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Five ways having a personal trainer can help you achieve your fitness goals

By Ursula Leonowicz

Having a personal trainer is like having a secret weapon: a wealth of knowledge with a lifetime of experience all rolled up into one single person, whose sole purpose is to design a workout program just for you. So it’s not surprising that there are many advantages to working with one.


Anh-Tue Nguyen-Dinh is a personal trainer with a degree in kinesiology from the Université de Montréal and a background in martial arts. He has been working at the Mansfield Athletic Club since it opened in 2004. During that time, he’s helped clients get wedding-ready, has rehabilitated athletes post-physiotherapy, and has helped mothers-to-be stay fit during their pregnancy.

Nguyen-Dinh specialized in symptomatic populations — people with physical limitations and/or impairments — so he’s especially well-equipped to help clients with specific issues like injury prevention, rehabilitation, and proper technique. 

Tailored programs

Trainers also help by customizing workouts just for you. “You have to listen first,” Nguyen-Dinh said about his approach with clients, “and you have to remember that what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for the other, so you always have to ask lots of questions.” 

Whether you want a Kardashian physique, to increase your flexibility or you’re training for a marathon, a personal trainer will develop a personalized program that’s just right for you. 

Time management

Having a personal trainer also helps optimize your time. “Most programs work for a six- to eight-week period until your body gets used to them,” Nguyen-Dinh said. “From there, we adjust.” 

A personal trainer will create a program that maximizes your workout while minimizing the amount of time you spend at the gym. For Nguyen-Dinh, that means high-intensity workouts like HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and Tabata. “The trend is taking circuit training to the next level,” he said. “It’s great for people who have less time.” 


A personal trainer keeps you driven, which, let’s face it, is more than half the battle when it comes to exercise. 

“Having a personal trainer helps keep you motivated, honest, and on point,” Nguyen-Dinh said. “Once we’ve looked each other in the eye, there’s no going back.”

Setting (and achieving) goals

Trainers help you set goals and keep track of your progress. “If you want to reach a goal, you have to set one,” said Nguyen-Dinh, who likes to set long-terms goals for six months down the line, as well as short-term goals, like four weeks. Either way, he points out that it’s important to work out a minimum of three to four times a week to achieve your goals, whatever they are.

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