Being able to motivate my clients is the most important part of personal training. My training programs & technique coaching is worth absolutely nothing if I'm not able to consistently motivate my clients to turn up to training sessions. Motivation is not 'one size fits all' - you need to find the best motivator for you. Here are 10 tips that I hope you find helpful...
1. SET YOUR GOAL
We've all heard this before, you need to have a goal - your training needs to have a purpose. Take the time to set your goal and establish some strategies to achieve it.
2. FIND NEW CHALLENGES
Checkpoints or challenges within goals help keep training interesting. Training can become monotonous and long term goals can often seem so far away. Set yourself up for some victories along the way by finding related fitness challenges. The challenges you choose may have never been part of your original plan but that's what makes them fun.
3. BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE
Elite athletes need a coach to keep them motivated, so do you. Find someone you can discuss your goals with and ask them to keep you accountable.
4. UNDERSTAND YOUR MOTIVATION
Ask yourself "Why?". Make your goal personal and understand why it's important to you. It's not enough to simply "want to lose weight" or "want to get fit" - why do you want it? Despite your best intentions you are not always going to be as motivated as the day you set your goal but understanding the reason why you set it in the first place is a powerful ongoing motivator.
5. AVOID INJURY AND ILLNESS
Nothing sets motivation back quite like injury or illness. For the most part this is out of your control but training safely with correct technique and exercise programming, dieting sensibly and focusing on recovery will help you avoid the pitfalls of exercise related injuries and illness.
6. MONITOR YOUR PROGRESS
A system for monitoring progress is essential. Seeing results (or not seeing results) is a powerful motivator. The most effective monitoring is achieved by keeping it simple. Measure & record a value that's consistent, easy to re-test & relevant to your goals, for example, amount of weight lifted, time taken to run a distance, dress size, waist circumference or body weight.
7. ESTABLISH REWARDS FOR SUCCESS
The satisfaction of achieving your goal may be sufficient reward enough but an extra incentive may help. Establish a reward for your success in advance so you can use it as a motivator throughout your training. Examples may include allowing yourself a food you have typically been restricting, buying yourself a new gym outfit or anything else as long as you're prepared to follow through with it (or not follow through if you don't succeed).
8. ESTABLISH CONSEQUENCES FOR NOT SUCCEEDING
If we're going to reward ourselves for success there should be consequences for not succeeding, right? I'm not suggesting anything drastic, examples may include avoiding Friday night drinks, adding an extra training session during the week or denying yourself a treat on the weekend.
9. MIX THINGS UP
Doing the same workout all the time can be demotivating. Keep things different, varied and fun.
10. DON'T LET SMALL SET BACKS STOP YOU
Despite your best efforts you will encounter small set backs, we all do - don't let them snowball. Address them early, move past them and get back on track as soon as possible.
David Eggins | Personal Trainer at Drive Fitness in Brisbane