| Article Summary:
Motivation is the key that separates the good trainers from the bad trainers. Think about it, when someone comes to see you as a trainer, they usually need two primary things;
- They need motivation to get off their butts, and come to a gym and train on a regular basis.
- They need your direction and knowledge to make getting fit safe and effective. What a great job, because you are truly saving lives and changing the world. You have to think outside of the box in a recession to attract and keep clients.
Do You Make An Impact?
Step back, take a look at yourself, do you make an impact on your client's lives in a positive manner? Do you motivate them everyday? Do you ooze so much passion and positive energy that your clients just swell with it at work and home and force others to call you to get more? That is what people need and want.
Maybe you need to get more focused. Get your own act together and become a little more passionate and compulsive about fitness. Keep balance with your family and faith and show others how to work and succeed at everyday life.
Are you making others smile and laugh? Are you making them look at the tough questions about their life choices and then taking a step in the right direction to make a difference?
Training professional athletes is often a strange brew of characters. Some are just waiting to be educated and lead, but most are only willing to follow if you prove that you have the knowledge and the ability.
It is easy to play follow the leader, they watch and then do, but many of your clients are not at that level, so be positive and supportive and make a difference in their lives, but then put it back on them, since they are making all the right choices to succeed. That way if they do fail, it is because of their choices and behavior, not your program and lack of leadership.
Every trainer should be excited to train people at this time in the world. The world is out of control with weight problems and fishing for clients right now is easier than ever before. The world is tuned into fitness, thanks to Arnold and Kathy Smith and Dennis Austin and Jack LaLanne.
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In this world where some people call Richard Simmons "America's Fitness Leader," well if you can get up in the morning and drive to the gym and make fun of yourself, get your clients to laugh at their own short comings, then you are well on your way.
Different Flavors Of Motivation
Motivation comes in many flavors and different folks respond in different ways. I was training an NFL running back at one time who missed a workout for ... let's just say... a girlish reason. Next day at training, I wrapped his fancy little SUV truck in toilet paper. Took 8 rolls, but with the help of a few of his buddies, the point got across and made a difference. He never missed again!
Different people need various forms of motivation and figuring out who, what, when, where, how and why is the art form of being the best trainer for any particular client. Diversity in training is the key for most clients.
We all get bored with the same day-to-day routines in our lives. So mix it up. The following are ideas of how to mix up your training protocol. It is only a suggestion and a guideline for making a change.
Getting your clients to step outside is a great way to mix up the training. Don't be intimidated by the idea of doing things outside of the gym, it can offer a terrific change of pace and will likely mark you as a special trainer in a sea of boring rep jockeys. A change of location is exactly what most folks need to spark a romance, job, or their own training.
Mark off areas in your parking lot and if it is busy, then find a field, park, or other large area to make a paracourse. Have some simple objectives and remember that having clients work in teams against each other instantly raises the bar of motivation.
Make a small area that involves some simple objectives like twenty jumping jacks, then have the client
run/jog/walk for 2 minutes or some set distance, then immediately have them carry a spare tire out of your trunk or some other object, like a medicine ball.
They should have to move quickly around objects and parked cars are not a good idea, since they can move without warning. Stage the exercise so it becomes a competition against the clock or other competitors.
Offer new items that are fun and interesting, like pushing a car as a group, or pulling a car over a set distance. Have some logical surprise gift for the winner, like free training for a week. Let them know that the event is in a series of days and this will provide lots of motivation for them not to miss during the week.
In this tough economy you need to make training a lot more interesting and think outside of the box.
Capture The Flag:
You would be surprised how much fun it is to play a simple game of capture the flag using squirt guns. Place six flags of each teams color and have about four players running from area to area. If they get squirted they have immediately sit down to perform 30 sit ups before they can move again. The option of the game is to have fun and this is a great thing to do with other trainers.
Cold Weather Fun:
Imagine the problems with cold weather and the difficulty in getting clients to show up. A simple remedy is to offer a special prize for clients who don't miss.
During a snow fall have clients work as fast as they can by rolling up snow to make a snowman in only a few minutes. Put on a gym t-shirt and you will see the amount of publicity you get from the local traffic. Make up some targets and have clients see who can make up the most snowballs and knock down all the targets.
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The cold weather is here which means no training outside. What we need is something to cool off growing tempers and crowded gyms. Here's an outdoor plan that could be fun.
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Sporting games are great ways to have fun and burn off calories, but most clients don't have skills to participate in those activities. Make up silly games that force clients to run around and obtain objectives. Make everyone aware of rules and the objectives and start the fun.
Place some simple baskets in areas and require the clients to run and grab odd items and haul them to the baskets. You might think this is crazy to watch, but your client will likely be telling other people about the fun they are having. All of this results in aerobic activity and eventually results in elevated heart rates for cardio.
You are likely tired of teaching the same old stuff and your clients are likely tired of the same old routines. Trainers can get into a rut of some type of class and the truth is that diversity helps motivate and also stimulate various muscles that are not commonly used.
Tug of war is a simple game, but do you remember playing? Do you know how much energy it takes to hold onto that rope and pull for ten minutes?
Your heart gets elevated and you will sweat in the right conditions, just standing still. Offer the winner a cut on some longer cardio and the loser has to keep running. They are likely to train harder and the next time there is a tug of war their team might try harder. Set up the teams so there is a chance and don't be afraid to participate if needed. Offer to run with the losers and show them you are a good sport.
Train Like A Soldier:
Military specialist training is often difficult, but the idea of training like a solider makes people crazy with motivation. Bootcamp formats are simple and climbing in and out of a truck bed in an obstacle course can be tough enough.
Jumping over rubber trash cans, crawling over a grassy hill with a back pack on, running around while holding a medicine ball over your head, running through a wooded area, crawling through some cardboard boxes that are sprayed with some camouflage paint, carrying sandbags up some hills, rolling on your side, stopping long enough to shoot a squirt gun at a row of paper cups, all give the same agility format used by the military. Millions have been successfully trained this way.
Outdoor Group Classes:
Do you teach a group class, have it outside for a change.
Sunshine and fresh air are always fun to mix into a workout and a simple hill with a rope to climb it, takes on a whole new meaning with some rain mixed in. Encourage your clients to participate in all forms of weather and personal situations that will often result in a stronger will to exercise the next time they are being pulled away from the gym.
All of these ideas are great to show passion for fitness. It is like an infection and once you have infected your clients, they will likely go infect others and they should be calling you for more of the same. Have you been focused on selling something other than fitness? Well stop, get back to the basics and push that to the limits. Once you have mastered the art of motivation, you will be at a level that requires you to maintain your passion and that is truly a moment of personal success.
If you are the poor client who is dealing with an unpassionate trainer, then feel free to copy this article, write their name on the top of it and leave it in the gym somewhere. Then nature will take it from there.