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Build Your Client’s Confidence with These 6 Tips


“To be trustworthy, I’m afraid of figuring out within the health club.”

Chances are high, as a private coach, you’ve had a shopper (or two) admit their fears about going to the health club after developing with an appropriate coaching program for them.

What do you do in such a state of affairs? It’s a difficult one for positive. Do nothing, and their health club anxiousness would possibly get the higher of them, impeding them from attaining their health targets. However telling them to “simply do it” gained’t minimize it, both.

Don’t fear. This text explores what it is advisable to find out about supporting a shopper coping with “gymtimidation”—together with what it’s, why it happens, and what you can do about it as a fitness coach—to allow them to really feel comfy about getting into the health club.


What Is “Gymtimidation”?

As implied by its title, the time period “gymtimidation” refers back to the feeling somebody will get once they’re intimidated by the thought or the precise act of figuring out within the health club.

Oh, and simply so you understand: Your purchasers aren’t the one ones getting right into a bundle of nerves about having to work up a sweat within the health club. “Gymtimidation” is an actual phenomenon that impacts loads of individuals. The truth is, a survey conducted by PureGym (on their members) discovered that one in 4 individuals would somewhat face spiders than go to the health club!

Research just lately commissioned by Samsung helps this discovering, with 83% of survey members agreeing that the health club might be an intimidating expertise.  

However what’s up with this deep-seated worry? Each analysis items arrived at a startlingly comparable checklist of the highest causes of “gymtimidation”:

  1. Not realizing the right way to use all of the gear
  2. Feeling intimidated by different “skilled” gym-goers
  3. Visiting the health club when it’s busy (having another person eye the gear they’re utilizing)
  4. Not having an outlined exercise plan
  5. Having to ask for assist or recommendation

This checklist gives worthwhile insights into how you could possibly assist your shopper overcome their health club nerves. So, with out additional ado, let’s leap proper into that.

#1: Stroll Your Consumer By way of Each Train on Their Exercise Plan

Earlier than you ship your shopper off to clock in a solo exercise session within the health club, make sure that they know the right way to carry out each train included of their exercise program. Doing so tackles two major causes of “gymtimidation”: #1 (not realizing the right way to use all of the gear) and #5 (having to ask for assist or recommendation).

Right here’s a fantastic tip that’ll really increase your shopper’s confidence within the health club: Have them arrange their very own gear throughout their coaching session with you. For instance, educate them on how they might modify the bar top on the squat rack such that it will go well with the train they’re performing, be it a barbell squat, overhead press, or bench press.

The identical goes for machines. Get your shopper accustomed to the completely different knobs and levers they might manipulate on each machine so it fits their distinctive physique proportions and coaching targets.

Have your shopper report their most well-liked settings (e.g., writing it down in a pocket book or taking an image) if vital; this can function their reference level once they’re within the health club with out you by their aspect.

#2: Give Cautious Thought to Your Consumer’s Exercise Plan

Whereas one of the apparent options to fixing trigger #3 of “gymtimidation” (visiting the health club when it’s busy) is asking your shopper to get into the health club throughout off-peak hours, typically, that’s inconceivable contemplating their schedule.

So, the following greatest different can be so that you can program their workout plan in such a means that minimizes “forwards and backwards” motion within the health club.

What does that imply, precisely?

Within the easiest phrases, it means you must keep away from programming in supersets or “large units,” the place they need to carry out a number of workout routines—usually at completely different machines—in consecutive order with none relaxation in between.

That’s as a result of such a programming technique leaves your shopper weak to conditions the place their train gear will get “stolen” by one other gym-goer (and, within the worst-case state of affairs, may get your shopper right into a nasty argument).

One other means you could possibly decrease mentioned “forwards and backwards” motion?

By accounting for the proximity of assorted train gear relative to 1 one other when planning a shopper’s exercise program. For instance, let’s say you’re designing a “push day” in your shopper, and you’ve got the next workout routines in thoughts:

  1. Barbell overhead shoulder press
  2. Arnold press
  3. Cable chest flys
  4. Dumbbell lateral raises
  5. Barbell bench press
  6. Triceps pushdown

Right here’s an instance of an train order that’ll assist your shopper decrease motion within the health club:

  1. Barbell bench press (squat rack)
  2. Barbell overhead shoulder press (squat rack)
  3. Dumbbell lateral raises (free weights)
  4. Arnold press (free weights)
  5. Cable chest flys (cable machine)
  6. Triceps pushdown (cable machine)

Apply this to every workout you design for your client. Take into consideration the “circulate” of their exercise, and ensure they “maximize” their time at any given area within the health club earlier than shifting on to a different.

#3: Plan Sensible Alternate options for Every Train

Regardless of your greatest efforts to plan the “greatest exercise routine,” your shopper should run into cases the place one other gym-goer is already utilizing the piece of apparatus they should use (e.g., the ever-popular Smith Machine).

Planning continues to be the important thing right here.

As a substitute of permitting your shopper to easily skip out on doing that train, present them with a number of alternate options that’ll goal the identical muscle teams however at a distinct machine or with one other setup.

As an example, let’s say your shopper is used to doing hip thrusts on the Smith Machine.

Why not additionally educate them the right way to carry out the train with a free-moving barbell? And even higher: Stroll them by way of a whole checklist of workout routines they might do to focus on their glutes, together with glute-focused hip extensions, single-leg step-ups, and Bulgarian split squats.

Right here’s one other instance. Let’s say the lat pulldown machine is occupied. Let your shopper know that there are many other lat-focused exercises available, such because the seated cable rows, “lats-focused” barbell rows (the place their elbows are saved at round 45 levels relative to their torso), and even the chest-supported dumbbell rows.

Look by way of your shopper’s exercise plan. Be sure to checklist at the least one different train your shopper may do as an alternative if the required gear is taken.

Equipping your shopper with this checklist of different workout routines they might flip to will assist them benefit from their exercise session, even in a crowded health club.

#4: Encourage Your Consumer to Attempt Out Totally different Gyms for the “Proper Match”

There’s no denying it: Sure gyms are extra welcoming than others. In case your shopper plans to get their exercises in at a distinct health club than the one you are coaching them in, encourage them to “store round.”

Allow them to know that they need to all the time get really feel of a health club’s fashion and clientele earlier than committing to a long-term contract.

And one of many best methods they might accomplish that is by signing up for a free trial session, the place a workers member excursions them across the health club, which gives a peek into what it’ll be wish to work on the market. Have your shopper bear in mind the next questions as they stroll round:

  • Is the health club workers pleasant? Do gym-goers method them in any respect?
  • Is the health club nicely maintained? 
  • What’s the health club’s “tradition”?
  • Is the health club crowded?
  • Does the health club structure make sense (e.g., “chest machines” in a single area, in comparison with one the place the machines are everywhere)?

To your shopper, this may occasionally look like an unnecessarily lengthy checklist of bins that must be ticked simply to discover a health club—however you must remind them that, on the finish of the day, they’re investing their time, cash, and vitality into the health facility.

It’ll profit them to ensure that it is your best option for them and their coaching targets.

#5: Educate Them on Correct Fitness center Etiquette

Dig deeper into trigger #2 of “gymtimidation” (feeling intimidated by extra skilled gym-goers), and also you’ll understand a deeper underlying worry: that of being judged for doing the “improper factor” by others.

How will you assist assuage your shopper’s apprehension? Reply: by educating them primary health club etiquette. Listed here are the highest vital tips to share:

  • Put every little thing again the place it belongs: Have your shopper unload the bar and re-rack all weights and dumbbells after they’re performed with an train.
  • Wipe issues down after utilizing them: Have your shopper wipe their sweat off machines, barbells, ground mats, and the rest they use. Even higher, counsel they carry in a towel to position over benches or whichever gear they plan on utilizing.
  • Don’t block another person’s view of the mirror: Let your shopper know that they need to do their greatest to remain out of somebody’s line of sight once they’re testing their train kind within the mirror. In different phrases, performing lateral raises proper in entrance of somebody doing dumbbell presses—and looking out on the mirror—isn’t really useful.
  • Keep away from slamming weights: It’s noisy and thoughtless. Plus, except the health club explicitly encourages weight-slamming, doing so would irk the health club house owners as it could possibly damage the gear (e.g., breaking the dumbbell heads off).
  • Solely “work in” with another person when it is smart: Gear-sharing is feasible, however it ought to make sense for each events. Meaning the particular person your shopper needs to share with is doing the identical train and/or across the identical weights.

#6: Perspective Is Every little thing

Along with all of the above “technical” factors, you must also acknowledge your shopper’s emotional struggles—allow them to know that “gymtimidation” is completely regular.

However reassure your shopper that everybody within the health club, together with the fittest-looking particular person and even your self, was as soon as a newbie too. Everybody begins someplace. Additionally, different individuals (and their ranges of health) are irrelevant. Your shopper’s health journey is their very own.

Get your shopper to remain aware of their ideas within the health club. Each time they catch themselves considering, “They assume I look foolish,” or “They assume I don’t know what I’m doing,” have your shopper reframe their perspective in order that they imagine the next as an alternative:

  • “I will not be the fittest within the health club, however I’m about to turn out to be the fittest model of myself.”
  • “It doesn’t matter if I don’t elevate as heavy as others. It doesn’t make sense evaluating my chapter one to another person’s chapter twenty.”


Serving to your shopper overcome “gymtimidation” isn’t all the time a simple course of. As a coach, ask the right questions to study their difficulties, then work with them to handle their reservations about figuring out within the health club.

If it helps, be happy to take a step again and take into consideration simply how weak you felt if you first began in your health journey. Put your self of their footwear. Let your shopper know you perceive how they really feel. Higher nonetheless, share how you bought over your worry. Actual life proof that “gymtimidation” might be overcome all the time helps.  


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