Build Your Client’s Confidence with These 6 Tips

“To be sincere, I’m afraid of figuring out within the fitness center.”

Likelihood is, as a private coach, you’ve had a shopper (or two) admit their fears about going to the fitness center after developing with an acceptable coaching program for them.

What do you do in such a scenario? It’s a tough one for certain. Do nothing, and their fitness center nervousness would possibly get the higher of them, impeding them from reaching their health objectives. However telling them to “simply do it” gained’t minimize it, both.

Don’t fear. This text explores what you might want 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 snug about entering into the fitness center.


What Is “Gymtimidation”?

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

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

Research lately commissioned by Samsung helps this discovering, with 83% of survey contributors agreeing that the fitness center may be an intimidating expertise.  

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

  1. Not understanding use all of the gear
  2. Feeling intimidated by different “skilled” gym-goers
  3. Visiting the fitness center 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 listing provides priceless insights into how you may assist your shopper overcome their fitness center nerves. So, with out additional ado, let’s bounce proper into that.

#1: Stroll Your Shopper By Each Train on Their Exercise Plan

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

Right here’s an excellent tip that’ll actually increase your shopper’s confidence within the fitness center: Have them arrange their very own gear throughout their coaching session with you. For instance, educate them on how they may modify the bar peak on the squat rack such that it will swimsuit the train they’re performing, be it a barbell squat, overhead press, or bench press.

The identical goes for machines. Get your shopper conversant in the completely different knobs and levers they may manipulate on each machine so it fits their distinctive physique proportions and coaching objectives.

Have your shopper report their most popular settings (e.g., writing it down in a pocket book or taking an image) if obligatory; this can function their reference level after they’re within the fitness center with out you by their aspect.

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

Whereas one of the vital apparent options to fixing trigger #3 of “gymtimidation” (visiting the fitness center when it’s busy) is asking your shopper to get into the fitness center throughout off-peak hours, typically, that’s not possible contemplating their schedule.

So, the following greatest various could be so that you can program their workout plan in such a manner that minimizes “backwards and forwards” motion within the fitness center.

What does that imply, precisely?

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

That’s as a result of such a programming methodology 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 manner you may decrease mentioned “backwards and forwards” motion?

By accounting for the proximity of varied train gear relative to at least one one other when planning a shopper’s exercise program. As an example, let’s say you’re designing a “push day” on 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 fitness center:

  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 “movement” of their exercise, and ensure they “maximize” their time at any given area within the fitness center earlier than transferring on to a different.

#3: Plan Sensible 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 remains 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 just a few options that’ll goal the identical muscle teams however at a unique machine or with one other setup.

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

Why not additionally train them carry out the train with a free-moving barbell? And even higher: Stroll them via a whole listing of workout routines they may 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 stored at round 45 levels relative to their torso), and even the chest-supported dumbbell rows.

Look via your shopper’s exercise plan. Be sure to listing at the least one various train your shopper may do as an alternative if the mandatory gear is taken.

Equipping your shopper with this listing of different workout routines they may flip to will assist them benefit from their exercise session, even in a crowded fitness center.

#4: Encourage Your Shopper 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 unique fitness center than the one you are coaching them in, encourage them to “store round.”

Allow them to know that they need to at all times get really feel of a fitness center’s fashion and clientele earlier than committing to a long-term contract.

And one of many best methods they may achieve this is by signing up for a free trial session, the place a workers member excursions them across the fitness center, which provides 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 fitness center workers pleasant? Do gym-goers method them in any respect?
  • Is the fitness center nicely maintained? 
  • What’s the fitness center’s “tradition”?
  • Is the fitness center crowded?
  • Does the fitness center format 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 increasingly look like an unnecessarily lengthy listing of bins that have to be ticked simply to discover a fitness center—however you need to remind them that, on the finish of the day, they’re investing their time, cash, and power into the health facility.

It’ll profit them to make sure that it is the only option for them and their coaching objectives.

#5: Educate Them on Correct Gymnasium Etiquette

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

How will you assist assuage your shopper’s apprehension? Reply: by instructing them primary fitness center etiquette. Listed here are the highest essential tips to share:

  • Put every thing again the place it belongs: Have your shopper unload the bar and re-rack all weights and dumbbells after they’re achieved 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, recommend they convey in a towel to put 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 after they’re trying out their train type 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 beneficial.
  • Keep away from slamming weights: It’s noisy and thoughtless. Plus, except the fitness center explicitly encourages weight-slamming, doing so would irk the fitness center homeowners as it might probably break 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 individual your shopper needs to share with is doing the identical train and/or across the similar weights.

#6: Perspective Is The whole lot

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

However reassure your shopper that everybody within the fitness center, together with the fittest-looking individual and even your self, was as soon as a newbie too. Everybody begins someplace. Additionally, different folks (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 fitness center. Every 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 fitness center, however I’m about to develop into the fittest model of myself.”
  • “It doesn’t matter if I don’t carry 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 at all times a simple course of. As a coach, ask the right questions to study their difficulties, then work with them to deal with their reservations about figuring out within the fitness center.

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 concern. Actual life proof that “gymtimidation” may be overcome at all times helps.  


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