One of the most important traits you must possess as a personal trainer is to be extremely motivating. In most cases this is the number one reason that your client hires you in the first place. If every single person had the motivation to get themselves to the gym, put themselves through tough workout and eat healthy all the time, not as many people would need a personal trainer. The success of your client directly stems from how hard they work and how motivated they are. Then a lot of the motivation comes from you! The first few sessions with the new client are some most important ones because their perception of how much work they need to put forth in order to achieve their goal needs to be set by you. One of the most common reasons people quit working out is because they do not see results quickly enough. It is your job to show them that they actually are making progress and motivate them to continue the same lifestyle that you are setting for them! This article is dedicated to keeping your clients motivated so that they can reach their goals and be successful. This also impacts trainers because if people see your clients reaching their goals and will reflect on how good of a trainer you are! And if you can get all of your clients great results, you’ll end up making more money as a trainer!
Smother your clients with informative and inspiring resources
When I was in high school and just getting interested in health and fitness, one of my biggest motivating factors was reading magazines such as men’s health and muscle and fitness. Watching the news or reading magazine articles on health and fitness and seeing the results that it has provided people is extremely motivating. Seeing other people have success triggers something in your brain that gives you confidence that you can do it as well. You can use these techniques with your clients as well! You can either give an old magazine article that you own or point them to great resources online. Some great online resources include http://www.exrx.net or bodybuilding.com! On both of these websites there are hundreds of exercises as well as dietary information! Every time I see a new exercise that I’ve never tried before I can’t wait to get in the gym to test it out! Keep pushing information on your clients and I will bet that they will come in to the gym more enthusiastic for the workout!
Keep quantitative measurements to show your clients they are on the right path
As it talked about in the introduction paragraph, the most common time to quit exercise is during the first month or so of an exercise program. The reason for this is that they have not had enough time to change how they look all that much. If they look in the mirror and they probably won’t be able to see a big difference. They might be asking themselves why they pay so much money for something that is not even working? That is why it is your job to show them using quantitative data that they actually are making progress and that they shouldn’t just trust their mirror. Prior to your very first training session with the new client, you should take beginning measurements to have a baseline from where they are starting. Measurements that you should take include body weight, circumference measurements (hips, Billy, arms etc) and body fat percentage. These three should be the minimum quantitative data that you record on the first meeting. When it comes to circumference measurements, make sure you use the exact same method and location that you did every time, in order to get accurate results! Circumference measurements should be done every month or so. The reason you do not want to do measurements every week is because sometimes measurements will not change and you do not want to be discouraging to your clients. Measurements and body fat should be noticeably different after a months time if they are following your advice with diet and exercise. By showing your clients this quantitative data (1% less body fat and 1 inch off their waist etc) it will be extremely motivating for them to keep on track with their diet and exercise!
Make sure to complement your clients on a regular basis
Aside from showing your clients how far they have come, it is extremely important to point out progress that they’re making even if it’s minor. Your clients take what you say extremely personally and your opinion is extremely valuable to them. I’m not saying that you should lie and tell them that they are progressing, if they actually aren’t. But if you notice that they have improved by a few repetitions on a certain exercise, let them know that! Don’t get me wrong, most of the time you will be showing them what they are doing wrong because they will most likely have lots of faults, especially at the beginning. But when they do something correctly (especially for the first time), have made improvements, or you notice a physical difference, you need to tell them! If they reach a goal (no matter how small) such as finally being able to bench press 135 lb, put a high-five up and tell them enthusiastically “that rocks!”. You should have a fine balance between compliments and giving them constructive criticism of about one to three. All of these encouragements no matter how small will build self-esteem in your client and make them more motivated to continue!
Let me know if you have any additional tips on how to motivate your clients! Shoot me a comment down below and let me know if these tactics are working for you and your clients! Obviously there are plenty other motivational tips that can be used by personal trainers but these are my top three that I use frequently. Also if you found this article helpful please let any of your personal training friends know about it I would greatly appreciate it have a great day everyone! Check out some of my other personal training tip articles such as: how to sell personal training and my favorite personal training software programs to make your training much easier!
Tyler Read has a Masters of Science in Kinesiology. Tyler is also a certified personal trainer with NASM, ACE, NSCA and NSCA CSCS. Tyler’s main goal is to help people get started in the personal training industry and to become successful personal trainers.