Personal trainers deal with several clients each week from varying backgrounds, fitness levels, and different goals and aims, making it exceptionally difficult to keep track of and design individualized workouts for each of them.
But that’s precisely what they’re hiring you for; to give them personalized workouts, hold them accountable, and push them where necessary. If you’re struggling to determine the right workout routine for your clients, here are some tips and advice on how to improve your practice as a certified personal trainer:Build detailed client profiles, and information logs
The best place to start developing a high-quality workout regime is by building a detailed profile of your clients. Learn about their needs, goals, health history, fitness experience, and what they want from this training program and experience. You can get to know them even deeper by understanding what motivates them, their reason for embarking on this fitness journey, and how you can improve that experience for them.
Apart from building a personal profile on them, you should also track key numbers and stats. This includes knowing their current weight, measurements, and possibly what they’re aiming for as well. You can make better decisions about their training schedule and program through these figures and insights for guidance.
Carry out an analysis of their needs and requirements
As a trainer, you will also be required to use your knowledge and insights to conduct a detailed needs analysis to see what your client wants vs. what they actually need, where they stand, and what areas you need to focus on more closely. This can be done through simple fitness tests and regimens, where you evaluate and assess their current fitness levels, training capability, strength progression, and stamina, among other factors, using that information to base your understanding of the fitness program include.
This is also pertinent to training athletes and specialized clients who need to improve more specific factors such as speed, flexibility, agility, endurance, etc. A needs analysis is an excellent tool to achieve that sense of clarity.
Stick to principles of specificity and progressive overload
It’s tempting to test the waters and push your creativity to the fullest as a certified fitness professional, getting your clients to experiment with radical movements, a varied range of motion, and killer moves. However, the best programs are often based on fundamentals, i.e., specificity and progressive overload. The cleaner and more straightforward your program are, the more effective it proves. Instead of cookie-cutter, generic exercises that serve no real purpose, you need to focus on introducing and including movements that align with their end goal and build up to that. And this is where progressive overload comes in.
Another simple but vital fundamental of great training programs, progressive overload is one of the most effective ways to build endurance and strength and steadily get closer to clients’ goals. You can take various approaches to progressive overload, including higher reps, more sets, and higher weights.
Focus on targeting all major joints and muscles during training
Another key principle to apply to your training programs is targeting all major joints and muscles to get the maximum effect. Movements like deadlifts, squats, planks, and pushups engage multiple muscles and are known as compound movements. These movements work several muscle groups and joints, strengthen the body, and make your clients work harder than they would normally. Isolation exercises are also important for effective results, but they work fewer muscles and are thus less demanding. An effective workout routine should combine elements and dynamic stretches for greater stability, strength, flexibility, and conditioning.
Assign sets, reps, and rest periods strategically
Through the knowledge you gain in your personal health trainer programs, you can strategically determine and assign sets, reps, and rest periods. Arbitrary movements and numbers are ineffective and can lead to injuries and complications. Keeping in mind your client’s goals, you should set the number of sets and reps, factor in the weight or amount of resistance used, and generate the desired results more efficiently. The goal is not to fatigue the muscle, but to train it, so going too heavy or too light with the weights or adding too many or too few reps can defeat the purpose.
Alongside this, however, you must also plan the rest time during and between workouts. If you’re taking a more HIIT-focused approach, shorter, more specific rest times are ideal, but for slower, more intensive training, you’ll need longer breaks between sets. You’ll also have to think about rest days and recovery times between one workout and the next.
Work on appropriate warmups and cool-downs
No well-designed, well-rounded workout can be complete without appropriate warmups and cool-downs, and as a certified personal trainer, you should prioritize these elements more. Help your clients warm up their muscles and get their bodies moving for the exercises ahead to prevent injuries and exertion. End each workout with effective cool-downs to normalize heart rate and breathing, help the muscles recover, and keep them healthy. You can learn more about the importance of warmups through this course.
It’s challenging for even experienced, highly-qualified certified personal trainers to design engaging workouts, up to their client’s fitness levels and right for their needs. However, you can make it easier for yourself by getting an advanced personal fitness trainer certification that will teach you more about your field. We have several beginners, advanced, and refresher courses, stackable skills, and courses that teach you more about improving your practice that you can register for.