Personal trainers are much more than fitness therapists and nutrition teachers. Trainers can be considered life coaches to their clients, pushing the right buttons and motivating them to achieve their short- and long-term goals. Clients may want to give up on their aspiration, may become depressed or feel that they do not have what it takes, or maybe feel that they have nothing left to give to reach that final step. It is up to personal trainers to know their clients’ limitations and help to exceed them and really feel great about doing it. Motivating people is a very unique talent that only a select few possess, but that does not mean it is an attribute that cannot be learned.
Lloyd F. Bitzer afforded his followers the theory of the rhetorical body. He theorized that the body itself could serve as the message to all persons that may interact with it. This is true of the personal trainer’s body. Practicing what you preach to your clients about wellness, nutrition, and exercise will be far better received if you yourself are serving as an example of the final product of following such regimens. Showcase your clients the techniques you ask them to use by attempting the techniques yourself. Your clients will see themselves in you and will be motivated to get to your level.
Many theories of teaching consider progress tracking to be a great motivational tool for both adolescents and adults alike. When a person can see the fruits of their labor on a timeline of their accomplishments, they will be motivated to make even more progress. Show your client how far they have come since day one by marking their accomplishments each week or providing them with before-and-after pictures of themselves to exhibit that they have what it takes.
Goal setting is a timeless motivational technique for you to get your personal trainer certification. Comprising a list of short- and long-term goals for your clients with attainable outcomes will motivate them to reach for their aspirations. Once they have achieved one goal, a snowball effect will ensue and they will want to scratch more goals off their list as they surpass them. Think of Rocky claiming stairs, fists stretched above his head and more confident than ever.
There are many more motivational techniques that personal trainers may wish to employ when dealing with their clients. Some clients may be more resistant than others and have less ambition, but that is what they have hired their personal trainer for. They want to be pushed to their limit and then pushed again. Be by their side and show them you are there each step of the way.