A key part of being a Personal Trainer is tracking your client’s progress to ensure their program is working and their goals are being met. Here are some successful tracking methods you can use with your personal training clients.
Structured progress reports are a simple and effective means of helping clients evaluate progress and focus on their goals. Create a 6-week report that covers the essentials of your client’s training routine and results; this could include accomplishments, insights and suggestions for the following 6 weeks.
If your client has weight loss or muscle gain goals, you can easily and accurately track their progress with body measurements. Measure areas like the waist, hips, shoulders and arms. You can also weigh them, although this isn’t the most reliable method because what most ‘weight loss’ clients are actually striving to achieve is fat loss. If accessibility and budget permit, you can refer your client to have a DEXA scan, which offers the most accurate way to measure muscle and fat percentages, as well as bone status.
If you have designed an appropriate program, and your client is following it, then comparing these figures to previous measurements should reveal the desired pattern of weight loss or muscle gain.
Sometimes a simple visual reminder can speak volumes. Depending on your client’s comfort level with this method, you can aim to take a head-to-toe photograph each week, month or every six weeks. With this approach, your client will get a realistic perspective of their body to begin with, and a powerful pick-me-up when they start seeing real results.
With their permission, you can also use these images in your marketing to visually demonstrate the results you help your clients achieve. It’s an old technique, but as the saying goes ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’, so it can be a highly effective way to quickly convey the benefits of your services.
For clients who are big on detail and need to see everything written down in order to pinpoint where they’re going wrong, a workout log or food diary can help them stay on track. Ask them to log their food intake (ideally using an app like My Fitness Pal), and to record the names of each exercise, as well as the sets, reps and weights. Not only can this documentation act as a powerful motivator, it provides you with valuable insights into their lifestyle and can highlight areas that may be impeding their progress.
Touching base with clients in between their training sessions with you can have a powerful impact. This could be a quick call or text to check in and see how they’re progressing or, depending which apps or software platforms you might use with clients, other notifications or emails to provide encouragement and share relevant, useful information. The most important thing is to make contact on a regular basis so that they stay on track and keep their long-term goal at the front of their mind.
It is important for both you and your client that they reach their training goals. If you have a client that is smashing their fitness and health goals under your supervision, they will be more inclined to continue training with you – and more likely to refer friends, family and colleagues to you. Word of mouth referrals are gold, and they cost nothing other than your professionalism. Your clients’ results are a reflection of your Personal Training skills, so it is in your best interests to do everything you can to monitor their progress and keep them on track for success.
Want some more tips on becoming the best PT possible? Whether you need help marketing yourself as a PT, understanding when your clients may be overtraining or standing out in the industry – we have loads of fantastic resources in The Fitness Zone.