These are all great answers and I appreciate everyone’s feedback. I agree with so many of your points and fully intend to make these clients my own from the start with respect for the job the prior trainer did. I think the most difficult part for me is that the prior trainer is still working in our facility and is in fact my superior. As I am calling and introducing myself to the transferred clients, he is still training a few of them one last time. I just want to make the transition as easy as possible for the clients, it as afterall, about them.
I like what’s already been said here as far as putting your own stamp on the workouts as soon as possible. One thing I will add that had helped me tremendously- I never say a bad word about the other trainer’s strategies/exercises. Even if I totally disagree, I’ll try to find some benefit or emphasize that ‘different’ doesn’t mean ‘wrong’. This makes it clear that I am never trying to compete with the former trainer, and usually avoids conflicts or debates with the new client as well as their former trainer.
This is really easy. He trained his clients one way, but now they are your clients and you do things your way.
If you feel that he had a system that you could learn from, ask him to train you once or come along a few clients sessions and share his “Kung fu”.
If the clients ask questions about why you do something a certain way, have a logical answer. If they say “old trainer had this”, your answer is “my intention is different.”
You’ll have to re-evaluate everybody, so the first few sessions are newbie level.
All good answers. Ten ‘experts’ will give ten different opinions on any given issue. My answer….just be yourself. It doesn’t matter who the previous trainer was. Don’t compare yourself to her/him. Trust in your experience and education to know that you are implementing the best program that you can for your client. He/she will know.
I’ll do a short chat with the prior trainer pre-assessment, to see what they learned already about the client, what worked well, what did not. Then I assess the client on my own.
Especially if the client has been making good progress with their old trainer, I don’t feel the need to wean clients off of an existing program to establish my way. I’ll observe, assess, then tweak a little bit at a time, making my clients feel safe and comfortable with the way I teach first, then with the way I design programs.