Don Dropped 37 Pounds!

Don Reed is a common sense guy who knows what he wants and goes after it. He doesn’t have a lot of spare time, and at age 53, “didn’t want to go to a gym with a bunch of young muscle heads.” Like a lot of men his age, he also had a few pounds to lose, and higher than average cholesterol and blood pressure. So when he and his wife, Becky, came to The Perfect Workout’s Rancho Bernardo studio last May, they both signed up without any hesitation.

While most people who are trying to lose weight get on the scale daily or at least weekly, Don took a different approach. “I went in with a phased-goal approach, a three-month and a six-month goal,” he says. “But we ended up signing up for six months, so I purposely didn’t weigh myself for the first six months.” He was pleasantly surprised when he finally checked after six months: 37 pounds down. While Becky was getting a lot of definition, Don was losing weight and getting stronger at the same time, a good combination. He went from doing 15-pound dumbbell curls to 60 pounds on the bicep curl machine, increased his chest press from 65 to 95 pounds, and went from 210 to 385 pounds on the leg press.

What’s even more impressive is that he did all of that in spite of a bad elbow. As a child, Don had shattered and dislocated his elbow, and had five surgeries to repair the damage. The pain level was high, but he learned to live with it. Working closely with his trainer, Don was able to strengthen the tendons and muscles around the elbow joint, and within six weeks of starting slow-motion strength training, he noticed a difference. He hasn’t taken any pain medication for his elbow since, “a side effect I wasn’t expecting,” he says.

Don attributes his success to three factors. First, of course, is The Perfect Workout’s unique method of slow-motion strength training. The key to this exercise is performing the lifting phase of each weightlifting repetition in approximately 10 seconds, and the lowering phase in 10 seconds as well. Enough resistance is used so that deep muscular fatigue is achieved within just one to two minutes on each exercise. Don says, “It’s worked for me because it’s only two days a week for 20 minutes. I travel a lot and it’s flexible. I’ve been able to not miss sessions.” Another factor is the one-on-one training. “They know how to increase the weight, and exactly how to position each exercise correctly. Katie and Donna are very energetic and constantly encouraging. And they’re always sneaking in extra weight!” The other big reason for Don’s weight loss? A simple change in diet. He quit drinking six cans of Coke or Mountain Dew a day and started drinking more water and sweetened tea. Don says, “That’s it. Everything else is due to The Perfect Workout.”

I decided to try to take phentermine and liked it! I have always been overweight; phentermine helped me to lose 7 kg for a month! It is unbelievable because I haven’t done any exercises. Of course, there were some food restriction, but they weren’t significant. The only negative effect was a strong thirst, but, on the other hand, it is an advantage. When you lose weight, you need to drink a lot of water. Overall, the results were good.

Now that they’ve seen great results, Don and Becky are excited to continue. They just signed up for six more months, and Don’s new goal is to lose 50 more pounds. Compared to working out at a regular gym, he says, “The Perfect Workout is the best return on investment for the time involved.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Did Don’s story inspire you? If so, this is the last week to sign up for The Perfect Workout’s TRANSFORMATION CHALLENGE!

Win a FREE YEAR OF PERSONAL TRAINING (value of more than $4,600), and get 2 Free Personal Training Sessions just for entering and completing The Perfect Workout’s TRANSFORMATION CHALLENGE. Everybody that participates will win FREE personal training.

For details on how to get started at one of our 70 locations, call us right away at (888) 878-1808 or click here and we will contact you!

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Strength Training as a Sleep Aid

By Matt Hedman, President of The Perfect Workout

It’s no secret that struggles with sleep increase as we age. These issues come from a variety of causes: illnesses, side effects of medication, changes in circadian rhythm, increased sensitivity to light exposure, inactivity, and elevated nervous system activity, to name a few. While no one wants to experience the mental fog that comes from sleep deprivation, there are more significant consequences to sleep loss. Some researchers believe sleep issues are part of the cause for many aging-related health issues [1].

Thankfully, strength training actually works as a sleep aid for many men and women who were previously poor or average sleepers.

Strength training can improve sleeping habits in less than 10 weeks, although it’s possible benefits can happen even sooner. While strength training does not increase the ease of sleeping for all people, it also has not demonstrated negative sleeping effects on anyone in research. In other words, it won’t hurt, but it may help.

For at least some people, just a small amount of strength training is all that’s necessary to notice a significant difference in sleep. This was noticed in a study lead by a researcher at Harvard [2]. Men and women around 70 years old participated in a brief strength training program that involved five exercises that targeted the major muscle groups in the upper and lower body. Each of these exercises was performed for one set with weights that were very challenging. The trainees exercised three days per week.

After 10 weeks, the strength-trained individuals experienced a 40% improvement in self- assessed sleep (according to detailed pre- and post-intervention questionnaires). This was even more impressive when considering that the control group, who met twice per week for health education sessions, saw no improvement.

Dissecting the results even further, all 15 participants in the strength program either improved or remained the same. This indicates that, at the very worst, strength training won’t keep you up at night. If it has any effect, it will help you sleep.

The people in the study who strength trained were poor sleepers at the start and benefited from getting more sleep in a number of ways. At the end of the study, self-assessed daytime dysfunction decreased and ratings of vitality and social functioning improved. Oddly enough, social functioning scores actually improved in the strength group more than the health education group, who socialized as part of their education classes!

Another study, performed at Texas Tech University, showed a similar improvement in sleep after three months of strength training with an older group [1]. The participants in this study averaged closer to 80 years of age, lived in an assisted living center, and were average to good sleepers at baseline. In both of these studies, strength training had the same effect on each gender. Also, adherence was 85% or greater in each study, showing that the participants didn’t face major issues with injuries or lack of interest.

I find these studies to back my personal experiences that I’ve seen at The Perfect Workout. After they begin training with us, some clients report that they’re sleeping better than they have in years…or ever! Some of these people had trouble with sleeping before training, and some were already solid sleepers. However, for other clients their sleeping habits seem unaffected positively or negatively. As mentioned previously, strength training is highly unlikely to hurt your ability to sleep. Comparing strength training to sleep medications, strength training may improve your sleep. And unlike medications, the side effects of strength training (greater strength, more endurance, faster metabolism, improved cholesterol profiles, stronger bones, etc.) are usually very pleasant.


  1. Ferris, L. T., Williams, J. S., Shen, C. L., O’Keefe, K. A., & Hale, K. B. (2005). Resistance training improves sleep quality in older adults—a pilot study. J Sports Sci Med, 4(3), 354-60.
  2. Singh, N. A., Clements, K. M., Fiatarone, M. A. (1997). Sleep, Sleep Deprivation, and Daytime Activities A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Effect of Exercise on Sleep. Sleep, 20(2), 95-10.
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The Influence of Somatypes

By Matt Hedman, President of The Perfect Workout

I know a guy who eats whatever he wants and never gains a pound. His body looks similar and weighs about the same as it did in high school. At no time in his life has he ever been referred to as overweight, and he probably never will be.

When he consistently strength trains, he gains about six to eight pounds of lean tissue. His muscle growth is noticeable but won’t blow you away. People have often told him that he should eat more and that he’s too skinny. He has less body fat and muscle than most, but some of that is due to factors not under his control.

When it comes to our ability to gain fat or muscle, the truth is we aren’t on an even playing field. Anyone starting an effective strength training program will gain some muscle tissue, but the amount of muscle we can gain is largely determined by our genetics. One of those genetic factors is our somatype.

A somatype is a classification for body types. These classifications are based on amounts of fat and muscle cells. Our fat and muscle cell quantities are important because they rarely change much during adulthood. Past the age of 18, people likely do not lose fat cells, and may gain more of them in extreme cases. On the other hand, we can lose muscle cells with age if we’re not strength training, but gaining them is uncommon.

To put it simply, our muscle and fat cell totals help to determine our maximum potential for change. Within those limits, the changes we see are just increases or decreases in cell size.

There are four basic somatypes:

  1. Ectomorph – few fat and muscle cells
  2. Mesomorph – few fat cells with many muscle cells
  3. Endomorph – few muscle cells with many fat cells
  4. Meso-Endomorph – many fat and muscle cells

The guy who I discussed in the opening example is an ectomorph. As mentioned, he does gain muscle when sticking with strength training, but he will never look like a bodybuilder or anything close to it.

For mesomorphs, strength training produces a greater gain in muscle for them than it does with ectomorphs. Mesomorphs also tend to have more fat than ectomorphs. They are the people who generally can gain or lose 20 pounds with diet and strength training.

Endomorphs won’t grow a lot of muscle with strength training, whereas meso-endomorphs do. Meso-endomorphs have the most muscle mass of anyone who fits into one somatype. Examples of meso-endomorphs are linemen in football and World’s Strongest Man competitors.

The importance of knowing that somatypes exist can be helpful in a number of ways. For example, knowing about somatypes is further support for the idea that you should only compare you to yourself and not to others (who may have a different somatype than you).

The potential your somatype provides is irrelevant without consistently training as hard as you can. You can only learn where your ceiling is by working towards it. Also, no matter what your genetics indicate for your physique, keep in mind that your actions (i.e. how you eat and exercise) are the biggest factors in improving your health and well-being.

Training at The Perfect Workout will help you achieve your ideal physique, and by increasing the amount of muscle tissue that you’re able to add, you will become healthier and feel better.

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