Before you even think about getting started training, you’ll want to be sure that you are having your clients prepare and sign the right personal training intake forms to protect you and your business. This essential paperwork includes the PAR-Q, Informed Consent and Liability Waiver forms.
PAR-Q and You
What exactly is a PAR-Q? First off, it’s an acronym for Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire. Second, it is a questionnaire covering important topics about their lifestyle, activity levels, diet, nutrition and medical history.
If you knew that a prospective client had a condition such as asthma and also underwent recent hip surgery, you would most certainly approach them differently than you would a healthy NFL running back or Olympic athlete. Having this type of insider information coming directly from the source is useful in any scenario, especially when designing customized fitness programs.
The PAR-Q allows you to determine whether a client is even healthy enough to be working with you in the first place. Beyond this, by reviewing the information in detail, your clients will appreciate you taking the time to cater them as an individual rather than randomly selecting a “cookie-cutter” workout.
Most of the population seeking your services as a personal trainer are familiar with their health and abilities. However, if you discover that there are any conditions or concerns, you should always have your client consult his or her physician before beginning or continuing any sort of exercise program.
Informed Consent and Liability Waiver Forms
While most of today’s population already knows that diet and regular exercise are they key ingredients of staying fit, some may not fully understand the type of effort or capability that your program requires.
An Informed Consent form should be an easy-to-read document informing each client about the risks and rewards(!) of personal training. It’s important to verbally communicate (speak aloud), and have the client acknowledge, the specific details about the Informed Consent and what they should look forward to when working with you as a trainer.
A Liability Waiver, or personal training waiver, is often included within the Informed Consent form, but it can also be a separate standalone document. The Liability Waiver requires that the client agrees not to hold you responsible from legal claims or actions.
Together, these two forms are commonly referred to as personal training waiver and release forms.
Setting this upfront understanding of responsibility, you will be better equipped to address any concerns and continue developing a favorable client-trainer relationship.
Simple and Effective Way to Avoid Unnecessary Risk
Some of you may not want to inundate clients with a bunch of forms and paperwork. However, it is an important step in making sure you aren’t putting you and your business at risk. Having your clients spend 10-15 minutes on a few short forms will help prevent headaches and will also provide you with extremely useful information.
While most clients will be very forthright sharing this type of information, you’ll want to be aware of the situation, as clients could withhold information, or may not even be aware of the health concern themselves.
And just because you have personal training insurance, it only makes sense to take this simple precaution to avoid getting yourself into any sort of legal trouble down the line. The key here is documentation. Should you ever find yourself being held responsible for an injury, having enough of the proper documentation will always work in your favor.
Always ask that your clients inform you of any changes to their health and add this information to their records. As part almost every session, you should be getting updated health information from your clients, it’s really the only way to properly design a fitness program.
If your client has taken some time off and you haven’t met with them recently, it’s critical to review the questionnaire with them to ensure the information is still accurate. A lot can change in just a short amount of time.
Make The Right Moves For Your Business
Hopefully you already have a personal training website up and running. If you do, be sure to post each of these documents somewhere easily accessible for all of your new and prospective clients.
In fact, if you can automate these forms and have them in an electronic format for an online personal training waiver and PAR-Q, your clients will thank you for the added simplicity and time savings. Your business will benefit from reduce paper usage and record retention requirements.
As with any type of contract or agreement, it’s recommended to have them reviewed and/or prepared by an attorney familiar with the industry. Even if you do have the proper precautions and forms in place, not everything will hold up in court. Again, turning to an attorney may require a small investment, but it is certainly worth the cost.
Conclusion: Don’t Be Without These Forms
With the PAR-Q information, you’ll be better prepared by having a general idea of the type of client you will be dealing with. The Informed Consent and Liability Waiver forms will help to prevent blame being placed on you in the event of an accident or injury.
Together, each of these personal training intake forms helps to reduce the amount of risk you take on with each new client so that you can continue focusing on growing your personal training business.