Client Assessments

Get Started on the Right Foot

Set yourself up for success to get the best results for your clients. Use the NFPT client screening and assessment process to build your clients’ training programs according to their individual needs and goals.

Assess Every New Client

As an NFPT Certified Personal Trainer, you must first evaluate each client by completing the new client screening and assessment process using the NFPT Consultation Guidelines and Consultation Forms. This screening will identify your client’s major risk factors, their history of prior exercise experience and their expectations in working with you. Learn how to put this assessment into practice to grow your business with satisfied clients. You’ll find NFPT’s helpful forms and tools for client screening and consultation and details about the body composition assessment process in your NFPT Account.

Already an NFPT Certified Personal Trainer? Sign in to your NFPT Account to access helpful tools for client screening and consultation.

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Build Your Relationship

Let your new client know that you recognize them as an individual with their own goals that will factor into the training program that you personalize for them. Build your client’s trust by assuring them that you’ll provide them individualized care and attention with private consultation and personalized program design to help them reach their goals. When your client feels confident that they can trust you, they will not only feel comfortable but also accountable to you as their trainer.

As a personal trainer, you must ensure that your clients’ fitness goals are being met in a safe and effective way but also that clients improve their self-worth and feelings of accomplishment. Happy clients tell other potential clients about their fitness results in a word-of-mouth referral more powerful than any other form of advertising. You get back what you give in the fitness training business.


Make Safety First

It’s a good idea to ask your new client to get clearance from a physician before starting or increasing the intensity of an exercise program. NFPT Certified Personal Trainers are qualified to work with apparently healthy individuals, those who don’t have a physical limitation or health condition that prohibits them from safely completing an exercise session. Most personal training clients who want to improve their fitness or achieve weight loss are not in peak health. If, during a health screening, you or a physician discover a medical concern that may limit your client’s ability to participate in exercise, it is especially important to get a physician’s release before starting the training program to protect yourself from liability.

As an added safety measure, you should maintain current CPR-AED certification. There is always a possibility you could find yourself in an emergency situation and you must be prepared to act. Not only is it both professional and appropriate, but CPR-AED certification often is required for employment and by liability insurance companies. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

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Build the Foundation with Basics

Qualified personal trainers evaluate a client’s total lifestyle, not just their exercise needs. The general client information section of the NFPT Consultation Form includes entries for age, gender, occupation, sleeping habits and body measurements. Although some of these may seem trivial, all of this information forms the foundation of a good exercise program.

Already an NFPT Certified Personal Trainer? Sign in to your NFPT Account to access the Consultation Guidelines, Consultation Form and other helpful tools.

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Identify Major Health Risk Factors

After you’ve collected basic client information, you will need to assess your client’s medical history and current lifestyle behavior, including identifying any major health risk factors. Clients who have one or more major health risk factors should obtain the direct involvement and approval of a physician before continuing your program.

Here are a few examples of questions to ask your client from the new client assessment and screening questionnaire:

  • Do you have diabetes?
  • Is your body composition interfering with your performance of simple daily tasks? Are you clinically obese?
  • Do you have a history of high blood pressure?
  • Do you have a family history of coronary disease prior to age 50?
  • Do you smoke (and are you older than 35)?
  • Do you drink alcohol excessively (more than 1–2 glasses a day)?
  • Do you have poor sleeping habits (getting less than eight hours a night regularly)?

These questions are a sample from the checklists you’ll receive as a NFPT Certified Personal Trainer. Find the complete questionnaire and other helpful tools in your NFPT Account.

Go Deeper

Get prepared for all types of training methods and trainer-client situations using NFPT’s screening and assessment processes and step-by-step questionnaires. Here’s an example: If your client takes prescription medication or suffers from a chronic injury or illness, you can learn to guide your client to the right healthcare professional to make sure their fitness goals are safe and achievable using NFPT tools. With NFPT’s help, you can learn to explain to your client of the symptoms of overexertion and injury so they can distinguish the difference between normal discomfort and an indication of an underlying problem.

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Set a Baseline

From muscular endurance to speed and agility, performance variables measure your client’s readiness and current fitness level. Inside your NFPT Account, you’ll find all of the specific assessments you need to determine your client’s fitness baseline and any modifications they might need.


Know Your Client

Personal training is a dedicated, ongoing working relationship. As you and your client work together, you’ll learn what training methods help them be most productive. Keep your communication open. The better you know your client, the better you can tailor a program to meet their individual needs.

With help from NFPT, you will learn to assess topics like these with your client:

Stress levels. Do you feel you are under a lot of stress at work? Would you say you are a multitasker?
Long- and short-term goals. What is your fitness intention? Do you have a goal? When do you want to reach it?
Eating habits. What are your normal eating habits? Would you say you have a balanced diet? Do you keep a food log?
Most recent exercise experience. What are your past exercise habits? Do you currently exercise? Do you do resistance or cardio exercises? Do you enjoy one type of exercise over another? Were your previous exercise sessions short and quick or long and intentional?
Time of daily exercise. What time do you typically exercise? Has that worked for you? Have you had trouble fitting exercise into your schedule?

If you’re NFPT certified, sign in to your NFPT Account to access the rest of these questions in your digital trainer manual.

Evaluate and Modify as Necessary

To succeed as a personal trainer, you must evaluate your client’s progress regularly. Make sure your client is moving toward their goals through evaluation and then re-assess those goals based on the assessment results. If a client isn’t progressing or if the assessments don’t show changes, modify their program.

Learn About Personal Training

Find out if a personal training career is right for you with the free NFPT Trainer Guide. In it, expert trainers share career options, potential income opportunities and the freedom self-employment can bring. Get it today.