Should baby boomers hire personal trainers?

The whole idea of a “personal trainer” came along as we baby boomers were coming along in the exercise craze. But now, how is it working? Well, according to BoomerCafé contributor Lorie Eber of Irvine, California, maybe not so well. She’s a personal trainer herself and here’s her own answer to the question, Should Boomers Hire Personal Trainers to Get in Shape?

I work out every day. That includes vacations. I’ve even been known to get up before the crack of dawn to get to 24 Hour Fitness before an all-day flight. The only time I slack off is when I’m sick and the last time that happened was ten years ago.

Certified Personal Trainer Lorie Eber.

Certified Personal Trainer Lorie Eber.

I’m a Certified Personal Trainer (certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine) but I don’t train clients. Why not? Because personal training doesn’t work in the long run. I’m sure I’ll get blowback from my fellow trainers for saying that, but it’s the unvarnished truth. Time and time again I see clients struggle through their prepaid sessions and then disappear from the gym. Many people hire a personal trainer because they want to lose weight, yet they continue to overeat. How is the trainer supposed to control the jaw muscle? Some of the blame goes to trainers who try to design either the toughest or the wackiest workout ever. Presuming that the client will be able to maintain that routine is like expecting to play like Roger Federer after taking six lessons from Stefan Edberg.

My advice for those who want to get in shape for good is to shun the personal training racket entirely. If you’re a lifting novice, then sign up for a single session with a trainer who is amenable to giving you a weight circuit that you can do on your own.

trainer

Consistency is the thing to aim for to stay in shape. Many people work out in fits and starts. They’re able to hit the gym or go for their run for a few weeks or months and then life happens and moving their body is the first thing to go.

Here’s how to keep your body in shape:

Think Exer-Snacks

Lack of time is the reason most people get off the exercise bandwagon. Stop thinking that your workout is a 30 minute run or an hour in the gym. What happens when you can’t find that time? You do nothing. A better alternative is to incorporate a few exer-snacks into your slack days. Think in terms of sneaking in a few 10-15 minute walks or video workouts. Even something as simple of taking the stairs helps. Just find excuses to get that body moving throughout the day.

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Find Something You Enjoy

There are a million ways to get your heart rate up. If you hate running, don’t do it. If walks bore you, join a softball league. Like to dance? Find a partner or take a Zumba class.

Lighten Up

You don’t need to feel like a rag doll or sweat a lake under your spin bike to stay in shape. If you try to kill yourself every time you work out then you’ll just find excuses to avoid it.

Calendar Exercise

Make an exercise appointment with yourself on the calendar in your phone. It should have the same priority as a work-related meeting or important social event. If you don’t give exercise the importance it deserves, you’ll be scheduling doctor’s appointments.

Try New Things

Your body has a habit of saving energy once it identifies a predictable routine. That means that you need to constantly change things up. Be adventurous. There’s a new workout conceived every day!

Read more about Lorie Eber online.

4 Comments

  1. Great Advice. I am all for personal trainers to learn how to exercise the right way.
    But I think a lot of people have trainers just to make themselves feel like they have to exercise …since they paid for it. Basically, the hard part is getting started each day.

    1. Bob J,
      Some people need a trainer to get motivated. The problem is that it gets expensive real fast and they can’t keep paying forever. At that point, they usually stop coming to the gym. Maybe get a gym buddy lined up??

  2. I think that a baby boomer SHOULD hire a personal trainer. I’m not a boomer, myself, but am a 45-year-old Gen Xer.

    That said, my awesome trainer at XSport Fitness, James, when I was hiring him, knew my body after a short while and actually pushed me to a level of intensity I didn’t even know that I had in me while still protecting my weaknesses, such as a stiff/bum knee and other things that prohibited me from joining intensity training classes and boot camps and even CrossFit because I can’t do deep squats or deep lunges.

    He created exercises that matched my growing ability and knew when I was flagging and adjusted accordingly.

    Anyway, I think you do need to find a trainer who will push you past your comfort zone while still not intimidating you or driving you away — or, worse, hurting you.

    1. Hi Chris,
      I appreciate your point of view and I’m certainly not saying that trainers can’t be helpful (after all I’m a certified trainer.) My point is that for most people buying a package of sessions and showing up for them does not get them in shape.

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