By Michal Palus, Senior Coach
Within an industry of self-proclaimed ‘motivators’ I see a common theme with personal trainers or strength coaches that are not walking the talk and putting into proper application the core of all ‘motivation’, goal setting! In the CHFI Performance PT Certification Program the very first module in our level 1 is taught by company founder Daine McDonald on ‘The Art Of Coaching’, this is the very first topic we teach our personal trainers and those who attend our courses.
Why because without proper goal setting and understanding just how to be a coach, it is going to be much harder to get a serious result and transformation with your client. In summary goal setting should be at the forefront of any personal trainers priorities with their client!
Motivation in the beginning of any health and fitness journey is quite often very high due the emotional baggage or attached people will come to us with in relation to the reason or purpose of why they are there to meet with us. These can range from losing a particular amount of body fat, gaining lean muscle or getting into their best shape ever for event, such as a wedding.
But any personal trainer with a decent amount of experience understands these emotions begin declining from day one and we need to use a strategic approach to maintain our clients on the path to their desired goals. When the motivation declines, the compliance soon follows along with the results the client thought was guaranteed to come when they signed your contract.
First let us look into the top three common mistakes when it comes to goal setting:
- You don’t set any goals in the first place – this provides no clear direction where you heading with your client
- You only set up the main goal (outcome goal) and forget about setting small progress goals (process goal)
- You let the client choose non-specific, non measurable goal
Secondly let us look at how our Sydney CBD and Chatswood Personal Trainers break up goal setting via the following two categories:
- Outcome goals – the goal the client wants to achieve as a final destination. For example competing in a bodybuilding show in 6 to 12 months’ time.
- Process goals – small goals which you need to set along the process to reach the clients main goal, for example how much body fat the client wishes to lose in the initial 6 weeks of their contest prep.
We first set in place the outcome goal, this gives us the foundation to then set the process goals which will be smaller goals relevant to the outcome goal. Regularly attaining and resetting these short-term goals will keep the client motivated in the long term, which is more likely going to yield you a positive result. Like mentioned about in mistake number two, the reason so many fall short of their outcome goal is there is no process goals set in place, meaning the outcome goal is too far.
These process goals keep you on track and as well keep you motivated. The true ‘Art of Coaching’ is when a personal trainer understands how to use these tools to get the greatest effort from the client, not just week to week, but session to session.
On a final note one important thing to remember is not all of your clients have a clear goal when they come to you, your job as a coach – not a personal trainer – is to give your client guidance about the goals they want to accomplish but do not force on to them goals that you feel you want your client to accomplish.
A GOAL WITHOUT A PLAN IS A DREAM!