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Personal Trainer's Impact on Load Lifted

Experienced weight lifters might feel like they don't need a personal trainer simply because they already understand the basics of form and workout planning. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research shows how going it alone in the weight room can impact the effectiveness of your training program.

A dozen men and 9 women with resistance training experience performed 10 reps of leg press, bench press, leg extensions and arm curls on 2 separate occasions. They used a personal trainer on one trip to the weight room and directed their own workout on the other.

On average, training loads were 49% to 60% of one rep max (1RM) and 63% to 77% of 10RM under a personal trainer's direction. When subjects selected their own weight, the load was 41% to 59% of 1RM and 59% to 76% of 10RM. As you might expect, ratings of perceived exertion were significantly higher with a trainer.