All Star Trainers

Anyone can benefit from working with a personal trainer. The trick is to find a good one. Michelle Shih recommends 55 of America's best.

Personal trainers once belonged only to the rich and famous; now it seems like everyone either has a personal trainer or is one. Some are known for their celebrity clients (who hasn't worked with Demi Moore or taught yoga to the Grateful Dead?), others for rehabilitating the injured or for teaching Pilates, an exercise technique that balances and strengthens muscles and joints. 

Choosing a trainer isn't easy. Any hardbody can put up a shingle and start teaching with no educational background. But the preferred trainers are certified by the American Council on Exercise,the National Academy of Sports Medicine. 

The best ones have built their busy schedules and high reputations through word of mouth, and that's also how this list was generated; all of the trainers below were recommended by at least one other trainer. New York and Los Angeles may have the highest concentrations, but those in smaller cities were just as well praised. Clients cited include both current and recent trainees. 

Aspen - Jean-Robert Barbette

Facilities: Jean-Robert's Gym

Clients: Average client is 45 or older. Cleints come for the summer and winter seasons. 

Fitness philosophy: Takes clients snowshoeing, in-line skating, extreme skiing, and hiking. Jean-Robert gives them the confidence to try new machines and activities. He also believes in mixing in isometric exercises. 

Specialties: Strengthening muscles or posture re-alignment. Works with children who have scoliosis.

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