What you need and what you don’t

It’s tempting to think when starting out that you need a whole array of belts, straps, gloves, and suits to begin strength training, especially if you see a lot of folks in the gym all decked out like medieval cyborgs. Well, the truth is that you don’t. Here’s what you need and what you can do without.

How to choose a personal trainer

Often the first question people ask when starting out on a fitness program is, “Should I hire a trainer?” Although you don’t need to hire a trainer, beginners and experienced trainers alike can indeed benefit from skilled coaching and motivation. If you know you’re someone who does better when someone is guiding you, if you would like some skills instruction and don’t feel you can learn yourself, if you would like specialized services like bodyfat assessment or the development of a training program, then you might consider finding a personal trainer. But be warned: There are a lot of sucky ones out there. Here’s how to separate the, uh, weights from the staff.