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Personal Training Progress Report: How-to Guide

PT progress reports

Whether you’re new to the fitness industry, or you’ve been a PT for a few years now, you should always be incorporating a personal training client progress report with all of your clientele.

That’s why we have put together a handy guide to ensure that you have included everything that you need in yours, including:

From start to finish, you have our help. But first, if you want to really up your game for your clientele, why not progress onto a level 4 in personal training course

Alternatively, find plenty of other health and fitness courses here in our downloadable course prospectus.

 

Why You Should Be Doing Client Progress Reports

personal training client progress report

A personal trainer client progress report is essentially an informative reflection of your clients’ achievements across different variables.

It is critical that, as a personal trainer, you have these for your clients so that they can see that not only they’re making progress, but that you’re doing your job correctly. 

You should retrieve measurements before you have a short discussion with your client so you can use visual aids to show how far they have come.

when you should do a client progress report

In a progress report, you should provide your client with a relatively detailed report that allows them to determine a clear focus going forward. It also justifies all of the methods you are implementing and allows for the opportunity for you to explain in a little more detail why you instruct the things you do.

After all, you don’t want to be going into immense detail throughout every session, as it will simply eat into their paid time with you. 

You may wonder why you would need a progress report if your client can clearly see that they have lost weight (if that was their goal) and are happy. But, progressing in fitness can mean a lot more than simply losing weight. 

For example, the number on the scales doesn't always reflect the fitness level of the client. Take The Village Gym’s explanation as a great example.

personal trainer client progress report

So, you may have conducted a detailed measurement of body fat composition and other variables alike beforehand, but what does this mean for your client progress report? 

Without the initial measurements being taken during a personal training consultation, and no major visual differences - how is your client going to be motivated to carry on and trust that you’re doing everything you can to help them?

This is why you need to put their mind at ease during a progress report, and re-do the detailed analysis that you conducted at the start to really see where the progress is being made.

What You Should Include In Your Personal Trainer Client Progress Reports

client progress report

If you’re new to the industry, it is fair to wonder “how do personal trainers track client progress?”

This is the data that should be included in a progress report for your client.

#1 - A Holistic Overview of Their Progress

how do personal trainers track client progress

You should start the personal training client progress report on a positive note by going over everything holistically. 

Approach this short meeting similar to that of a consultation session. Ask them how their day is going and make light conversation - you want them to leave happy with their progress no matter how much they’ve come along.

Tell them all of the positive information you have on their progress, and let them know that you’re going to show them an in depth look at how they’re coming along. 

This overview should introduce what you’re going to share and to have a short chat to ease them into the meeting. 

This is also a good time to ask them how they think they’re coming along, and if they have anything they want to know from you. You can then write down any questions they have and ensure they’re answered during the report.

Once you feel confident that they’re comfortable and are aware of what the progress report actually is, you can get started.

#2 - Let Them Know What They’re Doing Well 

personal training client progress tracking

First off, your personal training client progress report should begin with what they have done well according to their goals, alongside what they’re doing well outside of their goals.

For example, if their goal is to gain muscle and reduce body fat percentage, you should have all of the vital numbers that you had taken from the consultation process with a comparison to where they’re sitting at now. 

As we mentioned earlier, you should retrieve their current measurements a couple of days before the meeting so that you can create an informed progress report with visual aids and reliable numbers.

We will show you a little later how to actually create these visual aids like graphs and charts, but for now, you should remember that what they’re doing well in accordance with their goals is the place to begin.

#3 - Discuss Their Next Steps to Progress Further

conducting a client progress report

After you have presented your client with all of the things they have done well, you can then talk about their next steps and ask them how you see their future with you.

You should approach this with tact and understanding. Although many clients may go above and beyond expectations, some may have plateaued - every client will have a different story, so if they haven’t seen enough progress to make huge differences, that’s okay!

You must however assess in your own time why this is. Ask yourself:

  • Is your client struggling?
  • Do they need more guidance on a specific exercise or routine?
  • Do you need to change your approach to better fit the client's habits?
  • Have you taken into account any limitations they may have?

Whatever the future holds on their fitness journey, you’re going to want to explain why you think they’re ready to move on to a new way of training, if necessary. 

Nonetheless, you shouldn’t draw attention to what they aren't doing well, focus on what is going well and you can give constructive feedback without it being negative. 

You can ask them where they want to improve, and take the conversation from there, taking note of what they want to improve.

#4 - Set A New Goal, Or Continue With An Existing Goal

progress reports for pt clients

As a personal trainer, you should be aware of SMART goals, which are a great way of being precise and realistic about goals with your clients. 

If you’re assessing personal trainer client progress, tracking where they are on their goals is an important part of that.

With that in mind, you should be either discussing how to progress within the margin of similar goals as the start or, implementing some new goals.

You can suggest what you think is the best next step for them and ask if they agree or if they want to push themselves to another goal.

You should always come to mutual agreements, taking on board how they feel, and arrive at a middle ground of what you think is actually possible in your professional opinion.  

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For some more useful resources on how to become more than your average personal trainer, read our articles below:

How To Prepare Personal Training Client Reports

preparing for a pt client progress report

Now you are aware of the areas of interest that you ought to include in your personal trainer client progress report, here we will show you how to prepare the report itself so you can present a professional and informative piece.

First you should distinguish what the best approach is for you and the size of your business. As a small business, like a personal trainer sole trader, you may have the time to do the progress reports yourself from scratch by using the data you have collected over time from your client. 

However, if you are a busy personal trainer that has little time to dedicate to important administrative tasks such as this, you could get some assistance from a software. 

Let’s discuss both approaches so that you can find out which direction is best for you out of the two.

How to Prepare a Client Progress Report Using Software

how to do client progress reports as a PT

First, a popular approach for many business owners is to use software that can help you when you have a lot of clients, in fact some software options allow you to manage up to 1000 clients, ensuring that you are still able to use your platform if you expand.

There’s 4 key areas you should consider when looking at how to produce a client progress report using software:

  • Customer Tracking
  • SOAP Analysis
  • Reporting Functionality
  • Cost

Let’s take a look at these more clearly, and a few things that similar businesses can offer to help you produce incredibly effective, thorough client progress reports.

Customer Tracking Systems

Customer tracking is exactly what progress reports are all about. 

Below, you can see what this can look like on the right side of the image with personal trainer software Vagaro. It is at the heart of what they offer and can provide a uniform layout and organised space.

software for client progress reports

As you can see, you can see a basic profile including their picture, name and birth date and some useful information. 

Below, you can see how you can easily upload files to the clients profile which makes accessing client related records easier and organised during your personal training client progress report session.

personal training client progress report

This is useful when you want to upload the likes of images for before and after progress updates. 

It makes it accessible and ensures that you’re showing the correct images. If you have plenty of clients it could be relatively easy to mix these images up, but being able to attach them to a profile is a way of making it secure.

It isn’t just Vagaro that offers a budget friendly option with useful tools for you as a PT. TotalPTFitness has a feature that you can see below that offers a test and goal tracking feature.

PT client progress report

This can help you to get a more indepth look at your clients abilities rather than the average weight and height management. 

This is a unique way to show to your client how they can get a detailed look into their own health and fitness and how it is progressing.

 

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SOAP Notes

Another tool that is really useful for personal trainers is SOAP (subjective, objective, assessment, plan) notes.

If you are a personal trainer that conducts the likes of these measurements, then there is a secure place for you to store this in Vagaro that can help you visualise with your client how they have progressed. 

For example, SOAP notes may be useful for the personal trainers that are trained in exercise referral as they could have elder clients or those with conditions that will benefit from regular exercise with you. 

personal training client progress report how to

As you can see, it is super specific and simple to fill out and is something that will visually show you and the client how far they have come and where they need some assistance. 

Similarly, you can find an even more detailed approach to SOAP notes with Go Reminders. 

It is a useful software for fitness professionals who are interested in the rehabilitation of their clients, especially if they have chronic illnesses or anything more serious.

how to create a personal training client progress report

As you can see this is also directed towards doctors and medical professionals, unlike Vagaro that cover many bases, it may be a good idea also to use varied softwares for different areas that you’re focusing on when it comes to tracking - like SOAP notes with Go Reminders.

Reporting Functionality

When it comes to visualisation, their reports feature will help you keep track of everything. You can see below how this can look for your business.

how to conduct a personal training client progress report

What’s more, their software can be uploaded from Excel and is also compatible with Xero and Quickbooks if they’re softwares that you have integrated into your business.

Apart from the fact that you can put everything that you need to track into the notes of a client profile and how specific it is - there are some benefits that make your business stand out from the rest. 

When it comes to personal training client progress, tracking through the likes of this software is going to really make your life easier if you’re busy. 

why do client progress reports

You could complete some notes after every session for 5 minutes and you will soon have plenty of information that you can break down and relay to your clients through visual representation. 

Plus, having the storage of this information over time for long term clients means they can visually too, see how they are coming along. 

There are plenty of other tools that you can explore specifically made for the fitness industry, but these are some that are going to really help your progress reports.

Costs

Of course, depending on what you’re looking for with your client progress reports, the software you choose can be influenced by how much it costs. 

You can see below how Vagaro prices their services. We have chosen to show you this example as this seems to be the affordable standard for these kinds of services. 

For example, Go Reminders that we spoke about also charge at a similar rate starting from $25.

Similarly, the prices range depending on your employee status within your business, take a look below how this looks.

personal training client progress report

The pricing structure is clear, you can also see what is included below - note that the client tracking is the most important part of the package regarding personal training client progress report assistance.

personal training client progress report

As you can see, there are plenty of other benefits alongside this for you business that you can take advantage of, so you can always try a free trial before committing but it is definitely a good option.

How To Prepare A Client Progress Report Without A Software

how to do a client report for pt clients

We understand that starting a business is difficult, especially if you’re self-employed, and committing to a monthly membership or outgoings just won’t be possible for you yet. 

Plus, if you haven't built up a client base yet, there might simply be no point in investing into a software yet. 

With this in mind, you can and should still implement client progress reports nonetheless, and doing this is simpler than it sounds.

You should start by ensuring you have the starting metrics of a client, and mimic the sort of client profile that you see in the software we spoke about above.

You could do this on Microsoft Excel, or use the free Google Sheets, and have a tab for each client. 

What’s good about using these tools is that you can still make a visual and professional presentation through using graphs and charts. 

It is simple too. All you need to do is click on the Insert tab on a new document and choose Charts, as you can see below (our example is from Microsoft Word).

how to do a client report for personal trainer clients

Once you have done this, you can import your data from Excel or Sheets, choose the data you want, and create professional looking line graphs that display the progress of your client clearly. 

You should compile all of your notes that you have taken during the time with this client and make it into a succinct and useful piece - ensuring you mention all of the sections that we spoke about earlier. 

Assess what you have collected and pull out the most important parts that are going to provide valuable feedback and what will work as a motivation. 

So, if you cannot afford the outgoings of a software just yet, don’t let it put you off the idea of providing progress reports - the information is all the same and still highly valuable for the client.

When You Should Do Client Progress Reports

when to do pt cleint progress reports

When you decide to do progress reports is subjective to each personal trainer, and the client  but there are general guidelines you can follow.

You should consider some things when deciding when to conduct them and we suggest that you make the decision on a client-by-client basis. 

For example, assess your client - do you think that they are going to see huge results within 4 weeks? If not, you could do it every 3 months. 

On the other hand, if a client has only booked you for 1 month, you’re going to want to conduct the progress report at the halfway point in hopes that you can improve your personal trainer client retention

Here are some of the objectives that we suggest thinking about when deciding on your clients frequency of report:

  • How long they are training with you
  • Their starting point
  • Your predictions on when they will see progress
  • If they need encouragement
  • If they have an event coming up
  • If they have hit any goals earlier than expected

As you can see, there are various reasons for why you may change the timing of your progress reports depending on the client so you may not want to always be uniform with your structure. 

Think about how your client will feel, if you decide to do a progress report and you know that they are going to be disappointed as it is too early for them as an individual - it is probably a good idea to wait until you have positive and encouraging feedback that will motivate them.

This is because every body type is different and some people’s results will simply take longer than others so, keeping this in mind is going to help you decide on when is the right time.

Before You Go!

Getting the admin done in your business is a tedious task for the most part, but a personal training client progress report can actually be really exciting and encouraging for you and the client alike so we hope that you feel confident in what to include and how to get started.

Don’t forget, if you want to take your career to the next level, you can take a level 4 course in personal training here at OriGym. 

Or, to offer even more as a fitness professional, find all of our courses in our downloadable course prospectus. 

Written by Kimberley Mitchell

Editor

Having gained a B.A Hons degree in Media, Culture and Communications, Kimberley has gained experience in areas of web journalism, website production and marketing.

Alongside this, Kim expanded her knowledge and passion for fitness, by becoming a fully qualified fitness instructuor and personal trainer. Kim has also gained specialist qualifications in yoga, nutriton, spin and many more.

After working in the industry as a PT, Kimberley went on to study an MA in Digital Marketing and continues to expand her knowledge in the industry. Her main focus is to keep up with current trends and communications with a focus around health & fitness, writing and being creative.

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