As a personal trainer, the majority of clients that you will meet are likely to be beginners. You might want to throw them in at the deep end; teaching them tips, tricks and hundreds of different exercises that will help them achieve whatever goals they have set themselves. But unfortunately, this is not the best way to approach personal training beginner clients. When personal training beginner clients, 9 times out of 10 anything will work. They are likely to not have exercised at all before, therefore even the simplest of exercises will have a positive effect.
When personal training beginner clients, you gain so many opportunities. Not only do you have the opportunity to help them reach their fitness goals, you can also have the chance to:
- Build up their confidence in a gym environment.
- Introduce them to other people who have a positive mindset, who can support and motivate them.
- Impact upon their attitude towards health and fitness.
- Spark up a (possibly life long) passion in exercise and keeping active.
5 tips for personal training beginner clients
1. Help clients get over their ‘fear’ of the gym
It is not uncommon for people who are not familiar with a gym environment to have a slight fear of the gym. Being surrounded by ‘fit’ people who know what they are doing can be intimidating or overwhelming to some individuals. Walk new clients around the gym floor if they have no visited before, talk them through different exercises and how to work different machines. Through sessions, you should be able to build up their confidence in a gym environment. By gaining more knowledge and skill, their fear should slowly disappear altogether.
2. Offer ways to help clients get past any other barriers towards physical activity
Individuals who are beginners may have numerous other reasons as to why they haven’t been able to or wanted to approach exercise before. These may include reasons such as
– Not knowing where to start.
– Not having the motivation or will power.
– Not being able to find the time.
As a personal trainer, it is your job to help them to overcome these barriers. Making sessions as convenient and as exciting as possible for clients will keep them enthusiastic about their time with you. It will also keep them wanting to come back.
3. Communicate in a way they will understand
So you have just spent a couple of years training to be a personal trainer, and you’ve all of learning the technical language. These names and phrases will have taken you ages to remember and would have been very confusing to get your head around. So don’t use these terms when personal training beginner clients. Keep the names of exercises, muscles used and types of movements basic. For example, forget about the hamstrings and quadriceps – simply say the front and back of the top of the leg.
4. Explain ‘why’
To ensure your clients keep putting in the hard work outside of sessions, ensure you always explain ‘why’. To anything that you do. Every time you introduce a new exercise, suggest a habit to change or give nutritional advice, explain why you are doing or suggesting it. Draw a line straight back to the client’s goal and how doing this will benefit them. This helps the client make the connection between a certain action and the results they want. It will also motivate them to keep pushing and challenging themselves, rather than opting for an easier option.
5. Look back and reflect
Ensure you look back on the progress your clients have made. And acknowledge it, however small. Make beginner clients aware that results will take time, but frequently remind them that they are going in the right direction to achieving them. Even if they have not quite achieved their long term goal, they may have achieved smaller, more short term goals in the process.