Generally in business you want to differentiate yourself from your competition. If you read my posts over the last couple of weeks, you’ll see good ways to do that. What you don’t want to do is look like everyone else. If you stand beside someone working out having them perform any given routine you know, from the outside, it looks like what every other trainer in the gym is doing. A good way to differentiate and create more quality and value in your programming and business is to track client performance.
Some of you already do this and that’s awesome! Most trainers I see though, don’t. First of all, there’s no way you can remember all of the minute details of seat settings, etc. for a number of clients. Second, there’s no way to show true progress your clients are making. Yes, there’s value in variety, but if done to excess, records are useless and meaningless. It is possible to have someone do a lot of work and effort, but still not really progress much. You have to have some repeatability in there in order to show comparison. Probably the biggest principle to adhere to in personal weight training is the progressive overload principle. You don’t really know if you’re abiding by that principle if you have a different exercise every time. What might end up happening is apparent progress, not true progress. Granted, you could do a pre and post test of some standardized exercise(s) which would be a step in the right direction. But, why not try to get your clients a little better nearly every time they come in? If you are tracking their progress and monitoring all the variables, you can show them graphically, show trends, and it gives them a sense that you care about their progress and how their results.
You’ll also stand out from those around you and appear more professional. As you know, I think our whole industry can use a big dose of more professionalism. More professional also means that you can charge more too as there should be higher perceived value your service. We track everything and even use stopwatches to time right down to the second. The more you can control and the more you can isolate out certain variables, the more effectiveness you’ll deliver.
This also comes in very handy if the client has medical needs that you may need to communicate to another health professional. Hell, mine even came into play once legally when one of our clients was being assaulted by her husband. I had documented the day and specifically what areas she had mentioned were hurting her and had to adjust the routine as a result. Of course, she didn’t tell me this was the case at the time.
For good tools in order to implement this, click on the progress chart image above or go here to download a progress chart. Between charting performance accurately, and measuring circumference and body composition as accurately as you can, you should be able to deliver more value in your program to your clients and stand out from the crowd. Nobody will ever be able to doubt the validity of your methods.