Hustling Between Exercises

Hustling Between Exercises

Mission Monday Episode 9

“CAN I CATCH MY BREATH?!”

Did you ever ask that question while training at The Perfect Workout? We wouldn’t blame you if you had.

The Perfect Workout keeps you moving quickly during the session. This is a strength of our exercise program.

Moving Quickly Between Exercises

Hustling through the session is a big reason why workouts often take only 15-20 minutes. If you took a few breaks, that same workout could easily take 30 minutes or longer.

Overall session efficiency is a benefit of the fast pace between exercises. However, that’s not the main reason why we hustle.

The quick pace is one of the key ingredients that makes The Perfect Workout so effective for improving your health.

The short rest is especially important for the cardiovascular system. Having LESS THAN 30 SECONDS between exercises unlocks a number of benefits:

  • A bigger reduction in blood pressure
  • An improvement in artery function
  • An increase in overall blood flow

The quick pace also improves aerobic fitness and creates an increase in metabolism that lasts for up to 3 days after the workout.

While it’s tempting to take a breather after the leg press or pulldown, KEEP GOING!

Hustling between exercises makes the session time efficient while also enhancing your fitness and cardiovascular health!

If you would like to learn more about our method of strength training, read about our methodology. If you are new to The Perfect Workout, try a workout with us and start with a FREE Introductory Session.

  • Kraemer, W.J. & Ratamess, N.A. (2004). Fundamentals of resistance training: Progression and exercise prescription. Physical Fitness and Performance, 36(4), 674-688
  • Waller, M., Miller, J., & Hannon, J. (2011). Resistance circuit training: Its application for the adult population. Strength & Conditioning Journal, 33(1), 16-22.

Hustling Between Exercises

Mission Monday Episode 9

“CAN I CATCH MY BREATH?!”

Did you ever ask that question while training at The Perfect Workout? We wouldn’t blame you if you had.

The Perfect Workout keeps you moving quickly during the session. This is a strength of our exercise program.

Moving Quickly Between Exercises

Hustling through the session is a big reason why workouts often take only 15-20 minutes. If you took a few breaks, that same workout could easily take 30 minutes or longer.

Overall session efficiency is a benefit of the fast pace between exercises. However, that’s not the main reason why we hustle.

The quick pace is one of the key ingredients that makes The Perfect Workout so effective for improving your health.

The short rest is especially important for the cardiovascular system. Having LESS THAN 30 SECONDS between exercises unlocks a number of benefits:

  • A bigger reduction in blood pressure
  • An improvement in artery function
  • An increase in overall blood flow


The quick pace also improves aerobic fitness and creates an increase in metabolism that lasts for up to 3 days after the workout.

While it’s tempting to take a breather after the leg press or pulldown, KEEP GOING!

Hustling between exercises makes the session time efficient while also enhancing your fitness and cardiovascular health!

If you would like to learn more about our method of strength training, read about our methodology. If you are new to The Perfect Workout, try a workout with us and start with a FREE Introductory Session.

  • Kraemer, W.J. & Ratamess, N.A. (2004). Fundamentals of resistance training: Progression and exercise prescription. Physical Fitness and Performance, 36(4), 674-688
  • Waller, M., Miller, J., & Hannon, J. (2011). Resistance circuit training: Its application for the adult population. Strength & Conditioning Journal, 33(1), 16-22.

His Plan to Getting Strong: 20-Minute Workouts

20-Minute Workouts - His Perfect Plan to Getting Strong

The Perfect Workout Member, David Garner doing slow motion strength training

David Garner, age 59, exercised his entire life.

But after a really bad car accident, he felt weak and out of shape. In just one month of training at The Perfect Workout, he noticed his strength and definition coming back. Here is his story…

“After the accident, I lost a lot of muscle tone, so I knew I needed to get back in shape.

I found The Perfect Workout through Yelp, and I liked that it was only a 20-minute workout.

However, the philosophy of achieving better muscle tone in 20 minutes didn't seem right to me. I was skeptical.

Once I experienced it, everything changed. I understood really fast how this workout could help me build my muscles back.

After the first month, I started noticing that I was able to make it through the workout without being out of breath or getting really sore. That was an eye-opener for me.

I've been with The Perfect Workout now for a little over 3 months, and it's been a perfect fit for me. As a result of my slow-motion workouts, I:

  • Have more endurance.
  • Increased definition in my legs. I noticed this within a month!
  • Feel like I’m in great shape, which is important to me for my dating life.

Another thing I love about my workouts is the one-on-one training.

My trainer watches me like a hawk – my every move – so I don't get hurt.

In another gym, I got hurt. I've had surgeries in my back and neck and it took me about a year to get over it. It is important that I have somebody watching my every move.

They know my goals and they make sure that every position I'm in is safe.

To me, The Perfect Workout is convenience, safety, and results.

I would recommend The Perfect Workout to people that are busy, that don't have an hour and a half to two hours to workout, and to people that don't want to be sore all the time because it's easy to go to the gym and overdo it.

But here there is just a plan. It's a perfect plan.”

David Garner,
SW Ft. Worth, TX

If you’re a current member and you’d like to share how The Perfect Workout has helped you achieve results- inside and out, please apply by filling out this form.

If you are new to The Perfect Workout, try a workout with us and start with a FREE Introductory Session.

More Exercise Isn’t Better. Better Exercise is Better.

More Exercise Isn't Better. Better Exercise is Better.

Are you eating less and exercising more but gaining weight?

Spending longer hours at the gym, but can’t get rid of that tummy?

Signing up for more workout classes, but don’t have time to do the things you really want?

In this article we address a common belief that “more is better” when it comes to exercise. You’ll learn how taking a smarter, “less is more” approach to exercise can produce better results and save you time.

Eating more and exercising more isnt better, slow motion strength training is better

How to Get Stronger in Under 20 Minutes

Most people spend an hour in the gym for a strength training workout. Did you know strength can be maximized with workout sessions lasting less than 20 minutes?

One study (1) experimented with individuals who strength trained for two months. All participants in three different groups performed the same full-body workout but with different workloads.

  • GROUP 1: performed one set per exercise. (7 total sets per workout)
  • GROUP 2: performed three sets per exercise (21 total sets) 
  • GROUP 3: performed five sets per exercise (35 total sets)

** All sets were performed to muscle success (aka. Temporary muscle fatigue)

The secret to a successful workout

All groups gained strength, but the strength tests which included a bench press and a barbell squat showed no statistical difference in strength gain for each group. 

This is significant when considering the amount of time spent exercising:

 

GROUP 3 averaged 68 minutes per workout
GROUP 2 averaged 40 minutes per workout
GROUP 1 trained for just 13 minutes per workout

 

Therefore, training intensely for 13 minutes can produce similar strength gains compared to training for 68 minutes. You get a five-fold return on your time investment. 

The 13-minute routine used in Group 1 is similar to a typical session at The Perfect Workout: 

 

  • one set per exercise
  • seven exercises total
  • each set performed to “muscle success”
  • each workout targeting all major muscle groups

 

This similarity is not a coincidence. Our method is designed to help you become strong, healthy and able-bodied without wasting your time. In fact, you get your time back.

Exercise Everyday? Not Necessary

A common misconception about exercise is that we need to exercise almost every day, if not every day of the week.

This approach to exercise can actually hinder results.

In another study (2), 72 women between the ages of 60-74 were tested before and after a 16-week exercise program. There were 3 groups:

*Aerobic workouts were cycling/treadmill for 20-40 min at 80% of max heart rate

**Strength training workouts- each set of repetitions was taken to the deep fatigue point of “muscle success”

1+1 Group:

Performed 1 low intensity aerobic workout per week

1 high intensity strength training workout per week

2 total workouts per week

2+2 Group: 

Performed 2 low intensity aerobic workouts per week

2 high intensity strength training workouts per week

4 total workouts per week

3+3 Group: 

Performed 3 low intensity aerobic workouts per week

3 high intensity strength training workouts per week

6 total workouts per week

Results measured included: total number of calories expended per day (TDEE), non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), and fat loss.

 

1+1 Group:

  • increased their NEAT by 57 calories per day
  • increased their TDEE per day by an additional 30 calories
  • averaged 2.2 lbs of fat loss. 

2+2 Group: 

  • increased their NEAT by 200 calories per day
  • increased their TDEE per day by an additional 195 calories
  • 2+2 group lost the most fat, dropping 4.4 fat lbs

3+3 Group: 

  • decreased their average daily NEAT by 150 calories. 
  • decreased their TDEE per day by an average of 63 calories, despite the extra activity level of working out six days per week.
  • averaged 1.1 lbs of fat loss. 

 

The group that spent the most time exercising wound up burning fewer calories and losing less fat than both of the other two groups. 

This study is evidence that more exercise doesn't necessarily produce better results.

In fact, too much physical stress (including exercise stress) can cause the body to react in unfavorable ways. You want just the right amount of high-intensity exercise stress for optimal improvements, and no more.

If you want to get optimal results you need to value resting and recovering from your workouts

More is not better quote from Alex Stefan

Learn to Work HARDER, Not Longer.

A typical slow-motion strength training workout generally consists of 7-8 exercises per session. This may vary slightly depending on a number of factors: once or twice a week, injuries, limitations and individual goals.

 

In theory, you can hit all major muscle groups with just 4 exercises:

  • Leg Press: Glutes, Quadriceps, Calves(or Squat for Virtual)
  • Chest Press: Pectorals, Shoulders, Triceps (or Push-up for Virtual)
  • Lat Pulldown: Lats, Biceps, Abdominals (or Superman for Virtual)
  • Leg Curl: Hamstrings (same for Virtual)

 

Depending on the individual, we can also incorporate other machines to target specific muscle areas, including:

  • Leg Extension: Quadriceps (same for Virtual)
  • Preacher Curl: Biceps, Forearms (or Bicep Curl for Virtual)
  • Tricep Extension: Triceps (or Tricep Dips for Virtual)
  • Hip Abduction: Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minor, TFL (or Fire Hydrant for Virtual)
  • Hip Adduction: Inner Thighs (or Pillow Squeeze for Virtual)
  • Compound Row: Trapezoids, Rhomboids, Biceps (often interchangeable for Lat Pulldown) (or Row for Virtual)
  • Abdominal Machine: Abdominals (or Crunches for Virtual)
muscles worked on exercises

If you look at the first list, you’ll notice the entire body can be targeted with just four exercises, making it simple and efficient to get a full-body workout.

More exercises can be added to further fatigue smaller muscles that may have not achieved muscle success on bigger-muscle machines. 

For example, the biceps are the secondary muscles used on the Lat Pulldown. The Preacher Curl can be added to further fatigue them.

 

This does not mean it is necessary to do all machines and exercises in every workout.

In fact, having the ability to easily complete 11 slow-motion strength training exercises is a good indication that the intensity level is not high enough. 

Think of your workouts as a short sprint, not a mile-long race. The reason there isn’t a mile dash in track & field is because nobody can sprint that far, or work that hard for that long. 

 

Since intense effort is what stimulates best results from the muscles (and the body), demanding slow-motion strength training workouts have to be brief.

If you feel like you can perform slow-motion strength training exercises for more than 20 minutes at a time, you can probably improve your results by increasing the intensity and learning how to work harder.

 

This applies to every single exercise too.

An appropriate weight will allow you to maintain a slow speed while eliminating any momentum. Therefore, slow lifting makes greater demands on the muscles, and provides a more effective stimulus for the muscles. 

An ideal exercise should take about 1-2 minutes to hit muscle success. Anything over 2 minutes indicates the weights may be too light for you, thus making the exercise less efficient.

Rest AFTER the Workout

Have you ever thought, ”Why doesn’t my trainer give me any breaks between exercises?!” 

 

One reason is minimal rest between exercises improves the cardiovascular impact of the workout. 

The only way to “get at” your cardiovascular system during exercise is to make the muscles work hard. We achieve that by hitting muscle success. Slow-motion repetitions make your muscles work much harder than most exercises which puts a greater demand and stimulus on your cardiovascular system.

your heart and eating less and exercising more
Image Source: Cybex

Little to no time to rest between exercises quickens the process of getting to muscle success, making the overall workout more efficient. 

While strength training in general provides several improvements to the cardiovascular system, many benefits are received or amplified only when training to muscle success. 

Another Area to Avoid Resting is Between Repetitions.

One study (3) observed what happened when two different groups strength trained. Resting was compared against not resting between repetitions:

 

  • GROUP 1: lifted continuously from start to finish in each set (we use this in our protocol)
  • GROUP 2: took a short break in the middle of the set. 

 

When muscle biopsies were taken from the quadriceps, the fibers from GROUP 1 had grown 13%, whereas GROUP 2 only grew 4%. 

Keeping your muscles continuously loaded without any rest (as we employ with our slow-motion repetitions) yields the best results.

Save the rest & recovery for after your workouts. You’re going to need it!

Need Proof 20 Minutes is Enough?

We’ve helped over 40,000 clients improve their bodies and health over the last couple of decades with our 20-minute, twice a week protocol.

Here are just some of their success stories:

Over a 20-day period in May 2020, we measured just how long it takes for an average client of The Perfect Workout to complete a workout and the amount of time spent on each exercise. This is what we found out:

These are the people seeing significant results… And they are doing it with two workouts a week, for 20-minutes.

Now That You Know...

At the end of the day, we want to spend time doing the things we love, and there’s no reason for exercise to get in the way.

Now that you know:

  • You can get the same strength gains, if not more, in 13 minutes than you can in 68 minutes
  • More workouts per week can actually hinder your results
  • Doing more exercises than needed in a session is an indication the workout may not be intense enough and you can be working harder
  • You can get a full body-workout in with just 4 exercises
  • More rest in a workout can reduce muscle growth and cardiovascular impact

If you could save hours each week doing more of what you love, would you?

What you get working out with this method is not only guaranteed results, but also your time back!

We know you value your health and exercise should be at the top of your priority list, but it doesn’t need to fill up your calendar.

Imagine what you could gain from saving time in your week getting a more efficient workout.

Whether you’re looking to get stronger, carve out more time to play golf, or simply keep up with the grandkids, all you need is 20 minutes, twice a week.

  1. Schoenfeld, B.J., Contreras, B., Krieger, J., Grgic, J., Delcastillo, K., Belliard, R., & Alto, A. (2018). Resistance training volume enhances muscle hypertrophy but not strength in trained men. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
  2. Hunter, G. R., Bickel, C. S., Fisher, G., Neumeier, W., & McCarthy, J. (2013). Combined Aerobic/Strength Training and Energy Expenditure in Older Women. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. (Published ahead of print).
  3. Fisher, J., Steele, S., & Smith, D. (2013). Evidence-­‐based resistance training recommendations for muscular hypertrophy. Medicina Sportiva, 17(4): 217-­‐235.

It is possible for an individual to exercise too much

Is it Possible to Exercise Too Much?

Shifting the Paradigm Around Exercise

it is possible for an individual to exercise too much, woman ab crunch

“Physician tested, approved.”

“_______ are just what the doctor ordered!”

“The Doctors’ Choice is America’s Choice.”

These slogans came from advertisements during the 1930s, ‘40s, and ‘50s. Do you know what product they are referring to? No, it’s not broccoli. It’s not exercise, reading, or meditation, either. Those ads are referring to…SMOKING CIGARETTES! 

Yes, you read that correctly. From the 1930s to 1950s, cigarettes were advertised as healthful. Yes…”healthy” was used to describe the same cigarettes that can cause lung cancer, heart disease, COPD, asthma, birth defects, a stroke, heart attack, and many other types of cancer. 

This was a widespread belief. Some cigarette companies acknowledged causing a little “throat irritation,” but they were otherwise considered beneficial. 

While the cigarette being healthy is an extreme example, it illustrates a bigger point: beliefs generally held as dogma are often incorrect. 

Other popular examples include Pluto being a major planet in the solar system, humans using only 10% of their brains, and a human’s urine relieving the pain caused by a jellyfish sting (I hope you didn’t learn this firsthand). 

Here’s another example: more exercise is better. Said differently, the belief that people should perform long, intense workouts every day is a common but misguided belief.

And often we get the question – Am I exercising enough? When it’s just as important to ask whether or not it’s possible for an individual to exercise too much.

Joint Health.

We’re all aging, but not necessarily at the same rate. A study out of the University of California at San Francisco assessed the rate at which the knee joint wears down over a four-year period. 

The participants were middle-aged men and women with a large range of exercise habits. The researchers wanted to see if exercise habits were tied to the rate of arthritis development. 

What did they find? People who exercised a moderate amount were the most likely to preserve their joint health. The people who did little to no exercise AND the people who exercised a large amount both had more cartilage breakdown. 

The results indicate that people who don't exercise and people who exercise very often are on a quicker track to arthritis.

Knee Arthritis from too much exercise

Weight and Metabolism.

Our bodies are clever machines that have “negative feedback loops.” These feedback loops work to counteract some kind of stimulus. For example, when our blood sugar is excessively high, we produce more blood-sugar lowering hormones (insulin). 

A negative feedback loop also occurs when we exercise very often

One example was in a study from Laval University in Quebec. Young men exercised intensely on a daily basis for a few months. At the end of the study, the participants’ metabolic rate decreased by eight percent. The men also experienced a reduction in several hormones, including a thyroid hormone (T3). 

decreased Metabolism from exercising too much

The University of Alabama at Birmingham published a study that showed a similar effect. Older women exercised anywhere from 2-6 days per week for four months. Women who did 2-4 days of strength training and other activities (e.g. walking) per week actually became more active outside of their workouts. (Maybe they gained more energy?). 

Women who performed six days of exercise and activity per week were less active outside of their sessions and lost less weight than the other groups. Learn More about how to lose fat and only fat.

The takeaway: the body seems to fight back when pushed to exercise intensely on a daily or near-daily basis. Perhaps the body is trying to tell us something?

Strength.

You’ve likely heard at least one member of The Perfect Workout family say that the results happen between the workouts. The workouts are actually only a stimulus for change. The stimulus translates into change as you rest between your workouts. 

This is not a lie. Multiple research reviews, which make recommendations based on the findings of many studies, suggest 72 hours as the shortest possible rest period between training sessions on the same muscle groups. 

When training after a shorter rest period, muscles are actually weaker in the second workout. Why? They haven’t recovered yet from the first workout.

Don't exercise too much, rest between workouts

You Can Have Too Much of a Good Thing.

Exercise is one of the most healthy habits we can practice. However, similar to a medication or a supplement, there is a healthy amount and an excessive amount. Intense exercise on a near-daily basis can lead to counter responses from our body and limit strength gains.

It’s time to shift the paradigm on how we see exercise. It’s a potent habit that is best applied briefly and infrequently to maximize your health and fitness.

Valuing your health and exercise should be at the top of your priority list,  but it doesn’t need to fill up your calendar.

Imagine what you could gain from saving time in your week getting a more efficient workout.

Whether you’re looking to get stronger, carve out more time to play golf, or simply keep up with the grandkids, all you need is 20 minutes, twice a week.

  1. Hunter, G. R., Bickel, C. S., Fisher, G., Neumeier, W., & McCarthy, J. (2013). Combined aerobic/strength training and energy expenditure in older women. Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise, 45(7).
  2. Kraemer, W.J. & Ratamess, N.A. (2004). Fundamentals of resistance training: Progression and exercise prescription. Physical Fitness and Performance, 36(4), 674-688.
  3. Lin, W., Alizai, H., Joseph, G. B., Srikhum, W., Nevitt, M. C., Lynch, J. A., … & Link, T. M. (2013). Physical activity in relation to knee cartilage T2 progression measured with 3 T MRI over a period of 4 years: data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 21(10), 1558-1566.
  4. Tan, B. (1999). Manipulating resistance training program variables to optimize maximum strength in men: A review. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 13(3), 298-304.
  5. Tremblay, A., Poehlman, E.T., Després, J.P., Theriault, G., Danforth, E., & Bouchard, C. (1997). Endurance training with constant energy intake in identical twins: changes over time in energy expenditure and related hormones. Metabolism, 46(5), 499-503.

Burn More Calories: During a Workout vs. After?

How many calories do you burn during a workout vs. after?

One of the most common questions we hear is, “How many calories did I burn from my workout?”

To help answer that question, let’s talk money.

The traditional method for making money is exchanging time for money. 

You finish a project or complete a few days of work, and you’re compensated for those hours or work that you completed. You work 40 hours in a week and you’re paid for that week in the following paycheck. It’s a one-time compensation for the work completed. This is the common model of making money, and the traditional lens through which people think about burning calories.

Another way to make money is receiving residual income. A person works to complete a product or service, then receives ongoing payments or royalties after the work is already done. An example of this is writing a book and receiving continued payments for the book as it continues to sell. 

For many, the most valued benefit of exercise is that it “burns” calories, which can help with weight loss or maintaining weight loss (calories are technically “expended,” but “burned” is the more popular phrase). 

Traditionally, we look at exercise through the “time for money” model. We judge exercise by how many calories we burned during the workout, as if a workout was a one-time payment. Viewing exercise in this way is both right and wrong. 

Exercise is exchanging time for calories burned, but workouts also have residual benefits where you continue to burn calories after the workout. This is especially true for exercise at The Perfect Workout.

The Perfect Workout Client Strength Training

Calories Burned During the Workout

Hustling through your session at The Perfect Workout must count for something, right? Yes! 

The effort you put into moving quickly through your exercises makes the training more beneficial in a few ways, including increasing the calories burned during your workout. 

According to data from Harvard Health Publishing, exercise similar to The Perfect Workout burns about 4-8 calories per minute. 

Calories burned per minute are influenced by whether a person truly reaches “muscle success” on each exercise, how quickly a person moves when transitioning between exercises, and by how much the person weighs (heavier people burn more calories when working at the same intensity).

Using the Harvard data, a 20-minute session could expend 80 to 160 calories.

Calories Burned After the Workout

As noted before, The Perfect Workout burns calories not only during the session but with residual calories after the workout as well. 

A study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology showed that a single workout can increase metabolism up to 72 hours afterwards. The metabolism increase in the study was about 70-90 extra calories burned per day. 

This post-workout benefit doesn’t happen with all types of activity. Most activities, such as walking, riding a bike, and jogging, are limited to the calories burned only during the activity. 

Strength training’s intensity boosts metabolism for a prolonged period due to a few factors: 

  • replenishing stored glucose
  • converting lactic acid into glucose
  • elevated levels of some neurotransmitters and hormones
  • returning core temperature and breathing rate to normal levels

In slow-motion strength training workouts, you burn calories during the session and for days after. Evaluating The Perfect Workout through the traditional lens of only calories burned during the session would underestimate it’s value because you forget about all the calories you burn AFTER the workout. 

Combining the workout and post-workout estimates, a workout could burn anywhere from 200 to 340 calories. When considering that this all comes from a single 15-20-minute session, the calories spent for your work is definitely a return on investment.

New to slow-motion strength training? Try an Intro Workout today!

Traded Local Gym Membership for Private Training

Why He traded his local gym membership for private training

John Gilbert Featured Image

John Gilbert was a long-time member of a local Orange County gym chain. When the pandemic hit, he had to stop. 

But, when the chain was allowed to reopen, the thought of going back to the gym made him feel unsure and uncomfortable.  

It wasn’t staffed most of the time, and members could just badge in and out. And the hygiene program wasn’t super good there. I just didn't feel comfortable going back.”

Luckily, his wife had been training at The Perfect Workout’s Tustin studio for a couple of years, and she was a big fan.

So, he decided to take the plunge.

Carol Gilbert Quote

A Private, Safe Workout Space Curbed His Fears

Because the Tustin facility (and all 62 locations) follow strict CDC guidelines to keep the workout space clean and safe, John felt like it was time to make the switch from gym to private personal training.

Everything's clean. It's only you and the trainer in the studio… So, it's very safe compared to a free-for-all, members going in and out, without any staff and without any control over who touches what.”

He isn't planning on going back to his old gym because The Perfect Workout, for him, is literally perfect!  In just 20 minutes, he can get a good strenuous workout. Something which took an hour and 15 minutes to accomplish back at his old gym.

Play Video

20 Minutes, Twice A Week With A Trainer And He Feels Way More Energetic Than Before

After barely two months, John already felt like he had more energy than before. 

Each workout is a little different as Angela, his trainer, changes up the exercises and keeps the workout at an ideal intensity level.

Back at his old gym, he was doing the traditional way of weight lifting, doing three sets of 10 to 15 reps. Slow-motion strength training was completely new to him. 

“This is a lot more strenuous.”

One thing that he really likes about the private setting is working out with the guidance of a trainer and the focused attention he gets on each exercise. 

Back straight, drop your shoulders, engage your core, feet planted!” 

Previously, without a trainer, John admits he would normally stop when muscles were starting to fatigue.

“It was difficult to continue and push myself.” But with the help of his trainers’ coaching and encouragement, he’s able to push more than he ever thought possible.  

It's amazing that you can do so much more with somebody there.” 

At The Perfect Workout, you get the value of coaching and undivided attention of a Personal Trainer, whether you train in the studio or virtually.

You can expect to get:

  • Personalized instruction and guidance on how to do each exercise
  • Safe and challenging workout
  • Adaptations to the workout depending on your ability, environment, and desired intensity level
  • Accountability, expert coaching, and a friend throughout your fitness journey
  • Guaranteed results

Get help from a Personal Trainer…

In Control of Her Health with Strength Training

Strength training helped this dancer stay in control of her health

Laura Deutch Featured Image

Laura Deutsch has been a professional dancer since she was 15 years old. For decades it felt like it was all she needed to do to stay in shape. But after three children, working full time, and teaching dance, it didn’t do much for her body anymore. 

Then she was diagnosed with Type II diabetes. And she decided she needed to find a better way to lose weight, get stronger, and feel healthier.

Now, she’s 34 pounds down and has found her lifelong solution to stay in shape, live a healthier lifestyle, and be able to keep up with her passion for dance.

Play Video

In July, 2019 Laura joined the Wilmette studio at The Perfect Workout. Now, slow-motion strength training is the only thing besides dance she’s been able to stick with. 

She enjoys the brief, intense workouts and loves that she can fit them into her work schedule. The intensity of the workout and the muscle success she achieves strengthens her entire body so that she can continue to pursue her passion of teaching dance and not injure herself.

Easy on Her Joints

As a dancer, one thing that Laura loves about her workouts is she gets the mind-to-muscle connection.

“When you're doing it, you have to focus on what you're actually doing. So I feel like it's meditative, because it's not just throwing your body around and burning calories. It's a very specific, targeted exercise, and that's good for my mind and body.”

The biggest thing she values about the slow-motion training is there is virtually no impact on her joints.

Leg Press Slow Motion Strength Training

Being a dancer and dance teacher, injury prevention is very important to Laura. After all, if she gets hurt – neither of those things are possible for her. So for someone her age who cares about efficiency and safety, this workout is perfect for her. 

“I like that there’s no jumping, there's no landing, there's no fall that could go wrong. You can't really make a mistake at The Perfect Workout. And for me at this age, I can't afford mistakes.”

Before and After

The Results

After getting diagnosed with diabetes, Laura wanted to improve her overall health at The Perfect Workout and because of that, she’s since lost 34 pounds.

“I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes. And I think this is a really good workout for that particular problem, because there is a cardio aspect but it's not hyper fatiguing to the point where my blood sugar gets off.”

Although she lost the weight as a necessity for controlling her diabetes, that wasn’t the only motivation that helped her continually progress toward her goals.

Having the accountability of an appointment with another person and being weighed and measured help her stay on track. 

Besides dropping over 30 pounds, Laura has also gotten stronger, more slim, and has more energy and stamina throughout her day.

a quote from laura

The Trainers Are Good at What They Do

“I would recommend this to people 100% because you do have a trainer and you're told exactly what to do. It does not take a learning curve. It just takes a good trainer. And they're very good at what they do.”

Laura trains with two different trainers on average and loves the variety she gets from each of them. In fact, she doesn’t think she would work with just one person because she likes that she gets something different in her sessions: different exercises, different approaches to intensity, and of course different coaching personalities. 

You might think- well doesn’t that compromise continuity in her training? Nope.

Each trainer at The Perfect Workout goes through the same certification and uses the same science-backed methodology. Each keeps it safe, effective, and efficient, but brings a unique style and coaching to their clients.

Another way we are able to stay consistent workout to workout and trainer to trainer is each client’s information including workout progress, adaptations, and goals are updated each workout and stored privately in their secure profile.

Laura's Second Quote

“I think it's the kind of workout that makes sense in a busy working woman's life. With three kids, I have a lot going on. I can leave work when I have an hour lunch, and I can get there, put the shoes on, do the 20 minutes, get back to work, eat a snack, and teach my class and it's doable. 

I'm gonna stick with it.”

Need a workout that fits in your schedule? Try a workout today.

How to lose fat without losing muscle (in 20-Minutes)

The Science of losing fat, preserving muscle & doing it in 20-minutes

science of losing fat

Imagine stepping on the scale and it reads: Congrats! You’ve Lost 10lbs of fat, muscle & bone.

What!?

Who wants to lose muscle and bone?

Unfortunately losing weight can mean losing more than just body fat. So if you want to lose fat and only fat while adding lean muscle to your body, this article is for you.

it's simple: muscle burns fat

If you want to lose fat efficiently, you must know this: Muscle burns calories.

By adding more lean muscle to our bodies, we increase our resting metabolic rate, or the calories we burn on a daily basis.

So, how do we add more muscle to our bodies?

Strength Training.

In fact, strength training is more effective in burning fat than most “aerobic” activities because the added muscle helps you burn calories, even while you rest. Aerobics can burn a lot of calories but only in the moment of the activity.

Strength training research shows that women’s resting metabolism actually decreased 75 and 103 calories per day with “aerobic” and diet-only changes.

With a slower metabolism, maintaining fat loss becomes more challenging.

With more muscle, maintaining fat loss becomes easy.

Personal Trainers West LA CA

but i've lost weight with aerobics before...

Many of our clients and even our Trainers love to do aerobics and believe it or not, we fully support it – especially if it's something you love to do.

But for many, aerobic activities like running feel like a chore, and people do it because they believe it's absolutely necessary to lose weight.

It’s not.

A 2007 study put overweight and obese women through 25 weeks of a restricted diet that was complimented with either “aerobic” activity, or strength training, or no exercise at all.

Both the strength training and “aerobic” groups lost 26 lbs. of fat, slightly more than the women who only dieted.

However, here’s the difference: the strength training group not only maintained their lean mass (muscle, bone, water, and other organs), but actually gained a little.

The “aerobic” and diet-only groups lost two and three pounds of lean mass.

Remember, if your weight is decreasing, are you really getting to your target destination? In other words, are you losing just fat, or are you losing fat along with muscle and other tissues?

Losing weight does not necessarily imply that you will be leaner WITH better muscle tone, and that’s what you really want.

Personal Training West LA CA

How to burn fat in 20 minutes

Strength training is often said to transform the body into a calorie-burning machine. If so, can you get the same metabolic effect from a 15-20-minute workout using only one set for each exercise as you would from a longer, multiple-set session?

You probably know the answer is yes, but here is the research to prove it:

A recent study used two different protocols:

  • A full body workout using one set, each performed to muscular fatigue
  • A full body workout using the same amount of exercises, also working to muscle fatigue, but featuring three sets of each exercise


The researchers in the study measured the calories expended at rest each day for a week after both workouts.

There was NO difference between the two groups. A workout using one set per exercise increased metabolism to the same degree that a three-set routine did for 24, 48, and 72 hours afterwards.

Before and after photo The Perfect Workout member
Debbie lost 90 lbs in her first 2 years at The Perfect Workout

The study also showed the higher calorie expenditure rate wore off 96 hours after the workout.

By strength training twice a week, your resting energy expenditure is likely elevated all the time. By the time one session's effects wear off, another session occurs and the process starts over.

Finally, the researchers noted another bonus that you can relate to: saved time.

The one-set workout took an average of 16 minutes compared to 37 for the three-set trial. Essentially, you can save 21 minutes and achieve the same boost in metabolism by performing a full body workout with only one set per exercise.

If you’re going to get similar results from working out for 16 minutes as you would for 37 minutes why would you waste any time and work out longer than necessary?

20 minutes of slow-motion strength training is all you need to be efficient at burning fat and if you are training twice per week, you can experience this calorie-burning benefit on a perpetual basis.

female member of The perfect workout before and after
Robin Lancaster dropped 15 lbs in her first 3 months of Virtual Training!

Don't forget diet

Improving eating habits has the most influence on losing weight. However, diet by itself can also lead to indiscriminate weight loss: fat, muscle, bone, water…it all goes.

Thankfully, there is a way to minimize or eliminate muscle loss during diet-induced weight loss: strength training.

Changing eating habits is the most influential method for losing weight, and strength training is the most effective method ensuring that the lost weight is only fat.

male client at The Perfect Workout before and after
Dr. Finkelstein (left) lost 44 lbs with 20-minute workouts. Justin Brunette (right) lost 4 inches off his waist and his body fat dropped 6.4% in 3 months at The Perfect Workout!

If losing fat is your goal, the solution is simple:

  • Slow-motion strength train to muscle fatigue, twice a week
  • Eat a diet conducive to your needs and to lose fat
  • Limit aerobic activity
  1. Hunter, Gary R., et al. “Resistance Training Conserves Fat-free Mass and Resting Energy Expenditure Following Weight Loss.” Obesity 16.5 (2008): 1045-1051.
  2. Stiegler, Petra, and Adam Cunliffe. “The role of diet and exercise for the maintenance of fat-free mass and resting metabolic rate during weight loss.” Sports Medicine 36.3 (2006): 239-262.
  3. Heden TT. One-set resistance training elevates energy expenditure for 72 h similar to three sets. Eur J Appl Physiol 111: 3: 477-484,2011.
  4. Catenacci VVA. Physical Activity Patterns in the National Weight Control Registry. 16: 1: 153-161, 2008

Depression & Anxiety Reduced in 20 Minutes

Depression & anxiety reduced in 20 minutes

If you feel stressed, anxious, or sad during this quarantine/COVID-19 period, you are part of the majority.

Fortunately, you have the power to improve and maintain your own mental health.

Several activities have been proven to reduce anxiety and improve overall mood. One of these is… a 20-minute strength training session! (Come on…you knew I was going to say that, right?)

The CDC recently reported that the coronavirus period is adding stress manifested in several ways, including difficulty with sleeping and/or concentration, changes in sleep patterns, fear about your own and/or others’ health, and increased alcohol or tobacco use.

Here is what we know about how strength training can help your mental health:

  1. For people with existing health issues, a strength training program reduces depressive symptoms and improves overall mood (1).
  2. Strength training decreases the severity of depression for those with diagnosed depression (1,2).
  3. As little as eight weeks of strength training works for reducing depression (2).
  4. Training two or three times per week is shown to reduce depression (1,2).
  5. A decrease in anxiety and improvement in overall mood can be seen as quickly as five minutes after the workout is over (3).
  6. A single strength training workout can significantly decrease anxiety (3,4).

A few weeks of strength training, at least twice per week, can reduce depression. A single strength training session can elevate your mood and greatly improve your anxiety level.

More importantly, please remember to take care of yourself. Your physical and mental health are worth investing time in, especially now.

Strength train AND take part in other activities that reduce your stress and add happiness: connect with your family, spend time outdoors, create time for your favorite hobbies, and aim to regularly get enough sleep. This is a stressful time, but remember that you have the power to control your stress level.

  1. Brosse, A.L., Sheets, E.S., Lett, H.S., & Blumenthal, J.A. (2002). Exercise and the treatment of clinical depression in adults: recent findings and future directions. Sports Medicine, 32(12), 741-760.
  2. Stanton, R., Reaburn, P., & Happell, B. (2013). Is cardiovascular or resistance exercise better to treat patients with depression? A narrative review. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 34, 531-538.
  3. Bibeau, W.S., Moore, J.B., Mitchell, N.G., Vargas-Tonsing, T., & Bartholomew, J.B. (2010). Effects of acute resistance training of different intensities and rest periods on anxiety and affect. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 24(8), 2184-2191.
  4. Broman-Fulks, J.J., Kelso, K., & Zawilinski, L. (2015). Effects of a single bout of aerobic exercise versus resistance training on cognitive vulnerabilities for anxiety disorders. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.

The Power of a 20 Minute Workout with Brucie Melvin

the power of a 20 minute workout with brucie melvin

female client testimonial

When she first heard about Virtual Personal Training, Brucie was not convinced it would be a good workout. After all, she’d been training at The Perfect Workout studio for 3 years.

“I kind of “poo-pooed that like I poo-pooed, well, the 20 minutes.”

How can working out at home be nearly as challenging as on the machines?
Can you even achieve muscle success without equipment?
Can’t I just workout on my own at home?

Like many clients, Brucie was challenged with these questions. What she didn’t know was that she was just one Virtual Training Session away from getting answers to all of them.

In this feature, we sit down with one of our clients Brucie Melvin to learn about her story and how her skepticism of our 20 minute workout (in-studio and at-home) was debunked.

Brucie normally works out at our Mill Valley studio in the San Francisco Bay Area, and lately she’s been working with her Trainer, Alyssa Harrison in their 1-on-1 Virtual Training Sessions.

I was dying to know what a client of three years really thought about transitioning from studio workouts to living room workouts and wanted to share her story… and infectious personality!

You’ll notice we enjoyed a few laughs- one of which when her husband, made an unexpected comment in the beginning of our conversation (Pictured alongside Brucie below).

female client smiling with her husband

Keep reading for Brucie’s story or watch the full conversation below!

Meet Brucie:

“I've been at The Perfect Workout for just about 3 years now, loving it. I'll also say that I heard your ad on the radio. I spent a lot of time in my car (Bay Area traffic is a real thing!) and heard your ad on the radio and the ‘20 minutes.’ I kind of laughed at that for a long, long time and then decided, well, what's to lose? Let me go see what these clowns can do in 20 minutes. Well, it was quite amazing and I'm not a kid– I'm now 57, almost 58 — What did I say 50? My husband just corrected me.

Jordan: Did your husband just correct you in the background about your age?

Brucie: He did. ?

Jordan: Oh my goodness. ?

Brucie: I am 67 and not in terrible shape, but certainly didn't have a lot of strength that I didn't even realize I didn't have. I was very enlightened, very surprised and did a few workouts and immediately, I recognized a difference. It really did take only 20 minutes and I did 2 times a week and I’ve stuck with it ever since. It has made a big difference in my strength and my ability to– my husband and I work together in the business as a general contractor, we build decks. He's not in the field, nor am I, but we go out and inspect jobs all the time. We're constantly climbing on uneven surfaces and down mountainsides and hiking upstairs and I can tell a big difference in my strength. There are times where I have missed as much as a few weeks or a month. When I go back, it's like oh my….

Jordan: Meaning, you’ve missed a few weeks or months of workouts?

Brucie: Workouts, yes. I've had that happen a couple of times where — One time, I actually got really bad bronchitis that turned into pneumonia and wasn't able to work out for a good month. I'll go back to the studio and can definitely tell a difference. It's not like starting over but it is definitely starting from a lower level. It just proves to me over and over that this is really working.

"It just proves to me over and over that this is really working."

Brucie: One thing I said to Alyssa (her Personal Trainer from the Mill Valley studio) yesterday that this has been interesting because when she first mentioned the virtual workout, I kind of poo-pooed that like I poo-pooed, well, the 20 minutes. I thought well, they proved me wrong the first time, let's see about this. It worked really well and I was really shocked at how good of a workout you can get right in your own home.

Jordan: So your initial hesitation to The Perfect Workout, training in the studio, was the 20 minutes– how can I get a good workout in 20 minutes? Is that correct?

Brucie: That's absolutely correct.

Jordan: So, when it came time to train virtually, because that was the only option right now, what was the hesitation? Why did you feel skeptical about that?

Brucie: Because, I didn't see how the exercises could be performed without the equipment. So I thought, well, this isn't going to work. I'm just going to be in my living room, I have some weights, some power block weights, but that's all I have and Alyssa assured me that no, you don't need anything. You don't even need those weights that you have. ‘If you don't have it, we'll use something else.’ But, I just didn't think without any kind of equipment, that it was going to be possible to achieve a level of fatigue and hit the wall so to speak and do the ‘barely touch, barely start.’
But the exercises that you perform were definitely demonstrated that that's absolutely incorrect. And Alyssa says I'm pretty strong….

"I just thought that doing these things at home, it would be a slam dunk. Boy, was i wrong."

Jordan: Well, you've been with us for 3 years. I mean, you’ve got to be right!?

Brucie: Alyssa said I'm close to pushing on the leg press close to 200 pounds. So, I just thought that doing these things at home, then it would be a slam dunk. Boy, was I wrong about that. I was getting to fatigue really quickly, and we were even having to back off and do a couple of things a little differently so that I could even do them correctly. So, yes. Just very surprised and happy that I could accomplish the exercise and feel it where I was supposed to be feeling it. I had not worked out when we did the first Virtual Training, for close to 3 weeks. The second day, my legs were so sore, which was a clear indication that it was definitely an accomplished workout.

Jordan: Yes. A good sore. A gratifying sore!

Brucie: Yes. Like when you go to sit down, you go, ‘Oh my god, let me hold on to this table so I can sit down at this chair without killing myself.’

Jordan: So, would you call the at-home workouts intense?

Brucie: Very intense.

Jordan: On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the most intense and 1 being easy-peasy I could do that all day. How would you rate the at home workout?

Brucie: I would rate it a 10.

Jordan: Wow!

Brucie: It's the same muscle group but you're doing it in another fashion. I think it's kind of good because it does things that, you know, if you did it on the same thing on the machine it would be working just a little bit differently. I think it's kind of good that you're hitting those areas that maybe you're not accustomed to doing.
It’s slightly different. It forces you to– which I need a lot of help with as I get older– balance, it really helps. Because when you're sitting on a machine, you really don't have to balance, but when you're standing up or back to the wall, you kind of working everything to maintain that balance.

female client doing virtual training with a female trainer

Jordan: When the closures have lifted and we are able to return to the studios. Do you see yourself ever doing the Virtual Training session for whatever reason?

Brucie: Good question. I wouldn’t if I was able to go to the studio. I still really love going to the studio! But because I do work a lot, sometimes it may not be as convenient. There have been times where I've had to cancel because I knew I just didn't have time to get into the studio. But if I can do it right here, that's going to help me in the future. Especially now that I kind of know how to do it, and I'm all set up and, and get the drill. I think that's going to really be great for people who maybe live even further away, and may not want to do it all the time, but on occasion when for whatever reason, they can't get in.

Jordan: So now there's no excuse Brucie! We’ve got you on camera! ?

Brucie: Well—??

Jordan: So just out of curiosity, what equipment are you working with, if any?

Brucie: I have these things called power blocks. That is the only equipment that I'm using.

See video above for some of the exercises Brucie does with her Powerblocks.

Jordan: So just the powerblock dumbbells, and your body?

Brucie: That's it. That's it.

Jordan: How is that? Do you feel like you've been able to get in an effective workout?

Brucie: Extremely effective. It's surprisingly effective. As a side benefit, I want to keep mentioning the balance. I think it really helps with the balance.

"This is a super viable, very viable option. Just a real power workout."

Jordan: Just after 3 sessions of doing Virtual Training, you already feel like that's making a difference– you're noticing that in day to day activities, your improved balance?

Brucie: Absolutely.

Jordan: Wow.

Brucie: Absolutely. Yes.

Jordan: Do you think you could do this without the guidance of your trainer, this same workout?

Brucie: No. No.

Jordan: Why not?

Brucie: I think it's even more important to have guidance. Because they're (the Trainer) seeing you and she's saying ‘no, no, pull your feet back in a little more closer to your fingertips, or get your feet out a little more.’ For example, we did the same exercise 3 times (each workout) and I still needed to be positioned. So no, I think it's even more important that a Trainer guides you through and counts– continually, there's a lot of feedback of, ‘are you feeling this, where did you feel it, how did this perform.’ etc.

Jordan: Do you feel like you're being coached the entire way?

Brucie: Totally coached. Yes, exactly.

Jordan: Awesome! Let's say you had some online videos, you had your power blocks, maybe our Fast Fitness at Home Manual– Do you think that you would do this if you didn't have the appointments?

Brucie: Absolutely not. That's just me, it's all about accountability. You just want to do it. Not only do you want to do it for them (the trainer), but I know it's good for me and I wouldn't do it if I didn't have to be somewhere at a time.

Jordan: Absolutely. We want you to work out, we will do whatever we can so that you can work out!

Brucie: But this is a super viable, very viable option. Just a real power workout. You guys have developed this and I think it's really going to be worthwhile. I feel like it's an option for me because my life being as hectic as it is, it's going to be an option for me to do it.

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