in seminars, I ask the question, "Whose benefit is the assessment
for?" the answer is unanimous.
trainers in attendance describe the fact that they will identify
risk factors, and follow that with mention that they will be better
equipped to design a program specific to the client.
I ask how many people perform an assessment on ALL of their clients.
Less than 25% of the hands in the room are raised. That indicates
that it's time to rethink the value of the fitness assessment.
first thing you should understand is that the actual value of the
assessment is far more weighed toward benefit to the trainer than
it is to the client! Why? Firstly, it provides a baseline for you
to draw comparisons in 90 days . . . and there's nothing more motivating
to a client than actually "seeing" clear and indisputable
evidence of results! Secondly, the ability to conduct tests using
specialty devices (calipers, BP cuff, perhaps an ergometer and heart
rate monitor) elevates you to the perceived level of a Professional,
an element that is vital in your ability to maintain Professional
Fees. Thirdly, it gives you a chance to really get inside your client's
heads, to understand their true desires (beyond "get in shape")
and to outline a course of action. Fourthly (and I'll stop here
although I can keep going), you're going to get paid for the Assessment!
many health clubs have completely devalued the assessment by making
it a membership throw-in (join today and a fitness assessment with
a Personal Trainer is FREE), that trainers have actually come to
believe that a FREE assessment is a required course of action. If
you are a professional, you should be paid . . . not only for workouts
. . . but for your time! I believe if your assessment lasts 1-hour,
which is reasonable, you should be paid just as you would for a
1-hour exercise session. Isn't a doctor paid for the evaluation
process (the exam) as much as he'd paid for the cure (the treatment)?
Of course he is. I know, you're not a doctor, but if you strive
to be a professional, you should be elevated to a position in the
fitness industry that correlates with a doctor's position in medicine.
The assessment is a great tool to reinforce that position.
true value of the assessment lies in the final stage, the presentation
of information. Most trainers conclude the session with a test-by-test
explanation of the results. Here's what you need to understand.
People don't like to be "assessed." They don't like to
be plugged into categories with headings such as "Poor,"
"Fair," or "Needs Work." The presentation of
information should be heavily swayed toward a discussion of goals
and a follow up course of action. After you've explored the client's
history and attitudes relating to exercise, after you've pinched,
weighed, and measured, you are very well equipped to make professional
recommendations as to "where we go from here."
believe the assessment should be the first actual session. It should
take place before you take a client onto the workout floor. If you
conduct a preliminary Orientation, once someone commits to retaining
you as a trainer, you should schedule the assessment. It's a very
powerful bridge between getting interest from a client and getting
software is only a tool, and you're going to impress your clients
with your abilities and knowledge . . . not your computer skills,
in an article about assessments I'd be remiss if I didn't mention
Microfit. I installed a Microfit system in a very high end $10 million
facility over a decade ago and the reports, the user friendly graphics,
and the interactivity of the system made it a phenomenal promotional
tool. The only catch was, it was expensive! Here's the great news.
You can get the software now for roughly $1,000 and it can be easily
programmed to support any tests you conduct. Is it worth it? Judge
to their website, www.microfit.com
Previous Tip For Trainers ]