26 July, 2014

We all know the advantages of exercise from the unquestionable health benefits right through to the ‘feel good’ factor that comes for many of us after a session.

Given the benefits of exercise it’s surprising that everyone in the world doesn’t love exercise! Isn’t it?

Why doesn’t everyone jump out of bed at 5am with the urge to hit the pavement and welcome the new day? I know I do…, NOT!

I know the benefits, I know it makes me feel good and look healthy (well somewhat), yet I still frequently have a little internal battle with myself prior to exercising. It goes something like this…

Me:      OK lunch break, put my trainers on and hit the gym.

Me:      Or, go down to the local café and have a nice hot coffee, read the paper and chill out for a bit.

Me:      No! You really should do something, you haven’t exercised all week!

Me:      Café wins!

If I (a regular exerciser who is fit and healthy) struggle, how on earth are Personal Trainers meant to keep their clients motivated? Particularly clients who hate the thought of exercise, for example, those who may be training under sufferance because their doctor or partner told them they MUST exercise.

I would love to say it’s really simple, that I have 7 secrets to motivational heaven where every client is 30-minutes early for a warm up, greets you with a warm smile and hug, does everything you ask them to do without the slightest ‘grunt’ and thanks you before skipping out the door…, but the very simple fact is that motivating your clients can be hard work, VERY HARD WORK!

So instead of 7 secrets, here’s 4 basic tips you should definitely employ to help you keep your clients turning up…

  1. Understand. Get to know your clients personality quickly and adapt your techniques based on this. If you tried screaming and yelling at me at 6am in the morning I wouldn’t come back, whereas others may respond to this very well. Understand that not everyone is like you, in fact very few are. What motivates you won’t necessarily motivate your clients!
  2. Why? Ask new clients why they have come to you. Is it for weight loss, to build muscle, to run 10k, to happily run around with their kids, because their doctor told them to? This will give you an idea on where their motivation to see you is stemming from in the first place.

Remember their reason and use this when you chat to them throughout their sessions. When they seem like they are struggling, ask them why, listen to and address their answer, and remind them why they started training with you in the first place. If they have already achieved their initial goals – set new ones!

  1. Accountability. Encourage your clients to tell others about the goals they have set with you. Is there someone else they can train with that will make the process more enjoyable that will help keep them accountable?
  2. Routine. Encourage your clients to schedule it into their calendar from this day forward! No excuses, no pre-thinking about it, no internal battles. Many people who exercise regularly do so because it’s just like brushing their teeth. It’s just a part of their life that they do day in, day out. They don’t question it, they JUST DO IT (thanks Nike)!


So there you have it, 4 tips that you should employ if you haven’t already.

Now I’m off to the local café, eerrr I mean gym!


If you are a Trainer we would love to hear your tips and tricks when it comes to motivating clients. Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/AustralianFitnessAcademy


Written by Sarah Morrissey. Sarah is the Marketing Manager at Australian Fitness Academy and is probably easier to motivate than your general client base given that she does actually like to exercise (most of the time)!


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