Whether you’ve been an online trainer for a while now, or you’re just getting started, we can all agree on one thing: Registering assessments and measuring clients online can be a little tedious. That said, they are possible and can actually be extremely effective.
To help your clients determine their fitness goals, you need to know your clients. This includes their current fitness level, health status, nutrition choices, strength level, and lifestyle preferences. An initial assessment will help you get to know your client. This will allow you to design a program that will help them achieve their goals.
Ongoing assessments help clients track their progress and visualize it. If you don’t frequently assess clients, you won’t know if they’re achieving their goals or if you need to make changes to their program.
Motivating online clients can be challenging at times. Assessments help mark milestones of success or can even motivate your clients to double down on effort. They can help you define the ways that your clients want to be helped. This will help you better understand what motivates them and whether assessments will help achieve their goals.
The question of when and how often you should assess clients varies from client to client. One of the biggest perks of online training is having complete autonomy over your clients’ workout plans. You get to decide what assessments should be administered, and how frequently you administer them. But you should make sure that assessments are done in regular intervals. For example, if your client is looking to lose weight, you should assess their progress monthly. Use the FitDrive app to schedule assessments and keep your clients in the loop.
When administering assessments, it’s important to communicate with your client that the assessment is just a baseline. This means that any results from the past are irrelevant from this point forward. The baseline measurements are used to track progress as a point of comparison. Because of that, you should ensure that you don’t measure clients too often (bi-weekly at most). Make sure to encourage clients not to measure themselves on the daily. Daily fluctuations can be torturous to their motivation and self-esteem.
According to Jonathan Goodman, when you assess clients online, you need to go through a bit of a mind shift. The point of any assessment is to set reliable goals since the assessments you choose to conduct should align with your client’s goals. While your typical body fat, endurance, and fitness tests are always staple options, they’re simply just not possible because of COVID-19 and our need to social distance.
When coaching clients online, the essentials are still the same. If you’re starting out with a new client, a PAR-Q, or physical activity readiness questionnaire is crucial. Check out this PAR-Q from NASM to get started. It gives you the important health information that you’ll need to know about a client so that you can plan safe workouts. This step is so much more important with online clients, so make sure you include more information. This, of course, includes finding out about your client’s injury history, since it can help you decide whether they’d be the right fit for you as a client, given their needs. Be as thorough as you need to be to get all the information you need to establish a baseline and ensure your workouts are safe for a client.
Once the initial assessments are complete, you can begin administering movement assessments online. You can walk your clients through these assessments through a video calling tool like zoom. Once they get the hang of it, they can record themselves and send you videos to make things more convenient. This will allow you to set a baseline for your clients once again, and examine their flexibility, balance, and overall functionality. Examples of movement assessments that you can conduct are deadlifts, pushups, row tests, plank, and overhead squat.
As an online trainer, you have many training assessment options are available to you. It is important to prescribe assessments based on the client and their needs since each client will have different goals and different capabilities. Make sure that you’re comfortable changing your assessment program to fit your clients’ needs.
As always feel free to reach out via email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about anything we covered and check out our full online training guide if you want to learn more. Also, be sure to follow us on Instagram at @myfitdrive to see other tips on growing your fitness business and using technology to improve the way you train your clients.
Stay Safe and stay fit,
The Fit Drive Team