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Beauty - Fitness 

A personal trainer decision 




Question form a reader: Carla from New Jersey, writes, "I am starting to workout with weights. I got some books from the library and I felt confident after all the bookish knowledge that I gained from my research.

But I wonder if I should I hire a personal trainer. I do not have a lot of money to spend on a personal trainer and these folks are typically quite expensive. What can you tell me about it?"


A personal trainer is definitely a good advisor to have, especially if you are starting a strength-training program. It does not come cheap, but it is like taking lessons in anything else - it is an investment in you and your health. 

Advantages of having a personal trainer

Trainer does the thinking.  The trainer has experience and knowledge about different body types and the type of exercises that can produce desired results for each type. First, s/he will determine your initial state better than you can. S/he will also be able to develop a program that is safe, but effective for you. 

Teacher.  A good trainer will be able to teach you how to do the exercises when you are alone. This is one of the most valuable learning from a personal trainer unless you are planning to always have one. Most of us do not have the freedom to have a permanent personal trainer; so it is always a good idea to learn the technique from the trainer in a few sessions and then workout on your own. You can go back to the trainer every couple of months when you have achieved your goals or if you just want to move to the next level.

Changes.  The personal trainer will vary your routine so you do not plateau or get into a rut in your fitness level and routine. This is a very common problem among those who do not have a trainer.

Weaknesses. If you have any health problems, such as bad knees, a trainer will design a program that is safe for the knees and that will strengthen them. 

Alternatives to personal trainers
If you cannot have a personal trainer, there are still a few other alternatives:

Do it online. There are some good services online to have a personal trainer who will develop a program for you and you can also ask questions. This service is obviously much cheaper (the communication is either by email or chat) and you can do your workout at home or in your gym.

Get a buddy. Workout with a friend. Most trainers will give a discount for two or more people. You can team up and both of you can later on share your knowledge and help each other.

Books/videos. You can learn many techniques by studying from a book or a DVD, but it will not be as effective as a trainer will be. The best is to combine both so you can learn faster.

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