Working as a personal trainer, you may have seen several clients struggle with motivation. Sadly, when motivation dips, clients may drop out and abandon their fitness goals.
Whilst “quick fixes” for motivation might sound appealing, they are unlikely to lead to long-term improvements. This is because a quick fix won’t last long enough to truly have a positive impact on someone’s fitness journey. Rather than suggesting a fad that won’t keep your clients’ motivation high for long, you need to encourage the development of a mindset that will lead to long-lasting success. By supporting your clients in developing healthy habits and building resilience, you will observe the required behaviour changes that will then nurture their motivation organically.
Here we will look at four key motivation techniques designed to aid client motivation and success.
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The first step is to have the correct approach with each client right from the start.
Personal training clients are investing in a fitness trainer who can help them maintain a positive attitude and stay motivated to achieve their fitness goals. Being able to personally connect with clients is essential to help build resilience in a system and a person they trust.
Because personal training offers small group or individual coaching, clients will expect a more personal approach than with a standard gym membership. By demonstrating:
You will build rapport so that your clients trust and value your input and advice.
Once this trust is in place, clients will feel more confident disclosing their challenges or difficulties. When clients confide in you, suggesting individualised changes to their programme or giving some specific encouragement may be all that is required to prevent a client from giving up.
Your clients will all have different goals in mind. Some will want to focus on overall wellness, whilst others will have a specific fitness objective in mind. It is vital to appropriately assess your clients and understand what they want to get out of personal training. Once you understand their short- and long-term goals, you can support them by bolstering their resilience.
The fitness industry has taken advantage of technology. Clients can benefit from a personalised action plan, management software or the use of a personal training app to track their progress.
Help your clients create a realistic timeline for goal success, and then celebrate their achievements with them. This form of encouragement will support their perseverance and emphasise the importance of personal accountability for goals.
Clients might train with you on a one-to-one basis, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t build a motivational community for them to join, too. Becoming part of a real-life or virtual fitness community can help to build a sense of identity and belonging.
Set up a group on social media, such as Facebook, where clients can post their successes, ask for advice, or offer tips. Set up community challenges, with prizes such as free coaching sessions.
Having an online presence is a great way to keep your clients committed to their goals. It is also an opportune way to promote boot camp sessions and advertise reward schemes, which will also help your clients progress.
To find out more about how you can build your presence as an online fitness professional beyond the standard business training for Personal Trainers, check out our upcoming Coaching Fitness Online course.
There may be times when clients have bad days or complain of setbacks. While this is completely normal and to be expected, this is the time when you will need to work hardest to restore a client’s resilience.
Building on the rapport you have already developed and focusing on their goals, employ motivational communication techniques to get them back on track.
Motivational communication involves maintaining a positive attitude and being patient. Use their progress tracker to prove how far they have come, and compliment them on their development. Reassess fitness goals to make them more attainable if necessary. These techniques can truly boost a client’s self-esteem.
To maintain motivation, you’ll need to be creative. Even if your client is seeing good results, boredom can lead to waning enthusiasm. Add new fitness routines, sets or sessions to keep interest levels high.
Lean on your social media for added motivation, too. Share motivational messages, praise your clients for their achievements, and reward one or two members with small prizes each month to keep morale high.
There is no quick fix for motivating your clients to achieve their long-term fitness goals. Motivation is a behaviour that occurs through the development of resilience and an ongoing drive to succeed. Rather than taking shortcuts, develop a good rapport with your clients, understand their goals and build a community with a sense of belonging to keep motivation levels high.
To enhance your knowledge in these areas, take a look at our recommended CPD study list: