Personal Trainers: How to Motivate Your Discouraged Clients

Personal Training

Personal Trainers: How to Motivate Your Discouraged Clients

The road to better fitness is not always easy. In fact, it is often fraught with challenges that may cause your clients to feel pessimistic about their progress. Here are some tips for how to motivate your discouraged clients to keep them forging ahead.

1. Accentuate the Positive

According to the National Personal Training Institute, focusing on the positives rather than the problems promotes better performance. Look for ways you can honestly praise your clients, and be generous with your compliments. If they sense that they have a support system and feel emotionally safe, they will be more likely to have a good attitude. Use tact when giving them feedback in how to improve.

2. Don't Push and Shove

Fitness expert Jill Coleman advocates a system called rest-based training in the Personal Trainer Development Center. It is a sensible alternative to the push-and-shove military-style training methods. She advises against the approach of saying things like "Don't stop! Keep going!" Instead, she recommends telling your clients to rest whenever they feel the need during workouts. This strategy makes sense because exhaustion can dampen motivation.

3. Establish Goals

Work with your clients to set personalized goals. This will eliminate any vagueness associated with the general idea of pursuing fitness and give them a clear game plan to follow. Establish long-term goals as well as short-term attainable ones. Experience Life aptly compares fitness goals to a business blueprint, a plan that provides a framework in which to gauge success. As clients see themselves reach milestones, they will gain confidence.

4. Track Progress

Keep an ongoing record of your clients' progress, including intensity levels and workout times. Sometimes they can forget how far they have come since they started their quest to increase their fitness level. When you remind them of what they have already achieved, it can encourage them when they aren't progressing as quickly as they would like.

5. Reward Small Victories

Congratulate clients heartily when they reach goals. You may also want to reward them with a perk like a free training session. In addition, Australian Fitness Academy proposes helping clients set incentives on how they are going to mark such occasions. These celebratory measures might include buying themselves a small gift or indulging in a cup of gourmet coffee.

6. Introduce the Social Element

All people, even the shy ones, are innately social creatures. Introduce your clients to everyone working out in the training room, and whenever possible, try to give them rest breaks at the same time. This can help foster interactions among them and lead to the development of friendships. Even casual relationships with others who are on a fitness journey can give your clients a network of people to cheer them on their way.

7. Be a Good Example

Set a good example of a fitness enthusiast by having an upbeat attitude consistently. When your clients walk in, smile and say something like "We're going to have a fantastic training period today." Attitudes can be contagious, so avoid negative talk about your own fitness struggles.

If you implement these guidelines, you will create a fun, affirmative environment for your clients' workouts. In this kind of atmosphere, it is more likely that any episodes of discouragement they may experience will be brief. When you see your protégées succeed, all your efforts to maintain their motivation will seem worthwhile.

Personal trainers, what motivation techniques have given you good results with your clients?