Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Motivation magic

It is important to keep clients motivated in order for them to get results, enjoy their personal training sessions and ensure they don’t lose interest in your services.

Three early signs of clients losing motivation are

  •       Lack of enthusiasm and zest for working out
  •       Cancelling sessions without valid reasons
  •       Regressing into poor eating and exercise habits
Keep an eye out for these early signs before it progresses to a complete lack of interest in personal training. Are you seeing these signs in some of your clients?

A great way to keep your clients motivated is to focus on goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed (SMART). Every client has goals they want to reach through personal training and using the acronym SMART gives a clear and measurable timeline to reaching goals.

Whatever your clients’ goals are, ensuring they are visible is a great way to increase motivation. Do they have an old picture of themselves at their desired weight or perhaps of them winning a medal from a sporting achievement? If so, get a copy and display it where you work out with them.

Repetition in exercises is just plain boring; it’s going to make even the most dedicated fitness fanatic unmotivated. Changing exercises is a great way to make sessions fun and create new stimulus. Be attentive to your clients and listen – if they don’t like an exercise, don’t make them do it if there is another option.

Keeping in touch with your clients during the week so it’s not just a weekly one-hour workout is a great way to keep motivation levels up. Get in touch; find out how your client’s workouts are going during the week. Do they need new programme plans? What have they been eating? These are all great conversation starters.

Is your client training with a friend or partner? If not, it’s a great way to increase motivation, plus gives you the option to charge more if they both train with you!

Hope this helps. What do you do to keep your clients motivated?


Thursday, 24 March 2011

Perfect posture

One of the most common questions I get from my clients – after weight loss of course! – is about posture. This is a term used to describe body shape – whether good or bad. Good posture is maintaining muscular balance throughout the body to ensure there isn’t an excessive curvature in the spine.

Posture is very important when taking into consideration lower back pain. A common disorder causing lower back pain is lordosis. This is an inward curvature of a portion of the vertebral column, normally found in the lumbar vertebrae. Lordosis can be treated by strengthening the hip extensors and by stretching the hip flexors. Strengthening the posterior chain will also help to treat lordosis and flatten the lumbar vertebrae.
Useful exercises are stiff legged deadlifts, supine hip lifts and supine single leg hip lifts. Exercises that strengthen the posterior chain without involving the hip flexors in the front of the thighs will be beneficial in treating lordosis. This will help to create a posterior turn in the pelvis and flatten the back.
A large reason for lower back pain is often lifestyle. Are your clients sitting at a desk or in a car for a long period of time? If so, their body will adapt to these positions and create muscular imbalance. I re-enforce to them the importance of keeping good posture, not only during exercising but in daily life.
The majority of my clients who suffer from lower back pain spend the majority of their day in a seated position. I ask them to check they are sitting correctly in an upright position, maintaining a neutral spine and not slumping. I enforce this during our sessions by performing exercises, such as the seated shoulder press, in a seated position. Make sure your client is pushing their lower back against the back support and that this is transferred into their daily life when sitting. 
I hope these tips help!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

The early bird

Thinking about training in the mornings? I would definitely recommend it – it’s a great way to wake up!

Some clients do find it hard work when it’s really early so I remind them why they’re training. I reinforce the weight loss, how well they are doing and how good they will feel for the rest of the day.

The biggest problem with training in the mornings is when clients have low energy levels if they haven't had enough sleep or not consumed the right nutrition.

When training in the morning it’s important to increase blood sugar levels and have enough glucose to fuel the workout. To do this make sure you have sufficient carbohydrates before training. Due to the short time available to digest food in the morning it is important to have a light meal that will give energy but not make you feel so full you can't work out.

Fruits and sports drinks are good to have before working out in the mornings, followed by a more substantial breakfast after the workout. I tend to have a banana and sports drink before I train so I have energy but don't feel uncomfortable. Most sports drinks will take time to provide energy so should be consumed around 20-30 minutes before training.

I start clients off with a hard exercise as I find it wakes them up! We normally start with a run/warm-up then go straight into some hard complex compound moves, such as the clean and jerk.

Early morning is actually my favourite time of the day to train – I find I always end up having a really productive day. I love it!


Wednesday, 9 March 2011

The black and white of it

Did anyone spot my letter in UltraFit magazine (Feb/Mar 2011)?! It's in the purple feedback box. I wrote in response about an article they ran on working in the fitness industry, and talked about my experiences (as I've been blogging here, in fact).

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Delivering a marketing knockout

Isn’t it a great feeling when everything comes together with a client? I’ve been training someone new twice a week using some of the skills I picked up on the Outbox™ course I attended. We get along really well and she’s really enjoying the boxing – so much so that she asked me to help her get the right gloves, bags and wraps for her to use both in her own time and during our training.

Going on the Outbox course was really helpful in making the boxing sessions more fun and professional. Having the online videos is also a big help for referring back to teaching points and how Adam Booth and David Haye are coaching.

To try and make sure that I get more new clients – hopefully as nice as my new boxing client! – I’ve been hitting my marketing hard. And, just as I tell my clients to, I’ve been keeping a log to mark all the key points on what I have been doing every day to market myself and my company.

Over the last week I’ve made a few changes to my website to make it more visually appealing, I've contacted different groups on Facebook and have got in touch with a WeightWatchers® meeting to see if I can give a talk on health and fitness.

It really is like anything that you want to do – having set goals clearly written down really helps. I recommend all personal trainers begin keeping a log. We tell clients to write down their goals so we should practise what we preach!