Jockology: does a personal trainer help?


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A new Jockology column is now posted on the Globe and Mail website, taking a closer look at some of the research into personal trainers (a topic I blogged about a few months ago):

The question

Will I get a better workout if I hire a personal trainer?

The answer

In a famous study at Ball State University in Indiana, researchers put two groups of 10 men through identical 12-week strength-training programs. The groups were evenly matched when they started, and they did the same combination of exercises, the same number of times, with the same amount of rest.

At the end of the experiment, one group had gained 32 per cent more upper-body strength and 47 per cent more lower-body strength than the other. No performance-enhancing pills were involved – the only difference was that the more successful group had a personal trainer watching over their workouts.[READ ON…]

One of the key punchlines: people with personal trainers choose to lift heavier weights, and thus make more progress. Left to their own devices, many people choose weights that are less than 40-50% of their one-rep max, and thus pretty much ineffective for stimulating strength gains.