Tag Archives: fitness industry
A question from many a new and even seasoned trainer is this:
“How do you keep your clients accountable & motivated once external factors/events have ceased?”
*Skip to the bottom for 3 key point to this question*
A truly great question with only one answer –
Sad as it seems you personally can’t force extrinsic, internal or consistent desire/purpose onto a person, they must choose it for themselves.
Alas when a person no longer wants what they want, it’s over.
That ship has sailed and won’t returning to port anytime soon because they’ve gotten what they needed from that little endeavour.
One thing you can do as a trainer/coach is to find out what it did for them mentally and emotionally.
You see knowing a persons emotional triggers is key.
Very few have the mental capacity to do things for the long term or the the greater good at the sacrifice of current and even foreseeable comfort, people are just too weak.
Harsh as that sounds it’s more often the case than many would admit.
We give up on something because it no longer fulfils an emotional need that demands satiating.
Motivation is fleeting.
Delving into the realms of neurotransmitters you will find that people are saying it’s because of seeking a hit of dopamine, which might be true, however there could also be a serotonin hit, or GABA rise and perhaps it’s more along the lines of and adrenaline hit.
Truth is you just don’t know, we just don’t know.
It’s all educated guess work without having someones vitals, bloods and serum levels constantly checked after every smalls action.
The best we can do is observe a persons patterns.
Everyone has a pattern, one that follows the trigger-action-reward flow (or cue-craving-response-reward, it’s all the same thing essentially, just with different semantics).
This is one of inherent flaws with goal setting.
Often times it’s based on a short term reward and thus the suffering or perceived pain is minimal and outweighed for the time being, so people can stick to something until they get what they ‘want’.
Once that is gone though they will return to old habits because nothing has changed, they haven’t grown as a person, if anything they’ve simply reinforced a poor behaviour that means when they feel bad all they need to is a little of XY or Z to feel better, then they can return to the status quo for another few months of years.
Much like an abusive relationship that people stay in.
They’re choosing to be there, you can’t get them out because they don’t want to leave as there is something they’re getting from it, a feeling, something they will never admit they want/need/enjoy from it all.
^^Sick as that sounds it’s more true than I’d like it to be.
To help people stay motivated is not the key to change.
A desire to change is.
Obvious as it sounds it is.
Yet you’ll need to know why someone would want to change emotionally, this means delving into how bad they feel about a situation or themselves.
From here it will be about finding out how they want to feel, then way they don’t feel they deserve to feel that way and constantly self sabotage themselves.
You can even be direct and ask someone this –
Why don’t you want to feel better in yourself?
What keeps you in the place you’re currently in and why choose to stay here?
Obviously you’ll get all the excuses, some will be logical yet they’re still excuses at the end of the day, however they can all yield understanding and that is what you need to help people.
To keep someone ‘motivated/accountable’ is akin to trying to ice-skate up hill, not impossible just really difficult.
Instead of trying to create change with insignificant carrots you might needs a significant stick instead.
We are more likely to move away from great pain than towards small pleasure.
This doesn’t mean bullying people, it does however mean being strong enough in yourself to be honest with people and take the brunt of their resistance (it will be hostility towards you, and potentially even nasty personal attacks).
You see before you can help change people you’d first do well to know yourself, like really know yourself.
Would you be willing to air all your dirty laundry?
All those times you felt like absolute worthless shit?
Perhaps even the time you climbed a tree rope in hand and subsequently hand the branch snap and send you tumbling to the floor (yes, the impact and mud brought things into perspective).
When a new client comes to you you need to delve deeply.
Find out what is really going on mentally & emotionally.
Also remember that some people don’t want to change or help themselves, they just want a quick fix to not feel like shit for a while – basically this is 95% of PT and how PT’s run their business, it’s all about the short term.
Despite saying they care for people and want to help in reality they just want a pay cheque, and this is cool, however don’t claim benevolent words or to be something you’re not.
If money is your goal, be honest about it.
If people are what really matter then be prepared to be financially poor for quite a while, on the plus side you’ll be spiritually rich because helping would be your payment.
Anyway, that’s a little irrelevant and I’ve begun to ramble, again.
Here are three things to remember to keep people moving forwards:
1 – Their ‘motivation’ has to be deeply emotional.
2 – Long term change wants to be the focus.
3 – Don’t pander to their bullshit/excuses, nip those int he bud immediately otherwise you’ll lose any chance for real change.
Any further questions please leave them below.
You will find these are made by many, addressed by few and learned from by only one or two.
The overall idea with a post like this is to help you avoid making the same stupid mistakes that have cropped up in the past, now you will either listen or you won’t.
After a life that’s left a head full of bad memories I hope you’re the former.
Okay, here we go.
1 – Saying yes to everything. 😨😨😨
A dangerous word.
One that when said too much can have you making promises you can’t keep, or having you lie about your abilities to gain a client only to let them down.
Learn the power of no.
A frightening word.
One that will save you a lot of hassle if you master it though, this is because you will be able to take control and be honest with what you can/can’t do.
Remember, the business is about helping someone else and as such they are more important than your bank balance.
2 – Claiming to be something you’re not. 🦸♂️🦸♀️🧙♂️🧙♀️
False claims are common in the realms of fitness.
So many PT’s will promise people the world and when it’s delivered instead of being a like for like replica it ends up being a road atlas.
This happens a lot because people want to make money, which to be fair is how you run a business, however if you take this route you’ll find you don’t run that business for very long.
Accept the things you can’t do & do the things you can.
People won’t think less of you because you can’t do something for them, they’ll think less to you because you lied as claire you could.
Trust is a fragile thing, like a butterflies wings once damaged it’s unable to be fully repaired and never the same again.
Don’t taint your business with false claims or promises, be different and tell the truth.
3 – Looking for obstacles that allow you to fail. 🚷🚷🚷
Everyone has self-doubt instilled into them at a young age.
As a young sprite we feel invincible and the elders allow us to get away with this ignorance because we’re young and naive.
Of course one day this rose tinted reality is stripped away from us with immediate effect, as such this now shatters what we thought and even who we thought we were, thus self-doubt is born because perhaps we’re not the superhero we thought we once were.
As we age this turns in to seeking out obstacles, barriers and logical excuses/reasons for our own failure.
This is so that when we fail we can blame ‘the thing’.
While in some cases the fault is indeed from external factor/influence that we had no control over, the common reason people fail in business is because they’re bad at business.
It’s actually safer to fail than it is to succeed.
Success breeds envy in people, it puts a target on your back and means you’ll have someone (or many) coming for you, trying to tear you down because it’s easier to bring you down to their level than it is for them to rise up to yours.
As such you will seek a reason to fail and almost 100% of the time you’ll find one. The perfect one in fact.
You choose success or you choose failure, choose wisely.
There you have it, three considerations for you.
Writing programs is pretty simple really.
The only issue is that this doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Like many things you’ll need a lot of practice to become good at it.
Often when you look at a new trainer/coaches program you can see one of three things:
1 – It’s a copy paste job from online
2 – Too much going on & it’s influenced by social media
3 – Sadly it doesn’t make sense
Now while we all have to start somewhere when it comes to writing programs many don’t know where that point actually is.
As such we go base don what we know or what we have done ourselves, not a bad shout if you actually have made decent progress in the field of fitness yourself.
These days we have access to endless information.
It is both a gift and a curse.
When it comes to picking out diamonds from amongst the rough I have three go to books I will steer people towards that cut out a lot of the bullshit.
– Easy Strength by Dan John & Pavel Tsatsouline
– Dinosaur Strength Training by Brooks Kubik
– Periodisation by Vladimir B Issurin
The first gives you some great info on training people like actual people.
The second gives you tried and tested workout/program/session structures that you can plug in and play with immediately.
The third starts to take you down the deeper route of understanding why/how things work and are put together.
You see as a trainer/coach it is important for you to have adequate knowledge in the field of program/session construction and yet it’s not something many really give any real time to investigate.
Instead they jump on social media to follow the trends of recommendations of what the highest rated influencer has to say, and most of that is absolute dog shit, series it’s terrible and you’d do well not to listen at all.
Those of us who came from a time where we didn’t have access to the internet learned through experience and asking people who were int he profession for advice/help.
We understood the importance of investing in our education.
Not expecting to be told do XYZ, rather why we may choose to do XYZ and then form there how to explore movement, programming for GPP/SPP or what other avenues might be available to use.
These days the respect for A&P has gone out of the window.
This means that instead of understanding how they body works, why it moves in specific directions and how that can influence training for a desired outcome, many just want to be given a list of exercises to follow that can become their gospel tome.
It’s quite sad really.
If you ever wonder why the standard of trainer has gone down this is the reason why – trainers have gotten lazy.
Not all trainers mind you, just a large majority of them.
So keeping this in mind, how would you pick a trainer?
Here are some questions to ask:
– What was the last course you went on?
The best trainers are always continuously investing in their education.
– How many clients do you currently have?
Experienced coaches know that more isn;t better and won’t try to sound busy by bumping up numbers to elicit the scarcity principle. Plus if someone has 40 clients how will they have time to invest a good amount of their focus in you?
– Do you have a coach/mentor yourself?
Most who’ve been in the game a while understand that they themselves need help as well. If a trainer can’t reinvest in their own health that is a warning sign.
Finally the last question:
– What will you do if I don’t get results?
Obviously people will try and say things along the lines of “You will, I won’t let you fail” etc. However someone who knows their own limitations will be honest, and say that you both will need to communicate well from day one and actually assess if you’re both the best fit for each other.
If after the initial assessment it turns out you’re not well suited then they will refer you on to someone else.
Give the above some thought.
A lot of hopeful people jump into the realm of fitness.
It seems easy because they themselves like fitness, they’re passionate, have a story to share of how they lost weight etc, and they really really want to help people.
Obviously for the sake of helping people, not to fulfil an emotional need or anything.
In the early days of being qualified many are fuelled by the promises of instant business from friends, family, colleagues and people that they happen to know.
I’m going to tell you that this is folly.
Those promises rarely become a reality and we are naive for believing they ever will because while people judge themselves based on their proposed intentions (even if never followed through on), we judge them used on their actions.
To most people it is enough for them to say they will do something and not do it, they still get the initial feeling of being good, helpful, needed/wanted/important, yet that’s as far as many go because they’ve gotten what they need at no actually cost to them.
So this being the case, why would they then pay?
🎓 Lesson 1 – Don’t rely on the good will of others because they will let you down.
When a new trainer/coach gets about 6months into their fitness business journey things start to change.
Suddenly they realise that people didn’t suddenly flock to them because they were nothing special, in fact they were just another trainer.
Yep, once qualified you’re nothing special, just one of many.
At this point the need for an individual identity starts to become apparent, some being to hammer their social media, sharing all sorts of motivational quotes, photos and videos of –
“This (insert target demographic) can🏋️♀️ 🏋️♀️ all you need is to believe”
It may spike some interest, however there is still very little of value for people because all that they do is copy what others are doing.
Now copying trends isn’t a bad thing, so long as it’s a successful one and you know WHY it works.
If you don’t know why then you won’t make it work.
You can go for all the fads and trends available to you, yet without a solid message or set of values backing what it is you’re saying there will be no call to action for people because it’s just not real.
🎓 Lesson 2 – Jumping on the bandwagon to try and become different/noticed doesn’t work, it makes you the same as everybody else doing it.
Finding a niche that you can call your own isn’t easy.
In fact it can take many years because a lot of people are still influenced by what they themselves find enticing, and while this isn’t a terrible thing it doesn’t mean that the potential clients available to them will react in the same way.
So many talk of being their best self, an individual, different.
You will find that many potential clients and those who have stagnated often talk of wanting those very things, a coach/trainer who is their best self, an individual who different and does things differently.
Alas, if you do things that are not familiar and truly different this weekend warrior of the majority will put in a subtle dig along the lines of
– “We usually do it this way.”
– “I like to do ti like this.”
– “My/Our old trainer used to do it this way.”
My answer to anything similar to the above is as follows:
“I thought you said that you wanted something different?”
“That’s cool, they sound like a great coach, so why did you leave them?”
Yep I will put people on the spot and call out hypocrisy and bullshit because I’m just too tired to be tactful these days.
You see as much as people say they want something different what they actually mean is something different yet familiar and basically the same as what they’re doing, but still different though.
It’s fucking maddening.
This is where taking the jump and creating a true niche that is different takes courage because the world and it’s dog will tell you have the things they’ve already done are great and that you’d do well to adopt some of those ideas.
Which is the height of disrespect in my eyes.
If you truly want to be different be prepared for criticism.
🎓 Lesson 3 – People will tell you how they want you to run your business, by all means listen and be thankful for any advice/feedback, just remember you don’t need to bend yourself out of shape to help other people fit in. If they don’t fit, that;s okay, they can go somewhere else.
Th hardest part about running any business is understanding that you’re in actual fact running a business.
As such you can’t afford to piss about.
Too many in fitness don’t understand this and try to make it a hobby that pays them, and one that pays them well, this is a mistake.
The only people who can get away with running a fitness business like this are of the following:
– People who are retired and don’t need to work
– People who have a job they can step back into at will
– People who come from money
– People who have a partner who supports all other finance
^^ Many don’t like this, yet it’s very much the truth.
Running a business isn’t easy, and yet in fitness so many think that once they become qualified people will just rock up and throw money at them, that they ill be abel to do 3-4 clients a day only, train whenever they like and live ‘the good life’.
This is a dangerous attitude to have.
The average fitness professional will work a 12+ hour day in most cases, and that isn’t taking in to account all the behind the scenes things such as admin, tracking, program writing and the logistical part of running a business.
If you think it will be easy you’re in for a shock.
🎓 Lesson 4 – Remember you’re running a business, not a charity or a hobby that pays well, a business.
If you are someone new to the industry you’d do well to hire a mentor.
Now many will say they can’t afford this investment and to that I have this reply for their consideration:
Can you afford not to be successful then?
There are many ways to find the cash to invest in your business, and having someone in your corner to help you avoid making silly mistakes, while perhaps costly in the early days will save you literally thousands moving forwards.
You may choose to consider or ignore the above.
Either way I hope you do well and don’t end up as fitness fodder.
We do love a fancy word or two in fitness, don’t we.
Metabolic Conditioning, sexy.
Anaerobic Lactate Intervals, nice.
Max effort ramping to ratchet loading, tasty.
Super-mega-ultra-saiyan-sets, sign me up!
It seems the more frivolous the word of title, the more people are drawn to it.
Such simple creatures we are.
I get it you know, like the humble magpie we like shiny things that catch our eye and for all intents and purposes there is very little wrong with being dawn in by fads.
Well, apart from the potential impact on your wallet.
Looking for the next best thing, the next suck fix and miracle that will solve all your problems (for about 6 weeks) is just how it goes.
Promise someone the world in 12 weeks or less and you’ll have them hooked.
Try to compel them to accept responsibility for a lifestyle change that will have them retaining the results they achieve for more than 2 weeks and you’ll see them scarper faster than Scooby & Shaggy when they found a monster.
Perform kettlebell swings for 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off, 10min total.
^^ Pretty effective, in the rest do some active recovery in the form of a mobility movement.
Here is how it can be named.
Option 1 – 30/30 kettebell swing intervals for improving body composition
Option 2 – Kettlebell Metabolic Accelerator for Fat-Loss
If I was to post an add with a video which title would grab people attention.
Yep, it’s obvious, essentially they both say the same thing, just in different ways.
Alphabet gymnastics truly are the mark of a good salesman.
Give some thought to the above.
If you’re in the fitness industry and struggle to attract people it could be because you’re boring in their eyes.
Or at least not speaking the language that resonates with your potential clients in the demographic you have.
If you’re not sure what words they want to hear, go ask them.
Have some conversations and listen to what people are saying, instead of trying to tell them what you want them to hear int hew you want to say it.
You’d be surprised how often if you ask people what they want they will tell you.
Well, in so many words you might say.