Hello Andrew Halligan,
I do assessments at the start and end of a fitness class, which may last two to three months.
For clients, I do the initial assessment and keep track of their progress along the way during the workouts.
I let the client dictate how things will go, then, I go with the flow.
The assessments are done during our sessions and the client decides, to a point, how quickly they are done.
I like to do a full assesment every three months. although for client motivation I love using measurement assesments monthly so that clients can see there progress.. Clients see themselfs daily and dont really see any kind of body composition changes so using the measurments method really has helped me with client retention and motivation when done on a monthly basis.. I tell my clients that there first session of the month is a measurement asses and they are always way more motivated that last week of the month to work harder so there measurements will be lower…
IT WORKS AWESOME!!!
I NEVER do FREE assessments, ever. My time is more valuable than that. I charge the full session rate for an assessment. I do offer a free consultation, but that is only 15-30 min long and a comprehensive assessment can take as long as 90 minutes without the questionnaire.
I used to offer all sorts of free things; assessments, basic program design, consultation, etc.. That was before I realized that my time and my worth as a trainer is more than a free value. Be careful with free offerings because it says something about the way you value yourself as a trainer.
As far as assessments go they are absolutely necessary for programming and also for motivation and client retention. Depending on who I am training and what the goal is I can do an assessment every week, every 3 weeks, every 6 weeks, or every 3 months. It really depends on the training system I am using.
If I am training a strength athlete and I run a westside barbell training methodology then every week there is an assessment for upper and lower body. If I am doing a block type periodization for an athlete then it can be every 3 -4 weeks or every 3 months. If I am working with a fat loss client then it can be performance testing every 6 – 12 weeks. It depends on the goals of the program and type of client.
The bottom line is clients need to see results and know that they are getting something for what they are paying for and you need to see if your program is working effectively, so testing is never a waste of time.
My assessments are based upon the level of conditioning that the individual is in. If I can see that the client is weak in certain areas, it doesn’t make sense to assess the aspect of fitness that I know is deficient. When one does this it is discouraging.
As an example, why perform a 3-minute step test if you know the personal has low cardiorespiratory function.
I tend to assess progressively.
Thank you for your question.