WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A GREAT PERSONAL TRAINER?
We asked that question to several HealthEase fitness professionals who provide our corporate clients with personal training services. Here’s what they had to say…
MAKE A CONNECTION.
“To be a good personal trainer I believe it is important to connect with your clients on a personal level as well as professional. It can make a huge impact on their level of trust in you. Take an interest in their lives. This will help a lot in knowing their lifestyle, their stress levels, and what their obstacles are in struggling with keeping to an exercise routine.” – Jamie V.
NO COOKIE-CUTTER PROGRAMS.
“I’d say it’s important to not use cookie-cutter programs. Make sure your clients know and feel like their program is tailored specifically to them. They’ll feel like their money is well spent and that you care about their progress!” – Bridget T.
BE RESOURCEFUL AND ADAPTIVE
“Be prepared to modify, adapt or completely reinvent your program for each client each day. Injury, ailments and mobility changes can occur day-to-day depending on various circumstances. Although it’s important to be prepared and have a plan ready for your client prior to their session, it’s extremely helpful to have the knowledge to implement back-up exercises and modifications from within your knowledge tool box. I can’t tell you how many times a week I change a previously designed program quickly “on the fly” after consulting with a client as they walk through the door. Look at the BIG PICTURE and, like Jamie mentioned, if you know your client, you will know where to go.” – Lauren S.
“I would say it is important to listen to your clients and their goals and wants. However, make sure that their goals are measurable and specific. It is the Personal Trainer’s job to keep a log of that progress. Whether it be an exercise goal or otherwise, it is viable and worthwhile to keep that information stored away, both on paper and mentally.” – Dom L.
MAINTAIN CONTACT OUTSIDE OF SESSIONS.
“A method that has always worked well for me is connecting with clients outside of personal training sessions. Whether you drop by their desk or shoot them an email, this is a great way to stay connected and keep the idea of that healthy lifestyle fresh in their mind! Maintaining contact outside of sessions is a great way to build relationships and helps plan future workouts by getting feedback before the next session. This type of outreach is especially great for the clients you only meet with once a week.” – Liz C.
SET SHORT TERM GOALS.
“Set short term goals that you know your client can achieve in 4-6 weeks. For instance, one of my clients wants to get stronger while losing some body fat, so I created a six-week program for her. We decided together that by the end of the six weeks she should be able to bench press 95 lbs. for a 3 rep max and squat 155 lb. for a 3 rep max. At the end of the 6-week cycle, she’s seen some awesome progress; she’s worked safely and incrementally up to this weight, and she’s added some amazing strength and muscle in the process. Then she gets a rest week/down week, and we choose a new but similar goal for her next 4-6 weeks. It doesn’t have to be a weight-related goal, but make sure it’s something you can tangibly track and see a difference by the end. This does wonders for self-esteem/self-efficacy! I’ve seen so many clients start choosing bigger goals through this.” – Jules B
FOCUS ON INDIVIDUAL NEEDS.
“I like to focus on the word PERSONAL in personal training. I see myself as someone’s coach… encourager, supporter and motivator. Train each person differently and focus on what they need each time you see them. Some sessions might be more about listening and stretching rather than making them sweat through there shirt. I ask how they are doing and feeling before we even hit the floor. Be personable yet professional. I also focus on functional movements because injury prevention is a huge help. If they can move well, they will move more often. – Liz R.
BE THEIR BEST CHEERLEADER.
“My tip would be to remind your client that they are human and not to beat themselves up too much! I feel like it is a massive problem in society and especially our industry to play with that line between healthy and obsessive or body bashing. We can all be our own worst critics so be your client’s best cheerleader! Let them know that goals are malleable and to roll with the punches. This keeps them motivated but also positive and uplifted. – Nicole M.