one couple's story of feeling safe & strong at home
We’re all trying to figure out what our priorities are right now.
But there’s one thing that’s at the top of everyone’s list- safety.
Am I safe from this virus?
When will it be safe to go places?
Are my friends and family safe?
There are a lot of questions up in the air– but one thing you should never have to question is the safety of your workout.
Lin Rowland and John Aspebakken’s journey with The Perfect Workout started with Lin's decision to take control of his fitness journey. He had been going to bootcamps, which had become really rough on his body. As he was getting a little bit older, he felt like that style of training wasn’t safe for him and he couldn’t really sustain it any longer.
We actually see this a lot, because most workouts and programs out there have a shelf-life on them.
Runners will run, until their knees wear out.
Crossfitters will flip tires, until they throw their back out.
Bootcampers will…bootcamp? Until it's not sustainable anymore.
That’s one of the many incredible benefits of slow-motion strength training. It is the ultimate sustainable workout. Think about it– how many programs do you know of that have clients ranging from 11- 95 years of age? Not many, but The Perfect Workout does.
Back to Lin– his fitness journey changed when he saw a sign. An actual, physical sign that is. (Be sure to watch the video for a good laugh we had when I thought he meant a metaphorical sign ?)
He waltzed into the Southwest Fort Worth Studio one Saturday and said, “I’m interested in finding out what this is about!” He got to chatting with one of the Trainers who took her time to learn about his fitness goals, teach him the method and sent him home with more information than he could ask for on slow-motion strength training, along with a 1-on-1 workout on the schedule.
From that moment, Lin became a client and part of The Perfect Workout Family.
“It just seemed interesting and what I really liked about it was it seemed really safe.”
After actually going through the workout, Lin also appreciated (I’m sure begrudgingly at times) that his Trainer “watched him like a hawk.” Having worked out in other gyms and facilities where they show you how to do the machine and then walk away, he felt like the personal attention he got from 1-on-1 coaching at The Perfect Workout was something special.
“I don’t know that one person can watch 30 people at once and correct them,” Lin said in regards to other gyms he’s been to.
John (who’d been quietly listening) immediately chimed in to tell me that they had taken a couple vacations last year to Pennsylvania and California, where we luckily had studio locations and they were able to get in a training session.
“They had the machines, all of the information on us…”
“And it was the exact. Same. Thing,” Lin interjected. “And they knew everything about us– It was the exact same training experience as here – on both coasts.”
I took a moment to give them kudos for getting into the studios on their vacations, and the thought of training during holiday got me curious about if they would do Virtual Training if they traveled to places with no studio locations….
I tabled my thoughts on vacation workouts because I wanted to hear more about John and his beginnings with The Perfect Workout.
He had retired a few years ago and had never done any bootcamps, gone to gyms, or anything related to an exercise program. I didn’t even have to ask why because he offered up the answer– “I didn’t want to invest the time.”
But after watching Lin come home twice a week, every week for six months with glowing reviews about what he was experiencing at The Perfect Workout– and the fact that it was 20 minutes, a couple times a week– it really appealed to John.
He liked that he didn’t have to take a bunch of time out of his week and devote it to exercise. He also knew that at his age, he wanted to build and keep strength in his muscles and maintain his balance. He wanted the ability to do things around the house.
He finally said to Lin, “You know, I’d kinda like to try this too, and see how it works.”
John joined Lin in the studio one day, experienced some of the exercises and signed up!
“We both coordinated our schedules so we both go right one after the other when we go there and it’s worked out tremendously. I just feel a whole lot better strength-wise and balance wise and posture-wise. I’ve noticed I sit up straighter and just a whole lot of improvements that I’ve seen since then.”
Excited about his partner’s progress, Lin also mentioned that John is able to get up and down off the floor more easily too, casually demonstrating that before he got stronger, it included a lot of grunting and groaning as if it were painful.
“And now he just gets right up!”
I couldn’t help but also celebrate this seemingly small victory, pointing out that changes in every-day activities is one of the many unexpected benefits of doing slow-motion strength training. We often go into our workouts with the mentality of just getting stronger, or losing weight, or maybe improving a medical issue, but it’s when you start to notice an improvement in those day to day activities that makes you stop and think, Wow…this is doing something!
Both John and Lin agreed, telling me they noticed it doing other simple things like pulling the groceries out of the trunk of the car.
“Something simple like that seems simple, but after a while is not so simple,” Lin put it perfectly.
I couldn’t wait any longer to hear what their Virtual Training experience has been like, so I switched gears– I asked both John and Lin what they thought when we said, “Hey! We’ll train you from your living room!”
Like many, they were skeptical at first. They both rattled off their initial thoughts–
“Man, there’s no way!”
“Without the machines and everything else, how well can you really do this?”
“How are you going to be able to monitor how we’re doing very well?”
“It’s not the same thing.”
Despite their skepticism, they felt like they might as well try it– and they pivoted their workout approach, right alongside us.
“We jumped right in the following week after we couldn’t go to the studio anymore and we started working with Hannah (the SWFW Facility Manager)– We all took a moment to agree how amazing yet another one of our trainers is.
I asked them how their first Virtual session went…
“It was tougher than I thought it would be. Way tougher than I thought it would be!” Lin responded as he began to laugh about the “state of the art” equipment they were using in their living room.
I needed to see this– what were they working out with?
They pulled out their state-of-the-art equipment to show me. “It’s a bag of bricks! And a couple towels. And some pillows.”
Lin began to tell me that although it was “just a towel,” his trainer was able to utilize it during his exercise and it was challenging enough to make him shake. “Shakin and cryin” were his words to be exact. ?
“What makes working out with your body, or the towel, or the grocery bag of bricks more challenging than you thought it was going to be?” I asked.
They explained it was the slowness of the exercises. That doing it so slowly and precisely was the key component, not necessarily their equipment. After all, they were exercising with towels and bricks!
“Do you think this is something you could do on your own without the coaching from Hannah or whoever else you might be working with?” I asked them both.
“Oh, I would never push myself that hard. Somehow she’s able to just drive you through that wall where you’re just like, no, no, no, never again! Get me out of here!” Lin replied laughing.
John chimed in too, “That and your form and position. She’s just watching every move I make… ‘Raise your elbows, lower your shoulders,’ or whatever. There’s just so many things to monitor and keep track of, it’s just good to have somebody there watching you and seeing how you’re doing and that really makes a difference. And that’s one reason I was really excited about doing this program, because I knew I would have somebody there watching me.”
They both commented on the importance of the safety factor. They feel safe having a trainer with them every rep of the way. And they feel just as safe during their Virtual Workouts as they do with their in-studio sessions.
In addition to the safety component, Lin couldn’t help but bring up how difficult the workout actually is again. “It’s pretty amazing.” To which he couldn’t help but mention feeling the same way about our team members, telling me that everyone has been incredible, and incredible quality.
Knowing how important it is to have wonderful Trainers on our team, I made a point to thank him for his compliment and also to reiterate that every one of us (trainers, and non-trainers) wants to help our clients get healthier, stay safe, and keep working out– especially during this uncertain time.
I wanted to explore why else they felt like their at-home workouts were so safe. Was it just the slow speed, or was there something else their Trainer was doing?
John explained that he dealt with some long-time back problems but was always reassured with a modification in the exercises he performed. “When I walk out of the session, whether it was at the studio or here, my back is feeling better at the end of the day.”
“There’s always the workaround that is helpful. And it still pushes you ahead,” Lin agreed. “And it's still difficult!”
“It’s still brutal,” John added.
I laughed, joking with them they were going to scare people away calling the workout brutal, but was happy to hear that the intensity of their Virtual Workouts rivaled what they typically experience in the studio.
“Once the closures have been lifted and we’re able to open the doors back to our studios, do either of you see yourselves doing virtual training again for whatever reason?”
John seemed to have an idea forming in his head when he told me he could see them doing a Virtual Session while on vacation, if they happen to be someplace where there wasn’t a studio available.
Ahh the question I tabled earlier was answered after all!
Lin lit up at the idea, agreeing how perfect that would be. “It’s really inventive and outside the box and it’s just been amazing, really.”
As if both men hadn’t said enough wonderful things about their experience yet, I asked them what they would say to anybody who is on the fence to try Virtual Personal Training. Here’s what they said:
“Try it, because I think you’re gonna be shocked. I think you’re gonna be shocked at the intensity and still feel benefits. That’s what’s important. You’re still going to have those benefits of balance and being able to pull the groceries out of the trunk again.”
“I think you would be surprised at how personable it is through the screen, which doesn’t make any sense because they’re not there with you, but… it’s still personable, they’re still there with you, and they can still see what you’re doing, and they’ll still catch ya!”
Lin had been looking for a safe way to exercise, and John simply couldn’t ignore the time efficiency and the effectiveness of 20 minutes, twice a week. But what they didn’t expect when they joined The Perfect Workout was that they found a workout they could do forever… no matter their age, their ability, or their location.
Nobody knows how long we will all be sheltering in place. But, it’s important to all of us at The Perfect Workout to ensure you don’t lose out on a lot of the benefits we’ve worked so hard in-studio to gain.
Maintain your strength so you aren’t starting back from ground zero again.
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.