When a prospective Client walks into the Studio, we often assume they are ready to do whatever it takes to reach their goals. How wrong could a Trainer be to assume this? Sometimes, all a prospect is willing to do is hand over their money and expect to get results just by training with a personal trainer twice a week yet continue to go home and perform the exact same habits. Unless they’ve accepted responsibility for their actions and are willing to make permanent behaviour changes to reach their biggest goals – for good - the person will need to work through various stages of behavioural change at their own pace.
There are 6 stages of behavioural change:
I have observed that often an individual may jump from Contemplation straight to Action by seeking the services of personal trainers or fitness facilities nearby and skip the Preparation Stage of behaviour change. Preparation is such a critical stage of behavioural change as it is the opportunity to reflect on existing behaviours and habits that have led to your current state and assess what changes need to be made. Once this has been appropriately assessed then you will be more prepared to make the behavioural changes required to achieve long term success.
Here are 5 questions you can reflect upon if you are ever considering personal training:
1) Am I ready to embrace change?
If you are not ready to make the lifestyle changes required to long-term success, then you are unfortunately setting yourself up for failure. Here are some questions you may ask yourself to assess your readiness to change:
“Am I ready to change my eating habits?”
“Am I ready to change my alcohol habits?”
“Am I ready to change my exercise habits?”
“Am I ready to let go of the past and embrace the future?”
2) Am I coachable?
As a coach, I believe this is one of the most important attributes of a successful Client. There is so much information available out there when it comes to health and fitness. In fact, 1,030,000,000 results pop up in 0.57 seconds when researching “fat loss”. There is definitely no shortage of data out there. So, why use a PT? Well, a PT will help you filter through all the noise and design you a program specific for you! They will educate you, motivate you and hold you accountable to your goals. All you need to do is be willing to be a blank canvas, be willing to trust the process, be willing to be held accountable, be willing to embrace feedback, be willing to be coachable.
3) Do I play above the line or below the line?
Those who lay blame or make excuses or live in denial about their current state are playing below the line. Below the line statements include: “I would eat well but my kids don’t like healty food” or “I would eat healthy foods for lunch if there was a healthy café near work” or “If it wasn’t cold, I would have exercised this morning”. These “Below the Line” comments are considered a Victim mindset and can destroy people’s ability to gain fulfillment, feel pride and build self-esteem.
Playing above the line involves having a Victor mindset and taking Ownership, Accountability and Responsibility for your actions. Above the line statements include: “I am unhealthy due to my current eating and exercise habits and need to make a change” or “I will make the time to prepare my own healthy meals given my local café does not serve healthy food” or “I am going to do an extra 30 mins of exercise today as I was unable to yesterday due to a work meeting”.
With a will there is always a way. Ask yourself “Do I play above the line or below the line?”
4) Have I set realistic goals?
Simply saying “I need to lose weight” is not an effective goal. A Goal-Oriented mindset is critical in achieving success. However, the mistake I often see is that individuals set ambitious goals that are unrealistic. For example, a client may desire to lose 10kg in 9 weeks, and to achieve that outcome they need to complete 300 mins of cardio per week. However, with work and family commitments to cater to, 300 mins of cardio per week may not be realistic, only to be set up for failure at the end of 9 weeks. It may be more achievable to set a 5kg fat loss goal over 9 weeks where the eating and exercise requirements are more effectively adhered to. Set yourself up for success by setting realistic goals that are more sustainable for the long-term success!
5) Am I disciplined enough to make change?
It is fair to say that success in never linear. There will be ups and downs, days of success and days that may be considered a failure. Often people associate the term ‘failure’ with the term ‘setback’. Whilst this may appear the be counterproductive to positive thinking, the association is spot on, as failure is an essential part of learning and development. Are you disciplined enough to stay consistent despite confronting any setbacks along the way?
In summary, the 5 attributes of a successful client are:
1. Ready to make change
3. Play above the line
4. Goals oriented