Trainer Turns a Quick Profit With Slow Workouts
BY TANYA RODRIGUES
Imagine doing five push-ups. Then, imagine drawing them out, taking perhaps 10 seconds.
What’s missing is momentum, which makes exercise easier but less effective, says Matt Hedman, who owns a local exercise studio that focuses on a regimen called SuperSlow. It involves up to two, 20-minute, high-intensity workouts a week. The sessions cost $38 each.
Talk about momentum. The Perfect Workout, which Hedman opened in La Jolla last May, is heading towards its first anniversary with a sales speed that belies its steady centeredness.
The studio met its $7,000 to $8,000 start-up cost within its first three-and-a-half months, Hedman said. Since then, sales have surged from an average of $3,500 its first three months to $6,000 to $7,000 last August.
During the holidays, business had slumped, but as of late is back up again. Hedman said his studio’s on pace for sales of $7,000 this month. He books 50 sessions a week, he said.
The Perfect Workout features what Hedman considers the “ideal exercise environment”: privacy, no music, which keeps all distractions minimal, and cooled air. For sessions, he dresses professionally, with a shirt and tie.
The studio’s target market of women makes up 75 percent of Hedman’s clientele.
“It’s not because SuperSlow is necessarily any better for females than for males,” Hedman said. “My theory is that females tend to be more open to having someone help them with things like exercise or being more open to working with a trainer.”
He’s trained people as young as their early 20s and has had clients in their early 80s.
Hedman, a fitness enthusiast since the fifth grade, first came across SuperSlow as an engineering student at the University of Washington. By then, he had re-injured his shoulder, inflaming a condition he developed from exercising.
He read about SuperSlow while flipping through a book about fitness. It was reported to be very effective in increasing a person’s strength and improving muscle mass, Hedman recalled.
The idea of an effective exercise program that was supposed to be safer from injury intrigued him. He began it and found results, he said.
After graduating, he worked a year for General Electric until he decided it wasn’t for him. He decided to become certified as a personal trainer.
Since then, Hedman has worked at SuperSlow studios in San Jose and Seattle. He wanted to open his own studio, however, and chose San Diego, where there weren’t any other SuperSlow studios.
Now, over a year later, Hedman’s talking about plans for the future. He wants to find other trainers to work with him, and plans to open two other gyms by the end of 2001.
Goodwill Ambassador Tours for Muscular Dystrophy
BY MARION WEBB
At age 8, Lauren Carter is likely to be San Diego’s youngest ambassador. She’s certainly among the youngest to hold the post of Goodwill Ambassador of the Muscular Dystrophy Association thus far, according to the association.
She was chosen for good reason, said Greg LaBrache, spokesman for the MDA in San Diego.
“The Carter family is an extraordinary group of people,” LaBrache said. And Lauren’s articulate speech and charming personality makes her the perfect candidate to get the word out to businesses, associations and other groups on MDA’s mission.
MDA, a voluntary health agency comprised of scientists, concerned citizens and millions of adults and children with muscular dystrophy, seeks to raise funds to conquer neuromuscular disease and put on programs for its members. Comedian Jerry Lewis is the organization’s national chairman.
On March 20, the Carlsbad family returned home from their first big trip , the National Child Care Association in New Orleans. As MDA’s ambassador family, Lauren and her parents will be visiting many more American cities this year.
Traci Carter, a homemaker, and her husband, Ken, a master sergeant in the Marine Corps, and Lauren, a third-grader at San Rafael Elementary School, are looking forward to spreading the word about MDA.
On May 22, the Outback Steakhouse golf tournament will sponsor celebrities and help raise funds for MDA at the Torrey Pines Golf Course.
From June 25 through July 1, Lauren and other MDA children will visit Camp Cuyamaca, said Carter. The next stop is a 7-Eleven Franchisee Convention being held July 30 to Aug. 2 in Dallas.
Other local MDA sponsors include Metabolife, the San Diego Miata Club, Corva California Offroad Vehicle Association of San Diego and Harley-Davidson, LaBrache said.
“I am thrilled,” said Lauren’s mother about her daughter’s selection. “This gives us the opportunity to tell our story and help some people who have something wrong with their children clue in to the symptoms.”
Lauren wasn’t diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disease that affects the movement of muscles, until she was 20 months old. Doctors dismissed early symptoms of constant falling when Lauren began walking and a failed knee reflex as a normal part of childhood development, her mother said.
When Lauren still couldn’t walk freely at 20 months, doctors ordered a blood test that confirmed she had a muscular disorder.
At age 7, the disease progressed to a point where Lauren needed to use a wheelchair at all times.
Chocolate Ear Sales Multiply Store Sells Best of the Bunny
BY LEE ZION
For the latest in Easter candy, ‘ear’s a unique concept.
Make Mine Sweet, in Clairemont, is once again offering “The Best of the Bunny,” a package of chocolate bunny ears being sold just in time for the holiday.
Not the bunny. Just the ears.
Rebecca Olson, president of Make Mine Sweet, said the idea came about a year ago, when she was talking with a neighbor, Paul Branch.
“‘Don’t you remember, as a kid, only biting off the ears of the chocolate bunny rabbit?’ he told me. I certainly did, and that was what I did as a kid too,” she said.
Inspired by her childhood memory, Olson had a special mold custom-made for chocolate bunny ears, which she sold for Easter last year. Now they’re back, with a package of four going for $4.
Olson reports sales of her rabbit ears are multiplying. So far this season, she’s had a hop of 20 percent in sales over last year’s figures, she said.
That’s not the only unusual Easter item she has in her store. She also sells Baxter, the talking bunny. He says, “I love jelly beans” and comes with a carrot-shaped bag of orange jelly beans.
Other seasonal candy includes chocolate fudge nut eggs decorated in the store with the name of the recipient , a special gift to put in a child’s basket.
Adults can also get Easter candies for themselves, including egg-shaped truffles in bright holiday colors and grown-up flavors like espresso and amaretto.
Still another unusual item is the “Panoramic Egg,” which features a small candy bunny or chick nestled inside a white sugar egg. An opening at the end of the egg allows people to look inside.
For a limited time, Olson has a special offer of one free pair of bunny ears with any $5 purchase, she said.
Make Mine Sweet handles phone sales, Internet sales and walk-ins at its Clairemont shop. The store was recently honored with a mention in “Best Places in San Diego,” a local tour book.
Web Home Tours
BY ARTHUR S. GRUPE
A San Diego-based company launched a new Web site here to facilitate real estate transactions for buyers, sellers and agents.
Equinta Corp. earlier this month debuted its Web site at (www.equinta.com). The company plans to set up Web sites in other metropolitan areas across the United States in the next several months, said Shelly Metz-Galloway, president.
Using the Web site, buyers and sellers can compare and select agents from a database. They can also view houses or provide virtual home tours with 360-degree views and floor plans. Evaluation of the neighborhood, zoning and traffic are also possible at no cost, she said.
Sellers and buyers also have access to automated appraisal services and a variety of reports.
Agents participating in the Web site’s programs benefit through a steady stream of leads generated by it, Metz-Galloway said.
“Through the equinta.com suite of services, consumers and agents elevate the real estate transaction to an informed and coordinated program,” Metz-Galloway said. “By combining comprehensive data with customizable, interactive systems, equita.com keeps the process and people moving.”
Metz-Galloway said that while the U.S. real estate market has seen a record number of transactions in recent years, most people she did market research with were dissatisfied with their transaction experience.
“The process is so fragmented and complex that it leaves people feeling frustrated,” Metz-Galloway said.
John Mann, founder, chairman and CEO of Equinta.com, said the Web site is his solution to what he termed the antiquated process for buying a house. He said he sees the goal of his company as reducing stress, eliminating redundancy and reducing costs associated with the real estate transaction process.
Equinta.com’s Web site is divided into five sections. Sellers can estimate property value, select an agent and assess market conditions from their section. Buyers have access to a search feature that seeks out listed houses meeting their requirements, Mann said. Both can use the Web site to get regular updates on the progress of their transaction as well, he said.
There’s also a Web section that provides mortgage search tools to enable clients to find the type of loan that best suits their needs, Mann said. Agents using the site get a variety of tools to assess their clients’ housing needs and desires as well, he added.