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The Fitness Zone

5 Tips for Screening a New Personal Training Client
August 22, 2017 | by Jennifer Dabbak

Author: Jennifer Dabbak, NSW Fitness Coach

You have a new client! Well done!

That’s always something to celebrate and another perfect opportunity to improve your rapport-building skills.

Engaging with a new client can be daunting, especially for someone new to the fitness industry, but there are many things a fitness professional can do to ensure they are well prepared and feel less pressured during their first client consultation.

Here are my top 5 tips for screening a new client that will have you both feeling energised and confident with your new-found professional relationship:

1.  Whether we like it or not, we are often judged quickly on things like appearance, time keeping, attitude and how we greet someone - so make sure you pay attention to these areas when meeting a new client for the first time. Once you settle down into the screening process be sure to remain calm and put the client at ease, not only to help with rapport but to prevent any extra 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 their details ready; this shows that you are prepared and keen to have them as a client. Be thorough with your questioning and recording, which will show the client that you actually care about them and their personal information.

3.  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.

4.  Prepare your checklist of things to discuss and record, after all, 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 lifestyle questions or further testing you need to add. Educate the client on this checklist and take the time to explain the reasoning behind both the physical tests and personal questions. Once they understand why things need to be done they will feel a lot more comfortable.

5.  Once you complete your screening be sure to CONFIDENTIALLY record the details and back them up. Remember you may need to keep records for a number of years! There’s nothing worse than losing someone else’s personal information. It’s tempting sometimes to discuss interesting clients with a friend or loved one, but do not do this! That client is trusting you and always consider how you would feel if it was the other way around.

So to conclude…

1.  Arrive on time, stay calm, smile and be welcoming.
2.  Study your clients profile beforehand (if possible).
3.  Practice at home to perfect your skills.
4.  Have a checklist to keep you on track. Be thorough and explain what you are about to do and why you are doing it.
5.  Store information securely and BACK IT UP.


Jen is a Fitness Coach at the Australian Institute of Fitness NSW.

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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