Get the inside scoop on trainer secrets for exercise success and pass it on to your clients!
Personal trainers love exercise. Or at least they should! It is our passion, way of life, and our work. Non-fitness professionals may not feel the same enthusiasm about physical fitness. They are looking for the magic trick, a quick fix, the exercise utopia.
Many clients hire trainers hoping the trainers will instill their exercise needs to meet personal goals. They are most likely not getting it on their own, so look to fitness trainers.
We can show them how to strength train, build endurance, improve cardio and stamina, gain flexibility, and how to use equipment. We show them how to use proper form and ideal execution.
Aside from all of that, we want our clients to be successful with exercise beyond training sessions. If you could offer once piece of advice to clients, what would it be?
I asked four NFPT certified personal trainers and got four different ideas. Here they are:
1. Shay Vasudeva, MS, MA, NFPT CPT : “I would say to remember WHY you are working out. What was your initial motivation or why did you first start your training program? Write it down and put it somewhere you can see it regularly OR simply just remember it. Commit it to memory. Use your ‘WHY’ as a reminder to stay motivated and keep on track.”
2. John Richardson, NFPT CPT, Master Trainer, NASM CPT, (and too many specialty certs to list): “One piece of advice or I would say pieces would be, be patient with yourself. It’s not going to happen overnight. Nutrition is the key. Are you really serious about changing? Be willing to look yourself in the mirror and challenge your old habits and behavior. Stay away from magic bullet diets and supplements. It’s not going to happen overnight. Stay away from magic bullets, diets, and supplements. Be patient with yourself. Did I just repeat myself? Well, guess what? You are going to need to repeat yourself as well.”
3. Andrew Gavigan, NFPT CPT, NASM CPT: “Goals! Make plenty of them. It’s important to have long term objectives, with tangible terms of measurement, in order to stay motivated and develop targets of achievement. But perhaps more important than creating goals, is recognizing those achievements. It’s human nature to lose interest or motivation if we don’t see success early and always, so setting numerous small goals along the way to ultimate objectives is an important practice. For example, for clients in an exercise program, the ultimate goal can be 10 lbs. of weight loss by next winter. Setting smaller goals like ‘exercise 2 times this week’ and ‘eat vegetables with every meal this week’ are easy to control, easy to recognize, and allow the client to achieve success twice in one week.”
4. Michele Rogers, MA, NFPT CPT: “For both my own personal success in fitness and for that of my clients’ I have found mindset to be the most crucial element. Someone who views exercise as a chore will simply coast by (or struggle and complain!) having at least ‘checked the box’, but rarely setting or reaching concrete goals, and definitely not finding joy in the process. Of my clients who have been the most successful, dedicated, the most fit–they demonstrate a genuine interest in the activity they are about to perform and immerse themselves in it while performing it. They are focused, they are breathing, they are listening to me, they are listening to their bodies (as I cue them to). For my own success in reaching elite strength milestones, I attribute this somewhat to genetics, yes, but mostly to a desire to achieve those milestones. Allowing one to get boxed in by a number that sounds scary or too great to achieve will likely produce stagnation and plateaus. But wanting those gains, setting the bar higher, testing your limits? That’s where the change happens. As Henry Ford said, ‘Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.’”
Four valuable pieces of advice for exercise success: motivation, patience, goals, and mindset. Pass it on!