If i was to train a beginner client who has no experience in the gym and their goal was to increase muscle or build strength. The best approach for that goal will be prescribing a full body muscle building program. Now i know i said full body program is the best approach but is that the first thing i train the client on ? after i meet the client for the first time and do all assessments on him/her ( fitness, posture, nutrition, strength, flexibility assessments) after that first day when he/she comes back and is ready for day 1 of training with me do i train the client from that day and on wards using the fullbody muscle building program that i created based on all results i got from assessments ? and another question if i was to train that person 2 or 3 times a week would i need to make different full body muscle building programs for each day using similar format ? or do i train the client 2 or 3 times a week using same program for each day
All have valid points. i have been personal training for30+ years. i do get health history and proper paperwork signed but perception and questions and, age must be considered too. many client do not have realistic dreams or, they do not know how hard it can be to achieve them. since i value my reputation, i do not lie. i talk truth. i give them reasonable goals that they can achieve. i never start the same day either as i need time to think.
When i do start, i use weight i know the client should be able to lift based on their body weight. i use perceived exercertion and their heart rate to determine if each exercise is correct for them. i like each exercise session to end on a positive note. i work on adjusting the client to using a tape measure and skin fold as tool of success as opposed to the scale. water weight can play games with peoples head. i try to use the same program and progress it as it is a good tool to show them how far they have progressed. however, i do change programs when needed. of course this program is designed for their established goal.i keep notes and past training sheets. people can sometime forget how far they have come. i do not hesitate to show them. this keeps respect for the trainer and, motivates the client not to give up.
I am a big guy to I seem to be a magnet to client that want to get bigger. I could take a wrong approach but I pick their brain on reasons to the reason they want to get bigger. Some guys just have body image issues. So listen depending on the guy I straight up tell it is nonsense to get bigger just for looks. Most of the time it is a underlying issue like mental toughness or self-confidence that I try to improve first. It works when they start getting strong they care less about getting bigger. As far as method of training just break down your main big lifts(Squat, dead-lift, pull-up, and bench press). Design the program based on those lifts. For example if they can not squat because bad knee stability or lack of ankle mobility that add those to the routine and modify the squat. Once that get stronger with big lift they feel invincible.
Train the brain first people.
HI KARIN AND JEFF
Thank you very much for sharing such great info. Ok so i do workout myself and i do understand different medical conditions and what i have to do in regards to those type of conditions. What i get confused about isnt that its just when i meet the client for the first time this is what i have in mind. First day is Pre exercise questionnaire to check on current health and medical conditions and after that i do fitness assessments. Now the next time i see them i start immediately with the training programs i created for that client. Do need to do anything before starting the program since i checked their health and fitness level etc ? and in regards to training routines for a beginner client that i train 3 times a week i will be training them based on 3 different exercise programs but with the same format and level of difficulty e.g legs, chest, back, shoulders, abs, lower back. Do you think thats a good approach ?
you say that you are new to the industry but I assume that you have been working out for yourself for a while. Your profile has not been completed. I assume that you have a personal trainer certification.
After reading your initial question and then your secondary one where you are asking about the assessment process and medical concerns, I wonder how experienced you are about assessments. Your question implies to me that you do not have a road map on how to start a training program at all.
Here’s what I do: when I first meet a client, I review the medical and exercise questionnaire that the client has completed. There are usually questions based on that to get a clearer picture. Even though I have an outline for my assessment, I may change that based on the answers on the questionnaire. For example, if the client indicates shoulder problems, I take some assessment out of the plan.
Personally, I do not do a workout the same day I do an assessment because I need time to sit down and think about what I saw and heard.
If I train a beginner who has not done any weight training, my first workout is usually an extension of my assessment. I never saw a person without imbalances, and those I explore further. Even if a client expresses a wish to ‘build muscle’ if they are inexperienced, I tend to start with stabilization exercises to lay a foundation before I start adding greater loads.
Even in the stabilization phase, there are many creative exercises to ensure that the client does not get bored. I also tend to change those workouts a lot to challenge the body in different ways and also get a chance to observe the way the client responds.
Hi Jim, The previous four have covered things pretty thoroughly here. I just wanted to add, in my 27 years of being a personal trainer I’ve taken to the 1-10 approach in asking ” How hard was that “. As taught to me by James Bell from IFPA. After each exercise, I ask ” One to Ten “. Especially when first stating a new client. It is THE communication tool, to get a feel of how hard is their perceived effort on the full set/rep of that exercise. I ask it after each set, and record it with a little dash, next to where I chart the workout. When I first start a new client, I tell them ” This will be the easiest workout we ever do. If they answer ” 1 “, it was of no effort, if they answer ” 9 ” it was extremely hard to finish ( 10 is working to fail ) I try ( based on consultation strength test/evaluation ) to keep them under a 5 on the first workout. Over time you just get a feel how hard you can push a particular client and how fast you can advance them. As the weeks go by, you push them more into the 7-9 range. Here is the KEY, I always ask, the following workout, first thing ” starting with what was sorest, what hurt the most, after our last workout ” I then use that as a tool, to gauge how much they can take. If I got a “9” on my sheet on calves for instance, from the previous workout and they tell me ” I could barely walk the next day ” I know I pushed them on calves too hard. So I drop the sets/reps on the calves. You don’t want to hurt clients, but a little soreness is good. I ask them to rate the soreness 1-10. I write it at the top of the chart sheet. Hope this helps. good luck to you. Jeff Jackson