This Trainer is Helping All Ages Build Strength & Better Health

Sarah Demott Personal Trainer

Sarah DeMott grew up thinking she knew the necessities of exercise and nutrition. But when she learned being healthy and strong would take more than eating whole grains and doing aerobics, she took a new approach to fitness.

“I thought that weightlifting was for the dudes to get stronger and bigger. It was just definitely out of my realm of what I thought that I needed to do.”

Sarah learned quickly that strength training was most definitely for women and it was something she needed to incorporate into her lifestyle.

Once she changed her routine by incorporating slow-motion strength training and a strict diet, Sarah was able to get into the best shape of her life.

“I was 180 pounds in high school, very unhealthy. I believe all the muscle I built doing slow-motion strength training helped me get down to about 132 pounds. I became a believer pretty quickly.”

Now, Sarah is leading the team in Clear Lake, TX and helping clients reshape their bodies and health too.

Sarah Demott Tree background

Strength Training No Matter Your Age

As a personal trainer, Sarah gets to work with people of all ages, physical abilities, and fitness goals. 

One young woman, Nicole, lives with a major chronic fatigue syndrome. Nicole had to use a wheelchair most of the time because she wasn’t able to stand for extended periods. 

She hadn't driven in years, she had to stop going to school because she couldn't walk across campus anymore, and she was on multiple medications and injections every day.

But none of them were helping.

What ultimately helped were two major things: slow-motion strength training and changing her diet.

When Nicole first started training with Sarah, she needed assistance getting from machine to machine. As Nicole got stronger and was able to increase resistance on each exercise, her life started coming back together.

She was able to get out of the wheelchair, she started running again, and even was able to go up and down the stairs without help – something she couldn’t do before.

At one point Nicole was afraid she wasn’t going to be able to walk down the aisle at her wedding, so that became a big goal for Nicole and Sarah to work toward.

With a lot of consistency and hard work, Nicole was able to stand up on her wedding day and walk down the aisle towards her new life, and Sarah was there to witness it.

“It was amazing, so beautiful. She is a completely different person today than she was when I first met her.”

Sarah is working with another woman whose goals are a little different.

“She's a lifer. And it's not because she loves me. It's not because she loves the workout. She visually sees the decline in her mother and how she can't take care of herself. And she doesn't want that.”

At The Perfect Workout we work with a lot of people in this middle stage of life where focusing on the future feels more important than ever. We meet them where they’re at and work with them to take control of their health and future. 

Sarah recently helped a male client take control of his life. He had severe diabetes, was overweight, and the doctor told him he needed to do something about it.

“His doctor told him, if you don't change something, you're gonna die in probably about two years.”

He began by making changes to his diet, becoming more active in his daily life, and found a personal trainer at The Perfect Workout.

After making those changes to his diet, lifestyle, and consistently doing slow-motion strength training, he’s gotten his life under control. His diabetes is no longer an issue and his doctor is very happy with his progress.

The Perfect Workout Mindset

You can get effective exercise in a small amount of time. We’ve been programmed to think that quantity is better than quality, and that's not the case. 

You don't have to spend an entire day working out and putting that much strain on your body to get the same (or better) results as you can get in 20 minutes, twice a week.

“People see a difference in their bodies in such a short amount of time, especially people that have never done weightlifting before. It doesn't take very long for your muscles to snap out of that stagnant state that they've been in for so long.”

Another thing people struggle with is time. The Perfect Workout method is only 20 minutes. Everybody has 20 minutes that they can focus on themselves. It's not only good physically, but mentally too, because you're doing something for you

“I can say working on physical health and mental health is extremely important. Take that time and focus on your own health, because you can't pour from an empty cup.”

Too many people sacrifice their health and quality of life because they allow themselves to get weak and out of shape. With The Perfect Workout, you can safely reshape your health and body in just 20 minutes, twice a week. Guaranteed.

Exercise Equipment for Virtual Training: What You Need to Know

Virtual Training exercise equipment

Virtual Personal Training with our slow-motion strength training method has proven equipment is not necessary…

Results can be achieved without using an exercise machine or equipment!

Read more here about how you can get a great workout with or without equipment.

But that doesn’t mean people don’t want equipment.

We compiled a list of recommended equipment for Virtual Training Sessions and where to buy it. Shop our recommended equipment sources here.

You might be wondering…

  • What equipment do we recommend for Virtual Training?
  • Why is this equipment recommended?
  • What exercises use equipment?

We’ll cover each of those questions in this article.

What Exercise Equipment is Recommended and Why

With over 40,000 case studies and over 20 years of service, we have plenty of experience customizing workouts for unique situations. Providing the safest and most effective exercise variation is a big part of our 1-on-1 private training.

While fitness equipment isn’t necessary, there are four tried-and-true pieces of equipment that can be useful for unique situations:

  • Resistance Bands
  • Dumbbells
  • Mini-Exercise Balls
  • Exercise Benches

 

What Are Resistance Bands Used For

A better question is: What AREN’T resistance bands used for?!

Resistance bands are incredibly versatile, especially if you don’t have actual weights. They can also be used to make an exercise more or less intense.

Upright Row Resistance Bands

For instance, if you struggle with push-ups, your trainer might have you secure one end of the resistance band over the top of a door as an anchor, then loop the other end of the band over your body as you get into push-up position.

With the resistance band looped around your body, the tension from being attached to the door will cause the band to support you and make the bottom half of the push-up easier.

Or maybe push-ups are too easy for you!

If that's the case, resistance bands can also be used to make exercises more challenging. You would just grip the resistance band in both hands as you do the exercise, making sure the band is across the back of your shoulders.

The upper range of the push-up gets more challenging when you do a push-up with resistance bands like this.

Shop resistance bands here.

What Are Dumbbells Used For

Also known as hand weights, dumbbells provide more resistance when you want to make an exercise more challenging.

They range in weight and can be made out of cast iron or concrete, sometimes coated in neoprene, rubber, or a plastic casing.

Men and Women using dumbbells

Compared to an entire barbell, dumbbells are especially useful for isolating specific muscles. With a barbell or machine, you might run into a situation where you’re gripping with both hands but one side is definitely carrying most of the weight. With dumbbells, one side can’t overcompensate for the other.

Shop dumbbells here.

What Are Mini-Exercise Balls Used For

Mini-exercise balls can be easy to underestimate. “I mean, they’re just a ball, right?”

Wrong! They’re GREAT for balance and stability.

But what does that mean for your workout and your results?

It’s another way to provide structure for your form. When you focus on stabilizing an area of the body, you’re able to contract specific muscles more effectively.

More contraction = more intense.

More intense = more efficient and effective workout.

Exercise Ball

Maybe you're someone who struggles to keep your knees aligned with your toes on a wall squat. In that example, your knees might cave in or push out – causing the exercise to lose effectiveness as the muscle contraction moves to other unintended parts of the body.

Your trainer might have you put an exercise ball between your knees to help train your body to stay aligned.

This would force your knees to keep a certain position which allows you to stop worrying about what your knees are doing and just focus on squeezing your glutes and pushing through your heels.

Shop exercise balls here.

What Are Exercise Benches Used For

Similar to our favored Nautilus machines, exercise benches stabilize the body and help structure it in a way that reduces risk of injury.

“Okay, but doesn’t a chair accomplish the same thing?”

Adjustable Dumbbells and bench

With a chair, couch, bed, or table, you’d probably have to grab several pillows to get a similar angle with less stability.

You can easily adjust incline for the seat back with an exercise bench or weight bench and be confident you won’t fall over with a tower of pillows. 😉

Another perk of an exercise bench is it provides a sturdy, flat surface a little higher from the ground for those who struggle getting up and down from the floor!

Shop exercise benches here.

Just reading about the different types of equipment might make you feel inspired to try a new version of an old exercise.

Our Certified Personal Trainers know there are limitless ways to customize your workout. They’ll choose an exercise variation based on your goals and medical needs to find the safest and most effective version every time.

No matter where you are or what fitness equipment you do or don’t have, you can always get in a great workout.

Read more about what exercise variations you can do with different levels of equipment here.

Makeshift virtual training equipment

If you felt inspired to try a new exercise, or if you’ve been dying to get some trusted equipment for yourself…

Be sure to check out our recommendations today!

Exercise equipment is in high demand and availability is extremely limited, so we recommend taking a look ASAP.

Consider setting alerts on your phone or subscribing to restock notifications from the seller and check back often if you run into items being out of stock.

Shop exercise equipment here.

Exercise with Neuropathy, Diabetes, & Arthritis: How She’s Stayed Active Through it All

Bryna Featured Image

When lifelong athlete Bryna Rifkind found herself struggling to exercise with neuropathy, type II diabetes, and arthritis after cancer treatment, she tried something new.

She found slow-motion strength training, and for over 6 years has been religious about staying consistent with her workouts.

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In 2001, Bryna Rifkind was diagnosed with cancer. Throughout her treatment she developed neuropathy in her feet. Neuropathy is a “disease or dysfunction of one or more peripheral nerves, typically causing numbness or weakness” (Oxford).

She could not wear shoes, certain items of clothing, and her activity was limited. 

I couldn't even do swimming because the mere action of moving your feet back and forth felt as though somebody was whipping my feet.”

As a self-proclaimed “jock,” she had always exercised and knew she needed to remain active. But her limitations and level of pain made that challenging.

After doing research, Bryna found that strength training was the smartest exercise solution for her. She began to lift weights at her local YMCA, but she experienced pain in her knee and the workout just didn’t “feel right.”

In 2013 Bryna was diagnosed with type II diabetes and she realized she couldn’t do this alone. She needed help.

“I needed to have something formal, something that somebody could help me with.” 

Bryna came across an article about a doctor who used to bicycle and run but traded those methods in for a different way of exercising: slow-motion strength training. The doctor’s personal story and affirmations saying this method was good for cardiovascular health was just enough to get her to try it herself.

Dr. Howard Testimonial

In August 2014, Bryna joined The Perfect Workout’s San Mateo studio.

“I believed in weightlifting, so I joined. After I read everything [about the science] and went through the practice workout, I said, ‘Yep, this works.’ And I've been very religious about it.”

And she wasn’t kidding! Ever since joining, Bryna has trained with her Personal Trainers twice a week, every week, even when she traveled to the East Coast. 

At the time we didn’t have Virtual Training, which allows you to train from anywhere. Luckily we had studios in Bethesda, MD and Alexandria, VA to keep her workouts consistent week-to-week.

“This has been really, really an important part of my life.”

In addition to battling cancer treatments and diabetes, Bryna has faced a number of ailments. In 1992 she injured her hip in a car accident which developed into arthritis. She’s also had injuries in both shoulders. 

But no matter the injury or issue, her Personal Trainers adapted her workouts. 

 

Bryna Testimonial

Bryna’s 20-minute workouts have also:

  • Helped her get stronger
  • Increased her stamina for daily life
  • Become a tool to combat depression


“This is a gift I give myself.”

Bryna believes the quality of the Trainers at all of the studios she’s visited has been exceptional. She’s always felt close to them and appreciates that they make accommodations for how she’s feeling. 

“I really do feel cared for. And, that is exceptional. I expect to be doing this for a long time.

Create Healthy Habits & Improve Your Life with Timothy Spellman

Timothy Spellman Personal Trainer

After losing 100 pounds and keeping it off for over 15 years, Timothy Spellman became a Certified Personal Trainer and has helped hundreds of clients create healthy habits and improve their lives.

Now, he’s doing it virtually.

Play Video

As a young adult, Timothy moved from Boston to Phoenix and his personal training career flourished while acquiring certifications as a NASM Weight Loss, Corrective Exercise, and Behavioral Change Specialist. 

Timothy ultimately moved to San Diego and was introduced to slow-motion strength training. Week after week, he noticed increased levels of energy and strength, and he even became leaner. He decided to expand his knowledge of exercise and got certified with The Perfect Workout. 

Today he is one of our highly successful Virtual Personal Trainers. Timothy believes he gives clients the tools to achieve and sustain their goals by helping them implement slow-motion training and altering their habits. 

 “I love working with clients, motivating them, and helping them achieve their goals.”

The Importance of a Healthy Routine

When the first shutdown happened and many of us became a little bit more sedentary than usual, Timothy reinforced to his clients how important it is to stick to a healthy routine.

He knows firsthand how easy it can be to backslide into old patterns and unhealthy habits like not exercising, or spending too much time on the couch watching Netflix. And when this happens, the body craves exercise, physically and psychologically.

Tim Spellman quote

“There's a tremendous mental and psychological benefit to exercising, just in terms of the hormones that are released to make you feel better, feel more accomplished. [Routines] can be as simple as making your bed first thing in the morning. It sets the tone for the rest of the day in terms of sticking through with habits. And I approach exercise in that same way. I feel like it's something to feel accomplished and kind of proud that you're doing good for your body.”

Having a consistent, yet simple routine like exercising 20 minutes, twice a week makes sticking to it all the more easier.

Want some simple and easy ways to feel healthier now? Check out these 10 Healthy Habits to Start.. And they only take 20 minutes.

If It Hadn’t Been For Strength Training...

A couple years ago, one of Timothy’s Del Mar clients experienced an unfortunate fall in a grocery store parking lot and broke her shoulder. 

When the surgeon was performing surgery, he said she had two and a half times more muscle around her rotator cuff and her deltoids than he had ever seen in anybody her age before. 

“She was so proud of that.” 

Because of her age and the severity of the fall, had she not been strength training, it's likely that her rotator cuff would have been completely shattered and beyond the point of repair.

More Energy for Daily Life

Another one of Timothy’s Del Mar clients started with the intention of wanting to improve his golf game.

Every time he would come into the studio, he would talk to Timothy about how he now had more endurance when walking the golf course. 

Timothy’s client and a bunch of buddies would go on trips throughout the country to play different golf courses. During one of his last trips, all the guys needed to take naps after they were done playing to get some recovery time. But he was completely spry, ready to go throughout the rest of the day, with an abundance of energy. 

“It’s little things like that, that you start to notice over time. These benefits that are not necessarily quantifiable in terms of data, nothing that you can track on a chart, but in the way that you are functioning day-to-day.”

Healthy Habits Can Be Virtual

Having spent many hours training clients inside of a studio as well as virtually, Timothy knows slow-motion strength training like the back of his hand. 

And it doesn’t matter where you exercise. Consistency is what is going to help you maintain this healthy habit. 

For anyone who might be skeptical about Virtual Training, Timothy has a message for you!

“Virtual workouts are just as challenging if not more than the in studio workouts. I challenge anybody to give it a try just to see for yourself how good of a workout you can still get with minimal equipment. I've got some clients that have nothing other than access to the floor, a flat wall and a bath towel. And we can still get them a killer workout.”

Tim Spellman Quote 2

At The Perfect Workout we have a wonderful team of Trainers ready and capable of serving clients of all fitness levels.

With Virtual Training, our Trainers like Timothy are also great at being able to adapt to what you have available to you at home and making sure that your virtual workout is going to be just as safe. 

“We may not be right there, but we are keeping that the same watchful eye on you as we would be as we're in the studio. And we’re that much more focused on your form to make sure that we're keeping you as safe as possible since you are in a little bit more of an unstable environment.”

Share with a friend or book an Introductory Workout for yourself today!

Personal Training for Men vs Women

Men vs Women personal training

Everyone seeks personal training for a different reason. We surveyed some of our clients and found some trends for why men and women wanted to work with a Personal Trainer.

The MEN wanted:

  • Injury prevention
  • All the focus on them
  • Time efficiency
  • Personalized coaching
  • Evidence-based exercises

The WOMEN wanted:

  • Accountability to stay consistent
  • To be coached and led throughout the process
  • A customized workout tailored to their injuries or limitations
  • Someone/something to help improve muscle and bone strength


Though some of the initial reasons for them seeking a trainer overlapped, others varied. But this brought up more questions:

When men and women receive personal training, do their bodies respond to the exercises the same way? 
Should personal training for men vs. women be the same? 
Do men and women gain muscle the same way?
What should men and women look for in a Personal Trainer?

We uncovered answers below…

Are Men Stronger Than Women?

The average adult man is stronger than the average adult woman.

But it’s not an apples to apples comparison. 

Size and weight correlate with strength. Larger people generally carry more muscle tissue than smaller people. This is true in the case of men versus women.

The average man is 10% taller and weighs about 24 lbs more than the average woman [1]. 

The average man also has about 40 to 48 lbs additional fat-free mass (muscle, bones, water, etc.) than the average woman [2].

One factor that helps men produce more muscle is testosterone. 

Testosterone increases a little as a result of strength training (which helps in the process of adding lean muscle tissue), and men and women have similar gains in testosterone when factoring in their sizes.

But the average woman has half to two-thirds the amount of testosterone that men have. 

As far as overall strength, women are generally about two-thirds as strong as men. 

staying strong at The Perfect Workout Danville- Virtual Personal Training

When adjusting for the differences in fat-free mass between men and women, overall strength is approximately equal between the two genders

In other words, saying men are stronger than women is similar to saying three-story houses have more rooms than two-story houses.

So, short answer: Men and women typically have amounts of lean muscle tissue that are relative to their overall size. 

Should Men & Women Train Upper or Lower Body?

Women’s lower bodies are proportionally stronger than their upper bodies. Lower body strength in women is about 75% of that found in most men, and the upper body strength ranges in women are 43% to 63% less than men on average. 

On average, women are proportionally on par or are stronger than men when it comes to lower body strength. However, average upper body strength is lower. 

So, it’s a good idea for many women to make upper body strength exercises an important focus of their exercise program.

And men should most definitely not skip leg day… or at least the leg press.

Muscle function wanes with age, so strength will only get worse for both men and women if strength training isn’t regularly performed.

This means you shouldn’t see your own sex as an advantage or hindrance to training. Train consistently with every set fatiguing to the point of “muscle success,” and you’ll see benefit relative to your own body.

Does Strength Training Cause Women to Bulk Up?

The vast majority of women should not worry about “bulking up” as a result of strength training. 

Is it possible for somebody to get more muscular than they want to be? Yes, but it's highly unlikely that it can happen to you. 

In fact, studies indicate that adults who don't strength train lose on average at least a half  pound of lean muscle tissue each year starting at about age 25 (this part of age degeneration is called “sarcopenia”). 

So women (and men) are battling muscle loss most of their adult life, if not actively strength training. This makes getting “big & bulky” with muscle even more challenging.

There are rare individuals who inherit the genetic potential for their muscles to grow  excessively large from strength training (like professional bodybuilders do). However,  inheriting those genetics is RARE. 

Out of the tens of thousands of real life clients we’ve worked with over the years, we can count on one hand the number of individuals that we’ve seen even one muscle group get too muscular for their goals. (And in the rare case that a muscle  group becomes too large, it's a super easy problem to fix – just reduce the intensity of exercise on that muscle group.) 

What Should Men & Women Look for in a Personal Trainer?

There are a lot of myths floating around when it comes to male trainers vs. female trainers. Women are more caring, men push you harder, you should work with a same-sex trainer, etc. 

There are a number of credentials you should expect from working with a trainer, which we will outline below; but none of those myths are true and are generalizations that could prevent men and women from working with an ideal trainer.

So, what should men and women look for in a trainer?

One of the most important factors in your decision to work with one should be your comfort level.

You should always feel comfortable with someone you work with. Being able to trust your Trainer is important and below is a checklist of things you should look for when shopping for Personal Training:

What Have We Learned?

The principles of Personal training for men vs. women remain the same:

  • Exercise (for men and women) should be safe, efficient, and effective
  • Work with a Certified Personal Trainer to achieve the principles listed above
  • Men are generally stronger than women, but only because they are generally larger 
  • Women’s lower bodies are generally stronger than upper body
  • Men average more upper body strength than lower body strength
  • It is rare for women to get bulky as a result of strength training because of low testosterone production
  • Both male and female trainers can help you achieve your goals, and you should always work with someone you trust.
  • Know your goals and the science we’ve outlined above


Thinking about working with a Personal Trainer?

Let us help.

  1. Holloway, J. B., & Baechle, T. R. (1990). Strength training for female athletes. Sports Medicine, 9(4), 216-228.
  2. National Strength and Conditioning Association (1989). Position paper on strength training for female athletes. National Strength and Conditioning Association Journal, 11(4), 43–55; 11(5): 29–36  



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