A Safety Checklist for Personal Trainers

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Whether you’re currently a personal trainer or you aspire to become one in the near future, there’s one aspect that can’t be overlooked: safety. Generally treated as a secondary aspect in personal training (behind fitness, naturally), safety is of the utmost importance and should never be overlooked.

Everything you do as a personal trainer should be with a keen eye towards your personal safety and the safety of your client. With that in mind, we’ve created a safety checklist that all personal trainers should obey.

  • Know your clients' personal boundaries. Everybody has their own comfort levels when it comes to personal space and touching, so always speak to them. Discomfort in your client can lead to distraction, poor form and unhappiness.
  • Explore your clients existing fitness level. Everyone has a pre-existing fitness level when they begin to train. So, take the time to learn exactly where your client is, rather than guessing at where their level might be.
  • Know your limits. If you’re new to personal training, keep your clients on the machines until you feel comfortable giving instruction. As a personal trainer, you have to give clear, detailed instructions to your clients. Failing to do so can cause serious damage to your client.
  • Train at a gym. Some clients will ask whether you can travel to their home and train them there. If at all possible, try to keep your clients at a gym. That way, you can be assured of the quality of their equipment and avoid any personal liability that you may incur from training in a private location.
  • Become a student of perfect form. Training, if done badly, can be incredibly dangerous. Your job as a personal trainer should be to become a student of outstanding form and, as much as possible, keep your clients in line with that form.
  • Don’t push too hard too early. Clients often want amazing results quickly, but attempting weights and exercises far beyond your client’s limits is a fast way to harm them. Instead, keep them on a steady progression, growing only as fast as they can sustain.
  • Be authoritative. The hardest thing for a personal trainer is to tell their client that what they’re doing is wrong. We see our clients working extremely hard, and so telling them that their efforts are wrong can be tough. Nevertheless, it’s essential to maintaining their safety.
  • Don’t give medical advice. As a personal trainer, it isn’t your role to give medical advice, physical therapy advice or attempt a medical diagnosis. Always refer your client to a specialist if you have any concerns regarding their health.
  • Don’t give massages. Not only do massages constitute inappropriate touch, they can also do damage if not executed correctly.
  • Take out fitness instructor and personal trainer insurance. Injuries to clients are, sometimes, completely unavoidable. That’s why you need to take out personal trainer insurance. It’ll protect you from personal liability should the worst happen, and is utterly essential.

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