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Personal Training: Servicing a Client Beyond Expectations – Part Three


In the third and final part of my three-part series on servicing a client beyond their expectations, I deal with the most important part of training — goal setting. Proper goal setting is one of the keys that all trainers need to focus on with clients. Proper goal setting can make or break your business. Set the goals too high and don’t achieve them, and clients quit training. Set the goals too far off in the future, and the client becomes unfocused and subsequently quits.

Remember, the decision to train with you is not a logical choice, but one driven by emotion. So use that emotion to your advantage. Set goals not solely based on numerical values (i.e. body composition, number of push-ups, or time for a mile), but based on more simplistic and attainable criteria.

For example, a client who wants to lose weight and has never worked with a trainer has a goal of losing 20 pounds. The first goal a trainer should set in a series of small goals (each goal being set at four-week intervals), is to come to the gym three times a week for the first four weeks. These may include the training sessions with the trainer. The next goal would be to do cardiovascular exercise twice on their own, and to track how they felt before they began and after they finished.

These small and achievable goals that are tied to emotion, set early on, help motivate individuals that are unaccustomed to exercise get through that rough initial start.

As a manager, it is important your trainers are setting, re-accessing and achieving clients’ goals. This leads to member retention and further referrals for your training department. Also, for marketing purposes, you can list how many goals have been accomplished and challenge trainers to have and set goals for clients, to see who can achieve the most. This also may lead to clients purchasing additional sessions to achieve goals quicker.

Clients expect results, and that’s what trainers should give them.


Vic Spatola is the director of personal training for Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club in Greenwood Village, Colorado, a suburb of Denver. Spatola offers consulting on personal training business development. For more information, contact him at vics@greenwoodatc.com.

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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