In the here today gone tomorrow health and fitness world, Deb and Norm Compton have been rocking it for a combined 80 years. Hawaiian born, Norm started his career as a Hollywood Stuntman on the TV show “Magnum PI.” At the age of 47, he became Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s stunt double on his debut blockbuster movie “The Scorpion King.” Deb, a medical exercise specialist, calls Norm her science project because she’s had to put him back together so many times. Deb’s specialty is working with the special needs population and those with serious issues such as Parkinson’s disease, knee, hip and shoulder replacements, fused disks, even spina bifida. She strives to find answers for the injured who come to her looking for help. Also, dealing with her own issues, which include living with scoliosis, forced her to find solutions. Compton has been certified with the American Consul of Exercise as a Health Coach and as a personal trainer for over 25 years.
We are proud to call this power fitness couple Debbie and Norman Compton our newest Salonpas Wellness Warriors and excited about the release of their book “Stacking- Your Skeletal Blueprint for Posture.” Using a construction theme, the “Stacking Gurus” take 206 bones and build posture from the feet up, naming the muscles, ligaments and tendons, defining their jobs.
“Our book is educational, prioritizing where and how to start toward integrated fitness; explained in an easy to understand way. Thinking from your bones out will help the reader envision the skeleton, bringing new flow and foundation to fitness routines,” says Norm Compton.
Deb continues, “Whether you are a beginner or a competitive athlete recovering from injury, Stacking must be part of the process or the results will be disappointing. These challenging foundational changes are necessary if getting better is part of your plan.” As they say, “If there’s a muscle there’s a reason.” Salonpas sat down with the Comptons to learn more about stacking and how they manage to be ageless
What is “stacking” and how was this therapy developed?
Trial and error. With every injury Norm had as a stuntman brought new awareness on what was needed to come back completely after what we considered to be an incomplete therapy.
Tell us about your new book “Stacking: Your Skeletal Blueprint for Posture” and how it can help people reduce pain and gain increased flexibility?
This is an education, not a workout book, though we do add exercises of “try this” in every chapter By using a construction theme we explain in an easy to understand way, how to build a strong skeletal stack starting from the bottom up and from the bones out. The challenges from clients that have crossed our path, as well as our own issues are the examples of what can go wrong at every level and what it takes to reverse the damage.
Our assessment process teaches us where these breakdowns are so that we can establish your strongest foundation and build from there. Stacking puts “power” into your posture which will give you your greatest defense against the aging body’s number one enemy…GRAVITY!
Describe a typical day for each of you.
Our work schedules vary a lot when it comes to hours and days. We have managed to develop some healthy habits when it comes to eating just to reduce the possibilities of not being prepared. Whether starting the day for work or workout we have a protein shake to take morning vitamins, as well as, either oatmeal or yogurt – both with berries. As far as the protein we have tried many through the years, but we now use a plant-based protein or a Collagen peptides protein. On weekends, we sometimes have a bigger breakfast.
We each take food with us to work so we get what we want, when we want. This includes a flax gluten-free muffin, one or two fruits, a serving of fresh greens, sometimes a cut bell pepper then a source of protein. Every day presents different times for getting a workout in. If Norm doesn’t have to be at work before 6:00 am, he will try to get it in first. Debbie’s usually happens during an opening in the afternoon. We both find different types of circuits help us give the full body attention when we don’t know how many days will be possible. We always workout together on the weekends. If weather allows, we take it outside. We are fortunate to live at the beach, so great choices. Throughout a long walk we add body-weight exercises such as walking lunges, planks, footwork, balancing and stairs or hills. We both have jobs that can be physically demanding so the constant use of “stacking” principles has kept us safer, as well as, not as fatigued.
If Norm’s workday allows we have dinner at home together. Still, keep it simple and balanced. Always a big salad, green vegetable, and protein. We sometimes add sweet potatoes or rice.
What type of clients come to you? Please relay a compelling before and after with a client or two.
Through the years we have had every age and fitness level ask for help. Many have a structural issue, which has caused them not to trust themselves on working out safely. There are the ones that have tried off and on to get in better shape and don’t know what they are doing wrong since they never get the results expected.
Assessments are eye-opening to our clients. They end up learning and understanding their bodies better. For example, a man came to Deb when he was in his mid 60’s. When he was in his early 20’s he had a terrible car accident. Doctors literally had to put him back together – a rod down one thigh, reconstructed elbow and ankle requiring pins and screws, knee, shoulder and spine damage. After a year of rehab he started trying to find how to stay strong safely. He worked with several trainers and just accepted that his pain and discomfort was the price of his previous injuries. Then he came to us. Deb immediately went through our assessments of every joint and limb. What became obvious was how much restriction existed – this translates into extreme tightness in muscles and connectors causing the pain. This didn’t allow him to stack correctly or create a level foundation. He loaded those strained muscles and connectors with every move. It took us several months to unlock these issues and create that balance that he needed. He not only works out pain-free now but has added extreme hiking into his life –including climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
If someone has been sedentary all their life, is it too late to start exercising when you are 50+?
It is never, ever too late to start exercising, period! A few years back a woman came to Deb wanting to know if she would take on her 90-year-old grandfather as a client, Deb agreed. When someone hasn’t worked out in over 40 years you don’t put them through the “Biggest Loser” routine, instead, you teach reaction drills as well as body weight awareness and control. One day the daughter asked why her father, at 90 had to learn how to squat? Deb’s reply was, “He’s gotta get up from a toilet, doesn’t he?” We believe in being strong and mobile until you decide you’re done!
As a couple that works together, are there unique challenges? Please share any advice.
Though we have been together for over 40 years we have never worked together in business. This is all new for us. Through this process, we have learned the most important step for us was learning to identify each other’s strengths and allow those strengths to be heard. Of course, good communication is key! We are learning to communicate in new ways to make the best use of our limited time.
You both look amazing for any age. Please tell us about your daily nutrition and exercise habits.
We have been working out together ever since we met. We believe in and are students of the great Jack LaLanne. As a matter of fact, our friends call us Jack and Jill LaLanne! We consider that a great compliment.
For the last few years, we have created different combinations of exercise that strengthen our posture muscles in forms of circuits. We always favor free weights, body weight, balls and bands over machines. Olympic lifts and plyometrics are also tools we use. These tools allow us to guide and train others regardless of their fitness level. It’s all about moving and challenging your body in all ranges of motion and teaching your muscles how to control your bones. Again, try and get in at least one workout a week and you’ll want to do more!
We try not to over think food – get a healthy protein, fruit, vegetables, some good fat and plenty of water. As far as nutrition, we work with doctors that take food allergies seriously and through annual blood work monitor which supplements are needed. We aren’t the same. This actually will save you money if you don’t play doctor and take only the things you need. We are not perfect but always making an effort.