Kelley Vargo by Kelley Vargo

Being able to motivate your long-term clients is an important aspect of being a successful health and fitness professional. Here are three steps to keeping your clients motivated over the long haul.

1. Reassess Goals

As time goes on, your clients’ health and fitness goals might change. While a client’s initial goal might have been to lose a certain amount of weight, his or her new goal might be to manage to maintain that weight. Or perhaps your clients have set performance-based goals such as completing a marathon or a long-distance bike race. By checking in frequently with clients on their health and fitness goals, we may tap into their intrinsic motivation, which can help keep them on track and motivated to continue working with you. You may also suggest that your clients keep a health and fitness journal to track the progress they have made toward past and current goals. These notebooks can serve as great motivating tools throughout a person’s health and fitness journey. 

2. Restructure Programs

In conjunction with reassessing goals, comes the opportunity to restructure the program your client is currently following. Program design should be done with the client’s end goal in mind—and keeping the client engaged in the program-design process is important. Incorporating the client’s preferences for specific exercises will help with adherence as well as motivation. Program changes can be implemented every four to six weeks. Set up a timeline so your client knows what to expect and when in terms of introducing new programs.

3. Redefine your Purpose

Initially, some clients might want to meet with you multiple times a week. This maybe necessary in the beginning, especially if your client is new to exercise. As time goes on and clients become more familiar with exercises, machines and choosing appropriate weights, you may be able to transition from multiple in-person sessions to a few per month and supplement their sessions with virtual training/coaching. The idea here is to empower your clients and give them ownership over their health and fitness. Meeting less frequently in person may ignite your clients’ motivation to stay the course with their training programs and continue to show improvement when in-person meetings are scheduled.

Finally, in addition to these three steps, don’t forget that maintaining an open line of communication with your clients is essential. Working alongside your clients to reassess goals, restructure programs and redefine your purpose as the coach/trainer every couple of months will go a long way toward helping you stay relevant and connected to your clients.