People are anxious about ever returning to some sort of normalcy after months of lockdown, and one thing many of them miss most is hitting the gym and other fitness facilities. Thankfully, states are slowly reopening their business communities, and many of your clients (not to mention you) can’t wait to get back to routine training. While there’ll be a lot of excitement when that finally happens, we think it’s important to understand that the “normal” training people have come to know may need to change drastically, at least in the interim period of this slow reopening. We’re going to discuss some things that may alter how your training routines look when you return to the gym, and what we’re doing to help our clients stay motivated and driven during this time.
Set the Expectation
If most of your clients have been at home without much equipment, chomping at the bit to get back to training at a high level, an honest conversation with them about how to reboot their workouts is key. If they’ve been training mainly using their own bodyweight or resistance bands, having them go all out with the barbell or heavy loading on machines might set them up for failure just as they’re starting. Get your clients to understand that the body needs to be exposed gradually to higher levels of stress in order to reacclimate to that type of rigorous training. Going all out too fast after being away from the weights can create issues or reaggravate sensitivities in certain areas that then become long-term problems—a situation you obviously want to avoid.
Give People Options!
With our background in both sports physical therapy and strength and conditioning, we’re giving our clients as many options as possible to work with. If they feel comfortable coming in and training with us in person, then we assure them that their health and safety is our top priority. Understand that clients may need to wear masks when first returning to train with you, to maintain guidelines that are in place at your facility. If that’s not an attractive option for them, or they’re simply not ready to resume training in person, then offer virtual options! The ability to communicate or train with you remotely, even though not ideal, is very important, as your tutelage and guidance is the biggest thing your clients need right now. Even something as simple as a 15-to-20-minute phone call to see how they’re doing managing their stress, nutrition, and sleep can go a long way in helping clients feel cared for, even if they’re not in the same room with you.
Prioritize Things Other Than Training!
Yes, our bread and butter is training people. However, there is so much more to health and wellness than just the physical-training aspects of it. Like we discussed previously, having conversations about other types of health can be eye opening for your clients as they come to appreciate what you’re doing for them during this time. Ask about their stress and how they’ve been doing with their nutrition and sleep, as these topics can lead to a conversation you may not have had before if you were focusing solely on training routines, and may uncover issues your clients are experiencing that you need to know about if you’re going to help them achieve total fitness.
“Underpromise and overdeliver” is a saying often repeated in service-based industries, right? Now is your chance to truly live out that saying. Being there for your clients goes far beyond just the training aspects of things. Your clients need to know that you’re there for them, especially during this unprecedented crisis. This knowledge will go a long way in building a relationship that will extend far beyond this pandemic. Being your client’s sounding board when they’re frustrated and need some guidance navigating the new normal is how you can play a vital role in their lives. We understand that everyone has taken a hit financially in the fitness industry because of the lockdown, but even as you start to find your footing again, don’t let money worries drive your decisions when it comes to taking care of your clients. They will come to appreciate all the time and effort you’ve invested in them even during your own hardships. This will reap considerable long-term benefits—both personal and financial.
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