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Empowering clients to take charge of their own fitness goals

This is an excerpt from Foundations of Professional Personal Training 2nd Edition eBook With Web Resource by Canadian Fitness Professionals Inc. (canfitpro).

The experience that clients have with a Personal Training Specialist may influence other aspects of their lives. When clients have a positive experience, make effective choices, and reach their personal fitness goals while working with you, they often experience positive changes in other areas. These changes are often reflected in their view of themselves, their level of self-confidence, and their experience of overall happiness, thus leading to a greater sense of overall fulfillment.


Client fulfillment is the ultimate goal for a Personal Training Specialist, and assisting clients along this important journey is a privilege. Whether clients are just getting started, thinking about making a change, looking for a challenge, or maintaining their exercise adherence, you have the opportunity to be a helpful part of that equation.


Some Personal Training Specialists inappropriately establish relationships in which they insist the client needs the Personal Training Specialist's guidance in order to succeed. This approach does a disservice to the client and can hinder long-term success and fulfillment. Although a Personal Training Specialist can educate and motivate during workout sessions to expedite the client's results, adopting techniques and strategies to endorse positive decision making outside the fitness facility can be long lasting and life changing.


During your training sessions be sure to explain the purpose of each workout component, demonstrate each exercise, cue as necessary, coach to motivate effort, and empower your clients to believe in themselves, their fitness goals, and their ability to achieve success. Table 1.1 gives an example of these types of interactions. Following this process in sequence will ease the adaptation of the clients' learning and fulfillment while affirming their skills and abilities. Leaving out any of these steps could result in clients' becoming disengaged and unsuccessful. See figure 1.1.



Figure 1.1 Cycle of client fulfillment.
Cycle of client fulfillment.


A canfitpro Personal Training Specialist's goal is to empower clients to make confident and positive choices in and outside the fitness facility. This goal can be achieved by offering compliments or feedback to clients that confirms and provides evidence of their ability. Doing this increases the likelihood that they will continue with exercise, view themselves as capable, and believe that success is indeed possible. Asking questions also allows clients to take ownership of their success, thereby confirming that they have the resources they need to succeed.


Some examples of empowering feedback are the following:

  • "You really focused on the proper alignment throughout that set. That was great!"
  • "You found it in you to push through that last 15 seconds of the interval; that took a lot of determination!"
  • "You have made fitness a habit. Good for you! I have noticed that you've been really committed to reaching your fitness goals by being active three times per week."

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Learn more about Foundations of Professional Personal Training 2nd Edition With Web Resource.