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Planning your Personal Training Sessions

Planning your Personal Training Sessions

“Fail to prepare and prepare to fail.” Sometimes, those tired ol’ clichés make a compelling case. If you’re showing up to your personal training sessions with no real programme in place, chances are your clients won’t be sticking around for long. So, how do you assemble a successful PT session plan? Could your PT planning practice benefit from these 5 essential tips?

1. Understand your clients’ goals

When you begin to pen your client’s programme, this question should be right at the forefront of your thinking: What are your clients’ goals? You’ve got to start with the individual. Establishing someone’s goals is not always a straightforward process. There may be embarrassment about weight loss, a lack of belief in their own abilities, or other barriers to the truth. It’s the job of a conscientious trainer to help clients map their goals out clearly. If you struggle on this front, look no further than the PT-school classic SMART guide. Their goals have to be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and should all come with a timeframe attached.

2. Assess your client’s level of ability

As much as a client might want a body like a Victoria Secret model or abs that would make Peter Andre blush, you’ve got to be honest and realistic with them. If you promise the world, it’s you who’ll face the backlash when their efforts fail to bear fruit. This will also prevent you from de-motivating your client by giving them workouts that are likely to break their spirits as well as their backs. Clients who can perform the exercises you challenge them with are far more likely to stick around.

3. Review and refine your plan

Casting an eye back over your programme once you’ve got it all mapped out is incredibly valuable. Have you factored in the client’s reasons for seeking out your services in the first place? Injuries, major muscle groups, personal preferences – there are plenty of points that you need to ensure you’re regularly addressing. A process of continual review will help you quickly realize what is and isn’t working.

4. Consider client likes and dislikes

It can be tough working with clients whose exercise baseline is complete aversion. We’ve all been there, where every rep is a chore, each new exercise greeted with a fresh whinge. Help yourself in this situation by opening up a dialogue with your client. What is it they don’t like about a certain exercise? What is it they do like about others? By profiling their interests this way, you’re in with a shot of putting an end to the moaning and making your job a lot easier in the process.

5. Research and innovate

The internet is now host to overwhelming amounts of information about new, interesting, and challenging exercises. There is no longer any excuse for boring clients to tears with insipid workouts. Variety serves another purpose beyond keeping the client interested and paying for the privilege; it also helps them to avoid those dreaded fitness plateaus. Constant research into new exercise trends and techniques will keep your sessions fresh and effective.

Example of a PT session plan

Here’s an example of a well-rounded full-body workout plan that you can use for inspiration:

Circuit 1: 15 Reps, 3 Sets

  • Dumbbell Goblet Squat
  • Deadlift with Back Row
  • Bridge with Chest Press

Circuit 2: 15 Reps, 3 Sets

  • Dumbbell Wood Chop
  • Dumbbell Reverse Fly
  • Lunge with Shoulder Press

Circuit 3: 15 Reps, 3 Sets

  • Side Lunge with Bicep Curl
  • Clean & Press
  • Overhead Reach

To wrap up!

Effective PT planning involves understanding your client’s goals, assessing their abilities, regularly reviewing your plan, considering their likes and dislikes, and continually researching to keep workouts innovative. By following these tips, you can ensure that your PT session plans are comprehensive, engaging, and tailored to meet your clients’ needs. This approach will not only help you retain clients but also assist them in achieving their fitness goals.

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