How to turn a negative thinking client into a positive one

As a personal trainer, you’ll often become the bane of your client’s existence, but in a good way! You’re pushing them harder on that treadmill, encouraging them to move outside of their comfort zone and lift heavier weights to build muscle, but often your client can start to become the bane of your existence.

You’re a personal trainer, you’ve worked hard to get here and you love your job, Monday mornings are amazing for you, but for some of your clients, not so much. Negative thoughts are definitely not what your client needs to change their fitness levels and reach their goals, and definitely not what you need at any time!

A negative client can be the worst thing to deal with, and unfortunately they can be a troublesome client to keep hold of. A positive client is more likely to stay with you if they enjoy training with you and are getting the results they’re more likely to keep the relationship going.

So how do you turn a negative thinking client into a positive one?

#1 Be a source of positivity

Your client has potentially come to you because they are unhappy with their body or their fitness levels, so chances are they are feeling a little bit down already. It’s not only your job to get them in shape, but it’s your job to be a source of positivity. Create an atmosphere that your client will want to be a part of.

When you radiate positive vibes your client will feel them. Lots of positive reinforcement and encouragement can change a negative outlook into a positive one. Tell them they’re doing a good job, that they’re really making a difference. They may feel terrible before they set foot in the gym, so try and make the experience with you enjoyable. Have a laugh with them, ask them about something you know they enjoy and never feed into their negativity.

#2 Change the training program on the day

Training is hard, that’s why it works! Your client may be dreading coming to you as they hate lifting weights or running on a treadmill, and as a good personal trainer, you should be able to detect those feelings of negativity early on. If your client hates it, they won’t put as much effort in and therefore won’t realise the goals they’re paying you to help them achieve.

So change it up on the day.

Create a class with something new for them to try. Get off the treadmill and try a cross trainer instead. Change the weights for resistance training or go outside and use the park instead of the gym – literally anything you can to change the atmosphere. Your client will appreciate the change and hopefully their mind-set will be more positive for it.

#3 Don’t ignore the fact they have an issue

After you’ve built a relationship with your client, you’re most likely going to hear all about their problems from time to time. Although you may not be a psychiatrist, you should take the time to listen to their problems as they may just want to vent, just don’t get too involved with private matters and don’t let discussions eat into training time.

However, if they have an issue with their weight or their fitness, you need to listen and offer advice. Offer your expert opinion on what they can do to improve. Are they over or under eating? Are they not putting 100% into their training regime or do they find it hard to stick to running three times a week? Either way, offer them a positive option and remind them of what they have to gain (or lose) from sticking to the plan.

Willie Nelson once said – “Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.”

Although he wasn’t a personal trainer, his thoughts on positivity can translate across all aspects of life. So keep the positive vibes coming. Your clients will thank you for it.

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