1. Set a Fitness Goal (meet it and then set a new one)
One of the primary reasons clients will lose motivation is lack of direction. If they aren’t working towards something, they’ll soon find themselves simply going through the motions or worse, thinking of giving up altogether. Providing them with a clear goal is the best way to avoid this.
Of course, no two clients are the same, so sit down and go over it with them. Help them discover goals they haven’t explicitly considered yet. For example, maybe one client has always wanted to run a marathon, but didn’t think it was attainable when they started training. After convincing them to come up with even goals they think might be far fetched, you’ll likely have several directions to take them.
Once they meet their latest goal, try to have new ones on hand or have another discussion to discover more. This will keep motivation high, as their confidence and fitness levels build.
2. Consistency is Key
Another common reason clients lose direction is lack of consistency. It’s a bit subtler than lack of goals, but can be more insidious because it can often go unnoticed until it’s too late. You may think you’re already doing everything you can to provide your clients with a consistent regimen, but there’s one factor your can’t control: your clients!
If you notice a particular client is missing your scheduled sessions, or moving them around too often, take action. Let them know that their inconsistency will likely affect their motivation and results. See if there’s anything you can do to better work around their schedule. Find a way to get them back on the road to consistency, starting with some basic communication.
It helps if you take the time to document each time a client misses or moves a workout. Without this information, you’ll likely be hard-pressed to remember the specifics for each of your clients. Spend some time each week going over your clients’ performance and make note of inconsistencies.
3. Find a Partner (that shares similar fitness goals)
For clients that you don’t see as often, it can be a little tougher to help them keep motivation up. You can, however, suggest that they seek a little extra help in the form of a fitness partner. For maximum effect, suggest they find someone who shares similar fitness goals. You can even go that extra mile and suggest another client to pair up with. This will depend on your relationship with the client, as well as whether you actually do have another compatible client, but if all factors are in your favor, give it a shot.
Having someone there with your client working toward similar goals should go a long way toward improving motivation. With a training partner, your client has someone to talk fitness with who understands the same struggles.
4. Hold Yourself Accountable
Whether your see your client every day, every week, or every month, it’s crucial to remind them that they play a huge role in staying motivated. Encourage them to rely on themselves more than they rely on you – which includes holding themselves accountable when they get lazy.
It’s crucial that clients remember you won’t always be there to make sure they stay on track. Phrases like “you’re only cheating yourself” may seem cliche, but they are accurate.
5. Mix it Up
Another crucial element to keeping your clients motivated is keeping things from getting stale by mixing it up every now and then. It’s truly about finding a good balance between consistency and variety to keep your clients focused, but not bored. This means keeping even your variety consistent by switching up clients’ routines at a regular interval, like once a month.
Without a little variety, you’ll find your clients getting bored or even frustrated if they’ve been doing the same routine for a while with little to no results. Avoid monotony by having fresh routines on hand, or even surprising clients with a special one-off routine designed to push them to their limits. After a day like that, they’ll probably be happy to go back to their standard regimen.
6. Don’t Let a Missed Opportunity Derail Your Goals
You know that failure and missed opportunities are a part of an active, healthy lifestyle, but your clients may not. If your client stalls out on a new maximum weight, or they don’t achieve the level of fitness necessary to run that local marathon, they may become discouraged. Those are the times when it’s crucial you remind them not to let setbacks derail their progress.
It’s not unusual to get derailed after a setback and this is something work reminding your clients of. More importantly, remind them that they still have another chance to try again, even if they have to wait a while.
7. Limit Rest Time in Between Strength Training Workouts (so it doubles as cardio)
It’s not uncommon to see people stray away from cardio. However, If you have a client who loves sticking to the weights, try to convince them to give cardio a shot on their rest days. After all, strength training requires a certain amount of rest between workouts, why not throw some light cardio in there to help with recovery and, more importantly, keep motivation up.
That relatively long break between workouts can sometimes lull clients into complacency, making them forget their goals and lost motivation. Encourage light cardio on days off to avoid this and keep clients active.
8. A Healthy Diet & Physical Fitness Go Hand in Hand
Some clients might be doing everything right – they never miss a workout, they always push for that last rep – but you still might notice a drop in motivation. In these cases, the problem might have to do with another key factor in maintaining health: diet.
It’s far too common to see people forgetting that a healthy diet goes hand in hand with physical fitness. Without the right fuel, your clients will deteriorate in performance over time, which will lead to lack of motivation. Recognize the signs early to prevent this, or avoid the issue altogether by suggesting a diet plan when clients sign up.
9. Embrace Power Workouts (HIIT) When You’re Short on Time
For those clients that never seem to have the time to workout no matter what you do, or say, there is still hope. Try to fit a full workout into a short amount of time with the help of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). With HIIT, you can make the most out of your client’s time and help them burn hundreds of calories in just 20 minutes. This way, inconsistent clients will at least still get a decent workout in when they show up late, keeping them motivated for next time.
10. Schedule a Rest Day
Sometimes a little extra rest is all a client needs to stay motivated. If a particular client has been pushing themselves very hard lately, they may simply burn out. Or worse, they may overtrain and result in an injury. Either way, the best way to alleviate this is to pay attention to your client’s schedule and performance. If it seems like they’re wearing themselves out, they could probably do with a day off. Remind them of the importance of rest and that a day off doesn’t mean a step back.