It goes without saying that there’s more to personal training than simply helping clients get in physical shape. Our Chief Trainer, Peter Lemon explains why for maximum results and client value it’s important to tackle your clients‘ holistic health.
I’ve been practicing personal training now for almost 20 years. During this time I’ve set up my own personal training studio in North West London, Middlesex and have clients travelling to see me locally within the Harrow and Watford areas and as far afield as Dubai. Yes, it’s amazing what you can fit into a business trip if you really want to.
Over the years I’ve worked with a huge range of clients and can say with confidence that there is no ‘typical’ client. They come from all walks of life, social groups and financial backgrounds. From top company directors to up and coming athletes, people who generally want to keep fit, cancer survivors and everything in between, people enlist the help of a Personal Trainer for many complex reasons.
I am passionate about teaching our students during both the theory and practical components of their personal trainer course that what they offer as a PT is a bespoke service. Simply put its dangerous territory to try and lump individual needs into a generic plan – it certainly won’t deliver maximum results!
But it struck me the other day that all of my clients’ over the years share something in common. They believe in, and value something that has been at the very heart of my approach ever since I decided all those years ago to take the leap and become a personal trainer. They recognise the need to invest in health before wealth. In fact I’d go so far as to say they realise that without their health there is no real wealth.
That brings me onto the subject of what good health really is?
What is good health?
The vast majority of people seeking a personal trainer’s support are coming from a physical angle. If you ran a poll asking a random group of people how a trainer could assist them, the answers you get will be based on physical appearance, weight loss, toning and muscle gain or physical prowess, to run further, lift more and so on.
But aren’t we missing something here?
Holistic health is about far more than physical accomplishment and appearance, it’s an investment in health for the long haul, yes encapsulating the physical but also instilling behaviours including nutrition, sleep cycles, work-life balance and mental well-being that become life-long commitments supporting optimum health.
Just a second though, to sit your client down and tell them you plan to concentrate on their holistic health probably isn’t the way to go. After all they are coming from a physical and at times quick-fix direction and probably haven’t considered much beyond that.
So here’s my 5 point action plan. Use it to work with your client and watch them gain far more value from your personal training sessions than they will simply from exercise alone. And here’s the thing, they will stay with you for longer and you’ll stand out as the type of trainer who truly knows their stuff.
5 ways to improve your client’s holistic health
1 – Assess initial goals and agree a specific plan for the short-term.
2 – Complete lifestyle questionnaires assessing stress, nutritional habits and sleep patterns. Assess the results and pinpoint areas for improvement and set realistic recommendations.
3 – Set smaller goals, linked to their initial plan and adapt their training programme to offer maximum support. For example, if stress levels are high incorporate exercises like stretching and mobilisations. Coach your client through simple exercises to work on in between sessions.
4 – Educate your client on the bigger picture. You are the expert, help your client to try and adopt techniques that reinforce positive health habits.
5 – Review results every six weeks, adjust and reset.
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