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Customized Personal Training Programs

I think North America's obesity epidemic has started to scare people into exercising more and being more health conscious. The problem is that there is so much false information being pushed by people, often just looking to sell their book, gadget or DVD - or just trying to make a name for themselves.

Thus I have a beef with the hotshot personal trainers who are trying to push their own vision of how they think people should be exercising - pushing their own biased agenda, geared towards sales.

Meanwhile us grunt personal trainers are doing the opposite - We create personalized training programs which are customized for the individual. Each program is unique and each personal trainer will have a different approach to how they help out their client, depending on their client's needs and desires.

Yes, its true, the fitness industry has exploded in North America over the past ten years as the Obesity Monster reared its ugly head... And exercise is now considered a pillar in the average person's weekly wellness regimen. (Because apparently people before the rise of cable TV and internet didn't need to be reminded to go outside and exercise.)

But just because its so high demand now doesn't mean hotshot celebrity personal trainers should be pillaging anyone foolish enough to give them money - and to do so by spreading false information that their exercise program / routine is special and is "one size fits all".

No exercise routine is one size fits all. Want to know how I know? Test it out on teenagers and see how many of them get bored in the first 5 minutes.

Creating a customized and personalized approach to exercising for the individual client is all about what personal training is supposed to be.

And its cultural too. What works in Toronto may not work as well in a different social setting where people have different priorities and customs.

The same goes with gyms.

Gyms will look very different depending on the cultural setting. A gym in Toronto will look very different from a gym in Beijing or Sri Lanka or Athens.

Many people still picture a gym or health club with a bunch of beefcakes on the free weights, acting all macho and betting on who can benchpress more. Plus the weight loss hopefuls on the treadmill, and ladies with 2 lb dumbbells in step class at the aerobic studio. Complete stereotypes, largely fueled by the advertising industry during the 1980s.

But each gym is different. Some gyms are more like yoga studios. Some are boxing studios. Some gyms have pools and saunas. Picking a gym that is closest to you is not really making a choice. Its just convenient. A gym that has all the facilities and equipment you want however makes a big difference in how often you will go and exercise.

And by the same token, personal trainers do the same thing. If your trainer makes the activity fun for you and challenges you then you will keep coming back for more. If they don't then you will eventually quit and/or find a different trainer.

And that is really a wise thing to do. Shop around and find the personal trainer that works for you.

Times have Changed

With the implementation of age appropriate exercises, personal training, more options and better programming, fitness has finally shed its image as an activity for people who are body obsessed narcissists, and is recognized for its other benefits such as stress management, vitality and longevity.

The industry has also been helped along by a not-so-gentle push from family doctors urging their patient's into the gym, by prescribing fitness to cure everything from reoccurring colds, high blood pressure and depression.

It has reached a point that if I walk down Yonge Street in Toronto its almost impossible for me to not see someone carrying a yoga mat strapped to their back.

And thanks to higher gasoline prices the number of cyclists on the road keeps going up.

Personal trainers can customize fitness programs based on age, goals, strengths and limitations - and how much fun you want to have while exercising. Trainers will work one-on-one with couples, children, the elderly, groups of friends and even entire families.

Even though you and your family / friends may have different goals, the personal trainer can compensate by giving you exercises that work on your combined goals and different exercises you can do simultaneously or when you are not with the trainer in person.

Having a customized approach makes a big difference for whether you succeed. Don't fall for any snake oil salesman selling an "one size fits all" exercise routine because you are not "one size". You are you and you are ever changing and unique.

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