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Personal Trainers Beneficial In Or Out Of The Gym - Study Finds In-Home Personal Training Also Effective

August 25, 2017

Personal fitness training doesn't have to take place in a gym to have worthwhile health benefits or increase motivation, according to a study presented at the 54th American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

Researchers who compared clients working with a personal trainer at the gym and working with a personal trainer at home found slight differences in fitness improvements between the two groups during a 10-week period. The in-facility group lowered body and body mass percentage, and the in-home group improved cardiovascular function. Changes in muscle strength, muscle endurance and flexibility were not significant for either group.

In addition, compliance with the program was the same for both groups, with the same number of absences reported for each. A self-reported psychological questionnaire was given to participants following the study to gauge motivation and well being. The two groups scored similarly on the tests.

Because the gym did not prove to a motivating factor in the study, co-author Dianne Sykes, an exercise physiologist, believes more research needs to be conducted to determine why many people do not stick with their fitness routines.

"If we can gain additional insight as to why people fail to adhere to exercise programs, then we can enhance the level of service we deliver," Sykes said. "Then we can start to prevail over diseases like obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes."

But, points out study co-author Lauren Probst, although there is more to learn about the relationship between exercise and human behavior, research supports the use of a certified personal trainer to achieve fitness results. ACSM has more than 15,000 certified exercise professionals, many of whom hold Certified Personal TrainerSM or Health/Fitness Instructor® designations. The College also offers a searchable database, ACSM's ProFinder, which includes fitness professionals who have achieved ACSM's Gold Standard in credentialing.

The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 20,000 international, national, and regional members are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.