I recently obtained my ACSM CPT certification in an effort to gain experience while I’m still in school. I had just been hired at a local gym, and because other trainers there will be coaching sports I will be picking up some of their clients in their absence. As an aspiring strength and conditioning coach, I currently intern with a strength coach in my area who has been guiding and helping me prepare to sit for the CSCS exam. I decided to pursue personal training to become a better communicator, build relationships with those in my field, and pick up some verbal cues to help training of athletes and general population alike. Having said that, I was asked to train a client who I was told I can “do anything at all with”. With endless possibilities of workout structure and movement selection I’m having trouble deciding what direction I should go in. I have been leaning toward a total body circuit style workout with a cardiorespiratory fitness emphasis. Because the experience I have is with program design and instruction for athletic performance, I unsure as to what does and does not translate to the general population. Any advice for a beginner?
I would not plunge into a workout without having talked with the client and done an assessment, even if it is a brief one. Find out what the client’s goals are and what he enjoys doing. If he is indeed a very fit person, then you may be able to do workouts that are in your line of expertise. The circuit style workout is usually a good option for a conditioned person.
I agree with what Karin has already mentioned. Even if you are not the one who does the initial assessment, I would contact the client prior to your first session and find out the goals of the client. Also, personally, even if the client is very conditioned, I always take a more conservative approach on the first session. You are getting to know the client and need to build rapport, see how his body moves, and assess his pace through the exercises. Have a set plan in place, but be prepared to have a back-up plan depending on how the client feels that day.
I think you are wise to think about the goals of the client and proceed with a proper plan–as opposed to the the approach to “do anything you want with”….
Good luck to you…
Yes I agree. You should do an assessment first. CSCS Certifications are awesome but the bulk of training is in fact done with Gen Pop. The unifying aspect is a Needs Assessment.
“Anything” just means they need coniditioning mostly. That means muscle building, body awareness, cardio conditioning and core.
I bet you have a number of things to do there, so start at their current level of fitness.
Do things that measurable first… weight, measurements (tape measure), body fat percentage. Then ask about fitness goals, and injuries, fitness level and training history.
If there are injuries, address them first and guide the client into something total body oriented. Cardio and conditioning is best because I am willing to guess this person, if they need training, needs conditioning to advance along your program.
Feel free to email me if you have more questions
Based on your story it sounds like this is a client who will be new to you but has worked out with at least one other trainer at this gym before. The other trainer is now out coaching a team sport so you are filling in for him. As others have mentioned you should sit down and talk with this client first before you start to work with him. Find out his fitness goals, workout history, his personality if he has past or current injuries, etc. In addition,the gym should have a file on this client which should include a health history questionnaire, or a PAR-Q form. There should also be records of the workouts the other trainer has done with him. Review these records to get a feel for what type of workload the client is capable of doing. If possible you could also talk with the other trainer to get his advice on what direction to take as you develop a workout program for the client.