How to Get the New Dallas Look

We are vain. And proud of it. New techniques and technologies flood the beauty market daily, making it easier to fight gravity, wrinkles, and receding hairlines on our lunch hours. D Magazine sent experts across Dallas to

Whether you want flawless skin, perfect teeth, killer abs, fancy feet, or a new wardrobe, here’s how to get them and what they will cost you.

Photo by Matt Cooper

The Fat-Melting Frontier

The same ingredients used to treat hemorrhoids are burning fat in a procedure called mesotherapy.

YEN PANG HAS THE PERFECT JOB FOR A FASHIONABLE 29-year-old Dallas woman who wants to look her best. She’s the office manager for Dr. Raul P. Rodriguez, a general surgeon at Medical City Dallas Hospital who has tilted his practice toward cosmetic surgery. Pretty and slim, Pang is troubled by “pouches” on her abdomen. She says she’s not overweight, but diet and exercise haven’t eliminated her problem areas.

That’s why she is lying on an exam table in her boss’s office, undergoing her first mesotherapy treatment. Rodriguez stabs Pang’s abdomen about 90 times with a thin needle in a grid-like pattern.

Pang says it doesn’t hurt because her skin is numb from a topical anesthetic cream. After marking the area with his red pen, Rodriguez disinfected Pang’s skin with alcohol and then injected his “cocktail”—a combination of prescription drugs, vitamins, hyalouronidase (which is used to shrink hemorrhoids), and homeopathic nutrients—below the surface of the skin to act directly and precisely on the stubborn fat cells and fibrous tissue bands of Pang’s stomach.

Like a meat tenderizer, the concoction loosens the tissue and her skin reddens slightly and becomes warm to the touch. As the fat liquefies, she feels her stomach tighten—a sensation Rodriquez refers to as thermogenesis. He coats the area with a hydrocortisone cream to stop the itching and covers it with plastic wrap, which Pang tucks under her pantyhose before returning to work at the front desk.

Dr. Lionel Bissoon, a New York osteopath, is credited as the first U.S. consultant for cosmetic mesotherapy in 1999, which originated in France 50 years ago. One of Bissoon’s happy, high-profile patients is singer Roberta Flack, who calls mesotherapy a “gift from God.” She lost more than 30 pounds in three and a half months on a weight-loss program that included the same cocktail that attacked the fat cells in Pang’s abdomen.

Rodriquez trained with Bissoon, fine-tuning this new alternative to liposuction and invasive plastic surgery, which purports to eliminate cellulite, rejuvenate the face and neck, and lead to weight loss and hair re-growth.

Too good to be true? Maybe. Despite glowing reviews, many doctors warn that more studies are needed. “I don’t know of any board-certified plastic surgeon in the United States using this,” says Dr. Rod J. Rohrich, professor and chairman of the department of plastic surgery at UT Southwestern.

But Pang’s friends and family see a dramatic difference in her body sculpting after four series. Lisa Craig is another mesotherapy fan. The Tyler mother and specialty advertising consultant believes the procedure will stave off a facelift and keep her skin healthier prior to cosmetic surgery.

“I’ve had lipo,” the 44-year-old says, “but it left uneven contouring on my thighs. I wanted my legs to look great.” Stay tuned.

—Mary Candace Evans


STEP ONE: Problem areas are circled with a red pen.
STEP TWO: Shots of prescription drugs, vitamins, and hyalouronidase are injected.
STEP THREE: The area is treated with hydrocortisone cream and covered in plastic wrap.


Learn the Lingo
 
ThinJection: Contours body parts such as face, abdomen, and thighs through multiple injections. Side effects: slight bruising. Cost: $350-$500 per area. Treatments recommended: 6-10.

CelluLysis: “Absolutely the most effective cellulite treatment in existence,” Rodriquez says. Side effects: slight bruising. Cost: $350-$500 per area. Treatments recommended: 8-12.

DermoGenesis: Treats wrinkles by promoting regeneration of new subdermal skin. Side effects: slight bruising. Cost: $350-$500 per area. Treatments recommended: 4-6.

Raul P. Rodriguez, M.D., Rejuvenex Medical @ Medical City Dallas, 7777 Forest Ln., Ste. B-214. 972-566-8887


Skin and Tonic

Ionithermie is fast becoming the leading treatment for the treatment of cellulite and improvement of skin and muscle  tone.

ASK ANY WOMAN WHAT SHE HATES ABOUT HER body and she’s bound to say “my thighs,” and “my butt” (pardon the pun) comes close behind. So it’s no surprise that “body sculpting” has become the catchphrase at salons, spas, and doctors’ offices all over town. Liposuction was the number one surgical cosmetic procedure performed in the United States last year according to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

But for those of us who haven’t worked a little lipo into our monthly allowances, there are new options. Endermologie (see p. 68) is the most popular, but ionithermie is quickly catching on in Dallas, thanks to Michael and Knezyk Dzama and their company Dragonfly, which introduced ionithermie to the United States last year.

Ionithermie treatments, which began in France in 1979 as a way to treat rheumatoid arthritis, are used to reduce cellulite, improve overall skin and muscle tone, and detoxify the body through a combination of galvanic and faradic stimuli, thermal clay, essential oils, and micronized algae products.

En Anglais? Galvanic stimulation uses negative and positive ions to propel active ingredients into the deeper layers of the skin. Faradic stimulation works directly on the muscles while a potion of thermal clay acts as a conductor of ions and a trap for the toxins. At the end of it all, you should walk out of the spa almost toxin-free and an inch or two slimmer.

Bella Vita Skin Rejuvenation Center lists ionithermie on its extensive menu of anti-aging, de-stressing, beautifying procedures. Advanced technology meets posh spa at this Preston Center oasis, where owner Maria Morris designs customized programs for her clients. Dim lights, soothing music, flowing fountains, and flickering candles set the scene before clients seeking a slimmer figure are hooked up to a machine by electrodes and lie half-naked in a puddle of mud.

The process begins with measurements of the “problem areas,” which for most women means the thighs and for most men involves the “love handles” (though there are special ionithermie facials designed to detoxify and firm the face). Then the skin is dry brushed to increase circulation, and a toner is applied before the technician prepares the thermal clay, which is separated from the skin only by a thin layer of gauze. Electrodes are then strategically placed for maximum stimulation, and the zapping begins.

Once the electrodes are removed and any remnants of clay are washed off, the client is measured again. They say that numbers don’t lie—on my first visit I shed nearly five inches, once they added up the inch loss in each of the nine areas measured. Did I feel like a whole new woman? Maybe for an afternoon. But I certainly didn’t resemble the woman in the brochure, who had the most beautifully sculpted thighs I’ve ever seen. Of course, for maximum results, you should have a series of 10 treatments (three per week is the max) and use the products at home (dry brush, toner, and special firming brew) consistently. Ideally, ionithermie is a finishing touch, not a first step, for those people just looking for a way to get rid of that last little lump. —Jennifer Chininis

For more information about ionithermie, call Michael Dzama at 972-758-1156 or visit www.dragonflyspa.com or www.ionithermie.us.

STEP ONE: Before treatment, problem areas are measured and skin is dry brushed.
STEP TWO: Electrodes are strategically placed on the body for maximum stimulation.
STEP THREE: The area is treated with hydrocortisone cream and covered in a plastic wrap.

Where to Get Zapped

Bella Vita Rejuvenation Center
6170 Sherry Ln., Ste. 100. 214-373-4233
www.bellavitacenter.com
Price per session: $150. One or two series of
10 treatments are recommended; three times per week is the maximum.

Time Well Spent
6833 Snider Plaza. 214-692-6338
Price per session: $95 per week. Ten to 15
treatments are recommended.

STEP THREE: Thermal clay is applied over the area, and the zapping begins.


Put Your Best Face Forward

Skin Spa owner Terie Rasmussen refines Dallas complexions with microdermabrasion.

THE HANDS BEHIND SOME OF DALLAS’ FAIREST complexions and flawless faces (including her own) belong to Terie Rasmussen, founder of the often-name-dropped Skin Spa. You might think that Rasmussen has been perfecting her craft for years. In reality, she ditched her career in corporate real estate after a personality test revealed that she was in the wrong line of work. A 40-year-old mother of two, Rasmussen quit her job and turned her personal passion into a new profession. Now she has a loyal following, including Mexican Consul Ezequiel Padilla and socialite Brooke Davenport.

Rasmussen’s reputation comes from her talent for microdermabrasion. Almost everyone is a candidate for the procedure that exfoliates the top layer of skin to remedy dull buildup, uneven skin tone, acne, clogged pores, and fine lines.

After the skin is cleansed and dried of oils, a wand-like machine exfoliates using crystals and simultaneously vacuums away dead skin cells. Patients often say the sensation is like being licked by a cat’s scratchy tongue. The skin is then soothed and moisturized, and the whole procedure generally takes an hour. One session leaves the skin looking polished, but eight to 12 sessions and monthly maintenance are recommended for optimal rejuvenation.

“Microdermabrasion is effective for putting a healthy light into your skin at any age,” says Justine Corday, a devoted client. “Terie treats your skin the way she treats her own.”

Rasmussen admits that women like to share their beauty secrets, but men would rather keep theirs under wraps. “Men are more secretive. I have a few that won’t even let me say, ’It’s Terie from the Skin Spa’ when I call them at work,” she says. “They’d rather me say I’m their dermatologist.” Though some of them go to great lengths to avoid being seen in the waiting area, once inside, Rasmussen claims the men are just as vain as the women, undergoing microdermabrasion, Endermologie, and Botox.

In addition to these treatments, the Skin Spa offers permanent cosmetics, chemical peels, facials, microcurrent therapy (the “nonsurgical facelift”), and Lam probe (which removes moles and eliminates broken capillaries). Rasmussen also seeks out the best skincare lines worldwide. Her latest favorites include Talika eyelash extenders and eye decompressors and Neova Antioxidant Therapy with Copper, or she’ll create her own products, such as “Power Polish,” which she describes as “microdermabrasion in a jar.” —Courtney Dresli

STEP ONE: Skin is cleansed and dried of oils.

STEP TWO: A wand-like machine exfoliates with crystals and
vacuums away dead cells.

STEP THREE: Face is cleansed again, and toner and moisturizer are applied.

Cat Scratch Fever

These specialists were recommended for microdermabrasion, but they perform other skin-enhancing treatments as well.

Terie Rasmussen, Skin Spa
2217 Ivan St., Ste. 1213. 214-219-8219
www.skinspadallas.com
Cost of microdermabrasion: $150 per session. Most clients opt for one session a week for eight to 12 weeks. Maintenance requires one treatment every four to six weeks.
Total cost: $900-$1,800

Beverly Breshers
Somatique Medical & Dental Spa
5600 W. Lovers Ln., Ste. 212. 214-350-1422
Cost of microdermabrasion: $200 per session Total cost: $200-$2,400

Maria Morris, Bella Vita Rejuvenation Center
6170 Sherry Ln., Ste. 100. 214-373-4233
Cost of microdermabrasion: $150 per session Total cost: $1,100

Melinda Butler, Michaelmarcus Spa
2400 Allen St. 214-965-9899
Cost of microdermabrasion: $125 per session Total cost: $600-$1,500

1,123,510: THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN THE UNITED STATES WHO HAD BOTOX INJECTIONS IN 2002


Skin City

You can get Botox from any licensed aesthetician. But when lasers are involved, you want a cosmetic dermatologist.

FACE IT, THERE ARE PLENTY OF US IN BETWEEN our twentysomething glory days and sixtysomething facelift days. For those saggy decades in between, we often need more than a salon or spa can (or should) handle. While such establishments certainly dabble in cosmetic procedures like microdermabrasion, cosmetic dermatologists take skincare several safer steps forward. And even those treatments that can be handled by a technician are often better when performed by a doctor or under a doctor’s supervision—not just because of the doctor’s skills, but also because the equipment sold to doctors is often more effective.

You won’t find “cosmetic dermatologist” in the Yellow Pages, but there are a handful of local dermatologists who specialize in the relatively new field (see our list to find their names). Among them is Dr. Rick Wilson, Plano’s cosmetic dermatologist extraordinaire. Wilson and his staff are here for the attorneys, doctors, stay-at-home moms, job-searching executives, and anyone else with enough disposable income to inject, peel, and laser their skin problems away.

Vanity, sure. But that isn’t a bad word in this office.

“I’m all for vanity,” says Jan Graham, RN, office manager at Plano Dermatology. “If you wear $3,000 worth of couture and don’t look good, you’re not going to feel good.”

Dr. Wilson and other local cosmetic dermatologists perform these nonsurgical procedures every day:

• Chemical peels. The outer layer of skin is sloughed off, tightening the skin. People with acne problems use deeper peels to help their skin’s appearance. Cost: $1,600. Patients usually have only one treatment and are on home rest for seven to 10 days.

• Laser resurfacing. A laser rids the skin of sun damage and wrinkles. Cost: $4,000. Results last about 10 years.

• Collagen implants. Used for lip enhancement, acne scars, and to soften lines on the face. Cost: $365, depending on the amount of collagen.

• FotoFacial™. A pulsed light smoothes out the skin, eliminating capillaries, sunspots, and improving skin tone. Cost: $2,500, which includes five treatments.

• Leg varicose vein removal. A small injection of a solution irritates and dissolves the blood vessel away. Cost: $1,200 and up, depending on the area.

All these procedures are high-tech and cutting-edge, and that’s part of what attracted Dr. Wilson to this new field. He was one of the first dermatologists in the Dallas area to use the CO2 laser in the early-’90s.

Then the laser industry exploded. Researchers found lasers could cure so many visual evils, from birthmarks to sun damage to wrinkles. Then came hair transplants, chemical peels, and treatments for varicose veins.

“All of the sudden, we have these great new techniques that can do something about these problems without badly scaring people,” Dr. Wilson says. “I like to be one of the first to apply new technologies in this part of the United States. We’re cautious, but we like to take advantage of new approaches and new things.”

So that’s why the good doctor likes what he does. Why are we so enamored with the miracles that go on within his office? Vanity, of course. “Dr. Wilson is an architect,” Graham says. “He works on something to make it look better and perform better. The skin is an organ. When it’s healthy, it can’t help but look good.”

—Dawn McMullan

Dependable Dermatologists

Dr. David Alkek
Dermatology Associates of Dallas
7150 Greenville Ave., Ste. 100. 214-691-6999

Dr. Kathryn Duplantis, cosmetic surgeon
(specializes in hair transplants)
Hair Laser and Liposuction Center of Dallas
6750 Hillcrest Plaza Dr., Ste. 223. 972-934-9808

Dr. Martin Kassir
Mona Lisa Dermatology
8600 Northwest Plaza Dr., Ste. 3A. 214-360-1500
 
Dr. Michael Maris, Dr. Dennis Newton, and Dr. Rebecca Euwer
Dermatology Consultants
10 Medical Pkwy., Ste. 304; 580 S. Denton Tap Rd., Ste. 220, Coppell. 972-243-4530

Dr. Lori Stetler
8201 Preston Rd., Ste. 350. 214-631-7546

Dr. Rick Wilson
Plano Dermatology Associates
6100 Windhaven Pkwy. 972-608-0330


Shots, Anyone?

Ladies (and gents) looking for a little lift get together for a Botox party.

MANY OF US ARE NEEDLE-PHOBIC—ESPECIALLY WHEN THAT NEEDLE IS LOADED WITH botulism toxin type A, a protein produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacterium. But, as they say, there is safety in numbers. We recommend getting your best gal (or guy) pals together and heading to a Botox party. Nothing like the comforting smiles of good friends while you work on those frown lines.

Last year, 1.6 million people went under the Botox syringe, making it the number one nonsurgical cosmetic procedure in the United States. Here’s how it works: small doses of Botox are injected into particular facial muscles, and the serum blocks the signal that causes the muscles to contract. By relaxing these muscles, Botox can reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Results should last up to four months.

Several Dallas salons and spas offer this procedure in a group setting, which not only makes the experience more fun, but the group discount will also benefit your bank account.

Alan Stone Salon offers a Botox party about once a month, on a Monday night. At these intimate gatherings, plastic surgeon Dr. Ramsey Choucair and the salon’s clinical skincare specialist, Bea Hunter, serve up Botox treatments and skincare hints with hors d’oeuvres and nonalcoholic beverages. After a brief seminar, Dr. Choucair evaluates each client individually and performs the Botox injections just as he would during his private appointments. The procedure generally takes about 10 minutes per person, depending on how many sites (forehead, eyes, between the brows) the patient wants to de-wrinkle. You can also schedule your own Botox party at the salon, which has become popular for birthday celebrations and wedding parties preparing for the big day.

Similar private Botox parties take place at deNovo spa, where Dallas plastic surgeon Dr. Neil Saretsky and Dr. Kevin Hopkins preside over treatments along with the spa’s registered nurses. DeNovo caters to all sorts of groups, including a church group that likes to bond over Botox every six months.

Now for the fine print: while both of these venues use the strongest available Botox solution, some salons may charge less because they dilute the serum—and the results don’t last as long. If you are considering Botox treatments, always make sure that you are dealing with a qualified, trained physician. —C.D.

WHERE TO PARTY

Alan Stone Salon, 8220 Westchester Dr. 214-987-9799. The discount is usually 15 percent. One site with the discount is $275.

deNovo, 3102 Oak Lawn Ave. 214-219-4100. The discount is $50 (one site for $500, two for $600, and three for $700). The hostess of a party of 10 or more gets hers for free.


Cellulite Busters

Fight the battle of the bulges with Endermologie.

“I HAVE GIRLS SAY TO ME ALL THE TIME, ’I don’t want to start this. It’s not permanent,’” says Somatique co-owner Don Breshers. “And I say, ’Are your hair cuts, manicures, and exercise results permanent?’”

Oh, ladies and gentlemen, the truth hurts. There are two things that I have learned in my 50 years as a woman: gravity is an evil demon, and “perky” is a privilege that must be preserved.

Don knows that I have learned this lesson the hardest way. Two years ago, I signed up for the recommended minimum of 14 sessions of Endermologie at Somatique. Amazingly, after two months, my puckered thighs were smooth enough for me to wear a bathing suit for the first time in years. (I do not admit this lightly.) Feeling a tad cocky, I continued my maintenance program for a while, but like the rest of my disciplinary regimes, I let my Endermologie schedule slide right along with the cellulite on the outside of my thighs.

Now I find myself back on the table with Don, working the therapeutic massager (think glamorized vacuum cleaner) across my sagging thighs and belly. The sucking device pulls the skin up while the rollers smooth out the wrinkles. I feel like a big lump of bread dough.

Don maneuvers the machine over my whole body and preaches his gospel. “When you look good, you feel good,” he says. “And when you feel good, everyone around you benefits from it.” His attitude is infectious. We all need cheerleaders, especially when it comes to encouraging ourselves to be our best.

Don and his wife and business partner Beverly (who performs laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, and laser vein treatment, among others) were one of the first in the country to introduce Endermologie in 1996. Initially they were so skeptical about the process because the results that LPG, the French company that invented the process, claimed seemed too good to be true. But after Beverly was in charge of a study of 50 women conducted by Plastic Surgery of Texas, the skepticism faded. The most important thing they learned is that there is no magic formula for Endermologie results, and if anyone tries to tell you differently, be wary. In the world of Endermologie, you get what you pay for.

But here’s the good news: older women attain results faster than younger women. Okay, so it’s because our skin has less elasticity and is ready to be tightened while the younger, harder bodies are trying to attack cellulite through tighter skin. But it’s still a minor coup d’etat for seasoned citizens who still want to show a little leg.

I am now rededicated to the program. Yes, I will have to rearrange my monthly budget—perhaps by canceling the membership to the gym that I haven’t been to in two years and slashing my margarita allowance—but time is not on my side. And as Donald so succinctly states, ” I don’t think it’s a sin to grow old. I think it’s a sin to look old with everything that is available today.”

—Nancy Nichols

STEP ONE: Pre-treatment body measurements are taken.

STEP TWO: The client slips into an opaque body suit and reclines on table.

STEP THREE: A technician maneuvers motorized massage rollers over entire body.

Smooth Operators

Don Breshers,
Somatique Medical & Dental Spa
5600 W. Lovers Ln., Ste. 212. 214-350-1422
Cost of Endermologie: $125 per session. Minimum number of treatments recommended is 14, but it varies with body type. Maintenance programs range from once every three to once every five weeks.

Lisa Vanstory, Riviera Spa
4445 Travis St., Ste. 102. 214-521-2112   
Cost of Endermologie: $95 per session. Or, $75 per session with 12 sessions; $60 per session with 16. Minimum number of treatments recommended is 12.


300 PERCENT: INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF TEETH WHITENING/BLEACHING PROCEDURES IN THE LAST FIVE YEARS

The $100,000 Smile

Do you yearn for a perfect set of pearly Dallas whites?  Welcome to the world of cosmetic dentistry.

IN DALLAS, WE ARE PUTTING OUR MONEY where our mouth is—literally. And money seems to be no object. There are many $40,000 mouths smiling back at us during sales meetings and seminars, thanks to ceramic veneers, which cost $900 to $2,000 per tooth. Dentists say more and more people are walking around with $100,000-plus mouths. These are folks who’ve had dental implants, root canals, gum work, and jaw surgery to fix major problems and then have capped them all off with sparkling white ceramic veneers. But even those with perfectly functioning teeth are asking their dentists for a brighter smile every time they recline in that chair.

“Nearly all of our patients whiten their teeth,” says Philip Kozlow, D.D.S., one of the first Dallas dentists to apply veneers. (He now applies twice as many as he did in 1998.)

According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, teeth whitening, or bleaching, has increased nationally by 300 percent over the past five years, and whitening is now the most demanded dental cosmetic procedure in patients under age 50. Dentists say it’s perfectly safe. If the bleaching doesn’t get the job done, patients can choose ceramic veneers, an invasive process that involves sanding down the natural tooth to accommodate the veneer. Despite the grinding and second-mortgage-sized cost, veneers have increased by more than 250 percent since 1998.

And Dallas has the pearliest whites: many local dentists are using whiter porcelains than those they used 15 years ago. And those porcelains are whiter than the standard white used in other parts of the country. “We are using the ’darker’ whites that we used to use routinely only on people in their 70s and 80s now,” says local prosthodontist Greg Seal. But even some 70-year-olds, he says, think that the “old white” is still too dark.

Seal’s sleek Sherry Lane office, with its Jetson-like dental chairs, streamlined counters, tasteful art, and glassed-in gardens, is full of beautiful people wanting a near-perfect set of choppers to complement their microdermabrasioned skin, taut hairlines, and collagen-enhanced lips. In his state-of-the art dental lab, Seal whips up his veneer restorations with surgical precision. From a patient’s mouth impression, he makes individual molds of each tooth and adds the shades of porcelain in small droplets using a brush, like an artist adding paint to a canvas. The porcelain is fired in a furnace, shaped, and polished. The process takes several hours per tooth. The biggest challenge, he says, is not the patient who wants a full set, but the one restoring just one tooth. It takes 25 to 30 shades of porcelain to match the enamel of a natural tooth because dental enamel is prismatic. The position of the tooth must be perfect, the outline and shape just right, and the hue so close it fools the human eye into believing it’s a natural tooth.

For, say, eight top veneers, you’ll need two appointments. The first takes about four hours and requires local anesthetic and oral sedation if going to the dentist makes you nervous. Using a diamond abrasive instrument, the dentist removes about three-fourths of a millimeter of existing tooth enamel. He makes an impression of the teeth and applies temporary veneers. One to three weeks later, the veneer restorations are fitted, verified, and bonded to place.

Magnified vanity in an aging, affluent population coupled with our good friend technology—the ability to make longer-lasting porcelain veneers—makes for a busy dentist’s office. While the veneer and crown cap are made of the most permanent material available, they are, unlike diamonds, not forever. Ten years is the average lifespan, so when they wear out, you see your dentist to get more. —M.C.E.

Top Docs for Teeth

Kenneth Hamlett, D.D.S., F.A.G.D.
8100 Lomo Alto Dr., Ste. 110. 214-363-9474

Phillip R. Kozlow, D.D.S.
5050 Quorum Dr., Ste. 340. 972-458-2464

Kyle Keeter, D.D.S.
8201 Preston Rd., Ste. 255. 214-360-0055

Tom McDougal, D.D.S.
106 N. Cottonwood Dr., Richardson
972-231-5376

Greg Seal, D.D.S.
6010 Sherry Ln. 214-361-0883


Ab Fab

Personal trainer Everett Aaberg turns soccer moms into bodybuilders at North Dallas Athletic Club.

THE BIGGEST FISH IN DALLAS’ LARGE PERsonal-training pond is lecturer, author, and championship bodybuilder Everett Aaberg.

Though he is most often found whipping his own clients into shape at the North Dallas Athletic Club, Aaberg is the trainer behind the trainers. He oversees the education and personal training programs of North Dallas Athletic Club, Premier Athletic Club, and the Texas Club. In addition to lecturing internationally, he provides continuing education and certification programs for other trainers (to date he has certified about 5,000) and teaches biomechanics and optimal performance training classes at the Cooper Institute for Aerobic Research. Aaberg has written four books and also has a video series called Resistance Training Instruction.

His expertise lies in merging the sciences of human movement with the art of resistance training. He explains that all movement should improve the function of the body as well as the muscles, regardless of whether a client’s goal is weight loss, increased muscle definition, bodybuilding, or sport performance enhancement.

Brianna Norten, a mother of three with abs you have only seen in MTV videos, has worked out with Aaberg for four years. She says that Aaberg’s popularity is due to his superior knowledge of technique as well as his professionalism. “He can train clients at any level,” she says. “And he will adapt your program to your changing goals.” For her, this recently evolved from just looking and feeling good to potential competitions.

A personal trainer herself and also mother of three, Sandy Breitbarth went to Aaberg specifically for his bodybuilding expertise. “Entering a bodybuilding competition was on my list of things to do before I turn 50,” she explains. With only a few months left to meet that goal, she entered a competition to take place this month. Breitbarth says that since beginning her training with him in January, she has lost 20 pounds and has dropped more than 10 percent of body fat.

Aaberg is so sought-after that many clients keep him on retainer, even if they are too busy to come in.

He trains about 30 clients, 50 to 55 hours a week. He has 50 trainers that work for him, but he ensures that each person gets the same first-class treatment.

Aaberg’s clients (and those of the trainers he oversees) each start with a three- to five-hour assessment. This includes a joint-by-joint analysis from the little toes to the neck. “The assessment is an investigation tool, so we see which muscles are weak and which muscles are overcompensating,” Aaberg explains. Only after this thorough inspection will he design a program.

“You have to design a program that accomplishes what the client needs first,” he says, “but if you don’t make sure that they also look the way they want, they’ll go somewhere else.” In other words, the trainer must appeal to the client’s vanity. Aaberg teaches a class on this very art.

He claims that most trainers don’t know enough about biomechanics, but because we are so body-conscious in Dallas, those trainers get business anyway just by hanging around the fitness clubs. The clients, if they are new to personal training, won’t know the difference. He also says that many trainers don’t know how to create long-term programs, another issue that his courses address. He generally works in six- to eight-week routines so that clients are constantly experiencing new ex

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