Sara Lynn Baker by Sara Lynn Baker

As health and exercise professionals, we know that overall consistency in an exercise and nutrition plan is crucial for success. The holiday season can be challenging for both trainers and clients. This time of year tends to be harried, busy, stressful and full of unhealthy foods. As a trainer, your goal is to help your clients to stay on track and focused despite the myriad challenges of the season, while also keeping your income stable during a typically slow time of year.

Here are a few simple strategies to keep your clients engaged and consistent throughout the holiday season while keeping income in your pocket.

Run a Simple Holiday Challenge

It’s not too late to organize a simple holiday challenge. Incentive programs and challenges are not just for worksite wellness programs or large gyms. Challenge your clients during December or another specified timeframe to complete a certain number of workouts, try a few healthy recipes or get in a few extra walks during this time. Set up a simple point system where they earn points for healthy activities as well as double points for working out with you! Send out a weekly email with a few workouts they can do on their own, simple healthy recipes to make at home and other tips. Charge a nominal fee to hold them accountable as well as to compensate you for the extra time. You could offer a simple prize of a free session with you or a small basket of healthy goodies.

Offer a Personal Training Special for December and January

Though this may sound counterintuitive to keeping income steady, most clients naturally reduce the number of sessions they train during these months. Give your clients an incentive to not cancel sessions. Reduce the cost per session but require that all sessions must be completed by January 15 or another predetermined date. If the sessions are not completed, clients forfeit those discounted sessions. Having a deadline to complete sessions can keep clients consistent during this busy time.

Offer Hybrid Training

During the pandemic, you may have started offering online training. Hybrid training, offering a mix of both online and in-person training, can lower cancellation rates and help clients train more consistently. Sessions can still be conducted when your client is traveling or due to inclement weather. Hybrid training also allows you to train while traveling. If you have not offered this to your clients, December and January are great times to launch this option.

Offer Written Workouts

If clients cannot commit to personal training during this busy time, offer to write a few workouts that they can perform on their own at a lower cost than an in-person session. Clients could then fit these workouts into their schedule at any time. Video tutorials could help alleviate any confusion on the workouts. Check-in with them often to hold them accountable and to make sure you are available to answer any questions about the workouts. Ask them to report back to you once they’ve completed the workouts.

Set Up an Accountability Group

By using social media or apps such as Voxer, Slack or What’s App, you can create an accountability group to share workouts, tips and recipes, and to support each other. Check-in once a week or so and encourage communication. Ask each client what their goal is for the week. Share what your meals or workouts might look like during the busy time of year. You could offer this at no cost to your current paying clients during the holiday season, and if successful, turn it into a small subscription-based offering for a small monthly fee after the holidays.

The holiday season is a busy time for many, but by implementing a few simple strategies, your clients can continue to make progress toward their goals.

Did you like this content and are you interested in more? Are you an ACE Certified Professional? Check out our new pro resource, ACE Pro Compass, a hub of exclusive curated business- and career-related content where you navigate a path of your choosing, explore opportunities and discover tools to help build and adapt your career in the health and exercise industry.

Enjoyed this blog? Explore more like it only in ACE Pro Compass. Map out the career you want with ACE as your guide. Let's go!