Fundamentals should be done in a one-on-one training environment with the same coach for the duration of the fundamentals stage, graduating to group classes based on benchmarks.
More details: The number of personal training sessions required largely depends on the client’s current abilities, training history, injury history, goals, your facility programming and to some degree budget, but we recommend between 12 and 20 sessions depending on the individual.
Setting clear, objective ‘Benchmarks’ for your clients to achieve/understand in order to graduate into full membership is crucial for both clients and coaches. The benchmarks remove the onus of coaches having to ‘decide’ if a client is ready, while clearly illustrating exactly what the client needs to learn in order to graduate.
Note: Benchmarks should be based on your programming—teaching your clients everything they need to know in order to be relatively autonomous in your group setting.
Tip: Start with a 3-personal training session assessment. This still requires some skin in the game, but it doesn't require an up-front financial commitment of 12-20 sessions. This also gives clients some power to know that if they don't see the value after three sessions, they do not have to continue.
The 3-pt assessments are designed to screen clients’ movement patterns, assess any limitations due movement deficiencies or injuries, and assess their strength, aerobic capacity etc. And of course, it’s a chance to continue to build rapport and trust between the client and coach. By the end of the three sessions, the coach has a pretty good picture of the client’s needs, and the client has a good picture of the coach’s coaching style.
Session 4-20: The intention of the rest of the fundamentals sessions are to educate the client about the training process and why they’re doing what they’re doing. To provide them with the appropriate tools to be successful in your programming model and begin a hybrid membership (meaning a combination of membership and one-on-one training).
By the time a client completes fundamentals they should have a good understanding of what pushing, pulling, squatting, hinging and midline patterns are appropriate for them, as well as pertinent scores on various lifts and conditioning benchmarks they will see in the group programming.
Note: Whether a client moves to group classes as their membership, or another option within your business (eg. individual program design), amortizing 1:1 personal training sessions into their membership will increase both their retention and their ACV (average client value). (See Law 4)
Our data shows that clients who come in and begin training in a group vs 1:1 churn at a rate of 50-60 percent annually. Facilities following the 9 Laws model average well above 80 percent annual client retention (98% per month).