Tag Archives: fitness training

What Are Your Scales Telling You Really?

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I’m not advocating that you should throw out your scales but you should be aware that your scales don’t tell you what you need to know most and that is “what are your body fat percentages and distribution?” It’s not just our health we seek to improve when we aim to lose weight, let’s be honest we want to look as good as we feel. In fact the two go hand in hand, often times the better you look the better you feel. By far the best way to look fitter and be healthier is to shift the focus of your efforts from losing weight to gaining muscle and lowering your overall body fat percentage.

Measuring your body fat percentage is a great way to keep track of your progress. It’s a far more accurate indicator of your fitness level than weight alone. That’s because when you’re working out regularly, your muscle mass goes up and your fat goes down, sometimes it’s an even swap and the readout on your standard scales won’t necessarily reflect that change. Knowing your body fat levels gives you a better indicator of how well your program is working. A healthy range for women is 20 to 25 percent, but for a leaner more defined look aim for around 18 to 22 percent and for men 18 to 24 percent with an athletic look coming in at around 14 to 17 percent. N.B. everyone is different and different bodies will have different appearances even if the percentage body fat is the same, this can be attributed to bodyfat distribution. If you have reached 18% body fat or lower now is the time to switch your focus to building muscle. At this point it isn’t necessary to concentrate your efforts on losing much more bodyfat indeed it can start to become unhealthy. You need a minimum amount of fat on your body in order to perform optimally and not have symptoms such as Amenorrhea, bone loss, and low energy.

Types of Measurements
There are a number of ways to get your body fat percentage measured. Some of the more common include; hydrostatic weighing, bio-impedance scales, and skin fold callipers.


Hydrostatic weighing
Hydrostatic weighing is the most accurate way to gauge body fat percentage. Unfortunately, it’s not the most practical—it involves being dunked under water in a gigantic water tank, while exhaling entirely.

Skin fold calliper
Skin fold callipers can also be accurate, but there’s a catch—you have to be measured by the same skilled person like myself, every time. This eliminates measuring differences from person to person. If you are working with a trainer who has been trained to use skin fold callipers, they should measure you once a month with callipers to get the most accurate assessments.

If you don’t have a trainer to help you out, however, your best bet is to use a bio-impedance scale. To get the most accurate measurement on a scale, always do it at the same time of day and make sure you are hydrated properly. The most common issues that will throw the scale off are varying levels of hydration, ladies if it’s that time of the month (don’t measure yourself during menstruation), or if you have food in your stomach.

Clothing indicators
Finally, my favourite tool: A pair of jeans. They don’t lie. Use a pair of jeans that you can’t button and try them on every 3-4 weeks to see if you are making progress. Whether the scale is budging or not doesn’t matter if your jeans are buttoning.

Muscular Male Torso Isolated on White

Ways to Lower Your Body Fat
There are two ways to lower your body fat: Lose fat (obviously), and build muscle. Extra muscle will rev up your metabolism to help burn off some of the fat. Plus, it’ll make you look leaner overall.

The best way to decrease your body fat percentage is to use a full body strength training program two to three times a week, using heavier weights with lower reps. This will stimulate your body to build lean body mass while burning fat. For the best fat-torching results, add in one to two days of interval-training cardio on top of your lifting routine.

And, of course, you cannot train with a bad diet so you’ll need to dial in your food by fueling your body highly nutritious protein, fruits, and veggies throughout the day.

Check out some of my other articles on diet and training or for more intense training tips visit my sibling site manicworkouts.com


Six Fat Loss Training Mistakes

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Edited by Steven Milner IIST

It may not be ingrained in our male DNA, but when most of us start lifting weights for the first time, it sure seemed like all of our workouts (no matter what the goal) were genetically predestined to be bench press, biceps curl, and triceps pushdown marathons 4-5 times per week and not much else. I know that my own workouts sure looked like this when I first started weight training. I still visit a typical commercial gym and each time I do, I feel like I have time warped back to the 80s as I see lots of guys doing the same stuff everyone did over 20+ years ago. For whatever reason, not much has changed and it’s not their fault, they just don’t know any better. So what’s a bloke to do? I am going to show you how to do better based on several things that we have learned over the years. First, let’s be honest blokes, you could probably stand to lose some “lb’s” of body fat. A lot of guys, myself most definitely included, tend to find ourselves in a perpetual “bulking” or mass-gaining mode.

Why is this?

Interestingly, for a lot of us blokes, the mirror often lies and you will see a much leaner person staring back at you. If you were to take an honest self-evaluation such as a body composition test or take some simple photos with only your trunks on, you may be very surprised and/or shocked with the results. It can be a real eye-opener when you learn that you are more than likely not nearly as lean as you think you are. In other words, that 14 odd % body fat that you think you are sitting at is probably much closer to 22%. If you have taken this evaluation and you have decided that it is time for you to get leaner, it is also high time that you overhaul your weight training program to make it more suited to the task at hand. I have written training programs for more than a few men who have come from the same place that you and I have come from. These guys are now typically middle aged and looking to shed some fat, stay strong, and still feel a bit athletic while holding on to their inner “bloke.” I am going to share with you what I feel are some of the biggest mistakes that I see most guys make when left to their own devices as it pertains to their weight training programs when seeking fat loss. Fixing these mistakes immediately will fast track your progress and get you to your fat loss goals. I am then going to share a snapshot of a training program that we have used with great success for blokes just like us.

1.  Blokes Organize Their Training Like a “Bodybuilder.”

I certainly mean no disrespect to the competitive bodybuilding community by the above statement, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with bodybuilding as a competitive pursuit. There is certainly a lot to learn from bodybuilders. In fact, most blokes get our first exposure to weight training through bodybuilders via muscle magazines and the Internet. The problem is that most guys think that following the routines of competitive bodybuilders is the best way for the average person to train for fat loss without really giving it enough thought. They will typically organize their training sessions in terms of the body parts or muscles trained. This is actually not very logical and not as productive as it could be since in reality your body works as an integrated unit and not as individual parts or muscles. By the way, have you ever wondered how it was decided that certain muscles get their own day while others don’t? It makes no real sense to base how we allocate our exercises to our training days by simply considering muscle groups as the main organizing factor. It makes much more sense to base the allocation in regards to what the body does as it relates to basic human movements. If you think more in terms of training basic movements and the body as a whole (the way it actually works), you will actually train muscles as a by-product and get the results you desire.

“When we just train muscles, we forget movements, when we train movements, we never forget muscles.” Nick Winkleman

The other big problem with this approach is that time is a major limiting factor for most typical blokes. We all have extremely busy lives with jobs and families. Do you really have the time to dedicate to training that a professional bodybuilder (whose job is usually his training) would have? I don’t think so. Real life experience shows that full body weight training routines done three times a week based on a split of basic human movements will work far better for most blokes, most of the time, in terms of fat loss training. This allows you to train with a higher frequency (you will actually hit muscle groups more often than typical body part split routines) and get better results. Instead of classifying exercises by muscle group or body part, try to classify them simply based on what they are – basic movements, then we allocate these movements to training days. Squat, Hinge, Push, Pull, Single Leg Stance, Lunge, Core.

2.  Blokes Think More is Better.

More than likely, because of the heavy mainstream bodybuilding influence on general training that we mentioned above, most blokes usually think they must train on that good old 5-6 times per week body part split routine with extremely high volume to get any results. They also often think they must use multiple exercises for each body part with tons of sets. You must realize that you make gains while you are recovering from training, not during the actual training itself. There is also no need for exercises that are redundant. Think about it, what the heck is the leg extension going to do for you that the squat doesn’t? The key is to focus on quality and not so much on quantity. As fitness expert Paul Chek has stated, “exercise is like a drug.” With the correct dose and the correct drug, you will get the desired response and it all works. If you overdose or take the wrong drug, you can do more harm than good and not get the desired response. One of the reasons why a three times per week full body routine works so well is that you get a high frequency of training without over doing it in terms of volume.

3.  Blokes Do Too Many Single Joint Exercises.

Is it a crime to do biceps curls or triceps pushdowns? No, but when the volume/number of these types of exercises dominate your program, you will greatly diminish the effectiveness of your workouts, particularly when it comes to fat loss. If you focus your training on heavy, multi-joint (compound) exercises such as squats, deadlifts, various presses, push ups, rows, chins/pull-ups, etc., you will train much greater amounts of muscle overall, and this will lead to more calories burned during and after your workouts. As a general rule, the more muscle involved in an exercise the better. But what if a bloke’s goal is to also get bigger guns? Realize that spending the majority of your time and effort on getting stronger on chin-ups/pull-ups, various rows, and various types of presses will get your arms bigger faster than anything else. If you are unable to only do a single unassisted chin-up, what do you think will do more for your bicep size, those 25-30lb curls or focusing all your time and energy on working on that chin-up and getting to the point where you are doing multiple reps with an extra 25-50lbs hooked up around your waist?

4.  Blokes Neglect Lower Body Training.

Squats aren’t simply a leg exercise and deadlifts aren’t simply a back exercise. They are full body exercises that involve just about every muscle in the entire body.  If you have a 315lb. bar on your shoulders or upper back and you are getting ready to bang out a set of squats for 8 reps, realize that not just your legs are involved in the exercise. Your shoulders, upper back, core, etc., are all very heavily involved. They need to be big enough and strong enough to support and move that load. A lot of blokes think, “I get enough “leg” work from running and playing football/rugby, so I don’t need to do squats, deadlifts, lunges, step ups, etc.” Sorry, but that’s just not the same thing! Understand that approximately 70% of your muscle mass is in your back, hips and legs. If you omit these exercises, you are severely limiting your results. Dare to be different and dare to get better results.  At some gyms you will see “informed” trainers doing deadlifts, squats, lunges, and various single leg exercises, thereby training “legs.” It is part of their culture and one of the reasons that they get the results that they do.

5. Blokes Rest Way Too Long Between Sets.

You know the scene at the local gym – guys taking 5-10 minutes between sets of the same exercise chatting with their mates while discussing any number of topics and paying no attention to time. This is not very effective at all if your goal is fat loss! Research and practical experience has shown us that shorter rest periods lead to maximal metabolic disturbance possibly due to the hormonal influence that is set off by these shorter rest periods. It also allows us to increase overall caloric burn and total work performed in the time allotted for the training session. The key is being able to combine shorter rests without compromising the use of heavier loads in our compound exercises. How do we do this? Quite simply, we pair non-competing exercises with short rests (30-60 seconds) between them. As an example we might use the following pairing in a program:
1A: Push Ups             2-3 sets                      12 reps                       60 sec. rest
1B: Reverse Lunges  2-3 sets                      12 reps each              60 sec. rest This allows us to increase the actual amount of work density done in a specified time period, as opposed to doing each exercise one at a time with longer rests, which leads again to better fat loss results.

6.  Blokes Think, “The Bench Press is More Than Just an Exercise, it is a Way of Life!”

I don’t think that there is any doubt that the bench press is the most overused exercise of all time. But, let me state this up front, there is nothing wrong with the bench press! I love the bench press (as most blokes do). The problem is when the bench press becomes your entire workout each time, rather than simply a part of your training program. In other words, most blokes simply bench press way too often and with way too much volume. This creates massive imbalances about the shoulder girdle. You need to strive for some sort of balance in the amount of pushing and pulling movements that you perform. Since most guys have been doing way more pushing for such a long time, it is a wise plan to purposely imbalance your training in the other direction in performing more pulls than pushes. You need to include lots of inverted rows, face pulls, dumbbell rows, and cable rows. Remember the fact that 70% of muscle mass is in the back and legs? This will do your shoulders a lot of good and help out with the fat loss process all at the same time. By the way, in looking at the push pattern from a fat loss standpoint, the good old-fashioned push up is probably a better choice than the bench press actually, as it involves a greater amount of muscle mass and integrates the core to a greater extent at the same time.


Edited for a UK audience from an original article by Craig Rasmussen “Fat Loss for Dudes”



The busy school year brings habits that encourage kids to become overweight or obese. Here’s some ideas on how to help your children lose weight or stay fit all year long. Last year, a study from the Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth UK, revealed that:
Three quarters
of parents failed to recognise their child was overweight.
33 percent of mums and 57 percent of dads considered their child’s weight to be ‘about right’ when, in fact, they were obese.
One in ten parents expressed some concern about their child being underweight when they were actually a normal, healthy weight.

Figures taken from the most recent large-scale survey in the UK shockingly reveal that 33 percent of girls and 25 percent of boys aged between two and nineteen years are obese or overweight. Parents need to be aware that healthy weight in childhood is more than an aesthetic issue, and looking good isn’t always the same as feeling good. Studies show that obesity in children and teens can be a predicter of not only a person’s weight later in life, but also overall health, longevity and quality of life. A recent study of 227,000 Norwegians who have been followed from adolescence to middle age found that those who were overweight or obese as teens were over three times more likely to die of heart disease. In addition, the risk of death from colon cancer and respiratory diseases, including asthma and emphysema, was two to three times higher in the subjects who were overweight or obese as teens. However, getting children to eat healthy and exercise sufficiently is easier said than done. Read on for tips on getting children to eat healthier and exercise more.

Nutrition Tips to Fight Obesity
Make favourite dishes healthier.
You don’t have to serve kids only salads and roast chicken. But do make their favourites, like burgers, pasta, and pizza in a healthier way. Try using olive oil instead of butter, and reducing the amount of cheese, cream, butter and other high-fat dairy products used in the recipes. Sneak extra veggies into tomato sauces, or use green peppers and broccoli as pizza toppings. For sandwiches, use whole-grain bread instead of white bread and low-fat versions of dressings like mayonnaise.
Pack a lunch.
Let your child help plan his or her weekly school lunches. Not only will you likely save money, the meal will be healthier, too.
Limit pop and fruit juice
Both contain lots of sugar and calories. If you do serve juice, dilute it with soda water to lower the calories. Keep filtered water in the fridge so it is available and cold when kids need a drink, that is if you don’t trust the tap water.
Eat meals together.
Having family meals together helps adolescents eat more fruits, vegetables, and fibre and fewer fatty foods and soft drinks. Even if you don’t have time to eat a family meal every night, make sure you have healthy options in the kitchen to avoid last-minute dinners of fast food or takeout, which tend to be higher in fat and calories than home-cooked meals. Some good options to have on hand are pre-washed lettuce, baby carrots, cold cuts of meat,  whole-grain bread and low fat spreads and dressings.
Offer treats in moderation
Ice cream, cake, sweets and biscuits can be limited to special occasions like birthday parties, holidays, amusement park trips, and other infrequent occurrences or celebrations. As alternatives, keep plenty of fruits like apples, bananas, grapes, and berries washed and easily accessible.

Exercise Tips for Losing Weight or Staying Fit
Sneak in exercise.
If you make working out into a game or play time, kids will be more interested. Try skipping, roly poly, playing tick, and jumping for children 5 to 8 year olds. Older kids can play statues, jump rope games, relay races, or run obstacle courses. The key is to make exercises “FUN”ctional. Give it a go, the old favourites are still the best. Kids love to run about and make it look effortless for hours sometimes, ever notice how all this stops when kids get fat?
Turn off the TV.
Studies have found direct correlation between the number of hours of television that children watch and their risk of obesity. Video games and computer usage contribute to the problem as well. Limit the time your child spends on these sedentary activities to no more than an hour per day.
Chores count as exercise, too.
Making the bed, mowing the lawn, and raking leaves all count as exercise. Assign older children more active chores and they’ll exercise without even knowing it.
Get extra help.
If your child’s school doesn’t offer extracurricular or organized team sports, search out programs in your local community or classes at the local school gym.
Set a good example.
Your kids watch what you do, so set a good example by improving your nutrition and exercise habits as well.


Doctor’s orders for top fitness

Doctor’s orders for top fitness

Published on Thursday 24 November 2011 08:23 at Lancashire Evening Post

Doctors have launched a new scheme to avoid complications during operations and get patients back home sooner.

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, which runs Royal Preston and Chorley and South Ribble Hospitals, has invested more than £40,000 in cardiopulmonary exercise testing equipment as part of its new ‘fitness for surgery’ initiative.

Fitness for surgery will benefit 500 patients a year and give medics a much better measurement of a patient’s fitness and the risks of surgery.

This allows specialists to effectively plan the level of care and rehabilitation a patient will need after surgery and can identify patients who may be at risk of complication during the operation, so more appropriate treatment can be arranged.

Bridget Reynolds, who lives in Longridge, near Preston, underwent the test in preparation for surgery to remove a polyp. She said: “I had the cardiopulmonary test during my pre-op assessment.

“It is really reassuring to know that you’re fit and well for surgery and I now feel less anxious about the operation.

“Although it’s a long time since I took vigorous exercise the whole experience was quite comfortable. It’s a bit like having a go on an exercise bike. In fact I might get one for Christmas!”

Dr Tom Owen, consultant in anaesthesia and critical care said: “The fitness for surgery programme will help us to avoid potentially dangerous complications during surgery and allow us to identify patients who are likely to recover quickly after their operation and be able to go back home sooner.” Chris Simms, divisional director of surgery, said: “No one likes to stay in hospital for longer than they need to and the fitness for surgery programme will enable a better recovery following an operation.”

Doctor’s orders for top fitness edited by STEVEN MILNER IIST VTCT

Is there any merit to Functional Strength Training?

Q: What is functional strength training?
A: Functional strength training has become a popular buzzword in the fitness industry. Unfortunately, it is also subject to wide interpretation.

In extreme cases some personal trainers believe that by mimicking the explosive, ballistic activities of high-level competitive athletes, they are training in a functional manner. All too often, however, such training programs greatly exceed the physiological capabilities of the average exerciser, which ultimately increases the possibility that an injury might occur. Most would agree that there is nothing functional about sustaining an injury due to improper training. In many respects, functional strength training should be thought of in terms of a continuous movement. Training to improve functional strength involves more than simply increasing the force-producing capability of a muscle or group of muscles. Functional strength training involves performing work against resistance in such a manner that the improvements in strength directly enhance the performance of movements so that an individual’s activities of daily living are easier to perform. Simply put, the main aim of functional training is to transfer the improvements in strength achieved in one movement to enhancing the performance of another movement by affecting the entire neuromuscular system. Accordingly, individuals shouldn’t rely on any single group of exercises. Individuals should use all the weapons in their training arsenal. Functional strength training should serve as a supplement to traditional strength training, not as a replacement.

Properly applied, functional strength training may provide exercise variety and additional training benefits that more directly transfer improvements to real-life activities.

Source: Bryant, Cedric X. 101 Frequently Asked Questions about “Health & Fitness” and “Nutrition & Weight Control”.

Working the Transverse Abdominals

transverse abdominalsWorking the Transverse Abdominals


Ladies, ever wonder why you never seem to get that flat stomach when you’re relaxed?  No matter how effectively you work your abs typically you will be working them in just one direction, up and down, or, more properly along the length of the rectus abdominus. But what about the abdominals that go from side to side? Can we exercise those?  Well, yes you can, the transverse abdominals (TA) flatten the tummy from side to side, so read on because I’ve got some information to share with you about working your Transverse Abdominals.
The TA complex belong to a group of core muscles that lie below the rectus abdominus and are often neglected in standard ab routines. Typically most abdominal exercises target the vertical rectus abdominus largely ignoring the horizontal transverse abdominals. Even crunches, the staple of most abdominal workouts, do nothing for the transverse abdominals. This group of muscles connect to both the lower back and the rectus abdominus to form a powerful support for the entire abdomen. Any routine aimed at flattening the stomach should include the transverse abdominals as a focus. Using the following exercises, you can target your transverse abdominals and really make progress towards that flat tummy.

Transverse Abdominal Crunch
Lie face up on a mat and plant your feet flat on the floor about shoulder width apart, maintain contact between the mat and the small of your back. With the fingers of both hands find the tips of your hip bones on either side of your tummy. Move your fingers inwards slightly towards your centre line just off the hip bone, don’t worry your hip bones are easy to find even if you’re carrying a lot of fat. Now this is an easy exercise to master once you know how to “feel” the transverse muscle working, here’s how, press down slightly with your fingers and cough! You will feel the transverse abdominal wall tighten and jump beneath your fingers. To use the exercise, first cough to initiate the contraction and then hold for a count of ten and relax, repeat for sets.

Pelvic Tilts
Lie on your back on a flat surface, such as a mat or a bench. Roll a towel to cushion the small of your back. Bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. Raise your pelvis off the floor,  hold momentarily, and lower under control. Repeat for sets. Maintaining a controlled movement is crucial to this exercise, use your abdominal muscles not your body’s momentum to do the work. Be sure to keep your upper body on the floor throughout to target the transverse complex.

Crunchless Crunch
This exercise is fairly simple but can be difficult to master. In a nutshell we’re going to try to pull our belly button in towards our spine, this involves muscles which you may not be accustomed to working, it can take time to make the mind muscle connection. Start by either lying on your stomach or supporting yourself on hands and knees. You might want to try both ways and see which helps you feel the exercise better. Relax your body as much as possible; use only the lower abdominals to try to move your belly button toward your spine. Hold for ten seconds. If holding for ten seconds feels easy, hold for a longer period. You should aim to hold the contraction until you either cannot feel it anymore, or you feel other muscles working harder than the transverse abdominus. When you feel this, release the contraction and relax.

Scissor Kicks
Again start by lying on a mat or bench, place your hands under your backside and try to keep the small of your back pressed down. Start by slowly raising one leg to a height of about ten inches, then slowly lower it back to the floor, as your lower one leg, raise the other. Repeat this movement for reps and sets. Keep disciplined, focus, don’t let momentum rob you. Your upper body should remain on the floor through the entire move.

Transverse abdominals aren’t show muscles but if you want a flatter tummy vitalising these muscles will take you a lot closer to your goals. Exercises like these are key to any tummy flattening plan, and they are especially good for pregnant and postnatal women.

I wrote this post originally for my bodybuilding blog but it applies equally well to both men and women who want to feel better in their clothes and themselves.

10 Reasons To Use A Personal Trainer

10 Reasons To Use A Personal Trainer

By Steven Milner IIST VTCT

We all need a little help with exercise sometimes, whether we’re just starting out or we’ve been at it for a long time. Still, there are people who shy away from personal training, unsure of what they’ll get out of the experience or whether it’s worth the money. There are a number of reasons people work with per trainers.  Some want an individualized program so they can lose weight or get in shape while others simply need to be held accountable for their workouts.   Wherever you are in your exercise journey, a personal trainer may be just what you need to take it to the next level.

1. You’re Not Seeing Results
If you’ve been exercising consistently for several weeks or months and aren’t losing weight or reaching your goals, hiring a trainer may be a good choice. A trainer can look at your current program and eating habits and help you see where you could make changes to create more effective workouts. A trainer can also help you determine if the goals you’ve set are realistic for you, hold you accountable for your workouts and help you stay motivated to exercise.  You may even find that you are getting results, just not in the way you expected, something a trainer may see more clearly from the outside.

2. You Don’t Know Where to Start
Knowing how to set up a complete exercise schedule that includes all the activities you need to do – cardio, weight training and flexibility – can be overwhelming.  Add the time and knowledge it takes to choose exercises, weights, reps and sets and you may quit before you even start.This is where a personal trainer can be the biggest help.  He can help you maximize your time while keeping you within your own limits so you don’t overdo it. He can also help you set goals and map out a specific schedule so you know when, how and where you’ll fit in your workouts.

3. You’re Bored with the Same Old Workouts
If you’re an experienced exerciser, maybe you haven’t considered working with a personal trainer. However, it can be a great choice if you need some variety in your workouts. A trainer can bring a fresh perspecitve and new ideas to challenge both your body and your mind. Even if you just do a few sessions or meet every few weeks, you’ll find it refreshing to have new workouts and new exercise toys to play with. A trainer can also introduce new ways to exercise – Circuit training, different methods of strength training and different types of equipment you’ve never tried before.

4. You Need to Be Challenged
If you’re like me, you tend to slack off on your workouts sometimes, especially when things get tough. A trainer can motivate you to push past those self-imposed limits, encouraging you to lift heavier, go longer and challenge yourself more than you would on your own. You’ll find it’s very hard to slack off with a trainer standing over you, telling you to do just…one…more…rep!  You may even find hidden strengths you never knew you had, which can motivate you even more.

5. You Want to Learn How to Exercise on your Own
Even if your goal is to create your own workouts and exercise by yourself, hiring a trainer for a few sessions can be a great benefit for learning the right way to exercise. This is especially true if you want to learn more about the muscles in your body, the exercises that target those muscles and how to do those exercises with great form. Just a few sessions can teach you a lot about your body, how it works and how to train it in the most effective way.

6. You Need Accountability and Motivation
Trainers come with built-in motivation. Not only are you investing money into your exercise program…you’re investing time as well. There’s nothing like a standing appointment to get your butt in gear for a workout. Not only that, a trainer provides some accountability so, even when you don’t have a session, you know your trainer will be asking if you did your planned workouts. Just knowing that may make it harder to skip your workouts.

7. You Have a Specific Illness, Injury or Condition
If you have any specific issues like arthritis, heart disease, old injuries, etc., working with an experienced trainer (who works with your doctor, of course) can help you find a program to help heal injuries and avoid any further problems. It’s also a great idea to work with a trainer if you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant and want a safe, effective workout to keep you healthy and fit. Keep in mind that you want to find a trainer who has experience with your issues and make sure that trainer works closely with your doctor and/or physical therapist for the best experience.

8. You’re Training for a Sport or Event
If you’re training for a marathon, a golf tournament or some other type of sport or event, an experienced trainer can help you figure out what you need to do to stay strong without taking away from your other training. She can also help create a training program and map out a plan for the coming event. Just make sure she’s experienced in the sport you’re training for since not all trainers do sport-specific training.

9. You Want Supervision and Support During Workouts
Some people know how to exercise and they even know how to do the exercises correctly, but they like having a trainer around for support and supervision. If you’re lifting very heavy weights or need someone to help with partner-type exercises, working with a trainer might be a good choice for you. He can spot you during workouts and help you come up with a good training plan for your goals.

10. You Want to Workout at Home
If you’d like to exercise at home but either don’t have a lot of equipment or aren’t sure how to use what you have, in-home personal training is an excellent choice. A trainer can show you exactly how to use what you have to get the best workout for you or she can bring equipment with her to give you a great workout. She can also make recommendations for equipment that will help you reach your goals.