Training client who HATES to workout
I took over for a trainer who moved unexpectedly and now have one of his clients. We met for the first time this week and during her warm up, she just said, "I am just not into this." After talking through with her what had happend she explained that she is really overwhelmed with work and that working out is NOT rewarding for her. I let her go without pushing the subject too much...but I have thought that I need to meet with her to get more information on what she wants to accomplish in our training sessions. Do you all have any ideas on some subtle and relaxing training programs? I thought of maybe doing some yoga...anything else?
I would first contact the other trainer to find out whether she made the same comments to him.
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, your biggest obstacle is that you are you, and she is not used to it. She may have had great rapport with the previous trainer and is expressing herself the way she does because she does not want to offend you. The other trainer was male, you are a woman. There are many variables that are beyond your control.
Taking over from another trainer is often very difficult, and your only fault is that you are not 'him'.
All the other respondents have made great suggestions if my take on things does not lead you anywhere.
Embrace the challenge, refuse to fail.
You are both new to each other and the client may not be ready to open up. I would try to have a consultation by having questions answered through "small talk" to get the rapport going.
Take care and have fun.
Once you find out about what she has been successful with in the past, you can approach things from that position.
Instead of figuring out what works with her, ask her what she likes, what she has been successful with and ask permission to approach things from that angle.
Folks generally appreciate making the decision to do something as opposed to being told what to do.
Yes, find out history on what she has done tennis, softball, dance, etc..
with that you might have an easier time putting a program together she might like. If she used to dance maybe an aerobics class would be great. The Yoga class is a great idea too, if she is stressed with work. Maybe she can still continue her sessions with you and incorporating yoga. There are different variables. Would she like working out with a small group fitness class. Only way to find out is to ask. I hope you both can find this experience rewarding.
I've found 99% of the people that work with me is because it's not their most favorite part of the day. You keep them accountable. I usually try to break the ice by making jokes of torturing them with a workout, harassing them to get in the gym, etc.
Try to see what you can offer them and phrase it in a way that they'll enjoy it.
I would start asking her a lot of historical questions and see if you could uncover what activities she enjoyed as a younger person.
Maybe she doesn't like "structured" exercise, perhaps a hike or bike ride would better suit her needs, or ZUMBA.
Check in with her other trainer, review her intake form, and devise a workout that is fun for her.
I agree with Karin on this one. It probably has to do with the fact that she was more connected with the previous trainer (for whatever the reason). Don't take it personally, but when taking a new client from another trainer it doesn't always mean this client will have the same connection with you as with the previous one. Does she have any sessions left from her previous trainer which you have to finish up? If yes, then just ask her if she is willing to finish the sessions she has left and during this time you can try to connect with her in some way.
I would also ask the client what she felt she needed. Some clients like a tough, challenging, break a sweat workout to get out their frustrations from work. In this case, HIIT training, tabata intervals, boxing, sprint drills, etc work great. Other clients want a workout that will calm their mind and their body. In this case, pilates, yoga, a hike, walk or swim might work.
You can also find out what kinds of activities she enjoys. People are more likely to stick with activities they enjoy.
Taking over a client from another trainer can be difficult, but it can also be an opportunity for both of you to learn new techniques.
And I agree, you need to figure out what is it she likes to do and start there.
Have you heard of or read any books by two brothers named Chip and Dan Heath?
Their book, “Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard,” is a great book that I bet you’d find useful for both this client and others in the future.
Early in the book the authors begin to talk about the value behind discovering the “bright spots” in a person’s history. Joanne’s answer of, “Once you find out about what she has been successful with in the past, you can approach things from that position,” does a great job summarizing what the authors mean when they use the term, “bright spots.”
Identifying bright spots helps your client shift from only focusing on their problems to focusing on possible solutions. Here’s a quote from page 48 of the book that says it best:
“These flashes of success – these bright spots – can illuminate the road map for action and spark the hope that change is possible.”
If you want to learn more about the book, here’s a non-affiliate link to it on Amazon:
Also, here’s a link to a recent article published by IDEAFit that you might find helpful:
Best of luck to you!
sometimes just building a relationship helps... asking lots of questions about work, kids, famly, etc. and chatting. getting the client out of the mindset that you are there to make them hurt, and reminding them taht you're a person too. once a client is more comfortable with you, it's easier to nudge them in the right direction. you have to build trust.
i'd also ask flat out what they liked most about the old trainer, and if there were any things they really didn't like. it'll give you a good sense of what they might adhere to.
Perhaps that could give you a foundation for explaining to her how she can most safely and effectively achieve those goals.