You love working out—that’s why you’re a personal trainer. Your clients, however, likely feel differently. Get them excited about their next workout with these simple ideas. You’ll have fun hitting golf balls together or doing a special session with your client and their best friend, while further proving your value as a trainer and fitness expert.
Blind Burnout Bursts
I often include burnouts at the end of workouts to push my clients to the very end, right as they’re ready to finish. Make this more fun, however, by doing a “blind burnout” where you (or the client) choose the exercises on the spot.
You can do this by writing exercises on a piece of paper and putting them into a hat from which they’ll be picked. There’s also an awesome product called FitDeck that’s perfect for this style of working out. Each deck is themed and every card has a different exercise on it. Themes include bodyweight, cross training, core blast, stairs, plyometrics and more.
Workout With Your Client
I don’t like to workout with clients, because I can’t pay as much attention to them as I like. However, I’ve found that the few times I do, they love it. Clients enjoy seeing you struggle, and you may have found, they openly admit it! There’s also an element of respect that’s gained when you train with clients because you show them that you can, and will, do it too.
Instead of doing an entire workout with your client, go back and forth choosing exercises during the blind burnout rounds—you do one, they do one, and so on. You can also jump in when they’re struggling through a specific exercise. Using terminology like, “We got this!” and “We can do it!” helps cement your bond and puts you both on even playing field.
Take a “Field Trip”
If you workout in the same space each week, take sessions to a new location every once in a while. Most outdoor parks allow you to train with a permit, and some don’t even require that.
You could also choose “field trips” based on your clients specific goals. If they want to run a marathon, take them to get a gait analysis at a local specialized shoe store. Not only will they enjoy the change in routine, but it will also help them become a better runner and avoid injuries: “The running shoe serves as a structural and functional extension of the foot. Chosen correctly, it can improve your running. Chosen improperly, it can amplify biomechanical and functional flaws thereby increasing your risk of injury,” according to experts at Fit2Run.
If clients are working to improve their golf game, go to a golfing range. If they’re avid baseball players, go to your local batting cages. Think outside of the box to impress your clients and keep things fresh.
Bring a Friend
Give each client one or two “bring a friend” days when they purchase a package. Have them tell you when they’ll be cashing in ahead of time and write an entire partner workout. They’ll have fun working out with their friend and laugh their way through a tough workout. Fun exercises to try include, med ball passes, plank high-fives, partner crunches, wheelbarrow and more.
The best part is you get the chance to impress another potential client in a way you couldn’t with a one-on-one session.
Different Rep and Set Schemes
Instead of sticking to the same format each week, change it up in small and simple ways. For example, if you always do “A/B-A/B” format, run the client through your whole workout without repeating a single exercise. Repeat the entire thing three times so they don’t get bored with doing the same two exercises back-to-back three times in a row.
Here are a few other simple ways to change it up:
*Decelerating reps: Start with 10 reps, and have clients work their way back down to one.
*AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible): Throw out sets altogether and create a basic AMRAP workout. Choose four exercises that focus on different muscle groups (I.E. pull ups, Russian twists, squats and plank jacks) and assign a rep range for each one. Push your client to finish strong as they repeat this, with no rest, for the time you’ve set—usually 8 to 15 minutes.
*HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training): Similar to AMRAP, HIIT doesn’t use sets but time as measurement. Create intervals, like 30 seconds on, 20 seconds off, and follow along like you normally would. Clients do each exercise for 30 seconds, rest for 20 seconds, then repeat or move onto the next one.
Mini Workout Goals
Work with your client to choose a mini-goal for the workout; this can be discussed during the warm-up. Make sure it’s specific, like three full sets of 10 complete pushups so they’ll know when they reach the goal.
You can set a variety of mini-goals in one session and make this a “testing day,” where you compare their progress to benchmarks you set when they first started. Make it even more fun by awarding small “prizes” for hitting each goal. Think: no burpees next workout or $5 off their next session.
Making workouts more fun for clients keeps them interested and shows your value and skills as a trainer. Use these ideas to spice up sessions whenever possible.
Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than ten years and is currently a lifestyle blogger and the editor of Whooo’s Reading and Carpe Daily. She is also the owner of her own small fitness business, Honest Body Fitness, and is using her experience from writing, editing and marketing to become a successful entrepreneur.