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The Fitness Zone

10 Things You Need to Ask Your Clients
February 10, 2015

New to personal training? Don’t forget to ask them your clients these questions, says Ben Cook, Lead Coach at the Australian Institute of Fitness St Leonards campus.

1. What is your medical history?

It is an all too common practice for Personal Trainers to pick up a new client without performing any type of pre screening. A health screen should be a bare minimum for all new clients.

2. Is this the type of exercise you like?

The most of effective exercise for health is the exercise that you will actually do! If your client is not enjoying your sessions, or is intimidated by an overbearing style of delivery, it wont be long before they become one of the 50% of people who quit gym programs within six months. Ensure that you are providing a service the client is excited to pay for.

3. How hard does this feel/what type of discomfort is this?

As experienced exercisers we all know the 'burn' and become accustomed to it, and even motivated by it. The issue is that many new participants have no idea what type of response to expect from exercise and so can feel like they are tearing every muscle in their body when it is simply lactate system by products. Conversely some clients assume all pain is normal and may ignore searing, hot tingly pain because they think it is necessary. Good communication is essential.

4. What are you eating?

You can't out train an unhealthy diet. So when you've been training your client for six weeks and they haven't shifted a kilogram its obvious that something is not in order; that could your training style, but most commonly its what your clients are putting in their mouths.

5. Why are you training?

One of the key things to understand about your clients motivation is the reason 'why' they want a certain goal. Weight loss is the 'what' but to really tailor the training experience you must know the 'why'. It could be to feel good about themselves, to impress their partner, to stay healthy for their kids or any number of personal reasons. All of which will be strong motivators to remind your client about.

6. Do you have any friends/family who support you/are interested in coming along?

Small group training is the future of the industry. It provides a greater yield per hour for the trainer, while usually decreasing outlay from the clients. It promotes competition and camaraderie and will help push your clients places they usually wouldn’t otherwise go. Get your client’s whole family involved and you can really make a difference to their life.

7. What has changed/how much better are you feeling since beginning with me?

Soft selling the benefits of your product will reinforce the value. The client saying you've changed their life for the better will help with retention and generate new leads from their friends and family. Ask what issues they used to have that have disappeared, reminding them of an unhealthy self they don't want to go back to.

8. How can I improve/what can I do better?

Showing humility in asking for feedback, and then applying that feedback, shows that you care about your client and makes them feel valued as well as consistently improving yourself as a trainer. Remember feedback is the breakfast of champions, and you have to practice what you preach, so don't skip breakfast!

9. What other styles of training/services would you be interested in?

Constant upskilling is a necessary part of growing as a Personal Trainer, and providing further profit centres like massage therapy are necessary to fill your week with variety and stable income. Inquire what else your clients would like from you to get an indication as to what certificates or training might be worthwhile taking at the Australian Institute of Fitness.

10. What's your birthday/anniversary/special date?

Sending messages and well wishes on special dates shows that you are a caring trainer, but also that you have become a part of the client’s life and inner circle. Developing rapport with your client’s entire family is great way to get them to stick around

This content is not intended to be used as individual health or fitness advice divorced from that imparted by medical, health or fitness professionals. Medical clearance should always be sought before commencing an exercise regime. The Institute and the authors do no take any responsibility for accident or injury caused as a result of this information.

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