The Personal Trainers Duty of Care
As a personal trainer, you’ll have certain responsibilities and codes of conduct that you must be aware of. You have to remember that you’re entering a line of work where you’re helping another person and instructing them to do things. As a result, you’re responsible for ensuring they’re treated right and kept safe at all times.
All personal trainers have a duty of care that they must adhere to at all times. In this blog post, we’ll go through the main things that you need to think about when training your clients.
Your Training Programmes & General Advice
When you look at the ethical issues surrounding personal training, there are two main things to be aware of. The first of which is all to do with you - the trainer - and the advice and instructions you give. This includes all the training routines you put together, all the programmes you hand out, and all the advice you give when showing people how to perform exercises.
Every personal trainer must deliver instructions clearly to every client. You must tell them exactly what they should do, and inform them of potential dangers if they do things wrong. You should also demonstrate every exercise as many times as possible until your client can replicate it with proper form. Under no circumstances should you start pushing a client to add weight to an exercise if they can’t do it correctly. Similarly, you have a duty to know how to perform all the different exercises without putting creating injury risks.
When you put together a routine/programme for clients, you need to do so with great care and consideration for their health. Before you do anything else, meet with them to discuss their goals and aims. Talk about their current health & lifestyle, to see if there are any underlying issues to take into consideration. For example, if a client is asthmatic, then your training should be built around that. This means not pushing them too hard and leaving room within sets to take breathing breaks or use their asthma pump.
It’s considered unethical if a client comes to you with the aim of losing weight, and you don’t produce a programme that targets weight loss. Likewise, you need to make sure you explain nutrition to them clearly. Tell them what to eat and why, but also get to know their dietary requirements so you can build a meal plan for each client individually.
Your Working Environment
The next thing to think about is your working environment. Specifically, every personal trainer must provide a safe working environment for their clients. Regardless of whether you train them in a park, at a commercial gym, or from home - you must ensure the environment is safe and risk-free.
If you don’t do this, then it’s highly unethical. You can’t train people in an area where there are loads of potential hazards, and an accident can easily happen. You put their health at risk, and you can also easily be sued if they do get an injury.
Make sure you check every setting to ensure it’s safe before you train a client. If you’re in a park, look for things like rocks or stones hidden in the grass that can cause injuries. In a gym, make sure the area is clear, and there aren’t loose weights lying around or water on the floor.
Your Duty Of Care: A Summary
The best way to end this is to summarise everything that you need to be aware of. A personal trainer has a duty of care when training clients. You must take their needs into account, and alter your training methods to ensure they’re met. It’s imperative that you give clear instructions and don’t start training a client until they can perform exercises with proper form. Otherwise, you run the risk of injuring them.
All the advice you give should be based on reliable facts from reputable sources - particularly when it comes to nutritional advice. Otherwise, you could be telling your clients to do things that aren’t proven to be beneficial in any way, and could, in fact, cause harm to their health. When it comes to your working environment, then all you need to remember is that it needs to be safe at all times!
Why is all of this important? Because if a client gets hurt or their health suffers - as a result of your training - then the responsibility falls on your shoulders. They can take legal action, and your reputation will likely be ruined. If you want to do well as a personal trainer, you must consider your duty of care.