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A post by

Kara Glasco, MS, RCEP, HFS

What made you go into the health and fitness field?  A pretty standard question most of us are used to getting when talking to clients or employers.  Sometimes we may need to ponder our answer to this question and other times it is on the tip of our tongues.  One of the main reasons I went into the health field was due to my ailing parents.  I saw them take so many different pills for an assortment of conditions, and I vowed not to be the same.  Why not use exercise as your medicine, treatment, and cure.  We all know that type 2 diabetes is generally preventable with a healthy lifestyle and appropriate eating habits.  So now that you are in the field, how do you develop your training style?

Find Your Audience

One of the most important things when developing your training style is to determine who your target audience is.  Do you like working with athletes and helping them train for performance and competition?  Do you like working with older adults and improving their quality of life?  Do you want to work with weekend warriors training for specific fitness goals?  Your target audience can lead you to a variety of different fitness environments.  If you like working with athletes then a retirement home is probably not the best setting for you.  If you don’t like working with high maintenance clients then a corporate setting may or may not be right for you.  In my case, I like working with people that have chronic disease, and mitigating their disease with exercise is my passion.  With society today, chronic disease is everywhere so I guess I am a professional chameleon.    

What Makes You Unique?

Another thing to consider is what makes you stand out in the crowd amongst the hundreds or thousands of trainers in your area?  Do you have a special skill set, background experience, or were you a former athlete?  With my family having a myriad of health issues, I easily became well versed in many different diseases.  I can’t tell you how relieved some clients are to know that I UNDERSTAND Celiac disease, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, and arthritis.  It will immediately make your clients trust you and feel comfortable with you if you can relate to their situations on a deeper level.  If you were a former athlete then using sport specific exercises and drills will go leaps and bounds (pardon the pun) further with the client who play on reck leagues.  Having first-hand experience will automatically increase your credibility rather than the trainer that read that chapter in a book.

How Do You Motivate?

The last thing to highlight is your motivational style when training clients.  Some trainers enjoy using the “tough love” approach trying to get the most out of their clients.  Other trainers prefer to use a gentle approach with lots of positive reinforcement.  Other trainers like myself use the “sneaky style” approach by adding weight, miscounting reps, or adding more work with the client none the wiser.  This works especially well with your “I can’t” clients because most don’t know their own abilities.  I suggest addressing motivational style with your clients during your initial consultation.  Some clients will crumble if you get tough with them while others will ascend to a whole other level. Having a flexible training style and assessing your client’s motivational needs will keep them happy and coming back often.

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