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Jan
11

6 New Year Tips – Motivate Your Members

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How to Encourage Your Members and Clients When They Lose Motivation

Let’s face it … motivation is everything! We can have ALL the education in the world … be great role models as teachers or trainers, but if we do not EXUDE positive energy and BUILD that connection with our clients or members, we are bound to lose them.

There is nothing worse when we think all is going well with our classes and training sessions and suddenly numbers start to dwindle in class and clients or members begin cancelling sessions. Sometimes it is difficult to take responsibility for these circumstances, but it is necessary. For sure we cannot always expect 100 percent from our participants: we are all human and have our ups and downs, and motivation can certainly fluctuate from day to day. Our role, as teachers, however is to keep them coming back, ensure that they are happy and staying consistent with their exercise and training sessions.

Here are 6 tips to encourage your members; catch them before they lose motivation and get them back when they do.

Set a Clear Goal and Track Their Progress

If a precise program and goal setting is in place, there is little chance that you will lose them. It is important to discuss, from the get-go, factors that might interfere with their progress, or set them back a bit, such as family commitments, work, travel etc. This way, we have background information in place to refer to when times are tough. There should be timelines set, where client and trainer take a time-out and look at where they have progressed or not. This sit down and reflection of changes could be decided upon at the first session, once a month or every 6 weeks if preferred.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!

Choose your words well and always offer positive reinforcement and feedback for their performance: encouragement always helps to motivate.  I like to send brief text messages or emails with either a positive quote for the day or a quick positive feedback about their workout. I find that clients enjoy this and look forward to it.

Change it Up!

It is always important to keep training sessions or class choreography and exercises challenging, fun and full of variety. When a client or member gets the same old routine, that is a turn off and it’s boring. Even just changing the order of exercises in a workout can make a difference. Everyone loves a change and a challenge and when clients begin to feel that they are not challenged anymore, they for sure will lose motivation and probably stop showing up. We must always show an interest in their lives and be sympathetic to how they are feeling.

It’s Not About You – It’s About Them

How we feel on any given day is not important. To show any signs of frustration or stress that we may be experiencing is not what a client needs when they are coming to clear their own heads with their own problems. To be greeted with a great smile, a caring attitude and a strong focus for their workouts will result in a positive effort from them.

Put in the Extra Effort

When I notice a client just going through the motions, I try to ask what is on their mind, especially if it is not normal behavior for them. In a one-on-one training session, it is easier to strike a conversation and ask what may be going on in their life than in a class. Perhaps when you notice that a class participant looks out of sort, some eye contact or making a generic statement about trying to stay in the zone may help. If there is an opportunity to take them aside after class and show concern, that would be welcome, I am sure.

There is a difference between just having a bad day as opposed to some serious personal matter or injury.  I would never ignore a sign of unrest or sadness with a client.  Pretending that everything is alright and just going through the motions yourself is not an indication that you truly care about your client’s well-being. It would make more sense to comment about the fact that you notice they do not seem to be “in the room” and ask if they prefer more of a stretch session or talking. If, on the other hand, they are just not focused, I would always create a fun challenge like trying to beat time under tension with each set. Having a client compete with him or herself is always a hit and a way to keep the training session fun.  Example: how many seconds would it take to row 300 meters or see how long they can hold a plank. In a class situation, it is fun to divide the class in half or small groups and create circuit style challenges.

Remembering birthdays is a big one. It is easy to save these dates on your calendar so they come up and especially with Facebook, how can we forget? A small gesture like a healthy muffin with a candle goes a long way.

How to Get the Motivation Back?

When clients and class participants just plain stop coming, the best way to get them back is to create an outing.  Organizing events out of the gym builds a different kind of support system and bond.  Everyone loves to feel that they belong and are accepted by their peers. There is often not enough time in a training session or class to really get to know your members so getting together and doing something different usually works well.

Perhaps suggest they bring a buddy to the next class could help too.

If you have a juice bar at your facility, that is a great area to hang out together after a session or class. We often offer free samples when a new product comes in which works well to get the camaraderie going.

About the Author

Frances Michaelson Frances Michaelson is president of exercise equipment company Muscle Up Inc., a licensed naturopath and a personal trainer. She is passionate about helping people attain optimal health through proper diet and exercise. A self-described health-o-holic, she motivates others to move well and eat well to keep their bodies’ cells dancing and singing. Based in the West Island of Montreal, Frances is a frequent conference presenter, is author of BYOB: Bring Your Own Band and Replenish, Regenerate and Rebuild Your Cells, blogs for Total Gym exercise equipment, and is a regular contributor to IHRSA’s “Ask an Industry Leader.” With her broad knowledge base and over three decades of experience, she is widely recognized as a leader in the health and fitness field. Frances is committed to helping others make positive lifestyle choices that create stronger bodies, healthier minds and more fulfilling lives.

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