How much do clients really need their personal trainers?

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As a personal trainer, one of the many things your clients need from you is advice on how often to train. Should they train every day? Every other day? Once a week? How long should each session be? And how many weeks or months should training go on for? Of course, all of this is personal to every client. Here, we look into how to calculate the training needed for each client, and why it can sometimes be cruel to be kind…

1: Don’t be too flexible

This might sound strange, but letting your client book in just a half-hour session here and there might please them in the short term, but isn’t going to help them achieve results in the long run. It might seem mean to encourage your clients to train longer and more regularly than they might think is necessary, but as their personal trainer it’s your role to explain what level of training will deliver the results they want. It’s also up to you to be honest, and tell them if thirty minutes here and there isn’t enough to achieve their goals. Equally, for your keenest clients, it’s important that you reassure them that workouts are about quality, not quantity, and spending more than an hour in the gym is usually not necessary. Trust us: they’ll thank you for your honesty in the long run!

2: Discover what motivates them

Why did your client want to start training in the first place? To help define the number and length of your training sessions, take time to chat with your client to find out what’s behind them boosting their fitness. Is it about toning up, gaining strength, boosting health, losing weight or something else? Once you’ve determined this goal, you can build a program that targets their needs – and figure out the maximum and minimum hours they should train.

3: Fitness newbie, or seasoned pro?

The amount of time a client should spend training will vary according to how experienced they are. If they’ve never set foot in a gym before, short sessions may be a useful place to start to avoid intimidation – you can work up to training for longer once they’re comfortable with a basic plan. On the other hand, for clients who’ve been gym fans for years, longer sessions might be what they’ve come to expect – and enjoy!

How do you figure out training plans for your clients – got any top tips to share? Tell us on Twitter and Facebook.

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