the power of a 20 minute workout with brucie melvin
When she first heard about Virtual Personal Training, Brucie was not convinced it would be a good workout. After all, she’d been training at The Perfect Workout studio for 3 years.
“I kind of “poo-pooed that like I poo-pooed, well, the 20 minutes.”
How can working out at home be nearly as challenging as on the machines?
Can you even achieve muscle success without equipment?
Can’t I just workout on my own at home?
Like many clients, Brucie was challenged with these questions. What she didn’t know was that she was just one Virtual Training Session away from getting answers to all of them.
In this feature, we sit down with one of our clients Brucie Melvin to learn about her story and how her skepticism of our 20 minute workout (in-studio and at-home) was debunked.
Brucie normally works out at our Mill Valley studio in the San Francisco Bay Area, and lately she’s been working with her Trainer, Alyssa Harrison in their 1-on-1 Virtual Training Sessions.
I was dying to know what a client of three years really thought about transitioning from studio workouts to living room workouts and wanted to share her story… and infectious personality!
You’ll notice we enjoyed a few laughs- one of which when her husband, made an unexpected comment in the beginning of our conversation (Pictured alongside Brucie below).
Keep reading for Brucie’s story or watch the full conversation below!
“I've been at The Perfect Workout for just about 3 years now, loving it. I'll also say that I heard your ad on the radio. I spent a lot of time in my car (Bay Area traffic is a real thing!) and heard your ad on the radio and the ‘20 minutes.’ I kind of laughed at that for a long, long time and then decided, well, what's to lose? Let me go see what these clowns can do in 20 minutes. Well, it was quite amazing and I'm not a kid– I'm now 57, almost 58 — What did I say 50? My husband just corrected me.
Jordan: Did your husband just correct you in the background about your age?
Brucie: He did. ?
Jordan: Oh my goodness. ?
Brucie: I am 67 and not in terrible shape, but certainly didn't have a lot of strength that I didn't even realize I didn't have. I was very enlightened, very surprised and did a few workouts and immediately, I recognized a difference. It really did take only 20 minutes and I did 2 times a week and I’ve stuck with it ever since. It has made a big difference in my strength and my ability to– my husband and I work together in the business as a general contractor, we build decks. He's not in the field, nor am I, but we go out and inspect jobs all the time. We're constantly climbing on uneven surfaces and down mountainsides and hiking upstairs and I can tell a big difference in my strength. There are times where I have missed as much as a few weeks or a month. When I go back, it's like oh my….
Jordan: Meaning, you’ve missed a few weeks or months of workouts?
Brucie: Workouts, yes. I've had that happen a couple of times where — One time, I actually got really bad bronchitis that turned into pneumonia and wasn't able to work out for a good month. I'll go back to the studio and can definitely tell a difference. It's not like starting over but it is definitely starting from a lower level. It just proves to me over and over that this is really working.
Brucie: One thing I said to Alyssa (her Personal Trainer from the Mill Valley studio) yesterday that this has been interesting because when she first mentioned the virtual workout, I kind of poo-pooed that like I poo-pooed, well, the 20 minutes. I thought well, they proved me wrong the first time, let's see about this. It worked really well and I was really shocked at how good of a workout you can get right in your own home.
Jordan: So your initial hesitation to The Perfect Workout, training in the studio, was the 20 minutes– how can I get a good workout in 20 minutes? Is that correct?
Brucie: That's absolutely correct.
Jordan: So, when it came time to train virtually, because that was the only option right now, what was the hesitation? Why did you feel skeptical about that?
Brucie: Because, I didn't see how the exercises could be performed without the equipment. So I thought, well, this isn't going to work. I'm just going to be in my living room, I have some weights, some power block weights, but that's all I have and Alyssa assured me that no, you don't need anything. You don't even need those weights that you have. ‘If you don't have it, we'll use something else.’ But, I just didn't think without any kind of equipment, that it was going to be possible to achieve a level of fatigue and hit the wall so to speak and do the ‘barely touch, barely start.’
But the exercises that you perform were definitely demonstrated that that's absolutely incorrect. And Alyssa says I'm pretty strong….
Jordan: Well, you've been with us for 3 years. I mean, you’ve got to be right!?
Brucie: Alyssa said I'm close to pushing on the leg press close to 200 pounds. So, I just thought that doing these things at home, then it would be a slam dunk. Boy, was I wrong about that. I was getting to fatigue really quickly, and we were even having to back off and do a couple of things a little differently so that I could even do them correctly. So, yes. Just very surprised and happy that I could accomplish the exercise and feel it where I was supposed to be feeling it. I had not worked out when we did the first Virtual Training, for close to 3 weeks. The second day, my legs were so sore, which was a clear indication that it was definitely an accomplished workout.
Jordan: Yes. A good sore. A gratifying sore!
Brucie: Yes. Like when you go to sit down, you go, ‘Oh my god, let me hold on to this table so I can sit down at this chair without killing myself.’
Jordan: So, would you call the at-home workouts intense?
Brucie: Very intense.
Jordan: On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the most intense and 1 being easy-peasy I could do that all day. How would you rate the at home workout?
Brucie: I would rate it a 10.
Brucie: It's the same muscle group but you're doing it in another fashion. I think it's kind of good because it does things that, you know, if you did it on the same thing on the machine it would be working just a little bit differently. I think it's kind of good that you're hitting those areas that maybe you're not accustomed to doing.
It’s slightly different. It forces you to– which I need a lot of help with as I get older– balance, it really helps. Because when you're sitting on a machine, you really don't have to balance, but when you're standing up or back to the wall, you kind of working everything to maintain that balance.
Jordan: When the closures have lifted and we are able to return to the studios. Do you see yourself ever doing the Virtual Training session for whatever reason?
Brucie: Good question. I wouldn’t if I was able to go to the studio. I still really love going to the studio! But because I do work a lot, sometimes it may not be as convenient. There have been times where I've had to cancel because I knew I just didn't have time to get into the studio. But if I can do it right here, that's going to help me in the future. Especially now that I kind of know how to do it, and I'm all set up and, and get the drill. I think that's going to really be great for people who maybe live even further away, and may not want to do it all the time, but on occasion when for whatever reason, they can't get in.
Jordan: So now there's no excuse Brucie! We’ve got you on camera! ?
Jordan: So just out of curiosity, what equipment are you working with, if any?
Brucie: I have these things called power blocks. That is the only equipment that I'm using.
See video above for some of the exercises Brucie does with her Powerblocks.
Jordan: So just the powerblock dumbbells, and your body?
Brucie: That's it. That's it.
Jordan: How is that? Do you feel like you've been able to get in an effective workout?
Brucie: Extremely effective. It's surprisingly effective. As a side benefit, I want to keep mentioning the balance. I think it really helps with the balance.
Jordan: Just after 3 sessions of doing Virtual Training, you already feel like that's making a difference– you're noticing that in day to day activities, your improved balance?
Brucie: Absolutely. Yes.
Jordan: Do you think you could do this without the guidance of your trainer, this same workout?
Brucie: No. No.
Jordan: Why not?
Brucie: I think it's even more important to have guidance. Because they're (the Trainer) seeing you and she's saying ‘no, no, pull your feet back in a little more closer to your fingertips, or get your feet out a little more.’ For example, we did the same exercise 3 times (each workout) and I still needed to be positioned. So no, I think it's even more important that a Trainer guides you through and counts– continually, there's a lot of feedback of, ‘are you feeling this, where did you feel it, how did this perform.’ etc.
Jordan: Do you feel like you're being coached the entire way?
Brucie: Totally coached. Yes, exactly.
Jordan: Awesome! Let's say you had some online videos, you had your power blocks, maybe our Fast Fitness at Home Manual– Do you think that you would do this if you didn't have the appointments?
Brucie: Absolutely not. That's just me, it's all about accountability. You just want to do it. Not only do you want to do it for them (the trainer), but I know it's good for me and I wouldn't do it if I didn't have to be somewhere at a time.
Jordan: Absolutely. We want you to work out, we will do whatever we can so that you can work out!
Brucie: But this is a super viable, very viable option. Just a real power workout. You guys have developed this and I think it's really going to be worthwhile. I feel like it's an option for me because my life being as hectic as it is, it's going to be an option for me to do it.
Jordan Thomson is passionate about fitness and helping others live sustainably healthy lives. Jordan joined The Perfect Workout in 2013 as a Personal Trainer in Newport Beach, CA. Since then she has helped expand our company with new studios in Chicago, IL and led teams of trainers in Philadelphia as well as Los Angeles. Now she serves as a creative mind within the Marketing team to help spread our mission to revolutionize the way people exercise.