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.

What Happens When Personal Trainers Go Above & Beyond

Angela Kading Personal Trainer

Angela Kading grew up overweight, except she didn’t realize her weight was affecting her health until her parents took her entire family to Weight Watchers.

After losing 55 pounds at age 18, Angela felt like her life changed for the better. She decided to learn as much as she could about fitness and nutrition and how she could use it to her advantage – now she uses her knowledge to help transform her clients’ lives. 

Angela dove head first into her own nutrition research, creating healthier eating habits and even began adopting new cooking techniques. Making these shifts in her life ultimately helped her lose 55 pounds! After the first 30 pounds, Angela reintroduced strength training into her routine and the pounds continued to fall off. Her successful physical transformation led her to understand that with the right kind of diet and strength training, she had a formula for fat loss.

Angela had dual passions for fitness and food so she followed both! She got a degree in Culinary Arts as well as a Personal Trainer Certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

After working for 3 years as a lead cook at the Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney, and simultaneously training clients on her own, Angela decided she wanted to put her two passions and skills together in a more ideal environment for her goals. When she found The Perfect Workout, she knew it was a perfect match. 

Female doing slow motion pull ups

She became certified at The Perfect Workout and joined our Mission Viejo studio in 2015. 

Angela’s success with clients and her growth-driven mindset landed her the role of Certification Supervisor where she certifies new Personal Trainers in Orange County, Ca. After a couple of years, an opportunity presented itself for Angela to expand into yet another role, and she was chosen to lead the Tustin studio as Facility Manager.

Above & Beyond Personal Training

“I've worked with clients with brain disease, cancer, obesity, those who are severely underweight, 90-year-olds, and 14-year-olds. Everyone that steps through our doors is a success story because they made a choice to do something to live a longer, healthier life.”

Currently Angela is working with a client who has polio. His doctor is pleasantly surprised he just keeps getting stronger and stronger and stronger. 

One of Angela’s clients lost 90 pounds (some prior to The Perfect Workout). Naturally she began to gain strength and muscle as a result of her 20-minute workouts. 

One day she came to her workout feeling down on herself. Angela reminded her of her weight loss journey (because we all kind of forget from time to time).

Angela encouraged her client to walk around the studio with 90 pounds of dumbbells – back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. 

“I told her ‘This is the weight you were carrying around for years. And that's how hard you worked just to walk across the room.’ And her mind was blown.”

Working with a trainer helps people not only make progress, but also objectively SEE and celebrate the progress they’ve already made. 

Another client’s goal was to be “sexy for her 60th birthday.” 

“I went to Sprouts with her. I went to her house. We had cooking parties. I made her a shopping list. I literally went to Weight Watchers with her!” 

And in six months Angela helped her lose 40 pounds. Angela says, “she's a whole new woman now.”

“We get to see all walks of life. So I love my job. And that's why I’m here.”

Angela Kading Quote

Angela plans to continue her education in Nutrition and Corrective Exercise. As a Personal Trainer she hopes to inspire people with her caring approach and her knowledge of food and fitness, to make a positive change and have a lasting impact on their lives.

Aside from training clients, certifying trainers, and running a studio, Angela is still super active in the kitchen. “If I'm not working, I'm COOKING. I still absolutely love to feed my family and friends healthy, vegan food.”

Angela’s goal is to improve every day. She intends to make her studio a place where clients look forward to coming and want to share it with all of their family and friends. ”My goal is to make my studio thrive to its fullest and to help our trainers and clients meet their full potential.”

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!

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.

5 Ways to Optimize Your Immune System

Optimize Your Immune System

The topic of immunity is more popular than ever. We’ve heard and seen some interesting “ways” to optimize your immune system:

  • Taking a trillion grams of vitamin C 
  • Sweat it out with a 10 mile run 
  • Eat only fruits and vegetables and avoid all chocolate and wine on Tuesdays

What!?

Okay those may not be real, but the point is there’s some wacky advice and quick fixes out there about how to improve your health and immune system.

And although it may not be easy, it’s quite simple.

Focusing on behaviors that contribute to better health will fortify your immune system over time. 

Here are 5 ways to get started:

1. Get Quality Sleep

We have so many demands on our time—jobs, family, errands—not to mention finding some time to relax and have fun. To fit everything in, we often sacrifice… Sleep. 

But sleep has an impact on our mental and physical health. It’s vital for gaining strength, preventing illness, recovering from injury, and your overall well-being.

Of course, sleep helps you feel rested each day. But while you’re sleeping, your brain and body don’t just shut down. Internal organs and processes are hard at work throughout the night.

Sleep can be POWERFUL… if we get enough of it. 

We know about the many benefits of getting good quality sleep, but what about the effects of NOT getting a good night’s rest?

Check out these side effects of sleep deficiencies:

Sleeping woman with her head on a pillow
  • Long Term Mood Disorders
  • Sickness
  • Diabetes
  • Infertility
  • Weight Gain
  • Low Libido
  • Heart Disease

Have you ever thought about if the sleep you are getting at night is quality sleep? It helps to see exactly what’s happening while you sleep.

We’ve found some great apps you can use to track and/or enhance your sleep:

Below are more tips that may help improve your sleep tonight!

One of the best ways to get better sleep is strength training. Learn more about how our Strength Training Programs can help you!

2. Eat Nutrient-Dense Foods

My parents always told me, “Veggies are your anti-disease foods because they are nutrient dense and help fight off infection and support white blood cell strength.” Start by swapping out a few processed foods from your diet with an “anti-disease” or immune boosting option. See ideas below:

3. Lower Your Stress Levels

Stress is a natural reaction to life. But having too much stress or prolonged periods of stress can wreak havoc on the body and actually increase your susceptibility of sickness.

Watch this video on stress and how it can hurt your health!

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There are countless ways to alleviate stress, just as long as we create time for them!

Below are some ways to kick stress to the curb.

  • Exercise…. We’ve got you covered there!
  • Spending time outdoors
  • Spending time with pets (puppy therapy is a real thing!)
  • Breathing exercises
  • Meditation
  • Journaling
  • Yoga
  • Prayer
  • A good night's rest
  • Taking Breaks!

One of our favorite ways to alleviate stress is the use of breath

That’s right! Breathing properly can actually reduce stress (and help you achieve a better workout!) 

Try out some of these simple everyday breath patterns you can use to melt stress away, any time of day.

We couldn’t talk about stress relief and NOT mention exercise. We all know exercise is good for us, and it does wonders to help us reduce stress levels (3).

  • Exercising releases endorphins- you can't feel bad when you're feeling good
  • Makes you feel better and empowered
  • Helps improve the quality of your sleep
  • Strength Training produces more endorphins than cardio
  • Can reduce risk of heart disease

4. Up Your Water Intake

We could chat for hours on this subject because water is so vital to your overall health and goes beyond just feeling hydrated. Drinking plenty of water helps you have a successful workout (4) as well as these health benefits:
  • Lubricate your joints and body’s systems so that everything moves & runs smoothly
  • Regulate body temperature (which can be helpful in burning more fat!)
  • Boost metabolism
  • Protect organs & tissue
  • Clear your bladder and flushes out toxins in your system
  • And so much more!!
Watch this video for a deeper dive into what water can do for you and your body and how you can get started and work your way to drinking enough water.
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5. Exercise… The RIGHT Way

You might think that exercising more is a surefire way to fight off viruses.

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

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

Studies show that consistently exercising helps increase immunity and decrease chances of getting sick.

Luckily, engaging in effective exercise does not require a big behavioral shift.

All you need is 20 minutes with the right method and the accountability of a Personal Trainer to get results.

In case you haven’t seen enough benefits already… Slow-motion strength training is proven to provide countless benefits including (5):

  1. Greater strength
  2. More endurance
  3. Additional calorie-burning lean muscle tissue
  4. Reversing age related muscle loss (sarcopenia)
  5. Increased metabolism for how many calories you burn even while you're resting
  6. Improved fat loss
  7. Stronger bones
  8. Reversing aging of muscle cells (express younger DNA in the nuclei)
  9. Improved cardiovascular fitness
  10. Improved cholesterol levels
  11. Lower blood pressure
  12. Improved low back pain
  13. Better blood sugar control
  14. Improved immune system
  15. And many more!!

So how can we optimize your immune syetem?

There are 5 behavioral changes that will help.

  • Get quality sleep
  • Eat nutrient dense foods
  • Lower stress levels
  • Drink more water
  • Slow-motion strength training

Did you know these are key ingredients for most (if not all) health and wellness goals?

Want more guidance—
Start HERE.

References:

  1. Ferris, L. T., Williams, J. S., Shen, C. L., O’Keefe, K. A., & Hale, K. B. (2005). Resistance training improves sleep quality in older adults—a pilot study. J Sports Sci Med, 4(3), 354-60.
  2. Singh, N. A., Clements, K. M., Fiatarone, M. A. (1997). Sleep, Sleep Deprivation, and Daytime Activities A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Effect of Exercise on Sleep. Sleep, 20(2), 95-101.
  3. O’Connor, P.J., Herring, M.P., & Caravalho, A. (2010). Mental health benefits of strength training in adults. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 4: 377; pp. 377-396. DOI: 10.1177/1559827610368771
  4. J udelson, D. A., Maresh, C. M., Farrell, M. J., Yamamoto, L. M., Armstrong, L. E., Kraemer, W. J., … & Anderson, J.M. (2007). Effect of hydration state on strength, power, and resistance exercise performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 39(10), 1817.
  5. Campbell, W.,Crim, M., Young,V. and Evans,W. (1994). Increased energy requirements and  changes in body composition with resistance training in older adults. American Journal of  Clinical Nutrition, 60: 167-175. 
  6. Evans, W. and Rosenberg, I. (1992) Biomarkers, New York: Simon and Schuster. Forbes, G.  B. (1976). “The adult decline in lean body mass,” Human Biology, 48: 161-73. 
  7. Harris, K. and Holly R. (1987). Physiological response to circuit weight training in borderline  hypertensive subjects. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 19: 246-252. 
  8. Hurley, B. (1994). Does strength training improve health status? Strength and Conditioning  Journal, 16: 7-13. 
  9. Hurley, B., Hagberg, J., Goldberg, A., et al. (1988). Resistance training can reduce coronary  risk factors without altering VO2 max or percent body fat. Medicine and Science in Sports and  Exercise, 20: 150-154. 
  10. Keyes, A., Taylor, H.L. and Grande, F. (1973). “Basal Metabolism and Age of Adult Man,”  Metabolism, 22: 579-87. 
  11. Koffler, K., Menkes, A. Redmond, W. et al. (1992). Strength training accelerates  gastrointestinal transit in middle-aged and older men. Medicine and Science in Sports and  Exercise, 24: 415-419. 
  12. Menkes, A., Mazel, S., Redmond, R. et al. (1993). Strength training increases regional bone  mineral density and bone remodeling in middle-aged and older men. Journal of Applied  Physiology, 74: 2478-2484. 
  13. Risch, S., Nowell, N. Pollock, M., et al. (1993). Lumbar strengthening in chronic low back pain  patients. Spine, 18: 232-238. 
  14. Singh, N., Clements, K. and Fiatarone, M. A randomized controlled trial of progressive resistance training in depressed elders. Journal of Gerontology, 52 A (1): M 27 – M 35.
  15. Stone, M., Blessing, D., Byrd, R., et al. (1982). Physiological effects of a short term resistive  training program on middle-aged untrained men. National Strength and Conditioning  Association Journal, 4: 16-20. 
  16. Tufts University Diet and Nutrition Letter, (1994). Never too late to build up your muscle. 12:  6-7 (September). 
  17. Westcott, W. and Guy, J. (1996). A physical evolution. Sedentary adults see marked  improvements in as little as two days a week. IDEA Today, 14 (9): 58-65. 

Retired and Remaining Strong, Healthy & Independent with QUICK workouts

Sheila Sutton Feature Image

Have you ever felt your knees ache a little bit more than they used to?

Perhaps you get winded more easily while walking through the neighborhood.

Maybe getting up out of bed feels like a challenge these days.

Ever stopped to think… maybe this is just what getting older feels like?

At age 66, Sheila Sutton found herself facing that very question. With a nudge from a doctor, she found a way to stay independent despite her age.

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Is This Supposed To Happen?

In early 2020, Sheila Sutton was working out at a big box gym 3-4 times a week. 

She was plugging away on the cardio machines and although she felt good, she lacked strength and felt off-centered. 

“My grandson who is 11 would run and jump at me and I would literally fall. I was off-center and if I missed a step it would be a big production.”

Without much strength and balance, Sheila found it challenging to do simple movements like getting up off the floor or going up and down the stairs unassisted.

She even needed to take rest breaks while doing her hair.

“It was annoying. I'm 66 years old… is this supposed to be happening?”

If the Doctor says so!

Once the pandemic hit, one of her sons (a doctor) said the gym was too risky and recommended she give The Perfect Workout a try. 

Sheila lives in New York, nowhere near one of our Medical Fitness Facilities, so she tried a Virtual Intro Workout. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Intimidated to Empowered

At first Sheila was intimidated by the idea of working with a Personal Trainer. She’d never worked with an instructor and didn’t know what to expect. Learn More

She was mostly skeptical about doing any exercises that required her to get up and down off the floor. 

She thought, “Wait a minute, who's gonna help me get up?”

But her Trainer listened to her concerns and her body’s ability, and never rushed Sheila into any exercises she wasn’t ready for.

Together, they worked consistently on her strength and balance… And one day she noticed a big change.

During one of her Personal Training Sessions, Sheila was getting up off the floor and without thinking about it she got up – without holding onto anything.

She said to her trainer, “Did you see what I did?! I never did this before!”

That moment brought Sheila to tears and left her feeling empowered. It made her want to do more for her body and her health. 

“I'm certainly going to do as much as I can to make my body perform the best that it can. I'm not ready for a chair or a scooter.”

Accomplishments like those are indicators that independence is possible at any age. And they happen everyday at The Perfect Workout. 

Worried about getting older

Decades to Come

When Sheila looks into the future at the decades to come, she now feels safe.

“I feel safer. I'm not afraid.”

She’s looking forward to doing so much more now that she knows her body has the potential. 

Sheila isn’t sitting still at 66. She’s moving her body with confidence and every Virtual Training Session helps improve her strength and balance.

“What better way to have someone that's going to be there for you and show you proper technique and how to maximize your body performance. And do it in a safe way in your house.”

Getting older doesn’t mean you have to become dependent on others to help you get up from the floor. 

Want to move your body with more confidence and independence? 

Start with an Intro Workout, no matter where you live!

The Strategy She Used to Feel Strong in Her Body Again

strategy Christine griffin used to feel strong

Christine Griffin was stopped in her tracks when she felt the searing pain of sciatica hit. She had a herniated a disc and with just the slightest bend in the back, the disc bulged, hitting a nerve. 

Everything cascaded from there. Overnight, she went from living an active lifestyle to living in pain. 

Learn how Christine went from living with severe back pain to feeling strong and capable – and the strategy she used to do it.

The Pain

For four years, Christine could barely walk without experiencing excruciating pain. 

“When you have back pain like that, you twist your body to guard from the pain and try to keep it from hurting.”

Unfortunately, this created a new problem for her. She found herself leaning to one size, a result of overcompensation to avoid the pain.

Christine ultimately went through surgery and a lot of physical therapy. Finally, she was pain free, but her body was out of whack and her muscles had atrophied. She couldn’t pick up where she left off with her exercise routine from four years before. 

She needed to begin again.

“Every time I tried to get back into that rhythm, I would hurt myself. I needed something in between physical therapy and full on workout classes. I needed a personal trainer.

The Strategy

Christine knew she needed a Personal Trainer. But as a busy professional, she also needed a time-efficient solution. 

After doing research, she found The Perfect Workout and was attracted to the 20-minute, twice a week program.

“I had special needs. And the trainers I've worked with have been able to accommodate them.”

It was a perfect fit.

Christine had tried traditional Personal Training before but there were two things that made her experience at The Perfect Workout different… and better.

First, she felt like she could “survive it”

“I wasn't pushed too hard, where I felt like I don't ever want to do that again.”

Second, it was effective.  

“Some of my original level of function returned. And that was the proof that I needed that it works.”

 

See MORE proof 👇🏼👇🏼

The Strategist

One key piece to Christine’s strategy to feel strong in her body again was making sure she did her workouts the right way.

That’s where the Trainer comes in. They’re the strategist.

A Trainer will help guide you safely through each exercise as well as help reverse engineer your goals so they're more attainable. 

After all, a Trainer is someone who specializes in helping people exercise the right way and getting results… and they’re passionate about it.

Even more than passion, our trainers are Certified through an extensive education process.

Most personal training certifications do not require any hands-on training to get certified. At The Perfect Workout, our certification goes beyond books and heavily involves hands-on training with real people. 

We test our trainers’ knowledge and expertise with numerous written and practical exams. All Personal Trainers are AED/CPR certified and are required to complete continuing education as part of their employment with The Perfect Workout.

The Ability to Function

Now that Christine is without pain and she’s getting stronger and healthier, she finds she has an ever-increasing ability to function in her daily life. 

“I can move my hips more easily. I can hold my body upright – I didn't have the strength to do that. I would always slouch back over because I fatigued almost right away.”

One of Christine’s biggest day-to-day challenges used to be the long walk to and from the train in Chicago. 

“And that's easier for me now that I can hold myself better upright while carrying a backpack. I can walk. I know that doesn’t sound like an accomplishment, but it's huge.”

increased function strength training

The Setting for Success

Christine got her start in one of The Perfect Workout’s Chicago studios, but now she trains exclusively on the Virtual Training platform.

“I've found that the virtual training platform works for me. It actually takes less time. And I don't have to drive there and back.”

The convenience isn’t the only factor that’s made Christine fall in love with Virtual Training.

She’s proud to develop her own toolkit of challenging exercises she can use to assist in her workouts – like lifting her own body weight in different ways.

“I see the advantages of the machines but I feel like I don't need an entire gym full of stuff to get more healthy.”

I hear about people who are having mental health challenges and things like that during the pandemic. Here's something you can do that will make you feel good right in your home. You don't have to leave it. You can just put on some workout clothes. Who cares what your hair looks like? 20 minutes, you're done, and you feel better.”

No matter WHAT your goals are, feeling better is inevitable at The Perfect Workout.

Get started today!

How The Perfect Workout is Pioneering the World of Virtual Training

pioneering virtual training

When the first shelter at home orders were mandated, we pivoted from our in-studio personal training to online personal training.

We offered immediate support to our clients and a solution to maintaining health, boosting immunity when it mattered most and having jobs for our trainers.

We created an exciting new way of offering our workouts, with lots of help from our early adopters (both clients and trainers). This allowed us to develop a product and system that is our Virtual Training today.

The first iteration of in-home training was ingenious, and helped many clients stay on track with their health and fitness goals. Since then, we have invested more time, resources and innovation into our Virtual Training Program and are excited to share the next steps with you.

We’re Evolving: App Development

Moving all of our personal interactions onto platforms like Zoom added a layer of concern when it comes to security, privacy, and feeling safe. 

Our clients also experienced frustrations when they couldn’t access account information, and it took too many steps, links and clicks to meet with their trainer. 

So, we’ve decided to develop The Perfect Workout App featuring our own video software.

This will allow trainers and clients to connect 1-on-1 without third-party software like Zoom or Facetime for added security and convenience.

With The Perfect Workout App, clients will also get to see real-time workout progress, easily share the program with family and friends, receive nutrition coaching, and seamlessly manage appointments – all in one place.

It’s our way of giving clients access to more tools, more resources, and more education.

 

the perfect workout safety standards fitness innovation app

We’re Innovating for the Future: Couples & Group Virtual Training

Initially, our Virtual Training program offered immediate support to our clients and a solution to maintaining health, boosting immunity, and having jobs for our trainers. (We deeply appreciate our early adopters!)

Our clients can continue to build strength, get healthier, and improve their immune system during the pandemic and beyond – no matter where they are around the world.

We’ve also received many requests from our clients to add family members and friends from out of state train with them in their sessions.

And we’re excited to now introduce a new service to make your training experience more inclusive with Couples & Group Virtual Training!


Not only is this going to make training more fun and sustainable for a lot of people, it's going to bring families together, no matter where you live, during a time where that may not be possible. Now and in the future.

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