Not in any particular order
1) Be a leader, take charge of the session. Be assertive and speak loud and clear.
2) Structure the workout towards the client’s goals, along with their structural and metabolic needs.
3) Be a motivator and commend them on a job well done.
4) Be really strict on proper form. If they have poor form, break the exercise down and work on proper mechanics. Re-teach the exercise if need be. If they are not capable of doing the movement right, come back to it at a later date rather than having them doing it wrong. This cannot be emphasized enough! Proper form is paramount as there is no excuse for poor form, and this reflects upon you as a trainer. You don’t want to be that Bozo that is known for teaching bad form or wrong mechanics.
5) Give plenty of Cue’s and direction. Communicate with your client and give lots of feedback. Tell them exactly how you want a particular movement done. Be clear, exact, and concise.
6) Be aware of your clients body position from head to toe in relationship to what they are doing, watching things such as 5 point contact, neutral spine, head positioning, scapular stabilization, activated core, etc……
7) Be very “hands on” give them parameters to work within, or palpate the muscles they are recruiting during a particular movement. Your focus on the client means a lot. They should have your undivided attention at all times, and minimize cell phone usage while with a client. They are not paying you to talk on the phone.
8) Spotting, get in close and make them feel safe for each and every thing they do. You don’t need to be hands on all of the time, but be in a position where you can prevent something from going wrong. Having your client fall off a Bosu ball and onto the ground should never happen in the first place, you are in charge of their safety and you are to blame if you were not there to spot them.
9) Think and move quickly. If someone is on a machine or using what you were planning on using next do something else similar instead of waiting. Keep the client moving and their heart rate up. Keep the intensity up according to what the client is capable of doing.
10) Set particular goals for each workout to make it fun and challenging. Chart their progress and give them a sense of accomplishment. They will always look forward to the next workout and want to come back for more.
All of these are simple to do things that will help you gain more respect from your clients, and increase your retention rate. When I lived in NYC, I had the same clients for 10 plus years, and the majority of my present clientele are the same people that I started with back when I first moved to LA nine years ago, despite moving to two different facilities and then my own. I had a 100% turn around when I expected about 40% because of the increased distance they would have to travel to my new facility (BioMechanix).
Jon Torerk, CSCS