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.

Trainer Feature Raechel Larson

Featured Trainer Raechel Larson

Raechel Larson - Personal Training in West Plano

Personal Training is in her genes! Raechel Larson began her training career at the young age of 3 and has been actively involved in fitness ever since.

Growing up, Raechel’s mom was a Personal Trainer and would bring Raechel to the gym while she taught aerobics classes. As she got older, Raechel stayed active and became involved in dance, which she continues to love and make time for today.

Noticing how dance and exercise improved her life, she wanted to help others feel those same improvements. She set her focus on making her passion a career and pursued a degree in kinesiology.

Raechel Larson standing by a rainbow

After graduating from college, Raechel was finding her career path in the fitness industry when she met a trainer from The Perfect Workout, Charlotte Branch.

Raechel was struck by the amount of personal attention and care Charlotte gave the member she was on the phone with… on her day off. Raechel decided to check out The Perfect Workout to learn more about the company. That decision changed her life.

After going through a tough interview and an intense workout, Raechel felt that her approach aligned with The Perfect Workout’s philosophy and environment. She took the next step in her fitness career and joined our team of Personal Trainers in November 2015.

In addition to coaching members through workouts, Raechel guided many of her members to successful weight loss results. One success led to the next, and her experience as a trainer helped land her an opportunity with The Perfect Workout as Facility Manager of the West Plano studio.

As Facility Manager, Raechel loves coming to work and leading such a positive group of people.

“My trainers are my family. They do their best every day.”

In addition to helping members achieve results, Raechel finds her own fitness constantly improving at The Perfect Workout.

“I used to train for three hours, three times a week. Now, I do 20 minutes, twice a week, and I’m stronger than ever and have better tone all over.”

Being a Personal Trainer and the Facility Manager of a studio is a lot of responsibility, and Raechel feels that being in both roles is extremely rewarding. She loves helping people gain a better quality of life and get stronger both physically and mentally.

Personal Training on Ab Crunch Machine

“The 1-on-1 dynamic allows me to pay special attention to each member’s form and make sure they’re staying safe.”

She and her team love working with members because they get to see firsthand how slow-motion strength training can be adapted and individualized for anyone. The trainers work together to make sure they are doing the absolute best to customize our method of training to each of the West Plano members, regardless of age, body type, or fitness level.

Raechel Larson
Certified Personal Trainer & Facility Manager
West Plano, TX

If you would like to find a trainer near you, see all of our locations here. If you are new to The Perfect Workout, try a workout with us and start with a FREE Introductory Session.

His Plan to Getting Strong: 20-Minute Workouts

20-Minute Workouts - His Perfect Plan to Getting Strong

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

David Garner, age 59, exercised his entire life.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Garner,
SW Ft. Worth, TX

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

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

Getting Hurt in the Gym to Safely Getting Results

From Always Getting Hurt in the Gym to Safely Getting Results

Female member on leg press machine with personal trainer

“I was doing pilates 2-3 times a week and weightlifting 3 days a week… and I was always hurting.

I even had a trainer but it felt like they were more focused on me lifting heavier and heavier weights than doing anything with proper form. And I was doing a lot of fast movements.

A friend of mine who I did pilates with, referred me to The Perfect Workout.

After learning about the method in my Introductory Workout, I really liked the slow, controlled movements. And with this workout, I could get the benefit of working with heavier weights… safely.

Over the years I had several foot injuries which caused problems in my legs. When I began training at the SW Ft. Worth studio, if I told the trainers something hurt, they would immediately modify the exercise.

I get more accomplished at The Perfect Workout than my old workout because all the trainers are aware of little nuances that make a big difference. They know when to modify an exercise and when to make it more challenging.

I feel very safe here because they constantly watch my form, make sure I’m doing everything correctly, and make sure my injuries aren't getting worse or let me get injured at all.

One of my areas of concern was my rear end, so a goal of mine was to target my glute muscles- get them firmer and stronger!

Knowing this was a big goal of mine, the trainers positioned me meticulously on the machines to help target, tighten, and lift my glutes. And I am thrilled at the results.”

Graph of progress on leg press machine, trending upwards
This image shows Michelle's strength progression on the Leg Press over the course of 3 years.

Since incorporating slow-motion strength training, Michelle:

  • Increased her Leg Press strength 164%. Starting weight was 167lbs. Now she pushes 410lbs
  • Got 81% stronger on Hip Abduction, pushing 97lbs when she started. Today, she pushes 167lbs.
  • Lost over 3 inches at her waist

“I've been with The Perfect Workout for several years now and I don't see myself ever leaving.

To me, The Perfect Workout is truly perfect because of the amount of time it takes (or doesn’t take). I originally thought that there's no way twice a week would ever work.

But it's proven to work, and I don't hurt myself anymore. I'm working out a third of the time I used to so I don't see myself ever doing something different.”

Michelle Pittman
SW FT. Worth, TX

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

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

From No Accountability to Consistently Exercising

From No Accountability to Consistently Exercising

Lori Zalewski - Female Client at The Perfect Workout

Lori Zalewski, 55, looked to gain strength and maintain her activity levels.

Her father-in-law recently passed away and she observed first-hand some of the challenges he went through.


“He was overweight and weak and it took many nurses to move him from the bed to a chair. I don't want that to happen to me.”


But Lori faced struggles of her own- staying consistent and accountable.


“I have tons of hand weights at home, but I just won't do it by myself.”


Lori’s sister was working with a personal trainer doing slow-motion weight training and recommended Lori give it a try too

Since her sister’s trainer was too far away, Lori did her research and found a personal training studio near her in Park Ridge, IL.

Now, she exercises with her own personal trainer at The Perfect Workout.


After staying consistent with her workouts and gaining strength all over, Lori:

  • Can move all of her camping equipment by herself
  • Can carry a full water bucket to the utility sink without spilling it
  • Can do heavy house cleaning for days on end and not feel sore.

“The Perfect Workout is worth trying if you are leery about lifting weights. You can get a good workout in without breaking a sweat in 20 minutes.”


As for how Lori feels now…


“I am stronger and feel more confident.”

If you want more information on how to incorporate slow-motion strength training into your workout routine, we have a free introductory session. If you’d like to know more about how to work with a trainer online, get a free consultation call with a Personal Trainer.

How He’s Stayed Active at 71 with Lyme Disease

How He’s Stayed Active at 71
with Lyme Disease

Before and After Photo - The Perfect Workout Client Jody Calcara

After a lifetime of being active and in great physical shape, Jody Calcara had to navigate a disease that affected his strength and stamina.

Despite his love for running, biking, and kayaking, that kind of lifestyle got harder and frustrating.

Luckily, the solution to his problem and the gift of better health was found in his own son’s workout routine.

7 years ago, our client Jody was diagnosed with Lyme Disease and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).

“Lyme disease, caused by bacteria, is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected black-legged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash” (CDC). Symptoms of EBV can include: fatigue, fever, inflamed throat, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, enlarged spleen, swollen liver, and rash (CDC).

The combination of the two – and the aging process – caused Jody to experience chronic neck, shoulder, knee, and lower back pains. It all made him feel more and more fatigued.

He tried to exercise on his own but struggled to keep up with workouts that made a difference in his strength and energy levels.

Meanwhile, Jody’s son was getting trained in our Mill Valley studio and said it kept him in great shape without having to spend hours doing it. He thought his dad could benefit from slow-motion strength training too, so he referred him in.

Jody tried his introductory session at the studio, fell in love with the method, and set out to improve his health.

When Jody joined in 2020, his goals were to:

  • Increase and maintain his energy levels
  • Lose weight
  • Gain muscle

After training in the studio and eventually switching to Virtual Training, Jody made significant progress and loves the way he looks and feels.

“Before The Perfect Workout, I couldn't discipline myself to do enough exercises to make any difference, but with the trainers I've worked with, I get pushed to get to the burn and now I actually feel and look much better.”

Now at 71, he:

  • Is down 15 pounds
  • Has increased his Leg Press weight by 20%
  • Has the energy to keep up with hikes, kayaking, biking
Before photo of a male client
Before
After Photo of male client
After
His proudest achievements so far are keeping his body fit, losing weight, and even having biceps again like he “did in his younger days.”

“This is a great way to keep your body in shape with just two short workouts a week. The trainers work with you and your limitations, but also gradually push you past some of the limits. It could add years to your life and make those years more productive and enjoyable.”

We’re happy to say, Jody is living proof of that!

How She Eliminated Chronic Knee Pain with Exercise

How She Eliminated Chronic Knee Pain with Exercise

Rebekah Bickham - Personal Trainer at The Perfect Workout

It can be common for people to feel lost or uncertain in the gym, especially if they have joint pain they aren’t sure how to work around.

Trainer Rebekah Bickham found herself a little clueless in the gym with chronic knee pain after she graduated from high school sports and lost the guidance of her coach, the routine of scheduled practices, and the consistency of regular exercise.

In this feature we celebrate Rebekah and her journey to finding a workout that keeps her safe and consistent – fulfilling our mission to revolutionize the way people exercise.

Rebekah Bickham grew up in Austin, TX with three active older brothers. Naturally, she followed in their footsteps by running in track and field, tumbling, and cheerleading.

Her passion for strength training flourished in high school. She took nutrition and anatomy-physiology courses at her local community college to begin her career path toward becoming a Registered Nurse.

As high school graduation got closer, Rebekah realized she would also leave behind her sports programs where she had the accountability of practices and a coach.

Once again she took her brothers’ leads and joined them in the gym. Despite her athletic background and active siblings, Rebekah found herself clueless and intimidated in a gym setting.

“Looking back now we had no idea what we were doing. I was just following them like a blind sheep.”

She hated the feeling of not knowing what to do in the gym.

Client Testimonial of Doug McGrath

The transition from the track and tumbling mats to machines and dumbbells created an opportunity for Rebekah to learn how to exercise on her own.

“I started to read, watch videos, and learn as much as I could about strength training so that I could be sure that I was training myself properly.”

During this time, her mother began working with a personal trainer and Rebekah would frequently tag along and get trained alongside her.

The experience of being coached by a trainer made her realize she also wanted to train people, and most importantly, teach them how to lift weights safely and properly with confidence.

She Exercised Her Knee Pain Away

Years of running track, cheerleading, and tumbling impact on Rebekah’s joints resulted in chronic knee pain. Although the pain got better when she stopped running, it would still creep in whenever she would squat and do traditional weight training.

She knew there had to be a better way.

“I was never truly able to exercise my legs the way I wanted to without having knee pain until I started doing Slow-Motion Strength Training.”

Founder's Testimonial - Matt Hedman

After only 2-3 months of consistently doing slow-motion workouts, Rebekah was able to properly strengthen her legs to help support her knees. Now, she’s able to push over double her body weight on the Leg Press without any knee pain during and after the workouts.

“I don't get any pain anymore when I work out, which is unheard of. That hasn't happened since before high school.”

After experiencing her own personal journey with slow-motion strength training, Rebekah knew this was the method she was meant to share with others.

Quote from trainer Rebekah Bickham

Now a Personal Trainer in Burke, VA

Rebekah was selected to join The Perfect Workout’s team of trainers and went through an extensive certification process. Now, she manages the Burke studio where she also trains clients 1-on-1.

“My favorite part about working with clients is the fact that I am able to share my passions about health and fitness with others every single day.”

Rebekah loves when her clients come in saying they feel more confident in themselves, like they're more energized, stronger, or they can go up and down the stairs without knee pain.

With our 20-minute workouts and nutritional guidance, Rebekah recently helped a client lose 10 pounds and finally break a weight loss plateau.

Getting the opportunity to walk alongside clients and find what works best for them, their goals, and work around any limitations they might have is what drives Rebekah. She’s always pushing to learn more so she can use that knowledge to help support her clients no matter where they are in their fitness journey.

“I truly believe in this workout and I love being able to share with others how they can improve their quality of life just by coming in twice a week for 20 minutes!”

DC Personal Trainer Shares Injury Prevention Workout

DC Personal Trainer Shares Injury Prevention Workout

Cam Gatling Personal trainer in DC and at The Perfect Workout

After devoting 12 years to her basketball career, Cam Gatling knew a thing or two about strength and fitness. But when a serious knee injury knocked her down, she discovered the importance of injury prevention and the workout that was perfect for it.

— 

During her junior year of college, Cam tore both of her menisci, resulting in two knee surgeries. 

Recovering from those injuries helped her understand the importance of keeping your body healthy and strong to prevent injury.  

Facing rehabilitation firsthand helped Cam see how integral it was to do joint-safe exercises and have someone knowledgeable to guide her. Cam began to seek out safe and effective exercises she could continue to do in the future.

With a busy schedule graduating with a Business Management degree, serving as co-captain of the Women’s Basketball Team at George Mason University, and starting grad school for Sport Management, Cam needed something efficient too.

She found slow-motion strength training.

Despite her athletic background and years of strength training experience, Cam quickly saw results of her own when she incorporated slow-motion strength training into routine.

Within her first 4 months of using our unique exercise method – and nothing else – she lost 15 pounds. 

Cam decided she wanted to share this method with others and integrate Personal Training into her coaching repertoire. 

“My experiences made me realize that not only do I have a passion for fitness, but for impacting other people’s lives as well.”

She was invited to join The Perfect Workout’s team of trainers and achieved her Personal Trainer Certification in the DC area. 

Now, Cam works with her clients 1-on-1 in the Reston Studio, where she gets to impact their lives with her passion and coaching experience.

Her Favorite Success Stories

One of Cam’s clients told her she recently fell, but was able to get up quickly, without any problems. She said, “Before working with The Perfect Workout, that wouldn't have been possible.”

Another client told Cam, “I'm carrying around my mulch bags from my garden, and I realized that I feel stronger and I'm able to carry these bags without any help.”

“These types of stories touch my heart and I feel blessed to be a trainer here. I feel blessed to be able to have a positive impact in so many lives. And my experience has just been great.”

“I’m grateful to have found a career that allows me to carry out both of my passions. I am excited to help others reach their fitness goals while also developing life-long friendships at The Perfect Workout!”

Fit at 80: Overweight & Weak to Fitness Instructor

From Overweight & Weak to Fitness Instructor in Her 80s!

From Overweight & Weak to Fitness Instructor in Her 80s!

Sally Determan Fit at 80 from strength training

Sally Determan was nearing her 80th birthday feeling “old and out of shape.”

Off-balance, weak, and overweight, Sally felt like she was paying a big price for years of living an unhealthy lifestyle and little to no exercise.

Fast forward 3 years, Sally is in the best shape of her life and has newfound stamina and strength to help others live a healthier lifestyle! 

As Sally approached her 80th birthday, she noticed that she was getting tired easily and everyday tasks were becoming more difficult.

“I also grew concerned about falls.”

She knew a change was needed and she couldn’t spend the rest of her life slowly declining. So, she started with trying to lose weight.

Sally began her journey at Weight Watchers where she lost some of the excess weight and incorporated water cardio into her routine.

She knew she needed to do something to increase her muscle and bone strength (to prevent falls) but lacked the motivation and know-how to lift weights at home. 

“I HATED the idea of loud, busy, glitzy gyms, filled with lycra-wearing folks 40 or more years younger than me!”

She needed guidance, privacy, and accountability.

Shortly after, Sally saw The Perfect Workout online and realized there was a Falls Church studio (not a gym!), offering a free introductory session. She figured she had nothing to lose by giving it a try, and the idea of 20 minutes, twice a week fit into her schedule.

Sally joined The Perfect Workout in January 2017 and made wonderful progress in improving her strength, stamina, and weight management.

Infographic Strength Training

After all that she’s accomplished so far, Sally is proud of her ability to keep up — actually, lead — other water cardio participants who are ten to fifteen years younger than her. 

“The entire concept that I am a physical fitness guru is astonishing!”

Knowing how important it is to have someone lead her through your workouts, and fitness journey, Sally gives a lot of credit to the team at The Perfect Workout.

“Each of the four trainers with whom I've worked have been excellent — and fun.”

Now, Sally tells people about her slow-motion strength training workouts when they ask her how she got in such good shape. She explains the method, including the concept of going as long and as hard as your muscles permit — very slowly — and how little time it takes.

The Perfect Workout Client Quote

Workout Inspiration: Founder Matt Hedman (Part 1)

The Inspiration That Created The Perfect Workout With Founder Matt Hedman Pt. 1

The Inspiration That Created The Perfect Workout With Founder Matt Hedman Pt. 1

The workout Inspiration that created The Perfect Workout

The Perfect Workout began in 1999 with one trainer, in one studio, delivering one remarkable workout.

But the origins of our company didn’t exactly begin with a grand vision to Revolutionize the Way People Exercise. It started when Matt Hedman was diagnosed with a progressive joint disease at age 20 and was faced with the possibility of undergoing major joint surgery and giving up his passion for exercise.

In part one of this multi-part series, we sit down with Matt Hedman, the CEO and Founder of The Perfect Workout for a glimpse into the inception of our company, a greater understanding of our methodology and the man behind it all.

Play Video

Ever since Matt got his first weight lifting set at the young age of 10, he’s been all in when it comes to fitness. Which means he has been actively strength training for 38 years.

Between the ages of 10 and 20, Matt describes the way in which he used to lift weights as “haphazardly doing whatever,” following whatever he read in the latest exercise book that he was reading.

By the time he was 20 years old, he was lifting weights for 2 hours a day, 6 days a week… that’s 12 hours of lifting weights and exercising per week. That's almost a part time job!

matt hedman lifting weights at a young age

The Injury

Matt was in college and had developed a chronic pain in his left shoulder. It was so painful that even writing would hurt.

He eventually went to a specialist who x-rayed his shoulder and told him he had Osteolysis, which means “vanishing bone.”

The x-ray found that the end of the bone should have been nice and round and smooth. Instead, it was all jagged and there was so much inflammation in the shoulder, the bone was actually being eaten away.

The specialist told him this only happens in about 1% of people that lift weights. She instructed Matt to take two months off of any weight training exercise which involved the shoulder, then they’d x-ray again and see if the issue had improved.

When Matt returned for his follow-up x-ray, the bone in question had become round and smooth again. Fortunately, it had healed, which ultimately allowed him to avoid surgery.

He was given the green light to lift weights again with some minor adjustments to exercises. Eager to exercise his upper body again, Matt went back into the gym and resumed lifting weights in the “haphazard” way he always did.

“My shoulder just started to hurt again, which was disturbing and frustrating. I was 20 years old, presumably someone who'd be young and healthy and have the best opportunity to not have joints that would hurt.”

weightlifters shoulder injury human anatomy
image source: shoulder and elbow specialist

The Experiment

During this time, Matt attended the University of Washington in Seattle and stumbled upon a book in a bookstore at the University District.

It was a book by Ellington Darden, who used to be the director of research at Nautilus, the company that makes strength training machines we use in our studios. He's written about 50 books on strength training, nutrition, fitness and exercise. This particular book was geared towards young males who wanted to build bigger muscles, Bigger Muscles in 42 Days.

One of the chapters spent a significant amount of time talking about how slower movement speeds minimize impact forces on your joints and make it safer for your joints. That peaked Matt’s interest since he was experiencing his own issue with his shoulder.

The routines in Darden’s book sounded bizarre to him because at the time he was loosely following the exercise guidelines from Arnold Schwarzenegger's Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding. Matt was doing five sets of 10 repetitions or so of each exercise and was still working out 2 hours a day, 6 days a week.

“I was in college and I didn't know how much exercise that was. Now with being 48 with two young children and trying to grow our company, it's like, “Who would ever have time for that?”

At the time, it's all he knew. The routine from Darden’s book included working out every other day for about a half an hour per workout, just one set of repetitions per exercise, going very slowly 10 seconds up, five seconds down.

Matt was thinking, ‘Oh gosh, will this ever work?’”

Fortunately, there was a case study in that book that featured Keith Whitley, a big bodybuilder. During the six week program he gained 32 pounds of muscle in 42 days. That proof, combined with the shoulder problem Matt was facing, was motivation enough to give it a try.

Strength training body builder results

So he did and Matt gained significant results, very quickly.

Matt put on 10 pounds of muscle in the first 9 days of his new workout regimen.

“I thought I was working hard before when I was working out 2 hours a day, 6 days a week. It turns out I just didn't know what hard work was.

Once I learned how to make my muscles work harder, I put on 10 pounds of muscle in 9 days.

Matt Hedman

Matt’s shoulder problem also went away within about the first week and never bothered him again.

“I've been a raving fan of this method ever since. I've been personally doing this and variations of this in my own workouts for the last 28 years.”

Despite being passionate about fitness and spending more than enough time in the gym, Matt was not in the fitness industry. He had earned his degree in Aerospace Engineering.

“I went to work for GE nuclear energy in San Jose and saw my life flashing before my eyes in the second floor building in the GE complex and it wasn't what I wanted to do with my life.”

So he quit after 11 months and started working at 24-Hour Fitness. He worked for them and another fitness company for a total of 3 years before starting The Perfect Workout back in May of 1999.

During the 3 years prior to starting The Perfect Workout, Matt acquired several different certifications from mainstream fitness organizations like American Council on Exercise and National Academy of Sports Medicine. But the most important certifications he acquired were through the Super Slow Exercise Guild.

Matt became a Master SuperSlow Instructor under the apprenticeship of Ken Hutchins, the architect behind SuperSlow exercise philosophy and methodology.

There were 3 different levels to becoming a Master SuperSlow Instructor:

Level 1: was more extensive than any of the other mainstream certifications Matt had received. ACE or NASM certifications (which are still common today) generally involve a multiple choice test, and if you scored 70% you were certified. The SuperSlow Level 1 certification involves at least one written test if not more, one or two verbal tests and an extensive practical examination showing that you were capable of teaching exercise.

Many aspects of that certification became the inspiration for The Perfect Workout’s certification program.

Level 2: involved more written and oral testing with Ken Hutchins, building on the work of Arthur Jones (the inventor of Nautilus),but really putting some further refinements to it. Matt spent 9 days shadowing Ken for 14 hours a day and doing various tests.

Level 3: it was up to Ken Hutchins to appoint the achievement of Master Instructor. Once Level 3 was passed, Matt represented the guild and was then able to certify other instructors to be level 1 instructors.

Matt Hedman slow motion leg press at The Perfect Workout

The Workout

After becoming SuperSlow certified, a unique exercise experience sparked an idea in Matt that would eventually transform into the beginnings of The Perfect Workout.

He was visiting friends in Seattle and knew there was a facility nearby that used the slow-motion method. Greg and Ann-Marie Anderson owned Ideal Exercise and Greg would be the one to put Matt through a very memorable workout.

Matt was coached through just 4 exercises: the Smith Machine squat, the old Nautilus hip and back machine (a glute and hamstring exercise), weight assisted chin up and then a push up.

The Machine that brought Matt to his knees!

While on the Smith Machine he began doing some repetitions, and sure enough it got extremely difficult five or six reps in. In the next rep or two, he got about halfway up and couldn't complete the repetition, he was pushing as hard as he could.

“There was no music going on. There was a blank white wall right in front of me. There's no distractions and Greg was somewhere behind me. All I could hear was his voice saying, ‘Keep pushing!’ Then I got to the point where I couldn't even hold it up anymore. I was trying to make it go higher, but I couldn’t even hold it still and sort of forcing me down and Greg just said, “Keep pushing.”’

By the way, Matt doesn’t recommend doing exercises to this extent anymore. Pushing to muscle success is crucial, but pushing beyond that for 5, 15, 30 seconds is unnecessary. It’s much more than a person needs to train for optimal results. He states, “We just didn't know any better back then.”

Once Greg gave Matt the okay to back off from pushing, Matt’s legs were so fatigued he could not stand up. So what did he do? He crawled to the next machine!

After the 4 exercises were done, Matt found himself lying on the ground with arms burning and Greg brought him this tiny little 2oz cup of water and all he could think was… “this is incredible!”

He compared his experience with what he was trying to do in his own workouts and with his clients back at 24-Hour Fitness. It was night and day as far as the distraction-free environment, the incredible low-friction equipment, and expert instruction.

He thought to himself, “Hey, I could make a place like this down in Southern California.” But first, he went to work for Greg and Anne Marie at Ideal Exercise for about a year, had a short stint at 24-hour fitness again and then opened up the first location of The Perfect Workout.

In May of 1999, Matt founded our first location in La Jolla, California and was the owner, operator and only trainer at the time.

Matt continued to train clients one-on-one for a number of years as he gradually began to certify others and grow the business into the 60+ location, nationwide company it is today.

Matt Hedman Coaching a client at The Perfect Workout

The Impact

It’s been years since Matt has personally trained clients, but some memorable stories still stick with him.

“Barbara Nas– she was a cancer survivor. I know she was at least a grandmother or might have been a great grandmother and I think also had MS. She had multiple different conditions which were going on. She was able to walk but she needed to use a cane to walk. John (her trainer) used to say he could always hear when Barbara was coming in because he could hear the clacking of the cane coming down the hallway before she opened the door and came in

There was one day where she was supposed to come in and there wasn't any clacking of the cane, and the reason was because she didn't need to use her cane anymore.

In other words, she was able to get strong enough to where the cane was no longer necessary. I've seen John tell the story before and just the look of satisfaction on his face and saying, ‘I thought my biggest success was going to be someone gaining 20 pounds of muscle or losing 50 pounds of fat or whatever, but that was probably the most satisfaction that I've had is hearing her walk down the hallway without the clicking of the cane.’”

We've been fortunate as a company to have helped many more like Barbara improve the quality of their lives in this way.

When Matt first became a personal trainer, he did it because he was just really interested in exercise. He didn’t really have any idea that he would be doing more to help people beyond losing weight and building muscle…

Matt Hedman coaching a female client at The Perfect Workout

When he was working at Ideal Exercise up in Seattle, there were a number of people with MS they worked with. “One woman in particular who needed to use a walker to walk and even then she could barely walk even with a walker but she told us if it wasn't for the strength training she was doing with us she wouldn't be able to walk at all.”

It was then he noticed that slow-motion strength training benefits went beyond getting bigger muscles and leaner bodies.

Over the last 20 years, the impact of The Perfect Workout has directly reached over 30,000 people including Matt’s own family.

Matt is husband to wife, Julie, and father to two adorable children, Jack and Ava.

Julie and many other family members have also incorporated slow-motion strength training into their fitness routines. But being able to provide this method to his own mother is particularly special.

At 78 years young, Matt’s mom has been actively training at our Mission Valley studio for years and is currently working out in her senior living facility with our Virtual Training Program.

If having a son as the CEO of a personal training company wasn’t enough, she actually had an even greater motivation to exercise in this way.

Matt’s grandmother, his mom’s mom, had Osteoporosis and as she got older she started getting Kyphosis in her spine– which is when you start to get hunched over. The Kyphosis got progressively worse and worse with age. By the time that she was in her early to mid-80s, the Kyphosis was so severe that the bones had become too soft and could not prevent the collapse of her chest cavity, greatly reducing the amount of oxygen she was able to get.

Eventually, she couldn't breathe effectively and she passed away around the age of 86.

“I'm not sure if this is the immediate cause of death when she actually died, but it was certainly influenced by it.”

Matt’s grandmother had one son and five daughters including his mom.

“All five of them are very concerned, if not petrified to end up the same way that their mother did. But my mom, she's been doing strength training for a number of years actually, she's a good example of that.”

Slow-Motion Strength Training was originally created at the University of Florida as a solution to treat women with Osteoporosis because it was proven to help build bone density in addition to muscle and other incredible benefits. The Perfect Workout for women who want to fight Osteoporosis? We think so!

decades of research on slow motion strength training

What You Should Know About Slow-Motion Strength Training, According to Matt Hedman:

“Slow motion strength training allows a person to get incredible fitness results without having to spend your life in the gym.

I named our company The Perfect Workout over 20 years ago with the idea that people can get better results than just about anything else a person's going to do in the name of exercise.

It's safer on the joints than just about anything else for exercise and it's super time-efficient, 20 minutes, twice a week to get essentially optimal results.

Over the years, what I've found is that the thing which people usually get most interested in is the trial. People oftentimes are skeptical that you can get any results from 20 minutes. But even for people who think you should be spending your life in the gym, the vast majority of the results that can be gotten from exercise, can be done in just minutes a week, 20 minutes, twice a week.

Plus it has all these other great benefits for Osteoporosis, metabolic benefits, myokines, increase in basal metabolic rate which helps with fat loss, and there's probably a lot of stuff which we don't or we aren't even aware of yet….

You really can get great health with just less than an hour a week. I'm not saying the 20 minutes are easy. They're not. But if you do it right and challenge yourself, then you'll get incredible results and you won't have to spend the rest of your life in the gym.

What the methodology does is basically allows you to push yourself as hard as you're willing to push yourself, but it won't force you to push any further than you're willing to push yourself. So there's no danger of thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, I'm not going to be able to do this. It sounds way too hard.’ It's challenging, especially if you want to get good results, but you won't be challenged any more beyond that because it's just the right amount for you.”

 

Stay tuned for more from our Founder, Matt Hedman…

 

Haven’t experienced Slow-Motion Strength Training for yourself?

Pin It on Pinterest