The Defy Aging Newsletter

Anti-aging psychology, holistic health, and wellness

a biweekly e-mail newsletter for helping you think, feel, look, and be more youthful and live with purpose.

October 9, 2008 Number 197

This issue:

Fire Your Trainer

Action to take

If you want to be more fit, don't think you have to have a personal trainer. If you have a personal trainer, make sure you are getting what you need.


In Woody Allen’s movie Bananas, Wood Allen’s character Fielding Mellish has become El Presidente of San Marcos and is greeted at the airport by a US State Department interpreter. El Presidente speaks perfect English and the interpreter speaks broken English but still insists on interpreting. It reminds me of a lot of personal trainers. I think we all know how to count to twenty, the weight equipment isn’t that complicated, and if the trainer holds our hand while we are on the treadmill, it slows us down. Do we really need a personal trainer?

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Sports medicine physician Dr. Marc Paulsen and Personal Trainer Ashley Marriott on Ageless Lifestyles (you can download the mp3 for free). They talked about how the key to weight loss is cardio (aerobic) exercise. Few people, however, are going to pay a personal trainer to watch them run on a treadmill. Consequently, it is in a personal trainer’s best interest financially to work with you on strength exercises. Indeed, Dr. Paulsen points out that a typical training session often consists of more time getting instruction and waiting to use a machine than actually expending energy. Consequently, you might well burn more calories from a brisk walk. Often people work with personal trainers for months and see little or no weight loss because few calories are burned.

Most trainers have little training beyond first aide. Many fitness centers will give you some complimentary instruction in using the equipment. If you need a little more instruction, you can hire a trainer for a few sessions. But paying $50 to $100 for a cheerleader on an ongoing basis can get pretty expensive. Especially for weight loss, Dr. Paulsen says cardio exercise should be 80% of your fitness regime.

Actually, you don’t even need a gym. You can exercise at home with a video, e.g., Tae Bo, dance, or various workouts. You can have your own equipment at home, e.g., a treadmill, dumbbells, an exercise ball. My favorite is jogging on a $40 mini trampoline while I watch my favorite TV shows. Finally, there is one of the best exercise equipment of all time —the $10 jump rope.

If you are serious about getting fit and/or losing weight, consider being your own personal trainer. Two of my favorite do it yourself books are Paulsen and Marriott’s Dump Your Trainer and Harley Pasternak’s 5 Factor Fitness.


Studies have indicated that in order to lose weight most expeditiously, a person needs to expend at least 1,500-2,500 extra calories per week while keeping the calories consumed unchanged. Working with a trainer five times per week will expend a total of 1,000 calories and give you a false sense of security. Five sessions of running, biking, stepping, or Cardio Dance will meet this goal, and will improve your cardiovascular health, as well.

~Dump Your Trainer p. 6.


Oh yeah, I’ll continue to work out, until I get married.

~Tom Arnold

My grandmother began walking five miles a day when she was 82. Now we don’t know where the hell she is.

~Ellen DeGeneres

A new study says one of the advantages of the treadmill is that it’s the highest calorie burner of the exercises. And the other advantage is that hamsters can now laugh at us.

~Johnny Robish

I worked out at this really fancy health club. They had a spiral Stairmaster.

~Wendy Liebman

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"Dr. Michael Brickey, The Anti-Aging Psychologist, teaches people to think, feel, look and be more youthful. He is an inspiring keynote speaker and Oprah-featured author. His works include:  Defy Aging, 52 baby steps to Grow Young, and Reverse Aging (anti-aging hypnosis CDs). Visit for a free report on anti-aging secrets and a free newsletter with practical anti-aging tips."

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