When PJ answered the phone for our call, she was coming from wrapping up a morning class for Parkinson’s patients. This class, along with much of PJ’s programming, is primarily geared toward helping the 50 and up crowd restore their mobility and strength through simple movements, which in turn diminishes their pain. PJ works with many different clients at Restorative Strength, LLC, including those recovering from surgery or injury, people in need of strengthening before an impending procedure, and people suffering from diseases such as Parkinson’s or MS. However, she also works with young and fit individuals as well.
PJ is a big believer in “teaching people how their bodies are designed to move,” she told us. “In doing so, they calm and strengthen their nervous system which brings about better movement, less pain and allows them to do things they haven’t done in a while.”
You may be surprised to hear that PJ Olsen did not start her career in the fitness space, but in the music industry. After working at a desk for hours on end, she got out of her chair one day at the age of 50 and pain brought her to her knees. This began her quest for pain relief, which resulted in her seeking out every treatment approach she could find. A year and substantial medical bills later, she was still hurting. After further research, she began going to a trainer that utilized kettlebells. She saw such improvements for herself that this led to her pursuing her instructor certification so she could help others suffering from pain. She didn’t initially plan to do it as a profession, just something for herself, “for my confidence,” she said. Then when the record label she worked for shut down, she took it as a sign to do what she really wanted in her life.
PJ, an Original Strength certified pro, draws much of her programming from the Original Strength system—a global fitness routine incorporated into many training segments including the strength and conditioning program for the Cincinnati Bengals. Even physical therapists at Johns Hopkins University utilize many components of this system in their treatment plans. Though Original Strength is great for many high-profile brands, PJ employs it just as well for “the 70-year-old who simply wants to hike a trail without falling.”
When did you start using Captyn?
“I’ve been using Captyn now since June 2020, it’s been fantastic.” PJ told us. “It’s very easy. I make a lot of use of the communication features to message the attendees. It’s been perfect for this endeavor.”
PJ had moved into a boxing gym for her sessions around the beginning of 2020, and was looking for a system that she could use that wouldn’t frustrate her clients—many of whom were older and less tech savvy—and one that didn’t cost much money, seeing as her business was relatively young. Soon after, gyms closed down because of Covid-19 and she was at a crossroads. After a few weeks in lockdown, she began offering Zoom movement classes on Facebook, unsure what would come of it. She hosted free 15-minute sessions, three times per week. To her surprise, several people signed up. She decided to move it to 25 minutes and charge for it. Thus, “Total Body Reset,” a 25-minute class “on a mat or mattress,” was born. PJ quickly developed a membership program for $21 per month ($1.75 per class) where classes were recorded and available for playback in the event the client was unable to make the live offering. Soon, Total Body Reset was thriving, with sign-ups coming in from numerous states and countries. As a result, she started using Captyn to handle this membership program.
What are your favorite local spots in Nashville?
PJ loves to walk and hike. In her hometown of Nashville, Tennessee, there are two places in particular. The first is Radnor Lake State Park—a protected area located right in the heart of the city, which has wonderful trails and plenty of wildlife to see like deer and turtles. The other is the Richland Creek Greenway, which she especially loves for its openness. “Less deer on this one, more golfers, but it’s a nice walk, a nice neighborhood, and it always feels safe.”
Give us a wellness tip:
“If all you have the time to do is five minutes of deep, diaphragmatic breathing per day, then do that.”
One of PJ’s favorite practices is meditation, especially unlocking diaphragmatic breathing. Most people don’t breathe properly—they go shallow from their chest, not deeper from their diaphragm. She recommends daily use of apps such as Calm, Headspace and The Tapping Solution. These are especially effective at getting someone to a point where they can really relax into the right mindset.
Another option is moving meditation. “Even something as simple as a mindful walk, breathing diaphragmatically, looking up and enjoying the beauty of nature will have you feeling rejuvenated 10 minutes later,” she recommends.
If you would like to hear more about Restorative Strength, LLC…