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Meet Ali Kershaw Personal Trainer at The Perfect Workout’s Studio in West Plano, TX

Ali says of working with her clients and co-workers, “I can honestly say I love my job. I’m blessed and happy. This is the job I hope to have the rest of my life.”” Ali says of working with her clients and co-workers, “I can honestly say I love my job. I’m blessed and happy. This is the job I hope to have the rest of my life.

Ali Kershaw’s approach to personal training is not that different than her approach to life. “Don’t let your mind fool you. Fake it until you make it,” she says. In other words, pretend like you know what you’re doing and pretty soon you will. “There’s a lot of mental in the physical.” It’s not just a nice-sounding aphorism.

Ali has always applied this philosophy to her own endeavors. Whether it was her successful 11-year TV and film career in Hollywood, getting her Masters in Clinical Psychology, raising her two boys to make positive changes in the world, or becoming a personal trainer and running a growing studio, Ali thrives on new challenges. When she first came to The Perfect Workout and tried the leg press, she remembers thinking, “I’ll never be able to move this thing.” From that initial encounter last April where she barely budged 170 pounds, Ali can now press 405 pounds for 1:53, setting a great example for her clients. Her goal is to be able to do the whole stack of 480 pounds soon.

Ali grew up around athletics in Montana. Her dad was a hammer thrower in the 1972 Munich Olympics. Unfortunately, both her father and grandfather passed away suddenly due to health conditions, one of the main reasons Ali does what she does. “It’s an investment in my health. I’m never not going to be working in the health and fitness industry.” Ali’s own slow-motion strength training workouts are paying off, and her clients are reaping the benefits, too.

One woman who had three hip replacements needed a cane to walk when she came in. After a few months of working out she tossed it aside and got up the stairs on her own. Another client told Ali about a fall he avoided completely because of his increased strength and balance from The Perfect Workout. “This instills confidence in them that they never knew they had. It erases fears and doubts,” she says. “Most people feel stronger, and they also feel more confident. It helps with their overall mental health.”

More than anything, what makes Ali a good trainer is that she truly cares about people. She’s a great listener, and she works just as hard to help her clients achieve their goals as they do. For 2015, Ali says, “There’s no time for hesitation. No better time to invest in your health and longevity.” Her own goals for this year include making her clients happy, helping the West Plano studio grow, giving 100% to her clients, trainers, husband, and two boys, and finding the balance among it all. Knowing Ali, she’ll make it all happen.

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Joan dropped 32 pounds and three sizes in nine months! “At age 50 I’m stronger than I’ve ever been in my life!”

unnamedInitially skeptical about about the efficacy of slow-motion strength training, after seeing great results, Joan now crows, “The Perfect Workout is perfect. It’s been three years since I was this small.”

Over the hill at 50? Hardly. Joan Morabito knew she was getting in great shape after joining The Perfect Workout. The weight was coming off, clothes were fitting looser, and she could now do things like lift the car carrier on top of her car. Getting compliments from a couple of teenagers was the icing on the cake. One of her daughter’s friends noticed after not seeing Joan for a while. “Mrs. Morabito, you look so skinny!” Her daughter added, “Oh my gosh! Your legs. Wow, Mom, that’s amazing.”

It’s especially satisfying considering what she’s gone through. Born with a hole in her heart that never closed up, Joan was vacationing in Colorado ten years ago when a blood clot caused a stroke. For a few years it slowed her down, and her balance is still a little off, but most people wouldn’t notice anymore.

In spite of getting past that hurdle, Joan got frustrated going to the gym. She really doesn’t like working out, found it too distracting, and with four kids, rarely had enough time to get there on a regular schedule. She came to The Perfect Workout last February with some hesitation. “I didn’t think I’d like it that much, and didn’t think I’d get such quick results,” says Joan.

The initial doubts quickly washed away. “The Perfect Workout is perfect. There are no distractions. It’s 20 minutes I get to focus completely on me. That’s what I need, to be completely focused on it.” Her trainer at the Memorial studio (in Houston), Rebekah, is super-positive, encouraging, and knowledgeable. “I love it! Rebekah is focused on me, and tells me exactly what I need to be doing. I trust her. I never got that kind of attention at a gym before. I want to do my best for myself, but for her, too.”

Joan’s commitment to her twice-a-week workouts, along with a change in eating habits, has paid off big-time. She lost about seven pounds before coming to The Perfect Workout, and 32 more pounds since. And while she’s lost inches everywhere and had to buy new clothes, she’s even more excited about her strength gains. “I’m definitely stronger all over. My daughter couldn’t believe it – I’m doing almost 300 pounds on the leg press. And my husband loves that I’m going to The Perfect Workout. It’s been three years since I was this small.” Last year Joan was lucky to get to her previous gym two or three times a month.

Now? “I can’t wait for Monday and Thursday mornings to come! I guard those times.” In 2015 she has a goal to get down to a size 8 at every store she shops at, continue building strength, and buy a nicer swimsuit next summer. For anyone else who’s frustrated with working out like she was, Joan has simple advice. “Go try it! Give it a try for three months. I’ll bet you after a couple weeks you’ll kick yourself that you didn’t do it earlier.”

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Reducing Sports Injury Risk

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, football participation in California and Texas has increased steadily for years…until the last two years. Football participation is decreasing in many states over the last two years. This is hardly a surprise. The last few years have also featured numerous stories about NFL players suffering torn anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL), concussions, and there was a lawsuit where former NFL players sued the league over inadequate warning for concussion risk.

In the 2011-2012 school year, there were nearly 1.4 million estimated sports-related injuries in high schools across the United States (according to the National High School-Related Sports Injury Surveillance Study). While football led the way, sports such as soccer, basketball, and wrestling also produce tens of thousands of injuries per year. How do we protect our kids from athletic injuries? How can we make sports safer?

In addition to looking at changes within the sports themselves, we can also properly prepare the participants. Strength training has demonstrated a clear ability to reduce injury risk for young athletes in research. A review of research from the Journal of Sports Medicine mentioned seven studies with high school athletes that found that a strength training program reduced injury rates in various sports. This is likely due to several reasons. As a bonus, strength training is relatively safe for kids and poses little injury risk itself.

Athletic injuries occur when the force placed on the body exceeds the force our bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments can withstand. In sports, these forces are often uncontrollable…especially with young athletes. An athlete can safely and effectively move around the field or court, but that still doesn’t stop another player from accidentally crashing into the athlete or misplacing a foot under an athlete as he or she is landing from a jump. Of course, collision isn’t always necessary. For example, even just running can lead to a strained hamstring or front thigh muscle.

Strength training prepares the athletic body to sustain many of these forces. Strength training increases bone strength as well as connective tissue strength, which reduces the risk of bone fractures or tears in tendons or ligaments. Strength training increases muscle size and strength. As an athlete becomes stronger, his or her muscles support more force, which helps during common movements such as jumping and running. In fact, long distance runners are known to adopt strength training to reduce lower body injuries.

The Journal of Sports Medicine review also mentioned strength training as a safe option for young athletes. According to one study, strength training with 13-16-year old boys led to just 3.5 injuries for every 10,000 hours of participation. Another study said strength training was responsible for less than one percent of high school sports injuries each year. From the results of seven studies, the researchers stated, “injury occurrence (with resistance training) in children and adolescents was either very low or nil.”

Strength training physically develops muscles, bones, and connective tissues. As a result of strength training, these various tissues are more able to withstand the various forces on the body that are experienced with athletics. As a bonus, strength training is comparatively very safe. Injury risk is extremely low in general and when compared to other sports. At this point, I imagine the only question parents have about strength training with their youngsters is, “What are we waiting for?!”

By Matt Hedman, President of The Perfect Workout


Reference

Faigenbaum, A. D., & Myer, G. D. (2010). Resistance training among young athletes: safety, efficacy and injury prevention effects. British journal of sports medicine, 44(1), 56-63.

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