Featured Trainer: Valerie Anderson

Featured Trainer: Valerie Anderson

For over 4 years, Valerie Anderson has helped her members with their fitness journeys. But this journey starts with Valerie’s own mission to work on her health and body…
Image of San Mateo Facility Manager Valerie Anderson

Valerie began working on her own personal fitness in 2016. She researched different types of exercises to educate herself on how to work out. Once she started seeing results, Valerie knew it was something she wanted to help other people achieve as well.

After becoming a Certified Personal Trainer and working with others, Valerie was introduced to a very specific niche of training… 1-on-1 slow-motion strength training.

“It wasn’t like anything else I'd ever tried before. It was very challenging, but in a good way. I liked that I could take myself out of my comfort zone and challenge myself to make progress and gain strength.”

Valerie was ultimately chosen to join The Perfect Workout’s Bay Area training team, where she now manages and trains at the San Mateo location.

Image of Valerie coaching a member on the leg press

Before we dive into how impactful Valerie has been to her member’s lives, let’s celebrate a few wins she experienced herself…

“I've seen a lot of personal results from slow-motion training. I've gotten significantly stronger, and my body composition has changed by doing so.

I’ve lost over 30 pounds.”

Image of Valerie handing a glass of water to a member

Valerie truly enjoys working 1-on-1 with members, and being able to build a friendship is one of the biggest perks.

“Coaching comes first. But having that sweet balance between coach and friend is really nice. Having a relationship with my members is what keeps me coming every single day and keeps me motivated to help them.”

Speaking of motivating and helping them. Here are a few of those stories!

“One of the first members I worked with – I was able to help her lose 20 pounds through nutritional guidance and helping her gain strength and change her body composition.

I was able to help another member significantly increase her leg press weight to be over 300 pounds. It's very satisfying to know that I've been able to help someone really achieve their goals.”

One of the things Valerie loves most about all the members she works with is helping them build strength and stability. The results they achieve inside the studio help them to feel more confident outside of the studio, in their daily tasks and overcoming fears like tripping or falling.

Image of Valeria coaching a member on the Lat Pulldown machine

The foundation of HIT exercise is the same from workout to workout, but each trainer is different. You’ll get different styles of coaching, different critiques, and varying advice. Here’s sound sage advice from Valerie:

“The benefit of having a trainer during your workout is that someone is always going to push you more than you'll push yourself. Working out can be uncomfortable; it can be challenging. So when you have someone there to guide you safely with good form, pace, and breathing, you know that you're going to get a solid workout and that you're not going to be hurting yourself in the process.


This is a perfect workout for a reason.”


Valerie Anderson
San Mateo, CA
The Perfect Workout Trainer & Facility Manager

Member Feature Nancy Schlesinger

50lbs Down and Keeping it Off in Her 60s

50lbs Down and Keeping it Off in Her 60s

Picture of a female member being coached by a trainer on the leg press

At 58, Nancy was overweight, had knee problems, and struggled to keep up when traveling.

Now at 63, none of those things hold her back from living the life she wants. Here is her story…

“I started coming to The Perfect Workout because I wanted to lose weight. I was considerably heavier. And I also had some health issues that I wanted to deal with in terms of endurance.

I wanted to be able to do more.”

As a Girl Scout Troop Leader and avid traveler, it was important for Nancy to stay physically active. But, she had some nagging issues getting in the way…

“I wanted to be able to do more hiking with my Girl Scout troop. Because I have problems with my knee, I could go uphill, but not downhill.

And when we went on our trip to Switzerland, I had a hard time at the higher elevations, especially keeping up with the group.

There were things that I was afraid to try, because of my size and my bad coordination. I was not really comfortable with rappelling and doing other fun stuff that other people got to do.”

Prior to joining The Perfect Workout, Nancy tried exercising by herself. Even though she had access to a gym, she experienced some roadblocks.

“I tried working out in a gym and we have an elliptical machine at home, but I stuck with neither of them.

I think I had a lot of fear about not knowing what was good for me to do… What was the right thing to do?

When I went to the gym, I was afraid to raise my weights, because I didn't know if I would hurt myself.

I actually did hurt myself on a machine when I was trying to workout on my own at a gym. And it took me months to get over that.

I would spend hours there and not see any results.”

When Nancy heard about The Perfect Workout on the radio she was immediately intrigued by two things: The San Mateo studio was near her home, and it was only 20 minutes, twice a week.

By the third session, she was ready to become a member.

“I felt confident the trainer was going to keep me safe, which was a big issue for me. I liked that it was small, there wasn't a crowd of people there. I felt like this was something I can do.”

Over the past 5 years, Nancy has achieved all the goals she set when she first joined The Perfect Workout. Remember that “bad knee” that prevented her from hiking and rappelling? It’s no longer holding her back…

“I'm lifting 300 pounds with my legs. Even though I have a bad knee. That's my biggest brag!

I can carry a lot more things. I can move more easily. I fit into smaller spaces, even those little bitty airplane seats!”

image of a trainer show a member their progress chart with a quote bubble next to them

In total, Nancy has lost about 50 pounds. In addition to losing weight, she’s increased her lean muscle mass and bone strength. Both of which will help her maintain her fat loss, stamina, and strength for years to come.

“To me The Perfect Workout really is perfect. I don't have to think about all the little details that you would if you're working out on your own. Having the trainer there by your side, watching your form is so valuable.

I think a lot of that hesitancy to workout before was often fear that I was going to do something wrong, that either I wouldn't get any results or I'd hurt myself.

As you get older, you don't have the same body confidence that you might have when you were younger. But when you have your trainer there then they can help you stay focused.

This is not like anything else I've ever done…

I feel like I'm a lot stronger. I’ve got better coordination and balance.

And I really changed the way my body looks. It's really wonderful.”

Nancy S. 63
The Perfect Workout Member
San Mateo, CA

If you are new to The Perfect Workout, try a workout with us and Find a Studio Near You

The Impact of Alcohol on Reaching Goals

The Impact of Alcohol on Reaching Goals

Mission Monday Episode 14

The Impact of Alcohol on Reaching Goals

Mission Monday Episode 14

Achieving great results comes from being consistent with exercise and diet habits.

Being consistent, though, does not mean you need to completely eliminate what you enjoy.
One thing many of us enjoy is having beer, liquor, or wine with family and friends.

A common conversation in fitness is whether we need to avoid alcohol to reach our goals.

We dive into how drinking alcohol can impact the pursuit of your goals and discuss how you can still enjoy a beverage while making progress towards your goals.

Does Alcohol Impact Muscle Growth?

A study led by Australian researchers examined this topic. In the study, men strength-trained and then consumed a few vodka and orange juice drinks — aka screwdrivers — in the hours after the workout.

The rate of muscle development, or muscle protein synthesis, was measured for a few hours
The researchers noticed that drinking after the workout decreased post-workout muscle protein synthesis.

Over a longer period of time, this indicates it is likely that consistently drinking after a workout will reduce muscle growth.

The study, though, did offer a hack that could help. The researchers noticed that consuming protein immediately and 4 hours after the workout limited the impact of alcohol on muscle growth.

If you drink after a workout, mix in a few high-protein meals or shakes.

What About Weight Loss? Can You Enjoy Drinks And Still Lose Weight?

Similar to eating habits, we need to control our calorie intake when it comes to drinking. If a drink — or drinks — fit into our daily calorie goal, then we can have them.

We often focus on the carbohydrate calories in our drinks. However, alcohol is a macronutrient as well.

Alcohol has 7 calories per gram.

Even if an alcoholic beverage has no carbohydrates, the drink still has calories. So, budget your calories appropriately.

To make alcoholic beverages fit into your daily calorie goals, mix your alcohol with a low-calorie mixer.

In summary, avoiding alcohol is not necessary to reach your muscle growth or weight loss goals.

If you drink following a workout, scatter a few high-protein shakes or meals among your drinks
Ideally, to reach your goals:

  • stick to having 1-2 drinks
  • use low-calorie mixers
  • try to avoid drinking in the hours following your workouts

If you would like to learn more about our method of strength training, read about our methodology. If you are new to The Perfect Workout, try a workout with us and book a FREE Introductory Session.

  • Parr, E.B., Camera, D.M., Areta, J.L., Burke, L.M., Phillips, S.M., Hawley, J.A., & Coffey, V.G. (2014). Alcohol ingestion impairs maximal post-exercise rates of myofibrillar protein synthesis following a single bout of concurrent training. PLOS One, 9(2), e88384.
The Perfect Workout CEO explaining training for mental health

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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.

Burn More Calories: During a Workout vs. After?

How many calories do you burn during a workout vs. after?

One of the most common questions we hear is, “How many calories did I burn from my workout?”

To help answer that question, let’s talk money.

The traditional method for making money is exchanging time for money. 

You finish a project or complete a few days of work, and you’re compensated for those hours or work that you completed. You work 40 hours in a week and you’re paid for that week in the following paycheck. It’s a one-time compensation for the work completed. This is the common model of making money, and the traditional lens through which people think about burning calories.

Another way to make money is receiving residual income. A person works to complete a product or service, then receives ongoing payments or royalties after the work is already done. An example of this is writing a book and receiving continued payments for the book as it continues to sell. 

For many, the most valued benefit of exercise is that it “burns” calories, which can help with weight loss or maintaining weight loss (calories are technically “expended,” but “burned” is the more popular phrase). 

Traditionally, we look at exercise through the “time for money” model. We judge exercise by how many calories we burned during the workout, as if a workout was a one-time payment. Viewing exercise in this way is both right and wrong. 

Exercise is exchanging time for calories burned, but workouts also have residual benefits where you continue to burn calories after the workout. This is especially true for exercise at The Perfect Workout.

The Perfect Workout Client Strength Training

Calories Burned During the Workout

Hustling through your session at The Perfect Workout must count for something, right? Yes! 

The effort you put into moving quickly through your exercises makes the training more beneficial in a few ways, including increasing the calories burned during your workout. 

According to data from Harvard Health Publishing, exercise similar to The Perfect Workout burns about 4-8 calories per minute. 

Calories burned per minute are influenced by whether a person truly reaches “muscle success” on each exercise, how quickly a person moves when transitioning between exercises, and by how much the person weighs (heavier people burn more calories when working at the same intensity).

Using the Harvard data, a 20-minute session could expend 80 to 160 calories.

Calories Burned After the Workout

As noted before, The Perfect Workout burns calories not only during the session but with residual calories after the workout as well. 

A study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology showed that a single workout can increase metabolism up to 72 hours afterwards. The metabolism increase in the study was about 70-90 extra calories burned per day. 

This post-workout benefit doesn’t happen with all types of activity. Most activities, such as walking, riding a bike, and jogging, are limited to the calories burned only during the activity. 

Strength training’s intensity boosts metabolism for a prolonged period due to a few factors: 

  • replenishing stored glucose
  • converting lactic acid into glucose
  • elevated levels of some neurotransmitters and hormones
  • returning core temperature and breathing rate to normal levels

In slow-motion strength training workouts, you burn calories during the session and for days after. Evaluating The Perfect Workout through the traditional lens of only calories burned during the session would underestimate it’s value because you forget about all the calories you burn AFTER the workout. 

Combining the workout and post-workout estimates, a workout could burn anywhere from 200 to 340 calories. When considering that this all comes from a single 15-20-minute session, the calories spent for your work is definitely a return on investment.

New to slow-motion strength training? Try an Intro Workout today!

Personal Trainer’s Key to Success

practice what you preach: personal trainer's key to client success

Kathrine Diaz Personal Trainer at The Perfect Workout

Katherine Diaz was introduced to The Perfect Workout by her sister who also got her start as a Personal Trainer. Once she tried the workout for herself, she fell in love with it. 

My strength is insane, my muscle tone is like never before, and I have lost and kept off 20lbs of fat.” 

When Katherine realized that she could get results, carve out more time for life, and get an endorphin rush in just 20 minutes, she decided she wanted to share this exciting workout with others.

Play Video

Katherine started by learning the importance of exercise and the right way to strength train. The more she learned about slow-motion strength training, the more she wanted to teach others how to incorporate it into their fitness journeys. 

In August of 2016, Katherine completed her extensive Personal Trainer Certification and joined The Perfect Workout’s Kingwood and River Oaks teams. 

Immediately, Katherine saw how the 1-on-1 environment allowed her to have such a large impact on her clients and their lives.

“I love how I am able to give attention to detail, provide massive amounts of education, customize every single client workout, and have the ability to keep them accountable to their habits every time they train.”

Her Fitness Journey

For Katherine, it was essential to “practice what she preached” and adopt the very things she intended to teach her clients. In addition to her 20-minute, twice a week workouts, Katherine changed her diet, cut down on junk food, and openly shared her journey on social media and with her clients. 

Sharing her own journey with her clients pushed her to stay motivated and consistent. 

“That made me feel really good about what I was doing because now I was not only doing the workout, I was doing the hardest part of the health which is the nutrition and I think that motivated a lot of my clients.”

Inspiring Her Clients To Prioritize Themselves

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

One young mother, Becky, stepped out of her comfort zone to focus on herself when she came to The Perfect Workout. She felt nervous about investing in private Personal Training in the beginning, but she was determined to start her fitness journey and knew the 1-on-1 support would be worth it. With Katherine’s guidance and coaching, she was able to get stronger and make healthy nutrition changes, and she realized her investment was paying off.

Becky told Katherine, “I've learned to put myself higher on my priority list. And you taught me that.” 

It was both motivating and moving for Katherine to see Becky put her health first because she knows how common it is for moms to sacrifice so much of themselves for their family.

workout for busy moms

Another one of Katherine’s favorite success stories was a woman she began working with after they had a stroke just one month prior. “She was able to get mobility in the left side of her body, but in 8 months, we got her to walk without a cane, drive again, get down and up off the floor with no assistance from anyone or anything!”

One of Katherine’s biggest accomplishments as a Trainer is helping clients lose a significant amount of weight. Her client Rebecca weighed 270 pounds when she began at The Perfect Workout.

With Katherine’s help, she was able to stay consistent with virtual sessions during the pandemic, focus on her nutrition, and ultimately drop down to 207 pounds! 

“I feel like I'm just a very small part of it. But she (Rebecca) makes me feel like I'm a huge part of her success. And that's such a sweet thing!”

Every client’s success is a victory for Katherine. She is grateful for all the moments she’s been able to help others change their lives for the better and is excited about the possibility of working with future clients.