The Three Areas to Test in a Fitness Assessment

The Three Areas to Test in a Fitness Assessment

The three areas you should test in a fitness assessment.

Unless you are working with elite-level athletes, clients tend to either under or overestimate their current fitness abilities and inabilities. 

For just this reason, before you begin working with any client, you should perform a fitness assessment.

To help you master the assessment, we’ve broken it down into the three most important areas to test. 

Why Should You Perform a Fitness Assessment?

If you’re a fitness professional, whether that be a personal trainer or functional fitness coach, your job is to get your clients’ results. 

To get those results, you need to create the best exercise program for your client. 

Testing a client's fitness will show you what you can and can’t include in their exercise program and give you insight into the client’s current fitness level.

That’s why we recommend that all of our coaches put every new client through a three-part assessment.

Three-Part Fitness Assessment

A well-rounded fitness assessment includes three tests: a body composition test, a movement test, and a work capacity test. These three tests give you all the information you need to create an effective and personalized exercise program.

Body Composition

First, test your client’s body composition. 

Most of the clients you work with will have fitness goals that reference body composition. Therefore it’s important to have a way to track progress and the efficacy of your training program.

Gather data around their body mass index (BMI), lean body mass, and body fat. There are multiple ways to do this, but we recommend an InBody machine. These devices use bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), which is less intrusive than the traditional calipers.

Movement Assessment

Next, assess your client’s movement.

Look at their range of motion and perform some basic muscle endurance tests. This will help determine what exercise you can include in their program and give you specific mobility goals.

The movement assessment will be different for each client depending on their training age and goals.

To get the most accurate information, we recommend that you assess all seven movement patterns.

Here are the range of motion tests we teach our coaches:

Work Capacity Test

The third area you need to test is work capacity. This is the best way for you to gain a clear understanding of the client’s fitness levels. 

Their current fitness levels will determine how many exercises they perform in a given training day and how many sessions they need a week.

The extent of testing in this area will depend on the client and how much physical activity they have experienced. 

Beginners will perform basic aerobic tests, while more advanced clients, who have been training consistently for years, will test muscle endurance and their one-rep maxes.

However, we recommend that you have all of your clients perform the 10-Minute Max Calories on the AirBike test. This test is straightforward and gives you insight into your client’s current levels of fitness. 

Five Skills of a Professional Coach

If you're a coach in the fitness industry, you need five specific skills to create a successful and sustainable career.

Our founder, James FitzGerald, has been teaching coaching coaches worldwide these skills for more than 20 years through his Coaching Certificate Program.

  • 1. Business of Coaching

    A coach must have a structure to lay the foundation for their fitness business. This structure will ensure a coach has clients to work with.

  • 2. Consultation

    A coach must meet with their client regularly to understand who they are and establish goals for their program. The information gained here will be the starting point for the assessment

  • 3. Assessment

    Using a systemized method a coach needs to conduct routine physical assessments to track progress and deliver the same experience to each client.

  • 4. Program Design

    With a strong understanding of the client and their abilities, the coach will have the information needed to design a long-term training program for each individual client.

  • 5. Nourishment

    Once goals and a program are established, a coach must ensure they meet all their client’s needs, both inside and outside of the gym. The nourishment plan will support the individually designed program.

OPEX Fitness strongly believes in developing a system for everything, hence the OPEX System of Coaching. Only through developing systems can you develop over time as a professional coach. Systemize your coaching today when you download our free Professional Coaching Blueprint.

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Fitness Assessments for New Clients