Does a baby boomer need a personal trainer?

Our friend and fitness guru Bob Merz, of Houston, sees too many baby boomers who have gone too long without exercise, and at our age, that’s not healthy. That’s why we think Bob answers an important question here: Does a Baby Boomer Need A Personal Trainer?

So after several years of being sedentary, you’re going to do something about your fitness. Good! And now you’re wondering if a certified personal trainer is for you. Well, you’re a boomer and unaccustomed to exercise, so the short answer is “Yes indeed,” for several reasons.

Bob Merz

Bob Merz

For starters, a personal trainer can provide you much more than simply knowledge; he or she can also provide motivation and accountability. That was particularly important to me when I first worked with a personal trainer at age 48. I hadn’t exercised regularly for years and having someone to “report to” was a critical component for me.

I had a nice on-site fitness center at work, but my employer wouldn’t allow outsiders, so I actually met with my trainer only every four weeks at my house. He would review my workout log, assess my progress, give feedback, encouragement, and adjust my routine. He also gave a quick demonstration of the strength-training moves and designed my workout.

And it did work. In nine months I’d lost only 10 pounds, but reduced my body fat by a full 8% and had to have a tailor resize my suits!


Actually, because of the inconvenience of my employer’s gym, my trainer might have been the first virtual trainer way back before the 50plusPlusFit Online Personal Trainer. We had no idea what was to come with today’s online options.

So let’s summarize what a personal trainer can do for you:

1. Transformational Body Changes

Even if you exercise regularly, a personal trainer will round out your fitness routine for optimal health, and appearance too. For example, our trainer programs will help improve posture, tighten tone, and make you look pounds thinner without even losing a pound! And ladies, don’t worry about bulking up— a good trainer will bring you the benefits from strength-training without big muscles.

2. Flexibility and Balance

Personal trainers can improve both your flexibility and balance, which we all need to be aware of as boomers. Good balance and flexibility will be of increasing benefit as we notch off yet another year.

3. “No Pain, No Gain” – My Boomer a#@!

A good trainer practices safety first. Many trainers even work with your doctor or physical therapist if need be. They encourage proper warm-up before your routine and a brief cool-down afterwards. And of course, making sure that you are performing moves with correct form is paramount to making progress and avoiding injury… meaning, No Pain with Gain!

4. Functional Training

Some trainers specialize in functional training, which helps you, well, functionbetter. Your training can be tailored to improve performance in your occupation, your favorite sport, or just everyday life. For example, our online personal trainer has routines specifically designed for the golfer, tennis player, runner, or cyclist.

Bottom line, if you need knowledge, guidance, motivation, a second conscience, a counselor or any/all of the above, a personal trainer is for you!

Click here to follow Bob Merz and 50plusPlusFit.

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  1. After my Roux-en-Y gastric bypass in 2002 I knew I would need a personal trainer to help me lose the weight I so desperately wanted to lose. I also knew I hated to exercise so I needed her motivation on my behalf. We worked together twice a week for 9 months and I lost over 140 pounds (yes it was a combination of the surgery and the exercise).

    As my strength grew she had me doing things I never in a million years thought I would do like running around a helipad in Burbank picking up rocks and doing stretching exercises. My trainer never trained me in how to workout indoors; we hiked, climbed, walked up hills backwards in general we used the great outdoors to build my workout routine.

    Then one day she told me I had to climb a rock wall. I just did it. When I came down she said she was shocked I just accepted what she told me I had to do and did it and then I said, “you mean I had a choice!”. 🙂 I had come a long way.

    Now these many years after my surgery and still following my exercise regime when able I know that walking in the great outdoors is where I need to be. And for that I give thanks for the Personal Trainer I hired who kicked my butt into high gear.

    1. Your trainer was indeed very helpful Florence. As she taught you, exercise and working out is not limited to the gym and can be done in any environment, including doing things like picking up rocks in the great outdoors. Congratulations on your recovery and newborn you!

  2. Thanks for the advice. I am very active, dancing 10 hours a week and hiking hours every week in summer while x-country skiing 3 times a week in winter. One month ago my back gave out leaving me in the hospital and now recouperating slowly. Gonna go the trainer route. Thought I was doing everything right.

    1. Good decision Michael. A properly schooled trainer can create a routine that will aid you in getting more out of your outdoor activities, and do them with more strength and stability. Thus you’ll be able to engage in your activities with greater enjoyment, comfort and safety. Best of luck!

  3. Personal trainers are best if they understand the aging process. I had three sessions with a personal trainer who thought I was 30 years old. Personal trainers should not use their training as generic one-size fits all. My personal trainer was unrealistic to regime of a 63-year old.

    1. Sorry to hear of your bad experience Sand, and you are spot on about one-size fits all routines. Every client is different and a good trainer will tailor an exercise plan to their client’s individual goals and needs. This is particularly true for certain groups, like the more senior among us, or simply those that trainers refer to as the de-conditioned, of any age. Two of our trainers for example have specific certifications as Senior Fitness Specialists. But even without that special certification, any good trainer tailors plans. Lastly, you may have to try 2 or 3 trainers before finding your best match. Beyond having the knowledge a trainer’s personality, style and adaptability count. Good luck.

  4. Yes! Good article. I’ve been an adaptive trainer for 10 years and I can tell you for sure that the sooner you start with an active lifestyle that includes both regular resistance and cardiovascular exercise the better. I’ve worked with clients up to 100 and almost without exception, the ones that incorporated fitness into their lives decades earlier were experiencing a substantially better quality of life into their later years. It doesn’t have to be painful or boring. You can get a lot of bang for the buck with shorter workouts.

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