The key words are “from what you see”. I know many that take/make notes (keep records) – but not during the session time.
I believe it also is a matter of what the client wants. Many clients live in a paper paper (computer – too much paper, fax, email) world. And when coming to workout – do so with the hopes of a “break” from their day to day and stress of it all; and so to see more paperwork is not necessarily inviting. Therefore, how you originally present your paperwork is important and you can then adjust your tracking to what kind of client they are.
I do know for a fact (and I use to be one)…that some clients do not want all the paperwork. I had enough of it at work; I wanted fun during my sessions.
BUT….there is a need to protect yourself as a trainer, and therefore a Waiver of Liability, a Cancellation Policy and a Health History is a MUST! I also believe a “lifestyle” info sheet is helpful. I assess what the client needs are (from lifestyle info which has goals on it) and feel them out during the initial assessment….I then make my notes accordingly.
I have other forms, but rarely use them these days….as it was not conducive to my business. And I only work part time though so I am able to do my write-ups after their sessions.
I hope this helps in seeing the “other” side.
I like it when the client keeps track. It allows them to see how far they have come.
It’s easy with email or a really basic log: besides, tracking is key for them…..
As for standing with a clip board while I’m training and writing everything down? I can’t do that and pay close attention to my clients form etc. I take time when I’m done to review and write cryptic notes to myself.
All of my clients have a written workout every time I meet with them. I write what they do every session. I also keep a seperate measurement chart (weight, bodyfat, measurements, etc) which I update periodically (weight more frequently as it only takes 30 seconds). They also have a written plan that outlines where they are, where they want to go and the steps I am going to progress them through (I use NASM’s OPT model).
I am training my trainers to use this model also.
The written records allow us to easily pick up a file and give any cleint a great workout at the drop of a hat should another trainer have to cover. It also is great so you can show your client their progress!