Once all the hard work of study and hands-on experience of qualifying to become a personal trainer has been completed and you have the Certificate III and IV in Fitness or Diploma of Fitness under your belt, it’s time for you to put into practice precisely what you’ve learned during your time with Australian Fitness Academy. This can mean either applying for jobs at gyms and health centres around the country, or perhaps even going it alone as a solo enterprise.
It’s when you enter the world of work as a personal trainer that you will first truly realise the broad range of potential clients looking for your services. These can range from elite athletes, to those simply looking to get in shape, and others with health conditions that may require meticulously thought-out fitness programs.
A worthy undertaking
According to disability awareness group House with No Steps, as many as one in five Australians are registered disabled, representing 4.2 million Australians. Of course, disability can take a great many guises, from visual impairment, through spinal cord injury or Down’s syndrome. Training and helping clients with disabilities can be amongst the most rewarding experiences that a personal trainer can have. With this in mind, here are a few things that you must consider when drawing up a workout regime for them:
Training and helping clients with disabilities can be amongst the most rewarding experiences that a personal trainer can have.
First and foremost, it’s of paramount importance that you understand your client’s needs, and what he or she would like to get out of a structured fitness program. This will involve talking about their disability, how it physically or psychologically may limit them and a whole range of other factors. Some clients may talk freely and openly about their condition, and others may be more reserved. It’s vital that you are understanding and patient with your client whilst you work out the nuances of how to approach a tailored fitness program, and this measured method will pay dividends when the time to exercise comes.
Keeping an open, friendly rapport with your client will ensure that you keep things as comfortable as possible for them. Those that are starting a fitness regime for the first time may have very little idea as to what you may have in store for them, so consistently speaking with them about their planned program will ease any fears and anxieties that they may have, as well as breeding a sense of familiarity.
A friendly face
Many people feel self-conscious about exercise, especially when they’re first starting out, or may worry about injuring themselves. Constantly talking to and reassuring your client that exercise is a positive thing will help them through each session with greater ease and happiness, and your assistance, guidance and professionalism will become a big part of this as time goes on.
A professional opinion
Additionally, it is highly recommended that you speak with your client’s doctor or Allied Health Professional (if they consent) to discover which exercises may be particularly beneficial and those that should be avoided, with regards to the disability itself. It is also necessary that you evaluate your client’s current level of functional ability, to ensure that you’re not pushing them in a direction that could be detrimental to their overall well-being. It’s also worth your time asking your client which exercises and activities are their favourite. Even though you may have spent a good deal of time and effort composing a bespoke training program, if your client isn’t enjoying it, it’s possible that they may become disenchanted and stop seeing you – that’s no good for anybody!
Always remember your capabilities as a personal trainer. Make sure you are training clients according to your qualifications and experience and within your registration and insurance levels. If you are ever in doubt, talk to your registration body.