I have been a Personal Trainer for 7 years and have dealt with all sorts of clients, but there’s a new client I picked up a couple of weeks ago that seems to get sort of aggravated during our sessions. She never complains about the exercises i have her do, but seems to get frustrated and cranky as she performs the exercises. She told me she wants me to push her hard and wants to feel like she has to crawl out of the gym after sessions but It’s almost like the challenge of the exercises, which are circuit-training based and core engaging (she wants to lose weight), get to her so much that she feels like she has to show her emotions. Again, she has never complained or whined about not doing an exercise; she just gets cranky and frustrated at herself, it seems. What should I do? Should I ignore her emotions and continue to push her hard, which her and I know she needs in order to lose weight?
I would have a talk with her. It sounds as if she wants to be there but she may have a different view of “being pushed hard”. Find out what/where her frustration is coming from and then go from there. You may find that she might have been expecting a different “road map” for how her sessions should be and might have to change directions. But you’ll never know if you don’t ask! Hope this helps!
Thank you all for your responses. This client actually did warn me before we started training that she tends to get frustrated during workouts, but more as a way of being hard on herself. Her former trainer told me the same thing and told me not to read much into it. She’s just a very competitive person.
I would definitely have a conversation with her. One of the things she might be experiencing is frustration at perceived lack of progress.
If your client is a Type A perfectionist, like me, her emotions might stem from a task, in this case, weight loss, that is not coming as easy to her as other things.
Whatever the reason is, just have a good sit down and relate to her. Just because you’re her trainer doesn’t mean you don’t care about other things in her life!
Let us all remember that relationships are co-created. We want to test our assumptions, focus on interests, share all relevant information, use specific examples to support our opinion and ask if we are understood. As a trainer you are much more than a task master. You inquiry and detective skills provide your client with a mindful professional,
Also consider that conflict, your client’s obvious discontent, is a signal. Explore that. What is behind the aggravation, the goal she has set for herself? Is the goal too big? Is it realistic for her? Is she setting herself up to fail?
Compassionate communication is the key.
All the best
Hello Daniel Omokha,
The client needs you to stay motivated; so, a private discussion should help. Maybe backing off a bit and showing them how they improved will help. This may also be their way of venting and getting through a session; all part of the process.
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.