If you're having a hard time getting motivated at the health club, or just don't feel like you're getting enough out of your exercise routine, consider hiring a personal trainer. More than just an instructor, a personal trainer can help you come up with the rightworkout plan to meet your goals. Whether it's losing a few pounds, toning up your arms, or flattening your stomach for swimsuit season, a personal trainer can help you get there.
How a Personal Trainer Can Help
- Get started. A personal trainer can guide you down the path to fitness by creating a specific exercise routine for you.
- Learn proper technique and form. If you're not doing exercises the right way, it can lead to injury that can sideline you. By doing them right, you're staying safe and also getting the maximum benefit from your workout.
- Achieve your goals. If you've always wanted to lose that last 20 pounds, tone up your body, or just be a healthier person, but you haven't quite been able to get there on your own, a personal trainer can help keep you on track.
Even a few sessions with a personal trainer can be worthwhile. "Everyone can benefit from education and different points of view,” says Jody Swimmer, an exercise specialist and owner of Fitness on Frankfort in Louisville, Ky.
The Personal Trainer: Finding the Best Trainer for You
If you think a personal trainer might be beneficial, keep these things in mind when searching for someone who fits your needs:
- Try out a trainer. "If you're a member of a gym, ask for a list of trainers, and ask what their education and experiences are, and then watch them. Or just buy one session and get a feel for their personality and skills," says Swimmer.
- Look for qualifications and style. You want a personal trainer who is educated and certified by a reputable organization, such as the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Council on Exercise. Beyond certification, you want to make sure that the trainer is a good fit for you and your workout style.
- Search online. Many organizations that certify personal trainers have Web sites that allow you to search for such a trainer in your area. This may be a good place to start if you don’t belong to a gym.
- Ask yourself how well they teach. A personal trainer should do more than just give you exercises to do. "From a one-on-one personal training experience, it should be all about you, your needs, and special issues you're dealing with," Swimmer says. "Your trainer shouldn't be someone to just lead you through exercises; they should be teaching you these exercises."
Personal training offers benefits, but at a price. On top of a gym membership, an hour of personal training can run from $20 to $100. On average, expect to pay around $50 for an hour of personal training.
So if it's worth the cost and you find a personal trainer you like, try some sessions to start getting yourself into shape. Take a few to get you started, and maybe a few refreshers every now and then to make sure you're getting the most out of your workouts.