Last reply 1 year ago
Is Personal training helpful for MS?


I have had relapsing remitting Ms for 3 years now and I’m doing relatively well. I’m thinking of getting some personal training as I struggle with intense cardio sometimes (legs go to jelly) and I’d like to lose weight and gain muscle.

I obviously would like them to have an understanding of how hard working out can be because you can’t see my symptoms. Has anyone found personal training to be relevant/helpful?

Any feedback is much appreciated 🙂

Add categories

Browse categories and add by clicking on them

You can remove current categories below by clicking the ‘x’.

1 year ago

My aunt who had MS was given a gift of a personnel trainer at the age of 70. She had MS for 25 years and was using a walker, with in a year she was walking with a cane. Potter

1 year ago

I would def do this initially with a good PT or physio helps too
Retention of muscle mass, improve core and strength. The key I would say is to compliment with diet
Also train for shorter periods more often

1 year ago


I was diagnosed with active RRMS in June 16 (after a relapse in February/March) – and I LOVE my personal training sessions.

I initially started having weekly PT sessions a while ago when I was trying to loose some weight (I am a former fatty – naturally inclined to being heavy I comfort ate myself through the loss of my Mum). I had started going to the gym but found I was too shy to do anything other than slog it out on the cross trainer, hoping I was invisible. This did kick start my weight loss – but I wanted more from the gym so initially booked in for a few PT sessions to build my confidence on the machines and free weights. I never intended to keep the PT long term.

Well – over 5 years and 4 stone later (which I lost some time back – my weight has been pretty stable for 4 years) – and I still have weekly PT. I’m confident in the gym now – go to a huge variety of different classes and don’t hide at the back and worry about making a fool of myself and am confident to manage a solid work out on my own on all the machines, free weights and other equipment regardless of how many muscle men and skinny minnies are crowding the floor.

So I feel I no longer need my PT for confidence, or to teach me how to use the bulk of the equipment. What I get from the sessions now are:
– my PT pushes me. I don’t get to choose what exercise we do or for how long or how heavy. Whilst I work myself quite hard when I’m on my own, its not quite the same
– my PT keeps it fresh – on my own I tend to revert back to the same old exercises and equipment I am most comfortable with and dodge those I like less (you would, for example, never see me volunteering a set of pull ups or session on the battle ropes). Keeping it mixed up, especially with super sets and compound exercises, forces your whole body to work and keeps it interesting
– having my PT spot me, and check me on form, lets me go heavier than I would have ever mentioned I could
– Boxing!! We end each session with 20 – 30 mins of pad work. It is utterly exhausting but I love it – and I think it is excellent for my MS. Remembering technique and footwork in long combinations (or just responding with speed and power to where the pads are placed) whilst my heart is pumping and I’m gasping for air is great for fitness and for cognative ability as well. A lot of boxing comes from the core which is also helpful on the MS front
– Finally, my PT knows about my MS. He was one of the first people I told (felt only fair to disclose I couldn’t feel my feet and was having MRI scans as he walked me across to a fully loaded squat rack!) and was brilliant about it. He took the time to do some research and asked me about my symptoms. As these are predominately left side (when they show themselves, which thankfully isn’t at all frequently and is only mildly) he also helps me monitor my comparative strength and mobility on both sides – and we make sure we work on my balance and core as we know these will help sustain me in the long run

My PT was recently promoted to Boss Trainer at my club – and his (already pretty high) fees went up. I thought about cancelling the sessions (or trading to a different chap) – but decided he was a luxury in my life I didn’t want to live without, and there were so many other things I would cut back on first if I needed to to keep him.

Sorry – I’ve written a bit of a novel. I genuinely think that having a PT helped me stick at my fitness goals five years ago – and that in doing so it helped me change my life significantly for the better. A couple of examples: I discovered a love of long distance walking, completed several 100km challenges (and raised over £15k for cancer charities in memory of my Mum and climbed Kili (which I would never have believed myself capable of). I also found the confidence for the first time in years to date and met the man I am going to marry (next year!). All in all it helped me find a positive place and outlook in my life – such that even the MS diagnosis hasn’t been able to shake it


1 year ago

As MS effects all of us differently it’s about finding a PT that understands MS
As a former rugby player I know how fitness works but now if a PT pushed me in the classic way they do I would end up in a right mess for days.
The clinical study mentioned in earlier post on here are looking at exercises to help all MSers. Personally I use a lot of stretching Tia che & walkinh as a sedate pace nothing to trigger me off but enough to get some exercise keeping core strength etc & not allowing myself to just rot

1 year ago

I went to a physical therapist when I was first diagnosed, she taught me stretches that help maintain balance and walking. I have added Tia Chi and some exercises my foot doctor gave me, so I spend about a hour a day stretching. I have had bad feet my whole life so walking has never been on my list but I do notice if I skip a couple of days of stretching. Potter

1 year ago

@kimberley11 I’ve just started back in the gym as part of a GP exercise referral. My PT is supposed to be a specialist for people with health conditions. She’s sweet but knows nothing about MS…She got my relapse date wrong by a year and doesn’t understand neuropathic pain. I felt like she couldn’t understand why 10 mins fast walking on a treadmill was knackering me out. As @katy79 suggests- think you definitely need a PT who gets MS.

On a brighter note, I had neurophysiotherapy and found it incredibly helpful. I went from being unable to walk to skipping in the park with the neurophysio help. It’s not cheap but I found it worth every penny. With a bit of luck, I might be able to start running again soon. I also do pilates and Tai Chi/Qi Gong which has helped my balance, core strength and confidence.

So yes, good luck with PT hunt @kimberley11 – hope you find someone great.

@katy79- Kili High Five! I climbed with my Dad, 3 months before I had severe relapse that led to my diagnosis.

1 year ago

Also @katy79 Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! I’m getting married in July. Thank you for your post, I found it very inspiring and it lifted my spirits. Hannah x

1 year ago

Hi @kimberley11

I’m too much of a wuss to go near a personal trainer so in the past I’ve gone along to gym classes and I really do believe they make all the difference. Any form of physical training has got to be good for you.

Good luck and let us know how you get on

Congratulations @katy79 on your up and coming wedding and all of your achievements… definitely are a determined soul :-). I use to do Boxercise and loved it although I felt battered at the end of each session. Think I’ll go and find another class


1 year ago

@polepole – Kili hive- five right back to you! I loved every minute – we took the longer Lemosho route and every day was brilliant. Super proud to have summited – and what a fabulous thing to have shared with your Dad! Good luck for your wedding! And thank you for the message. Xx

@makkymee – bloody minded is probably more the case! :-). I always feel battered post gym- sign of a good work out! Enjoy the classes and stay well. Xxx

1 year ago


I am a personal trainer and have just been diagnosed with PPMS.

As has been mentioned on a previous post I had the GP referrals qualification (and have in fact taught this qualification to the next generation of PTs) and it is very ‘general’. Having this qualification does mean you know anything about MS. I didn’t but I do know!

It is not an option for me not to exercise – I have just had to modify my training as I cant run any more.

Anyway – getting a PT is a brilliant idea
Remember you are employing them – so interview them and choose the one who has done there homework on MS!!

1 year ago

The fact that someone is focusing on you – be it a neuro physio or personal trainer – breaks down the isolation of being disabled in a non-disabled world. I agree that the exercise benefits us tremendously but I also think that in a psychological sense it helps to change your mindset. We’re always being told to ‘be positive’ but it’s a big ask. I continue to rely on my neuro physio and – I start with a PT next week.

1 year ago

I belong to a dance group for able and disabled individuals, which is awesome fun. Before I needed forearm crutches to walk I curled, worked out, did aquacise, and fly fished on a pontoon boat.
Muscle atrophy is real with MS and in my experience, the best treatment is to be proactive.
Now I am trying to source programs that will allow me to continue to be physically active not just for my body but also for my mind and so I can see people.
Most universities offer adaptive gyms with inexpensive trainers who can help you develop an exercise program that suits your needs. So will even help you transition into the larger community.
MS is actually the reason I move my body as much as I do.
For myself, the trick is managing my energy, which exercising increases, so that I can get to and from the exercise program safely.

Join to reply to this post.

Become part of the community so you can chat, compare and learn from other MSers.