Personal Trainer Client Management
Personal trainer client management is uber-important since you are going to see every single personality type in the book. Whether you have a by-the-book micro manager or a sensitive soul who just wants to have a fun workout, it helps to know what some of the personalities look like and what might help you to train them more effectively.
There is no straight-out-of-the-box workout that is going to fit every person, so learning what your client needs and training each of them according to their personality will help you attract and retain more people. Most people are a mix of these, and each has their own strengths and weaknesses, so feel free to keep a couple workouts in your back pocket for days when you need to suddenly switch it up.
This type-A personality is often perceived as tense, impatience and sometimes aggressive. They are no-nonsense people with a stressful lifestyle that can relate to problems such as insomnia, indigestion and an increased risk of heart attack.
The Bull is usually very ambitious and high energy, with a tendency to be very competitive and micro-manage. They really want a challenge; they want to be the best and they will go to any lengths to succeed. They are incredibly determined when they set a goal and will be completely tenacious until they win so that their incredible confidence stays firmly in tact.
Because the Bull needs to “win” and feel superior, it is important for them to get lots of approval and feel important. Flattery will go a long way with a Bull. They often speak in a loud and forceful tone that some might find to be sarcastic or too fast paced, but they simply see it as assertive. Bulls care very much about efficiency and will often try to push themselves to complete everything in one session so that they can compress their training and maintain their busy schedule. They are results driven, so make sure that you give them attainable goals and recognize their progress along the way.
When training a Bull it’s important to clearly and confidently give them instructions that they can easily follow. Correct them in a gentle way and make sure to reinforce good form and habits with compliments so that they can feel proud of their work— never embarrassed or shamed. They will want results quickly, but as soon as you show them a plan that will work and earn their respect they will surely commit.
The Methodical Machine
Logic rules this personality type. Very analytical and skeptical by nature, they favor logical and well thought-out plans over being rushed into a snap decision. Methodicals like to get as close to a sure bet as possible, so they will take the time to gather data, test the results and make an educated decision. They need a trainer who has a set, structured plan that they confidently believe will produce results.
Methodicals are realists and don’t want anyone to sugarcoat things for them. They don’t necessarily care about trends, current styles and constant cheering on. They understand that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important, so you don’t have to constantly convince them to do the work, just present them with options and facts and let them make the right decisions for themselves.
Because Methodicals respond to logic, it does no good to appeal to them emotionally with guilt or running them like a drill sergeant. Give them structure and logical, no-nonsense training that produces results with specific, solution-driven feedback and they will respond.
The Social Butterfly
This group is all about having fun. Social Butterflies firmly believe in carpe diem and want to a strong, fun-loving leader who will treat them with kindness and a sense of humor.
While they may often be forgetful and like to goof-off at times, Social Butterflies are also the most adventurous of all the personalities. They love to be outside, socialize with different types of people and love to try new things. They tend to be more upbeat, loud and informal than other types, as well as being the most distractible, often getting sidetracked from the task at hand. They don’t do this intentionally or mean to disrespect you, they just often get caught up in the moment.
It’s important to start off every session with a big smile and positive attitude. Always instruct them in a friendly manner and ensure them that they are going to have fun. Think back to the obstacle courses and playground fun that kids have when working with a Social Butterfly. Try to set short-term goals as they might not be able to focus or get bored simply running laps or doing reps on a machine. Always let them know that you are there to support them 100% and offer encouragement and praise when they do well.
The Team Player
Friendly, loyal and always encouraging of others, Team Players are perfect in large groups, as they love to support others rather than try to lead people themselves. They strongly believe in honesty, integrity and look for leaders that display solid ethics. Team Players typically read people very well and will avoid phony, greedy people as well as conflicts within the group.
Focusing on substance over flash, this group is typically warm, friendly and casual. They are usually the most respectful, likely to be on time and usually very agreeable with everyone because they are looking to build a rapport among the group. They also always expect the same courteousness from others. They want a trainer who is sincere, willing to listen to them and care about what they need.
Team Players respond to honest, ethical people who hold a lot of integrity. Let them take their time while they are starting a new routine, show them the part that they play in the big picture, and you can count on them to always follow through and give you 100% till the end.
Make corrections to form or technique with earnest and be patient with them as they learn a new move. If they see that you really do care about them and the overall results and they will gladly do as you instruct and often encourage others to do so as well. Team Players tend to feel guilt when they haven’t met the expectations of their leader or team, but try not to use this as a motivator because their loyalty matters most and you don’t want to lose that.