Can exercise programs and diets online really work, and is it comparable with real, live personal trainers? In this article I am going to compare the two and I hope to give you an objective opinion.
First a bit of personal background. I come from a family of big people. My father was six feet six inches (195cm) tall and weighed around three hundred pounds (136 kilograms). Myself and three of my brothers are also over the six feet mark and weigh around the 260 pounds mark. I was not a great sportsman at school. I only started playing rugby in the last two years at school and in the army the year after. Then followed a break for seven years, before I played my last season. I was a tight head prop, and quite unbeknown to me, I injured my bottom two vertebrae. In my job I traveled a lot, drank a lot, smoked a lot and exercised little. Resultantly, I slowly but surely gained weight. I did go to gym for two short stints, encouraged by my brother who was a championship bodybuilder. Each time I had reasonable results, but then my work would transfer me, and I would stop again.
How controlled diet helped me
At the age of forty I stopped drinking, and two years later I stopped smoking. And I became as big as a house. My weight went up to 301 pounds. I was obese, unfit and unhealthy. When my daughter told her mother I look like I am nine and a half months pregnant, I decided to do something about it and I joined a gym. Because I had to travel a long distance in very heavy traffic, I decided to use the gym to my advantage and to travel to the gym close to my work, work out and then go to work.
I did not have money for a personal trainer. Here in SA they charge around $200 for twelve sessions. I see in the USA, they charge as much as $60 for a single session. So I used a program that my brother gave me and went on a low carbohydrate diet. The training program consisted of two components: A cardiovascular part and a weight-training part. The first day, after the cardiovascular training, I thought I was going to die. I had to rest three times in the 100 yards I had to walk back to my car. But slowly but surely I got fitter, and I could run, row and cycle for longer periods. At first I lost weight very quickly, but after about twenty pounds, I stopped loosing weight.
That was the time I decided to hire a personal trainer. She worked out a new training program for me, and put me on a very strict diet. The problem was that I always felt hungry, and when I had to do weight training, I felt weak and could not push myself to the limit. When I complained, I did not get a lot of sympathy, and was given the old clich “no pain, no gain.” The problem was that neither the training program nor the diet was adjusted to my level of fitness and energy requirements. Needless to say, I cheated with the diet and did not loose any weight.
Online training and diet
I then joined an online training, fitness and diet program. Firstly, a twelve-week course costs as much as one week with my previous trainer. I was absolutely astounded with all the services they offer online. More than 40 specialist instructors to call on 24 hours a day, more than 178 exercises demonstrated on video, a customized diet and exercise plan based on your actual level of fitness and a lot more. There are calculators to work out anything from your optimal heart level, body mass index, to your ideal hip to middle ratio. In addition, there are more than 20 other videos showing exercises like kickboxing, Pilates, core training, aerobics and even a boot camp! All free.
After determining my current measurements, fitness level and heart rate, we discussed my goals and objectives, how much I want to loose over how long a period. My online fitness professional then sent me a personal training program and a customized diet. I learned how to eat the right foods five times a day and I felt strong a full of energy. Because I suffer from hypertension and cholesterol, my diet and training program made provision for that as well as my weak back.
I do not believe in taking diet pills and other appetite suppressants. Even if they should work, which is debatable, you have to stop using them sometime. Your appetite will return and you will regain the weight lost. One may use a bit of a protein substitute because it is handy when you are at work and cannot cook, and some vitamins and minerals, but that is all. Personally I believe that one should not loose more than two pounds a week, as that much, combined with the exercises, will result in your skin shrinking with you, and leaving you smooth and unwrinkled. I also told my trainer that I do not want to look like a bodybuilder, just have a reasonable physique. My objective was to loose weight and be healthier.
Well, I am glad to report that over the next twenty weeks I lost a further forty-four pounds, and reached my goal weight. I am now fit; do sixty minutes heavy cardiovascular training three times a week and resistance training three times a week. My blood pressure and cholesterol is also under control. Thanks to the advice I received from the online training and diet specialist, I have developed a totally new lifestyle and I am maintaining my weight.
You too can increase your fitness anytime you join a good online fitness and training program. They will teach you the right training techniques, give you a customized diet plan and assist you to reach optimal fitness.
So my vote goes to an online fitness, training and diet program. They offer much much more than an ordinary personal trainer and are available for support 24/7. There is no excuse not to exercise. Start today.