Whether you’re new or have years of experience in the field, there’s always something to learn. If you’re a client, read to keep your trainer accountable.
1. Changing up routines too frequently
Too much variety is only good for TV. In the world of workouts, it's important to stick to a few key exercises that work best for your client. You want to gun for consistency and not virality.
Authors Dan and Chip Heath once said, “Big problems are rarely solved with commensurately big solutions. Instead, they are most often solved by a sequence of small solutions, sometimes over decades.”
In lay terms, don’t change too much too quickly with your clients. Get them to stay the course to get lasting results.
2. Lack of empathy
If you don’t feel for your clients, maybe this career path is not for you. If you find yourself blaming your clients for most things - slipping up on their diet, missing training to tend to personal emergencies or hurting themselves while exercising - then yes you tick the tragic boxes for “lack-of-empathy”.
Instead of blaming them, take responsibility for everything. Client is hurt? Get to the root of the problem and think about what you can do differently. Tendonitis? Likely too much volume or improper loading. Did they sleep funny and now have back pain? Acute trauma to the back doesn’t generally occur during sleep; again, how can you show up and help?
In essence, personal training is the generous act of helping others become who they want to be. Not who you want them to be. So having empathy is just basic foundational stuff.
3. Setting up ‘easy’ routines
There are no one-size-fits-all, mother-of-all programs out there. Every client is different. They have different fitness levels, capacities, motivations, goals and medical makeups. So personalization is key to their success. A good self-checker is to pause and simply ask yourself if the program you designed for your client is something you would do yourself.
Also, plan ahead. Like way ahead. And with intention. Don’t just throw clients into “today’s workout” because your schedule is too full or you have too many varied clients. A safe and effective exercise program should be periodized. Each period (of a few months) is an opportunity to reach a specified fitness goal. Do that and give real value to your clients.
4. Opting out of continual education
There is a wise Chinese saying, “活到老，学到老 (Live until you're old, study until you're old).” This is pretty straightforward. The ultimate personal trainer mistake is choosing not to invest in continual self-education. Yes you may know a lot, but you definitely don’t know it all.
A sure way to accelerate your success is to stay on top of the latest techniques and developments in the fitness world. You can do that by taking accredited courses that increase your knowledge base. Your clients will benefit your industry-savviness so don’t stagnate; keep growing.
Made some of these mistakes?
Don’t feel bad. I made them in my younger days too. Thankfully they can be corrected. Take advantage of our learning courses and be on top of the latest fitness techniques with our Certified Personal Trainer Course (CPT). Don’t let the lack of knowledge be your Achilles heel.
In a snapshot
Learn proper techniques for all the most effective strength training exercises
Learn how to properly plan diets and methods of breaking through plateaus when you hit them
Learn how to load and progress with your routines safely and efficiently
Find out more here.
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