How Often Do You Perform Assessments?
I want my clients to be as comfortable and engaged as possible without affecting their results negatively. How often should I perform assessments, and how long should they be? Do you charge the same rate for assessments? Wondering if free assessments would be a waste of my time?
I will do an assessment on my clients first visit and three to six months therafter. Never viewing it as a waste of my time and the length depends on how deep you assess.
You get out what you put in...and it shows your clients you are as involved with their success as they are.
An assessment should be a comprehensive fitness test that gives you a better understanding of your client's fitness level, instead of a generic list that must be checked off as a part of the routine.
Remember that personal training is not a profession that you clock in and out- most clients prefer a professional who cares about their fitness journey. As the time goes by, the results kick in, and your relationship loses its formalities, you'll become in tune with their needs.
Keeping track of their progress is always a good idea, but you shouldn't charge them and actually go through a full-blown assessment. You should not only be aware of their abilities and limits, but also know the rate of their progression.
You'll learn as you get more experienced.
I used to offer all sorts of free things; assessments, basic program design, consultation, etc.. That was before I realized that my time and my worth as a trainer is more than a free value. Be careful with free offerings because it says something about the way you value yourself as a trainer.
As far as assessments go they are absolutely necessary for programming and also for motivation and client retention. Depending on who I am training and what the goal is I can do an assessment every week, every 3 weeks, every 6 weeks, or every 3 months. It really depends on the training system I am using.
If I am training a strength athlete and I run a westside barbell training methodology then every week there is an assessment for upper and lower body. If I am doing a block type periodization for an athlete then it can be every 3 -4 weeks or every 3 months. If I am working with a fat loss client then it can be performance testing every 6 - 12 weeks. It depends on the goals of the program and type of client.
The bottom line is clients need to see results and know that they are getting something for what they are paying for and you need to see if your program is working effectively, so testing is never a waste of time.
Now, depending on your program design, you may have it so that every exercise is an assessment for your next workout session. You don't necessarily need to do formal testing to measure all areas of fitness. Again, the client's goals will dictate your priorities for what to assess and how often you will assess.
What you charge for assessments is up to your business model. I would say let assessments be free if they are informal or if they are already a part of the workout routine (such as checking proper form with each exercise if one of the client's goals is related to corrective exercise). Regardless, assessments (whether free or not) are never a waste of your time, unless you don't use the information to write your program. There has to be a point as to why you are assessing.
It's never a waste of time when performing fitness assessments. It's a great way for you to find out all the information you need regarding your clients. An assessment is the tool to use when you are preparing a fitness and nutrition program for your clients. It's the first step of many to follow.
I do an assessment on my clients every 6 weeks to see how they are improving and then make the necessary changes to the plan in order to continue with their progress. I personally don't charge them when I do the assessment.
My initial assessment is very comprehensive but it also serves as a 'getting to know you' opportunity because this is often the first time I see a client. I do the normal stuff, measurements as much as possible and a musculoskeletal screening. This is the base of my initial program design.
Particularly the range of motion and strength assessment become quickly part of the program design, thus making every workout an assessment in some way. There may be some assessments that I repeat formally, particularly if a client has clearly defined goals. Since most of my clients come with health rather than fitness objectives, I pretty much do ongoing informal assessments which are part of the workout. I may refer back to the initial measures and screening results, though, to highlight to a client the progress that has been made.
Good to hear from you again. Hope everything is going well for you.
I do assessments at the start and end of a fitness class, which may last two to three months.
For clients, I do the initial assessment and keep track of their progress along the way during the workouts.
I let the client dictate how things will go, then, I go with the flow.
The assessments are done during our sessions and the client decides, to a point, how quickly they are done.
IT WORKS AWESOME!!!
As an example, why perform a 3-minute step test if you know the personal has low cardiorespiratory function.
I tend to assess progressively.
Thank you for your question.
The first thing that I have all clients "do" is to move through the foundation movements at all of their joints. I caution them to move slowly, stop if they feel pain or that the motion is not a good one for the joint. This takes very little time. Limits in any movement direct further investigation into their ROM/flexibility.
I take this a step further in resistance training. All resistance exercises are performed without resistance/weight first. I don't ask someone to do a push up if I haven't seen them move the arms in a manner that will be used for a push up. While 90% or more of clients will have no problem, I have found a number of clients that did. And finding out before they attempt a loading/unloading situation is always better than finding out after the attempt.
And extra attention needs to given to any issue that has been discovered during the course of training/assessments. If a joint or muscle/muscle group has had issues/injuries in the past, any movement involving that area should be done with that in mind.
This answer is not nearly as indepth as I would be with a student or client. There are many variables to every movement and every client. Assessment is ongoing, any exercise or movement can provide feedback on whether a client needs regression, reassessment, or more instruction.