Training SMART made easy

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By Oana Paula Badarau, Personal Trainer at URBANFITNESS London
Many people will have a different approach when it comes to training but, in the end, it all boils down to three simple steps and, if you follow them, you can’t go too far off the beaten track. In fact, the difference between a good personal trainer (PT) and a great one is their attention to detail, so master this trio and you’ll be sure to see the difference in the results that you and your clients achieve.
1. Set goals
Setting goals is a priority. This is the number one rule for achieving results for your clients. Knowing what they’re working towards, with a clear goal in mind, will get your clients closer to where they want to be.
But before setting a goal, whether it’s bulking up, running a marathon or simply becoming fitter, you need to make sure that it’s what your client truly wants. Always set goals that are in line with their values and not because a goal worked for a similar client. What works for someone else, might not work for them.
Also, kindly discourage your clients from comparing themselves to other people; social media doesn’t always show the reality.
In a nutshell, goals need to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound). By setting SMART goals, your client will realise that they will have to organise their time and resources in the best way they can in order to achieve those goals. One of the main roles of a PT is to help their clients set SMART goals and share knowledge on how to achieve them, whilst keeping them injury-free.
2. KISS (Keep It Simple St***d)
Many people do one of the following two things: do funky looking exercises for no reason to keep things interesting (nothing wrong with mixing things up by the way) or load the bar way too soon.
Clients seek the help of PTs to learn how to move better, get stronger, lose some weight, go on a tough mudder, the list goes on. Whatever the reason, there’s one that matters the most: to be able to move when we are 80, 90 or why not even 100 years of age?! With that said, despite the temptation of quirky exercises, fundamental movements are essential for gym-based programming and consist of the squat, lunge, hinge, push, pull, and brace.
Secondly, individuals want to do too much too soon and that is the moment where PTs can share knowledge and explain the reasons why it’s essential to be patient with physical training. Developing patience can help clients to stay injury free, keep focused and gain maximum results. In regards to training, quality over quantity is very important, and a PT’s job is to educate individuals on that aspect. Performing ten squats with correct technique is much more beneficial than performing fifty squats with poor technique.
Until someone is competent enough to perform the correct technique of a particular exercise, they will not progress to the next movement. This highlights the importance of having an individual plan for every client depending on their goals, injuries and possible limitations.
3. Track
Last but not least, to stand the best chance of meeting client expectations and helping them to achieve the results they desire, you need to track progress. It not only makes someone want to work harder to reach their goals, but it can also give them a welcome boost of confidence when they see how far they’ve travelled on their fitness journey.
Tracking clients’ progress is a major component of being a PT, with many ways to monitor this, from weighing scales and fitness apps to good old Excel documents. There are numerous weighing scales which can measure body fat percentage, BMI, visceral fat, bone density, etc, and the industry has recently seen the rise of 3D body scanners as a way to accurately and consistently predict body composition. There are also some excellent fitness apps to help track workouts and burned calories, as well as monitoring heart rate through the use of watches and straps. The use of Excel is beneficial because you can create various charts and diagrams which can illustrate progression over a period of time. These client reports can be sent on a weekly or monthly basis so clients can refer back to them at a later date.
And as one final thought, be sure to remind your clients that “progress is progress no matter how small!”
To find out more about Oana and URBANFITNESS London, visit:
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