Monitoring Progress

In order to motivate your clients to stick to an exercise program it is important to ensure that exercise is only one component lifestyle change. If they are able to include exercise in their lifestyle and complement that with positive lifestyle changes that engage the six sources of influence, then they will be well on their way to reaching their SMART goals.


If a client is able to visibly track their progress they are more likely to adhere to the prescribe exercise program. Tools which can be used by the client to track their progress include:

• Phone apps
• Internet Apps
• Workout logs
• Heart Rate monitors
• Pedometers

These tools are best utilized in conjunction with each other, as individually they may not convey the complete picture to the client.

As an example; workout logs in the form of a logbook, phone app or internet app can only track progress but are unable to record subjective data. This is where a heart rate monitor or pedometer becomes effective. The HR monitor and pedometer are able to record subjective data which can be recorded or uploaded.
An alternative method to monitoring can be the use of a Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale, which can be used as an alternative to a HR monitor or pedometer. This is cheaper and often just as accurate. However, if the client enjoys the technology in terms of health apps on their phone or pc, then a HR monitor or pedometer is advised as data from these devices can be synched with online resources or applications.

Social Support

Social support is vital in assisting clients achieve their goals.

Type of SupportExample
EmotionalSpouse taking a walk with client
Friend calling to encourage
Group fitness instructor encouraging your clients during group fitness class
TangibleSpouse offers to cook dinner while client trains
Family member offers to watch kids
Spouse buys groceries for client to allow more time to train
InformationalEmails from health websites about how to incorporate exercise into lifestyle
Handouts on new exercise routines
Magazine subscriptions
PraiseSpouse praises clients progress
Co-workers provide client with positive feedback

Identifying the social support required by the client will assist the trainer in designing an effective exercise program which meets the client’s goals and needs, as well as identifying the correct motivation mechanisms for the client.