In order to talk about programming, we have to talk about who we are designing the program for. It is important that you are developing a training program that is in line with what your client or athlete requests, and not just what you think is best for them. Your client should play an active role in the decision-making.
The only times where your recommendations may overrule is if you are a coach of a specific team and have the authority in regards to what your team does. Another example would be if you are in the physical therapy setting and you dictate what your client needs to do in order to repair and get better.
6 Clients You Will Encounter as a Personal Trainer
Listed here are the 6 specific types of clients, based on their primary training goal. Note that many clients will have secondary goals, but it’s their primary goal you want to focus on.
1. Physique / Bodybuilder
- Anyone that is training for body and physique shows or simply wants to look like they are
- Participates in bodybuilding, Bikini, Figure, Physique competitions
- All about the ‘show’
2. Strength Trainer
- Clients who want to get stronger
- Clients who may not necessarily have as much focus on muscle growth, but primarily want muscle strength
3. Performance Athlete
- Anyone who wants to better express their skill in a field, court, combat sport, or any other sport not listed
- Those who are primarily focused on skill, with strength and conditioning coming a close second.
- Includes athletes of all levels: high school, amateur and professional
4. Fat Loss
- The client wants to lose fat without risking muscle mass loss
- Usually has 5-20 pounds to lose (this is not an obese client)
- Very commonly seen in group fitness settings
5. Performance and Muscle Growth
- One of the most popular clients right now – someone who wants to improve their performance and experience muscle growth progress
- Are often athletic-minded people that want to move and look like an athlete
- They are not making a career out of sports but could be weekend warriors
- Their main concern is looking good
- They want to build muscle while burning fat and becoming more athletic
6. General Fitness and Health
- Does not have a specific end goal in mind, but just want to lead a healthier lifestyle
- Often have weight management as one of their goals, even if weight loss is not necessary right now
- May be recovering from an injury wants to stay injury-free
You will find yourself using metabolic training primarily with the individuals in groups three through six, as this is where it is most applicable. It may not be the only thing you use, but you can definitely implement metabolic training into their routine to help them reach their goals.
Remember, different goals require different training approaches. You should not use the same approach to reach different goals, so understanding where your client fits in the spectrum of fitness will help you create a more effective program.
You are probably starting to categorize your clients right now, after going through the list of fitness types, and this will help you understand that no one training approach will work for everyone. You need to use the different training you have in your toolbox or resources for specific needs.
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That’s it for now.