How you conduct yourself and run your training sessions, as either a rookie or veteran coach, will play a huge role in the success and longevity of your fitness business. The top trainers have the top training business’s because they have utilized a world-class business blueprint and established a fail-proof class and session format.
Here are some specific tips and techniques for conducting training sessions that accomplish your goals and ensure your clients are receiving top-notch training that will get them on track!
When to Arrive for On-Site Training
Arrive at least 20-30 minutes before the official start of the boot camp session to set up the workout stations for the day. With the exception of any unforeseen extenuating circumstances or extinction-level events, it is NEVER satisfactory to show up any later than 20 minutes before the official start of the workout.
The goal is to set up the workout stations in advance so that by the time members start to arrive around 10-15 minutes before the official start of the workout, 100% of our attention can be focused on them. This is the main reason for the extra early arrival.
We pride ourselves on being incredibly timely and professional. One of the most critical components to client retention is consistently showing up EARLY, not on time. There is simply no margin for error when it comes to timeliness; we will NEVER miss any sessions and we will ALWAYS be on time!
What’s NOT allowed:
- Cell phones during work hours.
- Sharing client information with anyone, ever. All clients’ information is PRIVATE!
- Inappropriate behavior of any kind.
- Fraternizing with members
- Offensive language while at work
Members are highly encouraged to arrive 10-15 minutes before the official start of the workout for their personal improvement routine including corrective stretching and self-massage. Please be sure to assist clients as needed for the corrective stretching and self-massage for the 10-15 minutes before the start of the workout. In addition, please be sure to politely, but consistently, remind all clients about the importance of doing so for both short and long-term health and performance.
Please remember to greet every single person that walks in the door with energy. You should be able to remember details about each member’s life, so we can personalize our greetings.
It’s okay to have a friendly nickname for members as long as you verbally confirm with them that they do in fact approve of that nickname. We would never want to call someone something they did not want to be called simply because they were too timid or embarrassed to let us know – and that’s why we need to ask them in private just to be sure!
This time before is a great time to learn more about our members and get to know them better so that we are able to serve them well. It is also a great time to check in on their progress and nutrition to see if we can head off any issues. Asking them about their nutrition and eating habits is also a great way to introduce them to your nutrition or personal fitness chef knowledge and business.
Start the Workout
The clients that come in for semi-private training are allowed a slightly flexible start time. If they come in early and are not a hassle to the members that are doing their workout with the trainers, they may start. If they arrive a few minutes late it is up to the trainer to work with the client, but it is highly encouraged to do so. The more we can provide for them the better results they will get.
It should also be noted that some clients will perform extra workouts on their own. Know who is on your schedule and whom you should make a priority during each session time.
How to Conduct a Training Session
The clients should be pushed through a session at a good pace. It should not take longer than 60 minutes for the client to finish the workout if they are not a beginner or in a new program. It is up to you to keep the pace of the workout appropriate for the client. It is not acceptable to allow the clients to train for 90-120 minutes.
You should be setting up the corrective, core, or metabolic exercises for the clients in your session as they are warming up.
Encourage semi-private clients to work as a team even if they are performing different programs. Develop a community where everyone picks up after himself or herself.
Make sure each client has an amazing experience every time they step into the facility.
Teaching the Pre-Workout Routine
The pre-workout routine consists of either:
- 5-minute dynamic warm-up focusing on mobility and activation with built-in progression using only bodyweight exercises, OR
- Athlete Movement Prep
This movement prep will best ensure our members’ bodies are ready for the high-intensity training workout to come.
Focus on providing the most attention and supervision for both new clients and/or clients with special needs during the warm-up. However, also be sure to encourage members who have demonstrated mastery of certain movements to progress to the next level for that exercise variation.
Remember, the goal is for our warm-up to be other peoples’ workout! Proper progression during the warm-up best ensures proper progression during the main workout. Be sure that all new/trial members first master the Level I variations before progressing to Level II and III variations.
Furthermore, if clients are using Level I variations during the warm-up they MUST use Level I variations during the workout. In general, the level of exercises (I, II, or III) used during the warm-up directly correlates to the recommended level of exercises (I, II, or III) for the main workout.
Once the warm-up is complete, move the client on to their corrective routine (listed in the same box as the warm-up).
Teaching the Workout
For the first 2 sessions of phase (1-4 weeks), you will thoroughly teach and demo each client’s A and B training programs. For each client workout, spend a minimum of 60 seconds and a maximum of 90 seconds teaching the exercises as outlined:
- Demo the set-up and performance of the exercise(s). Remember that all new members MUST first perform and master the Level I variations before being allowed to progress to the next level. In general, the level of exercises (I, II, or III) used during the warm-up directly correlates to the recommended level of exercises (I, II, or III) for the main workout.
- Clearly and authoritatively announce the key coaching cues as outlined by <Staff Member> before moving on to the next exercise and be sure to utilize these coaching cues as verbal reminders to clients throughout the actual workout. Be sure to speak LOUDLY and in short bullet-point style phrases like “tight elbows, tight abs, and tight glutes for the pushup” or “eyes up, chest out, butt back, and weight on the heels for the squat”
- Client Modifications: When teaching each client, be sure to reiterate the necessary GENERAL exercise modifications for all clients with special needs to best ensure they are matched with the appropriate exercises for their current fitness level.
For the following weeks, provide a brief, concise, and thorough 3-5 minute re-run of each workout emphasizing both the key corrections from our collective observations of last week’s mistakes AND the need for each client to take control of their workout.
They must move to the next level if they were able to master a certain move for all work sets at last week’s workouts in order to provide the necessary progressive overload for best results.
Your client will complete all of each Number (1,2&3) and then move to the next. Most numbers will be followed by a letter. You will lead the client through the letters in a vertical load (1A, 1B, then 1 C etc.)
At the end of each workout, there will be energy system work (cardio/ metabolic conditioning).
How You Can Be a World Class Coach During Training
Develop a personal connection with your clients. Show them that you care by remembering, cueing, and pushing them!
Be sure to say every member’s name at least ONCE during the warm-up and at least THREE TIMES during the workout. This tells our members that we know who they are and that we care about them. This is by far one of our most powerful retention strategies, so we simply cannot afford to fall short here.
Be sure to bring lots of energy and enthusiasm to make each and every workout an unforgettable experience for our members. Allow your natural training personality to develop and your inner rock star to bloom, and don’t be afraid to be both humorous and intense when coaching and motivating clients.
Remember it’s okay to spend a little more time with clients who are beginning a new phase of a semi-private program. Just make sure to let the others in the group know.
Don’t bark or talk AT clients. Coach in a variety of ways, including verbal and physical cueing and mirroring.
Focus on using our “Praise-Correct-Praise” Protocol for coaching. Correct with positive re-enforcement such as “Great job, but let’s try doing this to make it even better” versus negative re-enforcement such as “Not like that, you’re doing it wrong; do it this way.”
Focus on correcting the clients who need it most. This ensures the safest training environment.
Strive to best leverage yourself by coaching each client effectively. In other words, direct all key coaching cues to all people at each station to first see if they can properly correct themselves. And then for those that need further correction, move to a more hands-on correction format for any individuals as needed. This ensures that all clients receive proper coaching and supervision while still allowing for the extra attention that some clients may need.
Recognize Your Clients Limitations and Adjust Accordingly
It’s important to know when to STOP coaching and correcting. Some clients will simply not be able to perform some of the exercises as well as we would like them to due to an inherent lack of coordination and motor skills.
Our number one priority is to keep all of our members safe, but at the same time, we don’t want to make any clients feel insecure about their exercise performance.
If after several attempts of trying to get a struggling client into the ideal position, or upon realizing that they simply cannot perform a certain exercise variation with proper form and technique, simply provide them with an entry-level or Level I variation so they can continue to safely work out without taking all your attention away from our other clients.
Bonus Tip: Not all of your client’s bodies are the same, and they will not all respond to your routines the same. Take note of their body type, and design their routine around moves that will provide maximum results for their specific body type.
Be sure to emphasize to each special needs client, that they are doing a great job and that you love their effort and enthusiasm and that you are simply having them modify the exercise to keep them safe!
How to End Each Workout
The workout should end with stretching and foam rolling for the client.
Announce any time-sensitive daily and weekly program info and updates.
Make sure that you tell the client to have a great day or weekend and tell them what a great job they did during the session.
Please note that for new clients, or for clients where weight loss doesn’t apply if they are already at their ideal body weight, be sure to tell them to focus on performance related improvements like “I did 5 perfect pushups and I couldn’t do any before” or “I have a lot more energy during the day.” This ensures that all members realize that our program is not just about weight loss, but also about improvements in overall health and performance.
The Post-Workout Routine
Members are encouraged to perform their post-workout routine consisting of corrective stretching and self-massage for 10-15 minutes before the final departure time, which is 50 minutes following the official session start time (e.g. a workout that officially starts at 6 am will have a final departure time of 6:50 am).
Be sure to congratulate all members who stay after the workout on their performance during the workout. Be sure to individually address each member by name and assist with the post-workout routine as needed, 10-15 minutes after the official end of the workout.
This is also the perfect time to get to know our members better. A little chat at the end of a killer workout goes a long way to making our members feel special! Plus, the better you get to know our members, the better you will be able to motivate them moving forward.
Once the final member leaves the gym, please tidy up the workout stations so that they are all ready to go for the evening trainer (if applicable) as he or she will be repeating the same workout of the day.
If you are the evening trainer, please be sure to properly store and put away the training equipment used during the workout of the day so that there is a clear training floor for the next day’s workout.
Please be sure to turn off all lights and heating/cooling at the official end of each session to best conserve energy.
After leaving the facility, please call your supervisor and leave a detailed voice message with a summary of how the workout went: the good, the bad, the ugly and any other questions, comments, or concerns that we need to address ASAP.
Monthly Client Measurement
On the last workout of each month, ALL training clients will be measured. Each client will be weighed, measured with the tape, and have body fat % taken. Record these measurements on their sheet. Make sure to be positive with the client no matter what the measurements say.
If they have achieved great results:
“Awesome job! We are so proud of you. Obviously, you are taking our program seriously, and for that we thank you!
“Are you taking (_____) supplements?”
If yes, then try to sell them a foam roll, bands, etc.
If No: “Supplements will help you accelerate your results! We highly recommend the platinum package!” Take them to the front desk and have them fill out an order form or sell them the supplement that is in stock.
If they have NOT achieved desired results:
“Try not to get discouraged! Let’s talk about what you have been doing outside of <Business Name> that may be hindering your desired results.”
- Look over food log to see any holes in nutrition
- Are you taking Supplements? (Follow supplement sales script)
- Are you getting your cardio days in?
What Your Training Client Should Recieve
Your one-on-one and semi-private clients should get:
- Individualized Program Design
- Individualized Nutrition
- Unlimited Desk Dates
- Monthly Measurements
- Weekly Accountability- aka assess where they are
- Access to all gym workshops and seminars for free
If a client is coming in for their first session, it is important that you take them through the foam rolling review and stretching again. Also, make sure that you are taking the client through the warm-up and helping them as much as possible.
The more you coach them in the first session the less coaching you will have to do later.
It often will take a week or two for your client to adjust to the workouts and remember all of the rolling, stretching and warm-up. Be patient with them and coach them so that they will learn.