Exercise program maintenance is often difficult for clients who struggle to reach their goals or they reach plateau points in their development. Often clients start an exercise program with a great deal of enthusiasm but over time their interest in the program waivers. As a trainer, you are required to motivate continued engagement with the program. Here are a few strategies that you can use to do this.
• After a good workout people often feel exhilarated, as if they are on a high. Remind clients of this feeling and structure their programs around the type of workouts that stimulate this response from them.
• Reinforce the client’s reason for training. For example, if a client uses exercise as a form of “me-time”, allow them to escape their everyday life through exercise. If the client is engaging in exercise for health reasons, keep them motivated by reminding them of why they started exercising and what improvements they have made.
• Use data to motivate your clients. It is important to use more than just the scale to gage development. Use as much data as you can including, weight, circumference measurements, body fat%, calorie expenditure, etc. Keep records and exercise logs to show client developments.
• Make the actual workouts fun for the client. Every client has their own individual definition of fun while exercising. Get to know your clients well enough to know what workouts ensure that the client enjoys what they are doing while still being challenged and feeling a sense of accomplishment at the end of the workout.
• Use fitness trends and information to motivate your clients. This is not to say that you should follow every training fad that comes along. Rather, engage your clients in developing an understanding of fitness and be open to their desire to discuss fitness trends that they may be exposed to in the gym, through magazines, on the internet, etc.
• Use the success stories of others to motivate your clients. Remind your clients that everybody that engages in an exercise program is working towards a goal. For beginner clients, it is important to remind them that everybody has to start somewhere.
• Rewards are an important part of exercise. Grueling exercise without a break or without reward for one’s effort can lead to burn out and ultimately to clients dropping out of a program.
• Exercise is a major stress reliever for many people. Allow your clients to have their time to relieve stress Don’t let exercise become and added stress to their lives.
• Inspirational posters, video clips and quotes can be used to boost clients. A good idea is to stay connected to your clients even when you are not with them. Social media is a great tool for staying connected to your clients. A simple text message can motivate your clients to stay on track with their exercise program.
Simply being supportive and a part of the client’s journey towards their goals can go a long way towards motivating them to exercise and making important lifestyle changes. The above examples are only a few of the ways that you as a trainer can motivate your client.