What Does a Walking Trainer Do?
A walking trainer has a wide range of knowledge related to exercise instruction. Many walking trainers apply a broad approach to fitness, recognizing that wellness is achieved by combining physical activity, nutrition, and a positive state of mind. The task of a walking trainer is to complete several things to provide clients with the best support.
Below is a list of the top activities walking trainers are responsible for:
1. Conduct a needs assessment
Setting clear expectations with your client is essential to making the trainer-client relationship successful. Clients are driven by results. Consider asking yourself: What outcomes is my client interested in? Losing weight or gaining strength? Improving cardiovascular health or increasing flexibility? A combination of all the above? Conducting a needs assessment early on is a great way to gain clarity into your client’s goals. Ask about your client’s goals and convey a sense of empathy and interest.
After discussing the client’s needs, it is time to assess their fitness level. Inquire about any existing medical conditions or constraints. In this assessment stage, it is customary to examine the client’s weight and body mass and to perform a strength test and endurance test. The assessment process is critical to constructing a well-guided training program specific to your client’s needs.
2. Set goals
Setting goals is essential to tracking your client’s progress. Creating short-term and long-term goals motivates your client: short-term goals create a sense of achievement and pride, leading to more motivation and consistency. Long–term goals give a sense of overall commitment, realizing the full result of their progress over time. Clients hire walking trainers to help them achieve a desired outcome. Ensure these goals are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based) to ensure they are the right goals for the client and will lead to success.
3. Make a plan
In order to achieve the short and long term goals you defined for your client, it is important to develop a training plan. A proper training plan includes aerobic and strength, endurance practice and nutritional guidance.
4. Show them how it’s done
After creating a personalized fitness plan, instruct your trainees on how to perform the exercises. The best way to teach a new sport is to demonstrate it: show your client how to properly perform the exercises by doing them yourself first. Help your client complete the exercises properly, minimizing any risk of injury or discomfort. Proper execution of the exercise will also increase the results and effectiveness over time, which will give the client more faith in you as a walking trainer.
5. Motivate and cheer
Serving as a motivational coach is an essential part of being a walking trainer. Exercising is meant to be fun! Help your client avoid boredom and burnout; increase the enthusiasm and commitment by cheering them on.
Read the following article by Vancouver-based educator Mehrnaz Bassiri to learn about the concept of “small wins.” Small wins refers to a method of motivating people by celebrating small, yet significant, accomplishments. https://ideas.ted.com/how-to-make-your-small-wins-work-for-you/
What a walking trainer should NOT do:
- DO NOT Give medical advice, physical therapy advice, or attempt to make a medical diagnosis
- DO NOT Provide a body massage or similar service that can be interpreted as inappropriate touch
- DO NOT Serve as a psychological counselor to clients or become intimately involved in client’s personal relationships
- DO NOT Have a romantic or inter-personal relationship with a client
- DO NOT Advocate for or convince your client to adopt fitness goals that are not consistent with their goals
- DO NOT Allow your credentials, liability insurance, and other trainer business standards to expire