A first-time gym membership holder’s foray into the workout world can be as intimidating as heading into a foreign country without knowing how to say anything other than “Do you even lift, bro?”

Just as it helps to have a tour guide when you go abroad, a personal trainer for your workouts can save you from embarrassment, injury and just might make you fluent in gymnese. And more locals this year have put their trust, their health and their obliques in the capable hands of Hector Ortiz.

He’s been at PHiT Performance on Mountain Road — this year’s top-rated indoor fitness venue — in Stowe now for about a decade, and a personal trainer for twice that time. And during that time, he’s seen every body shape, size, gender and age come through. He’s got a client three years short of the century mark and works with 20- and 30-somethings training for triathlons.

“I train a woman who’s 83 who’ll blow your mind,” Ortiz said. “She’s still lifting her own weight.”

Ortiz will personalize your regimen, and give tips for outside-the-gym performance, because that’s where most people spend most of their life.

“You’re only in the gym a couple, few hours a week,” Ortiz said. “I try to preach feel, first. How do you feel?”

Good as gold, we bet!

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