None of us are perfect. It doesn't matter if you are experienced or just starting out as a personal trainer. What matters is how you deal with the problems you encounter. To be successful, when you make a mistake, you have to change something. You need to adapt, improve, and avoid making the same mistakes once again. This article will help you avoid some of the top mistakes personal trainers make that can destroy your business.
1. Failing to conduct a proper initial fitness assessment
When meeting new clients, you need to conduct an initial fitness assessment! Without this, your new clients can easily get injured from working out too much or trying exercises they shouldn't be doing without proper technique and preparation. Make sure you find a reliable way to assess fitness and put each of your clients through initial testing.
Skipping fitness assessments for potential clients is dangerous and can lead to serious health problems and even the risk of loss of life. A good example is this situation described online by one trainer:
A new client shows up for a free personal training trial session. The personal trainer just measures his height and weight, checks how bad his BMI is, and immediately offers to do a workout. He shows a few exercises and asks the client to try them out. After 10 minutes of intense exercise, the client is pale, sweaty, breathing fast and complaining of dizziness. It turns out he is a Type I diabetic, has not eaten in the last 5 or 6 hours (he can't remember), and does not have insulin with him. He needs immediate medical attention. This was a diabetic emergency that could have been avoided.
Therefore, before exercising with new exercise clients:
1. Complete the PAR-Q (Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire) with the client.
2. Gather information about the client's medical history and current health status
3. Select a safe and appropriate workout based on this information
All questions on the PAR-Q are designed to help uncover potential health risks associated with exercise. The questions are designed to uncover possible problems with heart, circulation, balance , joints, medications, and other issues that may make exercise difficult or even dangerous for some people.
It is worth noting that in many cases, doing just a few fitness tests can be just as strenuous as a good workout for new clients. Take your time and use tried and tested fitness assessment methods, taking into account your client's age, gender and body type. Remember that the mirror is a poor indicator of progress. After taking initial measurements, set goals and start taking action!
Schedule fitness assessments periodically so clients can see visible improvement;
- Take pictures of their progress so you can compare before and after
- Track strength and cardiovascular performance
- Record data about each workout, including exercise sets, reps, rest, weights, etc.
Show your clients concrete data proving the benefits of exercise and a healthy diet. If you do this, they will continue to show up for workouts. If you fail to show them how far they have come, chances are they will give up on the gym and never reach their goals.
If you think that running tests, recording and tracking the results of each of your clients individually is a lot of work... then you're right. Fortunately, there are tools that will make it easy, fun, and much less time-consuming.
The Fitsy app offers you the ability to track and see changes in your clients weight, BMI, body fat, circumferences, and strength results with clear graphs. With just a few clicks you can check your current workout and nutrition plans, as well as those you have already completed!
You can easily conduct fitness tests with it and save the results so you can choose the right workout. It's a really simple and effective tool that will help you take better care of your clients and save you valuable time.
2. Not focusing on your clients
You need to make sure that you are offering your clients what they need and not just what is convenient for you. Doing crummy workouts for everyone and not taking a personalized approach can end up discouraging your clients. Every client will be different and so should their workouts.
You need to be fully focused on the client. Watch carefully for correct form, proper breathing, and assess energy levels. Not paying attention to the client is a harmful mistake. Not only does it make you look bad and unprofessional, but it can also be dangerous to your client. Remember, customers are paying you for attention and experience, not for the opportunity to check a cell phone and chat with friends. Give them the respect they deserve.
3. Coming up with workouts on the fly
Many trainers make this mistake because their schedule is too busy. They have too many clients who require individualized scheduling. This often results in them using the same workout for multiple clients, causing them to fail to get results and meet their goals.
A safe and effective exercise program should be well planned and divided into periods. Periodization divides an exercise program into specific time periods. Each period is an opportunity to achieve a specific goal. Periodization training improves fitness from one cycle to the next and allows you to make planned progress. It is a safe and effective method to help clients incorporate fitness into their lifestyle.
The trainer should schedule the meetings so that each one contributes to micro goals, which will be "stops" on the way to achieving the final goal, the macro goal.
The trainer should explain why and for what reason one is doing this exercise and not another. In addition, he should try to add variety to the workouts and be creative. During joint sessions, a personal trainer should correct the client, establish the habit of performing the exercise correctly, talk about goals and progress, and provide support.
4. Not standing out
Create your business card and design your logo! A simple and good way to stand out is to have your own t-shirt with the words "Personal Trainer" in large visible letters. Write a blog, set up an instagram and create a fanpage on facebook. Act online and offline. Do things that will make you stand out. A good way to do this is to find a specialty in which you can be the best, for example a personal trainer for pregnant women. Keep in mind, however, that a narrow specialty often involves additional training and learning.
5. Lack of willingness to learn
Trainers don't have to have a master's degree, but they should be curious and willing to grow. They should want to gain more knowledge and skills not only while on the job but also outside of it. There are many podcasts and reputable blogs that are easily accessible. There are forums and youtube channels for trainers. At the very least, they should be knowledgeable and up to date enough to answer their clients' questions and correct them when needed. It speaks very well of a trainer if he develops himself, completes various courses, earns new certifications and licenses.