I’m a big proponent of “positive reinforcement!” So applaud your client’s efforts for at least making the time in their schedule to meet with you. I’ve worked with some very busy clients (e.g. an eye surgeon, the CEO of a HMO etc.) and what I found that works is that once they begin to see results (feel better physically and mentally, see cosmetic results, feel stronger etc.) their self-motivation to keep the progress going may be enough to get them to do some things on their own.
By acknowledging their success in meeting with you on a regular basis, you give them encouragement, and encouragement will hopefully lead to self-motivation.
I hope this helps.
Check the ACSM Guidelines on page 176 strategies for improving exercise adoption.
Basically client interventions focus on social suppport, reducing barriers, improving self efficacy, using prompts, and making social and environmental changes.
Consider discussing these proven intervention strategies with your client and co-creating a plan that works for them.
Have them write down 3 things they want to accomplish (GOALS)!
Have them post them on their fridge, pantry, car dash etc.
Also, you are their accountability. So always constantly reinforce them with positive texts, emails, calls to help them reach their goals.
-Centripetal Force – Creating a circle that helps pull you toward your goals – IT WORKS
Fuel the Movement,
Hello Kim… First off, thank you asking the question everyone of needs an answer for. All of the above answers have provided you with some insightful responses and many things to consider – I applaud each person for taking the time to answer and for giving you feedback.
If I may, I’d like to take this one step further. From our experience at PTA Global, we have seen that many clients don’t really know what motivates them. In fact many clients don’t really know what their true goal is and why it is important to them. For a trainer to truly ‘help’ a client, we must first know:
1) What their motivation is – what are their emotional triggers.
When we know what motivates them, what triggers a response, we can use this as a reward or an event that evokes a desired activity. For example, by simply using their words/verbiage – we call them ‘buzz’ words – we can connect with our clients on a subconscious level – this immediately helps to establish rapport and ultimately trust, which builds value in us as a trainer.
2) What type of personality do they have – ‘director’, ‘analytical’, ‘amiable’, etc,
When we understand their basic personality traits, we can cater our conversation and actions to match them. For example, if we are working with a Director type personality – we need to ‘get to the point’, If we spend too much time chit-chatting or belaboring an issue, we in essence ‘turn them off’ – this creates a subconscious barrier between us and them. Not good for building rapport, trust and adding value.
3) Their specific mode of learning – visual, auditory and/or kinesthetic.
When we know how they learn, we can better address them on their level and in a way that connects with them. If a person is Kinesthetic – meaning they learn by ‘doing’ and we try to tell them (Auditory) how to do things, this creates frustration and yes, you guessed it, creates yet another emotional barrier between us.
4) What is their preferred style of training / exercising based on their personality and emotional triggers.
This is a big one! We have been taught in the industry to give a client a program – the “I tell you what to do” mentality. But what if they do not like it…? How motivated are any of us to do something we don’t like or that doesn’t ‘fit’ us as individuals. People have different ways or styles that they like to exercise. We at PTA Global have 3 major categories – Traditional, Progressive and Hybrid.
– Traditional people typically prefer simple, known, stable and easy to perform exercise routines. Your typical gym exercises, something you would see in Shape or Muscle & Fitness magazine.
– Progressive people typically prefer a little more complex (meaning multi-sensory, not ‘harder’), 3-dimesnional, less stable (external support). More ‘functional’ is what many would say.
– Hybrid people are a combination of both.
When we train our clients, if we give them ‘our’ programs and not one that fits them, this will immediately create an incongruent environment and not ‘fit’ with them. They may not be able to articulate it, but subconsciously they will feel it.
What we find – and I personally have been guilty of this far too often in my career – is that a client often seems like they are not motivated, when in fact we as trainers have not connected with them. We have not tickled their emotional triggers and empowered or rewarded them to want to ‘exercise’. We do a good job of telling clients what to do, but rarely ask them what they want to do or enjoy doing… and if we do ask, we rarely put this into their program. As Dr. Roy Sugarman states – we tend to provoke our clients to do something rather than evoke a response in our clients.
I realize that this sounds like a lot of information to gather, but it is actually quite simple. PTA Global has spent countless hours reviewing and researching behavior and what makes people do what they do – or not do and we have developed a very powerful questionnaire for trainers that specifically addresses these issues. We have used it globally from the US, Canada, UK, Europe, Asia and Australia.
If you are interested in using this proven system, just go to our website [ http://www.ptaglobal.com/cmslistingpage.aspx?page=45 ] and sign-up for the Bridging Course. Besides getting all of the information I talked about, you’ll also get about 19 CECs through most organization.
Thank you again for your question and we hope this helps you.
Rodney Corn 😉