Discover How To Run A Successful Programming Session: Part 1


The first programming session is the ONLY experience that ALL members must do. Make sure that the first impression is the best that it can be. Remember that information retention is likely to be between 10 – 30 % no matter how good you do it.

Effort spent here will improve knowledge down the track and may well be the difference between good member experience and attrition.  

Our recommendations are:

  • Create a script. Steal ours if you want!
  • Create a visual presentation.

People who learn best visually will appreciate the pictures in the presentation to support your words. They will learn more, quicker and thus you need to do less to make them self-sufficient.

Create tools to compliment your scripted presentation

Carefully design your programme card to match your member journey. Introduce a progress pack for new members to chart improvement.

Sculpt out your first 6 weeks and include the detail in the presentation. You can’t tell your new members enough!          

The Orientation Script 

The Greeting:

“My role today is to show you around the gym and make you familiar with the equipment.”

“Most importantly I will be setting up a programme for you based around the details of the needs analysis you gave to (staff member) when you joined.”

“If you would like to follow me, I will show you where to get changed and then we can sit down for a couple of minutes and go through the itinerary for today.”

“How does that sound?”

The Presentation:

“What I plan to do today is to show you around the gym and set the correct intensity for the programme that I will be devising for you.”

“After that I would like to just explain a little bit about what you can expect from your membership going forward and the support, we will be giving you.”

“As I said I have the personal details here that you gave “staff member” when you joined and from this, I have a programme in mind that I would like to chat to you about further.

“You mentioned that you would like to…”

“Can I ask how much weight you would like to lose? What sort of time-frame did you have in mind to achieve this result?”

“Are there any parts of your body you would like to focus on?”

“Thanks. Well we try to regulate your weight loss to around 2 pounds a week so in this initial 6-week phase I think we could achieve a loss of about 1 stone.”

“How does that sound?”

“I see that you have followed a programme like this before…”

“Were there any pieces of equipment that you didn’t like for any reason You mentioned that you could find the time to train about 2-3 times a week? If you can do that and follow this programme, then I think we can be confident of success.”

“The SMART start programme we offer to our members is a 2-part orientation and assessment session.”

“I would also like to suggest that we book you in for a Fitness Age Assessment so we can establish a starting point for you. I will give you more details on what that entails during the session today.”

It’s a free service we provide to all new members in their first 6 weeks of membership.

Your Programme:

“The programme that I am recommending you follow is geared to ensure you achieve your goal of getting your weight down to 11 stone and to tone up your muscles particularly around the chest and arms.”

“It is designed around assuming you are training 2-3 times per week which you said you thought you could stick to. It will include both cardio (bikes, treadmills and steppers) and resistance equipment sessions (the weight-based kit).”

“I would like you to keep records of each session on this red card so that I can follow your progress and I will be showing you how to fill it in as we go forward today.”

“I would like you to complete a 30-minute CV workout at each visit and a 20-minute resistance session on 2 of your visits. That is a total workout time including warm up, cool down and stretching of approximately 1 hour per visit. Is that reasonable?”


“This is the area of the card where we manage the cardio section of your workout. To get the most from your workout we need to ensure that your heart rate beats at a certain level throughout your workout. This level is based on your age and exercise history. This we call your training zone and it’s based on the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines.”

“If you open your personal progress pack, you can see how your training zone is calculated. This pack is yours to keep. What we suggest is that you use it to monitor your body and fitness changes and there are a range of tests in it, which you can do at home.”

“Back to the programme card though and in the top right-hand corner of the card please put in the top 2 quarters the zone for weeks 1-4.”

“When we go into the gym shortly, I will be setting you up on the cardio machines at a level to ensure that your heart rate stays within this zone during your workout. Over the top of the zone, you are working too hard and too low not hard enough. I think that you will be surprised that you won’t have to work as hard to get the results as you might think.”

“Based on your training frequency, this card will manage your programme for the first 6 weeks or so and we would like to take the intensity up after you have been training for about a month hence the change in level. In the bottom 2 quarters please write 120 & 145.”

“Do you have a pulse monitor? We can sell you one, supply you one or we can simply show you how to take your own pulse rate using the neck or the wrist. Which would you prefer? The other side of this card is to record the resistance programme.”

“All our programmes are devised in accordance with guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine and the latest research has highlighted the benefits of training with resistance equipment to burn fat as part of a weight control programme. Please don’t worry about getting bulky, as this won’t happen with the regime, I am going to use with you. It will help tone and firm you. Basically, this type of training speeds the metabolic rate so calories are burned quicker – the secret of weight management.”

“I am going to prescribe you a programme comprising several repetitions on a particular piece of equipment and at a specific speed – both of which I will show you when we go into the gym. The crucial factor is that we will find a weight on each piece of equipment that you can only repeat a certain number of times before you tire completely that muscle. I will work that out for you and again I would like you to keep records of what happens at each workout.”

“The protocol I am going to use for your programme is a group of 8-12 repetitions on each piece of equipment. I would like you to perform each repetition at a speed of 2 seconds for the lifting phase and 4 seconds down for the lowering phase and I am going to ask you to perform this in 2 sets.”

“Now we will go into the gym and work out the right intensity levels for you.”

So, you have got as far as the practical, where you’re about to walk them into the gym.

Check out next week’s blog for part 2, where I’ll be showing you the best script and methods for the practical side of things.

Have you got your FREE quote yet for our Momentum SMART Progress Packs? Perfect for your members to keep track of their progress, and including things such as a body measure chart, strength and flexibility tests and 40 reasons to exercise, isn’t it time you made an enquiry now?

Click here for your free quote…

Looking for fun and exciting ways to onboard your new members? Then you need to be part of the New Member Onboarding Programme that we have to offer.

Click below to find out more and book an online demo today…



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