How Effective Are You As a Personal Trainer?

When it comes to cueing exercise, we see the same error so often that we have given a name to the affliction that leads to this error: “VERBAL DIARRHEA.” Yes, this is a thing. How do you know if you have it? Next time you cue a client, ask them to repeat all the cues that you said. If they cannot repeat 80% of what you said then you, our friend, may be suffering from this affliction. Don’t despair. We have a solution for you and it is called the DECA Approach.

What is DECA?

Explain (using verbal and physical cues_
Correct (using the same verbal and physical cues)


Teaching exercise, as well as other movement-based skills, fall into what we call the psychomotor domain of learning. Anita Harrow, E.J. Simpson, and R.H. Dave are all influential instructional design authors from the 1970’s who focused on how to teach physical skills. Each has influenced how we develop DTS course material, and the R.H. Dave or Dave’s level of skills model serves as the foundation of our DECA approach.

The Dave’s Level of skill model outlines 5 levels of development in skill acquisition:

Level 1 – Imitation – watching the actions of another person. Demonstrate in DECA.

Level 2 – Manipulation – performing action following direction. Explain in DECA.

Level 3 – Precision – performing action in more precise manner. Correct in DECA.

Level 4 – Articulation – demonstrating competence in executing the action. Affirm in DECA.

Level 5 – Naturalization – high level of performance / natural movement habit. Result of DECA.

To be an effective Movement Coach / Personal Trainer / Health Coach, you have to follow a system. If you don’t have a system, we invite you to use our DECA approach and to watch the accompanying video to learn the nuts and bolts of how to apply the DECA approach effectively.