The role a trainer has in their client’s quest for results is as diverse as the clients themselves. Sometimes the trainer is their slave driver, psychotherapist, confessional or coach. But the one part that is consistent is that they need to inspire and motivate their clients to exceed what the client can do on their own. This sets the trainer in a position that is sometimes hard to understand and handle.
Being inspiring to clients begins with passion. That passion must be to move and feel better in motion than when sedentary. If a person feels no enjoyment in sweating and exerting effort during movement, they should not be in the exercise field. A person passionate about exercise and movement will innately motivate people to move strictly by being genuine about how they feel about exercise. If your trainers do not have this passion, question why they are working for you. This passion should also extend to the trainer’s personal workout regimen. If trainers do not workout in your facility, find out why and fix it! By working out in your club, your trainers are setting examples and are looked at as the experts in their field. Also, they are the gold standard by which club members want to aspire to.
The second point about inspiring people to move and exercise, is understanding the client and what reason they have to move or not move. If a client comes to me and says their doctor ordered them here, I know I have a challenge in front of me. Their motivation to seek help is external and has been created from a fear of negativity. If however, I see a client that’s motivation to seek assistance is because they want to be able to play with their grandchildren, then I know I am dealing with an internal drive based in positivity. Trainers need to dig and find out why their client are seeking their help. This should begin in the initial meeting and continue through every meeting a trainer has with their client. The one question a trainer should never be afraid to ask is, ‘Why? — Why are you exercising? Why do you feel that way when you exercise or do not exercise? Why do you feel your goal is attainable or unattainable?’
Too often I see trainers take answers at face value without digging deeper to find the real motivation of why their client is in front of them. Was it fear that brought them to you? Was it a passion for a sport they are having a hard time playing? Was it a injury they do not want to have again? Trainers need to find the real motivation as to why their client is seeking their help and then use that motivation to help the client achieve their goals.
Vic Spatola is the Director of Personal Training for Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club in Greenwood Village, Colorado, a suburb of Denver. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.