By Jonathan FitPro
In this article I’ll address how you should structure your first personal training consultation to ensure a long-term training relationship.here
Don’t start them off with a “workout”
The average person judges a workout’s effectiveness on two main factors, how much they sweat, and how much the workout burns. You can very easily make that happen. The problem is the client, in their ignorance, will often think they can do the exercises you gave them and get in shape without you. If you want a long term client your have to establish a baseline and educate the client.
Your value as a trainer lies not only in your ability to motivate, but also in your ability to assess a client’s current state, determine their potential, and lead them to their next level of fitness. This can only be done by consistently taking, tracking, and interpreting data with fitness testing.
Why is fitness testing so important for the client?
First off, this gives you leverage in the sales process, the client can copy your workout, BUT they can’t give themselves a fitness profile to know how they are progressing. Fitness testing gives details on where your client is, and helps you to understand where your client wants to go. Without a thorough fitness test you have to rely on two horrible things, the mirror and the scale. Why is this so bad?
- Clients rarely notice changes in the mirror because they look at themselves every day.
- The scale only tells you how much you weigh. It doesn’t tell you how fit you are.
A thorough fitness test gives a broad range of more reliable metrics to determine a clients fitness including:
- Body Fat Percentage
- Anthropometric Measurements
- Waist to Hip Ratio
- Fat weight v Non Fat weight
- Heart rate
I did this for a long time on paper and had a file cabinet full of measurements that were easy to misplace. Because I wanted to be more efficient I put my fitness report card on a web app called the FitPro Calculator and I’ll give you a change to try it for free. But first, let’s go through this step by step.
You want to start off by taking weight, body fat and girth measurements as it gives your client a clear idea of their current state of health. You also see in the example the the client can understand that body fat, not weight, determines how healthy they are.
In the upper right, your client sees how much work they have to do, this example client has to lose 48lbs of fat. This is a perfect situation to say that it will be in Jane’s best interest to lose no more than 2lbs per week. She should expect her goal to take her about 6 months.
Step #2 – Go over resting heart rate and caloric need
The client should also have a clear idea on how to healthily lose this 48lbs of fat. Based on the clients’ activity level, and body composition, you should let the client know how many calories they need to consume daily. Moreover, make sure the client knows that as their body changes, the number of suggested calories will change as well.
Next, resting heart rate tells the clients how hard their heart has to work. Explain the people with a red shading usually have a hard time keeping their breath with regular activities like climbing a flight of stairs. Everything that you can metric that you can test and improve gives your clients more reasons to continue their training program.
Step #3 Run a battery of performance tests
The benefit to this is you won’t accidentally smoke out your clients. Another benefit of a standard battery of tests is that you have something to base all future performances against. Think of this as the “before picture” of performance. Best of all, if you allow the client 2 minutes of rest in between each test, you have easily put together a 30 minute training session. This takes the pressure off of you to put together a workout for someone you don’t know yet.
Step #4 Run your client through a few mobility tests
Flexibility is another area that can be tested in the first session. By running your clients through a few simple test, you can help your clients identify muscle imbalances with tend to lead to lower back pain. Helping to eliminate lower back pain alone with make you a hero to your clients.
Use the information from your mobility tests to establish a stretching routine for your clients. Like massages, stretching your clients leaves them relaxed and relieved. It takes the focus from having to sweat like crazy to developing a fit and balanced body. Finally if gives you an opportunity to go over clients’ nutritional habits without interrupting the intensity of the workout.
Step #5 Write up a small summary with you information and hit submit to text it to your client.
Because this is the first report for your client, your will probably spend a little bit more time on the notes section but you can follow the same format for all clients. The huge benefit is that your notes are personal to the client. Just highlight the areas that are most important to the client and explain how “we” need to work on it. The great thing about the fitprocalclator, is that it will text your clients their results directly to their phone. It will also DELETE their records after 7 days so they HAVE to come back to you.
I set up a reminder system in the FitProCalculator that will send an email to clients who haven’t updated their fitness report every 6 weeks.
Now you’re ready to start training your client. You can build a program around their goals and show them progress as they spend more time with you. Do the front end work and your clients will spend a long time with you.
How to get the FitProCalculator
If you want to try the application for free, click here.
I hope you found this blog helpful, tune in next week for a new topic, and as always, remember to:
Eat healthy • hydrate • drive safe • stress levels low • get rest • don’t slap anybody • love your clients, they will love you back • I will see tomorrow, or the next day • and you have a good one!