Motivation is a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way. As a coach, we want our clients to be motivated towards both exercise and nutrition.
While motivation is largely internal and down to personal values, there are ways to keep your clients motivated and on track.The last thing you want is for a client to give up, we can heavily influence whether or not this happens.
First and foremost, when a client first begins with me I give them a questionnaire to fill out, like most trainers do. But in my list of questions includes “What are your goals, be specific”, “Is there a specific time frame you wish to achieve these goals by?” These are very basic questions but they can be used to our advantage. If a client isn’t working towards or progressing towards something the chances of them giving up are quite high. Asking this simple question might make them realise what it is they actually want from personal training. You can use this information to push your client, keep them accountable and reinforce why they’re doing it in the first place.
Along with asking specific questions like the above, I take measurements (Weight, Body fat percentages, tape measurements). If the client is comfortable with it i also take a picture from the front, back and two sides or ask them to get someone to do it at home.
As someone who regularly goes to the gym, I find it hard to notice my own progress, I see my arms everyday in the gym and they never look bigger than the previous day, and so they shouldn’t. You won’t notice physical changes in your body over a matter of days but you will after a couple of weeks. Having measurements and pictures play a huge role in keeping a client motivated. Just like you, they need to know they’re progressing and they need to know its working. Which is why I compare pictures I took months apart, so I can notice real progress in myself.
Stay in touch with them. This might seem quite obvious but it is generally one of the things I see many coaches failing to do. Personal training is much more than just a one to one session. You’re a coach, it is your job to better the lives of other people. If a client comes to you twice a week, you see them for 2 out of 168 hours in a week. That’s a lot of time without your help. Thanks to social media you can offer your help beyond the duration of the one to one session. You can ask them how they’re doing, how their diet is going, how they felt after the last session etc. Keeping in contact with a coach can do wonders for a client’s motivation, simply having someone that checks up on you and someone you want to make proud will keep you focused.
Be positive, something that needs no introduction. Some clients will be very self-critical and you’ll never fully understand what’s going on inside someone else’s mind but you can certainly have an influence over it . Praise your clients, tell them how good they’re doing, reassure them. Positivity breeds positivity. If a client comes to you with a problem or tells you they’ve gone off track, reassure them that it’s not the end of the world and push them to overcoming their next obstacle or reaching their next goal. A negative attitude can
Last but not least, make it fun. Your clients should not be dreading coming to you for fear of havings DOMS for days. Going so intense that it takes 4 days for their legs to recover might seem great from the onset, but it isn’t. It is less than ideal and unnecessary. Create a programme based on what they like, what they want to do and not the newest cool exercise that’s meant to get you ripped. Everything works. Sticking to a training plan they enjoy will promote both their success rate and their motivation. The client always comes first and fun should always be reinforced, if it’s enjoyable motivation will come naturally.