Training Records and Liability
Hello Idea Community!
There are just a few questions that I would like to ask. Based on your professional experiences. What is the most practical way you record, organize, store your clients program and session information. If you work for a corporate gym, there is usually policies in place for that issue, but how about a facility owner or mobile trainer? Do you keep records digitally and upload information on a password protected computer, use personal training software, or keep written records and keep them somewhere safe? If you use software, which ones do you prefer? I am looking for new, more thorough software.
Also, besides assessment data and workout plans, do you record any subjective observations during a session? If so, what observations do like to record? Do you ask specific questions about the clients physical or emotional state coming into the session? Personally, I like asking about sleep, stress, and what or if they have eaten anything. Have you found any favorite questions? Are these things you should, or shouldn't do, is it necessary? Thank you for your time and opinions!
To answer the first question in a nutshell, I'm a little old fashioned, and I keep written records. Primarily for in hand purposes so that a client and I can have discussions, however brief. Although, I am becoming a little more savvy electronically, many clients have expressed appreciation of my readiness and their accessibility to session design and exercise info. On the other hand, web pg., client contact, exercise library, articles to clients, short exercise videos, etc. are electronic and may use a back up. I like having two forms docs, hard and soft, in case something crashes or gets damaged. Take a look at Core Performance as a great resource.
Subjective observations are a key element. For motivation, and to get a deep sense of what drives a person. What are they willing to do to achieve success, even as the definition of success changes and grows or when confronting set backs. Questions? At different points of the trainer/client relationship, and some are more comfortable than others, but an example might be; What role do you play at home, doer, delegator, supporter? or Give an example of your most challenging setback, adventure, work experience, personal success.
I always make an electronic version of the records after the workout. first, so that I have a backup of their records, and second, so that I can reuse the workout with other clients if it's applicable.I have created my own little database and font-end for recording them, so that they are searchable based on client goals, phase, body part, etc.
I often take notes during workouts. They are usually quick notes about form, particularly tight muscles, or whether or not the client needed help with any of their reps. I find these help me determine what pre-exercise cues I'm going to give the client on the next set or in the next session.
I definitely ask about eating. This is in part son I know what to expect in the current workout, but also so I know whether I need to send them a pre-workout message reminding them to eat before our session. I have found that what a person has eaten before their workout with me is among the most important predictors of how they are going to perform.
I am also of the pen and paper variety when it comes to the training records. I have my own studio in my house but keep those records in my office, not the studio and thus do not have to worry about security.
I have space on my training log for notes, and this can be anything as it seems to be noteworthy. Usually I make notes about issues that I observe and want to to a follow-up. I do not have 'favorite' questions. I know my clients very well and have been working with some for over a decade.
I keep some client information on my computer (and I am a dedicated backer-upper).
I have worked this way for 18 years, and it serves me well. If I saw an advantage, I would consider going electronic but so far I would not see the benefit.