Meet Emily Gaines Personal Trainer at The Perfect Workout’s Woodlands Studio

emaily-woodlands-trainerEmily says of her own transition from a regular workout to slow-motion strength training, “I thought, okay, this is very effective! I used to spend eight hours a week in the gym, now I’m spending 40 minutes a week working out.”

“I love being a part of something that makes my clients feel good!” That sums up Emily’s feelings on The Perfect Workout. Since coming on board as a trainer at The Woodlands in April, her enthusiasm for slow-motion strength training has been catching on. Clients love her firm yet personal and customized approach, and appreciate the fact that she challenges them. Emily is understanding, patient, and has a way of explaining things so they make sense. One of her favorite things to talk about with clients is nutrition because it plays such an important role in muscle growth and fat loss. “Muscles can’t grow properly if you’re not feeding them,” Emily says. She tells her clients to avoid drinking lots of calories, to read labels so you realize what you’re really consuming, to eat clean foods like lean meats and vegetables, and to exercise portion control.

Emily had taught a range of classes at another fitness center, and was always in pretty good shape. But the first time she tried doing slow-motion push ups (as part of the hiring process to become a trainer at The Perfect Workout), she realized it was far more challenging than anything she had ever done. “I thought, okay, this is very effective! I used to spend eight hours a week in the gym, now I’m spending 40 minutes a week working out.” Her arms are much stronger now, her shape has improved, and she’s gone from leg pressing 280 pounds to 400 pounds.

And just like she pushes herself, she loves it when clients push themselves. “They’re the ones who see the biggest results. They give me a hug and we celebrate together!” Emily has had a number of client success stories. One client recently lost 10 pounds to get in shape for her vacation. Other clients are losing weight, getting toned, and most important, doing something positive for themselves. In addition to training clients, Emily is also the Facility Manager, and has big goals to double her studio by October and help The Perfect Workout grow in the Houston area. “This is the best job I’ve ever had. It’s very motivational, there’s an
incentive to work hard.” When she’s not training clients or running the studio, she’s doing what she loves best, spending time with her daughter.

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Your Muscles – The Only “Window” Into Your Body

I first came across the idea that “muscle is the ‘window’ into your body” in Ken Hutchins’ SuperSlow Technical Manual. He attributes the quote to a former employee of Nautilus, Ed Farnham. It’s a brilliant metaphor. The idea is that essentially all physical improvements that can be stimulated by exercise are fundamentally caused by loading your muscles. Making your muscles work is the way you “get at” and stimulate not just your muscles, but the rest of your body’s systems too. Your muscles are a pathway to improving your cardiovascular system, lungs, endocrine system, immune system, general metabolism, and more.

For example, suppose somebody is climbing stairs for the purpose of exercise. This person’s body will temporarily burn more calories during the stair climbing session. It’ll also make her heart beat faster, and by doing so potentially place positive stress on her cardiovascular system to improve. And if the stair climbing is challenging enough, her leg muscles will fatigue somewhat as well. If her body isn’t already used to a more demanding stress than stair climbing (such as high-intensity strength training), her body will be stimulated to improve the cardiovascular system, her muscles might get slightly stronger, and other positive adaptations may occur in such places as the immune system and the endocrine system.

Note that each of those effects from stair climbing (burning calories, positively stressing the cardiovascular system, potential strength increases, and positive changes in the immune and endocrine systems) are caused by making the muscles work. Extra calories are burned only because the leg muscles are working harder from the activity. The heart starts beating faster to supply nutrients to the working muscles, as well to remove waste products from them. If an increase in strength is stimulated, it would be because the muscles have been loaded, fatigued, and stressed sufficiently. All the physical benefits are fundamentally caused by making the muscles work.

Demanding muscular loading is the fundamental cause for triggering a cascade of positive changes throughout your body. Even for the cardiovascular system, the stimulus is making the muscles work, and the cardiovascular system kicks into higher gear simply as a support system for the working muscles. (In other words, the heart and lungs can’t jump out of your body and hop on the stair climber to exercise themselves. The only way to “get at” your cardiovascular system through exercise is by making the muscles work.)

A big advantage of effective strength training when compared with other exercise methods (like stair climbing) is that strength training gives you the opportunity to make your muscles work much harder than stair climbing or other exercise choices. If you’ve ever trained your leg muscles to “momentary failure” on the leg press machine in slow-motion form, you know firsthand how strength training works your muscles hard! Since strength training can make your muscles work harder than other activities (like stair climbing), you can stimulate as good or better benefits in all of the body’s systems (including the muscles, cardiovascular system, lungs, endocrine system, immune system, and general metabolism) than you can with other activities.

In a previous article I mentioned that studies show that effective strength training produces positive benefits in the cardiovascular system. This is why. In some studies with very high-intensity strength training, the changes in the cardiovascular system from strength training are superior to even so-called “cardio” activities like stair climbing. The reason is you can only address your cardiovascular system by making your muscles work, and strength training gives you the opportunity to really challenge your muscles, and as a result many other systems in your body improve in addition to the muscles.

Making your muscles work hard during strength training triggers a “total body response,” including:

  • More strength
  • Greater endurance
  • More calorie-burning lean muscle tissue to your body
  • Reversed age related muscle loss (sarcopenia)
  • Increased metabolism and how many calories you burn even while you’re resting
  • Greater fat loss
  • Stronger bones
  • Reversed aging of muscle cells (expresses younger DNA in the nuclei)
  • Improved cardiovascular fitness
  • Improved cholesterol levels
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Improved low back pain
  • Better control of blood sugar
  • Improved immune system
  • A number of other benefits

When done properly strength training loads the muscles (your “window into your body”) much more effectively than other activities because strength training can load the muscles more efficiently, more intensely, and in a safer manner than other activities can.

The slow-motion, high-intensity strength training that we teach at The Perfect Workout is as good of a way as you will find at stimulating this “window” into your body, and as a result your whole body improves, not just your muscles. And all it takes is just 20 minutes, twice a week.

matt-perfect-workoutBy Matt Hedman, President of The Perfect Workout



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Bill’s Love Handles Are Gone!

unnamed(1)Bill travels a lot as a defense contractor, so a time efficient workout is important to him. He explains the value of The Perfect Workout, “There’s no messing around. You’re in and out. This is very intense, and not for the person who’s not dedicated. You have to want it.”

Calling Bill Younis a fan of The Perfect Workout would be an understatement. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think he was a paid staff member whose sole purpose was to sing the praises of slow-motion strength training. He’s not, of course. He simply can’t think of any better way to get great results in such little time. “This is the best thing that ever happened to me, workout-wise,” he says. You have to understand a few things about Bill. He doesn’t have a lot of time, he’s extremely disciplined, and he already belonged to an exclusive athletic club where he lives when he heard about The Perfect Workout.

He takes working out very seriously, especially after a heart attack when he was 54. After that, he knew he needed to make some changes. In a five-year period at his other club, Bill went from 256 pounds down to 210. He was religious about his workouts there, spending 90 minutes per session, three or four times a week.

Everything was great, but he hit a plateau, the equipment there was older technology, and there were a lot of needless conversations with other members, which stretched his workouts out too long. That was the biggest issue – time. Bill is a busy guy and doesn’t have time for social chitchat at the club. The workouts had to fit into his schedule since he travels a lot as a defense contractor.

His business partner’s wife told him about The Perfect Workout, and it seemed to fit what he was looking for exactly. “There’s no messing around. You’re in and out. This is very intense, and not for the person who’s not dedicated. You have to want it.” Bill credits the one-on-one personal training for a lot of his success. “My trainers, Soraya and Nicole, wring me out! It’s amazing what you can do in 20 minutes. I’m completely spent.” He says Soraya is encouraging, knows how to get the best out of him, and is great at communicating results to him after each exercise. “This is serious business. It reminds me of football practice. You live and die by the stopwatch.”

Bill loves that aspect of The Perfect Workout – the way he and his trainer can meticulously track all the numbers, including his weight, number of seconds on each exercise, amount of weight lifted, inches lost, body fat percentage, and more. He knows that his average weight now is 198.6, exactly where he was at age 28. His arms are looking good, his abs are carved up (going for the “six-pack” look), and that dreaded love handle syndrome? It’s pretty much gone. The results impressed his girlfriend so much that she’s planning to join now, too.

One thing that bothers Bill is how much people focus on the cost. “Everyone is so worried about the cost of a personal trainer. Think about it. If you’re doing 30-minute sessions at $50-60 each, three times a week, that’s far more than The Perfect Workout. And there’s no benefit to doing it more than two days a week. This is a very good value. When it comes to food and exercise, that’s not where you want to compromise. Money
is a non-issue. How bad do you want it?”

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