In the fast-moving world of Health & fitness, where social media seems to dictate people’s way of thinking, patience is a trait that many struggle with given how much emphasis and marketing is put around 8 week challenges and the like.
As professional trainers, we know patience and time is key to long term success in someone’s health and fitness transformation; however, how do you educate your client to ensure they understand this and embrace it so they don’t lose interest or patience when results aren’t coming fast enough?
Common go-to tools I often use to establish and understand that patience is required on an individual’s journey include:
1. Reference to other long-term transformations
2. Use of evidence-based research to prove that being patient does work
3. Show what can happen when patience is not practiced
4. Explain in detail the long-term benefits of doing the process right over time
5. Always consistency over inconsistency
Reference to Other Transformations
Often when new clients are looking for a quick result or have that expectation, I often show them previous transformations of mine and not only how long they took, but the great position they are in now health wise. This is often a big eye opener for the new client and shows how long a transformation may take, but the massive advantages of doing it right and what benefits are at the end of the process.
Before and after photos and a client’s testimonial will go a long way in providing that confidence to a new client that the process, even though it may take time, is well worth it.
Use of Evidence-based Research
There is an abundant amount of research available to provide further proof that patience works. Several well respected coaches, researchers and evidence-based practitioners have all shown how a longer health and fitness journey can have long term health benefits. So, if transformations alone don’t convince your new client, perhaps research and science will.
Forms of this research can be found through various publications, regulatory bodies and certain well reputable social media sites.
When Patience Isn’t Shown
Time and time again, there are plenty of individuals that will go for the quick, fast, unproven version of a diet or challenge without the research behind it because it is cheap, quick, or the before and after photos look great and shows it ‘must’ work.
Unfortunately, when you dig deep into the following weeks and months of individuals that have undertaken this approach, more often than not there has been a drastic rebound and even a worse final position. While this is unfortunate, it is another example of why short-term diets and plans do not work and do not provide sustainable lasting education and change.
This is the reality of health and fitness and the more education and evidence you can provide your client, the more they will understand and appreciate the time needed to do the process right.
You would think this would be an easy sell, but unfortunately, we live in a world of ‘now’, not what happens in the future.
However, many will take on board the long-term benefits when educated correctly, so certainly take advantage of those keen to learn.
Long-term benefits of doing the little things right and being patient include, but not limited too:
- Greater mobility
- Superior joint strength
- Improved bone density
- Reduced chance of sustaining injury
- Reduction in the need for health and mobility assistance from others
- Improve sleep hygiene
- Better hormonal balance
- Better energy levels
- Higher metabolic performance (meaning you can eat more food)
- Great weight control and sustainability
- Long-term education around training and nutrition principles
Always Consistency over Inconsistency
For many, the process may seem overwhelming and do not want to be regimental with calorie tracking, etc.; however, this is not the issue - the issue lies with consistency over time.
The more emphasis that can be delivered to your client about consistency over inconsistency, the greater the chance of long-term results being achieved.
So with that being said, they don’t have to be 100% every day all day. What they need to do is ensure their week represents great consistency. This means training more often than not, so perhaps 4 days out of 7 as an example. This means close accuracy with your food 5 out of 7 days without too many blowouts each month.
So when you look back over a month of data, you can see over 70% of the time the client has been diligent and reasonably accurate.
The longer this goes on for, the better the return and the results will be forthcoming. And often, when a client starts to see these results, they start to reign in their eating and improve their training anyway.
Through good education, evidenced-based research and client transformations, you can alter the early perception of a client’s eagerness to get a quick result. Therefore, they will not only become a long-term, loyal client (which is great for business), but they will get the long-term sustainable goal they are chasing, and that is the result both parties are after.
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