Why Check-Ins Aren’t Just Checking-Up

When people decide that they want a Personal Trainer they normally have one aim in mind – to actually achieve their fitness goals.

Some may have tried exercising on their own, some may even have had another trainer working with them in the past, but for some reason they did not reach the level of fitness (or obtain the body shape) that they wanted to. 

Even for those who are totally new to the concept of training, there is still a desire to meet health and fitness objectives – few undertake a programme simply because they like it. Everyone loves the results of a healthier lifestyle and just about everybody gets a huge boost of happy chemicals post workout but, let’s be honest, it’s not smiles and chuckles all the way!

So, bearing in mind that clients want and expect results, I insist on some ‘non-negotiables’ right from the beginning. The first of these is the Discovery Call where we’ll discuss personal goals and find out a bit more what has driven that particular individual to seek my assistance. 

The information I get from the Discovery Call is invaluable and definitely sets strong foundations for the tailored training and nutrition plans which I will put together. And let’s not forget, it’s a great way for us to get to know each other and understand likes, dislikes, motivation etc. which again, will play a big part in the success in our mutual fitness mission.

The second element which is a must is the Twice-weekly Check-in. I can almost see the eyes rolling as I mention it. This is not, as some might suspect, me checking up to make sure that clients are doing what I’ve told them to do and it’s not a chance for me to shout, sergeant-major style, to jolt them into action.

It is, instead, an opportunity to see how the plan is progressing and if it’s actually providing the right level of challenge. The Personal Training programmes I craft for clients are very individual, formed by the findings of our Discovery Call but – hands up - I don’t always get things exactly right every time and the reality of fitting in my suggested activities or nutritional changes around everyday family and work life may turn out to be unrealistic. 

Of course, it may also be that the level isn’t challenging enough, and this is definitely something we need to discuss. I believe in starting things off relatively gently and working up the intensity when the basics have been mastered, but the last thing I want is to have clients thinking my plans are too easy and become bored or ramp their exercises up without further professional guidance. 

The Check-in has the essential role of keeping us on track – and that means keeping us on the road to those all-important fitness goals. Yes, there’s an element of ‘cheerleading’ but, in my opinion, everyone needs some encouragement from the side-lines to keep them strong on their quest to reach the finishing line.

When embarking on a fitness and well-being journey there will be effects on both physical and mental health. The body may take a little longer to respond, but the mind gets fired up pretty quickly so when Checking-in I have a valuable chance to find out what has provided the greatest mental boost. From experience I know that long-term success depends very much on the ‘feel good factor’ of what we are doing – if I can dial this up for my hard-working clients twice a week then why wouldn’t I do just that?