Typecasting PT clients – Risk or Reward?
As fitness professionals our role in supporting client’s achieve their health and fitness goals is to be able to better understand their behavioural patterns in maintaining exercise adherence. There are a number of tools that can be used to further understand the personality traits of clients. Examples may include Myers-Briggs, DISC profiling, or 5 love languages.
It is quite common to judge a book by its cover during the initial consultation and then over time you come to realise that you got them all wrong. This is only recognised when authentic client-focussed professional relationships are established.
Typecasting is the process of a person becoming strongly associated with a particular character. In today’s blog, we will investigate the range of clients that you may encounter within gyms and fitness centres and simple solutions to support them achieve their goals. However, it leads us to the all-important question, can we typecast clients when we know that everyone is an individual and should be treated accordingly?
Training to reduce stress and anxiety in a safe and private setting. Calm and tactile Personal Trainer.
Solution - Client open to varied exercise depending on the instruction and trust developed by the PT
Solution - Training to support client with nutritional guidance, education, assessment protocols for re-assessment. Goal setting and optimistic of making change via the gym training environment
Solution - Training to be in the company of a different circle to take their mind of past history, behavioural change to be empowered and develop a mindset towards moving towards goals and optimism
Solution - Training to redevelop self confidence in their body, patient transition to training intensity with appropriate exercise progression and long term training programs. Specific testing to determine level of improvement with their body
Solution - Training as part of a bigger, more global goal rather than having to focus on the smaller details within each training session. Goals are for a greater purpose and happy to work towards them in a steady and appropriate pace
Solution - Training program developed in liaison with client to maintain transparency of research and development supporting reasons for training program. Training split with a desired goal and target specific muscle groups. Collect data and information to compare results from previous records
Solution - Training to bring mindfulness back to exercise to prevent injury and the ability to focus, conversation and affirmation to support ego and achieve results. Varied training principles and equipment stimuli to enable client to train with drops sets and forced reps. Spotting techniques are paramount for the grunter to prevent injury
Solution - Training with risk of injury with higher loads beyond training age and cooling down between sets. Education on training principles to achieve results, maintaining intensity for each client during session
Solution - Training with correct spotting technique, appropriate training principles to achieve more effective results, client will need to leave feeling smashed after the session with no more in the tank. Training programs in short term to allow full client to participate at full capacity without overtraining. PT helps client understand the principles of recovery and overtraining outside the gym setting
Solution - Training with agility and plyometrics to develop new skills and adaptations that can be utilised outside of the gym setting. Education of training principles and correct form so that it is applied elsewhere once the new skill is learned
Solution - Training to fast track the new adventures with reassurance and correct spotting techniques and achieve new goals in performance
Solution - Training with cardio as warm up and then utilising all areas of the gym through education and support in the company of their PT. Empower client to develop the confidence to use the resistance equipment as they come to understand its purpose for their body
Solution - Training raises awareness that everyone has their unique talents and PT is one of them. Behavioural change occurs over time with a new outlook and appreciation to the role of PTs in achieving results in the client. A professional relationship and trust are established to then enable performance to occur in a timely manner
Solution - Training with direction, short term and long term programs and at a suitable pace to maintain exercise adherence. Explore the range of equipment available and follows the lead of the PT
Solution - Training in partners and small groups who too want to achieve results with common goals to achieve. Enjoy a good chat during or after the training session but must still perform and make good use of time by killing two birds with the same stone
Solution - Training must be over time in preventing injury. Realisation that client cannot perform at level of the past and must enjoy the journey rather than just the outcome. Patience is key and the body will remember movement patterns of the past, however at initial stages a well-rounded approach to fitness is key
Solution - Training needs to be varied with stimulating conversation to provide client with additional benefits of exercise. Not interested in training programs but just let them do what needs to be done and leave feeling like their to-do-list was completed today
Solution - Training to demonstrate to others of client’s performance or achievement. Will listen attentively to PT until challenged by an outsider’s comments. Record keeping via photo and video records and social media is key to achieving results to show others of progress.
You may even wish to ask your clients which personality type best describes them. Although we do not encourage you to judge a book by its cover, sometimes typecasting in the first form is a good way to begin developing an understanding of your client and discovering the best ways to build professional and long lasting relationships.
To learn more about clients within the health and fitness industry visit PT National and the unit of work SISFFIT002 Recognise and apply exercise considerations for specific populations.
By Eric Said – PT National Director of Learning