In a recent Hyperhuman survey, our trainers positioned motivating clients as the second most important thing for them after “high-quality content” and above “creating fast and personalized content”. That’s because every workout starts in the brain, in your clients’ mindset. Your job as a trainer is not only to provide your clients with great exercises and routines but first of all to keep them engaged and motivated to stay with you on this journey.

Photo created by Javi Indy —
Photo created by Javi Indy —

Motivation is the key that turns on the engine of our body. If your clients are having trouble finding that key or if they had it for a while and lost it, you need to help them with this issue as much as you do with their physical training. The brain has to be exercised too in order to put the body to work on a regular basis.

So, what’s in your clients’ minds and how can you keep a group or class of people motivated? Here are a few tips on how to make your clients go to the coach instead of the couch:

1. Reinforcement

Positive affirmations are always a good idea to keep your group of clients pumped. Make sure to offer positive feedback when it’s due and be a source of constant encouragement for people attending your sessions. It’s all about building momentum and maintaining it so your clients don’t lose interest on the way.

Usually, a few weeks after starting to work out, people tend to feel like giving up and lack motivation. This is why it’s so important to reinforce the good practices over and over again. Help your clients achieve discipline by establishing a belief or pattern of behaviour. Set up a clear schedule that best suits the people in your classes. Through repetition and familiarity, we build routines and good habits.

2. Progress

How many times have you heard your clients complain that they can’t see any progress after only a few sessions? “I’m not losing weight!”, “I don’t feel stronger!”, “I’m not looking fitter!” etc. To help them have a sense of achievement, you can set progressive goals leading to the final goal. This way, your clients will see the change happening while also keeping their eye on the end resolution.

For example, suggest to your clients to take before and after photos at regular times or to track their progress using a chart with the end goal and milestones.

This will remind them constantly that one step at a time, one flex and stretch at a time, they are making valuable progress. Looking back at their old photo or being reminded of the weight they could lift six months ago, your clients will see the progress and maintain faith in future improvements.

You can also show some exercises in advance for the next session as a sneak peek that will keep your clients excited about what’s to come.

3. Rewards

You most probably became a trainer because you like it. We tend to do everything more easily if we find the remotest pleasure in it. This means we are internally motivated to perform that task. You can help your clients discover the fun of video workouts by pointing out some instant rewards: exercising feels good, gives you time to think, zone out, relieve stress or disconnect from daily troubles. You can also tell your clients to wear their favourite workout outfit or play their favourite music in the background.

With internal motivators like this, the goal is accomplished in the present, during workout, providing an immediate gain or reward. This is opposed to trying to motivate your clients with a reward projected into the future: they will look better, lose weight, get stronger, be healthy, feel better etc. These long term rewards offer short-lived motivation to carry on. What really keeps us repeating actions until they become good habits is finding an instant intrinsic reward in performing them.

4. Accountability

Just as often as complaining about lack of progress, clients tend to find all sorts of reasons for their decreasing motivation:

“I have no time to work out”, “I am too busy/ My schedule doesn’t allow me to exercise”, “I don’t have the proper equipment” etc.

You are probably very familiar with these phrases. Help your clients become more accountable for their decisions and stop blaming external factors for their failure. Ensure that they accept full responsibility for their own actions and make them realize that they themselves are the only obstacle stopping them from working out.

People are more likely to do something if they are accountable for it in front of others. We tend to be more permissive with promises we make to ourselves and we are more successful in keeping our promises to others. This is because we want to avoid feelings of guilt or shame associated with failure.

Considering this, it’s helpful for your clients to work out in groups where they have workout buddies to keep them going when they feel like giving up. The community will lift them up if they fall and, in return, they can do the same for others. Plus, this takes some of the responsibility off your shoulders since your video workout participants will rely more on each other.

5. The Power of Examples

People will always be more receptive to real-life examples rather than theoretical facts. We need to see something in order to believe it. Tell your video workout viewers some life stories of success featuring your previous clients, celebrities or even your own story as a trainer. Show them where these people used to be and where they are now.

Through storytelling and the power of real-life examples, your clients will be more confident in achieving their goals. This will drive them towards personal success and helps them commit easier to an exercise plan.

Hopefully, you got a lot of insights and ideas out of these tips to try on your own clients. For more tricks about coaching through online video workouts, follow us on social media and register on our Hyperhuman website.