In this day and age, it’s important to be a well-rounded PT in the fitness industry, as there are so many different types of clients we may end up training. Using PT Tools and advanced resistance exercises are a great way to progress your sessions and show off your skills set.
When we talk about PT Tools, these can be in the form of any non-traditional piece of equipment, including Kettlebells, sandbags, suspension trainers and BOSU. Training a variety of clients, all with different goals and experience, provides plenty of opportunities to use our wide range of skills. Knowledge is power as they say, but knowing when to use it is far more important.
It’s very exciting to learn about a new piece of equipment, and many of us can’t wait to include it in our next personal training session. However, in the real world, we may not have the type of client that has the skill level or experience to use it. Or it may just not be relevant to their fitness needs and goals.
So even though we have learned HOW to use it, we also need to know WHEN to use it. Advanced exercises are great for our advanced clients, but not that beneficial for our beginners if they can’t use them. Giving an exercise to a client who does not have the learned skill or experience can be quite dangerous. Essentially, we could be putting the client at risk of injury, when our job is the complete opposite, to keep them safe.
When programming for a client, we first need to look at their experience and goals to determine what will actually go into their program. We draw upon the knowledge we have and look to our PT Toolbox in order to select the right tool for the right job. It’s about choosing the right equipment for the right exercise for the right fitness goal.
Take the BOSU for example (the piece of equipment that looks like a Swissball cut in half). This is a great tool to use for balance, to create an unstable surface for our client when exercises are getting easy. It’s also used for proprioception, which can be a great way for clients doing rehab for a lower limb injury to improve stability in a joint like a knee or ankle.
The mistake most trainers can make is using PT Tools on every single client, regardless of their experience or goal. What makes a great trainer is having the tools in the toolbox (essentially the learned knowledge) and knowing when to use them, but most importantly, when not to. Understanding who each tool is appropriate for is a simple skill that any trainer can learn.
So, just because you have the knowledge and skills to use PT Tools or advanced exercises, it doesn’t mean that you have to. Remember to pick and choose HOW and WHEN you use them, and to do so wisely, and responsibly.