Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Dr Maureen Creal Explains Her In-Home Fitness Program with PPT

Dr Maureen Creal has been a PPT client for nearly one year, starting near the turn of 2015.  She exercises at her home once or twice most weeks with her local PPT professional and has offered to share her experiences in this interview below.  Enjoy the article!

PPT:  How did you feel about exercise and nutrition prior to becoming a PPT client? Were you a regular exerciser?

Dr Creal:  I have never liked exercise. I did many weight loss plans; gym memberships, videos, yoga videos, weights, exercise balls, hula-hoop, etc.. nothing ever really worked or stuck.  As far as nutrition, I tried to keep my caloric intake down, increase protein when I could, and stay away from high-fat or fried foods.  I did not have a plan, just “eye-balled” everything! I was not a regular exerciser, I walk my dogs at a very slow “dog smelling everything” pace.  I never, until now, took steps toward balance.


PPT:  ‎Had you experienced any physical problems or health symptoms as a result
of your former lifestyle that you're willing to share?

Dr Creal:  I often had a stiff neck, back pain, my scapulas were aggressively sticking out (my dad called them my angel wings because they were so pronounced), and I had a hard time standing up straight after laying down/sleeping.  My hips were sore/tight and it took a little bit of time before I was able to stand fully erect.

My weight has remained stable for most of my adult life.  I have fluctuated within 10 lbs since high school.  Although my weight hasn't changed by much, my body shape has changed dramatically.  I have always battled with cellulite.  I was told by many people (Doctors, trainers, friends) that I will not be able to get rid of the cellulite and should learn to deal with it.  I still have some on my thighs but it has significantly decreased since I started working out with PPT!

PPT: That's excellent, Dr Creal!  What led you to initiating a Perfect Personal Training program? Had you considered other wellness groups?

Dr Creal:  I was in pain with my neck and back, was having difficulty standing up straight out of bed and I thought I am too young to have these issues.  Also, I was embarrassed of my body shape and size.  I had stopped wearing shorts and skirts, and would only wear bathing suits around family and close friends.  If I was on vacation I was always covered in a wrap until the very last moment of plunging into the water.

I chose PPT because they come to my home. I know that I cannot count on my own motivation to maintain an exercise routine, let alone drive myself to a workout! With PPT I just have to be home and ready to workout!  [My PPT fitness professional] has always been prompt and ready to go the moment he arrives to my house!

PPT:  Please describe ‎the obstacles that you've faced during your time as a PPT client. Have you felt inertia keeping you from embracing any lessons or fulfilling any of the physical tasks or "homework" exercises?

Dr Creal:  I am my only and biggest obstacle.  I do not like to exercise, although that is slowly changing.  Since the very first workout I noticed improvement.  I was able to get out of my bed without pain and I slept through the night.  My body shape started to show progress within the first month.  At the end of month 2 I went on vacation and wore a swimsuit openly and a skirt out for the evening!

PPT:  What physical improvements have you experienced as a result of your program?

Dr Creal: I am now able to stand up when I get out of bed, my neck has not had nearly as many issues as before, my scapulas have gone down significantly, my body shape is much more tone and fit.

PPT:  What emotional or disciplinary changes have you experienced as a result of your PPT program?

Dr Creal: I just celebrated my 40th birthday and I am proud of how I look and feel.  I am proud of myself after each workout; with my progress and physical looks. I have a better understanding of nutrition and can eat anywhere and have an idea of what to eat to maintain my Fat/Protein/Carb

PPT:  How is your relationship with your Perfect Personal Trainer and health coach?

Dr Creal: He is very kind, knowledgeable and professional! He is on time to each session, ready, prepared with all of the equipment, and appears to be in a good mood! He is patient and supportive. He ensures that I understand why we are doing certain exercises and how they are helping me reach my goal.  He checks in at the beginning and end of each session to make sure
that I understand what I am doing, if I had any changes since our last encounter, and if I know what to do until we meet again.

He also continuously debunks any myths I may have regarding an exercise reason or effectiveness.  He is able to do this in a kind manner while suggesting resources to review to help explain further.

I must say, one thing that is so very important, feeling comfortable and safe is a priority.  My trainer has never touched my body to correct me while exercising or to teach me an exercise.  He has always taught me an exercise by doing it himself first.  If I am doing an exercise wrong or not safe he will demonstrate with his body what my body is doing and how to correct the exercise. I am not against physical contact and know that it may be necessary to teach some things properly.  I think it is amazing and extremely professional that he does what he can by demonstration.

PPT:  Thank you so mucn, Dr Creal.  We appreciate your time and your commitment to your wellness program.  Happy holidays to you!


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Cardio on the Same Day As Strength Training?

"Personal trainers worldwide are giving terrible advice," explains Val Fiott, Client Services Director for Perfect Personal Training and Certification Committee Member for the American Council on Exercise.  "They're commonly telling clients to avoid cardiovascular conditioning on their strength training days and vice versa, and this isn't just bad advice - it's harmful to their wellness programs."

Cardiovascular conditioning, according to the American College of Sports Medicine, is recommended five days per week, for at least 20 minutes at a time at moderate to high intensities for those with minimal risk factors.  Muscular training is recommended at least twice per week, incorporating all major muscles.

"Given these guidelines, a person needs exercise at least seven times per week to be as healthy, statistically, as he or she can be.," Val elaborated. "Weight loss and body toning often require even more training days, especially if nutrition can't always be ideal. So, there is clearly a big need for many people to fit in cardiovascular work on the same days as strength training."

But is it safe?

"Absolutely.  As long as each workout begins with an appropriate, gradual warmup and ends with a proper cool-down followed by flexibility conditioning, there is absolutely nothing dangerous or counterproductive about training your cardiosystem on the same days as your muscles.  The real danger lies in failing to reach the appropriate amount of cardio and strength work each work.  In fact, you'll get your metabolic engine burning even brighter as a result of combining cardio and strength into the same days as time allows.  Just be sure to stay hydrated according to industry guidelines, consume appropriate proteins, carbs and fats about every three hours, and to be well-rested."

Not yet a PPT client?  Get the BEST decisions for your exercise programming, nutrition and lifestyle from the nation's top health science leaders.  Request your free consultation at

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Four Weeks To Fast Body-Toning

Throughout our decade-long history, PPT has provided you with very specific advice on each step to successful body toning.  For those of you already involved in PPT programs with out top personal fitness trainers, you're probably already aware of your body's own specific requirements for success.

With most of you eager to get out of town and enjoy the holiday weekend, we'll boil it all down to the major bulletpoints -- a checklist, if you will, in today's post.  If you aren't taking these steps, you're unlikely to be creating the sexy, energetic, youthful physique that you deserve in life.


#1.  The muscle training is only part of it - the cardiovascular conditioning and nutrition are what will burn the majority of the fat inside and surrounding each muscle so that your definition can be exposed and seen!

#2. Your muscle training needs to be progressive, with the proper intensity for that phase of your program, along with the appropriate amount of time spent on each muscle group.  Rest periods, re-hydration, and muscle stretching are also critical and require appropriate decisions.  Generally, 3-4 days per week of about an hour of strength training will achieve defined, healthy, strong muscles.

#3.  Nutrition isn't just about healthy choices, but rather the appropriate amount of fats, carbohydrates (energy) and proteins.  Eating every three hours to your specific needs will fuel your body and allow for muscular growth.  Getting too much of anything will turn into bodyfat, hide your muscles and slow your progress, so the right meal planning is as critical as it is rare.

#4.  Sleep is truly important for muscular development and fat-burning around the muscles.  In addition to getting the recommended 7-8 hours each night, supplement with melatonin, magnesium, tryptophan and other natural sleep-quality aids to improve the value of REM cycles the depth of your slumber.
This is a significant part of toning muscles and keeping metabolism high.

#5.  Minimize alcohol to avoid unwanted calories which will turn into fat, and avoid excess salts, energy drinks, and high doses of caffeine to protect your nervous system and keep your body clean.

There you have it!  Just four weeks of following this advice is sure to improve your muscle tone significantly, while burning excess fat to show off those great new muscles.  Remember, progression and specifics are key to success, so you aren't wasting your time on decisions that aren't helpful.

Are you not yet a PPT client?  Request your free in-home consultation

Questions about beginning a science-driven, PPT fitness program of your own?  Call Client Services Director Val Fiott at (877)698-3648 ext 7018 and he'll be happy to help you understand the steps involved and how we can help you at your home or office.

Monday, June 8, 2015

5 Important Facts About Stretching

Think you know your flexibility habits?  See what the nation's most qualified fitness professionals have to say about Yoga, stretching, joint health and how your lifestyle affects your long-term mobility!

#5:  Stretching should be everywhere.  While most people tend to stretch just the common muscle groups, this actually leads to muscle imbalance.  For example, if you're stretching your chest muscles without also stretching your back muscles, you could be perpetuating an imbalance.  The same goes for stretching the front of your thighs without spending about equal time on the back thigh muscles. A PPT professional can determine the best plan for your healthy joints and modify it as needed.

#4:  Stretching should be minimal (or avoided) before or during strenuous exercise.  It's important to understand that stretching muscles doesn't just lengthen them, but it helps them to relax, and decrease tone.  Essentially, stretching your muscles reduces their ability to work.  While this is necessary post-exercise, this isn't usually ideal before or during vigorous aerobic or strength conditioning.  In general, we recommend you avoid stretching before or during exercise (with few exceptions) and leave it for the end of your workout.

#3:  How does Yoga help?  Yoga tends to be, primarily, focused on stretching muscles (along with some core conditioning, with most instructors).  And, since the world of Yoga usually tends to hold each stretch for an appropriate period of time, Yoga creates healthy stretching for the muscles that it stretches.  See #5 above, though!  Most Yoga programs and instructors leave out some important muscles, and don't generally incorporate the principles of muscle balance.  A PPT fitness and wellness professional can help you add to your Yoga program to ensure a fully-appropriate flexibility program.
#2:  Intensity Matters!  "Feeling it" won't help as much as you'd think unless you're providing just the right amount of muscle tension.  Try to reach a point of discomfort without pain to be more helpful in your flexibility conditioning.  If you're stretching maximally and still don't feel challenged, don't worry -- you're still improving your muscle health, but you probably already have very flexible muscles.

#1:  Follow the Recommendations:  Even if your muscles feel flexible, you'll want to reach the "normal" score for each major joint (PPT professionals will help you understand how to score this).  Aim to stretch each major muscle at least three time per week, preferably five days per week for at least 30 seconds.  Breathe deeply and try to relax during your stretches.  It's especially important to stretch following your strength-training and cardiovascular workout.

Learn much more about long-term joint health, muscular balance and keeping your body mobile during the aging process.  Reach us on our contact page or, to talk in-depth about your fitness & wellness program, call Client Services Director Val Fiott directly at (877)698-3648 ext 7018.

Visit out website for rates and more information!

We are always here to help!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Hip Pain Sufferer Finds Relief with Home Personal Trainer

After a long history of painful hip problems with seemingly no medical remedy, Michigan resident Sandra Wright became a PPT client in the spring of 2014. After a year with PPT, we sat down with Sandra to get her story and insight as to how she came to Perfect Personal Training and how her life has changed as a result.

"I was having hip pain down my left leg and had gone to the doctor", she began.  "I was told it was a nerve issue and [that] there wasn't much that could be done, but that maybe physical therapy would help."

When asked of her lifestyle and fitness decisions at that point in time, Sandra explains,  "I was striving to be healthier before coming to PPT. I did some exercising; mostly running. I wanted to make a change, but wasn't sure [of] the right way. I did run or walk regularly and tried to watch calories but [I] was not paying enough attention to [my] carbs and [dietary] fat content."

What led Sandra to initiating a Perfect Personal Training program? Had she considered other fitness or wellness groups also?

"I had hired a trainer in 2009 at a gym but going there was not always convenient and I don't think my 30-minute sessions [there] were very successful in adjusting my lifestyle with food and exercise. I joined PPT because I wanted a change and wanted to do it right. The company was well-rounded with its approach and PPT's home sessions worked great
for me."

So, how has Sandra felt since initiating her PPT wellness program?

"I am stronger, I can tell!", exclaimed Sandra. "I feel more energized and my hip pain is almost non-existent now. Melissa, my PPT professional, researched the pain and worked on specific exercises for me to strengthen my muscles. 

I have not felt sluggish; [but instead] more energized by Melissa!! Anything that seems like an obstacle she helps me work through it. I watch my [macronutrients] closely now and I am more disciplined with my workout plan weekly."

When asked to describe her relationship with Melissa, her Perfect Personal Trainer, Sandra was happy to provide the great news:

"Melissa is great! She's enthusiastic, caring and a great listener to feedback I give her. She's genuinely interested in my health and checks on me between appointments to ensure I have no issues. I know her enthusiasm has made me more driven in my workouts."

When asked what her greatest accomplishments with PPT have been, Sandra cites that conquering her hip pain and correcting her diet are her greatest achievements, then adding, "I have more energy now -- which was a big deal for me."

With these successes firm, what fitness or wellness goals lay ahead for Sandra?
"I want to build my stamina and strength," she explains, "and continue to set goals: especially with my core next. Melissa is helping me
build core strength now."

Our final question for Sandra asked for specific ways that PPT has been different from the fitness solutions of Sandra's past.

"PPT listens, follows up and sets a plan for me, not just one size fits all. Both [Client Services Director] Val Fiott and [my trainer] Melissa have been great with my desire to make a lifestyle change."

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story with us, Sandra!  We're grateful to have you as one of our valued clients.


Request your own free consultation by telling us of your availability, personal preferences, location and any medical problems by visiting

Visit our website and find out why Perfect Personal Training is getting people across America healthier than ever at

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Questions?  Speak directly with our Client Services Director by calling (877)698-3648 ext 7018.  Val and the Client Services Department are happy to help new clients as they begin their programs.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Hypertension Specialist Practices What She Preaches

Dr Susan Steigerwalt has enjoyed a long and successful career specializing in care for those with hypertension (high blood pressure).  We recently spoke with her regarding her 2014 decision to become a PPT client and asked about what her own exercise and nutrition were like prior to taking this important step. 

"I was an 'on again, off again' exerciser," she began, citing that her schedule as a physician limited her options for exercise.  "I walked three times per week but did not push myself. I did not look forward to exercise; it was [seen as] something I had to do."

‎The doctor went on to say that she felt "fat and sloppy" before beginning her program with PPT. "I turned 62 and felt it was 'now or never’ to feel strong and more beautiful.  As a hypertension specialist, I often educate my patients [on the] DASH diet and exercise; how could I do that and not practice what I preach?  I was referred [to PPT] by a 70-plus-year-old friend, active in my community organization, who has boundless energy. She has been involved with PPT for seven years. I made a phone call in September and have been happily participating ever since."

So, what are Dr Steigerwalt's feelings toward her PPT wellness program so far?

"I LOVE IT!!! Great trainer. What is best is she comes [to my home] at 5:15 am, [which is] the only time I have an hour in my day. I now walk three times weekly and [train with my PPT fitness professional] three times weekly. It is perfect for me because it is over early in the morning. I face the day calmer and happier. I am not very good at doing [exercise-related] homework yet; that is the next hurdle."

"I am less tired; I have learned how to use my body despite my physical limitations (one chronically injured knee and some arthritis.) I have been taught to strengthen muscles to compensate. I am learning the correct way to exercise to decrease risk."

Aside from the cardiovascular benefits, Dr Steigerwalt explained some of her improvements and new goals:  "I have lost three inches off my waist and one inch off my hips. I am calmer.  I eventually want to lost about 10 pounds but I am primarily interested in staying strong and, hopefully, living a long, healthy life and being able to be active in my community as well as my career."

Dr Steigerwalt went on to describe her PPT professional as exciting, fun, and energetic before adding, "She gives me the tools to be successful.  My greatest accomplishment is that I am sticking with an exercise program, for the first time in my life, that includes strengthening. I really like working in my house. With my schedule, any driving that I can avoid is great. In the future, I hope to bring a friend or two into my exercise program, but for now I love the individual attention. It also helps me be more mindful of my food choices."

We'd collectively like to thank Dr Steigerwalt for all of her insight and for taking the time to interview with us!  We're looking forward to all that she'll accomplish with us throughout 2015!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Life-Saving Fitness Programs for 2015

Your exercise, nutrition and daily lifestyle habits are among the most important aspects of your being.  Health and happiness don't happen by chance - they're products of the decisions you're making each day.

If you're one of the many who believe that good health is simply the absence of immediate, in-the-now illness, then you're probably headed for some serious (but avoidable) health problems.  See this list of our top five way that a scientific fitness and wellness program can save your life!

#5:  Reduce risk for cancer and immune disorders

While cancer has its mysteries, there is no question that keeping a consistently strong immune system is key to cancer prevention. Health science shows us that a strong immune system is the result of the right doses of water, aerobic exercise, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories. A PPT health coach and our clinical wellness team are eager to help you craft a cancer-preventive lifestyle!

#4:  Provide energy and mental clarity throughout the aging process

Is it hard getting out of bed or making it through your day?  While some occasional lethargy is to be expected in even the healthiest individuals, consistent weakness and poor energy aren't just unproductive ways to live your life, but they're signs of inefficient energy systems and heart and muscular health.  Statistically, persons with low tolerance for activity and weak energy systems generally show an increased likelihood for hospitalization later in life, as well as a higher mortality rate.

#3:  Prevent poor gait and balance problems

Healthy, safe movements perpetuate themselves:  Those who walk with long strides and a healthy posture continue to do so, whereas people with poor posture and stride perpetuate less effective and more risky daily motion.  From bone health to spinal health to heart health, it's all connected and it all relates to longer, healthier living.  Even the common balance problems of the elderly can be easily avoided with the right cardiovascular, strength, flexibility and core conditioning throughout our years.  Minimize risk for injuries and premature death with a simple but effective PPT health program - right in the comfort of your own home or workplace.

#2:  Protect your joints and spine

While our joints can't last forever, the body has an amazing ability to protect and maintain its joints (including those of the spinal column).  However, it won't be able to do so without the right care.  Nourishment, full range-of-motion exercise and appropriate sleep and hydration are essential to keeping the joints pain-free and functional.  Even in the very elderly, the right movement science and daily habits will protect and maintain even the largest, most-used articulations of the body.

#1:  Prevent heart attack or stroke later in life

Younger people rarely have concerns regarding heart health.  But, giving your heart and lungs the appropriate exercise and nutrition now will greatly influence health outcomes of the future.  Why risk your health and comfort later in life when you can make simple changes now to minimize risk?  The American College of Sports Medicine has demonstrated, through repeated clinical examination, that roughly 5-6 days of cardiovascular conditioning each week for 20 minutes or more at moderate to high intensities is part keeping the many factors of the heart strong.  But, that's just the tip of the iceberg, as sleep variables, stressors and other factors are also key.

Perfect Personal Training provides America's highest standard of wellness and fitness programming in your home or workplace.  Degreed, top-certified and peer-reviewed, we work as a collective team to bring science-based change to all types of individuals.  Learn more or request your free consultation at