So many people go to trainers in hopes of losing an unrealistic amount of weight in such a short time. TV makes it look like it can happen within weeks! When the client is unable to reach that goal they are disappointed, naturally. What do you trainers do to help a client understand this is a lifestyle change and will not happen overnight?
Remind them that success stories on TV often have extra resources like a registered dietician, medical doctor on site, expensive health food, work out a lot and everyone has different genes. Also remind them that many of these people regain the weight, put their health at risk, or gained the weight on purpose as actors to lose it again.
I had a client once tell me that she would like to be able to do a cartwheel, and she was serious. She was also in her late sixties at the time and had never been athletic.
I took a deep breath and told her that I needed to think about how we could break it down into smaller components. We started with an exercise where she let herself drop against the wall as in a dynamic push-up. I told her that we needed to strengthen her wrist bones because the significant sudden weight on her wrist when doing a cartwhell may, in my opinion, break her wrist. After that I suggested that we work on a handstand next. Well ……. we never got to a handstand and my client realized that doing a cartwheel will probably have to wait until her reincarnation into a somewhat more athletic version of her soul.
I agree with Susan above. A major part of my initial consultation and assessment is defining and establishing “goals.” If during this initial consultation my perspective client is presenting with unreasonable goals, I try my best to get them to rein in their expectations and to redefine what they are hoping to accomplish, or at least the time-frame that they hope to reach the goal(s) in. If that does not work, and they are insistent on the unreasonable goal, I will not take them on as a client. In my opinion, my taking on a client that has already told me of their unreasonable goals, goals that I KNOW are unattainable and unrealistic, would be unethical and not good business practice.