Beginning and maintaining a regular exercise regimen can be intimidating. Where do you start, and how can you get the most out of your workout? That’s where personal training comes in. Personal trainers are certified to help you set fitness goals and then meet them, whether you’re looking to lose 20 pounds, tone your arms or bounce back after an injury.
What are some of the reasons why you might hire a personal trainer? For starters, you might not know how to initiate your training regimen. Or maybe you’re unsure of how to stay focused, how to target specific muscles, like the lower back, or how to use the big bad gym equipment.
Personal trainers can also direct you in how to periodically alter your routine, since monotonous workouts aren’t just boring—they challenge your muscles less and less over time. Individuals with specific illnesses and injuries, and athletes training for a sporting event, may also benefit from these one-on-one sessions.
How to Choose a Personal Trainer
If you didn’t hear about your personal trainer through a trusted friend or colleague, then you might want to start by checking out your potential personal trainer’s credentials. Where did the trainer earn his or her certification? What type of license does the person hold? Some personal trainers seek out extra training for exercises like Pilates, kettlebells and kickboxing. Others are specifically trained in rehabilitative exercises for certain injuries.
Look for someone you’re comfortable with, who’s worked with clients that share similar goals as you. After all, you wouldn’t want to be shouted at by an ex-Navy Seal if you’re the sensitive type, or work with a former ballerina if you’re training to become the next welterweight champion. Some studies even say it’s a good idea to work with a personal trainer who falls in the same age group as you.
Other, more technical, factors that can impact the quality of your workout include your personal trainer’s fees, if they offer at-home service as an option, and whether they provide all necessary equipment. Some trainers even offer sports massages post sweat-session.
Benefits of personal training: Both novices and gym-buffs can benefit from personal training. It all depends on what you’re trying to get out of the experience.
One of the hottest names in the celebrity personal trainer circuit is that of pint-sized Tracy Anderson. Known for her grueling regimen, Anderson rose to stardom for chiseling Madonna’s arms and lifting what actress Gwyneth Paltrow described as her “dumpy” butt.
She has also trained a bevy of celebrity beauties like Jessica Simpson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Zooey Deschanel, Courteney Cox, Nicole Richie, Kirsten Dunst, Ellen Pompeo, Kate Hudson, Shakira, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Sex and the City star Kristin Davis.
While Anderson is the latest media maven, there are plenty of other personal trainers who have also created a fitness empire out of helping celebrities get red carpet ready. Harley Pasternak is known to work with Eva Mendes, Lady Gaga and Mandy Moore. Valerie Waters prepped actress—and mom of two—Jennifer Garner for her superhero roles in Alias, Electra and Daredevil, as well as less violent stints in 13 Going on 30 and Juno.