The Personal TouchIf your efforts to get fit are limited to a bit of bicep-action as you lift and lower your drink in the pub, a personal trainer might be the solution.

Personal training is one of the fastest growing sectors in the health and fitness industry today. The perception that a personal trainer is only for the wealthy is beginning to fade, but this isn’t helped by the way they are often presented in the media. How often do you pick up a celebrity gossip magazine only to be confronted by a clutch of well-known TV and film stars sweating their way around their local park with their trainer?

So why have a personal trainer?
People train for a variety of reasons: it could be to lose weight, to change body shape, prepare for a wedding or holiday, rehabilitating from an illness or injury, to run a marathon, pre- or post-pregnancy or via a doctor referral—the list can go on.
Hiring a personal trainer means clients get regular, dedicated time with their trainer and are completely focused on their own personal health and fitness objectives. Hourly rates for a trainer vary, but on average expect to pay anything between $45 to $75—it costs more in larger cities and sometimes less in remote areas.

Motivation is a big issue with exercise and over 95 percent of gym memberships eventually lapse because of the lack of this vital element—not great value for your money. Having a personal trainer means you can’t ditch your exercise session in favor of the sofa. You know they’ll be knocking at your door—or in the gym—at a certain time to get you moving, and you won’t be able to turn them away. Still, you’ll need to put the effort in yourself—a personal trainer isn’t a magic formula. It won’t turn you into a God or Goddess overnight, so keep your expectations realistic.

How can I tell if the personal trainer is any good?
A personal trainer should go through an initial comprehensive consultation with you, which is typically free of charge. Together you’ll organize a training plan that will not only suit your personal schedule, but your fitness requirements and overall objectives as well. In addition, your plan may include nutritional advice and you may be asked to keep a food diary. It is imperative at this time to inform your trainer of any conditions or limitations that you may have.

It’s important to develop a professional friendship with your personal trainer.
The consultation is your opportunity to see if you think you will click. If there is anything you’re not sure about, tell the personal trainer you need time to think about it, and make sure you get the information you need regarding issues such
as costs, cancellation policy and equipment.

Billy Katz and Hudson Ellis are the co-owners of Simply Fit gyms, located throughout the New Orleans area. Please email your health and fitness questions to health@saintcharlesavenue.com.