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“From my first visit, I was hooked!”

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For anyone who’s considering slow-motion strength training, Margo says, “You have to try it. It’s something wonderful to do for yourself. The Perfect Workout is worth it to me. It’s my health! I’m turning 60 in July, and this is not the time to backslide!”

Margo Smith came to The Perfect Workout in November of 2011 to rehabilitate her knee. “I had spent the previous year very restricted,” she says. “I had a torn meniscus in my left knee from attending a fitness bootcamp.

The surgery didn’t go well, and I was left with only 40% cartilage in one knee, or what is known as ‘bone on bone.’ After doing physical therapy for a year, I knew I wanted to get a trainer, particularly one who was aware of what to do with my knee.” She had already done her homework on The Perfect Workout after reading some articles about it. Her husband, an engineer and former triathlete, did some research, too. “He told me, ‘This makes sense.’ “

When she went in for her introductory session, Margo says, “I had such a good feeling about everyone. They knew what they were doing. They were very well-educated and well-prepared. Plus, I had read the testimonials beforehand.” The one-on-one aspect was a big draw, and she and trainer Kim Van Loon got right down to business, being very careful about her knee.

“No matter which trainer I’m working with, I know I have their undivided attention every time. They’re there, focused, and helping me. They’re giving me 100%, and I feel I need to give them 100%.” Margo calls her current trainer, Ryan, “The Workout Whisperer” because he gets in her head and urges her on. “He gets more out of me than I think I have to give. He knows what I can do and helps me achieve the most I can on any given day.”

It’s that personal touch that helped Margo get some great results fairly quickly. She lost 10 pounds, went down a size, gained muscle tone, and lost inches off her waist. More important, she says, “There was a big difference in the shape of my body.

Everything fits better and looks better. I never had upper body fat, but in that year off, my tops got tight in the arms. I have shape in my biceps and legs now! All in all, I look better.” The key is consistency. Margo never misses a workout, and she makes every workout count.

It’s paying off in the studio, where she’s now leg pressing 300 pounds, as well as outside. She’s able to hike, walk, dance, and scuba dive – things she wasn’t doing during her knee rehabilitation. Margo says, “I am so grateful to the trainers. Both for the training and that they’ve become friends. I appreciate them.”

Meet Daniel Ciccolini Personal Trainer at The Perfect Workout’s Thousand Oaks Studio

In order to get the most out of their strength training workouts, Daniel encourages his clients to focus on their diet and their rest. “You build your muscles back up with sleep and proper nutrition,” he says.

Growing up, Daniel Ciccolini thought he was going to play shortstop for the Yankees. While that didn’t quite happen, he did play baseball as a kid, and became a standout high school football player. His skills on the gridiron took him to college in Iowa, where he played wide receiver and majored in Education and Health. After graduation, Daniel went the typical 9-to-5 route, but knew that he wanted to get back to his passion for health and fitness. Last September he discovered The Perfect Workout, went through the rigorous hiring and training process, and immediately adjusted his own workout regimen. “For everyday living, high-intensity slow-motion strength training is the best and most efficient way to work out,” explains Daniel.

Daniel says he feels better and stronger now at 170 pounds, and has better core strength, than he did playing football at 187 pounds. Part of that is his focus on proper diet, which he also imparts on his clients. “Physical training is important, of course, to increase muscle mass, bone density, and metabolism. But it’s not just about working out. 80-90% of it is your diet. You have to look at your diet and see where you can make healthier choices.” Daniel was motivated to change his diet a few years ago after seeing his grandparents’ lives cut short by a heart attack and stroke. His suggestions are simple and easy to implement: reduce processed foods, increase water intake, eat whole, nutrient-dense foods, and stay prepared when you’re on the go by bringing healthy snacks along.

Daniel also points out one of the less commonly-known benefits of slow-motion strength training. Increased strength and overall toning are a given if you’re consistent with your twice-a-week sessions. But did you know that it will probably also help you with your posture? Daniel focuses on technique and helping his clients develop a full range of motion and this also helps hit the muscle groups better and increase flexibility. “I feel more opened up” and “I feel taller” are typical responses he gets he gets from clients. Daniel is so sold on The Perfect Workout that he’s even gotten his mom set up with the workouts. “My mom is in love with the company!”