The Exercise Coach

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s Unique About The Exercise Coach?

The Exercise Coach has spent over 20 years innovating an ability-based, data-driven exercise program we call the Smart 20 ™ Workout.  Our workout combines the science of muscle contraction with our proprietary exercise technology that delivers each workout in a way that’s ideally suited to anyone regardless of their ability, age or fitness level.  Never before has there been a combination of strength and conditioning put together in such an efficient manner.  We believe so passionately it’s the perfect fit that we offer everyone the opportunity to try it for FREE!

Our Passion: The fitness industry at large caters to avid exercisers. At The Exercise Coach, however, we are driven to inspire and empower all types of clients, and especially those who have been turned off by their previous efforts to exercise. Roughly 85% of people are NOT exercise enthusiasts, yet that’s precisely who can benefit the most from meaningful and intelligent exercise solutions.

Our Paradigm: Over the past 15 years we have pioneered and perfected a refreshing approach to getting fit. You will be delighted to know that research and our many raving fans support our core belief that muscle quality matters more than movement quantity.  Everything you want from a fitness program can be achieved with no more than two, 20-minute sessions per week that focus on total body fitness through customized muscular conditioning.

Our Programs: We have created an unparalleled guided fitness experience. Our bio-sensitive training technologies make it possible, for the first time, to measure your unique muscular and metabolic makeup and prescribe workouts that are entirely appropriate for you. Instead of asking you to adapt to a dumbbell, our technologies adapt to your capabilities and comfort level every second of every session.

What makes strength training at The Exercise Coach so unique?

The key to maximizing fitness results is optimized exercise dosing. While athletes respond to just about any kind, or amount, of training because of gifted genetics, most of us have a narrower window of opportunity. For the average person more exercise volume does not equate to better results and too much exercise leads to over-training, injury, and burnout. The healthier and more productive approach is to exercise smarter, not longer. This is difficult with traditional strength training tools because they have inherent dangers and inefficiencies. Dumbbells, bands, and balls cannot work intelligently with human biomechanics and muscle physiology. On any given exercise an individual’s force-producing capacity varies greatly. Traditional exercise tools deliver too much load when an exerciser moves through weaker points in the range of motion and too little resistance at the exerciser’s stronger points in the range of motion. This mismatch dramatically reduces exercise effectiveness and promotes improper form. The Exercise Coach approach is to combine our understanding of exercise science with 21st-century technologies to create protocols that are congruent with each individual’s strength profile. Also, our equipment provides constant computer feedback to increase motivation and determination. Our approach stimulates dramatically better results for men and women of all ages.

20 Minutes? Really?

One of the first things we hear is, “Do your workouts really last only 20 minutes?  How can that be?”  We love that question, our problem is which explanation should we give because it’s challenging to un-teach a pervasive myth in our culture that a workout should last 45-60 minutes.

Some of us want to break out the diagrams, textbooks, graphs, charts, research studies etc and sit each person down and explain how every system in the body responds positively to a Right Intensity, Smart 20 workout that’s specifically designed to meet their needs.

But, we usually just cut to the chase.  Exercise is a series of various muscular contractions designed to stimulate positive adaptations that result in improved strength, fitness and vitality.  By focusing on the inherent effects each type of muscular contraction delivers and utilizing our proprietary strength technology that customizes, responds and delivers real time feedback our highly qualified coaches can ensure each workout delivers the precise dose of exercise to trigger all the benefits we want.

However, our favorite answer and the one that leads to the greatest clarity is, “Come in and try it!”

What About Weight-Loss?

Ahh, the age old question, or at least the one that has become the most popular over the last 30 years, “Will this workout help me lose weight?”  Let’s forget the fact that weight gain, obesity and type II diabetes have increased steadily since the early 80’s when processed seed oils, low fat diets and increased aerobic activity became “common knowledge” to ‘lose weight’.  We know from years of experience and working with thousands of people across the country that the idea someone lacks the willpower to eat less and exercise more is the reason why they’re overweight is well, just wrong.  But let’s forget about the problems.

We at The Exercise Coach are all about solutions!  In order to create an environment in the body that is conducive to weight loss, and more specifically fat loss, we have to give the body a chance to properly make use of the food we eat while simultaneously calling on our stored energy (fat) to be best utilized.  And what is the most expedient way to demand our energy reserves (fat) are called into action?  Meaningful muscular work best accomplished with proper strength training and high intensity interval training.  This is exactly what comprises our Smart 20™ Workouts!  By the way, we also have our own Exercise Coach Nutrition Playbook to make sure the food we eat won’t complicate things.

Don’t I need to move more and eat less?

NO.  The foundation of The Exercise Coach has been built around the fact that Muscle Quality matters more than movement quantity and fat loss is no different.  While it may make sense mathematically to reduce caloric consumption and burn off calories by moving more, this formula is fatally flawed.  The false assumption is that our bodies respond the same metabolically to calories comprised of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.  How our blood sugar and the hormone insulin respond to these different macronutrients proves this point.

Fat loss then, is a byproduct of hormonal balance which is most healthfully achieved by the right kind of exercise and nutrition.  Our exercise program is focused on increasing muscle tissue, regulating hormones, improving metabolism and tapping into our stored forms of energy (fat).  For a detailed explanation see our report, “Fat Loss: Fact vs. Fiction.”
Our proven formula for weight loss is as simple as 1-2-3:

1. Participate in The Exercise Coach program that consists of 1-3, 20 minute workouts a week.

2. Give your body the rest it needs to produce the results you want (i.e. increased metabolism, decreased insulin levels).  This means ample recovery between workouts and getting enough sleep at night (usually 8 hours a night).

3. Utilize our Nutrition Playbook to eat foods that stabilize blood sugar while providing the necessary nutrition to improve Muscle Quality, increase energy, sleep sounder and be healthier.

What If I Just Want To “Tone-Up“?

I just want to “tone-up” – Can your program help me?

“Tone” is actually a scientific term stolen by the fitness industry to deal with the fear some people have of building too much muscle. The term “tone” or “tonus” actually refers to the residual tension in a muscle at rest. Muscle is the only tissue in the body that has tonus. However, when people say they want to tone-up they are usually poking, pinching, or waving body fat that they wish to remove. The results they actually desire will only be achieved through body fat loss along with increasing the size of the underlying muscles. By doing this the muscles will be seen through the skin, creating the desired “toned body” look.

Does this mean that if I “build tone” I will have the appearance of big bulky muscles?

No. The vast majority of people do not have the genetics to build large muscles. Our bodies are designed to develop the most strength possible with the least amount of muscle mass. Muscle tissue requires a lot of calories to survive, and the body wants to conserve energy wherever it can. Because of this, it is programmed to efficiently develop strength with the least possible muscle mass. The body’s control mechanism for muscle size is a gene called myostatin. Almost everyone has this gene with the exception of a few rare individuals who have a mutation that deletes this gene and allows unregulated muscle growth in response to exercise. The average person has a very high level of myostatin expression and will never become bulky or overly-muscular no matter how hard they train. Because of this we DO want to increase muscles as much as possible, knowing that they will never grow too large, even at their largest. Then, as long as nutrition is being properly addressed, body fat will come off and a toned look will be achieved.

What about toning?

Toning is an interesting concept that has somehow been misapplied or miscommunicated.  The goal of toning now seems to have a couple different definitions.  For some the definition is to see longer and leaner muscles.  For others, it’s to see improved definition or ‘cut’ of our muscles in certain areas of the body.  The reality is, toning means we want to improve the ‘tonus’ or density of the muscles themselves.

Unfortunately, we can’t change the actual length of your bones, muscles or connective tissue but we sure can give you the best chance to improve your muscle quality, lean out the areas around your muscles in order to reveal the toned look people want.

What About Cardio?

Low-intensity steady-state exercise, or “cardio” was created many years ago with the belief that stimulating the aerobic sub-system of metabolism would increase heart health.  The idea of more ‘cardio’ has now also become associated with “moving more” in order to burn more calories in the hope of seeing greater fat loss.  These 2 pieces of conventional wisdom have either given people an inefficient strategy or a false sense of security they are doing everything right in order to improve these 2 health outcomes.

What about my heart health?

Our experience has shown when people want to improve heart health they are referring to reducing their risk of heart disease rather than improving the cardiovascular fitness which is defined as their VO2 max.  It is a myth that the aerobic system can only be improved through steady-state low-intensity activity. It was once believed that activities such as walking, jogging, biking, etc. were the only means to specifically target this system, but research has proven otherwise. It is important to realize that the only way to get your cardiovascular system working is by doing mechanical work with your muscles. The heart and lungs cannot tell the difference between how muscles are worked. All the cardiovascular system cares about is energy demands. The important factor in the equation is: The higher the intensity of the muscular work, the higher the cardiovascular effect, and the greater the results from the exercise. The type of exercise you do at The Exercise Coach is the appropriate intensity of muscular work to provide the best cardiovascular conditioning possible without the need for long-duration, low-intensity, steady-state activity.

What about heart disease prevention?

Many people mistakenly believe that they need to do long, low-intensity cardio to keep their heart healthy. The reality is that heart disease is not the result of a weak heart. The root cause of heart disease is systemic inflammation. This inflammation is fueled by elevated insulin levels among other factors. The best way to fight systemic inflammation is proper nutrition and strength training. Muscle is the largest reservoir of glucose (sugar) storage in the body. When muscles are healthy they quickly and readily take up sugar from the bloodstream. This means less insulin is secreted by your pancreas and less insulin means less inflammatory damage to your vascular system. Some mistakenly equate heart health with work capacity or fitness. They assume that improvements in physical performance are derived by way of adaptations of the heart and lungs. However, as cardiologist Henry Solomon has rightly said, “Most of the improvement in functional capacity is not even directly related to the heart. It is due to an effect on the peripheral muscle cells whereby they more efficiently extract and use oxygen from the blood.” In addition, trained muscles increase their capacity to store and use energy substrates such as glycogen and creatine phosphate. Most recently scientists have discovered that conditioned muscles not only tolerate the build-up of lactic acid better but they can use this by-product as a fuel during prolonged exertion. The bottom line is this: As muscles become stronger and more enduring they make any given activity, including cardio-type activities, that much easier. That’s what explains fitness and performance improvement. That’s not to say that the heart doesn’t adapt to some extent. It generally does; however, it isn’t the cause of performance improvement and does not have a guaranteed cardio-protective effect. As long as you challenge your muscles during your sessions at The Exercise Coach (during both the strength training portion and our Coach Cardio) all of your muscles, including your heart muscle, will achieve the best possible stimulus for changes to occur.

So what’s Coach Cardio?

Research has made it abundantly clear that just a few minutes of high-intensity muscular-metabolic conditioning can be much more effective than conventional long duration, low-intensity cardio activity. We have utilized these findings to design the pinnacle application of interval training science. We call it Coach Cardio, and it is much more than cardio. Our bio-feedback system focuses on all three of the energy systems (ATP-PC [phosphagen], anaerobic and aerobic) that fuel muscular exertion. Our protocols maximize our clients’ ability to store and utilize carbohydrates, burn fat as a fuel during and after each workout session, sustain high-intensity effort, and release restorative hormones in response to exercise.

When Will I See Results?

Well, it depends on the type of results you are looking for.  If we are talking about strength improvements you can expect to see those pretty quick.  Our clients average 10-25% strength improvements during the first 4-6 weeks and upwards of 50+% in the first 6 months.

Our nutrition and exercise combination yields an average loss of 8.5 lbs and 8 inches in 30 days not to mention the anecdotal evidence of people sleeping better, decreased aches and pains, more energy, and several more objective improvements in things such as cholesterol, blood pressure and hbA1c.

What factors will produce the most visible results?

The shape of the human body is controlled by three things: your skeleton, your body fat, and your muscles. The skeleton is just the framework on which everything hangs and cannot be changed. Every undesirable shape on the human body is accounted for by the underlying body fat. Every desirable shape on the human body is accounted for by underlying muscles. The degree to which you can decrease your body fat and increase your muscle will determine how much you can improve your appearance.

What About Sports Performance?

The Exercise Coach will definitely improve sport performance regardless of the sport. When it comes to sports training there are two distinct forms of conditioning: skill conditioning and physical conditioning. Skill conditioning involves practicing the specific skills of the sport just like they would be performed in a competition. Physical conditioning involves selecting exercises that track muscle and joint function (rather than mimicking sports movements) so that improvements in muscular and metabolic function can be stimulated. Physical training is about improving muscular efficiency and economy of motion so that you can get the most out of your physical capabilities. Your physical conditioning should be intense and brief, which will free up time to devote to acquiring and perfecting the skills of the sport. The Exercise Coach has been heavily involved in training athletes from a variety of sports. If you are involved in a competitive sport, let us know so we can develop the appropriate workout programs for you.

What About Seniors?

Is The Exercise Coach program safe for older populations?

Yes! Recent medical research has shown that high-intensity strength training is safe and effective even among men and women of 90 years plus! Remember, the danger in exercise, especially for older individuals, comes from excess forces placed on the body. With our bio-sensitive techniques we apply effective muscular loading without excessive force. Seniors actually have more to gain from our program than any other age category. The major problems associated with aging are due to a condition called “sarcopenia,” which is the age-related loss of muscle. Without proper exercise a person will lose around a pound of muscle each year after the age of 35. This loss of muscle is usually also accompanied by an equal to greater increase in body fat. The decrease in muscle tissue is the underlying cause of the loss of bone mineral density, loss of balance, inability to carry out the activities of daily life, and ultimately deterioration of all the systems that support the mechanical functioning of the muscles i.e. the nervous system, the cardiovascular system, etc. As older people are introduced to proper exercise they will quickly regain lost strength. As they regain strength all of their functional capabilities such as balance, gait, and cardiovascular efficiency will track the improvements in strength.

What About Exercising During Pregnancy?

Is The Exercise Coach program safe to do during pregnancy?

Yes. Pregnancy and labor are probably among the most demanding athletic events that most women will ever experience. Labor will involve intense muscular contractions and significant muscular discomfort. The Exercise Coach program is a great way to not only rehearse intense muscular work, but also improve the body’s physical condition to handle labor more effectively. Protracted, non-progressive labor is dangerous to both the mother and child, and poor muscular conditioning can cause non-progressive labor. Proper muscular conditioning is one of the best ways to ensure a smooth delivery and quick return to pre-pregnancy shape. We have many clients who have trained through their pregnancy. If you feel any anxiety over exercising while pregnant you may want to wait until after the first trimester, and then perform some gentle workouts with us to maintain your fitness levels as much as possible. There are a few conditions that would preclude someone from exercising while pregnant, so we always require a physician’s release prior to establishing a workout program for a pregnant woman.

Under what conditions should a pregnant client not work out?

There are conditions that may preclude working out and your obstetrician should warn you of these. Pre-term labor, hypertension of pregnancy, pre-eclampsia, placenta previa, premature rupture of membranes and several other conditions could warrant a lay-off from training. You should always consult with your physician to determine if it is OK to exercise during the different phases of pregnancy.

Try two sessions for free.

Visit one of our 200+ locations to see if The Exercise Coach is a good fit for you.


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