who suffer from it within one year of developing it. It is something that we’ll all face the risk of, and it affects both men and women as we age.

It’s not heart disease. It’s not diabetes. It’s a hip fracture.

About 1.6 million hip fractures occur yearly, a significant increase from the early 1990s.

Hip fractures largely happen as the result of falls along with osteoporosis. In other words, hip fractures are merely the awful consequence of two ongoing issues: poor balance and weak, hollow bones.

Balance is largely an issue of weakness. A collection of 30 studies found that adults, 65 and older, were at a much greater risk of falling when having very little strength. The individuals with the weakest lower body muscles were 76% more likely to suffer a fall.

For all individuals who did suffer a fall, the ones with the weakest legs were three times more likely to fall again!

 

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Read John's story about how he saved himself from a potentially destructive fall.

 

Does Strength Training Reduce all Risks?

You might be wondering, does strength training address ALL areas that contribute to fractured hips? Does resistance exercise improve bone strength, balance, muscle strength, and reduce fall risk?

Researchers from the Netherlands and Belgium assessed 28 studies using strength training or various types of activity to see what practices are effective for reducing falls and fall risk factors.

Twenty of those studies focused on strength training. Here are the key results:

  • People who strength trained gained strength in every study that measured strength.
  • Those who strength trained improved bone density in the lumbar spine, hip, and thigh in most cases.
  • Strength exercise also led to improvements in walking speed, static balance, and balance while moving.
  • Finally, and perhaps most importantly, fall risk decreased. Two of three studies showed large reductions in the rate of falling when comparing strength training towards other programs.

Hip fractures are a common and life-threatening concern. They happen as a result of several issues: weak bones, poor balance/a high risk of falling, and weak muscles.

Strength training reduces the overall rate of falling and bone fractures because it increases the ability to balance, increases muscle strength, and makes the bones stronger and more resistant.

Stay upright. Stay alive. Strength train today.

 

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References

Cadore, E. L., Casas-Herrero, A., Zambom-Ferraresi, F., Idoate, F., Millor, N., Gómez, M.,…& Izquierdo, M. (2014). Multicomponent exercises including muscle power training enhance muscle mass, power output, and functional outcomes in institutionalized frail nonagenarians. Age, 36(2), 773-785.

El-Khoury, F., Cassou, B., Charles, M. A., & Dargent-Molina, P. (2013). The effect of fall prevention exercise programmes on fall induced injuries in community dwelling older adults: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Bmj, 347, f6234.

Serra‐Rexach, J. A., Bustamante‐Ara, N., Hierro Villarán, M., González Gil, P., Sanz Ibáñez, M. J., Blanco Sanz, N., … & Lucia, A. (2011). Short‐term, light‐to moderate‐intensity exercise training improves leg muscle strength in the oldest old: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society,59(4), 594-602.

International Osteoporosis Foundation. (2017). Facts and statistics. IOF. Retrieved from https://www.iofbonehealth.org/facts-statistics

Moreland, J.D., Richardson, J.A., Goldsmith, C.H., & Clase, C.M. (2004). Muscle weakness and falls in older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 52(7), 1121-1129.

De Kam, D., Smulders, E., Weerdesteyn, V., & Smits-Engelsman, B.C. (2009). Exercise interventions to reduce fall-related fractures and their risk factors in individuals with low bone density: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Osteoporosis International, 20, 2111-2125.

 

10 Reasons You Need to Hire a Personal Trainer

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Imagine spending 4 days a week in the gym for over a year to end up with a knee injury and zero weight loss.

Could be the method. Could be the diet. Or it could be that you didn’t have a Personal Trainer.

To get the most out of your workouts, it's crucial to work with a coach. We’ve put together the top 10 reasons why it's absolutely necessary to have a Personal Trainer if you want long-lasting results.

 

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Working out alone? It’s easy to perform exercises incorrectly without someone watching your form or correcting bad habits. After all, you don’t know what you don’t know and could be exercising with incorrect form every time you’re in the gym.

Working out with a friend? Exercising with someone can be great because it increases your chances of sticking with it. But taking direction from someone who is not Certified is like having your friend “crack your back” instead of getting adjusted by a Chiropractor. Despite the good intentions, neither of you know what you are doing and could be doing more harm than good.

A Certified Personal Trainer should have extensive education on how to safely coach others through an effective workout.

At The Perfect Workout, our certification goes beyond books and heavily involves hands-on training with real people. We test our trainers’ knowledge and expertise with numerous written and practical exams. All Personal Trainers are AED/CPR certified and are required to complete continuing education as part of their employment with The Perfect Workout.

 

Work with a Personal Trainer Today!

 

Have you ever been through a personal training session at a big box gym and were told to warm up on the treadmill for 10 minutes and cool down for 10 more after the workout?

Well, that’s something you could easily do on your own.

A good Personal Trainer will help you use your time and effort wisely by putting you through efficient exercises, not just filling up your session time with any type of movement.

Efficient exercises are brief, intense and performed until muscle success. We use this approach in all of our slow-motion strength training workouts and they are only 20 minutes, two times a week.

 

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Too many of us know firsthand that it's very possible to workout- a lot- and see no results. One of the many valuable things about having a Personal Trainer is they will coach you through exercises that have the potential to get you great results.

Whether you get results is entirely up to you and the effort you put forth. But a Personal Trainer will be the one to guide you to success if you’re willing to give it your all.|

 

Work with a Personal Trainer Today!

 

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Believe it or not, there is a method to exercising safely and effectively. A Personal Trainer will analyze your ability and your performance to decide how to continually challenge you.

This includes how to properly adjust your body to workout equipment, whether or not to increase or decrease range of motion on an exercise, to lower or raise the weight, etc.

The results are in the details, and a Personal Trainer knows what to look for!

 

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Any challenging workout, like slow-motion strength training, is a physical and mental feat. This makes it incredibly easy to talk yourself out of giving your best effort when the exercise becomes tough and your muscles start to burn.

A Personal Trainer is the coach in your corner pushing you to give your absolute best. They become the voice you need when your own starts to deceive you.

 

Work with a Personal Trainer Today!

 

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Chances are you don’t bail on your doctor when you need a checkup, but it's really easy to bail on your workouts when you’re doing them on your own.

Why is that?

Because when you have an appointment on your calendar and another human on the other end of the appointment counting on you to show up, you do it.

By keeping you accountable, they ultimately keep you consistent and consistency breeds results.

 

Unless you’re a doctor, a physical therapist or you’ve been in the fitness industry before, chances are a Personal Trainer knows more about health and fitness than you do.

You wouldn’t try to clean your own teeth instead of going to the Dentist. So why would you try and improve your physical health on your own?

In addition, you learn new things about your body, your health, and your habits when you work with a Personal Trainer. And the more you know, the more opportunities you have to make changes you may need to reach your goals.

 

Work with a Personal Trainer Today!

 

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A Personal trainer makes your workout personal. Everyone’s body, fitness level and abilities are different.

A good personal trainer will not have the 45yr old woman who wants to lose 30lbs do the same exact thing as the 77yr old woman who wants to reverse osteoporosis.

It's necessary to tailor any exercise approach to the individual’s goals.

At The Perfect Workout, your first session with a Personal Trainer dives deep into your goals and health history so we can best help you achieve your health and fitness vision.

 

Walking into a big box gym can be an intimidating experience. You may think others are watching you workout, judging how you look or why you’re lifting weights that way. This makes exercise an uncomfortable experience.

A Personal Trainer is devoted to helping you look and feel your best. You don’t have to worry about what you look like, how little you know about exercise or how many times you’ve failed your diets in the past.

At the Perfect Workout, you’ll work 1-on-1 with a Trainer every single workout and will always be in the comfort of a semi-private studio.

 

When you hire a personal trainer, you sign up for an overall transformation. Losing weight and gaining strength may be the biggest reasons why people start a new program, but gaining confidence, improving mental health and learning to love their bodies, are some of the biggest and best benefits of working with a Trainer.

A Personal Trainer is your built in support system for this journey you’re on and at The Perfect Workout, you’re never at it alone.

At The Perfect Workout, we have an entire team of Personal Trainers ready to help you achieve your goals, and you can work with any of them! In fact, working with more than one Trainer gives you a well-rounded training experience. You never know what you’ll learn from working with someone new!

 

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The 2-Minute Leg Exercise that Reshapes Your Body

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If you could spend two minutes doing something that had the power to drastically reshape your body, would you do it?

We’re talking about the Leg Press. But not just any ol’ Leg Press….

Slow-motion strength training leg press.

 


 

How it works.

The Leg Press Machine is an incredible piece of equipment because it allows you to fully target the biggest muscle groups in the body, the legs and glutes.

Like all slow-motion strength training exercises, you only need to perform it for about 1-2 minutes, assuming you are working with an ideal amount of resistance needed to achieve muscle success within that time frame. 

There are more exercises involved in a full workout, but the leg press is the best investment of your workout time. 

Why?

Because the leg press addresses all major muscles in the entire leg in one brief exercise.

These muscles are the prime movers in the leg press.

  • Gluteus (the buttocks)
  • Quadriceps (front of thigh)
  • Hamstrings (back of thigh)

In addition, there are major lower leg muscles involved, 

  • the gastrocnemius (calves) 
  • tibialis anterior (front)

 

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Before you start the exercise, your Trainer will assess your form checkpoints and the weight you’re pushing to ensure maximum effectiveness.

Upon beginning, you’ll slowly push through your heels, keeping your buttocks down in the seat, pushing each repetition to the point just shy of locking out your knees…check, check, and check. 

The exercise progresses and fatigue starts creeping in. This is a good thing!

Your thighs and buttocks are working hard to get the weight to move slowly on the lowering phase of the repetition. You’re putting in at least 90% of your maximum effort to produce movement on the lifting phase of the last one or two reps. 

Then it happens – movement stops. Even though you’re pushing as hard and as fast as you can, your current repetition ceases to move. Muscle Success. You ease the footplate back until the weight returns to its home on the weight stack, and your leg press set is over. You’re out of breath and your legs are momentarily a little unstable to stand on. 

Exercise complete.

 

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Well, If it's That Easy…

Woah, woah woah.

The exercise is simple, but we never said it was easy.

In fact, any slow-motion strength training exercise is very challenging and should be if we want it to be effective.

One of the hardest hurdles to overcome with SMST, especially the Leg Press is “the burn.”

This is what’s called lactic acid buildup- a totally normal sensation during weight training.

It’s Worth the Burn.

When training to muscle success, the leg press maximizes the amount of muscle fibers that can be used in the exercise. Other leg exercises in your workout simply serve to complement the leg press by putting extra emphasis on individual muscles. 

It’s the leg press’ efficiency that leads to the need for so few lower body exercises. Many people who workout in other “regular” gyms commonly spend 45 minutes to an hour on “leg day,” but the leg portion of a workout at The Perfect Workout often takes less than 10 minutes, largely due to the efficiency and effectiveness of a challenging set on the leg press. 

 

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Who Doesn’t Want a Better Backside?

As far as aesthetics go, the leg press gives shape to two of the most aesthetically driven areas: the thighs and butt. The quadriceps are the main thigh muscles used in the leg press. When you add lean muscle to your thighs, the quads give your thighs an ovular shape. 

The largest buttocks muscle is the gluteus maximus, which is used significantly in the leg press. It covers most of the distance between the bottom of your butt and the lowest point in your lumbar spine. When adding lean muscle to your gluteus maximus, it gives enhanced shape and an improved profile view. 

 

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It’s Improving the Inside too

As far as bone density, the major sites of concern for osteoporosis are the hips and lumbar spine. These are the common sites of fractures in seniors. 

A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine looked at bone density changes in women between 65 and 75 years old following a year of strength training.

During the study, the trend of bone loss that comes with age not only stopped, but also reversed. 

The leg press was the only major lower body exercise performed. In addition, it was credited with helping the lower back, as no direct exercise was performed for the lower back muscles. By improving bone density, the leg press reduces the risk of fractures in high-risk populations. 

This is certainly not an exhaustive list of the benefits associated with the leg press. For example, regular leg press performance has improved athletic measures, quality of life, and decreased arthritis pain in other studies. 

The leg press provides as much or more bang-for-the-buck as any one exercise does. 

If you take anything from this article, let it be this: embrace the leg press. Work until muscle success every time you get on the machine, and think of the intense effort it requires as a medium to get a plethora of desired benefits. 

 

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References

Rhodes, E. C., Martin, A. D., Taunton, J. E., Donnelly, M., Warren, J., & Elliot, J. (2000). Effects of one year of resistance training on the relation between muscular strength and bone density in elderly women. British journal of sports medicine, 34(1), 18-22. 

 

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