LEP Fitness


5 Reasons Why Personal Trainers Fail to Get Results With Clients…


Imagine paying £40 to run on a treadmill?!?!

5 Reasons Why Personal Trainers Fail to Get Results With Clients…

Time after time I see lazy coaches, socialising, messing around on their phones, and sticking clients on treadmills for 30 minutes, whilst charging £40 per session! It’s basically daylight robbery!

As coaches we have a duty to be professional and we need to be able to get results with our clients in order for our personal training businesses to thrive.

There are many reasons that personal trainers fail to get results with clients. In this post i’d like to highlight a bunch of these reasons, whilst also providing some solutions. Here are 5 Reasons Why Personal Trainers Fail to Get Results With Clients…

#1 Lack of empathy and compassion

personal trainer

Some coaches will guilt trip their clients for falling off their diet, they say things like “stop making excuses!” or “you just don’t want this badly enough!” – basically they blame the client! This defintiely isnt the way to do it!

At one end of the spectrum there’s being too soft and at the other end there’s being too harsh. In my opinion you want to be at neither end, but somewhere around the middle. A nice mixture of empathy and compassion for your clients current predicament, but also firm to ensure progress.

SOLUTION:  In order to step into the shoes of our clients we need to ask a bunch of questions…

  • How busy are they?
  • Do they have kids?
  • Do they have a stressful job?
  • How much time do they have to go to the gym?
  • Would home workouts be more time efficient and cost effective?
  • What’s the best way to communicate throughout the week, Text, e-mail, Skype?
  • Are they on medication?
  • Do they have any food allergies or intolerances?

As coaches the more information we know about our clients the better. We need to be able to step into the shoes of our client and try to experience what life is like for them. The more we can empathise and show compassion towards our clients the easier it will be to build a relationship and formulate an appropriate plan of action.

#2 Too Harsh! Too Strict! and Too Quickly!

The chances are that if you’re a personal trainer you’re fit, heathy and in good shape. You’ve been into this lifestyle for along time.

The reality for your clients however is the total opposite. They are typically well and truly out of the routine and overwhelming them with 6 gym sessions per week and a bland meal plan (chicken and broccoli!) is a one way ticket to…FAILURE!

SOLUTION: We need to establish an end goal, but we also need to establish plenty of little goals along the way. Rather than changing everything over night, we first need to look at achieving smaller and more realistic goals.

EXAMPLE: If a client hasn’t worked out properly for 3 years then for them exercising 3-4x per week is a great accomplishment and should be the first step. Once we lay the foundation, and this becomes a weekly habit, we can move to the next step, perhaps looking at nutrition, or sleep, or supplements, etc. Basically we’re looking to make gradual and sustainable improvements over time and build up as we go along, as the saying goes…” Rome wasn’t built in a day”

#3 Training Clients instead Of Coaching Them

If you’re a personal trainer who just counts reps, and has a general chit chat throughout the session then you are doing a disservice to your business and client!

There’s a BIG difference between training a client and actually coaching them. A training session is where you stand there, count reps and offer sporadic bouts of encouragement like…”come on 3 more!” or “YOU CAN DO IT!”.

personal trainer counting reps

SOLUTION: Personal trainers should be regularly coaching their clients. There should be time spent on exercise technique and execution. There should also be time spent in between sets where coaches spend time educating clients on all things health: sleep, recovery, nutrition, etc.

#4 Compliance Issues 

diets going well

Have you ever encountered this scenario…

Your client hops on the scales…

Their weight has gone up by 6 lbs!

They look puzzled…

”oh i don’t get it, I’ve been good on my nutrition this week!”

But then when you delve a little deeper you find out that they got wasted on booze Friday night and ate a Dominoes at 2am in the morning!

We all know that if our clients do what we tell them they will get results. But the killer question is…

Will the client do the homework we’ve set and follow their nutritional plan when we’re not around???

There are 168hrs in each week, even if you see your clients 3x per week (3hrs) that leaves 165 remaining hours! What our clients do over these 165hrs will dictate whether they get results or not.

SOLUTION: We need to build trusting relationships with clients. We want and need our clients to be honest with us so that we can help. In order to build this type of relationship we need to make clients feel comfortable and reassure them that we are not judging them but trying to help them.

If there’s a compliance issue then we need to know what it is so that we can provide an alternate solution. It may be that our plan is too strict or it may be a planning/preparation issue on their part, it could also be a motivational issue, etc, etc.

#5 Lack of Planning 

One day you get your clients doing squats, the next day burpees, the next day handstands! Every session is totally different, there’s absolutely no structure to the session, you just make it up as you go along!

The truth is you must have a structured plan of action with each and every client. That could be a 12 week program that you follow or a set way of training to work on specific body parts, but in my opinion there should be a structure every single workout. Of course you can make small tweaks/adjustments along the way but there needs to be some overall structure and written plan of action.

SOLUTION: Once you’ve established the clients goal, you can create a plan of action and phase each training session/cycle appropriately.

You Can’t get results with everybody…

If clients aren’t getting results there’s clearly a problem…

It’s true that you can’t change everybody, there will always be clients that show up late, aren’t compliant, fail to pay on time and are just a general nuisance! But it’s your job to either nip these issues in the bud or stop training the problematic client. If you can’t help them you should stop taking their dolla!

LEP Fitness voted best personal trainer in Sheffield