Keeping workouts fresh is important for your clients and for you! These days, programming options are limitless. We are bombarded with new research, updated approaches, unique equipment, creative concepts and top-notch tools. You may be tempted from time-to-time to make changes to your programming based on a client’s request or for fear of falling behind other fitness professionals. But, it’s important you follow the three tips below before adding something new to your toolbox:
1. Research – Always begin by thoroughly researching new ideas. It’s important to use reputable fitness resources to vet the information first. Consider using industry-specific websites, periodicals and blogs (e.g. IDEA Fitness Journal, ACSM Journals, PFP, etc.). While considering consumer fitness outlets is helpful to understand what your clients are seeing, be sure to validate the resources used and confirm all information with trade publications that are up to date. Finally, while we all follow our own ‘gurus’ and tend to trust what s/he says, it’s important to question the information shared. Bottom line, the more resources you can use and the more thorough you cross-reference and authenticate the information you find, the better.
2. Review – Now that you know the new idea is legitimate and worth using, your next step is to review your clients’ needs. Regardless how well-researched a concept, updating your approach to programming will only be worthwhile if your client will benefit from it. Benefits can include accelerating results, increasing adherence, preventing injury, and having fun! One mistake trainers make is resourcing the best approach from a scientific perspective without considering the other ways a new approach might enhance a client’s experience.
3. Resolve – Finally, decide. Do you feel comfortable using this new approach and, if so, with whom? Before springing it on your client Monday morning after a feverish weekend of researching and reviewing, take time to practice and perfect the new approach using yourself or friends and family members. Take a rolling approach to layering-in your new idea. Perhaps start by adding to one client’s workout this week. Then, try with another two clients the following week, and so on. Ensure the new programming will be as good as your tried-and-true workouts.
While new programming may be enticing and you may be tempted to explore every new idea you see, remember your clients crave familiarity to some degree. Change is natural and necessary, but updating your programming should be done with careful consideration for optimal impact.