Going into your Personal Training Assessment can feel daunting, especially if you don’t know what to expect or what the assessor will be looking for. Check out the 12 steps below to ace your Practical Personal Training Assessment:
The practical Personal Training Assessment is your chance to show the assessor what you know and how you would handle a real-life training session.
The practical will last approximately 45 to 60-minutes. It’s best to bring a real-life client with you for your Personal Training Assessment, this could be a friend or family member that you have been practising with. Some training providers allow you to use other learners from your course. There is nothing wrong with this. However, you may find it easier using someone that doesn’t know the content like your fellow peers do! This provides a much more real-life Personal Training Assessment rather than a contrive simulation.
On your practical assessment day, the lead assessor should introduce the day, outline their main role, the order of assessment and make you aware of the specific rules and procedures set by the awarding body – this might be from Active IQ, YMCA or VTCT. You’ll then wait or meet your assessor whereby they will introduce themselves, outline your assessment in detail and go over the assessment paperwork. This shouldn’t be anything new as you should go through this on your course. You’ll have time to ask questions and make sure you are fully prepped to start. You’ll then start your practical assessment and the following tips will help guide you towards a PASS!
Check out the 12 steps below to ace your Practical Personal Training Assessment:
Talk, talk, talk – The more you talk and explain the exercise the better you will do (unless you are completely wrong). Don’t spout off nonsense, keep it related to the exercise and explain what you know.
Avoid the tea-pot pose – Try not to lean on any equipment with one hand while the other hand rests on your hip. Get involved and move around your client. The more you observe your client’s posture and technique the more you can correct, analyse and teach your client!
Eye on the client – During the Personal Training Assessment make sure to stay engaged with the client. Make eye contact with them and speak to them, forget the assessor is there.
Use I.D.E.A – Introduce, Demonstrate, Explain and Action.
- INTRODUCE the exercise, name the exercise, the benefits of the exercise in relation to the client goal, what muscles are working and the training system you are using
- DEMONSTRATE the exercise if necessary. It’s always wise to provide a small brief demo for your assessor even if the client does know what to do! Keep the demo short and use a lightweight as this is not your training session
- EXPLAIN any further details, reinforce the training system and any key postural points.
- ACTION – get the client moving asap. Don’t let them cool down because of a long introduction.
Make sure you have a plan – Go into your assessment with a clear plan, know the exact route around the gym, the exercise order and how you can adapt the plan if some exercises or equipment are in use!
DO NOT Count client repetitions – As the client is performing the exercise, get the client to count the repetitions they are on. Your job is to analyse, correct and teach the client. You can’t do this as well as count.
Be encouraging and upbeat – During the Personal Training Assessment be sure to encourage and support the client by varying your tone of voice.
Ask the most important question – How do you feel? This allows you to assess how hard your client is working. You could use a physical copy of the RPE scale or ask them this open question ensuring they first understand what you mean by the 1 to 10 scale. Add some perspective to it in your brief.
Use the client’s name – When encouraging the client, it is always good to use their name. This creates a bond with them, tells them you are there for them, encourages them, and lets them know you care. If you know the person well, try to avoid any slang words or abbreviating the name to ‘Lad’ or ‘mate’ isn’t advisable.
Ask to touch – Sometimes it’s helpful to touch a client’s specific muscle group to help them understand which ones they should feel during the exercises. If you need to touch them, ask beforehand.
Take your time – During the practical take your time and remember everything you want to say. You usually have 45-60 minutes for the practical so use your time wisely. You could make key notes on your programme card to use as a reference throughout.
Utilize the review session to ask questions – This is very important! Once you have completed your cool down, ask your client for feedback about the session. Ensure you probe deeper to get a clear understanding of areas that went well and areas that you could improve upon next time. This will also help complete the session and self-evaluation.
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Hayley “Personal Training Assessment” Bergman
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