Official Website of Sarah E. Rippel, BS, CPT, FMS

-Training Clients @ Home Definitely Calls for “Outside the Box” Thinking!-


Over the past 3 1/2 years, i’ve really come to enjoy working with clients in-home.  There is definitely a demand for such a service, as it’s more convenient than going to a gym.  I feel I have become quite proficient in operating a business that is run out of my clients’ homes, my home, and outdoors.  There are several things a trainer must consider when running this type of business.  First and foremost, and not the most interesting aspect of this type of operation is scheduling.  A trainer working for a gym or studio has the ability to schedule clients back-to-back throughout the day.  This is great if you want to book yourself solid and burn out really fast.  I learned this a long time ago.  Breaks are a good thing.  I know of a few trainers who work from the wee hours of the morning to mid-afternoon with virtually little free time.  Know what happens?  They experience “burnout episodes” every so often.  I have learned that I am able to offer the best service and stay “fresh” when I am not overbooked.  I have also learned that I do better when I have a little “break” in between most sessions, so I can mentally prepare for my next client.  Going to and from peoples’ homes is an awesome way of factoring this into one’s schedule.  I plan on roughly 20 minues of travel time to each client, and i’ve learned to embrace this “me time!”  I listen to music and/or industry-related interviews while i’m in my car.  Some might balk at the idea of spending time driving throughout the day, but I look at it as a positive thing.  Also, my mileage is a tax-writeoff! 😀

Now, the second (and more fun) topic I want to talk about is the fact that training clients in their homes provides a trainer with a tremendous amount of possibilities in terms of exercise selection.  I’m not talking about the standard “let’s move on to the leg press” trainer.  Obviously, machines aren’t a part of the equation in my world, and you’ve probably gathered this from reading my posts.  As a young trainer, I was fortunate enough to be able to work with a handful of clients in their homes as well as those in the gym.  Initially, I was a little stressed because I was so indoctrinated into the “machine training” world.  How in the heck could I write up an awesome workout without machines?  Well, I learned that this was a challenge I was well-equipped for.  I am a very creative person, and I discovered that this type of training demanded a great deal of creativity.  I began to look at people’s homes in a different light.  A hallway would become a prime area for walking lunges.  A staircase would become a hellacious leg “machine.”

I have come a very long way since those days, but I haven’t lost that need for creativity.  I have continued to look “outside the box” and find alternative methods of kicking my clients’ butts. 🙂  Case in point would be the client I mentioned a few posts ago.  I have had her do speed ladder drills and sprints in the condo hallway…heck, we’ve even done “ropes gone wild” (if you’re not sure what this is, click the link) out there.  We’ve worked out on her balcony overlooking the shopping area and restaurants below.  The parking garage offers up a tremendous array of opportunities for killer exercises.  Not only is there a ramp you can sprint up, there are big square columns i’ve discovered work better than anything else for securing the 50′ rope.  There’s no worries of dropping a kettlebell on the floor, as the ground is concrete.  The concrete walls are perfect for medicine ball throwing drills, and because the garage isn’t packed full of cars, the parking spot lines are great for agility drills such as suicides.  My client lives on the third floor, so it makes more sense to take the stairs during a workout rather than the elevator (right?)! 🙂  I’ve had her sprint, hop, lunge, side squat, and zig-zag up them.  The landings in between the flights can be used for “breaks” where bodyweight squats, pushups, etc can be done.

In a nutshell, in-home training is where it’s at!  Look for more posts on this topic from me in the following months!

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