This post is a continuation from yesterday. If you missed Uncommon Secrets to personal Training Success: Part 1. Check it out here.
Step #2: Selling your approach:
After completing a thorough evaluation and session, the client is now primed to commit to training. Because we now have a better idea of their goals and fitness level, the next step is to sit down and formalize these through a traditional consultation.
The primary tool utilized in this process is our client goal setting packet which is strategically ordered to set formal goals and then up sell the client on the needs which will best support their program.
Now that we have identified the general intention (weightloss, sports, etc), the goal setting form is utilized to identify specific tangible milestones which can be targeted in blocks of 3-12 months. For example, if the client’s goal is to lose 30lbs and they enjoyed running in the past, we can conceive several goals which fit the client’s interest:
- Aesthetic: Fit in to a size six by a specific date or holiday
- Physical: Run a local 5 K on a specific date or holiday
- Mental: Keep nutrition log for 90 days straight
By targeting multiple means of perception, we have appealed to the client’s primary intention while identifying a mechanism (running) which they can utilize for enjoyment and stress relief. The mental challenge is often useful in targeting a specific weakness which has kept the client from achieving their goals.
Once we have identified the specific goal dates, assure the client that they will be given a long term plan which lays out everything (strength, cardio and nutrition) both in and out of the gym.
But in order to ensure you are with them through each step, it is important to reserve your time now to ensure you are both held accountable. Once this is verbally agreed upon, the rest is as simple as filling out training times and the client’s billing information.
New Client consultation explained
Step #3: In-session client system
During the first month of training, the primary focus of each session is establishing the habits which will achieve long term success with your program. While this certainly involves coaching of exercise form, tempo and execution, it is equally important to ensure your client takes ownership of practices such as logging progress and warming up properly.
At Peak Fitness, this begins with the boards posted in our warm up area which take the client through warming up (performed before the session starts), core training (performed before or after the session) and conditioning (performed after the session) so the trainer is free to spend the thirty minutes focused on the most important aspects of their session.
During the first several sessions, this means taking time to teach our client the standard foam rolling and dynamic warm up sequence posted on the “flexibility board”. We then ask the client to arrive 7-10 minutes early to perform this process to allow for full utilization of workout time.
As an added bonus, this same sequence is practiced by the majority of our clients as an off-day mobility routine to improve posture and alleviate soreness.
From here, the next step is to coach the client through their workout and log their results in their workout chart. With the majority of clients on long term programs, we will swap between Workout A and B (and possibly C for more advanced clients) with each workout. During the first week of training, this means writing in that month’s exercises in to the workout chart and coaching the client on execution and logging of progress.
To end the session, we will perform post workout conditioning which is listed on the “conditioning board”. For clients especially interested (or in need of) a stronger core, we have also including an extensive core routine (posted on the “core board) which can be performed either before or after their workout.
Client board system explained
Client workout logging explained
Step #4: Off-day fitness and nutrition:
Once the client has become familiar with our session process, the last step to success is to familiarize the client with their off-day program.
For each individual, this will consist of a basic core and mobility routine, cardiovascular training and a basic shopping list and done for you meals.
While this may seem like a lot to take in (and it is), the key is to gradually emphasize 1-2 elements per month until the client has become comfortable with the system.
For example, for a client who is particularly tight and inflexible, a simple goal for month one may be to perform 1-2 key foam rolling and mobility drills at home. At the same time, the client continues to perform the full foam rolling routine on workout days until they become comfortable with the routine.
With this in mind, we have found the most effective means of emphasizing certain elements of our program are placing these things in a simple binder which issued to the client. As time goes on, we can simply add or subtract elements which are important to the individual client’s program.
In terms of execution, we will either devote several minutes before or after personal training or group sessions to take clients through our binders.
Understanding off-day homework
Step #5: Tracking and troubleshooting results:
At the beginning of each month, an important part of keeping the client accountable is to set mini- goals for long term success.
This means taking several minutes before or after your personal training or group session to check on these goals which can be written in the client’s workout binder.
For a beginner weightloss client, this may include:
- Keep a weekly nutrition log on loseit.com
- Exercise two days per week
- 100% attendance to personal training sessions
At the end of each week, we will revisit these goals to check on whether the client is having success. If the client is able to maintain 90% consistency for two weeks, we can successfully move on to 2-3 new goals or alter these in some way to achieve a better outcome.
At the same time, we will set aside a Saturday every four to eight weeks to conduct body comp evaluations along with performance and strength testing. Affectionately known as “moving day” (a term I stole from Eric Cressey), this community like setting allows clients of all types to work to set personal records along side one another while taking the pressure off.
Regardless of whether this amounts to weight lost or records achieved, our clients always work away with a positive feeling and tangible proof of improvement.
Monthly goal setting process
While some may blame a crappy economy for poor sales, the bottom line to a prospering business is constantly adding value to what we do. In a fitness industry so predominated by hype and expensive marketing, it is my belief that the secret to dominating the competition lies in simply treating every client like gold.
It is my hope that this article helps you to do the same for every client you serve.
Did we miss anything? What are your secrets to personal training success? Comment below and, as always, please share.