Joey Bracco knew he should be working out and that it would help him improve his overall health and fitness, but knowing these things and getting motivated to put a workout plan into action proved too challenging to do on his own.

Seeing one of his friends start working with a personal trainer inspired him to seek out additional help in developing healthy habits and to reach his own fitness goals.

“My friend and I had different trainers, and we actually developed a better friendship comparing notes about our training sessions,” Bracco said. “Once he graduated, I just kept on doing it.

“Without a trainer, I could just decide to sleep in today or find an excuse to do something else. This way I have a dedicated time, and I know someone is going to be there to help me out, to try new things, to use new equipment, and overall learn things that I can start doing on my own.”

Bracco has now been working with a personal trainer since spring 2011. Starting originally with one trainer who has since graduated, Bracco has moved on to work three times a week with Andrew Richards, one of Campus Recreation’s certified trainers.

“Since starting with a personal trainer, Joey has lost about 60 pounds and kept it off,” Richards said. “He has also shown extensive gains in his overall strength while executing complex workouts with proper form and technique.”

Trainers get to know each client, develop a customized exercise regimen to fit each client’s unique fitness goals, and motivate them to reach and surpass those goals.

“I’m trying to lose weight so we do a lot of cardio, but we switch things out a lot so it’s not the same workout each time we meet,” Bracco said.

Bracco has embraced the variety that his trainer brings to each workout session. This was especially true with free weight areas, which can be intimidating to those who have little experience using weights. Now, he is comfortable doing squats, dead lifts, and many other exercises on his own as well as with the trainer.

Although Bracco has made great progress with his personal trainer, he has also faced obstacles in his journey.

“I think my biggest challenge was making time on my own,” Bracco said. “You only see the trainer for a one-hour session, and there are 23 other hours in the day. If you don’t stick to your plan, eat healthy, and continue to work out on your own, you’re not going to see your results.”

Richards echoed the important roles that focus and self-discipline plays for client success.

“I’ve stressed the importance of accountability to Joey not only for his workouts but also with what he is eating,” said Richards. “I’ve had him fill out food logs, and now he’s found an online app to help track what he puts into his body.”

Bracco recommended a personal trainer to others because they provide the perfect training partner.

“With a trainer, you have someone that knows the program, knows the muscles, and knows how to help you reach your goals while having fun and keeping you motivated,” he said.

For more information about personal training, visit the Fitness section of the website.