We are doing a fun analysis series on our blog called Common Fitness Personalities this month! We will profile 10 common types of personalities who hire a personal trainer. Follow our blog to find out which of these personalities you fit into! It is a fact that no two individuals are alike and well, no two clients are alike. A client may range from shy to intimidating, compliant to highly distracted and fanatical to a slacker. Each individual comes with his / her own set of challenges, issues and abilities. What we do know is that the more we know about each and every client, the easier it is to motivate them and work with them. Understanding different ‘types’, helps our trainers effectively communicate with clients while at the same time reduce the risk of miscommunication. So in this article we talk about the ‘Always Off Track’ Client and we show how we work out with this type of person.
The Off Track Individual
This kind of person almost always never focuses on the workout! It is always an uphill task to get these people to give their 100 percent. Make no mistake. These people make for great friends and socialisers. They enjoy the company of their trainers and are eager to chat about whatever comes into their heads. On the brighter side, these people make time fly as they regale you with interesting conversations.
Primary Traits of the Off Track Client
- Easily Distracted
- Interested in the Latest Fitness Fads
Experience with an Off Track Client
On of our trainers Priya had started training Power Yoga, Pilates and Interval Training a certain person Shivani (Name Changed). Shivani wanted to lose weight and had earlier worked out with another trainer for about 8 months but did not have the results to show for it. The previous trainer whom she had worked out with was well qualified and had a good reputation. We decided to take Shivani on as a challenge to put together the missing piece of the puzzle. On the first session Priya assessed Shivani’s condition. Shivani was young, athletic and had no injuries. She seemed to be committed to her goals and was training regularly. Her exercise history and goals did not point out to any barriers to developing a lean and strong physique.
It wasnt until Priya started training Shivani that the actual problem came to light. During each break or between sets or exercises, Shivani would start chatting about fashion, shopping, TV Shows etc. or anything else on her mind for a few minutes. As time went by, this lead Priya to realise that Shivani just couldnt focus. From the minute, Priya arrived, Shivani just couldnt stop talking. She would even continue her conversation in the middle of workouts! While taking a break, she would not begin the next set until she had finished what she had to say which at times would last for almost 5 minutes.
This created 3 problems. First of all, the breaks between exercises were too lengthy – so Shivani was not getting a good training effect. Secondly, Priya had a tough time incorporating all the workouts within the precribed 1 hour session. Third and most important was Shivani’s lack of focus. She was never fully engaged during her workouts and lack of focus is inversely proportional to increasing your strength, power and meeting your fitness goals.
So to offset the Client’s lack of focus, Priya began to train Shivani with a beeper. She set her beeper to the alloted break time and when the beeper beeped, Shivani was supposed to start her next workout with no talk. And well, if she did not comply then she was punished! She would have to do 2 jump squats or 2 plyometric pushups depending on which half of the body was being worked out. Needless to add, Shivani’s form and fitness soon improved over time! She still is quite chatty and talks about a wide array of subjects – but only before and after workouts! She has been able to reach the epitome of fitness discipline – 100 % focus!
Challenges for Off Track Clients
The biggest challenge that personal trainers face when training an off track client is lack of focus. The truth of the matter is that the client is paying the personal trainer to get them results but reversely he / she is hampering the trainer’s efforts to do the same! The results will not be achieved unless the client is fully engaged in their workouts. Getting Off Track clients to complete their scheduled sessions in time is always a challenge because a 45 second break can inevitably turn into 4 minutes!
Also these type of individuals can get bored with your workouts since they don’t have the time nor the inclination to dive deep and understand the purpose. So they constantly ask the trainer to keep shaking up things! Also Off Trackers are avid consumers of media and want to try out every new fad or workout routine. Our trainers often find that the first month of training is usually spent debating and making them understand the futility of the latest gizmo and fitness trend!
Solutions for Off Track Clients
It requires a little creativity to train off track clients. Our goal is to always find a way for these clients to improve their focus without missing on their goals. Using a stopwatch like Priya did works great. Positive punishments such as sits ups and ‘burpees‘ can also work well if the goal is to burn fat. One just has to ensure that the punishment does not move away from the main workout or has negative training effects. For example, the trainer cannot make the client do ‘burpees‘ if the goal is to add mass. If the client is bored, then it is always a good idea for the trainer to sit down with the client and make them understand the workouts that they are doing and the end vision that the trainer has in mind. Boredom always arises from a clear understanding on the client’s part. And when an off track client understands what they are doing then there can be no stopping their commitments and dedication!