Having a thorough background in commnication techniques, I can tell if my client has had a positive training experience through their nonverbal gestures. Additionally, the way they answer questions that have been asked carefully help me guauge the client’s feelings and attitude during a particular session.
When we first design a workout program for our clients after their assessment, we sit down with them and go over the results and first listen to their goals and ask several questions which we record such as ” Overall how would you rate your health in the past 4 weeks?” – “Compared to one year ago, how would you rate your general health now?” … this establishes somewhat of an emotional baseline much like their physical health baseline. How do they personally feel about their current physical state….
When I design a personal program I leave a “note area” for them to fill in how they felt about their particular workout that day. It’s yet another way to motivate your client in showing them that as their fitness improves, so does their emotional state.
I often ask how they are feeling before they leave the gym and they either remark how fantastic they feel because they had such a good workout that day or maybe it wasn’t such a good day for them, they felt rushed – had deadlines at work and couldn’t devote as much time to their workout but that it was better than nothing.
I believe seeing their emotional progress through ongoing exercise does help to motivate them much in the same way as taking their body measurements or BF%.
I like the idea of having a chart in which to show a client’s emotional progress as yet another training tool to help motivate.
A good article to read to learn more – http://www.acefitness.org/article/669/
I am a firm believer in open communication between the client and trainer. So, I ask. Having this type of direct feedback from my client is invaluable. It helps me make adjustments to the program based, not only on my “perceptions” of what is going on, but also by how my client is “feeling.” It’s just another piece of information that allows me to “personalize” my clients training experience.
I ask them! We talk openly before, during, and after training sessions. Further, I’m watching for non-verbal signs of a positive or negative experience, and then I ask for clarification.
Also, my clients regularly meet with our director to discuss their training experiences. This gives them an opportunity to talk to somebody else about how they’re doing and can ease any uncomfortable feelings they have with doing it in my presence.