Featured Member: Theresa N.

Featured Member: Theresa N.

I was at a point in my life where I knew I needed to start working out again…

Updated 03/14/23

Theresa, 62, struggled to consistently do any kind of workout on her own. After joining The Perfect Workout (not once, but twice!) she’s got more muscle tone, strength, stamina and is keeping up with the physical demands of caring for her special needs son. Here is her story…


“I was at a point in my life where I knew I needed to start working out again. I had just raised my six children and sent the youngest off to college. I needed something different that would work for me- that wasn’t the traditional gym environment.

I was looking to work on my overall strength. I've had some challenges with different medical conditions. I was diagnosed with some pre-osteoporosis in my spine and that was a big wake up call that I needed to do more than just walking or trying to do a little bit of weight lifting on my own.

I wanted to strengthen my bones specifically and improve my overall fitness.

I had tried gyms in the past and I had even tried sessions with personal trainers and I just wasn't successful. I needed a little more expertise.”

A trainer helps a woman on the Adduction/Abduction machine at The Perfect Workout

“This is actually my second time at The Perfect Workout. I had my intro session years ago and I did the program for about six months. Then I tried to do it on my own at a gym and I thought, ‘Oh, I know whatever I need to know and I can do it on my own.’

I quickly realized that wasn’t the case. I wasn't doing it and it was rare for me to even get to the gym. I didn't get the same type of commitment from myself.

I needed somebody cheering for me every week and guiding me. I tried to just go walking or do some weight lifting on my own, but again, I didn’t have the expertise.

I've been back at The Perfect Workout around eight months now and I really want to stay as long as I can. I realized that this is a long term commitment and I've now seen that I can do even more as time goes on.

I can definitely see more muscle tone, more strength and more stamina, and I just feel better. And overall, my mental health is good again. I feel like I can keep going and getting stronger.”

A woman works out on the Lat Pulldown machine at The Perfect Workout

“I have a special needs son who requires a lot of intensive care, and it motivates me to stay strong for him. He requires 24 hour care- dressing and moving about, I need to get up and down off the floor with him, or physically help him with being in the bathroom, taking a shower, things like that.

It takes a lot of physical strength and I’ve noticed a difference.

I can get up and down off the floor a lot easier than I used to be able to with him. And I also know how to use my body, where I'm not going to be injured. And I think that's what's really important to me – I can't hurt myself.

My kids, my family, they know that their mom works really hard when I come here. I think they're proud of me.”

A trainer guides a woman on the leg press machine at The Perfect Workout

“I actually look forward to coming to my workouts and seeing the trainers. I feel very welcome here. I feel a little more protected here and I like that it’s an intimate environment.

I don't feel intimidated by others. I feel like the other people in the studio are just like me.

And I can’t say enough about the trainers!

I think having a personal trainer there with you, you feel better about yourself. They're guiding you, they're answering your questions and adding tips to add into the workout. And that's all really helpful.

The Perfect Workout has changed me emotionally and mentally. I have committed to working on my body for the long term and that keeps me going. I’m motivated to come every week because I want to be as healthy as I can be, for me and my family.”

Theresa N., 62
Member at The Perfect Workout
Carlsbad, CA

We know strength training is important, but nutrition is also a huge piece of your wellbeing. If you'd like help learning how to implement these new habits alongside your workouts, schedule a Nutrition Intro session today! Email [email protected] to get started.

Featured Trainer Debra Bern

The Perfect Workout Featured Trainer from Del Mar, CA - Debra Bern

Trainer Debra Bern began her fitness journey with a goal to lose weight after having kids. Her journey to finding a workout that wouldn’t injure her or burn her out lead to an 11 year career at The Perfect Workout. Here is her story…

“After I had my children, I felt like I was on an intense quest to lose all of the baby weight. I was working out like a mad woman, doing any kind of class I could, and I was running myself ragged.

I did aerobics. I did HIIT classes. I even tried a hula hoop strength training class where I ended up getting totally bruised.

After one particular HIIT class where they had us doing burpees and all kinds of crazy exercises, I ended up hurting my neck really bad.

And after a few days I was in so much pain that I went to my doctor. He misdiagnosed me with meningitis and I ended up quarantined in the hospital.

While I lay there in the hospital room all by myself I thought, ‘Working out like this is just not worth it.’

Not long after that, I saw a 60-minute special with Barbara Walters talking about a super slow workout. And I remembered how intense it looked.

I ended up trying it, but I wasn't sure if I was doing it right. So I went to a seminar at The Perfect Workout where I met the founder of the company, and it was really inspiring to learn about the workout and to actually learn how to do it correctly.

This was over 11 years ago and I haven't gotten hurt since. I've lost the baby weight and have kept the weight off for over ten years now.

Debra working out her biceps at The Perfect Workout's Del Mar location

Shortly after her introduction to slow-motion strength training, Debra felt like beginning a second career in fitness was a wonderful opportunity to help others just like her. She obtained her Personal Trainer Certification and was ultimately selected to join The Perfect Workout’s team of trainers in Del Mar.

“Being a trainer is extremely gratifying. I don't know of any other job where people give you hugs and they thank you for helping them!

One of my members and her husband had traveled to Uganda to see the mountain gorillas. To get to these gorillas is no easy feat. You have to hike between five and ten miles through this impenetrable forest.

And according to this member, there were other people her age that couldn’t do it. One of them had to be carried. Some of them had to be helped. Some of them didn't make the hike at all.

And her and her husband, they did it. They made it.

That was a dream of theirs for so long.

And she said, ‘The Perfect Workout helped us. We're strong.’ I love stories like that!”

It’s been 11 years since Debra joined The Perfect Workout and she’s looking forward to many more.

“It's a positive environment to work in. We have great trainers, and the clients – these are people that inspire me and I adore working with. I'm genuinely interested in making them stronger and hearing about their lives. I love being involved in all of it.”

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

We know strength training is important, but nutrition is also a huge piece of your wellbeing. If you'd like help learning how to implement these new habits alongside your glute workouts, schedule a Nutrition Intro session today! Email [email protected] to get started.

Featured Member: Melissa Furman

Image of The Perfect Workout's January Featured Member, Melissa
By Jordan Thomson | Updated 01/18/23

50 year old Melissa Furman used to wake up daily feeling achy, stiff and often was brought to tears with pain and frustration. Now, she feels stronger, pain-free, and she’s more confident in her body. Here’s her story…

For years, Melissa suffered from lower back pain due to an injury incurred at the gym. She’d always been active – riding horses for 35+ years, training in TaeKwonDo, taking various gym classes, walking the dog etc..

Imaging revealed she had a slipped disc in her spine and was told surgery would resolve it.

But Melissa didn’t want surgery.

So over the years, she tried a number of things to help her back pain…

“I did physical therapy several times, home exercises, dry needling, home gym workouts (that didn't last or work), gym workouts that were run-of-the-mill boot camp/crossfit/training programs (that were interesting and often grueling but left me sore and hurting), chiropractic care (that was painful and didn't work), chiropractic office strength workouts that left me sore and stiff, stretching (that only felt good then, but didn't have overall long-lasting benefits to my back pain), over-the-counter pain meds and even a new very expensive, fancy mattress! .

None of that ultimately helped relieve the back pain. The pain often brought me to tears. I couldn't sleep comfortably and was frequently exhausted due to not resting deeply and waking achy, barely able to turn over to get out of bed.

I was far too young and active to feel this way! So as I approached my 50th birthday, I knew I had to finally do what I've known to be necessary: strength training.

So I sought a place that would offer me quality training, with attention to form and function and could attend to my limitations – The Perfect Workout.

I finally decided the financial investment was worth it to commit to personal training. After spending a lot of money on a fancy mattress with little benefit, which was my last attempt to feel better on my own, I realized it was time to invest that kind of money in personal training that focuses on functional fitness and overall strength.

I knew I needed the accountability and skilled trainers to make the difference in my strength and comfort. I didn't like feeling sore and stiff after the typical gym workout, and I didn't have the time in my week to devote the necessary hour or two of time in the gym, so The Perfect Workout fit the bill. It's hard work, in little time. And it's effective.”

Melissa first noticed positive benefits from The Perfect Workouts in just 2 weeks…

“When I first started these workouts, I was exhausted – my body was adjusting and ramping up. This workout is taxing! But after adjusting my protein and water intake and increasing calorie amounts to help build muscle and give my body what it needs to conduct these workouts, I got over the exhaustion and started thriving.

Before, I would wake up achy and stiff and tired. Everyday tasks like laundry, picking things up off the floor, vacuuming, emptying the dishwasher, lifting heavy objects – all of it was done with pain or discomfort. Now, I'm stronger and can do those things with ease. I still have to manage some knee pain but it's far less significant.

But the biggest achievement I’ve experienced is getting rid of my back pain. It's liberating.

This relief has been such a blessing in my life. And as a midlife woman, I also am happy to see muscle definition where I didn't have it before.

The strength I've gained at The Perfect Workout supports my back and my overall ability to function in daily tasks more easily.

I'm stronger. I feel better. I’m more confident in my body and more positive about the future.”

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

We know strength training is important, but nutrition is also a huge piece of your wellbeing. If you'd like help learning how to implement these new habits alongside your workouts, schedule a Nutrition Intro session today! Email [email protected] to get started.

Featured Member: Meg Sullivan

Image of Meg Sullivan flexing

How did 66 year old Meg Sullivan go from no motivation and weak muscles, to improved endurance, full-body strength and better rock-climbing performance?

Well, here’s her story…

Meg needed help getting back to a regular exercise routine after the 2-year pandemic – during which she rarely exercised and continued to struggle with motivation. She also wanted to get stronger after noticing a loss of muscle mass and increased weakness.

“I bought myself “The Mirror” [at home workout class you can follow along to in a mirror] in one attempt but was unsuccessful doing that regularly.

After many more attempts to establish a consistent exercise routine – not even a specific regimen- Meg was back to square one.

After seeing an ad for The Perfect Workout, she decided to give it a try.

“It's only 20 minutes! I mean, you could stand on your head for 20 minutes if you had to. Plenty of times I haven't felt like going, but then I remind myself, it's only 20 minutes.”

And because of that easy-to-stick-with schedule of 20 minutes, twice a week. Meg has finally been able to stay consistent and hit her goals.

“My upper body strength and leg strength have greatly improved. While rock climbing recently, I had to lift myself up on a ledge using just my upper body and I could do it. I know I would not have been able to do that before.

I also noticed the difference in my leg strength while rock climbing. The big surprise came when hiking for a week in North Carolina. My endurance had significantly improved. I was out front of our hikes with a 30 year old physician while the other folks who were junior to me in age brought up the rear!

I am so pleased with my performance both in my rock climbing and my hiking. I don't want to sound immodest, but it's really cool at 66 to be better than the younger people. I think the other rock climbers were shocked!”

Meg standing on a hoverboard

Working one-on-one with her trainers has been such a positive and supportive experience for Meg…

“The research shows that we push ourselves further when we’re working out with a trainer versus working out by ourselves. That is certainly true for me when working with The Perfect Workout trainers. They are great motivators!

Each trainer has been fun to work with, possessing a good sense of humor. And I want to give a HUGE shout out to my trainers who are SO much fun and so inspiring. They’re personable while still being professional, and they are consistently encouraging and supportive. All that makes it easier to push past my inertia on gray days when I don’t feel like going.

After just a year at The Perfect Workout, Meg has gotten back into the workout groove, achieved her strength goals, and now – there’s nothing holding her back.

“I'm much stronger. I have much better endurance and all that makes me happier! I have no concerns about my ability to do any activities I choose. That's a great feeling, especially when you're 66! I cannot recommend this program enough.”

Meg Sullivan, 66
Falls Church, VA
The Perfect Workout Member

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

How to Stay in Shape After Menopause

How to Stay in Shape After Menopause. Post Menopause Health & Fitness

How to Stay in Shape After Menopause. Post Menopause Health & Fitness

image of a woman stretching before a workout

Staying in shape is challenging enough but tack on sleep struggles, memory loss, anxiety, muscle loss, and weight gain…

Sounds like an uphill battle, right?

This condition is actually something more than half of the population goes through!

It’s menopause.

In this article, we dive into a few simple, proven methods for staying in shape through and after menopause. If you’re a woman who wants to avoid experiencing the many negative impacts that menopause can have, keep scrolling.

Jump to Topic:
Strength Training and Menopause
Hot Flashes
Calorie Deficit
High Protein Diet

Menopause is defined as a “biological process,” but it might also be appropriate to describe it as a “challenge” or “health issue.” Menopause produces a number of stressful outcomes, including sleep disturbances, hot flashes, increased urination, poor memory, and anxiety (Leite et al., 2010).

Following menopause, women are susceptible to a number of fitness- and health-related issues. Postmenopause, women are also likely to gain weight, lose muscle, lose bone, and are more likely to develop heart disease (Leite et al., 2010).

Other health concerns at this time are the worsening of a few heart disease risk factors, including the rise in insulin resistance (a precursor to diabetes), blood glucose, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure.

Unfortunately, menopause isn’t avoidable. However, the issues following menopause are avoidable.

Strength training is an especially important part of maintaining health after menopause. There are several reasons why strength training helps.

Image of a happy woman about to lead a workout class

How Strength Training Can Help Post-Menopause

Health and fitness

As mentioned, menopause is often followed by a loss of muscle, bone, weight gain, and a number of health issues. Strength training reverses all of these trends. Specifically, postmenopausal women can gain muscle, strengthen bones, lose fat, and increase metabolism (fighting against weight gain) with strength training (Leite et al., 2010; Watson et al., 2017).

Weight lifting is also shown to combat all of the health concerns, leading to healthier levels of blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol, and insulin resistance. As a whole, strength training can help women reduce their risk of developing heart disease.

Hot flashes

Hot flashes are known for causing lost sleep, nausea, headaches, anxiety, headaches and weakness (Berin et al., 2019). Frequency varies, but some women can have them as often as every hour!

While this is not a commonly known benefit, strength training can actually reduce hot flash episodes (Berin et al., 2019). One study showed that twice-weekly strength training led to a 44% decrease in hot flashes! Strength training raises endorphin levels, which might fight against some of the internal changes that occur before a hot flash.

We know strength training is important, but nutrition is also a huge piece of your wellbeing. If you'd like help  learning how to implement these new habits, schedule a Nutrition Intro session today! Email jen.walsh@theperfectworkout.com to get started.

Other Ways to Maintain Post-Menopausal Health

Exercise is most effective for post-menopausal fitness when combined with dietary changes. Specifically, exercise and diet changes combined can maximize fat loss, maintaining or building muscle, and enhancing measures of health (Deibert et al., 2007; Foster-Schubert et al., 2012; Smith et al., 2016). Specifically, two approaches are especially helpful.

Calorie Deficit

Reducing calories is an effective way to lose fat and maintain a healthy level of body fat and inflammation (Foster-Schubert et al., 2012; Van Gemert et al., 2016). When combined with exercise, calorie control is an effective way to specifically reduce midsection body fat, cholesterol, triglycerides, blood glucose, and blood pressure (Deibert et al., 2007).

In research, a few strategies were effective for reducing calorie intake. Among the effective strategies were working with nutrition coaches, tracking their own behaviors (food journaling, etc.), learning strategies for changing behavior, using meal replacement supplements in place of two meals per day, receiving social support and accountability from others, and documenting weekly weigh-ins (Deibert et al., 2007; Foster-Schubert et al., 2012; Van Gemert et al., 2016).

High Protein Diet

Calorie restriction that includes a low daily intake of protein led to a large amount of muscle loss (Smith et al., 2016). Eating a “high-protein diet” while restricting calories can greatly reduce the amount of muscle lost during weight loss (Smith et al., 2016). A desirable protein intake for maintaining muscle during weight loss or weight maintenance is around 0.7-1.0 grams/lb of body weight per day.

For example, if you weigh 200 lbs and your goal is to maintain that weight, you should consume 140-200 grams of protein per day.

Other Ways to Maintain Post-Menopausal Health

If no intentional actions are taken, women might gain weight, lose muscle, and experience a big decline in health during menopause. Thankfully, a few actions can help women stay in shape during and after menopause.

Strength training helps women maintain muscle, avoid weight gain, and reduce the frequency of hot flashes. Eating in a calorie deficit, using strategies such as working with a coach and using a food journal, can lead to fat loss or maintain your desired weight. Combining exercise and calorie restriction can ensure great health, including maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, and blood glucose.

Menopause can wreak havoc on a woman’s body, but that havoc is not inevitable. Strength training and calorie-reducing habits can lead to great health and fitness well beyond menopause.

  • Berin, E., Hammar, M., Lindblom, H., Lindh-Astrand, L, Ruber, M., & Spetz Holm, A.C. (2019). Resistance training for hot flushes in postmenopausal women: a randomised controlled trial. Maturitas, 126, 55-60.
  • Deibert, P., König, D., Vitolins, M. Z., Landmann, U., Frey, I., Zahradnik, H. P., & Berg, A. (2007). Effect of a weight loss intervention on anthropometric measures and metabolic risk factors in pre-versus postmenopausal women. Nutrition Journal, 6(1), 1-7.
  • Foster Schubert, K. E., Alfano, C. M., Duggan, C. R., Xiao, L., Campbell, K. L., Kong, A., … & McTiernan, A. (2012). Effect of diet and exercise, alone or combined, on weight and body composition in overweight to obese postmenopausal women. Obesity, 20(8), 1628-1638.
  • Leite, R.D., Prestes, J., Pereira, G.B., Shiguemoto, G.E., & Perez, S.E. (2010). Menopause: highlighting the effects of resistance training. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 31, 761-767.
  • Smith, G. I., Yoshino, J., Kelly, S. C., Reeds, D. N., Okunade, A., Patterson, B. W., … & Mittendorfer, B. (2016). High-protein intake during weight loss therapy eliminates the weight-loss-induced improvement in insulin action in obese postmenopausal women. Cell Reports, 17(3), 849-861.
  • Van Gemert, W. A., May, A. M., Schuit, A. J., Oosterhof, B. Y., Peeters, P. H., & Monninkhof, E. M. (2016). Effect of weight loss with or without exercise on inflammatory markers and adipokines in postmenopausal women: the SHAPE-2 trial, a randomized controlled trial. Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Biomarkers, 25(5), 799-806.
  • Watson, S.L., Weeks, B.K., Weis, L.J., Harding, A.T., Horan, S.A., & Beck, B.R. (2017). High-intensity resistance training and impact training improves bone mineral density and physical function in postmenopausal women wiht osteopenia and osteoporosis: the LIFTMOR Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. DOI: 10.1002/jbmr.3284

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.