Fun Workout Tip #1 – Know whom you’re creating the workout for!
At Performance U, I have 3 different classifications of clients:
– Performance clients (want to outperform the competition)
– Physique clients (want to look great naked)
– Fitness clients (just like to workout for the health benefits in addition to stress relief)
So the old fitness trainer elitist saying of “do programs not workouts” certainly applies to the first two types of clients. It doesn’t apply the third!
The typical fitness client could care less about beating their old circuit time or elevating their 3rm on the Deadlift.
All they want is a fun workout, full of variety that makes them feel they’ve been worked hard and have moved their bodies in a healthy way, while distracting them from the stress of their life and work.
We all have clients like this – they’re the folks who’ve come to us for years without ever looking any different. And yet, they still think we’re the greatest trainer on the planet!
The truth of the matter is, this type of client comes for the workout, not the program and fancy periodization model you use!
Fun Workout take home: Make sure you first understand what each of your clients considers enjoyable to begin with! As they saying goes “different strokes for different folks.”
Fun Workout Tip #2 – Involve your client
One of my favorite sayings is:
Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I’ll remember. Involve me and I’ll understand.
I’d also add to the end of that saying “Involve me and I’ll understand and I’ll feel empowered.”
Good leaders effectively tell people to do the right thing. The Greatest leaders empower people to want to do the right thing.
One of the best ways I’ve found to empower my clients is to let them help me design their program by choosing a few types of exercise concepts to throw in at the end of each session.
For instance, my clients might say “let’s finish off with some abs.” Okay, they told me what they like to do. Now I (the trainer) tell them the methods to follow. This way, they feel empowered, but I still get to be the trainer.
Fun workout take home: Getting your client to feel ownership over part of the program not only builds a strong relationship but works to empower the client.
Fun Workout Tip #3 – Train for your clients goals, not your own
My mother, who was a bodybuilder in the 80’s, and who’s currently a PA and owns her own Yoga Studio in Port Richey Florida, once told me “never forget that it’s your client’s session, not yours.”
How right she is! My mother has forgotten more about training than many coaches these days could ever hope to know. But, what she hasn’t forgotten is that in order to keep someone motivated and having fun, they need to feel as if what they are currently doing will positively effect their desired future outcome (a.k.a their goal).
The smartest trainers these days are so caught up with the latest postural assessment technique or arguing about single leg vs. double leg training, that they’ve forgotten to actually listen to their clients about what THEY want.
So, if your clients say, I want “more toned arms”. You’d better give that clients some arm work and don’t tell them they first need to fix their in-line lunge pattern. Or, if they say “I want to run faster.” You’d better get them doing things like sprints and hill runs while you work on sprint technique. Don’t just tell them they need to master birddogs and planks first to establish “core stability.”
That is if you:
1. Want to keep this client as a client.
2. You want to keep them a happy client who wants to keep coming back.
Some trainers don’t care about what their clients want and they’re simply going to do what that trainer has predetermined is right for everyone. And those folks are what I’d call strength coaches and physical therapists. Those jobs aren’t customer service oriented – they’re like car mechanics. But, personal trainers ARE in the customer service business – we’re like the custom car shop.
Fun workout take home: If you’re not listening to discover how to best keep them happy by giving them what they’re paying you their hard earned money to achieve. Then you’re not delivering good customer service, therefore, in my book, you are not a good trainer regardless of your educational history!
Fun Workout Tip #4 – Use games
If you want to make your clients have fun, give them stuff that everyone loves, like games!
The games could be sports inspired or just movement oriented games that you made up simply because they’re fun to play and burn calories in the process.
Ian O’Dwyer says that “the games we played as kids are even more important to play as adults.” I couldn’t agree more! That’s why I often use games with my clients as part of their workout.
Fun workout take home: Incorporating games into your workout gives clients something to look forward to. If you’re having them do sprints, why not make it into a race?
Fun Workout Tip #5 – Use boxing / kick boxing
I don’t care who you are, people like hitting things! Just watch the expression on your client’s face when you have them put on the gloves and get after the mitts or the punching bag. They may smile or they may get their game face on. Either way, they’ll be into it for sure!
I use some kind of boxing with almost all of my clients because it relieves stress, it’s empowering, it’s great functional exercise and it’s a blast.
Fun workout take home: People like to hit stuff. Especially stressed out people. The solution, let them hit stuff.