Personal trainers have a variety of affordable material and equipment that will help them reassess their client's physical condition after their first training cycle. These tools, which are used to take body measurements, provide the personal trainer with objective and scientifically sound means of measuring progress and improvements.
Provided you have done your job professionally and taken your client's body measurements at the onset of your partnership, your client will see the results for himself, in an undisputable way.
Essential Methods And Tools
The following methods and tools are all essential and must be available to use when needed:
Body Fat Caliper
Every personal trainer must possess this instrument and learn how to use it accurately through practicing on friends or close people, before using it on clients. Take measurements of the skin folds, in the appropriate spots, and keep records of each and not only of the sum; they may be useful for future reference.
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Waist Circumference Measurement
This is a very significant method of evaluation and one of the easiest. It requires a minimum time to take, and the error committed during measurement is very low. It is very practical to use as a quick test.
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Regular Assessment Every 4-6 Weeks
The objectives of this regular assessment are:
- Checking up the short term goals and setting new ones
- Program modification
- Diet update
E-mail The Assessment To Your Client Or Give It To Him Enclosed In An Envelop
Putting it all in a formal, professional report, will not only give your client the proper impression about your proficiency, but it will also allow him to dwell on the results and think over the results, good or bad. This concrete evidence will be your client's "reality check."
Identifying & Overcoming Failures
- Inconsistency and inaccuracy while taking the physical measurement, or the use of poor methods such as the BMI which is not recommended for use on people who wish to add muscles and lose body fat, while maintaining the same body weight or aiming to increase it.
- Inappropriate diet or false prescription due to unsuitable ratios or wrong calculations of the BMR, and calorie needs.
- False body fat measurements or calculations.
- Low intensity/inefficient/unsuitable resistance training program.
- Setting unrealistic/unreachable goals.
- Fail to convince your clients about the benefits of resistance training and to show the positive aspect shown in the evaluation sheet.
- Giving false details or missing information during the assessment about lifestyle, habits, medical situation, and type of activity or work during the day?
- Not following the prescribed diet, skipping meals, binge eating?
- Skipping training sessions.
- Performing additional training without informing the trainer; this could lead to overtraining, injuries, loss of muscles, and certainly unexpected or confusing results.
- Not doing the right effort during training, and asking for rest if not needed. This is typical of clients who are not convinced about training and its many benefits.
Shortcomings Attributable To Both
Bad communication or misunderstanding between you and your client during the sessions. (e.g. telling you that the weight is heavy while in fact it is not; or, you ask him something, and he gives an inaccurate or unclear response.
How To Fix The Problems?
- Take your time during the assessment and fill all the forms carefully. This can be a good start to build a communication base between you and your client.
- Hand over the result sheet to your client, explain and allow for questions.
- Design a mesocycle and a weight training program based on the short term goals of your client on a draft document and keep it for yourself.
- If your client is weight training for the first time in his life, you should explain to him that he needs a minimum period of three weeks to build a good foundation and to learn the proper range of the movements.
- If your client is in state of detraining, he may need one to two weeks or maybe more of preparation before starting the program. His progress will let you specify how much time this phase should be given.
- If your client is already exercising, you can test his strength or give him an exceptional one week training microcycle to evaluate his capacity and strength.
- During the mesocycle, you can modify the exercise intensity depending on client's improvement.
- Complete the mesocycle.
- Perform a detailed assessment and update everything included in the previous one.
In fact, you must expect to work with different types of clients (thin, obese, elderly, teen, children, middle aged, athletes, special situations?). Each time you succeed with a client, you earn credentials, reputation and achieve self-satisfaction, and you will certainly improve your business.
For any questions feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.