The First Evaluation of a Client

The following should be considered in regards to the first evaluation of a new client. As always the safety of your client should be a first priority.

1) Evaluating and screening your clients.

 The first step in Evaluating and screening your clients should be to do a general evaluation, which may include the following.

2) Gathering Information.

First you need to gather information about the clients general present state of health and fitness level. This should be accomplished by performing the following.

3) Body composition testing.

This should include obtaining the clients Height, Weight and body fat estimates. This will help both you and your new client decide what they should or should not expect from a new fitness program.

4) Cardiovascular Fitness Testing.

This should be a priority as the safety of your client is always your main concern and cardiovascular fitness can be a major health indicator. The test should include the following. Resting Pulse Rate and if the equipment to do a more accurate test is not available a minimum of a three-minute step test should be performed.

5) Requesting a Medical Clearance Form if Necessary.

If your client has any cardiovascular problems or any other risk factors or health problems this is a necessity, not only for your new clients safety but for your (liability) protection.

6) Flexibility Testing.

Flexibility testing and training should always be considered as some new clients (especially young males) may not see or understand the importance of integrating flexibility training into a fitness program. As with out a high level of flexibility, comfort, safety and strength though out the entire range of motion for every joint may be compromised or not fully realized. This testing can be done performing the following. A Sit and reach test, the finger touch test and the curl up test.

7) Evaluate the Clients Posture.

An evaluation of the client’s posture can be performed by doing a visual inspection, which should include the following. Check your client’s head position-is their neck straight? Check for a four-finger space between the front of their rib cage and their pelvis-is their back straight? Is their chest out? Are they standing up straight? Check that your client’s sholders are in line with their hips?

Check your client’s shoulders.-Are they level? Are they sloped forward or down? Check your client’s hand position. –Are they hanging even? Are the backs of their hand facing forward? Check your client’s hips. –Are they level? Check your client’s pelvis position-Are their abdominals contracted to hold their pelvis in the proper alignment? Is their pelvis and are their hips inline to hold their back/spine straight and in the correct position for proper posture? Are their legs straight?-Are their knees held soft or are they locked?-Are their feet pointing in or out or pointing forward?

8) Considering your Clients Priorities and Limitations.

Determine what is important to your client. What do they want to archive from their new fitness program? Do they have any special needs? Have they obtained a proper medical release form for a previous injury if applicable? What are their main priorities? Do they want to focus on fat reduction/ cardiovascular fitness? Are they looking to add muscle/bulk up? Are they training for a particular sport or event? Do they want to focus on general health/fitness?

Then you should determine their time limitations. How much time can they dedicate to their new program? Do they have diet or caloric requirements or limitations?

9) Setting Objectives.

Once you have obtained all of the above information you can set realistic objectives for your client.

Do they wish to reduce their overall body fat by twenty five percent? Do they wish to add twenty-five pounds of muscle mass? Do they want to be able run in a marathon, etc.? Will they reduce their resting pulse rate to seventy beats per minute or lower?

10) Setting and Maintaining Realistic Goals.

What are the measurable goals they will strive to meet? Will they reduce their body fat by 4% in the three months? Or one half percent each month? Will they strive to add one half pound of muscle every week? Will they reduce their resting pulse rate by five beats per minute per month?

11) Designing a Realistic Individualized Program.

Once you have obtained all of the above information you will be able to design a individualized program to help you client achieve their goals which will include cardiovascular training, weight training, flexibility training and overall body composition improvement.


Designing Resistance Training Programs, second edition

Author; Steven J. Fleck & William J. Kraemer

The Personal Trainers Handbook

Author; Teri S. O’rien