STEADY as You Go

Rheumatoid arthritis in both knees often prevents Lynn Gelsomin from enjoying the many activities her community has to offer.
About three years ago, Lynn and her husband retired and were looking to relocate to an active community when they found Lakewood Ranch.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Travis works with Lynn on one of many strengthening machines.

“We immediately fell in love with it,” Lynn raves. “They have so many activities that I enjoy, like yoga, Pilates, Aqua Zumba® and, of course, golf. They have several gyms, too. It’s a great place to live if you love being active.”
But soon after settling in, Lynn began experiencing multiple flare-ups in both knees from the arthritis.
“I couldn’t participate in any of the classes I wanted to take,” she says. “I wasn’t able to go to the gym or even go for a decent walk.
“About four years ago, I was diagnosed with osteopenia, which is the early stages of osteoporosis. The doctors discovered it from a routine bone density screening I had.”
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become weak and brittle – so brittle that a fall or even mild stresses such as bending over or coughing can cause a fracture.
Lynn says she read an article in Tampa Health Care News about a unique regimen using slow-cadence weight training designed to increase muscle strength.
“It was something I had not heard of previously, and I was intrigued that it could be accomplished in weekly, twenty-
minute sessions,” Lynn asserts. “I also wanted to find something that could possibly help me build bone density and help me strengthen my knees.”
Lynn made an appointment for a consultation where she met with Travis Begin, a personal fitness coach at 20 Minutes to Fitness.

Tailored Training

At 20 Minutes to Fitness, clients work out under the guidance of their own certified personal fitness coach who is by their side at each and every piece of highly specialized equipment. Clients achieve results through once-a-week sessions that last only 20 minutes.
“I was super impressed when I met with Travis and the program was explained to me,” Lynn shares, “I love the one-on-one training you receive. And the trainers are really experts at what they do. Every workout is customized for the individual, which makes it great. Travis is an excellent motivator. He gently pushes me in order for me to achieve a maximum workout.”
The type of training at 20 Minutes to Fitness is known as slow-cadence training and has years of research and plenty of science behind its success. The equipment is highly specialized and was originally designed for use in physical therapy. It features a patented double-stacking system and is calibrated to work specific muscle groups without putting stress on joints or ligaments. Double stacking means that one of the system’s weight stacks is composed of weights that increase in increments of only two pounds instead of the traditional ten- or 20-pound increases.
Weights are lifted in a series of ultra-slow movements, with targeted muscles doing all the work. Clients are guided by coaches to achieve the right pace and proper form, with each repetition lasting a full 20 seconds.
“Slow cadence literally means slow movements,” explains Travis. “Weights are lifted in a series of ultra-slow movements, with all the work done by the targeted muscles. It is challenging for the client, right from the start.
“In Lynn’s particular case, she had the onset of osteoporosis, and she wanted to improve her bone density, as well as alleviate the symptoms she was experiencing from the rheumatoid arthritis. The slow-cadence workouts are perfect for her in achieving those goals.
“When people come in and they’re not familiar with slow-cadence training, it really blows them away,” Travis adds. “We have to slow them down because they want to do everything fast. We tailor the training program for each person based on their level of strength and the goals they want to achieve.”
The combination of slow movements and specialized equipment eliminates the chance of relying on gravity and momentum to do part of the work in strength training. Because each repetition lasts a full 20 seconds, in just 1½ to 2½ minutes, the specific muscle group being worked reaches a point of peak performance – which is the goal of the workout. No repetitions are counted.
“I love the fact that I can go in and I don’t have to do any of the thinking,” Lynn says. “Travis puts the weights on for me. I feel like at the end of that twenty-minute period, I get a good workout.”
As muscle fatigue is achieved, the body recovers over a period of three to six days. While the body is recovering, a series of physiological changes takes place that supercharges the body to burn fat and rebuild muscle.
“20 Minutes to Fitness has a skilled staff that understands what is happening, and we watch the client’s form very closely,” emphasizes Travis. “In Lynn’s case, arthritis is much more painful if you stop moving. That’s why exercise and strength training, in particular, are so important – they keep synovial fluid moving in the joints and build up the ligaments and muscles.”

20-Minute Challenge

Research has shown weekly, 20-minute sessions of slow-cadence training markedly improve strength, increase energy, control arthritis, fight symptoms of diabetes, reduce back pain, increase bone density, improve balance and much more.
“As people age and become less active and more sedentary, they not only lose flexibility and strength, but also muscle mass,” Travis explains. “After age thirty, it’s typical to lose an average of eight to ten percent of muscle mass per decade. Bones can decline in density and, in many cases, develop osteoporosis, in which bones become brittle and susceptible to fractures.”
Lynn says since she began the program two years ago, she is happy to report that her knees are feeling much better and her upper and lower body are stronger than they have ever been.
“I’m not running marathons,” she admits laughingly, “but I feel better than I have in a long time. I am also happy to report that last month I saw my doctor, and my bone density numbers have gotten significantly better. It’s been an amazing improvement. If you have never heard of slow-cadence and this is your first time reading about it, I encourage you to give it a try. It works.”
Lynn says she looks forward to her weekly, 20-minute sessions and feels like a new person.
“I’m never going to be pain free, but I am happy to report I am feeling much better than I have in years. Travis is an excellent trainer. He is patient and never puts too much weight on to where I can’t handle it. He knows how to balance it out just right.
“I would stress that this is an incredible program,” Lynn adds. “Slow-cadence training works for all ages. I’ve been thrilled with my results.”

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    • 20 Minutes to Fitness

      20 Minutes to Fitness is different. Using scientifically based strength-building methods, they make it possible to achieve in one weekly, 20-minute session what might require three or more hours a week in a traditional fitness center. You wil... Read More

    • Travis Begin

      Travis Begin has been working with 20 Minutes to Fitness for over 10 years.  He is a nationally certified personal fitness professional and is passionate about assisting clients with their health and fitness goals.... Read More