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.

How She Overcame Her Health Issues & Now Lives The Life She Wants

Cynthia Crossland Featured image

When Cynthia Crossland realized she had some major issues stopping her from living the life she wanted to live, she decided to make a change.

Cynthia was recently retired and looked after her 2 year old granddaughter. She struggled to pick up her 25 pound grandbaby and carry her around, making time with her more challenging than she hoped.

Cynthia was also battling knee issues. One had no cartilage and the other a torn meniscus. Walking was painful.

She wanted to be able to travel and keep up with the groups on excursions, but that included a lot of walking. Yet another thing getting in the way of her dream life.

Cynthia also had high blood pressure but she didn’t want to be on the medication for it. In order for her to get off the medication, her Doctor told her she would need to lose 30 pounds.

All of these issues were stopping her from living the life she wanted to live. A life where she could go on adventures, have more energy, spend time with her granddaughter, and do it all with ease.

Cynthia had tried to lose weight in the past and exercise on her own but nothing seemed to work. Even sticking to a routine was a struggle for her.

Luckily she saw an ad on Facebook for The Perfect Workout.

“It sounded logical to me and I liked the 20 minutes. I called the West Plano location and made an appointment to go for my intro session. I liked that I could do the workout and felt good after doing it.”

How 20 Minutes, Twice a Week Changed Her Life

Before joining The Perfect Workout, Cynthia’s abilities were limited.

Today, Cynthia:

  • Has lost 47 pounds – surpassing the goal her Doctor gave her to get off blood pressure medication
  • Can carry her 41 pound granddaughter (she’s 4 now)
  • Is able to walk for hours without her knees hurting
  • Can stand for long periods of time without getting tired
  • Squats down with ease to clean the floor

All things she couldn’t do before.

“I had a very inactive life. I would just sit and do nothing. Now, I can clean my house in a few hours. I have lots and lots of energy. I sleep better. I am more relaxed.”

Cynthia admits she was surprised how much 20 minutes, twice a week has helped her achieve her goals and is confident she will get stronger and healthier with consistent workouts.

“I have lost 47 pounds since I started the Perfect Workout. Something that I wasn’t able to achieve on my own. When I reached my goal, I felt elated and proud.”

The Perfect Workout Client Before and After Picture

Cynthia encourages people to try The Perfect Workout and let the Personal Trainers guide you to better health.

“If you are having any health issues, the trainers will prepare a program for you that will build your strength and help you become healthy. They are well trained. They listen.”

Our Personal Trainers are experienced in working with clients of all skill-levels. Each member of our training team is warm, compassionate, and carefully selected to work with people just like you. We understand that working with a Personal Trainer might be new to you and that may seem intimidating. However, when you are in our studios or working with us virtually, you won’t be judged or pushed beyond your abilities. 

Just like Cynthia, you will be coached with patience and support at all times. And imagine what changes you could make in your body and health to be able to live your best life.

“I am happier, healthy, and living my life as I wanted.”

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.

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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!

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.

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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.

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  



What it Takes to Have a Healthy Relationship with a Personal Trainer

Gabriel Ferrer Featured Image

Have you ever worked with a teacher or a coach and felt like something was off?

Chances are something was missing in your relationship.

We sat down with one of our Personal Trainers from Chicago, IL to talk about how he’s helped people lose weight, gain strength and build confidence.

We uncovered two essential things he creates to be the best Personal Trainer for each client: Trust & Candor.

Naperville Trainer, Gabriel Ferrer began lifting weights in high school and bodybuilding around 24 years old when he became a full time police officer.

His passion for health and fitness hasn’t wavered for decades and motivated him to transition from police-life to being a Certified Personal Trainer.

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You Have to Have Trust

It’d be a little crazy to expect everyone to walk blindly into a workout with a Personal Trainer, knowing nothing about them or what they do, and trust them completely.

But trust is vital in getting results.

You want to be able to trust that what you are doing inside your workouts is going to yield results. If you’re new to slow-motion strength training, learn more about the science behind it.

And you want to be able to trust that your Trainer can safely and efficiently coach you to get the results you’re looking for.

One client Gabriel is particularly proud of is a woman named Leann and the trust they’ve built together. According to him, their personalities clashed in the beginning, making it a little tough to connect with one another.

Now, she’s one of his superstar clients. 

“I’m there to challenge her every day, constantly being kind and cooperative. I like trying to make it a teamwork thing every time she comes in. I always say, ‘What are we going to be able to do today?’”

By taking this approach to their 20-minute sessions together, Gabriel was able to earn her trust and show up for her, every workout. He has continually challenged her to make progress and meet her goals. 

“I would never say just trust me blindly. I want people to challenge what I'm doing, because hopefully, I'm good enough at what I do to where I can explain it or show you and get your buy-in through actually experiencing it.”

Gabriel Ferrer Photo

One of the advantages of working with a Personal Trainer is we are aware of how it feels to be in your workout shoes. And we're aware of the exact moment in a workout when it becomes challenging, when the body wants to cheat its way out of an exercise and when it's crucial to keep pushing.

Gabriel’s clients feel good knowing that somebody they trust is watching them go through that challenge, and keeping them on track safely.

“I think anybody who wants to be good at something is always going to be learning from somebody else. Having that objectivity of somebody that's not you, assessing the situation and guiding you, is invaluable.”

Just like Gabriel, we don’t expect you to trust us blindly either… Don’t just take our word for it. Hear what a few of our clients have to say about trusting their trainers…

Candor is Key

Another key piece of Gabriel's ability to build trust with clients is using one of The Perfect Workout’s core values: Candor.

Our trainers value speaking openly and honestly for the best interest of the client. 

And we aren’t going to promise what we can’t guarantee.

This is a vital component of the trainer-client relationship and achieving results in a realistic and sustainable way.

There is thought behind how we train you and how you progress. Being able to have an open dialogue about how that works and what it takes to meet each goal is important.

“One thing I always ask my first-time clients is, ‘Are there any questions, comments, concerns, or anything you want me to know?’”

One of Gabriel's clients had recently been trying to lose weight.

Each week the scale showed incremental progress, about ½ to 1 pound down at a time. 

All she could really see was the slight changes each week and didn’t seem too thrilled with the results. What she didn’t realize was from November 2020 to January 2021 she went from 160 lbs to about 145 lbs.

She lost 15 pounds.

Having a candid moment with this client, Gabriel was able to help her shift her paradigm and educate her on healthy, sustainable weight loss.

By the end of the conversation, she was actually very happy with her results and was excited to share the good news with her boyfriend.

“Having somebody there that you trust to coach you through this is invaluable. Which is why I'm a coach.”

We encourage you to ask questions, do your research, and challenge your trainers to be the best they can be! We are here to guide you, educate you, and help you get results.

10 Healthy Habits to Start (They Only Take 20 minutes!)

10 healthy habits to improve health

Creating a healthier life, diet, mindset or relationship can feel very motivating this time of year – and also a little overwhelming.

But a healthier you can happen now with just the slightest shifts in behavior.

Master of transformation Tony Robbins teaches something called the 2-millimeter rule. It’s the idea that an ultra-slight, 2mm change in behavior can yield drastic results.

We took that approach and applied it to healthy habits. How can we continually shift our health: body, mind, and spirit just 20 minutes at a time?

Here’s what we came up with…

Practice Gratitude

Studies show that practicing gratitude can actually improve your physical and psychological health. By feeling grateful and appreciative, you can alleviate stress, reduce toxins in the body, and improve sleep and overall feeling of well-being.

Guess what? You can feel grateful and appreciative about ANYTHING. It can be about something in the past, something you are currently experiencing, or even something you desire to happen.

In fact, the brain does not know the difference between reality or imagination.

Director of Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory at CU Boulder, Tor Wager said, ”Imagination is a neurological reality that can impact our brains and bodies in ways that matter for our wellbeing,”

This means you can reap the benefits of practicing gratitude, even by dreaming up something that hasn’t happened yet!

And the best part. You can do it any time, anywhere. 

Although it may not take 20 minutes to feel grateful, we encourage you to take the time so it truly becomes a practice. 

Spending 20 minutes a day on gratitude and  is easy

Practice Gratitude

Take a Walk

Move your body by doing what it’s made to do – walk!

It’s probably no surprise to you that walking is good for your health. You simply feel better when you can be up and about, moving around.

Harvard Health shared research that outlined some enlightening benefits to walking:

  • Supports weight maintenance and helps prevent weight gain
  • Can help reduce sugar cravings
  • Reduces joint pain 
  • Lowers risk of breast cancer
  • Boosts immunity

You’ll want to be consistently strength training for exercise but walking serves as an excellent activity to do on rest days.

 

Bodies in motion, stay in motion. Take a break from the computer today and replace it with a 20-minute stroll.

Grounding to Recharge

Grounding, also known as earthing, is a direct contact between the earth and skin to “recharge” or heal the body. Most commonly, grounding is done by simply placing your bare hands or feet on natural ground.

Grounding “enables free electrons from the Earth’s surface to spread over and into the body, where they can have antioxidant effects.” (NCBI)

Research shows grounding can help improve sleep, reduce stress, heal wounds faster, and more!  

“Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers Quarterback added Earthing to his optimized wellness and fitness routine aimed at extending his active playing days and overall health.”

— Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

We encourage you to take 20 minutes and get your grounding on outside but here’s a cheat for those who are stuck inside all day…

You can find tools such as grounding mats that simulate the experience of grounding so you can get the benefits of this electro-recharge while working at your desk.

Sun Exposure

Getting regular exposure to a little sunshine helps your body absorb Vitamin D, an important vitamin that isn’t found in a lot of foods.

Why do we need vitamin D?


By getting enough Vitamin D, we keep our bones, muscles, and teeth healthy and strong, and help prevent deficiencies and diseases like Osteoporosis.

Weather not cooperating? Sun lamps can be a great alternative for those who don’t live in sunny climates or want to bring the sunshine inside.

Power Napping

We realize that not everyone can fall asleep like a baby on demand, but for those of you who can – it may be time to start power napping!

Research shows, “An ultra short period of only 6 min of napping is already sufficient to significantly boost declarative memory performance.” (Journal of Sleep Research)

Not only does a very quick power nap help improve memory but it also has the following positive effects on our health…

Power napping (a nap typically under 30 minutes) can:

  • Reduce overall sleepiness throughout the day
  • Improve memory
  • Improve learning
  • Boost emotional stability

Consider this your permission slip to take a little siesta this week. 20 minutes might be all you need.

Eat Slowly

Anyone else inhale their food?

Research shows that eating rapidly is linked to individuals having a higher body-mass index.

Why?

It can take up to 20 minutes (there’s that magic number again) for the “I’m Full” signal to reach the brain.

Slowing down the process of eating at meals by taking 20 minutes per meal or simply adding 5 more minutes per meal a day could be an extremely easy, yet impactful shift to help you lose weight.

Digital Detox

Email, text message, FaceTime, Zoom, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Netflix…. The list goes on.

On any given day, we are consuming hours of digital information and for many, that consists of social media platforms.

Although technology allows us to connect with others worldwide, social media usage affects everyone differently.

Some studies show too much time spent online, particularly social media can lead to addictive behaviors, self-esteem issues, narcissistic tendencies, and feelings of isolation.

While a recent Harvard article shows that social media usage can have a positive impact on mental well-being.

And it varies across different demographics, races, age and socioeconomic statuses, 

If you struggle with intentional social media use, we suggest a 20-minute digital detox each day. Put the phone down, close the laptop, turn off the news, and replace it with one of the many healthy habits we’ve outlined here.

Need help with your digital detox? Try the free Forest app It helps you stay focused and be present by setting time limits. When you don’t want to access certain platforms or websites on your digital device, it gives you incentive by planting or “killing” beautiful digital trees.

Laugh More

Do we really need to tell you to laugh more?

It feels downright GOOD to laugh and we could all use more of it. Laughter can increase dopamine and serotonin which may produce similar effects as antidepressants.

Take 20 minutes to play a game, tell some jokes, or watch some funny home videos and LAUGH a little.

Here’s a funny video we LOVE.

 

Meditate

Clear your mind, clear your energy, clear your stress.

Meditation has been shown to have significant improvements on health and aside from practicing gratitude, may be THE best 20 minutes well spent. (Outside your 20-minute, twice a week workouts, of course 😉 )

Studies have shown meditation can:

  • Prevent respiratory illness
  • Help people stop smoking
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Reduce chronic pain
  • Improve functional ability
  • Be a therapeutic option for those with illness and diseases

Meditation can take place anytime anywhere as long as you can remain distraction free.

Although tapestries and incense are welcome, they are not needed to get the benefits of this magic method.

One of our favorite meditation apps is Headspace which has several meditation options for your unique needs.

Strength Train

Exercise in general is necessary for a healthy body and mind. Safe, effective and efficient exercise is achieved with slow-motion strength training. 

Here’s 13 Reasons WHY every adult should be doing it

Slow-motion strength training. 20 minutes, twice a week. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

Take 20 minutes for these 10 healthy habits to start improving your health:

  1. Practice Gratitude
  2. Take a Walk
  3. Ground Yourself
  4. Get some sunshine
  5. Take a nap
  6. Eat slower
  7. Take a digital detox
  8. Laugh more
  9. Meditate
  10. Strength Train

Let us help you start today.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/amymorin/2014/11/23/7-scientifically-proven-benefits-of-gratitude-that-will-motivate-you-to-give-thanks-year-round/?sh=bca261e183c0

 

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/walking-your-steps-to-health

 

Oschman, James L et al. “The effects of grounding (earthing) on inflammation, the immune response, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.” Journal of inflammation research vol. 8 83-96. 24 Mar. 2015, doi:10.2147/JIR.S69656

 

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-d-101#intro

 

LAHL, O., WISPEL, C., WILLIGENS, B. and PIETROWSKY, R. (2008), An ultra short episode of sleep is sufficient to promote declarative memory performance. Journal of Sleep Research, 17: 3-10. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2869.2008.00622.x

 

Leong SL, Madden C, Gray A, Waters D, Horwath C. Faster self-reported speed of eating is related to higher body mass index in a nationwide survey of middle-aged women. J Am Diet Assoc. 2011 Aug;111(8):1192-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2011.05.012. PMID: 21802566.

 

Andreassen CS, Pallesen S, Griffiths MD. The relationship between addictive use of social media, narcissism, and self-esteem: Findings from a large national survey. Addict Behav. 2017 Jan;64:287-293. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.03.006. Epub 2016 Mar 19. PMID: 27072491.

 

https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/features/social-media-positive-mental-health/&sa=D&ust=1611007812189000&usg=AOvVaw2inMG5N7zTBxigcBblOZ6h

Cha MY, Hong HS.   Effect and Path Analysis of Laughter Therapy on Serotonin, Depression and Quality of Life in Middle-aged Women.   J Korean Acad Nurs. 2015 Apr;45(2):221-230.   https://doi.org/10.4040/jkan.2015.45.2.221



Barrett B, Hayney MS, Muller D, et al. Meditation or exercise for preventing acute respiratory infection: a randomized controlled trial. Annals of Family Medicine. 2012;10:337–346.

 

 

Carim-Todd L, Mitchell SH, Oken BS. Mind-body practices: an alternative, drug-free treatment for smoking cessation? A systematic review of the literature. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2013;132(3):399–410.

 

Chen KW, Berger CC, Manheimer E, et al. Meditative therapies for reducing anxiety: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Depression and Anxiety. 2012;29(7):545–562.

 

Cherkin DC, Sherman KJ, Balderson BH, et al. Effect of mindfulness-based stress reduction vs cognitive behavioral therapy or usual care on back pain and functional limitations in adults with chronic low back pain: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2016;315(12):1240–1249.

 

 

Gaylord SA, Palsson OS, Garland EL, et al. Mindfulness training reduces the severity of irritable bowel syndrome in women: results of a randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2011;106(9):1678–1688.

 

 

Goyal M, Singh S, Sibinga EM, et al. Meditation programs for psychological stress and well-being: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Internal Medicine. 2014;174(3):357–368.

 

 

Jedel S, Hoffman A, Merriman P, et al. A randomized controlled trial of mindfulness-based stress reduction to prevent flare-up in patients with inactive ulcerative colitis. Digestion. 2014;89:142–155.

Lakhan SE, Schofield KL. Mindfulness-based therapies in the treatment of somatization disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2013;26;8(8):e71834.

She Cut Her Workouts in Half & Dropped 26 Pounds

fat loss women 60s

When your husband is a foodie and a chef who makes amazing meals, it can be a challenge to stay in good shape, especially at age 66. 

But Judy was able to lose 26 pounds and drop from a size 12 down to an 8.

She says her clothes fit better, she has more energy, she sleeps better, her shoulder and neck pain is gone, and she has a more muscular, toned body.

How'd she do it? Slow-Motion Strength Training…

She Was Bored With Her Workouts

Judy didn't always take such a smart approach to exercise.

Before The Perfect Workout, she did the obligatory one-hour block at her health club, whether that was a spin class, on the treadmill, or some other aerobic exercise. 

She got good results, but Judy describes that kind of exercise as being “a rat in a cage,” and thinks exercising inside for an hour is ridiculous and abhorrent for anyone who lives in beautiful San Diego. 

“I did not look forward to it. At 20 minutes I was tired, 30 minutes I was bored silly, and 45 minutes I accepted it and just tried to finish.” 

Making it to 60 minutes was gratifying but simply took too long.

She also wanted to increase her bone strength and density and change the way she looked.

“All my life I’ve had chubby thighs and hips. It ran in my family. I always felt like I wasn’t wearing clothes well. I didn’t look good in pants.”

Naturally, The Perfect Workout’s twice a week, 20-minute workouts were a big draw.

Did 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

LEARN MORE about 20 Minute Workouts

 

She Built Strength & Burned Calories

The slow-motion workouts fit perfectly into Judy’s schedule, and the Trainers at the Mission Valley studio made sure she got the most out of every session.

The key with slow-motion strength training is the emphasis on working toward “muscle success” on every exercise.

That’s the point at which you can’t possibly move the weights even a fraction of an inch further, after doing several repetitions for 10 seconds out and 10 seconds back.

If you continue maximally pushing or pulling for a few more seconds, you achieve this deep muscle fatigue, and that’s what brings results.

Judy started seeing the effects within weeks. Her pants started fitting better, she had more energy, she slept better, and she lost inches.

She also noticed her shoulder and neck pain from sitting at her desk was gone.

While gaining muscle everywhere (she leg presses 400 pounds now!), Judy lost 16 pounds while going from a size 12 to an 8.

Judy was able to lose fat more efficiently than ever before by adding lean muscle everywhere. 

If you want weight loss, you must know this: Muscle burns calories.

Strength training adds more lean muscle to our bodies, which increases our resting metabolic rate, or the calories we burn on a daily basis.

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.

Learn More about The Science of Losing Fat and Preserving Muscle.

She Debuted Her New Look

Judy had another goal, though – to get into a dress that her husband had gotten her.

“I tried it on and it had a lot of lumps and was stretched to the max.”

During a challenge at The Perfect Workout, she lost another 10 pounds, just in time for her 15th anniversary, where she debuted her new look.

“I got a lot of compliments on how the dress looked on me!”

While Judy would like to lose another five pounds or so, the increased strength and new look is paying huge dividends.

  • She’s able to hoist heavy bags of soil from Home Depot
  • She hits the golf ball a good 30 yards farther than the women she plays with
  • She isn’t huffing and puffing after pushing her golf bag for four or five hours

Even better, she’s now comfortable wearing whatever she wants – skinny jeans, skirts, sundresses, shorts, and sleeveless tops. And she doesn't have to think twice about trying her husband's five-star cuisine.

“I’m delighted! I don’t have the ‘wiggle wobble’ in my arms. I enjoy The Perfect Workout, and I’m very happy with what it’s done for my body.”

 

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