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How to Exercise Like a Personal Trainer

Personal Trainer Tricks You Don't Have to Pay For

There are so many reasons why splurging on a personal trainer is a good idea. They teach you how to work out safely and efficiently, and show you how to attain your healthy goals. But often it's hard to justify the high price tag if you have other expenses that are also begging for your wallet's attention. If you're not in the market for a personal trainer, here are some tricks that trainers use to whip you into shape that don't require any money at all.

Just a little more: You pay your trainer to deliver results, which often translates to you panting on the floor while your trainer is telling you that you need to do 10 more push-ups. Channel that extra push, sans price tag, during your next workout. Just pushing yourself to go for five more minutes can help you burn up to 60 extra calories. Need motivation? Check out our chart of calories burned with just five more minutes of exercise.

Get creative with your workouts: Trainers have a knack for developing workouts that target muscles you didn't even know you had, but don't think that you can't create your own fun circuit workout that combines cardio with strength training. If you need ideas, try one of our all-over body circuit workouts (like this total-body circuit workout using dumbbells or this belly-fat blasting circuit workout by celebrity trainer Jeanette Jenkins) for an example of an efficient and trainer-inspired workout.

Read on for more ways to exercise like a personal trainer after the break.

Make time to stretch: After coaxing, yelling, and otherwise forcing you to sweat more than you wanted to, your trainer makes good by helping you stretch out your muscles and massage away tightness. This routine isn't just to make sure you come back for your next session; it's an important part of your workout since the deep stretching helps keep muscles flexible and injury-free. But if you don't want to shell out the money for a trainer or a sports massage, make sure you follow a regular stretching routine (like these essential post-workout stretches) after you finish exercising. And use a foam roller when it's time to target those deep knots.

Encouragement is key: You don't need an overly enthusiastic fitness expert yelling at you from the sidelines for you to finish the day's exercise, but everyone can benefit from a little bit of motivation. If you don't want to pay someone to be your workout cheerleader, enlist the encouragement of a friend-turned-workout-buddy, and make a workout schedule so you can hold each other accountable.

It's about goals: That sometimes humiliating fat-pinching session you go through when you sign up for personal training session has a purpose: knowing your baseline is the perfect way to set attainable goals for your workouts. Use your stats to track your progress as you stick to your routine. This doesn't just go for weight loss — set minigoals for your exercise (like these mini-running goals for beginners) so you can see how much stronger and faster you become with each workout.

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