REPs Member Leon Melnicenko
Stand yourself in front of the mirror, any mirror will do. Now repeat these words: “Am I making fitness fun for my clients?” Or better still: “Do I even know how to make fitness fun for my clients?”. Two years ago I asked myself the very same questions, my group and PT sessions had taken on a whole new level of boring and I knew that for my own sanity, things had to change. I wanted to have fun doing what I loved. I spent the next 6 months researching, planning, and thinking up new ideas that would serve my new found goal and give my sessions a whole new lease of life.
I came up with a very simple four step plan for designing a fun and interesting workout.
Step 1: Decide on the training methods needed to meet the client’s goal
Step 2: Design the workout
Step 3: Add the fun/challenging element
Step 4: Adjust the programme to ensure it suits the abilities of the client or clients (especially important to consider this when planning a group session)
I’m pretty sure that by now you have got Steps 1, 2 and 4 covered, so let’s address step 3. Here are some great ideas that I came up with that enabled me to begin injecting life back in to my workouts.
- Introduction of solo and group games
- Timed events – Players race against themselves and gain points for every second they beat their original time by
- Creative PT/Group circuits
- Creative finisher drills
- High Intensity interval training using the fun whistle method (individuals switch exercises when the whistle is blown)
- Team/Individual challenges – using dice, a deck of cards, whistles, coins, tennis balls, ropes, tyres etc
- Team interaction drills – techniques to get the team interacting and having fun
- Team/Individual movement drills – creative ways to move locations when out and about.
These are just a handful of the methods that I deploy to ensure that every single session is fun, unique and interesting. Take the time to plan your workouts carefully and make sure you have all the essentials covered before you start. These are some of the things that I take into account whilst in the planning phase.
- Health and safety – First aid kit, checking the safety of equipment and chosen training environment, appropriate and valid REPs insurance, assessing PAR Qs, storing medications etc.
- Exercise restrictions – dealing with clients who are restricted or recovering from injury, pregnancy etc
- The introduction for new clients within a group setting – putting them at ease, reassurance, encouragement etc
Your imagination is the key to succeeding in the fitness industry, if something isn’t working you then have the courage to change it, I did.
After leaving the Royal Marines 12 months ago to pursue a career in fitness, Leon set up an outdoor fitness service called Sound Fitness Team Training. He lives in Plymouth with his wife, stepson and two dogs. Leon has recently started a blog to help fitness professionals all over the world to come up with fun, unique and creative ideas. You can visit Leon’s blog at: http://www.uniquebootcampworkouts.com/