One massive bug bear of mine, second only to seeing a trainer on their mobile phone during a session, is when personal trainers talk too much about themselves. I’ve often maintained that personal training is more about the relationship than the actual training. Effective communication in personal training is mission critical. And sure enough, clients will take a natural interest in what’s going on in their trainers world. After all there is a lot of time to fill between sets and reps. However, it can be too easy to get the balance wrong.
Talk to the goal of the session
Each and every session will have a focus. Personal trainers and strength coaches must be able to communicate this goal and how it’s being achieved to the client. So in short, if you talk about nothing else, do make sure that you talk to them about what they’re doing! Second to that, effective communication in personal training requires the client to be coached. Giving feedback on how someone moves is more important than telling them about you! It’s what personal trainers are paid for.
Technical input taken care of, manage the clients effort levels. Some clients need to be held back in order to complete the desired work load or move properly, whilst others need encouragement to believe that they can achieve it. Spend an appropriate amount of time getting the client into the right headspace.
Effective communication in PT isn’t just ‘X’s & O’s’
So you’ve taken care of the technical input. Your client is moving safely towards their goals. I’ve always maintained that the most effective PT sessions are those that become an experience, rather than just a training session. This is where personality and ‘other’ chit chat come in. There is so much time available for putting a client at ease. Indeed, many clients like to use their training as an opportunity to off load their stresses. This is when effective communication in personal training can mean that you’re an agony aunt, a counsellor or sounding board.
Fill this space with more talk about them than about you. Remember, you have two ears and one mouth. All too often I hear trainers turning the conversation around to themselves. A personal trainer who is too busy telling you about their own training is not invested enough in their clients. In short, when it comes to the softer side of effective communication in personal training listen more than you talk!