Personal Fitness Professional - March/April 2013 - (Page 8)

TREADMILL TALK Greg Justice | Lead, follow or get out of the way The client-personal trainer relationship rises or falls upon leadership. When a client hires you, they expect you to ‘lead’ them toward their goals. Here are five functions of your leadership as a fitness professional and how you can integrate this leadership strategy to build meaningful and lasting relationships with your clients. Develop a clear vision – Successful trainers are capable of seeing a vision and carrying clients toward their goals. Your job is to focus on your clients and keep them motivated and determined to safely reach their goals. Be flexible to changing circumstances – In a perfect world you would design a 12-week workout program to go along with a wellbalanced nutrition regimen for every client. Your clients, for the most part, won’t follow the plan exactly as it’s designed. If you’re working with the general population, it’s important to understand that we (trainers/gyms) aren’t the center of our clients’ lives. Working an eight-hour shift, running a carpool or dealing with life’s many distractions consumes their thoughts. It’s important to know our clients and understand when we need to make adjustments to their program so they can stay on track toward their goal. Teach present moment focus – You know how easy it is for your clients to get caught up worrying about tomorrow’s “to do’s,” while trying to redo yesterday's mistakes. It’s easy to get overwhelmed just trying to figure out what to do with your daily stresses and anxieties. Present moment focus is about being aware of the moment; what is filling-up this exact moment. It isn’t empty; each moment to the next is filled with sight, sound, sensations, thoughts and emotions. This mindfulness principle will help your clients embrace their workouts and be more appreciative of the experience. Set realistic goals – Goals are important because they help your clients maintain focus, but they must be realistic and specific. Remind your clients to avoid imperative statements like “I’m never going to eat chocolate again,” or “I’m going to exercise for an hour a day, every day.” That just sets them up for failure. Create synergy (empower your clients) – To make any client-trainer relationship successful, you need to be aligned with one another. Clearly define your clients’ goals as well as their roles and responsibilities and communicate your role as their trainer. Strong leadership is inherent to a successful fitness professional. Leadership is a skill that lends itself to continual growth and improvement and it is an imperative responsibility that we remain a strong leader in the eyes of our clients. Greg Justice, MA, CPT, is the founder of AYC Health & Fitness ( and the Corporate Boot Camp System ( He has been actively involved in the fitness industry for more than a quarter of a century as a club manager, owner, personal trainer and corporate wellness supervisor.  8 | WWW.FIT-PRO.COM | MAR-APR 2013 http://WWW.FIT-PRO.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Personal Fitness Professional - March/April 2013

Personal Fitness Professional - March/April 2013
Letter from the Editor
Table of Contents
Treadmill Talk
Top-Notch Training
Boost Your Business
Education Connection
Journey to Success
Have You Shifted Your Group Exercise Paradigm?
Group Training Game-Changers
The Message
Obstacle Race Training for the Adventure Athlete
Exercise Spotlight
New on the Market
Events Calendar
Be Better

Personal Fitness Professional - March/April 2013