When a personal trainer engages a client, it is one thing to have a sound knowledge and exceptional application of fitness know-how in order to provide the client with a bespoke individualised programme, but it is quite another thing to make sure that your client remains motivated and achieves their fitness goals. This is a skill in itself for a personal trainer to provide fitness inspiration. It is therefore imperative that the personal trainer understands the concept of fitness motivation and links that to the fitness goals of the client to ensure that the client is kept on track with what they are trying to achieve.
Creating SMART goals
The first way to achieve fitness motivation is to make sure any fitness goals that are set are SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed.
Specific - A personal trainer should always make sure that firstly that the goal is specific, so if the client wanted to “get fitter”, that is not a very specific goal. If instead the fitness goal was something along the lines of being able to do ten squats in one set, or to be able to run for 30 minutes at a moderate intensity, these are much more specific targets that can be given to the client. The first aim is therefore to always ensure that a fitness goal is specific.
Measurable - Measurable means that we can measure the success. If we were to purely say that a client wants to get fitter, how do we measure that? If we instead say that someone wants to do ten squats, or to be able to run for 30 minutes, it is a much more measurable goal and a target that the client can be motivated to working towards.
Achievable - Achievable means that it must be possible for the client. There is no point saying to someone that we are going to train you to be able to run a marathon in an hour because it is obviously not possible to do that. A fitness goal must be something which is physically achievable for the client and something the client can work towards. There would be no benefit in setting a goal that a client can’t achieve, and so a fitness goal should be something that is within a client’s grasp.
Realistic - This means a designing a fitness goal that is realistic specifically and subjectively to that individual client. Is the client going to be able to commit to the demands set? For example, if the client says that they only want to train for two sessions a week, half an hour for each session, then that is not going to be very suitable if their goal is to run a marathon. A personal trainer should be making sure that any goal is realistic for the client, and this might mean that the goal needs to be adjusted to fit in with what is realistic.
Timed – Timed means that there must be a timeframe set for any fitness goal. For example, if the goal is to be able to do ten squats or to be able to run for 30 minutes, when would you like this achieved by? Whether you want this achieved with six weeks/six months/a year, whatever it may be, there must be a time scale to achieve this within.
How SMART goals can provide fitness motivation and inspiration
SMART goals can of course be reviewed as a personal trainer contains to work with a client. They provide structure and give the client something tangible that they can then work towards. Setting SMART goals and appreciating the fact that SMART goals are living goals that can change and be adjusted accordingly according to the client’s progress, can be very good way to keep the client motivated and inspired to continue with their fitness goals. It allows the personal trainer to convey to a client what they are moving towards and how far away they are from achieving that. When utilised well, SMART fitness goals can be a very powerful motivational tool.
Motivating Within a Session
It is also important that a personal trainer can motivate a client while doing a session, ensuring that they pitch their voice correctly and use the right motivational terms to motivate the client to achieve their fitness goals. A personal trainer may provide their client with motivational quotes or fitness quotes which are going to be useful mantras for them to base their workouts on. It may be that the personal trainer wants to give the client inspirational stories or fitness inspiration case studies. For example, if someone renowned has achieved a certain goal, or if someone that they know or have worked with previously has achieved a fitness goal. By giving those inspirational stories along with some motivational quotes these can provide additional tools that are going to help motivate a client to achieve.
In Conclusion - How to stay motivated and meet your fitness goals
Overall, it is important that the personal trainer is aware of the human factor when motivating their client. It is not just about putting together the most comprehensive programme. It is about selecting fitness goals that are appropriate for the client and working with that client on an appropriate level to motivate them towards these. It must be remembered that fitness inspiration is very subjective and very specific, and motivational techniques for one client may not necessarily work with the next. It is therefore important for a personal trainer to make sure that they are motivating their client subjectively to who they are and what they want to achieve. I hope this blog has been useful in enabling you to appreciate the concepts of motivating a client to achieve.
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