20 December, 2018

As Personal Trainers, we all love the clients who give it their all during sessions and are committed to their goals. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing your client’s body and confidence change, knowing you had an impact in helping them while celebrating the wins along the way.

What about the clients who seem to have lost motivation, despite your efforts to train and encourage them? Even though they are still showing up to their PT sessions, you can tell they just aren’t getting the results they could be. It’s not uncommon, we all lack motivation at one time of another.

Do you leave them be, and let them get out of their funk in their own time?

Well, you could. After all, they are showing up to their PT sessions and paying their weekly fee. However, you could try these tactics to assist your clients to be their best, which are designed to empower them to take ownership of their goals.

1. Go General

Of course, it’s great to set targets with your clients which are based on weight, measurements or any other specific goal that is measurable. However, some people are not programmed to find this motivating, in fact, it could be quite demotivating. This may be because their brain is focused on the fear of not achieving the goal and therefore that daunting task ahead of them feels completely deflating.

Sit down with your client and ask them to chat about what really excites them—do they want to be able to do a handstand? An unassisted pull up? Do they want to feel lighter in their clothing? Find something that excites them, and then use this to pull on their emotional strings by reminding them during their sessions what they are working towards.

2. Exclusive Group Sessions

Most people love group sessions because they get the social aspect of meeting new people as well as accountability. You could do 1 group session a week for all your PT clients, the price of this could be built into the price of your PT sessions as a value-add or you could charge an additional rate such as $15 or $20 pp. You could use the Group Fitness Room when there definitely isn’t a class running or to mix things up you could do it at a nearby park or beach.

If you would like to try this option, look up on the internet some partner and team building exercises for fitness groups that you could do at the start or end of each session to help build rapport between all participants. If administered well, you may find that your PT clients will stay motivated and loyal. Additionally, this can be a point of difference to attract other PT clients.

3. Do what they love and enjoy

Find out what your client loves to do.

For example, if your client has a sporting hobby such as tennis or golf, design exercises that are specific to this sport and explain how this will help them. Tying this into their program will help give their sessions meaning which can lead to an increase in motivation.

If your client doesn’t have a sporting hobby, find out what they do love doing! Do they love calisthenics, dancing, yoga? You can then design programs based on these activities.

If your client doesn’t seem to have any activities they really enjoy, you will need to dig deeper. For example, if they have kids, it may be meaningful to them to be able to run around after them and feel fit. They may want to be a role model for them. Find out their why and help them connect with it regularly.


Motivation plays a very important role in someone keeping fit and taking some time to find out what your clients like and how to motivate them will not only improve their workouts and attendance but will also ensure you have a long and happy relationship with your client.

Written by:

Eleni Coroneos

Student Support Officer

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