As a Fitness Professional it is your responsibility to provide safe and relevant physical training program’s whilst taking into account these three main factors:
- What the client wants
- What the client needs
- What fitness level/performance level the client is at.
Although personal interest in health & exercise is growing rapidly, the average client will have limited knowledge of what is suitable for them. Those that have some knowledge will often have found this from books and magazines and it is often too advanced or not applicable to them personally. This will not stop the client insisting that they want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Madonna in about 6 weeks. Therefore selecting a program has to provide the best training to achieve results whilst not endangering the client or putting them off from the training experience.
These are a few guidelines for program selection.
- Be positive but realistic. Talk to your client and listen to their goals. Assure them that goals are achievable but it takes regular effort & work and cannot always be done in a short time-frame. Exercising regularly is a lifestyle change, not a quick fix.
- Constantly tell them the benefits of a regular exercise regime. That feeling good promotes looking good and being more confident.
- Look at what the client is prepared to do. A client who will only train once a week will see little or no beneficial results so tell them that. Always try to get the client to make exercise a priority in their life. As said before this is a lifestyle choice not a quick fix.
- See what issues may be barriers-to-exercise for the client. Will the client’s working hours affect their training? Is they’re a possible solution.
- Using the client assessment, induction & feedback, evaluate client levels. Produce goal setting targets with a realistic time frame. Explain about initial programs and advanced programs. Reinforce the positive aspects of exercise but also explain that initially there may be some discomfort from exercise but this will go away in time.
- Using your own experience, evaluate where you think the client needs to focus their training regime. Adapt exercises or classes where necessary to take all of this into consideration. Be positive & encouraging with the client.
Once you have completed these 6 steps, you are ready to design a training program for your client. Ensure that you initially monitor your client, not just to ensure correct techniques etc but to positively encourage and reassure your client. The majority of gymnasium leavers happen in the first 4-12 weeks of training, when the client believes it is too hard or not for them. Be on hand to encourage and advise. Once the client has grown in confidence than you can be in the background, available to advise and when necessary reassess your client and produce new goals and training plans.