Dear Dr. Bell,
Should I give clients workouts to do on the days they are not with me? What are the benefits of doing this?
Excellent question and one that every Personal Trainer needs to think about. There are two camps on this question:
(1) Says you should keep your clients in the dark. Don’t share too much information so your personal training clients remain dependent on you! Therefore, you don’t want your clients to know as much as you do.
(2) You want to teach your clients as much as you can and as much as they are willing to learn, because the more they learn, the better the results they get. The more they know, the faster they will achieve their goals. The faster they achieve their goals, the happier they will be. The happier they are, the longer they will stay with you. And all of that leads to greater and greater success as a Personal Trainer, greater fulfillment of your Personal Training Career and obviously, more Personal Trainer revenues to you.
During my career as a Personal Trainer, I had many of the same problems you face, but one problem I never concerned myself with, was that my clients would ever learn as much as I knew about personal training.
Shame on you if you do, for the IFPA has provided you with over 60 certifications courses and a multitude of continuing education courses so if you are not learning, it is your own fault.
Now let’s get to some of the obvious reasons why you want your client to work out without you. While your client may need your help, supervision, motivation and spotting for their strength training Personal Training sessions, your help is less needed when they do their own cardio, stretching or other relatively low intensity exercise.
There is a great benefit to every minute your Personal Training client spends in exercising, not just in calories they burn, but to improve all 12 IFPA Components of Fitness and numerous other physiological systems in the body.
You will still get a personal training fee for developing the Program Design and teaching them how to do each weight training exercise correctly, but having them work out on their own can produce increased revenue for you and faster achievement of their own goals. Who knows, when they attempt to work out on their own and discover how much you push them to do more, they may realize they do better with you than without you. How much your coaching helps them work harder, safer and better. How much more fun they have when they are in Personal Training session with you as opposed to trying to do it on their own.
I prefer to help my clients learn as much as they can..and should it ever occur that they know as much as you, either learn more to keep ahead of them, or hire them to work for you.
Good Luck, Best Regards,
Dr. Jim Bell
CEO of the IFPA