Raising the bar

For those working out at the gym, it’s time to get pumped about having a personal trainer.

Many people want to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle but have no idea how or where to begin. Some may join a gym but wander around aimlessly because the fancy equipment intimidates them. Others try to do too much at once and reach a burnout level.

With the exception of fitness enthusiasts and bodybuilders, most people fit into one of these categories. If so, they should strongly consider hiring a personal trainer. A trainer helps push fitness levels forward quicker than working out on your own.

Here are several reasons why hiring an experienced and skilled personal trainer is well worth the investment.

Body assessment

The majority of people do not know where their current health truly stands. Ask them about blood pressure, body circumference measurements, or body fat, and you’ll likely receive a blank stare.

As a result, it is difficult to formulate an effective health plan. Conversely, a personal trainer fully assesses clients and can provide a customized workout and diet plans.

Al Cardiello, a personal trainer and owner of Infinity Fitness and Medi Spa in Fruitland Park, orders blood work on his clients. The test is analyzed for nutritional deficiencies, triglycerides, cholesterol, and blood-sugar and vitamin D levels, among other things.

“It allows me to recommend which foods and supplements they can include in their diet,” he says.

In addition, he takes a body composition measurement of each client, helping identify risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Body composition measures how much of a person’s weight is fat and how much is muscle and tissue.

“I do this because having too much body fat can be a health risk,” Al says. “When assessing body composition, it’s important for people to remember the scale doesn’t tell the entire story. If you lose five pounds of fat but gain five pounds of muscle, your weight stays the same, and some feel their workout program isn’t working. However, they have to remember they did change their body composition.”

When there’s a wheel there’s a way.
Al Cardiello right, helps a client get buff. Photo: Nicole Hamel


Someone who works out alone likely has good intentions but rarely follows through. For instance, a worthy goal might be to walk a mile each morning, but soon the appeal of sleeping another hour breaks the habit.

A personal trainer ensures that clients commit and stick to goals.

“If a client has an appointment at 4pm, he’s going to be there because he knows I’m depending on him to be there,” Al says. “When they’re in a routine and start seeing results, they’ll want to stay in that routine.”

But what about the rest of the week when clients are away from their trainer?

“I will text and email them to remind them to work out or to make certain they are eating right and staying on track,” Al says. “That helps them stay on track and reminds them to constantly strive to achieve their goals.”

Setting reasonable goals

Some people set difficult goals, like trying to lose 30 pounds in a month. When that goal is not achieved, they give up. A personal trainer sets achievable goals, which encourages and motivates clients to continue workout and nutrition programs.

“It’s about setting smaller goals,” Al says. “I might give them three or four weeks to lose five pounds and then give them two months to lose another 10 pounds. If they can achieve two consecutive goals like that, their confidence increases tremendously.”

Injury prevention

Spending a few seconds on a YouTube channel or skimming through a fitness magazine doesn’t make one an expert on how to properly perform exercises or use exercise equipment. Using improper technique may result in injury or exacerbate pre-existing injuries.

“Personal trainers can tell clients the right weight to lift, the right number of repetitions to perform, and how to execute certain tasks,” Al says. “And given my knowledge and experience, I can work around past or present injuries or prevent further injury by having clients work at a safe level. I also try to find out what’s causing their issues rather than merely treat symptoms like a medical doctor.”

Exciting, new routines

A person who works out alone will likely continue doing the same routine and focus on improving one body part, but redundancy may lead to boredom.

Personal trainers like Al switch things up to keep exercise fun and challenging.

“I make the plan, so it requires no brainwork on the part of the client,” Al says. “They just have to show up and work hard. Every night, I sit in front of my computer and design a workout for a specific person and for a specific day. I constantly change the routine to make it fun and exciting.”

About the author

James Combs

Akers Media Group's James Combs has been a staff writer for several local publications since August 2000. He has had the privilege of interviewing some of Lake County’s many fascinating residents—from innovative business owners to heroic war veterans—and bringing their stories to life. A resident of Lake County since 1986, James recently embarked on a journey to lead a healthier lifestyle. He has lost 60 pounds and walks nearly five miles a day. In his spare time, he enjoys target shooting, skeet shooting and watching his beloved Kentucky Wildcats!

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