While you are living out your passions as a fitness professional, helping your clients become healthier and happier – with it, this lifestyle can still bring numerous demands. Unusual hours, physical work, and varying client personalities can drive any fitness professional to crave a much-needed vacation. That being said, it’s normal to worry about your clients and their needs if you were to take even a short break. The fear of losing a client as a result of taking time off is also not uncommon, since you understand the importance of maintaining their fitness goals consistently. Every fitness professional has had or presently has these same concerns when attempting to go on vacation. Below are some tips to ease these anxieties, so that you can enjoy some rest and relaxation.

  1. Give Homework – Writing meticulous workout routines for your clients to perform while you’re away is critical to prevent regression. However, before creating this routine (which you could share via email for easy access and future reference) you’ll want to check in with your clients and confirm some key factors. Foremost, definitely double-check if they are comfortable with and accurate in performing exercises without your supervision. To be sure, have them demonstrate the form of these exercises in a session before you’re away. It’s always best to prevent your clients from performing any inefficient movements to avoid possible injury. Second, make sure that the routine you create for them can be executed in a place they will have access to while you’re away. For example, if you normally train a particular client at your gym, make sure instead that their “homework routine” is conducive to doing in their home. Also ensure that they will have access to any props necessary for their routine. Third, have an honest conversation with each client about how often they will be able and willing to perform this homework in your absence. Clearly it’s best for you both to discuss a plan that is in fact feasible for them beforehand. Moreover, why not set up a schedule for them before you leave to reinforce motivation to keep up with their fitness goals? Homework can be a wonderful tool to help maintain your clients’ goals, however, it’s best to confirm a clear plan of action for ultimate success.
  1. Refer a Trusted Colleague – While your style of training might be different from someone else, it doesn’t mean that your client cannot still have a terrific workout while you are away. If you know another trainer that you deeply trust and respect – this could be a wonderful alternative for your clients to continue working on their fitness goals in your absence. That said, confirming clear intentions on both sides beforehand is crucial. Confirm with your client if training with a trusted colleague is something that they would be interested in/willing to try. Additionally, inquire with each individual client about the kind of trainer they would or wouldn’t want to work with while you’re away (you may learn more about your client and their needs in this process, too). With your client’s needs in mind, use good judgement by only recommending another trainor that you feel will truly be a good fit. Then, be sure to transfer knowledge of your client’s journey/goals and capabilities/limitations to this entrusted colleague to ensure successful sessions. Additionally, be sure to inform this trainer of any injuries, personal dislikes and likes, or potential scheduling issues of which they should be aware. In other words, the more knowledge you provide for this trainer, the better the session will be all-around for everyone.
  1. Get Smart on the Phone – If all else fails or the above are not viable options, consider training your clients remotely while on vacation: via your phone! You could set up your smartphone with Skype, Facetime, or Zoom while you lie on the beach, by the pool, or even in your hotel room. You can still hold an effective and productive session from afar – also, just think of how relaxed and refreshed you’re likely to feel at the time! Just remember that you should still maintain professionalism and give 100 percent in these sessions, even though you will be in “vacation mode.” Definitely limit sessions to one hour and try to limit how often you train over the vacation. Remember: this is still your time away! The goal is to schedule out a block of time during the day to allow for some training, but also set boundaries for yourself to truly enjoy and feel the benefits of your much-deserved break!

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Shaun Zetlin

Shaun Zetlin

As the son of a professional bodybuilder, Shaun was exposed to weightlifting and exercise at a very young age. After overcoming his own physical limitations having been born with club feet and gross motor skills, Shaun made it his mission to share his passion and knowledge of proper fitness and health to help others meet their fitness goals.

For over ten years, Shaun has successfully run his own personal training business in the New York City Metro area. Able to relate and adapt to each individual, Shaun prides himself on developing exercise plans and nutritional menus to foster every client's fitness needs. His clientele ranges from the athlete, and senior citizen, to bodybuilder, and dancer. Shaun's specialties include: strength training, power techniques, corrective injury training, and core stability training.

In addition to the highly regarded Master Trainer status, Shaun is a certified personal trainer of the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). With NASM Shaun also holds specialized certifications in: Pre- and Post-Natal, Corrective Exercise Practices, Cardiovascular Weight Loss, Youth Training, Senior Citizen Training, Balance Training, Core Stabilization, and Self Myofascial Release (SMR). Additionally, Shaun is certified by the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Sports Performance Nutrition Specialist, with training in the Female Athlete, Knee & Shoulder Rehabilitation, and Marathon Training. Shaun earned his Bachelors degree in English Literature and Writing from the University of Delaware.

Shaun's first full-length book, "Push-up Progression Workout for a Stronger Core" is currently available worldwide both in paperback and e-book formats. It was featured as one of three top books in 2013 for healthy living as selected by Dr. John Whyte of The Discovery Channel. His latest book, "Push-up Progression (2nd Edition)" has already achieved great success and notoriety in the world of fitness. It is currently featured in bookstores across the United States and United Kingdom in paperback and available wherever e-books are sold. Shaun has had a multitude of articles, program designs, and tips published within a variety of books, magazines, and on websites in the world of fitness and beyond including: Price World Publishing, Demos Medical Publishing, Livestrong, Rodale Books, OnFitness Magazine, Fitness Magazine, Brides Magazine, and GO: AirTran Magazine. Additionally, Fitness Professional Online recognizes Shaun as an "expert," answering questions for other fitness and health professionals.

Shaun also has media experience in both television and radio, ranging from fitness modeling, to hosting his own weekly radio fitness show.
Shaun Zetlin

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