First Time With a New Client? Here’s How To Nail It

One-on-one training with a client can be seriously rewarding—sometimes even more than teaching a sold-out class or seeing an entire group moving in unison to your playlist. No doubt, what you teach in a group setting is important, but private training can be truly life-changing for your clients. Here’s how to make sure that first session goes off without a hitch—and how to ensure that your clients get the best results.

Know your client’s needs

Showing up to a training session for the first time is almost like the first day of school. You’ve got to do your research before walking into class. I always like to ask my fellow trainers if they’ve worked with particular clients prior to their session with me, just to get a heads-up on my upcoming session. Knowing how often clients workout, what their goals are, and if they have underlying medical conditions (like an injury or pregnancy)  can help you craft a perfectly unique workout for your client. Does the client have a specific timeline, for example, getting ready to walk down the aisle? Maybe the client is focusing on getting a pre-baby body back? Maybe the client is already in wonderful shape but is looking to cross-train for the upcoming marathon? It’s always important to make sure you’re aware of any previous injuries as well. Most exercises can usually be modified if need be to a degree that will continue to help the client succeed. Creating an open line of communication from the first session and really getting to know your clients’ personalities will help set you up for success in future training sessions!

Understand her personality

A quick consultation with your client before their first workout is key: You’ll get to know the client, her goals, and her past workout history. If you don’t have time for a full consult, at a minimum ask about workout history and establish the goals your client would like to accomplish.

I truly believe music is key during a workout! I like to have a few playlists ready to go prior to my first session with a client. Does the client love dancing to pop, R&B, or rap, or would he or she rather hear Fleetwood Mac while doing bicep curls? Everyone’s different, and music can help fuel the energy in the room! I always love to ask if the client has a favorite band or singer. If I can put a few songs of a favorite artist into my next playlist, it can help boost the mood when the endorphins are flowing to get that extra kick into the sweat session!

Plan ahead

I tend to plan for a full-body session when meeting a client for the first time. During the initial consult, I can find out what the client wants to home in on during the sessions to come.  Each song that comes through the speakers means something different. I know that I’ll start my session with a warm-up. From there I add cardio and build my workout with a song that caters to each part of the body before cooling down. A set playlist also helps to control the timing of the session. A fellow trainer of mine taught me that knowing your music inside and out will help you to plan what exact movements you’re doing to that song. Now, if modifications need to be made to the session you planned, that’s A-okay! You’ll know your music well enough to make those changes and manage to stay on track. Taking the time to plan ahead will result in a happy client!


Sarah Grooms is a  Carbon38 #Team38 Trainer and a trainer at Body By Simone in New York City. Find her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and use her #Team38 personal link or code SARAHGRO50 for her #Team38 discount when you shop Carbon38.

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