Q&A: How To Remember Session Plans

\ How do I remember every session plan for a client or a class?

So I actually have a post written all about working in the fitness industry that precedes this post, but if it’s good enough for the film industry, it’s good enough for me to put the beginning at the end… or the middle… wherever I feel like!

I’ve been wanting to write a post for ages about working in the industry; I mean, I think I’m experienced enough. As more and more people opt to become trained up as personal trainers it makes me wonder if everyone knows what they’re really in for??

I started a few conversations on social media asking some questions surrounding this and one of the questions that came up was how as a professional, do you remember what you have planned for a client session or class?

And the answer is: you don’t. Well I don’t anyway. I mean bravo to anyone that does; maybe they’re teaching the same thing week in and week out.

I typically write my session plan in notes on my iPhone which is usually hooked up to the music on the “instructors station”. I kinda remember little bits at a time during the session, keep the note open and refer back to it when I need to. I always keep the class informed of the time they have left and the work so that kinda helps me remember in the moment too cos I change my class format every single week.

Sometimes I scribble down a session plan on a record card in case my phone is not accessible but that is rarely the case.

I don’t do that much personal training (by choice) but I get to hang out with a fair few and they all typically have iPads on which they use spreadsheets to plan and record their client sessions.

There is software out there you can get if personal training is gonna be serious business for you but I would personally start with a spreadsheet to figure out if it works and if it doesn’t, what I would need the software to do for me that a spreadsheet can’t.

The one caveat I have to this are my Lift classes that I teach at Frame. The class is choreographed so every three months we are provided with an update with the expectation that we will learn it off by heart to be tested on it before the launch date.

It’s been almost a year now since I started teaching this class and I think it’s gotten a tiny bit easier to learn the choreography each time but I still have to dedicate time to make sure and then I run through it as often as possible in the first few weeks of teaching to help cement it into my brain.

I also sometimes wonder how I would ever remember my class plan for indoor cycling but tbh the times I’ve been in the instructor seat I’ve just had my phone in the handlebars. I guess my plan would be to start simple and as I get more confident and experienced I’m sure I could remember things better!

So as a Studio Instructor having to learn choreography is something you might need to factor in when deciding what classes and where to teach. Working to the beat of the music is a skill itself, then add to the fact you will be doing the class (and doing it all with good form) as well as talking / teaching / directing the class and correcting people at the same time. I think it’s an art form.

As a Personal Trainer, it’s not something you might have to worry so much about. I definitely think an iPad looks a lot more professional than walking around with your client looking at your phone. I guess in the days before technology we’d just use paper and a clipboard (I remember using them in my personal training exams!).

Peeps, if you’re considering training up to become a fitness professional or are new to the industry and have any questions please do leave them in the comments and I will get them answered for you directly or in a post!

If you teach or PT how do you, or do you, memorise your session plans?




  1. Sarah Michelle
    November 27, 2017 / 16:05

    Love that idea of a shared google doc!!

  2. aprettyplacetoplay
    November 27, 2017 / 10:13

    I don't think I'd ever expect a PT to remember everything, partly because all the PTs I know are crazy busy! My coach and I have a google doc that we share which has all my notes in it, it's really handy as a client to dip in and remember what I've done, as well as being useful for my coach to keep track of progress/jog his memory! x

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