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.
Depending on what the client’s goals are, frequent assessments may be necessary. This is to help adjust the program to continue to suit their goals. Although you may have a full program written at the start of their training (with progressions all set in place and the numbers taken care of), you can’t really expect your client to necessarily fit your program design every step of the way. It’s more important that the program design fits your client every step of the way instead.
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.
Once in the beginning.
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.
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.