Saturday, February 24, 2018

Get There with a Personal Trainer

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by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner

When and who to hire to assist you on the Exercise Floor is a personal decision. Use these insights to guide you through the process …


The reasons for hiring a personal trainer are as varied as the fitness goals you hope to achieve. Research proves exercising with another person increases the likelihood of commitment to the routine. When that person is a trainer, you get expertise along with the accountability factor.

Any goal. Any time.
Any goal. Any time.

A personal trainer teaches proper exercise techniques to maximize benefits and minimize injury for the most effective, efficient workouts. A dedicated personal trainer goes beyond instructing the mechanics of a successful exercise program. S/he works at keeping you motivated to achieve your unique fitness goals, especially during those first critical months when developing an exercise routine is essential for success.  This combination of fun and challenging workouts, with motivational encouragement and friendly support, often makes the difference between long-term commitment to exercise versus a short-lived attempt.

For the exercise veteran, a trainer evolves your workout and helps target specific goals, whether an improved golf swing or tightened glutes. You may be fitness savvy, but a fresh perspective or introduction to an innovative routine can boost your success rate and your health.

At some point, a personal trainer can make the difference between commitment to fitness or another failed attempt at a healthy habit; one great game or an entire winning season.


A newbie has much to gain from personal training. The Center acknowledges this with an introductory session to help the unfamiliar feel comfortable and the fitness veteran know where their favorite equipment is located (and perhaps a new way to use it).

Beyond this, hiring a personal trainer helps overcome a fitness plateau. You can determine if goals are realistic and methods to achieve them are efficient. A lack of results in itself can stall progress and discourage to the extent of lost interest and commitment. In this scenario, a trainer can be an inspiration and guide to a more customized fitness program to best suit your needs. You may discover progress was made in areas you were unaware.

A trainer can keep exercise fun and exciting, a necessity to remain committed. Incorporating newness into your routine, whether with exercise tools, different equipment, or a trainer’s specialty can refresh your fitness experience and increase results. A trainer’s passion for kickboxing may mean a little jab-and-punch with your weightlifting. That’ll kick it up a notch!

Another way to avoid boredom is to keep workouts challenging. Working out with a buddy can awaken the competitor within and help you push forward. A trainer offers the same encouragement, however, within safe perimeters. S/he recognizes when you could do more but opt for easy. The difference between excelling and overdoing is clearly defined by a trainer’s expertise. This peace-of-mind allows one to be less inhibited on the Exercise Floor. The safe use of heavier weights, extra reps, or longer sessions accelerate progress physically, and mentally through self-satisfaction.


Each trainer has a unique background to share. The Center’s personal trainers are as diverse as our community, assuring we can help reach specific exercise goals.  Team with a personal trainer who specializes in your needs.

A trainer can help improve a variety of health issues, from chronic arthritis pain to aches from overzealous yard work. If you are recovering from surgery or battling a serious illness, many trainers specialize in rehabilitative workouts. Their guidance complements that of your physicians and physical therapists to help heal. You also avoid further physical stress by assuring a safe, effective workout.

Some trainers have spent time working in a clinical setting, including rehabilitation facilities. They also share personal experiences with their clients. Many have overcome their own physical challenges, from accomplishing significant weight loss to healing from joint-replacement surgery, which led them to this career choice. Providing assistance to myriad Center members exposes personal trainers to many of the same issues. This connection broadens their skills and increases their ability to identify fitness obstacles and perfect ways to overcome them.

Diversity helps you thrive.
Diversity helps you thrive.

Find a trainer who shares your philosophy. Equally important to a good professional match is connecting with the individual. A timid exerciser may not pair well with a trainer who takes a drill-sergeant approach. If training for a competitive event like a marathon or a sport, find a trainer who specializes in this area. Many trainers have athletic backgrounds and offer sport specific training.

Team with a trainer certified in aquatics and make training in the Center pool a reality. Those confident when exercising on land often benefit from a trainer’s expertise when taking it to the water. As you become familiar, you can help create an aquatic program to execute on your own.

After experiencing the invigorating effects of a water workout, you may be inspired to add a Group Fitness aquatic class or swim sessions to your fitness routine. Water training is also the solution for those who suffer from pain, which may be exacerbated on land by straining joints and muscles. Water is soothing, regardless. And, there’s always the Center’s heated spa pool!

Visit the Trainer page (under the Services pull-down) on the Center’s Web site where you will find each trainer’s biographical information, along with fun facts about him/her. Research, and then consult with several trainers of interest. Consider a trial period. Your complimentary trainer evaluation is a great opportunity for this.

For many, personal training is a step– a starting step, an advancing step, or a seasonal step. The need for a trainer is often intermittent, with the overall goal to work out independently. Hire a trainer as needed to accomplish the most along your fitness journey.

A well-balanced program assures strength, cardio, and flexibility training is accomplished at every workout. With a trainer, that well-balanced workout becomes customized and form is perfected for injury-free, optimum results. Also, you gain the knowledge of which methods best target your areas of need. This helps you perform a truly mindful workout. Each move can be visualized as part of a greater whole– a bigger goal– and take your workout to a meditatively therapeutic level. (The imagination is a powerful tool. Blast the residue of that brownie sundae with each rep!)


Open communication is a must.
Open communication is a must.

Be an A+ training client. Now that you have criteria for picking your teammate in exercise, here are suggestions for obtaining the best benefits from each training session. Help your trainer maximize your workout experience by practicing the following tips:

  • Be prepared. Provide feedback on your last session, including how you felt post-exercise, which techniques emphasized your challenge spots, and any insight to the routine.
  • Revisit your fitness goals on a regular basis. Discuss ways in which the exercise program you’ve been practicing should be redirected or revised.
  • For quick reference, write down any questions and bring them to your session. You’ll be less likely to get distracted and off-the-topic, allowing more time and focus for exercise.
  • If you have any issues with your trainer, address them immediately.  As with any relationship, good communication is essential for success.
  • Save chitchat for after your session. Often members enjoy friendships with personal training staff, which enhances their workout experience and provides additional motivation and support. However, it is best to stay focused while in session and share camaraderie when finished.
  • Don’t interrupt your trainer when s/he is with a client. Please be courteous and wait until they are finished before approaching.
  • Bring a workout towel and full water bottle.
  • Be considerate of everyone’s hectic schedules. Give at least 24 hours notice if you need to cancel or reschedule. Show up for your session on time and ready to exercise.
  • Keep your expectations reasonable. Results take time. Slow but steady progress will be apparent.
You are the deciding factor.
You are the deciding factor.

You’re a busy person. Make the most of your time with a fitness experience that works specifically for you. A personal trainer navigates through the assorted terrain that is your fitness journey, and helps you weather the detours and increasing the winnings. Always remember their function is to assist in these endeavors. Part of that responsibility is to help reveal the winner you already are, and capitalize on that fact. After all, you are the one who has to do the heavy work!



“10 Reasons to Hire a Personal Trainer,” by Paige Waehner at


Steps to success (introductory photo):


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