ACE CPT Chapter 3: Communication and teaching techniques

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Client and trainer relationships

The rapport stage: This is the stage where there are a mutual trust and understanding between the client and the trainer. In both nonverbal and verbal as well.

  • This rapport builds over time
  • A positive first impression is important
  • Verbal and nonverbal: confidence while speaking (non-hesitant), Friendly eye contact, genuine facial expressions, minimizing hand gestures, good posture/body positioning.

The investigation stage: This is where you review your client’s fitness and health information, their medical clearance to exercise, exercise history and overall goals.

  • Demonstrate active and effective listening skills
  • Encourage your client
  • Paraphrase
  • Ask your client open-ended questions
  • Reflect
  • Summarize
  • Respond to your client’s difficult disclosures

The planning stage: This is when your client is now ready to start exercising. The personal trainer organizes an exercise routine with the client.

  • Setting client goals (Refer to table 3-2 and 3-3 in manual for SMART goals)
    • SMART goal setting
      • Specific
      • Measurable
      • Attainable
      • Relevant
      • Time-bound
    • Process goals: This is something the client does such as completing four workouts this week.
    • Product goals: Achieving quantitative goals such as losing 3 pounds or setting a personal record on the squat.
  • Talking about exercise form or alternative exercises
  • Creating a plan of attack
  • Evaluating the exercise routine
  • Motivational interviewing
    • Using probing questions to find out more
    • Listen actively and effectively
    • Give your client educational information
    • Maintain a friendly conversation
    • Increasing self-confidence
    • Encourage your client

The action stage: This is when the client starts working out.

  • The personal trainer has to have the capacity to teach their clients new motor skills.
  • Setting up systems that are self-monitoring.
  • Individualize the teaching methods
    • Tell, show, do
    • Remind your client that it takes time to get better at motor skills
    • Present new skills clearly and slowly
    • Give your clients opportunities to focus on practice
  • Providing your client with feedback
    • Correct their errors, continue to motivate so that your client practices and improves, reinforce what your client has done well.
  • Use of effective modeling
  • Behavioral contracts

Effective communication

  • Cultural competence: This is the ability to work effectively and communicate with people of different cultures.
  • Improving adherence
    • Continuing to build rapport and showing empathy
    • Keeping professional boundaries

Learning strategies

  • The stage of cognitive learning: Use the strategies of tell, show and do in order to provide opportunities to practice. This is the stage that your clients are trying to learn and understand a new skill.
  • The stage of associative learning: This is when your clients have already mastered the basics of the skill and are prepared for specific feedback in order to refine that skill.
    • As a personal trainer, we have to balance giving the right amount of feedback and giving appropriate feedback.
  • The stage of autonomous learning: This is when your client can perform a motor skill naturally and effectively.
  • The trainer doing more monitoring and less teaching.

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