People don’t buy features, they buy the benefits that those features give to them. This should be the focus of the first personal training session, finding the motives behind the client’s goal (what they NEED – this is found by asking detailed questions) and connecting them to the BENEFITS of YOU (telling the client how you will fulfill those needs).
How to Start the First Workout
Look at the appointment as an INFORMATION GATHERING SESSION. Both the trainer and the client will receive valuable information vital to achieving results. The main focus of the appointment is to determine their GOALS and the MOTIVES behind their goals. In other words, WHY they are there.
It might be wise to explain the process to new clients, who tend to arrive with the intention of exercising during the first meeting. This might happen, but only if time permits and if there are no limitations requiring clearance. Still, it is a lot to expect this to happen in the first meeting with a new prospective client.
Step 1: Greeting
WOW the client with your professionalism and enthusiasm
- Nail the first impression
- Use their full name
- Be lively, bright, energetic from the beginning
- Have all your “equipment” ready – clipboard, paperwork, assessment equipment
- Make proper eye contact and use a firm handshake
Step 2: Agenda
The first session is an information gathering session. Take time to explain to your prospect the flow of how the first session will unfold. Explain the process of collecting physical assessments, health history, and goals.
The first session gives the trainer the information they need to customize the ideal program for them. You can use statements such as, “this will allow me to develop the ideal program for you, so it is vital that we share communications both openly and honestly. How does that sound?”
Step 3: Health History & Assessments
Asking questions to see if there are any limitations to exercise is standard practice and part of the health history segment. This supports the idea that you care enough about your client to proceed, but only with caution in mind as well as the client’s goals, as these elements are responsible for forming the basis of your client’s program design. You MUST make this time all about the client.
When the trainer acquires the information needed to design a safe program, you are demonstrating that you are responsible in your approach, while showing that you are goal-oriented and focused. Your client will benefit from your attention to detail as you dig into their health history. Safety also factors in here, too. Hopefully, the client will feel that you are capable of designing an exercise program that does “no further harm” to them or the conditions they are managing.
Take detailed notes. Your client will be giving you rich information about their motives and goals; it is vital to ‘hear’ your client. Reflect back to the client what you have heard. You may also refer to other clients with similar conditions or goals that you’ve helped in the past.
Step 4: Goals – “The Fun Part”
Integrating the Why’s and the We’s
The trainer must show empathy. Open communication is vital. What is the benefit to the trainer? – it increases credibility and professionalism. The trainer is better equipped to create programs. As goals become more detailed, and motives established, the client will be verbalizing sensitive topics that they may not have said before.
- When have you ever been able to achieve what you want?
- How does that make you feel?
- What drives you to want this?
- Why now?
- Visualize the “PERFECT YOU”. What do you look like?
- How do you feel?
- How does it affect your confidence, self-image, to see yourself, etc?
Refer back to other clients and their success with similar goals. This anecdotal type of reference is useful to the client who may be wondering how you can help them with a specific condition or goal that they are wanting to meet.
- Remember to use “we” repeatedly throughout goal section
- Take copious notes. This is extremely important!
- Occasionally repeat back info you’ve heard them tell you – this shows you’re interested, listening, and are concerned about helping them succeed!!
Step 5: Painting The Picture The 4 levels of fitness
While we may live the fitness lifestyle, our clients most likely do not – we take a lot for granted. They don’t know how or why exercise works. We need to explain to them how their body will adapt and make the changes they want – PAINT THE PICTURE!! Explain that this is an adaptation process that everyone goes through (fit or not) when their body is getting used to the “NEW” demands being placed on it. These new demands could be working out, learning a new sport, a new martial art, dancing, etc.
When explaining, use both technical and lay- man’s terms. This skill relies on your ability to communicate properly with your client as well as your understanding of the 4 levels of fitness. After explaining how their body is going to adapt, paint the picture of how you (THE FIT- NESS PROFESSIONAL) are going to use these principles to guide them to their goals. – Lay out a general game plan.
Step 6: Make Your Professional Recommendation
This is not “SELLING.” If you’ve been professional and enthusiastic, the sessions should be easy to come by – they will already see the importance of training with you. Remember to connect the MOTIVES which drive the client’s goals to the BENEFITS of having you as their Trainer.
Starting Your Personal Training Career
Now it’s your turn to take action. Did you know that most fitness careers don’t require formal education or a degree?
Learn more about the variety of fitness industry careers. There is always something exciting about earning a new training or coaching certification and applying that new knowledge of how you train your clients. This also helps you hit the reset button.
Check out what it takes to start a career in personal fitness training. This is your most affordable and fastest way to become a highly qualified personal trainer.
Is your recertification coming up? Learn more about earning your CEU credits. You can find the full list of CEU courses here.
If you are ready to start your online personal training or coaching business, don’t forget to learn more about our online coaching course. You will also really enjoy this very comprehensive training course called Online Expert Empire.
There is always something exciting about earning a new training or coaching certification and applying that new knowledge of how you train your clients. This also helps you hit the reset button.
NESTA and Spencer Institute coaching programs are open to anyone with a desire to learn and help others. There are no prerequisites.
Thanks for reading!
PS: Click here to see many helpful business/career resources