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BW Businessworld

A Master Choice

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One can’t fail to accept the importance of keeping fit and healthy. As if our minds were not conscious enough of the need to shed a little weight (or maintain it), we are bombarded with messages from health clubs and gyms with membership offers, magic weight loss products, diet tips and keep-fit classes that all promise to be the answer to our needs. And to an extent, they can be a step in the right direction, but for 99 per cent of us, we need some handholding to get lasting results, and our much-coveted improvement in health and fitness.

That first step on the road to being fitter can be intimidating, and understandably so. Many of us fail at the first step because we’re unsure about how to get the results we want. But, in fact, getting fit is easier than it may seem. The first and essential step in this is to get a good personal trainer. Encouragement, motivation and accountability are important factors to get results, along with quality advice on nutrition, training intensity and ‘form’ — the correct method for an exercise.

A good trainer will help improve your diet — it’s not good enough to just exercise. You must look at what you eat and a trainer should be able to help you achieve your goals not just in the gym, but in the kitchen as well.
A good trainer will tailor exercises and workouts for you. He will monitor you and hold you to account; push you when you need pushing; encourage you when you lose motivation.

He will ensure that you don’t get injured by overtraining or by using poor form. There are personal trainers at most gyms, and there are trainers who will come to your home or workplace, if that suits you. It’s important to make sure that the trainer you chose is up to the job. First, is the trainer in good shape? If not, don’t use him. Any motivated trainer should be in great condition.

Second, how interested is he in you? He should be keen to know your background and should be asking: Why do you want to get fitter? What sport have you played in the past? Do you have old injuries? What is your diet like? What is your current lifestyle like and what do you what to achieve? These are fundamental questions that any decent trainer should be asking before giving you advice. If the trainer doesn’t seem interested in learning about you, don’t use him.

Third, what is his level of knowledge? Ideally, you should see him train a client, or at least talk to a client of his to get opinion. You will soon notice if the trainer is taking an active role in the session or if he is happy to leave the client for periods to talk  on the phone or chat with other people — your trainer needs to be dedicated to you during your session. If he is not going to be so, don’t use him.

Finally, is the trainer qualified? Make sure your trainer is part of a training outfit or/and has the relevant certifications, such as DTP Transformation Specialist, Rehan Jalali’s Nutrition Specialist and Y3T Elite Trainer, and constantly updates his knowledge. This way you can be sure the trainer is motivated and up to date with current thinking.

Once you have identified your trainer, you’ve taken care of an important step. But even the world’s best trainers cannot help you unless you are willing to put the effort in.

(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 05-05-2014)