Personal training tends to be very seasonal in nature. The summers are quieter while people are on vacation and back to school brings many newcomers to the gym. This shift in clientele presents varying challenges for trainers. The best clients are not just the ones who experience the most dramatic results. I’d like to discuss five qualities that all great clients embody.
These are in no particular order, as they are all vital to long-lasting success.
Great clients are committed. These types of people are focused on achieving set goals and are dedicated to staying the course. Reaching challenging goals requires a certain level of commitment. Commit to a set number of training days and stick to this. Three total body strength workouts a week is a great place to start. You can also achieve great results with two strength sessions a week if that is all you can commit to. Start with smaller commitments and build on those. Over time, larger commitments will be much more manageable.
My favorite clients are the ones who show up for every session. Their consistency is a big part of their success, and it’s no secret why. Consistency with training, nutrition, and lifestyle choices are all important. If a client misses a session or two, it shows me they aren’t fully committed to their plan, which makes it that much tougher for them to make progress. Clients who put in the effort on a consistent basis will reap the most reward. Consistency with nutrition is the biggest game-changer I see regarding a client’s progress. Strive for 85% compliance with your eating and you will be well on your way.
You’ve got to work hard if you really want results worth talking about. I love working with clients who can push a little further during a session. Sometimes it means digging deep and going for that extra rep or two. Sometimes it just means attacking your weights with great form. Effort is one variable that you can control, so always give your best to maximize your results. You don’t necessarily have to beat yourself to a pulp every workout, nor should you. However, pushing past your comfort zone will not only challenge you, but also help you break past mental and physical barriers.
The path to incredible results is never linear. At some point along the way, your results may not happen as fast as they once did. This is completely normal as the closer you get towards your goals, the tougher it becomes. If you’ve already lost 50 pounds, losing that last 10 may be the hardest part. It’s important to keep the overall goal in mind and break down bigger goals into smaller, more manageable ones. The most successful clients demonstrate persistence even when progress slows. Persistence is part of the equation for breaking through those plateaus. Sometimes you just have to grind a little bit harder to achieve the end goal.
Being accountable is a large part to a client’s success. For example, some clients only train once per week with me, and I’d like them to get 2-3 training sessions in during the week. I may hold them accountable and have them do a couple workouts on their own before we meet again. This is just part of the equation. Accountability is similar to commitment and can also be applied to a client’s nutrition as well. If I recommend to a client that he/she increase their daily water intake, I’m holding them accountable to completing that task. It is ultimately up to the client to create accountability with themselves and establish guidelines to follow.
These are five of the top qualities that I see in my most successful clients. If you are a coach or trainer, keep these in mind as you think about your current client roster. As a client keep in mind how these qualities can transform your results.
If you need some direction with your programming, check out my Services page to get the ball rolling.