Helping your clients develop new habits makes them less likely to fall back into old ways of coping or relating to others. This can ultimately lead to quicker progress in therapy and more satisfying life. You can help your clients develop new habits in several ways, help them set goals that require new practices and work with them to create an action plan to reach those goals. You can also help your client identify and replace negative habits with positive ones.
As a therapist, you know how important it is to provide a space for your clients to share and process their thoughts. With the average session lasting 50 minutes, it can be challenging for clients to get everything out before time is up. There are many ways to do this. For instance, the trainer can:
- Inform them of session goals and expectations before they start their training;
- Provide clear instructions throughout their session with feedback on how well they’re doing based on these objectives (e.g., by asking questions that check for understanding);
- Create a supportive environment where people feel safe taking risks; and
- making mistakes without feeling judged or embarrassed when they don’t perform as expected during sessions.
The more open communication between client and coach/trainer will be beneficial because it allows everyone involved to know what has been accomplished thus far and identify areas for improvement moving forward. In addition, it’s essential that you also keep your clients updated while you work together, depending on where we are in our timeline towards reaching those outcomes. Hence, there aren’t any surprises or misunderstandings later along the way.
The best personal trainers take care of their clients and know how to maximize the time spent in sessions. Use these techniques for your training sessions:
Give Your Client a Chance
If your clients are new to the world of exercise, try not to push them too hard. Don’t expect them to do four sets of 30 deadlifts right away. To make your client’s workouts more effective, work with them and help determine their best fitness level. You need to know what your client wants from working out to have a successful journey in becoming fit.
Your clients may work out once or twice weekly with you, but their training regimen falls through the rest of the time. In helping your client stay on track, give them homework- for example: running a mile twice a week before coming to train with you. The intention is that this “homework” helps establish accountability.
Make the Client Accountable
Clients can be more accountable for their exercise routine by making them responsible for recording what they do outside of training sessions. This adds a new level of accountability that makes the client feel that working out is their responsibility, not yours. You could also make Fridays “Accountability Fridays” so your clients will measure their success in inches lost from workout routines, encouraging them to continue exercising.
Establishing a routine for each client and being on time for every session is crucial in practical personal training. Consistency should also be shown when motivating a client. A way to show character through motivation is to end every training session with positive feedback about your progress and words of encouragement filled with information about how you are doing.
Doing the same workout day in and day out leads to a loss of motivation. To make workouts more effective for your client, adding variety is critical. Instead of working out on machines, add a calisthenics workout into the mix or stretch/flexibility exercises to personal training sessions (according to Mayo Clinic). These will help improve range of motion and blood circulation throughout the body!
CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video
The video highlights a critical point we as fitness professionals need to remember when designing exercise programs – information saturation.
At what point does your client begin to forget what you have told them?
If I go to the doctor, physical therapist, massage therapist, or chiropractor, I bring a pen and paper. If they give me a few things to remember, I am good to about three. After that, I need to start writing down notes on what I need to remember and what I need to do before the next session.
Some people can remember all of the details said in a 60-minute session, but from experience, they are the minority. The majority will remember a few things and forget about several things.
When I go through exercise rehabilitation exercises with my clients, I know they may remember the general idea of the exercise. Still, I have forgotten some of the details of the exercises. Often, the details of the exercise make the exercise most effective.