Personal Trainers & the Client-Centric Element

When researching for an article I am writing, I came across this article by PT Direct which looks at functional training and personal trainers (PTs).

Although the topic of the article is ‘Functional Training’, the principles outlined by PT Direct regarding client desires, goals and abilities (encompassing customer service) is what I’m looking at.

For example:

  • ‘Exercise’ can easily be interpreted to mean many different things and represent many different approaches to training.
  • “…most effective way to; improve strength, balance, coordination, endurance and agility, all in one full swoop…regardless it seems of what the clients actual goals are.”
  • “Now being innovative is good – but trainers would be better off using their ‘innovative’ skills to find ways to help their clients combat the barriers that interfere with building and sustaining an exercise habit, rather than inventing weird, often pointless exercises.”
  • Thinking from a client perspective when developing training programmes. E.g. the client maybe:
    • Clumsy (requiring additional coaching);
    • Self-conscious (needs reassurance);
    • Awkward (feel stupid trying new exercises which take time to master); and/or
    • Training in peak time (thinks others looking at them and/or training in a crowd).
  • Client and PT ideas about training may not be in synergy, and actually quite polarised.
  • “…the sad fact that many of the exercise science courses we study to gain our qualifications are oriented towards training athletic populations rather than understanding the barriers nonathletic populations face when they try to start and maintain an exercise programme.”
  • Most clients probably just want to lose a few pounds, improve their health and feel a bit better about themselves.
  • The dissonance between PTs choosing exercises they think are right for the client (which they may not enjoy and find difficult to perform), and choosing exercises the client is capable of doing and enjoying.

You can read the full article here or alternatively read a PDF version: ‘Functional Training’ What the heck is it (PT Direct, 2016)

Reference

PT Direct (2016) ‘Functional Training’: What the Heck is it? Available from World Wide Web: http://www.ptdirect.com/training-design/training-tools/what-is-functional-training-and-what-is-a-functional-exercise. [Accessed: 22 March, 2017].

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