Cookie cutter workouts create bored clients and bored clients go to other trainers, work out on their own or just quit training altogether. These are situations that any personal trainer will want to avoid. Any of these scenarios mean less clients for you and less revenue. If you’re serious about training clients and making money you’ll want to be sure that you keep your clients workouts fresh and exciting. With a little time and preparation you can go from being a “ho-hum trainer” to an “awesome trainer.”
Inventory– Grab a notebook and a pen or your I-Pad. If you’re working in a gym go through the facility and REALLY familiarize yourself with all of the available equipment. I suggest writing down the equipment and props that you are uncertain about. (I’ll admit after 35 years of training myself and 29 years of training clients I’m currently doing this myself because I’m training in a new facility!) Some examples might be: BOSU, TRX, Reebok steps, kettlebells, various types of bars, etc.
Research-My next suggestion is to research only 1 item a week so you become proficient with that piece of equipment. If you skip this step you might not have the confidence you need to use this piece of equipment to train your client. I recommend googling the item to find out how to use the equipment safely and effectively.
For example, if you are unfamiliar with kettlebells spend a little time reading about the benefits of kettlebells as well as correct form and appropriate weights and workouts for your clients. This is important so you will be able to educate your clients about this new piece of equipment and why you decided to incorporate this into their workouts. Remember as a trainer you are also an educator!
Next, check out the manufacturer’s site as well as sites such as Pinterest, Spark People, etc. You should find an array of resources available such as videos and pictures on exercises as well as appropriate form and possible routines.
Practice– Take the time to practice using the piece of equipment yourself. Back to the kettlebell, try the various weights available and think about your current clients and what would be appropriate weights for each of them. Try a few different exercises and think about which client of yours this particular exercise may benefit. For example since we’re using the kettlebell you could try swings, goblet squats, Turkish get ups, passes, clean and press, etc. You may find that your 30 year old male client will benefit from each one of these exercises. Your 50 year old female client with a few aches and pains with a goal to lose 20 pounds may benefit and enjoy a few of these exercises. You may find your 80 year old client with hypertension, diabetes and arthritis will benefit from some of the exercises also. Jot this information down in your clients profile or on your page of notes about the client. Think about one or two kettlebell exercises that you will incorporate into each client’s workout in the upcoming week.
Here’s an example of what you can do-
Kelly- age 25, goal is to lose 20 pounds of baby weight (kettlebell squat, kettlebell swing)
Andrew-age 33, goal is to be stronger and more fit (kettlebell squat, clean and press)
Sherry-age 57, goal is to maintain fitness level (kettlebell swing, goblet squat)
Bill- age 84, improve coordination and strength (kettlebell pass, kettlebell squat)
Performance– Now that you’re actually at the training session it is time to incorporate the new exercise(s) into the client’s workout. First, tell the client about the new exercise(s) and what benefits they will achieve- strength, power, etc. Also, go over proper form and technique with this new exercise. Next, demonstrate the exercise to the client with confidence and good form. Finally, have the client perform the selected exercise. If possible do the exercise in front of a mirror! Check the client’s form and note any possible problems with form and technique. If they are doing the exercise with good form consider another exercise utilizing this same piece of equipment during their next training session.
Conclusion– If your client seemed to lack confidence or enjoyment with this particular exercise you may wish to try a different exercise the next time. Not every piece of equipment is enjoyed by every person. It is critical that the client ENJOY their workouts with you! Last but not least, consider giving your client a handout of their new exercise!