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6 Steps to Motivating Clients to Change Fitness Habits

While we are in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, these uncertain times have constantly presented us with so many important things that demand our attention. With that reality in mind, it can be hard to know how to find the motivation to care for ourselves both mentally and physically. Even harder, is motivating clients to change.

As fitness professionals, trainers and mentors we need to know how to teach our clients the tools and confidence to get and stay motivated towards their fitness goals and growth. Throughout this article, we’ll discuss six steps to help motivate your clients and build client health all while growing your business in the process.

Step 1. Build Connections

Whether this is your client’s first time participating in a fitness program or your client has been working out for years, everybody needs a connection. Additionally, everybody wants to be a part of a community. The relationship between the client and their trainer is the single most important thing when training. This is what will make or break their motivation to work out and train with you. Luckily, it’s easy to maintain a good connection with your client as long as you are able to show that you care about their health. If you are invested in their growth, they will sense it and trust you. This will help them understand that you can apply the necessary skills to help get them where they want to be.

As people, we build connections by showing active interest and support in another person. Your client will need to feel that connection from you. Additionally, it’s tremendously helpful if they can build that connection with others that are focused on fitness. Here are two ways you can help build connections.

Social Media: Introduce them to online support or fitness groups. There they can join to ask questions, make friends, build confidence, and maintain motivation.

Show That You Care: Get to know their lives beyond the gym and physical fitness. Not only will this help you build a stronger relationship it will help you to understand anything in their lives that could hinder or help towards their fitness growth.

motivating clients to change fitness habits

Step 2. Create A Schedule

The best thing you can do for any client is to help them build new habits, and meet their fitness goals. Creating an organized, realistic, and detailed schedule is by far the most helpful tool for achieving a client’s goals.

Personal trainer apps with calendar functionality make this an easy task. Once you and your client have gone over the dates when you’ll meet in person or online, add it to a calendar you both have access to. After that is done then start adding in homework, achievement dates, and extra credit challenges. The more detailed and realistic, the easier it is for them to stay on track. This will help them build healthy habits, and track their progress.

At the next meet up go over the previous calendar and progress reports. Ask how your client felt about their workouts. Then, make any needed adjustments to the schedule for the time between the next visit. This will make motivating clients to change easier.

Step 3. Set Confidence Reminders

Part of showing that you care and building your client’s motivation means going above and beyond. This means communicating outside of appointments. A random message on a Tuesday telling them that you appreciate the commitment they’re showing can really build confidence. Or telling them that you hope they’re having a great week lets them know you care. These types of messages help give clients the confidence to continue trying their best.

Other helpful messages could be a daily reminder to drink water or a weekly quote of inspiration. It’s the little things that show people that you care. Therefore, they will want to continue improving with you. If you have too many clients these consistent reminders could feel like a little too much to handle. However, you can set time aside at the beginning of the week to schedule out reminders, quotes, and heartfelt messages. FitSW provides a handy message scheduling capability for exactly this purpose. You can schedule as many messages as you want anytime in the future. You can send them to groups or individual clients. It’s even possible to send voice or video memos.

Step 4. Be Present, Positive, and Personal

Lead by example and create a healthy environment geared towards achieving fitness growth. You want to teach your clients how to be positive, confident, and motivated. Therefore, you need to make sure that you are showing them that you are positive, confident, and motivated toward their growth. Show that you are there with them and invested in their success. Your client will see how present and positive you are with them. This will subconsciously rub off on how they talk about and see themselves. They will also look forward to coming into a supportive space with someone who cares about their success.

motivating clients to change habits

Step 5. Make it Fun!

Nobody wants to do something that is too repetitive, feels redundant, or is boring. We need to be challenged and feel engaged especially when doing something hard or physically demanding. Motivating clients to change under these conditions is extremely difficult.

If someone is asking for help and guidance on their workout routine, it could be because it is no longer fulfilling their wants or needs. Sometimes the best solution is to motivate them by finding new ways to exercise. This could mean switching up their routine, challenging them, and re-engaging them in funner activities. For example, if a client doesn’t feel motivated to do cardio because they hate running, have them do a dance workout or practice boxing.

There are also plenty of fitness challenges to gain inspiration from. Challenge them to one when meeting and see if they can keep it up daily for the rest of the week. Give rewards if they’re a reward-based learner. Offer a ten-percent discount by the end of the week if they record themselves doing twenty push-ups every day. There are tons of new ideas to keep fitness fun and engaging. If you use the right ones for the right clients, they will be motivated to continue progressing with you.

Step 6. Give Resources

As a personal trainer or fitness professional, you will only be with them a fraction of the time. When they are not with you they need to be able to progress on their own. To do this they need the right resources. Fitness, Health, and wellness don’t only consist of workout routines. There is so much false information on the internet about fitness and wellness that it can be hard to decipher what is helpful versus what isn’t.

Your clients can easily avoid this if you give them abundant quality resources on things like mental health, nutrition, meal planning, etc. This will help them feel more motivated and more easily progress towards their fitness goals. You can’t always be there motivating clients to change. However, if you give them resources you can help them stay motivated when you are not with them.

Build and Retain Your Client Base

By helping your clients achieve fitness growth and teaching the tools of motivation, you are simultaneously building trust and good trainer-client relationships. Therefore, if a client knows that you are invested in their success and they feel motivated by working with you, they will tell their friends that your business will grow. This will allow you to build and retain a well-rounded client base.

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