Personal Training: Asking the Big Question

Trainer asks client question.During a first meeting with a trainer, a member needs to be assessed and goals need to be formed. But the biggest question trainers need to ask is “why?” That question will determine the member’s reasons for seeking help, why they purchased the membership and what will keep them coming back for more.

The “why” is the most essential piece of information that a trainer must gather from the member. Sometimes it is the hardest piece of info to get, because sometimes clients do not know themselves. Through the interview process, the trainer needs to keep asking questions and let the client talk. The more they communicate the more information the trainer will have to work with. Here are some questions trainers can ask:

• “So why did you join the club and what is motivating you to meet with me?” Let the member answer, then ask “why?” There is always an underlining reason.
• The client may answer “To lose weight.” The trainer can ask “why” to determine the motivational factors the client has.

Remember that trainers are not just experts in movement but also motivational experts.


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

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