The Fitness Zone

5 Tips for Screening a New Personal Training Client

Dec 14, 2020 | by AIF

You have a new personal training client – congratulations! As a PT, this is always something to celebrate and a perfect opportunity to improve your rapport-building skills. Before you start training your new client, however, you need to conduct an effective client screening, writes AIF Fitness Coach, Jennifer Dabbak.

Preparing for Success

Engaging with a new client can be daunting, especially for someone new to the fitness industry, but there are many things you can do to better prepare yourself.

Here are my top five tips for screening a new client that will have you both feeling energised and confident with your new-found professional relationship:

1. Stay cool, calm and collected

Whether we like it or not, we are often judged quickly on things like appearance, time keeping, attitude and how we greet someone – so it’s important to pay attention to these areas when meeting a new client for the first time.

Once you settle down into the screening process, remain calm and put the client at ease. This will not only help build rapport, but will prevent excess stress that could cause things like heart rate and blood pressure to increase; we’ve all been to the GP before and had that feeling!

2. Know who is sitting in front of you

Have your new client’s details ready; this shows that you are prepared, value their custom, and appreciate their decision to choose you as their personal trainer. Be thorough with your questioning and recording: this will show your client that you actually care about them and their personal information.

3. Prepare a checklist

Prepare your checklist of things to discuss and information to record. There may be things in your process that differ from what you have studied in your Certificate IV in Fitness course.

The basics will always be there, but there may be some additional lifestyle questions you need to ask or further testing you need to do. Explain the checklist to your client and let them know the reasoning behind both the physical tests and personal questions. Once they understand why you need this information, they will feel a lot more comfortable.

4. Practice, practice, practice!

One thing that will always help screening and early stage testing is practice! Practice at home on anyone who is willing to sit still for long enough. The more you do it, the easier it will get, but be careful not to become complacent with the process. Each and every new client deserves the same level of care and attention as the last.

5. Be confidential and professional

Once you complete your screening, be sure to confidentially record the details and back them up. Remember that you may need to keep records for a number of years. You do not want to be responsible for losing someone else’s personal information. It can sometimes be tempting to discuss interesting clients with a friend or those close to you, but do not do this! Your client has trusted you with their personal information, so consider how you would feel if it was the other way around.

A well-conducted screening can set the foundations for a successful personal trainer-client relationship. By following the five tips above, you’ll be on track to deliver your clients the highly professional level of service that they expect and deserve.

Preparing for Success

To learn more about the safest way to train clients, click here to check out the AIF’s Master Trainer Plus+ Program™ course which includes dual qualifications in Personal Training (Cert IV in Fitness) and Fitness Coach (Cert III in Fitness).


Jen is a Fitness Coach at the AIF NSW and a personal trainer. After completing her bachelor degree in physical education and sports in Lebanon, she started working as a PT. With over a decade’s industry experience, she has studied numerous courses in rehab, massage, boxing and Strength and Conditioning.



The Australian Institute of Fitness
The Australian Institute of Fitness (AIF) is the largest and longest established fitness training organisation in Australia, with dynamic training methods and expert course coaches nationwide - spanning fitness, massage and nutrition. The AIF qualifies more fitness professionals than any other provider in Australia, as well as offering a broad range of continuing education courses (CEC), upskilling resources and partnership programs for existing industry.

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Disclaimer: Where Certificate III in Fitness, Cert III/Cert 3, or Fitness Coach is mentioned, it refers to SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Fitness, Cert IV/Cert 4, or Personal Trainer is mentioned, it refers to SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Master Trainer Program™ is mentioned, it refers to Fitness Essentials and SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Master Trainer Plus+ Program™ is mentioned, it refers to SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness and SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Massage or Cert IV/Cert 4 is mentioned, it refers to HLT42021 Certificate IV in Massage Therapy. Where Diploma of Remedial Massage is mentioned, it refers to HLT52021 Diploma of Remedial Massage.