Located in Sterling, VA (703) 421-1200

Total Results Blog

"Plague of Corruption" , a book review by Matthew Romans

Dr. Judy Mikovits, together with attorney and science teacher Kent Heckenlively, have written a fascinating new book called "Plague of Corruption." The authors give their take on the current state of scientific research, and what its relationship with both the government and the pharmaceutical industry mean for us.

Dr. Mikovits is a very respected researcher who spent twenty years working at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and has co-authored more than fifty peer-reviewed scientific papers. Before her work at NCI, she spent two years working for Upjohn Pharmaceuticals, and after she left NCI she worked for several years as the Research Director at the Whittemore-Peterson Institute at the University of Nevada, Reno. Dr. Mikovits has a PhD in Biochemistry from George Washington University. Mr. Heckenlively is the founding editor of Age of Autism.

Dr. Mikovits has worked closely for over thirty years with Dr. Frank Ruscetti, who is one of the founding fathers of the field of human retrovirology. She did her doctoral thesis on HIV, and in fact defended her thesis a week after basketball star Magic Johnson was diagnosed with the virus. She correctly predicted that not only would Johnson not die of AIDS, he would never develop the disease, and that the antiretroviral drugs he had started taking would silence the activity of the virus. A retrovirus (which is what HIV is) is a type of RNA (ribonucleic acid) that inserts a copy of its genome into the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) of a host cell that it invades. They can lay dormant for years before an immune response triggers action. This is what happens when you are given a vaccine. A vaccine works by "training the immune system to recognize and combat pathogens."

The authors suggest science has been corrupted by jealousy, politics, and the growing influence of the pharmaceutical industry. This is contrary to how Dr. Mikovits has always looked at science. She says, "...I always figured a scientist was like an umpire in a baseball game, calling balls and strikes as he sees them."

The pharmaceutical industry holds great power, and stands to make large amounts of money from vaccines. However, not everyone is so enthusiastic. To quote the authors again, "What you do with a vaccination is you temporarily cripple a part of the immune system, as resources are diverted from protecting against other viruses to target the virus from the vaccine." This is magnified when multiple vaccines are given. Vaccines are grown in animal tissues, and it's unknown what viruses and pathogens are being transferred while receiving the vaccine. In addition to that, chemicals can be found in vaccines such as mercury, formaldehyde, aluminum, and polysorbate 80.

Through their research, Dr. Mikovits and Dr Ruscetti were able to isolate a recently discovered retrovirus known as XMRV (xenotropic murine leukemia-related virus). This retrovirus has been associated with prostate cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, autism, and possibly Alzheimer's disease. XMRV has been found in vaccines. A paper detailing their findings was published in the journal Science in October 2009. The doctors were pressured to retract their published findings, but they refused. Dr. Mikovits was later arrested and held in custody for five days without being charged with a crime. The police searched her house from top to bottom in order to find her research notebooks. Charges were never filed, and no trial was held. In fact, no prosecutor ever even looked at the facts of the case. She was eventually fired from her job at the Whittemore-Peterson Institute and forced to declare bankruptcy. Fortunately, Dr. Mikovits was able to rebuild her career and started a successful consulting firm with her mentor Dr. Ruscetti. Through all of this, she has remained an outspoken critic of the current state of public health, but is optimistic for the future.

Regardless of where you stand on the safety and efficacy of vaccines, this book is an important examination of the relationship between science, politics, and the pharmaceutical industry. It's important to never stop asking questions, and to never believe that we have all the answers. If we keep an open mind and explore theories and ideas from a variety of sources, we can learn a great deal about how to keep ourselves healthy and vital for many years to come. Education never stops.

Posted July 09, 2020 by Tim Rankin

Personal Trainers vs Health and Fitness Teachers, by Matthew Romans

Think back to your days of formal schooling. I bet you can remember the name of at least one teacher whose class you really enjoyed, or a teacher that had a significant impact on you. I was fortunate to have several coaches and teachers (particularly in English and History) that made a lasting impression on me and fostered some lifelong interests. The definition of a teacher is "someone who provides education for pupils or students." An effective teacher is someone who can hold a person's interest, spark an intellectual curiosity, and convey information in a way that can be clearly understood. There should be an underlying philosophy or system in place, but it's also important for the teacher to adapt his or her approach to meet the needs of each individual student. This may not be practical in many learning environments (particularly in most state-run schools), but it is what we do at Total Results.

John Wooden, the famed basketball coach at UCLA, always saw himself as more of a teacher than anything else. Before he led the Bruins to ten NCAA titles in twelve seasons, he was an English teacher. Legend has it that on his business card it simply read "teacher." Wooden taught his players about the smallest details, even going so far as to teach them how to properly put on their socks and tie their shoes to avoid getting blisters. At Total Results people often refer to us as trainers (I've never really cared for the term), instructors, or health professionals, but I consider us to be teachers above anything else. In order to take yourself to the next level in any endeavor, you need someone to teach you how to get there. Many people may think they know what constitutes safe and effective exercise but they will not be able to achieve optimum benefit in minimum time without an instructor to teach them. We cut through the misinformation and give you the truth about exercise.

The teaching process begins with the initial consultation, which is free of charge and lasts an hour. We give you an overview of our exercise methodology, learn about your medical and exercise history, go over preliminary safety considerations, and instruct a sample workout. Our philosophy is something that is very different for most people, so we explain the hows and whys of everything that we do. Once you officially become a Total Results client, we will gradually introduce the beginning sequence of exercises that you will perform for the first several weeks. All of our instruction is one on one, so that we can devote all of our attention and focus to you during your session. Feedback is critical to the learning process; we give cues and make immediate corrections throughout your session so that you can maximize skill and achieve an optimal exercise stimulus. We will make modifications and adjustments to your exercise program to best meet your individual needs.

How can you optimize the teaching that you get at Total Results? Be a learner. We talk about this during the initial consultation, that you are learning something that, for most people, is relatively new. If you want to master something, the key is to never stop learning. Randy Rhoads was the legendary guitar player for Ozzy Osbourne's band before his life was cut short by a plane crash. He had achieved international stardom, played sold-out shows, and helped write some amazing songs, yet he sought out guitar teachers for lessons in nearly every city that he played. He was a guitar teacher himself, and he had a growth mindset because he wanted to completely master the instrument and get the most out of his ability. In exercise, mastery of proper form, speed of movement, turnaround technique, correct breathing, and the ability to focus on the task at hand will translate into optimal physical improvements. You will maximize your genetic blueprint.

Teaching and learning are a continuous process, and we are never satisfied with the depth of our knowledge. We continue to read and study new advances in science, and search for ways to more effectively communicate. Whether you are a beginning client or have been with us for ten years, we will continue to apply what we know to help you achieve your goals. The payoff for us is in seeing our clients take our teachings to heart and achieve the results they have always desired. Start your journey today.

Posted July 08, 2020 by Tim Rankin

Pre and Post Exhaustion Techniques in Strength Training: Pros and Cons, By Matthew Romans

Intelligent effort and safety are the most important considerations when trying to stimulate positive physical change. The human body, left to its own devices, is very resistant to change and will usually do what it can to maintain the status quo, unless a significant stimulus is introduced. Many gym rats and weightlifting enthusiasts try to make up for a lack of exercise intensity (momentary effort) by increasing exercise volume and frequency, which frequently leads to overtraining, injury, and greater risk for illness due to overtaxing the immune system. There are a great many so-called "advanced training techniques" that have been used in gyms for decades by athletes and bodybuilders; most of them are pointless and provide very little benefit. A couple of techniques that do have some merit are pre and post exhaustion movements. How effective are they, and how frequently should they be used? Let's take a closer look.

A pre-exhaustion involves performing a single joint exercise immediately before a multiple joint exercise for the purpose of more deeply inroads (fatiguing) the larger or primary musculature. Often, the smallest muscle group in a compound movement becomes a limiting factor in terms of getting the most effective inroad. A good example of this is the Leg Press. The prime mover in the Leg Press is the glutes, but often the quadriceps fatigue before the glutes can be thoroughly inroaded. While the quadriceps is a strong and powerful muscle group, the glutes are even larger and stronger. However, by performing the Abduction exercise before the Leg Press, you can more deeply fatigue the glutes and achieve a more effective exercise stimulus. Pre-exhaustion can be beneficial if used sparingly and strategically, and is more feasible when used in certain combinations, such as Abduction/Leg Press or Pullover/Pulldown. We often have clients perform the Leg Curl exercise first in the exercise order just before the Leg Press. In some ways this could possibly be considered a pre-exhaustion, but not really. We do this more to target the hamstrings effectively, but the hamstrings are not a prime mover in the Leg Press. Also, performing a knee flexion exercise (Leg Curl) before performing a knee extension exercise (Leg Press) allows us to thoroughly warm up and lubricate the knee joint. This is beneficial for all clients, but especially those with knee issues.

A post-exhaustion entails performing a single joint movement after a multiple joint movement. Ostensibly, this is to more deeply fatigue a smaller muscle that may get overlooked in a larger exercise. A good example of this would be to perform a bicep curl right after doing a Pulldown or Compound Row exercise. Performing post-exhaustion can make your muscles feel more "pumped", i.e., engorged with blood, similar to doing pushups prior to going to the beach. Many bodybuilders strive to achieve this feeling because it feels good and gives them a sense of accomplishment. Post-exhaustion can also be very effective for correcting a muscular imbalance or helping to rehabilitate an injury, such as performing the External Rotation exercise for the small rotator cuff muscles after doing the Overhead Press. Speaking of the Overhead Press, in addition to the major muscles of the shoulder it also involves the posterior (rear) part of the neck, so performing a Cervical Extension exercise after the Overhead Press could be considered a pos-exhaustion for the neck musculature. Strong neck muscles are important for everyone, in order to prevent injury and improve posture.

It is very easy to take pre- and post-exhaustion too far, in my opinion. Exercise volume is like a dosage of medication; both have a narrow therapeutic window. Recovery ability can be fragile, especially if one is active outside of their Total Results workouts, so exercise frequency, volume, and intensity need to be regulated to avoid overtraining. Post-exhaustion is largely unnecessary, since it further weakens the already weak link in compound exercises. The slow movement speed and precise turnaround technique of the Total Results exercise protocol enable us to target the intended musculature much more thoroughly, so performing a pre-exhaustion is not required in most cases. Even Ken Hutchins (founder of our exercise protocol) wrote a chapter in the Super Slow Technical Manual titled "Where Pre-Exhaustion Went Awry." During Hutchins' time at Nautilus, his boss Arthur Jones became increasingly intrigued by the concept of pre-exhaustion, and had several Nautilus machines built to more efficiently accomplish this. After Hutchins left Nautilus and further refined our exercise protocol, he came to understand the dangers of too much exercise volume and largely moved away from the concept of pre- and post exhaustion.

In order to achieve optimal results, you need a balanced exercise protocol and routine that will stimulate positive change without damaging the body in the process. That's where Total Results comes in. We have studied exercise history, equipment design, anatomy and physiology, concepts of motor learning, and nutrition for nearly twenty years, and we will customize our selection and sequence of exercises to help you succeed without getting injured. Get Total Results today.

Posted June 30, 2020 by Tim Rankin

Total Results is The Best Therapy, by Matthew Romans

When an injury, inflammation, or physical ailment occurs in the human body, most people's first instinct is to rest or do nothing, in hope that the problem gets better on its own. Most family physicians will probably give the same advice, and may even prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication. Unfortunately, this does not get to the root of the problem; it only treats the symptom. Most doctors know very little about what constitutes true muscle-strengthening exercise, so they usually prescribe rest, or at most, a gentle walking program. In some cases, the doctor will recommend physical therapy.

Traditional physical therapy often focuses on the wrong things. It incorporates modalities that provide minimal benefit, while checking off all the boxes accepted by the insurance company. A lot of time is dedicated to electrical stimulation, stretching, icing, and so-called "functional movements' which provide little benefit (and some of this can be done at home). Physical therapy focuses on restoring normal range of motion (which is important), but it doesn't place a premium on increasing strength; the connection between strength, range of motion, and functionality seems to be missed. When strength training is performed, it is usually performed in a haphazard fashion, without any consideration for speed of movement, change of direction, body alignment and positioning, or progression. Weight and repetitions are selected arbitrarily. Is this really the best way to rehabilitate an existing injury or protect yourself from being injured in the future?

There is a better way: Total Results exercise. The body is fairly resistant to change, and it needs a very good reason to adapt. The same is true for rehabilitating an injury. When an injury occurs, there is a loss of strength in the muscle(s) affected, or in the muscles surrounding that affected joint. When there is a loss of strength, there is also a loss of function. You must work to build strength in order to improve and restore function. What is needed is a stimulus. You must cross a stimulus threshold in order for the body to adapt; performing 30 repetitions with 5 pounds of resistance won't do it. The resistance should be meaningful enough so you reach momentary muscular fatigue in proper form within 1 ½ to 3 minutes of elapsed time.

If you have suffered an injury, avoiding exercise is the worst thing you can do. If you do nothing to strengthen the affected muscle/joint, the problem will be exacerbated due to greater atrophy. This leads to a further decrease in function. We often see this scenario with people who have suffered a back injury. Some of it is psychological; a person is told by his doctor or physical therapist not to perform a certain exercise, and the person becomes fearful of suffering another injury. No physical activity is without risk, but properly performed exercise is as safe as taking a walk. Tim has had two herniated discs in his lower back for many years, and even though he occasionally deals with back pain he performs the Lumbar Extension exercise every week in his workouts. Keep in mind that when I say "aggressive" therapy it should not be misconstrued as unsafe. Just the opposite. We utilize a very slow movement speed (ten seconds in each direction) with careful and precise turnarounds (change of direction) while closely monitoring the client for form discrepancies. Even though we are working very intensely, the most intense repetitions (those toward the end of the exercise) are actually the safest because we have weakened the musculature to the point where their capacity to produce injurious force is significantly lessened. Range of motion is certainly important; utilizing our slow movement speed in a pain-free range of motion will increase functionality and also enhance your flexibility without performing additional stretching.

Total Results exercise is true therapy for improving strength, restoring muscular function, and reducing pain, in addition to addressing the needs of the cardiovascular and metabolic systems. We often make modifications to our exercise methodology by using Timed Static Contractions, negative-only protocol, manual resistance, or even adjusting your range of motion to avoid further joint irritation, but the key is to work intensely and intelligently. Client feedback is very important, and we take the time to educate our clients about the process and help them to differentiate between injurious pain and exertional muscular discomfort. We have almost twenty years of experience in helping clients to restore function and get more out of life. If you or someone you know needs help in rehabilitating an injury, we would be happy to schedule an initial consultation. Get Total Results.

Posted June 24, 2020 by Tim Rankin

The Original Social Distancing Exercise Experience, by Matthew Romans

Most people are aware of the restrictions that have been placed on business owners as a result of the Covid-19 situation. Our facility was forced to shut down for two months, due to fear over the spread of the virus. Unfortunately, our facility (with its unique exercise philosophy) was lumped with all other run-of-the-mill gyms. The phrase "social distancing" entered the lexicon earlier this year, and will probably be with us for the foreseeable future. What many people, except for Total Results clients, may fail to understand is that we have been practicing social distancing for nearly 20 years!


When you first walk into our exercise studio, you will notice that it is impeccably clean. This is what every Total Results client expects and deserves. You won't find trash, towels, or empty water bottles on the floor. We wipe down the equipment after every appointment; this includes seats, pads, movement arm handles, and seat belts. The studio temperature is kept between 65 and 70 degrees, to prevent overheating that can negatively impact your workout performance. An intense workout such as ours is best performed in a cool and well-ventilated environment, and we have fans stationed near each piece of equipment. There is a dehumidifier present in our studio, but we have not been using it. We recently learned that if the humidity is kept too low, germs and other airborne particles stay in the air longer. The ideal humidity level is between 40 and 60 percent.


As an instructor, it is important for me to maintain a respectful distance from the client during a session, not only to make the client comfortable so that they can give a maximum effort, but also so that I can monitor form and make corrections, observe joints, and check body alignment and positioning. This is something that we have always done, but we have been giving just a little more distance when possible. Our studio has two exercise rooms connected by a long hallway, so we can technically have two sessions going at the same time without clients (or instructors) getting in each other's way. In order to alleviate concerns, we are initially only allowing one client in the studio at a time; this way you have total privacy! In Virginia, masks are currently required to be worn in enclosed public places, such as stores and shops; however, the governor's executive order does not require a mask to be worn during exercise. We do not require that clients wear masks during their workout. It can actually make it harder to breathe during the workout and increase your risk for getting dizzy or lightheaded. However, if clients feel more comfortable wearing a mask, they are welcome to do so.


Exercise is best performed in a clinically controlled environment, under the supervision of an educated instructor. You know exactly what you're getting at Total Results: a safe, comprehensive, and scientifically-based exercise program performed on biomechanically-engineered and well-maintained equipment. Our studio is cleaner and safer to be in than a hospital or doctor's office. If you have been working out at another gym that isn't currently open, or if you don't feel comfortable being in a crowded or unsanitary environment, give us a try. We would be happy to get you scheduled for an initial consultation to learn about our philosophy. We look forward to working with you!

Posted June 12, 2020 by Tim Rankin