Personal-training clients are bound to think about their progress, good, bad, or indifferent. One of your jobs as a personal trainer is to help clients flip negative thoughts into positive ones. Aesthetic progress takes time, and folks grow frustrated. If clients think negatively, that mindset will hold them back. If negative thoughts slip in while they work out, it will hinder how hard they can train.
For instance, the mere thought of trying a CrossFit class can intimidate a client. They may believe they are too weak or incapable of performing a lift. If that's the case, then they are more likely to stay away from physical challenges that may strengthen them down the road. These people are more likely to end up as whiners rather than winners.
However, if you get them pumping biceps curls and get their muscles burning, and convince them to believe in the positive manifestation of their own abilities ... then, your clients can do more. That can probably help them crank out a couple of additional reps, and that will make anyone stronger.
Actions dictate thoughts, and thoughts can steer action in one direction or the other, depending on whether your outlook is positive or negative.
A successful trainer must also be an insightful psychologist. You must steer your clients in that positive direction. Teaching clients how and what to think about during a workout is just as important as proper deadlift form. Your mindset is the number one priority if you want your body to change.
These three mental tricks will help you help them free their minds of the negativity that hinders body composition and aesthetic progress. With a positive frame of mind, anyone can lift more weight, run faster, and finally get that body they always wanted.
All of this can be done just by changing how and what you think while training. It's not easy, but a few mental exercises can help change their minds, so you can help them change their bodies.
Be prepared for the negativity
Most people in the gym are unaware of the moment negativity hits them. They hear internal negative chatter like "I can't lift that weight" or "I won't be able to run that long," and at first, they’re not even sure where the voice came from. Next thing you know, such thoughts stop clients from even trying.
Cynical gym rats accept negative comments as truth. Confident lifters immediately call BS on negative self-talk. See the negative trend starting and squash it like a bug. Take the negative verbs and turn them positive. Replace "I can't" with "I can." See "I won't" coming over the hill. Be alert to swap it with "I will," "I must," or "I got this!" If you see that doubt on their face, say the words yourself to pre-empt their negativity.
Positive actions help weightlifters push their bodies in the gym like never before. Once your clients see how influential encouraging thoughts can be, how they inspire action, they will experience the power of a positive mindset.
Be mentally prepared. Make it a habit. Begin to change your mind, and body composition changes will come.
End negative statements with positivity
It is delusion to think that a stubborn cynic can completely rid the mind of pessimistic views. Even optimists like me have bouts of negative self-talk during a workout especially. They intervene when I feel tired or lazy. The trick is to associate each fresh negative with positive outcomes.
For example, instead of saying "Doing 10 more reps is going to hurt my legs," tie a positive benefit at the end of the sentence. Tell yourself, "Doing 10 more reps is going to hurt my legs, but I will become stronger because of it!" Strengthen this mental strategy by visualizing the positive outcome. See bigger legs and glutes. See a squat day next month when you are strong enough to pile on another plate.
The more vivid the image, the more likely a client is to continue the workout. See how the upcoming misery is connected with a positive image; it is one the strongest mental tools for instant motivation when you need it most!
The reason most negative people fail to make changes in the gym is because they see their physical shortcomings as permanent situations. They label themselves with negative, unchangeable assertions like "I will always be a fat person" or "My arms will never grow."
Nothing is permanent. Anybody who makes changes with their bodies must first believe they can change through diligent effort and action. People who buy into the "you get what you put in" mentality are likely to show improvements with their bodies.
Instruct your clients to see themselves as they want to be. Help them re-define the "new you" by installing more positive work habits. Instead of attributing negative labels like "I will always be the fat person," assign a self-image which describes positive actions like "I'm the person who works hard" or "I'm the person who is disciplined." Help them change negative perception to a new and positive identification.
This positive mental strategy can help your clients inspire themselves! When you're not around, they need internal inspiration to make improvements in the gym, and in other aspects of their lives. Positive mental training isn't limited to the gym floor. Its benefits—like those of physical training—carry over to everything in life. A positive self-image empowers the entire lifestyle!
From Pessimist to Optimist
Helping a client change from being a pessimist to an optimist is a tall order, in part because every client is unique. Some clients will struggle more than others. Confidence comes and goes, so be diligent. And stay positive yourself. Nothing will derail a positive train of thought faster than negativity from an authority figure like a personal trainer.
A client’s optimism will grow along with his or her muscles. It's hard to argue against the benefits of a positive mindset when clients see dress sizes drop, chest muscles pop, and abs begin to be uncovered! Such visible evidence can convert even the most negative individual into an optimist with enthusiastic beliefs in the power of positive thinking.