Going to the gym is hard. Why not skip it? So goes the mental mantra of those who would be fit but just can't find the time.
Which is most of us.
But now, a solution has arrived: Brandon Overstreet rolling up to your home or office and bounding out of his Prius with yoga mat, free weights and exercise ball in hand. And there's no escape!
Luckily, Overstreet has a great sense of humor, good taste in workout music and has thought up a lot of exercises that are dynamic, give you definition and make you feel the burn, right in the comfort of your living room.
His thriving business might be called Fitness on Wheels or Buff to Go. His unique angle is that, even in a flat economy, he's a success. And he's doing it by catering to your every fitness whim, in your comfort zone, without you having to wander around a gym wondering whether you're doing the machines right.
At the same time, Overstreet isn't coddling you or taking pity on your need for a five-minute break.
He pushes you to the limit of what you can handle given your age, shape and injuries and, says client Porchia Schiller of Ashland, "He knows when I'm not working hard enough. He can see it in my face. He's tough, but he also makes me laugh."
A graduate of Southern Oregon University's Health and Physical Education Program, Overstreet, 33, agrees that, "when I come over, it's 'game on,' and I always keep checking in with them and making sure they're hydrated and not dizzy ... I push people beyond what they think they can do."
He put Schiller through a series that looks simple enough, combining cardio, resistance, stretching and the sort of core work you find in Pilates, all working together to keep the heart rate at optimal level. But if you think you can do this at home — alone — well, says Overstreet, it's not gonna happen. We could all use a personal trainer, one who cares and knows his field.
"Alone, people just don't have the motivation," he says. "That's what keeps me in business. And at the gym, people are wandering around, wondering how to use the machines."
Which brings up the issue: Can a personal trainer train without weight machines?
"Yes. I'm against machines," says Overstreet. "They're boring. They take you through the same motion every time. They're not dynamic."
What Overstreet does, most ingeniously, is use what's in your house — like stairs. He has Schiller trot up her curving staircase, doing a shoulder press with little, free weights. Then she does the "squirrel run," zipping upstairs on all fours like someone's chasing her.
Overstreet employs Schiller's kitchen counter — just the right height for her to place her hands and steady her body — as the place to do butt-sculpting leg lifts, to the front and back, all with no big weights and no machines.
Overstreet offers a free, initial consultation, finding out what clients want and tailoring workouts — many of his own design — to achieve results. Those leg lifts were devised in response to the request: "I want my butt higher."
If you want something to tone core muscles, try standing and turning from side to side with a good-sized exercise ball in your hands. It's the sudden reversing of momentum that does the job, making it feel like you're working with a half-ton exercise machine.
Rubber therapy bands have the same effect. Weighing only a couple ounces and fitting in your pocket, they provide the same deltoid, triceps and upper-back workout you get from many machines or big weights.
Overstreet takes clients on a brisk warm-up around house, stairs, yard and patio then leads a cool-down of walking and stretching.
Schiller orders her home-delivered workout twice a week. It lasts 45 minutes to an hour and costs $30. Recognizing busy schedules, Overstreet even will drop by your office on lunch breaks for half-hour sessions.
"I choose not to buy other things, like a lot of clothes, so I can have this," says Schiller, a former dancer and lifelong fitness buff. "I love it so much, and I hate it so much. I feel so good about myself. It's a present I give to myself."
No matter what kind of shape you're in, Overstreet fashions workouts to your limits — even getting a chair-bound 90-year-old working out on treadmills and helping the victim of a motorcycle accident to work while seated.
"This is my passion: to improve people's lives," he says. "With all the crap food and hours looking at screens, it's so needed."