5 steps towards effective personal training goals setting

Each personal trainer should start working with his/her client from determining precisely his client’s needs and, therefore, training goals.

5 steps towards effective personal training goals setting

Each personal trainer should start working with his/her client from determining precisely his client’s needs and, therefore, training goals. This seems obvious and simple. Part of your staff may think: it is not difficult, just ask what training target our customer has. Is this reality? The experience around many health clubs  shows something quite different. Many people have hard times with setting the precise goal and having such a goal is like being half way to the training result. In the end of the day, the customer pays the personal trainer, because he or she should be a guarantee of achieving training results. You have to make sure that all your personal trainers work with a certain plan and strategy, because without it you may simply lose customers. Perfect Gym management software gives the opportunity to add comments about each interaction our employees have with customer. You can coach your staff and check if they are successfully working easily. Those comments can become a great source of information about the customers, their expectations, way of working etc. It can enable you to share best practices between your personnel and name fields where some improvement is needed.

The described training goal setting steps are based on the S.M.A.R.T. method, concept used mainly in business and project management that was created more than 50 years ago by Peter Drucker, one of the most eminent management researchers.

Each of our training goals should be SMART, meaning:






Step 1: Define the target

If a customer comes up with the statement "my goal is to move / improve my general fitness condition" and the trainer is happy, congratulations. However, this is going to be pointless. This type of response should mobilize the trainer to dig deeper through a series of inquiring questions. The goal must be as specific and precise as possible. A personal trainer plays a lot of roles in his/her work. Each of us has different goals and different ideas behind them. Our clients too. We should know their ideas.

Step 2: Determine how to measure the training goal

How will a trainer know if a customer has achieved the results? Only by measuring the progress, or lack of it. Precisely. In lost centimetres in the waist, weight or kilograms on a bar, pace of run etc. Moreover, the target should be measurable in specific units. Only then the progress can be checked, the training plan corrected and the conclusions drawn. If this is not the case, the trainer should go back to step 1.

Step 3: Make sure the  training goal is relevant to a customer

It seems simple but in fact it is not. Personal trainers often see an overweight person and immediately assume that such a person wants to lose weight. Error, this is a big simplification. Client's training goal is important, not ours! People need to change their mindset. A good way to test whether a goal is relevant to a customer is to ask: "Why do you want to achieve this goal?" The answer to this question is crucial. Goals that are set must be 100% consistent with the customer's ideas, beliefs and needs. He/she  knows best what he/she wants to accomplish, sometimes they just need the help to clarify these goals. If a personal trainer sees that a customer "does not feel" the target that was set, he/she should return to step 1.

Step 4: Verify feasibility

On one hand setting up training goals is a kind of concert of wishes. A personal trainer should allow a customer to go with the flow and give him/her the opportunity to speak out even the most unrealistic goals (which can only seem so!). On the other hand, your staff and you are professionals. You cannot promise miracles, impossible things, or unhealthy things. The training goal that is set should be as ambitious as possible (taking into account individual circumstances) but still realistic.

Step 5: Determine time to accomplish the goal

Even the best training goal will not work if there is no exact time determined for its completion. Time pressure: passing days, weeks, months and the upcoming verification day mobilizes customers to action. In addition, by specifying the time frame of a "big training goal," the whole process can be divided into smaller stages and intermediate goals, which will further bring additional motivation for the trainee.

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