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    Personal Training – Is It for You?

    By Cinder Ernst

    I’ve enjoyed being a personal fitness trainer for almost 30 years, whoa! When I pioneered the one-on-one training program at the SF Central YMCA, there was not even a personal trainer certification. Now you can hire a personal trainer easily at any gym, to come to your home or meet you in the park. Trainers are everywhere!

    Thinking of that subject, this is the first article in a 3-part series about personal fitness training:

    • Is personal training right for you?
    • How to find a trainer best-suited to you
    • How to become your own personal trainer

    Have you ever thought, “If I had Oprah’s money I’d be fit because I’d hire a trainer?” I jest a bit with this question, but it points to how we think about personal training. Lots of people believe that if they just had money to hire a personal trainer, they could get, and stay, fit.

    One of the traps that you might get caught in is making your exercise about weight loss. I’m pretty sure Oprah has done that a lot. The weight loss thing is so elusive that it brings mostly weight cycling and frustration. Then you stop exercising. We suggest that you do not use personal training as another way to try to lose weight. Fitness is having the strength and stamina to live your life, and has nothing to do with how you look. Finding the right trainer and instructing them will be the topic of the next article.

    In my decades of being a personal trainer, I have experienced how it works and how it doesn’t. Personal training is a great way to work on your fitness. You show up for your appointment consistently and you work out; so, your strength, flexibility and stamina increase. Your fitness level improves. If you hire a personal trainer, you don’t have to worry about motivating yourself. You only need to keep your appointment.

    One of the pitfalls with personal training is that, without the trainer, most people stop working out. Without the workout, your fitness level diminishes. Personal training does not “train” your capacity to self-motivate your exercise program. It’s good to realize that the personal trainer will be in your life for a long time. One of the wonderful side benefits of having a personal trainer is that if you’ve chosen well, you will enjoy each other’s company. I have clients at the gym that have been with me for decades. We appreciate each other and always have a good time.

    So, when is traditional personal fitness training a good idea?

    If you are pretty good at exercising and you want to take it up a notch, hire a good trainer to push you a bit harder.

    • If you are pretty good at exercising and you want to learn some new techniques or a new sport, hire a trainer to help you. I took up boxing a few years ago and I love, love, love it! I have a boxing coach.
    • If you need to update your current exercise program, personal training can get that done with ease and efficiency.
    • If you are unmotivated and/or resistant to exercise and you can afford personal training for an indefinite time or forever, find the right trainer and go for it.

    What if you are a reluctant exerciser and can’t afford a trainer long-term? You are in the right place, because Easy Fitness has a system that will help you get over that exercise hump. I will give you some tips in the third article in this series about how to become your own personal trainer. And I’m happy to say that you don’t even have to wait for that, as you can buy my new book, Easy Fitness for the Reluctant Exerciser! Find it on Amazon or check my website. Until then, here’s to standing strong, moving forward and being easy.

    Cinder Ernst, Medical Exercise Specialist and Life Coach Extraordinaire, helps reluctant exercisers get moving with safe, effective and fun programs. Find out more at