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Old 02-28-2011, 04:07 PM   #1
Greg Battaglia
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Default First Official Training job

Hey everyone,

I recently got a personal training offer from a woman who just opened a Message Therapy/Fitness studio to train small groups (4-6 people) and individual training sessions using kettlebells and bodyweight workouts.

I have a Crossfit Level One Certification and have some experience training people in singles, but little experience training groups. I spoke with the woman and it appears that she's going to give me the gig. However, maybe I'm too hard on myself, but I'm a bit intimidated because she said her previous trainer was very good and had a Crossfit Cert. along with O-lifting and Kettlebell certs and I fear that I may be in for a rude awakening and not be able to live up to her standards. I'm curious what the experienced trainers on this forum think about this. Should I go for it and see how it goes or am I in over my head? I know my stuff, but I feel that my experience is lacking somewhat.

Are there any recommendations that you guys could give me or any heads-ups in terms of what to expect taking my first serious training gig? I'd appreciate any input, thanks.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:17 PM   #2
Luke Douglas
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Hey Greg,

To me it sounds like you aren't actually nervous about the material but rather the concept of taking on new trainees (students). Don't worry, everyone has a first day! You can only get experience one way...

While I'm not a trainer, I am a professor so I thought you might like to hear probably the two biggest things that have helped me in my teaching thus far, one practical and one philosophical.

Practical - Plan your class and teach your plan. Corollary: have a backup plan and a backup-backup plan. What are you going to teach that day? Have a goal for the day (maybe a new skill, maybe working a certain energy pathway, whatever) then teach to that goal. The key here is an acronym 'SWBAT' or Students Will Be Able To. What will each trainee be able to do at the end of the day? Plan your class with that goal in mind. And plan out details, especially your first couple times! Think 'ok 5 min for warmup, then 10 min for this drill, then...' not 'right, today we'll work on some squats then a snatch test or something'. Use specifics! Also, regarding the Corollary, What do you do if your new trainees have trouble with basic activities like getting up off the ground or picking up something from the floor? What about if you have some RKC certified super-athlete? Have backup plans for different things that could arise.

Philosophical - You don't need to be the expert in everything to teach. You only need to know more than those you are teaching. That being said, you should try to be that expert, but it takes time. Basically, as long as you are providing 'value' for your trainees (and not getting them injured) then you're a trainer. I spent a whole summer teaching windsurfing as an instructor, learning what I was teaching to my students only the day before each class. Was I an Olympic-level windsurfer? No. Was I able to teach them to windsurf? Of course!

I hope this helps and tells us all how it goes.

-Luke
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:56 PM   #3
Allen Yeh
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Is she letting you do things you way or does she have a format she would like for you to follow?

Things I wish I had done:
1. Better client evaluation, rather than just the standard, bodyweight, height, and bodyfat. Looking at problem areas right away...etc
2. On ramp type program, Like what Robb did, that way you are starting the group of clients all at the same level, perhaps having an on ramp class for X amount of sessions per group. That way you don't have an advanced trainee being majorly bored when you are trying to teach the 4 beginners how to squat and vice versa, where you have 4 advanced people and the 1 person who doesn't even know how to deadlift much less deadlift for a max.
3. KISS as much as possible, perhaps set monthly goals for certain groups, i.e. MWF group for March will focus on strength programming with teaching portion and conditioning portion to follow. While in April you focus on fat loss, with minimal strength work...etc
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Old 03-01-2011, 04:16 AM   #4
Jane Michel
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Grats Greg!!
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