While fat loss is a popular health goal among clients, there are alternative metrics available to you that can help you easily – and sometimes instantly – track a client’s progress until the fat loss kicks in.
Here are six different ways, beyond fat loss, to measure the progress of your clients:
Poor sleep habits are not uncommon, and by asking the right questions it can open up a conversation about rest and recovery. “How did you sleep?” “Did you wake up feeling well rested?” “Did you wake up at all during the night?” These are simple but can help the client understand the benefits of a good night’s sleep and how it can impact their performance.
Filming client lifts when testing and throughout their program can be of great benefit. It enables you (and them) to see where they hold any weaknesses. It helps you to show them where to correct, as well as how much they’ve improved since starting with you, when comparing footage over time.
New members to any gym who haven’t trained before, or who haven’t used your training methods will love to see themselves when they’re performing well. It’s your job to highlight these improvements, which can help shift any focus from the weight loss goal.
Fitness professionals in our industry have one of the most important roles in the lives of our clients: building confidence and improving a client’s self-esteem.
If we want to see more empowered people in the gym, making the best use of available equipment, give true and honest feedback. After all, we are the experts. Any praise and feedback we can provide is always appreciated. By asking the right questions and being liberal with praise, we help members learn to trust themselves.
Nutrition can sometimes be overlooked as we don’t feel it’s in our scope, but this is not necessarily the case! Our clients need to understand that food is half the battle. Tracking food, for example, can be a simple solution to help understand what’s working and what needs tweaking. Encouraging our clients to consume whole food in place of processed foods is not out of our scope. It’s commonsense. It’s our duty to ensure our clients understand the importance of a balanced diet and what they can do to start improving today!
There’s been a lot of buzz around nervous system regulation and for good reason. When we can better handle stress and/or fear in our life, everything is easier. The ability to help someone down-regulate, who might otherwise be in fight or flight mode, improves the regulation of stress hormones (such as cortisol) that can contribute to weight gain. This metric is one of the harder ones to measure but with potentially one of the best returns. Breathwork, cold showers, meditation or mindfulness are a few techniques I recommend to my clients to reduce their stress levels.
How stressed are you right now? Check your levels with the ‘Test Your Stress’ quiz here.
Measurements are the easiest data point to collect and revisit. When I first entered the industry and did an eight-week challenge I remember losing only 900g in weight but losing 13cm in total. Chest, waist and hip measurements definitely give coaches and clients the easiest physical measure of results – one that can also be applied for muscle gain.
It is your job, as the fitness professional, to help your clients make progress towards their health and fitness goals. As a part of this journey, we need to help clients understand that weight loss is just one measure of progress and not necessarily the best indicator of success. There are many other complimentary goals and, with the variety of measurement tools available, you have the power to create deep and lasting change with clients.