In every field, there will be a few different ways of doing things. Although other careers will have people doing things differently, all with the end result being positive, there are some things a personal trainer really shouldn’t ever do. When it comes to being a Personal Trainer, some things are non-negotiable as they can lead to injuries, bad experiences for clients and eventually, the loss of a client base for your business. Australian Institute of Fitness Victoria Fitness Coach, Christopher Meggyesy, lays down the 5 things a great Personal Trainer would never be caught doing.
1. LOSE FOCUS
A great personal trainer’s client focus doesn’t ever waiver. There are some Personal Trainers out there that remind me of Dory from Finding Nemo; very easily distracted. Your clients are paying for YOUR time. From the moment you greet your 10:30 client to the moment they leave, the great PT is 100% about their training. Whether it’s fixing technique, handing their client a water bottle, or just being the motivation they need, it’s all about your client. Whoever it is that just walked in the gym, they can wait. If you’re a personal trainer and you are constantly getting tied up with other things, checking your phone or chatting with other people during a client’s session, you may find some clients parting ways with you and finding someone new.
2. DOESN’T PROGRAM
The great PT will have every moment of the training session accounted for prior to beginning the session. It’s pretty obvious when the PT is umming and ahing about what’s next for the client, they’re winging it. A PT should know what is happening at each minute, what will be covered and how to get the best workout completed specific to the client within the time they have booked with them. If a PT seems to be lost, chances are they aren’t really sure of what the client needs in order for them to reach their goals. Remember, those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
3. TRAIN EVERY CLIENT THE SAME WAY
Every client is different, aren’t they? They have each got their own little quirks, health concerns, and movement deficiencies. So why are there so many cookie cutter programs out there? Each program should be tailored to the client’s needs, that’s part of what your client is paying you for. One of the first things a personal trainer should be doing within the first session is asking what a client’s needs and wants are, what their goals are, what they hope to achieve and also ask about the client’s past history with exercise. A PT should understand completely what a client is capable of doing (and not doing) and working on the areas they wish to work on in order to achieve their goals. Because everyone has different goals, everyone’s session should look and feel different.
4. LOOKS AT THEIR PHONE
iPhones, Android phones, Windows phones, even your old Nokia! No matter what the brand, having one in your hand while you’re taking a session, regardless of the intention, just looks like a distraction. You may very well be timing your client with your stopwatch app, but to the outside world and any future clients that may see your session, they can’t tell the difference between timing a client, and swiping right on Tinder. Clients are paying for the time and attention of a trainer for a reason. The best PT’s should ditch their phone for the whole session and their focus directly on the client at all times.
5. DOESN’T WALK THE TALK
Let’s face it, you are your own brand. Prospective clients start forming opinions about you the second they see you. In that first second, how are you marketing yourself? That first second might come when you turn up for your 5:30am client on a Monday morning, and a brand new member to the gym sees you as you walk in the door. Do you look (and smell) like you just rolled out of bed, or do you look clean, neat and tidy with an awesome smile? Ask yourself, who are you more likely to hand over your hard money earned to? Someone who looks and acts like a professional, or the slob that just rolled out of bed? Feeling and looking fit and healthy is going to also rub off on the client’s. A client is going to feel more motivated to get up early and get a great workout completed if their PT looks like they’ve already completed it and are now feeling (and looking) fantastic.
A trainer should be there to help, motivate, assist when needed and provide the right training and fitness advice possible for each and every client. Getting to know a client is a must-have and being able to provide the right workout for each client is a necessity. If you’re a PT and you find yourself doing some of the above things, it may be time to step back and take a look at your role and look at ways you can address them and help your clients to reach their full potential once more. If you’re a client and are noticing some of these “red flags” with your own trainer, it may be time to take a look at other trainers in the area who may be able to help you succeed.
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