It’s fair to say that both your clients, and prospective clients, wish they could have the same outlook on fitness as you do. Not everyone has the trainer mentality that you have! For us fitness trainers, we’re motivated to work out because we know each exercise brings us closer to our goals. To the average person, this might not come as easy. That’s why our clients need our professional expertise. Our responsibility is to push them out of their comfort zone, coach them beyond their fears, and help them towards a healthier lifestyle.
Here are three reasons why your clients and prospects might be scared of fitness, along with tactics you can use to help them overcome these fears, and instill confidence in their fitness routine.
1. Change is Hard
It is scientifically proven that humans do not like change! We hear the word “change” and we hit the ground running. People like to live in their comfort zones, regardless of whether their comfort zones are positive or negative. These comfort zones become their safe havens…but in reality, they’re a rut. A prospective client that is afraid of change will give you a laundry list of excuses for why they cannot prioritize fitness. You’ve heard them all before: work, kids, budget, time, and so on.
Trainer Tactic: It is your job to remind these prospects that they have control over their own lives. As they give you a run down of the barriers they face, try highlighting the ways that fitness would make a positive change in their lives. Explain the power of this change by highlighting how their stress or their ailments would decrease once a fitness routine becomes their new normal. Once they’re out of their comfort zone, they’re going to like it out here.
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2. Fear of Failure
Most prospects have already tried countless fitness programs…and failed. Humans are scared of failure which discourages them from trying at all. Repeated failures of bootcamps, crash diets, and yoga challenges come back to haunt them, so they’re scared to try again. They may have had a poor experience with a trainer in the past, with unfulfilled promised results. This type of prospect will think to themselves, “This won’t work because it’s never worked for me in the past.”
Trainer Tactic: Listen to your prospect. Let them tell you about their past failures with workout plans, and as a professional trainer, apologize on behalf of half of the weight loss gimmicks of their past, and tell them exactly how you and are your training skills are different.
I’m sure you’ve already established your unique way of training, so now is the time to highlight exactly how your system works: “Unlike [insert competitor program], I [insert your unique training skills], which is why I get lasting results for my clients.” Sometimes people just want to be heard, and you can provide them with the emotional care to know that this time, they will not fail.
3. Day One is Daunting
Taking the plunge is probably the single scariest part of fitness. Your clients are afraid to start! They might want to dive into a new journey, but feel intimidated. Maybe they feel like they don’t belong at a gym, and that people in fitness clubs are more fit, more educated, and more capable of fitness than they are, or that they’ll do something wrong and hurt themselves. Embarrassment could be another factor—they might feel like they don’t know what to wear, or feel ashamed to sweat in public! Even those rows of cardio machines and weights are intimidating.
Trainer Tactic: Give your prospective clients a literal hand to hold. As a trainer, this is your time to shine! This is where all your training expertise comes into play.
Sit down with your prospect (think of it as Day Zero) and listen to their fitness goals. Talk them through a mock program, and show them an example of one of your workouts. While doing this, highlight how your unique style training will get them the results they need. Then, explain to them the impact of starting now rather than later. Most importantly, assure them that you will be there throughout their fitness journey. And when day one comes, be there (in person or online) to show them exactly what to do, and how to do it.
Fear of fitness is common, and as a personal trainer, it is your responsibility to coax people out of their comfort zones and into a fitness zone! You’re the expert in your fitness niche. By giving your prospects the attention and care they need, you can help them face their fears, make a positive change, and tackle the first day of the rest of their lives.