5 Ways to Motivate a Client Who Isn’t Seeing Results

As a trainer, you always want to make sure your clients are getting the most out of every session with you. So, you need to remember you’re not just teaching them how to exercise, you’re also acting as a coach, helping them achieve their goals. It’s also important for you to motivate them in every step so they can reach their target.

Motivate Clients

Here are five ways you can motivate your clients:

1. Ask clients what they want to achieve and why they want it

When people hire a personal trainer, they have a specific purpose in mind. As a trainer, it’s your job to figure out that purpose. Ask your client whether he/she wants to gain muscle or lose weight because you have to motivate a person according to their goal. It’s crucial to know your clients better so you can make a schedule for them. Motivate them to stay focused on achieving their goal. Assure them they’re in good hands and their results will be great.

Check out this video from Tony Robbins to get a better picture of how to motivate:​

2. Don’t fire your clients—help them!

If you see your client is unmotivated or even a bit lazy, don’t "fire" them or be too hard on them. Every single person is capable of losing fat, building muscle, and improving their health. Your job is to help them take the right steps, no matter how small, to make that change happen.

Understand that different clients will require different coaching approaches. To make your clients' workouts more effective, determine their fitness level. Don’t expect them to do four sets of 20 deadlifts right away. Help them progress in nutrition and exercise at a manageable pace. Do what suits your clients. Don't give up on them.

Yes, this might seem like a lot of extra work with little return, but remember this:

When you help a client who nobody else could help, you build your reputation as one of the 'best of the best.' It's easy to recruit new clients when you are seen as the best.​

3. Emphasize the process over results

We're always taught to set goals. How many times have you heard about setting SMART goals with your clients? Be specific. Make sure your goals are measurable. Set a specific time frame...

There's nothing wrong with setting goals, BUT if the goals you set with your clients are always results-oriented, you may be setting them (and yourself) up for failure, disappointment, and increased stress levels.

That is why you need to adopt process goals rather than outcome goals. Process goals help your clients concentrate on what they have control over. They focus on their actions, not outcomes.

For example, having your client step on the scale each time you see her creates pressure. If that number doesn't go down, which may or may not be directly tied to things she did, she failed the test.

In contrast, having her keep an exercise journal that tracks her physical activity each week is completely within her control. She decides if she will go to the gym or go for a walk. Praise her success when she takes control.

When you emphasize the process, not the outcomes, every client can very quickly experience success.​

4. Provide an individualized approach to each session

As a personal trainer, you know that an umbrella approach used for all clients doesn’t work much of the time. Every client needs individualized attention, and this means more than just prescribing a unique set of exercises to each client. It's your job to assess how they are feeling each time they come to work with you.

Ask them how they are feeling and then be willing to modify they workout session accordingly. The last thing a demotivated client needs is to be taken through the exact same workout that "hasn't been working" for them. Even a few small tweaks will prove to your clients that they are more than just a paycheque. You are committed to helping them find solutions.

5. Praise your clients selectively

Complimenting clients at the right time can greatly boost their motivation!

This is a crucial part of developing a mutual respect with your clients. We always respond better to praise than critiques, it’s basic human nature.

But be selective; don’t give away your praise too easy. It’s important for your client to earn it through dedication and hard work.

Don’t praise after every workout session. Your clients need to cherish blessings that come only when they are well-deserved.

Whenever you praise your customers, tell them exactly why they’re getting compliments. For example, when you say, “You impressed me a lot with your workout, your lower body is getting stronger with each session,” it will boost their confidence because they can reflect on that specific improvement that they made. And they’ll do even better next time.

Being a personal trainer is always a challenging job, especially when working with clients who aren't seeing results. At the same time, helping these challenging clients experience a breakthrough always makes it worth your effort.

By using the tips mentioned above, and using your own knowledge and experience, you can surely motivate clients to work hard towards their goals.

How else do you motivate your clients? Let us know and share these tips with the buttons below!

About the author

Alice Mackenzie

Alice Mackenzie is a professional blogger, an enthusiast who loves to write on several niches including health & fitness.