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November 2, 2009 | Exam Preparation Blog

The way clients learn...

LearningMost of us are aware that people learn in different ways. There are your visual learners, your auditory learners, and your ‘I’ve got to do it hands on to get it’ learners (otherwise known as kinesthetic).

Personal trainers work closely with clients to teach them new skills and habits. Much of what they do involves active learning. If you can pinpoint the way in which your client best learns new information, you can match your words and behaviors to this preference. Teaching/instructing in a way that your client prefers can not only improve their experience and knowledge gain, it can also maintain and build rapport between client and trainer.

So how can you tell what your client’s learning preference is? The easiest way is to watch them during learning situations and listen for clues in their language. A visual learner may watch closely as a trainer is demonstrating a move. You might hear them say ‘let me see that again’ or ‘show me that again’. They watch until the action is complete before trying it themselves.

An audio learner tends to focus directly on what the trainer is saying. They may not be looking too closely at the demonstration, using their ears to listen intently instead. An auditory learner may repeat back what you just said in order to help them memorize the steps. They are also more likely to talk themselves through the activity.

Finally, kinesthetic learners learn by doing. As the trainer is demonstrating an exercise the kinesthetic learner may be mimicking the motions along with them, or touching their own muscles to reinforce which ones are being utilized. Kinesthetic learners like to solve problems or figure things out by doing them.

The majority of people aren’t exclusively one type of learner or another, although they can lean heavily in one direction. When I was taking my anatomy classes we used cadavers from the medical school. While I learned a lot from looking at the muscle layers and anatomy, usually tuning out what the instructor was talking about, I also liked to go in and push things around. See how the different muscle layers actually fit together. This fits with my style of visual learning, plus a touch of kinesthetic.

Part of being a successful trainer is establishing rapport with your clients. By understanding their style of learning, and attempting to utilize it when training, you can help both yourself and your client succeed.

When you are preparing for the ACE exam, consider your style of learning and how to utilize that. If you are an audio learner look for recorded options such as the online webinar or exam review. Record your own voice reading things back to you. If you are a kinesthetic learner, stand up and practice finding anatomical markers on your own body. Draw out a flow chart for how to conduct an assesment. Visual learners often have it easiest when it comes to traditional studying. But even then, seek out various methods of viewing your information. Every little bit counts!

Questions? Just call one of our Education Consultants at 1-888-825-3636 x782.

By April Merritt
April Merritt holds a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science, a master’s degree in Health Promotion, and several ACE certifications including Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor and Health Coach.

April Merritt holds a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science, a master’s degree in Health Promotion, and several ACE certifications including Personal Trainer and Health Coach.