What is the Initial Evaluation? And Why is it Important? - Foundry Personal Training Gyms

What is the Initial Evaluation? And Why is it Important?

Welcome to Foundry, where getting strong and healthy is a different experience.

No more walking in to a disinterested receptionist and wandering around the gym feeling intimidated and overwhelmed. And no more expensive 1:1 personal training which leaves you feeling flat (and your wallet even flatter).

Instead, we start every member’s journey with a personalised initial evaluation with one of our friendly, expert coaches. 

What makes the evaluation so important? Let’s break it down:
  • It’s personal

The evaluation isn’t meaningless box-ticking: we take the time to get to know you, understand your goals, address your concerns, and meet you where you’re at.  So every time you walk through our doors, you’ll feel welcome and ‘seen’ – and all our coaches will be able to support you as you progress over the days, weeks, and months. 

  • It’s transparent

A big part of newcomers’ anxiety about starting at the gym is simply not knowing what to expect. The evaluation lays out the process for you, so you know exactly what’s coming next. Rather than chucking you in at the deep end with a session upfront, the evaluation is a 1:1 chat where you can have the time and space to get to know us and get any questions answered. 

  • It’s tailor-made

No two individuals are alike, and neither are their fitness journeys. Through our evaluation, we chat about your fitness level, any past injuries, and what you want to achieve. This allows us to tailor our coaching to suit your unique needs, getting you the results you’re looking for (while keeping you safe and injury-free). 

Here are coaches Georgey and Aran chatting through the Evaluation:

The Evaluation Process

Every evaluation is split into four broad phases, each lasting 10-15 minutes:

#1 The Meet and Greet

You’re welcomed with a smile – the coaches will know you’re coming and who you are. If you’re a bit early, you can relax in one of our chillout areas and enjoy the free (bean to cup) coffee while you wait.

The coach will intro themselves and any other team members who are around – they’ll probably be one of our Head Coaches who oversees the gym and the experience for all new Challengers (but all our staff are qualified to deliver evaluations, so you may get someone else). They’ll briefly run through what the session will consist of, and what you’ll get out of it. 

Your coach will give you a tour of the gym, showers, and changing rooms and explain a bit about how things work. Our bread and butter is Small Group Personal Training, with unlimited group classes that complement the PT.

You’ll see our gyms look a bit different from ‘mainstream’ gyms. We focus on building functional strength and mobility that helps you feel confident and capable in your everyday life – and our equipment choices reflect that. 

#2 The exploratory chat

This is where the coach gets to know you. In a relaxed, informal chat, they’ll gather some information about you as a person. 

  • Why have you decided to try the gym? 

A lot of people will come in with aesthetically driven goals (I want to get slim/look toned/build muscle etc). The coach will take note of this and talk about the ‘why’ behind that goal (to feel more confident/to live longer and spend time with kids or grandkids etc). This insight is really helpful for the coaching team to understand what motivates you – and how best to get you the results you’re looking for.

  • What do you hope to achieve? 

We don’t expect you to come in with a really specific idea of your goals, so this will be a general chat without specifics. Your coach will encourage you to discuss your aspirations for both the short and the long term here, to get an idea of the bigger picture. 

  • What’s your exercise history? 

This is the time to talk through what exercise you’re doing or have done in the past. The coach will take note of any past injuries or health conditions, minor or major, so they can share them with the team and ensure we can work together to strengthen you and keep you safe. 

#3 The movement screen

Every person that walks through our doors is unique. SOme did sport when they were younger, but haven’t exercised in a long time. Others have a basis of fitness, but want to level up and get stronger/faster/healthier. And most have picked up some niggles or aches in the course of life.

The movement screen does what it says on the tin. We want to see how you move, if any movements are uncomfortable, and if there are any areas that need improvement. Again, this isn’t a test – there’s no pass or fail. We’re simply getting an understanding of your current state so we can help plan your progress from that point forward. 

The movement screen is essentially a scaled back, simple sample workout which also means you get a taste of how our sessions feel. 

At this point, we’ll also give you the option to hop on our body composition analysis machine. This measures your body fat percentage, lean muscle mass, and weight. A lot of our members find this a more accurate way of measuring progress than simply standing on the scales, and taking a reading at the evaluation gives you a snapshot of your starting point. If you feel uncomfortable about doing this, though – no worries, we can skip it and revisit it a few weeks or months down the line (or not at all) if that suits you better.

#4 The nuts and bolts

The final stage of the evaluation is all about helping you feel ready to walk through the door for your first session.

  • We’ll show you how to book and cancel sessions through the Foundry app
  • Take you on a ‘dry run’ through the booking process – and get your first session in the diary
  • Let you know exactly what will happen when you turn up for your first session, including practicalities like what to wear and bring, where to park, how long you should expect to be there, when to arrive.

This stage plans to remove any unknowns that could make the idea of coming back off-putting.

Overall, the goal of the evaluation is to lay the foundation for you feeling welcome and confident every time you visit the gym. It also gives the coaching team all the info they need to personalise their coaching to you: your capability level, your confidence level, and what you want to get out of your gym experience. 

If you’d like to come along and give Foundry a try, you can register for our 21-Day Challenge. This is 21 days at Foundry to allow you to ‘try before you buy’ – to get a taste of membership before you sign up. And of course, it starts with the Initial Evaluation. 

Click here to find out more. 


Related Articles


Join our mailing list