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by Job Abraria

It is finally time for this writer to put his body where his mouth is and  since get healthy season is traditionally right around New Year's Eve  experience and discuss the concept of personal trainers.

Being a competitive athlete makes me picky about who I work with to enhance my own competitive ability.  For this trial, I chose to work with long-time athletic trainer Brian Barlow to work with.

Brain Barlow got into personal training after taking some strength training courses at the University of Michigan.  Realizing he could make a career worthy difference in the way training was delivered, he began devoting more and more time and effort.  The opportunity to do what he loved helping people make gains through their own physical ability won him over then and there.

Fourteen years later, Brian Barlow holds an MS CSCS certification and trains out of Fitness Counseling at 1020 West Detwieller Drive in Peoria.  He holds a blue belt in Brazillian Jiu Jitsu and trains around 35 different people.    He specializes in high intensity training; workouts designed for those seeking to heighten their endurance and ability.  High intensity training is designed for focused one hour trainings up to three times per week and train the body to push through to muscle failure. 

I like to think of myself as a higher-echelon athlete.  Having medaled in world competitions, I felt ready for and prepared for a good workout.  I had made it clear to Barlow that I was looking to heighten my intensity.  He delivered and I did not even last the hour.

Barlow paid close attention to my body and how it performed in those first sessions.  He took the time to get to know the physical limits and exertion levels my body could take, learned my goals, and got to know my personality.  It was after those first few sessions that the real work began.  Brian then began bringing in his training techniques.  He applied his understanding of form, physique, and physiology to push my capabilities higher.

This experience was one of the best personal training experiences I have ever had.   I know I am an athlete, but Brian also works with older people, those getting into shape for the first time, and those looking to break through a plateau.

One of the things Barlow delivers is a tailored program to the individual.  This is key.  One should be concerned when working with trainers who come at the session with any type of photocopy or a very regimented prescribed program.  Make sure your trainer takes the time to get to know you, your needs and aligns them with how you can get the most benefit in the gym environment for your time and money.

Who should consider a personal trainer. Anyone can use a personal trainer, but it is especially needed when taking on a new fitness program.  Be wary of trainers who do not seem to be listening to or who may have fallen into their position via good looks over knowledge and experience.  A good personal trainer has an education on and focuses his or her career on assisting people to make healthy shifts in their lives.

As always and with much emphasis pay attention to your health and see your Physician before undertaking any new fitness regime.

Fitness impact:  Five stars - When you are working one on one with a personal trainer, you should be grinding out an hour at the past 

Learning curve:  Four stars - You are working with a trainer, so in the beginning you don't have to learn anything.  Your trainer should be asking clear questions and providing all the instruction you need to get you going.

Social Aspect: Two stars - This is a one-on-one environment within the gym environment. There will not be a great level of interaction with others outside the trainer you work with.

Cost:  Two stars - Be prepared to pay $50 bucks per hour and feel it in every muscle in your body.

Brian Barlow is taking on new clients and can be reached at (309) 303-1509.