For fitness enthusiasts, going to the gym is their way of relieving stress and making time for themselves. However, some people can’t seem to ease their way into the thought of socializing with others at the gym. They don’t like working out with people looking or staring at them. They may feel intimidated by gym-goers who are in much better shape. This is called gym anxiety. A key part of being a gym owner or fitness coach is to help clients overcome gym anxiety.
If you’re a gym owner or instructor, you’d surely want your clients’ anxiety to be alleviated if not completely gone. While it may not be part of the job description, it can help clients feel more secure knowing that their instructors are going the extra mile just to help them out. Moreover, your gym can’t afford to lose clients over a matter you could have done something about.
Listen To Client Concerns
Say you know a client who just suddenly disappeared after a day of working out, and you have no idea why. You can initiate communication by reaching out through text. Ask how they are and what they can say about the gym experience they had. See if you could talk them into telling the reason they’re no longer interested to show up. Sometimes, the reason could be something as simple as being worried about sweating in a public place, or maybe they’re not comfortable joining group classes. By being a non-judgemental fitness coach and building a rapport with clients you can gain more insights from them. If your client feels comfortable with you, then they will be more likely to share what the real issue is.
At times, it could be that your clients are not too confident doing some of the routines, so they started losing motivation. In such cases, you could consider inviting them to give it a try again. If they accept, teach them the routines step by step. Ask them if they like to start with something easier such as resistance training. Then you can have them slowly build their way up to tougher ones like a 10 x 10 routine. Try to make them feel that the decision is theirs and that they have full control of what they’re comfortable doing.
Help Build Client Confidence
There are typically two types of gym-goers – those who want to maintain their bodies and those who are looking to build their confidence. You probably know how to deal with the first one. The second type would most likely be the clients who are going through gym anxiety. You can make a huge difference in their fitness journey if you can help these clients overcome gym anxiety early on.
To help them build their confidence, you could try these tips:
- Give feedback on how they’re doing.
- Let them know they’re doing a great job.
- Encourage them to keep going because hard work always pays off.
- Help them manage their thoughts by making small talk upon their arrival. They’ll feel more at ease knowing that you’re around to help them any time they need it.
You can also make suggestions on several gym shoes, clothes, and accessories that will work for their body type and training needs. If they feel that the clothes that they’re wearing make them look better, they’ll grow their confidence over time.
Slow Fitness Improvement Is Improvement
Sometimes, clients think that there’s no point in going to the gym if they’re not getting dramatic results right away. It may be because they’re hoping for an instant improvement. You may help them understand that everything is a process. Let them know that it takes time for the improvements in their health to manifest themselves into aesthetic improvement.
Encourage clients to keep going because the result will be what they’re hoping for. As long as they commit to their routines and work harder than ever, no effort will be wasted. You could also give them suggestions regarding their lifestyle and eating habits to maximize the results of their training. However, make sure that you’re giving suggestions in a way that they won’t feel like you’re overstepping.
As mentioned, they should feel in control of their lives and decisions. That might help in easing their anxiety, as well as other factors that are stressing them out in their personal or professional lives.
Overcoming Gym Anxiety Takeaway
While working out feels like an easy routine for some, it’s not always the case for everyone. Your clients may be feeling gym anxiety without you knowing it. There’s nothing wrong with reaching out to them to let them know that you’re waiting for them to go back to training again. In fact, it’s the most correct thing to do.
Keeping a fit and healthy lifestyle should be a way to improve themselves and not to become a burden or cause anxiety. If you want to help your clients overcome gym anxiety and get through this psychological struggle, you can try the tips above. Keeping clients comfortable who are new to the gym is a key component in helping them reach their goals. This keeps them motivated and helps with sticking with a fitness program long-term.