I often give my clients newsletters once a month, most of these are with tips or contain articles about fitness etc . I am really wanting to start including “homework” for them though. I feel like it will help both of us achieve their individual goals easier. Do you give out “homework?” How often and what types? Since most of my clients have been here before me I feel like they may not like the changes I am going to implement- such as- bring in your weekend food journal. What are some ways I could perhaps make it fun for them or motivate them to particiapte and complete the assignments?
I have asked for various types of homework in the past, with mixed compliance.
1) Track their own food intake (not required to turn into me)
2) Do at least _____ additional weight workouts and _______ cardio workouts. Report to me what they were and we’ll talk about them.
3) Try ________ fitness class, or one other fitness activity you haven’t tried yet at our gym (i.e. machine circuit, one of the new pieces of equipment, etc.)
4) Repeat the written workout twice so we can talk about what’s working for you and what’s not (For clients who have paid for written workouts that document what we did together)
Like the others, the only additional assignments I hand out are workouts to be done on their own – mainly additional aerobic & flexibility exercises – possibly some extra strength exercises (simple ones). I would only request that a client keep a food record (usually 3 days) if they were really having issues with their diet. And if they were, they usually did it pretty willingly since they needed the help. In my travels, I found that most people (at least mine) don’t really like “assignments” unless there’s something in it for them that they really want – and I can’t say I blame them. Heck, I can’t get most of my own people to read my blog! Good luck Missy.
For personal training purposes, my clients are expected to do workouts on their own, so yes, they do get homework! As for the food journals, I do agree with Karin that it is hard to get people to do that. Plus, if you are reviewing numerous food journals and providing feedback, then you are actually offering an additional service (and hopefully within the scope of practice for your background). You could always have them log/track their workouts for homework.
Sometimes while training clients certain topics come up with regard to wanting to change this or that body part. I try to keep things positive and will ask them to think of three things they like about their bodies (trying to change the negative to a positive). That might be an easier form of homework that your clients would do. Just a thought!
Good luck and keep encouraging and motivating them!
asking clients to keep a food journal is a particularly unpopular assignment, and I would not do that unless the client asks for help in that area.
I give my clients workouts which can be any number of things; stretching, MELT, ball workouts. I only ask them to do things that they can execute correctly. If they struggle while they are with me, it’s not going on the list until they have mastered it.