Training: Not Just For Hollywood Celebrities
by Michael J. Merlino, BBA, ACE, BSMI (CPFT, RES,
SCS), Cooper Institute
Owner, Merlino Fitness, MerlinoFitness.com
This months feature article was originally published
in the July, 1998 issue of Houston Sports News magazine.
The first time you heard about someone working
with a personal trainer it was probably a celebrity
such as Sly Stallone training for the next Rocky sequel,
Madonna getting in shape for her latest world tour,
or Oprah realizing the benefits of hard work and exercise
after years of yoyo dieting. Well, move over Hollywood!
Personal training is no longer only for the rich and
famous. Many everyday people from all walks of life
are discovering the benefits of hiring a personal fitness
trainer to help attain their fitness goals.
How Personal Training Can
I asked some personal training clients who
are currently working with trainers in Houston why
they decided to hire a trainer, and how they have benefited
from the experience. Other than the obvious "lose weight,
gain muscle" answer, most state they feel personal
training helps them stay motivated and focused, as
well as increase their fitness knowledge. Lack of motivation
and inadequate fitness and nutrition knowledge can
easily derail even the most carefully crafted workout
program. "If I didn' t set an appointment, I would
not make my workouts," said Robert Michael, who works
out with trainer Russell Castillo at 24 Hour Fitness. " I
was also looking for knowledge, to learn how to work
out. I was never really taught how to lift weights." Another
client, who trains at the downtown YMCA, cited motivation
and knowledge as two of the major benefits received
from personal training. "Now that I have been using
a personal trainer for a year, I am hooked, " said
Karen Kehr. "I find it keeps me motivated and on target,
and I can rely on my trainer for the most current information
on fitness." Personal training and lots of hard work
on her part have paid off for Karen with over 65 pounds
of weight loss within the past year.
Other clients interviewed had already been working
out on their own but did not feel they were getting
the results they desired from their workouts. Learning
proper form, technique and how to safely work each
muscle group and avoid recurring injuries was an important
selling point for the avid exercisers. Time management
was also mentioned as another benefit of working with
a trainer. These clients stated they felt committing
to an appointment made them more accountable for staying
on track with their program. Having a trainer plan
each workout session also saves time and allows the
client to concentrate more on performing each exercise
correctly. The bottom line for most of the personal
training clients seemed to focus on results and reaching
goals. These clients hired a trainer because they were
ready and committed to making a change; now that they
are paying a professional for coaching and guidance,
their expectations and likelihood of reaching their
goals are much higher.
Post rehabilitation from injuries is quickly becoming
another very popular reason for people to retain the
services of a qualified trainer. Physical Rehabilitation
following an injury is sometimes just the beginning
of a conditioning program to improve strength and functionality.
Many therapists and physicians are referring their
clients to an experienced personal trainer once they
have completed their rehabilitation program. With the
limitations that many insurance companies set on the
amount of rehab visits they will pay, the next step
may be to continue strengthening and joint range of
motion improvement with a fitness professional. This
transition has been a very natural one according to
Bob Strozier, who works with freelance trainer, Birgitt
Haderlein. "I recently started chiropractic treatment
for lower back pain and my doctor strongly suggested
that I start working out with the assistance of a trainer.
I have noticed a marked improvement in my posture and
muscle tone and can lift objects that previously would
have caused my back to hurt for days with pain or discomfort."
Personal Training Rates
Hiring a trainer is not cheap, but Houston'
s personal training rates are still affordable compared
to most major cities in the country. Most one hour
sessions range from $25.00 to $70.00 an hour with the
average hourly rate around $45.00. Some trainers and
private studios also offer ½ hour sessions which can
make personal training even more affordable. Expect
rates to be higher for sessions held in your home,
office or a private personal training studio. Just
like any profession, personal training rates may be
higher for a more experienced trainer with many credentials.
In Houston' s competitive personal training market,
many trainers have become much more flexible on their
rate structure and services. Most trainers offer discounts
for purchasing sessions in bulk, sell mini packages
for those who just want to learn how to improve their
own workouts, or simply allow the purchase of sessions
as the client sees fit without making a huge investment.
A Healthy Investment
Investing in your health now and consistently
building fitness into your lifestyle is nothing more
than preventative medicine. Every day, more undisputed
research is pouring in to reinforce the benefits of
consistent, life long exercise. There is nothing more
important than your health. If hiring a trained professional
to get you started or improve your workout program
can help you reach your fitness goals and promote a
more healthy lifestyle, it is an investment that will
pay you big dividends for the rest of your life.
Michael Merlino is a Certified Professional
Fitness Trainer and owner of Merlino Fitness and MerlinoFitness.com.
He trains his clients at the Houston Downtown YMCA and his private
fitness studio. Michael can be reached at 713.523.2577 or e-mail
him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click on one of the links below for more information
on Michael and his fitness services.
View Michael's Bio