Summer is coming soon. This in turn means wearing light n’ tight clothing on the city streets and displaying your body -- and often chunks that you would rather keep private. If you aim for the swimming pool or the beach, you’re even more exposed to the investigative looks of passersby.

So it’s time to seriously think of a quick way to get back in shape, not just to fit in those fashionable summer clothes, but also to be energetic enough to undertake new summer sports endeavors, surfing and the like.

If you are keen to get back in shape, there are endless activities on offer at gyms and fitness centers these days. In addition to the traditional circuits, machines and classes, clubs this year offer new options that target the mind as well as the body, and relaxation techniques that introduce elements of performance or dance choreography. There is also an explosion of new yoga forms this season, and in the USA the new trend seems to be Bollywood dance and circus style acrobatics. In Taiwan, the new fad after oriental belly dance is obviously Balinese dance.

However, getting back into shape -- especially if you didn’t exercise much during the winter – is a real commitment, and you have be ready to spend long hours at the gym or on the track field. And it’s true that many can't face the prospect of hours spent mindlessly pumping iron, pedaling an exercise bike or jogging miles in the early morning mist. Obviously the problem is even more acute for male readers who occupy managerial positions and have very little time to dedicate to health and fitness. If you’re short on time, high on expectations, and high on money, then consider the ultimate, most efficient solution: the personal trainer.

Why hire a personal trainer?

Working out in a packed gym with a coach that giggles on a stage-like platform shouting orders to a crowd of fans maybe fun, but may not be very efficient. First of all if you are being clumsy or lazy in the back of the gym room, no one cares. If you are not doing adequate workout nobody will tell you. A personal trainer instead is someone who will prepare a custom made program designed according to your own abilities (or disabilities) and that will really assist you towards reaching your goal. He or she will motivate and support you throughout the whole training process, technically, physically and mentally.

Who’s a personal trainer?

A personal trainer is a professional coach that will dedicate some time to a client on a private basis, focusing on only one person at a time. A good personal trainer should have proper qualification in a sport or athletic activity. Proper qualification means that the trainer has undergone serious training in sports pedagogy, physiology, and biomechanics. Your personal trainer should also be qualified in other areas such as yoga techniques, breathing, or meditation if you are looking for cooler calisthenics.
This cannot be acquired in just a few months training, so beware of quick in-house certifications offered by some gyms.

Where to workout?

Personal trainers are available at most gyms, or at your home for private coaching. He or she will design a complete program depending on your physical condition – general health, heart rate, endurance, muscle/fat ratio, etc… This program will be more or less demanding depending on your personal goals, and often needs to be adjusted to match your progression. The personal trainer will follow your progress during weeks or months, and of course the longer the better.


  • Choose a personal trainer according to his coaching ability, not to his muscle mass. If you have a doubt regarding the abilities of your personal trainer, do not hesitate to change. And in a gym, if the personal trainer does not lead you 100% through your whole workout, then call it quits. A personal trainer should be at you side all the time to give you support, advice and motivation. He should make sure you follow your specific program.
  • Before embarking on a fitness program, make sure you’ve had a health check. And when hiring a personal trainer, make sure you let him know of your health conditions if any, so that he adjusts the program accordingly.
  • Machines are absolutely not essential for a good workout; they are just easy, flashy and fancy equipments allowing a lot of people to train simultaneously in a gym. You can perfectly train at home with very little equipment, providing you have a proper personal trainer.
  • Exercise is not necessarily a weary physical workout. It also can include some relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, stretching, etc…Opt for a program that suits your needs (highly physical or mind and body oriented – hard, medium, or cool and de-stressing)
  • Set your target - Muscle mass and health/fitness are different things. You can be extremely fit and have very normal muscle mass (triathlon competitors are perfect examples). So think of your goals first: do you want to be fit? Loose weight? De-stress and revitalize? Reshape parts of your body? Increase muscle mass or power? Only you know what you want!

With a bit of time and dedication, a little patience and a good personal trainer, your goal is just inches away.

Copyright 2006 - GZ.

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