New research supports the benefits of hiring a qualified personal trainer to help you attain your fitness goals.

Twenty men ages 18 to 35 were placed on a 12-week resistance-training program.

Half the group trained unsupervised and maintained their own workout logs. The other half received one-on-one supervision with a certified personal trainer.

In addition to keeping track of their workouts and charting their progress, the trainers provided spotting and advice to participants and made sure training loads were increased progressively.

Unsupervised participants made changes to their programs using the same principles and were self-motivated.

Both groups achieved significant strength gains; however, the supervised group also made significant improvements in body mass, fat mass and fat-free mass.

Researchers suggest that the trainer encouraged participants to use and tolerate greater training loads, thus eliciting greater gains than those who self-selected their training loads.

Source: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2000; 32, 6, 1175