Originally Posted by VLSI
You don't think youtube and a video camera are sufficient? Serious question, as long as you keep weight light to avoid injury risk, I don't see why you couldn't dial in form from free feedback online rather than gamble on a trainer that may or may not what they're talking about.
I think for a person stepping into the gym for the first time without a lot of confidence and not really knowing his way around, it helps for the first couple times to have someone show you the ropes. Unfortunately there's a lot of bad PTs out there, so yes, he'd need to do some research and see who other people have gotten results from. I think 2-3 sessions would be enough for him to get to the point where he could then progress via youtube and video camera. But for a first time lifter to go in the gym and just go for it -- I think that's asking for trouble. Besides, investing a hundred dollars or so in it in the beginning might keep him motivated.