For years, Karim enjoyed jogging and biking; however, he ended up pushing his body too far.
After unknowingly running with a torn right meniscus for nearly six months, he had to call it quits. Karim underwent surgery and began physical therapy. That’s how he became interested in strength training.
Karim found his way to David DeSisto’s fitness studio in Telegraph Hill, where he was paired with trainer Abe. When Abe launched EverStrong in late-2017, Karim shifted his weekly workouts to Abe’s Lower Haight location.
“I liked the controlled nature of the workouts, and how focused they were,” Karim said. “I’ve never done strength or weight training before, and Abe pushes me and helps me to find a strength level I thought I never had.”
Obviously, a large part of Abe’s focus with Karim has been around protecting Karim’s right knee to promote healing — and it’s working.
“My knee is a lot better,” said the Bernal Heights’ resident. “The muscles around it are stronger and more stable.”
It’s not just Karim’s right knee that’s on the mend. According to him, a lingering shoulder injury feels better and his posture has improved.
“The overall way that I carry myself when I’m walking around: I feel like I have more overall strength in my body,” Karim said. “I don’t look bigger or skinnier, but I feel better and healthier.”
Although he hasn’t started running again, Karim continues to enjoy how his EverStrong sessions are changing the way he thinks about exercise.
“I love the feel of these workouts,” he said. “I can relax, not be distracted, free my mind and just workout. It’s easy for me to just focus on my breathing and my body and be done with it.”
For years, Dave had the desire to get in shape, but lacked the motivation. He even purchased a set of “As Seen On TV” Perfect Pushups to help get him going, but his “I’ll do it on my own” mentality wasn’t cutting it.
The fact that Dave didn’t like to work out wasn’t doing him any favors.
“I kept realizing that I needed to do something with a personal trainer who can motivate me, push me and tell me when to stop,” said Dave.
When he read about EverStrongSF, the one-on-one nature of the workouts appealed to him.
“I was sold on the process,” the Castro resident said. “It sounded very meditative, and I like that there’s an emphasis on not injuring yourself. Obviously, I liked the fact that it was only 20 minutes a week opposed to an hour twice a week.”
Dave decided to sign up for 12 sessions to get the ball rolling on establishing a regular fitness regimen.
How’s his motivation today?
“I don’t think pushing weights and working out will ever be fun for me,” Dave laughed, “but there’s some gamification with the machines’ graphs and charts that I find helpful: follow the line and push. It’s very strenuous.”
Whether or not he’s having fun, Dave is seeing results.
“I can’t argue with the fact that the weight is going up and I’m getting stronger,” he said. “The results have been better than I expected they would be.”
Dave says that he’d recommend EverStrongSF to anyone with similar fitness goals as him.
“I’m not interested in getting huge,” he said. “I just wanted to get something going.”
Traditionally, Asa has gotten her exercise through weekly yoga and regular runs. As an occupational therapist, she also has a rather physically demanding job.
“I’m not a young person,” Asa said, “and I’m concerned about keeping my body intact. If I injure myself, I can’t work.”
That’s one of the reasons why she added a weekly strength-training session at EverStrongSF into her workout routine soon after the studio opened its doors in 2017.
Asa says that she appreciates the similarities between her EverStrongSF sessions, her yoga and her running.
“Yoga class is often meditative, even if there are lots of people, and when I’m running or hiking outdoors, it’s also meditative,” Asa said. “That’s what I prefer, and that’s why I enjoy EverStrongSF. It's quiet and you work intensely with a trainer for 20 minutes and then you’re done.”
As much as she looks forward to her mindful Friday morning workouts, she also says that she dreads them a little bit.
“They’re intense,” Asa laughed. “It’s hard to do these very slow reps and maintain the correct posture and alignment. That’s where having a one-on-one trainer coaching you the entire time is super helpful.”
Challenges aside, Asa is seeing results that are “kind of amazing.” She says that her runs are easier and that she feels stronger while holding her yoga poses.
According to Asa, she’d recommend EverStrongSF to a friend — in fact, she already has.
“It’s a really good way to train and get strong,” Asa said, “especially if you’re somebody middle-aged like me and you don’t want to get injured. This is a great way to get really fit and not get hurt.”