Motivation and the Process of Change: Step 1

img_2897We have interacted with clients who succeed easily and others who struggle tremendously. The sad fact is seven out of 10 people who start an exercise or nutrition program drop out within a few months. If you know people who have been among those drop-out stats, the problem may not be with them– it may be with the method.  Most people attempt to do too much too quickly.  They do not do any planning and they don’t know how to monitor their progress.

This is where YOU come in! Over the next 4 weeks we will review the 4 steps that will help your clients dramatically increase their chances for success.

  • Step 1.  Determine how ready your clients are to make the changes.
  • Step 2.  Help your clients develop concrete internal motivation for helping them to adhere to their program.
  • Step 3.  Help your clients set SMART goals
  • Step 4.  Outline potential obstacles to success and strategies for overcoming them

We will spend the most time discussing step 1 because I believe it is absolutely critical to your success as a Personal Trainer.

Step 1.  Are your clients ready?

We generally know within a few minutes whether a client will succeed easily or not. If the client accepts our recommendations for changes to their exercise or nutrition program immediately and unconditionally, we know we will achieve success easily. If the client begins to make excuses or give reasons they feel they will not be able to adhere to the program, we can generally expect struggles throughout the process. They are not ready to make the changes required to see the results they want.  It is a good idea to use some type of “Readiness” questionnaire with your clients. This will help determine the approach to take with your client and will give you a good idea of they are truly “ready” to adhere to the programming you provide.

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Client Led Workout Design

BHill01-R2-051-24So your client has asked you to create a workout for her to do at home. This is great. Not every client can be a 2 times to the gym per week type client. It takes all different types of clients to fill your schedule. Just make sure she comes back to see you regularly and continue to update, evaluate and add to her workout design.

Here are the guidelines we give to our trainers when they are asked to create a client let workout design (keep in mind that every client is different and these are guidelines): Read the rest of Client Led Workout Design

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Tips For Client Motivation During The Holidays

nov2016moultonfallsAs fitness professionals we know that our clients (and maybe even ourselves…) tend to lose motivation for staying active during the holidays. With the stresses (and joys) of holiday cards, shopping for gifts, baking and spending time with family it is easy for our clients to skip workouts. You may not be able to combat this completely, but you can send them my top 7 tips for staying motivated during the holidays and hopefully that will help!

Do Less:

It can be hard to find the time to get in your full workout, but if you tell yourself you’re only going to do 20 minutes, it will be a lot easier to stick with it. So opt for a quick 15-30 minute express workout to keep your energy levels up and you won’t feel like you’ve got to start all over in the New Year. 

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Managing Menopause

sprint-drill-bWe recently hosted a Fitness & Training Conference at the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland OR and flew in the international presenter, Hayley Hollander, from Chicago, IL.  She spoke on a variety of topics sharing cutting edge health and fitness info and I thought I’d share some of her tips on, managing menopause.

She pointed out that…..

…….managing the effects of menopause can be up to a 20 year process which is a big chunk of our lives so we definitely want to understand what’s going on in our bodies and do what we can to prevent, reverse or minimize any negative symptoms.

_mg_9676The highlights including the importance of Strength Conditioning and High-intensity Interval Training to offset the negative symptoms of Menopause.  She also outlined the most important strength exercises for women to include in their strength training routine on a weekly basis which include:

  • Overhead Press
  • Squat
  • Pulling
  • Bridging
  • Walk/Run/Locomotion
  • Bicep Curl

squatbEach of these exercises provide specific benefits in terms of either loading the spine or the hips, strengthening the lower body and our ability to move in a manner that promotes our ability to function in life, strengthening the postural muscles and improving our posture and alignment, strengthening the core, conditioning our upper body, and improving our ability to move through space. Read the rest of Managing Menopause

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Recommend Barefoot Running?

Vibram FiveFingersBarefoot running has become very popular. Do you have clients that have tried it? Do you recommend barefoot running? While I believe in the importance of strengthening our feet and letting our toes spread out like they were designed to do…we have to be careful when recommending that our clients start running “barefoot.”

The bottom line is that our feet need to be strengthened just like any other part of our body, but running barefoot should be approached carefully and bit by bit.

Here is what I like to tell my clients when they ask me about this topic:

Exercises for your FEET:

Since most of us wear shoes all day long and many women wear shoes that keep their feet in a very tight, constricted position all day long, our feet become very rigid. But our feet are designed with multiple joints and have the ability to articulate like our hands – just look at someone who has lost the use of their hands and they quickly adapt the ability to use their feet to write, eat, and perform various other daily tasks usually done by the hands. So the message is, we need to make an effort to increase the movement and functionality of our feet.

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Don’t EAT All That Candy!

halloweenSo fit pros….how many of your clients will be dipping into the Halloween candy more than they should? Almost all of them huh? Maybe you are guilty too 🙂 I know I have a hard time staying away from all of the sugar this time of year, but if I remember these tips it makes it a little easier for me, my kids and my clients. Share with your clients before Monday and happy Halloween!

Eat Before You Trick or Treat:

If you have dinner before you head out to trick or treat, you’ll be full and less likely to munch while you go..

Trick or Treat & Move Your Feet:

It’s a positive thing that Halloween gets families outside and walking their neighborhoods so ask yourself, how can you add more movement to your Halloween holiday? Schedule an outing to the Pumpkin Patch and walk the maze, search long and hard for the perfect pumpkin and participate in all the active options.  Can you trick or treat in neighborhoods where the houses are spaced further apart requiring more walking or in an area that is hilly to get your heart rate up? Can you host a Halloween Dance party? Can you go on walks before Halloween to check out all the cool festive house decorations? Head to the large Haunted Houses that require a good amount of walking and exploring. Plus getting scared gets your heart pumping and your blood flowing which is a positive response!

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Clients DO Have Time For a Workout!

FullSizeRender 7One thing we’ve heard from many clients is how busy they are.  There just doesn’t seem to be enough time in a day to get everything done!  The good news? That’s exactly what you specialize in right?… helping really busy people commit to their health and fitness so they can look and feel their best.  Here are the tips we give clients when they are short on time, but still need to get a workout in:

Move Your Body:

Focus on increasing your overall activity more throughout the day.  If we all just took the stairs more than the elevator, parked further from our destination and walked to do errands, we wouldn’t have to spend hours in the gym!

Avoid Distractions:

We can’t tell you how many times we see gym-goers zoning out while watching TV or reading a magazine.  If you want to maximize your workouts, put away the books, magazines and distractions while working out so you can focus on what you’re doing and get in and out of the gym more quickly. Read the rest of Clients DO Have Time For a Workout!

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YES! Clients Need to Warm-Up

Hey Fit Pros….didn’t you love watching the Olympics? One of my favorite events is the 100 Meter sprint. It is incredible how much training goes into a race that takes less than 15 seconds! Even on race day the sprinters warm up for about an hour for a short sprint race. This inspired me to remind our personal trainers and our clients about how important a proper warm up really is.

Share this info with your staff and your clients. Remind them how critical warming up is!

kneedipb2The body does not respond very well going from inactivity to intense activity. The cardio-vascular, respiratory, musculo-skeletal, and neurological and metabolic energy pathways need to be gradually stimulated in order to perform at an optimal level. You need to lubricate your joints, warm your muscles and connective tissue and slowly wake up your breathing and cardio systems. 

Muscles that are warm have a much better ability to extract and utilize oxygen to produce energy.  As muscles warm up, the enzyme activity level is increased.  This means that fats and sugars are broken down more rapidly, and more energy will be produced.  This will of course, enhance your performance.

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Take Care of Yourself – It is Your Job!

sherri-columbia-riverI recently came across this quote….

“Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”

…and I shared it with my team to remind them of how important it is to take care of yourself. It is the only way we can give our clients what they need to succeed and what WE need to succeed.

Here is the email I sent to my team. Maybe you could share it with your team or your co-workers?

Hey team,

This quote made me think of all of us.  It’s so important that we are all taking care of ourselves…exercising, eating well, getting enough sleep, managing our stressors…

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Why Clients Need to Train With You!

Need some info to send to your clients that will interest them and motivate them to work with you? Try sending them this article I just wrote for our local paper. Remind clients of all the multiple reasons muscle conditioning is critical. Share with potential clients as well….

muscle-class-sherri“As we get older, we tend to lose muscle – approximately 7 pounds of lean tissue per decade with this loss accelerating after the age of 40.

As a result, our strength and endurance is reduced, our metabolism drops resulting in weight gain, our bone density is lowered, our posture and alignment deteriorates, our balance falters, and we experience an increase in general aches and pains. So it is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL that we do whatever we can to maintain our muscle tissue by participating in muscle conditioning exercise at least 2 to 3 days per week.

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