Ryan Harbrecht struggled to lose weight on his own for nearly his entire life.
"My knowledge of working out is very limited," Harbrecht said. "No real guidance, no real goal setting, just that desire to change, but no action behind it."
The weight just kept piling on, and Harbrecht got up to 375 pounds.
"There was also a lot of depression going on," Harbrecht said.
Desperate to get physically and emotionally healthy, Harbrecht hired a personal trainer.
"It's about the dealing with the personal issues, personal obstacles and setting something up that meets them at their place of need and then following up over time," said certified personal trainer Cris Dobrosielski.
Dr. Cedric Bryant, from the American Council on Exercise, believes the spike in the use of personal trainers is directly connected to the nation's obesity epidemic.
"No doubt, personal trainers are seeing more obese individuals and individuals who are suffering from a variety of obesity-related conditions," Bryant said.
But sticking with a plan has been tough for Harbrecht. He quit his workout program for more than three years before coming back.
"It's not happiness in a pill. It's not going to a doctor and having something done," Harbrecht said. "It's really sticking for the long haul and getting it done in a healthy fashion."
Since March, Harbrecht has lost two inches from his waist, as well as added healthy muscle. His goal is to lose 50 pounds over the next year, but he says he's prouder of what he has gained in the process.
Many gyms offer referrals for personal trainers or have their own on staff. You can also search on the American Council of Medicine's website for a certified personal trainer.