By Frances Figart
While it’s easy to stay fit and active when we are young, the time demands of a full life with a career and family can become a deterrent to working out as we enter middle age. Abby Cain experienced this herself—and it’s how she came to open Rock Bottoms, which is anything but your typical gym.
Originally from Wilmington, NC, Cain played softball while working on her undergraduate degree at Georgia Tech. Graduating in 1997 with a BS in international affairs and minors in finance and economics, she launched her career in investment banking, working first in Atlanta and then Portland, OR. In 2001 she moved to New York to get an MBA with a concentration in finance from NYU. She began interning with the J.P. Morgan Private Bank and joined full-time upon graduation.
As Cain became more and more immersed in her successful career, she struggled to maintain the fitness regimens that had sustained her in college. “I was waking up at 4 a.m. three to five times a week to exercise before work,” she recalls, “but I was putting on weight, exhausted, sleep deprived and did not feel as though I was achieving any significant results.”
On the advice of a colleague, she began training with master SuperSlow® instructor Lou Abato of the Ultimate Training Center in Manhattan. SuperSlow protocol is a form of resistance training that involves the combination of very slow speeds of lifting and lowering weight for a time-efficient total body workout.
“I dropped 20 pounds, went down two dress sizes, and achieved 16 percent body fat,” she says. “I knew I had succeeded in transforming my physical appearance when my mom exclaimed, ‘You have overcome your genetics!’”
Through the SuperSlow workouts, Cain found she had amazing endurance for skiing and hiking and any other physical activity she chose to undertake. Her life was so transformed by this experience, she applied to become a SuperSlow instructor and received her certification in spring of 2006.
After five years in New York, she transferred to the J.P. Morgan Private Banking office in Los Angeles. After her first son, Addison, was born, she returned to North Carolina to work for Carolina First Bank (now TD Bank).
“When I moved to Asheville in the Spring of 2008, a friend of mine, upon learning that I was a SuperSlow instructor, convinced me to join a local gym with her so we could work out together using this protocol,” says Cain. “This friend had a knack for promoting the workouts we were doing to her friends and colleagues. It was not long before I was being approached by others inquiring if they could also work with me.”
SuperSlow protocol requires cool temperatures, fans at each workout station, no mirrors, no music, no waiting for equipment and private one-on-one instruction. Cain realized that the only way to adhere to the protocol was to open her own private gym. Already launching an independent financial advisory practice, and having just had her second son, Lucas, three months before, Cain opened Rock Bottoms in September of 2010.
“I was 26 when I discovered SuperSlow as a client,” Cain says. “I remember being in disbelief that I went from working out four times a week for about 90 minutes a session to once a week with better results than I had ever thought possible. I felt like Wonder Woman! I wanted other people to feel like Wonder Woman or Super Man. And I wanted to help them do it.”
Rock Bottoms trains both men and women ranging in age from 19 to 80-plus years. There is no joining fee or a monthly fee. There are never more than two clients in the facility at a time, and they can fit in a total body workout in 30 minutes once a week with the SuperSlow protocol.
“You can think of SuperSlow strength training as the most effective minimum dosage of exercise required to maintain and increase your strength,” says Cain. “You always work one-on-one with an exercise instructor to ensure proper form and technique for maximum safety and results.”
When you see Cain at work helping her clients, it’s obvious she takes seriously her commitment to help others discover their fitness potential. “I like to see them continuing to enjoy favorite activities like hiking, dancing, tennis, golf and biking with better performance than they’ve likely ever experienced, while reducing the risk of injury.”
She welcomes people who have sustained injuries and are fearful they may not be able to regain their strength and mobility. Results include reducing chronic or acute pain from disease or injury and providing an alternative to medication for those battling osteoporosis by building bone density naturally through resistance training.
“What works for one person does not work for all,” she says. “You are a unique biodiverse creature and will surely also have a unique journey to wellness. Never give up hope that you can find your own path to optimal wellbeing.”
Rock Bottoms is located at 120 Coxe Ave, Suite 2c, one block south of Asheville Brewing. For more information visit rock-bottoms.com or call 828.348.0343.