It is important that as a member of the business community or a professional in the exercise industry, you assess and identify potential workplace risks. You should also implement strategies to monitor and control adverse events.

All fitness activities carry risks, which need to be managed. Risk management is a key component to any successful business.

You understand the importance of good technique as a specialist or trainer. You stress to your clients every day the importance of proper technique to achieve certain athletic results. We, as professional risk managers, share your dedication to technique.

Why personal trainer risk assessment is essential

Personal trainer risk assessments identify hazards that may compromise your client’s health during training, and allow you to take measures to protect them.

The equipment, the gym surface and even the clients’ physical health can be at risk.

1. Know the risks

Before training clients, it’s important to create a list of any potential hazards. They can be very different depending on the type of exercise and where it is being conducted.

Exercise Workouts: List all exercises, and identify any risks that may be associated with them

Exercise equipment: Trainers must list the equipment they plan to use and the risks they may pose.

To complete a personal trainer safety and health assessment, you must understand what constitutes a risk and what qualifies as a hazard.

Your role as a professional is a liability, even if you are not ultimately responsible for the injury or damage. You must defend yourself, even if the claim is unfounded. Legal defences can be expensive.

2. Determine who is at risk

It’s important to identify any hazards in the area of exercise and note who could be injured. Also, you should consider how an injury might occur. Are the clients of the trainer at risk? Are the trainer’s clients at risk? Is there a risk that people could be injured in public?

When identifying risks, you should consider:

  •     Age of participants in exercise
  •     Participants’ physical abilities
  •     Existing medical conditions and injuries
  •     Anyone doing activities should have the necessary knowledge and skills.

These factors are important to consider when planning workout sessions. 

3. Be an educated insurance consumer

You can be empowered as a consumer by gaining a little knowledge about insurance. It will give you the peace of mind to know that you are able to find solutions for your specific risks.

Third-party claims (e.g. clients, facility owners etc.) are covered by insurance policies. Alleging bodily injury or property damage or personal injury or advertising injury as a result of covered activities (e.g. client-training).

Professionals can be protected by business insurance against claims that arise from mistakes or omissions made in the course of providing their professional services.

BizCover offers a tailored fitness professional insurance solution which combines liability and indemnity coverage. The limits and coverage will be designed to address the claims that are likely to arise given your position as a certified expert in your field.

4. Don’t undervalue the importance of communication

Poor communication is the main cause of almost all fitness client complaints. In some cases clients claim that the communication between the fitness professional and the client was poor, and led to an accident. For example, the client may have injured themselves because the exercise instructions were too brief. When communicating with clients, fitness professionals should not just focus on their technical skills but also on their communication abilities.

5. Don’t underestimate the risks of poor exercise prescription and selection

Exercise can be a lot of fun, but it also has a lot of health benefits. Clients may suffer injuries that could change their lives. This doesn’t mean that we should stop working out. It means that we need to be more aware of the risks and implement risk mitigation strategies in order to reduce the chances of injury. It’s not enough to hope that a client will be safe. Exercise poses a risk that must be understood and minimised.

6. Practice within your area of expertise

Fitness professionals should understand their scope of practice and adhere to it. It’s important to know what you have been trained in and where your competence lies. Advice outside of this range could create a potential risk for a client, which will in turn become a problem for the professional. Fitness professionals must ensure that they plan and deliver only exercise programs that are within their scope, regardless of the information or program requested by a client. If the client has needs or wants that are not within the scope of the professional, they should seek help or refer them to someone else. Fitness professionals should remember that they are responsible for any professional advice or guidance they give. They shouldn’t be forced into anything they don’t want to do.

7. Keep track of your sessions

Keep a detailed record of all your sessions with clients. It’s important to keep a detailed and accurate history of the exercises that your client performed, including weight, height and repetitions. You will also have information on how well the client did with those exercises, and whether there were any injuries.

8. Find a balance between creativity and risk

Fitness professionals, like all businesspeople, are always looking for ways to differentiate themselves from their competition and offer new and unique services for their clients. This ingenuity, however, can bring new risks to the business. Before implementing any new offering, it is important to carefully consider the risks. Think about what could go wrong.

9. Manage risks with proactive management

Not proactively managing risk is warning clients to avoid potholes while running. It is much more effective to move clients away from an area with a pothole in order to prevent injury. Fitness professionals must take the necessary precautions to minimise the risk of an injury when a risk assessment is conducted. It’s not enough to hope it doesn’t happen.

Checklist for Professional Fitness Instructors

You may think that having thousands of Instagram fans or looking good in tight clothing is the key to success as a professional fitness trainer. The truth is that nothing could be farther from reality. The fitness industry’s long-term success is not determined by how many video clips a trainer posts on social media or what education they have. It’s based more on the skills a fitness instructor has acquired over a career.

Do you want to be a successful fitness professional? These tips can help you reach your goals and stay on track. Many fitness professionals have a natural ability to make other people feel important. This is crucial for success in the fitness business.

Get certifications

To become a fitness pro, you must first be certified.Certifications vary in content, price, and time required to complete. Some of the most popular certifications are Certified Personal Trainer, Strength & conditioning Specialist, Yoga Teacher, and Group Exercise Instructor.

You will gain the knowledge and skills you need to be a successful fitness professional. You can also use it to demonstrate your knowledge and qualifications to prospective employers. To stay up to date with industry standards, your certification should be updated regularly.

Before committing to a certification, make sure you research it thoroughly and know the requirements. Certification is not just a way to check a box, it’s a great investment for your career.

Get insured

You have a duty as a fitness professional to protect your clients and yourself. Insurance is an excellent way to ensure that you’re financially protected in the event of an injury or accident. Exercise professionals should have suitable liability insurance to ensure you are protected in case of an unfortunate risk. You will be more prepared for any situation if you have fitness professional cover.

Join a professional association

A professional organisation membership is important to your future as a professional fitness trainer. Joining an organisation will allow you to connect with other professionals and gain knowledge about the industry. You can also access resources that could help you advance your career. Many organisations provide discounts on conferences, certifications, and continuing education courses.

Research the options available to you before joining an organisation. This will help you determine which best suits your needs. Consider the costs of membership, what resources are offered and the benefits of joining. Find organisations that offer relevant workshops and seminars. Consider attending a trade show or conference to meet other professionals.

Some of the personal and fitness instructor associations in Australia are:

Personal Trainers Association – 

AUSactive –

The Health and Fitness Association of Australia –

Develop a niche

It can be difficult to stand out as a fitness professional in a market that is becoming increasingly crowded. It is crucial to find a niche if you want to stand out in a crowded market and remain successful. A niche is an area in which you are unique and have the ability to excel.

Consider the types of clients that you would like to work with and the topics or activities that you are passionate about when developing your niche. Create content that speaks directly to your target audience once you’ve identified your niche. Use social media to promote your business and spread your message.

Make sure to let potential clients know if you hold any certifications or have specialised training. Your experience and expertise can help you stand out from other fitness professionals. You’ll have a better chance of success in the fitness business if you take the time to create a niche.

Stay Current

It’s essential to keep up with the latest industry trends as a fitness expert. It is important to stay up-to-date on any new fitness technologies or products, as well as studies. You will be able to better serve your customers and gain a competitive advantage in the market if you stay current. Attend any seminars or conferences related to your area of expertise and keep up with the latest research in fitness and health. You should also read magazines and books related to your niche to gain valuable insight into the latest trends. Joining online groups and forums that are related to your specialisation can help you maintain contact with other professionals.

Image: Supplied.

This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with Digital Next.

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