Skinny Daily Post


Oprah has one. Meg has more than one. Selena and Cher and Michael and Kevin. They all have their trainers, gurus, personal fitness coaches, counselors, nutritionists. When money is no object, why not?

What’s great about personal training?

*You get a workout sculpted for you, your body, your preferences, your lifestyle.
*You get the attention your body needs to work out with its quirks, its strengths, weaknesses, unevenness, history of injuries, surgeries, etc.
*You get another pair of eyes who can tell, when you can’t, just when your body is suppinated, pronated, twisted, pulling, curling when it shouldn’t be, where it ought to be.
*You get accountability to another person. Sometimes someone telling you to get off your butt is just what you need, or you’ll never get exercise done.
*You don’t quit the exercise early. Someone else pulling you along can often squeeze out a couple more reps than you might be willing to try on your own.
*You can avoid injury, if you’re someone who has a tendency to go “all out” in workouts, another pair of eyes might help keep you from hurting yourself.
*You get an expert. The advantages of working with someone who knows more than you do run deep.

But for must of us, money is an object. A scarce resource. And just before the holidays? The prospect of spending more money on fitness just seems ludicrous.

On the other hand. personal training, professional fitness expertise, comes in lots of forms. Making just a few appointments with a trainer can not only get you through the holidays on track, but help you to push your fitness program up just a peg or two to help you manage the extra calories the season brings.

How to find personal training to fit your budget?

Start with the gyms in your area. Your local YMCA and your sleekest spinach-juice-bar-bearing gyms all have rolodexes full of personal trainers who work in various ways at various prices.

Just joining a gym these days may include a package that includes private instruction, fitness testing, and coaching.

Ask the instructors of your favorite fitness classes. Most of these folks have fitness certifications or are working on them or know someone who does. They might not mind making a little more moula for the holidays.

Sign up for private sessions at your local Pilates studio. Private sessions on the studio equipment are among the best personal training experiences I’ve ever had. The eagle eyes of these highly trained professionals (Go for a Guild-trained, or Stott-trained instructor), will not let a single thing by them. You’ll work, you’ll sweat, but you won’t hurt. Much. Find an instructor at

One of my favorite experiences ever was working with a Total Immersion swimming instructor. Okay, he was real pretty, and that certainly helped, but also he was a pair of eyes able to tell me things I simply didn’t know about myself, that my left arm drags and pulls in a funny direction, that I kick harder with one side of my body than the other. There are TI Instructors all over. Find them at

When you’ve found some possible trainers, your next step is to interview them. Be blunt. Ask questions. Find out if they have been certified for personal training, what their fees are, how and where they work. Recommendations from other fitness professionals, or from physical therapists, or members of your medical team are ideal. If you find them in the yellow pages, arrange to meet them away from your home first and work with them in a gym or at your workplace to develop a comfortable relationship before inviting them into your home.

What personal trainers give you more than anything is both focus and safety. You’re more likely to work within your limits, and against clear and reasonable goals than if you try to dive into a new exercise program that may be over your head, or beneath your abilities.

Consider it. Madonna does. Why not you?

What to look for in a fitness trainer, IFPA

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