Tips for a Mindset Retention Program
Benefitting Your Members and Your Club.
Just today, before teaching boot camp at my club, three separate members asked if I was going to work them hard and stated that they loved being sore. Maybe this is the minority of members — and most definitely the minority of our population — but it got me excited to share what I think is the most important thing in the fitness industry. We have more clubs than ever, websites, magazines and fitness info everywhere, so why, as a nation, are we getting fatter? Sure, we have easy access to fast food and move less, but that does not explain why some of us are in great shape. So what is the difference between those members and the general public? It’s simply this: mindset.
Our club attracts and retains a loyal membership that wants to work hard, but how do we garner more interest in this mindset and how do we (as an industry) get members who want to “lose weight” begin to love fitness? Well the answer is simple really … but it involves the right tools, training and implementation. If you change a member’s mindset, you have someone who now loves fitness, is committed and way more likely to stay. Let’s call this “mindset retention.”
In my 15-plus years of personal training I have become completely convinced that a person’s results are dependent on how they see themselves in their mind’s eye (self-image) and their internal dialogue. Sure they can overcome that self-image with “willpower” for a few weeks or even a few months, but that will fade and their old behaviors will once again take over —and you won’t see them again. That is the way we are wired. To quote Dr. Maxwell Maltz, “You cannot use willpower as a crutch to the same old self-image.” The good news? That wiring can be changed.
Unfortunately the scope of this article will not allow for specifics, but here are a few key points to a successful mindset retention program:
- Build a strong rapport first. No one want to hear that the way they are thinking is the limiting factor to their success
- Have a mindset specialist in your personal training department. We are just glorified babysitters if our clients don’t change their behaviors.
- Build a culture that uses language differently. We don’t lose weight here — we gain leanness/strength.
- Run mindset workshops with motivational speakers and written and verbal mindset performance exercises.
I love being in the trenches and sweating it out with members. But nothing feels better than coaching members to think differently and seeing the difference in their workouts and attitude. I can’t be part of a club that just rents equipment … I want to affect change in people. I want to run a club that builds stronger members and a community that lifts each other up. I want many of those members who once wanted to lose weight to only think of themselves as fit and strong, but also begin to coach and inspire a whole new group of people.