Have you ever thought about how tech is transforming the personal training industry? It’s shifting from a transactional experience to a personal one — a fluid, ongoing relationship between trainers and their clients.
Over the years, I’ve built out my own coaching business and a lot of what I’ve been able to achieve has been made possible because I’ve found the right technology. I’ve put tech to work, helping me reach, support, and manage more clients. It has also opened up revenue streams that I couldn’t have dreamed of when I first started my career working those early mornings at the gym.
I’m thankful to have been exposed to fitness tech early in my career. Things have changed very quickly in the fitness industry as a result of technology and there are some misconceptions out there that I don’t agree with. For example: an app like Trainerize can only be used for online training.
That is simply not true. Using Trainerize has taken my in-person coaching to another level and I want to share that with you. Here’s how:
Transform your training session
During a personal training session, we know it’s important to pay attention to the client’s form to ensure that they are going through the movements safely. Not to mention motivating them through those last few reps that can feel so tough at times. Prior to using Trainerize, I’d spend most of my time scribbling down the reps, exercise names, other notes and between all that and spotting my client or counting their reps, I’d barely have any time to properly watch their form. Not to mention, running around trying to find my pen that always seemed to be rolling away from my clipboard!
As soon as I implemented Trainerize, my personal training sessions looked a lot different. I had my client’s workout open before they even arrived. With the names of the exercises and the numbers of sets already in place, all I had to do was type in the weights. This was easy for me to remember so I could quickly do that in between exercises. This freed up so much of my time. I was able to count their reps accurately, carefully watch their form and even have time for some small talk that my clients seem to love so much! Overall, you’ll find yourself leaving a session feeling better about the impact you had on your client and much more organized going into your next session. Pulling up the next client’s profile and workout took no more than a few clicks so I was ready to go every time.
Feature highlight: Workout Notes
Workout notes are only visible to the trainer and are tied to each unique workout. This is a great space to write down any notes that you don’t want your client to see but you want to have as a reference for yourself later. This can range from something as simple as making a note that your client was hungover that morning so their weights may be less than usual or that you need to make an adjustment to next month’s program. That way when you’re reflecting back on their progress when creating new workouts, you have detailed notes to help you. Furthermore, you can go into a client’s Progress tab, select “Review by workout” and see all the notes in one spot. I find this to be extremely helpful when creating new programs and I need a refresher on that client.
Create and customize programs with ease
Over the years, you’ve probably found yourself creating the same programs time and time again. Perhaps you take interest in a certain type of client or training style, or you have access to a specific type of clientele. During my first job as a personal trainer (almost 10 years ago!) I was given all of the beginner, injury free clients that walked in through the door. These clients had zero experience of any kind in weightlifting and had only ever done cardio but were interested in building some muscle and getting stronger.
Although different in some ways, they all had one common goal: learn how to lift weights. They needed to learn how to squat and deadlift, push and pull, you know the drill. What I did originally was write out the same exercises over and over in the little boxes on the printed sheets in each of my client’s files. This wasn’t very efficient in terms of time, on or off the gym floor.
Fast forward to when I started using Trainerize, I began creating templates in my Master Programs library. The program was called “Beginner Strength Training”. I’d make a copy of that program and paste it into each new client’s profile. After the initial consultation, learning more about their goals, minor injuries, preferences etc, I would edit the program based on their needs. The beauty of the Master Programs libraries in Trainerize is that you can make a copy and import it to thousands of clients with the click of a button. This also helped in planning ahead and staying on top of things. On the day of the workout, I had the workout “template” ready. I would swap exercises based on equipment availability during that session on the gym floor. Moreover, I was able to add weights, reps and notes effortlessly and quickly.
Communicate more with less effort
If you’ve ever worked a 5 or 6am session, you’ve probably had a no-show more than once. In cases like this, the client is charged for the session because of the standard 24 hour cancellation rule and it’s the front desk staff that will deal with any sort of communication.
With the app, there is much more you can do to not only prevent a no-show but to deal with a post no-show session. One of our solutions: auto-messages. Now, you may be thinking that there are already email reminders for appointments but those are automatic software updates that don’t have the same effect that a personalized note from your trainer would.
Here is an example of auto messages that can be scheduled before a workout:
On the trainer’s end, they are pre scheduled ahead of time and can be viewed in the calendar. On the client’s end, they simply get an instant message. They will be left in awe of how thoughtful you are. And you are thoughtful! Just because you’re working smart behind the scenes, doesn’t mean you care any less.
You can see that there is more of a human aspect in these messages. They mean much more to a client than an automated message from a software would. In fact, most clients have emails like these unsubscribed or filtered to their Trash folder anyway. There are many other examples of messages that you can send that show you care. Keep in mind, on the client’s end, the message gets sent as an instant message. But, on your end, you can plan for it in advance.
PRO TIP/Feature highlight:
Make a rule for yourself to always send a message to your client after they’ve had a session with you. Chances are, during their training session, your client will engage in some sort of small talk with you. Sometimes, it’s as simple as complementing your clothing or asking about the brand of protein powder you use. Whatever it may be, choose a “follow-up” message that is relevant.
For example, you can share the link to the article of clothing they complemented. Another great example is when your client tells you they want to do something. Make a note of that and remind them later on. I often hear clients say they were trying to drink more water or go for a walk during lunch breaks. I would make a note of that and remind them to take their water bottle to work or something fun like “hope you get in that walk today!” These little touchpoints in the app, although seemingly simple, had a big impact on the strength of our relationship and as a result retention.
More product options, more revenue streams
Although the bulk of your day to day work is in person with a client, you should have online alternatives that you refer to from time to time as needed. For example, you’ve probably lost a potential client who says they cannot afford one-on-one personal training. Or maybe they don’t have the time to commit to coming into the gym multiple times per week. Have alternatives so you can provide clients with an appropriate solution. A solution that’s so great, they can’t say no!
As you can see, this subscription is at a lower price point. The workouts are less intense and the client can ease into a routine without being overwhelmed. Yes, this may not be a $2000 monthly personal training package. But, don’t underestimate the power of a lower priced product.
Consider clients that have purchased a product like this your list of warm leads. Throughout the year, you can stay in touch and send them promotions. I have found that these clients come to me when they’re ready to take on more. Most of these clients eventually began training with me one on one, they just needed a bit more time. Prior to using Trainerize, I would never see these clients again after their initial “no”. Present day, I don’t sweat it when they say they’re not ready. I know as long as you continue to nurture these leads, they will come back in due time. This time around, they will be more committed!
There’s more than one way to be a trainer
If you’re currently training in person and want to dive into the world of online training, but are overwhelmed, no need to stress! Don’t let social media fool you into thinking there’s only one way to be a trainer these days. If you enjoy training in person, you can continue to do so while beginning to incorporate some new online products into your business.
In fact, I recommend that you transition into a hybrid business model to start. Continue with your in-person clients and begin to offer the alternatives that we discussed above. Rather than making a drastic change, see where it takes you! Perhaps you’ll enjoy training clients once per week in person and offer two workouts to complement your training session through the app. Or, you may want to have a subscription where you design a program that clients complete on their own and you check-in monthly through a video call. The possibilities are endless. The beauty of trying new things out is that you’ll discover over time what works best for you!
Trainerize is a simple, effective and quite fun way to run your fitness business. Not only that, it’s also a great way to motivate (and retain!) clients. Never before have I had clients continue working with me for five or more years and counting! Through the various features in the app beyond just providing workouts, I was able to offer flexible subscription options and set myself apart from the competition.
Whether training online or in-person, everything just runs smoothly. I credit Trainerize for the strong relationships I’ve built with my clients as well as the work-life balance that has allowed me to have more time for myself. As a result, I’m a better person and a better trainer for it.
This positive effect of offering world class service to my clients while simultaneously freeing up more of my time has changed my life. And it all started when I implemented the app into my business.