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  1. #1
    Registered User Ohhhimark's Avatar
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    1st Day as a PT, thinking about quitting.

    I want to know how normal it is to have all your hard work and hours of knowledge just vanish?

    I became a PT 2 years ago but wasn't confident enough to get work, so instead I filled everyday reading countless books from Mel Siff to Mike Boyle, to getting my NASM CES/WLS, S&C level 1. I knew theory wouldn't be as good as experience but it made me feel good.

    I had a 1st client a few days back. My mind went blank, I didn't know if I should sit and speak with them first, what to ask. After 100s of blogs/articles explaining this very thing. We don't get programmes with the gym.

    I tried my CES squat assessment but I felt rushed as if I was a fraud, I knew what I was looking for but for some reason panicked. So nothing came of that.

    Done some half arsed warm up then used TRX for some reason, done some rows. Didn't keep count and then went over to some 'batwing rows' to then some DB presses, again lost count.

    My mind just goes blank.

    Is this somewhat normal? Even though before I had written out (Knee, Hip, Push, Pull, Carry) I didn't even do Hip.
    __

    Clients Goals: Strengthen Core/Back, first time ever in gym.

    My routine:

    Squat assessment (Arms OH, buttwink, collapsed torso. Arms in front, the issues disappeared so tight lats)
    Lat PD 8-12 x2
    Seated Row 8-12 x2
    Batwings 8-12 x2
    DB Press 8-12 x3
    Suitcase Carry 20m or so
    Plank 25s
    Stretch

    My next session was going to be

    Step-up (for knee dominant movement, has strong legs but squats may take a while)
    RDL (Hip Hinge, get used to sitting back, using glutes, hit lower back)
    Bat Wings (Weak core and feels lats more engaged with support)
    Band Pull-apart (Office jobs so hunched shoulders )
    Machine Press (Until he has the strength for free weights)
    OH Press (Not tested but good for core and I reckon he won't need the machine)
    Conditioning
    Last edited by Ohhhimark; 07-04-2019 at 02:11 PM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User AntonCrushes's Avatar
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    I remember in my first session ever as a PT around three years ago, feeling incredibly rushed and confused as well. What I learned to do over time is to tell all clients that the first session is primarily assessments and a bit of talking to clarify goals and explain how the goals will get you there. (I've even just told them, at times, to think of assessments as a trial workout.) I just explain to them it'll be a lot of me observing and taking notes, and it'll be the easiest session they will ever have with me. That way it helps me set expectations with the client so they don't feel like they wasted money or time. Also, what helped me to stay connected to my knowledge was to find a quiet place in the facility to perform assessments so that I could fully focus on the client's movement patterns, rather than constantly being distracted (which also makes me throw my A-game off), to make sure I then did programming for the corrective stuff in the beginning.

    All in all, this is to say you will get better at assessments as you get more clients, and not every session, first time with a client or not, will be a 100% success for a variety of reasons (either you're tired, they're tired, overcrowded gym, facility management issues behind the scenes, etc.). Just keep doing introspection and you'll get it. Hang in there buddy! We need you to keep doing what you're doing to raise the bar on the profession
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  3. #3
    Registered User Ohhhimark's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AntonCrushes View Post
    I remember in my first session ever as a PT around three years ago, feeling incredibly rushed and confused as well. What I learned to do over time is to tell all clients that the first session is primarily assessments and a bit of talking to clarify goals and explain how the goals will get you there. (I've even just told them, at times, to think of assessments as a trial workout.) I just explain to them it'll be a lot of me observing and taking notes, and it'll be the easiest session they will ever have with me. That way it helps me set expectations with the client so they don't feel like they wasted money or time. Also, what helped me to stay connected to my knowledge was to find a quiet place in the facility to perform assessments so that I could fully focus on the client's movement patterns, rather than constantly being distracted (which also makes me throw my A-game off), to make sure I then did programming for the corrective stuff in the beginning.

    All in all, this is to say you will get better at assessments as you get more clients, and not every session, first time with a client or not, will be a 100% success for a variety of reasons (either you're tired, they're tired, overcrowded gym, facility management issues behind the scenes, etc.). Just keep doing introspection and you'll get it. Hang in there buddy! We need you to keep doing what you're doing to raise the bar on the profession
    This is super motivating, thank you.

    That's a great tip that I shall use and get through the assessment without feeling rushed. The irony is every single post, blog, article you read will have some kind of assessment as did my original training but my 2 years of self-defeating attitude clouded my judgment. I didn't even take notes as my mind couldn't concentrate, I left my ipad on the other side of the gym and just turned it into a session of showing him different exercises.

    Another ironic thing; I've written a full 6 week routine for a PT friend and they sometimes ask advice for clients and even have my routines on their instagram. I can fully function when I'm not under pressure, the knowledge is there, but of course it's easier as they have good form/mobility so I can fully focus on the training aspect plus feel comfortable with them.


    I'm glad the first one is out the way anyway.

    You've been very helpful.

    Thanks again.
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  4. #4
    husband, father, trainer KyleAaron's Avatar
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    KyleAaron is just really nice. (+1000) KyleAaron is just really nice. (+1000) KyleAaron is just really nice. (+1000) KyleAaron is just really nice. (+1000) KyleAaron is just really nice. (+1000) KyleAaron is just really nice. (+1000) KyleAaron is just really nice. (+1000) KyleAaron is just really nice. (+1000) KyleAaron is just really nice. (+1000) KyleAaron is just really nice. (+1000) KyleAaron is just really nice. (+1000)
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    The other day I shared a weightlifter's video of her doing a clean and jerk with a client to show her someone of a similar size doing awesome things. She said, "wow, she makes it look so smooth, I can't do that."

    I explained: "This competitive weightlifter has worked out five days a week for at least five years, probably ten. You've worked out 2-3 days a week for a few months, you've got not even 10% her experience but your movement is 60% as good and is 25% the weight, so in fact you're doing pretty well. When you have practiced as much as her, how good will you be?"

    It's the same with being a trainer. It's just practice. In the back of your mind you're feeling like a fraud because you feel you don't know much. And you're right about not knowing much. But that's okay, and for two reasons. Firstly, you know more than the vast majority of gym members. So long as the teacher is at least one chapter in the textbook ahead of the student they have something to offer. Secondly, you're aware of your ignorance. It's actually unusual to be aware of your ignorance, a glance through these forums will show you that. Because you're aware of your ignorance you can and will get better. I'm not worried about the trainer who's unconfident on day one, I'm terrified of the trainer who's confident on day one!

    Walk the gym floor, and care and clean. Talk to one new person each day, and teach one new person a movement each day. In two years you will have spoken or taught a movement to 500-1,000 people. You will have learned some things about people and about training - developed your personal and your trainer skills.

    Watch the videos in this sticky - https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=177237111

    Practice.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Ohhhimark's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KyleAaron View Post
    The other day I shared a weightlifter's video of her doing a clean and jerk with a client to show her someone of a similar size doing awesome things. She said, "wow, she makes it look so smooth, I can't do that."

    I explained: "This competitive weightlifter has worked out five days a week for at least five years, probably ten. You've worked out 2-3 days a week for a few months, you've got not even 10% her experience but your movement is 60% as good and is 25% the weight, so in fact you're doing pretty well. When you have practiced as much as her, how good will you be?"

    It's the same with being a trainer. It's just practice. In the back of your mind you're feeling like a fraud because you feel you don't know much. And you're right about not knowing much. But that's okay, and for two reasons. Firstly, you know more than the vast majority of gym members. So long as the teacher is at least one chapter in the textbook ahead of the student they have something to offer. Secondly, you're aware of your ignorance. It's actually unusual to be aware of your ignorance, a glance through these forums will show you that. Because you're aware of your ignorance you can and will get better. I'm not worried about the trainer who's unconfident on day one, I'm terrified of the trainer who's confident on day one!

    Walk the gym floor, and care and clean. Talk to one new person each day, and teach one new person a movement each day. In two years you will have spoken or taught a movement to 500-1,000 people. You will have learned some things about people and about training - developed your personal and your trainer skills.


    Practice.
    This is super helpful, thank you. And I completely agree, the PT's here have been doing it for several years. I guess because I've put it off so much and don a lot of theory I always knew I was going to be a complete beginner without actual experience. I had done dozens of PT sessions as a one off for my previous job but never someone who's paying, who wants to progress who wants to be assessed.

    I'll check out the links.

    One more thing which I think added to my stress is that I was told I would be shadowing someone as they didn't want me on the floor without first seeing how it works. This didn't happen I was was just told to spend the day on the floor and ask PT's for advice.

    I've had to ask how holidays work, where to find the payment slips, how pay structure works. The basics thing which should be explained.

    The gym floor is tiny so after I've spoken multiple people, I check emails for new joiners then go back to the floor and I'm unsure as to exactly what I should be doing.
    Last edited by Ohhhimark; 07-06-2019 at 03:13 AM.
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