I take a deep breath, shuffle my feet under the bar, and grab it firmly. Form is everything, hips up or risk back injury. I lift the 115 pound barbell, 5 reps up and down and I’m done.

All those dumbbell deadlifts my trainer gives me help make barbell deadlifts less scary. For me, one of the personal training benefits I experience is lifting more weight than I thought possible. I get a wonderful sense of accomplishment.

I resisted personal training. My partner, Jack, tried and liked the experience, but I was comfortable with my standard routine. I thought I was in good shape.

We had to find a new gym, as our old one got bought out. The new fitness facility offered once a month 30-minute personal training as part of joining. That sold Jack, and I agreed. Our trainer, Gavin Hamblin, gave us nutrition goals along with quick training sessions.

The nutrition goals meant I needed to learn to count calories and eat smaller meals several times a day. I’d struggled to keep my weight down. It had crept up a few pounds every year in the last few years. Counting calories is a pain, but 4 to 5 smaller meals worked like a charm.

My weight came down by about 12 pounds and I’ve maintained it. My acid reflux problem vanished! A huge benefit.

Gavin asked about any physical problems and I mentioned my knee injury. It refused to heal completely, leaving me with pain and numbness. The doctor couldn’t find any specific issue inhibiting healing and sent me to physical therapy.

Gavin suggested walking backwards on the treadmill, 5 minutes, 3 times a week with a slight incline. It worked, the pain in my knee disappeared. Impressed, Jack, and I signed up for regular training. We still train with Gavin Hamblin, who is Personal Training Director at Snap Fitness, and we’re in the best shape of our lives in our 60s.

Personal training is beneficial at any age. Gavin tells me his oldest client is 77. PubMed contains several abstracts listing the benefits of resistance or strength training as we age. This training slows down the muscle loss experienced as part of the aging process.

Our trainer, Gavin, mentions increased energy and vitality, encouraging a strong endocrine system, and better balance as the benefits older adults receive from resistance training. He designs your workouts with your fitness goals in mind, not your age or gender.

Before he begins with a program, he asks about any injuries, old or new, and any posture problems. The workouts start at your current level of fitness, and he increases the difficulty as your fitness improves. The initial workouts use machines, but he moves on to free weight exercises. Free weights more closely approximate everyday activities such as working in the garden or reaching up into cupboards.

According to Gavin, nutrition and weight loss recommendations are important components of personal training. Correct nutrition combined with a custom workout speeds up weight loss and helps keep it off. My experience is a perfect example.

Yes, you can download an app and follow the exercises. But they may not be the perfect ones for you and it’s hard to gauge if you’re doing the exercises with proper form. Gavin emphasizes that maintaining proper form is essential in resistance training to get full benefit. If your form is incorrect, your muscles aren’t being properly trained. A trainer ensures that your form is correct for all exercises.

You’re never too old to work with a personal trainer. You’ll look and feel younger with a spring in your step. And you may lift more weight than you ever imagined you could.

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