Personal Trainer Can Help With Fitness, Motivation



Alexis Bechman/Roundup

Payson High School Longhorn quarterback Ridge Halenar does strength conditioning exercises on his left shoulder at Payson Physical Therapy. Halenar injured the shoulder during his freshman year.

Say you’re hitting the gym three times a week, eating right and still not happy with the results. What do you do? Give up and turn to diet pills? You may need the advice and guidance of a personal trainer.

We all know a healthy lifestyle includes exercise, but making time for it and sticking with a plan can be a hassle. A personal trainer might offer that motivational push to keep you in shape.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, adults need to exercise 30 minutes a day, five or more days a week to be healthy, but only three in 10 adults get the recommended amount of physical activity.

A personal trainer works one-on-one with a client and offers tailored advice for their fitness goals. They assess a client’s fitness goals and form a plan to reach them effectively. Maybe they offer a better way to get great abs without doing hundreds of crunches. Once a plan is in place, they demonstrate various exercises and help improve a client’s technique. They monitor the client’s progress and offer lifestyle tips to stay fit outside of the gym.

“A trainer motivates and helps you be disciplined,” said certified trainer Jerry Baker at Payson Athletic Club. “They help you with proper form to do exercises properly.”

A personal training session is also more intimate than a group exercise class.

“Some people want to work harder, and trainers are motivational,” said certified trainer Marissa Ward.

The trainers at Payson Athletic Club, 400 E. Highway 260, said some people want to participate in a sport they did as a child, so they turn to a trainer to get them back in shape for baseball or soccer.

Most personal trainers have a love of fitness and sports.

Baker, ACE certified, said he was always interested in fitness and has run several triathlons.

Ward, AFPA certified, said physical fitness has always been an integral part of her life.

Casandra Stouder, who is DETC certified, had a love of fitness instilled at an early age.

“Starting at age four, we got up at 4 a.m. and would run until the sun came up,” Stouder said. “When I started personal training, I held onto to that discipline.”

When you sign up for a gym membership at Payson Athletic Club you receive a free personal training session. One of the four trainers will set up a basic fitness program for you to follow. They will also determine your body fat, give you a fitness test and discuss diet and nutrition.

“We get a lot of people that have never exercised before,” Baker said.

All three trainers said personal training sessions have grown in popularity.

“It is definitely becoming more mainstream,” Baker said.

Seniors on Social Security can also apply for fitness scholarships through the Mogollon Health Alliance.

“All socio economic backgrounds are coming now,” Ward said. “At first, there is the whole intimidation thing of a gym. But after a session, people are like, ‘Gosh, I am strong ,’ or ‘Why didn’t I do this sooner?’” Ward said.

Besides personal training, Payson Athletic Club offers 10 exercise classes a week, ranging from step to gentle stretching, various sport and nonsport amenities, 17 cardio machines, including stair steps, bikes or treadmills and more than 40 strength training machines. The club offers something for all age ranges.

The Silver Sneakers exercise class on Tuesdays and Thursdays is especially for seniors. Instructors lead classes through range of motion exercises using resistance tubing and balance balls.

A special area of the fitness center is dedicated to phase three rehabilitation for seniors. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday the club has someone in the rehabilitation area monitoring blood pressure. The area is for anyone recovering from an illness or stroke.

Club USA, at 113 W. Main St., offers similar services and machines. Classes are held throughout the week, and the club has dozens of exercise machines and weight training equipment. Both gyms offer tanning.

For more information or to become a member, call Payson Athletic Club at (928) 474-0916; call Club USA at (928) 474-2582.


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