Health & Fitness : Personalize it: Your workout
Personal trainers may be a source of encouragement and inspiration, or someone to show you proper form or how to use equipment properly. And, choosing to work with a personal trainer may be a first step towards a healthy routine. Island fitness centers such as B-Strong, Mansion House, Vineyard Fitness Center, and Vineyard Tennis Center Workout and Spa, serve all these objectives for all ages and skills.
Personal training is available at:
Private sessions: $65/hour;
Conscious Massage Yoga and Fitness
Open from April to October.
Private sessions: $100/hour.
FIT with Katryn
Prices vary: $25/half-hour; $50/hour; $60 at your home.
Private sessions: $100 an hour; $120 at your home. or one-on-one at home for $120. Group sessions available. fitnesslifeyoga.com
Prices vary: $59-$100
Tiger-Claw/Power Posture Program
Fitness training and conditioning with Ken Lay. Free 1-hour session with $30 or more donation to M.V. Fish Farm for Haiti. Offer ends May 1. 508-627-8350.
Vineyard Fitness Center
Private sessions: $40-$50, must be a member.
Vineyard Tennis Center Workout and Spa
Private sessions: $60/hour.
Group sessions available.
"You don't have to be fit to have a personal trainer; that's a misconception," Heather Neal, fitness trainer and owner of B-Strong in Oak Bluffs, said in a recent conversation. "In most cases a personal trainer is going to help you work out imbalances. A lot of times people know where they want to end up, but they don't know how to get there. That's where the personal trainer comes into play."
B-Strong began offering one-on-one personal training, but with the troubled economy and diminished personal budgets, group sessions became more popular. According to Ms. Neal, the outcomes of group sessions at B-Strong versus one-on-one are nearly the same. "We tend to stick to smaller groups so that people are still getting that one-on-one quality," she says. "There's still a team effort and usually there's some camaraderie."
Sometimes getting into the groove of new a routine can be hard, but B-Strong tries to make it easier. "The first meeting is usually an assessment period, so depending on their commitment level we usually just get right to it," said Ms. Neal. "If they tend to be a really active person, we may start them at a higher level than someone who's very inactive... We tend to look at the bigger picture and see what the person is trying to accomplish and go from there."
If tight schedules are a problem, B-Strong offers flexible group sessions. "We base our programs around the school schedule because we have kids, and a lot people we get have kids," Ms. Neal says. "So, for those two reasons we tend to do a lot of group training on three- to four-week cycles, two or three days a week."
Though the personal goals of clients vary, there is one that seems to be most common. "Losing weight is what most people want to accomplish," Ms. Neal says, "or they want their strength levels to go up, or they want to look and feel better in their own skin."
According to Phyllis Kugler, fitness director at the Vineyard Tennis Center Workout and Spa, one of the most important jobs of a trainer is to personalize a workout and adapt it to a client's specific needs.
"Every individual has a different need, and that's why personal training is important for everyone," says Ms. Kugler. "Because a really good personal trainer will guide the client for what their particular needs are."
The trainers at Vineyard Tennis Center offer an introduction for those who aren't familiar with a personal exercise routine. "People are offered an orientation which gives them a basic understanding of the equipment in the club," Ms. Kugler says. "Whoever gives the orientation will evaluate the person, usually find out their medical background, and then go from there.
"Whether it's every week or once every few weeks, [personal training] doesn't have to be all the time. The point is that the personal trainer is there for them, and they are accountable."
Ms. Kugler notes that people are motivated for many different reasons, from making a resolution, getting in shape for a new hobby, or health issues.
"More and more people are understanding how important it is to be healthy, and that it's not just about weight loss but about keeping a healthy body," Ms. Kugler says. "Motivation is one of the biggest factors in personal training."
And it is a common misconception that people who are interested in personal training need to be fit. "You don't want to ever say to yourself, 'Oh, I'm not strong enough to have a personal trainer,'" says Ms. Kugler. "To me, those are the most exciting people to work with, who have never been to a gym before, who have never understood what exercising is about."
Caitlyn Clark, a senior at the M.V. Regional High School, is an intern at The Times.