What is the first question you ask yourself when it comes to everything you do in life? School, training, working, investing? You want results, right? In the world that we live in, everything we do, we want results! Why? We need performance and we need to win!
When it comes to training, all my clients, they ask this question: When will I see results? I return the question to them, when do you want to see results? They look at me confused and say: “Well you are the professional so you tell me”. Indeed, I’m the pro, but you have do the work and you need the discipline to get to those results. Do you have the discipline?
Everyone can have results and I mean it. When you do, you are a king! If not, you’re losing!
Here are tips to avoid getting caught in the trap of the no results.
1 - GATHER INFORMATION ABOUT CLIENT
When you meet the client for the first time, you should schedule 60 mins with him in order to get some information about him. This is the basis. In this first meeting, you should ask simple questions; (Doesn’t have to be in this order).
Do you have any injuries?
If so, what kind of injuries do you have and how did it happen?
How far from the gym do you live?
How many times per week do you want to train?
How old are you?
Do you have kids?
What kind of work do you do?
Do you want private training?
What brings you to see me?
What will be your choice concerning the training days?
Let them talk. After 5 minutes, in most cases, the client will open and tell you stuff you won’t believe. Let them go on at this point. It’s time to be a good listener, not a good talker.
In a friendly conversation in which you explain how you work, write down the information. Taking notes is important because you will forget most of the conversation. Remember that you only memorized 10% of the conversation.
This is a major point. It will make the difference between keeping the client for a long time and losing him after 3 months. Make sure you can at this point, figure out exactly what your client wants. Most of all, what kind of client they are.
It’s like being a detective, you must find the little details. Once you found them, write them down and think about the answer. You will have a solution for your client.
2 - EVALUATE THEM IN BIOMECHANICAL ASSESSMENT
Once you got all the answers to your questions, it’s time to evaluate the biomechanic of the body. First, you must look for the lower and upper crossed syndrome (Janda was the founder of this evaluation principle). In the past in my previous gym, I would find a new client hanging at the counter and answering questions asked by the coach that interviewed him. Most of the time, it lasted about 5 minutes. Then they would go straight into the gym! This is not an evaluation, it’s a basic questionnaire.
To me, this doesn’t make any sense. How can you give a client a program without knowing his strongest and weakest points? You must know them before giving the client a new program. If you test the client, you will know if the scapula is weak and you will be able to address it with the right exercise.
To give you an example, you test your client and you find that the rotator cuffs are weak and he has a shoulder problem caused by this situation. With the testing, you will be able to rectify the problem and the client will progress faster. On the other hand, if you don’t test, you assume and still give him bench presses. After 2 weeks, he comes to you and complains of shoulder pain. What happened there? The shoulder blades are not stable enough to stabilize the shoulder and the scapula during the lowering part of the bench. That’s when pain occurs most of the time. You will feel it on the top of the shoulder near the clavicle.
As you can see, you must evaluate if you want your clients to have results without the pain. For me, evaluating is the key to success!
3 - BUILD THE PROGRAM THEN RE-EVALUATE
Now with the results of the biomechanical evaluation and the information, it’s time to do the program. Keep in mind that your client is a newcomer, so if you kill him on the first appointment just to show him who’s the king of the gym or to show him how out of shape he is, you WILL lose him/her.
You must keep in mind that he/she hired you to get results. Not kill him/her! A good trainer will assess all the problems found in the evaluation and correct them. As you go on with your client during the program, you must re-evaluate the program that you gave them. If your client is struggling with an exercise then change the exercises! Why keep going if the client has a hard time. Keep the same exercise but use a variance with an easier strength curve.
Take the split squat for example, if the client has a hard time doing it flat foot on the floor then put the front foot on a step. This will ease the motion and it will target the same region. You have to work with your head here. Don’t force something that is not natural with your client, work with his/her capacity. Don’t be shy, admit to your client that you’ve made a mistake and that you will modify the program to make it better. Your client will be amazed by your action and will love the service that you offer.
Re-evaluate and modify if it’s the case. Your client will thank you for it and you might have a client for a long time.
4 - CHANGE THE PROGRAM EVERY 3 WEEKS
Question; How often should you change your program as a trainer or a trainee? If the answer is every 6 weeks, you are wrong! A program should be changed every 3 weeks. The goal is for your client not to adapt to the training. That way, he will get better results.
The nervous system is a wonderful thing. It will adapt to any kind of stimuli that you give it. After that phase, when you go to the gym, you will just do what I call a float (maintenance). When that happens, you don’t gain anything. The goal of training is to get results. To get that, the program has to change so that the muscle recruits more fiber. Also, change the angle of work to accentuated the tension in proximal or distal portion of the muscle.
In the end, change is good but keep a certain logic. What I like to do with corporate clients is to modify the program. Week 1 to 3, I will work the proximal part of the strength curve. Week 4 to 7, the lower part. Week 8 to 11, the whole curve. But I don’t keep the same exercises. I change them every 3 weeks, this is key.
As you can see, these are simple rules. If you follow these 4 simple rules, you will have success. The business of training is one of the best services but you’ll have to give all the best to the client. If you are a client, you must ask for the best out of your trainer and his capacity to get you to where you want to go!