Member Feature Karen Orendain

At 65, She Doesn’t Feel At-Risk for Heart Attack Anymore.

Karen Orendain - Female Member at The Perfect Workout

“I knew I needed to make a change in my life.

I wasn't working out and I was helping take care of my mom. She had a lot of health issues, was very weak, falling, and had a lot of problems.

I knew that I didn't want to follow that path.”

Karen was at a turning point with her health and fitness…

“A few years ago I was about 15 pounds heavier and wanted to lose that extra weight. I wanted to get rid of the “bat wings,” build up my body strength and keep my posture up.

I was diagnosed with osteopenia, and I heard that weight-bearing exercises were the best for stopping that.

I also became pre-diabetic, and high blood pressure and heart conditions run in my family. So I just wanted to stay ahead of it and focus on my health.

I heard about The Perfect Workout on the radio and decided I can do something for 20 minutes and not be intimidated.”

The Perfect Workout Member with Female Trainer working out on a weight machine

In 2016 Karen joined The Perfect Workout’s West Plano studio and immediately felt at ease working 1-on-1 with her trainers.

“I wasn't worried about hurting myself, doing things wrong, or not accomplishing my goals because I wasn't doing it correctly. That’s really why I picked The Perfect Workout.”

Karen began to see changes within a month of doing slow-motion strength training. She felt more and more motivated by the results she saw:

  • She was losing weight again
  • Her bat wings were going away
  • She felt stronger in her legs
  • Her body felt firmer all over
  • She felt more positive about her body

“I was ready to show it off!”

Karen’s quick success and boost in confidence were large in part to her work with her Certified Personal Trainers.

“I love our personal trainers. Everyone that I worked with I grew attached to. They're friendly, positive, and they really enjoy not only training but working together as a team.

I love that they discuss your workout and your goals as a group so they can each feed off of one another to help give you the best training and success.”

The Best Part…

“I feel positive about my future. I enjoy the fact that I have body tone now.

And I feel stable.

My mom fell a lot and had her first heart attack at 65 years old.

I’m 65 now, but I don't feel like I'm at risk anymore.

I feel like this is helping me not only to build a stronger body but a stronger attitude toward my overall habits in my life.

I’ve been with The Perfect Workout for five years now and I still believe it’s the perfect workout for me.

It's a safe environment. A place to go and work out and not feel like you're in comparison with anyone.

The Perfect Workout has motivated me to be a healthier and happier person… and I feel like sharing it with people! ”

Karen Orendain, 65
Dallas, 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.

Diabetes & Blood Pressure Under Control (naturally)

how he got diabetes & blood pressure under control...naturally

personal trainer

A Mediterranean escape on the itinerary.

A plan to get in shape.

A perfect workout to help get him there.

Then COVID hit.

Read about our client Tom Curry’s story of keeping up with his get-in-vacation-shape plan during quarantine and the surprising health improvements he made training at home.

His Vacation Motivation

Tom’s story started with his wife, Cathy. She had been training in our West Plano studio for about a year and a half before she finally got Tom to try it out. The only exercise Tom had been doing was walking his dogs twice a day. It was better than nothing, but not nearly enough to get in shape for a big trip they had planned.

Going to Greece was on the horizon for the Curry’s and Tom had made it a goal to get in shape for it. 

“We were going to be doing a lot of walking and I just wanted to make sure I could handle all of that for the trip.”

Tom had done weight training before but never tried the slow-motion strength workout we do at The Perfect Workout. In less than a year, it’s proven to be more effective than anything else he’s done.  

With just two, 20-minute workouts a week, Tom feels like he has more energy each day, especially the next day after his workout. And he is getting the benefits of a cardio workout with strength training. 

“I never was a big cardio fan. The idea of getting on a treadmill and doing that was not ever very much fun. I'm getting cardio with this workout, because I can certainly tell my heart's beating faster!”

Tom got in the groove of training at the studio twice a week and felt excited about his new workout regimen and how it would help him tackle the hills of Greece, and then COVID hit.

COVID Didn’t Halt his Progress

“I was skeptical of this at home (Virtual Personal Training) at first just because I'm not very good at doing things here at the house.”

Many people struggle to keep up with their workouts at home, which is why having a Personal Trainer, even via video, makes each session productive and worthwhile. 

“It’s motivation knowing that I'm connecting with somebody, even if it's on a computer screen.”

Luckily, being a resident in West Plano, TX, Tom didn’t have to quarantine nearly as long as other parts of the country, so he was back in the studio as soon as it opened back up.

After going back [to the studio] I didn't lose any ground. That was nice not having to start all over again. I can certainly tell now that I'm back in the studio that I'm a lot stronger than I was.

Tom Curry

But Tom is considered “high-risk” in COVID-terms so he needed reassurance that the studio would be a safe place for him to workout if he returned.

Tom was in excellent hands returning to the studio since we are by-appointment-only and adhere to all CDC guidelines on distance, masks, and sanitation, We've even gone one step further and installed HEPA air filters in each room, which cleans the air every 2-3 minutes, just like on airplanes and in hospitals. See what else we’re doing to keep you safe.

“They're doing a great job keeping it clean and the number of clients down. I'm in one of those categories they say you got to be really careful So far, I've felt safe.”

Diabetes & Blood Pressure Under Control

Tom has Type II Diabetes and almost a year ago he was having problems managing his A1-C levels. His Doctor was changing his medications to see if they could get it under control. After dropping one type of medication, his A1-C levels spiked up to 7.4 (anything over 7 is considered “bad.”) 

During quarantine and over the course of his Virtual Training Sessions, Tom was able to lower his levels back down to 6.4. 

“I dropped a full point during the pandemic doing things at home!”

In addition, his blood pressure dropped as a result of his 20-minute strength training workouts.

Feeling Good About Health Again

“I sing the praises when somebody asked me about [The Perfect Workout] because I think it's, far easier to go do something like this than to spend 45 minutes in a gym- 25 minutes on a treadmill and, and then trying to pick out your own routine with weights which you're inevitably going to screw something up.”

Tom is extremely happy with all of the Personal Trainers he’s worked with. They’ve all been very encouraging and are personally invested in his progress. He feels like the entire team has been very engaged in helping him make positive changes in his health.

“I really feel good about my health.“

Strength and Your Health

The Relationship between Strength and your health

If you’re reading this article, attaining and maintaining good health over the entire course of your life is probably important to you. Specifically, you probably want to avoid disease and be able to perform all the hobbies and activities that you wish to do. So what general impact do both muscular strength as well as the actual practice of strength training have on health?

A study conducted at the Cooper Institute in Dallas, Texas, looked at the relationship between muscular strength and long-term risk of disease in men [1]. In total, 8,672 men participated, between the ages of 20 and 80. At the start of the study, each participant performed one-repetition maximum tests for the bench press and leg press. These tests are generally considered good ways to represent the muscular strength of the upper and lower body while maintaining testing simplicity and efficiency.

The scores of the bench press and leg press one-rep maximums were combined to form one overall “strength score” for each participant. The men were then grouped into thirds based on their overall strength scores (top third, middle third, and lower third). Comprehensive medical evaluations were also performed at the start of the study to make sure no detrimental health conditions already existed.

After an average follow-up of 19 years, deaths were surveyed. All three groups were assessed by risk of death from any cause, as well as risk of death from either heart disease or cancer.

Before getting into the results, it’s well known that people who strength train tend to have better overall health habits than people who don’t. For example, strength training participants are more likely to be physically active, smoke less, and eat healthier diets. To minimize the interference of other causative factors like these, the researchers adjusted the data to eliminate the influence of physical activity level, age, smoking status, alcohol intake, body mass index, and family history of heart disease.

With that in mind, the level of muscular strength each participant started with was strongly associated with better long-term health. Compared to the lowest strength level group, the middle group had a 28% lower death rate from any cause or death due to cancer only. The middle group also experienced 26% fewer deaths from heart disease. The death rates for the strongest group were very similar to the middle group in all three categories. The lesson here is that for health, men with even a moderate amount of strength have a greatly reduced risk of early death.

A research review from the University of Maryland [2] was more comprehensive than the Cooper Institute study. The researchers gathered 171 studies that mostly included both men and women as well as a wider array of diseases and disease markers. The studies examined included randomized-control trials (which are studies that can prove causation) and observational studies (such as the Cooper Institute study, where researchers can pinpoint associations but not causes).

After condensing the results of the studies, the researchers found that performing strength training has a “moderate to large” impact on improving the following factors:

  • Disease markers (such as triglycerides, blood sugar, etc.)
  • Overall risk of heart disease
  • Ability to do daily activities and overall physical function
  • General weakness and fatigue

The results also showed that strength training has a smaller but positive impact on the following conditions:

  • Blood pressure
  • Bone density
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (specifically the amount of pain and inflammation)
  • Metabolic rate
  • Cognitive function (including those with dementia)

Overall, the research indicates that having even a moderate level of muscular strength provides a lower risk of premature death, especially from heart disease or cancer. And the actual practice of strength training provides enhanced physical and cognitive function while also providing protection from a number of diseases and disease markers.

At The Perfect Workout, optimal strength training requires only two 20-minute workouts per week. Knowing that strength training requires such little time and can give you so many benefits, it’s an understatement to say that it’s time well spent.

1. Ruiz, J. R., Sui, X., Lobelo, F., Morrow Jr, J. R., Jackson, A. W., Sjöström, M., & Blair, S. N. (2008). Association between muscular strength and mortality in men: prospective cohort study. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 337(7661), 92.

2. Hurley, B. F., Hanson, E. D., & Sheaff, A. K. (2011). Strength training as a countermeasure to aging muscle and chronic disease. Sports Medicine, 41(4), 289-306.