Owning a Personal Training Studio

Q: Hi, I have recently opened my own personal training studio in my home north of Toronto in Mount Albert. Things are going well however I have run into a situation that I need some guidance or suggestions on. I thought you may be able to offer some advice since you have been in the business a lot longer than me. At this point in time, I conduct fitness and lifestyle assessments and then use that information to assist me in designing customized exercise programs for my clients. When I list the exercises in their program, I find I have to hand draw "stick people" to demonstrate to the clients (especially beginners) the exercises. I also write short descriptions for them offering technique tips, etc. The problem is that drawing all of these stick people and descriptions is taking me enormous amounts of time!

Do you have any other suggestions or tools that I could utilize to help save me time yet make sure the client understands and knows how they are to perform their exercises after they leave me?

Thank you for time and advice.

A: I'll give you three options:

Computer Software - email George Goudros at george@strongeronline.com for more information on the software that I use (tell him I sent you);

Pictures - there are a few companies that have hundreds of exercises available for you to photocopy for your clients, or you can always use books (Bill Pearl's Keys to the Inner Universe is a good one), or even draw/construct key exercises on separate pages that you can photocopy in the future. Refer to http://www.solotrainer.com/ or http://www.vhikits.com/products/licensing/Licensing.aspx for examples. Even SWIS's own Dr. Ken Kinakin had an exercise card system in the past called Weight Training Prescription Kit with detailed descriptions and fantastic pictures which he is now offering to SWIS members - visit the following link for more information;

Internet - this is my method of choice. Most people today have access to the internet. I always go through the exercises with a client thoroughly and even have them take down notes in their own words to help them remember in the future. With their program, they receive both an outline of all specific training parameters as well as a grid printout for logging - these include short, descriptive notes. If they require further assistance in the future, I will either email them pictures (a picture is worth a thousand words but I'll still include some key points - I have hundreds of pictures stored on my harddrive) or direct them to a specific website (see below although you can always perform a search for more sites.)