Playing Houseboat

Body Buddy

Not just for movie stars anymore, personal trainers are helping a growing number of entrepreneurs meet their fitness goals. Whether you're seeking aerobic benefits and strength training or looking to recover from an injury, a personal trainer can help you fit a tailor-made routine into your schedule.

"People just haven't the time to go to a gym," says April Underwood (far right), an American Council on
Exercise (ACE)-certified trainer in Santa Monica, California, who works with clients either in their homes or in her own small gym.

Motivation is another benefit of using personal trainers. People who hate exercise often need the personal nudge. Some people want constant supervision and see a trainer two to three times a week; others prefer a once-a-month session to update workouts and get feedback on progress.

No national certification exists (though certification from ACE and the American College of Sports Medicine are highly regarded), so much of the search for a personal trainer is through word-of-mouth. Among the most important things to consider are:

1. The trainer's experience with people who have similar goals

2. The trainer's ability to create an interesting exercise program based on your fitness evaluation results, goals and personal preferences--and the willingness to modify it as needed

3. How closely you're supervised during the workout

4. How comfortable you are with the person

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This article was originally published in the April 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Playing Houseboat.

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