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Personal Training: 3 Keys To Training Clients In Their Homes

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  • Aaron Potts
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 31, 2005
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      Free-Reprint Article Written by: Aaron Potts

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      Article Title: Personal Training: 3 Keys To Training Clients In
      Their Homes
      Author: Aaron Potts
      Category: Wellness, Fitness and Diet
      Word Count: 1885
      Article URL:
      http://www.isnare.com/?id=1531&ca=Wellness%2C+Fitness+and+Diet
      Format: 64cpl
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      Online Publisher Tool: http://www.isnare.com/html.php?id=1531

      ------------------ ARTICLE START ------------------
      When considering your options as a personal trainer, one of the
      very first things to decide is WHERE you are going to train your
      clients. The most obvious answer for most trainers is to get a
      job at a local fitness facility and train clients there. This
      is certainly an option, and one that is recommended especially
      in the beginning of your career. The structure and experience
      that you will get by working at a successful gym or fitness
      center is invaluable for a new personal trainer. However, there
      are drawbacks to working with your clients at a gym, and some
      clients will be unwilling or unable to workout at a local
      facility. Don't lose those clients by not having other options!


      Working out with your clients in their homes is an option for
      any trainer, and by offering this option to your clients you
      can increase your potential client base by a dramatic number,
      and you may even decide to exclusively offer home personal
      training. In order to decide if this type of business model is
      for you, there are several points to consider, and they include
      time management, exercise modalities to be used, and business
      resources that are available.

      Time Management

      Managing your time and your schedule is a critical
      consideration when deciding whether or not to work with clients
      in their homes. Unlike working at a facility, the amount of time
      that you need to dedicate to each client is increased, sometimes
      to the point of even doubling the time spent for each client
      session.

      For example, let's use a standard one-hour training session as
      our business model for this discussion. Although many trainers
      are utilizing different training times with their clients these
      days, one hour is still a good time frame to use for your
      scheduling reference. You want to remember that as a home
      personal trainer, you can be on a tight deadline to get from
      one place to the next, so you don't want to schedule your
      sessions back-to-back like you can when you are working at a
      fitness facility.

      You must also factor in your travel time to get to your
      client's home, as well as to get to the home of the following
      client, the client after that, and so on. If you live in an
      even reasonably populated area, you will have to allow at least
      15 minutes of driving time to and from every client's home, and
      sometimes as much as 30 minutes per client, depending on the
      size of the geographic area that you train in. Using our
      one-hour training session as an example, just one training
      session can cost you as much as 2 hours of your time.

      A standard 8-hour workday will now only allow you to train
      between 4 and 6 clients, depending on where they live in
      relation to your starting point, as well as in relation to each
      other. Your best bet whenever possible is to set up your clients
      in a roughly straight line, or possibly a circle that brings you
      back to your starting point at the end of the day. The last
      thing that you want to do is set up a client who lives 30
      minutes north of your starting point followed immediately by a
      client who lives 30 minutes south of your starting point. Not
      only will you eat up massive amounts of time driving to and
      from your client's homes, but you will put serious mileage on
      both your car as well as your wallet at the gas station! More
      on that in the Business Resources section below.

      Exercise Modalities

      The next thing to consider is the type of training that you
      will be doing with your clients in their homes. Unless they
      have a full fitness facility set up - which is rare - it is
      very likely that you will have to come up with ways to put them
      through a vigorous workout without the massive amount of
      equipment that is available at a full-size fitness facility. In
      order to put together these home workouts, you need to address
      the two different energy pathways that your clients will need
      to use during their workouts: aerobic and anaerobic.

      Anaerobic Workouts

      Although many trainers are used to the massive resources
      available at a local gym, getting your clients a variety-filled
      and intense anaerobic workout in their home is actually easier
      than most would think. With nothing more than an exercise ball
      and a portable set of dumbbells, you can take your clients
      through the full range of motion and exertion on almost the
      same scale that is afforded those clients training at a gym.

      If you are just starting out in the industry, or are simply
      used to working your clients out at a fitness facility, you
      should do some research on the Internet for dumbbell workouts,
      bodyweight workouts, functional training, and sport-specific
      training. Those 4 keyword combinations alone will net you
      hundreds of websites with free or low-cost resources that will
      teach you thousands of exercises that can be done with little
      or no equipment.

      The key to getting your clients a good anaerobic workout at
      home is not the type of equipment that is used, or the actual
      amount of weight that is moved, but rather the INTENSITY of the
      workout. A bit of trial and error will teach you how to take a
      client through their paces in a safe but intense manner that
      will leave most people ready to call it quits in 30 minutes or
      less!

      Aerobic Workouts

      Taking your clients through appropriate and effective aerobic
      workouts can happen on many levels. The 2 obvious differences
      are going to be whether they get their aerobic activity during
      their session, or if you assign them activities to do after you
      leave. You could also do a combination of both, depending on the
      needs and the fitness level of the client.

      If you are going to take your clients through an aerobic
      workout during their session, you can either incorporate "heart
      rate maintenance" exercises into the workout itself, or you can
      get the anaerobic exercises out of the way, and then move into
      an aerobic workout for the second half of the session. Just
      remember that if your goal is to keep your clients inside their
      target heart rate zone, there will be very little rest time in
      between exercises.

      However, before you blindly go forcing all of your clients to
      stay inside their target heart rate zone for the entire
      session, consider the fitness goal of the client, and the
      metabolically intense benefits of structured strength training
      compared to a session when you just make sure they are sweating
      the whole time!

      Another option for your client's cardio is to have them do it
      on their own after the end of the training session. Obviously
      they still need your guidance on what to do, how to track their
      heart rate, and how long they should perform the activity, but
      not all clients will actually need you to stay there and guide
      them during the activity.

      Also, it is not uncommon for people to own a piece of
      cardiovascular training equipment such as a treadmill,
      elliptical trainer, stair-stepper, etc. Nonetheless, most
      clients will still need some specific guidance on how to
      maximize the benefits from the type of equipment that they have
      access to. Things like interval training, cross training, and
      training at different heart rate levels are all things that you
      should educate your clients on, especially if they are going to
      be doing cardio on their own.

      Business Resources

      You must also consider the business resources that you will
      need access to when training clients in their homes. The time
      factor has already been discussed, and you should also consider
      the daily expenses involved in this type of training model.
      These include equipment expenses, "on the road" expenses, and
      auto expenses.

      Equipment expenses should be minimal. You may have an initial
      cost, but after your initial purchases, all of those assets are
      reusable. Basic items for home training include an adjustable
      set of dumbbells and an exercise ball at a bare minimum. It
      would also be a good idea to have a roll-up exercise mat, a
      jump rope, and any other items needed for the type of
      activities that your clients will be engaging in. A great
      cardio idea for clients training at home is boxing drills. If
      you were to utilize that type of training, then a decent set of
      protective gloves for the clients would be in order, as well as
      target mats that you hold for them to strike during their
      drills.

      In all cases, the items that you own stay with you, and they
      are simply taken from one client's house to the next. It is a
      great idea to have your clients eventually buy their own gear,
      however, which keeps you from having to tote arm loads of
      equipment into and out of their houses day after day. Also,
      depending on the type of program you put them on, they may use
      some of their own equipment in between training sessions.

      "On the Road" expenses include food and drinks while you are
      traveling. Depending on your schedule, you will be on the road
      anywhere from 2 to 12 hours at a time! In those cases, you will
      obviously need to plan healthy places to eat along the way, or
      keep portable meals in your vehicle each day. In any event,
      make sure that you consider the cost of eating away from home
      as part of your business expenses.

      Auto expenses are potentially the biggest expense that you will
      have to face in order to train people at home. The wear and tear
      on your vehicle - although accountable on your taxes - can still
      be a drain on your financial resources. You have to keep your
      vehicle insured, fueled up, and in good working order at all
      times. The last thing that you want to do is be late for a
      client session because your car broke down, or you ran out of
      gas! Also, at anywhere from $1.50 to $2.50 per gallon, gas can
      get expensive if you put in a lot of miles every day.

      Conclusion

      As you can see, there are many considerations when deciding
      whether or not to train clients in their homes, and you must
      weigh those considerations against the benefit of being "free"
      from the gym trainer's normal boundaries, and instead being in
      charge of your own day to day business. In return, you can
      command higher per session fees for home training. Since you
      are saving your clients a lot of driving time and gym expenses,
      as well as giving them an opportunity to get healthy in the
      privacy of their own homes, it is not unheard of for a home
      trainer to charge $75 to $100 or more per session. Figure in
      scheduling issues, the exercise program that you will have your
      clients on, and the resources needed, and decide for yourself if
      this type of training program will work for your business!


      About The Author: Aaron Potts is the author and creator of The
      Ultimate Complete Personal Training Business Kit, a quick-start
      kit and business guide for new as well as seasoned fitness
      professionals. Find out more about Aaron's programs at
      http://www.completepersonaltrainingbusiness.com or his personal
      training site at http://www.aaronspersonaltraining.com
      ------------------ ARTICLE END ------------------

      For more free-reprint articles by Aaron Potts please visit:
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