The Science of Staying Fit
Exercise Science, LLC, combines personal training with exercise physiology to strengthen the entire body.
For native New Orleanian Ryan A. Hall, major partner at Exercise Science, LLC, it was a lateral ligament sprain in his right ankle during a high school intramural volleyball game that started him on the path to a career in the wellness industry. “That injury effectively ended my ability to play sports, although I needed to stay physically active,” he says. “Weight training was one of the only activities I could participate in, while reducing the potential risk of injury to my ankle.”
He started toying with his father’s weight set at the age of 14, and he started reading body building magazines. “The volume and frequency of such routines espoused by the body building magazines are not suitable for those of us with average or below average genetic capabilities,” Hall says. “I made many mistakes following such training advice and wasted several years being continuously overtrained. This began my study and experimentation into the philosophy of high intensity strength training.”
At the age of 18, Hall started working at Heritage Sports Center, where he was first exposed to the original Nautilus Principals and high intensity training. At the same time, he started studying exercise physiology at the University of New Orleans. “There was very little research being performed on strength training at the time,” Hall says. “However, I used to eat, sleep and breathe exercise physiology research. I read every piece of evidence I could find.”
Hall opened his first training studio, One to One Personal Training and Clinical Exercise, LLC, in 1996 at the age of 24. During his 18 years in business, he saw a few needs in the industry that were not being adequately addressed. “The first population being inadequately addressed is our seniors,” Halls says. “One of my major research topics has been sarcopenia, the term for age related muscle wasting. As indicated by the vast majority of the research literature, only high intensity strength training can combat this age-related muscle loss, and improve or reverse these age-related degenerative disorders.
“The other population being inadequately served is post rehabilitation. Insurance companies generally pay for a limited number of sessions for physical therapy. At cessation of therapy, patients are often given a list of exercises or stretches and sent on their way. It has been my experience that this is not adequate for the patient to stimulate proper tissue remodeling, and increase resistance to injury.”
In April 2014, Hall went on to open Exercise Science with the goal of maximizing functional and structural strength. “We teach what the scientific research indicates is the safest, most effective and most efficient way to exercise,” Hall explains. “We largely focus on progressive strength training, utilizing a high intensity (HIT), lower velocity approach on equipment specifically designed for our training protocol. We also offer high intensity interval training (HIIT), along with metabolic and VO2 max testing through our affiliate, HIT LAB, Inc. All sessions are supervised, one on one, with a personal trainer for every session. In addition, a few of us have degrees or advanced degrees in exercise physiology and experience with physical rehabilitation.”
On Staying Motivated
“What keeps me motivated to continue training is the way it makes me feel,” Hall says. “Running the studio and training clients can be very physical. If I don’t keep my spine, hip, knee and shoulder muscles strong, I’ll start to experience pain in those joints just like anyone else. If it wasn’t for my own training, I would not be able to work the number of hours I do, and continue to help our clients live pain free and stay mobile and active across their lifespan.”
“As far as diet is concerned, if I am trying to get leaner, I follow a ketogenic diet,” Hall says. “Otherwise, I just try to keep my carbohydrate consumption as low as possible, while eating adequate protein, healthy fats and low glycemic index vegetables. If I had the time, I would make myself an omelet for breakfast with some type of additional protein and veggies, take a lunch break to have a grilled chicken or grilled tuna salad, and a steak or piece of fish for dinner with steamed veggies and another salad.”
“Probably one of the most rewarding experiences I have had is rehabilitating Christi Nissen,” Hall says. “She wrote the following:
‘I have been plagued by degenerative disc disease since 2005, at 26 years old. My first back surgery (L5-6) was in 2005 with the best neurosurgeon money could buy. Within the next 10 years, I spent thousands of dollars on physical therapy and had about a dozen neurosurgeon appointments per year, because there was always some level of pain or problem to be treated. It was in the beginning of Feb. 2015 that I met my “celebrity” trainer Ryan Hall, by a true miracle. Four visits with Ryan, his brilliance, his impeccable ability to break down these complex issues into layman’s terms, and his MedX machines have changed the last 10 years of my life in a four-week period.’”
“Too often, people are concerned with vanity muscles (chest and biceps for men, hips and thighs for women),” Hall says. “We are concerned with those also. However, we want to make the entire organism stronger and more resistant to injury, especially the muscles that support and protect the spine. A strong, flexible spine is important for everyone at any age, but especially important as we move through the aging process.”
4521 Magazine St., (504) 669-0918, exercisesciencellc.com