Brett Blumenthal of Sheer Balance had a great blog entry titled 'Should You Invest In a Personal Trainer' ( http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/health/should-you-invest-in-a-personal-trainer-498987/;_ylt=AkUFZCksVQh6q.2ksNf10N9qbqU5).
She noted that there are two things that influence the success of a personal training program: 1) The Personal Trainer and 2) You.
Key things that matter about your personal trainer:
1. His/Her Credentials
2. His/Her Experience
3. His/Her Referrals
4. His/Her Physical Appearance
5. His/Her Personality
Keys things that matter about you (when hiring a personal trainer):
1. Reasonable and Realistic Goals
2. Your Motivation (or Perhaps Proper Motivation)
3. Acknowledgement of the Hard Work Ahead
Personally, I am happy to be working with a personal trainer. She is a perfectly balanced in all of the above. Most importantly, we really click! She is a wonderful coach & cheerleader. She also totally pushes me! I thought I push myself during my workouts, but she definately pushes me further. She also has me trying/doing activities that I never would/might not have done on my own.
I originally sat down with her in June and had her put together a plan for me to follow on my own as well as an overall fitness evaulation. I decided that cost was an issue and I would only meet with her on once a month (for 4 months). As we got closer to my goal deadline, I decide that I wanted to meet with her more frequently - on a weekly basis - for 4 sessions (but now I'm thinking maybe 6). In September, I think I'll go back to monthly with my last session being in Decemeber. Total spent by the end of December: $380 (I could have saved some money if I bought more sessions at the beginning but I don't regret the path I have taken).
I know that working with a personal trainer can be very expensive. But doing something like meeting with one and having him/her set up a basic plan for you to follow and perhaps another session to walk you through what basic cardio/strength training moves you should do, is well worth it. Personally, I think it's best....You can learn to work out on your own....which you'll have to do at one point or another.