Prior to meeting for the first time, each new client is asked to fill out an New Client Questionnaire, which is designed to provide a snapshot of life at the moment. This includes questions about health, movement and injury history, sleep, stress, goals of course, and other factors that we can take into account when designing your coaching program. You can answer with as much or as little information as you like, but the more information you provide, the better your program will fit you.
We’ll review this together during your first session, whether you’re getting started with exercise physiology or with healthy habit coaching. During this zero-judgement chat, we’ll dig deeper into your answers, exploring available options for make efficient progress. We’ll also discuss what your expectations are, to ensure we are on the same page and that you get what you want from your sessions!
…We’ll review your New Client Questionnaire as outlined above. We’ll also go through a movement screening. This won’t be full-on strength or cardio testing, but simply asking you to complete a few low-key movements that will help show where your body is struggling. Coupled with information about your goals and available time and energy, this is key in planning a great program.
You’ll then be given a selection of exercises chosen to address your specific needs. There is sometimes an element of trial and error here, as there are many ways to achieve the same physical outcome; sometimes we play with options to find the ones your body likes best. You’ll leave your first session with a few exercises that will make the biggest bang for buck, as well as a plan for when to do what. This usually takes the form of a weekly plan, where we can identify what exercise to do on what day – mostly to take the thinking out of it for you!
The second and following sessions always start with the same question: How is everything going? It’s super important that your program is working for you, so if you are finding things aren’t working for any reason, let’s talk about it! There are always alternatives, and finding out at the start of the session gives us plenty of time to make changes.
If everything is going well, we’ll review the exercises that you’ve previously been given. If needed, we’ll adjust exercises to be more challenging, or change things up simply so you don’t get bored. We may also increase the total number of exercises in a program, or change what your weekly program looks like in order to keep you both progressing and feeling like your program is fitting in with your life.
Exercise physiology sessions can take place as frequently as you like. Some people do weekly sessions, and some will come in once a month or so for a program update. The right timing will depend both on what your program is designed to treat (for example, managing a late-stage injury might need more frequent sessions than a flexibility program), as well as how much accountability you want. And of course, more support is always a phone call away!
…We’ll review your New Client Questionnaire as outlined above. One of the first pieces we’ll dig into are your goals. Most people have more than one, so we’ll want to talk a bit more about these and then prioritise them. Much of the habit-change psychology research shows that a single focus is more likely to lead to success.
We’ll also discuss your overall lifestyle and how you’re currently approaching exercise and movement, eating and drinking, sleep, and stress management. Our focus between these areas will vary based on your stated goals, but these pieces are all important in taking a holistic approach. We can brainstorm the small behaviour changes that are key to creating new habits, and together narrow down the list to just a few things to create create a step-by-step short term action plan that you feel really good about. We also build in a little room for error. Sometimes our days just don’t go as planned, so having a little wiggle room is important. And there you have it! This is your program.
All of these pieces will go into both a daily and weekly plan, so you don’t have to worry about figuring out when to do what. We can also explore other tools that can help you stay in track, including coming up with checklists, finding current behaviours that you can use to prompt new ones, or looking at different ways to remind yourself to stick to your plans.
The second and following sessions always start with the same question: How is everything going? Healthy habit coaching is all about designing plans that work, so if you’re not feeling good with something, we change it. We’ll review the small behaviour changes you’ve been working on to make sure they are worthwhile and sticking. If you’re struggling, we can add strategies to help them stick more, and when you are feeling like you’re really nailing your top priority goal, we move on to the next one to continue the process.
Healthy habit coaching sessions are best done fortnightly, as this gives you the opportunity to practice and solidify your small changes and new habits. You can reach out any time during this period for extra accountability and support, via phone, text, or email, and we really recommend you do this if you’re struggling!
You may wish to only do a session or two, or depending on the number of habits you want to change, you may stick with sessions for a few months. We are done when you’re feeling like you’re where you want to be!