Personal Trainers Beware!
With machines and technology making so many people 'unnecessary', are personal trainers in danger of being made surplus to requirements too?
Maya is the answer to all our prayers. She’s only sixty bucks and can accompany you anywhere where you’ve got a plug socket, TV screen and Nintendo Wii console. She is your virtual personal trainer and does away with all the time consuming hassle of getting to know you, asking hundreds of questions around your desire to become fitter and healthier. She will simply ask you to select the exercise programme you’d like to follow, how long you’d like to do it for and will give you the option of choosing from over 500 workout options. Knowing that you’re likely to have a pretty busy schedule, she also lets you decide how many times a week you want to exercise. She won’t waste your time going into any detail about your medical history or injury profile and won’t embarrass you by asking questions about any medication you’re taking or put you on the spot by asking if you’re a dirty smoker, she’ll simply leave it for you to decide whether you’re feeling well enough to exercise and have you judge when it feels too uncomfortable to go on. I can’t remember what my doctor told me about exercising with high blood pressure, but I’m sure I’ll be fine.
Maya will keep it ‘fresh’ and motivating for you by offering you yoga, kickboxing and strength training workouts and don’t worry if you’ve never done it before, Maya will provide you with correct exercise techniques and pep talks as you go to help push you through, even if that old shoulder niggle starts to flair up again. She builds time into your workouts over the many weeks that you decide to switch her on, to let you enter your various girth measurements. I’m sure we’re all nifty enough with a tape measure to know how to do this right without sucking in too much, pulling too tight, or making up numbers. She’ll then pump this data into a graph that can show you your progress to date. Unfortunately, I can’t ask her how she intends on making sure my progress continues, or whether the progress I’m making is in line with my goals (hang on, does she know what my goals are? Did I tell her that bit?), but we can select our own programmes anyway and make it as easy or as hard as we like.
One of the great things is that if you get bored of exercising at home in the same front room you eat your dinner in; you can simply select a different virtual environment to work out in. So Monday you could be in a dojo, Wednesday chop it up a little with desert scenery and Sunday go Urban. If Maya starts to wear you out a touch with the same upbeat personality, that after a restless night and work deadlines to meet you could do without, just invite a few buddies around to help dilute her a bit. Although it would be quite cool to have a ‘mojo’ rating for the session so that just like the volume, you could adjust how beamy her smile was and turn it down a few notches for days when you’re just not at your best. I might suggest that to Nintendo. Perhaps they’ll include this function in version II. Anyway, you and your buddies could select the group exercise programme and have an 80’s two piece aerobics session, provided you can push the sofa and coffee table back far enough to accommodate three or four extra people jumping around to Chaka Khan. But then Maya wouldn’t know if you didn’t show that day and certainly wouldn’t call to make sure your lack of motivation was just a blip. There’d be no intervention strategy to get you back on track, leaving you free to just cruise along dipping in and out of exercise whenever you felt like it. Hey, wait a minute, isn’t that what I’m doing now? Do I just need to change my attitude or do I actually need a real person?