Confident and Competent: My Goal for Clients

Starting a new in-person personal training job, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about my philosophy on personal training and working with clients. I figured, since you’re all still getting to know me a little bit that I would discuss in this week’s article.

When a person hires a personal trainer it is most often as a result of the lack the knowledge as to what they are doing and how to reach their fitness goals. It is no secret that personal training is expensive. The average cost for 1 session, depending on location and trainer experience is between $60-70. Yes, usually packages of sessions are sold and the cost for the client is significantly decreased. However, often this expense is often not sustainable long-term.

When a client agrees to work with me, we have a meeting to discuss their goals and then I add in my knowledge as to how best to reach them. I also give them a goal of my own: I want them to be confident enough to be able to come in to the gym and use the equipment that they would like and take themselves through a workout, both safely and effectively. Now this doesn’t mean teaching them the ins and outs of program design, but if they chose, I would like for them to be able to go through a strength training session or increase their mileage to prepare for a race they are doing.

This is conflicting as a personal trainer because for me to continually earn a steady income, I have to keep a consistent client base. The way to do this is not releasing clients; the idea is that they would stay on and work with me long term. So with that, I pose this scenario:

I go through 4 introductory sessions with the client and they are confident, and good to go on their own. They don’t have the funds for personal training to continue, but I set them up with a 6-week program that they are able to do on their own. They continue to follow and complete that program. Along the way, they chat with their friends about it and tell people about what they are doing. Their friend is then interested, and may set up a consultation and look to do a similar thing. I’ve just both generated a second lead into personal training and helped my original client out. By the time the 6 weeks are up, they’re ready and come back, potentially pay for a few more sessions so that I can take them through more advanced workouts.

Now, I know that’s an ideal situation and it may not happen this exact way. But I believe:

If you, as a trainer, are able to give someone the confidence to come into the gym on their own and safely execute a workout, that’s more of an accomplishment than any amount of muscle gained or weight lost.

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