Everyone has bad days. Everyone gets lazy. So how do you keep you clients motivated when all the really want to do is watch TV?

Setting short to mid term challenges can be a great way to keep your clients focussed on their ultimate goal, without being discouraged along the way.

Clients typically hire trainers for one of two reasons:

1. Decrease body fat
2. Increase muscle mass

Their reasons and inspiration may be different. Fit into a wedding dress, look great for their summer holiday, live longer, live better, throw further, swim faster. Whatever their reason, these two goals will almost always be the focus.

But… That’s hard work. Especially for the average client who’s never set foot in a gym. On a Sunday night when they’re flicking through Instragram transformation photos, crying into their Ben & Jerry’s because they’re not seeing the results they thought they would, how do you give them the motivation to turn up the next day and put the effort in?

Breaking things down into small, manageable goals is a great approach. But what sort of goals and challenges can you set for your clients?

Fitness challenges

Kick things off with something simple – push ups. If you have a client who struggles to perform pushups off their toes then challenge them to master one perfect push up. Then 5. Then 10.

Offer them an incentive to hit their goal and make sure they track their goal in TrainerSync so you can monitor their progress.

Push ups are a great way to introduce clients to challenges. All they need is 5 minutes and a floor so they can make progress in their living room in between their training sessions with you.

Nutrition challenges

I’m sure you know how tedious tracking macros can be. You did it religiously for a couple of years, and now you can eyeball a steak from a mile away. And that feels good.

But your clients won’t have this experience and knowledge. They’re probably drinking orange juice for breakfast thinking it’s healthy.

Challenge your clients to track their nutrition every day for a month using a food tracking app like MyFitnessPal or TrainerSync.

Make sure you discuss and set their macro targets before they start tracking, and offer an incentive to keep them on track. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – a new water bottle (branded with your logo, of course), or a tasty grass fed steak if they’re into their meat.

Psst… Have you thought about partnering with your local butcher? I’m sure they’ve got a few customers who could use your services. And I’m sure you’ve got some clients who would love a bloody hook up. Think about it. Go talk to them. Grow your network and make it happen.

Social challenges

Working out with a friend has huge benefits. Not only does it helps you stay focussed, it’s just good fun. Let’s face it – we all lack motivation sometimes, and having a training partner to help you squeeze out those last reps is priceless.

Encourage your clients to find a workout partner and challenge them to exercise together regularly for a month. It could be yoga, it could be walking to work, or it could be one of your 6 beginner week work plans you’ve got for sale in your PT app.

Everything’s better with a buddy, and they might even turn into a client themselves.

Remember to tailor these challenges to each client. Make them specific to their own training, goals, and current fitness level to keep your clients feeling like you have a real interest in their progress.