Try a personal trainer to shed fat

Twenty-five-year-old Mamta Arora had been regularly hitting the gym for a year, but to her horror, she didn't lose more than a kilogram...until she met a Noida-based personal trainer who gave her astonishing results in just three months.

A mentor, a motivator and the key to weight loss - wake up to the wonders of a personal trainer who will help you get that enviable body.

Gyms these days encourage people to avail themselves of the services of a personal trainer who can figure out their body type and make them exercise accordingly, experts say.

"People are mostly unaware of their movements and mistakes they make while exercising or even after maintaining their goals. So this is where a personal trainer comes in. His job is to keep them on track with diet and exercises," Aashu, Arora's personal trainer, said.

"A personal trainer is a help facility providing you necessary direction with the correct vision to attain your target logically in minimum time as he has the expertise to understand your body movements. The most important part is that he starts thinking and planning where you stop for yourself," he added.

The trainer can easily charge anything between Rs.2,000 and Rs.5,000 per hour.

"It all depends on the experience and also how extensive and complex the fitness programme is. You can always get a better rate as a group or if you sign up for a package," said Aashu.

Fitness guru Sheru Aangrish believes the trainer is "a motivator and a mentor".

"At the beginners' level, the trainer is a motivator and mentor. At the intermediate level the trainer is still a motivator but now more in the role of a partner. The intermediate level is where most people usually feel most comfortable, healthy and fit," Aangrish said.

"In the case of extreme fitness such as competitive bodybuilding, the trainer is no longer a motivator. He is there to spot you, to avoid injury, stretch and massage you, in some cases give advice and administer nutrition," Aangrish said.

Initially, celebrities and sportspersons used to hire the services of a personal trainer but of late common people too have realised their importance.

The moment one takes up a gym membership, they are encouraged to hire a trainer, but Althea Shah, vice president and fitness expert at Gold's Gym in Mumbai, says it is just a matter of choice.

"Certain people like to work out on their own and some cannot work out without a personal trainer. It is purely a personal choice if you want to continue with a trainer or not," said Shah.

Certain professionals like people in the glamour world and in sports always keep a trainer as they have to stay in shape, she added.

"A trainer is needed when you have specific goals to achieve as you will need a concentrated effort on a continuous basis if you want to see long-term benefits," said Shah.

But Aangrish believes personal trainers are the "latest fitness craze".

So, what are the qualities a personal trainer must have?

Knowledge and experience are the most significant, Aangrish said.

"Depending on the knowledge and experience, they should be able to put together a fitness programme in any condition or environment. They should be able to make exercise a fun activity by introducing things like kick-boxing, Salsa dancing and spinning," he added.

"A trainer should be fit and have a positive attitude. After all, it is the trainer's duty to have a happy customer," Aangrish added.

"Creativity" is also an asset, he noted.

"If you have to invest in fitness you should be getting the most up-to-date information on exercise and fitness," said Aangrish.

Practical experience is more important than a professional trainer's degree, he stated.

"Nothing prepares you better than practical experience. It's one of those things you can only get with time. A degree would be a welcome addition to the experience," he added.

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