Itis now 2010. Health clubs and fitness studios across the countryarecurrently dealing with an influx of members. Their desireisto conquer New Year's resolutions. Sadly, seven out of 10 peoplestartwith all the right intentions, only to drop out within a few months.Wheredo fitness professionals fit into this equation? How do we motivatemembersbeyond their New Year's resolutions? What can be done to turnour "fitnesstourists"ââ into lifetime fitness enthusiasts?
Weall know people who have been among these dropout stats. Yourmembershave tried to adhere to an exercise program before, and a NewYear'sresolution motivates them to try again, year after year. So the problemdoesnot always lie within the resolution - it may lie within the method.Mostpeople attempt to do too much too quickly. They do not plan andthereforehave no idea how to monitor their progress. They fail because they mimicexactly what they did last time. Year after year, they do the samethingover and over again but expect a different result.
Thisyear, things could be very different. This year, you should prepareyourmembers to be successful by developing a strategy for overcomingroadblocksposed by work, children, fatigue or lack of time. This is whereastrategically designed "resolution-busting"ââ program keeps your membersmotivatedbeyond their weight loss resolution. This year, you become yourtown'sresolution solution.
Theeasiest way to design your resolution-busting program is to get yourfat-bustingexperts (personal trainers) involved in program implementation.Onceyour trainers understand the four-step process discussed here,theycan get your members involved in specific programs designed to motivate.Everymember that has a goal of weight loss should be established with acomplimentary personal training session. Personal trainers who challengetheirclients through the following four steps dramatically increase their client'schancesfor success.
Step1: Help your clients develop concrete internal motivationforhelping them adhere to the program. Manyof your members aresickand tired of being sick and tired; it is time to find out what truly motivatesthem.Much of being motivated boils down to developing a "currentpainvs. future pleasure"ââ worksheet. When you can determine what a clientdesiresto change, it opens up a dialogue that can lead to developing the client'spersonalfitness wish list.
Haveclients write down anything they have ever thought of achievingwithregards to their individual health and fitness. Determine which goal, ifachieved, would make this year unbelievable. The list may include itemssuchas: hiking the Grand Canyon; completing a 10k or half-marathon;learningto kayak, inline skate or rock climb; or committing to working outfourtimes a week consistently. The one rule is to keep this list positive andfocusedaway from body image.
Nowthat your clients are internally motivated....
Step2: Help your clients set SMART goals. Settingrealistic goalsisthe key to success; however most clients do not know how to create aSMARTgoal. For many, their goals this year will be to lose weight. Effective,realisticgoals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Rewards-based and withaTime frame. They must be clear, easy to measure and have a deadline. Butdon'tstop there; successful goal-setting requires two more things. Be preparedtore-evaluate your client's goals on a regular basis and reward themoncethey have achieved their goal. For example, treat them to a club massageor atrial week of their favorite group training class, and then help themtoset their sights on the next goal.
Step3: Discuss obstacles and strategies. Whathas stopped your clientfromachieving their weight loss resolutions before? Determining obstaclesthathave surfaced in the past allows you to develop strategies for overcomingthem.This way, both you and your client will be prepared, and there won't beanysurprises. Finally, if your clients are undertaking a major lifestyle change,thebig picture may be a bit overwhelming. Take their lofty goal and split itintosmall, easily achievable goals. Your clients' success on a regular basis gives themthe momentum they need to achieve victory and reach their ultimateweightloss goals.
Step4: Start the goal-oriented programming. Theclient/trainerrelationshiphas definitely been established at this juncture. You have determinedyourclient's internal motivation. You have established their SMARTgoalsand developed strategies to overcome potential obstacles. It is nowtimeto get them involved in a your resolution-busting program. See thesidebaron the previous page for a sample program that can be implementedintoyour club or studio. Following the program implementation guidelinesgivesyour club a resolution solution program that is sure to lead to greatresultsfor clients and your clubs.
Asfitness professionals, it is our job to keep clients motivated toachievegoals and become real-life resolution busters. Developing SMARTprogramsensures that the client is able to stay on track and achieve success.Thechallenge for you is to turn your "fitness tourists"ââ into lifetimefitnessenthusiasts.
RyanVogt, BS (Sports and Fitness Management),NASM-CPT,is the fitness director at the Tri-City CourtCluband LifeQuest Fitness Center, which are both privatehealthclubs in Washington. He is also a freelancewriter,presenter and fitness consultant. Ryan can bereachedat firstname.lastname@example.org or 509.783.5465.