Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Keeping Your Eyes on the Client's Goals

Sometimes trainers get caught up in what we think is best for our clients.

The clients may have poor balance, or we may notice an imbalance in their backs. It is our job to design programs that correct these problems.

However, we should not be arrogant enough to place what we think the client needs above the client's goals.

There are different protocols for exercise programming depending on the trainer's certification, and trainers should not lose sight of that. I don't advocate ignoring our teachings, but instead, trainers should take take that book knowledge and meld that to the client's needs.

Here is an example: the client is sedentary and his only concern is weight loss. The trainers will recognize that the client needs core work and will try to prioritize core work for the first few weeks before moving on to the weight loss portion of the program. In all likelihood, this may not please the client, who will feel slighted and very well could get upset.

One solution would be to implement core based circuit training. Many exercises that center on the stability ball or Bosu ball are multi-muscle group, muti-planer exercises. While doing these exercises, the client's heart rate will, no doubt, be elevated. They will definitely perspire and no doubt will lose weight.

Crunches on a stability ball may not impress to your client that you are getting the job done — but one set of crunches mixed with bicep curls, chest press or a medicine ball toss followed by one set of stability ball squats will get the job done.

Clients also need to be clear and communicate with their trainers. Clearly state your goals, and discuss how the two of you can meet them together. Never assume the trainer can read your mind, or knows what you think your work areas should be. We may be all-knowing, but giving us a clue gets us to your goals quicker.

The same rules apply for those of us who train ourselves. Don't get hung up on the same old, same old. Keep in mind what you need to accomplish. Are you after fitness improvements or are you going for the sexy? Before you even step into the gym, plan ahead and figure out what you need to accomplish. Then ask yourself, "Am I getting the results I want?" This will help keep you on track.

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