As a personal trainer, there are certain kinds of forms you need clientele to fill out, and one of those is an initial questionnaire. This will have them answer basic questions on current fitness habits, medical and injury history, and what kind of goals they want to work toward. Learn exactly what questions to ask through this article.
How to write the perfect initial questionnaire as a fitness coach
As a personal trainer, there are certain kinds of forms you need clientele to fill out, and one of those is an initial questionnaire. This will have them answer basic questions on current fitness habits, medical and injury history, and what kind of goals they want to work toward. It might seem impossible to narrow down all of the important questions you feel they should answer, but the following thirteen can be a great guide to start with.
13 Initial Questions to Ask Clients
What Is Your History of Injury?
One of the most important things you need to learn about new clients is if they have any history of injuries or any current injury. This can impact the intensity and types of workouts they can do. You should look out for any red flags in this answer, such as current injuries that it isn’t safe to workout with. If a potential client mentions something that would prevent them from being able to do normal workouts, let them know.
What is Your Medical History?
Medical history is just as important as injury history, which is why it should be on your personal training questionnaire. Certain medical conditions can prevent certain workouts or movements. While it’s important to know about your client's current and past medical history, remember that you aren’t legally able to offer medical advice. Watch out for any conditions they mention that you aren’t able to work with.
What Kind of Equipment Do You Have Access To?
If you offer in-person personal training you might be able to provide some equipment for your clients, but you still need to know what they have access to at home. You’ll be giving them workouts to do on their own, so you need to be sure you’re giving them a routine they’re able to perform. You should especially use this as one of your personal trainer initial consult questions if you strictly do virtual sessions since your clients will be responsible for any equipment they need. This answer will be able to help you create training routines for each of your clients.
How Many Times Do You Eat Out A Week?
Questions regarding social life and habits are good to feature on your personal trainer questionnaire for clients, and this should include asking how often they eat out every week. As a personal trainer, you’ll also be offering guidance and advice on diet and nutrition, so pay attention to this answer. You should use this answer to start advising your client on a diet that will get them ready for training.
How Many Sessions A Week Can You Commit To?
With each new client you bring on, you need to know how many sessions a week they are looking to book with you. This should be included on every personal training questionnaire, as it affects your schedule, and might prevent you from taking on certain clients. Look out for any red flag answers that conflict with your current training schedule, as you may have to turn people away sometimes. Remember, it’s better to turn away a client with conflicting needs than overbook your schedule.
What Are Your Fitness and Health Goals?
Understanding a potential client’s long and short term goals is important before deciding whether or not to continue pursuing working with them. The goals they want to work toward should align with what you can give them. You probably shouldn’t take on someone who wants to work on strength training if you prefer to work with clients focusing on weight loss.
What Is Your Current Fitness Routine?
Every client you take on will be at different levels of athleticism and have varying fitness routines. You need to make sure you find this out in your personal trainer initial consult questions. The answer will help you find a starting place when it comes to the movements and routines you provide in your sessions. Pay careful attention to the kind of workouts they like to do now, and try to incorporate them into the routines you create for them.
What Is Your Work-Life Like?
A question about your client's work-life should be included somewhere on your personal trainer questionnaire. This can impact the times you can schedule to work with them and might keep you from being able to take them on at all. After all, if their work-life only leaves them free in the late evenings, and you only have openings in the morning time. It’s better to find out you aren’t compatible with a potential client sooner rather than later.
Where Can You Workout On Your Own?
Since part of your job as a personal trainer is to provide fitness movements for clients to do at home, you should ask about their own workout space in your initial consultation questionnaire. This will help guide the kind of workouts you can provide. If your potential client doesn’t have their own workout space, you may need to suggest a public space or gym they can use instead. Make sure to let them know how vital it is that they continue their fitness journey at home.
How Long Would You Like Your Sessions To Be?
In your initial personal trainer questionnaire for clients, you need to find out how long they want their sessions to be. Typically sessions may last from 30 minutes to an hour or so, depending on what your client’s needs are. You need to find this out as soon as possible to properly work them into your training schedule.
What Days of The Week Can You Work Out?
In addition to finding out how long clients want sessions to last and how many they want, you should find out the exact days of the week they can commit to working out. Some people can only commit to certain days of the week, so you need to make sure these days align with your current working schedule. If they don’t, you may need to refer a potential client to someone else.
Do You Need Help With Meal Planning?
Nutrition, diet, and meal planning play a huge part in someone seeking out a personal trainer, so you should try to find out as soon as you can if they want help with meal planning. You can provide ideas for meals and recipes every week based on the types of foods they already enjoy eating.
How Would You Best Like To Communicate?
In your personal training questionnaire, you should find out how your potential client would best like to communicate. This can include calling, texting, or emailing. Some people might prefer one over the other, so you should make sure to find out which one a future client prefers. This can make communication moving forward much easier.
What To Keep In Mind
When creating your personal trainer questionnaire for clients, there are a few things you should keep in mind. This can help you create the best initial consultation for you and your business.
Short and Simple
Your personal training questionnaire should be kept fairly short and simple, so clients could easily fill it out in one sitting. If you have multiple pages or dozens of questions, they may get bored or overwhelmed and just never finish it. You want basic and simple questions, and try not to have any more than thirteen.
Cover Your Bases
The questions you choose for your initial client consult should cover the needed bases. The questionnaire should give you an idea of their fitness and diet habits, their social and work life, the kind of commitment they can make, and if you would even be a good trainer to work with them.
Are you new to personal training? Read these articles to get started on growing your business:
- How to price your online training
- How To Attract Clients as a Personal Trainer
- How to write a memorable and professional fitness bio
About the Author:
Cory is a huge fan of fitness - and an even bigger fan of helping you with your fitness. He's started on his journey with WeStrive back in 2015 and has been building it ever since.