My clients are all over the map with what they are able to accomplish in fitness during the week between our sessions… with both injury prevention in mind and the clients’ desire for change and growth, it is paramount to keep the sessions challenging and yet safe. Are most trainers providing “home programs” for their clients? And if so, is this customarily a separate charge?
Hi Mary. In answer to your lead-in question of “how responsible are you for your clients for the time that they are NOT training with you,” my initial reaction is that you are not. In my opinion, you are responsible for each and every training session that you have with your client, and you are responsible for giving them the tools (e.g. knowledge, motivation etc.) that they can use to help themselves when you are not with them, however, I’m big on “client’s also taking responsibility for their own health.” To me what this means is that you can arm them with the tools to help themselves, but the ultimate responsibility is the client’s. We are NOT with our clients more than we ARE with our clients and so I try to make it clear to my clients that they must help themselves, and not think that our 1, 2 or 3 hours a week together is all that is needed. I preach self-responsibility to all of my clients, including the kids and adolescents that I work with.
Now on to the second part of your question, I’m with Karin. I often give my clients “homework” based on the equipment or space that they have available to them at home. I will periodically give them exercises or a program that they can utilize at home but I do this with a “twist.” My twist is that I try to arm my clients with the knowledge to create their own program. What I mean by this is that when we are training together, I teach. I try ti impart some basic knowledge about anatomy and how their body works so that they can create their own workouts. Here’s an example of what I do:
When I’m working with one of my 12-year old girl athletes for example, I will constantly reinforce with them how their body works. I will say something like “ok, we’re going to work your back muscles now…” as they are performing a row or other back exercise, I will say to them “the back muscles PULL.” Later, I will ask them what the back muscles do (their reply – hopefully – is “pull”). Armed with this basic knowledge d(over time of course), I can now tell her “when you go home, tomorrow I want you to do 2 exercises for your back muscles” and she understands what to do.
I love this kind of self-empowerment for all of my clients – young and old!
I hope that this helps.