Personal training: How to motivate clients | Steppen
Your guide to personal training that motivates and inspires. Want to motivate your clients and achieve amazing results? Read on.
Let’s face it. Exercising is hard.
It’s about finding comfort in discomfort and pushing your body to achieve results. Whilst this challenge can encourage people to work harder, it’s also the reason why lots of people struggle to work out.
As a good online fitness coach, this makes your job difficult, because you need to motivate your clients and teach them to find pleasure in these painful moments.
We’re going to highlight the best ways to motivate and train your clients both online and offline to help them reach their fitness goals.
8 tips to motivate your Personal Training clients
Motivation is critical to your success as a personal trainer. If your clients aren’t feeling motivated by you, they’re likely to put their fitness on hold or search for another solution.
Our key tips for motivating personal training clients are:
- Get to know your clients
- Be sure to put fun at the heart of your strategy
- Set realistic goals
- Show clients that you care
- Personalise your programs
- Set homework
- Vary your workouts
- Motivate with technology (social media, apps to track progress)
Ways Personal Trainers can increase client motivation
Let’s delve into each tip in more detail.
Get to know your clients
This tip is fairly straightforward, but getting to know your clients will help you find the best ways to motivate them.
Remember that all of your clients are different, and different people prefer different training styles. Some people like tough love, whilst others resonate with a gentler approach. Get to know your clients and their personality traits, and figure out the best ways to motivate them.
Take the time to understand their lifestyle. Outside of their sessions with you, are they someone that can only dedicate 15–20 mins to a workout at a time? Or even 10? Great!
Create a training program that provides a range of 10-minute workouts that they can slot in throughout their busy day and stay on track until their next personal training session.
It’s also important to assess each client’s goals. Finding out what your clients want to achieve will help you create the perfect program that motivates them.
Make exercising fun and exciting
Exercising can get really boring. If your clients get bored, they’re more likely to get distracted, which can impact their motivation, effort and form.
To combat boredom, make your training sessions fun by:
- Keeping clients entertained. Whether this means chatting to clients who need a conversation to distract them from their pain, or pumping your client’s favourite tunes.
- Find out what your clients like, and incorporate these things into their training programs.
- Incorporate challenges into your sessions, as achieving small goals will gratify and motivate your clients.
- Add variety from time to time to prevent boredom. Move out of the gym or garage and change up your setting by exercising in the park.
- Add some new exercises to your sessions. There is a range of different exercises that your clients can do to target the same muscle group so mix it up.
Set realistic goals
Sometimes, clients tend to set huge goals that cannot be met in the short term. Failure to achieve these goals quickly can cause clients to feel helpless. To motivate your clients, it’s better to break up their overall goals into smaller, achievable goals.
Breaking up goals will give your clients more to look forward to. Creating a training program with incremental increases in reps, volume and time will also make their sessions more fulfilling, as they’re able to work towards multiple smaller goals, rather than one big goal.
Show your clients that you care about helping them achieve their goals
As their trainer, your clients look up to you. They want your support and validation, and they want to know that you’re genuinely there for them.
It’s important to show your clients that you care about them, and there are many ways to do this, including:
- Share their happiness when they’ve achieved a goal.
- Telling them you’re proud of them.
- Staying in touch with them between sessions by sending motivating texts or checking in with their progress.
For your clients, the knowledge that a fitness professional believes in them will make them more likely to believe in themselves. So cheer your clients on, and show them that you care, because this is the ultimate motivator.
How to manage personal training clients
It’s not enough to just motivate your clients.
It’s also important to create effective training programs that bring about results.
The following tips will help you get the most out of your clients during your training sessions:
Personalise your programs
Everyone’s pain thresholds and preferred training styles are different.
As such, it’s crucial to base each client’s program on their individual goals and motivations.
It’s also important to consider the fitness levels and physical conditions of each of your clients, as this will inform how you create your training program.
Creating a tailored program for each client will help them effectively achieve their goals.
Give your clients things to do between PT sessions
Whilst PT sessions are a great way to help people achieve their goals, the time in between these sessions matters too.
Clients who aren’t maintaining their fitness during their time away from their trainer are less likely to see long-term results, which often contributes to a drop in motivation.
Give your clients direction and provide them with exercise and diet tips to incorporate into their lives so they’re getting the most out of their training programs.
If your clients are prioritising their health throughout the week, they’ll be able to see greater results.
Make sure your programs are varied
Adding variety to your programs will help your clients get the most out of their training sessions.
When we complete the same workout routine week after week, our bodies begin to acclimatise to these workouts, making them less effective over time.
To grow and become stronger, our bodies need to be challenged and they need to endure stress.
Changing up your programs not only motivates clients but also helps you train them more effectively, allowing them to reach their goals. Variety also challenges the body, keeps your clients on their toes, and makes training sessions more fun and rewarding.
How to use technology to your advantage as a PT
Technology has become an invaluable tool in many areas of our lives, and physical activity is no exception.
When it comes to personal training, you can use technology to motivate and monitor your clients to help them achieve more effective results.
Technology removes the barriers of location
Thanks to video chat technologies, PTs can train their clients virtually.
This is helpful in a variety of situations, including:
- If your client has a small window of time to exercise, leaving no time to travel.
- If you live far from a client.
- If your clients feel more comfortable in their own presence.
- If you’re sick but still want to train your clients.
- If your client already has good form but needs your voice to motivate them.
- If you want to run big classes but don’t have enough physical space.
Social media is a powerful motivational tool
If your clients are looking for some additional motivation, trainers can use social media to:
- Share inspirational images or quotes.
- Share workouts or workout ideas they find online.
- Create small, private communities with their clients, where they can all post updates and motivate each other.
Social media has the power to help trainers strengthen their bonds with their clients, which will increase their motivation when it’s time to train.
Technology helps you keep track of your progress
Most importantly, technology provides your clients with invaluable data.
This data has two sole purposes:
- It allows clients to see their progress by visualising results through metrics. This gives clients more motivation, as they’re able to see tangible achievements.
- It helps trainers determine whether their sessions are effective, or if programs need to be tweaked. This helps trainers create the best programs they possibly can.
There are many great ways to track progress, whether this is through the Steppen app, or through wearable devices.
Using technology to your advantage is pivotal, as without tracking progress, it’s difficult to tell whether training programs are working effectively.
How to help clients reach their fitness goals
When it comes to helping your clients reach their goals, it’s important that:
Fitness goals follow the SMART formula:
The SMART goal setting formula contains the essential ingredients for creating goals that are likely to succeed.
SMART goals need to be:
Specific: Goals need to be stated clearly. It’s easier to achieve a well-defined goal than one that’s confusing and broad.
Measurable: Successful goals need to be measurable so they can be tracked for progress. If a goal isn’t measurable, it’s difficult to determine whether it’ll be effective.
Achievable: Goals need to be set within the bounds of the client’s capabilities. This reduces the possibility of setting goals that are destined to fail.
Relevant: Goals need to line up with the results your clients want to achieve.
Timely: All goals should have a deadline, as this will challenge your clients. Timeliness also helps clients stay motivated toward achieving their goals.
Clients are being properly educated
It’s important to teach your clients the correct form and technique, as well as explaining the “why” behind every movement.
If your clients know why they’re doing what they’re doing, they’re more likely to do it correctly, helping them reach their fitness goals.
Personal training is more than just delivering a training program. It’s about getting to know your clients, creating realistic goals and being a source of motivation. Putting effort into your training programs will help you get the most out of your clients, and Steppen gives you the perfect platform to start this journey.
Want to learn more about being a good fitness coach? Check out our other articles or become a Steppen Creator.