Personal Trainers - Help Clients Stick to New Year’s Resolutions Using These Tips
As someone who spends a lot of time at the gym, you know how crowded it can be at the beginning of January. A new year brings the promise of a fresh start – one that many see as an opportunity to jumpstart their fitness routine. Training sessions book up, classes reach capacity, and new gym-goers wander around from machine to machine, unsure where to begin.
It doesn’t take long, however, before life gets in the way, schedules become hectic, and people start to fall back into their old routine. A few relapses make it easy to let that resolution or goal slip by the wayside.
As a trainer, you can help your clients prepare for those relapses and offer solutions before their plans fall apart – in essence, setting up their training plans for success. Whether new clients just starting their fitness journeys, or existing ones that want to get back on track or take it to the next level, here are some ideas to help resolutions stick.
- Start small. According to US News & World Report, only 20 percent of people who make resolutions actually stick with them past February. We tend to overcommit at the start of the year, so talk to clients about a more sustainable schedule. Suggest they start with two times per week and increase the frequency as they build their fitness and stamina.
- Involve other people in the process. Most people can’t afford to see a personal trainer several times a week, but many have a hard time staying motivated without accountability. Recommend group training sessions for those who don’t like going to the gym alone. You can even put clients who have similar goals or fitness levels in touch, so they can meet up outside of their time working with you.
- Mix it up. If you’re working with a client who is reaching for a higher fitness goal, encourage them to incorporate other avenues toward achieving their goal. Cross training is a great way to switch up their routine, strengthening other parts of their bodies and minds, and breaking up the monotony of the same activity. Runners training for a race can benefit from yoga that encourages mobility or cycling for low-impact cardio. People participating in cross training type programs or similar workouts can benefit by swimming or biking to get in some steady training sessions.
- For clients who have one big event in mind, like a half marathon, encourage them to set a few other goals throughout the year to keep the momentum going. After training and competing in a competition or race, it’s easy to fall back into old habits. While it’s essential to rest, urge clients to sign up for a few races throughout the year, so they can build on their progress.
- Minimize daily decisions. Decision fatigue is real: the more small decisions we make throughout the day, the less willpower we have. Encourage your clients to make a habit of bringing a healthy post-workout snack for after their training session or provide them with one. The less willpower needed to make a decision (especially one as important as fueling your body correctly after a workout), the easier it is to stick with that action and carry that mindset for the rest of your day.