Trainer Helps Mother-Daughter Duo lose 40lbs with Virtual Training

Personal Trainer Del Mar CA “You helped me.” “You helped me finally lose the weight.” “You helped me change my life.” These words are magic to a Personal Trainer’s ears and Gary Suka of Del Mar, CA is one of the incredible Trainers at The Perfect Workout helping clients make these changes in their lives – including a mother & daughter who lost 40lbs with Virtual Training. Here’s his story…
Gary Suka was training to become an amateur boxer when he was first introduced to slow-motion strength training. His friend Anna, a Personal Trainer in our Mission Valley studio, put him through a workout, leaving Gary feeling “humbled.” “I was kind of skeptical. I think anyone coming from working out twice a day, six to seven days out of the week would be.” At the time, Gary normally bench-pressed 225lbs. When Anna got him in for his first slow-motion strength training session she gave him a weight of 125 pounds. After just 90 seconds, Gary fatigued out. He couldn’t push anymore. It was at that moment Gary decided to shift his six-days-a-week training protocol to the 20-minute, twice a week approach we offer at The Perfect Workout. “I have not done traditional weightlifting in over five years. I haven't done anything like that. And at the age of 34 I am in the best shape of my entire life.” After a rigorous certification process, Gary joined the team and became a Personal Trainer in our Mission Valley studio. 4 years later, he took over our Del Mar studio as Facility Manager where he still trains today.

A Life Improved

One of Gary’s clients from Mission Valley used to come to her workouts using a walker. She had a frustrating experience at the grocery store where another car blocked her handicap access and she couldn't get up on the curb alone, forcing her to wait until the car left. She told Gary she wanted to be able to tackle that curb if it happened again. A few months down the road, she came back into the studio and she was in tears, smiling. She said, “Gary, I need to share something with you. The same thing happened at the grocery store and I didn't even think twice about it. I just went up to the curbside and stepped up and pushed myself onto the sidewalk!” A lot of us might think that it is a small goal, but those are the meaningful things that many of our clients love. Those are things that they need to improve their quality of life. Fitness Trainer Del Mar CA

Reshaping Bodies Virtually

Gary currently trains a father, mother, and daughter trio. During two months of sheltering at home, Gary was able to help the mother and daughter collectively lose 40 lbs with Virtual Training. “It's a resource during a lot of uncertainty. I really hope that people see the importance of doing Virtual Training.” Most of Gary’s clients have been floored (in a good way!) at their Virtual Training experience and how intense the workouts are. “It brings a lot of value to what we do as a company and our method. You can workout on our Nautilus machines, with your body, or you can use free weights. We truly believe it is the correct way of working out meaningfully.” Watch as Gary coaches a Virtual Training Session!

Who Should Work with Gary?

Everyone! “It doesn't hurt to just try it and you have nothing to lose. And it's going to probably be the most fulfilling thing that you've ever done for yourself. You improve your health and you improve your life.  Together, let's give it a shot!”

The Wakeup Call that Helped Her Get Strong at 71

The wakeup call that helped her get strong at 71

personal trainer 70 women

Most people will wait for something bad to happen to take control of their health.

For some it's getting a scary diagnosis, for others it's watching a loved one struggle with cancer, and for Nancy Pang, it was a painful wakeup call.

The wakeup call

A few years back, Nancy Pang took a nasty fall that resulted in a fractured shoulder. But this wasn’t her first fall.

Previously she had fallen while walking on the cement. Before she could figure out what tripped her up, she suddenly found herself on the ground in pain.

“I fell hard on my right hip and I was black and blue for weeks. I could not walk at first.”

It took Nancy a week to be able to gain the strength to walk around her house, but it was a couple of years before she was walking around normally again.

At the time, she was working an all-consuming job that required her to be on her feet, walking school campuses throughout the day. Not being able to get around easily was a big setback for her.

It was then she realized she couldn’t get through an average day without struggling to walk, and her travel plans may not be possible anymore.

“That was a wakeup call.”

Nancy knew that if she couldn’t manage her own luggage, and walk around easily, especially to some of the European destinations she had plans for, she wasn’t going anywhere.

Nancy decided it was time to gain strength, improve her balance and gain the confidence to do all the things she had set out to do.

In 2017, she joined our SW San Jose Studio and has stuck with it ever since!

the perfect workout client

The accountability of a coach

Sticking with one workout for over 3 years is a big accomplishment for Nancy because it's the longest she’s ever stayed with a fitness program.

One of the biggest factors of Nancy’s consistent success is the accountability of a coach.

At The Perfect Workout, our Certified Personal Trainers are trained to coach every client through a safe and effective workout. This allows our clients to work with any trainer, any time.

“They're all good. So it's a credit to your company to make sure that people are skilled and competent. They know what they're doing.”

Nancy has been working primarily with one trainer, Jeffrey Blockson and loves the careful attention he’s given her during her workouts.

“Jeff is terrific. He's caring. He's mindful and takes things into consideration, which I really appreciate. And he's creative, changes it up all the time, so that it's never the same and doesn't get boring.”

For someone like Nancy, who admittedly gets bored with programs easily, this is an important part of having a coach. She gives Jeffrey a lot of credit for his ability to adapt to her preferences and needs.

She believes his coaching and encouragement have helped her gain more confidence and his knowledge of the body and workout have helped her get an exceptional workout each session.

“Nancy is a trainer's dream! She's very serious, attentive, and persistent, both during and after our sessions. It's always a pleasure working with her, while seeing and hearing about her progression, physically and mentally! She's an amazing example of true strength!” – Jeff Blockson

Her sustainable results

During her time at The Perfect Workout, Nancy has achieved many of the goals she had when she first joined.

She’s lost weight, and improved her strength, her posture, her balance, the arthritis in her hands, and the confidence to avoid another fall.

“I have less of a fear of falling. Because I know I have better muscle tone. I have more confidence in just moving.”

Read one client's story of how he DID fall, and saved himself from injury. ??

avoid falling senior workout

Her attempt to workout on her own

Shelter-in-place was announced and before she knew Virtual Training was an option Nancy thought, “Oh, no, I can't go to my workouts. What am I going to do? I had a real concern about losing all the gains that I've made over the years. And I said, I can't let this happen.”

So when Virtual Training was offered to the Bay Area, Nancy was excited about the opportunity to continue with her personalized workouts. Since starting, she’s been all-in with her at-home workouts with Jeffrey and loves the convenience of them.

“It's such a great solution.”

Many have tried to do these workouts on their own at home, without the guidance of a trainer, and when Nancy tried she quickly learned it was much more difficult to achieve a good workout.

“I have a tough time remembering all the exercises in chronological order. When Jeffrey's there, he's got it ordered and he's selected the exercises so that it's a full, whole body workout. And I'm sitting there going… I don't know if I did that?”

Nancy quickly learned she didn’t exactly know how to piece the workout together, didn’t know how long to go on each exercise or how to push herself to muscle success like her Trainer does.

When her Trainer is there, “he’s watching, counting and encouraging and saying 10 more seconds. Give me one more. And so the intensity goes up. So when I'm doing it by myself, it's much harder to coach yourself.”

Not only is her Trainer there to encourage her, he’s also there to coach her through all the nuances of perfect form, breathing and ideal speed- all while hitting that crucial point in the exercise, muscle success.

After doing the workout on her own, Nancy doesn’t think it's nearly as effective as working with her Trainer.

“Once I lose form, I’m not really spending my time well. I'm not getting the same benefits.”

And she doesn’t think that she would actually keep up with the workouts if she didn't have that accountability piece.

“That would be easy to just say, oh, I'll do it tomorrow and then tomorrow comes… are you going to do it tomorrow?”

Having the scheduled, paid-for workout on her calendar at a specific time and a Trainer waiting for her, makes her show up each time. If she doesn’t, she knows it's her loss.

“With this program. I call it an investment in myself. And as I age, I don't want to be what I've seen others become. Which is not being able to walk, not being able to pick up my own luggage, pick up my own groceries without the difficulty of falling. It's very damaging when we fall now. At my age, it takes a whole lot longer to recover.

Nancy Pang

She's not going anywhere

The benefits of slow-motion strength training are endless and it's a workout you can do well into your 70s, 80s, and even 90s. You can’t say that a lot about a lot of other workouts.

“Because it's safe and you're not throwing weights around. You're not trying to pick up something that's heavier than you can really safely manage. And so that's key because like I said, we injure ourselves, then it takes a long time to repair.

I've stuck with it. I'm not going anywhere.”

Proof Virtual Training Works

Proof virtual training works

Personal Trainer Carlsbad CA

Virtual Training sounds great and all, but do you actually have proof it works?

Of course we do.

In March 2020 our entire company pivoted to Virtual Personal Training as a means to keep our clients on track with their fitness goals and continue providing safe, effective workouts. There was a lot of unknown about how to stay connected, challenge our clients and quantify results back then.

We’ve been confident about our ability to provide life-changing Personal Training to our clients for over 20 years. Even a global pandemic couldn’t change that.

Since March we’ve coached over 26,000 Virtual Training sessions and are happy to share some of the results our clients have experienced from this new program.

Wait. How does Virtual Training actually work?

The first step is to learn about our method, which is a defining factor for an effective workout, even virtually. This begins with an introductory call with a Personal Trainer, followed by an Introductory session. Learn More about the Intro here.

The second step is to schedule weekly sessions with a Personal Trainer where they will guide and hold you accountable with your customized, safe, and effective slow-motion strength training program.

The third step is to show up consistently, work hard and watch your strength improve and your feeling of accomplishment grow every single week!

To learn even more about our Virtual Training program, click here. And to get started with your FREE Introductory call, click here.

Strength Training Carlsbad CA

These women are getting strong

Our client Christine Gandel, who lives in Montana- nowhere near The Perfect Workout studios- began Virtual Training the moment we began to offer it. Having been a past client in Menlo Park, CA she knew this was the best workout for her. Now it's an option for her anytime, anyplace.

Since beginning virtual training Christine has increased her strength on:

  • Bicep Curls by 25%
  • Overhead tricep extension by 33%
  • Chest press by 19% (Matrix machines)
  • Leg extension by 20% (Matrix machines)
  • Lat Pull down by 10% (Matrix machines)

“I’ve definitely noticed that my muscles are more defined since restarting with virtual training. Walking up stairs is easier and I’m stronger since my weights have increased. I’m glad I can stick with the twice weekly sessions and that I have someone to direct my training to work around the health issues that come up from time to time.” – Christine G.

Personal Trainers in Carlsbad CA

Registered Nurse, Lori Grosse from TX is thrilled to be back in the studio and part of the excitement is that she has been able to get even stronger over the past few months.

Lori trained with her Personal Trainer virtually for 8 weeks, and since she’s been back in the studio, she’s been able to pick up exactly where she left off, and then some.

Lori has increased her strength on every single exercise, and her results have even convinced a friend to join!

Strength Trainer in Carlsbad CA
Strength Trainers in Carlsbad CA

“I am thoroughly enjoying my virtual workout with Alyssa. Following the studio closure I did not start the virtual training for several weeks. I remember how I felt at that time and the training has given me more energy. I know that I am gaining strength because I am able to perform the exercises better and longer. Alyssa has had to adapt to make some of them more difficult as I advanced. I am looking forward to returning to the studio when open but definitely feel much more energized and stronger than if I had not been doing the virtual training.” – Brucie Melvin

Strength Trainer Carlsbad CA

This professor is losing weight

Remember Frances from Chicago? If not, be sure to check out her story here. At age 64, Frances has been successful at losing weight, gaining strength and aging with confidence with a simple solution… slow-motion strength training, and she did it virtually,

In addition to losing 9 lbs during quarantine (which is a lot! See photo below) She’s also successfully maintained her strength on every machine as well as adding strength to her Leg Press weight by 10lbs. These are the biggest muscles in the body which have the greatest impact on the body’s ability to burn more calories.

Personal Trainer in Carlsbad CA
Personal Trainers Carlsbad CA

The guys are getting gains too

Rich Turner, a long time client from Del Mar, CA has been able to make his lifelong passion of running possible again with slow-motion strength training. Read more here. So how has Virtual Training fared for him?

Rich has maintained strength on every machine as a result of his at-home workouts with a Personal Trainer. He was also immediately able to lift more on the Chest Press machine when he returned to the studio than he was able to pre-COVID. Those slow-motion pushups definitely paid off!

“I believe that Virtual Training helped because the improvised weights challenged me to think more about form and made me stronger in multiple directions. Mind-muscle connection became quicker, easier to achieve.” – Lin Rowland

“I’m more flexible than before. The isometrics are moving me in ways that I wasn’t before, and I’m noticing those effects.” – Doug McGrath

Personal Training Carlsbad CA

They didn't lose any progress.

A Note from our Virtual Training Manager:

“I think what really has been cool to see is all of the clients who were doing Virtual Training have picked up right where they left off. I haven't had to bring weights down except for maybe one or two machines for any client.

There were clients who came in the next session [after returning to the studios], I had to raise their weight because they went longer on those machines. It was like they never left.

Those who did Virtual Training didn't skip a beat. They didn't lose any progress.” – Hannah McKinley

How do we know all of these details about our clients?

We track your progress, diligently.

The 3 pillars of exercise and what we provide at The Perfect Workout are safety, efficiency and effectiveness. We track all the details of your workout including seat settings, positioning, weight/resistance, time spent on exercises, and even how many pillows you need under your neck to establish comfort and proper form. We do all of this to ensure your sessions are safe, they produce results, and are completed in 20 minutes.

We keep track of all of the details so you don’t have to.

Get the energy and strength you need to be healthy, active, and live your best life! From anywhere, anytime with our Virtual Training Program.

Overcoming the Wheelchair to Walking Tall & Training Others to Get Stronger

Overcoming the wheelchair to walking tall & training others to get stronger

At age 13, Doctors told her she’d lose the ability to walk without assistance by 16.

Hannah McKinley was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie Tooth, a neurological syndrome that was sending her down a path to being wheelchair bound and becoming dependent on others.

With the help of slow-motion strength training and her own personal trainers, Hannah has been able to avoid walkers and wheelchairs, is stronger than ever, and is one of the leading Trainers at The Perfect Workout.

The diagnosis

Charcot-Marie Tooth Syndrome targets the nerves down Hannah’s back, causing them to become enlarged which affects how her muscles grow and causes muscle atrophy.

Doctors predicted that by the time she was 16, Hannah wouldn’t be able to walk, at least without some kind of assistance. Because there is no cure for this syndrome, they chose options to slow down the decline.

Hannah went through a double hamstring and calf surgery to lengthen the muscles. The surgery put her in boots, braces and casts all the way up to her hips. The Doctor told her the surgeries would slow muscle atrophy down for now, but what would keep her out of a wheelchair was continual strength training and flexibility.

“I didn’t want to graduate high school in a wheelchair. I didn’t want to go down the aisle for my wedding in a wheelchair. So I worked really hard.”

Hannah worked with a lot of Physical Therapists and Personal Trainers to gain strength and flexibility. They helped her build up her strength physically as well as emotionally.

“There were a lot of people cheering me on. And that's what really made the biggest difference.”

Maintaining strength on her own

“After all of the surgeries, I was in the recovery and building stage. I remember going into a gym and it was overwhelming. I didn't know really what to do or what would be beneficial for me other than the physical therapy exercises that I had on my little sheet of paper.”

Hannah began to talk with some of the Personal Trainers at the gym and received guidance on what exercises that would target specific areas of the body she wanted to work on.

“It kind of helped me build confidence and also be able to do my own research to see what would be effective.”

That research ultimately led her to discover slow-motion strength training which has become Hannah’s chosen method of exercise.

“This is my savior when it comes to being stronger, because what I was doing before worked, but it wasn't efficient. Now I'm actually stronger. A lot of people with my disorder can't say that they're stronger than when they were before or when they were diagnosed. And so it allows me to get that strength in a safe way and an effective way.”

The client becomes the trainer

Having had such an impactful experience with her own Personal Trainers and what seemed like the perfect workout for people battling similar issues, Hannah decided to become a Personal Trainer herself.

She joined with The Perfect Workout in Wilmette, IL and ultimately moved to the Dallas Ft. Worth area where she continues to train clients today.

One client in particular has been working with Hannah for a little over a year and has achieved big results such as losing 50 pounds and gaining a ton of strength.

Hannah wanted to show her client just how strong she’s gotten over the course of a year. So, she put her through what we call the “3rd Leg Press Test.”

She had her client do the Leg Press exercise using the same weight she started with at The Perfect Workout with, which was 200lbs.

The weight flew out so fast it shocked her client!

Why was she so shocked?

Because this client is now pushing just shy of 400lbs on the same exercise. She got to physically feel how much stronger she had become from her 20-minute sessions with Hannah.

“It was so fun. It was incredible. She was blown away.”

Her weapon against decline

Recently, Hannah and her husband went on a 10-mile walk around her local lake. They never intended to walk that far but it naturally happened as they were walking, talking and having a good time.

From being told she’d need a walker or a wheelchair to be able to walk in her adult life to having the strength and stamina to casually complete a 10-mile walk, a big milestone.

“It's moments like that. That makes me incredibly thankful for where I'm at right now.”

If Hannah did not have the strength she has now, she’s convinced there would be a lot of things she couldn’t do. Slow-motion strength training has made it possible for her to enjoy life.

Her syndrome may be degenerative but Hannah doesn’t plan on going down without a fight, doing whatever she can to hold off decline as long as possible.

“Slow-motion strength training is my main weapon against it.”

A pioneer in our virtual training

In October 2019, Hannah’s parents visited her from out of state.

Her mom, Robin Lancaster, has Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and it's always been a little bit of a struggle for her to maintain her fitness.

So when they came to visit, Hannah decided to put her mom through a workout in the studio. Robin loved the workout and wanted to continue with it but The Perfect Workout currently doesn’t have locations in North Carolina.

This gave Hannah the idea to train her virtually.

After some trial and error, they figured out how Robin could do slow-motion strength training with limited equipment and the live coaching from Hannah over the computer.

From October 2019 to March 2020, Robin lost 15 pounds, she’s improved her strength drastically and improved her quality of life in everyday activities.

“She feels like she can enjoy being out in the yard and doing what she wants to do. She's even got [muscle] definition. She said she's never seen that before.”

What Hannah didn’t know was that she and her mom were laying the groundwork for what would become The Perfect Workout’s Virtual Training Program.

When COVID hit the world, Hannah and Robin had proven that there was still a way to stay strong, healthy and lose weight by doing slow-motion strength training, virtually. And Hannah was prepared to share it with the world.

“It’s been really fun to make that transition. It was creative. And then with every other trainer being on board with it, we got to kind of pick each other's brains and [create] the perfect product.”

She's making tomorrow count

“No matter who you are, or where you're at in life, find the time to invest in your health because life is short. We don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. So take the time to invest in the quality of your life.”

Hannah genuinely believes one of the best ways we can do that is slow-motion strength training, because you get your time back- something you really can't buy.

Being a part of The Perfect Workout has been an incredible experience for Hannah, and now as the Manager of our Virtual Training Program she will be able to be a part of the team no matter where life takes her.

“I want to stay with this company for as long as I can. I don't think I've ever worked for a company that I feel truly cares about me as a person and cares about me as an employee.”

Make time for Health, or Make Time for Being Sick

Make time for health, or make time for being sick

Nobody schedules time to “Be Sick” on their calendar!

But as our client Marcia says, “If you don’t make time for being well, you make time for being sick.”

So, schedule 20 minutes on your calendar this week to “Be Healthy.” and keep reading for more…

Marcia Farrar wanted to get stronger for her active and adventurous lifestyle. As an avid international traveler she wanted to have the strength to lift her luggage into the overhead bin on her flights.

As well as traveling, Marcia wanted to be able to keep up with the adventures of grandparenting. With two growing granddaughters it's important to her to be able to play with them, keep up with their high energy and have the strength to lift them up.

But Marcia was missing the strength to be able to do all of those long-term.

She knew she needed to start strength-training but the typical gym atmosphere was not a good fit for her. Hearing limitations made it challenging for Marcia to hear in a big gym with loud music and a lot of background noise.

And frankly, she just didn’t care for the gym in general.

“I didn't like the circuit having to wait for things. Also I would be so close to my house, I would see people that I know and then I would start talking with people. And then I would be there for like two hours!”

She needed something that would get her stronger, cater to her needs and not take hours out of her day.

In April 2017 Marcia heard an ad on the radio talking about a workout that was 20 minutes, twice a week.

“I thought, wow, that sounds pretty good. Anything that I have to do three times a week, it's so much more difficult than twice a week. And 20 minutes was also a great length of time for a workout.”

So she joined the Walnut Creek studio at The Perfect Workout and has been with us ever since.

Personal Trainers Walnut Creek CA

Adventures in her 60's

Marcia’s been with The Perfect Workout for over 3 years and has become stronger in all areas. Strength training has helped her continue her adventures of swimming, hiking, and traveling.

“I feel stronger, especially arm strength. Carrying groceries, riding a bicycle, I can go up hills a little further than I used to. I just feel like I have more energy.”

Marcia is a member of a senior hiking club where she goes on 6-9 mile hikes with others in their 60s and 70s.

Her 20 minute strength training sessions have helped her keep up with her hiking crew and have given her the ability to maintain the activities she loves.

“I have more stamina for those things. All of it was enhanced.”

Virtual Strength Training Client on a stand up paddleboard in Walnut Creek, CA

Consistency in her workouts

In her 3 years of slow-motion strength training at The Perfect Workout, Marcia has not missed a single session (except for being out of town- which we now have a solution for that!).

And this included working out through two foot surgeries. Each time she was operated on, she was able to return immediately to her workouts to which her trainer adapted to her recovery and customized the workout.

Being able to continue with her personal training sessions during a time where it's common and convenient to be sedentary, helped Marcia mentally, physically, and emotionally.

“Just to know that I was staying fit while I was convalescing- because I couldn't walk distances- was good for me.”

Every trainer Marcia has worked with has treated her as an individual and personalized the experience for her specific needs.

“There's some things- I have arthritis in my hands, they'll give me a splint or something on top of certain equipment. [They] will modify exercises or think of new ones for me for a greater challenge. [They] make sure that I'm safe.”

Personal Training Walnut Creek CA

Her lifetime health plan

By working out with a Personal Trainer and using our slow-motion method, Marcia knows she’s doing something safe, yet challenging and in such a brief, convenient way.

“It's well worth the expense. It's really worth it because if you don't make time for being well, then you have to make time for being sick. I need to keep doing this for maintenance. It's a lifetime thing. You don't just do it for a short term goal. This is a lifetime health plan.

At The Perfect Workout we know you want to avoid age-related pain, injury or health issues, and keep up with loved ones.

But in order to do that, you need to get stronger, gain energy, and have a workout you can stick with.

Would you have the strength to avoid a Debilitating Fall? He did.

Would you have the strength to avoid a debilitating fall? He did.

One of the biggest fears seniors have is taking a fall that will negatively change the course of their life.

A few of John Abel’s friends had experienced falls that left them either disabled in a wheelchair or battling a stroke. Falling became very possible and scarier than ever for John.

One day John slipped on black ice, before he knew it his feet were out from beneath him and he found himself on the ground… but he caught himself.

The strength he gained throughout his entire body at The Perfect Workout had prevented him from hitting his head, fracturing his hip, or worse.

John and his incredible story will show you how he was able to tackle one of his biggest fears and make more health improvements in just 6 months at The Perfect Workout than he ever did during 6 years at his previous gym.

Six years of exercise. Zero impact.

John spent six years doing 45-minute workouts, 3 days a week with a personal trainer at a “big box gym.” Their sessions were mostly focused on cardio rather than strength training.

“It didn’t really have any impact.”

He was prediabetic when he began at the big box gym, thinking “I’ll do this to hold my diabetes in check.” His diabetes didn’t get better.

He had hoped to lose weight. He ended up gaining 15 pounds.

He was hoping to get off some of the medications he was on. That didn’t happen.

At the end of 6 years, his contract was up. John, his wife, and their friend decided to leave and go somewhere they could actually get results.

Fitness Trainer Falls Church

He found his solution.

John did his research and discovered The Perfect Workout in Falls Church, VA near him.

“I’ll tell ya I was skeptical. Going from 45 minutes where they were pounding you really hard to 20… I was skeptical. How can it be 20 minutes? How can 10 machines or so make a difference? This is gonna be not intense enough for me. We went. We really liked it.”

He told himself to try it for two or three months and if it didn't work out he’d move on to something else.

It’s been four years since John joined The Perfect Workout and he’s very happy with the changes he’s experienced in his health.

Within the past few years, there was a particularly impactul period of 6 months where John saw the most changes.

In regards to his strength he:

  • Increased his Leg Press Weight from 290lbs to 525lbs
  • Increased his Preacher Curl (biceps) weight from 70lbs to 90lbs
  • Increased his Tricep Extension weight by 20lbs.


“I got a lot stronger.”

After getting bloodwork done in December of 2019, John realized his health was getting better and better:

His cholesterol went down from 200 to 147
His A1C went down from 6.8 to 5.7
His blood pressure dropped by at least 20 points
He’s lost the 15lbs he gained prior to The Perfect Workout

Personal Trainer Falls Church

“My doctor said, ‘I don’t think you need the antidepressant anymore.’ So I got off the antidepressant.”

Both his Doctor and Cardiologist were stunned. They said ‘Whatever you’re doing, continue doing it.”

Faced with a deathly fear.

“For me, I’m 77 years old, to be older, strength is important. I’ve had two medical doctors tell me ‘It really is important that you do strength training.”’

One of the big reasons why strength is so important as an elderly person is to be able to prevent something John is deathly afraid of: falling.

“I’ve known three guys that were business associates that fell and hit their head on something else. One guy fell and hit his head on a desk. One guy fell and hit his head on a step. And then they had strokes or something like a stroke, brain hemorrhage of some sort. They all became disabled, in wheelchairs and stuff like that.
I’m deathly afraid of that.”

About 2 1/2 years after starting The Perfect Workout, John was walking up the stairs in front of his house in the middle of winter. He couldn’t see it, but there was black ice right outside his door.

He had just put on his shoes and they were still warm from sitting inside. With one step, his feet went flying.

“I felt my core tighten up and I caught myself with one hand! And I basically just ended up sitting down! If I hadn’t done that, I would’ve hit my head and I would’ve had the same problem that these other three people have.”

Having the ability to catch himself and not bang his head on the concrete stunned him.

“That’s another reason why I think strength training is really important. Being aware of your core. I see a lot of people my age and they can’t get out of a chair. They can’t get up out of a chair without holding onto a chair or without someone helping them up. I don’t wanna be that. I don’t wanna be that person.”

Strength Trainer Falls Church

No stopping him now.

Once you know how much your life has been changed by such a simple solution of working out twice a week, you don’t stop.

So, when Virginia went on lockdown, John transitioned to Virtual Training. But he was skeptical about starting that too.

“The first few times I thought, Man, I really miss the machines. After about the first two sessions, I’ve gotten into it. It’s easy. There’s no commute. You’re right there in your house. I don’t really need any more equipment. You’ve got the floor, you’ve got walls, you've got the chair, your body, and you have some weights. So, I’m good. “

Having the ability to train virtually is a relief for John now and in the future. “ I think it really does matter in terms of being on vacation or traveling to other places where they may not have a studio, it’s a good idea. It works a lot better than I thought it would. And it’s WAY better than doing nothing.”

Getting older is inevitable, but losing strength, independence and the ability to do what you want to do is not.

If two, 20 minute workouts can help John lower his cholesterol, lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels, lose 15lbs, go off antidepressants and prevent a devastating fall, imagine what they can do for you.

At 80 Years Young, Strength Training is Her Anti-Aging Tool

at 80 years young, strength training is her anti-aging tool

Strength Training Menlo Park CA

When you’re in your 20’s you worry about what your career will look like, who you’ll marry and how many kids you’ll have.

When you’re in your 40’s you worry about having enough saved up for retirement and where the kids will go to college, if they go to college.

When you’re in your 60’s you worry about being able to have the energy to travel, keep up with your grandkids, or be healthy enough to face the challenges old-age like Mom and Dad have.

What will you worry about when you’re 80?

If you’ve taken your health seriously like Christine Gandel, losing strength and declining with age won't be worries at the top of your list.

she wanted to get stronger, not softer.

Christine Gandel joined The Perfect Workout in 2014 while living in a senior living facility in Palo Alto, CA.

She began to notice she was getting a little bit “flabby” and needed to do something about it.

When she saw an ad for The Perfect Workout she thought to herself, “Well, I could do that. It's probably worth trying. I tried it and I liked it, and I've been in it ever since.”

After joining the program, Christine noticed changes right away.

“I was getting stronger and feeling like I could lift suitcases and put them in airplanes. That kind of stuff.”

She had been traveling from California to Montana quite a bit to see her daughter, so having the strength to be able to keep up with that lifestyle was important to her.

Personal Trainer Menlo Park CA

Partway through her time with the Menlo Park Studio, Christine had open heart surgery. She was only out for a month or two before bouncing back and working out again with her Personal Trainers.

An interesting study shows that seniors who “trained” for their surgeries, recovered faster.

And that’s exactly what Christine did. She didn’t know that she was going to have open-heart surgery, her goal was to get stronger. But having strengthened her body and immune system with slow-motion strength training, she was able to endure a serious surgery and recover quickly.

Fitness Trainer Menlo Park CA

she wanted to workout no matter what.

Shortly after regaining her pre-surgery strength, Christine made the move from California to Montana to be closer to her daughter.

The downside, The Perfect Workout didn’t have any studios in Montana.

Christine knew how vital her strength training routine was to her health and preventing age-related health issues, so she took it upon herself to try working out on her own.

She grabbed her copy of Fast Fitness at Home and did her best to perform slow-motion strength training at the gym in her new senior-living facility.

Strength Trainer Menlo Park CA

“It was easy to get on the machines and set the weights and do something. It wasn't easy to stick with it on a regular basis because I didn't have appointments.”

It was also challenging for Christine to know whether her form was right or when to raise the weights. When she was training in the Menlo Park studio she didn’t have to think about all of those things during her workouts.

She missed the coaching from her Trainer.

Christine had been working out on her own for about 4 months when COVID hit, which tilted in her favor when it came to exercising.

“Then you started the virtual workouts and I thought, Aha. This has been a blessing to be able to go back. I took it up right away.”

Now, Christine trains with us all the way from Bozeman, Montana. She’s been working hard at her twice a week regimen with her Trainer, Deja Osbourne from the Bay Area in California.

“We've worked out a good system. I've been able to go down to the gym and use some of the machines and use the weights. The kind of exercises that I'm doing are a lot more intense.”

She no longer has to wonder “how much weight I should do? When do I add weight or adjust the machines? Is my form correct? Did I just hit muscle success?”

That's one of the beautiful things about having a trainer with you whether it's in the studio or virtually. You don't necessarily need to think about what's going to get you to muscle success. You just have to push. You just have to be the one to do the work, but you don't need to think about all the details that go into it.

“I would love it if they had a studio here, but now that I can do it here, maybe I don't care.”

Personal Trainers Menlo Park CA

she wanted to avoid the struggle of old-age.

Christine’s bone density levels have been flirting with osteoporosis for as long as she can remember. Even though she’s never been officially diagnosed, it's always been on her mind.

“Hip fractures when you're 80 are not pleasant. I want to make sure that that doesn't happen.”

By doing slow-motion strength training, Christine is adding lean muscle-tissue and bone density to her body which fights sarcopenia, osteoporosis, immobility, balance issues, poor posture, and many more issues senior women face.

Personal Training Menlo Park CA

When Christine first joined The Perfect Workout her goal was to get stronger, not softer and that hasn’t changed one bit.

“When you get to be my age, you're worried about that pretty easily. I look at all the people around me because I do live in a senior living community and I see them limping around, and using walkers, and bad backs, and all this stuff. I think as long as I can do this and stay away from it, that's great.

At 80 years young, Christine has a lot of people telling her, “You don't look your age. You don't act your age.” and she intends to keep it that way with strength training as her anti-aging tool.

Fitness Training Menlo Park CA

The Perfect Workout offers the most sustainable strength training program and is something she can continue to do for as long as her body allows her to.

Now, that Christine can continue her workouts with a Personal Trainer, anywhere, anyplace, she doesn’t ever plan on stopping.

Diagnosed with Osteoporosis & Determined to Get off Meds

diagnosed with osteoporosis & determined to get off meds

female client, lori Grosse on a ladder smiling for the camera

There’s a silent disease that is affecting about 54 million Americans right now.

You can’t see it.
You can’t feel it.
But it’s there.

A year and a half ago, Doctors told Lori Grosse she had it too.

“I was diagnosed with Osteoporosis.”

In this feature, we sit down with Lori Grosse of Lake City, TX to hear her story of going from scared to hopeful about healing her Osteoporosis holistically at The Perfect Workout.

Watch the video below for Lori's full story!

Lori joined our Clear Lake studio in February 2020 and had been training with us for a matter of weeks before the entire country went on COVID lockdown.

She immediately fell in love with the entire program– her workouts, her trainer and the quick results she was experiencing.

“I think it’s great. I think it’s exactly what I needed. I wish I could’ve gotten started a year ago, two years ago!”

Lori felt like it was really important she keep up with her workouts and was committed no matter what. She made the switch to Virtual Training, just weeks into her program.

“I was so grateful when the studio closed that Virtual was an option. I didn’t have to miss even one day of my twice a week workouts.”

Her commitment to staying consistent stemmed from an impactful diagnosis she received about a year and a half ago. Lori was diagnosed with Osteoporosis.

“I should’ve known it was coming, but you keep thinking, “Oh, I’ll just stay active, and if I stay active, I’m doing what I need to do for my bone health. But when I got the diagnosis, it literally scared me.”

"Oh, I'll just stay active. I'm doing what i need to do to do what i can for my bone health.
But when I got the diagnosis, it literally scared me."

As a Labor and Delivery Nurse Lori naturally began researching and analyzing her diagnosis.

What would her health look like?
What injuries would she face?
What was her life expectancy???

This was heavy stuff.

Lori was prepared to fight the decline. She was ready to build core strength and tackle her number one goal, build bone density.

female client with her husband smiling for the camera

Osteoporosis had been on her radar but before actually getting diagnosed, Lori thought she had been doing what it took to prevent it by staying “active.”

She had been doing activities like walking, stair climbing, gardening, all the things that we classify as recreation… not exercise. (Learn about the difference between the two)

Sure, she had been great about moving her body, but she wasn’t actively strengthening it.

“It’s become so apparent to me, that was nothing! I was doing NO-THING to help myself.”

Lori first began to notice her body becoming weaker during a job commute three years ago… she calls this her “downward spiral.”

She had been commuting an hour each way, five days a week and often left her too busy to exercise. She felt like the job and the commute were killing her, and she knew she needed to make some changes.

Commuting can be the ultimate time-suck, making it challenging to get regular workouts in. Here’s how you can get the strength training you need, in 20 minutes, twice a week… from anywhere. Even Lori says, “If I was still working 40 hours a week now, I could still do these workouts.”

“I was just getting weaker and weaker to the point where I was nervous doing certain things, thinking, ‘I’m gonna fall. If I fall, am I going to break a bone? If I break a bone, I’m in big trouble.”

She needed strength training.

Lori had very little experience with strength training and hired a personal trainer… which lasted one day.

“I warned him about some issues I have with my SI joint and hip and just different quirks about my body that I was very aware of that caused me difficulty and he injured me.”

Ever been injured by a trainer? We take your safety VERY seriously. Here’s how:

female client doing a preacher curl and a list of what our personal trainers do

Lori worked out with that trainer at a regular gym for one day, and it took her weeks to recover from that injury. So, she never went back.

She explains that she isn’t even sure what exercise they were doing but she was pushed way too hard for what she was safely able to do and it resulted in a strained muscle.

“I can’t go back. If I go back, I’ll get injured. I’m not willing to do that”

Female client with her daughter on her back

So when she saw an ad for The Perfect Workout she thought, “That sounds like exactly what I need. It was designed for me. Where have you been? How come I didn’t know about you?”

She was thrilled when she learned more about our slow-motion strength training program and that it was designed for someone exactly like her, with safety being a major feature.

Our Personal Trainers offer more than just a workout. Each trainer is certified to provide personalized attention, guidance on how to do each exercise, adaptations to the workout, accountability, and expert coaching.

Having had such a negative personal training experience before and being a nurse, Lori did a lot of research on The Perfect Workout and our slow-motion method before coming in.

“It made perfectly logical sense and I wasn’t afraid at all.”

In fact, Lori was so impressed with the Personal Trainers at The Perfect Workout in her Introductory Session that she knew she was going to join before she even began her own workout!

“I heard Jonathan, who ended up being my trainer, in the background working with another client in another room. I couldn’t see them. I didn’t know what they were doing. But I could just tell by the way he was speaking with her that the focus, number one, was safety.

If I hadn’t done anything else but listen to the coaching, I probably still would’ve signed up because that was so significant to me.”

Lori’s prior experience with a Personal Trainer at another gym left her feeling like the trainer wasn’t listening to her and didn’t understand what needed to be done to address her injuries.

But when she went through her first session with Jonathan in the Clear Lake studio, she knew he was listening. He was constantly checking in with her and asking for feedback, “Is that hurting you? Do you feel any pinching? How does that feel to you?”

male personal trainer

The constant feedback of give and take was something Lori felt like she had never received before. She is happy that it has continued in every session since.

“I have to say, it’s not any different at all. He’s still making comments regarding my form or my placement of my feet or how I’m standing. I’m working with some resistance bands so he can tell whether or not I’m in a good position and if I need to change it. It’s not any different. It’s just different equipment.”

The consistency and the coaching mean everything to Lori. She knows what to expect during her workouts, she knows her Trainer is going to challenge her while keeping her safe, and she knows this workout is having a positive impact on her body and her health.

“The improvement in my physical strength was probably apparent within two weeks.”

One day Lori was doing yard work with her kids. Her son is into martial arts and her two girls are active gym-goers and all three of them could tell the difference in her strength. She was showing them her muscles and moving a wheelbarrow full of soil across the yard and not struggling.

female client working in her front yard

“It’s something I probably would not have been able to do two or three weeks prior to that.”

In addition to having the strength to push the wheelbarrow, Lori noticed her stabilization and footing had already improved too. Prior to her strength training sessions, she had been nervous to walk across her rock garden which is filled with large stones.

“I was literally afraid to walk on those stones before.”

Just weeks later, and a handful of sessions into her program, Lori was able to tackle that rock garden without feeling nervous at all.

“My stability, my muscular strength that allows me to purposely step and hold a position vs. just going whichever way I happen to be going. That’s phenomenal!”

All kinds of everyday activities seemed to be getting easier for Lori like vacuuming and emptying the dishwasher.

“Previously, it would take me a lot longer to empty the dishwasher because I didn’t carry a large number of plates or dishes at any one time. Now, I can literally take five or six plates, hold them, get a couple of other things in this hand and walk over.”

female client cooking in her kitchen

After that first couple of weeks Lori thought “Wow, if this is how I feel at two weeks in, then I’m pretty sure that by the end of the summer, I’m going to be in a way better position.”

That includes strengthening her bones too, which is Lori’s ultimate goal.

Another big goal of hers is to get off her Osteoporosis medication. Having helped many clients over the years do this, we feel pretty confident that Lori will be able to too.

Watch this POWERFUL video from our client Patty Barette who was able to avoid going on medication and eliminated Osteoporosis in her spine.

Both Virginia & Susan, clients at The Perfect Workout have also been able to remedy their Osteoporosis through our Slow-Motion Strength Training!

female client holding her grandchild
female client testimonial

Rather than getting a prescription for medication, Lori wishes her physicians prescribed her slow-motion strength training.

“If they had said to me, ‘There is a group called The Perfect Workout that is designed for women with osteoporosis. It’ll only take you two times a week for 20 minutes.’ I would have said, ‘Give me the info!’”

We agree that everyone should be doing this method, especially anyone concerned about losing bone density!

Starting at ages 25-30, we’re losing muscle, mass, and bone every year. So whether you’re just in maintenance mode or actively trying to build strength, strength training is definitely a lifelong lifestyle.

This is what sets us apart from many other workouts. You can actually do this forever. And you can’t say that about many other methods.

We are excited to support and coach Lori so that she is able to experience major improvements in her strength, health and bone density.

“I feel stronger and more capable and have more energy. I wish I would’ve known about it earlier.”

Start increasing your strength today.

Know someone who is at risk for Osteoporosis?

Share this feature with them!

At 66, Strength Training is Making a Lifelong Passion Possible Again

at 66, strength training is making a lifelong passion possible again

male client of the perfect workout smiling for the camera

Rich Turner’s passion was running. But after 25 years and thousands of miles, injuries from running started to shut his body down.

After giving up his love of running and undergoing knee surgeries, Rich Turner had come to terms that running might not ever be possible for him again.

Now, 10 years later at age 66, he’s gained the strength and the stamina to run every day. A gift he never expected to get.

For almost three years, Rich has been training at The Perfect Workout Del Mar, Ca.

He had recently retired and had been toying around with the idea of getting into strength training. Rich had been a lifelong runner and had learned that we lose strength and muscle over time, even though he wasn’t necessarily feeling it or seeing it yet. He wanted the ability to maintain an active lifestyle, especially now that he had entered retirement.

Knowing that he needed to start building strength, having a knee issue and being turned off from typical gyms became the perfect storm for him to try The Perfect Workout.

The idea of going to a “gym” was a pretty big deterrent for Rich. His previous experiences with major gyms- being crowded, loud, lots of overlap on equipment, and often a young crowd– well needless to say over time, he became less and less likely to go to one.

The only gym membership he had was at a 24-hour Fitness and all he ever used it for was a shower so he could run at lunch or before work!

Gyms were the antithesis of his experience, as he put it. He felt like it was a grind, something people forced themselves to do. The environment was not at all what he was looking for.

rich turner male client standing in front a building

“I needed something where I could focus and concentrate just on whatever my personal objectives were, and not necessarily so I can gauge them against a 25-year-old standing next to me on the same machine.”

Rich remembered seeing ads for The Perfect Workout and realized how close the Del Mar studio was to his home and that the workout was only 20 minutes. The convenience of it ultimately sparked his decision to come in for his Intro session.

“The first session is great! There was a lot of conversation, a little bit of an interview on goals, we had a lot of time on each of the apparatus (Nautilus machines) as well. We were able to talk about how each exercise was addressing what muscle groups and how this would proceed in future sessions.”

Rich loved his first session, loved the vibe of the studio and could see that the pace of the session would be to his liking. It was the fit he was hoping for.

After going through the workout and the coaching from his Trainer, he realized the hardest part was simply getting to the studio for the first time.

The hardest part for any of us! Trying anything new can be as easy as taking that first step through the doors of our studios… and it's worth it.

Because the second you enter the studio or show up on a zoom call for your Introductory Session, you’re walked through everything, every step of the way. That’s one of the most valuable aspects in what we provide with our 1-on-1 training. You don’t have to think about it, you don’t have to know any of this, we’ll teach you what you need to know and hold your hand throughout the process.

Rich agreed and made a really interesting observation about himself and many of the other clients he got to know at the Del Mar studio.

"There are a lot of people who have been very successful. A number of people have led companies, done interesting things.. but we all seem to have something in common:

We need to be led."

Having been a leader himself, Rich found he really wanted to be led too.

“It’s very, very helpful to just hand the baton over to Tim (trainer) and just say, ‘I’m going to kind of blank out here and do exactly what you tell me for 20 minutes.’”

He continued to tell me how helpful it is to be led, and some of that comes with the ability to develop trust with the Trainer. He felt like it was really important to believe that the Trainer knew what they were doing. And it was evident that the Trainers in the Del Mar studio did indeed know what they were doing from that very first session.

“If someone is leading you confidently in doing something you know is helpful, there’s really a relationship that developed, and that has made this a must-do part of my schedule. I’m really grateful for that…This is what has worked for me. I’m really happy to do it.”

Knowing that Rich was NOT a fan of the “gym atmosphere” I asked him what he thought about our studio since it's vastly different than any gym out there.

Rich admitted that within the first 5 minutes he didn’t really know what to expect, but he didn’t expect much because there wasn’t a lot going on visually (this is by design).

For anyone who’s never stepped foot into any of our studios, you may have a hard time picturing this, but it is the complete opposite from everything that was described as a “gym” earlier. It’s small, it’s intimate, it’s clinical. There’s no music. There’s no mirrors. There’s essentially no distractions. It’s just 1-on-1 training so you can come in, complete an exceptional workout, and get on with the rest of your day.

One thing that we DO have in our studios are our client success stories. Like many first-time clients, Rich found himself reading through the countless client stories on the wall with accounts of struggles turning to wins and photos of clients who were stronger, leaner, and conquering mountains… literally.

“They were motivational to me. I picked the ones that seemed the least likely to have been true and the most remarkable as goals — There was only one guy at the time that had reached 600 lbs on the Leg Press. The reality of it hit me, you’ve got to be goal-oriented and set some goals.”

Marshall Gurley Client Testimonial

Originally Rich didn’t have any concrete goals when he began with us. He simply knew he needed to strength train for his overall health and to preserve his strength as he got older. But after seeing what was possible to accomplish, he set out to conquer the heaviest weight on the Leg Press.

The Leg Press is a machine that works the biggest muscle groups in the body: the glutes, quads and hamstrings, so naturally it can be the most difficult for many of us. It's not about the number of pounds you push on the machine, it's about seeing the increase in your ability to push more and more, and Rich saw a potential win there.

He started pushing about 225lbs and felt like it would take decades to get up to 400lbs, let alone 600! He laughed because at the time his slim, fit, female trainer was pushing 480lbs– but it encouraged him more than anything! With her coaching and his determination, Rich got up to 480lbs and eventually was pushing past his goal with 645lbs on the Leg Press.

But what about right now? In this time of COVID-19, we don’t have access to the machines. So what was Rich doing to keep his legs strong? Virtual Training.

"The Virtual is different. It's very difficult. The difficulty factor has not changed."

Grace, Rich’s wife, also trains with us and both of them have been continuing their progress with Virtual sessions. He let me know how fortunate he felt that they already had some pieces of exercise equipment at home including a Bowflex dumbbell set, which we use in our studios as well.

“It’s been amazing to watch the development of exercises around the few pieces of equipment that we have. We have a little bit of the MacGyver-esque creativity going on.”

This actually became the inspiration for a No Excuses Workout Program called the MacGyver!

“I will just say that from a psychological, emotional health standpoint, the ability to still look forward to regular workouts, to feel completely drained and a little bit sore, knowing you’re still working on the same muscle groups… I feel it’s been a dramatic benefit to us.”

And we are thrilled that this option to train from anywhere, anytime will continue to be an option for Rich and his wife. They travel often and sometimes it can be for one or two months at a time. It’s hard to simulate their in-studio workouts at home, on their own– not to mention they often feel sluggish and out of shape from the adventures of vacation.

“If we had minimal equipment and still maintain our two times a week virtually.. To me, that would really, really be worth it. I’m very encouraged that this exists now.”

I have personally been trained virtually by one of our Certified Trainers and can vouch for the difficulty level. So, I asked Rich what made it challenging for him?

He told me how amazing it is how difficult we can make some basic isometric exercises. The added challenge of needing to balance on your own adds a level of difficulty. He mentioned that he and Tim, his Trainer, are constantly dialing in how to make the right adjustments to the exercises and the amount of resistance used.

I pointed out to Rich that he was very much still being “led” like he was in the studio.

He agreed wholeheartedly, saying there was absolutely no way he could do it on his own. Having a trainer there to do all of the planning, explaining, adjusting and most importantly coaching, makes all the difference.

Earlier in our conversation, Rich had mentioned he gets a lot of psychological and emotional benefits from doing slow-motion strength training. I pointed out that he’s clearly gained strength going from leg pressing 225 to 600 lbs, but I wanted to know what other results he’s seen.

How has The Perfect Workout really helped him?

“There’s been muscle definition that I hadn’t had, maybe ever. But [added] strength in doing normal activity… A normal activity around here is landscaping.”

He went on to tell me how much yard work he does on his property. After retirement, rather than downsizing, the Turners upsized and got a home with landscaping that required a lot of maintenance. Luckily, hauling concrete blocks, laying irrigation and carrying plants has become a hobby of his… And now he has the strength and stamina to do it!

Rich turner working out virtually in his garage

Rich had mentioned earlier that he was previously into running, but it became apparent that running was once a big part of his life. For 25 years he was an avid runner and was also active in biking, swimming and triathlons. Toward the end of that stage of life and after thousands of miles of running, injuries began to shut his body down. But the passion was still there…

After his first six months at The Perfect Workout, Rich felt like he might be able to reintroduce running back into this life.

Keep in mind, he hadn’t been running for eight or ten years at this point and had gone through knee surgeries. The idea of getting back into it was difficult, and he assumed it would be painful. And although it was tough to pick back up again, he was able to do it.

He began with walk-runs, then intervals, then he was up and running.

“I found that – and I attribute it to much stronger fully developed leg muscles both quads and hamstrings and everything around it – I was able to do 10 minutes on my first run, 20 minutes after a week, 30-35 minutes after two or three weeks and now I’m running everyday about 35 minutes.”

Having loved running for 25 years, the ability to get that back to him was amazing. “That was so much better than being able to lift up a couple of cement blocks.”

“The ability to be free to do an activity that was such a big part of my life for so long – I was racing all the time. … I loved doing it and now I love doing it again.

"If nothing else happens - the ability to go back and run and feel that again - PRICELESS."

Slow-Motion Strength Training has the power to do more than just increase your strength. It has the power to add years to your life and improve the quality of those years.

What could you gain by adding two, 20-minute workouts to your week?

81 Year Old Cancer Survivor is Staying Strong at The Perfect Workout

81 year old cancer survivor is staying strong at the perfect workout

The day she took another fall was the day she decided to do something about it.

She needed to get stronger.

She knew she had to build muscle and improve her balance.

She made a plan to work with a Trainer to get there.

What she didn’t plan on was facing an unexpected battle with Cancer.

But that didn’t stop Kathe Petersdorf! She beat cancer, overcame multiple surgeries and returned to her workouts with a goal to get stronger than ever.

Kathe initially began her journey with The Perfect Workout to combat the falls she had previously taken. Knowing she’d get stronger and more stable, she worked consistently with The Perfect Workout Trainers to build up strength. What she was surprised to receive was coaching, connection and a friend in some of her most challenging times….

In this feature, we sit down with Kathe to hear her story of overcoming health scares and gaining more than just strength and balance at The Perfect Workout.

Watch the full interview with Kathe to hear her story!

When I asked Kathe what initially brought her into The Perfect Workout she answered bluntly.

“My age.”

She had taken a couple falls which quickly became motivation for her to do something to improve her strength. Kathe felt like it was time she started building muscle so that she didn’t keep falling, or experience something worse.

The Perfect Workout was something Kathe had heard of before but never took it too seriously until her decision to get stronger.

The first session was free and she thought, “Well let’s go take advantage of that and we’ll see what that’s all about.” The Danville studio was close to her, the workout only took 20 minutes and strength was guaranteed. Why wouldn’t she try it?

The first time she stepped foot into the training studio for her Introductory Session, Kathe was surprised at how different it was compared to the gyms she had been to before.

The workout space was small, intimate, clinically controlled and distraction free. Not your average gym with loud music, clanking weights and people checking themselves out in the mirror.

Then she met Nicole and Jennifer and they “sold” her on it, she said. “They were wonderful, and they still are wonderful.”

Kathe worked with a couple of different trainers, but the relationship she began to cultivate with Nicole Rhoades became such a special component of her 1-on-1 training.

Amidst the year and a half of training Kathe has been doing with us, she was faced with an unexpected battle with Cancer.

For almost three months, Kathe was hospitalized and had to have surgery where they removed her tumor, one of her kidneys, and her spleen. During that time she spent in the hospital, who stayed in touch with her? Nicole, her trainer.

“She was very personal with her contacts and I feel like she’s my good friend now. And she stayed in touch with me the whole time I was gone, which I appreciated.”

As Kathe and Nicole grew closer, despite the hiatus from working out, the plan was to always get back into the studio and continue getting stronger. “I knew I didn’t want to lose all the progress I had made so I said I’m coming back no matter what! And I did.”

"I knew I didn't want to lose all the progress I had made so I said I'm coming back no matter what! AND I DID!"

Once she was cleared to workout again, Kathe came back to the Danville studio and continued her twice a week slow-motion training sessions as part of her recovery plan. And then COVID-19 hit the Bay Area, hard.

Being the first in the country to officially implement the shelter-at home orders, the Danville studio temporarily closed down.

What would happen to all the progress she’d been gaining back? Would her health have to be put on hold again? Not this time.

Nicole and the Bay Area team didn’t waste any time keeping their clients on track- and Virtual Personal Training was born.

I asked Kathe what her initial thoughts were when we had to close the studio doors and said, “Hey, we’re going to train you virtually!”

She had questions– like we all did— Is Virtual Training going to do for me what the Studio workouts did, without the machines?

“I trusted Nicole, and I know she’d had experience in doing this. A lot of experience.” But there were still a lot of unanswered questions.

After actually trying a Virtual Personal Training Session, she was put at ease. “I have my weights and we workout. I feel like I’m okay. I feel like everything’s going to be OKAY. I still feel like I’m working out, and Nicole makes it worthwhile. I can hardly wait to get back into the studio, however!”

"I feel like everything's going to be OKAY. I still feel like I'm working out, and Nichole make it worthwhile."

I agreed with her that we all miss the machines, miss the studio and miss seeing each other each week. But, this is what we have to do now, to make sure we don’t lose progress and to make sure that we stay healthy and we stay strong.

Each of our Trainers are Certified and go through an extensive and immersive training process. Most personal training certifications do not require any hands-on training to get certified. 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.

Kathe had expressed to Nicole she was worried she wouldn’t be getting enough of a workout during her Virtual Sessions, Nicole talked about the workout and the exercises were explained in detail.

“The thing that I like about that is she explains which muscles I’m supposed to be using and feeling and that’s been very helpful.”

Now she thinks, “I am getting enough of a workout,” by doing this.

I asked her what makes her feel like she’s getting enough of a workout.

“I’m tired!” We laughed at this because that generally speaks for itself. If you’ve ever experienced slow-motion strength training you know how challenging it is!

Kathe explained that the workout tires out her muscles (muscle success) like the machines did and it just makes sense to her the approach they’ve been taking. Despite having very little equipment- a 3, 5, and an 8 lb dumbbell seem to do the trick!

I reiterated that was what the workout is all about– hitting that moment of temporary muscle failure and how cool it is that they can achieve that together over a Virtual connection.

One of the most surprising parts about our Virtual Training sessions is the ability to fatigue the muscles with bodyweight or lighter weights, like Kathe’s 5 lb dumbbells. After lifting heavy weights on Nautilus machines, it's very surprising how heavy we can make a little dumbbell feel.

Kathe opened up to me about another concern she had with Virtual Training before beginning. “Am I going to pay all that money and just workout at home?” But now that she’s been training Virtually for over a month now and she’s experienced our method in a different way, she feels like “Yeah, that is okay!”

I know one of the biggest questions that comes up for a lot of clients before trying virtual training is, “How is the trainer gonna be able to correct me and coach my form if they’re not right here in the room with me?” I asked Kathe what that experience had been like for her–

“Oh, she corrects me! She’s good at that. I carry my iPad around with me, wherever, whatever I’m doing on the floor or standing up. And if she can’t see me, she let’s me know and I move it ‘til she can. It’s been good. Trouble is, I wanna chit-chat ‘cus there’s nobody here to talk to… “

We agreed that working with a Trainer virtually, as opposed to working out alone or following along with a video had some added bonuses. It’s like seeing an old friend again. You get to maintain that connection, even if it is through an iPad.

“Do you think you could do this workout on your own without the coaching from your trainer?” I asked Kathe.

“No, and I don’t want to. Primarily because she corrects me if I’m not doing it right. She pays a lot of attention to me.”

"Do you think you could do this workout on your own without the coaching from your trainer?"

"No, and I don't want to. Primarily because she corrects me if I'm not doing it right. She pays a lot of attention to me."

I realized that the relationship Kathe had with her Trainer was a really important piece of the puzzle for her.. In more ways than one.

  • She was able to maintain that connection they established in the studio
  • She got personalization in her workouts and support on the days in between
  • She trusted that her Trainer would coach her and push her, more than she could herself.

We chatted a little bit more about her plans to continue Virtual Training until the studios back up. After all, we’re all at the mercy of this change, but not working out is not an option.

“Kathe is so remarkable! She works hard and laughs through it! She is a true joy and works to reach her goals!” – Nicole Rhoades (Kathe's trainer)

Before we signed off, Kathe surprised me with a goal she had in mind. “I want to be your poster child because I’m 81.” — which honestly shocked me because she looks SO GOOD and youthful. I would have never guessed she was 81.

She continued, “Then when I’ve accomplished the poster child, I’m going to take classes and I’m going to start teaching and working in the studio.”

How’s THAT for a goal?!

Not currently training? What goals are you missing out on by putting your workouts on pause?

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