How to Boost Your Client’s Confidence in the Gym
Have a Mindful Mindset
You and your clients will see that just participating in movement and exercise will naturally boost your client’s confidence and self-esteem. What is often the most difficult is getting started and beginning the training or coaching session that can be a sticking point for some of our new clients. You may consider starting each session off by encouraging your clients to set a mindful intention. You can have them write down three things they are grateful for that day and a goal for the session. At the end of each training session, you will want to have a quick conversation with each client about how they felt about the session and their overall progress and focus.
Encourage Your Clients to Make Choices
You might be the exercise and fitness expert, but your clients should be involved in their overall program design and execution. Regularly ask clients for feedback about individual workouts and sessions with you. Seek input from clients about new workouts and different exercises they’d like to try or master. Finally, periodically revisit client goals and make revisions and updates where necessary.
Offer Different Options for Exercises
As can be expected, some of your clients (especially in the beginning) will struggle to perform some exercises and difficult movements. When you introduce your clients to new moves or more complicated exercises, use your knowledge to demonstrate several options in a positive way. Allow your clients to choose their training challenge and perform the exercise at their comfort level. After, you will want to ask them how it felt and add a new or more difficult challenge when your client is ready.
Inspire Intense Effort Rather Than Intense Perfection
A healthy lifestyle is about making progress, positive changes, and continued effort. Remember that perfection is NOT real and NOT attainable. Perfection should never be the goal of your sessions. Take the time to remind your clients to focus on their effort. Work towards and eliminating the word “perfect” from their vocabulary, especially in regard to their health. This includes being mindful of the praise you offer.
Celebrate Your Clients’ Changes and Progress
Any positive change, whether physical or behavioral, a client intentionally makes should be acknowledged during a session and celebrated. Behavior change is a tremendously challenging, non-linear process. When a client successfully makes any change that contributes to a healthy lifestyle, you should make a genuine effort to celebrate it and offer praise and positive reinforcement for the behavior to continue.
Your clients can and will experience setbacks. Whether that is falling off their nutrition or meal plan, or getting an injury that keeps them out of the gym, when this happens to your clients, you should approach the setback thoughtfully and help your clients understand why it happened and what changes that can make so the setback can be avoided in the future. Remember, a setback is an opportunity to redirect your client’s focus and efforts, not a failure or fatal error. As a qualified personal trainer or coach, you should be able to help your clients reframe their thinking when it comes to the obstacles they experience during this lifestyle change.
Starting Your Personal Training Career
Did you know that most fitness careers don’t require formal education or a degree? Learn more about the variety of fitness industry careers.
There is always something exciting about earning a new training or coaching certification and applying that new knowledge of how you train your clients. This also helps you hit the reset button.
NESTA and Spencer Institute coaching programs are open to anyone with a desire to learn and help others. There are no prerequisites.
That’s it for now.