The idea of using SMART methodology is not a new one, but it’s easily forgotten and overlooked in our daily working lives when truthfully, it should be at the forefront of every decision you make and programme that you set up with your clients.
A SMART methodology can be used for clients in all realms of fitness. Whether you’re a personal trainer, Yoga teacher, Bodybuilding expert – it’s always relevant.
Let’s get started and break this down.
What are their goals, what are they trying to achieve? Is it weight loss? Flexibility? Strength? Muscle Gain? Defining the exact goal of your clients is how you can build a tailored programme for them. This is important for the duration of your relationship with your client, but also increases the likelihood of them then recommending you, that magical word-of-mouth form of marketing!
This can be the tricky part. If you’re working with a client who is very body conscious, they may not want to know their weights and measurements, but if that’s the best way to measure their goals then be sure to combat their fears or concerns by simply not telling them the results, and tracking it yourself across sessions. Alternatively, if it’s strength then set a goal regarding a specific set of weights, or TRX activity that will demonstrate the strength gained. For Yoga, it might be accomplishing poses that will demonstrate the success and progress.
Here’s where it’s important to really get to know your clients and assess how much their lifestyle is affecting their body. Do they have a very sedentary job and don’t have a gym membership? If so, it’s important to establish what can be achieved in the sessions you have with each other. It could be down to eating habits, so will you be providing them with a meal plan bespoke to them, and their needs?
If a client wants to focus on losing weight, but then insists on heavy weight training – then it might not be the best or most relevant course of action given that muscle can weigh more than fat. Training outdoors might be a client’s worst nightmare, so are you a good fit? This is as much about ensuring that you’re the right trainer or fitness professional for them! They may have a totally different idea of what Yoga can do for them, and actually, Pilates may be a better solution.
How many sessions have they booked with you, and what can be achieved in those sessions? This is very closely linked to other SMART assessments, but time can be the biggest factor in fitness. For example, a client wants to run a 10km race in 4 weeks; time is an obvious factor in this. If the client is relatively fit and active, and already runs 5km then it’s more achievable within the time frame, but if they have never run before then time is against you. Setting a realistic timeframe with your clients is essential to ensure that their expectations can be met.
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