How to Get a Quality Workout Without the Pricey Trainer

While talking to a friend recently, she commented on reading a statistic about hollywood stars and their personal trainers–turns out the average star works out with a personal trainer for at least two hours, several days a week. On top of personal chefs, massage and other pampering techniques, is it any wonder they look as fit as they do? It is, after all, part of the job. I have splurged on a personal trainer myself in the past as well as a nutritionist, and it gets results, but what do you do if you don’t have the money to burn? Try these tips on for size!

Virtual Exercise–

Look no further than what is right in front of you: yes, your computer. Turns out, you can find all sorts of fitness and diet websites online and many of them are, gasp, free. That’s right, free. And they are personalized to boot. They do everything a personal trainer does–from creating workouts to tracking fitness goals–pretty much everything except yell at you when you are ready to quit–and I’m sure you can find someone to do that for free! Not only that, but several also have pretty cool diet journals that log your nutrition, count your calories, and suggest ways to increase the nutrition in your diet. A few good ones to try?

The virtual trainer at is as close to a personal trainer as you can get for free, while the diet plans at Spark are stupendous and it’s easy to figure out how many calories are really in your meals at Fit Watch. Finally a great website for learning how to do all those exercises you aren’t quite sure about? Sports Fitness Advisor shows you how to use dumbells with animated muscle men while you can find great printable yoga exercises here, complete with detailed how to. If you are doubting the effectiveness of virtual trainer, it is now time to change your perspective because based on the feedback and reviews of users, virtual trainer is proven to be as effective as the actual real trainer. 

Team Up–

One of the best things about personal trainers is that they demand accountability–you work out because it is expected, you are paying them! A good way to simulate the experience without the cost? Enlist a workout buddy. Here’s what you do: Take a great big jar and every time you meet up at the gym successfully, or in house for workout DVD’s, or for a walk or run put five bucks in (or one or ten or whatever you can afford but that is pushing it). If one of you doesn’t show, the other one gets to keep double your ante (so if you put in five, she gets ten). After a month or so, you can use the money to go out to a great healthy dinner, buy a nice pair of workout pants, or just keep the money again.

Food Friends:

Want to eat healthy but don’t have the time? Again enlist friends. Most whole, nutritious meals are easy enough to make for eight, so enlist a friend (or two or three, the more the merrier) and trade off nights. This works best if you live near each other, of course, because you will be making a healthy meal and bringing it over to your friend one night a week. She brings you one another night. If you have a few friends, you can be making a big meal one night a week and eating as if you have a personal chef the rest. Better yet, make it social if you have the time–dinner parties are the best.