As a Personal Trainer it’s a safe bet that the vast majority of your clients are going to be newcomers to the gym. These people are going to be (understandably) apprehensive, and a lot of them will be hiring you because your presence will make them more comfortable in what is, actually, a pretty hostile and intimidating surrounding.
Throughout my years as a PT I noticed a few ‘gym-phobias’ appearing time and time again, and I think that awareness of these issues makes good trainers great.
These are the most common fears that you need to know about and some of the things you can do to tackle them before they even have a chance to come up.
1 – I’m going to stand out like a sore thumb.
Every new gym goer knows that they probably stand out a bit. They haven’t been into a gym before, they don’t know what they are doing and they aren’t likely to see themselves as being in great shape.
This means that when they first walk through the door, they’re going to feel like EVERYONE is looking at them.
To help alleviate this worry I find it’s a great idea to give clients a tour of the gym, introducing them to other staff members and other clients or friends in order to give them a larger number of ‘friendly faces’ to look for when next in the gym on their own.
I then try to book clients’ first sessions at quiet times. This will allow them less stress of imposing eyes, and I like to train them in a quieter area of the gym or even a separate dance studio. Once they have gotten a feel for the movements they’ll be doing and gain a little confidence, the gym floor won’t seem so terrifying.
2 – I’m going to get hurt.
From day one, I like to stress that not injuring my clients is my priority. Emphasise that everything you do is safe, and ensure a client knows that at no point will you ask them to do something they aren’t able to do it or lift a weight they aren’t going to be able to lift.
TV has told us that PT’s load weight on a bar, shout at you until you lift it, then add more weight. We need to show our clients how different we are.
3 – I’m not going to be able to do the exercises.
Break everything down and start with basic form. Squats become box squats, deadlifts are kettlebell swings and Olympic lifts are kept until much later on. Practice basic movement patterns before getting clever with it and always take progression as slowly as you can.
Your client will get there, but their confidence needs to be built just as much as their biceps.
Author – Ben Coomber
Ben Coomber is a performance nutritionist (BSc, ISSN) speaker and writer. Ben run’s Body Type Nutrition, an online nutrition coaching company that also runs a multi-level 2 year Personal Trainers nutrition development program, the BTN Academy. Ben has the UK’s #1 rated health and fitness podcast on iTunes ‘Ben Coomber Radio’ with regular Q&A’s and expert interviews. Connect with Ben over on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram.
For everything else visit: http://www.bencoomber.com