I like training programs. I want my clients to know that I am their trainer- always, not just during the session. They pay for the result, not for the session. The price/session is often not worth it, but what they gain from me teaching them and helping them understand their health better is worth it.
I think they go hand in hand. Clients need to know what the program entails and how you are able to deliver, safely and effectively. Clients need to know what they are getting into before purchasing sessions from the trainer.
Session packages are important because the client pays for a group of sessions up front. In my experience, at least 95% of the people in the world are flakey, unfortunately, and selling sessions in a group protects the trainer. If the clients does not cancel their sessions in an appropriate and timely manner, the trainer is already covered.
I think that clients understand and can identify better with “training sessions.” This gives them a quantifiable thing and seems to be more concrete to them than a “training program” which we as trainers may completely understand but may seem very amorphous to lay people. It’s probably more of an “educating your clients thing” but, in trying to define your work with a client in terms of a program you may have some initial resistance because the client doesn’t (or may not) have a clear idea of what that means to them in terms of their financial and time commitment.
In my practice, I use BOTH of these concepts, but a lot of which I use with a specific group or individual depends upon their goal(s) and time commitment.
It depends upon the client. Some clients do not care about programs or sessions, they just want results. Others, type A, want to know everything from what they are doing that day plus every day you meet to what the end goals is. As to effectiveness, it is individualize based on the client. What ever works, it is the results that count.