Five Techniques To Make You A Better Motivator

As a personal trainer, your job is to help people reach their fitness goals. Whether it’s weight loss, muscle building or preparing for an athletic event, trainers are only effective if they can motivate their clients.

No client is the same, and your ability to offer a personalised service will set you apart from other personal trainers – but how do you motivate people to ensure they get the right results?

We’re about to reveal five top motivation techniques that will make you a better personal trainer and keep you fully booked.

Why is motivation important in personal training?

Everyone has unique health and fitness goals. If a person is happy to take charge of their fitness journey, they won’t need any help along the way – but some lack the knowledge and motivation to reach their goals.

Personal trainers are responsible for designing bespoke fitness and nutrition plans that factor in a client’s needs, but they also need to offer emotional support during the journey.

Let’s look at three types of clients personal trainers work with.

Health and fitness newbies

Understanding how the relationship between food and exercise can impact a person’s weight isn’t as easy as it sounds – but newbies will need a lot of support along the journey.

Personal trainers must equip them with the knowledge to succeed and motivate each client throughout the journey.

It’s also important to remember that specific clients might have heart problems or diabetes, so you’ll have to develop a training plan that prioritises health and safety.

Professional athletes and bodybuilders

Athletes and bodybuilders have set goals, and it’s the personal trainer’s job to help them achieve each objective. It sounds easier because you’re working with experienced professionals, but that’s not always true.

These clients expect results, and your expertise will be vital to providing a professional training experience.

Clients with a specific goal

Some people also hire a personal trainer because they want to reach a specific goal. For example, a new mum might use a personal trainer to drop her baby weight, while someone with an injury will need a bespoke workout plan.

These clients often need a lot of support to break through barriers, and personal trainers should be enthusiastic, encouraging and motivating each person.

Our top tips to make you a better motivator

As you can see, some clients will require more motivation than others, but your ability to help people stay focused on their goals will set you apart as a personal trainer.

Now you know why motivation techniques are important factors of personal training; it’s time to look at some of our top tips to ensure you keep your clients revved up.

These motivation techniques help you manage each client and enjoy long-term success as a fitness instructor.

Tip 1: Set achievable goals

Goals are key to staying motivated because they allow people to focus on each step and track their progress. However, a huge mistake we often see is unrealistic goals that do nothing but set your clients up for disappointment.

The best way to set realistic objectives is by using the SMART system because it takes your client’s wants and breaks them up into small achievements.

The SMART system stands for:

  • S – Specific

  • M – Measurable

  • A – Achievable

  • R – Relevant

  • T – Time-Bound

An unrealistic goal might be someone who wants to drop two stone in a couple of months because they’d need to work out for hours each day and drastically reduce their calorie intake.

Implementing the SMART system could give them more realistic objectives – such as losing eight pounds monthly.

Your client will be rewarded for their hard work, making them more determined to continue the weight loss journey.

Tip 2: Use visual motivation techniques

Never underestimate the benefits of before and after photos or other visual aids for personal training clients. Not only are they highly motivating, but they also allow people to track positive changes in their weight and overall appearance.

Start with a before photo and capture your client at all angles, then do a monthly review where they can see the rewards of their efforts.

If you’re training athletes or bodybuilders, you can take it further by recording when each person lifts more or how quickly they make it across the finish line.

The best thing about this method is that it makes your clients feel good and showcases your skills as a personal trainer.

Tip 3: Set up a rewards system

The next step is a time-tested strategy that consistently delivers great results. Businesses use it to boost employee motivation and performance but it can also improve motivation in personal training environments.

SMART goals are great, but using them with a rewards system can ensure your clients meet their measurable goals and stay motivated throughout the fitness journey.

Psychology professionals have researched the connection between incentives and motivation, but it also depends on the person’s mindset and the potential rewards in place (Very Well Mind).

Great incentives include:

  • Getting a new haircut

  • Going on a shopping spree

  • Spa days

  • Buying a new car

  • Booking a dream holiday

It’s entirely up to your client, but make sure they set a reward they’d like because that’s how you’ll keep everyone on course.

Tip 4: Use success stories to inspire people

Personal training is meaningful work because you help people change their lives. It goes deeper than better physical health because exercise can boost mental health and increase confidence (NCBI).

Prospective clients want to know they can trust you and that you’ll help them reach their goals, so remember to share positive feedback on your website or social media pages.

Not only does this boost motivation, but it also displays you as an industry authority, which is always essential when you’re competing with other personal trainers.

You could also ask happy clients to record a video about how you helped them overcome their challenges because it’s more interactive and could create more interest in your fitness business.

Tip 5: Never forget about self-motivation

Last but definitely not least, never forget that you are the best representation of your services. There’s no point in trying to increase motivation among your clients if you can’t find the motivation to improve yourself.

Every client is different and it’s your job to help them reach their full potential, which means approaching each session enthusiastically and setting a positive example, so others follow suit.

Here are some things you should never do.

Let your personal life get in the way

We all have bad days, and it would be unrealistic to expect the same energy and positivity all the time – but your personal life should never compromise your business.

Going into a session feeling moody or like you can be bothered will only make it harder for your clients to get involved, and they might quickly find another trainer.

Treat the workplace like a casual space

When you don’t work in an office, it can be easy to forget that professionalism still matters. For example, clients don’t want to see you playing on your phone while working out or not paying attention to them.

Think you know it all

Personal training is an ever-evolving field, with new forms of exercise coming out all the time. From the aerobics craze of the 80s to today’s heavy focus on HIIT workouts, you’ll sometimes need to step out of your comfort zone to give clients a better experience.

Training is central to a successful career in fitness, and adapting to each client’s needs will set you apart from others.

Ready to begin a career as a personal trainer?

There’s no doubt that personal training is an exciting and rewarding career for people who don’t want to work in an office environment – but it does require a lot of dedication.

If you’re the kind of person that can stay positive and push people to become their best selves – it could be the perfect career for you.

While you need to update your skills regularly, there are plenty of avenues to explore once you get your Level 3 Personal Training qualification.

The course prepares you for work as a personal trainer and will help you gain employment or start your own training company.

Better still, learning with The Fitness Circle allows you to study fully online in your own time, with the support of a team of qualified tutors.

We make it possible for anyone to invest in a lucrative career with plenty of diversity and great progression options.

If you’re ready to begin your career, please contact us today. We look forward to helping you meet your goals.

Take the first step towards your brand new career.


Our Success Advisors are eager to walk through your options and answer any questions you have

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