Record Keeping—a Cell Phone Free Adventure!

Record Keeping—a Cell Phone Free Adventure.

We train up to 10 or 12 hours a day. Sometimes with one on one sessions for an hour, sometimes in small groups and sometimes we even offer 30 minute sessions. That’s a lot of people in single day that we interact with. As a personal Trainer, we are responsible for the safety and well-being of each person we work with.

In order to ensure we are keeping our clients safe and we are always aware of our clients’ goals, fitness level, past experience, preferences, concerns, strengths, weaknesses, and progress, it is so important that we keep a client file for each and every person we work with. (It would be near impossible to remember all required information for each and every one of your clients!)

I know this seems like it should be common sense for a Fitness Professional, although I am more often than not surprised at how many Personal Trainers don’t have a file for each client they work with. I mean, have you ever been to your dentist or lawyer and found they didn’t have a file on you? Of course not! All professionals have files for each of their clients.

Every client file will contain:

·       The completed Health History form

·       The completed Par Q Form

·       The completed (signed and initialed) Informed Consent

·       Personal Information including Emergency contact information

·       Terms and conditions of Training

·       Payment schedule

·       Session tracking

That’s the information we start with and will always be in the file.

We also need to record:

·       Assessments and Results

·       A periodized or linear program plan

·       Client Results and improvements

·       Changes in program or clients health profile

Each and every session is also recorded. I make a point of asking the following questions of each client as they are completing their 5-10 minute warm up. I take notes and update their file during this time. Their responses to my questions then determines the actual program that will be completed that day.

·       Any changes in your health since I saw you last? Yes – Ask more questions and take notes

·       How did you feel after our last workout? Take notes on response

·       What have you eaten today? Take notes on response

·       How did you sleep last night? Take notes on response

·       How is your energy level today? Take notes on response

·       Any aches or pains I need to know about? Take notes on response

·       How much water have you had today? Take notes on response

·       How much caffeine/energy boosters have you had today? Take notes on response

·       What exercise(s) have you done since I saw you last? What was the intensity? How did you feel right after? A few days after? Take notes on responses

·       Documenting the clients mood is also helpful

All of this information is documented and kept on file with the proper date.

During the resistance training session, I document every exercise, number of sets, reps, load, rest times and time under tension. I then document client perceived exertion for workout. All stretches completed are documented as well.

At the end of each session, I keep record of any ‘homework’ I assign. For example, increase water by 1-2 cups each day. Or stretch at home after each dog walk during the week. This allows me to follow up on homework during our next session and make any additional suggestions for ‘homework’.

Tracking information can seem a challenge to start. It will help you tremendously as your clientele builds to a point where you simply cannot remember all you need to for each and every client.

One of the worst things I’ve ever heard on the gym floor was a Trainer greeting his client and saying:

“So, what’d we do last time?”

It’s not the client’s job to track information – It’s the Personal Trainer’s job to do this. J

Some trainers will choose to track all information on a Cell Phone. It’s no secret that I fired any trainer I saw with a Cell Phone in their hand. I find it extremely rude and very, very inappropriate to have a cell phone in your hand during a training session. You can claim that you are using your phone to track information during a session, but think of this:

To the person on the treadmill or on the bike who is observing a Personal Trainer and is watching all the trainers work with others, what they see is a trainer texting on their cell phone during a training session. What is the emotion left behind with this potential new client?

In reality, you may be documenting client information, but we all know you are also checking for emails, texts, Facebook posts or Tweets.

It is NOT okay to collect money from a client to oversee their workout and coach their success, then check emails or Facebook during that time.

No professional I have ever met has a cell phone in hand during an appointment. If you feel you MUST enter client session information onto your cell phone, then I’ll suggest you do so when you are NOT training a client.  Cell phones during client session leaves a bad emotion behind and is actually stealing from your client.

Remember, Personal Training is not about YOU, it’s about your CLIENT. What can you do today to ensure your client feels like the most important person alive and what can you do today to ensure that every client you work with knows that they hired the best, and the most professional?

To your continued success 

Andrea ThatcherComment