Personalized Fitness Gaining Popularity

If given the choice between a personal trainer making a house call, or schlepping to the gym, more people today are choosing a trainer – even if it costs significantly more.

And it’s not because people are generally lazier.

Personal trainer Victoria Lefebre says that “the biggest reason” has to do with an aging Baby Boomer set who are experiencing health decline. “They want to reverse that, but are no longer sure what to do when they go to the gym.”

That generation is not only seeing faster, and customizable, results from a personal trainer, she says, but “we are more affordable than physiotherapy.”

The increase has, as a result, slowly chipped away at the “misconception that only the wealthy use trainers.”

There’ll be a hundred thousand more personal trainers in the US within the next two and a half years, for a total of 300,000 employed in the field. All tolled, today there is currently a total of eight million Americans who use personal trainers.

One contributing factor for an increase in personal trainers might be, ironically, an uptick in people using exercise videos.

Moshe Schwartz, a personal trainer, and owner of Gentle Motion says that in his experience, many people are using YouTube for workout tips. The problem?

“It’s all intended for the masses, but everybody’s different. Those videos aren’t going to be able to tell you whether you’ve been exercising properly,” he notes.

As a result, “they’ve busted up a muscle, and now need a personal trainer to help them do the exercise correctly.”

In fact, sports or exercise accounts for a third of self-inflicted bodily injuries, according to Statistics Canada.

Still, others are increasingly eschewing the gym simply to get a little one on one time.

“People love the connection they make with personal trainers, especially in this Facebook-centred society,” Schwartz says.

It also gets them results.

One study showed that participants lost 14 pounds of fat with a trainer, as opposed to four pounds without (J Sports Med Physical Fitness, 2009). In another study, those who used a trainer gained 32 per cent more upper body strength, and 47 per cent more lower body strength, compared to without (Ball State University, Indiana, 2008).

Igor Klibanov, CEO, Fitness Solutions Plus believes that a generation’s worth of hunching over computers hasn’t done our collective health any favours.

“A lot of people now have muscular injuries. More common is back pain, and headaches. That’s the nature of the beast,” he notes. “A personal trainer will take your imbalances into account and improve them.”

Meanwhile, Jamie Filer, editor in chief of Muscle Insider magazine and personal trainer, explains that females are drifting towards their own personal trainers for different reasons.

Today’s woman, she says, seeks the enjoyment of lifting weights at the gym, but the men tend to hog them. So they opt for home weight training.

And finally, it seems people are discovering that personal trainers offer more than just health benefits.

“It’s a status symbol to have your own trainer,” offers Filer, “like a Chihuahua in your purse.”

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