Hi! This is Nick Osborne with the Personal Training Department Blueprint, GO: Sports Performance Center and GO: Fitness Center in Columbus, Ohio. I’ve been in this business for over 24 years and one thing that has really helped me, as a trainer and business owner, become really successful is having systems for everything.
One of the things I became known for early on is having a proven exercise system (not just one or two “go-to” workouts) for all my clients. This system can be modified during the sessions, and is not dependent on variants such as my mood that day, how much sleep I got, or how many clients I’ve already served. With my system, I can say, without a doubt, I have consistently served a top-notch product every time I train.
I’m writing this because I want you to have the same confidence I have when it comes to delivering the best fitness experience possible for the client.
Let’s face it – a lot of trainers do not prepare their clients workouts before working with them. Many times trainers just “wing it”. Very few of them have 12 to 18 week programs for their clients when they start working with them. Less than 10% of trainers have even weekly workout plans already designed for their clients.
One answer I got when I asked trainers why they don’t have plans ready is, “the client isn’t going to stay with me that long anyway. So why do that much work?” I smell predetermined failure for both parties involved – don’t you?
My thinking is, if your clients see that you have a program that is proven to be successful; then they will stick with you much longer. Granted…it takes a lot of work to create individualized programs for your clients. But consider this – it takes even more work to keep replacing clients with new ones – Right?!
What I want to talk about today is how to put together an exercise system for most of your clients. This will be a system that you and your gym can explain to your clients and they can count on having a good experience every session. Plus, no one will find this surfing the Internet.
Think about six months from now if you had 2 TIMES as many clients, worked less on writing all of their workouts, and had more time to do what you want – such as marketing for future client sales. Doesn’t pre-designing your workouts sound like a smart thing to do?
Let me give you a little of my history on why having an established system works so well.
When I first started doing personal training, I was writing out every workout I was doing with my clients. That’s two workouts a week for 35 to 40 clients (most were one-on-ones or partner training). This means I had a ton of workouts to write (up to 320 a month- yikes!). Then, one day, I noticed that I put people through the same workout system. They were just in different phases or workout types at different times. My theory and the system I was actually using was the same.
The system was only modified based on physical limitations, the amount of weight the client needed to lose, experience and mental limitations. So, Over one month, I sat down and started writing out what my exercise system was based on all the workouts I’ve been doing for the past five years. Once I had the overall concept done, I started writing out each workout based on that concept. I then put each of my clients through each of the workouts I designed and then went back and refined and refined and refined.
I started adding corrective exercises and core exercises to the workouts that I didn’t have before. Plus, with pre-designing my workouts, I was able to stay on track and get more work done during each session with my clients. When I tracked results obtained by the client, I saw about a 20% increase in their results.
The best part was I got to see my theory being implemented on a daily basis and make adjustments as needed. There are too many times that I see so-called “gurus” layout workouts that the average client or trainer could never get through in a 30 or 60-minute session.
Also, planning the workouts and using a system made sure that I did not ignore training protocols that I found to be effective and my client liked. Things like using kettle bells, or doing modified strongman training, or certain exercises were not either overused or ignored. It allowed me to give a better, more effective, and well-rounded workout than if I sat down daily or weekly and wrote out the workouts at the last minute. The clients loved it!
Having a system — I even got to see the mistakes that I made. A few of my clients made the comment that they liked how the workouts changed. So, I made the mistake of making every workout that they did for three weeks completely different.
Too many change-ups, just confused and frustrated my clients. I discovered that clients liked to do two or three different workouts each week, but also wanted to do those same workouts for three or four weeks in a row in order to see progress and get comfortable with doing the exercises. Their results weren’t as good when the workouts changed so often. Without a system – I wouldn’t have had a clue what to change and what to keep.
I learned from my mistakes and re-created my workouts based on that. I improved each and every workout and let the clients experience the product I was creating. My clients got consistently better results than other trainers’ clients in the same gym. Plus, my clients talked to their friends about what their workouts were like and how it made them feel.
Non-training clients in the gym would see me walking around with my training logs for each client and ask me if they could buy them. Even other trainers in the gym wanted to buy my system logs!
That’s what having a predesigned exercise system can do for you. You look professional, you give better workouts, and you have free time to market or just relax.
Now some of you might be saying “what about my clients’ individual needs, or my creativity?” It’s a system! You can still adjust the individual workouts or completely change them if and when necessary.
A predesigned exercise system is like your canvass that you use and the workout is the scene you create on it.. You are the Master Artist everyone will want to work with.!
In the next Blog post I will explain the “HOW” to build a exercise system.
Great post Nick. You got a nice exercise system. Thank you for inspiring us to do the same. This is something that I think that fitness professionals should put into practice. I am glad you came up with this article. Good job!
I am looking forward to reading your blogs.
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