Until a couple of years ago I was still attacking my workouts with the same intensity I did when I was a young competitor with lofty goals and dreams of athletic greatness. Eventually, I found myself dreading sessions and feeling burned out. There was no point in hating my workouts, I decided, and I vowed to let go of the negativity. Though I still craved movement, I was doing it for the wrong reasons—or I really didn’t have a good reason—and it was affecting the outcome of my hours in the gym.

If you spend enough time hanging around experts in the fitness industry, some residual knowledge eventually rubs off! It was around 2016, when recovery became a real buzz, that I began to approach my physical pursuits through the lenses of healing, joy and gratitude—instead of punishment. Not surprisingly, my body shame started to ebb away. Instead of criticizing my shortcomings in the gym or comparing myself to others, I celebrated my physicality and reveled in my capabilities. This perspective has kept me smiling through almost every training format but “leg day” ever since.

This month’s main feature, “Training Happy for Positive Behavioral Change,” is one of those “secret sauce” articles that we believe you will find value in immediately for both yourself and your clients. The premise is simple: Sustainable change comes through turning mindsets toward training happier, not harder.

While you can help people to use the techniques described by author Shirley Archer, JD, MA, you can’t make your clients happy. Only they can flip that intrinsic switch and see with new eyes what they’ve been missing. Supporting them in achieving both mental well-being and physical goals within a training session requires intention and conscious awareness. This article breaks down the up-to-date scientific findings to help you understand tools and techniques you can use with clients, as well as pitfalls to avoid—all in the pursuit of happiness.

“Integrating positivity practices into training sessions can enhance happiness, increase participation and attract new clients who want to join in the joy. But, before you can create a center where people can tap into the upward spiral of happiness, you need to be grounded in the concept of emotional well-being and the techniques to create it,” writes Archer.

You can “apply proven training methods to achieve effective physical results and integrate positivity practices (into both the training and the environment) to optimize feelings of well-being. The combined power of these tools can significantly increase chances that people will stick with training, and this same power can create an environment that magnetizes others who want to get in on the benefits.”

If your clients are looking for a new approach in 2020, this may well be the fresh and sustainable angle they’re looking for. Let us know how it goes and share your ideas for spreading joy in your classes and sessions: [email protected]

We’ve Caught the Podcasting Bug!

In the first quarter of 2020, IDEA will be rolling out a podcast that we hope will bring IDEA content and IDEA culture to life for you. For the first time, you will have a front-row seat to hear the editors go in depth with authors about articles they’ve written in Fitness Journal. You’ll get the inside (and early) scoop on the hottest sessions and presenters at IDEA® Personal Trainer Institute and the IDEA® World Convention. And you’ll gain insight from industry leaders on ways to improve your career, your earning power and your team, as well as ideas for making your clients more successful.

Stay tuned to our social media channels for announcements as we lead up to the kickoff.

Let’s make this an epic new year together!

We look forward to hearing your feedback! [email protected]

From our team to yours, happy holidays!

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster

EDITOR IN CHIEF

@sandytoddwebster

@fitnesseditor

@ideafit