Health begins at home. The place you eat, relax, entertain, and connect. Home is comfortable… but sometimes, it’s almost too comfortable. It’s a place of no judgement! A place where you can put your feet up and binge-watch eight episodes of Stranger Things (complete with popcorn!) without batting an eye. As a fitness professional, that’s why group personal training for families is a huge market you’ll want to tap into.
Home is is a place where unhealthy habits are learned and passed down from generation to generation. Children learn couch potato habits from their household lifestyle. Generations learn bad eating habits from their parents and grandparents. What we eat, what we do for exercise, and how we balance a healthy lifestyle gets handed down. And that’s a pretty serious concern if what’s being passed down isn’t very healthy. Diet is one of the major precursors for high blood pressure, cholesterol, and Type 2 Diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, “Type 2 diabetes has a link to family history and lineage. In part, this tendency is due to children learning bad habits — eating a poor diet, not exercising — from their parents.”
So how do you help clients break that generational cycle and change their wellness habits for good? You make health, fitness, and nutrition a family affair. Here’s how to get started with group personal training for families.
Getting a Client’s Family on Board
The first way to do this is to make sure your clients’ families know the important role they play. We know having a support group is crucial to a client obtaining their health goals, and for many, that network starts with their immediate family.
So how do we, as trainers, help get our clients’ families on board?
Start With Small Changes
It starts by encouraging our clients to take small steps and make (or suggest) small changes at home. We don’t want them to go home and run through their home like a bull in a china shop, throwing out all the junk food and removing all their family’s favorite vices.
Tell them, it’s okay to leave the ice cream in the freezer and the chips in the pantry. Making big, sweeping changes is more likely to have a negative effect on their family’s attitude than taking a more subtle approach. You can’t exactly take an ice cream bar, replace it with a carrot stick and not expect to be met with anger or hesitation.
Suggest to your clients that they choose one unhealthy habit or vice that they share with their family and start there.
Maybe they, along with their relatives, enjoy drinking sugary soft drinks or sodas. They could make a small change there by first restricting the consumption of these beverages to the weekends or holidays only. Or by switching them to low-calorie/sugar-free versions. Better yet, swap out sodas altogether with some sparkling water that you add natural flavors to, like lemon juice or lime juice.
If a client’s family has a collective “couch potato” habit in the evenings or on the weekend, suggest they pick one day a week where they turn off the TV and devices and choose an activity such as a family walk. Maybe they just go outside and play basketball in the driveway or soccer in the backyard, or create a relay race in a nearby park. So long as they’re replacing one small piece of their unhealthy lifestyle with a healthier alternative, they’re making progress, and their families might not even notice the change!
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Try New Recipes, Not Modified Favourites
Healthy cooking is an integral part of being successful with group personal training for families. One place where small changes might actually backfire with a clients’ family is in their cooking.
It can be tempting for a client to take an old family favorite—maybe it’s Abuela’s recipe for carnitas or a passed-down recipe for homemade pierogies—and modify it to be healthy. Cut the salt, switch from butter to a low-fat alternative, or remove the cream and cheese.
The problem here is families can form emotional connections to the way certain dishes are prepared or the way they taste. Messing with that can provoke big reactions—and often not the good kind.
Instead of modifying the recipes their families love, suggest that your clients try introducing new recipes to their meal rotation or try new foods prepared in a variety of different ways. This way, the clients can find foods that suit their family and create new family favorites that also happen to be healthy. The old favorites can be saved for special occasions or modified later after the healthy-eating mentality has sunk in. It’s just best not to start there.
Use Smartphone Technology
Using smartphone technology for group personal training for families is a great idea.
The Trainerize App has made adopting healthy household change a breeze. By training your clients to use the app to access exercise or nutrition plans can help them and their family stay on track. You can even encourage your clients to engage their family members but sharing progress on social media or taking responsibility for one meal a week!
For trainers, using the Trainerize auto-post feature can make this challenge more engaging and interactive. Your clients’ families can support their training efforts by posting inspiring messages or healthy tips, which engaged both the client and their family members. They can even use the Trainerize messenger function to remain supportive and communicative when they are away from each other.
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Make it Fun!
Group personal training for families can be educational and fun. Your clients will have a tough time carrying their lessons and meal plans into their family lives if it’s boring.
Empower your clients to be the role model for the household by jazzing things up a bit. They need to set a good example by building healthy eating habits, and then adding some excitement!
Suggest your clients facilitate a healthy competition where they see who can:
- Stay in their daily caloric range
- Lose the most weight (if dealing with obesity)
- Take the most steps in a week
- Eat the least junk food
- Climb the most stairs
- Rock the longest plank
If your clients still aren’t convinced, suggest they incentivize the family with some fun prizes, such as setting a team goal where, upon completion, everyone gets a fitness tracker.
How Trainers Can Market Family Challenges
Another way that you can help your clients bring their families in on the fitness fun is by transitioning the entire family into clients. Hence the term “group personal training for families”.
Family challenges are an awesome way to create revenue for trainers and build referrals. Family challenges are one of those programs that are hard to say no to! What mother or father doesn’t want their family to be healthy?
The easiest way to start a family program and generate leads is by hosting an event (either through Meetup, Eventbrite, or Facebook). So many potential clients are on websites, looking for things to do, so give them an activity! Family challenges really grab the attention of the heads of household and immediately want to sign up. Fitness challenges are a great way for families to ensure they are spending quality time and building healthy bonds.
You can also ask your existing clients if they would be interested in getting the family healthy. Remind them of all the support your offer via Trainerize (such as messenger, auto-posting, tracking, and accountability) and how this would be perfect for their family to do as a team.
Serving the family niche is pretty awesome. You can market these challenges year around and the referrals just keep coming. Plus, you can create real bonds between family members, where they work together as a team towards a lifestyle that benefits them individually and as a team. Best of all? You are not only helping the immediate family today, but you are facilitating change for generations to come.
Start offering group personal training for families today!