Monthly Archives: December 2013

Personal Trainers: 50 Things Your Clients Wish You Knew



So, you want to be a better personal trainer.  Hopefully every trainer falls into this category.  Bravo for striving for self-improvement.  Now comes the hard part: putting it into practice.  If you have a degree in a related field and have passed any type of certification, you likely already possess enough knowledge to do the job.  Beyond that, it gets a little trickier.  Listening to feedback from your clients is a great start, but there are things your clients will never tell you that play a bigger role in being the best trainer possible. The better you understand the not-so-complicated role of the human psyche in your clients, the better you can serve them.  Put these things into practice every day and your clients will trust you, refer you and even love you.

Here are 50 things your clients wish you knew about them, about how they see you and about your relationship with them.

  1. I want to feel like I successfully completed this workout, no matter what level of fitness I am at. 
  2. Challenge me, but don’t try to kill me (see above).
  3. Don’t try to impress me with your fitness level, this is about me, not you.
  4. A friendly voice, a smile and your undivided attention is all I ask for.
  5. I want to be able to tell you about my bad day, but I don’t want to listen to you talk about your bad day.  Again, this is about me, not you.
  6. I don’t want to look stupid, but I don’t always understand what you are telling me.  Please make it clearer.
  7. Don’t overwhelm me with too many directions or I will get frustrated and shut down.  Simple is sometimes best.
  8. There are some exercises I hate.  I will let you know what they are.  Don’t make me do them.  Find an alternative.
  9. Please be patient with my progress.  Fitness isn’t necessarily my passion.
  10. What motivates you may not be what motivates me.  Find out what motivates me.
  11. I don’t mind spending the money if I feel that what I am getting is a good value.
  12. I am very busy.  Please start on time.  Please end on time. Every time.
  13. My life can be very chaotic.  Please make the fitness part of it simple for me.
  14. Please explain why we are doing something and how it fits into my goals.
  15. Don’t try to sell me stuff I don’t need. Explain what a product can do and let me make my own decisions.
  16. I don’t like salespeople but I like to buy stuff.
  17. Don’t make me feel stupid for products I have used, diets I have tried or gadgets I have purchased with the hope of being healthier/fitter/leaner/stronger.
  18. Being healthier/fitter/leaner/stronger is important to me and I need accurate information.
  19. I only want to communicate by (pick one) phone/email/text/face-to-face.  Please don’t make me communicate by (pick any other one) phone/email/text/face-to-face.
  20. Don’t ever laugh at a question I ask you.
  21. Embarrassment scares me more than anything.  See above.
  22. I want someone that affirms what I already believe.
  23. It’s OK if you don’t know the answer to a question.  I respect that.  It also makes me look smart for having a question that stumped you.  But please find the answer for me.
  24. If I refer a friend to you, give them exceptional service.  That makes me look and feel smart.  I love that.
  25. It means a lot to me when you say thank you for my business or for a referral.
  26. I like free stuff.
  27. I like trendy and new.  It gives me something to talk about at parties.
  28. I will definitely talk about you to my friends, good or bad.
  29. I have the attention span of a gnat.  Ignore me and I will go away.
  30. I want someone I can trust with my personal information.  Don’t betray that.  Ever.
  31. I can be very insecure.  Please tell me when I am doing something right.
  32. I can be very insecure.  Please applaud my effort even if it wasn’t quite right.
  33. I can be very insecure.  Don’t use harsh words or yell at me.
  34. I am more vain than I would ever care to admit.
  35. I want to be your favorite.
  36. Please do not make vague recommendations for diet or exercise.  Specifics, please.
  37. Change is very hard for me.  I am very set in my ways, so it may take a while for me to develop new habits.
  38. I’m trying.  
  39. I have no idea what ______________(engage your core/opposing muscle groups/interval training/many other terms you use) means.   Please explain them to me or don’t use them.
  40. Fitness is not my life.  That is why I hired you.
  41. Don’t forget about me.  Even if I am not a current client, I may be thinking about it.
  42. I love it when you do what you said you were going to do.
  43. I find myself endlessly fascinating.  Just ask.
  44. I don’t always eat as healthy as I should.  Don’t judge.
  45. I don’t always exercise as much as I should.  Don’t judge.
  46. I sometimes drink an entire bottle of wine with my pizza.  Don’t judge.
  47. If I feel empowered/successful/happy when I leave you, I will most likely be back.
  48. If I feel like a failure/weak/annoyed when I leave you, I will most likely not be back.
  49. My money and my time are my most precious commodities.  I am giving you both.  That means a lot.
  50. It really is all about me.

Ten Gifts of Health, Wellness and Fitness

Are you a fitness enthusiast looking to recruit friends and family to your cult?  Do you have a hard to buy for health nut on your list?  Do you simply want to promote health and wellness this year instead of the passive lethargy of video games, movies and endless seasons of TV shows?  Whatever your motivation, this year give gifts that go beyond ‘stuff’ under the tree and provide your friends and family with the tools for a healthier, happier year ahead.


1. A new routine.  There are great new videos available to keep boredom at bay when it’s too cold to go outside. There are a variety of options for every kind of workout including well known favorites such as P90X and Insanity and some of the latest are designed with efficiency in mind, running only 30 minutes or less such as T25 or P90X3 (coming soon).  No more excuses of not enough time to work out.


2. Accountability.  There are great gadgets out there that allow you to set goals and be accountable to yourself for achieving them.  The Nike Fuel Band and Fit Bit will track your steps and other parameters so you can continually reach higher levels of fitness.  These devices are great for any level of fitness and can be especially fun when used to compete against each other.  Great for competitive families.

3. Nutrition.  This is a great option to those already working out or those who just want to make sure they are getting the nutrients they need everyday. Shakeology is one of the best options for a nutrition packed, great tasting shake.  A Nutri-Bullet is another great gift option to whip them up in.

images-44. A new challenge.  Some new equipment can offer a new challenge to both your muscles and your mind.  TRX is a great addition to any fitness room.  It is lightweight and can be tucked into a drawer or cubby when not in use, yet still offers a full body workout without any additional equipment.  Kettlebells are a multi-tasking tool that allows you to get strength, cardio and flexibility all in one workout without taking up too much space.

5. Education.  An online personal training class allows an individual to learn how to make healthy improvements in their every day life to manage their weight for a lifetime.  Books such as The Skinny Rules by Bob Harper or The China Study by T. Colin Campbell may also be good options for those wanting to gain more knowledge in the areas of health and nutrition.

surfshelf with laptop6. Personal Training.  For those already members of a gym or looking into a gym membership, a personal training package can be one of the best investments you can make to ensure the time spent at the gym is getting you closer to your goals.

images-57. Intensity.  A heart rate monitor can help users make sure they are getting into the right  heart rate zone when they train.  Heart rate monitors help keep track of progress and the number of calories burned during a workout.

8. Camaraderie.  Join an online group to keep yourself accountable.  Better yet, join a gym or personal training studio together to keep each other on track and accountable.   Most gyms have short term memberships available to get you through the next few months before you can take your run back outside.

Christmas fitness woman wearing santa hat

9. Inspiration.  Fun new shoes and clothes always make a trip to the gym a little more fun.  A new ipod or yoga mat can also add some excitement to a drab January workout. Even a fun new water bottle or duffle bag can boost the chances of a trip to the gym.  Looking for more inspiration: Sign up together for a local fun run, monster dash or color run in your area and start training together now.

10. Statistics.  For those individuals who are very into the numbers of their athletic endeavors, smart body scales that measures body fat and analyze other measurements may be a great idea.  You can get one that even sends your information out to social media sights for those that work well under the pressure of shame.  Consider yourself warned:  this is NOT a good gift for the self-conscious, weight obsessed individual who’s self esteem is directly tied to the number on the scale. Choose your recipient wisely.